Monday, June 25, 2007

Scary stuff

If you go to the very tippy-top of the page, you'll see a tab that says "next blog." Click it and you'd find a more-or-less random pick from the thousands of Blogspot publications. Here's the one I got when I hit the button just now. Sheesh.

41 comments:

Ahab said...

My blog is scary stuff? Just out of idle curiosity, how exactly is that?

The Old New Englander said...

I'll let our regular readers take a crack at that one first. Readers?

Ahab said...

In the hopes of clarifying, I did a quick review of my front page to in hopes that I could find the "scary" content. Here are the first 10 posts on my front page.

1. A gun I find very "cool".
2. My pleasure on England instituting random "stop and searches".
3. An idea for a gun that doesn't exist.
4. My disgust over essentially a pedophile getting away with his crime.
5. Stuff about holsters. For guns.
6. Rant about stupid neighbors.
7. Post about carrying firearms.
8. Mocking 9/11 truthers.
9. Disagreeing with John Travolta.
10. And technical information on the similar ballistic properties of two different cartridges.

I also said the f-word a few times. So if you think guns and cursing are scary, well then I guess I'm scary.

The Old New Englander said...

Our regular readers haven't chipped in as yet, so let me take a crack. What I find scary about your blog is your fascination with firearms.

I can understand that feeling; as a teenager I collected guns. And like most Americans, especially men, I've experience the messages that guns are cool, that they equal power.

The very fact that you'd name your blog "church of the duke" symbolizes this.

Ahab said...

My answer can be found here, at my blog.

Robb Allen said...

Let me join Ahab here and agree.

I have two daughters, a 2 year old and a 5 year old. The 5 year old enjoys helping daddy clean his firearms. I've got some great pictures of her helping me clean a Russian Mosin Nagant M44.

Now, let's break down exactly what she's doing. She's pushing a rod with a brush down a metal tube helping get rid of the fouling inside. That's all. If I was having her help me clean a piston chamber in my engine, it would be the exact same thing.

My daughters will never understand your point of view. From day one, they are taught about firearm safety. At 6, they can start going to the range to watch. When they show interest, they will be taught how to shoot. None of this is "macho power" - remember, they're little girls who like to play with Barbie dolls.

I take pleasure in the accuracy in my shooting. I load my own bullets so that I can tailor their performance to match my particular firearm. None of this is scary.

To us gunnies, what's scary are people who are so afraid of inanimate objects that they wish to pass laws so that others have to conform to their fears. And hence, we're vocal in our support of our tools. Don't mistake support for nuttery.

The Old New Englander said...

Thanks for linking to TONE on your blog. I'll have a comment on your response on yours a little later (as I write this, someone is waiting for me).

The Old New Englander said...

Thanks for your comment. I don't mean to imply that all gun owners and/or enthusiasts are nuts--far from it, and if I sounded that way, I apologize. But guns are unlike automobiles or airplanes or other objects that sometimes kill and maim. Apart from dedicated target weapons, guns are intended to kill and maim. In other words, used as intended, they do harm. To me, that puts them in a special category.

I am happy that you are teaching your daughters to respect firearms and to care for them properly. I gather that you always have trigger locks on your weapons and that you keep them separate from the ammunition, which is always locked up.

On the other hand, in Boston a 7 year-old shot and killed his 8 year-old cousin yesterday, while they were playing with an unregistered handgun. One of my concerns about firearms enthusiasts is that they help to create an atmosphere that leads to our gun-saturated society--even though I know that responsible enthusiasts abhor the careless attitude that leads to deaths such as the one yesterday.

I am not against all firearms ownership, or use. I am not a hunter, but I respect those who do (I have trouble with trophy hunters who take the head, horns or whatever and leave the rest of the animal.) I respect gun collectors and target-shooters. I do, however, think that gun control is vital to reduce the number of homicides and accidental deaths from shootings.

Ahab said...

I have always had a problem with the perception that lawful gun owners contribute to a "gun saturated" society.

If anything, we have a much greater interest vested in removing guns from the hands of criminals; similarly you will no greater advocates for gun safety than lawful firearms owners.

The reason we oppose most gun control legislation isn't because we want criminals to get guns, or because we want a gun saturated society. Mostly it's because we realize that it probably won't work; and in the end it will only make legal access firearms that much more difficult for law-abiding citizens.

Ambulance Driver said...

"On the other hand, in Boston a 7 year-old shot and killed his 8 year-old cousin yesterday, while they were playing with an unregistered handgun."

And if the handgun were registered, that would have changed the outcome?

I blame this incident on a mentality that fears guns, thus making the object a source of fascination to the child, while at the same time denying him the education and responsibility necessary to handle firearms safely.

And your stance that gun control legislation reduces gun violence flies in the face of all evidence. In fact, your anecdote proves my point. Massachusetts' gun registration laws didn't stop this tragedy, and they won't stop any others. They merely make it more likely that the law-abiding are defenseless, while the criminals are not.

Sebastian said...

Ambulance Driver has brought up a good point. In order to own a handgun or long gun in Massachusetts, you have to a license issued by the state. Police have discretion for the issuance of licenses for handguns. To possess even an empty shell casing, you must have a license. When I drive through Mass, I have to be sure to clean any empty casings out of my vehicle, because I risk arrest and imprisonment otherwise.

Massachusetts has very strict safety and storage requirements for firearms. Only firearms deemed "safe" by the Attorney General are allowed to be sold in the state. Safe storage and trigger locks are absolutely mandatory. In short, Massachusetts has the strictest gun laws of any state in the country.

And yet tragedy still struck. So what gun control laws do you pass that will apply to irresponsible people like this? Gun accidents are, thankfully, very rare. But when they do happen, they overwhelmingly happen to irresponsible owners, who aren't likely to obey any law that's passed anyway. The only ones who will obey it are people like us, who aren't the problem to begin with.

This is essentially why we fight a lot of these controls. It isn't because we want irresponsible people to have guns, it's because they don't work.

The Old New Englander said...

I was going to let this thread go, but I have to respond. It is true that even the strictest laws will be disobeyed. But if we did not have laws registering handguns, there would be more handguns in the hands of people who should not have them. Under the logic that laws and regulations do not prevent all tragedies and accidents, therefore let's do away with regulations, we should abolish laws requiring drivers' licenses and even laws against murder, because, after all, the laws don't prevent all injuries and deaths.

By the way, you do not need a license for a long gun in Massachusetts. You need a firearms ID.

Sailorcurt said...

I hate to pile on but I couldn't let this one go:

In other words, used as intended, they do harm. To me, that puts them in a special category.

Um...then why do the police have them???

Is the purpose of the police to "do harm?"

I would contend that the purpose of properly and lawfully used firearms is to PREVENT the harm that is caused by the less scrupulous in society.

The problem with gun control is that it targets the wrong element. Most gun control prevents people who would properly and lawfully use firearms to PREVENT harm from doing so. This enables those who improperly and unlawfully abuse firearms to do so with impunity...thereby CAUSING harm.

In short. You are mistaking the harm caused by improper use of firearms as their "intended" use.

Used as intended, firearms defend against harm and save innocent lives. Improperly used, they cause harm.

Robb Allen said...

As far as gun safety, the firearms that are not in use remain in a state that they cannot be readily used. One rifle has the bolt removed, one has a lock through the magazine slot, the revolver is unloaded and generally has a gun lock on it.

But my oldest knows that if she ever wants to see my guns, all she has to do is ask. And she also knows that if she finds a gun that she is to not touch it, leave the room and tell an adult.

Yes the accident was tragic, but you kill more children each year with swimming pools than firearms. So if child safety is your main concern, you need to focus elsewhere (swimming pools have no redeeming value other than recreation).

There is risk in life, period. You cannot legislate risk away. You can only legislate freedom away. If you truly want a free society, you are going to have to accept responsibility for you and your own. That means allowing others to do the same, even if they want scary guns.

Sebastian said...

License or FID are semantics to me. They both are permission from the state, without which you can't do whatever activity it is you wish to do.

I accept some level of gun control, even though I generally don't think it's effective. I can live with with licensing people to carry a firearm concealed in public places, background checks, regulation of sales, etc.

But any time you're talking about licensing something, particularly the possession of something in the home, you're restricting people's freedom of action. When people propose such things, the burden should be on people proposing the restriction to show that it's necessary, and that it'll accomplish the public purpose that it's meant to accomplish. If that public purpose is meant to reduce crime, I think gun control falls flat on its face. If it's meant to make it harder for folks to own a gun, and thus reduce gun ownership generally, then that purpose would rightly be unconstitutional.

A better analogy to driving would be should people be required to have a license, which the state may or may not decide to issue, to have alcohol in the home. Alcohol is certainly a dangerous substance prone to abuse. The police might want to interview some references to talk about your drinking habits. I think the answer to that, in a free society, is no. Are there social costs for our relatively lax regulations on liquor? You bet. But we accept them, because, aside from the fact that we went down that road before and created more problems than we solved, people want the freedom to have a glass of beer.

The Old New Englander said...

Where do criminals get guns? In many cases by stealing them from law-abiding gun owners. If you own a gun, who are you most likely to shoot? Your spouse, followed by your children. If you are in your bed and hear a burglar downstairs, take your trusty pistol and go down to stop him, who is more likely to get shot. You are moving--the burglar will go to ground as soon as he hears you. You are making noise; he will be silent. You are protecting your property, he is trying to avoid a long prison term.

Guns ARE dangerous. That is a fact, and it is true even for those who are most careful with them. Indeed, that care recognizes the dangerous nature of them.

Robb Allen said...

TONE, that's ridiculous.

First off, let's talk tactics. I know the layout of my house better than someone who walks into a pitch black room they've never been in. I literally can walk around the house with my eyes shut. I do it at night all the time.

Second, the burglar doesn't have magical silent slippers. He also doesn't know which floorboards creak or where the kids normally keep their toys. If he made enough noise to wake me, what makes you think he'll instantly go into stealth mode?

Third, more than likely he will be coming in from a lighter environment and his eyes will not be as well adjusted as mine, especially if I've been asleep.

Forth, he has multiple things to concentrate on. One - taking my stuff. Two - watching out for a pissed of homeowner. Three - figuring out where everything is at. Me? I just need to shoot the bastard.

And I am NOT protecting my property. I am protecting him from raping my daughters and family. Sure, he might just be in there for my VCR but I won't have the time nor the luxury to interview him to find out the extent of his intentions so I will choose the actions which present the maximum amount of safety to my family. If you think avoiding jail time is a good motivator, think of what a parent's motivation is when it comes to protecting their offspring. I guarantee you it's tenfold.

HE chose to violate the sanctity of my home and therefor risked his life. It is not my moral responsibility to keep him from harm.

The cops, FBI, CIA, and governmental officials lose more guns that they can keep track of. The mere fact of their existence means they can be stolen and no legislation can prevent that. If criminals can steal from the FBI, how could an average citizen do any better???

Sailorcurt said...

Where do criminals get guns? In many cases by stealing them from law-abiding gun owners.

There is some validity to that argument...however the fact is that where there is a demand there will be a supply. If criminals cannot obtain guns through burglarizing homes, they will get them in other ways. Very recently, there was an article making its way around the net that originated in (I think) Australia regarding home made guns (including crude looking but fully functional "machine guns") that had been confiscated by the police.

If you own a gun, who are you most likely to shoot? Your spouse, followed by your children.

That is pure propaganda put out by the VPC and Brady Campaign. The study upon which the "proof" for those contentions was based has been throughly and repeatedly debunked.

http://guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgaga.html

In fact, according to criminologist Gary Kleck, the exact opposite seems to be true. Resistance, especially armed resistance, offers victims the best chance to avoid injury or loss.

http://guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgeff.html

Duayne Israelson said...

Please...

Quoting TONE
"If you own a gun, who are you most likely to shoot? Your spouse, followed by your children."

If I am a gun owner the odds are that I am never going to shoot ANYONE! That kind of reasoning is the same that elicits questions like "Have you stopped beating your wife?". In fact, according to the FBI crime reports there are more incidents of citizens succesfully defending themselves or loved ones then there are of them murdering their spouses or children.

If you want to argue use facts not blind senseless statements!

Ambulance Driver said...

TONE, I suggest you Google "gun laws+Kennesaw, Georgia"

Kennesaw passed gun legislation that is the absolute antithesis of every argument you have made. Every head of household there is required to own a firearm. There are firearms in the homes.

Yet nobody winds up shooting family members, the teenager sneaking in after midnight isn't mistaken for a burglar and shot, and the criminals aren't looting the homes for the easy supply of guns.

In short, Kennesaw is Gun City, USA. And it is a LOT safer town than any place you can name that has restrictive gun laws.

The Old New Englander said...

Kennesaw is a small town. Experience there is statistically insignificant.

I am struck by the number of comments on my post. If I wanted to be popular, I should have criticized gun enthusiasts earlier!

Seriously, I do wonder whether all these posts reflect an underlying doubt; on those occasions when I accidentally see a Republican blog, I hardly ever feel compelled to comment, no matter how foolish the content.

But hey, thanks for the attention.

simonov said...

If the purpose of a firearm is to do harm, I wonder what I am doing wrong. I own over 100 of them and try to get out to shoot at least a couple times a month, and so far I haven't managed to harm anyone, man or beast.

Do you suppose I should re-read the instructions?

ravenshrike said...

Hmph, smaller version of a slashdotting, but with a more involved populace. In the end the issue comes down to this:

Item #1 - There is no scientifically reliable and valid study that has even provided a medium to strong correlation, not direct link, just correlation, between reduction in violence and stricter gun control laws. I don't even think there are any that have proven a weak correlation, but I'm not as sure about that.

Item #2 - Are Switzerland and Israel statistically insignificant? Gun saturation is much, much higher there than in the US per capita, yet they have continously low homicide rates(not counting suicide bombings, which are terrorist acts and arguably acts of war, except there's no actual country to declare war on them.

Item #3 - As any english major could tell you, the sentence: "Well-stocked Public Libraries being necessary for the general education of our populace, the right of the People to keep and read books shall not be infringed." means that people can keep and read books. Period. Their right to do so is not in any way, shape, or form predicated on the existence of public libraries. But toss the word arms in there, and at least two out of three will say that same damned sentence now is dependent upon the first clause. Unless you showed them the other one first of course, then they'll just look extremely uncomfortable.

Strings said...

I have to side with my brother AD. He says what I would, only better...

For the record, there are over 30 guns in the home I'm in (between mine, my wife's, and our housemates). Not one is "locked up". Point of fact, many are loaded (15, if memory serves), and placed in strategic points. Yet not one person has been accidently shot. Hell... nobody here's even had a gun POINTED at them!

Don't fall for the propaganda spewed by the gun control crowd. At least look into the other side, and draw actual conclusions, instead of regurgitating what you've heard...

The Old New Englander said...

Ah yes, the Second Amendment. If you read the Amendment the way the "strict constructionists" do, it is, indeed, dependent upon the first clause, "A well-regulated Militia...." And if you look at the context in which it was written, the Founders wanted to assure the preservation of the militia system as a counterweight to a national army, in the way that the American militias were (well, they weren't really, but they did form the seed for the army in the Revolution)against the British army. So, the Second Amendment preserves your right to join the National Guard. Go ahead; I, for one, will applaud your selflessness if you do.

As for Switzerland and Israel, a large part of the reason for their low crime rates has to do with their homogeneous populations. This nation of immigrants is not and will never be homogeneous. That has its good points and its bad ones.

If gun control laws do not affect crime rates, how come murder rates are higher in the South, generally speaking, than in places like New York? Hmmm? And, what is even more telling, how come such a very high proportion of the guns used in crime in places like New York come from states like Georgia and Virginia, without effective controls?

The Old New Englander said...

Your point reminds me of the drivers who say (usually as I'm pulling my seat belt even tighter), "I've never had an accident." To which I reply, "Not yet," or, if the mood strikes, "It only takes one."

Duayne Israelson (duayne@theisraelsons.com) said...

Jeez TONE-
What was the purpose of the second amendment? It wasn't for sporting purposes. And it certainly wasn't meant for "organized miltias" (see federalist papers 29 and 60).

Tenche Coxe wrote "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." (The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.)

Patrick Henry stated "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"

This is attributed to George Washington "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference they deserve a place of honor with all that is good."

But to the point is good ole T. Jefferson - "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 - C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950)

The reason for the 2nd amendment is to preserve our rights from our own government!

While this was a movie quote - "The people should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people!" (V for Vendetta) This was not -"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." (Thomas Jefferson)

Your statement regarding the joining of the National Guard is flippantly wrong. The people have the right to keep and bear arms independentaly of any organized government activity.

Who does gun control protect? Not law abiding citizens if the news of the day is correct. Check out what happened yesterday!
(http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21976040-1702,00.html)
Meanwhile, In Australia…: A man has been charged after allegedly firing a shot through the front door of his home in southwest Victoria to scare off intruders…Would-be intruders had allegedly thrown rocks through the front window and cut the home's power supply before trying to jemmy open the front door.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote - "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." Thomas Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774_1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

ravenshrike said...

Poppycock(I've always wanted to use that word, and now I have a reason). The words "A well-regulated militia" do not in any way, shape, or form grammatically modify anything that comes after the comma.(The single comma version being the actual ratified one) Interestingly enough, this is very similar to arguments that have popped up on the D&D boards from time to time. The first half of that sentence is what's known as 'fluff text'. That is, it gives you some backround on the issue at hand, but does not actually modify or impact it in any way. The second half of that sentence is 'crunch text'. The important stuff. The stuff that explicitly says what the government may or may not do.

The right is not "the right of members of a well-regulated militia to keep and bear arms may not be infringed" instead it refers to the People, which, for every single damned other court case on the Bill of Rights, refers to every swinging cod and hairy axe wound that is a citizen of this country(except felons, who have essentially given up their citizenship for a different status), for better or worse.

Sailorcurt said...

I'm not even going to address your comments on the Second Amendment. Your mind is obviously made up. I will mention, however, that even liberal legal scholars have, in recent years, been forced to admit that the prefatory clause of Amendment II places no restrictive limitations on the operative clause...hence the recent cries for outright appeal of the amendment.

We do not engage in this argument because of any "underlying doubt". We engage in this argument because the very concepts discussed are so important to us. Our founding fathers themselves often and clearly stated their conviction that an armed citizenry was the only true guarantee of lasting liberty. We believe that as well. We will continue to engage in this conversation as long as we hold out some hope that those who would render us defenseless can be enlightened. When you really need to become concerned is when we give up and fall silent.

Notably, those points that have been raised for which you don't have a response, you simply ignore. A common occurrence amongst those who don't have a solid foundation for their beliefs. Please note that every point you have raised has been answered. You may not agree with the answer, but we do not shy away from the discussion because we know that the facts, empirical data and history are all on our side. We also know that if someone approaches the issue with an open mind and puts aside their learned biases...looks at the evidence from both sides and evaluates the issue honestly, they will have no choice but to support the position of liberty and freedom.

The anti-gun arguments tend to be driven by emotion rather than logic or evidence. Emotion is a powerful motivator, but is, without exception, a poor basis for public policy.

Finally, in response to your last comment:

If gun control laws do not affect crime rates, how come murder rates are higher in the South, generally speaking, than in places like New York?

You indirectly answer that question yourself:

As for Switzerland and Israel, a large part of the reason for their low crime rates has to do with their homogeneous populations.

Exactly. Crime in general and violent crime in particular is demonstrably more dependent upon cultural mores and climate than the relative presence of guns among the populace. A Gun is a tool. It requires a human with the will to abuse it to "cause" a murder.

I don't have time to do the research necessary to provide you with a definitive study on the issue, but just looking at the violent crime rates in New York State gives a clue to what is going on here. New York City has more restrictive gun laws than anywhere else in the state...to the point where even gun ownership, but even more so bearing arms, is all but prohibited except for a few celebrities and political insiders.

Yet New York City's violent crime rate is more than twice the rate of the rest of the state.

It is absolutely clear with an honest look at the data, that violent crime...including gun crime...has MUCH more to do with cultural factors than with the relative availability of guns. Large urban areas with a high prevalence of gang membership are MUCH more likely to have high violent crime and gun murder rates than any other areas...regardless of gun control laws.

In fairness, New York City's crime rate has come down in the past 10 to 20 years. But even that belies your argument because this was accomplished through cracking down on criminals, not cracking down on gun ownership. The gun laws in New York City did not appreciably change during that time. Only enforcement efforts.

how come such a very high proportion of the guns used in crime in places like New York come from states like Georgia and Virginia, without effective controls?

Do you even have any idea what controls are in place in Georgia and Virginia?

I'm curious as to just how much you know about the existing laws and what you would recommend be instituted.

The Old New Englander said...

You wouldn't have known this, but I moderate comments on my blog. That is, I can publish or reject them. I do it to keep spam out. You'll notice that I've published a lot of comments disagreeing with my position.

True, I have not responded to all criticisms of my arguments. Perhaps you're independently wealthy, but I need to use some of my time to work, and do some other things as well.

I take it that your position is that apart from perhaps keeping guns out of the hands of felons, the mentally incompetent and children, the Second Amendment forbids any regulation. Fortunately, the courts do not agree.

Sailorcurt said...

By the way...one more point about why we are still engaged in this conversation:

Because you have kept it civil and on point.

We absolutely chomp at the bit to engage in a rational discussion on the subject about which we feel so strongly with someone who does not immediately devolve into "feces flinging monkey" mode.

Thank you for taking the time to engage us. Even if we most vehemently disagree and we never convince each other of the meritorious nature of our individual arguments, the simple fact that you even "showed up" speaks volumes to your integrity and character.

Anonymous said...

how come such a very high proportion of the guns used in crime in places like New York come from states like Georgia and Virginia, without effective controls?

if availability of guns is such a major driver of crime, how come states like Georgia and Virginia do not always have worse crime rates than New York City?

looking at U.S. statistics, crime seems to me to be more strongly correlated with poverty. being of a leftist bent, i'd love to see effective measures to redistribute income to help solve that problem.

looking at those same statistics, crime seems to also be correlated (perhaps more weakly) with population density. that's a shame, because i really don't want to tear down the big cities, even though i'd never want to live in one myself... but if that were truly what was necessary, then sure, tear 'em down. humanity got along without them for millennia, we can again.

but gun ownership rates does not seem to be correlated strongly (if at all) with crime rates. those places without much gun control, from where guns supposedly flow in to the big cities to fuel crime... those places oftentimes seem to have both widespread gun ownership and low crime. so extending gun control measures nationwide just because people are dying in places like NYC seems to me hypocritical.

plus, there's a great deal of truth to the old chestnut about guns as equalizers. google up George Orwell's famous essay about "You and the Atomic Bomb" for some really good arguments on this point. i concur with that line of thinking because, being of a leftist bent (as i mentioned) i don't like the thought of power being concentrated in any kind of elite class. rifles on labourers' walls do more than just symbolize democracy, to me, i think they genuinely do help safeguard it.

The Old New Englander said...

I never said that the presence of firearms is the only cause of crime, but it makes things worse; as my brother says, when's the last time you heard of a drive-by knifing? Do you really believe that crime in high-crime areas would be no worse if guns were more freely available? I don't.

Sailorcurt said...

Do you really believe that crime in high-crime areas would be no worse if guns were more freely available? I don't.

Yes, I do. In fact, I believe that crime would decrease...probably not significantly, but slightly.

The gang bangers would still be butchering each other with gusto because, well, that's just what they do. But the evidence that I've seen indicates to me that crimes against everyday citizens would decrease as they began to avail themselves of the tools of self defense. The decrease would probably barely register in the statistics because the vast majority of crimes are committed by criminals against other criminals and they are pretty much universally already armed.

As I said in a previous response, you paint all gun ownership and use with the same broad brush. Gun ownership by good people and gun use for lawful purposes doesn't cause harm, it prevents harm.

Guns are already readily available to the criminals. They can buy them cheaper on the street than a law abiding citizen can buy one in a gun shop. There was recently a story here about "community guns" where gang members hide guns in secret, but easily accessible locations so that they and their fellow gang members can retrieve them as the need arises but don't have to worry about being caught carrying them if stopped on the street by law enforcement.

The only people that availability would be increased for by relaxing restrictions in places like DC and New York City are those who are law abiding and want nothing more than to live their lives without the fear and inherent danger of being defenseless in the midst of a dangerous and violent society.

The dangerous and violent ones already have guns.

All the law abiding want is the opportunity to even the playing field if they so desire.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus said...

Greetings:

First off, I thank you for allowing this discourse on your blog's comments. I, among others, also welcome the opportunity for civil discussion of this topic.

I do not have a blog. I do, however, follow quite a few of them on a daily basis. Among those I follow, some of the bloggers have commented here. I don't consider them Philistines, nor do I you, from your reasoned responses.

You've stated you were a collector in your youth; I myself have collected rare and unusual firearms, as well as other mechanical devices which struck my fancy. I appreciate them for their engineering, their usefulness, their worth as a tool. Such as the forge in my garage, where I can shape horseshoes (I was a farrier in my younger days), craft implements such as the knives, axes, and hammers I've made; the collection of antique construction tools, early electronic test devices, and single cylinder industial powerplants such as those my Grandfather designed and built.

They're tools. Tools to provide a better way of doing things. Tools to make life easier, for one's future, family, and those to come.
Tools to insure one's independence and liberty...provided one has the skill, knowledge, and strength to wield it properly.

I believe you feel the same.

Please come meet and visit us. We might rekindle the old interest you held so long ago. We're willing to extend the hand in friendship.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Strings said...

Yes TONE, you don't hear about "drive-by knifings". However, check into the weapons used against your fellow man in the commission of crimes, and you'll see a LOT of knife use.

And yes, it only "takes once". However, the likelyhood of such a problem happening in this house is slim: EVERYBODY living here has been taught (extensively) how to safely handle firearms. There are no "unloaded guns" (almost every accidental shooting happens with an "unloaded gun"), and we all know it. we don't allow folks who are NOT conversant with the safe handling of a gun to be unattended in our home. And, should a child enter, things are put into a safe state (locked up)...

You're essentially regurgitating, If the "you're X times more likely to shoot a loved one" statistic is correct, then there should be X% of 80 MILLION accidental shootings every year: there are NOT that many. So...

An I'd like to also thank you for keeping the discussion civil: that's a rare treat...

The Old New Englander said...

Thanks for the invitation, but I don't think so. I have a wooden sailboat (two, actually) and that takes pretty much all the free time that the blog doesn't. Besides, I live in a small place and we have too much stuff already. You can see the boat at http://oldnewenglander.blogspot.com/search?q=Rozinante

Jay G said...

TONE,

I am a MA resident who is also a "gun fancier" (heck, I don't mind if you call me a "gun nut") :)

First off, I'll echo sailorcurt's kudos for the tone of the debate. I've been debating 2A issues on the web for over a decade now, and rarely have I seen such a civil tone.

Logic, OTOH... :)

Secondly, on my blog I have posted a standing offer to folks who might be interested in the shooting sports.

I'd like to extend that offer to you, if you'd like. I'd like to show you that not all gun owners are knuckle-dragging troglodytes (tho' some are, and my knuckles have been known to scrape the floor once or twice...) and that there's no magical power inherent in the inanimate object.

Feel free to contact me through the contact information at my blog if you are interested.

Best regards,

Jay G.

The Old New Englander said...

Thanks, Jay, but as I noted above, I don't have much (any) time that isn't already allocated.

You didn't put a link to your blog in your comment. For anyone who may be interested, it seems to be at http://stuckinmassachusetts.blogspot.com/

From looking at the heading of your blog I'd say we're poles apart politically, but it takes all kinds. Besides, as you say, you're trapped here in Massachusetts with all us liberals!

Anonymous said...

i really don't know if crime would be worse or not in a world without guns, but i honestly don't much care about improving the "quality" of crime. i would much rather spend time, effort and money decreasing the quantity of crime overall, even if it came at a cost in the severity of what crime remained.

i truly would rather live in a society that annually saw ten grisly murders all done by the same one serial killer, than in one that each year had ten thousand non-lethal assault-and-battery cases committed by as many gang bangers. i really think we would be better off, and safer off, in the former than in the latter.

and i see efforts at gun control as a massive distraction from improving society in general; specifically, as a massive red herring in the debate about how to lower crime rates overall.

i think gun control is often perceived, and advocated, as a "simple quick fix" for societal ills when in reality it is nothing of the sort. i think real social problems are nearly always, almost by definition, hard to solve, and "quick fixes" therefore always suspect.

in real life, there are no silver bullets. wasting our time searching for one will not help the poor, feed the hungry, create jobs for the idle, or provide living wages for those jobs. gun control in particular will accomplish none of the above, and therefore i do not believe it will significantly reduce crime; it would be treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

oh, and... if we don't have any rash of drive-by knifings plaguing us, then i take it you would see no need for banning bayonet lugs on rifles, just for one example? collectors of antique military arms would appreciate that, as the things are more collectible and hold greater historical value if unmodified.

(that's topical, because banning something that is not a societal ill can be easily seen to be a legal distraction from forging laws that are actually useful. the 1994-2004 "assault weapons ban" was nearly entirely a gigantic distraction that did no good; it discredited the cause of gun control, and the people who would advocate that cause, severely. nor is it the only example of such a useless law in this field, unfortunately. because of that, i feel it prudent to view any suggestion of new gun control schemes with considerable skepticism; the well has been poisoned.)

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

Melville knew that Ahab was crazy.
He wrote a psychological novel intentionally. Ahab had moments of clarity and sanity, then, over the edge.

He was intent on killing something. Ahabs of this world say guns don't kill people, people kill people. Yes, people with guns kill people. As it is said, never bring a knife to a gun fight.

Dorchester, MA is a crime scene almost every day. Guns in the hands of little Ahabs, out of control.

And then I look at outdoor TV shows, seeing some hero in camoflaug twisting the horned head of his recent kill, patting it on it's lovely side, calling it a beautiful animal, but that it made one mistake; it ran across his line of vision. As you say, Sheeesh!

Leanderthal
Lighthouse Keeper