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  • ilap2004 ilap2004 Dec 18, 2012 11:36 AM Flag

    Good column on guns


    Thomas Sowell:

    For the country as a whole, handgun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

    The few counterexamples offered by gun control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.

    But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries— and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.

    In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked. New York, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since 1911, still had several times the gun murder rate of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons.

    In gun ownership has been reduced almost to the vanishing point, while even most convicted felons in Britain are not put behind bars. The crime rate, including the rate of crimes committed with guns, is far higher in Britain now than it was back in the days when there were few restrictions on Britons buying firearms.

    In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s— after decades of ever-tightening gun ownership restrictions — there were more than a hundred times as many armed robberies.

    Gun control zealots’ choice of Britain for comparison with the United States has been wholly tendentious, not only because it ignored the history of the two countries, but also because it ignored other countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.

    You could compare other sets of countries and get similar results. Gun ownership has been three times as high in Switzerland as in Germany, but the Swiss have had lower murder rates. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.

    There is innocent ignorance and there is invincible, dogmatic and self-righteous ignorance. Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun control advocates.

    Some years back, there was a professor whose advocacy of gun control led him to produce a “study” that became so discredited that he resigned from his university. This column predicted at the time that this discredited study would continue to be cited by gun control advocates. But I had no idea that this would happen the very next week in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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    • Hunting is on the decline in a big way. Just do a google search on "decline in hunting".

      Another fact is that statistically, you are more likely to kill yourself or a family member with your gun than to kill an intruder. Simple fact that gun people don't like to hear. Unless we turn into a 3rd world country then there is no need for all the excess guns.

      • 2 Replies to jaquecroissant
      • Jaque,
        "Another fact is that statistically, you are more likely to kill yourself or a family member with your gun than to kill an intruder. Simple fact that gun people don't like to hear. "

        "Simple fact that gun people don't like to hear"

        Simple fact? According to who? Musk?

        Your assertion(s) are wrong, very wrong--Here are some facts for the 'non-gun people'.

        "The accidental gun death rate has been falling since 1930 and US accidental gun deaths per year were down to 613 by 2007, out of the 301,579,895 people in the USA, according to the CDC. For comparison, there were 29,846 accidental deaths by poisoning in 2007, again according to the CDC.

        From 1982 through 1988, 3607 children and teenagers aged 0-19 years died from unintentional firearm-related injuries."

        So accidental deaths are on the order of 600/year so really a small number as compared to other types of fatal accidents like from poisoning, falls , medical errors etc.

        Is this why you want stricter gun control?

        Keep in mind that many of these accidental firearms deaths are easily preventable (safe storage etc) so this aspect hardly requires expensive or more national gun control measures.

        We have much bigger fish to fry if we want to make everyone 'safe'.

        So approx 600 accidental deaths--

        vs the POSITIVE aspects of firearms ownership which allows for self-defense and deterrence but more importantly, saves FAR more lives.

        Pay attention non-gun people!

        Deterrence a biggie IMO and it even allows brain addled lefties to get a benefit and a free ride from others that do own firearms.

        Perhaps lefties should pay an extra tax for this benefit huh?

        or atleast the gun people should get credit on their tax returns for sharing certain benefits otherwise known as 'redistribution'. lol

        There are an estimated 2.5 million incidents of defensive gun use /year with untold tens of thousands of instances where a potential victim was able to defend him/her herself AND save his/her own life.

        And the hysterical Nanny State gun control advocates would choose to disarm or severely restrict all these law-abiding citizens in exercising their right to self-defense?

        of course, we can never know the ADDITIONAL lives that are 'saved' every year simply because of the deterrence effect where criminals can never be sure if a homeowner might be armed and prepared.

        IOW, in a situation of perfect (which is impossible) gun control we might save a maximum of 600 lives year (we'll never prevent all deaths)... but in the process allow for many hundreds of times more victims??

        Firearms probably save between 10,000-50,000 lives/year---'conservatively'.

        Can the progressives get their mind around that?

        I fail to see the non-gun people's logic.

        Maybe firearms ownership makes you smarter?

        or is it because the non-gun lefties continually rely on falsified studies and manipulated data to support their ideology and with just a bit of scrutiny, it can easily be exposed as being false?

        Same as always, I guess.


        2 surveys

        "The National Self-Defense Survey indicated that there were 2.5 million incidents of defensive gun use per year in the U.S. during the 1988-1993 period. This is probably a conservative estimate, for two reasons. First, cases of respondents intentionally withholding reports of genuine defensive-gun uses were probably more common than cases of respondents reporting incidents that did not occur or that were not genuinely defensive. Second, the survey covered only adults age 18 and older, thereby excluding all defensive gun uses involving adolescents, the age group most likely to suffer a violent victimization.

        A national survey conducted in 1994 by the Police Foundation and sponsored by the National Institute of Justice almost exactly confirmed the estimates from the National Self-Defense Survey. This survey's person-based estimate was that 1.44% of the adult population had used a gun for protection against a person in the previous year, implying 2.73 million defensive gun users. These results were well within sampling error of the corresponding 1.33% and 2.55 million estimates produced by the National Self-Defense Survey."

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