Join Date: Aug 2010
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Re: Sikhs express shock after shootings at Wisconsin temple
Originally Posted by ricardisimo
Really? Is there some sort of "bad guy" stat to which you are privy?
He was quoting what I said about gun crime in the UK. And even they admit it. Their murder rate (per capita) is much lower (in most areas), but their violent crime rate is actually higher.
This is a bit dated, from 2002, but it doesn't contradict any of the other articles I posted.
On a June evening two years ago, Dan Rather made many stiff British upper lips quiver by reporting that England had a crime problem and that, apart from murder, "theirs is worse than ours." The response was swift and sharp. "Have a Nice Daydream," The Mirror, a London daily, shot back, reporting: "Britain reacted with fury and disbelief last night to claims by American newsmen that crime and violence are worse here than in the US." But sandwiched between the article's battery of official denials -- "totally misleading," "a huge over-simplification," "astounding and outrageous" -- and a compilation of lurid crimes from "the wild west culture on the other side of the Atlantic where every other car is carrying a gun," The Mirror conceded that the CBS anchorman was correct. Except for murder and rape, it admitted, "Britain has overtaken the US for all major crimes."
In the two years since Dan Rather was so roundly rebuked, violence in England has gotten markedly worse. Over the course of a few days in the summer of 2001, gun-toting men burst into an English court and freed two defendants; a shooting outside a London nightclub left five women and three men wounded; and two men were machine-gunned to death in a residential neighborhood of north London. And on New Year's Day this year a 19-year-old girl walking on a main street in east London was shot in the head by a thief who wanted her mobile phone. London police are now looking to New York City police for advice.
None of this was supposed to happen in the country whose stringent gun laws and 1997 ban on handguns have been hailed as the "gold standard" of gun control. For the better part of a century, British governments have pursued a strategy for domestic safety that a 1992 Economist article characterized as requiring "a restraint on personal liberty that seems, in most civilised countries, essential to the happiness of others," a policy the magazine found at odds with "America's Vigilante Values." The safety of English people has been staked on the thesis that fewer private guns means less crime. The government believes that any weapons in the hands of men and women, however law-abiding, pose a danger, and that disarming them lessens the chance that criminals will get or use weapons.
The results -- the toughest firearm restrictions of any democracy -- are credited by the world's gun control advocates with producing a low rate of violent crime. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell reflected this conventional wisdom when, in a 1988 speech to the American Bar Association, he attributed England's low rates of violent crime to the fact that "private ownership of guns is strictly controlled."
In reality, the English approach has not re-duced violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States.
The illusion that the English government had protected its citizens by disarming them seemed credible because few realized the country had an astonishingly low level of armed crime even before guns were restricted. A government study for the years 1890-92, for example, found only three handgun homicides, an average of one a year, in a population of 30 million. In 1904 there were only four armed robberies in London, then the largest city in the world. A hundred years and many gun laws later, the BBC reported that England's firearms restrictions "seem to have had little impact in the criminal underworld." Guns are virtually outlawed, and, as the old slogan predicted, only outlaws have guns. Worse, they are increasingly ready to use them.
Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954. Violent crime has been climbing ever since. Last December, London's Evening Standard reported that armed crime, with banned handguns the weapon of choice, was "rocketing." In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.
A more recent article from the same site...
However one comes down on this issue, we should understand that it is not relevant to the gun-policy question. Even if there was no chance of stopping Holmes, that would not justify restricting law-abiding people from carrying handguns.
Let’s go over some basics, which the gun controllers stubbornly refuse to acknowledge:
People intent on breaking the law against murder are not likely to respect a law against possession of firearms. The only people restricted by gun laws are law-abiding people. This point is so obvious, one wonders why some deny or ignore it.
The criminal, unfortunately, chooses the time, place, and manner of his crime. I don’t like that rule either, but that’s the way it is. Criminals aren’t irrational, so they tend not to pick victims standing near cops. When you are attacked, calling 9-1-1 will do little good. For the record, the police are under no legal obligation to defend you. The courts have spoken on this—not that your survivors’ ability to sue the police would bring much comfort.
The upshot is that, high-flown political theory aside, no one can truly delegate his or her right to or responsibility for one’s own self-defense. Ultimately, you are the only one who can look out for your safety, because you are only one who is with you 24/7 and therefore the only one you can count on when the criminal targets you. That’s just a fact.
Another fact is that while guns are used to take innocent life, they are also used to protect innocent life. The numbers are in dispute—ranging from 100,000 to over 2 million times a year—but no reasonable person can doubt that people use guns to prevent violent crime, often, if not usually, without firing them. Gun opponents downplay this by distracting us with dubious statistics on how often criminals disarm and kill their victims or how often guns are used to escalate arguments over card games and fender benders. The fact remains: Guns save lives.
Many people don’t appreciate this because most such incidents are not reported to police or the news media. Moreover, the national media are uninterested in defensive gun-use stories. Local news outlets pay attention when an elderly person or shopkeeper uses a gun to thwart a would-be criminal, but the national media, which give wall-to-wall coverage to mass shootings, apparently have no time to report life-saving uses of firearms. No wonder some people believe handguns are only tools for criminals.
Even if we concede that tighter gun laws would have stopped the Aurora shooting—unlikely, because a determined Holmes could have acquired guns in the inevitable black market—those laws also would have cost innocent lives, because people who would have used guns to defend themselves would have been unable to do so. Why are those lives less important than the others?
People are not interchangeable. Even if gun control could save one life—or a hundred—in one place, that would not justify putting other people at the mercy of criminals somewhere else. People have a right to defend themselves, and handguns are by far the best way for smaller, physically weaker innocent people (women, please note) to protect themselves from larger, stronger bad people. (If all guns were to disappear, who would gain the advantage?)
Finally, it is unappreciated that along with increasingly wider gun ownership and liberalized concealed-carry laws, violent crime has been declining for years. The Aurora tragedy should not overshadow that happy fact.
I'll be the first to say that I though I disagree with gun registration (for a number of reasons), I am strongly in favor of increased background checks and mandatory training classes. There is NEVER going to be a perfect way, not even in the UK. I'm also hesitant to accept them as the standard for gun control arguments, because there are places in the states that are as safe from gun crime as any where in the world, and there are also some of the most dangerous inner city ghettos. It is such a large and diverse country that national statistics are incredibly misleading. Its like analysing gun stats for all of Europe.
I stand firm that banning all handguns and firearms will not solve a thing. In a perfect world, maybe...but not ours. If anything, I think it would make matters worse for a lot of people. The second article I posted here explains why in better words than I ever could.
Look at these eyebrows. These are attack eyebrows! They could take off bottle caps!