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A law for 10 round limit on magazines?

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A loaded rifle
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#1

Posted 19 April 2013 - 12:33 AM

As most know (gun owners more so), Senator Feinstein's proposed "Assault Weapon Ban" bill has been pretty much thrown out of congress. Thank god there is little to no chance of it succeeding any further. However, a 10 round limit on magazines is something being proposed by many politicians. My question to you is, would you support this ban or not?

Obviously, I would not support any gun control legislation due to my strong pro-gun principles. I do know the 2nd amendment by heart. wink.gif

Melchior
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#2

Posted 19 April 2013 - 12:46 AM

QUOTE (A loaded rifle @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 10:33)
I do know the 2nd amendment by heart. wink.gif

Wow, the entire paragraph!? dozingoff.gif

So you would never support any gun control legislation, even if it's completely reasonable and doesn't restrict your hobby at all?

Honestly, I get that it's part of your culture and that it's a popular sport but if someone tried to ban a certain type of Rugby ball I wouldn't form an organisation, get up on a podium holding a ball and scream "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!" But heaven forbid you face the slightest inconvenience in your hobby for the sake of saving lives.

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#3

Posted 19 April 2013 - 12:49 AM

I genuinely think that the ammunition-limit is a draconian reaction which does nothing to curb the high proportion of gun violence in the US relative to other developed nations, nor does it do anything to prevent these despicable mass-shootings from occurring. The most rational forms of gun control, if any are to be introduced, are purely in relation to the psychological state of gun-buyers, so, background checks and stringent psychological evaluations must be required if one is to purchase a gun, whether it's online, at a gun show, or through a certified gun dealer. Of course, to keep in line with the underlining intentions of the Second Amendment (to ensure that citizens have a right to purchase and use guns freely to keep the very small possibility of government tyranny in check), the psychological standard required to buy a gun ideally should be determined by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, instead of elected officials. This prevents unnecessary hassle and abuse being given to the 99.5% of gun owners in the US who are mentally sound and use guns responsibly, since the psychological standards will be set and influenced by expert medical advice, as opposed to being set by some Democrat in the Senate who can easily set an asinine psychological limit which may or may not prevent as many people from buying guns as possible. At the same time, though, it's a common sense measure which insures that those who are truly f*cking psychotic and have criminal intentions do not get their hands on weapons.

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#4

Posted 19 April 2013 - 12:53 AM Edited by A loaded rifle, 19 April 2013 - 01:01 AM.

QUOTE (Melchior @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 00:46)
QUOTE (A loaded rifle @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 10:33)
I do know the 2nd amendment by heart. wink.gif

Wow, the entire paragraph!? dozingoff.gif

So you would never support any gun control legislation, even if it's completely reasonable and doesn't restrict your hobby at all?

Honestly, I get that it's part of your culture and that it's a popular sport but if someone tried to ban a certain type of Rugby ball I wouldn't form an organisation, get up on a podium holding a ball and scream "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!" But heaven forbid you face the slightest inconvenience in your hobby for the sake of saving lives.

Actually, I am a responsible gun owner, so me not owning an AR-15 won't save anyone's lives. The same thing goes for all the other millions of responsible gun owners. It isn't a hobby either, it's the fact that I'm exercising my right to keep and bear arms responsibly.

I would also like to note this, limiting magazines to 10 rounds isn't going to save any damn lives. I could swap a p-mag in less than 2 seconds, so once I put 10 rounds into some crowd of people, there would be a 1.5 second pause, and more people would be dropping down. It's really not a good solution at all.

Edit: btw it's only 1 sentence long.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Melchior
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#5

Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:12 AM

QUOTE (Stefche @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 10:49)
I genuinely think that the ammunition-limit is a draconian reaction which does nothing to curb the high proportion of gun violence in the US relative to other developed nations, nor does it do anything to prevent these despicable mass-shootings from occurring. The most rational forms of gun control, if any are to be introduced, are purely in relation to the psychological state of gun-buyers, so, background checks and stringent psychological evaluations must be required if one is to purchase a gun, whether it's online, at a gun show, or through a certified gun dealer. Of course, to keep in line with the underlining intentions of the Second Amendment (to ensure that citizens have a right to purchase and use guns freely to keep the very small possibility of government tyranny in check), the psychological standard required to buy a gun ideally should be determined by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, instead of elected officials. This prevents unnecessary hassle and abuse being given to the 99.5% of gun owners in the US who are mentally sound and use guns responsibly, since the psychological standards will be set and influenced by expert medical advice, as opposed to being set by some Democrat in the Senate who can easily set an asinine psychological limit which may or may not prevent as many people from buying guns as possible. At the same time, though, it's a common sense measure which insures that those who are truly f*cking psychotic and have criminal intentions do not get their hands on weapons.

Meh, I say all that needs to be done is treat them like cars. Licensing and registration, nothing more. Bar people convicted of violent crimes from obtaining a license, make possessing a gun without a license a serious crime. It would be very little inconvenience to gun owners compared to alternative forms of gun control, but of course the American right wants to cling to the delusion that they can have uninhibited firearm ownership, which is frankly, not on the table. The American right needs to get behind these reasonable measures and then they can dictate the terms of gun control, rather than obstructing it in all its forms and bitching about how Democrats in Washington know nothing about guns but try to regulate them.

QUOTE (a loaded rifle)
I would also like to note this, limiting magazines to 10 rounds isn't going to save any damn lives. I could swap a p-mag in less than 2 seconds, so once I put 10 rounds into some crowd of people, there would be a 1.5 second pause, and more people would be dropping down. It's really not a good solution at all.

I was responding to your absurd statement that you would never support any form of gun control.

QUOTE
Actually, I am a responsible gun owner, so me not owning an AR-15 won't save anyone's lives. The same thing goes for all the other millions of responsible gun owners.

Actually, it will, since most of America's firearms come from the grey market of straw and second hand purchases. Ever wondered why America has so many armed criminals? It's not because the criminals are just more viscous or because "there's lots of gun factories" as the right would have you believe, it's because of lax firearm laws allowing criminals to obtain guns quasi-legally.

QUOTE
It isn't a hobby either, it's the fact that I'm exercising my right to keep and bear arms responsibly.

Two points;

1) If it's not a hobby what do you want the guns for?
2) You have a "right" within reasonable limits, determined by the judiciary. If the constitution is enforced as law to the letter, then you should also be allowed rocket launchers and gun ship helicopters. Most gun owners support restricting the sale of them, but not their badass AK-47s and AR-15s.

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#6

Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:29 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 11:12)
QUOTE (Stefche @ Friday, Apr 19 2013, 10:49)
I genuinely think that the ammunition-limit is a draconian reaction which does nothing to curb the high proportion of gun violence in the US relative to other developed nations, nor does it do anything to prevent these despicable mass-shootings from occurring. The most rational forms of gun control, if any are to be introduced, are purely in relation to the psychological state of gun-buyers, so, background checks and stringent psychological evaluations must be required if one is to purchase a gun, whether it's online, at a gun show, or through a certified gun dealer. Of course, to keep in line with the underlining intentions of the Second Amendment (to ensure that citizens have a right to purchase and use guns freely to keep the very small possibility of government tyranny in check), the psychological standard required to buy a gun ideally should be determined by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, instead of elected officials. This prevents unnecessary hassle and abuse being given to the 99.5% of gun owners in the US who are mentally sound and use guns responsibly, since the psychological standards will be set and influenced by expert medical advice, as opposed to being set by some Democrat in the Senate who can easily set an asinine psychological limit which may or may not prevent as many people from buying guns as possible. At the same time, though, it's a common sense measure which insures that those who are truly f*cking psychotic and have criminal intentions do not get their hands on weapons.

Meh, I say all that needs to be done is treat them like cars. Licensing and registration, nothing more. Bar people convicted of violent crimes from obtaining a license, make possessing a gun without a license a serious crime. It would be very little inconvenience to gun owners compared to alternative forms of gun control, but of course the American right wants to cling to the delusion that they can have uninhibited firearm ownership, which is frankly, not on the table. The American right needs to get behind these reasonable measures and then they can dictate the terms of gun control, rather than obstructing it in all its forms and bitching about how Democrats in Washington know nothing about guns but try to regulate them.

I agree wholeheartedly, since all of the measures you've proposed are grounded in common sense and not a fantasy-world fuelled by far-right wing rhetoric. It'd be silly to introduce gun control measures which do nothing whatsoever to curb the level of violent crime, such as limiting the size of magazines; we also must be careful that gun control measures don't infringe on the civil liberties of gun owners from either using guns as a hobby, or exercising their right to bear arms, to a negative extent. I'm curious as to what A loaded rifle thinks of my posts, since he was so quick to take issue to what you said.

I'm genuinely perplexed by the lack of flexibility exercised by the NRA when it comes to certain gun control measures. Some measures are such a minor inconvenience to pretty much every single gun owner protesting against gun control, despite offering some sound safety assurances for the sake of society (which I don't think anyone should have any qualms with in the first place, unless you're one of those freaks who's tattooed "those who seek security over liberty deserve neither" on their ass-cheek) that they're really not doing themselves any favours, aside from being (a) f*cking irritating and grotesquely obnoxious, and (b) more or less completely insensitive to those who've lost family and friends to gun violence, whether through massacres or otherwise.

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#7

Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:48 AM

Guns don't kill people, restricting the clip amount isn't going to stop psycho's from going out and killing people if they really are that determined.


The number one way to fix violent crimes is to fix society.. The US has the largest percentage of it's population behind bars, and alot are for non-violent crimes. Tearing up families, taking children away from their parents being sent to public schools to be taught by strangers, violence being portrayed as 'entertainment' in the media and numerous other factors all come together to act as a breeding ground for future criminals.

The worst part about it all- people are actually making profit off people rotting in jail, they WANT people to break laws because it makes them money, no matter what they're doing to an individuals life.

Gun control isn't going to fix anything and you'd be a fool to think otherwise.

Statistics even show neighborhoods in the US that have no gun restrictions actually have LOWER crime rates than neighborhoods that do. The less of the population you have armed the less chance you have someone will take out a loon gunman. Remember, cops usually arrive AFTER the crime's been committed, they're not always going to be there during the actual event.

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#8

Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:54 AM

I agree with GMS apart from the "gun control is useless" stuff. Obviously the availability of firearms is going to be a factor.

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#9

Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:59 AM

I agree that magazine size restrictions are not particularly effective at reducing firearm violence. Most mass casualty shootings involve the perpetrator using multiple magazines worth of ammunition so in these cases exactly what purpose would reducing the size of the magazine perform other than making the shooter reload a couple more times? However, I'm extremely hesitant about the idea that firearm control in and of itself is useless, because all statistical evidence indicates it is not. What is extremely important is what form that control takes. I see absolutely no logical reason why the licensing of firearms infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, because in the eyes of the law all people will be equally entitled and have equality of right. The legal interpretations of the Second Amendment already place restrictions on what can and can't be borne, and how, so logically there's no reason that other restrictions could not be put into place.

Licensing and registration of firearms is, in my view, the be-all and end-all of gun control. Very little, if anything at all, else needs to be in place. If you look at the nations with the lowest rates of murder and firearm related crime, they all have relatively liberal ownership requirements but extremely strong licensing laws. Case in point- most of Europe. The combination of ready availability of firearms to citizens who want to wield them responsibly and the incredibly difficulty in getting a grey-market weapon due to restrictive laws on resale are strong contributing factors to this, in my view. It's hard to dispute the fact that nations with restrictive licensing but ready availability of legal firearms and very few limits on the type and style of weapon which can be owned tend to have significantly lower firearm-related crime rates, though there's much contention about exactly why these rates are so much lower than in the US. It's generally conceded that the vast majority of firearms used in criminal activity in the US are legally sourced but grey-market, unregistered firearms, bought or transferred via loopholes in the firearm licensing system so that no background checks take place. The solution to this is relatively simple- close the loopholes and ban private-to-private sales of firearms, instead forcing all sales to be mediated by a registered dealer.

The proliferation of firearms in the US isn't the problem; the culture that surrounds them is.

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#10

Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:10 AM

If all guns, owned by civilians, in the United States, were removed, the country would be a much safer place. Any law that solely bans weapons, or accessories for weapons (in this case 10 round clips) is a good law.

Legitimate uses of firearms are insignificant in comparison to the safety hazard they present. You know I play a lot of Grand Theft Auto (obviously) but if giving up video games would've saved those children in Newtown I would have done it in a heartbeat. It's not worth keeping these weapons so people can hunt when people are being slaughtered. Gun owners need to sacrifice a bit of liberty for a significant increase in security.


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#11

Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE (Zugzwang @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 15:10)
If all guns, owned by civilians, in the United States, were removed, the country would be a much safer place. Any law that solely bans weapons, or accessories for weapons (in this case 10 round clips) is a good law.

Legitimate uses of firearms are insignificant in comparison to the safety hazard they present. You know I play a lot of Grand Theft Auto (obviously) but if giving up video games would've saved those children in Newtown I would have done it in a heartbeat. It's not worth keeping these weapons so people can hunt when people are being slaughtered. Gun owners need to sacrifice a bit of liberty for a significant increase in security.

I'm sure that with enough reasonable measures firearms can be enjoyed responsibly. If firearm licenses are only given out to demonstrably responsible gun owners then I don't see why it would be a problem.

The biggest issue, IMO is suicides. It's so saddening to think about all the preventable deaths in America that occur because teens had access to their dad's guns or because a middle aged gun owners was never talked to about suicide in school. This is the real issue with firearm proliferation (as opposed to firearm culture) in the US but it's pretty much ignored in favour of mass shootings and the occasional incidents with armed criminals, despite the fact that gun related suicides dwarf gun related homicides.

People will tell you that they'll find another way if there's no guns in the house, but that's simply not the case. There's a pretty clear correlation between firearm prevalence and suicides:

user posted image

(most suicide survivors don't go on to make a successful attempt, so that should be kept in mind)

Not arguing for a gun ban, but it'd be good to make people aware of this, so they can keep their guns away from teens, so loved ones can get guns out of the house if someone seems like they might take their own life and so that keeping guns on the premises can be discouraged (don't really see why people can't keep their guns at the shooting range).

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#12

Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:18 AM Edited by SagaciousKJB, 22 April 2013 - 06:30 AM.

I think as a person who had to petition to have my gun rights restored, I have a bit of a controversial view point that firearms are actually too restricted as they stand now. Just go read the NICS background check form... If you've been convicted of a misdemeanor drug charge you're not supposed to be able to purchase a gun; if you've ever had a court-ordered "psychiatric observation" or drug rehabilitation, you're not supposed to be able to purchase a gun. Such national background checking was put into place after the attempted assassination of president Regan and the subsequent life-long injuries to Jim Brady. The idea was that Hinkly, having been committed, should have easily been caught on a background check, should have never been able to get the gun and wouldn't have been able to do that. Well, did the law stop Adam Lanza or Seung-Hui Cho from getting their firearms? No, but thousands ( and maybe millions ) of Americans have had their right to purchase a firearm violated due to unreasonable restrictions. I'm sorry, but being suicidal and having to spend a couple of days in the loony bin should not preclude you from purchasing or owning a firearm, and for that matter drug charges shouldn't either. In my opinion, implementing more restrictions without first addressing whether the current ones are fair or effective is just going to infringe on the rights of legal gun owners ( or those who potentially could be legal gun owners ) far more than it's given credit for.

Not to mention that it is not fair to citizens who wish to restore their rights that they must petition a court to prove they are not a danger any longer. On top of that, imagine if you live in a state such as mine where private sales of firearms are legal, and you purchased a firearm without even realizing you were a prohibited person. You would think that in having your firearm rights stripped, you'd actually have to sit in front of a judge and have it made clear in no uncertain terms, but that's not the case. I was told that my firearm rights would only be in jeopardy if I appealed and lost my case, but that was incorrect, and the first time I tried to purchase a target rifle I was denied on my background check. On top of it being fairly awkward, the clerk is not even made aware of why you were denied, and you must write to the ATF to even find out why. This has also lead to people with common names having to jump through hoops providing other forms of identification and documentation to prove they are not the prohibited person that the check finds them to be.

I think the challenges that restrictions present to legal gun owners are just swept under the rug as not being a big deal. I can see why this position is taken, because when it comes to people's lives at stake, then yes it doesn't seem that unreasonable that a person should have to go through some inconvenience to get a firearm. The problem is when discussing just how effective these current measures actually are at preventing people from unlawfully acquiring firearms. As I mentioned, did the laws stop Adam Lanza or Seung-Hui Cho? In order to have prohibited Adam Lanza from acquiring a firearm, one would have to establish medical background checks that would be highly invasive for most people, and on top of that the guns were not even Lanza's to begin with, were stored in a safe, etc... How are you supposed to legislate the problem of unbalanced people taking legal, family member's weapons and using them? As for Seung-Hui Cho, the current legislation should have caught him and prevented him from purchasing his firearms legally, but because he was ordered to attend outpatient treatment, then by technicality he was not prohibited on the NICS background check.

Would that really have stopped him from obtaining the firearms? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold managed to obtain their firearms through straw purchases. Even if it was a law that a person must have a license, there are already thousands of people carrying a gun while also having a felony record, so I don't see the licensing requirements actually keeping the guns out of the people who are already obtaining and using them illegally.

As far as the 10 round limit... To hark back on Columbine again, this was before the 2004 assault weapon ban was lifted, and magazine capacities were already limited at that time. It did not stop them from simply taking more magazines of ammunition.

I don't think that requiring someone to be licensed to handle a firearm is that much of a restriction; in fact many states already require it. I don't know why the anti-gun proponents simply beat on the point that 2A supporters seem to think any limitation or restriction at all is tantamount to a denial of rights. I think constantly focusing on this part of it detracts from the validity of opposing more restrictions.

So what do you think happens more often in this country... A background check comes back denying the person their purchase of their AR-15, and they go "Oh well, I guess I won't shoot up that mall like I had planned." Or do you think it's more likely someone goes to WalMart looking to buy their first target rifle, only to find they're prohibited person for something which really shouldn't preclude them. Meanwhile, the reason they're precluded is because of feel-good legislation that is ineffective and only serves to pander to those screaming for action, and still doesn't stop shooting incidents. Should we really be repeating this ad naseam?

I'm all for gun control reform, but let's do it sensibly and evaluate the entirety of the situation. I mean, the comparison is so often made, "Well, if you need a license to operate a motor vehicle, why not a license to operate a firearm?" Good point, and I do agree... But let me ask you this: Should being suicidal preclude you from being able to drive a motor vehicle? How about a misdemeanor drug charge or court-ordered rehabilitation? A car can be a very lethal weapon too after all.

Oh, and to head off the arguments of "Well a car is a necessity," let's realize that there are public transportation options, and many people own more than one car, or own one when they really do not need one. Just look at the motor-sports industry... If you can justify 20-40 cars driving at 200 MPH in a circle for 5 hours and all the dangers thereof, then you can justify target shooting and other firearm-related hobbies. At the end of the day, as Americans we're supposed to be able to do what we like so long as it doesn't endanger others, without regard to the merit of what we're doing. So frankly, all the arguments of "Why do you need a firearm?" are ultimately null and void. I don't need a firearm, I want one and by being a citizen of this country, I am supposed to be free to do so, as long as I do not impede on the freedoms of others.

Now... Does being able to buy an AR-15 at WalMart with not even a whole day's wait impede on the rights of others? However few and far between the incidents, I'd say yes it does. Now, does being required to wait a couple of days before getting your AR-15 really impede on your rights as an American to enjoy a firearm? Maybe a little, but it's a reasonable impediment when it comes to making sure someone isn't planning to go murder a bunch of people with it. I mean who goes out looking to buy a firearm with the idea of, "I want to shoot something, and I want to shoot something now!"

Licensing, classes, etc. I don't see as a strong impediment either. In most states you're required to take a hunter's safety course before getting a hunting license, so it would make sense for target shooting too--the legislation just isn't there. However when it comes to arbitrary restrictions on weapons or ammunition types I don't see the point, and when it comes to more "background" checks I just can't see them having the same potential to save lives as much as they have the potential to impede on people's rights.

Edit:

Melchior brought up suicide while I was posting...

Yes, firearms are the most often used, but not be as large a margin as you may think. On top of that, the less popular methods are also much more effective than percieved
user posted image

http://lostallhope.c...-lethal-methods
http://lostallhope.c...methods-suicide

Meanwhile, the comparable statistics for England/Wales. I think without the rates being adjusted for population it doesn't really say a lot, but it seems pretty clear to me that there are other popular and successful methods.

user posted image

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#13

Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:36 AM

In relation to the motorsport argument, that happens in a heavily controlled environment so doesn't really make a great parallel with firearms unless you are suggesting that, like often happens with long guns in the UK, firearm clubs/ranges hold onto weapons securely and only release them when their use is overseen.

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#14

Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:49 AM

I'm sorry, but 25% is a huge margin.

I don't know if you're trying to claim that people who can't kill themselves with guns will simply opt to hang themselves, but that's not the case. Hanging is the most popular effective method of suicide in England and Wales and it accounts for 36% of suicides while firearms are the most effective in America and they account for 50%. It's also worth noting that not everyone has access to firearms (not every house has one, some gun owners don't keep them on the premises) but everyone has access to a rope and a chair, yet firearm suicides still blow hangings out of the water. Then there's the statistics I posted that show that states with high rates of gun ownership always see higher rates of suicide with no exceptions. It's also worth noting that firearm suicides can be covered up (for life insurance, not looking like bad parents etc.) by claiming it was an accident or a burglary, but other methods can't.

The numbers don't lie and the logic behind the assertion is pretty air-tight: firearm proliferation facilitates suicide. Gun owners or not, people need to accept this fact so that something may be done. All it takes is for people to be aware of it so they can keep guns away from teenagers and get guns out of the house if there's a suicidal person there. Despite your experience, I'd also say that people who have made medically documented suicide attempts or been under observation for suicide should be temporarily barred from obtaining firearms.

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#15

Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:08 AM Edited by SagaciousKJB, 22 April 2013 - 07:34 AM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, Apr 21 2013, 23:36)
In relation to the motorsport argument, that happens in a heavily controlled environment so doesn't really make a great parallel with firearms unless you are suggesting that, like often happens with long guns in the UK, firearm clubs/ranges hold onto weapons securely and only release them when their use is overseen.

Well, it was a bad example, but really I was just saying that we do a lot of dangerous things for no real good reason. Motorsports like the type I described are usually regulated, but on the other than there are lots of off-roading enthusiasts getting hurt every year during completely unregulated events.

But my overall point is that we're allowed to do a lot of dangerous things that have no real merit in this country under the guidelines of personal freedom. Even with unregulated motorized vehicles and sporting events, there are still laws that have to be followed and there are penalties for unsafe driving. Much in the same way, there are already penalties for unsafe shooting, but I don't think they go quite far enough to prevent negligent discharges. Just to give an example however, I believe shooting without a backstop should be considered just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Melchior,

Well, a little bit more detail on the process might explain what I'm saying with the observation stuff...

According to federal law, a person who has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution should be prohibited from purchasing a firearm. This is not temporary, this is a permanent thing. So if someone was involuntarily committed due to depression problems decades ago it could still prevent them from purchasing a firearm.

This would not be so bad in and of itself if there was a way to re-qualify to posses a firearm without it being a burden on the citizen. In order to get your rights back, you must find a medical professional to deem the problem you were committed for not being likely to reoccur. So that typically means a psychiatrist, and seeing a psychiatrist is not cheap. Then one must request records ( associated fees with getting those ) and then petition the court ( another fee associated with this ) and so at the end of it, a person will probably wind up spending several hundred--maybe even a thousand--dollars to restore their rights.

Now, if the government was saying, "Okay, well, you can't have guns for 3 years after you've been involuntarily committed," that would be one thing. I mean, even if they paid the bill to have a psychiatric evaluation done, that would be okay. But to put the burden onto the citizen is wrong in my opinion.


As far as the suicide rates goes, to me it sounded like you were asserting that using a firearm was done nine times out of ten, and that all other methods paled in comparison to the effectiveness. Really though, shouldn't we be thinking more about how to prevent suicide than looking at the methods and tools used? Look at Japan's problem with suicide, and yet no firearms. I think rising trends in suicide rates are a separate problem that firearm proliferation complicates, but I don't agree that it has as tremendous effect as the statistics make it out to be. Or in other words, if we didn't have firearms, I don't think we'd really see a huge drop in numbers. It's a way bigger problem than just firearm proliferation.

Edit:
One thing that jumps out from that chart comparing firearm prevalence to suicide rates by state, is that the states with the highest rates of suicide, are some with the lowest population density...

http://en.wikipedia....ulation_density

Even more interesting is that states like Arizona and New Mexico are shown as having moderate firearm prevalence, but high rate of suicide. Meanwhile, they're some of the least densely populated states...

Not that I'm going to hark on that too much as it seems like a really simple leap to say, "Well, maybe they kill themselves more here because they're lonely," but I do think it showcases that there are other corresponding factors to consider. And I know that's kind of a shortsighted conclusion to make with such limited data, but just look at which states have the highest suicide rates... Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, three of basically the LEAST populated states in the country also have the highest rates of suicide.

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#16

Posted 22 April 2013 - 08:37 AM Edited by Melchior, 22 April 2013 - 08:39 AM.

QUOTE (SagaciousKJB @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 17:08)
http://en.wikipedia....ulation_density

Even more interesting is that states like Arizona and New Mexico are shown as having moderate firearm prevalence, but high rate of suicide.  Meanwhile, they're some of the least densely populated states...

Not that I'm going to hark on that too much as it seems like a really simple leap to say, "Well, maybe they kill themselves more here because they're lonely," but I do think it showcases that there are other corresponding factors to consider.  And I know that's kind of a shortsighted conclusion to make with such limited data, but just look at which states have the highest suicide rates...  Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, three of basically the LEAST populated states in the country also have the highest rates of suicide.

States with lower population density have more firearms. We could speculate that oil rig workers and such drive up the suicide rates of the three states you mentioned because they're lonely and have no access to urban comforts (and I'd say that's pretty spot on), but that doesn't take away from the overall trend.

QUOTE
Really though, shouldn't we be thinking more about how to prevent suicide than looking at the methods and tools used?

Obviously we should. I doubt anyone would argue that we can just get rid of the guns and the problem will solve itself. But the statistical evidence pretty clearly shows that firearm proliferation has a pretty sizeable impact on suicide rates, to the tune of hundreds or thousands of deaths per year. Even if we became proficient in tackling the issue of suicide (which we aren't at the moment, by any means) firearms will still be a problem, and there should definitely be measures and awareness to deal with it. I didn't think "keep guns away from suicidal people" would be such a controversial statement.

Obviously it's not just firearms though, we should also keep people away from medication (maybe give it to a loved one and have them dole it our as needed) to prevent overdoses, but to say "forget about how people kill themselves and focus on why" is a bit silly.

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#17

Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:12 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 01:37)
QUOTE (SagaciousKJB @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 17:08)
http://en.wikipedia....ulation_density

Even more interesting is that states like Arizona and New Mexico are shown as having moderate firearm prevalence, but high rate of suicide.  Meanwhile, they're some of the least densely populated states...

Not that I'm going to hark on that too much as it seems like a really simple leap to say, "Well, maybe they kill themselves more here because they're lonely," but I do think it showcases that there are other corresponding factors to consider.  And I know that's kind of a shortsighted conclusion to make with such limited data, but just look at which states have the highest suicide rates...  Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, three of basically the LEAST populated states in the country also have the highest rates of suicide.

States with lower population density have more firearms. We could speculate that oil rig workers and such drive up the suicide rates of the three states you mentioned because they're lonely and have no access to urban comforts (and I'd say that's pretty spot on), but that doesn't take away from the overall trend.

QUOTE
Really though, shouldn't we be thinking more about how to prevent suicide than looking at the methods and tools used?

Obviously we should. I doubt anyone would argue that we can just get rid of the guns and the problem will solve itself. But the statistical evidence pretty clearly shows that firearm proliferation has a pretty sizeable impact on suicide rates, to the tune of hundreds or thousands of deaths per year. Even if we became proficient in tackling the issue of suicide (which we aren't at the moment, by any means) firearms will still be a problem, and there should definitely be measures and awareness to deal with it. I didn't think "keep guns away from suicidal people" would be such a controversial statement.

Obviously it's not just firearms though, we should also keep people away from medication (maybe give it to a loved one and have them dole it our as needed) to prevent overdoses, but to say "forget about how people kill themselves and focus on why" is a bit silly.

Well, it's not that I think saying suicidal people shouldn't have guns is overboard, it's just that whenever something like that sounds good on paper, it winds up having a lot of undesired effects in practice. If we're going to say, "Okay, suicidal people shouldn't have guns," we also then need to say, "...but we need to ensure they can have their rights restored when they are healthy." In fact, the process to petition a court to have an observation incident struck from the record is a law that voters passed afterward, and it only allows a person to petition the court to prove they're healthy. The whole thing is kind of a half-assed attempt to fix something that's not right, when it should just be reevaluated entirely.

I mean... If a law must be passed in order to protect the rights of those effected by a different law... Then shouldn't that original law simply be modified to address the issue rather than have it be this whole ridiculous system it is now?

What I guess bothers me is that too many people suggest, "Well, that's just the way it has to be to save lives." But I disagree. I think if we're going to be taking people's gun rights because they're ill, we better give them back when they're healthy, and the burden shouldn't be on them to prove that they're healthy.

At the very least they should reimburse the court and medical fees a person incurs to restore a right that shouldn't have been taken from them. It's not their fault they were suicidal, so why should they be punished for it?

As far as the correlation between high rates of gun ownership and the high rates of suicide goes... I guess personally I just don't understand what you're proposing to do about guns to solve it. I don't think it would be fair to restrict other's access to them based on the potential for someone else to kill themselves with one.

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#18

Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:31 AM

Criminals don't follow laws and/or regulations regarding anything. So, no, I would not support any kind of gun control. 10 round limits are pointless. You would add maybe 6 seconds total of extra time to fire off 30 rounds, because of the mag change.

Basically any kind of gun control is pointless, as the perpetrators who are committing the horrible acts using firearms WILL NOT FOLLOW ANY LAW/REGULATIONS.

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#19

Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:12 AM

QUOTE (Kobalt__ @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 02:31)
Criminals don't follow laws and/or regulations regarding anything.

This is a flawed argument for one simple reason- limiting access to firearms amongst the citizenry limits the number of weapons in circulation. Whether or not the criminals who use firearms will follow the laws and regulations is largely moot if their ability to acquire firearms is limited. Nations with relatively low rates of firearm-related crime usually possess well-controlled firearm distribution, ban to the greatest extent non-mediated private sales, and have an effective stance on illegal firearm distribution. For example, firearm crime is extremely rare in the UK even given the fact that this includes replica, converted and blank-firing weapons and cases that merely involve the presence of a firearm. Actual occasions involving the discharge of a firearm are so uncommon they might as well be a rounding error in the grand scheme of the statistics. Firearm crime still happens, and there are still fatal shootings, but the number is extraordinarily low compared to the US, for instance.

Also worth pointing out that most criminals use weapons- be they firearms or anything else- purely for the shock value and have little to no intent of actually using them aggressively; that mass-casualty shootings effectively never happen with illegally procured firearms, and that most firearms used in crime in the US are grey-market purchases.

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#20

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:44 AM

Wait, criminals don't follow laws? They run around driving their cars on the pavement, killing, raping and stealing at will and shooting up heroin at the library? And I've never noticed?

Seriously though, criminals commit crimes, yes, but that doesn't mean they're incapable of cost/benefit analysis. A criminal is less inclined to carry a firearm if being searched by the cops could lead to a lengthy prison sentence. On top of what sivis already outlined (the costs associated with scarcity), there's another reason criminals in Australia and the UK tend not to carry guns: because they will eventually be searched and sent to prison. "A criminal doesn't obey the law" is such a logically flawed argument that I can't even believe someone would make it in earnest.

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#21

Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 07:12)
QUOTE (Kobalt__ @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 02:31)
Criminals don't follow laws and/or regulations regarding anything.

This is a flawed argument for one simple reason- limiting access to firearms amongst the citizenry limits the number of weapons in circulation. Whether or not the criminals who use firearms will follow the laws and regulations is largely moot if their ability to acquire firearms is limited. Nations with relatively low rates of firearm-related crime usually possess well-controlled firearm distribution, ban to the greatest extent non-mediated private sales, and have an effective stance on illegal firearm distribution. For example, firearm crime is extremely rare in the UK even given the fact that this includes replica, converted and blank-firing weapons and cases that merely involve the presence of a firearm. Actual occasions involving the discharge of a firearm are so uncommon they might as well be a rounding error in the grand scheme of the statistics. Firearm crime still happens, and there are still fatal shootings, but the number is extraordinarily low compared to the US, for instance.

Also worth pointing out that most criminals use weapons- be they firearms or anything else- purely for the shock value and have little to no intent of actually using them aggressively; that mass-casualty shootings effectively never happen with illegally procured firearms, and that most firearms used in crime in the US are grey-market purchases.

Drugs are illegal, yet a wide range of people still use them. Just because you make something illegal doesnt make it inaccessible.

And criminals not carrying a gun because it could make them go to prison of caught? If a criminal is committing crimes do you honestly think they're worried about going to jail for a handgun?

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#22

Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:44 PM

QUOTE (Kobalt__ @ Tuesday, Apr 30 2013, 03:32)
And criminals not carrying a gun because it could make them go to prison of caught? If a criminal is committing crimes do you honestly think they're worried about going to jail for a handgun?

Yes. Cost/benefit analysis. You seem to be under the impression that criminals are only criminals because they are completely unafraid of any consequences. This is obviously not the case, otherwise the criminal element would be driving their cars through shopping centres, robbing everyone they meet and killing everyone who steps on their toes.

QUOTE
Drugs are illegal, yet a wide range of people still use them. Just because you make something illegal doesnt make it inaccessible.

The high costs associated with scarcity makes it inaccessible. Drug users don't face any such obstacles.

According to you, criminals will always have access to firearms and will always be unafraid to carry and use them, so why do countries with gun control measures always see less gun-related crimes?

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#23

Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (Kobalt__ @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 18:32)
Drugs are illegal, yet a wide range of people still use them.

Right, because partaking in in the use of illicit drugs and possessing firearms for criminal purposes are completely identical to all intents and purposes, aren't they? I mean, what penalty do you get in the UK for being caught with even class A drugs? A community order and a £200 fine. And illegal possession of a prohibited firearm? Mandatory 5 years unless you have extreme mitigating circumstances. Drugs are also far easier to hide, policed far less intensively, and have a much higher potential user base. They're completely incomparable; it's a terrible, unworkable comparison.

QUOTE (Kobalt__ @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 18:32)
Just  because you make something illegal doesnt make it inaccessible.

I never claimed it did. But in the case of firearms, it does make access to them much more difficult. Take, for instance, Singapore, where for all intents and purposes firearms are illegal, full stop. How much firearm crime do they have? Effectively none. If you take most Western, democratic nations, and remove firearm crimes related solely to the crime of possession (which differs from nation to nation) the rate of crime involving firearms increases pretty much in parallel with their availability. In the US, where they have very few restrictions, the rate of violent crime involving firearms is extremely high. In most of Southern and Central Europe, where firearm access is limited, these rates are much lower. In Germany and the Nordic countries, which have quite high levels of firearm proliferation but also very stringent requirements for ownership, they are very low.

Are you honestly trying to say that there is no correlation between rates of firearm ownership and use of firearms in crime in nations where criminal justice systems and cultures are roughly comparable?

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#24

Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:49 PM

Aren't most those countries that have bans on guns and lower gun crimes have on the other hand have higher crimes in general with say assaults with knives or blunt objects? I remember hearing this somewhere but not sure on the statistics.


I have to ask though, what is the ban on certain guns/magazines supposed to actually do? Are we trying to stop violence? What the end game of all this, to ban all guns? Why only try banning the ones that seem dangerous (despite what statistics actually show) instead of ones used most commonly in shootings?

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#25

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:39 PM

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 20:49)
Aren't most those countries that have bans on guns and lower gun crimes have on the other hand have higher crimes in general with say assaults with knives or blunt objects? I remember hearing this somewhere but not sure on the statistics.

No, most comparable nations that have restrictions on firearms and lower firearm crime rates have lower overall crime rates too (I'm hesitant about using terms like "bans", because they aren't any more a ban than the restrictions the US has on fully automatic weapons and short-barrelled shotguns are). The murder rates in places like the UK don't see firearm murders supplanted with knife ones, for instance. I think if you exclude firearm murders the murder rate in the UK and US is about the same. You just get massively less of them. It's the same with all violent crime. The only reason why the US figures for violent crime look relatively decent is because of how hilarious narrow their criteria for categorising it are. For instance, in the US, sexual assault isn't categorised as violent crime. Nor is any violent disorder that doesn't result in actual bodily harm, or many kinds of theft from the person. Plus the US only categorises the most serious crime in a single incident, rather than all of them. So, for crime reporting statistics, a single extremely violent home invasion incident that may involve a murder, a rape, two cases of grievous bodily harm and a violent robbery would only be categorised as a murder, rather than the five separate crimes it actually is. There was a massive argument not so long ago with regards to this, when someone claimed that the UK figures for violent crime per capita were significantly higher than in the US. I went to great pains to highlight exactly what crimes are categorised as violent in the US (murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault and violent robbery)- you can probably see for yourself just how many violent crimes are missing from that list.

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Monday, Apr 29 2013, 20:49)
AI have to ask though, what is the ban on certain guns/magazines supposed to actually do? Are we trying to stop violence? What the end game of all this, to ban all guns? Why only try banning the ones that seem dangerous (despite what statistics actually show) instead of ones used most commonly in shootings?

Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. I don't agree in principle with the idea of banning weapons because of defining characteristics. That said, semi-automatic, military-pattern, intermediate-calibre rifles are disproportionately used in mass shootings in the US- at a far higher rate than any other firearm when their proliferation is taken into account. For example, there are many more full-power bolt-action hunting rifles and pump-action shotguns in circulation in the US than there are semi-automatic intermediate-calibre rifles, yet they seldom feature in either violent crime or mass shootings. I think much of it has to do with the kind of people who are appealed to by certain kinds of firearm.

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#26

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:43 PM

Well iirc handguns/pistols are actually the most used weapon in violent crimes overall.


Mass shootings are most definitely tragedies, but I've read they're actually responsible for less than 100 out of 12,000 annual homicides in the US. They're not as common as they're made out to be in comparison to homicides, it's just mainstream media exploits mass shootings anytime they happen.

Also neighborhoods that have gun 'restrictions' have higher crime rates than those without, since restricting/banning firearms is only disabling the honest law-abiding citizen not the law-breaking criminal.

In a perfect world it would be nice to do away with all firearms, but this isn't a perfect world and everyday citizens should be allowed to defend themselves, these restrictions are really only hurting the law abiding citizens anyhow..



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#27

Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:32 AM

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Tuesday, Apr 30 2013, 00:43)
Also neighborhoods that have gun 'restrictions' have higher crime rates than those without, since restricting/banning firearms is only disabling the honest law-abiding citizen not the law-breaking criminal.

I'm pretty sure this is actually a myth. Taken from the abstract of "Value of Civilian Handgun Possession as a Deterrent to Crime or a Defense Against Crime" by Dr D. B Kates:

QUOTE
...The gun lobby supports the common sense intuition that the average criminal has no more desire to face an armed citizen than the average citizen has to face an armed criminal. However, the possibility that gun ownership reduces the activity level of confrontation offenders is only an unsubstantiated speculation; gun lobby propaganda has exaggerated the deterrent effect of gun ownership by not discounting for displacement effects that represent no net gain in overall crime reduction

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#28

Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:32 AM

http://www.timesfree...ones-dont-work/

QUOTE
John Lott, an economist and gun rights advocate who authored the book "More Guns, Less Crime," recently examined mass shootings. He discovered that: "With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns."




25 YEARS MURDER-FREE IN 'GUN TOWN USA'

QUOTE
Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189.

By comparison, the population of Morton Grove, the first city in Illinois to adopt a gun ban for anyone other than police officers, has actually dropped slightly and stands at 22,202, according to 2005 statistics. More significantly, perhaps, the city’s crime rate increased by 15.7 percent immediately after the gun ban, even though the overall crime rate in Cook County rose only 3 percent. Today, by comparison, the township’s crime rate stands at 2,268 per 100,000.




I really think the numbers speak for themselves. Requiring each head of the household to own a gun lowered crime rates substantially.

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#29

Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:22 PM Edited by sivispacem, 01 May 2013 - 07:22 AM.

I don't think either of those examples actually say a great deal. The first one isn't even true; or more at the very least it seems to use a really bizarre definition of a "place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns". I know of a number of mass fatality mass shootings off-hand which happened in places where firearm possession was perfectly legal. I've listed them elsewhere. There have been numerous multiple fatality shootings that have happened in private residences- how do these statistics reflect them? Put simply it cannot be true. It is just pro-firearm propaganda from a self confessed biased source- it's even listed as an editorial on the page that hosts it. The second, whilst interesting, is a single isolated incident and doesn't say anything at all about the wider implications of such a policy.

If you don't mind an ugly text font, the entirety of the article I originally mentioned can be found here. It was published in a merit-worthy, peer review journal, and examines the legitimacy of the claims of the firearm lobby that parts of the US with a high proliferation of firearms in the hands of the citizenry are safer. It finds that, statistically speaking, this is entirely untrue. As a general summary, the author highlights several cases in which firearm proliferation has correlated with higher rates of crime once ownership restrictions are loosened and when no other fundamental change in the law has taken place; conversely, he goes on to analyse and discount instances of dramatic drops in crime that organisations like the NRA have alleged to be related directly to increasing proliferation of firearm but which are actually responses by the police and criminal justice system to endemic problems. It does, however, support the ownership of defensive handguns by the populace- which I do too.

I'll quote from the conclusion:

QUOTE (Kates et al)
Finally some caveats may be offered on the limited import of the evidence I have reviewed for issues of firearms regulation. Clearly this evidence disposes of the claim that handguns are so lacking in social utility that courts should, in effect, eliminate their sale to the general public under the doctrine of strict liability. This evidence likewise cuts strongly against severe statutory restrictions based on the belief that handgun ownership offers few social benefits to offset the harms associated with it. Moreover, even if handguns offered no benefits whatsoever, neither does banning them—except as part of a policy of outlawing and confiscating guns of all kinds. What the evidence on crime reductive utility of firearms most definitely does not do is undercut the case for controls tailored to denying firearms of all kinds to felons, juveniles and the mentally impaired. Indeed, Professors Kleck and Bordua, the criminologists principally responsible for documenting that utility, remain strongly supportive of such controls if carefully tailored not to prevent handgun ownership among the responsible adult population. Moreover, it is still possible to argue for going beyond control to the prohibition and confiscation of all types of firearms if it can realistically be posited that the net gain in reducing suicide, gun accident, and certain kinds of homicide might outweigh the reductive effect of civilian firearms ownership on crime.

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#30

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:17 AM Edited by SagaciousKJB, 01 May 2013 - 07:21 AM.

Recidivism rates in the U.S. would suggest that being prosecuted for a weapons crime does not deter many criminals from carrying one. The rate at which a convict is re-arrested within 1-3 years of being released is about 30%, which the figure rising to as high as 50% for weapons related incidents. Culturally and anecdotally speaking, many people who are criminals ( gang members for example ) carry a gun out of a feeling of need and see going to prison for possession that gun as less of a risk as being shot at and not having the gun to defend themselves with. Still, it can't really be debated that without weapons laws, that there would be pretty much no deterrence at all.

What I believe most people are trying to convey when they say that more legislation will not help, is that in its current state the U.S. justice system does not really deter many crimes from happening whether it be weapons related, drug related, property crime, etc. The only crimes that are really deterred by any degree with law ( if going by recidivism rates ) are violent crimes. Simply put, when a criminal only serves two years of a 10-15 year sentence and is paroled, that sends a message to that criminal and all other criminals that those types of crimes are not a big deal. Not surprisingly, those crimes are the ones that are committed again most often. Violent crimes are far less likely to have this type of early release associated with them, and as statistics show people are less likely to re offend after the release from a sentence involving a violent crime.

Basically speaking, no amount of new firearm legislation is really going to make a dent in the amount of criminals carrying firearms unless the justice system actually enforces stricter sentencing guidelines. The penalties and restrictions are already harsh enough as it is, it's the sentencing and conviction of these crimes and criminals that falls short in creating a larger deterrence. Simply creating newer laws is not going to change anything if people do not fear or respect the laws on the book already.


Meanwhile, the talk about UK knife crime... It often seems like there is an attempt to trivialize the matter of knife crime in the UK by comparing it to the overall crime rate of the U.S. However I think that detracts from the very evident knife crime problem that there really is in the UK. Knife crime accounts for 30% of homicide in the UK, and the number at which hospital visits resulting from "assault with a sharp object" are rising steadily.

http://www.publicati...f/112/11205.htm

Figure 2: Homicide by apparent method of killing, England and Wales, 1997/08-2007/08
user posted image

Figure 4: Knife injuries as proportion of all serious injuries 1994-2008
user posted image

And as that page points out, the number of people admitted to the hospital with a serious knife injury does not reflect the total number of people assaulted by a knife who may not require hospitalization, and does not reflect those who may not report such incidents at all.


So, I think we can concede that the UK does in fact have a problem with knife crime. However, I'm not really compelled to say it has anything to do with restrictions on firearms. One might be tempted to look at the increases in the mid 90s and attribute that to the 1997 Firearms Act causing people to supplant gun crime with knife crime, but I don't think that's actually what the statistics show. Take this table for example...

Figure 3: Violent incidents in which a knife was used, British Crime Survey data
user posted image

With this data I think a stronger case could be made that the 1997 Firearms Act ( which is what effectively banned handguns in the UK if I'm not mistaken ) actually lead to a decrease in violent crimes involving knives. But as the page points out itself, there is some trouble getting accurate reports on the frequency of knife crimes due to a lack of reporting.

Personally though, I do not believe that there's really a strong assertion by many that a handgun ban somehow caused knife violence to supplant gun violence on a 1:1 ratio. On the other hand I think what people attempt to demonstrate is that, even without guns, people will then turn to the next most lethal instrument as the sort of "modus operandi". I don't think it really causes an increase in incidents... I mean after all, just because you cannot get a hold of or use a gun any more, doesn't make the prospect of stabbing anyone somehow more appealing, so the deterring factors against knife crime are still in place. What is different is that you're simply making knives "the next worse thing".

In the end, I believe that some crimes that occur with firearms such as drive-by shootings, mass shootings, and that type of thing are in a league of their own and that a person really cannot emulate attacks like these with a knife very well. Sure there is that story going around about the man in China who ran amok stabbing everyone, but when talking about a person's willingness to go and hurt many people, the pure physicality and determination one has to possess to use a knife is its own deterrence.

However that being said, crimes of passion, vengeance, extortion/intimidation, if we did not have a wide access to firearms, I do feel that these crimes would just be committed with other weapons. Knife crime isn't exactly a small issue in the U.S. as it stands, and I can definitely see a dynamic unfolding where it increases as restrictions on firearms increase.

I think it's really a shame too because as a knife enthusiast I encounter the attitude of, "Why do you need a knife?" all the time. In fact it's sort of strange, most people assume I carry a knife for self-defense and look at me strange when I tell them, "To cut things." I mean, we do live in a society where every package of food or candy attempts to put an easy-tear perforation on it, and one could argue that there really isn't any "use" for knives in a modern society. On the other hand, I think once a person has failed at using those conveniently provided perforations and sent a bag of chips or M&Ms flying all over the place, they would begin to appreciate the value of having a cutting tool on hand. But once again the idea is one of, "Well, why not a pair of scissors?"

I personally do not want to see knives treated the same way in the U.S. as they are in the UK, vilified as nothing but weapons, but I think that would be the result if the U.S. adopted firearms restrictions similar to those of the UK. It simply won't stop at discussing banning firearms and will lead to discussing banning knives as it has in the UK, and if you don't believe me then just go view Al Sharpton's latest comments regarding knives and knife crime--he wants to get the ball rolling before we even take care of the gun issue.

I do think it's a little blind to say that restrictions on firearms will not lower the use of firearms in violent crimes, as such statistics have been demonstrated with other countries. However, people seem to just scoff at the notion that a reform on firearm laws will lead to the reform of many other laws, effecting many other types of instruments that can be "deadly". Will such a snowballing effect really have that much of an effect on deterring the rates of violent crime overall, or will it simply serve to impede on the freedom's of people who want to carry and use certain tools/weapons?

Pulling this straight out of my behind, I'd wager that for every one person a gun law actually saves, there's at least a hundred people whose rights it infringes. Meanwhile, when we're talking about things as arbitrary as magazine limits, I really do not see how that could possibly stop the incidents which it is attempting to answer. Reforming gun laws in an attempt to address gun violence in our nation overall is a good idea, but as an attempt to stop incidents like Sandy Hook, Columbine, the VT massacre, etc. I just don't see the laws as having a great deal of effect there.

I've mentioned it a time or two before, but Seung-Hui Cho should not have been able to purchase the firearms he used if the law were effective. Because of a technical loop-hole, his being treated in an outpatient style did not preclude him from passing a federal background check as it would if he had been committed on an inpatient basis. That is an oversight that can be corrected, but the damage has already been done. In the meantime, this law that did not stop Seung-Hui Cho from purchasing his firearms and killing many people, has stopped thousands of Americans from purchasing a gun for perfectly legal reasons and under unreasonable circumstances. People who have been depressed/suicidal several years ago and who are doing better are precluded from purchasing a firearm until they petition a court to have their rights restored, people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor drug charge are precluded and I don't know if there's even a way for them to petition to have their rights restored. Am I actually supposed to believe that because Tom wanted to kill himself a couple years ago, and Dick had a joint on him, that neither of them should be able to own firearms? Okay, but if I'm going to believe that, then it damn well better stop people like Seung-Hui Cho, and they don't.

I don't think you could get a more text-book example of punishing the masses for the actions of a few.




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