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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:44 AM

Why Gun ‘Control’ Is Not Enough (NYT)

A very thoughtful article in the NYT arguing that the only real solution that would get our rates of homicide and gun violence down dramatically is a ban or near-ban on guns. I'm not sure I agree with this, and it's definitely not politically feasible in the foreseeable future, but it is thought-provoking nonetheless.

Americans are finally beginning to have a serious discussion about guns. One argument we’re hearing is the central pillar of the case for private gun ownership: that we are all safer when more individuals have guns because armed citizens deter crime and can defend themselves and others against it when deterrence fails. Those who don’t have guns, it’s said, are free riders on those who do, as the criminally disposed are less likely to engage in crime the more likely it is that their victim will be armed.

When most citizens are armed, as they were in the Wild West, crime doesn’t cease. The criminals get better.
There’s some sense to this argument, for even criminals don’t like being shot. But the logic is faulty, and a close look at it leads to the conclusion that the United States should ban private gun ownership entirely, or almost entirely.

One would think that if widespread gun ownership had the robust deterrent effects that gun advocates claim it has, our country would be freer of crime than other developed societies. But it’s not. When most citizens are armed, as they were in the Wild West, crime doesn’t cease. Instead, criminals work to be better armed, more efficient in their use of guns (“quicker on the draw”), and readier to use them. When this happens, those who get guns may be safer than they would be without them, but those without them become progressively more vulnerable.

Gun advocates have a solution to this: the unarmed must arm themselves. But when more citizens get guns, further problems arise: people who would once have got in a fistfight instead shoot the person who provoked them; people are shot by mistake or by accident.


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/why-gun-control-is-not-enough/?hp

5 replies, 1336 views

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Reply Why Gun ‘Control’ Is Not Enough (NYT) (Original post)
DanTex Dec 2012 OP
LAGC Dec 2012 #1
DanTex Dec 2012 #2
hack89 Dec 2012 #3
DanTex Dec 2012 #4
ralfy Dec 2012 #5

Response to DanTex (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:56 AM

1. The article makes a good point.

The only way to stop gun violence is to ban all guns. Half-assed gun control measures won't work.

Problem is, Pandora's Box is already opened. No putting the genie back in the bottle at this point.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:02 AM

2. Like I said, I'm not sure if I agree, but the article does make some good arguments.

I tend to believe that the public health approach can cut down gun violence without an outright ban.

In any case, the fact that there are currently a lot of guns out there is not an excuse for inaction. We were able to reduce machine gun violence to almost zero. Sure, it would take some time, but if we regulated handguns and semi-autos in the same way as machine guns, we would eventually see dramatic results.

The problems are political, not practical.

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Response to DanTex (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:03 AM

3. Won't happen until the 2A is amended. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:05 AM

4. Or else get rid of the right-wing SCOTUS, and go back to the original interpretation of 2A.

But I agree that this is not politically feasible anytime soon. Neither is, say, single-payer healthcare. That shouldn't stop us from discussing it.

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Response to DanTex (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:59 AM

5. Good Find

Thanks. Perhaps one should start with gun control first, and then move from there.

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