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Gun Rights in Global Perspective

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 6:40:10 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
There are only three countries in the world where the right to bear arms exists: The United States, Mexico and Guatemala. As it happens, all three states have some of the highest firearm-related death rates in the world (ranking 11th, 16th, and 4th respectively). Other countries guarantee some access to guns for self-defense (e.g. Haiti) but with noted restrictions. Japan and Singapore outrightly ban private ownership, with some reasonable exceptions -- Japan has the second lowest firearm-related death rate (6 people per 10 million per year) and Singapore has the 6th lowest. (https://en.wikipedia.org...)

Many have pointed to Australia as a template for American gun policy. Mass shootings were frequent in Australia prior to the legislation passed in 1996 outlawing automatic and semi-automatic weapons and instituting new regulations. The gun death rate declined thereafter, and they hadn't had a single mass shooting until this year. Of course it's possible that the decrease in shootings was just a product of the global decline in crime that had begun in the '90s, but this shows that the laws passed certainly didn't make matters worse (http://www.reuters.com...). The fact that repealing the second amendment is considered heresy within both democratic and republican circles, and that modest legislation expanding background checks is routinely defeated in Congress shows that the U.S. is an outlier within the developed world.

I'm of the opinion that the second amendment is a dangerous anachronism and should be abolished -- which, I should note, does not necessarily mean that citizens would be summarily denied access to firearms, but that Congress would be empowered to restrict, outlaw, or even confiscate them (with monetary compensation) as circumstances dictate. Although, one wonders whether the problem is irreversible. We have the highest amount of guns per capita in the world -- restrictions in a nation already replete with weapons may just have the effect of empowering criminals, who will almost certainly secure weapons through illicit means. The conclusion, if that's the case, is that the second amendment was a horrible mistake and should have never been codified in the constitution to begin with.

I welcome anyone to argue that the right to bear arms is nonetheless a better policy for ensuring public safety, but you have to use address the argument from a global perspective and hew closely to numbers and statistics. Gun rights activists have historically responded to crime statistics and other forms of quantitative evidence supporting arguments for stricter gun control with platitudes and abstractions - "guns don't kill people, people kill people" or "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." This doesn't advance the conversation or do justice to their position.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
BrendanD19
Posts: 2,043
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7/25/2016 7:17:38 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
I think it is important that we acknowledge the historical context of the second amendment as well. Often it is cited that founders intended the second amendment to be a bulwark against tyranny, however the context was much greater than that.
One issue that was a major point of dispute among members of the constitutional convention was that of standing armies. Many of the framers, including Maddison, were of the view that there should be a ban on standing armies, as they believed that a standing army would have too much power and become tyrannical, as the British army had been prior to the revolution. Because of this the framers intended that the military should be made up of state and local militias that would essentially train on the weekend and could be called at on a moments notice. In order to arm this militia, the framers concluded that it would be best to have the militiamen arm themselves. At this time firearm technology was not very advanced and standardized equipment was not a necessity, as all fire arms needed 2 things, gunpowder and lead balls. The lead balls were made by the owners of those firearms, so all they really needed was large led balls that could be melted down and gun powder.
In other words, the goal was a ban on standing armies. The federalists like Washington however came to the conclusion that while militias would be the bulk of the military if needed, a small permanent force would be needed.
Another reason was the issue of slave patrols. In the south, many of the local militias were tasked with capturing runaway slaves and putting down slave rebellions. For slave owners like Maddison, this was a major concern, and they that feared a slave rebellion, and thus firearms were used to keep the slaves in line through fear. The Virginia delegation itself made note at the constitutional convention that if the government had the power to disarm the slave patrols, then the abolition of slavery would be just around the corner.
000ike
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7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Geographia
Posts: 1,467
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7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?
BrendanD19
Posts: 2,043
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7/25/2016 7:33:26 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

Maybe they do certain things better than us?
As someone who follows international politics, I can tell you that in many ways the US is regarded as a laughing stock.
BrendanD19
Posts: 2,043
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7/25/2016 7:42:44 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?

The majority of them.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 7:45:20 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?

According to the data presented in this website, total gun homicides are hovering around 33,000 per year of late and what the researchers classify as "justifiable" gun deaths (presumably self-defense and police killings) hovers around 650 per year of late - a negligible sum. Suicides comprise approximately 21,000 per year of late - so they account for the vast majority of deaths. You can mine this website for any other statistics you're curious about: http://www.gunpolicy.org...
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Geographia
Posts: 1,467
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7/25/2016 7:47:35 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:45:20 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?

According to the data presented in this website, total gun homicides are hovering around 33,000 per year of late and what the researchers classify as "justifiable" gun deaths (presumably self-defense and police killings) hovers around 650 per year of late - a negligible sum. Suicides comprise approximately 21,000 per year of late - so they account for the vast majority of deaths. You can mine this website for any other statistics you're curious about: http://www.gunpolicy.org...

And Gangs will just hand over their guns?
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 7:55:09 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:47:35 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:45:20 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?

According to the data presented in this website, total gun homicides are hovering around 33,000 per year of late and what the researchers classify as "justifiable" gun deaths (presumably self-defense and police killings) hovers around 650 per year of late - a negligible sum. Suicides comprise approximately 21,000 per year of late - so they account for the vast majority of deaths. You can mine this website for any other statistics you're curious about: http://www.gunpolicy.org...

And Gangs will just hand over their guns?

Of course not. Although, I imagine that since the vast majority of deaths are suicides, restricting ownership among law abiding citizens may help -- assuming of course that the suicide rate is not perfectly preserved through other means. I also imagine that limiting the general supply of guns with have the effect of limiting gangs' access to them (i.e. fewer will attain them, and those who do will find it not quite as easy as before).

But you seem to be missing the spirit of this argument. I don't purport to have the answer to everything -- it's not unlikely that I will be proven wrong in some respects. This is an invitation to dialogue that begins with confronting some pretty compelling facts regarding gun control outside of the United States.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
RookieApologist
Posts: 469
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7/25/2016 7:55:37 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

Yeah it was a little "tongue in cheek". My point is just because some other country does something one way doesn't mean we should, regardless if it is deemed "successful". Many countries don't have near our abortion rate either - does that mean we should outlaw abortion? Same with divorces?
RookieApologist
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7/25/2016 7:57:31 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

You also point to Singapore and Japan, where it other laws are also much, much stricter. Try spitting your gum on the sidewalk in Singapore and see what happens if you get caught.
RookieApologist
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7/25/2016 8:00:34 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

Isn't it also fairly logical to expect countries who have the right to bear arms, i.e. have firearms, to have higher death rates from guns?

That's like saying countries where there are a lot of mosquitoes have the highest malaria rates. Or that there are more deaths by lightning strike in places where there are more thunderstorms.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 8:07:56 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:00:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

Isn't it also fairly logical to expect countries who have the right to bear arms, i.e. have firearms, to have higher death rates from guns?

That's like saying countries where there are a lot of mosquitoes have the highest malaria rates. Or that there are more deaths by lightning strike in places where there are more thunderstorms.

This argument presumes that the second amendment was a response to existing rates of crime (the only circumstance under which the correlation should exist). I cannot speak for the crime-ridden banana republics to our south, but that certainly does not hold in the U.S. Brendan did a good job explaining why the second amendment exists - refer to his post.

It happens that the second amendment came first and the unusually high rates of gun deaths subsequently followed.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
SeventhProfessor
Posts: 5,075
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7/25/2016 8:16:08 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Unfortunately, you're guilty of the Australia fallacy
#UnbanTheMadman

#StandWithBossy

#BetOnThett

"bossy r u like 85 years old and have lost ur mind"
~mysteriouscrystals

"I've honestly never seen seventh post anything that wasn't completely idiotic in a trying-to-be-funny way."
~F-16

https://docs.google.com...
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 8:18:48 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:16:08 PM, SeventhProfessor wrote:
Unfortunately, you're guilty of the Australia fallacy

Explain.

*also note that I allowed for the possibility that the decline in gun deaths had nothing to do with the legislation - in which case, the australia example at least shows that gun control did not make matters worse.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Bob13
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7/25/2016 8:23:11 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 6:40:10 PM, 000ike wrote:
There are only three countries in the world where the right to bear arms exists: The United States, Mexico and Guatemala. As it happens, all three states have some of the highest firearm-related death rates in the world (ranking 11th, 16th, and 4th respectively). Other countries guarantee some access to guns for self-defense (e.g. Haiti) but with noted restrictions. Japan and Singapore outrightly ban private ownership, with some reasonable exceptions -- Japan has the second lowest firearm-related death rate (6 people per 10 million per year) and Singapore has the 6th lowest. (https://en.wikipedia.org...)

Many have pointed to Australia as a template for American gun policy. Mass shootings were frequent in Australia prior to the legislation passed in 1996 outlawing automatic and semi-automatic weapons and instituting new regulations. The gun death rate declined thereafter, and they hadn't had a single mass shooting until this year. Of course it's possible that the decrease in shootings was just a product of the global decline in crime that had begun in the '90s, but this shows that the laws passed certainly didn't make matters worse (http://www.reuters.com...). The fact that repealing the second amendment is considered heresy within both democratic and republican circles, and that modest legislation expanding background checks is routinely defeated in Congress shows that the U.S. is an outlier within the developed world.

I'm of the opinion that the second amendment is a dangerous anachronism and should be abolished -- which, I should note, does not necessarily mean that citizens would be summarily denied access to firearms, but that Congress would be empowered to restrict, outlaw, or even confiscate them (with monetary compensation) as circumstances dictate. Although, one wonders whether the problem is irreversible. We have the highest amount of guns per capita in the world -- restrictions in a nation already replete with weapons may just have the effect of empowering criminals, who will almost certainly secure weapons through illicit means. The conclusion, if that's the case, is that the second amendment was a horrible mistake and should have never been codified in the constitution to begin with.

I welcome anyone to argue that the right to bear arms is nonetheless a better policy for ensuring public safety, but you have to use address the argument from a global perspective and hew closely to numbers and statistics. Gun rights activists have historically responded to crime statistics and other forms of quantitative evidence supporting arguments for stricter gun control with platitudes and abstractions - "guns don't kill people, people kill people" or "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." This doesn't advance the conversation or do justice to their position.

What about non-firearm homicides?
I don't have a signature. :-)
SeventhProfessor
Posts: 5,075
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7/25/2016 8:29:12 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:18:48 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:16:08 PM, SeventhProfessor wrote:
Unfortunately, you're guilty of the Australia fallacy

Explain.

Assuming Australia exists

*also note that I allowed for the possibility that the decline in gun deaths had nothing to do with the legislation - in which case, the australia example at least shows that gun control did not make matters worse.
#UnbanTheMadman

#StandWithBossy

#BetOnThett

"bossy r u like 85 years old and have lost ur mind"
~mysteriouscrystals

"I've honestly never seen seventh post anything that wasn't completely idiotic in a trying-to-be-funny way."
~F-16

https://docs.google.com...
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 8:31:49 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:23:11 PM, Bob13 wrote:

What about non-firearm homicides?

Total homicides in the U.S. are roughly 16,000 per year - of those, 11,000 are firearm related, 5,000 are not. http://www.gunpolicy.org...
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Bob13
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7/25/2016 8:33:35 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:31:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:23:11 PM, Bob13 wrote:

What about non-firearm homicides?

Total homicides in the U.S. are roughly 16,000 per year - of those, 11,000 are firearm related, 5,000 are not. http://www.gunpolicy.org...

And in other countries?
I don't have a signature. :-)
000ike
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7/25/2016 8:34:09 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:45:20 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:28:11 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

How many gun deaths in America are from gangs, suicide, or from cops?

total gun homicides are hovering around 33,000 per year

*This should say gun deaths not gun homicides
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/25/2016 8:35:45 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:33:35 PM, Bob13 wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:31:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:23:11 PM, Bob13 wrote:

What about non-firearm homicides?

Total homicides in the U.S. are roughly 16,000 per year - of those, 11,000 are firearm related, 5,000 are not. http://www.gunpolicy.org...

And in other countries?

refer to the OP and the wikipedia reference on firearm-related death rates by country
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Bob13
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7/25/2016 8:36:23 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:35:45 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:33:35 PM, Bob13 wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:31:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 8:23:11 PM, Bob13 wrote:

What about non-firearm homicides?

Total homicides in the U.S. are roughly 16,000 per year - of those, 11,000 are firearm related, 5,000 are not. http://www.gunpolicy.org...

And in other countries?

refer to the OP and the wikipedia reference on firearm-related death rates by country

I'm talking about non-firearm homicides.
I don't have a signature. :-)
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,098
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7/25/2016 8:42:24 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

I lol'ed.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

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tajshar2k
Posts: 2,373
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7/25/2016 8:45:57 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 6:40:10 PM, 000ike wrote:
There are only three countries in the world where the right to bear arms exists: The United States, Mexico and Guatemala. As it happens, all three states have some of the highest firearm-related death rates in the world (ranking 11th, 16th, and 4th respectively). Other countries guarantee some access to guns for self-defense (e.g. Haiti) but with noted restrictions. Japan and Singapore outrightly ban private ownership, with some reasonable exceptions -- Japan has the second lowest firearm-related death rate (6 people per 10 million per year) and Singapore has the 6th lowest. (https://en.wikipedia.org...)

Many have pointed to Australia as a template for American gun policy. Mass shootings were frequent in Australia prior to the legislation passed in 1996 outlawing automatic and semi-automatic weapons and instituting new regulations. The gun death rate declined thereafter, and they hadn't had a single mass shooting until this year. Of course it's possible that the decrease in shootings was just a product of the global decline in crime that had begun in the '90s, but this shows that the laws passed certainly didn't make matters worse (http://www.reuters.com...). The fact that repealing the second amendment is considered heresy within both democratic and republican circles, and that modest legislation expanding background checks is routinely defeated in Congress shows that the U.S. is an outlier within the developed world.

I'm of the opinion that the second amendment is a dangerous anachronism and should be abolished -- which, I should note, does not necessarily mean that citizens would be summarily denied access to firearms, but that Congress would be empowered to restrict, outlaw, or even confiscate them (with monetary compensation) as circumstances dictate. Although, one wonders whether the problem is irreversible. We have the highest amount of guns per capita in the world -- restrictions in a nation already replete with weapons may just have the effect of empowering criminals, who will almost certainly secure weapons through illicit means. The conclusion, if that's the case, is that the second amendment was a horrible mistake and should have never been codified in the constitution to begin with.

I welcome anyone to argue that the right to bear arms is nonetheless a better policy for ensuring public safety, but you have to use address the argument from a global perspective and hew closely to numbers and statistics. Gun rights activists have historically responded to crime statistics and other forms of quantitative evidence supporting arguments for stricter gun control with platitudes and abstractions - "guns don't kill people, people kill people" or "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." This doesn't advance the conversation or do justice to their position.

You seem to talk about statistics, but you fail to address how socioeconomics play a bigger role than the laws themselves.
"In Guns We Trust" Tajshar2k
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,207
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7/25/2016 8:52:03 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 7:33:26 PM, BrendanD19 wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

Maybe they do certain things better than us?
As someone who follows international politics, I can tell you that in many ways the US is regarded as a laughing stock.

That's ok. Americans can laugh back at the world; laugh all the way to the bank.
Greyparrot
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7/25/2016 8:53:45 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:42:24 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

I lol'ed.

More exciting than dying forgotten in some Eurotrash retirement home at least.
Greyparrot
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7/25/2016 8:57:14 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 8:42:24 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:25:00 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/25/2016 7:17:34 PM, RookieApologist wrote:
Why do we want to be like the rest of the globe?

perhaps because far fewer of their people die from guns....

I lol'ed.

Also, everyone except Americans knows dying by Machete or by trailer trucks is more sexy.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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7/25/2016 11:39:00 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Gun ownership is already treated as a privilege rather than an unconditional right in much of the country, but free movement of people between states seriously undermines the effectiveness of gun regulation anywhere in the country so long as there are parts of the country without sensible gun laws (and such places exist). That's why I think gun regulation should be done at the national level, so I wouldn't be against going after the second amendment and replacing it with something that's consistent with background checks, bans on certain kinds of gun, etc, and not just "leaving it to the states".

Strict gun laws can easily backfire if the government lacks the means to enforce them, as a criminal's job is made easier when their victims have complied with the law by handing over their guns and they keep their guns in violation of the law, something they obviously wouldn't be above doing. The worst case scenario is that all the criminals keep their guns and all non-criminals lose theirs. That puts people at even greater danger than they were before. It's worst than nothing. People would probably be safer if all guns magically disappeared, but the government doesn't have the ability to make that happen, something which should be kept in mind when deciding what gun regulations we want to have.
Hayd
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7/26/2016 12:50:31 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 6:40:10 PM, 000ike wrote:

I support the repealment of the second amendment, and the complete ban of firearms for citizens.

But the evidence that you bring up is purely correlation, it does not prove causation. Causation is the only thing that could support cases for gun control. There are *thousands* of other factors that could have been the results of these crime heights/drops. So although I agree with you, these aren't good reasons.