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The Folly of "Gun Control." - jordan179 — LiveJournal
December 16th, 2012
08:56 am


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The Folly of "Gun Control."

I posted this in response to someone who argued that we need to ban "assault weapons."

What you're talking about banning is a semi-automatic or automatic action coupled with a large magazine capacity on a weapon.  Except that one can use small-magazine capacity firearms to accomplish the same feat assuming that one carries several of them or has the time to reload.  And if one's victims are unarmed and start at distance because they are trying to get away from the armed evil maniac, then one does have the time to draw a new pistol or reload one's existing pistol.

This of course ignores the main question, which is how you intend to enforce this law in such a way as to keep guns out of the hands of people willing to commit mass murder.  Murder is already illegal -- why if one just kills one piddly human being, one will go to prison for several years to life, depending on the circumstances.  People who go on shooting sprees are unlikely to ever breathe free air again.  So they usually kill themselves at the end of said shooting sprees anyway.

So I'm a bit curious as to just what sentence you intend to impose which will deter someone willing to suffer almost-certain death or life without parole in order to commit the main crime.  Death by slow torture?  Death of beloved relatives by slow torture?  (Oh wait, that wouldn't have stopped this killer, his first victim was his own mother).

Perhaps you believe that draconian sentences will deter not the evil maniacs, but the dealers?  How well does that work for drugs?  I'm not plugged into the local drug culture here in Oakland, but I could buy pretty much any drug I wanted within a matter of a week just by asking the right questions of people I already know, and following the chain of connections.  So I'm wondering just how draconian would be the sentences you mean to impose, if you expect them to prevent the formation of a black market?

The reason of course that the market forms is to cater not to "evil maniacs" but to ordinary criminals -- violent men who need guns to intimidate their rivals and victims, but don't really want to shoot people for no reason and hence don't use their guns to commit mass murder.  Note that this includes some quite petty criminals, such as armed robbers who knock over liquor stores, and people who act as bodyguards for drug dealers.

What happens when honest citizens who refused to surrender their guns use them in self-defense against armed petty criminals?  Will they be arrested and then tossed in prison for years for the crime of unlicensed ownership?  (Precisely this happens a lot in cities with strict gun bans, though often the police and/or prosecutors go easy on them because they don't want to be a party to anything so monstrous, thus corrupting the system).

Now, this is of course a hard subject on which to collect statistics, but have you ever heard of "shoot and shovel?"  As applied to animals, this refers to the common rural practice, when shooting a varmint of some endangered species, of simply burying the carcass so as to avoid having to pay a fine for the killing.

Can you imagine how this might apply to human victims?  Suppose that you're a farmer in a state with strict gun control, and you've kept your guns because you know that you face a threat from occasional criminals in lonely country.  Say that you surprise such a criminal breaking onto your premises, and he pulls a gun, and you shoot him.

He's wounded.  Do you call a hospital and go to prison for years for the "crime" of having had the gun?  Or do you shrug sadly, finish the criminal off, and then get your shovel?

Have you ever lived in a city with strict gun control?  I have -- New York City, from 1964 through 1998 -- and I remember a city in which honest citizens lived in constant fear of criminals, because said honest citizens did not have guns, but the criminals most certainly did.   Sometimes, armed robberies ended in massacres of clerks and patrons alike, because a criminal who shot one victim then shot all the other ones in order to dispose of witnesses.  The criminal did so in confidence that no one would stop him, because there were no cops around, and honest citizens didn't have guns.

More often, New Yorkers just accepted that at any moment an armed criminal could rob them, beat them, rape them and there was nothing they could do, and if they tried to do something, and managed to overcome the criminal, there was a very good chance that the forces of the Law would then toss them into prison for the temerity of self-defense.  Have you considered how many people lost their self-respect, their sanity, their health, even their lives living under such a regime of fear?

What I'm saying is that gun control has its victims too, and though their fates aren't always as public and dramatic as those killed by gun-toting mass-murderers, they're every bit as real.

Oh, and we also had our share of gun-toting mass murderers.  David Berkowitz, Colin Ferguson, and others.  Because, you see, those inclined to mass murder don't obey the law.

In other words, some problems can't be solved simply by passing laws.  Your quarrel is with human nature, and all you'll accomplish by passing laws aganist gun ownership is make matters worse, by ensuring that only outlaws will have the guns.

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(116 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)

open up a discussion

I love the way they want to "open up a discussion," but have deleted all the comments.

The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun... and a set of balls!

Disarming the good guys is not a solution.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'd prefer there be more effort on helping people that are obviously mentally ill than taking guns away from sane law abiding people.

From accounts already apparently most of this guy's family 'knew he was a little off' and on medication, yet nothing was done for reasons not yet known.
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
The state doesn't allow anything to be done.

You can't be committed until you've done a crime, and they have nothing for involuntary out-patient treatment.

He was bad enough his mom had quit work at the school after the divorce to take care of him full time. His dad even volunteered to pay her extra in the separation settlement.

His brother has been saying he was known to be autistic and have a "personality disorder" at the time of the divorce-- I'd guess that he was forcibly medicated growing up, or maybe the disorder was the one that is similar to schizophrenia and it went over into it? (Sometimes happens, but not enough to be considered expected.)

Know the horrible thing?
Just found out today that the Oregon shooting was cut short by a sane, law abiding person who brought his concealed carry into the mall, even though it was posted (no force of law, just they'll kick you out, possibly forever) as a no-gun zone.
Guy didn't even take a shot, the mall shooter just saw that he had armed opposition and ran away to kill himself.

Edited at 2012-12-17 02:35 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
I just posted this to her blog. It will be interesting to see if she unscreens it or deletes it:

I have a better idea. Lets repeal all the stupid gun laws that have turned major portions of America into shooting galleries for anyone who wants to kill a lot of people so they can 'go out in a blaze of glory'.
You know, like what happened at the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon and saved the lives of countless people (oh wait, the MSM isn't reporting on that incident because it doesn't fit the anti second amendment propaganda that you're buying) http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/12/daniel-zimmerman/clackamas-shooter-confronted-by-ccw-holder/

But if you are bound and determine to take my God given constitutional rights away, how about going after the First Amendment right to free speech which is allowing the news media to publish and promote all of this anti-gun propaganda? If the Media wasn't constantly glorifying these monsters we definitely wouldn't be having so many of them. You would save far more lives by doing that, as history shows us that as you take gun rights away from law abiding citizens, gun crimes and gun deaths go up.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that link, I haven't seen that anywhere. More proof, as if any were needed, that the gun grabbers are wholly wrong about every single thing they say.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Here are some interesting stats. Notice how gun control laws did nothing to stop the rise in crime (in fact it went up) and how crime went down when right to carry legislation was enacted.

I also got into an argument in my journal with an Australian who said since the gun turn in in the 1990s, they have had zero mass murders. However, when I poked around, I found rapes and robberies went up exponentially since then. Murder rates actually stayed the same. I also found out the horrifying that Australia has one of the highest rape rates in the world of "western" countries.

I am actually with pathia on this one. The one thing these clowns have in common is they are all mentally ill and if we train law officials and such on how to recognize the signs and act on them, that would be ten times more effective than gun control laws.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yes it would be more effective, but you're missing the point. The point isn't to stop these kinds of things, it has NEVER been to stop these kinds of things. The people in charge NEED these kinds of things so they can request, and receive, -more- power.

So they will never do anything to stop these kinds of actions. I think if you applied your analyst skills to these events and how the people in charge handle them, you'd agree.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
Progressive Canada has about 31 guns for every 100 inhabitants, one of the highest rates in the world.

Mexico has about half that rate and 10 times the murders.

Yes, I know ... but Canadians are "okay".

It was only a few months ago that one of Canada's most nororious "mass murders" was up for parole again. David Shearing.

He stalked and then shot and killed an elderly couple at their campsite, their daughter and her husband, than raped their 11 and 13 year old daughters over 5 days until finally snuffing out their lives and burning all the bodies in their vehicle.

Sick and depraved is what it is and will find a way.

If one of those adults had been carrying a firearm ...
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
Best comment I've seen (wish I could take credit):

The same logic which claims that if we ban abortions, people will get them illegaly, also claims that if we ban guns, there will be no more gun crimes.
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Blaming the object and not the person has always been a flawed argument to me. An inanimate object cannot choose how it is used and has no say in who uses it or for what purposes. It is simply a thing and is incapable of making choices. You and others here have the right of it: disarming the law abiding will do little good and potentially far more harm in addressing the problem of gun violence. As for keeping weapons out of the hands of those with mental illness, especially severe mental illness, perhaps we do need to bring back hospitals and institutions designed to address their needs.
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
As for keeping weapons out of the hands of those with mental illness, especially severe mental illness, perhaps we do need to bring back hospitals and institutions designed to address their needs.

Yeah, if they're obviously crazy enough to be disarmed, they're crazy enough to be medicated even if they don't want it.

It doesn't matter much to me if the person that wants to kill me has a weapon-- I'm small. No matter what training I get, I'll always be awkward and sub-par in hand to hand. A gun gives me some kind of chance against Average Size And Fitness young adult male, which is more than any other suggestions to "fix" the situation can offer. (That's before we get into my kids being another weakness, or that I'm preggers right now so what little physical fight I could offer is pretty low.)
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
What we need is not gun control.

What we need is crazy person control. Or at least a way to detect the crazy people and their weapons before they can do any harm with them. But the laws on the books already didn't help, so what good would more do?

This crazy didn't own a gun. He stole them from his momma after killing her.
The Oregon crazy ddin't own a gun. He stole the AR15 from a buddy.
So what law restricting gun ownership would have kept the weapons out of these lunatics' hands? Answer-- none, since they themselves didn't have the guns to begin with.

It is time to bring back the concept of the deputized volunteer Posse to this country. It worked in the old west. It will work now.

Voluteer deputies are unpaid volunteers who get a background check by the cops, are required to practice on the range no less than 4 times a year, and get special holsters for the guns. The holsters are the key to this whole thing; when the gun is drawn, a piercing alarm goes off and only the regular police have the key to turn it off again. Drawing your gun and not having a good reason will quickly lose that deputization and the right to carry anyplace (as they are law officers). So the dangers of Rambo showing off his gun all the time are eliminated, but thousands more law abiding citizens are now in the field and ready to defend their neighbors if necessary.

You will never get rid of the criminals and the crazies. All you can do is hire more cops, which raises taxes and doesn't cover enough. Lock up everyone who even MAY be a threat, which is unAmerican. Or find a way to let every American who can prove himself willing and able to be an unpaid deputy accept the duty and defend those around him. Having a special holster that makes drawing the gun a serious issue, eliminates the dangers of the wild west while still arming the law abiding citizenry. Nobody will draw their gun then without a very good reason, because acting like a dick with your gun will quickly lose your deputization and your right to have the gun everywhere with you.
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
I would also require volunteer deputies to be familiar with the laws in the area they live/patrol and be able to pass a basic exam covering those laws.

Not so wild on the piercing alarm idea. While it would deter volunteer deputies (v.d.s for short) from drawing their weapon without great immediate need it also offers some tactical disadvantages. The alarm could be very distracting when the vd is trying to quickly aim and fire at a suspect. Not good when you need to concentrate and make your shots count. While training could address that problem there is also the fact that the alarm would also make the vd an immediately recognizable target. Say a vd has to confront a suspect on a dark night. Things get ugly and the vd has to draw his weapon. Alarm goes off. Unfortunately for the vd the suspect had buddies, who are armed, off in the darkness who can now home in on the sound of that constant alarm and concentrate their fire on that area. At that point if the vd hasn't been made to resemble swiss cheese and is forced to retreat he may be forced to ditch his weapon holster, something which may be difficult to do when running for your life, as a realistic chance to evade fire.

I think what would be better than a piercing alarm would be a silent alert sent to the vd's local police department. If they're ever in a situation where they have to pull their weapon they would likely want to have official backup on scene asap anyway. I think some police departments already use such a system when officers have to remove their shotguns and rifles from their vehicles so it wouldn't be that much harder to add in the vd's holsters.
[User Picture]
Date:December 18th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
We already tried an 'assault weapons' ban. It didn't stop Columbine. It didn't stop any crime that we know of. The only reasons I can think of that politicians keep revisiting it is a 'hidden' motive, or sheer ignorant incompetence. Neither is comforting.

Edited at 2012-12-18 02:37 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 18th, 2012 10:42 am (UTC)
Very well said.
[User Picture]
Date:December 18th, 2012 11:03 am (UTC)
The last spree murder in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was Dunblane, sixteen years ago. How many have you had since then? One a month? Every two months? Folly is putting implements for mass murder in the hands of anyone who asks and expecting them not to use them.
[User Picture]
Date:December 18th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
We have 5-6 times Great Britain's population, hence one would expect any class of crime in America to occur 5-6 times as often as in Great Britain. Granted, we are more violent in terms of murders committed with guns ...

... but by the same token, your formulation "anyone who asks" implies that citizens need to ask to exercise their natural rights to own weapons for self-defensive purposes. That attitude has caused Europe a lot of grief, and is causing Europe grief right now in dealing with Muslim immigration.

Oh, and the Muslim immigrants are armed. Ever consider that the kind of mass rioting and property destruction you've seen in Paris and London lately is much less likely here, because would-be rioters know that citizens here are likely in such cases to defend their property with firearms?

Such mass rioting is extremely dangerous, because historically it risks the breakdown of civil order followed by the elevation of tyrants. It's in those Classical sources you love, starting with Aristotle's Politics IIRC.
[User Picture]
Date:December 20th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
One of the strange things here is they're going for assault weapons bans. I've read that the shooter left the rifle/carbine/bushmaster (using the names I remember were used in the news) in the car and went in with handguns.


Read today that he went apeshit because the mother was finally making the heartbreaking and difficult decision to have him commited. He felt that it was so she could devote more time at the school instead of him (she wasn't a teacher, but she would volunteer.) So he killed her, and went after the kids she'd volunteered with the previous year - the kindergarten kids who were now grade one.

[User Picture]
Date:December 20th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)

Gun Bans as Ritual Security Theatre

The strange thing in general is that people are passionately calling for various kinds of gun bans, under the implicit theory that the gun bans would have prevented the massacre. They will treat you as a monster for suggesting that these bans should not be imposed. And they will do this even after having it explained to them that the specific bans proposed wouldn't have prevented the mass murder.

This is clearly magical thinking on their parts. The bans are rituals which will somehow ward off the mass murder demons, and telling people that the rituals don't really work makes them unhappy, because they really really want to believe that they will.

It's as least as much security theatre as is the TSA. Perhaps more so, because some of the things the TSA does actually would stop certain kind of terrorist acts, while the gun bans won't do much to stop any mass murders (at most, they might slightly reduce the occurrence because forcing gun sales onto the black market would increase the cost and difficulty of obtaining them -- at, however, immense damage to our society including the growth of organized crime and its attendant murders).
[User Picture]
Date:December 21st, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
If nothing else, Jordan, you have a near magical ability to attract people who bend over backwards to show you are not dealing with strawmen-- and being a rather over-generous, at times.

If I didn't know some of 'em from elsewhere, I'd suspect you of sock-puppeting.
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