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  • I Left my Heart in San Francisco

    Posted by James R. Rummel on December 15th, 2004 (All posts by )

    This news item reports that residents of San Francisco will soon vote on a law that will effectively ban all handguns inside the city limits.

    “If passed next November, residents would have 90 days to give up firearms they keep in their homes or businesses.”

    “Firearms would be allowed only for police officers, security guards, members of the military, and anyone else “actually employed and engaged in protecting and preserving property or life within the scope of his or her employment,” according to the measure.”

    The article goes on to mention that Washington, DC is the only city currently that has such a ban, as well as pointing out that it hasn’t done anything to curb violence there.

    I try very hard to be as pragmatic as possible. To achieve a desired result I’m willing to experiment. If some method doesn’t work then I’ll stop doing it and try something else. Should my actions actually end up making the situation worse then I’ll stop doing it right away and never try that again.

    The problem is that people who advocate gun control simply aren’t pragmatic. Every single scrap of credible evidence proves that gun bans either don’t produce the desired results, or else they make the situation even worse.

    So it should be obvious that gun bans should be abandoned, right? They cost taxpayer money, tie up law enforcement resources, and yet they don’t do what they’re supposed to. That’s the pragmatic view.

    But that’s not the strategy that Liberals are willing to adopt. They instead insist that their favorite tactic of banning private firearm ownership only fails because it’s not adopted over the entire nation. The bans might not work, they say, but that’s only because criminals can get guns in Virginia or Maryland or Pennsylvania. The rationale is that if it’s illegal for anyone in the United States to own a handgun, then we’ll see a reduction in crime.

    So now we come to the big question. Why do they do this? Why do they still say that draconian gun control laws are the way to abolish most violent crime when it’s so indescribably obvious that they’re wrong?

    Heck, I dunno. Looks to me that they’re either idjits, fanatics or insane. I’m just glad that I don’t live in San Francisco.

     

    50 Responses to “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      “. . . idjits, fanatics or insane.”

      So many tempting choices, James — it just isn’t fair!

      We’ll know the answer soon enough. I wouldn’t bet that this measure will pass, even in SF.

    2. James R. Rummel Says:

      “I wouldn’t bet that this measure will pass, even in SF.”

      Isn’t the 9th Circuit Court, the most liberal court with the worst record of overturned decisons amongst all the Federal courts in the country, based in San Francisco?

      James

    3. Anonymous Says:

      Chicago gun laws are pretty lame, too.

    4. incognito Says:

      Insane is probably the most accurate description. These are the same people who handed out $410 a month to bums. Logic would tell you that if you reward something, you’ll get more of it. So all the bums flocked to SF. Geniuses. Nothing quite like the smell of bum urine in the morning. If you drive by city hall (like I did around noon last month), the big lawn in front of city hall is filled with bums sleeping out in the open. They look, literally, like sacks of sh*t. I hate San Francisco.

    5. Craig R. Harmon Says:

      “So now we come to the big question. Why do they do this? Why do they still say that draconian gun control laws are the way to abolish most violent crime when it’s so indescribably obvious that they’re wrong?

      Heck, I dunno. Looks to me that they’re either idjits, fanatics or insane. I’m just glad that I don’t live in San Francisco.”

      also:

      “Insane is probably the most accurate description. These are the same people who handed out $410 a month to bums. Logic would tell you that if you reward something, you’ll get more of it. So all the bums flocked to SF. Geniuses. Nothing quite like the smell of bum urine in the morning. If you drive by city hall (like I did around noon last month), the big lawn in front of city hall is filled with bums sleeping out in the open. They look, literally, like sacks of sh*t. I hate San Francisco.”

      Not long ago, a commenter in a post on Modern Geopolitical Reality got banned from this site for comments far less ad hominem than this. Witness:

      “Nice try at a rebuttal, but your original post is sorry and silly. Move on, or stop pretending to be a conservative.
      Posted by Bill Trippe on December 12, 2004 09:32 PM”

      “If you want to insult us, do it on your own blog. You are no longer welcome here.
      Posted by Jonathan G ewirtz on December 12, 2004 10:54 PM”

      Is it too much to ask for some consistency? Or do only ad homenem attacks by those who disagree with you get banned?

    6. James R. Rummel Says:

      “Is it too much to ask for some consistency? Or do only ad homenem attacks by those who disagree with you get banned?”

      We’re completely consistent. Look on over to the sidebar on the right and you’ll see that this is a group blog. Buncha authors. Now look down at the bottom of this post and you’ll see that the author (me!) didn’t write Modern Geopolitical Reality.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the Boyz have their private Email addresses out there for all to see. There have been times when I’ve received messages that were way over the top while comments left on the blog were thoughtful and polite. If that happens I’ll just ban the jerk without explanation since it’s not my job to keep everyone informed about all of my decisions concerning private Emails.

      (I have no idea if Jonathan actually received any private Emails, or if Bill was a total jerk from past posts and this was just the last straw. I’m just pointing out that you might not be aware of everything going on even though you’ve already reached a value judgement.)

      So far as my conclusions about supporters of extreme gun control measures, the question is what other conclusions can be drawn about people who cling to their beliefs even though they’ve been so thoroughly discredited.

      James

    7. Craig R. Harmon Says:

      Even Johathan admits that he may have over reacted. Witness:

      “Mr. Trippe has a tin ear for a good phrase, an awkward style and only a rudementary understanding of conservatism, but his insults, in this case, are not ad hominem. He insults your post, not you. Seems to me that you are a bit thin skinned here. However, it is your blog and if you wish to bar critics who hit your ego bone that is your right.
      Posted by notherbob2 on December 13, 2004 11:41 AM

      notherbob2, maybe you are right. My impression is that he was trolling for hits for his own blog, which doesn’t bother me except when it’s done at our expense.
      Posted by Jonathan G ewirtz on December 13, 2004 11:53 AM”

      “We’re completely consistent…A group blog…a bunch of authors…didn’t write Modern Geopolitical Reality.”

      I fail to see how this indicates consistency, complete or otherwise. A group blog can’t have rules consistent across all authors and commentors?

      “…Private Email addresses…received messages that were over the top while comments left on the blog were thoughtful and polite.”

      Sounds like a time to use your email filters, not blog eviction.

      “(I have no idea if Jonathan actually received any private Emails, or if Bill was a total jerk from past posts and this was just the last straw…”

      I have at least investigated the matter enough to note that Jonathan has mentioned none of these things, not that he has to, mind you, and that he admits that he may have over-reacted.

      “…supporters of extreme gun control measures…what other conclusions can be drawn…they’ve been so thoroughly discredited.”

      Perhaps that they are persuaded by evidence from other countries that tends to support their view.

      In any case, I submit that the comments for which the commentor got booted are far less personally insulting than comments to Your post on Gun Control or the comment incognito made to the Cho post.

      As administrators of your site, you are within your rights to make editorial decisions, I grant you.

      But consistent, your policy is not.

    8. Jonathan Says:

      Q: Is it too much to ask for some consistency? Or do only ad homenem attacks by those who disagree with you get banned?

      A: Our blog, our rules. I generally delete spam, comments promoting irrelevant agendas, and straightforward abuse. I sometimes also delete comments from assertion bombers. In the case of commenters like Bill Trippe, who mix rational comments with gratuitous nasty remarks, I usually leave them alone unless/until there is a clear pattern (as there was in Trippe’s case: his commenting behavior in the Kerik thread matched his behavior in an earlier thread). It may be that I was too thin-skinned in banning him, as another commenter suggested, but I prefer to err on the side of discouraging rudeness. If you read this blog’s comments carefully, you will see that we encourage civil disagreement. If a commenter isn’t mature enough to understand how that works, I don’t want him.

      And I don’t see how someone’s calling public officials idiots because he thinks their policies are absurd and counterproductive is comparable to my objecting to gratuitous sneers and insults in our blog comments. I think the people who run SF are idiots, for the reasons James and Incognito adduce. Indeed I can’t think of a better word to describe them. That’s different than Trippe stating, without elaboration, that my post was “sorry and silly,” and that I should “move on, or stop pretending to be a conservative.” We are providing the forum here. If you want to take cheap shots at us, more power to you, it’s a free country, but don’t expect us to provide the forum. Would you expect the City of San Francisco to subsidize a blog or radio show for me or James Rummel?

    9. Craig R. Harmon Says:

      “…I prefer to err on the side of discouraging rudeness.”

      Really? Witness:

      “Margaret Cho is a vile disgusting pig”

      Wherein has this rudeness been discouraged?

      “And I don’t see how someone’s calling public officials idiots because he thinks their policies are absurd and counterproductive is comparable to my objecting to gratuitous sneers and insults in our blog comments.”

      Calling people with whom you disagree idiots is not rudeness?

    10. Tman Says:

      One would think that after watching what a criminals paradise London has turned in to since they banned all handguns, that no one would seriously consider doing this in America.

      Apparently, one would be wrong.

      Now we can sit back and watch violent crimes rise through the roof in San Francisco like clockwork. Brilliant move liberals, just brilliant.

    11. Jonathan Says:

      Craig, yes, if you look closely enough you might find some inconsistencies here.

      I think I’ve made my position clear, as has James. We are pretty straightforward on this blog about where we stand. We try to encourage rational argument and maintain an atmosphere of civility. We are imperfect.

      Anyone who reads this blog for a while knows what we’re about and is free to go elsewhere if he doesn’t like it. I think we do an OK job. You are welcome to disagree, and to take us to task in the comments as long as you are civil. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      BTW, I don’t want to completely divert James’s thread. If you have further comments, please email them.

    12. Don Shogren Says:

      So many times I have heard it said that liberals “just don’t get it.” I don’t get it. I cannot fathom the degree of denial contributory to the statement, “The problem is that people who advocate gun control simply aren’t pragmatic. Every single scrap of credible evidence proves that gun bans either don’t produce the desired results, or else they make the situation even worse.”

      Murder rates in less frustrated societies continually scream otherwise.

      Furthermore, in that all efforts at gun control are met with the same degree of petulance, why settle for anything less than “draconian”?

    13. Jonathan Says:

      Don, the short answer is that there is no solid evidence that high rates of gun possession cause high rates of violent crime. If there were, one would expect places like Alaska, North Dakota, Finland, New Zealand and Israel to have high rates of violent crime, and for violent-crime rates in places like South Africa and Washington, DC to have diminished as legal gun possession was restricted.

      There is also no reason to expect that the kinds of people who commit violent crimes — crimes that are already severely punished by law — would turn in their guns in response to another law. There is, however, plenty of historical precedent for expecting such a ban to embolden criminals who prey on disarmed law-abiding citizens. That’s what happened in NYC, Jamaica and the UK, for example.

      Brazil has tight gun restrictions and a high murder rate. Vermont has lax gun restrictions and a low murder rate. Crime isn’t generally caused by the presence of guns. Disarming law-abiding people is generally worthless against crime, and is morally outrageous because it deprives innocent people of the means to defend themselves.

      Historical precedent shows numerous instances where “reasonable restrictions” on gun possession morphed incrementally into prohibition. That’s why so many of us are concerned about gun control.

    14. James R. Rummel Says:

      The question is why gun control supporters continue to advocate disarming the US population when every single scrap of evidence proves that this simply doesn’t work. Craig has an idea about that.

      “Perhaps that they are persuaded by evidence from other countries that tends to support their view.”

      This view is echoed by Don, who says….

      “Murder rates in less frustrated societies continually scream otherwise.”

      Looking at foreign cultures and trying to compare their version of gun control as a method for controlling violent crime in the US only works if you squint real hard and ignore the evidence. For every example of a relatively crime- and weapon-free Japan, there’s the case of relatively crime-free but heavily armed Switzerland or Norway.

      And, of course, there’s all those examples of a country that enjoyed low crime rates before a gun ban, only to see the incident of violent crime skyrocket after they disarmed their citizens. (Jonathan already beat me to the punch on this one.)

      It’s pretty clear that the main reason gun control works in the countries where it enjoys some success is due to culture. Claiming that America simply needs to remake itself into another Japan, a society that values conformity above all else and has enjoyed more than a thousand years of cultural uniformity, is a breathtaking denial of reality.

      So we keep coming back to the main facts: gun control in the US doesn’t work, it leads to greater death and violent crime, and allowing the populace to have greater access to firearms leads to less crime and misery!

      So what do you call people who claim to be concerned about keeping innocent people safe, yet continue to advocate measures that have the opposite effect? And they keep trying to enact those measures even after they’ve failed time and again?

      Craig might think that I’m being insulting by calling gun control advocates idiots, fanatics or insane. I think that I’m just being accurate.

      James

    15. Don Shogren Says:

      Shall we compare the urban condition in America to that in Alaska, New Zealand, etc? To that of Isreal? Has anything ever been done to stop the flow of guns into DC from “Ollie Country”?

      Let’s drop the spin and look at this in as basic terms as we can. Most gun owners are law abiding. Most gun owners are non-urban. Most gun victoms are urban. Most gun owners can live with that.

    16. Anonymous Says:

      “…actually employed and engaged in protecting and preserving property or life within the scope of his or her employment…”

      So in my job as a father, could I own a gun?

      If banning guns was effectve enough to keep them away from thugs, the thugs would just use someting else. My brother-in-law was murdered with a hammer.

      Dave

    17. Jonathan Says:

      Don, you are ignoring plentiful evidence that gun bans don’t reduce crime. Also, your logic is flawed. If many law-abiding gun owners are rural and much violent crime is urban, these facts do not imply that urban gun bans would disarm criminals. If they did, there would be no violent crime using guns in NYC, DC, Chicago, etc. You are asking urban gun owners to take on faith that bans work, and to surrender the best means to protect themselves, because you have a poorly supported theory that gun possession by law-abiding citizens causes crime. Why should urban (or any) gun-owners “live with” such restrictions?

    18. Craig R. Harmon Says:

      “Craig might think that I’m being insulting by calling gun control advocates idiots, fanatics or insane. I think that I’m just being accurate.”

      Why is it necessary to call them anything? Is name calling a part of rational debate? Is it practical, i.e., does it lead to understanding and agreement or otherwise?

      And, yes I call it insulting.

    19. Don Shogren Says:

      It was from a place unincumbered by logic, anyone else?

    20. don Says:

      and apparently good spelling, my bad

    21. Don Shogren Says:

      It’s like ducks in a shooting gallery, bye Boyz.

    22. Jonathan Says:

      Wow, another drive-by carping.

    23. incognito Says:

      Please no more, my sensitive ears can’t take this abuse!

    24. Jonathan Says:

      Yes, a force to be reckoned with. I would be quaking in my boots were I not currently barefoot.

      He did capitalize “Boyz,” though. That was considerate.

    25. Sandy P Says:

      Oh, goody, SF will have something in common w/the Blacks under Reconstruction, the Germans and the Cubans – and Brits – their right to bear arms was taken away, and we know how that turned out.

      Now Britain wants to ban knives.

    26. incognito Says:

      “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    27. Stevely Says:

      Craig: Whatever.

      Anyways… since when has the Left bothered governing according to what achieves the best result? They hate people who own guns, thus to me it is hardly surprising that in their political capital they pass legislation targeting gun owners, all the less surprising given the profound feelings of political impotence since the election we see on display on the Left. The less effective they are on the national stage, the more radical they become in their little enclaves.

    28. Craig R. Harmon Says:

      To Stevely:

      Regarding Liberals governing according to what achieves the best result, I wouldn’t know, I’m neither a liberal nor pro gun control. I think Texas’s carry laws are just great.

      My argument has been with the insulting personal attacks that have been on display here and elsewhere both in some of the posts and in some of the comments thereto. My comments regarding practicality refer to the presumed goal of reasoned debate, namely to arrive at agreement between people who disagree. Insults and personal attacks are, I say, impractical in that they are unlikely to achieve that goal.

      Ann Coulter, for example, has no desire to achieve agreement with Liberals. Her stated goal, in speaking with a Liberal is to leave him/her sputtering in rage. If that is the goal of the posts and comments at Chicago Boyz then I have seriously overestimated the site. I do not think that that is the goal here. Therefore my comments regarding the impracticality of insults. They are unlikely to achieve understanding and agreement.

    29. JosephMendiola Says:

      I am reminded of a snippet from a famous episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY, where the character ARCHIE BUNKER makes a funny but realistic response to the criticisms his anti-gun activist daughter GLORIA, “Would youse feel any better, little girl, if they [criminals whom would killed/hurt her anyways] threw youse out the window”!? SAN FRAN hasn’t learned from those areas around the nation where strong gun control had only resulted in lower rates for gun-specific crimes but substans higher rates for non-gun crimes, presuming any changes in the gun crime rates!?

    30. Mike Trettel Says:

      Meanwhile, back in reality…

      I have just a bit of experience with Washington DC and the surrounding areas, having lived in the area for some 25 years. The DC gun ban went in place in 1977, and the rates of gun violence in the city started going up shortly afterwards. While it fluctuates back and forth, the DC rate of gun violence is considerably higher than the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia-the only areas even close are the urbanized parts of PG County and Montgomery County (Silver Spring area) adjacent to DC. The kicker for me is Alexandria and Arlington VA, just across the Potomac from DC-their rates of gun violence is on the order of 1/10 that of DC’s. You can’t blame it all on the prescence of urban poor-parts of Alexandria have nasty pockets of poverty just as bad as DC’s yet they don’t have the same problems as DC. As we all know, VA has considerably more “liberal” gun control laws than DC (hey, there’s actual gun shops in Alexandria!), yet a quick peek at the Wisqars database shows that VA has a lower overall rate of gun violence. In fact, the overall rate of gun violence in this area is in reverse proportion to the severity of the gun control laws-from highest to lowest it’s DC=>MD=>VA. If the actual goal is to reduce gun violence, perhaps one should look at the states that have lower rates in this area and se what they’re doing. Virginia not only has liberalized concealed carry laws and open carry but also has programs such as Project Exile-when can one expect to see such laws in DC?

      Don: in answer to your snarky comment about “Ollie Country”-of course there’s gunrunning. What did you expect? The laws have created a market opportunity for the bad guys to exploit. There’s been efforts to fight gunrunning into DC, many of the illegal guns recovered come from not only Virginia, but also Maryland, West Virginia, the Carolinas, even Florida. Virginia and Maryland both have implemented handgun purchases limits of one a month in part because of these concerns, and have cracked down on straw purchases. Big deal, the bad guys have plenty of ways to ship in illegal guns, they don’t need to buy them locally to get them. There’s a whole subculture of illegal gun use going on in DC, such as renting or borrowing handguns for crime. Once a gun becomes part of the illegal market, it stays there. You could go ahead and blanket this entire area in a DC style gun ban, and it would make little difference-as an example many drugs are illegal and yet I’m pretty sure I could buy some quite easily if I wanted too. Instead of “normalizing” our gun control laws to the most strigent (such as the DC ban), perhaps we should instead use laws such as Virginia’s or Texas’ as a baseline. Just a thought.

      Anyway, my bold prediction for the SF gun ban, assuming it hapens, is a repeat of the DC area experience. Let’s just go ahead and punish the law abiding for the actions of those who don’t respect laws or property. It’ll be an interesting experiment, too bad the citizens of San Francisco have to be the lab rats.

    31. don shogren Says:

      Mike: I apologize for the “drive-by carping” above, though not for the “Ollie Country”. Even the insane, idiotic or fanatical deserve a bone now and then, eh?

      You all make the same argument over and over. If we must use logic, we must. It’s okay for people who don’t shoot each other(a lot) to have guns. As in Virginia. In a state where people don’t shoot each other(a lot)there is a low murder rate. As in Virginia. I don’t remember that much about Symbolic Logic but it seems to me that once you have reduced this combination you have something similiar to a tautology. A=A.
      This says nothing about B.

      As in Black. As in the #1 cause of death for young black males. The point I made earlier was that this doesn’t seem to be any concern of gun rights activists.

      A nationwide ban on the manufacture and importing of hand guns would make a dent, I think , in the gun running.

      To be quite non-snarky and blunt, having your toys is more important to you than the saving of someone’s 11 year old daughter who just happened to be playing hopscotch on the wrong corner.

      Tell me how this isn’t true.

    32. James R. Rummel Says:

      “To be quite non-snarky and blunt, having your toys is more important to you than the saving of someone’s 11 year old daughter who just happened to be playing hopscotch on the wrong corner.

      Tell me how this isn’t true.”

      So you’re being non-snarky when you say things like “having your toys”, huh? You need to work on that.

      But since you’re also being blunt I’ll return the favor. Research pioneered by Kleck proves that law-abiding citizens use their firearms to defend their lives, and the the number of attacks that are foiled vastly outnumber the number of criminal acts which succeed. In fact, Kleck found that people use their guns 2 million times a year to defend themselves. Compare that number to a yearly average of 10,000 murders where firearms are used.

      Of course, people who have an emotional attachment to the idea of gun control dispute these figures and have conducted studies of their own. Every single one of these studies, even those conducted by rabidly anti-gun organizations, have proven that Kleck got it right. Only the number of frustrated criminal attacks is in dispute, which means that the debate shifts to how many orders of magnitude are involved instead of whether or not guns save people many more times than they victimize them.

      This isn’t a secret. The sources I linked to in order to support my position make the same point. The very first link I provided in the original post was to the news story discussing the proposed SF gun ban, but the 2nd was to JustFacts.com, and they made this statement….

      * Americans use firearms to defend themselves from criminals about 760,000 times a year. This figure is the lowest among a group of 15 nationwide polls done by organizations including Gallup and the Los Angeles Times. (7)

      So there you have it. The facts are indisputable. Enacting harsh gun control measures would remove a very profound social good. Not only that, but history proves that every single time harsh gun control measures have been enacted in the US, they’ve led to an increase in violent crime. Every single time law abiding citizens have been allowed to carry for their own defense, it’s resulted in a drop in violent crime and fewer victims.

      So if you really are concerned about that 11 year old playing hopscotch, you’ll change your tune and become a gun rights advocate.

      James

    33. Jonathan Says:

      A nationwide ban on the manufacture and importing of hand guns would make a dent, I think , in the gun running.

      The main problem with your analysis is that you are looking only at the costs of widespread gun possession and ignoring the benefits. As James points out, there are benefits, and one of the main arguments of pro-gun-rights people is that these benefits far outweight the costs. So the question isn’t who cares more about which children, but rather whose ideas about protecting those children make more sense.

      There is also plenty of reason to expect a “nationwide ban” not to work. Similar bans on guns have been tried and failed in other countries, and have been tried and failed in this country for other items (drugs) which remain widely available.

    34. Don Shogen Says:

      Where are all these cases! There should be, on average, about 30,000 of them in Wisconsin. I pay considerably more attenton than most and I don’t see anything like this happening.

      Mr. Kleck is in total disregard of the notion that any gun user will be quick to identify his survey as having been mounted in defense of gun rights, while he in fact pulls out the dreaded “elitist” label to defend his “sample” in rebuttal to a Maryland commissioner’s supposed underestimation of gun owners’ intelligence.

      I don’t doubt that guns are used defensively, but clearly there is no way to accurately evaluate the necessity and/or wisdom of such use.

      Gun owners are more likely to become victims of a violent crime. How many times has defensive use of a gun been a result of escalation precipitated by the emboldenment of the possessor? How many times was a guy with a flat tire taken for a home invader?

      In the end it comes down to who’s child is to be protected, a classic struggle of determining the role of society to arbitrate our solution to the great enigma–rights of the collective of citizens vs the rights of individuals. In your view our culture should contain a great number of people on the street who are armed and a great number of gentler people who will be disadvantaged in many ways for being so.

      You may argue that your Hummer is safer, and give me countless statistics that it is so, yet from where I sit in my Focus it is surely a less safe world considering your existence. Should I ignore my abhorrence of your acceleration toward a scorched planet and join you? My morality thus far emphatically says no.

    35. Mike Trettel Says:

      You all make the same argument over and over. If we must use logic, we must. It’s okay for people who don’t shoot each other(a lot) to have guns. As in Virginia. In a state where people don’t shoot each other(a lot)there is a low murder rate. As in Virginia. I don’t remember that much about Symbolic Logic but it seems to me that once you have reduced this combination you have something similiar to a tautology. A=A.
      This says nothing about B.

      Which ignores (totally) the fact that Virginia isn’t really all that different from DC, either culturally or racially (politially though, that’s different). Richmond, VA has a lot more in common with DC than with, say New York City, yet somehow manages to have a substantially lower overall rate of gun violence than either city. One could also compare DC with, say Baltimore, MD-Baltimore also has a lower overall rate of gun violence than DC-but it’s higher than Richmond’s. And as I mentioned in my original post, Alexandria VA is directly across the Potomac from DC and has many of the same urban problems in common-yet it somehow has escaped the ghastly gun violence that afflicts DC. So why is that? I’ve noticed (as have others) that for whatever reason gun violence seems to be inversely related to the legality of guns to the public. DC has as close to a total gun ban as one can find in the USA, Maryland has some of the tightest handgun laws one can find short of an outright ban, while Virginia is relatively liberal in allowing the public access to firearms (including the right to carry). I am not a social scientist, and it’s difficult to account for all the differences in this region, but this area has much more in common than not. Given the gun control assumption that less guns equals less crime, how come Virginia can have more guns with less crime, DC have less guns with more crime, and Maryland end up in the middle?

      To be quite non-snarky and blunt, having your toys is more important to you than the saving of someone’s 11 year old daughter who just happened to be playing hopscotch on the wrong corner.

      As the father of an 11 year old, I’ll be blunt back-you are being snarky and insulting with this ad-hominem attack. Pulling out the “it’s for the children” gambit doesn’t impress me in the slightest. I have some news for you, there isn’t a gun made that just can suddenly jump up and shoot an 11 year old playing hopscotch all by itself. To pull that off takes some action on the part of a person behind the trigger of the gun. Perhaps you should concentrate on that person, rather than blame inamimate objects.

      Let’s try this again-are you interested in gun control, or are you interested in reducing gun violence? The two are distinctly differing subjects.

    36. don shogren Says:

      Mike: You are ignoring the fact that the statistics for any of these cites show a distinct mirroring of the rise and fall of crack cocaine.

      To further your own argument, it is neither the person nor the gun which kills the victim, but rather the bullet, the if not “animate” then surely excitable quality and the portability of which are quite enabling–rather the point.

      “Let’s try this again-are you interested in gun control, or are you interested in reducing gun violence? The two are distinctly differing subjects.”

      Taking “guns” out of that quote will reveal the total absurdity of the position, and I will leave it at that.

      Seriously, I appreciate the attention you’ve given this dialogue. I am new to such debate and not a product of extended formal education, and as such appreciate your patience.

      Don

    37. James R. Rummel Says:

      “Where are all these cases!”

      The vast majority of them aren’t reported. The perp runs away, no crime was committed (thanks to a gun) and so no one bothers to call the police. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the survey with the lowest number of crimes foiled by guns is still several times the number of crimes that were committed by criminals with guns. The social benefit is indisputable.

      Unless, of course, you’re claiming that guns aren’t used defensively all that often. But then you’d have to claim that all of this data, collected by various groups with different agendas, all working independently and all utilizing different methodology, have gotten it wrong. And that it’s been wrong every single time.

      But that would be just plain silly.

      “Gun owners are more likely to become victims of a violent crime.”

      People who are more likely to be victimized react by taking steps to protect themselves. Like buying a gun. Duh.

      “How many times has defensive use of a gun been a result of escalation precipitated by the emboldenment of the possessor? How many times was a guy with a flat tire taken for a home invader?”

      Oh, that one’s easy to answer. So far as licensed CCW holders are concerned the number is zero. You can go ahead and click on the links I included in the original post, all the data that proves your objections are invalid is right there for the taking. (And why do I have to keep saying this?)

      “In your view our culture should contain a great number of people on the street who are armed and a great number of gentler people
      who will be disadvantaged in many ways for being so.”

      Actually, the “gentler people” you’re talking about enjoy the advantages without being disadvantaged at all. This is generally called “being a free rider”.

      It’s obvious that your assertion that more guns leads to more violence, either deliberate or accidental, is simply not true. Every fact proves this. (yadda yadda links in original post yadda yadda) Every fact also proves that violent crime falls when the law-abiding are allowed to carry their guns with them in public.

      The people who benefit the most are the great number of people who don’t carry, since they don’t have to go to the expense or trouble of buying a gun and training how to use it. But even though they let others carry the load, they still enjoy a reduced chance of victimization.

      It appears to me that you just don’t like the idea of someone having a gun, even lawful people who are dedicated in protecting others. You’re scared of them, you feel like you don’t have enough control over your own destiny when they’re around, so you want everyone to be as helpless as you are.

      Well, to be completely frank, I don’t care how you feel. I don’t care if myself and people like me scare the heck out of you. Your fear, your self-esteem, your sense of self-worth means nothing at all. The only thing that I care about is keeping as many innocent people safe as possible.

      The facts prove that what I’m advocating is the way to do it, while they also prove that your plan to disarm people leads to more crime and violence. If you want to dispute the facts then come up with something credible that supports your position. It’s not constructive to keep saying “I don’t see..” “I don’t think…” “What about fictional children on the street…”

      It might not be constructive, but so far it’s the only thing you’ve got.

      James

    38. Mike Trettel Says:

      Mike: You are ignoring the fact that the statistics for any of these cites show a distinct mirroring of the rise and fall of crack cocaine.

      On the contrary, I am inherently taking the impact of crack cocaine into account with my argument. There’s crack dealers in Richmond, Alexandria, and Baltimore too, ya know. It’s not like they’re only in DC. Put it another way, the crack business in DC is/was deadlier than in other Eastern cities, in my opinion because the crack dealers had little to fear from the public. Much of the gun violence in DC has little or nothing to do with crack at this point-people get shot in DC for all sorts of reasons in spite of the fact that handguns are illegal. If the stated reason for the ban has proven to be illusive, and in fact appears to only have gotten worse, what’s the point?

      To further your own argument, it is neither the person nor the gun which kills the victim, but rather the bullet, the if not “animate” then surely excitable quality and the portability of which are quite enabling–rather the point.

      I’m trying to parse this with little success. Are you claiming that bullets kill people? You’re trying to put words in my mouth, and it sounds like total nonsense.

      “Let’s try this again-are you interested in gun control, or are you interested in reducing gun violence? The two are distinctly differing subjects.”

      Taking “guns” out of that quote will reveal the total absurdity of the position, and I will leave it at that.

      Why? Are you saying that the only way to reduce gun violence is through traditional gun control? You know, it takes a stuborn dogmatist to stick with a position in spite of or contrary to good evidence that the logic behind that position is flawed. Or as I’ve heard it said before, “Try it again, but harder this time!” Perhaps there’s a different way to reduce gun violence, one that doesn’t use failed methods.

      Removing “gun” from the quote totally changes the meaning of it anyway. At best, all you’ve done is try to dodge the issue. The plain fact is you can’t get rid of the guns that are already out there. There are millions of them both legal and illegal, they’re a durable good that can last years with minimal care, and criminals will be able to get them no matter what the laws say. Trying to change the behaviour of criminals by going after the law abiding is a futile gesture and bad public policy-and gun bans affect only the law abiding.

    39. don shogren Says:

      “The vast majority of them aren’t reported. The perp runs away, no crime was committed (thanks to a gun) and so no one bothers to call the police.”

      This is how I’m to be protected?

      “Well, to be completely frank, I don’t care how you feel. I don’t care if myself and people like me scare the heck out of you. Your fear, your self-esteem, your sense of self-worth means nothing at all.”

      Perhaps the mention of the crack cocaine corollary and it’s rendering useless so much of the self-serving compilation of statistics you seem to want to bury my nose in has led to the gloves coming off–let me remind you that there is a great body of research out there which suggests this is more a matter of your fear of impotency than of mine.

    40. don shogren Says:

      Mike: far more innocent lives are lost to hand guns than are saved, and please don’t send me back to those 1987 to 1989 numbers above, those days are over.

      A national hand gun ban will have an immediate impact on gun crime. Yes, law abiding citizens and non will still have guns, but attrition will continue, as will the “throwaway” become unfeasible.

      You have shown me nothing to suggest otherwise.

    41. Mike Trettel Says:

      Mike: far more innocent lives are lost to hand guns than are saved, and please don’t send me back to those 1987 to 1989 numbers above, those days are over.

      Those numbers came from James, but it’s telling that you’re going to simply ignore them.

      A national hand gun ban will have an immediate impact on gun crime. Yes, law abiding citizens and non will still have guns, but attrition will continue, as will the “throwaway” become unfeasible.
      You’re right, it will have an immediate impact on gun crime. It’ll cause it to go up. You’re also displaying amazing ignorance about guns, do you really think that they stop working after a period of time? I’ve fired guns that are near one hundred years in age, that were in still good working order. If you’re counting on attition to “solve” this problem then you’re being foolish in the extreme-there’s millions of guns out there already in illegal use and your solution would instantly add millions more. That’s because a national handgun ban would instantly increase the value of an illegal handgun (plain economics in action, people are greedy) which would cause quite a few legal handguns to flip over to the black market. Not to mention the incentive to illegally smuggle handguns across the border-and you were the one complaining about gunrunning!

      You have shown me nothing to suggest otherwise.

      Well, sure. You’re not listening, you keep moving the goalposts, you’re rude, and you keep repeating the same tired arguments. Of course I’m not going to persuade you for the simple reason that you’re determined not to be persuaded. Not my problem.

    42. Don Shogren Says:

      mike: I was not rude to you. James’s patronizing tone was insulting. I really should know not to respond in kind, this is true!

      I have looked at many of the sources presented along this thread. I have also looked at many others, statistics from Australia, Canada, Great Britian and many cities and states in the US.

      I have tried to point out where they don’t say what you would like to believe, you continue to ignore this.

      Attrition will continue as guns are discarded, intercepted or discovered. Running of guns will be considerably more difficult from overseas than up I95.

      My goal is clear, unmoving and as yet in America untried.

    43. Jonathan Says:

      Perhaps you can explain to the English why their handgun ban hasn’t reduced gun violence, or why similar bans or almost-bans haven’t reduced violence in places like Jamaica and Brazil.

      BTW, how many people are you willing to kill and imprison to enforce your handgun ban? Please be specific. Is there some number of deaths or ruined lives at which you would be prepared to admit that your ban wasn’t worth it?

    44. James R. Rummel Says:

      “James’s patronizing tone was insulting.”

      Well, let’s take a look at what inspired me.

      “I cannot fathom the degree of denial contributory to the statement…”

      “…all efforts at gun control are met with the same degree of petulance….”

      “Most gun owners are law abiding. Most gun owners are non-urban. Most gun victoms are urban. Most gun owners can live with that.”

      “It was from a place unincumbered by logic…”

      “As in the #1 cause of death for young black males. The point I made earlier was that this doesn’t seem to be any concern of gun rights activists.”

      “….having your toys is more important to you than the saving of someone’s 11 year old daughter …”

      “How many times has defensive use of a gun been a result of escalation precipitated by the emboldenment of the possessor?”

      “In the end it comes down to who’s child is to be protected…”

      “Perhaps the mention of the crack cocaine corollary and it’s rendering useless so much of the self-serving compilation of statistics you seem to want to bury my nose in has led to the gloves coming off–let me remind you that there is a great body of research out there which suggests this is more a matter of your fear of impotency than of mine.”

      That last one’s my favorite.

      James

    45. James R. Rummel Says:

      “I have looked at many of the sources presented along this thread. I have also looked at many others, statistics from Australia, Canada, Great Britian and many cities and states in the US.”

      I find that to be rather hard to believe. If you had done your research then you’d realize that the UK and Australian gun bans have resulted in an increase in violent crime.

      You can check for yourself by clicking here for the Australian figures. You can click here, here or here to see that gun crime in Britain has soared since the gun ban there has been enacted. You can even check out this link, where the British government admits that crime is a real (and growing) problem.

      So far as Canadian crime rates are concerned, you can compare them to those in the USA by going to http://www.statcan.ca for the Canadian statistics, and comparing them with statistics found at the US Dept. of Justice website. I think you’ll find that violent crime is a bigger problem in Canada than in the US.

      “My goal is clear, unmoving and as yet in America untried.”

      But it’s been tried in other countries, and with negative results. The crime it was supposed to reduce increased instead. In fact, just about every time it has been tried in modern times it’s resulted in either increased crime rates, or a totalitarian government deciding that now was the time to dig a mass grave or two.

      This isn’t a very encouraging trend.

      So we come back to my last question: do you actually know of any facts that support your view instead of prove them to be wrong?

      James

    46. incognito Says:

      “Attrition will continue as guns are discarded, intercepted or discovered. Running of guns will be considerably more difficult from overseas than up I95.”

      That ranks among the most naive things I’ve ever heard. Overseas? As things stand, we can’t stop the influx of millions of illegal aliens a year. What makes you think we can be effective at stopping gun smuggling? Less than 3% of all cargo containers entering our ports are physically inspected. Smuggling guns is not a problem.

      Crack dealers and buyers are probably the least likely to register guns, or for that matter buy legal guns. Goes back to my favorite quote: “if you outlaw guns, only criminals will have them”. Criminal = people who don’t obey gun laws…

    47. Don Shogren Says:

      Due to new rules for reporting, There is considerable debate as to the relevance of comparing recent statistics in England. The British Crime Survey paints a entirely different picture, though admittedly the situation is far from ideal. Many, many causes could exist, the numbers for homicides are minute by our standards and as such can tell us nothing.

      Jamaica I will dismiss as non-productive to a discussion of America. Brazil is in the infant stages of gun control, the reference confuses me.

      “BTW, how many people are you willing to kill and imprison to enforce your handgun ban?”

      This is tough talk indeed, my friend. Now it is you who ignores the Canadian, Australian and English examples. You will have no choice and violence won’t be necessary for all but the most extreme. I can live with one to two hundred hard cases. Each case will serve to validate the people’s decision and strengthen our resolve.

    48. don shogren Says:

      Incognito:

      “That ranks among the most naive things I’ve ever heard.”

      That it’s easier to bring guns up I95 than to smuggle them? Really!

    49. Jonathan Says:

      Ah, “new rules for reporting.” Of course. Let me ask the question in another way: Is there any evidence that violent crime, with or without guns, has decreased in England since the handgun ban? And if not, what’s the justification for this fundamental deprivation of liberty?

      You’re deluded if you think any gun ban can be effective without draconian punishment for violators. In the UK I believe it’s 10 years for mere possession of a prohibited gun. That’s more than some murderers serve. And this isn’t England or Canada. There are lots more guns here, and people are less respectful of government authority. So the only way you could possibly make your ban effective would be to make the penalties for violating it so fearsome that most people wouldn’t risk it. And then you’d have to enforce it — how? House-to-house searches? Metal detectors in the streets? Stop-and-frisk without probable cause? Schoolchildren informing on their parents and neighbors?

      These are the main ways to do it. Not only are they mostly unconstitutional (as would be the gun ban itself), but not everyone would go along. Then what? You have to enforce the law or people won’t obey it, so you call the SWAT team, which means people get killed or imprisoned. It wouldn’t be one or two hundred either, it would have to be many thousands or too many people would flout the law. Tough talk? Not really. I’m merely describing what would happen.

      And you don’t mind seeing some of our fellow citizens who disagree with you — “hard cases” you call them — killed for your utopian scheme, which makes clear that you are not to be trusted.

      BTW, Jamaica, which you unaccountably “dismiss as non-productive to a discussion of America,” has anti-gun laws so strict that one can receive life imprisonment for possession of a bullet, yet is quite a violent place. It seems that only criminals and police (there is some overlap between these groups) have guns, leaving everyone else at the mercy of those groups. That doesn’t sound like a good model for the U.S.

    50. incognito Says:

      You miss the point. If you think making guns illegal will solve the violence problem, you are incredibly naive. Simple logic man, outlaw guns, and only criminals will have them.