Gun laws in the United States

Georgia ditches gun free zones, allows people to defend themselves again

Georgia has passed a bill removing gun free zones from places like schools, churches, bars and some government buildings. Common sense seems to be breaking out.

Breibart.com reports:

On February 18 the Georgia House overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow guns at schools, churches, bars, and certain government buildings.

The measure passed by a margin of 119 to 56.

Titled the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” the legislation not only expands the number of places in which concealed carry permit holders can carry guns but also reduces the punishment permit holders face for carrying in a no-carry area unaware.  Read more »

A world without guns?

A reader emails this article and says:

Probably the best piece I’ve read on the gun debate so far – takes a look at both sides.

It is a very good article on the issue of gun control and well worth a read. My favourite part is this explanation about reality for liberal panty-waists:

Like most gun owners, I understand the ethical importance of guns and cannot honestly wish for a world without them. I suspect that sentiment will shock many readers. Wouldn’t any decent person wish for a world without guns? In my view, only someone who doesn’t understand violence could wish for such a world. A world without guns is one in which the most aggressive men can do more or less anything they want. It is a world in which a man with a knife can rape and murder a woman in the presence of a dozen witnesses, and none will find the courage to intervene.  Read more »

Gun Control alone won’t work

Charles Krauthammer explains why gun control alone won’t work:

Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.

It goes nowhere because no politician has the stones to actually call out American society for their ills. Krauthammer examines the role of gun control:

(1) The Weapon

Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is introducing a new assault weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force.

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania studycommissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications.

Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the ’94 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than 10 bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down.

Studies show gun control doesn’t work, and the logistics preclude grandfathering as a solution. What about the nutters themselves?

(2) The Killer

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declinedsince the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

Locking the nutters up would work but for the civil liberties weirdos.

(3) The Culture

We live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic, violence. Older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. It’s not just movies. Young men sit for hours pulling video-game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. And we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the overlearned narrative.

That is a pretty good summary of the issues, and why the focus on gun control alone won;t stop the shootings.

If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?

The irony is that over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent. Gun murders as well. We’re living not through an epidemic of gun violence but through a historic decline.

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

Interesting to know that the homicide has decreased as guns have increased…funny that…but then again it isn’t so funny if you know and understand that of you act like a prick in a society where guns are prevalent then you might just get capped for your troubles.

Gun Control?

Any comment about about gun control is pretty moot as technology advances.

Just like anti-trust cases against Microsoft in the 90s and legislation proposed to try to control guns will be superseded by technology marching on despite the efforts of legislators.

3D Printing is likely to see an end of traditional mass production manufacturers of firearms.

TechCrunch has a great article about “gun control” and how pointless it is.

If you were to attempt to write a law governing media copyright in 1998, would you attempt to do so without acknowledging the existence of the Internet and compression methods like MPEG-3? Any law crafted under such restrictions would be laughably incomplete.

Likewise, if you were to discuss a law that allows or restricts the creation and distribution of firearms, would you attempt to do so without acknowledging the existence of 3D-printed weapons and the ability to transfer blueprints for them online?

Here’s the problem, though. Like the digitization of music, the digitization of objects, guns or otherwise, is a one-way street. Every step forward is ineffaceable. Once you can make an MP3 and share it online, that’s it, there’s no going back — the industry is changed, just like that. Why should it be different when you reduce a spoon, a replacement part, a patented tool, or a gun to a compact file that can be reproduced using widely-available hardware? There’s no going back. So what is “control” now?

Will ISPs use deep packet inspection to watch for gun files being traded? Will torrent sites hosting firearm files be taken down, their server rooms raided? Will all the ineffectual tactics of digital suppression be tried again, and fail again?

Will 3D printers refuse to print parts, the way 2D ones are supposed to refuse to print bills? Will printers have to register their devices, even when those devices can print themselves? How is it proposed that control is to be established over something that can be transferred in an instant to another country, and made with devices that will soon be as common as microwaves?

Part of the discussion has to be that, government or otherwise, there can be no more control over printed guns than there can be over printed spoons. Regulation or banning of firearms, whether you think the idea is good or bad, will soon be impossible.