Gun Control

  • December 20, 2012 · 7:00 PM

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  • CUBI

    Don't ban the guns, but what do you think about putting heavy taxes on purchases of guns, similar to cigarette extra taxes? Licensing requirements for gun owners and users, liability insurance for owners, users ?

    December 21, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      It can be done; however, making the purchase and owning of GENERIC guns more difficult just increases the black market traffic, I would think. I am in favor of the "use it or lose it" licensing. Something along the lines of drivers licenses - and I think there should be retesting for those, too. Say for example, pass a brief written test on the laws and good safety practices, then a proficiency firing at a range. Then you get your licence for two years, and you can do additional testing and proficiency shooting to get upgraded for an automatic. Retest every 2-3 years, and another proficiency shoot unless you can show proof of range time.

      December 22, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      And I think we should kill the income tax and do a VAT. First gun is tax free, additional semiautomatic small magazine pistols or rifles at a reasonable rate, and fully automatics taxed at the much higher luxury tax rate, with Lamborghinis and cigarettes and Twinkies (the more processing, the higher the tax...)

      December 22, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all, not sure which house was Pedro's (haven't driven through Bonita since 2000) but nobody answered the doorbells I rang. Hope the conversation was interesting. I am in favor of going back to the REASON for the second ammendment (as pointed out by Wally below) and looking at simplifying and broadening the interpretation. ARMS won't always be muskets and cutlases. And with a standing Army, the current version of "militia" is more State National Guard. Perhaps dropping a few dozen laws (ha ha - as if Congress would ever do that) and replacing them with something that leaves it up to states to regulate guns, knives, swords, explosives, rail guns, ray guns, rocket launchers, etc.; more so than they do now.

    December 21, 2012

  • Wally

    This is an important and really interesting article on the history of gun control. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/308608/1/

    Here are some fun facts from it:
    - After the founding of the country, all men of fighting age were required to own a firearm, and to be prepared to use it in case of war. The second amendment was interpreted around the idea of militias.
    - The NRA was originally okay with many gun regulations today's NRA would call unconstitutional
    - In California gun control laws were passed by Ronald Reagan. In protest, gun rights enthusiasts the Black Panthers, stormed the California Legislature.
    - Some of the first civil rights legislation was designed to allow Southern blacks to retain their arms despite the campaign of racist militias to confiscate them. By this time, the second amendment was interpreted by Congress to mean an individual right to bear arms (not specifically related to militia).

    December 21, 2012

  • Bill

    Sorry to miss this one but I am out of town for the rest of the month. I did have some thoughts in the form of talking points:

    •Focusing on the mental illness of the perpetuator is a red herring. No other advanced country in the world has the repeated incidence of gun violence as does the United States while no other developed country has any more or less incidence of mental illness.
    •Focusing on parents of the perpetuators is another red herring.
    •Focusing on the media and film industry is another red herring - other countries see the same films and play the same video games as Americans yet do not have the kinds of repeated mass murder events that occur in America.

    Deductive reasoning leaves only the enormous availibility of guns - especially sophisticated semi-automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition clips as a cause of the rate if gun violence in America.

    December 18, 2012

    • Wally

      That seems like an important part of explaining the numbers of homicides by firearm in the US, but I think there may be other factors as well. Looking at the charts posted by Rob below, the US has 89 firearms per 100 people (the highest density of firearms), and a homicide by firearm rate of 3 per 100,000. But there isn't always a clear connection between those two statistics. Finland has 45 guns per 100 people (the fourth highest density), but only .45 murders per 100,000 - a relatively high rate of ownership, but a low rate of murder.

      Honduras on the other hand has only 6 guns per 100 people, (88th highest density), and a gun murder rate of 68 per 100,000 - a low rate of gun ownership and the highest rate of gun murder. Per capita, they own 1/15th the number of guns we do, but they're 23 times as likely to be murdered with a gun.

      Clearly there must be other factors involved.

      December 21, 2012

    • Wally

      I would suggest that 1) overall levels of crime
      2) cultural attitudes to the rule of law and
      3) cultural gun-safety practices
      4) stability/government legitimacy/government monopoly on the use of force

      have an influence on the levels of gun murder, and an influence on the relationship between levels of gun ownership and gun violence.

      We have high stability, but high levels of violent crime compared to many countries. I think it's hard to make generalizations about our attitudes towards gun safety and rule of law because we have wide divergences within our society. It seems like there are parts of society, especially in urban areas, where people that have little respect for the rule of law, and that don't practice gun safety. On the other hand, there are many law abiding gun owners that are responsible with their guns.

      However, I still agree with your point that overall levels of gun ownership are a critical factor in gun violence rates.

      1 · December 21, 2012

    • Rob

      (the percentage of homicides perpetrated by firearms is listed as 60% in the UNODC dataset).

      December 18, 2012

    • Jeff

      Total population is easily calculated if you have total homicide rate per 100K. It may or may not be relevant. How would you determine correlation or causation related to population levels if the data is absent? Total homicide rate is important if you want a thorough analysis of the problem. I would say the problem is homicide. Gun control may be a tool that can be used to reduce homicide. Did you see how interesting Mongolia, Lithuania, and Northern Ireland are?

      December 18, 2012

  • Rob

    I'll try to get there.

    This shows where we are globally. It's alarming. Most pertinent I believe is to sort by firearm homicide rate. I haven't gone through gun laws by each country but I'm guessing there's a significant correlation between tighter gun laws and this rate.

    December 18, 2012

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