Becker and Posner on Gun Control

Can Gun Control Laws be Effective? Becker

Gun Control–Posner’s Comment

I find their arguments here disappointing, mostly because they beg the question by assuming that the net effects of gun ownership are negative. Nonetheless the exchange is thoughtful and worth reading, as are the critical comments (particularly those of John Lott, who points out the error in the central assumption about costs).

3 thoughts on “Becker and Posner on Gun Control”

  1. I read both articles and accompanying comments and I share your disappointment. This commenter summed up my opinion:

    You seem to have a curious blind spot, in that you recognize a cultural aspect to the desire of other people to own guns, but somehow imagine your own desire to deprive them of guns is just the result of objective logic. Nope, it’s as much cultural as the other side, and frankly, it’s rather arrogant of you to presume that you’re somehow entitled to over-ride other people’s choices.

    I am not a beast, to be driven to your will, and would appreciate it if you’d stop gaming out ways to force me to comply, and consider for a moment just leaving me the heck alone.

    The problem of lunatics with guns is a problem of lunatics, not a problem of guns. Try thinking up some solution that attacks the people responsible, rather than depriving 10,000 people of their liberty for every bad guy it merely inconveniences.

    Posted by Brett Bellmore at February 22, 2008 08:12 PM |

    I wonder how the gun controllers would view their argument applied in another context, for example the British artist who hanged herself after aborting twins:

    I’m concerned about crazy women who murder their infant children after having an abortion. We need to control the number of abortions performed in order to reduce the possibility of senseless collateral deaths caused by the post-abortion mental instability of crazy women. Therefore, we should support a substantial tax ($10,000) on all abortions so that abortions become undesirable and rare.

    Since I don’t plan on having an abortion, it seems like a sensible plan to me. Besides, abortion is a ghastly business to begin with so we have the subsidiary benefit of reducing infanticide. Therefore, I’ll premise my argument by assuming that all abortions are bad per se.

    If it impacts the poor disproportionately — too bad. And don’t try to argue constitutionality, because this is merely regulation, not prohibition. Besides, most of the people I hang out with dispute the non-existent constitutional right to abortion and even if there once was such a right, it has outlived its usefulness.

    I’d say that’s arrogant enough even for the gun grabbers.

  2. I was surprised and disappointed by this sentence:

    “The number of guns in the United States is huge, probably well
    over 100 million. Many were purchased legally, but probably most
    were obtained in the active black market in guns.”

    So Becker is stating that the majority of the guns in the United States of America were obtained illegally. Even the most rabid gun control activists have never suggested this. Making the assumption that the net effects of gun ownership are negative is one thing; making up facts is something completely different.

  3. A Little Gun History Lesson

    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. >From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. >From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated


    China established gun control in 1935. >From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. >From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    Uganda established gun control in 1970. >From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. >From 1975 to 1977, one million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.


    It has now been 12 months since gun owners inAustralia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australiataxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

    Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

    Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

    Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

    In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that whilethe law-abiding citizens turned them in, thecriminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

    It will never happen here? I bet the Aussies said that too!

    While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

    There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

    You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

    Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

    The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind him of this history lesson.

    With Guns………..We Are “Citizens”.
    Without Them……..We Are “Subjects”.

    During W.W.II the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED !

    Note: Admiral Yamamoto who crafted the attack on Pearl Harbor had attended Harvard U 1919-1921 & was Naval Attaché to the U. S. 1925-28. Most of our Navy was destroyed at Pearl Harbor & our Army had been deprived of funding & was ill prepared to defend the country.

    It was reported that when asked why Japan did not follow up the Pearl Harbor attack with an invasion of the U. S. Mainland, his reply was that he had lived in the U. S. & knew that almost all households had guns.

Comments are closed.