14 November 2007

Gun Laws and School Massacres.

The Tories want to legalise the .22 type of handguns used by Pekka Eric Auvinen in the Finnish School massacre (contrary to news reports this is the second school gun shooting to have occurred in Finland in the last few decades).

I can see a pattern emerging in...
who the perpetrators are of these crimes - middle class, white, rural, alienated social misfits who join legal gun clubs and amass legally owned weapons.

Your inner city lout may be using illegal weapons to help protect their drug business but they are not completely whacko. That takes rural gun nuts amassing easily available legal weapons.

There should be one question to test the suitability of someone who wants to own a gun - 'do you want a gun' - if you do, then you are not suitable to own one - simple as that.

The UK has one of the lowest gun death rates in the world, it also has some of the toughest gun ownership laws. Coincidence? I think not.


120 comments:

  1. I agree with some of your sentiments but your observation is well off.

    The VT perpetrator was Korean. The Columbine kids were not members of gun clubs and their arms were illegal. Michael Ryan was not a gun club member.

    Of course, none of these minor points takes away from the horror these people have caused and the pain they inflicted upon innocents.

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  2. R&W, all the weapons and ammunition at Columbine were legally bought (and then sold on). I take your point about the Virginia Tech perpetrator Cho, being Korean (although he was middle class and he legally purchased his weapons). Michael Ryan (Hungerford) used legally licensed weapons. Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane) used legally bought weapons and had frequented a gun club - the list goes on...

    No law will stop isolated incidents but our stricter laws have reduced the chances of this sort of massacre occurring. the Tories want to jeopardise this.

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  3. Coincidence? No of course not. If you want to kill someone and you have a gun handy then you'd be likely to use it. Having to use a different weapon doesn't stop the murder occuring though.

    Perfectly sane people can want to own guns because they are fun, (yes they really are). I think that a sensible start would be for it to be legal to shoot at a gun club but not to remove weapons from it.

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  4. Nice logic:

    1) These drug dealers kill each other for good commercial reasons, so that's OK.

    2) These wierdos who go to school to kill loads of people tend to be white and middle class and totally mad, so that is to be frowned upon.

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  5. While you makes some reasonable observations, you spoil it with sweeping generalisations - unfortunately a habit...

    Think about it; who can afford legally owned weapons? That is why those particular incidents were carried out by people from middle class backgrounds - not because the middle classes living in rural environments are murderous misanthropes. Social misfits come from all sorts of backgrounds.

    The gangs using illegally owned weapons are no less nasty and muderous just because they have a rationalisation (of sorts) for their murders - and, all too often it is innocent people caught up in their crossfire.

    I am always reminded of Inspector Fowler in the Thin Blue Line - "Question one should be Do you want to own a gun and if the answer is yes then you are not a suitable person..." There is a element of truth in humour. That said, I still believe it an absurdity that our Olympic team cannot practice in the UK.kgmip

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  6. Mark, Longrider, Falco, gun toting drug dealers are crazy but not necessarily complete loons. My main point is that anyone can suffer from mental illness at any time - there is no way of knowing who. If we make guns legal and increase the supply it is inevitable that more guns will end up in the hands of the mentally ill and we will get more massacres like this. I am not sure that someone's 'gun fun' is enough to make this risk worthwhile. Even guns locked in gun clubs are more likely to get into the community.

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  7. There should be one question to test the suitability of someone who wants to own a gun - 'do you want a gun' - if you do, then you are not suitable to own one - simple as that

    Well fortunately UK law is not as stupid as that. UK recognises many 'good reasons' for owning a firearm - target shooting, hunting, humane destruction of animals, collecting, historical research, military re-enactment, and the list goes on. Since I own several handguns legally on my FAC I can personally vouch for the authenticity of this information.

    I can see a pattern emerging in who the perpetrators are of these crimes

    As a former research mathematician I have rather more respect for statistics than the usual politico. The number of incidents of criminal misuse of legally owned firearms in the UK is so tiny relative to the number of certificates issued, it is not statistically significant to make predictions about the sort of people who misuse legal firearms.

    The UK has one of the lowest gun death rates in the world, it also has some of the toughest gun ownership laws

    According to the most extensive academic study on the effects of firearms licensing in the UK, Firearms Control, by Colin Greenwood, an ex-Superintendant in the Met, it is pretty much coincidence. The UK has always had a pretty low level of gun crime, even when firearms were far more available than they are today.

    I must say, I didn't realise that the Tories had proposed any such thing and I am sceptical if only because I can see little political advantage in it for them. Persoanlly I can't see anything wrong in allowing 22 pistols to be used once again in licensed target pistol shooting and I think the risk to public safety is virtually non-existent, notwithstanding Neil's bigoted views about those who own legal firearms.

    My main point is that anyone can suffer from mental illness at any time

    Really, and your medical qualifications for such a judgement are what?

    Even guns locked in gun clubs are more likely to get into the community

    This is simply not true. The 'leakage' from legal to illegal markets is infinitesimal. Most police forces don;t even both the account separately for the numbers of stolen legal guns as they are so small.

    You really are a caricature.

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  8. Stephen - I was being facetious. Of course there are perfectly acceptable reasons why people would want to own a gun - I mentioned the Olympic team in the same comment.

    Neil, of course anyone can suffer mental illness - it is your sweeping statements about the middle classes that hint of an underlying bigotry, which was the thrust of my comment. Substitute black people for middle classes in your post and you will get the drift...

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  9. Longrider, I am middle class myself, so I can assure you there is no malice in my comments.

    Stephen, I haven't got the stats to hand but about a quarter of the population suffer from some sort of breakdown in their lives, add in all the family/neighbour arguments, disputes etc and most of the population do things they regret - give them easy access to guns and disaster will ensue. I am actually surprised gun deaths in the US (at 35,000 a year) are not higher. Guns are just too lethal to be playthings, someone goes crazy with their fists and it is unlikely to be fatal, even with a knife it is unlikely, give them a gun and you get a massacre! Come on, it is obvious. As for the security of gun clubs, once again, why take the risk?jv

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  10. The Virginia Tech shooter had created the circumstances for a mental break from Subliminal Distraction exposure.

    This problem is believed to cause only a harmless temporary episode when it happens in business offices. The Cubicle was designed to prevent exposure in 1968.

    Several school shooters had similar exposure as well as other mass shooters.

    The problem arises when Subliminal Distraction meets psychopath.

    VisionAndPsychosis.Net

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  11. give them easy access to guns and disaster will ensue

    I don't propose that they be given 'easy access', I simply think that we should continue with the present licensing system and that 'target shooting' should again be an acceptable reason for owning a handgun on a firearm certificate. The fact is that there are over 1 million certificate owners in the UK and if the risks were as great as you allege then we might expect to see evidence of this in the figures for the illegal use of legally held firearms. We do not. There have been two appalling cases of misuse of legally held firearms in 90 years of firearms licensing - Dunblane & Hungerford - and you appear to hold all certificate holders responsible for those crimes.

    Guns are just too lethal to be playthings

    Who said anything about their being playthings?

    someone goes crazy with their fists and it is unlikely to be fatal, even with a knife it is unlikely, give them a gun and you get a massacre!

    Which is the reason we have a licensing system. The reason why it failed in the case of Dunblane & Hungerford is that it was administered improperly. Stirling Firearms Licensing had the authority to remove Hamilton's guns and they failed to use the power they had. You can't say that the law is wrong if you can't be arsed to enforce it.

    Come on, it is obvious. As for the security of gun clubs, once again, why take the risk?

    Because the law accepts that people have legitimate reasons to own firearms. If you want a risk free existence the you'd better hide under your bed.

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  12. Stephen, it is not a risk free life I want, just a bit of common sense. You cannot claim that playing with handguns is a human right or is something that can be easily regulated. Handguns are very very dangerous and lethal even compared to shotguns and have few leisure or work purposes. Their easy portability and lethality make them a special case, they are too easily misused. Just as we don't let people play with hand grenades or other explosives, we cannot let people play with guns.

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  13. we cannot let people play with guns.

    Actually, we can. Weapons of war have a long tradition of migrating into the sporting arena - I was once an enthusiastic archer, for example. We have an Olympic shooting team and this is a perfectly reasonable use of the handgun.

    Our licensing arrangements prior to Dunblane were an appropriate response to the risk. It wasn't the licensing arrangements that fell down but the management of those arrangements - different issue.

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  14. Stephen, it is not a risk free life I want, just a bit of common sense

    We have common sense. We have a licensing system.

    You cannot claim that playing with handguns is a human right

    As usual Neil, when you are losing an argument, you start making things up. I have not claimed that 'playing with handguns is a human right'. Handguns are dangerous things which is why their use should be subject to licensing.

    or is something that can be easily regulated

    Just about every other country in Europe has found a way of regulating the legal ownership of handguns so that statement is demonstrably false.

    Handguns are very very dangerous and lethal even compared to shotguns and have few leisure or work purposes

    They are certainly not any more dangerous than the 357 magnum lever action rifle kept in my house. They are certainly more portable but that is of little consquence if someone were to use one to commit a massacre, as is shown by Hungerford which was perpetrated with a long gun.

    [Their easy portability and lethality make them a special case]

    No it doesn't. What makes them a 'special case' is that one notorious massacre was committed with one and the Labour party derived a great deal of political capital from scapegoating the entire legal pistol owning community. The fact that you used this article to attack the Tories demonstrates that observation pretty conclusively.

    [they are too easily misused]

    Again with the non-existent statistics. One highly exceptional event does not demonstrate that they are too easily abuse by their legal owners.

    [ust as we don't let people play with hand grenades or other explosives, we cannot let people play with guns]

    There is no sport of target hand grenade throwing, which is the reason we have no licensing system for the private ownership of hand grenades. In contrast, target pistol shooting is a well established sport and shooting overall is the second largest participatory sport in the UK. And target pistol shooting is an Olympic sport.

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  15. Stephen - "There is no sport of target hand grenade throwing, which is the reason we have no licensing system for the private ownership of hand grenades". What the Fu**! The reason? I think this exemplifies the difference between you and me. So, if there were a sport of target hand grenade throwing, it would be perfectly ok for people to own hand grenades? You are on another planet. The reason we shouldn't allow private ownership of hand grenades is not because there isn't a sport, it is because they are extremely dangerous. I think the flaws in this market led laissez faire libertarianism are being demonstrated very clearly in this discussion. The facts are, that gun deaths in this country have halved since we banned handguns. We have always had a reasonable record before that, because we have always had sensible laws making gun ownership very difficult. It should be more difficult still, and handguns have little purpose and are far too useful to mass murderers - simple as that. You may not think a few hundred senseless deaths is worth losing the right for a few people to play with guns, the majority of us disagree.

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  16. Your debate is amusing but let me tell you its also irrelevant.. heres why:

    While working on an Acting Job with Crimewatch in 2003 a fairly senior Met Police officer had a conversation with me about the Eastern European crime wave entering London ( + The UK in general)and the easy availability of hand guns and larger weapons.. that was 2003!! Do the maths, 500,000 + eastern europeans entering the country a year and a percentage will be "Gangsta"!! Gun Licencing just penalises the law abiding.. the middle classes especially! Police love an easy conviction and will not chase scary gangsters with loaded guns and a willingness to shoot! Thats why they will stamp down on middle class weapon holders who forget to chain their legal weapons up... but fail to find the 100s of1000s illegal weapons floating about in the UK.
    ps. I was offered a handgun for £250 while training in an East london Gym!! While my local gun club is not legally allowed to advertise its existence! ha ha, this nanny state is a joke

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  17. AcidDrop - Illegal weapons entering the country will always be a problem. Perhaps you would like to shop the guy who offered you a handgun - he would get 5 years minimum. If all 'law abiding' middle class did that we would have less of a problem wouldn't we? Making handguns legal will just make the problem of guns even worse. Your 'solution' will lead to more deaths and more illegal weapons as well.

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  18. "There is no sport of target hand grenade throwing, which is the reason we have no licensing system for the private ownership of hand grenades". What the Fu**! The reason? I think this exemplifies the difference between you and me. So, if there were a sport of target hand grenade throwing, it would be perfectly ok for people to own hand grenades? You are on another planet

    No Neil, what exemplifies the differences between you and me is that I am able to advance arguments rationally and you emit an emotional stream of consciousness. This is typified by my responding to each of your points in turn and refuting them, which is something your appear intellectually unequipped to do when it comes to my responses. Yes, if it were possible to advance a rational reason for the private ownership of hand grenades then I would evaluate it. But as there isn't, so I don't.

    The reason we shouldn't allow private ownership of hand grenades is not because there isn't a sport, it is because they are extremely dangerous

    And because there is no countervailing public interest in owning them. Unlike the private ownership of target pistols and other sporting firearms where there a 'good reason', as the 1968 Firearms Act terms it, for owning them.

    I think the flaws in this market led laissez faire libertarianism are being demonstrated very clearly in this discussion

    It is certainly not a libertarian position to support firearms licensing. Most libertarians would challenge the need for a licensing system at all! Perhaps you are too ignorant to realise it but the private ownership of firearms is permitted in the UK, and Labour's Charter for Shooting recognises this and supports it.

    The facts are, that gun deaths in this country have halved since we banned handguns

    You really are pretty dishonest, aren't you. Correlation is not causation.

    We have always had a reasonable record before that, because we have always had sensible laws making gun ownership very difficult

    You are potificating from the point of near total ignorance. The UK had no firearms licensing prior to 1920. But be that as it may, I certainly support proportionate licensing laws but they should be evidence driven not bigotry driven.

    It should be more difficult still, and handguns have little purpose and are far too useful to mass murderers - simple as that

    Things are always simple to those who have not troubled themselves to discover what the law actually says.

    You may not think a few hundred senseless deaths is worth losing the right for a few people to play with guns, the majority of us disagree

    People already have the right 'to play with guns', as you tendentiously put it, under the current 1997 Firearms Act, so could you enlighten us as to where these four hundred deaths might come from?

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  19. Making handguns legal will just make the problem of guns even worse

    As it happens, handguns are legal, subject to certification, just not for target shooting. They may be owned as 'part of a collection' of like themed firearms, such as guns of 'the old west', or for research into ballistics under s7 of the 1997 act, or kept by vets and farmers for the humane destruction of animals, etc.

    Your 'solution' will lead to more deaths and more illegal weapons as well

    Where is the evidence that licensing of handguns for target shooting will do any such thing? Before the 1997 act there was virtually no leakage between legal and illegal firearms. Even the government did not claim that there was.

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  20. So, gun death stats matter when arguing for a relaxation in gun laws but not when arguing for a tightening of the law. Stephen, I think it is you who is being dishonest to dismiss the statistics. When we consider how gun crime is rising throughout the world - it is amazing that gun deaths have halved in the UK since we banned handguns. It is one hell of a coincidence.

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  21. So, gun death stats matter when arguing for a relaxation in gun laws but not when arguing for a tightening of the law

    A typically flip response from you Neil, and of course not really related to what I actually wrote. Why are you scared to debate me on a point by point basis? It is you who claim that the private ownership of firearms should be at the very least made much more difficult or prohibited altogether on the basis of likely gun deaths. I have simply challenged you on this. Thus you claim that the fall in gun deaths since the 1997 act should be attributed to the pistol ban. In the absence of context, an isolated statistic such as that proves nothing as you well know. The firearms that were legally held were kept in safes, did not swell the illegal market and were not used in killings or crime. If you could suggest a mechanism by which banning them actually contributed to a fall in gun deaths, I would be very interested to debate it.

    You said that allowing people 'to play with guns' would cause a 'few hundred senseless deaths'. Since there are well over a million legal guns in circulation in the UK, where the hell are these hundreds of deaths?

    You overstate your case and then complain when I point out the absurdities in it. There is an intellectually coherent argument that could be deployed to support the reduction in firearms ownership - and that would be to say that it is not worth taking any risk in allowing a leisure persuit. That will not ban all firearms - vets will still need their handguns and farmers their shotguns - but it would take all guns owned for sporting purposes out of the equation. But then you would have to have a grown up argument about risks and whether we should adopt the zero risk approach in other areas of policy, such as the private ownership of aeroplanes or sports cars.

    Stephen, I think it is you who is being dishonest to dismiss the statistics

    I am not being dishonest. I am demanding some empirical rigour. Isolated figures to do prove anything. A sustained trend seen in other parts of the world, would. If after the first study showing a correlation between smoking and lung cancer, the medical establishment has said 'smoking causes cancer', it would have been ridiculed. But over the course of many years, many independent studies showed a similar correlation. Medical researchers were able to demonstrate a mechanism by which smoking interfered with the operation of the lungs and the heart. That is why I said that correlations on their own do not prove causality. Anyone versed in statistics knows this.

    If the private ownership of firearms is so conducive to gun deaths, why do we not see this in Belguim, for example, which has very high levels of private firearms ownership, and very low levels of gun crime? In Belgium it is legal to own fully automatic weapons, provided that one has a licence.

    When we consider how gun crime is rising throughout the world - it is amazing that gun deaths have halved in the UK since we banned handguns. It is one hell of a coincidence

    Until you can advance a mechanism by which it happened, or show many other examples of a similar reduction in similar societal circumstances, then that is all it is. A coincidence.

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  22. Stephen, will come back with a fuller answer on this. I do want to debate every point you make. For now I will just say that it is reasonable to assume that if you increase the prevalence of guns, especially handguns which are so easily portable and concealed, then it would not be surprising to see an increase in gun deaths - which is in fact the case. Like smoking there are of course other factors, but guns are not cigarettes - they are much more dangerous.

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  23. The UK had one of the lowest gun death rates in the world long before confiscatory gun control. Violent crime has been rising steadily since then, including gun-related deaths and injuries.

    So-called `gun control' is actually victim disarmament. A rise in gun deaths can coincide with a reduction in violent crime and homicide - because people can defend themselves against aggressors and, thankfully, there are more good people than bad.

    Neil, instead of demonstrating ignorance and simplistic prejudice why don't you actually do some research into criminology and take the trouble to understand the wider issues and the full depth of the complexity of the situation here?

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  24. Gun control is one of the central planks of the communist manifesto.
    There is only one possible reason why any government would want to control who owns a gun and that is to control the people. It has nothing to do with law and order.
    Historically this has always resulted in a dictatorship and led to thousands of innocent deaths by that government.
    You need to study history.
    http://www.guncite.com/journals/senrpt/senhardy.html
    Blackie

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  25. Johnny, you are wrong. Gun deaths have halved since we banned handguns. As for your suggestion that more guns are good because 'more bad people get shot'. I suggest you study criminolgy. You are living in a fantasy world and a pretty dangerous one.

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  26. Even according to figures from the Gun Control Network, hardly an unbiased source, your assertion that `gun deaths have halved since we banned handguns' is bizarre. According to GCN in 1997 (the year of the ban) there were 201 deaths from firearms injury (which includes suicides and accidents) and in 2003 (the last year they list) there were 163. Unless you're working from a radically different system of maths that doesn't match your assertion.

    We need much longer term records to get any real evidence. We also need to look carefully at how the figures are collected and collated and by whom.

    For an instance of a confounding facter, we should be seeing gun deaths decline as medical treatment improves unless the rate of shooting rises to compensate.

    Yes, I have studied criminology - over many years - which is why I'm so sure you're wrong. I go where the facts and the evidence lead - and I think it inappropriate to make them up!

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  27. Johnny, gun deaths have more than halved since the introduction of a partial handgun ban in 1996 and a total handgun ban in 1997, from 358 in 1995 to 163 in 2003.

    You say we need longer term figures then deliberately pick shorter dates to suit your purposes.

    To suggest medical advances advanced so fast in a few short years seems ludicrous. It couldn't have had more than a minor effect.

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  28. eoihcjjJohnny, gun deaths have more than halved since the introduction of a partial handgun ban in 1996 and a total handgun ban in 1997, from 358 in 1995 to 163 in 2003

    What was the distribution of deaths in 1995 between suicide, accident and criminal misuse? How do those figures break down according to handguns, rifles and shotguns? And how do they break down in 2003? I am guessing Neil that your background in statistics is fairly rudimentary but I am sure you can see how it is not valid to make the inferences you have made without this breakdown.

    To suggest medical advances advanced so fast in a few short years seems ludicrous. It couldn't have had more than a minor effect

    Neil, the real world is not a lab. You can't keep all but one condition fixed as a researcher can do in a laboratory. Many things have happened over the past ten years that may have affected the number of annual gun deaths. Perhaps police operations against gangsters have been more effective? Perhaps there have been fewer turf wars? Or perhaps not? I don't know and the point is, neither do you. The figures that you cite do not have the granularity to tell us this. You might or might not be right that the reduction in gun deaths can be attributable to the post-Dunblane ban. I certainly can't DISPROVE your assertion but what I can do is demonstrate that the evidence you cite simply does not have the granularity to support the contentions your draw from it.

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  29. Gun control is a central plank of the communist manifesto. It is about the control, enslavement, and eventually the destruction of the people. Some quotes from history:


    "Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."
    -- Heinrich Himmler

    "...the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious."
    -- Joseph Goebbels

    "Both the oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms."
    -- Aristotle


    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
    -- Gandhi


    "...to disarm the people (is) the best and most effective way to enslave them..."
    -- George Mason

    There are more:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/quotes_gun_control.html

    Blackie

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  30. Neil, you are misrepresenting what I said: you said gun deaths had halved since the ban. The hand in of (formerly) legal weapons commenced on July 1st 1997, hence my picking of 1997 as the date of the gun ban. The figures for 2003 were the last year recorded... on the Gun Control Network site (I chose to use figures I presumed you wouldn't quibble with). I did not pick two dates to make the figures look right. Unlike you.

    It is a matter of fact that advancements in medical technology, particulary as a result of the first Gulf War, have markedly reduced mortality due to traumatic injury. The effect is not inconsiderable, as you would find were you to actually check up on the facts of the matter.

    An obvious example of something that has a dramatic effect on mortality rates is the introduction / more widespread use of helicopter ambulances.

    If you go to the GCN website, you'll see a table (extracted from Home Office documents) that has `Injury by being fired, used as a blunt instrument or in a threat' and the number for handguns was 317 in 97/98 and trends upwards to a figure of 1024 in 05/06. This is indeed congruent with my hypothesis that improvements in treatment of gunshot wounds will reduce mortality. However, further study is required to really be confident we know what is going on.

    See also Stephen's comments.

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  31. Addendum: for those who might be confused by the dates...

    The Dunblane Massacre took place on 13th March 1996.

    The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1997/1997005.htm
    Royal Assent was given on February 27 1997. (As noted passim, the confiscation of registered handguns commenced in July of that year.)

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  32. Johnny, Stephen, less lethal weapons - that explains more injuries rather than deaths - people are converting imitation weapons or using airguns etc. You are right that I cannot absolutely prove that the halving of deaths from 1995 to 2003 has anything to do with the banning of handguns (and tighter restrictions on other weapons) but it is a pretty strong pointer, just like the first report that cigarettes cause cancer - it seems very likely.

    Do you agree that making something legal is very likely to increase the availability?

    It seems logical that making guns more available will lead to more gun deaths, do you agree? That is the bottom line for me and the stats certainly support this assertion.

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  33. Anon, Hitler was a vegetarian, does that mean vegetarianism is bad?

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  34. but it is a pretty strong pointer

    Which part of drawing an inference that is unsupported by the evidence do you not understand? It's like debating with a retarded five year old.

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  35. Neil, I don't agree that it is necessarily true that increasing the legal availability of guns will make gun deaths rise, even given it will increase the availability of guns to everyone.

    The homicide rate (but maybe not the number of gun deaths) could fall concurrently with a reduction in violence against the law-abiding, due to persons being able to defend themselves effectively. There is some empirical evidence to suggest this has indeed happened in various parts of the world.

    As for saying `most' of the guns used nowadays are converted imitations, this is an assertion by the police and Home Office that has never been proven. In any case it's bullets that kill people not guns so you'd still have to demonstrate that converted firearms were necessarily less likely to cause death than purpose-built ones, a hypothesis that looks pretty shaky to me.

    As for your belief that medical technology never changes, I draw your attention to the current abortion debate as an example. Advancements in the treatment of neonates have led to younger and younger babies surviving premature partruition, including at ages that would be legal for abortion, thus leading to the current controversy.

    I suppose politicians aren't known for letting facts get in the way of their arguments but hopefully readers of these blog comments will be open-minded enough to draw their own conclusions.

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  36. "Anon, Hitler was a vegetarian, does that mean vegetarianism is bad?"

    I cannot stand vegetarianism but have to allow that Hitler never was one. He had terrible flatulence and his doctors recommended a vegie diet to combat this. He also had regular injections of mashed bulls balls, (not vegie last time I checked).

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  37. Falco, Really? How did you find that out?

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  38. Johnny, do you think legalised abortions leads to more abortions? Do you think legalising drugs would lead to more drug use? Then why does legalising guns not lead to more use of guns (and inevitably more deaths)?

    There have been medical advances but show me the evidence that it could halve gun deaths in 8 years? All this nonsense about being able to 'protect yourself if you had a gun' sounds like a Colt advert in the US.

    If more homeowners and pedestrians had handguns, more burglars and muggers (and other nutters) would carry them as well. Who do you think would be quicker on the draw when the criminal has the advantage of surprise? Would you really feel safer sleeping with a gun under your pillow?

    Can you imagine all the disputes with neighbours? ex lovers? with guns involved? What about all the kids finding guns in the house? What about all those people with guns who develop a mental illness (10% of the population)? It is total madness and thankfully most people still realise that legalising more guns is madness.

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  39. Colour me confused. Are you arguing against legalised abortion?

    And yes, I do believe it's possible medical advances could halve gun deaths in 8 years. Certainly if you look at the casualty ratios in Afghanistan there have been very significant reductions in mortality due to traumatic injury. (In the first Gulf War, the ratio injured to dead was something like 3:1, in Afghanistan today it's something like 11:1.)

    Yes, I do think there is plenty of evidence from criminological studies that ceasing to deny people their right to keep and bear arms reduces violence in society. I'm talking about actual empirical facts - not your fantasies and unsupported assertions. You're a champion of victim disarmament - I'm a supporter of basic human rights.

    And although I wouldn't sleep with a gun under my pillow, I do feel safer with a gun ready nearby.

    Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

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  40. Gun control is a central plank of the communist manifesto. It is about the control, enslavement, and eventually the destruction of the people. Some quotes from history:


    "Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."
    -- Heinrich Himmler

    Niel, you are in agreement with the above, you will go far in politics because you understand that, in order to feed like a vampire from the people, you must keep them emancipated.
    Diss armed.

    Blackie

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  41. Johnny, more legal abortions is good, more legal drug taking is good, more legal guns is bad.

    johnny - you can keep your society on edge with guns at the ready. I prefer a society where we don't have to worry.

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  42. You're trying to tell us that it's good enough for everyone to believe that the Government can, and will, protect us.

    I don't think I need to rehearse (for the bystanders here) the numerous evidences from our news media (and doubtless personal experience), past and current, that demonstrates the manifest absurdity of this postulate.

    Even if all other things (i.e., size and numbers) are equal, people who enjoy hurting others have an advantage over those who are peaceable. The gun not only puts the weak on equal footing with the strong, it puts the peaceable on equal footing with the brutish.

    I'm optimistic that majority of people in this country will wake up and smell the coffee in the foreseeable future.

    Sadly (I believe in individual liberty, so having to make something compulsory really goes against the grain for me) it looks like it will be necessary to emulate Switzerland and make gun ownership compulsory in this country. I can't see how else the situation can be retrieved after the decades of madness perpetrated by successive UK governments.

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  43. Johnny, so, if you saw two people in a fight, you would give them a gun each? You reckon that would save lives? You must be mad.

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  44. So your answer to my reasoned arguments is reductio ad absurdem and ad hominem.

    If I saw two people in a fight, and one of them was you - I'd give the other guy a gun.

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  45. Johnny - "If I saw two people in a fight, and one of them was you - I'd give the other guy a gun".

    And this is the sort of person who wants a gun? When you apply for a gun licence, I hope they see this quote.

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  46. You needn't worry about getting into fights - you'll be amongst the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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  47. Society in the 1900s when a gentleman could carry a firearm for self defence did not cause mass shootings after bar room brawls. In Texas, where I lived for a while, concealed and open carry is normal. People do not automatically go for their weapons in a fight.

    Neil, you seem to think that killing a man is free.

    It is not.

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  48. Steve, Wonderful Texas where 19,000 people die from guns every year and where guns kill more people than car accidents.

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  49. You're using stats from 1990, which are rather out of date.

    According to the Department for State Health statistics, which are almost up to date...

    These are the 2004 figures.

    Motor Vehicle Deaths per 100,000 - 16.9

    Here are the firearms related ones...

    Accidental Discharge - 0.3
    Assualt w/ Firearms - 4.1
    Discharge of Firearms, Undetermined intent - 0.1

    So, 4.5 per 100,000...

    I will include the suicide with firearms - 5.8 (Like they wouldn't kill themselves by other means?)

    Total 10.3 - considerably less than the motor vehicle deaths.

    Interestingly enough, the concealed carry law was enacted in Texas around 10 years ago - your stats are from before this legislation came in to force.

    According to The Free Library:

    "Between 1995 and 2004, handgun murders in Texas dropped by 18 percent. Gun owners proved to be much less likely than their peers to be arrested for non-violent crimes and violent crimes, including murder. And even though Texas (in 2004) had a population three million larger than when the bill was passed, the overall crime rate was lower in 2004-5,032 crimes per 100,000 Texans, as opposed to 5,478 crimes per 100,000."

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  50. Angry Steve, between 1995 and 2004, crime has dropped more than 18% worldwide. You are still trying to defend over 15,000 gun deaths in Texas (pop. 24m) to 163 gun deaths in the UK (pop. 60m). It doesn't take a genius to work out that if we legalise guns and give everyone a gun then the UK gun death rate would head into the stratosphere.

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  51. Neil, Angry Steve has demonstrated your factoids are bogus - plucked out of the ether to bolster your fantasies of the world according to the Labour Party.

    But then, that's how the Labour Party operates, as we can clearly see from the events of the past 10 years. Lies, spin, and denial of facts.

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  52. Johhny, angry steve has demonstrated that rather than 19,000 gun deaths in Texas (1990 figures) the current figures are 15,000 deaths. When compared to our 163 gun deaths in the UK, it is hardly a case for Texas gun laws is it? The argument remains the same, guns are madness and thankfully most people recognise that you gun nuts are wrong.

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  53. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/26343/VIOLENT-CRIMES-AT-SHOCK-LEVEL

    2007-11-26
    "SCOTLAND’S streets are six times more violent than officials figures show, according to the new Chief Medical Officer."

    And you're not remotely comparing like with like in any case - yet more bogus factoids to bolster the party line.

    I remain optimistic that reality will intrude and people will wake up to the fact that you cannot make yourself safer by allowing yourself to be made defenceless.

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  54. Johnny, it is you not comparing like with like. Labour have actually made a lot of figures more accurate to their own detriment as people like you use it against them. The Tories were the masters at fiddling the figures and stopped collecting a lot of statistics if they didn't like what they said. Labour have introduced measures that for example highlight unemployment as much higher, inequality as worse, recorded crime as much higher than the Tories figures used to show. Then you lot go and use it to claim things that are just not true.

    The gun death figures are about as reliable as you can get. They are absolute numbers on deaths by the use of guns. With 15,000 gun deaths a year in Texas compared to just 163 here in the UK despite the Uk having more than twice the population. I suspect very much that if there are any underestimates or fiddling going in it will be in Texas - a state not exactly unknown for its high levels of corruption - think their state police and the KKK.

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  55. You really are in a delusional little world of your own.

    The FBI Uniform Crime Statistics are the gold standard by which government-collected crime stats are judged - and the UK's efforts have long been compared unfavourably.

    In the particular case here, you're quoting a number for the UK from who knows when (and in fact at least that number of people commit suicide using firearms in the UK in a typical year so I have no idea what you think you're quoting) against a made-up figure you've pulled out of the air.

    The murky story of official homicide rates in the UK deserves study - the interesting anomalies in the Home Office Report submitted to the Cullen Inquiry for instance. Of course, you know nothing of this, never having made any study of crimology (nor, I imagine, ever turned a page on a statistics text).


    It's beyond laughable for a Labour Politician to talk disparagingly of other political corruption. Laugh, I nearly shat myself!

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  56. johnny, you want to give everyone a gun and you accuse me of 'living in my own delusional world'. How you can say 15,000 and 163 are in anyway comparable (even if there were slight errors in one figure - which there isn't) is beyond me. You really are way out there.

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  57. Even envisaging compulsory gun ownership I assume people would be able to forgo military service as conscientious objectors.

    I'm really about giving people choice - in the most democratic way possible by them being able to freely choose whether or not to own a gun to defend themselves and their loved ones with.

    I would expect this to reduce violence in society. You can't directly compare Texas with England - they are very, very different places. There is point in examining changes over time within Texas and its context, or within England and its own. And if you do you will see it is clear that allowing people the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms for self defence is the way for a safe and well-ordered civil society.

    Or you would if you were an intelligent and objective observer and not a political hack.

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  58. To further bolster my argument about the difficulty of comparing different countries, consider this on the Tree of Woe...

    According to figures used by the UK Government Research Development and Statistics Directorate in its submission to the Cullen Inquiry, Scotland had over twice the homicide rate of England and Wales (16.3 vs. 6.7 in Table A.2 of Home Office Statistical Service Annex G, a submission to the Cullen Inquiry, quoting Killias 1993). (Note the percentage households with guns is given as the same.)

    I have my own hypotheses, to do with differences in collection of statistics between the legal systems of E&W and Scotland, as to reason for this apparent major discrepency. Whatever, it for sure defies the simplistic Labour Party interpretation that it's all down to the guns / gun laws - the `control' of firearms is a reserved power even under Devolution.

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  59. It would be great if passing gun control laws was an effective way of producing social benefits.

    Sadly it is not and never has been.

    Thousands of gun laws in dozens of countries over the last hundred or so years have ALL failed to produce any benefits.

    The UK's policy, with increasingly strict laws in 1903, 1920, 1936, 1968, 1988 and 1997, each followed by a worsening trend (especially so since 1968), is a particularly clear example of sustained failure. Or of clinging to hope, rather than evaluating experience.

    Indeed UK-style policies of making it virtually unthinkable for a lawful gun-owner to use it for self-defence and resisting crime are guaranteed to produce the destructive and irrational climate of opinion that we have.

    Of course criminals will get guns and of course there will be very occasional instances of a lawful gun-owner going beserk, just as there are several cases every year in the UK of lawful owners of petrol murdering people in their homes.

    By denying the beneficial use of guns by the victims or bystanders in such events, the UK public only sees guns being used anti-socially, never in a positive light.

    Strict gun control laws belong in the "wishful thinking" bin. But they are more than just theory - they consume resources while costing lives, encouraging crime and damaging sport and pest control.

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  60. Johnny, Derek, I am not saying that gun laws are the only factor in controlling gun use, of course there are other factors.

    BUT..taking other factors into account, like inequality, education, etc. it is better to have strict gun laws than not to have them.

    Any worsening in gun crime does not mean that gun controls have failed - it just means without them, things would have been even worse. Other factors remaining the same, more guns equals more gun crime - simple as that. Whatever licensing is in place, you cannot legislate for legal gun owners having a moment of madness. Millions of people have sudden trauma in their lives, relationship breakups, mental breakdown etc. - give them guns and the potential for disaster is just too great. Also people lose and misplace things. More legal guns means more more chances of children getting hold of them and it becomes much easier for criminals to get hold of weapons as well. It may be easy for them now, but it will become even easier if they are legal. And your idea of vigilantism is just fantasy, more guns in homes and concealed on the street will mean robbers will carry weapons as routine, the police will carry them as routine. There will be obvious carnage and Texas shows the way.

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  61. In that case Neil, if you *genuinely* believe the principles you have just stated, there can be absolutely no excuse for the state being allowed to possess firearms. Any potential benefit from the state's possession of firearms must be outweighed by the risk that an agent of the state could have a 'moment of madness'.

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  62. Stephen, We must aim to have as few weapons as possible. It is great that our police for example routinely do not carry firearms. The less weapons the state have the better. Of course it is probably not feasible to get rid of all weapons - which I assume is what you are getting at - which will lead into your question 'why the state and not the individual? It's not fair! boo hoo!'. Sorry but that is an absolutist argument as well. The individual will always be less predictable than the (democratic) state and less consistent and therefore the state is more controllable and therefore restrained.

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  63. So Neil's answer is that the more failed policies fail, then the more need there is to redouble efforts to impose them. Meantime, actual facts from the real world are entirely irrelevant to the construction of the amazing, sometime-in-the-future (real soon now, honest, if you would only give us some more of your money and property rights and give up more of those pesky liberties and civil rights) utopia.

    Here's something positive you can do Neil, quite commensurate with your worldview: insist on an audit of the numbers of weapons held by police forces (this information is not available - why not?) and insist that the number is reduced to the absolute minimum that can be minutely justified for operational reasons.

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  64. Johnny - an audit is an excellent idea.

    As for failed policies; lets take a look at something you might agree with me about as an example of why gun controls have not failed. Over the last 10 years, Labour has overseen record growth and low inflation - is that (a) solely because Labour has been fantastic at economic management or more likely (b) because every other country in the developed world has experienced similar growth and low inflation?

    Gun crime has risen around the world for varying factors - but crucially, where guns are legal - the murder rate is invariably much higher. It is not a failed policy to keep death rates lower (even if they have expanded).

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  65. Firstly I'd like to see that audit. If there has been a reduction in gun crime in the UK as you assert, why then does not the number of police weapons, and policemen authorised to, and carrying, arms go down?

    We surely both well know that the story of growth and inflation in this country is a complicated one. A very important under-pinning of it has been oil and gas - Britain was until recently an oil and gas exporting country and has actually benefitted from high oil and gas prices recently, in contrast to many other countries.

    Your assertions about gun crime are not based on empirical facts - indeed, you ignore any actual data and studies presented by comment posters and simply keep asserting your ideas about what you imagine to be the state of the world.

    Wishing doesn't make it so. Those of us in the reality-based community, as opposed to politicians, are prepared to be persuaded by evidence and actual real-world results. Seems clear to me you are not and simply refuse to countenance information contrary to your world view.

    And then there's this...


    `The individual will always be less predictable than the (democratic) state and less consistent and therefore the state is more controllable and therefore restrained.'


    ...is an assertion beyond the bizarre. An individual can maybe kill a hundred people - for instance as in the case of a serial killer like Harold Shipman - but governments (democratic or otherwise) have, and do, kill hundreds, thousands, millions. To pretend that a government can, and will, protect you as an individual is to fly in the face of history.

    It genuinely mystifies me how anyone can believe what you believe, given it's in blatant contradiction to everything that's going on around us.

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  66. "but crucially, where guns are legal - the murder rate is invariably much higher."

    Er, no. The proportion of people killed with guns will, unsurprisingly, be higher. The murder rate is a rather different measurement that depends on total number killed.

    HIDE, THE MURDEROUS SWISS ARE COMMING!!!

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  67. On your point about murder rate being lower in countries with strict gun control is wrong. The murder rate by guns are lower. So if you would rather be beaten to death by a cricket bat and have better chance at being murdered, go to places with strict gun laws.

    In fact it is pretty easy to see that this is true. All the places with very high murder rates in are in the US and most of these have strict, if not, abolition of firearms. In rural areas, where many citizens have firearms in their homes, vehicles, and maybe on their person, murders are very low.

    Why? Ask the criminals (the US Justice Dept periodically interviews them). They say they like to go where they will not run into some yahoo with a gun.

    Gun laws have little effect on criminals. Gun laws will be probably as effective as drug laws are. We certainly know how few drugs are available since drug laws have been passed. Having restrictive gun laws only makes guns more attractive to the criminal element since if they bring a gun to the crime scene and you bring your cricket bat...well we know who to bet on in that altercation.

    Having survived Katrina, guns kept our neighborhood safe. There were only 12 families in our neighborhood not counting the New Orleans evacuees we had in house for almost a year.

    Immediately after Katrina the crooks wanted to do what the crooks were doing in New Orleans (robbing, pillaging, etc). Once the crooks realized this was a rural area and the firepower that, while not brandished, was available in the hands of the law abiding things quieted down rather quickly. You would be surprised just how fast a crook will make himself scarce when confronted by an armed citizen.

    Finally, I find it very bigotted of you to talk about rural people as a bunch of gun-crazed, violent prone people. I don't think city dwellers as drugged, ignorant, over-sexed, hard drinking n'er-do-well, leftists.

    When I was younger, plenty of my schoolmates would bring their guns to school in their trucks. They would have them in the rifle racks in plain sight. No one thought that strange. Shotguns during squirrel and rabbit season, rifles during deer season. If students fought, they fought with fists not with guns.

    Today, with guns banished from campus, when students fight they fight with knives and guns...So which is better???

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  68. Of course it is probably not feasible to get rid of all weapons - which I assume is what you are getting at - which will lead into your question 'why the state and not the individual? It's not fair! boo hoo!'

    Again you caricature and misrepresent the point I am making. I am not arguing that the state should not be permitted to possess things that the private individual may not. But your point is that the possession of firemans by private individuals is 'too dangerous'. It is not of course. I am simply inviting you to open your mind to the corollary of that absolutist argument, that it is too dangerous to permit any institution to possess firearms.

    Out of interest, do you support any possession of firearms by a private individual? Do you want a total prohibition?

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  69. I am the previous Katrina poster. It at least indicates that I am from the USA.

    Comparing Great Britian to Texas or virtually any other state in the US is not really a good measure. The diversity in populations are considerable in the US.

    Just because GBR (isn't that the abbreviation?) has lower gun crime does not make it safer than gun toting countries. In fact the Havard study pointed out that only thing gun laws did was reduce the possibility of being killed by gun.

    We only have to look back a few years to see that though gun ownership was banned plenty of people were being killed by gun (Ireland) and enforcement agencies could do little to stop it.

    Bombs are banned, yet how many dozens of people were killed in England and Spain by bombs? Ahem, less than in the US.

    Something that is frequently overlooked by Europeans are the vast distances in our rural communities. This also places police at vast distances between citizens. Firearms are the citizen's first line of defense until the police arrive. The slogan "when seconds count, the police are minutes away" is all too accurate.

    Another glaring oversight is the actual size of the criminal element. I am not sure of the number but I believe it has been estimated at less than 10% (in the US). As some economists pointed out if you dispersed guns equally among the population more law abiding would have guns than crooks. That gives the law abiding the advantage. When you take all guns away, then the only ones who will have guns will be the crooks and that gives them a heck of a advantage.

    The other oversight is human nature. The assumption you make is that by putting a gun into someone's hand that go from being Doctor Jekyl into Mr. Hyde. That is patently untrue.

    One of the observations of the Harvard study of the more guns=more deaths slogan showed that if this was true then statiscally gun shows would be the most dangerous places on Earth. Yet the opposite is true.

    There is plenty of ammunition, fire power, and the time to assemble whatever you needed to create a massacre if that is what you wanted to do. Yet why don't these occur at gun shows?

    It is also true that US states where concealed carry is legal, the murder rate is lower than in states that do not have concealed carry. The US Justice Department found that criminals were less likely to confront potential victims in CCW states.

    Just because someone has a weapon, does not mean they will use it. Most of the time the weapon does not have to be fired. If you are familar with firearms, you know that it does not matter how big or how many bullets a weapon has, if the other guy has one, there is an equal chance of getting killed. The crook does not want to take that chance. He rather go after easier prey.

    I am going to leave it here because I doubt I will change anyone mind. With luck the Republicans will win this fall and the Supreme Court will protect our 2nd Amendment right. Americans do not really understand Europeans, but at least we call ourselves Americans and not by the state (country) we live in.

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  70. Anon: - "only thing gun laws did was reduce the possibility of being killed by gun"

    You seem to say if eveyone had a gun the majority of law abiders would 'protect' us and the criminals would be running scared. Surely this same principle could be applied to bombs - would you argue for them to be made legally and easily available as well?

    You admit that gun control reduces gun deaths but imply this would have no effect on the murder rate as people would just move to other methods. But you forget that other methods of murder are more difficult. Would you rather confront a murderer with a gun or one with a cricket bat. At least it is easier to run away from the guy with the cricket bat. The murderer will always have the advantage of surprise, in a one on one situation the murderer will always fire his weapon first, usually the legal gun owner will not even get to his gun - because if he is responsible, it will be locked away somewhere. If they are not responsible, their children are the most likely to find it. Either way more innocent people will die. Increased gun ownership just encourages all criminals to carry guns and increases the danger of being shot for everyone.

    Stephen: I hope the above explains to you why only the state and those very few individuals that need shotguns etc should be allowed to carry them and then only under strict licence controls.

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  71. Hi again Neil, this is Katrina anon (I am a guy though, if that is important).

    Simply put, everyone not having firearms does not prevent the use of them. Criminals, by their very nature, do not obey laws. Now that they are fully aware of the advantage of using firearms they are much more inclined to use them.

    Further, you miss the dynamics of crime. The criminal does not shoot you first then rifle your pockets, etc. That would be too much work. The gun is used to control the situation first, then elminate witnesses.

    There are plenty of store videos that show the robbers coming in first, cowing the victims. The crook wants you to show him where the valuables are, to help him get everything he wants from you. That is how crime operates.

    One of the things your attitude insures is that the strong can prey on the weak. I am not sure how GBR operates, but the US courts have ruled that the government has no general obligation to provide police protection. One of the cases that fueled this was one where a number of women were raped (Washington DC if I recall correctly) despite the fact they called the police over a period of 14 hours. The criminals did not know that there were other women in the house. Had these women been armed they would not have been abused and the crime might not have ever occurred.

    This is one of the great ironies of gun abolitionists. They are against guns, but they are completely unwilling to take the responsibility for the mayhem it allows. They cannot differentiate between self defense and murder. To them self defense is the same as murder. If this was different, then when a law abiding citizen with a firearm stops some crook, armed or not, they would rise to that citizen's defense. If the law says no gun, you take away the gun from that citizen. But why the heck would you make a criminal out of an otherwise good citizen unless you are just blind beyond reason about self defense?

    In the US many of the abolitionists do not practice what they preach, either. Most of the leaders have their own private armed security. Do we see these same abolitionists fight for police accountability or for the funding private guard services for citizens. No, of course not.

    But lets get back to your argument more guns=more death. I am sure you have heard of the Brady Campaign and a group whose name escapes me but I believe its initials are VPC. Both are strong gun abolitionist organizations. Every year they issue report cards on how well the states in the US are doing in controlling guns within their borders. These report cards turned out to be a great tool for gun advocates. The Brady report cards showed that states getting high marks for gun control had the most per capita crimes that states scoring at the bottom of these report cards. Again, since you like stats that is a very hard stat to beat.

    I also remember when states within the US started to allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons (CCW). When that was started, I felt it was probably not a very good idea. However, the stats showed the opposite was true. Having examined these programs further it is is easy to see why. These are not hunting permits, but rather "fear of God" program. People I have talked to who have been through these programs pretty much know the rules and are not the least bit interested in bagging any crook. They know, even if they are right, it is going to cost them thousands of dollars (I guess that 10 pounds Sterling right?) to prove it, not counting the civil litigation that follow.

    Still when CCWs started to become legal and some Shall Issue laws were passed, states with CCW saw their crime rates fall. To be fair, it is tough to say there is a direct linkage, but the US Justice Dept surveys of prisoners showed that crooks were changing the way they operated in CCW states because of the fear running into an armed victim. Their study also reveal the reverse in states with strict gun laws and little or no CCW.

    Another really interesting statistic is who are doing most of the killing. It isn't the John or Jane Citizen it is the criminal element. Very few gun crimes are committed by average everyday folks. If you assume that the majority of your population is made up of average everyday folks (which is probably more than 90% of the general population) crime is very small indeed.

    Virtually all of the crime and gun crime are committed by very a small element. By and large they are violent, anti-social (that means they don't like rules not that they cannot make friends) or mentally ill. They obey laws only when it suits them.

    Passing gun laws with the expectation that crook will obey them is a fool's errand. If such things worked, we would need far fewer police. Really if you cannot stop drug smuggling with all the laws and resources array against this activity how in the world do you expect to stop gun smuggling since they are harder to detect than drugs?

    Your argument for gun abolition is that if the general population did not have guns, the crooks would see no need for them. You know, that kind of depends on the crook. If the crook is some kind of soccer hooligan I would guess not. He can probably punch my head through a wall or stomp me to death in a few minutes...helluva may to die though. On the other hand if you are not quite so strong a little trip to the bad side of town and the local drug smuggler will sell or rent you a firearm for whatever crime you wish to commit. If your target is an unarmed citizen almost any gun will do. With that gun you can take on anybody a wee babe, Mr. Universe, or anybody inbetween.

    Is this such a hard concept to grasp? There are bad people out there. Bullies don't stop being bullies because you stand up to them. Don't you remember the Fonz from Happy Days advising Richie on how to fight? Richie was trying to look tough so he would not have to fight some bruiser. The Fonz told Richie it wouldn't work because, "You have to have hit someone first."

    Bullies, crooks back down when they think they cannot win. By disarming the citizen you are telling them they can win. Since you cannot stop them from getting guns you have shown them how to cheat. Since cheating is part of their nature you will insure they will.

    Neil, I know you like to cite the GBR stats. However, there are countries all over the world that have laws as restrictive or more than GBR's and have had the opposite results. If I get some time in the next few days I will see I can dig up my notes on that.

    I know I am an American and to some that is an ugly word. Such things do not bother me. When I see the politics of Europe (I thought about relocating to Ireland a decade or so ago) I am tickled to death with the US Constitution that one can carry in their vest pocket, than EU Constitution that a child would have difficulty lifting. Americans do not understand Parliments and Europeans don't understand Congress...However, I am willing to bet that citizens both regions are frequently confused by the actions of their respective governments which is probably all for the good.

    To finish this up I would agree with you that guns are not a solution to crime and may be really only a bandage. But until we find a way to manage crime without tyranny why should we throw them from our quiver?

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  72. Katrina Anon here...

    Neil I forgot to answer one of your questions in your previous post: "Would you rather confront a murderer with a gun or one with a cricket bat?"

    PS everyone, I added the question mark. Neil used a period.

    I am sure that if I met the crook and he a cricket bat, I probably would not have to run away and he probably would depart the scene most expeditiously. Further, unless he was a crazed maniac, I would not have to shoot him either.

    On the other hand if a were a meek and mild you woman confronted by some bruiser intent on heaven we know what, why wouldn't I want a pistol in purse? Not only is he going to cause me grievious injury, he will probably kill me too. Even if he were armed too, at least I would have a sporting chance.

    You know Neil, while I was thinking of this, I left out an important event from when I was younger. Three of us left dinner one evening and two motorcyclists miscalculated while speeding down a highway and nearly hit our truck. For the next ten miles these two thugs were trying to drag us out of the truck. I called the state police on my two-way and were vetoring them in to our location (like I said before, When seconds count the police are minutes away,). These two guys refused to back off.

    I handed my buddy the .45 I kept under the seat. He kept the pistol out of sight. One of the two goons saw the .45 and then started getting his buddy to back off. Did not have to fire a shot, did not have to point the weapon at them, did not have to use the truck to knock them off the road, just told the police officer (by radio) what happened and gave them their description (5 minutes after they left).

    I had another buddy that got his face rearrange by a guy with pipe that walked up to his car. Byron did not have a gun, but he did spend a week in the hospital and had a lot of dental work done.

    I had another chum that had a guy approach him with a tire iron while he sat in his car. He pointed his pistol at him and the crook ran. No one got hurt and a crime was averted.

    My friend's aunt had a similar incident when she was in her late 60s or early 70s. Did not have to fire the pistol, but the fact that the perp saw her stainless .38 caused him to leave.

    So Neil if the guy shows up with a gun instead of a cricket bat, someone is probably going to leave with a toe tag...I will make sure it won't be me.

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  73. Anon K. If I lived in a place where handguns were legal, I (and millions of others) would still have no intention of ever owning a gun.

    I would be petrified of all these inexperienced people running around with handguns (whether criminals or not). How would the many millions of people who do not want to own a gun be made more equal by all these extra guns on the street?

    In effect, people like you - who like owning guns, would be trying to force everyone to own a gun, using some mad and false argument that it makes everyone safer - it does not!

    This argument about death rates in the US is pointless, because when you can drive a few miles over the state border to get all the guns you need it obviously totally undermines the states that do have gun controls. Also comparing murder rates in rich rural areas with poor urban areas is not a fair comparison. You have to compare areas that have similar levels of inequality and some sort of border protection against gun running. While there is not a perfect comparison, comparing countries with gun controls to those which don't shows (not surprisingly) lower gun death rates.

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  74. Your link to the GCN site is all very well but simply demonstrates you prefer propaganda to actual facts.

    See for instance


    http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html


    and the references it contains.

    And, of course, when violent crime and homicide rates go UP after a gun ban you're quick to claim that's it the fault of "not enough" banning rather than too much.

    If people having guns is a bad idea why don't you take them away from the Police.

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  75. Johnny: Even the article you cite admits that the US homicide rate is much higher. If you look at your figures you can see that countries with high gun ownership have much higher homicide rates. For example the homicide rate for England and Wales is a quarter of the US's rate per 100,000.

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  76. I know you can't be bothered to actually read the stuff because it doesn't suit your beliefs or political agenda but real people might want to ponder on
    http://dvc.org.uk/dunblane/misled.html
    and also reflect on the supposed fact from the Home Office's own submission to the Cullen Inquiry that Scotland has over twice the homicide rate of England and Wales, 16.3 vs. 6.7 in Table A.2 of Home Office Statistical Service Annex G
    http://dvc.org.uk/dunblane/homemain.html

    The game will soon be up for "gun control" since it's blatantly not working and it's plainly obvious that pretty much everything that comes out of a politician's mouth is lies, or the truth so hopelessly mixed with lies it might as well be all lies.

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  77. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon again...

    Interesting stats. Can you explain why Finland in 2004 had a murder rate of 1.98 and now it has at least doubled?

    Why are you leaving out other countries that have extremely strict private gun laws yet have higher murder rates than the US? For example, Russia had a murder rate 20.54 in 2002, yet the US murder rate is almost half of that. Also do we believe that Russia and many of the other countries are fully reporting their murder rates?

    If my info correct, Hans Toch, an American criminologist that originally endorsed handgun prohibition late last century, later retreated from that view based on new research. He later said (or published I think after 1990), "it is hard to explain that where firearms are most dense, violent crime rates are lowest and where guns are least dense, violent crimes are highest" (Toch & Lizpotte).

    Another interesting statistic was that in America from 1973-1997 the number of guns increased 160% and gun owners by 103% (I was part of that number), yet the murder rate decreased 27.7% (Kates & Polsby). Using your argument, more guns=more death, the dramatic increase in gun ownership should have cause a dramatic increase in murder. Now to be fair there could have been other events that caused the murder rates to drop. For example, an aging criminal population, better medical attention all may have contributed to the drop, but why didn't the dramatic increase in gun ownership not create a similar increase in death and murder?

    You say that the urban environments that ban guns have the gun owning areas to blame for their gun crime. You still haven't explained why the urban areas that have gun ownership have lower murder rates than those that do not. Again using those arguments, more guns=more death, areas allowing armed self defense one would expect that those cities would have exceptionally higher murder rates that those that do not.

    That brings up the second fault in your logic about gun control. One of your comments was that if the law abiding population did not have guns, then the crooks would not need to acquire them. Ok, Washington, DC has high murder rate and probably the most restrictive gun laws in the US. Explain why the crooks are arming themselves? Using your argument crooks would have little need to arm themselves, yet they do. If getting rid of guns is going to equate to a reduction in the need of armed self defense then the government has to show that the means will be effective.

    I am also at a loss to understand how you expect to stop crooks from getting firearms. To the best of knowledge, law enforcement has not been very successful at stopping drugs no matter how large or small the shipment. Is there something magical that will happen that will stop the smuggling of guns into the country? If you are smuggling a ton of coke, a hundred pounds of firearms occupies considerbly less space, is harder to detect, are far more durable than drugs, and could use the same distribution network that drugs do.

    "In effect, people like you - who like owning guns, would be trying to force everyone to own a gun, using some mad and false argument that it makes everyone safer - it does not!" - Neil

    I guess that is a non-gunowner mindset. Silly too for that matter and not well thought out. Let's see if I can help you understand it.

    Why don't police undercover agents just wear their uniforms and badges where they everyone, including the crooks can see them? I think it obvious that would make the undercover cop job much more difficult. The crook would spot him a kilometer off and could steer clear of him if that is what he wanted to do. Least ways, he could act like a little angel when the cop is around and do what he wants when the cop goes away.

    Not knowing who is an undercover cop gives the cop the advantage. The crook has to show caution with whom he does business. The crook tries all kinds of means to identify the cop before he does anything illegal. If he makes a mistake the chances are he is going to jail.

    The same thing applies with guns. If the crook knows that the victim is not armed the advantage is with the crook. The crook is not bound by the law or he wouldn't be a crook. He is going to use something to control you. Even if he wants you dead, he wants you alive until the crook secures what he wants.

    If you live where armed self defense is allowed, the crook is taking a larger risk. If the crook is thinking about breaking into a house, he wants to make darn sure no one is home, especially in rural areas. In states with CCW the crook knows that most people on the street are likely not carrying. However, how are you sure? To be sure, the US Justice Department interviews with convicts shows that crooks are much more wary of confronting people on the street.

    So really Neil, the person who is carrying is helping to protect you whether or not you are carrying. You do not need to carry if you chose not to. Just like having soldiers protecting your nation from enemies without, these citizens are helping to protect you.

    Trying to think like you might, maybe you are afraid that someone who is an otherwise stable person will suddenly go mad and shoot you. Yep, it could happen, but that is very far from commonplace though I am sure Murdoch will have it running wall-to-wall for week having ever crackpot specialist on the air about it. Frankly it rarely happens.

    Still the simple truth is that people are more good than evil. It doesn't take that many good people to have a significant impact on anything. An armed good populus trumps an armed criminal one. Further if the criminal populus is going to be armed, the good populus should be or the criminal one can run rampant.

    Just so you know I am a rather below average gun owner. I rarely travel with guns in my car. The times I use them the most is when why wife and I participate in Cowboy Action Shooting. We shoot at steel silhouettes and skeet in a frontier town about 30 kilometers away.

    I am going to step back a bit and bring up a point you did earlier:

    "This argument about death rates in the US is pointless, because when you can drive a few miles over the state border to get all the guns you need it obviously totally undermines the states that do have gun controls. - Neil"

    First of all, this statement shows ignorance of US gun laws. There are restrictions on how many guns you can buy and the types that you can buy. For example, you can only buy handguns within your home state. The anti-gun crowd like to trumpet you can buy guns over the internet, which is on minimally true because the gun cannot bw transferred to the new owner until the owner has a face-to-face meeting complete with background check by a dealer possesing a FFL (Federal Firearms License). Therefore, if anyone tells you that you can buy a gun over the Internet, etc. they are flat lying.

    Second foolish point, crooks don't like to buy guns legally. Lots of reasons for that, but crooks don't want a weapon to be traced back to them. Another reason is that most crooks have felony arrests and cannot buy a firearm anyway.

    Since crooks have the means of getting their guns any manner of ways, even a complete abolition of all firearms in the US would have little effect on crooks possessing firearms. Further it might increase crooks getting firearms since a firearm would guarentee them superiority in any confrontation with an unarmed victim.

    You might say take a look at GBR. You could do the same as we. Sorry to tell you this, but GBR is a mighty small place about the size of some US states. GBR has huge moat around it. The US has porus borders, north and south, and seacoasts are pretty much the same shape too. The US Coast Guard, DEA, US Navy, Customs, Immigration have had very limited success at managing our borders. I don't see how they will keep guns out of the hands of criminals. However they will be very effective in keeping them out of the hands of the law abiding.

    People should also be aware just how fast protection can disappear in a crisis. In case anyone has not figured out why I am Katrina Anon, I lived through Hurricane Katrina. There were hardly any police available after Katrina and I lived 45 miles NW of New Orleans. People like Neil figure without firearms I would have been safer. Boy, ain't that silly? For a few weeks around the region it was scarey.

    Where we were, about 45 miles northwest of New Orleans, it was considerably safer. Unlike England we had guns and most of the people our subdivision did. The early thieving started after the winds died down in the northshor area stopped shortly after the crooks in the area found out this wasn't New Orleans...

    Now my colleague from work lived only 15 miles upriver from New Orleans. That place was a lot scarier. After Katrina he openly carried his firearm while he worked on getting his house back to order. Houses down the road from him were getting burglarized every night for a few days. His house was not burglarized, protected by .357.

    The company I worked for needed us back to work. We were under a Presidental order to get our complex back online. Communications were out. 31 of the 33 core communication switches had been destroyed so only intraplant and satellite communications sort of worked.

    I know in some areas communications were by yellow legal pad. That is a first person report (me). The Mississippi State Police would stop by one police station and pick up notes on the yellow pad to be relayed back to state police command. That was 4 weeks after Katrina.

    The company held a meeting with about a third of the complex's staff. They couldn't find everyone else because the logging system could not retrieve the location of workers reporting in. Most of the people who physically reported in were refusing to work until they saw police patrolling their neighborhoods. They were not willing to leave their families due to the lack of protection. They knew they could protect their own because they had their own firearms to do it.

    When there are bands of thugs roaming, an unarmed person or a group of unarmed people are at a tremendous disadvantage. If all you have is a cricket bat to protect yourself, the average band of crooks could care less, because they were well armed.

    This has proven true time and time again. After the Rodney King verdict years ago, thugs were going to burn down one family's house until they met up with the armed owners. No shots were fired, the owners sat on the porch and watch the crowd burn other houses of people who were not armed.

    I met two talented liberals I know from Missouri last year. Neither one of those two women thought they would ever own a firearm (one doesn't like Bush, the other hates Bush). After they saw what happened during Katrina, they realized the government could not protect them during civil unrest. They both secured their own CCW license.

    I am going to have to go as I have people cekebrating Easter.

    But to cut this short, the Neils of this world have never explained to any one satisfaction the following:

    1. How they will prevent crooks for getting firearms?
    2. How they will protect citizens from violent crooks that will overpower weaker citizens?
    3. Will governments be held both civilally and criminally liable when they fail to protect citizens?
    4. By what means may a citizens protect themselves and their loved ones?
    5. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves?
    6. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves from the government?
    7. I have another one here, but I forgot what it was. When I remember (something about the Neils) I will post it later.

    The good news in America and for Americans is that the Supreme Court appears to view our 2nd Amendment to be an individual right as well as a collective one. The beauty of that is even if we are afflicted with a Democrat for the next President, that right cannot be given away to the world court or the UN.

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  78. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon again -

    Ooops - The site Neil uses to show the rate of deaths vs gun ownership has a problem. One of their leaders gun control in Canada, Wendy Cukier, said this: "One only needs to look to the US to see the devastating effects of easy access to guns. We do not have time to review the copious literature refuting claims made today by Professors Lott and Mauser and others.* But we do not need a battle of the academics to resolve this debate. It comes down to common sense. If arming for self-protection worked, the US would be the safest country in the world - and I can assure you that it is not. And one of the reasons the American gun lobby is taking so much interest in Canada is that we might just export a dangerous and perhaps contagious notion: that gun control saves lives."

    That is verbatim from the Canadian Gun Control web site. I took the whole quote they published. I would at least be very suspicious of data coming from that site since they do not want the facts to get in their way.

    BTW, some Canadian papers has discovered annoying facts about guns in 2005. First off of Canada's two million licensed gun owners, 111, or 0.00555%, used their firearm to commit murder. 64% of accused murderers have prior criminal records, with 6% for homicide.

    Then there is this other annoying fact: most criminals don't register their guns.

    So with organizations like Coalition for Gun Control and a college professor like Wendy Cukier who does not want to copious literature that says she's wrong may be we should all be concerned about putting our faith in their observations.

    BTW, Neil I was advocate many years ago for bicycling. I know how some of these organizations work and how fast they can get traction behind dumb ideas. I not saying those Canadian organizations are doing that, but when their own sites are saying it, I would be careful using their data.

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  79. I have no interest whatsoever in "gun fun". I don't currently own a gun, as I am not legally permitted to do so.

    When that changes, I will buy a gun. Why? The answer is quite simple. I will buy a gun to kill people.

    Now, I hope that I never have to do that - I hope that I never need to fire a gun outside a shooting range, but in the unlikely event that someone tries to break in to my house in the middle of the night, he will meet 150 or so grains of lead going the other way.

    Now, I could dress this up in platitudes about self-defense and shooting to stop, and I wouldn't be lying. At the bottom, though, is the fact that a gun is a lethal weapon. If you pick it up, you had better be prepared to kill someone with it. Forget all that movie nonsense about shooting people in the hand, shooting to wound and so on - the only sensible use of a gun in self-defense is to fire into the centre of mass of the attacker until he goes down and stays down. This will likely result in his death.

    I'm far more interested in minimizing crimes and criminals (and particularly crimes committed against me and my family) than in minimizing the entirely specious category of "gun deaths".

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  80. I was with you until 150 grains. That should be 230.

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  81. Johnny, this is Katrina Anon...

    Its 230 grains in .45 ACP. My wife shoots 125s out of her pair of 38s.

    There is nothing wrong with a fun gun as long as it is safe gun fun. If you do not know how to safely handle a gun you shouldn't buy one.

    I have firearms that are strictly defense firearms. Any of the guns that I have could be pressed into that service, but the one reserved for defensive use is optimized for that operation.

    I agree with the other poster that in a defensive situation you take your best shot. However, how many people know that civil and possibly criminal law prevents prevents shooting to wound?

    In CCW classes you are instructed that the only legal shot is to shoot to kill. The act of shooting to wound, in the eyes of the court, means you were not in danger for your life. The same law generally (not absolutely) applies to the police too.

    The other thing not commonly understood by the non-shooting public is that by presenting the firearm against the crook frequently stops the crime. That fact was left out of earlier studies about self-defense by firearm.

    I think originally the gun abolitionists did not leave the stat out on purpose. Government authorities needed some kind of metric for their stats. That means they needed a body, police or hospital report, etc. to satisfy that need.

    When later gun crime studies attempted to measure the ancedotal evidence impact on crime, that started the controversy that remains to this day. Mostly I think the debate is over whether presenting a firearm against a criminal deters crime...obviously it does. The remain question is how much does it reduce crime.

    Certainly it is logical to assume that the presence of a firearm wielded by a potential victim deters the criminal (unless he is insane or extremely desparate). It is also logical to assume that potential victims present their firearms more often than they fire them. It is also reasonably likely that the potential victim will not always report to law enforcement agencies such altercations for a variety or reasons (fear of retribution, potential prosecution or litigation, filling out police reports).

    I know that one study called into question an armed self-defense advocacy group claim that guns prevented 2 million crimes annually without being fired. The authors of that study at first thought that number was way too high. Later they decided it was probably still high but not and "off the wall" figure and might even be close to true. Their problem was that it was so difficult to accurately measure these types of incidents.

    I am sure such information were among the ones that Wendy Cukier called, "the copious literature" she did not have time to review.

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  82. Katrina anon: I wasn't disagreeing with anything except the indication that it looked like you were using a nine rather than a forty-five.

    As for shooting to kill I wouldn't say so - I would say you shoot to totally incapacitate your opponent. It is highly likely that will lead to death but that's not actually your purpose. Your purpose is to terminate the immediate threat. Of course, you are not entitled to shoot someone unless you are in a situation where it is appropriate that the person, or persons, may die because you are in a situation where the reasonably perceived threat is of mortal danger to yourself or bystanders.

    The actions of the British police on several ocassions have far exceeded these parameters however, so it would appear to me the British courts have been taking a rather more relaxed view of the use of lethal force than I am comfortable with... of course only where agents of the State are involved. For the rest of us peons...

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  83. Hi Johnny, this is Katrina Anon...

    You bring up a very important concept in your last post, "The actions of the British police on several ocassions have far exceeded these parameters however, so it would appear to me the British courts have been taking a rather more relaxed view of the use of lethal force than I am comfortable with... of course only where agents of the State are involved. For the rest of us peons..."

    It is your observation that the US Founder Fathers envisioned in our Constitution's Second Admendment. The meaning has been hotly debated for over a century, but you have to look at it from the times in which it was written.

    In the late 1700s when the Constitution was drafted, America was a wild place. Once you were beyond the confines of a significant settlement you were pretty much on your own. Add to that there were conflicts with other nations (GBR, Mexico, Spain, France, Native America Nations) having a armed populus was absolutely neccessary.

    Many settlements and states had requirements that the population have and maintain arms. Miltias were a part of US society.

    However, America has always been wary of the tyranny of the masses/government. To this very day, in every election cycle, we make decisions about how strong or weak we want our central government to be. Strong governments tend to want to consolidate power frequently at the expense of the governed.

    That is why in the 2nd Admendment, "A well regulated miltia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. (Before anyone jumps ans says people in capitalized, the bill as passed by the House and Senate have the small "p" and both versions appear in various government documents) The important point is to make sure that the people are still able to keep the government in line. The government has to show restraint in what it does because the people have the power to make the government's life miserable.

    No democratic government I am aware of has been able to stay virtuous to its people, even in modern times. I know America has had it problems, but so has England. The state's fairness in ensured by its armed populus. One angry citizen is just a nut, but a government that upsets the peace of thousands of its citizens needs to sit down and reconsider its actions.

    I won't say it works everywhere, and America is rather unique, but it works for us.

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  84. Katrina anon: I'll have to see what DC vs Heller brings forth from SCOTUS before I can comment properly on that.

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  85. Anon: Telling me how much you want to 'shoot to kill' is not persuading me legal guns make life safer.

    I know personally of a number of occasions in my youth where friends involved in fights could have turned to friends involved in murder if guns had been legally available. None of them were lunatics, just ordinary people.

    We all go out and get drunk and do stupid things, we nearly all have relationship problems, heated arguments that turn to fights and neighbourhood disputes that turn nasty, we all get angry, especially when younger, imagine if we all owned guns - it does not take a brain surgeon to work out what is going to happen.

    Guns are a cowardly way to kill. I doubt many people could, on an impulse, maintain the emotional and physical demands needed to easily kill with a knife or baseball bat or fists. With a gun however, pulling a trigger is child's play (perhaps literally), it only needs a second of madness. Look at your own stats. They clearly show that more guns means more homicides (there are of course, other factors involved as well, like levels of inequality and the type of guns available). But even reports by your gun lobby funded friends still have to admit a link. The best they can do is call the link 'weak'. At the end of the day, more guns equals more deaths. If you want to argue these deaths are worth it - so you guys can own guns, then fine, but don't try and say it is to make everyone safer, because that is rubbish (and I am sure you know that deep down).

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  86. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article567959.ece
    `Scotland tops world league for violent crime' (according to the UN).

    As for "At the end of the day, more guns equals more deaths." It seems the facts don't matter any more and, like authoritarian socialists before you, the old, "A lie, repeated often enough, will end up as truth" is the tactic to go for... it's been working for NuLabour pretty well so far I guess.

    "No inquiry until all British troops are out of Iraq." The majesty of democracy in action.

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  87. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    First off, lets get something straight. A lobby is a lobby whether it is pro or con on any issue. Lobbies operate by putting their issue in the most positive light and the opposition in the most negative ones.

    Lobbies are like clubs of sort. They allow the individual to become a group, focus their ambitions and ideals, and direct the actions of individuals in a collective actions. These are pretty universal.

    I do not see the ambitions of the gun lobby as evil, nor do I subscribe to all their tenets. In past decades I refused to be associated with them because of some of the elements that were involved with them.

    Likewise, I fail to understand what gun abolitionists desire. Certainly it is not the reduction of violent crime because by their own statistics (Brady Campaign, US Justice Dept) violent crime is higher in states (countries if you like) with stricter gun control than those without stricter controls. Likewise, Johnny has pointed out that in UK Scotland has a very high violent crime rate and much stricter controls on firearms than America.

    "Guns are a cowardly way to kill. I doubt many people could, on an impulse, maintain the emotional and physical demands needed to easily kill with a knife or baseball bat or fists. With a gun however, pulling a trigger is child's play (perhaps literally), it only needs a second of madness. Look at your own stats. They clearly show that more guns means more homicides (there are of course, other factors involved as well, like levels of inequality and the type of guns available). But even reports by your gun lobby funded friends still have to admit a link. The best they can do is call the link 'weak'. At the end of the day, more guns equals more deaths. If you want to argue these deaths are worth it - so you guys can own guns, then fine, but don't try and say it is to make everyone safer, because that is rubbish (and I am sure you know that deep down)."

    What floors me Neil is that you assume the mere presence of a firearm turns an otherwise peaceful person into a homicidial maniac. I do not personally know anyone who is like that, has escalated an altercation to one where a firearm was presented, despite most of my friends have firearms and a few many firearms.

    I get the chance on occassion to read the police reports that the abolitionists never bother to reveal to the masses. Typically, the people who use firearms to resolve their disputes:

    1. Have a history violence and usually criminal violence.
    2. Have an illegal weapon (the ones the abolitionists believe they can control).

    Most of these have to do with fights among rival gangs. The perpetrator and the victim are almost always involve with gangs. A prosecutor I use to know said the biggest problem with solving these crimes were keeping the individuals from killing each other before coming to trial.

    Are such deaths worthless? It regretable to me. A society that focuses on the means of violence/murder instead of working on the underlying problems of violence/murder.

    If the abolitionists focused on these problems instead of firearms they might actually reduce this violence and murder. Personally, I don't think they ever will.

    The reason I believe that, is that at one time people had more firearms than they do now (England too) and the crime rate was far lower (in England too).

    I would still like to see the abolitionists answer my questions:

    1. How they will prevent crooks for getting firearms?
    2. How they will protect citizens from violent crooks that will overpower weaker citizens?
    3. Will governments be held both civilally and criminally liable when they fail to protect citizens?
    4. By what means may a citizens protect themselves and their loved ones?
    5. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves?
    6. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves from the government?

    I still do not understand why abolitionists want to condemn citizens to death at the hands of criminals while try what is likely to be futile experiment by removing legal access to firearms. That is what the abolitionists will be doing. The evidence is in, Wendy Cukier does not want to look at it. The weak will pay the price of this failed experiment too.

    I just have no plans to participate in it.

    I hope Johnny doesn't either.

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  88. Katrina Anon: perhaps it's not clear but in fact I'm a big fan of guns in the hands of the people... though when the time comes I reckon piano wire and the nearest lamppost will do fine for the likes of Neil Harding.

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  89. Hi Johnny, this is Katrina Anon...
    I think that is what is planned for us.

    No I've avoided that with the Neils. Facts kills (as opposed to murder) them in their private moments. They are doing the things that lobbyist groups do and act like they are on the side of the angels.

    I know we, proponents of armed self-defense, are making sense when the abolitionists start talking about the evil gun lobby. That's akin to sticking your fingers in your ears closing your eyes and singing "Cumbya."

    The abolitionists have some kind notioned that is never explained that by getting rid of legal guns, illegal guns will follow. With all the other things that are outlawed I do not see how someone could honestly believe it would be effective.

    Besides that, if you are a pacifist, why would you want to put person unable to otherwise protect themselves with effective means of protection? A 50 kilo woman with a 1 kilo pistol will have no problem fending off 100 kilo guy. What gives the abolitionist the right (because they do not assume the responsibility) to condemn her to an assault, if not death?

    I don't like some of the people in the gun lobby either, but I like them better than the abolitionists. The abolitionists want gun owners to responsible for their firearms, shouldn't the abolitionists step up and take responsibility too? Some of their leaders have personal armed bodyguards...why aren't they campaigning for the same for the rest of us?

    I will leave it hear for now. What I do enjoy at the blog is there is enough information hear for those really wishing to learn more to find that research. You can learn a lot about the abolitionists and even see that the armed self-defense camp are not a bunch blood fanged, hairy knuckle dragging trolls. Sad part is some of us are Americans...can't help that.

    PS No offense meant to any trolls out there.

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  90. Katrina Anon: the problem with the likes of Neil (apart, obviously, from stupidity) is that instead of realizing that people are people with all their faults and foibles he thinks they're machines that can be perfected by perfected laws.

    Instead of trying to make a better world they're trying to make a perfect world... and like all the those before them, they are blind to the fact all such efforts have, inevitably, been a road to hell paved with the corpses of millions.

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  91. Anon, Johnny: From your own link - "In 1993 a Swiss professor, Martin Killias, published a study of 18 countries concerning gun ownership, homicide and suicide. He in part concluded there was a weak correlation between total homicide and gun ownership".

    And this from a pro-gun lobby site. It is clearly you who are ignoring the evidence.

    Anon:

    1. Making guns legal will boost the number of illegal guns available.

    2. Having a gun will not protect people from violent crooks. It will make it more likely crooks will carry guns and crooks will ALWAYS have the advantage of surprise. As I have already stated, legal gun owners will not have time to get to their weapons (responsibly locked away) or their children or others will get to their weapons first if the leave them lying around. FACT- owning a weapon increases your chance of being shot dead ("people who keep guns at home have a 72 per cent greater chance of being killed by firearms compared with those who do not, and are 3.44 times as likely to commit suicide" (Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol 41, p 771).

    3. See above. Legalising guns makes people less safe.

    4. Less criminals will carry guns if they are illegal. Constantly carrying a gun and sleeping with one under your pillow is not a very attractive way to live your life especially in a futile effort to counter a risk that is very small anyway.

    5. You don't need a gun to protect yourself - see above. Avoidance of danger is the safest option - not some macho illusion of safety by running around toting a gun.

    6. By civil disobedience, voting, campaigning for change, engaging in political activity. In the end the ballot is usually more poweful than the bullet.

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  92. Using homicide and suicide data from a larger sample of countries than Killias, 35, (International Journal of Epidemiology 1998:27:216), Kleck found "no significant (at the 5% level) association between gun ownership levels and the total homicide rate in the largest sample of nations available to study this topic. (Associations with the total suicide rate were even weaker.)" (Targeting Guns, p 254.)

    "When presented with an econometric model, consumers should insist on evidence that it can predict trends in data other than the data used to create it. Models that fail this test are junk science, no matter how complex the analysis."
    - Myths of Murder and Multiple Regression
    By Ted Goertzel Rutgers University, Camden NJ 08102, Published in The Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 26, No 1, January/February 2002, pp. 19-23.

    All you've got for anyone is political snake oil.

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  93. Johnny - the best you can do is find the odd survey that shows there is not a 'significant' link. Pathetic! Even your own evidence shows there is a link between guns and homicides, whether you want to call it 'not significant' or 'weak' is irrelevant. Show me a survey that shows gun ownership REDUCES homicides - because that is what you and anon are trying to argue - with no evidence whatsoever to back up your claims. Take your head out of the sand.

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  94. 1. How they will prevent crooks for getting firearms?
    Making guns legal will boost the number of illegal guns available.

    Good concise answer. However it clearly shows how little the government will do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. CLEARLY THE GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED AT KEEPING DRUGS OUT OF SOCIETY--DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THEY WILL BE ANY MORE EFFECTIVE AGAINST FIREARMS???

    2. How they will protect citizens from violent crooks that will overpower weaker citizens?
    Having a gun will not protect people from violent crooks. It will make it more likely crooks will carry guns and crooks will ALWAYS have the advantage of surprise. As I have already stated, legal gun owners will not have time to get to their weapons (responsibly locked away) or their children or others will get to their weapons first if the leave them lying around. FACT- owning a weapon increases your chance of being shot dead ("people who keep guns at home have a 72 per cent greater chance of being killed by firearms compared with those who do not, and are 3.44 times as likely to commit suicide" (Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol 41, p 771).

    Very poor answer. This answer only addresses one facit and that is gun violence. There is no mention of how the government will address the problem of violence against its citizens. The only answer seems to be to disarm the law abiding and hope that makes the criminal less violent and less violent to the point where the level of violence and murder of the law abiding is acceptable to government (which means that they continue to get re-elected).

    I did a little research on the New Scientist article. That was written by skill science writer looking for facts to support an article on building safer guns. After reading the article I found it a little weak on the problems of the technology she felt needed to be expanded as well as complete lack of any knowledge of gun safety.

    I am not surprised by the fact you located. However, when later studies were conducted that analyze the statistical data you would find that many of these deaths and injuries had happened to criminal-on-criminal actions, drug households, and generally illegal firearms. To spell it out these happened in homes that were already part criminal enterprises of one sort or another.

    I think Anil's facts are misleading, however, she is hardly alone. For example, misleading gun reduction studies are among the reasons Coalition for Gun Control (in Canada) wants to ignore the newer studies that suggest those studies are in error.

    You also show some ignorance over how criminals use guns. Its not just Neil's mistake, it one that is often articulated by other learned people. Somehow they have the concept that a armed confrontation is like two cowboys squaring off for a duel with one of the cowboys (the one with the black hat) having his pistol drawn and ready. Let's clear that up for those that might have arrived at the same conclusions as you.

    The criminal does not fire first. The only real exceptions to this are mentally impaired or when the sole reason is to murder the person (ie contract murder or gang banging).

    It is easy for most people to see the logic in this. What does a gun do? !!!BBAANNGG!!! It makes one heck of a noise and alerts everyone in the area that someone has possibly fired a gun. That means phone calls to the police, curious on lookers, etc.

    Second, if the criminal was stupid enough to fire first, then he would be forced to search your corpse or dying or wounded body for whatever booty you might have. That takes time, all the while the police may be closing in. If rape was on the criminal's mind then he would of course not have fired his weapon.

    If you have ever watched surveillance tapes from stores, it is rare that the crook shoots first. He must first get the clerk to open the register or anything else where loot might be stored. After the crook gets what he wants THEN he is ready to murder.

    But this is where the abolitionists miss another important points about armed self defense. That is, crooks are frequently bad shots (why they have to be so close to the victim) and that once they encounter an armed victim his accuracy is again reduced by the fear of being shot by the victim. Fact of life.

    I think one of Neil's arguments does hold a lot of water and that has to do with poverty. Proverty fuels a lot of violence in any society. You can also add diversity since cultural differences generate conflicts that can become violent.

    GBR is fortunate that it has been able to manage in migration problems, the US has not.

    3. Will governments be held both civilally and criminally liable when they fail to protect citizens?
    See above. Legalising guns makes people less safe.
    So if I read you right you do not want the government to hold up its end by keeping us safe from violent criminals? Are you sure that is what you mean?

    Let's review the example that set precedent in the US where the government was allowed not to offer protection.

    In Washington, DC (I forget when, but before 911 was established I believe) a number of women we raped in their house. The rapists were not aware of the women who were hiding upstairs. The women upstairs called the police who drove right past the house not stopping. They called them again and tried to get them back. The police quit answer the calls from that house. During this the rapists became aware of the women hiding upstairs and brutally raped and beat the women over the course of 14 hours.

    To my thinking, if the government is going to take away a means (it will likely be right in the US shortly) to effectively protect yourself, then there should be an obligation for the government to fill that role. That means accountability. We hold the government accountable for other things, why not this?

    4. By what means may a citizens protect themselves and their loved ones?
    Less criminals will carry guns if they are illegal. Constantly carrying a gun and sleeping with one under your pillow is not a very attractive way to live your life especially in a futile effort to counter a risk that is very small anyway.

    Again a poor answer. How are citizens allowed to protect themselves? Or Are citizens allowed to protect themselves?

    I don't need a gun under my pillow nor would I want on there. A lock box works just fine. The friends I have aren't changed into homicidal maniacs by owning a gun.

    It also isn't futile where I live. The one emergency we had (turned out to be exploding eggs on the stove by my live-in mother-in-law) took over 10 minutes for the police to arrive. Crooks are also getting smart enough to cut phone lines now (see the YouTube video from Dallas, TX), and you cannot use cell phones in our neighborhood.

    The fact that most criminals know the houses are armed in our neighborhood tells them they would be better off going after the police than us (cops have rules of engagement...citizens don't).

    5. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves?
    You don't need a gun to protect yourself - see above. Avoidance of danger is the safest option - not some macho illusion of safety by running around toting a gun.
    So, pray tell, if you are trapped or impaired how do you avoid? Do you think its like Monty Pyhton's How to conceal oneself skit? If the person has grabbed you and you fail to breakaway thats it?

    One thing I do agree with you on. Even if you are toting a gun avoid areas where you will need them. Maybe the areas you live in are so urbane or gated that you will never be where you can become a target of opportunity.

    I travel on one of the super highways at all hours. Traveling at 3 AM can be a scarey time to have a breakdown. There have been other places where you turn into the wrong neighborhood and you suddenly realize, "hey I not welcome here."

    All I want to do is leave in those situations. But if someone is going to drag me out of my car with the intention of causing me hard, I want a sporting chance.

    I will also tell you that my parents would agree with you on guns. They are very liberal and are strongly anti-gun. Still my mother knowing the requirements of my job and hours I have to travel there told me to carry my pistol. She knows she has nothing to fear from me with a gun but knows I can protect myself from any crook if need be.

    6. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves from the government?
    By civil disobedience, voting, campaigning for change, engaging in political activity. In the end the ballot is usually more poweful than the bullet.

    On the surface I agree with you. The ballot is far better. However, once you have people in office you have to be careful they do not grab more power than you have agreed to. If the lords had been unarmed at Magna Carta do you think they would have prevailed? Sure as shootin', there wouldn't have been an America.

    I abhor violence. It causes many more problems that it solves. It is a measure of failure not success.

    The government should have reason to be fearful of the people. If they do not fear them they will not respect them. Government steals your rights not all at once but a little at a time. In such situations once they know you will not do much they can take away any right they want.

    By civilians remaining armed, they protect democracy. Without armed civilians the demo is dropped and auto is in...

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  95. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    Show me a survey that shows gun ownership REDUCES homicides - because that is what you and anon are trying to argue - with no evidence whatsoever to back up your claims. Take your head out of the sand.

    Neil, isn't your chart from a abolitionist's website whose president once said, "We do not have time to review the copious literature refuting claims made today by Professors Lott and Mauser and others."

    Isn't that akin to "don't bother me with the facts"?

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  96. Hi Anon, there is a lot of stuff to read from both you and Johnny. Will get back to you soon with some detailed replies, but for now just to reply to your last comment.

    No, it is not unreasonable for a professor to say he hasn't the time to go through every document produced by the gun lobby, especially when so many gun lobby documents they have examined have proved to be false, misleading and a waste of time.

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  97. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    I look forward to your next reply. I just find it very interesting that a professor is not interested in reading research about a subject of an organization she is president of...But then she is an IT prof...

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  98. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    While we are waiting for Neil to get back, I found an interesting comment he posted in this blog:

    "I would be petrified of all these inexperienced people running around with handguns (whether criminals or not). How would the many millions of people who do not want to own a gun be made more equal by all these extra guns on the street?"

    I am always amused by comments such as this. It shows a real ignorance at the variables in the professional performance of state security services.

    For example, I am sure even in GBR the video of the two armor clad bank robbers fending off a couple of dozen cops with their machine guns has been viewed many times. It demonstrated that the police were not spending much time at the firing range or the proper tactics of engaging criminals with body armor. The cops did not need heavier firepower they needed to be trained in how to use what they have.

    In citizen CCW classes there has always been questions about whether they are getting adequate marksmanship training. When you have cops shooting that poorly what is the big deal?

    Additionally, such an attitude overlooks the nature of crime. So when Neil is afraid of what an armed Joe or Jane Citizen would do, his fear is misplaced.

    Joe & Jane are part of the 90% of society that obeys the law. They are not encountering Johnny Crook everyday. Almost all of those stray shots Neil and the rest of us are worried about come from Jeffry Felon having a turf fight with Johnny Crook.

    When Neil points out that maybe he is trying to Aunt May from getting her head blown off by Jane Citizen when Auntie taps on the window on night (since she locked herself out of the apartment) that is a valid argument. However, that is the difference between no training and basic firearm safe handling training. The first thing you learn before you even pull the trigger is to be sure of the target.

    Again that begs the question of the gun abolitionists:

    You may favor condoms for kids to protect them from AIDS and pregnancy, but why won't you teach the gun safety (NRA's Eddie Eagle Program) that may save their life?

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  99. Gun crime triples in England 2002

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/02/24/nguns24.xml

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  100. Guns are a cowardly way to kill. I doubt many people could, on an impulse, maintain the emotional and physical demands needed to easily kill with a knife or baseball bat or fists. With a gun however, pulling a trigger is child's play (perhaps literally), it only needs a second of madness.


    If some criminal scumbag is breaking in to my house at night, I have no interest whatsoever in challenging him to a fair fight. He is likely to be bigger and stronger than me - why on earth should I go mano a mano with a knife or baseball bat?

    I suppose that your answer would be that I should just sit tight, do exactly what he says, and hope that I don't get beaten too badly, and that he doesn't decide to rape my wife or daughter as a little bonus. After all, stuff can be replaced, and hey - I've got insurance, so it's not like anyone really loses anything, right? Bruises fade after a while, and false teeth look pretty much like the real thing.

    Sorry, no. Break into my house while my family and I are in it, and I'll be assuming that we are at risk of serious violence or death. That justifies my use of deadly force to defend my family. I don't care if the criminal "just" has a knife, or a crowbar, or his fists.

    How is "avoiding danger" going to work here, Neil? When I hear someone breaking in, am I supposed to gather up my family, leap out of a bedroom window, hope we don't break a leg in the fall, and run off down the street? If someone breaks in to my house, the best way I have of avoiding danger is to kill him.

    You seem to be somewhat obsessed with manliness, Neil. You keep going on about guns being "macho", and about "macho posturing", yet claim that guns are "cowardly" and that a real man would get up close and personal with a knife or something. I'm not entirely sure that that's consistent, but I'm certain that I don't understand what being manly has to do with anything.

    Are women not entitled to self-defence in your world, Neil. Because a woman is likely to be smaller and weaker than her assailant, must she just accept whatever fate her attacker decrees for her?

    God made men, but Sam Colt made them equal.

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  101. The friends I have aren't changed into homicidal maniacs by owning a gun

    I am in the UK and I have owned firearms for years but I haven't turned into a maniac yet, but I am sure that Neil the amateur psychiatrist will tell us that I might 'flip' into mass murderer mode any moment now. He'd better hope that I am not at the wheel of my car if I 'flip' for I could decide to drive it into a queue of people waiting for a bus. Clearly cars are too dangerous for modern society as drivers could just flip into homocidal maniacs at any moment.

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  102. God made men, but Sam Colt made them equal

    Not if one of them had a Scofield Smith & Wesson and the other a 31 calibre Paterson Colt ;-)

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  103. Hi Neil this is Katrina Anon...

    While you are collecting your facts, here are some more for you to read or review. A little less than half are UK sources.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,18950031-7583,00.html
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2409817.ece
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2328368.ece
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1343484.ece
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gun-uk-754821.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/gun-uk-665501.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gun-scourge-on-our-streets-nearly-1000-shot-this-year-765584.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/cracking-down-on-the-current-wave-of-gun-deaths-438141.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/23/nshot323.xml
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/23/nshot223.xml
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/23/nshot423.xml
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=504499&in_page_id=1770
    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/generalnews/display.var.2166707.0.man_stabbed_to_death_in_front_of_family.php
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/3009769.stm
    http://www.samesame.com.au/features/2204/Packing-Heat-Pick-On-Someone-Your-Own-Calibre.htm
    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=paFiguresThurs18Crimefiguresud2Substitute&show_article=1
    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200101%5CFor20010111e.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvV3gr_vinE
    http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/national/2008/03/06/a-key-case-on-gun-control.html
    http://www.wbir.com/printfullstory.aspx?storyid=43109
    http://www.kare11.com/video/player.aspx?aid=45580&bw=
    http://www.caller.com/ccct/local_news/article/0,1641,CCCT_811_5055706,00.html
    http://wjz.com/seenon/tom.walker.burglary.2.689796.html
    http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-032008-ah-homeownershoots.ac213e2.html
    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080227/NEWS/802270335
    http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=110152
    http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b32cc4304cb.htm
    http://www.newsmax.com/inside_cover/guns_england/2007/08/26/27556.html?s=al&promo_code=38F3-1

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  104. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    As I promised here is that link from CBS. They did a pretty good story on Cowboy Action Shooting[tm]. Despite calling it "Cowboys & Indians" I have never seen an Indian target or Indian bad guy on any range...Lots of bad guy cowboys though...

    http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=4068467n

    They did not have any major misses in the story. One other miss in the story is that CBS implies that participants are mimicing cowboys. While that is certainly true, there is also another popular category called "B Western." Participants in this category don costumes like those worn by actors and actresses from the old B Western days.

    I would say that they did not get into the safety issues of the sport either. SASS is extremely strict where safety is concerned. Diamond Lil match DQ'd her husband, Leatherneck, at the last shoot. It was a little icy between them the rest of the day. Top competitors those two.

    Later,
    Alias Foard County News (Katrina Anon) & Sassy Schoolmarm

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  105. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    I watched an interesting movie from the 50s or 60s. In Murder Most Foul, Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherfort) secured bullets for a stage pistol to protect herself from the knife wielding murderer. She did not wait for the good inspector, present in the building, to come to her aid. Instead she fired 2 shots, one at a knife and another at a prop that struck the assailant and the inspector in the head. I guess in the present day, this fictional character would likely have met her end in that episode.

    As an FYI, if she had a concealed carry permit in the USA, she probably could have been brought up on charges for not shooting to kill. The legal theory is that if you do not shoot to kill, you had no reason to fire the weapon since you did not fear for your life.

    It was a great shot even for an alleged crack shot like Miss Marple. But then she was pretty good with a sword too (Murder Ahoy, mine and the wife's personal favorite).

    Later,
    Katrina Anon

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  106. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    Sorry this is twice in one day but I wanted to post a link about what happened to our guns during Katrina. I know it is by the NRA-ILA, but it is accurate and happened throughout the region

    http://www.nraila.org/Multimedia/MMPlayer_Set.aspx?ID=105

    It does bring back sore memories of Katrina for me. I lived outside of the worst of it, but it was still a very scarey time. Only people who have lived through wars have experienced such things, though my experiences pale in comparision to those who have faced massive bombings.

    Still can you imagine what it is like not to have any police protection? Would you like to have the weapon to call to your defense to be your two fists? How would you like to have your two fists as your only defense against some crook that looks like a line backer?

    I am not sorry to be so sullen here. Its just that memories of those weeks after Katrina are still raw at times. It is easy to forget how careful we had to be and how dangerous things things were even months later.

    I don't know if I am repeating myself here in this thread, but I think my wife said it best. Sue teaches 6,7, and 8th grade literature. One of the books she teaches is H.G. Wells War of the Worlds.

    She said the kids rarely get the picture of what Wells was describing in his novel. However, after Katrina, all her students did. They would describe in detail about eating MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), sleeping on tables, standing in lines for water, and the almost complete lack of utilities. They understood why you travled or stayed in large groups because you were not safe to be alone, since thugs roamed the region.

    Its true that guns do not stop all criminals, but it does make things even.

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  107. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    Just picking up more stuff for you to evaluate. Here are some links to news stories where the citizens successfully defend themselves from criminals. The police did not arrive until after the threats were dealt with.

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080227/NEWS/802270335
    http://www.topix.com/city/fort-worth-tx/2008/03/north-richland-hills-man-shoots-intruder-in-back-yard
    http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=397d635d-0434-428e-8a5c-b885ae31bce0
    http://www.newschannel5.tv/2008/3/12/988076/Victim-s-Wife-Shoots-at-Home-Invaders
    http://www.nbcactionnews.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=a410d397-ed2d-40b1-8c94-f4b8f241df57

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  108. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    I found this link on a story run by ABC (undoubtly a liberal outlet). The story is called "John Stossel Links Gun Control to Higher Crime Rates"

    The link on YouTube is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyoLuTjguJA

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  109. Hi Neil, this is Katrina Anon...

    Just wanted to say I am alright and in good health after being at the shootout at "End of Trail" in New Mexico last week.

    I was there with over 600 other armed cowboys from all over the world (personally talked to Australians, New Zealanders, a few Irish) and everyone had at least 4 guns each.

    With all those guns, how many people were shot?

    ---- Z E R O ----

    That's zero including the Dooley Gang that needed shooting for keeping a ruckus going past midnight.

    Not only that, but at Chili Hill (a local resturaunt in Edgewood, New Mexico) they told us to strap on the 6-guns when we came to eat. In New Mexico it is legal in most places to openly carry a firearm (as opposed to concealed) in most establishments.

    So I am trying to understand why in Europe and similar places that when you give someone a gun they turn into a homicidal maniac. Surely at least one or more people at End of Trail should have grabbed their guns a killed someone, shouldn't they?

    Anyway, my wife (alias Sassy Schoolmarm) had her pistols engraved with her alias. She is so happy with them.

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  110. Hi all, this is Katrina Anon again...

    I should not have been so sexist either in my previous post as my wife, Sassy Schoolmarm pointed out. On my posse about a 1/3 were cowgirls.

    Sorry to leaving out those pards...

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  111. Kat Anon: Huge amount of stats you have left on here - I have read some, not all - lets see if we can make this discussion more concise.

    Your argument (to me) seems to boil down to two main themes:-

    1. If everyone had a gun this would make us safer as most people are law abiding and they would protect us by shooting the 'baddies'.

    2. Banning guns is counterproductive as, for example, gun crime has risen in the UK since handguns were banned.

    There is one big problem with the above argument - the UK has one of the lowest gun death rates in the world and the US one of the highest - where a child is more likely to catch a bullet than measles and is the second biggest killer of children. That is the bottom line that destroys your argument.

    1. You might as well argue that everyone would be safer if we gave everyone a hand grenade. I know this might be alien to someone in the states - but the vast majority of people here DO NOT want to own a gun. Nor can people easily be divided into goodies and baddies - people get drunk, get angry and have mental breakdowns. If guns are so safe why do gun shows generally insist on unloaded weapons being bought and sold? Your idea of 'feeling safe' - by sleeping with a loaded gun under your pillow - is not the sort of 'feeling safe' that most people would be comfortable with.

    2. The rise in UK gun crime (not gun deaths which have fallen) is basically down to LEGAL weapons and converted weapons not banned handguns.

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  112. So, what it boils down is this: Neil simply makes up completely bogus `facts' to suit his argument and ignores the real world. Typical Labour Party supporter.

    See this report:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/oct/20/penal.crime
    Note that the Guardian uses the same weasel words as Neil: the American report concluded that `Scotland has a higher violent death rate than America' so the Guardian invented reasons to talk about something else. Neil, as usual, imbues guns with some kind of evil magic that makes gun deaths somehow special and the only thing we should pay attention to.

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  113. Johnny: Guns are not the second biggest killer of children in Scotland. How exactly do you think introducing more guns into Scottish society will reduce their murder rate?

    Scotland has unique problems with alcoholism that fuel crime and has some of the most deprived urban areas in the UK.

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  114. Like I said, bogus factoids from Neil, see here:

    http://www.tincher.to/deaths.htm

    There's no earthly way that making yourself defenseless can make you safer. Even children can understand that.

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  115. There is one big problem with the above argument - the UK has one of the lowest gun death rates in the world and the US one of the highest

    But that remark assumes that there is only one thing that is different between our two societies: our gun laws. You attribute all differences in numbers of gun deaths to that difference in gun laws. In fact, the UK had much lower gun crime than the US when our gun laws were more liberal than those in the US. And they were also much lower when automatic rifles and pistols could be owned on certificate.

    where a child is more likely to catch a bullet than measles and is the second biggest killer of children. That is the bottom line that destroys your argument

    Really? The studies that show that are where exactly?

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  116. Source: New Scientist See also this source.

    As for the UK ever having weapons as available as they are in the US, you are having a laugh. There might have been a small period way in the past where the UK law was technically more liberal on gun ownership but it is ridiculous to suggest that our strict gun laws have led to more deaths as Katrina is arguing. We have a lower death rate because guns have been more strictly controlled - it is as simple as that. Of course there are many factors but gun control is one of, if not the biggest factor in reducing gun deaths. To argue otherwise is to join the crackpots denying evolution and denying human influenced climate change.

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  117. Hi Neil, Stephen, & Johnny this is Katrina Anon…

    Sorry Neil I missed your earlier posts. I had been off elsewhere and did not see you had started to reply. I reformatted what you had written to keep it all together. I hope you don’t mind.

    =================
    1. If everyone had a gun this would make us safer as most people are law abiding and they would protect us by shooting the 'baddies'.
    You might as well argue that everyone would be safer if we gave everyone a hand grenade. I know this might be alien to someone in the states - but the vast majority of people here DO NOT want to own a gun. Nor can people easily be divided into goodies and baddies - people get drunk, get angry and have mental breakdowns. If guns are so safe why do gun shows generally insist on unloaded weapons being bought and sold? Your idea of 'feeling safe' - by sleeping with a loaded gun under your pillow - is not the sort of 'feeling safe' that most people would be comfortable with.

    =================
    No Neil, I do not advocate everyone get a firearm for a variety of reasons including some of the ones you cite. First of all, the purchase of a firearm should be a personal choice not a requirement.

    Let’s break your arguments up a little. You like to cite stats so let’s try to help you understand what I was trying to say.

    Everyone with guns/armed populous reducing crime
    I don’t recall what the estimate is in the US of how large criminal population is…maybe 10% or less. Anyway mark off a large chuck of you floor. Put about some circles on the floor at random that amount to about 10% of the area.

    Turn your back to that area and close your. Now toss, en masse, about 100 coins over your head. Now see how many of those 10% circles have coins in them.

    So if you were just freely giving away guns to all comers that is probably how they would be distributed through a population.

    But, thankfully, that is not how guns are issued to the population.

    The stats bear out that in my country of 300 million, gun crimes are largely committed by criminals as part of their enterprises and usually on other criminals. That is just a simple fact. The drunk, angry, mental breakdown groups are pretty darn small unless lop them in with criminals who general fall into all three groups.

    Do guns distributed randomly through a society protect society as a whole? Many studies provide evidence that is true (John Lott, Stoussel, Dept of Justice). So let pick another analogy to see how this might be so.

    Pick up two identical clay jars with medium length necks, big enough to put a hand through. Put a few Euros in the bottom of each jar. In one jar place a scorpion on top of the coins and mark the jar with a scorpion. Mark the other jar as scorpion free. Pass the jar around and see how many people retrieve coins from the jar with the scorpion. Next try the same exercise again with unmarked jars telling people there is a scorpion in one of the two jars. Lets see just how many people are willing to put their hand down that neck.

    I’ll bet you a Euro you will get all you Euros back.

    The Dept of Justice (DOJ) studies bear that out. In states with strict gun laws the DOJ found that criminals were not opposed to home invasions since they believed they could easily overpower the victim. In areas where they thought home owners are likely armed (like mine) home invasions are incredibly rare.

    Sleeping with a gun?
    So while I do not sleep with one under my pillow, its close enough and I sleep fine knowing my neighbors do the same.

    Gun ignorance among the abolitionists
    Now it is time to educate you a little Neil. You obviously have had little exposure at all to firearms and gun shows. You question why gun shows require guns to unloaded.

    I hate to tell you it really, really simple…No one wants to get shot by an unloaded firearm. Its not to protect participants from an armed encounter but a safety measure. At gun shows all they have is a cable tie on the gun’s action not some keyed security lock.

    If there has been a shooting at a gun show, I cannot remember when it happened. Using your philosophy there should be several shootings at every show when someone goes mental in proximity to those firearms.

    BTW, don’t feel bad about not knowing how firearms operate or which firearm for which task. Candidate Obama did not know you hunt ducks with shotgun. He thought you hunt ducks with a six gun (revolver). Gads and he wants to write gun laws too…

    Flamethrowing or grenades?
    I am going to leave your hand grenade argument alone because it is invalid. Hand grenades are the choice of drug runners protecting their stash. I certainly would not want to be so desperate that I would want one to protect myself.

    ==============
    2. Banning guns is counterproductive as, for example, gun crime has risen in the UK since handguns were banned. (pretty much verbatim Kat Anon comment, not Neil’s)

    There is one big problem with the above argument - the UK has one of the lowest gun death rates in the world and the US one of the highest - where a child is more likely to catch a bullet than measles and is the second biggest killer of children. That is the bottom line that destroys your argument.

    =============

    That hardly destroys the argument. Maybe you can confirm this since you are searching facts, do GBR children die more from measles or guns? I bet you’ll find that guns kill more GBR children than measles do too, unless the police are keeping the records.

    You keep comparing GBR to the USA. GBR has both a local and national government in a area the size of medium sized state in the USA. The diversity of GBR pales in comparison to the USA. The social structures are far different as are the levels of violence.

    But the truth remains, that UK police have gone on more armed encounters at anytime since the ban (up 53%). The police are attempting to rewrite how they calculate gun crimes to show lower gun crime rates. I put to you, that after a decade of abolition, if reducing guns leads to lower violent crime, why are the police going out armed more than they did before the ban?

    For Stephen or Johnny I see that Neil is referencing Anil’s article from the New Scientist. Anil’s article is out hawking a new technology for locking firearms. This technology is a solution in search of a problem with unproven technology at that. Much of it is experimental and is not likely to be adopted by any by security forces either unless it can be absolutely reliable. In other words, no time soon, if ever.

    The other problems with the article by Anil are listed in the first reply to the article. One of the most significant errors was the claim by Anil the grip safety feature on the ubiquitous 1911 combat .45 pistol was to prevent children from operating the firearm. Get real, did Anil think that in 1909-10 when the pistol was designed anyone then was concerned about a kid operating the gun? Also many of the facts cited in the article exclude important detailed information on the facts that had not yet been widely circulated in 2003.

    BTW, in the link to ”A Shameful Epidemic” besides the other errors it has (which I will be glad to enumerate) contains an error under myth #2. It is now an individual right for an American to own a firearm, though that is a recent development.

    Later my friends…

    When you get the chance Neil will you answer the following?

    2. How will the government protect citizens from violent crooks that will overpower weaker citizens?(note I edited this one for better clarity.)

    3. Will governments be held both civilally and criminally liable when they fail to protect citizens?

    4. By what means may a citizens protect themselves and their loved ones?

    5. Under what circumstances may citizens protect themselves?

    Neil, you adequately or more than adequately answered my other questions

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  118. Fact is, if you bother to go read the DC vs Heller judgment it's quite clear a review by the highest court in the United States found clear historical precedent for a natural right to armed self defence that has always been recognised in English common law and til historically very recently recognised in most extant legal systems.

    Seems to me that Neil-style bogus factoids, and bizarre inability to relate to the real world, are the sort of thinking that's impressing people to such an extent that his party is even more unpopular than the far right British National Party.

    I say again, even a child can appreciate that you cannot make yourself safer by making yourself defenceless. That's the insane proposition Neil and those who would deny the right self defence are putting forward.

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  119. As for the UK ever having weapons as available as they are in the US, you are having a laugh

    It is an historical fact.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7056245.stm

    Because it does not conform to your prejudices does not make it any less true.

    There might have been a small period way in the past where the UK law was technically more liberal on gun ownership but it is ridiculous to suggest that our strict gun laws have led to more deaths as Katrina is arguing

    I am not supporting Katrina's position at all, you tit. You and she are both extremists. I am saying that the situation is substantially more complex than just what gun laws a country has.

    We have a lower death rate because guns have been more strictly controlled - it is as simple as that

    Yes, well I am more interested in listening to informed commentators than opinionated idiots.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7478034.stm

    Of course there are many factors but gun control is one of, if not the biggest factor in reducing gun deaths

    I have already said that I support gun control. Does the red mist that comes down when you talk of this issue blind you from reading?

    To argue otherwise is to join the crackpots denying evolution and denying human influenced climate change

    There are many regimes of gun control. Since you are incapable of discussing them rationally it is you who shares the psychology of creationists, not I.

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