Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Posted: 4/20/2007 11:32:39 AM EST
LA TIMES ARTICLE!!!

Gun control isn't the answer
Why one reaction to Virginia Tech shouldn't be tightening firearm laws.
By James Q. Wilson, JAMES Q. WILSON teaches public policy at Pepperdine University and previously taught at UCLA and Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including "Thinking About Crime."
April 20, 2007


THE TRAGEDY at Virginia Tech may tell us something about how a young man could be driven to commit terrible actions, but it does not teach us very much about gun control.

So far, not many prominent Americans have tried to use the college rampage as an argument for gun control. One reason is that we are in the midst of a presidential race in which leading Democratic candidates are aware that endorsing gun control can cost them votes.

This concern has not prevented the New York Times from editorializing in favor of "stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage." Nor has it stopped the European press from beating up on us unmercifully.

Leading British, French, German, Italian and Spanish newspapers have blamed the United States for listening to Charlton Heston and the National Rifle Assn. Many of their claims are a little strange. At least two papers said we should ban semiautomatic assault weapons (even though the killer did not use one); another said that buying a machine gun is easier than getting a driver's license (even though no one can legally buy a machine gun); a third wrote that gun violence is becoming more common (when in fact the U.S. homicide rate has fallen dramatically over the last dozen years).

Let's take a deep breath and think about what we know about gun violence and gun control.

First: There is no doubt that the existence of some 260 million guns (of which perhaps 60 million are handguns) increases the death rate in this country. We do not have drive-by poisonings or drive-by knifings, but we do have drive-by shootings. Easy access to guns makes deadly violence more common in drug deals, gang fights and street corner brawls.

However, there is no way to extinguish this supply of guns. It would be constitutionally suspect and politically impossible to confiscate hundreds of millions of weapons. You can declare a place gun-free, as Virginia Tech had done, and guns will still be brought there.

If we want to guess by how much the U.S. murder rate would fall if civilians had no guns, we should begin by realizing — as criminologists Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins have shown — that the non-gun homicide rate in this country is three times higher than the non-gun homicide rate in England. For historical and cultural reasons, Americans are a more violent people than the English, even when they can't use a gun. This fact sets a floor below which the murder rate won't be reduced even if, by some constitutional or political miracle, we became gun-free.

There are federally required background checks on purchasing weapons; many states (including Virginia) limit gun purchases to one a month, and juveniles may not buy them at all. But even if there were even tougher limits, access to guns would remain relatively easy. Not the least because, as is true today, many would be stolen and others would be obtained through straw purchases made by a willing confederate. It is virtually impossible to use new background check or waiting-period laws to prevent dangerous people from getting guns. Those that they cannot buy, they will steal or borrow.

It's also important to note that guns play an important role in selfdefense. Estimates differ as to how common this is, but the numbers are not trivial. Somewhere between 100,000 and more than 2 million cases of self-defense occur every year.

There are many compelling cases. In one Mississippi high school, an armed administrator apprehended a school shooter. In a Pennsylvania high school, an armed merchant prevented further deaths. Would an armed teacher have prevented some of the deaths at Virginia Tech? We cannot know, but it is not unlikely.

AS FOR THE European disdain for our criminal culture, many of those countries should not spend too much time congratulating themselves. In 2000, the rate at which people were robbed or assaulted was higher in England, Scotland, Finland, Poland, Denmark and Sweden than it was in the United States. The assault rate in England was twice that in the United States. In the decade since England banned all private possession of handguns, the BBC reported that the number of gun crimes has gone up sharply.

Some of the worst examples of mass gun violence have also occurred in Europe. In recent years, 17 students and teachers were killed by a shooter in one incident at a German public school; 14 legislators were shot to death in Switzerland, and eight city council members were shot to death near Paris.

The main lesson that should emerge from the Virginia Tech killings is that we need to work harder to identify and cope with dangerously unstable personalities.

It is a problem for Europeans as well as Americans, one for which there are no easy solutions — such as passing more gun control laws.

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:35:33 AM EST
It's good to see that there are people that still listen to reason and logic.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:40:43 AM EST

It's good to see that there are people that still listen to reason and logic.


And not the Leading British, French, German, Italian and Spanish newspapers .

How many times has the US bailed out these country's ??? I say roll up the carpet , close the check book . Your on your own Europe .
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:40:45 AM EST

Leading British, French, German, Italian and Spanish newspapers have blamed the United States for listening to Charlton Heston and the National Rifle Assn. Many of their claims are a little strange. At least two papers said we should ban semiautomatic assault weapons (even though the killer did not use one); another said that buying a machine gun is easier than getting a driver's license (even though no one can legally buy a machine gun); a third wrote that gun violence is becoming more common (when in fact the U.S. homicide rate has fallen dramatically over the last dozen years).



I am sure that Arfcom would have known about this change in laws before this guy.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:43:30 AM EST
Nobody in the media's going to listen to him- he's from Pepperdine, home of the evil Grand Inquisitor, Ken Starr.


Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:44:30 AM EST
Same here:

www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/19/commentary.nugent/index.html

Front fucking page!





By Ted Nugent
Special to CNN
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

Editor's note: Rock guitarist Ted Nugent has sold more than 30 million albums. He's also a gun rights activist and serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. His program, "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild," can be seen on the Outdoor Channel.

Read an opposing take on gun control from journalist Tom Plate: Let's lay down our right to bear arms

WACO, Texas (CNN) -- Zero tolerance, huh? Gun-free zones, huh? Try this on for size: Columbine gun-free zone, New York City pizza shop gun-free zone, Luby's Cafeteria gun-free zone, Amish school in Pennsylvania gun-free zone and now Virginia Tech gun-free zone.

Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time, and I've about had enough of it.

Nearly a decade ago, a Springfield, Oregon, high schooler, a hunter familiar with firearms, was able to bring an unfolding rampage to an abrupt end when he identified a gunman attempting to reload his .22-caliber rifle, made the tactical decision to make a move and tackled the shooter.

A few years back, an assistant principal at Pearl High School in Mississippi, which was a gun-free zone, retrieved his legally owned Colt .45 from his car and stopped a Columbine wannabe from continuing his massacre at another school after he had killed two and wounded more at Pearl.

At an eighth-grade school dance in Pennsylvania, a boy fatally shot a teacher and wounded two students before the owner of the dance hall brought the killing to a halt with his own gun.

More recently, just a few miles up the road from Virginia Tech, two law school students ran to fetch their legally owned firearm to stop a madman from slaughtering anybody and everybody he pleased. These brave, average, armed citizens neutralized him pronto.

My hero, Dr. Suzanne Gratia Hupp, was not allowed by Texas law to carry her handgun into Luby's Cafeteria that fateful day in 1991, when due to bureaucrat-forced unarmed helplessness she could do nothing to stop satanic George Hennard from killing 23 people and wounding more than 20 others before he shot himself. Hupp was unarmed for no other reason than denial-ridden "feel good" politics.

She has since led the charge for concealed weapon upgrade in Texas, where we can now stop evil. Yet, there are still the mindless puppets of the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun organizations insisting on continuing the gun-free zone insanity by which innocents are forced into unarmed helplessness. Shame on them. Shame on America. Shame on the anti-gunners all.

No one was foolish enough to debate Ryder truck regulations or ammonia nitrate restrictions or a "cult of agriculture fertilizer" following the unabashed evil of Timothy McVeigh's heinous crime against America on that fateful day in Oklahoma City. No one faulted kitchen utensils or other hardware of choice after Jeffrey Dahmer was caught drugging, mutilating, raping, murdering and cannibalizing his victims. Nobody wanted "steak knife control" as they autopsied the dead nurses in Chicago, Illinois, as Richard Speck went on trial for mass murder.

Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people.

Thirty-two people dead on a U.S. college campus pursuing their American Dream, mowed-down over an extended period of time by a lone, non-American gunman in illegal possession of a firearm on campus in defiance of a zero-tolerance gun law. Feel better yet? Didn't think so.

Who doesn't get this? Who has the audacity to demand unarmed helplessness? Who likes dead good guys?

I'll tell you who. People who tramp on the Second Amendment, that's who. People who refuse to accept the self-evident truth that free people have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to defend themselves and their loved ones. People who are so desperate in their drive to control others, so mindless in their denial that they pretend access to gas causes arson, Ryder trucks and fertilizer cause terrorism, water causes drowning, forks and spoons cause obesity, dialing 911 will somehow save your life, and that their greedy clamoring to "feel good" is more important than admitting that armed citizens are much better equipped to stop evil than unarmed, helpless ones.

Pray for the families of victims everywhere, America. Study the methodology of evil. It has a profile, a system, a preferred environment where victims cannot fight back. Embrace the facts, demand upgrade and be certain that your children's school has a better plan than Virginia Tech or Columbine. Eliminate the insanity of gun-free zones, which will never, ever be gun-free zones. They will only be good guy gun-free zones, and that is a recipe for disaster written in blood on the altar of denial. I, for one, refuse to genuflect there.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:49:36 AM EST
Great article!
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:50:59 AM EST
HOLY SHIT!!!

...I think my heart just stopped for a few seconds. First the Washington Times doing a scathing article on Feinstein, and now this?! THE WORLD IS ON THE FLIPSIDE NOW!
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:51:27 AM EST
Bump for awesome article
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:02:39 PM EST
I was thinking about the world reaction to this, condemnation of our "gun culture" and the lectures from foreign government spokespeople on how we should do things. It occurs to me that the reason we haven't had millions of people rounded up and exterminated is because of our "gun culture". Perhaps those so eager to condemn us should look in a mirror. Hey Germany, are you listening? How much armed resistance did you get from the millions of citizens you, you rounded up and murdered? And China? I won't even start on what a dismal human rights record you have. How dare you lecture me on my culture which allows me to defend my freedom against governments the likes of yours. How dare you!!! Statistics on crime aside, I still will will take my "culture of guns and violence" over your culture of "gunless terror".

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. I feel better now...  
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:03:51 PM EST
It's a TRICK. It's gotta be a trick.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:11:54 PM EST

Quoted:
It's a TRICK. It's gotta be a trick.



no shit. quick get an axe.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:13:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:14:07 PM EST
The author is a well-known conservative professor of public policy.  Google him.

The LAT does occasionally publish opposing points of view.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:20:38 PM EST

Quoted:

The LAT does occasionally publish opposing points of view.


Yep, that's all this is.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:22:53 PM EST
tagged for article.

I need to save this sucker when I get home.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:57:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:05:16 PM EST
Ironic seeing as the LATimes is a part of the Tribune Company, which has a company wide disarmament policy of it's own.

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:11:47 PM EST
BUMP!
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:22:22 PM EST
Holy crap.

Are these articles real?
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:37:36 PM EST
Oh, they are biding their time. Just wait until after the election. I'm sure there's all kinds of promises and deals being made in Washington right now.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:39:46 PM EST
I predicted this.

Gun control died in a hail of bullets this last Monday.   The lie of victim disarmament is now so clearly exposed as the lie that it has always been,  now for all rational people to see, that it can never become the powerful threat to the 2nd amendment that it once was.


Those who continue to believe in gun control after this are incapable of being reasoned with.


CJ
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:41:47 PM EST
He is a wickedly smart guy.  I had him as a visiting professor at UVA Law School and his class was amazing.  
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:46:53 PM EST
A lot of the majorly liberal gun rags is speaking against gun control

Maybe its a trap!!!
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 1:57:06 PM EST

Quoted:

Leading British, French, German, Italian and Spanish newspapers have blamed the United States for listening to Charlton Heston and the National Rifle Assn. Many of their claims are a little strange. At least two papers said we should ban semiautomatic assault weapons (even though the killer did not use one); another said that buying a machine gun is easier than getting a driver's license (even though no one can legally buy a machine gun); a third wrote that gun violence is becoming more common (when in fact the U.S. homicide rate has fallen dramatically over the last dozen years).



I am sure that Arfcom would have known about this change in laws before this guy.


I'd bet that over half the population believes that statement to be true.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:08:17 PM EST
wow. that was really really fucking good.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:08:21 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:

Leading British, French, German, Italian and Spanish newspapers have blamed the United States for listening to Charlton Heston and the National Rifle Assn. Many of their claims are a little strange. At least two papers said we should ban semiautomatic assault weapons (even though the killer did not use one); another said that buying a machine gun is easier than getting a driver's license (even though no one can legally buy a machine gun); a third wrote that gun violence is becoming more common (when in fact the U.S. homicide rate has fallen dramatically over the last dozen years).



I am sure that Arfcom would have known about this change in laws before this guy.


I'd bet that over half the population believes that statement to be true.


And they also believe that is what you have in your hands when you have an AR or an AK clone.

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 3:50:11 PM EST

Quoted:
He is a wickedly smart guy.  I had him as a visiting professor at UVA Law School and his class was amazing.  


[libthink]"But he's a conservative, so he must be stupid!"[/libthink]
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 3:51:48 PM EST

Quoted:
HOLY SHIT!!!

...I think my heart just stopped for a few seconds. First the Washington Times doing a scathing article on Feinstein, and now this?! THE WORLD IS ON THE FLIPSIDE NOW!


WashTimes is a very conservative paper. WashPost is not.
Top Top