32 thoughts on “Some Opinions On Gun Control

  1. Leland

    Great post. It’s a very long read, but it covers it all. Pretty much need a sticky for the www on this issue.

  2. Andrew W

    A good read, and the points he covers he does so well.

    My approach to reducing availability of guns to baddies would be to issue a license to everyone in the US not banned by the Brady act, and require them to produce that license when purchasing guns or ammo. This would evolve into the sort of licensing regime in most western countries (with younger and other future would-be license holders required to demonstrate firearms competence), but still with a wider selection of guns being legal than in other countries. Despite the fear that this system would be used to strangle firearms availability to the average person, I think it would be more likely to prevent the progress of other legislation, of the type mentioned by Larry Correia, from doing just that.

  3. Will McLean

    Generally sound, but he seems to underestimate the success of the government in keeping criminals from getting fully automatic weapons. Keck, no friend of gun control, thinks that fully automatic weapons account for less than 1% of homicides even where they are most common.

    1. M Puckett

      Will, that is simply a function of the fact they are both big and expensive. All rifles combined only account for like 4 percent of all gun deaths and so-called assault weapons are a small subset of those.

      Most killings are by criminals and the criminal weapon of choice is a small and inexpensive handgun.

      Incidentally, most killings are criminals killing other criminals (excluding suicides, which don’t need guns, just ask Japan).

      More here:

      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-criminal-target_N.htm

      1. Will McLean

        But, M Puckett, as you know , not all fully automatic weapons are rifles. Machine pistols, AKA submachine guns, can be both compact and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

        1. M Puckett

          And most are still not very concelable. Most crooks don’t know what a Czech Skorpian is and things like Mac-11′s are still not very concealable.

          Criminals tend to seek the cheapest weapon that fulfils its intended function. Money for weapons comes out of money for their fix.

          Perhaps removing the desire for commiting crome to obtain drugs might be a greater strategy?

  4. B Lewis

    @Andrew W: My approach to reducing the spread of pornography would be to issue a license to print to everyone in the US not banned by the Comstock Laws, and require them to produce that license when purchasing printing presses, paper, ink, or typesetting software.

    Moral: I don’t need permission from the government in order to speak freely — nor to defend myself, with a gun or with anything else.

    1. Andrew W

      I think a closer analogy would be drivers license, lots of people killed by the misuse of cars and guns, not so much by watching porn. But as you’re a religious conservative, I suppose your reasoning isn’t surprising.

      1. Leland

        Oh, I’m sure he got your analogy, but you being clear didn’t come close to addressing his moral objection.

  5. Fletcher Christian

    Andrew W; in the particular case mentioned of pornography the number of people directly killed by it is going to be vanishingly small – not actually zero, as heart attacks and similar events might be a factor.

    I have a very simple attitude to the censorship of pron. If it’s legal to do it, then it ought to be legal to watch it.

    Obscenity is almost as ridiculous a concept as blasphemy. Certainly as a criminal offense.

    1. Andrew W

      I don’t get excited by porn the existence of a porn industry, and see no need to legislate over it, as long as we’re talking about consenting adults.

      I don’t get what point B Lewis is trying to make with what to me seems to be a loopy analogy.

  6. Fletcher Christian

    A better analogy, perhaps, is between guns and cars. Speaking only about car use in public areas (if someone wants to kill himself by driving around on his own land without any training, that’s fine by me) the right to drive a car is gained only after long and expensive training, and is revocable on evidence of misuse. Also, to drive a car in public one has to have insurance – which isn’t cheap either. And one is required to keep the vehicle maintained, and to have it officially inspected at regular intervals. At least both those requirements are in force in the UK; I imagine that most parts of the USA, if not all, are similar.

    Note that cars are not actually designed to kill, although they are quite good at it if in the wrong hands.

    As I understand it, the right to own and carry a gun in the USA is absolute; there is no requirement for training, no requirement for third party insurance and no revocation short of certain felonies (and presumably evidence of insanity is included, also).

    I fail to see how a requirement for training and insurance for gun owners would be against the second amendment. A lot of other rights are conditional; the right to vote, for instance. (Evidence of eligibility is required, in some places at least.) For one thing, the purpose clause (“well-regulated militia”) would seem to indicate that such requirements should be in place.

    1. Gregg

      Fletcher wrote:

      “As I understand it, the right to own and carry a gun in the USA is absolute; there is no requirement for training, no requirement for third party insurance and no revocation short of certain felonies (and presumably evidence of insanity is included, also).”

      Actually this is not the case at all. It varies from state to state. For example in my own state – the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, I MUST take a day long gun safety course (and pay for it); I MUST get fingerprinted and those prints are run past the local and Federal authorities to be sure I’m not a felon.

      THEN I have to take the paperwork to my town police department where I apply for the license to carry. They can deny that license to me for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Even though my record is spotless. I know one police chief in another town who simply refuses to issue any licenses to carry to anyone.

      The carry permit is re-issued every 6 years and they can deny a re-issue if they just feel like it.

      I have recourse to appeal with the State Troopers. I don’t know how successful people have been with that nor how long it takes.

      If I don’t follow the myriad of rules about carrying and storing etc, I can lose my permit *snap* just like that.

    2. Dan DeLong

      First, your analogy to drivers licenses is good, but sadly not true in the US states I am familiar with. Driving is treated more as a right than a privilege here. I haven’t taken an automobile driving test since I was 16 years old, (I’ve had licenses in 5 states) and that test did not include ability to handle a car near its limits. It was a slow motion demonstration of staying between the lines and where to stop. And in CA, the written exam is mostly memorization of rarely used regulatory arcana. Very little useful info like how to avoid accidents, or why proper tire inflation is safety critical. Nor does CA have safety inspections; just biannual emissions inspections.

      Second, our Constitution says: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” Your interpretation appears to fall between the two opposite opinions on the amendment’s intent. One interpretation is simply “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and the opposite interpretive limit is along the lines of: “Our serving military took the place of any militia so private citizens don’t get to bear arms any more” The problem with your proposal is that it could evolve into an effective prohibition of gun ownership.

      Rand, can I please do a poll? How many here knew the proper tire inflation numbers are printed on the driver’s door jam (cars and trucks)? And what jurisdiction drivers license do you have?

  7. B Lewis

    A license to own a gun is nothing more than a permission slip from the government to own a gun. Since such permission can be withdrawn, gun licensing amounts to a scheme by which the government can deny me the ability to defend myself.

    I do not grant the government the power to give or deny to me permission to defend myself. I will carry whatever tool I need to defend myself with or without government permission.

    I will never register nor surrender my firearms. Let them pass what laws they will.

    1. Andrew W

      As I see it, because there’s no effective way to restrict only the bad guys from possessing guns, the anti-gun lobby looks for options to restrict gun possession in other ways, ways that inevitably apply to everyone, and so we see this nonsense about “assault” weapons, and gun free zones.

      The fact is that licensing is largely effective in restricting loonies gun possession in most of the world, with the result that in the rest of the world there is less political pressure to push through counter-productive alternatives.

      1. Leland

        the anti-gun lobby looks for options to restrict gun possession in other ways, ways that inevitably apply to everyone

        Indeed. An other way: licensing It applies to everyone.

        If a person really is psychotic (loony), why restrict only gun possession? Is a gun unacceptable in their hands, but a knife is ok? What other restrictions should we apply to everyone instead of addressing the psychotic?

        1. Andrew W

          Possession of a license under the terms I describe, which are in general terms those applicable in many countries, would mean that licensed individuals ability to carry would be less restricted than they are now.

          What other restrictions should we apply to everyone instead of addressing the psychotic (psychosis?)

          It’s not an either/or, but if you think allowing psychotic people to run around with guns is a good idea, good luck to you.

          1. Leland

            It’s not an either/or, but if you think allowing psychotic people to run around with guns is a good idea, good luck to you.

            Let me demonstrate just how stupid this argument is: Do you think psychotic people running around with knives is a good idea?

            Did you click the link?

          2. Andrew W

            Let me demonstrate just how stupid this argument is: Do you think psychotic people running around with knives is a good idea?

            Who killed more people, Pol Pot, or Seung-Hui Cho?

            The more power a nutter has, the more damage he can do.

          3. Leland

            The more power a nutter has, the more damage he can do.

            Indeed, so lets not concentrate power so idiots can do stuff like this: Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?

            Imagine that, in New York you can pull up the government registry of CCW owners, names and addresses. This is what licensing does, well except, you can’t pull up names and addresses of those with driver’s licenses. And you can’t pull up names and addresses of those receiving food stamps. Apparently the right to be secure in your person, home, and papers goes out the door with the right to keep and bear arms without infringement.

        2. George Turner

          I don’t think that will work. In Chicago 83 percent of homicide [i]victims[/i] have prior arrests, usually for their participation in the ongoing gang wars. In another major city, the police found that about 77 percent of homicide victims had at least a dozen prior arrests. I assume the offenders are no different, and so could probably not pass any of the background and criminal records checks we have in place, yet they’re in no danger of running out of guns.

          1. Andrew W

            I assume the offenders are no different, and so could probably not pass any of the background and criminal records checks we have in place, yet they’re in no danger of running out of guns.

            Exactly so, it’ll take a fair amount of time for the supply of guns to these people to drop, but it does at least give the police a lever to use against them: illegal possession. If enough guns are taken out the of these areas and melted down the availability will drop.

            Then I suppose the argument will be similar to that of alcohol prohibition, increase in crime to fill the demand.

            Another analogy is tobacco use, and the use of hard drugs: If you make it expensive enough and hard enough to get, the use does drop.

            Rome wasn’t built in a day.

          2. Peterh

            Raises a question: of the homicide victims without an arrest record, how many were gang war participants but evaded police?

  8. ken anthony

    Now some NRA guy is saying we should post policeman at all our schools. Why is this moron a spokesman? We already have presumed adults at our schools. Teach them to shoot.

    1. Peterh

      Waiting for facts before making a statement was a good idea. But apparently he talked to too many feel good consultants in the mean time.

  9. Gregg

    For Jim and Gerrib:

    Suppose the Newtown shooting started, and, after a few rounds, some teacher stopped the assault with a gun.

    Would that be better than what happened?

    Or worse?

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