Gangs, guns (courtesy frugal-cafe.com)

The idea that passing new or “stricter” gun control laws will reduce “gun violence” is silly. Setting aside the statistically nominal death and injury toll caused by negligent firearms discharges and domestic violence, America’s “gun violence” problem takes two basic forms: suicide and criminal activity. As Japan’s suicide rate proves, even a total gun ban does sweet FA to stop people from offing themselves. Firearms-involved criminal activity is mostly gang bangers banging. Hard. So if you really want to reduce “gun violence” you have to . . .

increase mental health outreach, intervention and efficacy; and defund, degrade and destroy the gangs.

Neither task is easy or straightforward. Government agencies and institutions, private organizations and campaigners, and dedicated individuals are already trying to do both. And not without effect. The antis’ incessant bloody shirt waving shouldn’t obscure the fact that we’ve made tremendous strides in addressing mental health issues and reducing – or at least isolating – violent crime.

There’s room for improvement, of course.

I’d like to see the firearms industry tackle suicide prevention. I reckon every new gun should come with a card listing the warning signs of depression and providing a suicide prevention phone number. Not just for the buyer but also for the buyer’s reference, should a member of their household become dangerously depressed. (TTAG’s added a suicide prevention message to our home page.)

As for firearms-related criminal activity, I can only recommend that we lock up violent offenders – earlier, more often and for longer periods of time – and stop the war on drugs. If we end the criminal justice system’s revolving door for violent criminals, we’ll stop the ballistic bad actors acting badly – at least for the duration of their stay in jail. If we legalize drugs, we’ll shut off the gangs’ primary economic engine.

Maybe. Maybe not. Check this out [via borderlandbeat.com]:

The Mexican drug cartels have managed to recruit thousands of youngsters, in primary, secondary and preparatory schools in Texas, to form gangs under their control, in order to strengthen the flow of narcotic drugs to all of the United States.

This is clear from a National Gang Report from 2014, released by the Department of Public Safety for the State. In Texas there are about 100,000 Gang members and in El Paso approximately 5,600, distributed among 307 criminal organisations, according to information.

In accordance with the document “Texas Gang Threat Assessment”, the Cartels of Sinaloa, Juarez, del Golfo, and Los Zetas, recruit students using the internet and prisoners to become involved in illicit activities.

The gang members, who are supporting any of the Cartels, receive orders to locate children, who accept money, fame, women and drugs in exchange for activities related to drug trafficking, human trafficking or sexual trafficking.

According to information in the report, the ease of recruitment is great, because when one of these youngsters are detained, they can easily be replaced, and will continue to bolster gang numbers inside prison, once convicted.

The fight against suicide and criminality will never end. Firearms will always be used in both cases. Trying to limit firearms access for suicidal citizens and violent criminals is a mug’s game. As The People of the Gun like to say, it’s the same as trying to cure obesity by limiting access to spoons.

Speaking of metaphors, anti-gunners are like a drunk searching for his keys under a streetlamp because the light’s better. Truth be told, to tackle “gun violence” we must delve into the dark places where these problems live and confront the underlying issues head-on. Simply put, gun control’s got nothing to do with it.

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72 Responses to How to Reduce “Gun Violence”

  1. I’ve had long heated arguments with a few pretty staunch anti-gun rights people over the years. And I’ve come to one clear conclusion with them in that they just do not care about the facts. And anything that challenges that is to be tossed aside and substituted with anti NRA rhetoric and insistence that they’re ‘just trying to sell guns’.

    • Which is why it could be incredibly smart for the NRA to add suicide prevention to its efforts. Prominently. That might just save a few lives, and it would allow the NRA to take a proactive position instead of getting blamed — literally and often — for “profiting from death.”

      Suicide prevention should be part of gun safety, if we’re serious about it. Many of us write off the suicide numbers at least partly out of a reflexive reaction to the antis’ ubiquitous conflation of suicides with crimes to make their numbers artificially high. Yet does MDA have a suicide prevention program? It is, after all, the leading cause of gun-related deaths.

      Who’s for adding a new rule to Jeff Cooper’s set of gun safety rules? Know the signs of depression, and seek help if you’re feeling depressed or considering harming yourself. Never handle a firearm when you are feeling like harming yourself.

      Come to think of it, “Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy” and “Always treat a gun as if it’s loaded” are pretty much useless in suicide prevention.

      Thoughts?

      • Not a horrible idea, that’s for sure. Type there’s still more suicides performed with guns then murders with them per year, here in the US anyway. Although I really don’t think the NRA can be of any real use with this. Suicide prevention is something that needs a huge support that the NRA can’t really handy all on their own. Plus the shear fact that the NRA is attached to something means that you’ll have all the anti-rights wing nuts doing everything they politically can to interfere with these efforts.

      • For PR purposes I agree the NRA should add that to their list however, the only reasons that suicide by gun is a large portion of suicides in the US if you took away the guns some other method would be used. I believe the tool of choice in the UK, which has the suicide rate as the US, is the rope.

        • “Gun control reduces gun deaths” sounds better than “gun control drives people to hang themselves”, doesn’t it?

      • “Know the signs of depression, and seek help if you’re feeling depressed or considering harming yourself. Never handle a firearm when you are feeling like harming yourself.”

        Rigghhhhhhhhht…and once you make it through to the other side you might find you can no longer exercise your 2nd amendment rights.

        • That is also why some soldiers don’t want to go to the VA to seek help. Firearms are one thing they enjoy and a trip to talk about having trouble sleeping can get your ability to own guns stripped from you.

      • @Jay El–“Suicide prevention should be part of gun safety, if we’re serious about it.” -If somebody is not smart enough to know that a gun is a tool, which is made to destroy most matter directly in front of it and beyond after pulling the trigger, should not be around a gun, which doesn’t say much for their mental capacity to begin with. If a mental midget happens to load a round in the chamber, switch the safety if applicable to red, and pull the trigger next to their head or in their mouth to create a desperation soaked Jackson Pollock, that is not an accident or anything that should be used to infringe my rights because of actions of lesser people. Kind of approaching Liberal speak on how they blame gun owners for ghetto rats killing each other, and trying to defer blame from the spiritually diseased individual pulling the trigger. I call that a deliberate use of the tool for the intended job of selective Darwinism, for you atheists and agnostics, and I as a Christian wish them the best in Hell for being a coward to God’s gift of life. The only sin that cant be forgiven is suicide, because that is the ultimate disrespect to God by showing dishonor before death.
        What suicide is not is a misuse or negligent discharge, and suicide with a gun usually does not end in an attempted try unless they shoot temple to temple with a small caliber, or out of the side of their mouth like I have seen, so good on the mental midget for getting something right.

      • You fall for the “strawman.”

        if all guns were to disappear tomorrow suicide would not budge an inch, only the means would change.

        • “You fall for the ‘straw man.'”

          Negative. I’m being strategic. Think of all the campaigns by the beer industry á la “With great beer comes great responsibility.” When antis scream “OMGsuicidegunsbad!” the smart move is to take back control of the conversation. In other words, to be the adult in the room. “Yes, suicide is often a tragedy, and it can cause unbearable pain for families and loved ones. Unfortunately, many people are afraid to seek the help they need. That’s why we support an anonymous hotline where people can talk to someone who understands what they’re going through, in total confidence and free of stigma. Suicide is a significant issue virtually worldwide, and here in the U.S. we need to do much more to address it.”

          Suicide with a firearm, like crime with a firearm, is a misuse of guns. Just like getting drunk and driving is a misuse of both alcohol and cars. That’s the counter message to the antis who try to lay suicide numbers at the feet of the NRA and all POTG. It allows us to reframe the topic of suicides and separate ourselves from it.

  2. Precisely. If MDA and lard everitt really want to help people, they should focus on suicide prevention and outreach programs that help urban youth get and stay on the right track.

    • In addition to maybe saving some lives, it would have three very significant benefits:

      1. It would let us POTG show that we care about others, not just ourselves (as the antis regularly harp).

      2. It would allow us POTG to regularly point out that we’re doing something about gun safety and preventing firearms-related deaths. We’re training thousands of people in gun safety every month — what are Bloomberg/Brady/MDA/Everytown doing? Nothing. We’re doing suicide-prevention outreach and encouraging people to get the help they need. What are the antis doing? Zero. (Unless you count lumping suicides into “gun violence” numbers as rationale for disarming law-abiding, non-self-harming grown-ups.)

      3. It would enable us POTG to regularly point out the number of suicides using firearms and separate that from crimes and accidents, but more importantly, it would remove the antis’ ability, even in today’s moronically underthinking media, to lay the death toll of suicides at the feet of POTG. We would constantly be pointing out that suicides are misuses of firearms.

      • Nice idea in theory. Good optics. However, its difficult to see how to implement in a way that might be effective.

        One thing I suppose we could do is get some psychiatrists to pull together a list of screening observations and questions. If they gave us such a list on these gun blogs then we would be in a better position to both:
        – look for such signs among our acquaintances; and,
        – talk about these signs to others who might extend our reach.

        Probably most effective to partner with suicide prevention groups. They have the most skin in the game here. What they might need is some input from PotG to better understand the dos and don’ts of guns. They ought to get to know us and understand about their issues.

        In any case, we all need to be very realistic about how hard it is to get someone suffering from mental illness to recognize that he has a problem and reach-out for help. Our just waiving a flag and passing out brochures isn’t going to change anything.

        • @MArkinPA–“One thing I suppose we could do is get some psychiatrists to pull together a list of screening observations and questions.” Your solution to weak minded people successfully accomplishing suicide is some how reason to attach even more of a stigma to firearms and require more infringement. You know, this one time in Russia they tried the shrink route, not to judge if the people were competent to possess guns, but competent enough to possess life, and the shrinks only judged millions of innocents who were diagnosed as mentally unfit to live.

          What if those psychiatrists are liberals who are afraid of guns? Veterans don’t go see shrinks because the government will take away rights these brave men have killed for, since service cooks shouldn’t have PTSD from seeing too many burnt pans. Most shrinks are just as unstable as their patients are mentally speaking. A shrink that sees another shrink is not going to successfully be able to help another person become personally responsible, since they can’t resolve their own problems, and that kind of person has no business deciding on a person’s unalienable rights.

        • You completely mis-understand my suggestion. I’m not talking about any sort of regulation whatsoever. What I am suggesting is that all of us – PotG, Anti’s, people from all walks of life – have available to them a pamphlet they could read that could help them to recognize the symptoms of depression or signs of someone contemplating suicide.
          We all can recognize a friend, co-worker, relative who seems down-in-the-dumps. We just don’t have any idea how to distinguish between an ordinary dip in mood vs. some reasonable likelihood of depression or suicidal thoughts. If we could, we could ask our friend a few more questions and get a better picture.
          If I did so, and thought that my friend’s mood was more than a passing matter, I’d suggest he pursue the matter. Have him call his MD and see if the MD thought it worth-while having a thorough evaluation. I’d do the same thing if I thought the person was coughing too much or had symptoms of some other disease.
          The Antis want to stigmatize anyone with any history of mental illness no matter how irrelevant. I’m opposed to this and believe that we must fight this at all costs. The Anti’s are – if anything – being counterproductive. Their efforts will dissuade people from seeking a diagnosis for fear of jeopardizing their gun rights (employment prospects, reputation, etc.)
          Including such a pamphlet with each gun sale is a nice gesture. If the buyer is making his purchase with the intention to kill himself (maybe he asks to buy just one bullet) then he probably won’t read the pamphlet first. If not, he might read the pamphlet and be alert to signs of depression/suicide among his cohabitants, shooting companions and other friends.
          Plenty of opportunity for good optics here. I’m not very optimistic that we PotG are likely to be able to save many suicides. People this sick have some considerable reluctance to admit they have a serious problem and more reluctant to seek help. Even so, if we PotG promote the effort – in addition to good optics – we may force-multiply by including lots of non-gun users. Collectively, we might have a small positive impact.

  3. Gun owners are easy for people to demonize…. Solving keystone problems is much harder, so people go for easy. Good write up Robert… but please go easy on the name calling, though it is funny 🙂 The drunk searching for keys under the streetlamp made me laugh.

  4. I’ll add that securing our border with Mexico, and deporting violent illegal aliens (instead of the current catch-and-release, or sending them to prison where they find fertile recruitment ground), might make some dent in the inroads the gangs are making.

    While I am agnostic toward drug legalization, I do think that we wastefully expend a lot of time, money, manpower, and effort fighting the War on Drugs. All of that time, money, manpower, and effort might be more effective if used to deal with our gang problem directly.

    • Mr. B – The best way for us to secure our southern border is to copy the Crimea Annexation straight out of Vladimir’s playbook. Send NGOs into Mexico and get them to vote to be annexed by the United States. Shouldn’t be too hard since all they want to do is leave there and come here anyway. Then our southern border would be with Guatemala and Belize at 1/3 the size and much easier to secure. Carpet bomb the drug cartels out of existence (side benefit for the completely lost war on drugs) and let capitalism take over from there.

      • Interesting. I’ve made that argument before, but I rarely see others make it. We should have invaded Mexico not Iraq.

      • @gman- The problem we have with Mexico is it is full of Mexicans that have no desire to be Americans and they only want to prosper off of others no matter the moral cost, so they should fit in well. Carpet bomb five miles south of the Rio Grande and make it mine laced with KOS orders DMZ to protect from foreign invaders. We are a sovereign nation or we are not, and we are not a North American Union, despite our manufacturing being sold out by NAFTA. We are no longer a nation of laws as shown by different sets of laws for different people, which is not equal justice.

        As You said Putin gave us the precedence of protecting a nations sovereignty against international criminals(which was our government once again destabilizing a nation to be pillaged by select corporate interests) acting with state sanctioned force. The most frightening precedence the Ukraine situation also set was that our government did not have a problem with a NATO sanctioned government using heavy munitions upon civilians to solve political unrest, which used to be an international crime. That is up until American’s started voting No Confidence in our government with record gun purchases in regards towards our Oligarchs. The government now wants to invade the barbarian Muslim nations after we have armed the largest terrorist army of the time, and to some Assad is the bad guy.

  5. How long are we going to beat this dead horse; gun control has nothing to do with reducing violence or homicide rates, it has everything to do with disarming the law abiding American public. Enough.

  6. The best way to start diminishing violence in the cities is to end the welfare state that LBJ started. What we see now is exactly the result that racist pig intended.
    He wanted the destruction of the black family and generational government dependence, and therefore a reliable D voting block.
    But every black man that has spoken up about the destruction of the black family and the need to rebuild it has been attacked and ridiculed as a sell out for daring to bite the hand that feeds these dependent people.

    • Bull.

      Poverty during the Great Depression was far worse than anything in any first-world country now, and crime was not what it is now.

      Poverty is not the problem. Culture is. And when you are steeped in a culture that tells you that human life has no value, then it’s no big deal to kill someone over a pair of shoes.

    • Progressive B.S.
      Poverty doesn’t cause crime, and fifty years of our “war on poverty,” a.k.a. government mandated wealth redistribution, have done nothing to reduce crime.

      There have always been low income neighborhoods, but such neighborhoods were not always drug infested, gang infested hell holes riddled with bullet holes.

  7. If PROHIBITION didn’t teach us anything about empowering criminals, then we are poor students indeed. Legalize. Remove the opportunity. We are the “Land of the Free” after all. Stop outlawing material goods, and focus on behavior only. It’s a case of guilt assumption. Those who would ban things assume that I’ll break a law just be cause I have something that makes it minutely easier to do so. As long as getting high is a crime, criminals will be providing folks with the means to do it.

    • Except the drugs are just as illegal in the UK and Canada as they are in the US yet they have far lower murder rates. The legality of drugs doesn’t determine murder rates, culture and demographics do. Drugs were more illegaler in the 1950’s but the murder rate was the same as it is today. When the mafia controlled drugs there weren’t any drug wars.

      • Whether there is competition or monopoly is a question of “industrial organization”. I doubt that it makes sense to make recreational-drug dealing a government-assigned monopoly. During Prohibition, alcohol was largely controlled by competing mafia organizations. In Mexico the recreational-drug market is controlled by cartels under the “plaza” system (territorial) with lots of interloping.
        Ultimately, the question facing our body politic is whether a war on drugs is futile or effective. For me, the question is whether the prohibition of a product/commodity is Constitutional.

        • I can agree with virtually everything you said but that is beside the point. We have a high murder rate because of culture not because are drugs illegal. There are many examples of countries, i.e., Singapore that fight a war on drugs and have low crime rates.

          Sorry but the Constitution protects political rights not drug rights. Whether drugs are legal or not is something determined by community standards not by writ of the Constitution.

        • The thrust of my posting was that a government CAN – if it is politically feasible – enforce whatever laws it chooses to enforce. Singapore doesn’t really have much of a constitutional problem with either guns or drugs.

          I’m not committed to a flat pro-/con- position on drug prohibition.

          You rule-out the possibility that We the People MIGHT have a non-enumerated right to some recreational or non-FDA-approved drugs. You have a serious problem with such a position. You need to review the history of the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists over the wisdom of having a Bill-of-Rights.

          See the 9th and 10th Amendments. There is, enshrined, the statement of the founding generation that our rights were not confined to those enumerated in the Constitution. They presumed that there were so many other rights that it was infeasible to enumerate them. The original Federalist argument (against a Bill of Rights) was that by enumerating ANY right(s) the impression would be left that there were no other rights with a claim of legitimacy.

          Unfortunately, the Federalists have been proven correct. Government will encroach upon any non-enumerated right. And, unfortunately, the Antifederalists were also right. Government would have encroached on the rights contemplated in Amendments 1 – 8 even faster had they not been enumerated.

        • Consider this, if you have “right” to a particular recreational drug then the government is obligated to use it powers to enforce that right when needed. What that means is that if you cannot afford drugs the government must provide them to you. You know, like the statement in the Miranda Warning that says “if you cannot afford a attorney one will be provided for you…” Drug rights are positive rights so if they exist they are things that government must provide you.

        • I imagine you are being sarcastic.
          I find very little in the way of “positive” rights in the Constitution. Arguably, you have a positive right to as many jury trials at which you can successfully be acquitted. Likewise, you have a positive right to as many grand juries at which you can be no-billed. All at public expense. Maybe you have a right to effective council if you are indigent and you are being tried by the government for a serious crime; this far I might go.
          Otherwise, the powers of government are constrained by negative rights. Arguably, I had a right to marry (prior to coming under new management.) If so, certainly this would be a non-enumerated right. It might be inferred from “the pursuit of happiness”. I do not construe any government to have had any obligation to find me a bride (had I suffered the fortune of not having found one for myself.) Nor, by any means, do I believe that anyone has any right to be supplied by government with the sin-semilla of his choice.
          I’m simply not convinced that the Federal Constitution confers power to regulate all drugs. Perhaps State constitutions could empower them.

        • You say the government has to provide items or services outlined as a “right”? That’s quite a stretch. Otherwise the government would have fulfilled my right to a firearm years ago when I was a money poor student that just wanted to excersise his second amendment right.

        • Consider this, if you have “right” to a particular recreational drug then the government is obligated to use it powers to enforce that right when needed. What that means is that if you cannot afford drugs the government must provide them to you.

          I think you are confused about the nature of rights and government.

        • If that is addressed to me then it is you who misunderstand the relationship between rights and government. Both sex rights and drug rights are positive social rights which are not recognized by the Constitution as basic rights. The rights guaranteed in the Constitution are political rights that may not be infringed by the government. These are called negative rights. The right to bear arms a negative right which the government may not interfere with. The only obligation they have is to not interfere with them. Positive rights are rights that the government insures. So if you a right to drugs and you can’t get them, then they have to provide to provide them. Socialism is about positive rights which usually come at the expense negative rights. That is why drug rights and sex rights are pushed by Progressive and that is why Reason style Libertarians are faux Libertarians because place positive rights over negative rights.

      • Drugs were made legal in Portugal and addiction was treated as a disease and not a crime, and crime rates and drug problems plummeted.

        • With drugs and treatment provided by the Government — Legal drugs led to bigger government; not exactly a Libertarian outcome

          The Netherlands decriminalized marijuana and legalized prostitution and saw a big increase in property crime and the country became a center for human trafficking

          The UK and Australia both experimented with legal heroine and got more addicts and of course more government.

  8. I honestly don’t think that the highest powers of the country want to disarm the Constitution and its population simply to prevent crime and prevent negligent harm to children. Because statistics don’t lie, and have proven that A complete firearms ban Will only increase crime, As the United Kingdom in Australia can attest.

    The only reason that the government would want to disarm its population is so that the they have no recourse against a crooked government. these people know their history and know what has become of overthrown monarchs and dictators. They are scared and trying to protect themselves and their future generations interests and holdings.

  9. People kill themselves for a vast variety of reasons, as many different reasons for living or doing pretty much anything else. What so many can’t seem to accept is the fact that suicide is a personal decision, for whatever reason, and nobody else’s business. Anyone can offer “help,” of any kind, but nobody has the authority to do things to people against their will to prevent it.

    Preventing suicide by coercive actions is no better than any flavor of “gun control.” And the motives or intentions of those doing the coercing is beside the point.

  10. As long as drugs remain illegal, there will always be a huge incentive to engage it that life style. The past 35 years have proven that we are losing the “war” on drugs and made zero progress in reducing addiction or stopping these major criminal organizations. It’s going to get worse and worse.

    The only way to destroy these criminal organizations is to find a way to make their product worthless. The more we fight, the more they produce. Attempting to destroy drugs is clearly not working. We can’t make drugs “not cool” or go after the user, though that has some effect, but not nearly enough.

    If we want to reduce gun violence we need to legalize drugs. No, heroin meth and crack would not be sold over the counter, obviously. We don’t need more addiction. The problem is cocaine and heroin are in the top 15 most expensive substances in the world per gram. The only reason for this is due to the fact that they are illegal. Prescription oxycodone is sold for $20-$30 on the black market for what costs ~$1 at the pharmacy without insurance.

    People can’t feed themselves selling $1 pills that are available via prescription system.

    Some of you will blow me off entirely and think it’s absurd. Well, until you actually research drug legalization, you really aren’t much different than a Brady telling me “think of children if we let people carry concealed weapons!”

  11. “Neither task [improving mental health treatment and destroying gangs] is easy or straightforward.”

    Not only is it difficult, it really is NOT in government’s interest. Mentally ill people and gangs create chaos. And government is all too happy to provide a reactive solution which justifies their huge law enforcement apparatus. Government loves that situation. First, they can claim that they are doing something about the chaos. Second, they have their huge law enforcement apparatus available to squash the peasants if they get uppity.

    There is no real incentive for government to prevent mentally ill people and gangs from creating chaos.

    • Yep funny how people in general can’t make that connection you just made and naively believe the government actually gives a f***. It would probably shatter their world view where they would need to deal with a shrink knowing everything they have been told to believe is a lie.

  12. ” In Texas there are about 100,000 Gang members and in El Paso approximately 5,600, distributed among 307 criminal organisations, according to information.”

    Information…everybody’s preferred source of information.

  13. You are correct in separating the analysis of suicide from criminal violence. I have a couple of rhetorical responses to these two facets, respectively.
    First, with respect to suicide, we need to find a way to communicate the idea of the “substitution effect” in a way that resonates. We could explain to this audience that, in the age of the internet, the means to a quick and painless death is only moments away. If they like, someone – absolutely anyone – could create a website devoted to such means. (There are a number of helpful websites already available.) With sufficient promotion, the results should should be dramatic in swinging the data away from guns and toward other more socially acceptable means. (Inert gas is a great substitute.) Gun suicides should drop to a very small number where someone has an impulse that would have passed in a couple of minutes but for the presence of a gun. We could start with the segment of the problem under the most direct Federal control through the DoD and the VA.

    Second, suppressing criminal use of guns IS physically possible; it’s simply not POLITICALLY acceptable in America. To illustrate, I recently worked in Singapore for a couple of months. They have a fairly straight-forward approach to crime. Petty crime results in corporal punishment with a cane. Serious crime in hanging. Drug or gun trafficking is punished by death. Possession of two unlicensed guns creates a rebuttable presumption of trafficking. There isn’t much serious crime in Singapore. If one is inclined to pursue that life-style one is obliged to emigrate or endure the consequences. Perhaps the low recidivism rate explains the efficacy of the approach.

    Americans are far too tolerant of violent crime to dissuade criminal activity; including use of guns. We are not going to execute enough gun criminals to create an effective deterrent. Nor will we incarcerate enough criminals – including gun criminals – long enough to create a moderately effectively deterrent. For these reasons, guns in the hands of American criminals can not be suppressed.

    Nor could American criminals’ gun supply be dried-up. Law-abiding American gun-owners will never surrender their rights. Therefore, criminals will either steal or make guns. Cottage-fabrication of high-quality guns is rapidly approaching the point of triviality. See, for example, GhostGunner. All the parts – other than the receiver – are unregulated and will remain so under the political power of gun-owners.

    We PotG find ourselves in substantial agreement with our arch-opponent, Mayor Bloomberg:

    “It’s controversial, [most] murderers, and murder victims . . .
    are male, minorities, 15 to 25. . . . . You’ve got to get the guns
    out of the hands of [this demographic,] the people getting killed
    . . . First thing you can do to help that group is to keep them alive.”

    Where we PotG part company with the Mayor is tactics. For the reasons given above, Jim Crow wouldn’t work (even if the Constitutional objections were overcome). The supply of guns can’t be dried-up. Registration in vocational-technology machinist curriculums will soar, subsidized by Federal training programs.

    Clearly, what would work is changing the culture of this particular demographic more toward the Japanese/Swiss type. Such a form of cultural-imperialism (culture-cide if you prefer) is intolerable to the Progressive mentality.

    Just as soon as the Progressives can get on the same page as their noble leader and philosopher-in-chief (with respect to the root cause) we might begin to make some progress. Until then, keep your powder dry.

    • If the public merely accepts the framing of this argument, that gang violence is the main face of “gun violence” in America, they can then be insulted by the attempted framing of the anti-argument, which is that they are only one legally owned firearm away from becoming a career criminal, just like them.

  14. I believe the NRA should push for the following:

    1) PSA to make sure you lock up your guns “not being used”; and to have congress create a program that will give gun owners a tax credit for purchasing 100% USA made safes to store their guns
    2) I am all for the Suicide prevention that someone posted at the top
    3) PSAs for gun safety and the 3 rules.

    • “1) PSA to make sure you lock up your guns “not being used”; and to have congress create a program that will give gun owners a tax credit for purchasing 100% USA made safes to store their guns”
      You make the assumption that is the “best” method for everyone. It is not and I would appreciate it if you would stop your liberal driveling. How I stow my guns is nobody’s business. If you ever come into my house you may not want to sit in my wife’s chair.

    • I keep my guns locked up because I don’t want them stolen if someone breaks in. But the weapon I generally carry is either on my person or in the holster on the side of the bed. There’s no small children running around here, so I don’t have to worry about that gun. But if I LEAVE the house, except for the one I carry, no guns are left out.

      But that’s by my choice. It’s nobody’s business what I do with my guns.

  15. This whole discussion is a straw man. Nature abhors a vacuum. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Where there is good there is evil. NOTHING will change that. Even IF we were successful at eliminating one kind of evil, another would pop up to replace it. Nature demands balance. And until the heart of man fundamentally changes the topic is mute.

    • Grammar Nazi Alert:

      The word “mute” means to silence. The word “moot” means to debate. The use of the word moot in this context is to say that the subject is open to probably considerable debate.

  16. They should add a big card of 4 golden rules in big orange caution paper. Sadly the average gun owner doesn’t know them take them to heart. Their experience before buying is what they see in the movies and TV. I think it would great if the gun manufactures made basic gun safety videos that can watch. Like an intro to gun handling. I know it sounds simple, but I know a lot of first time gun owners are very hesitant and don’t know where to go to learn about it.

    • I take it that you speak to neither suicide nor criminal violence. Your object seems to be to reduce accidents (and, perhaps, errors of judgement in making shoot/don’t-shoot decisions). I like your idea.

      Clearly, the NRA (and any other training organization) could produce a “trailer” or “intro” video and publish it on the internet. Their commercial objective could be to attract business to their training programs (perfectly legitimate). A great incidental benefit would be to make new gunnies aware of the importance of training and safety and encourage them to pursue training whether via live programs, videos, books or acquaintances.

      I think we ought to encourage ALL forms of education; i.e., they are all complementary. We should encourage people to become credentialed. It’s not so much that a stack-of-cards or certificates makes one more proficient. Rather, it is a way of demonstrating a commitment to developing one’s skills toward the state-of-the-art. If I’m speaking to a newbee I’ll tell him about the courses I’ve taken and the books I’ve read and encourage him to follow suite. Become recognizable as someone who takes his responsibilities as a gun-user seriously.

      This is the image we want to project to the public as a group; i.e., that we are (for the most part) students of our avocation.

    • Ryan – The problem of education stems from the liberal progressive demonizing of the gun. Until very recently the education responsibility was father to son/daughter. For ANY parent, gun lover or hater, to allow their children to grow up and NOT know gun safety is like never telling them what a condom is for. That’s just simply irresponsible. Gun safety is already a primary mission to the NRA and NSSF and all the other gun folks. The best way to lower gun negligence is to eliminate liberal progressives, or at least their messaging.

      • The place to start is a Federal law in support of the 1A that prohibits any agent of the government – Federal, State or Municipal – to infringe on the right of free speech, press, religion or assembly in support of the Constitution or any enumerated right defined therein.
        Such a law needs to have a little teeth in it; e.g., a penalty of $100 (plus reasonable attorneys fees) and be enforceable by private litigation.
        We simply can’t tolerate, e.g., teachers in public schools suppressing free speech of teenage suffrage or the like. Should we tolerate any such suppression, who knows where it might lead. Imagine if, one day, a teacher admonished a child for silently saying grace in the school cafeteria? Were that tolerated, then a teacher could equally prohibit a muslim child from unrolling his prayer rug.

        To express support for an enumerated right is – by definition – to undermine the Constitution and the 1A. Given a proper drafting and presentation, I can’t imagine Congress-critters not finding support for such a bill among their constituents.

  17. New Orleans did a big push, with outside investment, to clean up drug and gang activity, create new job and education resources, all in an effort to reduce the city homicide rate. I do not know all the details, but it seems to have been working well. Know who one of the big money investors was behind it?

    Michael Bloomberg.

    This kind of investment isn’t as sexy as supporting civilian disarmament though so it has gotten almost no press. He is not a total idiot, I am surprised that he has not taken more credit for that kind of successful activity and toned down the gun-control investments and advertising, since he knows that gun control has no effect on anything except his own public image.

    • Except that NOLA got a big flush with Katrina. Many gang members and criminals were moved to Texas and other States. There they found greener pastures and many free handouts. They never returned. Many immigrants from Central America and Mexico rushed to the new labor market for the rebuilding. They brought (with some exceptions of course) a long missing work ethic.

      So the programs introduced reduce “gang violence” and “gang involvement” started with a drastically reduced pool and then claimed success for the total reduction.

  18. «TTAG’s added a suicide prevention message to our home page»

    So that was you? I was wondering if Google knew something I didn’t realize. Pheew!

  19. “Not just for the buyer but also for the buyer’s reference, should a member of their household become dangerously depressed. ”
    Buyer’s reference? Huh?

  20. I know this isn’t really speaking to the specific topic, it’s just a pet peeve of mine.

    I really want to see the terms “gangbanger” and “gang banging”, when referring to street gangs and their use of guns, to go away. I’m sorry, but it’s just as annoying as when some proglodyte calls a Tea Partier a “teabagger”.

    Forevermore, the term “gang banging” will be, in my mind, a bunch of guys taking turns…um…amorously with a smaller number of women, also known as a “gang shagging”. Whenever someone says “gun violence is largely gangbangers gangbanging,” the image in my mind contains a fairly large portion of cognitive dissonance. Because if you’re doing that with a gun, you’re doing it wrong…though there’s probably a community out there where it’s a fetish to do THAT with a gun. According to Rule 34 it’s pretty much inevitable, but it’s not really what the term originated to describe.

    Call it “gang violence” or “gang crime” or “gang shootings”. But “gang banging” sounds like a group sex act.

  21. America’s “gun violence” problem takes two basic forms…

    It sure does… It’s called inadequate parenting and insufficient education.

  22. Not yet stated in this debate is the role played by the many shadowy and largely unknown acronym organizations loosely called the intelligence community. These freebooting buccaneers have been known to intrude into the world of drug smuggling and cartel operations. This association began in the 1950s with the CIA hiring members of the Mob to take out Castro, and has never truly stopped. Widespread drug trafficking was a major source of income for these pirates after the Marshal Plan funding dried up. In the name of the American public, funds from these sources have been used to overthrow legitimate democratically elected governments throughout the world, to torture and assassinate opponents to the dictators supported by the CIA, and to create a smokescreen of propaganda to obscure their activities from Congress and the senate. It may help explain the rise of the Mexican cartels and their intrusion into America. The American public deserves better. Much of the world has been ruined by the people charged with protecting them.

  23. Last year, drug overdoses killed 44,000 people. More deaths than all forms of “gun violence” combined. One of the reasons is that heroin is now cheaply and readily available in the suburbs. Kids who begin their drug use with prescription analgesics soon learn that heroin is not only stronger but cheaper.

    Why is heroin so cheap? One reason is because the southern border is wide open to satisfy both Democrats seeking illegal aliens as future voters and Republicans seeking to provide their corporate buddies in the Chamber of Commerce with cheap labor to exploit.

    Effectively closing the southern border even to the degree it was secure a decade ago would help to slow the import of high-grade heroin (and meth) now being manufactured in Mexico, drive the price up, and thus make it less available in every suburb in America.

    In New York, the state police have been tasked with both setting up an “ammunition background check system” which has yet to see the light of day as well as an “assault weapons” registry. Money and manpower is being diverted to these two idiotic measures by the SAFE Act, stealing resources that could be used to fight the heroin pipeline which moves right through the state. State Police manpower is being wasted on “SAFE Act information” helplines. The guy who processed my Westchester County pistol permit was a detective, frustrated and angry that he was behind a desk pushing paper instead of working the streets. Judges are tasked with approving pistol permits instead of overseeing criminal cases. Law enforcement resources are finite. Does anyone else agree that they are not being used effectively?

    The whole NICS system, with an effective prosecution rate (as of 2010) of 0.00058% is a massive waste of law-enforcement resources that, directed elsewhere, might actually do some societal good.

    Now lets move on to hospital transmitted infections which claim upwards of 100,000 lives per year. These can be prevented quite simply – by health care workers washing their hands more often and the use of bleach wipes on commonly touched surfaces such as bed rails and tray tables.

    There is absolutely not a shred of logic to the gun control movement. If the goal was to save lives, then the two issues I have listed would be attacked first. Hospital transmitted infections are truly low hanging fruit. But where are Bloomberg’s billions fighting the heroin trade? Where is the Shannon Watts of hand washing?

    Make no mistake, the gun control movement is not about public safety. It’s about control.

  24. Don’t discount the minimum wage laws that outlaw hiring low skill individuals at a wage that’s economicly feasibility. If someone doesn’t bring in what they cost on paper they are not going to get hired. And this recent push to rase the minimum wage to $15/hour will put a lot of people on the street and raise prices for almost all goods and services.

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