Gun Control

In the US, we (the general citizenry) are never going to agree on gun control. I have a solution.

First, a video or two in case you are interested.

Here is my suggestion: A federal agency is in charge of gun control. That is already the case (it would be the ATF). Congress would pass a law directing this agency to develop best practices for gun permitting, availability, safety, general regulation.

Now, where do you get the best practices? From cops.

As a whole, cops are more likely to know about guns, own guns other than their service revolver, more likely to be hunters or target practicing enthusiasts, etc. than the general population. But, cops are also the folks who face guns being used in inappropriate settings on a day to day basis. Every time a cop pulls someone over for a traffic violation, or attends to a domestic violence call, or finds themselves in any of a number of situations, they face the possibility of being shot. Generally, cops are sensitive to the issue of gun violence, yet appreciative of firearms and respectful of the second amendment.

Best practices should arise not from the raw political process. That is simply impossible. But they can arise from a set of advisory committees comprised mainly of law enforcement people working with the appropriate federal regulatory agency.

No one is going to like it, but we should all accept it.

That is all.

Or, we do this:

Comments

  1. #1 the chaplain
    January 26, 2008

    Your idea makes a lot of sense. I like it.

  2. #2 thorn
    January 26, 2008

    As a whole, cops are more likely to know about guns, own guns other than their service revolver, more likely to be hunters or target practicing enthusiasts, etc. than the general population.

    On what basis do you draw that very dubious conclusion?

    thorn

  3. #3 R Burdick
    January 26, 2008

    Mr Laden,
    Have you researched how many police officers have been shot by concealed handgun licensees? Oh, you have not done that have you? How about this:
    (From concealedcampus.org)
    CCW/CHL holders are statistically LESS violent than the rest of the population. They are arrested for violent crimes at a rate
    five times lower than non-license holders (even lower than police officers in many states).
    *Florida Department of State, �Concealed Weapons/Firearms License Statistical Report,� 1998
    *Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Census Bureau, reported in San Antonio Express-News, September 2000
    *FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, 2004 – excludes Hawaii and Rhode Island – small populations and geographic isolation create other determinants to violent crime.
    *John Lott and David Mustard, �Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns,� Journal of Legal Studies (v.26, no.1, pages 1-68, January 1997)
    * William E. Sturdevant, �An Analysis of the Arrest Rate of Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders as Compared to the Arrest Rate of the Entire Texas Population,�
    September 1, 2000
    *”D.C. Police Paying for Hiring Binge,” Washington Post, 8/28/94
    *Memorandum by James T. Moore, Commissioner of Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement, to the Office of the Governor, dated 3/15/95

    I suggest you research more before you write any more rubbish.

  4. #4 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 26, 2008

    I am not sure what you are suggesting, Greg. Are you saying that the ATF should be in charge of creating and enforcing, with oversight by Congress and the Administration?

    I would be worried that if an administration such as the current one were in place, the best practices would be ignored in favor of political expediency. Perhaps a completely independent agency structured like the Federal Reserve board and made up of law enforcement officials is what you are considering?

    The Stossel piece, even if we could trust his reporting, ignores a few problems brought about by guns in the home:

    1. The incidences of death caused by shooting of a family member who startles a sleeping gun owner by coming home late at night.
    2. The incidences of people having guns taken from them by burglars and then injured by their own guns.
    3. The fact that upon being startled awake by a burglar, a sleeping person takes time to adjust to the darkness and would have difficulty aiming at an intruder.

    In order to save your family during a burglary you would need to take someone down, incapacitate that person or kill that person. A pepper spray with a larger effective radius would have a better effect of protecting you than would a handgun or especially a rifle.

    I know people who think it is okay to shoot someone leaving your house after a burglary, as long as they are still intruding on property. Some states even allow for that. If the person is leaving, then it is no longer self-defense. Now it is murder because you are no longer in danger.

    I respect the 2nd Amendment. I disagree that an armed citizenry would be able to defend itself from jackbooted black helicopter enforcers of a runaway Clinton Administration, or even from the Evil Atheist Conspiracy unless we were all issued machine guns and were able to have them at the ready. My .38 Special wouldn’t be able to stop a government run amock.

    I do think that the NRA should recognize the “well-regulated Militia” clause of the 2nd Amendment and allow for some handgun control.

  5. #5 tjeffries
    January 26, 2008

    I think our Founding Fathers already hashed this out, and the Second Amendment leaves little room for further discussion. But,,,,,for the opinion of the police, see the survey by the “National Association of Chiefs of Police” http://www.aphf.org/survey.html as evidence of their support.

  6. #6 Dave X
    January 26, 2008

    David Brin suggested a compromise of tight control like this for most guns, but a more explict right that shall not be abridged for a specific class of weapons. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/01/brin-classics-jefferson-rifle.html

    Maybe that would work.

  7. #7 Alan Kellogg
    January 27, 2008

    Greg, your proposal founders on the same reef similar proposals have foundered on, criminals. Criminals are in the habit of disobeying the law. That’s why they’re criminals. If they obeyed the law, they wouldn’t be criminals, and we wouldn’t have near the trouble with guns we do know.

    Criminals use guns when committing crimes. But all you’re doing when you criminalize the use of guns in the commission of a crime is multiply the paperwork, and slow down the processing of a case. The longer it takes to bring a subject to justice, the less impact the punishment has upon that subject. Justice works best when it is swift and fair.

    Then there is your insistence that matters like this can only be handled from the top down. Gregq the ATF is not part of the solution to our problem, the ATF is part of the problem. The ATF is part of the imperialistic elite that holds that the common man is an untrustworthy slob who has to be kept under tight control. It is my experience that when you deal with most people openly and honestly, they respond in kind. Simple human nature; it takes less effort to work with others than it does to make them do what you want.

    Charge the perp with what he’s done, not with what he used to do it.

  8. #8 tjeffries
    January 27, 2008

    It appears Mr Brin has a better grasp of the First Amendment than he has of the Second. Maybe he will also accept some reasonable restraints there as well?

    A fairly bright individual named Franklin gave us the following quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    Lets not forget, a lot of bodies lie at the feet of Janet Reno in the name of reasonable enforcement of the law, and the people of New Orleans are still awaiting the return of their confiscated firearms after Katrina.

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The Jews are not going back into the ovens.

    http://www.jpfo.org/

  9. #9 BobG
    January 27, 2008

    Contrary to popular beliefs, police do not know more about firearms than the public; and quite a few of them are lacking badly in shooting skills. Most serious gun owners know a lot more about firearms, and practice more.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2008

    Thorn: On what basis do you draw that very dubious conclusion?

    Wny is my statement dubious? Do you have a shred of evidence to the contrary? I’m basing this on knowing a lot of cops. I could be wrong, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it until you prove me wrong. Please give it at try.

    Mike: I am not sure what you are suggesting, Greg. Are you saying that the ATF should be in charge of creating and enforcing, with oversight by Congress and the Administration?< .em>

    I agree with your concerns, but this part is a side track. Guns are at present regulated by the government, somehow, by somebody. As far as I can tell, all levels of government are involved. A federal solution is the best as long as there is an Arkansas. So, some federal “guidelines” that states can adopt or not, as per states rights. But if the states want to share in funding for such things as (fill in the blank) then they follow the guidelines. This is how the federal highway system works, the education system, etc. I’m not saying anything new or special here.

    The Stossel piece, even if we could trust his reporting, ignores a few problems brought about by guns in the home:

    Yeah, Stossel is a total moron. He is the best example of the worst side of reporting.

    Alan: Greg, your proposal founders on the same reef similar proposals have foundered on, criminals. Criminals are in the habit of disobeying the law. That’s why they’re criminals. If they obeyed the law, they wouldn’t be criminals, and we wouldn’t have near the trouble with guns we do know.

    Regarding the ATF, see my comments above, your argument is a red herring, but I admit I should have made that more clear. Regarding law and crime, I’m sorry, but the argument you are making taken to its very logical extension, not even into extreme areas, is absured for reasons that I don’t even have to state. I’ll just say this: There are no libertarians on the welfare roles.

    Bob:Contrary to popular beliefs, police do not know more about firearms than the public; and quite a few of them are lacking badly in shooting skills. Most serious gun owners know a lot more about firearms, and practice more.

    Bob, you might be right, or you might be wrong. Do you have anything to back this up? I’m sticking to my argument (about what cops know) until some actual contrary evidence. Any cops out there want to chime in????

    Burdick: Bite me.

  11. #11 charben
    January 27, 2008

    Greg,

    You have asked people who have posted comments contrary to your assertion about the Police to provide you with factual evidence. However, to support your own theory, you have nothing other than your own, limited experience. I am sure there is a survey out there that addresses police involvement in the shooting sports, but I am not inclined to look for it right now. You may wish to do so to support your theory.

    However, just anecdotal evidence of your theory will vary dramatically from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. My guess is that the rural departments may have more cops involved in hunting or shooting outside of the “job” than more metropolitan areas. That’s just my theory, though.

    From my experience as a shooting sports competitor in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), supports the theory that cops are NOT any more knowledgeable or as competent as any other competitor in IDPA. The contrary is actually true. When a cop shows up to shoot his first match, they typically come with an attitude that they “know what they are doing” and that they are “good shots”. However, this competition is not about being stationary while engaging targets. Even thought PD’s have been gradually improving training, these cops perform very poorly at their first IDPA matches. It isn’t until they practice as much as their fellow competitors that they become competitive. By the way, in my league, non-cop outnumbers cop participants by a 7-1 ratio.

    I would suggest you look into a local IDPA match or a IPSC match to see first-hand what I mean. Yes, there are interdepartmental police shooting competitions, but the numbers in either IDPA or IPSC will impress you.

    Finally, remember that a cops job is not about their gun. There are plenty of cops who never even have to draw their gun except at shift change.

    To put this into even more perspective, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were less than 900,000 police officers (incl. Sheriff) NATIONALLY in 2006. In Ohio alone, there are over 104,000 concealed handgun license holders. CHL holders in Ohio outnumber the police. Would you care to guess which demographic has the higher violent crime rate?

  12. #12 dr-exmedic
    January 27, 2008

    You’ve described police as “sensitive to the issue of gun violence, yet appreciative of firearms and respectful of the second amendment.” Does it bother you that putting gun laws in the hands of police might bring about fewer, less restrictive gun laws than currently exist? About 60% of sheriffs and police chiefs believe that concealed handgun licenses reduce crime, according to the latest survey of that group. (In my limited experience, the rank-and-file cops are even more supportive of individual 2nd Amendment rights than their bosses. And their knowledge of guns is, as noted by others, extremely variable from place to place; I know cops who are both better and worse shots than I am.)

    On a side note, Burdick provided you with citations that you could refute (i.e. by finding them on the web and noting that Burdick’s conclusions are wrong, or by noting that some of them are irrelevant), and your response is “bite me?” That doesn’t belong on scienceblogs.com, billing itself as “the largest online community dedicated to science.” Or is “bite me” actually considered a legitimate response to criticism in the Journal of Biological Anthropology?

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2008

    Does it bother you that putting gun laws in the hands of police might bring about fewer, less restrictive gun laws than currently exist?

    I’m certain that the cop-committee would come up with plans less restrictive than I would, but I’m not searching for what I would consider as an ideal, I’m searching for movement in a positive direction of any kind.

    “bite me?” That doesn’t belong on scienceblogs.com, billing itself as “the largest online community dedicated to science.” Or is “bite me” actually considered a legitimate response to criticism in the Journal of Biological Anthropology?

    Are you the blog police? Mr. Burdick’s post was rescued from the spam jar where it probably belongs. I found his post rude and offensive. I want him to go away. Somehow I don’t feel the compulsion to rund own his cherry picked sources. His comments are largely off topic.

    I have said nothing about, or that is affected by, the question of how many police officers have been shot by conceal-carry holders or any other group.

    I would be interested, though, in your detailed thoughts about each of his citations. Please go and look them up and report back.

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2008

    Charben, you make a lot of good points.

    But you and others seem to be thinking that I want to take an opinion poll among cops and follow that opinion. No. I’m talking about drawing on the expertise of the law enforcement community in a formal, professional way.

  15. #15 tjeffries
    January 27, 2008

    Greg, Mr Burdik obviously put a lot of effort into his attempt to educate you, and his facts are correct. If you’re only fishing for lemmings in support of your opinions here, let us know now and we won’t waste any more of your time or ours making you feel uncomfortable. It is your blog, only you decide the value placed on the the accuracy contained within.

    If you want to find the facts though, it appears you have a willing and able group to help you out. Be warned though, if your mind is open to honest and factual discussion, your opinions will change forever.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2008

    tjeffries: go ahead, post the mind opening facts! I will read them and they will certainly contribute to the discussion.

    If you imply that I must agree with you or what I write is rubbish, or if you deign to give me a list of things to do, then I will not be nice to you, but I will still read and appreciate what you write. I’ll just be grumpy about it.

  17. #17 the real cmf
    January 27, 2008

    Charben: I am DYING to know which side has the highest crime rate–and I presume you mean ‘the side that creates, enables, pepetrates’ the most crime? I would guess the police.
    Greg: I am Joe Citizen: having been shot (twice) and physically died (once) from handguns, and with two or three cops in the family,it is ironic that I would oppose the stance you take here Greg. It is absolutely a naieve perspective on both guns, and police power–right now I am remembering stories I heard growing up about how police misuse and abuse their power–from the mouths of those same cops.

    In my generation ( yours too, give or take with a little age difference here), we saw the Miami police force absolutely busted selling dope, and running criminal gangs; we saw the LA police force doing the same; we saw cocaine flying out of the doors of military airplanes in Arkansas; we saw how Noriega was funded and then silenced by police power; Minnesota has more than one pilot who can tell you about flying mysterious boxes of [large enough to hold m16 rifles] unknown and weighty goods into Guatemala and El Salvador [Hassenfus and Sawyer]; you saw Kent State, and we know that the last beating of a bartender caught on tape in Chicago was at the hands of the [armed] police–and the list is actually endless. So we should trust those psycopaths with informing our judgement–those of us who use other means to combat crime and violence–about gun ownership?

    Common street knowledge informs us that it is the cops who control the flow of guns into and out of the streets [ they have permits to purchase, etc.] Canadian police I interviewed during the Canadian gun crime surge two years ago were not at all surprised when I asked them ” is it possible that the US police powers are responsible for pushing guns in Canada, so as to influence your public policy?” Some of them said ” I wouldn’t rule that out.”

    So how do you draw on a group of people–their expertise, as you put it–when that same expertise is horribly biased, and informed from biased ‘state interest’ viewpoints alone?
    If you want statistics, get those statistics from unbiased observers,–the police powers are biased in favor of police power–informed by the very idea that citizens should submit to their authority first, and sue later–after the facts have all been covered up, or muddied by those same powers.

    Best practices? I would ask a fox tracking, pheasant hunting farmer. Cops respect the second amendment? Cops think that was written exclusively for them. Greg, the last several homicides from ‘domestic violence’ in your city of MPLS, to my memory, were cops executing mentally ill people who had steak knives or letter openers in their hands–one of them a hundred pound woman who was going to commit suicide! Dom Violence is such a catch all euphimism for anything that disagrees with nanny state police force power.

    The last cops shot there? They had broken into a house in North Minneapolis and were gunned down by a Hmong father who was protecting his family in the middle of the night with a legally owned and licensed firearm–he got two of them before the cops realized they had terrorized the wrong house in the middle of the night, with a no knock warrant.
    Oh yeah, remeber those days when the cops had to knock first?
    Trust cops….sheeeesh, I thought you were a shanty Irish Boston boy, but your lace curtains are fluttering here..;-)

  18. #18 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2008

    CMF: I totally agree that the police tend to abuse their power. All I’m asking for here, though, is for law enforcment to put its expertise to work in coming up with a strategy that addresses the second amendment and reduced gun violence.

    This is not about trust. This is simply an attempt to break an impasse. Congress will never pass a bill that does anything but appease the NRA.

  19. #19 the real cmf
    January 27, 2008

    Greg, I agree that it would be nice if they did attempt that too, but unfortunately, THEY ALREADY ARE. Its called the Patriot act, and all of Constitution infringing spawn. That IS their strategy, happening during one of the weakest periods of Congressional leadership in my memory.

    Perhaps a better strategy would be for developing a different statistical gun violence fact gathering approach to the issue. Too much of what has informed the current debate is that horribly biased “domestic violence” mindset of the last decades, and it is that reactionary mindset that fostered the opposite reactionary of concealed carry in the first place.

    I remember the late Sheila Wellstone and her ilk campaigning at the colleges and inflating the sense of urgency about violence, and then the Clinton cops, etc. A bunch of people with ‘woman as victim’ mindsets none of whom had ever carried a weapon or needed to, developing policies to adress violence–‘more police’ was their mantra.

    Then, in Minneapolis, and other cities, there was that little sideshow they call the “Civilian Review Board” http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/
    an attempt at incorporating civilian input into the process, but a largely impotent organization- a bitch session–to air grievances against the police. These attempts are easily muted by this notion of poice being somehow ‘more informed’ or as you put it “more likely” to know about guns.

    The other guy who knows about guns is that guy, Bob Shlub, who has to walk the streets unarmed–precisely because Bob Shlub has to learn more creative solutions to handling violent behavior, every day. Without his input, any Civ review is muted, and has little effect because of the strength of police coverup and deception power when it combines with nanny state fear based politics.

    Greg, that is what the whole current stacking of the Sup court, and Patriot are all about–those ARE the police review boards these days. ‘Appropriate’ is such a wide open field of discussion, especially because the default mechanism of all police training is that ‘appropriate force’ is always that which is used by police on civilians regardless of provocation. Whatever happened to the police being required to default to ‘necessary force?’ There is no longer such a distinction, because the current legal and social climate is that cops are always right–people are too afraid to point out how very wrong policing has become….

    The solution is an informed democratic response, and academic research can provide a piece of that, but how we look at *what* violence essentially is and who and what really causes it[two tiered society, etc] must change, once again. In social sciences, there is a marked decrease in critical thinking as regards police actions, and the media is absolutely complicit in fearmongering that leads to that default.If civilians are left out of that, we are doomed, as Jeffries and many others point out.

    I guess I am just saying that a board or policy informed by police always becomes a make work project for ‘more police’, rather than a goal/solutions project that decreases violence, and its causes. Police, just like left wing lobbies, are really clever at manipulating fear, and just as complicit as any NRA lobbyist in congress at keeping the violence happy.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2008

    Well, CMF, you are probably right. But Antarctica Is Still a Continent, by jove!!!!

    OK, everybody, I’m perfectly willing to retract my suggestion that law enforcement is the best place to get gun policy, under one simple condition: Replace the suggestion with something better. You’all have pretty much proven, from many different perspectives, that I’m full of shit. Now prove that you are not equally full of shit. what do we do to reduce gun violence in the US?

  21. #21 dave X
    January 28, 2008

    Well, taking a page from (the evil) Bjorn Lomborg, are you sure there is an increasing trend to worry about, and that the possible solutions are worth more than equally costly improvements in other areas?

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2008

    Dave:

    I’m not sure there is a trend to worry about. Most likely, gun violence is decreasing. (I hadn’t said anything at all about a trend, though assuming I was thinking trend is quite forgivable since most of the arm waving about crime involves that premise, often false).

    But again, why do we want to treat laws and regulations regarding guns in a way that is utterly different than everything else we do in this society?

    (See what I mean?)

  23. #23 Mike
    January 28, 2008

    I do not see why you think that guns laws are treated differently than other laws. Just like laws that restrict freedom are speech are ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, so should laws which restrict the right to bear arms. The DC handgun ban is going to be heard by the Supreme Court this year.

  24. #24 tjeffries
    January 28, 2008

    Greg, I wouldn’t go so far as to say you were full of anything, but more likely misinformed like a lot of others who have been spoon-fed misleading information by the media for years. If you want a real eye-opener, go to Sarah Brady’s group for their facts, then go to the FBI or CDC’s website and try to verify them,,,,Won’t Happen in either of our lifetimes, but guess who gets quoted as fact while the NRA gets chastised for lies,,,,,,,Find One.

    You’ve been more than respectful so far, and I can even handle a little but of grumpy to a point, but not being a spring chicken myself, I’d appreciate it if you’d reciprocate LOL. There’s nothing I can post here that wouldn’t require at least a bit of work on your part, so I’ll post a few links and answer any questions the rest of the guys don’t beat me to. Your education appears to already be in good hands without me LOL.

    If you have access to a good library, the book “More Guns Less Crime” by John Lott should be required reading by everyone who claims to be an American today. Lott researches crime and laws in EVERY county in the US for his research base, sorta hard to beat that for being thorough.

    The second, “Gun Facts Version 4.2 is available online: http://gunfacts.info/

    I already posted Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership’s website: http://www.jpfo.org/ which will show video evidence as to why most of us don’t trust the BATFE or anyone else for that matter with our Second Amendment rights in their newest production “The Gang” and previously produced “Innocents Betrayed” documenting how many disarmed victims died at the hands of their own government in the last century.

    Keep and Bear Arms: http://keepandbeararms.com/news/nl/disp.asp?d=11/2/2007 which should be required viewing at least monthly.

    Second Amendment Foundation: http://www.saf.org/

    That’s way more than you’ll have time to digest, but to us who take our Constitution seriously, all our rights are sacred, and we have to work overtime on the Second Amendment to make up for those who have no problem abusing their First Amendment rights in order to dismiss it because they fail to take the time to understand it.

    If you made it this far Greg, thanks for your time, and if you don’t understand anything here, please feel free to ask.

    [ADDED: Your comment was thrown in the dungeon due to the links (that is standard procedure for some reason). But I hereby liberate it … gtl]

  25. #25 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2008

    Mike:

    Let me be very clear about what I mean. I’m referring specifically to the argument that since criminals can get hand guns that regulation of hand guns is not appropriate.

    There will always be subgroups of people who can get away with a particular illegal activity. The argument that I object to is that this reality simply obviates any attempt at law or regulation.

  26. #26 the real cmf
    January 28, 2008

    Yeah, sure, Antarctica is a great idea–but I wouldn’t need the right to keep and bear arms there because there are no polar bears.At the other pole however, a .40 cal goes a long way, and a fifty even further, if its me or the bear. Maybe I could use a small crossbow for the occasional overprotective group of egg nesting emperor penguins there in the south,right? Or protection from prowling leopard seals–but maybe I could outrun them, being as they are not as fast as cheetah seals?

    The real solution seems to me to be that old saw ‘democracy in action’. You gave me a fright when you a) said that raw political process doesn’t work (electoral college, fear of the tyranny of the masses, etc) and 2) put your trust completely in law enforcement.

    Jeffries gives a few interesting links up there for how those alternative statistic gathering bodies are hard at work, and maybe the academia can come up with something of its own, other than leftist fearmongering/police state building rhetoric. Ask the gun owners, investigate the reality of gun owners who are not police, or the one or two Klan members left in the country(often the same two guys).

    The idea of gun ownership is not as simple as it has been portrayed by academic leftists who use propaganda like James Ridgeway et al as their basis in fact, and handguns in general diffuse the real issue, which is citizens rights of some form of equivalence with government.

    Its a framing problem. As of now,it is framed in two big squares: square A is full of Bush lovin’ internastional police action Cops and jew baitin’ Klansmen and NRA militia types.

    Square B is full of UN lovin’ internationalists bent on taking away guns so that their international communist cronies can sweep in and Stalinize all of ‘us’, and put our wimins on welfare (which is waaAAyy worse than Euthanising ‘us’).

    So the obvious solution seems to me to look harder at what and who is the the essential middle ground: the hunter, the soldier (which, by the way is a stacked deck right now) and the people of Washington D.C. who will now buy a gun–this last category will have some great stories I assure you, and better reasons to own a gun than most.

    Revise the out dated paradigms, stereotypes,and disinformational soundbytes, and make new ones, even though it is almost impossible in academic circles to do that, it being filled as it is with dogma.

  27. #27 Mike
    January 28, 2008

    In the sense you are talking about, guns laws are not like other laws. Under settled case law, the police, even if they know with 100% certainty that a person will be murdered, are under no obligation to protect that person. The only person responsible for the target’s safety is the target himself/herself. This is where the argument, that if handguns are outlawed, only crimimals will have guns, comes into play. Since police are not required to protect individuals, it seems irrational to take away a method of personal protection.

    This argument does not hinge on the 2nd Amendment as that amendment only protects weapons of war that a foot soldier would carry into battle. A handgun may or may not be included. Rather, the 9th Amendment is what protects this right of self defense.

  28. #28 R. Burdcik
    February 3, 2008

    Well Greg, I am back. Pull me out of the spam jar! Yes, I was rude. I apologize. You’re glad I came back aren’t you?
    I have read all the posts so far and you do seem to have reasonable responses to those who posted, except for me.
    Many have given you sources for you to check the accuracy of our statements. Check some of the data and get back to us.
    What is it that you want? All guns off the streets and out of our homes? You, as well as I, want to see gun violence reduced in the US. We differ in how to do that. As concealed carry laws continue to spread across the country, I believe you will see crime such as assaults and armed robberies continue to drop as criminals “learn” that many of their intended victims are armed. Some rather innocuous looking old man pulls a gun to defend himself and his wife against a vicious attack. If the criminal survives the encounter, he “learns”. Criminals will then turn to property crime, making sure the occupants are not home. I do not have stats but I have read that most crime is perpetrated by a rather small number of individuals. I have found that to be true in my area. Put them away for a long time, instead of plea-bargaining to a much lesser charge because its easier. I also support more tax dollars for police, prisons, judges, and prosecutors. Heck, I even donate to “Shop-with-a-Cop”.
    I do not tell you that you must have a gun. You in turn must not tell me that I may not have a gun. You can vote though, and I can vote also. I may be on the losing end of that one. I’m sure you notice that Hillary and Obama are not talking gun control at all. We both know exactly where they stand. Waterboard me, whatever, I will never vote for either.
    I am responsible for the safety of my family. I do not take that lightly. People who are unable to defend themselves or their family do have the police. I am a huge supporter of the police, but I am the first line of defense.
    Let’s look at some other stats:
    Are you aware that Vermont does not require a person to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun?
    Hear are some statistics for the year 2006:

    HOMICIDE
    The Weapon/Force Used

    Assault – Hands/Fists 3
    Blunt Object 1
    Firearm 5
    Knife 2
    Drowned 1
    TOTAL 12

    (From Vermont Department of Public Safety)
    This is for a whole state, for the whole year. The average for the years 1997 through 2006 is 11.6 per year.
    Vermont has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country, particularly their concealed carry laws. Vermont is rated 9 out of 100 in the Brady State Gun Laws Scorecard.
    I suggest you compare the Brady Scorecard rank with each states homicide rate. You will find a link here: http://www.bradycampaign.org/
    This is from the Brady site for Vermont:

    LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES
    Are there limitations on large capacity ammunition magazines? No

    Vermont – There is no state law restricting the sale or possession of large capacity ammunition magazines that can fire 30, 50 or even 75 rounds without reloading. Ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition are considered large capacity magazines. These types of ammunition magazines are available for any firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine, including assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns.
    One would assume that state would be blood from one side to the other, right? It makes for good reading. Check it out. What is Vermont doing that is different than other states? I don’t know, but they do acknowledge a citizen’s rights to bear arms. I, for one, like that idea.
    Good luck Greg, stay safe. I know I will.

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    February 3, 2008

    Burdcik:

    Glad to see you back!

    Check some of the data and get back to us.
    What is it that you want? All guns off the streets and out of our homes? You, as well as I, want to see gun violence reduced in the US. We differ in how to do that.

    This is where you start off on the wrong foot, and why I bad a negative reaction. Yes, as you say here, we all want to see gun violence (violence in general) reduced. I do not believe that violence is on the rise. Generally it is on the decline. You and I do not differ on how to do it, because by definition, I do not have a plan. You are reacting to me and my post on the basis of the assumption that I have a plan and you have some idea of what it is.

    The only thing I suggested was charging law enforcement experts make substantive, specific suggestions, and implementing those suggestions, rather than having elected officials do that. The argument, once again, is that elected officials are always going to be bought off by the NRA or totally anti gun (very few in between) so they are, as a political body, essentially incapable of coming up with a plan that would do anything effective.

    I point to the assault weapons ban. It does not matter if you are against of for banning anything. That law was stupid. It ended up, essentially, listing the equivalent of some model numbers. (I’m only slightly exaggerating, but I am oversimplifying). The assault weapons ban allows anti-gun constituents to believe that congress did something, and assault weapon collectors to still get assault weapons. I was an entirely political piece of legislation.

    You in turn must not tell me that I may not have a gun.

    I am not opposed to gun ownership.

    Regarding Vermont, I’ve been there. Nobody lives there. Vermont is not just a state, it is a cultural phenomenon. Having grown up a few miles from the border, I know something about it. Vermont does not have a low crime rate because the criminals assume everyone is carrying around a gun.

    What is the rate of handgun ownership and the rate of carrying handguns in Vermont, do you know?

    Your cherry picked arguments are the same ads the cherry picked arguments of the anti-gun side, in that they are cherry picked!

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