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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:18 AM
Original message
Poll question: Does high gun ownership rate correlate to lower murder rates?
I wanted to get a feel for what people think before I post the results of my study.
When considering all nations (that have data for murder rate and gun possession rate, n=180) do nations with high gun ownership rate have a higher or lower crime rate than nations with low gun possession rate? Will a t test with 95% confidence interval be able to verify it?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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GKirk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. How does a poll answer this question?
This question is a matter of fact not of opinion.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I just want to see what posters think before the information is posted
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GKirk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. So I take it that I tell you my opinion then...
...you will tell me how dumb my opinion is?
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. It's what you think is true. I'll post the results of the study later and you can check the data
And method
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
2. P.S. I didn't vote and the results aren't ready yet
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. This is an empirical question and you left the correct answer off
"Correlation" has a specific meaning, and plenty of people have done a regression on this, and there is no discernible correlation.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. If it is backed by a t test that is verified correlation
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. There's no such thing as "unverified correlation"
That's why I said "correlation has a meaning". Data points have a correlation > than a threshhold or not.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. There is also plausibility and temporally it is possible
You can't prove correlation 100% that's why this is a 95% confidence interval, that's enough evidence of correlation to accept correlation.

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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
87. Sorry, I have to agree with Recursion
You didn't allow for answers in the poll to the effect that no correlation exists; you've only allowed for the possibility that levels of gun ownership (presumably legal gun ownership) correlate to either higher or lower murder rates, but not that it doesn't correlate at all.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. Given your previous posts, I think we can predict your results
So much for independent, unbiased research.
:eyes:

Busted! Nations with high murder rates trying to pass themselves off as having little violence

http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/IHS-ra ...

Based on WHO the following nations are some of the nations lying about their murder rate

Nigeria claims their murder rate is around 1-2, when in fact it is more like 17.7 (WHO)
Sierra lion busted claiming theirs is 2-3, when it is 34 based on (WHO)

Just to mention a few.

What's the point? These countries also have very few firearms per 100. Nigeria has about 1.5 / 100 and sierra lion has 0.6 / 100

---So says the poster/researcher..... :eyes:
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It doesn't matter if you think it is biased if the information is correct.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:28 AM by lawodevolution
murder rate is murder rate, gun possession rate is gun possession rate
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Three words: "Doctor Andrew Wakefield"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/...

His biases that led to fraudulent use/analysis of data were not detected for decades.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
88. Strictly speaking, that's two words
Since Wakefield isn't a doctor anymore (and rightly so).
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Oh, gawd! That DOES it! I'm cancelling my trip to Luxembourg!
I'll get over there thinking I'm safe from guns and blammo, I'll be dead before I know it! Aaaagh...
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. All the data I use comes from anti-gun groups or groups associated with anti-gun activity
Just in case you have a problem with the data

I'm using gun-policy from Australia, WHO, and a list of murder rates on wiki that I didn't modify.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. So, would you ignore the truth if it disagreed with your beliefs?
Nothing unusual in that, the ability to ignore logic, facts and statistics is displayed daily here in the Gungeon.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I have seen that too
but not by who you may think.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. The correlation of gun ownership PER SE is really not the issue.
This is a diversion. Don't be fooled. If you take a look at countries with high ownership of guns but low gun crime rates, such as Norway, you find strict regulation of gun ownership which would be met with screams of horror by the gun lobby in this country. For instance, you cannot (easily if at all) get a permit for a gun for personal safety reasons (Norway has a lot of hunters in its population, for instance, and target shooting is popular). The police can come into your home and inspect your "gun safe" to see that it meets government regulations for storing guns. Certain kinds of guns are not allowed for civilian use (total ban on automatic weapons except for collectors, modification of semi to fully automated guns is a felony crime without police permission, handgun ownership has caliber restrictions). And you'd better have a damned good reason to be carrying one around on your person ("taking it in for repair").

So whenever you hear about these seemingly "interesting" studies about gun ownership/safety, look up that country's REGULATION of gun ownership, esp. in Western Europe. THAT'S what is truly "interesting"!

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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #25
48. they often balance out
We similar rules about automatic weapons. In the US, you can not modify a gun from semi to full auto period. That makes their machine gun laws laxer than ours, not by much. Your post implies that we may buy a machine gun at the local Wal Mart.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. My point was that this poll is really not proving much of anything.
The implication is that where citizens can own guns, it is the REASON there is less gun crime. I am trying to point out that there are stricter gun regulations in those countries than we have here.

In my example, I don't see how you "get" that Norway's ban on modifying a gun from semi to full auto is somehow "laxer" than our laws. And where did I say you could buy a machine gun at Wal Mart? Did you read my entire post?

The further point is that nations that have constitutional democracies and allow guns to be owned by individuals, such as Norway, are comfortable with stricter controls on guns (e.g. registration, tracing devices on guns, limitations on the reason you want to own a gun, etc.). Without taking this data into consideration, the poll offered proves nothing but somehow, slyly purports otherwise.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #52
63. splitting hairs but
I found that any time someone brings up automatic weapons, seems that they either don't know what they are talking about or assume the National Firearms Act of 1934 was never passed. Hence, machine guns at WalMart.
You said they may convert from semi to full auto after jumping through hoops with the police. Here, there is no BATFE permission slip, just a trip to Club Fed. Also, suppressors (aka silencers) are unregulated in Norway (as is in Finland, France, and New Zealand). Here? See NFA-1934.
Since the police in Norway don't carry guns, it would be awkward to try to get a CCW from people by job description look for trouble unarmed.
The Brady Bunch often complain about gun ownership (like lovers spats gone bad) as the main cause of murder.

Since all of the countries that have higher murder rates have stricter gun laws than us or Norway, your point is kind of moot. The real reasons are much larger and more complex.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #63
79. "all the countries"?
I wasn't referring to "all the countries" that have higher murder rates. And I literally picked Norway out randomly.

What you are doing is mixing nations with oppressive regimes with those that are constitutional democracies. What I am trying to argue is that allowing citizens to have guns and also to have strict regulation of those guns is not inconsistent with high murder rates, but rather with low murder rates. That point is not moot at all.

apples to apples, please.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #25
51. Errr....
Certain kinds of guns are not allowed for civilian use (total ban on automatic weapons except for collectors, modification of semi to fully automated guns is a felony crime without police permission, handgun ownership has caliber restrictions).

You are aware that those same restrictions exist in the USA, and have since the 1930s? Right?
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. Yes, I know that there are some restrictions.
Tell me, how do you feel about those restrictions?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. They make sense to me
I'm not aware of anybody who's working to overturn the 1934 NFA. Some people would like to see the registry reopened (Reagan closed it meaning no new automatic weapons have come on to the civilian market since 1986 -- this makes us tougher on machine guns than Norway) and at any rate there have been IIRC 2 deaths from machine guns in the US in the past 50 years, so I'm not particularly concerned either way (there was that duo in CA who did a bank robbery with actual automatic rifles, but the only people killed were the robbers).

There's obviously something arbitrary about the caliber limit being .50, but I also don't see any particular argument for increasing it or decreasing it, and since it should probably be something, .50 is as good as anything else.

More recently, I think the Brady background check law is flawed but better than nothing (there should be a way for private individuals to access it; this is the deceptively-named "gun show loophole": it has nothing to do with gun shows, and is not a loophole but rather a deliberate feature of the law that only licensed firearms dealers can perform background checks).

The 1994 assault weapons ban was sold on lies, did nothing to address gun crime (assault weapons kill fewer people per year than bare hands and feet), and its only effect was handing Congress to the GOP. It should not have been passed, and I've never met anyone who supports it who actually knew what it did.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. What is your definition of "assault weapons"?
Was the gun used in the Tucson shooting considered an "assault weapon" by any standard?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. "My" definition of assault weapons?
"My" definition doesn't matter; there was a definition in the bill, IIRC:

1) Any of a list of specific makes and models of firearms (some of these deserved to be banned on consumer protection reasons; this would have been a fine bill on its own).

2) Any rifle with three of: a threaded muzzle, a bayonet lug, a modern orthopedic grip, a detachable magazine, a folding stock, or a mount for a grenade launcher (the grenades themselves are already for all practical purposes illegal)

3) Any shotgun with two of: a folding stock, a modern orthopedic grip, a detachable magazine, or an internal magazine capable of holding 5 rounds or more.

4) Any pistol with two of: a magazine forward of the pistol grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded muzzle, or unloaded weight greater than something (60 ounces? 50?)

It was stupid, stupid, stupid. I find the ban on modern (safer) orthopedic grips particularly galling.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. Now, what about the weapon used in Tucson? Was it an assault weapon?
Did any of the definitions you have listed in that bill fit the Tucson gunners weapon?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. No, AFAIK he used a Glock 19
He used an extended magazine that was somewhat more expensive to buy during the ban because it couldn't be imported. But the fact that he did probably saved lives since it malfunctioned (as they are wont to do).
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. I thought he ran out of ammo and was disarmed when he stopped and tried to reload.
I did not hear or read that his weapon malfunctioned. Seems to me it functioned very well. How many people did he kill/wound and how long did it take for him to do so?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. Now that you mention it I've never seen the malfunction confirmed
It was based on the fact that he fired around 20 shots from a 33-round magazine and then attempted to change magazines with rounds still in the original one (at which point he was tackled).

He shot nineteen people, six of them fatally (a twentieth person was injured while beating the shooter with a folding chair) in something like 30 seconds.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. Would it be legal for a citizen in Norway to have such a weapon?
I'm sure you know more than I about the gun laws in other countries (constitutional democracies, not countries with oppressive governments).

What I have read, however, leads me to believe that such constitutional democracies (where citizens may own guns) have more and stricter restrictions on guns that are legally owned than we do in the U.S. Do you believe that to be true?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. I believe Norway has no restrictions on magazine capacity
And Google tentatively agrees (searching for Norway magazine capacity limit yields no pages about such a limit, though also no outright denial that such a thing exists).

What I have read, however, leads me to believe that such constitutional democracies (where citizens may own guns) have more and stricter restrictions on guns that are legally owned than we do in the U.S. Do you believe that to be true?

I think it varies largely country-by-country. At any rate, we're much more violent with any implement than most of our industrialized peers.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #64
65. So, let's circle back to the title of this thread.
Does high gun ownership rate correlate to lower murder rates?

Without more, do you think this question proves anything?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #65
67. I had an early post saying, specifically, it does not
And that this is not some mysterious question calling for a lot of research. Gun ownership and murder rates are easily-found data vectors, the chi-squared or markov regressions to find correlation are within the reach of anyone who has taken an undergrad stats or probability class, and the correlation over the body of data is as small as anything in a soft science ever gets.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #67
68. well, this leaves me wondering what the point of the poll is.
Do you have any guesses or ideas?
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
119. my bad
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 07:54 PM by gejohnston
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #55
104. no it is not.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
13. Guns are ever so dreamy. nt
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. They complete me!
:swoon:
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Strange, I own a good number of firearms ...
I enjoy shooting them at paper targets occasionally. To me they are a lot like a bag of golf clubs is to a golfer.

Collecting and shooting firearms to me is primarily a hobby and secondarily provides me the ability to exercise my right to defend myself or my family if absolutely necessary.

But I don't obsess about firearms as much as you do and I doubt if you even own one.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. I own several
sorry to burst yer bubble

:D
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Yet you want to ban others from owning guns. Petty
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. yeah - I'm petty like that
:rofl:
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Well now we know you own firearms ...
what do YOU do with them?

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. You haven't been paying atttention have you
:D
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I admit I don't pay a lot of attention to your posts ...
as they lack both a depth of thought and reasoning. You could correct that and you would be far more interesting to discuss the issue of gun control with.

However, the fact that you say that you do own firearms is interesting considering that you seem so opposed to others who own and legally carry them. That's why I asked the question on how you use your firearms. Most people who strongly oppose firearms have little knowledge of them.

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. *FAIL* "Most people who strongly oppose firearms have little knowledge of them." *FAIL*
yup
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. O.K. Some questions ...
1) Do you own firearms and if so what general type, revolvers, pistols, rifles, shotguns?

2) Do you have any background in shooting, for example the military, the police, childhood experiences, safety courses, shooting at a range, plinking?

3) Do you shoot on a regular basis?

Your choice on whether you answer the questions or not, but obviously if you wish me to take you seriously, you will.

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. First of all - you can't call me out
Second of all what I own ad shoot is none of your business.

But I do hunt and went through NRA marksmanship and hunter safety programs as a kid

am I worthy now of you approval?

:D
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oneshooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #37
38.  No.
Yup
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. You don't want to trot out any more than your standard
inane babble because you know if you try to discuss anything real we'll figure out pretty quick what you know and what you don't.

Safer to post like a spoiled seven year old.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. awww - don't you like me?
:D
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. I don't know you well enough
to dislike you. But you're not doing Democrats any favors here.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. I appreciate the fact that you answered ...
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 08:54 PM by spin
it was your choice and I don't feel that I was calling you out. I was merely interested in your experience with shooting and firearms.

My approval is irrelevant but I will accept that you have some knowledge and experience.

I am somewhat more open than you are and am willing to answer the same questions I posed to you.

I own a small collection of firearms including revolvers, pistols, rifles and shotguns. I primarily have enjoyed informal target shooting as a hobby for 50 years and my experience is mainly with handguns. I own a number of .22 caliber handguns (both revolvers and pistols), a 9mm revolver, two .38 caliber revolvers, several .38/.357 revolvers, two .45 acp revolvers, three Colt .45 acp pistols and one .44 magnum revolver. I also own one .22 caliber bolt action target rifle, two Mauser rifles (one German and one Swedish) and a 12 gauge coach gun.

I was in the Air Force and qualified with an M16 and an MI carbine on a yearly basis. After I left the service, I developed my interest in target shooting handguns. I found the sport extremely challenging and it became a rewarding hobby that led to meeting many very friendly people who also enjoyed the hobby. I enjoyed talking with fellow shooters about politics and computers as much as I did shooting.

I have never went hunting, but I have no problem with the sport. I have considered hunting deer and wild hog since I retired, but the fact that I have a hip that needs replaced and I find walking any distance difficult limits my ability.

If I may ask another question, why do you appear so opposed to other responsible people owning and carrying firearms?

Edited for typo





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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #43
50. never mind
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rl6214 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
72. I call bullshit
You aren't being called out, it is an attempt to engage in dialog instead of the insults and snark you normally engage in. Others here including myself have talked of our hobby and firearms owned but for you it's none of our business, you are too good for us.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #34
49. PASS every anti I know has little or know knowledge of them PASS
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Logical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. No proof guns cause murders or reduce murders. Valid studies show both. But......
since the criminals always have them then the honest people deserve them.

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billh58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
21. I believe that the volumes of statistics
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 01:34 PM by billh58
which appear daily in this forum do little to address an obvious fact: the vast majority of legally manufactured guns in the United States enter the system as legal purchases initially. How then, do legally purchased guns become illegal weapons in the hands of criminals?

The most often repeated reasoning behind advocating wide-spread arming of the general public in the public venue, is the need for self-defense because criminals are illegally armed. The question then becomes: how are legally purchased guns being acquired illegally by criminals?

Are guns being stolen from legal purchasers? Are legal purchasers selling them to criminals illegally? Are they being "lost" by legal purchasers, and "found" by criminals? Whatever method criminals use to acquire illegal guns, it doesn't appear to be all that difficult for them get as many guns as they want.

It would seem that it would be more socially beneficial to plug the gushing leak that allows criminals to obtain illegal weapons, than it would be to advocate a domestic "arms race" in the name of self-defense. Will the general public really be safer when everyone is carrying arms in public? Or do we just need enough civic-minded legally-armed citizens to keep the peace in order to offset the number of criminals who are illegally-armed?

http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/gun_violence/contents.html
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. By the most easy means possible. Theft
And how do you propose stopping thef of guns. Ban theft?
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billh58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. I sincerely appreciate that
you have taken the time to read my mind, but I don't believe that I even implied banning theft -- which is already illegal. If you took the time to read any of the proposals included on the DOJ link that I provided, there are many organizations and municipalities (not necessarily the reviled "Brady Bunch") which are working in many different arenas to address the social blight of illegal gun owners. For some, admitting that there is a "social" problem seems to be the major stumbling block to finding ways to address it.

I believe that most thinking Americans understand and agree that taking away guns from law-abiding citizens is not the answer. Taking guns out of the hands of criminals, and preventing the easy acquisition of guns by criminals, is a worthwhile endeavor -- right up there with carrying a gun for self-defense.

Since you have stated that theft is "the most easy means possible" for the acquisition of guns by criminals, how about starting there? Are there off-the-shelf solutions, or aids, which may help in the reduction of the theft of firearms from private residences or automobiles? Would it be a violation of civil rights to require just a little more responsibility by gun owners in safeguarding their weapons from potential theft? Would you agree that keeping just one gun out of the hands of a criminal would be a step in the right direction?

I am not trying to pick a fight in your forum, but I am attempting to point out that combating criminal behavior by promoting what amounts to a domestic arms race is but one solution to the problem. The most obvious starting point, of course, is to strictly enforce the laws already on the books, but that doesn't seem to be working too well. Should we do more politically to demand the enforcement of existing laws?

Maybe if we approached the problem just a little more from a social perspective, and a little less from a Constitutional absolutist perspective, we may be able to make more progress and find more common ground as concerned citizens. Many communities and organizations are at least trying to find viable, alternative solutions to "gun grabbing."

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. This is where they get you into a bind. The reason that for countries in Western Europe
where guns are legal for their citizens and they have low gun crime problems is that they have extremely STRICT gun control laws. These are laws that the very same people on this board would abhor and work strongly to defeat in the U.S! Yet they quote the fact that there are these countries that allow citizens to own guns and they don't have high gun crime. Don't fall for this! It's a sham. Follow up and do your homework on those countries. Don't rely on these meaningless "polls". This is serious.

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billh58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. Thanks for the
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 08:35 PM by billh58
advice, and I agree that statistics and polls can be presented in many different ways, depending on the point one is attempting to "prove." What works in other countries, however, may not necessarily work as well in the United States, but the dysfunctional application and enforcement of existing US gun laws is a sad joke.

I would rather believe, however, that we are all fair-minded thinking adults here, and can discuss matters rationally in an effort to arrive at a set of solutions to a commonly-identified problem: too many criminals (or "goblins" as described by some) in possession of guns, and the ease with which they obtain them. This results in an arms race by those who feel a need to carry for self-defense, and the process continues ad infinitum.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
73. Didn't those countries have low murder rates before those laws were put into effect?
And weren't those laws enacted for reasons of political fear that had little or nothing to do with crime prevention?

Ooops....
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. Your first point suggest that low murder rates/high ownership of guns
is not the predominant paradigm. That pretty much destroys the argument that the correlation proves some sort of causation in this "poll."

As for "political fear," I'm not sure what exactly this fear was. If a nation's citizenry votes for representatives to write laws regulating citizen use of guns, they might fear social disruption, civil violence, destruction of property and human lives and have thought out a way to allow their citizens to own guns but with rules. Consent of the governed, and all that...
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #77
113. The fear was communism / socialism..
After WWI, Europe was facing crippling unemployment, a disaffected youth class just fresh from overthrowing tyrants, few social institutions (and in some cases, little government at all) and the last vestiges of a ruling class that didn't want their own Bolshevik revolution.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. I agree that future gun control should focus on illegal firearms ...
owned by criminals. Trying to ban or confiscate firearms from honest and responsible people accomplishes little.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Most black market guns are legal but in the wrong hands so the term "illegal guns" is misleading
Reducing availability of guns to criminals will only establish underground gun smithing and we may end up with a worse problem than we started out with.

We'll end up chasing our tail like in the UK after banning guns, they then have a knife problem and then a glass bottle problem and will be chasing their tail reducing freedom until they change course.

If they did magically find a way to reduce the number of guns on the black market, it would increase the incentive of criminals to steal guns. The gun controllers would then be chasing their tail by trying to reduce the number of guns individuals can own and forcing gun owners to secure their guns.

Let's focus on the underlying problem of crime, not just half ass solutions that cause more problems.

Canceling the war on drugs would lower crime rates more than any attempt at lowering the availability of guns in the black market.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. I definitely agree that we should end the failed War on Drugs ...
but it will be difficult. Our country has a lot invested in this war and many people are involved in fighting it. Many politicians will seek political advantage by advocating continuing the war even though they realize that it is impossible to win.

Nixon started this war on June 17, 1971. Forty years later it has turned into an institution. The government is able to use it as a means to increase its power and control over the everyday life of all citizens. The War on Drugs has morphed into a War on Citizens.
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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
47. More than forty years -earlier-
The doctrine was adopted and the educational groundwork begun before World War Two . I have always seen a strong correlation between the run up to,the mode of theft , and the restoration of both ones right to self defense and the right to self medication .

One state after another has restored both of these rights , and despite the hand wringing ,dire warnings , and admonitions...... nobody notices .
AHahahaha ! We saw that too !

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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #21
92. Guns are diverted from the legal market in the U.S. because a legal market exists
In countries where the legal market in firearms is more stringently controlled, or entirely nonexistent, criminals acquire their firearms via entirely illegal means.

For example, in China, private citizens (that is, individuals who are not members of the Party or agents of the state) cannot anything more powerful than a .177-caliber air gun, and they need a permit for that. However, because the (notionally privatized) arms manufacturing industry is a) rife with corruption and b) has notoriously shitty inventory control, organized criminals can buy damn near anything they want almost literally from the back door of the factory. Similar situations exist in south-eastern European countries (like Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia) and organized crime there funnels the firearms to their associates in western Europe.

In accordance with somebody's claimed First Law of Economics, "where a demand exists, a supply will rise to meet it." When criminals demand guns, somebody will provide them if the money's right.

As things stand, the primary source of firearms into the black market, according to the ATF (http://www.endgunviolence.com/vertical/Sites/%7BAAEC109... ), is straw purchases from Federal Firearms Licensees (aka "gun dealers"); by the best estimates, something in the order of 60% of guns "diverted" into the black market do so by this route. Another 9% are funneled knowingly by crooked FFLs. Another 20-25% comes from private sellers, but those sales, too, may take place using straw purchasers.

Bottom line is, it makes no difference. As far as anybody knows, there are ~300 million privately owned firearms in the US, of which ~100 million are handguns. There are some 400,000 violent crimes committed with firearms every year, which should go some way to illustrating that the availability of firearms from the legal market doesn't affect the number of firearms that end up being used from criminal purposes.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
44. I don't think so.
I think it's more likely that social policy leads to lower or higher overall rates. Democrats have demonstrably better social policy ideas, so states where they hold sway do better than states where they don't run things.

Democrats also have an anti-gun viewpoint, so that where they do hold sway there is some discouragement in ownership and use of guns. Thus there's correlation without causation.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
45. poll closed data going up soon.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 10:48 PM by lawodevolution
final results are
6 more guns = more murder, no t test backing it
1 more guns = more murder, t test backing it
2 more guns = less murder, no t test backing it
13 more guns = less murder, t test backing it
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. See post #25.
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
61. You can't make surch correlations.
You can't correlate firearm ownership and murder rates so easily.

Much depends on the state of civilization of the society. For example, no doubt firearms are prevalent in many places of the world, like Somalia, or Mogadishu, or other violence-prone places.

So one key ingredient to crime rates is obviously the level of lawlessness, or anarchy.

In civilized society, everyone can own a gun with very few consequences. In a savage society, everyone owning a gun simply adds to the chaos.

This is not to say that even in a savage society firearms are not a good thing to have. I would want the means to protect myself even more in a savage society than in a civilized one. But it does show that you can't so easily relate gun ownership and violence.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #61
66. So why do people in other civilized societies regulate guns as much as they do?
There must be a rationale for such regulations, right?
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #66
69. Fear. n/t
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. Do you think our example proves their fear to be wise?
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #70
71. No.
It is never wise to give up your means for resisting violence and oppression for any reason.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. I wouldn't say that those countries are giving up essential liberty.
I was mentioning Norway in other posts in this thread and it seems to me that the Norwegians proved to be pretty tough during World War II. They like their guns, use them extensively for hunting and sports shooting. Yet they have regulated their own (civilian) use of guns. They appear to know their guns well so I don't believe they are all stupid. And I don't think you should assume you know best for them.
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. Well I would.
So would our founders, I suspect.

As the saying goes, "An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject." Since antiquity, arms have been the sign of a free man. In ancient Rome and in Saxon Britain, the bearing of arms was considered the mark of a free man.

Arms gives a man the ability to resort to violence to protect his interests, if necessary, and history has shown it to be necessary many times. A man with no arms has no such recourse.

And I don't think you should assume you know best for them.

All free people are entitled to make whatever society suits them best. But this does not mean they are above criticism. There are societies that have decided that honor killings and genital mutilation are acceptable practices for their societies. This does not mean that the rest of us are not free to point out the flaws in their choices.

The flaw in allowing your society to be disarmed is that you are at the mercy of your government.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. I certainly wouldn't compare Western European nations that have strict gun control
with societies that allow honor killings and genital mutilation! Remember, I was talking about countries that are constitutional democracies as ours is. Apples to apples, please.

These are countries that were fully aware of what our history was and how our constitution was written and they deliberately chose not to have a Second Amendment in their own constitutions. I find that interesting.

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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #76
78. Conventions are conventions.
I certainly wouldn't compare Western European nations that have strict gun control with societies that allow honor killings and genital mutilation! Remember, I was talking about countries that are constitutional democracies as ours is. Apples to apples, please.

Social conventions are social conventions. Whether such decisions are made by a jungle tribe or the pinnacle of civilization matters not. You said, "I don't think you should assume you know best for them." I am simply pointing out that I reserve the right to comment on policy decisions and flaws that I see in them. Using the example of social conventions to allow honor killings or genital mutiliations was simply an Reductio ad absurdum, or disproving a proposition by following its implications to an absurd consequence.

The point being, I can quite easily comment on what's best for them.

These are countries that were fully aware of what our history was and how our constitution was written and they deliberately chose not to have a Second Amendment in their own constitutions. I find that interesting.

It is interesting. One thing that made America special is that there was no aristocracy in place here. Yes, there were wealthy people, but wealth had not congregated into a controlling elite at the time of the founding of this country. No doubt this is why something new and unusual was able to be forged here - a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, with a specific attempt to prevent consolidations of power from the outset. Most every other country in the world evolved from a monarchy, with control being wrested away from a consolidated power bit by bit.

It thus does not surprise me that our government, conceived from the outset as having a series of checks and balances of power, including military power, would have such a provision, yet other countries do not. People in power don't like the prospect of those they rule being armed.

But all of this is beside the point. It doesn't really matter why other people have decided it is OK to allow themselves to be at the mercy of anyone who chooses to violently abuse or oppress them. If that is their choice, then that is their choice. It is not mine.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. Well, yes, I was expecting the "American exceptionalism" argument.
But I don't think things turned out quite the way Ben Franklin would have desired. Jefferson kind of knew that America would slide into empire from being a republic (as it did with Rome) and that would be a bad thing, and that is what has happened, do you not agree?

One of the books I read in a grad school course entitled "Virtue, Self Interest and the Origins of the American Republic" was a book by Drew McCoy, "The Elusive Republic." I recommend it to you, along with Jean Matthews' "Toward a New Society: American thought and Culture 1800-1830." These are both nuanced studies of the difficulties, and the ironies, in the prevailing thought of the era of the young Republic about what was then called "the political economy."

You are free to comment, of course, but I wonder if Western Europeans (in particular)have surpassed us in thinking critically about the issue of society and guns. To me, your basic argument borders on the nativist and even the naive, about this country's history and what we were and especially, what we never were. However, I realize this gets into a whole other discussion, perhaps best not addressed here...

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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. I have no idea.
Jefferson kind of knew that America would slide into empire from being a republic (as it did with Rome) and that would be a bad thing, and that is what has happened, do you not agree?

I have no idea of his thoughts on this matter. All I know is that the founders specifically crafted a form of government with extensive checks and balances, in an attempt to prevent concentrations of power. This extended to the military. The ultimate repository of military strength was to reside with the people. This was to eliminate, or at least be able to counter, federal military power.

You are free to comment, of course, but I wonder if Western Europeans (in particular)have surpassed us in thinking critically about the issue of society and guns.

It's possible. It's possible that we have reached the pinnacle of representative governance and we will never again need to fear the possibility of having to resort to armed violence to resist organized oppression. It's possible that with instant global communications no government will be able to oppress its people without the harsh scrutiny of the world watching.

But I'm not willing to bet on that.

I'm also not willing to create a society where every victim of violent assault has to resort to a physical contest of strength in order to resist their attacker. People deserve to have access to tools that allow them to resist those who would do them or their families harm.



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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. Your last paragraph saddens me and reminds me that in this country so many
view life as a constant struggle with violence or the imminent threat of violence every day of their lives. It has to color your thinking about the rest of the big world, but there IS a big world out there. There ARE other ideas out there, too. Yes, I travel in Europe as often as possible. I had a recent very interesting discussion with a Dutch/French individual about our American view of the woman in the burqua arrested in Paris (at the Louvre, of all places!). We discussed "Le Droit du l'homme" of the 18th century and the differences between the American revolution and the French revolution. It was thoughtful and enlightening to me to learn of these different opinions. And I can tell you that I have grave misgivings about how Europe is going to handle the influx of people from their former colonies...it will not be easy.

It gives me pause to think and to ponder. We get nowhere when we dismiss the thinking of Europe out of hand (think "Freedom fries"). But I do believe that in the area of gun control, the western europeans have the better argument...
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. You need only look at the statistics.
Your last paragraph saddens me and reminds me that in this country so many view life as a constant struggle with violence or the imminent threat of violence every day of their lives.

The simple fact is that there are violent assaults every day. Now it is true that not everyone is equally likely to be a victim of violent crime. If you involve yourself in criminal undertakings, like drugs, or gangs, for example, you will have a higher likelihood of being the victim of violence. Likewise if you have a hi-risk profession, like a cab driver, or food delivery, or gas station attendant, etc. But most people will not be victims of violent crime.

But this is no reason not to be prepared for it. Car accidents are rare, but we still wear seat belts and have car insurance. Home fires are rare but we still have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and homeowner's insurance. Accidents are rare but we still have first aid kits. Furnace malfunctions are rare, but we still have carbon monoxide detectors.

We do all of these things because man is a tool-using creature. We have developed the tools that allow us to mitigate the risks of many hazards. And since the cost of the tool is small compared to needing it and not having it, it is only prudent to avail oneself to the tools if they are within our means.

While violent crime continues to be in decline, there are still nearly a million-and-a-half violent crimes each year in the United States. Without firearms, every one of those assaults will mean that the victim has only three choices: Flee, if they are fast enough, submit, if they can survive submission, or engage in a physical contest of strength, if they are strong enough. The weak would be at the mercy of the strong.

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #85
90. Yes, you are right. In this country, it is a struggle against violent assaults every day.
And your reference to man as a tool using creature is interesting. I guess the world view being considered here is prehistoric. Interesting reference, that, for the United States of America!

"the weak at the mercy of the strong."

this is your america, your state where rights remain strong and the people are free.

Of what? Are they free of violence, threat to their very existence? Is THAT freedom? Is it even "progress"?
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Atypical Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #90
98. Not just this country.
Yes, you are right. In this country, it is a struggle against violent assaults every day.

Not just this country. The UK has a violent crime rate that exceeds that of the United States, the rest of the European Union, and South Africa:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-vio...

And your reference to man as a tool using creature is interesting. I guess the world view being considered here is prehistoric. Interesting reference, that, for the United States of America!

No, all of the tools I mentioned, spare tires, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, seat belts, etc., were tools of the modern era.

"the weak at the mercy of the strong."

this is your america, your state where rights remain strong and the people are free.

Of what? Are they free of violence, threat to their very existence? Is THAT freedom? Is it even "progress"?


I was not speaking about freedom from the state. I'm talking about what happens to people when faced with violent crime when they have no tools with which to defend themselves. In a society without firearms, every single violent crime becomes a physical contest of strength. Victims can either flee if they are fast enough, submit if they can survive submission, or engage in a physical contest of strength to resist their attacker.

We will never be free of violence. It has been with us for all of recorded history and beyond. Freedom is being able to stand up to those who would do you harm. Progress is being able to do that without being a fit, trained martial artist.

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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #80
82. Your third paragraph
I doubt it has anything to do with advanced critical thinking. It was because of political violence after World War One. That is true across the board. This creates a flaw in the Neatherlands, as Euromutt noted in an earlier post, mental health records are not part of the background checks in that country. FWIW, the murder rates were equally low then.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. I don't know exactly what you are saying but I will say that since Western Europe
had been transformed after WWII and some countries having new constitutions, political violence after WWI is not particularly something current! This idea that those stupid Europeans haven't thought their way out of the first half of the 20th century is, excuse me, dumb.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. Maybe dumb, but no more than yours
Maybe dumb, but no more than yours. Maybe no less either, but that is not the issue. I have a hard time wrapping my head around arguments based on symbolism and projected value judgments, which is the theme of your posts. The concepts mean nothing to me. If it isnt based on logic or peer reviewed science, it isnt. It is an INTP thing. As far as your social evolution theory, I lean closer to the theories of (kind of radical) sociologist Raymond G. Keesler.
http://www.saf.org/journal/other/kessler-id.pdf
If I read you correctly, you think that strict gun regulations are the main reason why European countries have lower murder rates. Over simplistic is an understatement. It is so simplistic; I am not going to bother with pointing out why making this claim is an easy way to flunk Criminology 101. It does not explain away the lack of change in before and after murder rates. I dont knock Europe and I do not dismiss their ideas. I do not blindly think all of their ideas are better or worse.
I felt just as safe in Germany as I did in Japan (and South Korea, even when it was a police state) and felt reasonably safe in DC. It is still easier for a German to get a CCW than someone in say, NYC or Newark. But I digress.
What do those new constitutions have to do with it if the laws are still intact? In the 1960s my brother walked in a Hamburg gun shop and bought a .22 revolver. Biggest legal hassle was getting it to the US. He and my mom taught me how to shoot a pistol with it. You forget (or too young to know) that many European countries had domestic terrorism problem in the 1970s. Societies and individuals evolve. They evolve on their own terms. If it is not going in a direction you like, you call it devolution.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. Of course, they evolved on their own terms. That is what happened.
And this is where they are. They went thru domestic terrorism and here they are. So what?
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #89
93. and they continue to evolve
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 09:07 PM by gejohnston
as do we. Both of do not care for the direction the US is going so far, but for different reasons. My dislike for our current course has nothing to do with guns.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #84
129. That would have been dumb, if it had been what I said
I said that that was why the laws were initially adopted; it's not the reason they're still on the books. The primary reason they're still on the books is that nobody's taken the effort to repeal them in the interim. Legislation tends to have a certain amount of inertia; it takes effort to get laws on the books, and effort to get them off, which is why there are still archaic laws around like British members of the House of Commons not being allowed to attend the opening of parliament in full armor.

With weapons laws, moreover, there's something of a vicious circle: when you restrict lawful possession of firearms, there will be fewer people prepared to jump though the required bureaucratic hoops, which means there will be less widespread interest in possessing firearms, which results in fewer people being interested in repealing the restrictions.

This further bolstered by a belief that the gun laws are preventing violent crime, even if there's a certain amount of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance required to maintain that belief. Especially when those laws subsequently cease working--or, more accurately, cease giving the appearance of working--and firearm crime increases in spite of their presence. Countries like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have, over the past fifteen years, experienced the highest ever recorded levels of violent crimes committed using firearms, and those countries' gun laws have been entirely ineffective in preventing those increases. And yet, a great number of people are unwilling to entertain the idea that maybe it wasn't the gun laws that had been keeping violent crime down up to that point, not in the least part because people are generally reluctant to discard long-held ideas.

And frankly, western Europe (with the obvious exception of Germany and Italy) wasn't all that transformed after World War II, at least politically. The political landscape arguably underwent more permanent change during the 1960s than during the 1940s. Eastern-- excuse me, central Europe did, of course, thanks to the Sovs, but in that regard it's interesting to note that after the fall of communism, the Czech republic and Slovakia adopted markedly looser gun laws than western Europe. Hell, from what I understand, Czech gun laws are less stringent than New Jersey's (in that the Czech police will issue you a concealed carry permit even if you don't contribute large amounts of money to anyone's campaign fund).

Oh, and just for the record, I am European; I migrated to the United States from my native Netherlands when I was 31.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #80
95. not exceptional
just unique and revolutionary.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #95
96. by definition unique is exceptional.
But one thing I learned in the course I have referenced, which basically covered the 50 year period after the establishment of the U.S. Constitution up to the election of Andrew Jackson, was the extent of the difficulties the new republic experienced. For instance, not many people are aware (as I was not until I saw the research) of the fact that during this period we were literally a nation of drunks and we "came out of it" due to strenuous efforts by both the temperance movement and the emerging market economy, esp. with the Industrial Revolution. The social history here is extremely interesting, esp. as we look for ways to cure our social ills today.

I don't think we are done curing our social ills...
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #96
105. not exactly, different connotation
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 02:44 PM by gejohnston
exceptional implies superiority while unique is simply one of a kind

exceptional   
Show IPA
adjective
1.
forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary: The warm weather was exceptional for January.
2.
unusually excellent; superior: an exceptional violinist.
3.
Education . (of a child)
a.
being intellectually gifted.
b.
being physically or especially mentally handicapped to an extent that special schooling is required.



unique   
Show IPA
adjective
1.
existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2.
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
3.
limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to australia.
4.
limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
5.
not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #66
91. *People* didn't choose to regulate guns, *governments* did
Most western European countries initially imposed gun control measures shortly after the end of the first world war, in the wake of the revolutions in Russia (1917) and Germany (1918). In both revolutions, disgruntled military personnel (mostly sailors) had played a major part, and the gun control measures were intended to forestall armed revolts by recently demobilized military personnel, of which even neutral countries like the Netherlands had plenty, and who had quite a few things to be disgruntled about. Moreover, given that, in pretty much all these countries, the voting age was at least three years higher than the conscription age, many of these demobilized servicemen were unable to express their grievances by means of the ballot box.

In short, the "rationale for such regulations" was to prevent leftists from forcibly ejecting governments with flawed legitimacy from office. Of course, few of the governments in question were willing to admit that that was the rationale, because in doing so they would implicitly admit that their mandate to govern was flawed (to put it mildly), so instead they cooked up some bromides about reducing violent crime, even though there was no violent crime problem, since most of these governments had done a fine job of annihilating the demographic most likely to be involved in violent crime--namely males aged 15-30--over the previous four years.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #91
94. Sounds like Raymond Keeler is right
where can I find more on this history?
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
97. There seems to be no correlation between gun ownership and murder rates
from what I've seen.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #97
99. not with gun ownership per se. Gun ownership + regulation in free societies
is what is needed for lower murder rates.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. Care to back that up with more than conjecture?
What country implemented gun control and then saw murder rates: a) decrease (if they were increasing before), b) decrease faster than they were trending (if they were already going down), or c) slowed their rise (if they were rising before)?

Please, make your case.

If your assertion were true, you should be able to find at least one case.

We can plot the trend line before and after gun control, and it should be one of these:

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #100
101. I'll not go thru it again. Went thru a whole exercise earlier inthis thread
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 12:41 PM by CTyankee
and used the example of Norway: high citizen ownership of guns plus high degree of regulation of civilian guns plus constitutional democracy/free society. It's all there for you to read and digest. But don't believe me...check out the stats yourself.

edit to add: The Norwegians are particularly interesting. They have a very high interest in guns, which they use primarily for hunting but also for sports shooting. They are knowledgeable about guns and appear to feel comfortable not only about their guns but about their regulations concerning guns. They take gun ownership seriously, from many aspects.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. so we agree that the Norwegian gun culture is cool
you did not answer the question. Like before and after. I say it has more to do with the fact they don't dumb politicians who treat Ayn Rand's scribblings as scripture.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #106
108. And I agree. Which is why we can't just say that legal ownership of guns per se
accounts for low murder rates.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #101
112. You made an assertion, I see no other evidence that you care to back it up..
Gun ownership + regulation in free societies is what is needed for lower murder rates.


You've never 'gone through it' that I can tell, so I see no way to 'go through it' again.

Care to point me to a post that does?
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. Oh, please. There's a long thread on Norway. Please re-read it.
Norway has enthusiastic gun owners and they are knowledgeable about guns AND they agree to regulations on those guns. AND they have low murder rates.

What is the big mystery, X? Really...hello...
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #114
115. That doesn't back up your assertion.
Please, point me to a post in that thread that does.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #112
117. Sure I did. It backs me up. My research on Norway shows high gun ownership + gun control in
a constitutional democracy. I didn't cite the numbers, but they are THERE in the data which you can easily find on google.com.

Please don't be tedious with me. I don't like it.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #117
118. 'google it' is you backing up your assertion? Really?
You're going to have to do better than that.

Norway may have both high gun ownership + high gun control, and a low murder rate.

That, however, is faaaaar from proving your assertion.

Gun ownership + regulation in free societies is what is needed for lower murder rates.


How does one lead to the other? Do you have examples showing that after the one, the second follows?

If you're going to claim causation ("is what is needed for"), you're going to have to do a lot more than say, 'google it'.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #118
120. Oh, you're funny. I notice google is FULL of pro-gun stuff. I had to wade past
all of the pro-gun propaganda to get to some websites that at least offered footnotes from sources like U.N. studies.

I am not really claiming "causation." However, I do believe that in the instance of Norway, they have achieved a balance of claims on rights that seem to work for them. I am sure there are other factors.

Here is what I am saying: that this thread "purports" to claim something that somehow implies that high ownership of guns+low murder rates means something in and of itself. Why is that? Remember, I didn't start this thread, I just challenge its stunning superficiality.

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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #120
122. If you want to walk back your assertion, fine.
Next time, I recommend not using phrases like "is what is needed for". I think you over-reached there.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #122
123. I don't walk back anything. That is my opinion. I didn't start this thread
with what I feel is a spurious implication. I am challenging that implication. Take that any way you want.

It has not escaped my notice that my question as to the underlying implication of the OP has not been answered. So I will ask you: what do you think IS the underlying implication of the OP's poll?
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. So it IS your opinion, but you refuse to back it up. k.
I think that the simple-minded 'more guns = more crime' or 'more guns = less crime' are both equally specious.

In that same vein, I would say that 'guns + gun regulation = low murder rate' falls into that same category.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #125
126. I guess that means, in a roundabout way, that the OP's poll is trying to "prove"
something (without "saying" it out loud)?

And yes, it is my opinion. Notice I didn't post a poll suggesting it. That's the difference I was driving at...
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #126
127. I won't pretend to be in the OPs head.
Re-reading it, though, I think he's merely trying to gauge popular sentiment on the subject.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #127
128. Just FYI, I did not vote in this poll as I found it too simplistic.
So he didn't really succeed in getting much "popular sentiment" IMO. While it's mildly annoying, it is too transparent to be taken too seriously. I suspect there are lots of DUers who passed up on this chance to "vote" also...

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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #99
102. Population density + economics + culture seems to be a better indicator
There are a great many examples of different kinds of regulation. None seem to be a major factor.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #102
103. That would make sense in a functioning democracy.
My point is you can have a populace that likes guns, uses guns, is knowledgeable about guns and wants to regulate them.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #103
107. they are regulated
not to your liking but they are. Is there someone besides Larry Pratt suggesting that we repeal the current federal regulations?
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #107
109. I think the Norwegians are onto something with their treatment of the issue.
I don't think there are many gun owners on this board who would like to live under their restrictions, but I haven't taken a poll...

I don't know who Larry Pratt is, so I can't comment on your second statement.

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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #109
116. probably not.
It works for them. Letting 12 year olds buy ammunition works for Canada, but I would not suggest it here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Pratt
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #103
110. They were well regulated in DC
and that didn't cut down on crime at all.

They are poorly regulated in Montana, which has a low murder rate.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. And they're well regulated in Norway and it has a low murder rate.
And so...???
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #111
121. So if you claim regulation is the causal link
between high ownership rates and low murder rates then it would hold true across nations, cultures, etc.

The fact that there are many states with few regulations, many guns, and low murder rates suggests that isn't the factor. You've just zeroed in on one thing that is not consistently linked to low murder rates/high gun ownership.

You may as well say that speaking norwegian is the best way to eliminate gun violence because hey, look at norway.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #121
124. I make no such claim. I believe it to have a lot of merit but I am not the one here
posting polls suggesting such a thing. I am challenging somebody, anybody to tell me what they think the purpose of such a poll is. Is something being purported here? If so, what is it?
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