(courtesy facebook.com)

Will Rogers said “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that ain’t so.” For example, we don’t know for sure what would happen if American gun rights were fully restored. But we do know that studies “proving” that “more guns equals more crime” t’ain’t so. American gun ownership has increased dramatically even as violent crime has fallen to historic lows. Which means that “studies” by RKBA opponents are little more than thinly veiled attempts to validate their chosen conclusion . . .

Most studies of “gun violence” by civilian disarmament advocates fail to examine firearms-related homicides in relation to total homicides. If firearms-related homicides are reduced, but all other forms of homicides increase, society has lost, not gained.

Any study that tries to answer the central question of whether or not gun control is a net positive or net negative to society must also examine evidence that guns have beneficial effects. Guns can be used to save lives as well as take them. If the cost-to-benefit ratio is not included in a study, it is worthless.

In examining this question, I won’t consider the long-term consequences of citizen disarmament on governmentally caused deaths, and whether democidal governments are deterred by armed citizens. Nor will I attempt to answer whether disarming a society would have malignant or beneficial results several generations in the future. I will not dwell on the grammatical error of granting volition to inanimate objects.

A number of criminologists and economists have attempted to answer the question of whether guns have a net benefit or cost in contemporary America. Gary Kleck is the best known criminologist; his book, Point Blank, has become the classic among criminologists. His studies make it clear that in American society, guns are used to protect and save lives more often than they are used to take them.

John Lott is the foremost economist who has studied the issue of gun control’s efficacy or lack thereof. His studies use the most detailed data that I’ve seen, down to the county level. In More Guns, Less Crime he concludes that an increase in the legal carry of guns decreases violent crime.

Nearly all other economic studies have either agreed with Lott or found that increased gun ownership did not have a measurable effect. The only studies that point to an increase in certain crimes corresponding to an increase in the availability of guns show it in very limited areas and time frames, for very specific crimes. Also of note: the authors were gun control advocates.

The echo chamber of elite media reinforces the discredited idea that guns kill people. Michael Bloomberg funded a workshop for journalists about how to report on gun issues in Phoenix in 2015. It was run by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The director at Dart, Bruce Shapiro, was interviewed by Ray Stern, a reporter for the Phoenix New Times. Ray asked why no academics who showed beneficial effects of gun ownership were included.

But why doesn’t the lineup include any scholar who’s researched the idea that guns, or at least the defense display of guns, may often save lives?

Shapiro guffawed: “Look, guns kill people, right?” he said.

Um, okay, professor. Sorry we asked.

Stern goes on to reveal more indications of a world view antagonistic to anything positive about guns or gun ownership:

Reporters at the seminar will receive an education in how guns work, too, Shapiro confirmed. So which of the many gunsmiths or firearms dealers in Arizona did the Dart Center invite to go over that material? Maybe someone from the Ruger manufacturing plant in Prescott?

Nope — serving as the seminar’s gun-hardware expert, Shapiro said, will be journalist Marc Cooper, who wrote in 2013 that he’d subscribe to Guns & Ammo magazine after one its columnists (now fired) advocated for gun-control measures.

There are a number of  gun control studies from health care journals. They typically don’t acknowledge the criminological or economic studies. I have yet to encounter one that attempts to measure the benefits of gun ownership; the omission eliminates them as serious contenders to answer the question “do guns kill people?”

Would these health care professionals test a drug for cancer and only look at the people who have side effects of lack of appetite, or hair loss in a few patients, while ignoring the cancer cures that occur? That would be ethically wrong, and scientifically invalid. That’s exactly the approach that health care journals apply to gun ownership.

To believe the health care journals you have to believe that a high level of gun ownership causes a moderate level of suicide in old white men, but has nothing to do with their low-level of homicide; while simultaneously believing that a low-level of gun ownership causes a high level of homicide in young black men, while having nothing to do with a relatively low-level of suicide for them.

The evidence is clear: the number of guns in society has little effect on the number of homicides, suicides and firearms-related accidents. There’s no credible study that shows that “guns kill people” and there are some credible studies that indicate that more guns in America reduce crime by a statistically significant amount.

The “guns kill people” meme is a convenient shortcut to avoid serious thought on the subject. But some people do not care if “Guns kill people” or not. They simply want the common people disarmed. Writing of anti-gun professor and sociologist, Laurence Ross, Don Kates provides insight into this view. From guncite.com . . .

Ross does not deny (though neither does he dwell on) the fact that handguns save far more innocent lives than criminals misusing them take each year. However, Ross asserts that “despite the masses of data and the cleverness of his analysis and argument, Kleck has missed the point.” According to Ross, Kleck

[E]mbrace[s] a society based on an internal as well as an external balance of terror. The social order is seen to rest adequately on masses of potential victims using the threat of gun violence to deter masses of potential armed criminals. [This] spectacle is one that ought to disgust rather than cheer the civilized observer.
Advocates like Ross commonly assert that gun control is “worth it” if it saves even one life. But Ross’ remarks show that this argument means less than otherwise appears. For, when it turns out that it is defensive gun ownership that saves lives, it also turns out that saving lives is not “worth it”–at least not to Ross who is very candid about this observation. Ross approvingly notes that the tragic “fate of James Brady” provided the “impetus for attempts at broader gun control.” He actually welcomes “more [such shooting] incidents, more heinous ones with more tragic or more important victims, [as the impetus for us] to develop the necessary determination” to move beyond “narrow controls” to the desired goal of banning and confiscating all guns.

Ross’ attitude demonstrates why so many who push for more and more infringements on Second Amendment rights are not swayed by logic or facts. Logic and facts are irrelevant to their desire to rid society of guns in the hands of those who are not in the government or elite. But they cannot reach that goal by stating it clearly. They have to obfuscate. “Ban guns because they’re icky” does not have moral punch. The vast majority of people will recoil from the idea of gun control, if it costs lives, just to satisfy the desires of an elite few.

Australia is an outlier. When strict controls were imposed, the homicide rate momentarily went up, then continued down at the same rate that it was declining before the controls were put into effect.  In New Zealand, which did not implement the Australian level of controls, the homicide rate continued to fall at a greater rate than Australia. The controls, overall, had no measurable effect.  They did not even measurably affect the rate of decline of gun homicides.

“Guns Kill People” is not a phrase used by serious academics, because there is no serious evidence to support it. It is an emotional slogan to support a desired political end.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Gun Watch

136 Responses to The Truth About Gun Control Studies

  1. Dean, great article…still working the tie in…tight camo yoga pants and an ass to die for relates to anti gunners how?

  2. “Logic and facts are irrelevant to their desire to rid society of guns in the hands of those who are not in the government or elite. But they cannot reach that goal by stating it clearly. They have to obfuscate.”

    Like 2ASux, for example…

    (The pic was kinda distracting. *sweat*)

  3. It took quite a long moment of consideration before I decided to move past the headline and begin reading. I found that kept rechecking the headline from time to time, too. I think l’ll check the top of the article again right now.

    Oh yeah… The article was pretty well written.

    • Sometimes wit isn’t meant to be inspiring. The picture though…that is inspiring.

      Your comment…the tired old pearl clutchers at it again.

  4. “Will Rogers said “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that ain’t so.”

    …did he? Where?

      • So a bunch of second-hand sources but no original… sounds like a bunch of other quotes inaccurately attributed to him but a bit more ironic given the quote itself!

        “The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.” –Abraham Lincoln

  5. Why, oh why?

    I really have a full schedule this week, and thought the commentary on three other postings would drop-off. At which time I could go on cruise control and attend to other matters. Then this posting.
    (Spoiler: What follows has a bunch of syllables; reader discretion advised.)

    Dean has a pretty good round-up here of the problems with “studies” (yes, Dean, unpleasant results are so very often ignored when results don’t fit the theory; both sides, either side). I enjoyed his survey of gun studies; nicely done.

    My take on the undercurrent of the posting is that there is something cosmically wrong (evil?) with groups pushing their agendas, using whatever means work. I will leave that question to the cosmetologists and focus on the gun/anti-gun struggle.

    I grant that figures can lie, and liars figure. However, that rubric is irrelevant. People do whatever it takes (I am presuming “whatever” short of illegal) to advance their agenda. Some are better at it than others. Some people constantly push and prod and pressure with their agenda, others sometimes settle back and declare the opposition agenda a failure because the ones not actively pushing their agenda have “right” on their side; end of argument. And some people believe agenda/counter agenda is a bit of a game, good sport and all that rot. But, snooze; you lose.

    In the contest between pro-gun and anti-gun, the gun sense and gun confiscation factions form a consortium that has the resources to wage near-total war on the pro-gun advocates. Pro-gun supporters appear to be resting on “human, civil and inalienable right to have a gun”; relying on being “right” to capture them the victory. Now, this, mind you, is not a complaint from the not pro-gun team. The less active and cohesive the pro-gun lobby, the shorter the war for a safer and saner society. The consortium can, and does, attack, attack, attack (paraphrasing Gen. G.S. Patton [“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.”]) Pro-gun people defend, defend, defend. The initiative and momentum is with gun sense. Not always, not every day, but attacking all along the line wears down the defense. The attack need only succeed in one or two places, defense must be 100% effective, everywhere.(With the inevitable approval of a proper new SC justice, the consortium need only win once).

    Back to Dean’s posting, the theme seems familiar, comfortable, time-worn and unimaginative (“It is unfair that anti-gunners can’t use logic and facts, unfair that they try to avoid hard things and play/prey on people’s emotions”. Something like that). Truth is, this gun dispute is a true war (without real bullets), and only the consortium is treating it as such. Which is why, given time, the consortium will win a final victory of heavily regulated private firearm ownership. The challenge noted in the citation of L. Ross is sublime. Gun lovers have decided on stasis as the best society available or imagine ( “…masses of potential victims using the threat of gun violence to deter masses of potential armed criminals.”). A society not one where the consensus is improvement, advancement, but one of desperately trying to keep the criminal element in static containment through the vehicle of private gun ownership. This is a society dying; stasis is not the natural order of the universe.

    For those who seek encouragement that establishing reasonable and sensible gun laws will overcome, Dean’s posting indicates that the pro-gun lobby is stuck in the past, has no effective answer to the power of emotion driving the conversation, and will eventually shrink in on itself because it is a group satisfied to breathe, but has offers no effective opposition.

    Laws and court cases are a bumpy road, but time is on the side of progress; always has been.

    Lock, load and volley. Our side can take it.

    • “Dean’s posting indicates that the pro-gun lobby is stuck in the past, has no effective answer to the power of emotion driving the conversation, and will eventually shrink in on itself because it is a group satisfied to breathe, but has offers no effective opposition.”

      The effective answer is attack on the same emotional level as anti gunners. We cannot respond with facts, both sides know them. We counter by asking how does one defend life when attacked by a criminal? Why would you surrender your sister to a rapist? Why does your hope for a better world end with the reality of young men dying in south Chicago?

    • Venezuela is the latest “Victory” for liberal-progressives.
      A murder rate approaching 1:1,000 and no potty paper.
      The US will end up in the same boat with liberal-progressive policies.

      • Not necessarily. You are selling America short. America leads the world in so many ways, it can succeed where others failed. Venezuela is not the poster child for social justice, and definitely not a country where “progressive” ideas really had/have a chance to thrive. Americans can be the first successful social justice nation; Americans can do anything they set out to achieve.

        • On the bright side, if we’re going to embrace totalitarianism, sjw retards like yourself will end being beaten and raped by some overgrown facist in a black suit. But that’s probably the way you’d want it, isn’t it?

        • 1Asux. Like the moniker. There is totally too much free expression for fossilized ideas.

        • America is perhaps the only nation that can successfully establish a thriving society based on social justice and progressive principles. It only lacks the cohesive will to cast off the shackles of abusive capitalism and soulless capitalism. Call it “capitalism with a heart”. The world wonders.

    • Safe & Sane Europe ans Britain are being taken over by radical islam. They will be under Sharia Law by mid-century oif not a whole lot sooner. Eventually coming to the USA.

      • “You should probably lose some weight before you’re allowed to talk politics.”

        That is on my bucket list for this year.

        • Yeah? Well hop to it fat ass. Quit sucking in more value oxygen with your out of shape self, and quit offending the decent in public with your discusting rolls.

    • Except that whole “wrong side of history” argument is on the other foot. It’s the liberals on the wrong side of history. Gun laws have in fact gotten more LIENENT, over the past 20 years, and gun rights movements are infact GROWING, not just here, but globally.

      • “Except that whole “wrong side of history” argument is on the other foot.”

        A near 50-50 split in America over the idea of unrestricted guns is not a victory, nor a trend to victory. Besides, we have momentum to defeat the Republicans in November. Pressure will cause the Senate to confirm a “liberal” to SCOTUS, and while it is ghoulish to calculate the results of another death on the SC, time is on our side. The “conservative” trend in America is running on borrowed time. The train stops in August; fractured convention, third-party splits off 1/3 of Republican votes (either by a true third-party run, or stay-at-homes come November). But even if that doesn’t happen POTG and Republicans will rest on their victories and think nothing more needs to be done until the next House elections. Defecting members of the Senate Republican caucus will move more toward “progressive” goals. We may lose a few here and there, but relentless attacks on every front will eventually secure a one-party government for generations.

        • So you new must be new to politics. I mean REALLY new. Have you paid attention at ALL the past 8 years? The democrats have lost an unprecedented 1000+ legislative seats nation wide, since Obama took office. That’s a legislative smackdown, in which the democrats may never recover from. This whole notion that Hitlery can sweep the WH and congress is bullshit. She’s simply not the liberal rockstar that can generate that kind of energy. Do you talk to you fellow liberals? They see her as thier Bush. America is not a liberal country, and has not taken the “hard swing to the left”, liberal talking heads claim. Millenials, once hailed as the dawn of a new liberal America, are turning out to be much like previous generations, growing conservative as they grow older. Gun ownership, is also increasing among this age group, among women, and minorities. Meanwhile crime and firearm accidents, continue to drop. You know who’s really popular among the young? Get out of polls and talk to people. It’s Trump. In short, the more things change, the more stay the same. Your liberal crusade to ban guns had its best chance of this generation in 2013. And it failed.

        • “The democrats have lost an unprecedented 1000+ legislative seats nation wide, since Obama took office. ”

          – And your fake conservative Republicans have done virtually nothing with your winnings. Advantage remains with my side. Why do you think that is? Why can Republicans not win a veto-proof majority in both houses of congress?

          “America is not a liberal country, and has not taken the “hard swing to the left”, liberal talking heads claim.”

          – Who cares, the drift is moving left. I will admit gun owners reflect ancient America, wanting quick and permanent fixes to everything, using the least amount of effort. Problem is the Earth will not stand still, and the fixes continue to need attention, which is boring for you. You lot play at politics as a hobby. My side takes it as an occupation, life-style.

          “You know who’s really popular among the young? Get out of polls and talk to people. It’s Trump.”

          – I would like to see a Trump win (if we cannot). He has no what you call “coattails”, and the entrenched Republican legislators will refuse to work with him. The will continue to pass bills favoring the progressive agenda (as they have for the last eight years…where have you been?), Trump will veto them, and the game begins anew.

          “Your liberal crusade to ban guns had its best chance of this generation in 2013. And it failed.”

          – For you, politics is the short game. Fabius Maximus knew what he was doing, and ultimately prevailed (The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale.) Good enough for me.

    • The problem is, your side cannot take it. Your side resorts to histrionics, crying women, shrill harpies, and “the children”.

      In a real, physical confrontation those sorts of tactics would be considered beyond the pale. Explains a lot, and explains why there’s so many women gun control advocates. It’s easy to use unethical tactics and cheat when your root cause is flawed.

      Gun control will not bring about a safer society. Even if you guys were to get your words on paper signed off as law, it wouldn’t matter. There’s 400 million guns in civilian hands in this country. Irish democracy would kick in, since even with a signature, your laws are just words on paper, and most people won’t follow them.

      Today’s 4/20. A lot of people plan on celebrating and smoking weed. Weed is illegal at the federal level. The Feds have given up and don’t bother prosecuting most marijuana crimes. Irish democracy in a cloud of smoke.

      2Asux, if guns offend you so much, come on over and get them. No cheating and using the cops (guys with guns) either.

        • Worked for Gandhi. The man took on the largest empire in the world by simply non-complying. The most direct and fastest way? No. Does it work? Undoubtedly.

        • Neat slogan. It means whenever you don’t like something, take up arms and engage in terrorist activity to get your way. It works for awhile, but they are still six counties short and gave up the gun.

      • “The problem is, your side cannot take it. Your side resorts to histrionics, crying women, shrill harpies, and “the children”. ”

        – It works, and it sells. Do you think this is some sort of monitored debate club exercise?

        “In a real, physical confrontation those sorts of tactics would be considered beyond the pale. Explains a lot, and explains why there’s so many women gun control advocates. It’s easy to use unethical tactics and cheat when your root cause is flawed.”

        – I think I understand your complaint overall, but the first sentence is puzzling.

        Gun control will not bring about a safer society. Even if you guys were to get your words on paper signed off as law, it wouldn’t matter. There’s 400 million guns in civilian hands in this country. Irish democracy would kick in, since even with a signature, your laws are just words on paper, and most people won’t follow them.

        – As I have pointed-out a number of times, there are no “law-abiding” gun owners. Only gun owners seething below the surface, ready to disobey any law they don’t like.

        Today’s 4/20. A lot of people plan on celebrating and smoking weed. Weed is illegal at the federal level. The Feds have given up and don’t bother prosecuting most marijuana crimes. Irish democracy in a cloud of smoke.

        – Weed doesn’t kill people, so who cares?

        2Asux, if guns offend you so much, come on over and get them. No cheating and using the cops (guys with guns) either.

        – I am not “offended” by gun owners. I just think they are a relic from history, dangerous, but relics. Time to move on. Those who don’t come along willingly dig their own metaphorical graves.

        • Ah, a collectivist troll.

          You do realize that any society that’s attempted to be collectivist and monolithic has not stood the test of time. Whether by arms or by rot from within, the society falls. The ghost of the USSR speaks volumes. We wasted a lot of money chasing the paper tigers they built, but the simple fact is, they would have self-destructed without us.

          The funniest thing is you advocate the formation of a collective by force – you’re gonna need guys with guns to do that. Human beings with the same failings as everyone else. Your hired guns might do the job for you, but then what? Like the dogs of war, they should be put down? Remember, they have the guns, and some of them will come for you when they realize that you plan on disposing of them. A tin badge and some scrap of paper that says “This guy is in charge” doesn’t mean you can trust them.

          Your only recourse is to mind your own business and conduct your life appropriately. It seems to work for most people. Don’t stick your nose in other peoples’ crap and you’ll notice the world is a whole lot easier.

        • I believe in America’s capabilities more than you seem to. America can do social justice, social equity, social progress better than any other country. America’s resources, human and material are vast. Note the difference in starting points between America and all the failed experiments in social justice to date. None had/have the rich launching pad America commands. It can be done without government coercion (BTW, the government does not really fear a popular armed resistance). The force holding America back is inbred, almost un-eradicable selfishness; everyone wants their cut and the hell with the others. Stop looking backward and letting failure of others keep you from fulfilling the dream of a successful, thriving, equitable society.

    • In the contest between pro-gun and anti-gun, the gun sense and gun confiscation factions form a consortium that has the resources to wage near-total war on the pro-gun advocates.

      No, the totalitarian side has Daddy Soros and Daddy Bloomberg, funding near-100% of its efforts.

      Pro-gun supporters appear to be resting on “human, civil and inalienable right to have a gun”; relying on being “right” to capture them the victory.

      Right. And a group of ragtag colonists, with nothing more than haughty rhetoric and a pledge of their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, had no chance against the greatest military in the world.

      • “No, the totalitarian side has Daddy Soros and Daddy Bloomberg, funding near-100% of its efforts.”

        – Which makes my statement invalid, how?

        “And a group of ragtag colonists, with nothing more than haughty rhetoric and a pledge of their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, had no chance against the greatest military in the world.”

        – Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Not the same type of people now. Government does not fear your guns.

        • Another mistake on your part. You assume that government forces will go along with your little plan. Even if they did, they’d be denied the use of their heavy equipment on American soil, if they want to have the support of the American people. Tanks, bombers, and drones are not very precise. If you send a tank into a neighborhood to get at some of those pesky gun owners you so deride, it’s gonna make a mess and cause a lot of collateral damage. You’ll get the gun guys most likely, but it won’t be a clean kill. A bunch of property owned by people not involved in your little histrionic hissy fit will be destroyed, and innocent lives will potentially be lost. The easiest way for me to hate your cause is if you destroy my property with your bloodthirsty negligence.

          So, if you want popular support for your confiscation efforts, you’re gonna have to do it the hard way. With people. Guys with guns actually. Sure, there’ll be some people who will just give up the goods (at gunpoint), but for those hardy souls that tend to think for themselves (oh those stubborn bastards, how dare they!) it’s going to be a person-to-person battle, with a very high cost to the aggressors. Insubordination and desertion will be paramount, bolstering the cause of the pro-2A faction.

          Deaths (unfortunately on both sides) will become a daily occurrence. Will you be the one to deliver the bad news to families each time a police officer is killed by a pro-gun holdout? Your friends in the government, already unpopular, will become even more so when it comes to light that they are essentially authorizing the unwarranted murder of people who didn’t really do anything wrong, other than own an object that was perfectly legal for hundreds of years. You’ll have a bloody and costly protracted low-intensity war that will last decades and claim a lot of lives, mostly on the side of the government. Do you want those deaths on your hands, or again, are your “war dogs” disposable items just because they fell for your rhetoric?

          Eminent-domain style confiscation isn’t practical either. The government never gives “fair market value” for anything. Plus, how would they manage to track all these guns down? Even assuming NICS is an illegal registry, good luck with that. In the gun-control utopias of Australia and Europe, noncompliance is rampant. People’s guns simply just stop coming out to play in public places. Compliance with that scold Howard’s policies in Oz were less than 30 percent. Most people didn’t bother, and the cops just don’t care enough to chase down every miscreant with a now-illegal rifle.

          Your ideas are not implementable. My only suggestion is to just mind your own business and live your own life. You’ll be fine.

        • Fortunately for government, there are many like you who lack imagination about how the type of totalitarian government you fear actually works. In other discussion strings, I laid out a number ways to accomplish near-universal disarmament without kicking down doors. But should it come to that, you can rest assured there will be no restraints on the type and amount of force used. It is called civil war, and I recommend you review your history from 1845-1865 to learn what happens to an ill-prepared revolutionary force up against a juggernaut.

    • Not going to go into detail with my phone keyboard, but:
      -Your conclusion about the eventual outcome of this dispute and the reasons for it (emotionally driven arguments) may very well be correct. I’ve made this observation myself.

      -The issue, from a morality standpoint, is not with using emotion to advance a logically constructed agenda. It’s that your agenda itself is emotion. There is no logically sound cognitive process involved at all in the formulation of a “progressive” worldview. The human capacity for logic is the defining feature that sets us apart from other animals; it is the reason we can construct stable societies in the first place. You cannot have a functional society where what is “right” and “wrong” or what is in “the best interests of (that) society” is emotionally derived, much less wholly defined and solely driven by it. You derive those positions through logic and then sell them with emotion.

      -Progress for the sake of progress is not a justifiable reason for change. “We can always do better” is reductionist crap. It is the product of a fundamental lack of understanding of the way the universe works. It is not a logically defensible position or an ideology upon which a society can be built.

      • I should add to that second point:
        -This does not mean that anything “Progressives” propose is automatically a bad idea or not worthy of consideration. (Speaking in broad terms, not specifically or exclusively about firearms)
        -It also does not mean that “Conservative” ideologues don’t often suffer from their own emotionally-driven blind spots, which are equally irrational and dangerous. (again, broadly speaking)

      • “It’s that your agenda itself is emotion. ”
        – This is a war for hearts and souls, why give up an effective tool? Where is it written that one side must play to the strength of the other? (Sun Tsu)

        – Regression and stagnation are justified?

        Wonder if the rolls of The Flat Earth Society are increasing at the same rate as gun sales?

    • The only reasonable and sensible gun laws are NO gun laws, i.e., shall not be infringed, in any way what-so-ever. The reasonable and sensible gun laws talk is a ruse of the slippery slope anti gun elites who fear the reality of freedom, that if you try to enslave an armed citizenry, you do so at your peril. That is the only reality to freedom, constant vigilance and the constant willingness to fight back. We are all going to die some time, better to live free and die than to be a slave.

      • “The reasonable and sensible gun laws talk is a ruse of the slippery slope anti gun elites..”

        Sounds like the death cry of someone who has no faith in the political process, is angered because it isn’t fair that absolute gun rights are note the law of the land, one who acknowledges the political process is being used successfully against his wishes. Sounds like someone who has given up, and is hoping sympathy for “truth, justice and the American way” will somehow stem the flow of progress.

        It is good for the progressive flow of history when relics of the past finally admit defeat and cloister themselves in echo chambers of chest-thumping and echo chamber reflection of obsolete ideas. Because those types represent fewer opposition voters each year.

        • I hear you keep repeating to yourself that you are “winning”, when you are not. The projection that you show when speaking of an “echo chamber” is so strong that it is funny. There is no greater “echo chamber” than the dwindling ranks of the disarmists. They, and you keep telling yourself things that are simply false. Then you pat yourself on the back for believing them. It is purely Orwellian, and it does not stand up to reality well. Your desire for a god to run your life is so great that you have created one in The State; your faith in it is boundless and cannot be broken no matter how many times it disappoints and fails you. There is an optimum level to government power, and the United States and Europe have moved far beyond it. Progress now depends on less government power, not more.

        • Hello, Dean. I am surprised and flattered that one of the TTAG had time to take note of anything I write.

          If you will review my commentary (across a number postings), you will note that my main line of reasoning is that POTG need to: re-evaluate their publicity and public perception (neither is particularly good); POTG insist on fighting the gun battle with logic, while complaining is it “unfair” (whatever that means, and why ever it matters?) the gun sense lobby pretty much exclusively used emotion to win; fear “gun grabbers” like Hillary and Bernie (etc.) – if gun lovers were/are winning, why all the sturm and drang over anti-gun legislation and laws? the public is overwhelmingly supportive of gun rights, right? (Note that the anti-gun movement fears guns, not the gun lovers or gun industry.); gun owners on the blog heap disregard on the 500 or so annual deaths due to negligent gun owners (“statistically insignificant”, not worth doing anything to reduce the number, “life is tough”)

          Because gun sense activity gets so much good press and political support (nationally and locally), and because gun rights people have established such a poor public image, it seems only fair to body-check the POTG in an effort to make this (gun/no gun) a fair fight, (it is no fun beating on someone doing “rope-a-dope”).

  6. The decline in violent crime is coming to an end. An alliance between race hustlers like Al Sharpton and faux Libertarians like Bradley Balko and Jacob Sullum have suceeded in their campaign to get the police to stop policing in gang territory. That is why we are seeing a spike in the murder rate in The inner city. As the gangs consolidate their control of the ghetto the violence will spread to other parts of America’s urban areas.

  7. I once thought that all stories of “gun violence” were nonsense. But then just the other day I overheard my Glock talking to my Sig Sauer about “taking care of” the cat!

    I washed both of their mouths out with Hoppe’s No. 9. /;-)

  8. Honestly guys. Im a serious flaming homosexual and find it offensive that there are not more pictures to suit my preferences.

  9. Australia’s gun confiscation was the work of John Howard, Prime Minister at the time. Now he is back saying they didn’t go far enough and even more gun restrictions are needed. Never mind there are not many guns left in Australia to restrict, except in the hands of criminals and there’s no law possible that will be stricter that what already exists because it’s already illegal for criminals to even touch a gun.

    Howard, supposedly a conservative, is every bit as fanatical as Nannie Bloomberg. He says his mission is to keep Australia from “becoming like America.”

  10. Those who say “if it would save only one life,” are showing how little they care about the lives that are lost due to gun control when peaceful people are deprived of the means to protect themselves from criminal attack. Unless they are stupid, and they are not, they know that gun control laws only take guns away from peaceful people while leaving criminals fully armed.

    • “…gun control laws only take guns away from peaceful people while leaving criminals fully armed.”

      That should only come about if Americans really do not have the power of controlling government through the ballot box that they have been selling the rest of the world for decades, nay, generations.

    • That’s the same crock of agitprop shit used by pharmaceutical interests when pushing their vaccines on the public, they cite questionable studies, and ignore, suppress the numbers of people adversely and permanently affected by these products. Yeah, it’s ok to slowly sicken and maim a generation of youth to prevent 1 measles case.

  11. Dean Weingarten,

    I claim that all gun surveys are bad. Let’s take Kleck and Gertz seriously. If you believe that 2.5 million people defend themselves with guns every year, then 15.7% “almost certainly” would have been killed, 14.2% “probably” would have been killed, and 16.2% “might have” been killed. The respondents had the additional choices of having used a gun in self defense, where they would “probably not” or “almost certainly not” have been killed. Crudely, I figure that all of the “almost certainly”s die, half the “probably”s die, and everyone else survives. I figure that 20% of them die if they don’t defend themselves. That works out to half a million people who would die each year had they not defended themselves. This has no relationship with actual homicide rates, even in the early nineties when the survey took place. Either American murderers are actively hunting gun owners, or we don’t know how many orders of magnitude the Kleck Gertz survey is out by. It is useless, and there is no point quoting it.

    If it is any comfort, the (in)famous Kellermann survey is weak. It is an error to claim that gun owners are 2.7 times a likely to be murdered as non-gun owners. 2.7 is _not_ a risk ration for the population as a whole. It was an odds ratio for a stratified survey population. You can search the internet for stuff on risk ratios versus odds ratios. Kellermann was doing matched pairs analysis. For each murder victim, he found a person nearby who matched the age, sex, race and socio-economic status and asked a bunch of questions including “do you own a handgun.” The odds of a murder survey victim owning a handgun was 1.9, with a 95% confidence interval of 1.4 to 2.7. The survey showed that murder victims were more likely than their unmurdered controls to rent their homes, to live alone, to have a history of violence at home, to have a member of the household arrested, to have a member of the household use illicit drugs, and to own a handgun. Kellermann stratified his data by using only the matched pairs where five of those six conditions matched. The 95% confidence interval for gun owners was 1.6 to 4.4. The murdered gun owners had some serious behavior issues. The survey does not show the survival odds of responsible, law abiding gun owners, primarily due to a lack of data. This should be a lesson in itself. Interestingly, there is no mention of alcohol in his survey.

    Kellermann separated handguns, shotguns and rifles. There was no statistical correlation with shotguns and rifles.

    In a Kellermann style survey, if people are successfully defending themselves with handguns, the odds ratios would be below one. Kellermann shows that handgun owners are more likely to be murdered than everybody else, but the correlation is not that strong. A lot of the victims had to know they were in danger, and armed themselves in anticipation. You can assume that a whole bunch of people out there would arm themselves if they felt threatened (http://www.salon.com/2010/10/21/buying_gun_protect_from_stalker/). You don’t decide to buy a gun. You make a lifestyle choice. You decide to take up biathalon, or you decide to move to Texas and muscle the Bandidos out of some of their drug territory.

    • Surveys never tell you the truth; they tell you what people who responded said. No means of verifying answers.

        • “So what does that do for your claim that we Americans are split 50-50 on gun control?”

          – Makes it neither valid, nor invalid. Just using the data gun owners try to use to sell an unwitting public on a bad idea. Gun owners try to hide behind spurious data because their ideas are indefensible otherwise. Gun sense people, on the other hand, look to verifiable facts, such as legislation, ordinances, court rulings to determine progress. Oh, it is also good that gun owners do kabuki with facts because it gives us legitimacy to use whatever tools and tactics will forward our ideas.

      • “Surveys never tell you the truth; they tell you what people who responded said”

        Pass, and Fail. Agree surveys, and polls never tell the truth, but it’s because the results are manipulated, even faked.

        • “…surveys, and polls never tell the truth, but it’s because they are manipulated, even fake.”

          Do you know the basic assumption behind polls and surveys (even those deemed largely “legitimate”)? They are all based on the premise that people respond with truth. What corrective factor would you apply to control for untruth, braggadocio, feel good, want to please, political correctness? Can’t be done….and that is even without intentionally skewing the results.

        • pg2,

          There is no need to claim nefarious motives here. If you ask people if they have used a firearm to defend themselves against a human being any time within the last five years, the majority of us will answer “No”. If the question is not understood, if the answer is garbled, if the person entering data cannot read the handwriting, or if somebody lies, the resulting answer almost certainly will be yes.

          Try to imagine a Kleck Gertz survey in the little town of Zombieville. “Have you used a gun to defend yourself against a human or something reasonably humanlike any time in the last year?” The answers “No” will be due to garbling, pacifists not willing to admit to owning guns, and perhaps some guy who huddled in the basement while his smoking hot blond teenage daughter, dressed in Daisy Dukes and a bikini top, manned (personned?) the family pump action shotgun.

          If you are doing a Kellermann survey, you are knocking on doors and asking socially embarrassing questions. It is a safe bet that there was some wife beating and gun ownership that was not being admitted to.

          Thought problem: You have a gun which you have registered with the government. Someone knocks at your door and announces they are doing a survey, and they ask if you own a gun.

          1. What should you answer?

          2. If the government knows what is good for it, how do they want you to answer?

        • “You have a gun which you have registered with the government. Someone knocks at your door and announces they are doing a survey, and they ask if you own a gun.
          1. What should you answer?

          2. If the government knows what is good for it, how do they want you to answer?”

          1. Depends on how I feel at the moment, who is at the door, weather outside.

          2. Are you asking, “If the government knows what it (the gun) is good for? Answers: Conversation; hammer; paperweight; laughs; reminder there are crazy people in the world; disruptor of cosmic rays from outer space.

  12. So Weingarten is implying studies can be manipulated to demonstrate whatever the authors of the study want it to demonstrate? Good content for the article, but the T&A click bait does not help your credibility. Maybe Number of clicks dropping here?

  13. The Dart Center is named for its principal funding source, the Dart Foundation. The Dart Foundation is named for the Dart family of Mason, Michigan, owners of Dart Container Corp, Dart National Bank, etc.

    It’s beginning to look like the Darts want to be known the way we know Bloomberg and Soros.

  14. Ross approvingly notes that the tragic “fate of James Brady” provided the “impetus for attempts at broader gun control.” He actually welcomes “more [such shooting] incidents, more heinous ones with more tragic or more important victims, [as the impetus for us] to develop the necessary determination” to move beyond “narrow controls” to the desired goal of banning and confiscating all guns.

    Ross should seek immediate psychological help, because he is one sick [person]. But I appreciate the honest look into his psyche, as it clearly demonstrates that he cares not about “saving lives”, but rather about control – and he would gladly see considerable loss of life to achieve that control.

  15. the simple truth, boiled down, is that guns kill bad people more often than they kill good people. This is why statists want them gone. Statism is evil, therefore statists are evil. Good guys with guns STOP bad buys with guns; hence statists favor gun bans to save their OWN lives. Don’t think for 2 seconds that they give a shit about the children.

  16. Camo is supposed to hide things
    Here the tight camo pants are revealing
    This is an example of irony
    I read the article but I wasn’t paying attention
    Moar sexy camo!

  17. Paraphrasing Sociologist Lawrence Ross’ sentiments,

    “… social order based on masses of potential victims using the threat of gun violence to deter masses of potential armed criminals … ought to disgust rather than cheer the civilized observer.”

    Thus, social order based on armed victims disgusts gun-grabbers so much that a woman being raped and strangled with her own panties really is morally superior to a woman carrying a firearm to actively prevent such a fate. We always knew that gun-grabbers were acting on emotion — this succinct statement of Mr. Ross’ sentiments makes everything crystal clear.

    • No, what he is saying is that a society believing itself is held stable only by the balance of terror between criminals and armed civilians should be so unpalatable that same society would look for, and find, a more rational means to exist.

      It America really a place so primitive and lawless that only guns can can keep it from tearing itself apart?

      • “Is America mankind really … so primitive and lawless evil that only guns can can keep it from tearing itself apart?”

        There, fixed that for you. And the answer is “YES”.

        • Sad, so sad. Fortunately, there are places where the wild west is truly history (metaphorically speaking).

        • 2Asux,

          The problem is evil in the world. Eliminating firearms will NOT eliminate evil … nor the ability of evil people to murder, rape, pillage, and plunder.

          FACT: remove firearms from the data in the United States and the murder rate (with non-firearm weapons) is still higher than Western Europe.

          QUESTION: for the murders where the attacker did use a firearm, what do you think those attackers would have done if firearms did not exist? Sit down for tea and cookies with their victims?

          ANSWER: No. Those attackers would have used alternate weapons to brutally injure and/or kill their victims.

          FACT: eliminate firearms and the only thing that will do is cause violent attackers to use alternate weapons — and ensure that young, fit, strong males (you know, the demographic who actually make up the overwhelming majority of violent criminals) will be able to rob, rape, brutalize, and kill the rest of us with impunity.

        • Evil exists. Are you posing that the only way to limit evil is to physically kill it? I don’t find anything in the writings of the founders of America to support a notion that one purpose of the country/constitution was to kill evil.

          A rational society’s response to evil should be to get at as many root causes as possible, then kill those causes. Eliminate causes, then you are left with a much smaller population of simply stone evil people who can never be contained except through coercion. Make the population of pure evil small enough, then the damage they inflict becomes “statistically insignificant”. Good all around.

          Yes, alternate weapons. My point, exactly. To expand your question, what if attackers used alternate deadly weapons, AND, the intended victims successfully defended themselves with non-gun deadly weapons? If a non-gun weapon is effective in attack, the same is effective in defense.

        • I don’t find anything in the writings of the founders of America to support a notion that one purpose of the country/constitution was to kill evil.

          That’s a bit of a non sequitur. The purpose of the constitution is to define and to constrain the means of governance of the country.

          Even then, the constitution charges the federal government with such duties as to provide for the common defense – which implies actions up to and including killing in order to stop the evil against which defense is required.

          A rational society’s response to evil should be to get at as many root causes as possible, then kill those causes.

          The root cause of evil is violent people acting according to their violent, human nature. Thus, to kill the cause of evil, using your rationale, requires killing such violent people. Here, you take an even more barbaric position than that of which you accuse people of the gun.

          Or, more likely: you are among those who adhere to a worldview that does not accept that violent people commit violent acts of their own volition, according to their own, violent, human nature – and therefore, seek to find societal causes for their violent acts. I do not accept such a worldview, and I do not accept the limitations such a worldview would put upon the liberty of the non-violent, law-abiding people to defend themselves against violent actors.

        • “The root cause of evil is violent people acting according to their violent, human nature.”

          I believe I conceded there are purely evil people who have no real motivation for anything, but are just evil. These are the irreducible minimum. Not every violent actor is pure evil. If I have no job, no education, no hope, images of society intentionally working to make me a nothing, peer groups where bad actors are engaged in one-upping each other, and a host of other pressures with no legitimate relief valve, maybe acting violent is truly in my self-interest. But my observation was the getting to root causes will eventually resolve itself into the irreducible minimum that should then be a law enforcement cakewalk to jail.

          Nothing where about a worldview that just accepts pure evil as society’s fault.

        • 2Asux,

          Are you posing that the only way to limit evil is to physically kill it?

          No.

          A rational society’s response to evil should be to get at as many root causes as possible, then kill those causes.

          I agree.

          A rational society also recognizes that you do not have time to analyze and address root causes of evil during a sudden violent attack. Thus, a rational and just society supports the use of the most effective self-defense weapons available for self-defense in sudden combat. To date, the most effective self-defense weapon available is a firearm. If you oppose firearms, then you oppose self-defense … which means life itself.

        • “Thus, a rational and just society supports the use of the most effective self-defense weapons available for self-defense in sudden combat.”

          – Be careful, her. You are making the argument that there is only one most effective deadly weapon for any and all circumstances. The world at large challenges that position. There are other deadly weapons that are just as effective, in that they render death rather efficiently.

          “If you oppose firearms, then you oppose self-defense…”.

          – No. I question the notion that only possessing a gun makes one capable of self-defense. If “gun” and “self-defense” are one and the same, then no other form of resisting an attacker can be considered “self-defense”. Which would be an interesting reality where a gun owner gets a pass for killing an assailant, but the person using a shillelagh is convicted of a crime.

          “Thus, a rational and just society supports the use of the most effective self-defense weapons available for self-defense in sudden combat.”

          – Perhaps a rational and just society supports the use of self-defense weapons less capable to also do violence and death to people not involved in the attack. Especially violence and death where no attack occurred.

        • 2Asux,

          You are ascribing notions to me that I did not advance. Notice my exact words,

          … the most effective self-defense weapons available for self-defense in sudden combat. To date, the most effective self-defense weapon available is a firearm.

          I did NOT advocate killing anyone anywhere in those words. I did NOT advocate for more or less lethal weapons anywhere in those words. The only thing I advocated for is unfettered access to THE MOST EFFECTIVE weapons available to defend oneself from a sudden attack. How lethal a self-defense weapon is to an attacker takes a back seat to a victim’s ability to defend themselves.

          So, let’s try your game. You are demanding that we hamstring good people with less effective self-defense tools — thus condemning them to suffer injuries, rapes, and murders — in order to make sure violent attackers have a better chance of surviving any defensive actions from their victims. That ain’t right where I come from.

          By the way if a Star Trek handgun becomes available that instantly incapacitates an attacker, is equally reliable to modern handguns, and costs about the same as modern handguns, I will be first in line to buy the Star Trek stun gun and put my handgun away in a vault.

        • “You are demanding that we hamstring good people with less effective self-defense tools — thus condemning them to suffer injuries, rapes, and murders.”

          – The lack of a gun does no such thing. Again, and again, if weapons other than guns are not deadly, where is your justification for using deadly force against them? The theme you, and some others, are promoting is that there are plenty of non-gun means to achieve death or serious bodily harm to a victim, but none of those weapons are effective in defense. You cannot have it both ways. A deadly weapon is effectively deadly, or it isn’t. The lack of a gun condemns no one to anything. The lack of any weapon at all for self-defence is closer to condemning a person to injury.

          “…in order to make sure violent attackers have a better chance of surviving any defensive actions from their victims. ”

          – A direct personal attack on my ethics/morals, without any knowledge from which to make such a conclusion. Wanting to prevent negligent death to bystanders is not moral equivalency to a desire or “ensure” any criminal gets a free ride to commit a crime. Where we will always differ is the notion that a gun, and only a gun provides any measure of self-defense.

          ++1 on the United Federation phaser weapons. (although, Romulan disruptors present a certain attraction)

        • The lack of a gun does no such thing.

          Please name the alternate self-defense tool of your choice, that is sufficiently as effective as a firearm.

          Again, and again, if weapons other than guns are not deadly, where is your justification for using deadly force against them?

          The justification to use deadly force in self-defense does not depend on the assailant being armed with a deadly weapon; rather, use of deadly force is justified in self-defense against forcible felonies, and reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. The method or tool used by the assailant is largely irrelevant.

          The theme you, and some others, are promoting is that there are plenty of non-gun means to achieve death or serious bodily harm to a victim, but none of those weapons are effective in defense.

          Correct.

          I cannot use rape as a defense against rape.

          I need not allow an attacker into contact range in order to use a knife as defense against a knife attack. I need not allow an attacker into contact range in order to use a baseball bat as defense against a baseball attack – nor is carrying around a baseball bat all that convenient. I need not allow an attacker into contact range in order to use bare hands and feet as defense against an attack of bare hands and feet.

          It is also not feasible to travel with an entourage in order to use force in numbers as defense against an attack of force in numbers.

          You cannot have it both ways.

          Yes, actually, we can. I have no moral or legal obligation to limit myself to the tool used by an assailant as the means of self-defense against that assailant. I have zero qualms about defending myself with a gun against an attacker with a knife, baseball bat, bare hands, or force in numbers, if that assailant reasonably puts me in mortal fear. I have zero qualms with my wife fending off an empty-handed rapist with a firearm.

          A deadly weapon is effectively deadly, or it isn’t.

          Why are you stuck on the deadliness of a weapon? Justification for use of deadly force in self-defense does not depend on deadliness of an assailant’s weapon. And again: being “effectively deadly” isn’t the criterion; rather, it is the effectiveness of stopping a threat.

          The lack of a gun condemns no one to anything.

          Tell that to Carol Bowne.

          The lack of any weapon at all for self-defence is closer to condemning a person to injury.

          I do not believe you are as naive as such a comment would indicate.

        • “I cannot use rape as a defense against rape.”

          – Rape is a crime, not a weapon.

          “I need not allow an attacker into contact range in order to use a knife as defense against a knife attack. ”

          – You are not justified in shooting someone running at you with bear hands, someone who does not come in contact but is just rushing you to get you to not be able to pull your gun. You are not justified in shooting across a football field because someone looks threatening, or yells an intention to kill you. For any threat to be credible, the danger must be imminent, meaning (to the reasonable person on the jury), some smack-talking, threatening you, and doing fight moves from, say, oh idunno, 10ft away is not an imminent threat, especially if the person displays no weapon. (hands and feet are not deadly, nor can they cause death or serious bodily injury from a distance. If some jacked-up knucklehead threatens to put you down with martial arts moves, yet does nothing to engage, the threat is not imminent. If someone already is in, what do you call it….bad breath distance, the likelihood of pulling a gun and successfully defeating someone with a gun pointed at you is pretty much “statistically insignificant”, especially without specific training, which POTG apparently do not need because, rights.

          “The method or tool used by the assailant is largely irrelevant.”

          – Not so, you must be faced with deadly force, not necessarily a gun, in order to be justified using your gun. The threat must be capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. If the threat is incapable of achieving harm (by whatever means) you are not justified in using your gun. Which is why you see so many laws prohibiting “brandishing” or “meanacing” (meaning using a gun to cause fear). There are some jurisdictions where, if you are approached, say 20 feet away, by a group of men with tools in hand, you can, after issuing a verbal warning to leave the scene, legally display a firearm. There are many more where you cannot because approaching with tools is not an imminent threat all by itself. But the discussion here is that a weapon deadly in the attack is not deadly in defense. You are saying a person attacking you with a hammer cannot be effectively defeated with a steel baton (we are talking the need to be close enough for the attack to be imminent and deadly), or a tire iron, or a, yes, knife, or an iron pan, or screwdriver (which was the threat Bernard Goetz was allegedly defending against).

          “Why are you stuck on the deadliness of a weapon?”

          – Because people her insist that the only deadly weapon is a gun. To repeat, if person reaches out and pushes you down, then stops the attack. Are you justified in shooting that person? No. If that person begins to beat you on the ground, and you fear they will not stop until you are dead or crippled, are you justified in using a gun. Yes. Are there other weapons you can use to thwart or end a deadly threat? Yes. If an attacker can use a knife to kill you, that means the knife is an effective deadly weapon, that cares not whether the holder is victim or attacker. You simply cannot declare you were attacked by someone holding a deadly weapon, but you could not use the same deadly weapon in return. The point of all this is that self-defense does not start, end and remain an action that can only be accomplished with a gun. If you look at legal books, you will find that “self-defense” is not restricted to, or primarily related to one having a gun.

          It is not of my doing (or the gun sense organizations) that Americans cannot mount a self-defense without a gun. Which by the way is a single point of failure. Then what? Yes, then you are completely helpless and defenseless through choice.

        • You are not justified in shooting someone running at you with bear hands, someone who does not come in contact but is just rushing you to get you to not be able to pull your gun.

          You should perhaps spend some time familiarizing yourself with the deadly force statutes in the several states before engaging in this conversation.

          …some smack-talking, threatening you, and doing fight moves from, say, oh idunno, 10ft away is not an imminent threat…

          While you’re at it, you should also familiarize yourself with the Teuller Drill.

          If some jacked-up knucklehead threatens to put you down with martial arts moves, yet does nothing to engage, the threat is not imminent.

          Huh. It’s almost as if the justification to use deadly force in self-defense depends not solely on the weapon of the assailant, but rather on the totality of the circumstances.

          Not so, you must be faced with deadly force, not necessarily a gun, in order to be justified using your gun. The threat must be capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

          Not necessarily true. In many states, threat or commission of a forcible felony (say, rape, kidnapping, carjacking, armed robbery, etc.) – regardless of whether that felony would constitute imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury – sufficiently justifies the use of deadly force in self-defense. Likewise, in many states, a home invasion is prima facie justification for deadly force in self defense.

          But the discussion here is that a weapon deadly in the attack is not deadly in defense.

          In part, but not entirely – and again, the focus is on efficacy in stopping a threat, not per se deadly.

          You are saying a person attacking you with a hammer cannot be effectively defeated with a steel baton (we are talking the need to be close enough for the attack to be imminent and deadly), or a tire iron, or a, yes, knife, or an iron pan, or screwdriver (which was the threat Bernard Goetz was allegedly defending against).

          So, your position is that I should carry around a steel baton, a tire iron, a knife, an iron pan, and a screwdriver, in order that I can respond in-kind to a threat?

          No thanks. I’ll carry the single tool effective against all of them when they are presented as a threat: a firearm.

        • “So, your position is that I should carry around a steel baton…”

          Yes, actually. Mine is small, instantly extended, and when properly trained, quite effective and deadly, when needed. Oh yeah, there is that training thing, again.

          I am also legal carrying a 3 inch serrated blade knife in a pocket (which is quite useful for something other than “stopping the threat”). But, full disclosure, I spent the time and effort to learn how to make use of just about everything commonly found at home or outdoors that can be quickly fashioned into a weapon. Oh, yeah, there is that training thing, again (free at the local gym). Between the two items, I’m, as you might say, “good to go”.

        • 2Asux,

          Chip said almost verbatim what I would have said in response.

          No one is claiming that other weapons such as cast iron skillets, bricks, rocks, knives, hammers, steel pipes, screwdrivers, tire irons, baseball bats, etc. are not deadly weapons. No one is claiming that we could not legally use such weapons in self-defense.

          What we are claiming is that a firearm is by far the most effective tool available — for the most people — for STOPPING THE WIDEST RANGE OF THREATS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE WITH MINIMAL INJURY TO THE VICTIM POSSIBLE. None of the other tools/weapons that you listed come anywhere close to being as effective at stopping (not killing, stopping) credible, imminent threats.

          To say otherwise is a bald-faced lie.

          Or are you going to claim that a 70 year old woman should be able to use a baseball bat to fend off a young, fast, strong, and fit male attacker? Are you going to claim that a 95 pound woman with a hammer should be able to fend off an attacker with a hammer? Are you going to claim that a 150 pound man should be able to prevail in a fist-fight with a 250 pound college football player? Are you going to claim that a 250 pound man with a baseball bat can prevail over four young, fast, strong, fit male attackers armed with steel pipes?

          The obvious answer to all of those scenarios/questions is “no”. Those victims will lose pretty much every time to their attackers. You know what else is obvious: the only tool/weapon presently available that would enable all of those victims to prevail over their attackers almost every time is a firearm.

        • “No one is claiming that other weapons such as cast iron skillets, bricks, rocks, knives, hammers, steel pipes, screwdrivers, tire irons, baseball bats, etc. are not deadly weapons.”

          – But they are saying those items cannot be used in self-defense, that the only (not just the most “efficient”) means of self-defence is a gun. Note the firefighter from Maryland who declared that without a gun, he cannot defend himself or family. Many others have posted comments that self-defense is defined as “gun”, period. Some have argued that a weapon deadly on the attack is not a deadly weapon in defence. Words have meening, sloppy language leads to sloppy thinking, leads to impaired decision-making.

          Maybe this will make you lot happy: guns are efficient killing machines, guns can be used in defense; self-defense is a human right (but “gun” is not the definition of self-defense).

        • But they are saying those items cannot be used in self-defense, that the only (not just the most “efficient”) means of self-defence is a gun. Note the firefighter from Maryland who declared that without a gun, he cannot defend himself or family. Many others have posted comments that self-defense is defined as “gun”, period.

          Let’s take a different tack, shall we?

          Included in the measure of a tool’s effectiveness in self-defense is the inherent risk assumed by using that tool. Facing a knife-wielding attacker with a knife as my self-defense tool requires that I allow the attacker to get into use range of his knife – because that same use range is required for me to use my knife against him.

          A firearm allows me to engage that attacker at a safe distance.

          Included in the measure of a tool’s effectiveness in self-defense is the ability to stop the threat using that tool. Many potential tools (e.g. an asp, knife, mace, taser) require deployment, skill/training, physical strength/fitness, may only supply a single use, etc. – and still may not actually stop the threat.

          A firearm a) works most of the time without being deployed (i.e. fired), b) requires very little skill/training, physical strength/fitness, c) most effectively stops the threat, and d) provides for typically anywhere from 7 – 17 opportunities to stop the threat.

          Included in the measure of a tool’s effectiveness in self-defense is the psychological impact of using that tool. Many potential tools (knife, bare hands, etc.) require a much more visceral involvement that some may be willing to have.

          A firearm is effective the majority of the time without being fired, requires only the squeeze of the trigger to be fired, and can be used from a distance.

          Included in the measure of a tool’s effectiveness in self-defense is the effectiveness in defense of others one may be charged with protecting (e.g. wife, children). Many potential tools may be effective for defense of self, but become much less-effective when defending another.

          A firearm can be used at a distance, against multiple targets, and can be effectively deployed while minimizing the risk to someone else under attack.

          Some have argued that a weapon deadly on the attack is not a deadly weapon in defence.

          Not what I argued, at all.

          What I argued was that the justification to use deadly force in self-defense does not involve the attacker’s weapon, per se, but rather the totality of circumstances that result in threat or commission of a forcible felony, or that reasonably place someone in fear of risk of life or serious bodily injury.

          I further argued that I am not legally or morally bound to face an attacker with an equivalent weapon.

          Words have meening, sloppy language leads to sloppy thinking, leads to impaired decision-making.

          The main sloppiness that I observe here is the way you play fast-and-loose with what people say, such as interchanging most effective with only effective, and stopping the threat with killing.

          A firearm is the single most-effective self-defense tool, for the greatest range of people, against the greatest range of threats. Forcing people to use a less-effective tool is equivalent to denying them their full right to self-defense, by forcing them to assume greater risk when and if they need to defend themselves.

        • 2Asux,

          You stated,

          “But [firearm advocates] are saying [non-firearm weapons] cannot be used in self-defense, that the only (not just the most “efficient”) means of self-defence is a gun.”

          Wrong. Of course we could use alternate weapons for self-defense. What we are saying is that those alternate weapons are much less desirable for self-defense because they are much less effective for self-defense and carry much greater risk for the victim. In fact, in many cases, those alternate weapons are so much less effective that they are essentially totally ineffective. An example would be a 70 year old woman trying to use a knife to defend herself from a young, fast, strong, male attacker who has a steel pipe. That 70 year old woman will lose … and she will lose . every . single . time.

          You also stated,

          Note the firefighter from Maryland who declared that without a gun, he cannot defend himself or family.”

          If that firefighter is concerned about multiple attackers with steel pipes or baseball bats, his statement is utterly and entirely true. Without a firearm and having nothing more than his bare hands or even a steel pipe of his own, that firefighter cannot fend off three fit male attackers with steel pipes.

          And before you try to make some ridiculous claim about the ability of one person to prevail over multiple attackers in melee combat, go to a martial arts facility and spar multiple times with three students who have striking sticks. Then tell us how many times you prevailed … as well as how many times a 60 year old woman would have prevailed in the same situation.

        • Chip,

          Thanks for the backup!

          I would be honored to buy you the beverage of your choice the next time I am in Indiana.

  18. The reply system here on TTAG is a little clunky but RF & co say they are working on it, so apologies if this doesn’t make sense in context.

    2ASux claims that there’s nonviolent ways to disarm the populace. By which he most likely means media and government working hand in hand.

    We’ve seen it before. With the War on Drugs. Remember DARE? Remember ‘Just Say No!’? Yeah, those worked out really well. Drug use in this country has continued unabated, and in some cases has rise, despite the prohibitions. States openly defy federal restrictions on marijuana, and most police won’t hassle marijuana users unless it’s in concert with another crime. The DARE people must be crying into their glasses of water. Eventually people see through the smokescreens, no pun intended. Irish democracy in action. Hollywood might have it’s little leftist playbook, but the people see through it and have been purchasing up arms in record numbers. Soros must cry every night, surrounded by his armed guards, of course.

    I know that term bothers 2Asux, since he believes it to be akin to a terrorist action. I guess in this case, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Whether it’s the guy smoking weed or the the gun owner under an anti-gun regime, both do what they consider is right, regardless of the law. Our country was basically founded on such things. We considered many things the English did to be unjust, so we stopped following their laws and set up our own nation in response.

    As for the Civil War and the Federal juggernaut? Yes, the North won, but it wasn’t a clear-cut victory. Many Northern soldiers lost their lives, and the North didn’t exactly provide the freed slaves with a quality of life worth respecting. “You’re free to go, no thanks is necessary…” is about all it really amounted to. It wasn’t a clear-cut case of total victory. Nevermind the damage done to the South, which was still regarded as part of the Union by the North. Indiscriminate tactics were used to cow the South into submission, tactics that would not be acceptable to the people in general today. 2ASux, how would you feel if your juggernaut just decided to demolish a city simply because the people within did not accept Federal authority? Is the blood worth it?

    And no, gun owners don’t see the battle as a quick one. Gun owners are well aware it’s something that likely will never end. However, this time around, the playing field is a little more even. You aren’t dealing with your self-described “rednecks”. You are dealing with a group of people from all walks of life, and all levels of education. Information is free and people avail themselves of it every day.

    Whether your final push for disarmament is by subversive means in the media and government, or if you and your pals are insane enough to unleash the “juggernaut” and use force, it won’t simply be a one-night pushover. Regardless, I hope you are comfortable with destroying, in one way or another, the land of opportunity you claim to love and support. I just hope you have fun finding and chasing down 400 million objects that you take great offense of.

    Happy hunting. Oh wait, hunting means guns. Sorry.

    • Irish Democracy

      “I know that term bothers 2Asux…”. Not at all. The term is written in the English (not Irish) language, it is descriptive, and effective shorthand. The only “term” I “object to” is that where self-defense is restricted to being the absolute synonym of “gun”.

      I haven’t yet tried to have anyone’s comments deleted or banned from the forum. Your words are your brand. Wear them proudly; accept the rewards.

  19. Over the last three days, I observed the numerous comments to the posting about the shooting of a firefighter doing a wellness check. During that same time, I have been following things in the California legislature. One article concerning the attempt by two doctors from Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership really made me think about a whole series of submissions and comments from 2Asux. What got my attention was that the doctors were silenced, yes silenced, during their allotted two minutes to testify about certain gun bills. The bills passed out of one committee to another. What was it that made me think about 2Asux? Votes.

    2Asux is a wild and crazy kinda guy (person?) when it comes to guns and gun rights, but one thing he keeps bringing up, and something I think we all ignore, is votes. 2As seems to be quite careful to separate “voters” from “those who vote”. It took quite awhile, but I think I get his point; “voters” don’t all “vote”. 2As constantly identifies that legislation is passed by a majority of those who actually vote, not a majority of voters. So, what does this have to do with two doctors trying to testify before a legislative committee in California? I think, everything.

    The doctors were trying to testify before a committee chaired by an elected official. An official elected by the majority of those voting. A legislator that we on the “right side” of things allowed to be elected. And the committee chair was acting with the approval of the majority of those who voted, evidenced by two facts: she was not a one-termer; the majority of voters who elected her did not reject her beliefs, policies, actions by turning her out at the first opportunity. Yet, the doctors and their supporters (people like us) obviously believed they were treated unfairly by a person elected by those we believe are unfair in so much. We should never be amazed or surprised that elected officials operate in ways that please the majority of those who voted (otherwise, those officials would never be re-elected.

    Now, where is this going? A re-evaluation of our conclusion that “we” are winning the gun rights struggle. If we do not like the way elected officials are behaving, why can we not drive them from office? If a majority of the nation supports our rights, why do we see so many examples of politicians (and courts) moving us left, left, left? I think it is because “we” do not represent a majority of those voting. And that is on us.

    Many here are caught up in the buzz of telling ourselves we are right because we have rights. But how many are actively involved at the grass roots in electing officials who will honor the constitution and the rule of law? Where is the source of the problem of too many liberal or leftist politicians remain in office at all levels? Us. If we are not persuading enough people to our side, not persuading enough people to actually vote, then everything we blame on (whatever label you want to use) actually devolves to us.

    Am I “blaming the victim”? Absolutely. Think about it. We constantly think of ourselves as victims of crazy socialists, statists, whatever, as if we are serfs who have no ability to change our destiny. We reinforce our beliefs here by continually blaming somebody else for the fact that a discussion that never should have happened (defense of constitutional rights) has us in permanent defense mode. We enjoy attacking each other, using the vilest of language against fellow gun rights supporters, and amuse ourselves with who can be the snark champion of the day. Yet the gun grabbing crowd mover forward, ever forward.

    This is what 2As taught me: Pogo was right. Now it is squarely on me to decide to act, then decide how I can be most effective in influencing the lazy voters to get in the game. To date, I am a failure.

    • You should consider how the Fabian socialists have had their victories over the last century. First, they have no compunction about ethics or morals. Anything goes. They are power seekers in the Machiavellian sense. Second, they seized the power structure by seizing control of the means of disseminating information in society, and concentrating the power to do so in a few hands. The technology of the time favored and allowed this.

      By controlling the flow of information, they were able to use emotional arguments on the electorate effectively without any pushback or hindrance. They have enacted most of their program with that power. But, they have lost the exclusivity and concentration of that power that existed primarily from the middle 1960’s to 1994, though it must be noted that for the history of the last 100 years, “journalist” and “progressive” were pretty interchangeable.

      The possibility now exists to influence voters in the direction that we wish, countering the emotional arguments with our own emotional arguments and with facts and logic. That is why we are restoring rights that were attacked and restricted 100 years ago.

      The totalitarians that the “progressives” have morphed into no longer control nearly all the flow of information.

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