By Don

Day after day, gun rights supporters are subjected to conjecture, hyperbole, and unsubstantiated “facts.” An unending stream of incomplete percentages with no indication of absolute magnitudes. Proof of causality and even correlation are casually dismissed and entire arguments and social policies are built on false assumptions and irrationality. How dangerous are guns in society? Is there really a gun-death epidemic? We hear a lot of presumed answers, explanations, and rationalizations, but let’s look at some hard facts. No causality or correlation between factors assumed here. Instead, we are taking a straight look at the numerical risk as it pans out in the real world . . .

For the sake of argument, we’ll trust what the experts in government tell us. For these facts we’ll be citing stats from the Center for Disease Control.  Specifically The National Vital Statistics Report, Table 18 on deaths for 2009.

Our Table 1 below shows probabilities of life and death in 2009 for the generic person in the USA. Let’s start on the naïve side, shall we?  If you were to choose one person in the country at random, there would be about a 99.2009% probability that this person was not going to die in 2009. There would be about a 0.7410% probability that they will die from non-injury related causes like sickness or “old age”, and a 0.0103% probability of “a gun killing them”. I use the absurd expression “a gun killing them” because this is exactly the statistic everyone is talking about but never quantifying.

This is quite literally the probability that a generic specimen plucked from the population of the United States of America will be “killed by a gun” . . . no other assumptions about who and from where (hence naïve).  The stat includes suicides, homicides, accidents, and legal intervention (like being killed by a police officer while committing a crime). One hundredth of one percent.

Why have I computed the statistics in this way, against the whole estimated population in the USA in 2009? Because no one is talking about the actual magnitude of risk a gun presents in our society. And from the tenor of the massive amounts of noise being generated lately by politicians and the media, they all have utterly wrong conceptions of what it is. People generally seem to have no sense of scale or what numbers mean UNLESS they are seeing the whole picture. The whole picture is life AND death.

Table 1:  Life and Death in 2009 in the USA

 Categories Absolute Number Percent Probability of Not Dying in 2009 302,562,837 99.2009% Probability of non-injury related death in 2009 2,260,009 0.7410% Probability of dying from an injury, but not firearm-related in 2009 145,807 0.0478% Probability of experiencing firearm-related death in 2009* 31,347 0.0103%

* Includes all forms of Firearms-Related Death (Suicides, Homicides, Accidents, Legal Intervention/War), so essentially the probability of “being killed by any gun”

But how does this small numerical quantification of risk break down even farther and compare to other things we are used to (and far less afraid of)?  Let’s look at Table 2 below and start with gun homicides. That same generic person has a 0.0038% chance of being intentionally killed with a gun by another person. The probability of being killed by a gun accident is even lower, 0.0002%. What the hell does that even mean? Here’s a visual: if you look at a one meter stick, that’s the equivalent of 1/5 of one millimeter, as compared to the whole. Or about two human hair widths on a yardstick.

That same person is 56.5 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident. Or 52 times more likely to be killed by accidental poisoning. Accidental poisoning includes alcohol and drugs, legal or otherwise, and whatever other chemicals you may have under your sink.

Table 2:  Some Breakdown of Figures and Comparisons

 More Breakdown Absolute Number Percent Probability of being killed in a gun homicide in 2009 11,493 0.0038% Probability of being killed by a gun accident in 2009 554 0.0002% Probability of being killed by a traffic accident in 2009 34,485 0.0113% Probability of being killed by unintentional poisoning in 2009 31,758 0.0104%

Now here’s where our rights come into play. If a person in modern society wants to mitigate their risk of being murdered with a gun, said person can look for geographical locations where all of these homicides occur, and choose not the live there. A person for whom it’s hard to escape such locations still can look at what legal or illegal professions or behaviors make up the near entirety of gun homicides and choose not to partake in them. You can mitigate your risk drastically by making good choices about your own life.  And you needn’t interfere with mine.

If a person wants to reduce the already virtually nonexistent probability of an accidental gun death then they have a lot of options, too. They can learn and practice gun safety.  They can store their guns responsibly. Or they can choose to not have one in their house at all.  You can almost eliminate your risk by making your own choices about your own life — by taking responsibility yourself. You don’t have to put it on me.

Interestingly enough, one risk reduction tactic that almost no one cares to engage in (because they’ve already decided the risk is too minimal to worry about) is telling me I can’t own and legally use a motor vehicle. No one is suggesting that we try to further reduce that risk by banning purely recreational vehicles and features like sports cars and turbo-chargers. Most would balk at the idea of mechanically restricting vehicle speed to 55, 65, or 75 miles per hour, whatever your local speed limit may be. What “legitimate reason” could a person have for going that fast in a car? All I can think of is some kind of life or death emergency which requires putting the pedal to the metal.

What legitimate reason do I have for a rifle with a 30 round magazine? All I can think of is a life or death emergency that requires a high rate of fire. Outside of these examples, in both cases the “legitimate reason” is recreation, and recreation is fine if it the hardware presenting the risk of death is a statistical anomaly. And, at least in the case of guns, it is.

Then there are drugs and alcohol. Substances sometimes needed for medical reasons and/or recreational purposes There’s no shortage of people who want to deregulate more of these. What about the likelihood this would result in more DUIs? Or what if this makes it easier for kids get their hands on drugs? If a person wants to mitigate the 52 times higher probability of experiencing an accidental poisoning death, they have a lot of options, too.  They can learn and practice drug safety. They can store their drugs responsibly.  Or they can choose not to have drugs in their house at all.

The fact is that guns present virtually zero risk to any particular individual. There is no “gun violence epidemic” in the US and claims that there is ignore facts and statistical reality.

Whatever infinitesimal threat they do present can be mitigated by exercising a little freedom of choice and taking personal responsibility in ways we’ve discussed. There’s no need to reduce the freedoms of others.

So here’s a proposal: I won’t come after your right to drive, own sports cars or turbo-chargers — even though we know they are 56.5 times more dangerous than my guns. And I won’t come after your right to put medicinal or recreational chemicals in your body — even if they can be harmful and make you act like an idiot. In exchange, you can stop all of this superficially cathartic persecution of legal gun owners based on the actions of a few madmen, and make some personal choices and take responsibility for yourself. Deal?

## 93 Responses to Gun Death Epidemic? What Gun Death Epidemic?

1. PatAnderson says:

Great break down. I’ll be sure to share this, along with everything else I have been sharing. I know there are still a lot of anti gun people that will ignore these facts though but we have to keep trying.

2. Matt says:

Well written article, I will be passing it on to a lot of my friends.

• Your friends are likely of the same mind as you are, so pass it on to those who will in the end make the decision on anti freedom legislation; your Representatives & Senators.

3. Paul says:

Thanks for posting this — very well written!

4. 16V says:

Then there are drugs and your alcohol. Substances sometimes needed for medical reasons and/or recreational purposes There’s no shortage of people who want to deregulate more of these. What about the likelihood this would result in more DUIs? Or what if this makes it easier for kids get their hands on drugs?

The sad thing is that rather than learn the lessons of alcohol prohibition, we let our racism get the better of us, and tried it with other drugs.

When we banned alcohol, we didn’t stop anybody, it was readily available, it created huge government boondoggles for enforcement, it funded and grew organized crime, and the profits were so high that it brought waves of violence and corrupted government from top to bottom.

Just like drugs, all any prohibition will do is make criminals out of normal folks, fuel a black market, and leave the bad guys holding all the cards.

• tdiinva says:

While prohibition was stupid the rate of alcoholism did not return to pre prohibition levels until 1960. Legalizing drugs may be the smart play but don’t delude yourself about the negative consequences.

• 16V says:

Addiction rates for all substances have remained rather static, regardless of legality. There are times when the social norming of consumption has become problematic, but historically that’s driven by war or business interests, not inherent ‘weakness’.

Yes, there are people who will be (and are) addicts. But banning the substances and adding a preposterous enforcement mechanism not only creates all the know bad side effects we see every day, it more importantly takes money away from actual treatment of those who need it.

Beyond that, murder rates during times of active prohibition always rise.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) (“Homicide Rates, 1900-2000”), during Prohibition (1920-33) criminal activity peaked and the homicide rate reached record levels (9.7 murders per one hundred thousand people in 1933) that were not surpassed again until 1974 (about ten per one hundred thousand), when the war on drugs was underway.

I have no delusions. Some bad things will happen if the prohibitions are removed. However, we already know from science and histrory that far worse things are happening with them in place.

5. g says:

But but but…. GUNS R SCARY!

Great statistical breakdown.

6. Eh, you just have to ask the rabid anti-gunner the right question. Something along the lines of: “When was the last massacre that took place at a shooting/gun range?”

a Gun Death Epidemic as of today would be

1. Chicago with 500 deaths for the year

2. Detroit with 375

• Thomas Paine says:

yes, do a post with the murder rate per city VS gun regulations. That will be enlightening.

• Jesse says:

Spoiler alert, the cities with the most restrictions have the highest murder rates.

1/2 right no restrictions in detroit….just a lot of bad guys with guns

• tdiinva says:

… And the bankrupt city run by the Democratic Party kleptocracy no longer has enough police officers to deter anybody.

8. Culpeper Kid says:

Nice gun safe, very nice.

9. Damon says:

excellent article! Of course we all know that reasonable, intelligent arguments have no place in our modern society, unfortunately.

10. JAS says:

Don, YOU NAILED THIS!

11. Nate says:

What safe is that?

12. Mashashin says:

Hey I like my turbo charger even if I can’t afford to drive it cause i bought ammo

13. Harry Lime says:

I’ve been reading this blog on and off for about a year or so now, and this is probably my favorite article. Numbers don’t lie and you did a great job breaking down the risks.

14. Matt in FL says:

That was a fantastic post. Perhaps things like this will sway some undecideds, and that’s what we should all be striving for. When it comes to the true anti-gun folks, like Low Budget Dave, and mike, and hmmmm, and Bloomberg, hard factual numbers splatter like rotten tomatoes against the hard concrete wall of emotion and feelings. They get all teary-eyed while thinking of the children, and lose the capacity for rational thought.

15. Accur81 says:

Excellent!

Couple the murder rates of Chicago, NY, LA and DC versus their restrictive laws on firearms (gun control) and you have an excellent factual basis on which to debunk the myth of gun control being effective at reducing violent crime.

• tdiinva says:

To repeat from a previous post the three most relevant factors that determine violent crime rates in a jurisdiction are the percentage of people on welfare, the percentage of children born out of wedlock and the length of time a Jurisdiction has been under Democratic Party control.

Detroit by the numbers:
240k on welfare vs 190k working in the private sector.
75% of children born out of wedlock
50+ years of corrupt Democratic Party rule.

16. Will says:

Man, the anti’s want my guns. LaPierre wants my violent video games and movies. Now you guys want my turbo car, alcohol, and drugs :(. Let’s just ban all fun.
/sarc

Great article though. I love the factual data and statistics side of the argument. You simply can’t argue against logic.

• JustAJ says:

You most certainly can. The antis do it every day. Logic and truth have no place in a conversation about evil guns.

17. Aharon says:

rugson, this is a great article. Thanks!

18. Josh says:

19. O.E says:

I don’t drive, wont drive although I can very easily buy a car. I have never bought nor used in my adult lifetime a single drop of gasoline either. My ethics you see do not require state enforcement, unlike my oppositions take on this matter who have created gun legislation up the wazoo.

I do own a firearm though. I’m sure it will not be enough with the way things are going in the Petro-dollar-Jihad cycle to keep my piece.

20. Derek says:

According to http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcassaul.html “military caliber” rifles account for “no more than .8 percent of homicides” which according to the link is (16,799 homicides) 134 deaths by assault weapons. 134 deaths… They want to spend tens (probably hundreds) of billions of dollars, an unfathomable number of man hours, expand the size, scope, and power of the federal government by a massive margin and strip the entire American population of effective fighting tools all so they can maybe, MAYBE, cut down on 134 deaths per year.

The question is; what is the net result? How many deaths would they cause by effectively disarming so many people?

• Derek says:

Now that I think of it. I wonder if we could compare the probability of any given American dying in a firearm related homicide anywhere (.0038%) to the probability of any given American dying in a firearm related homicide in a GFZ… Malls, theaters, schools, churches, city halls…

• uncommon_sense says:

Derek,

Your observations are correct. I am astonished that you fail to see government’s objective. (Hint: “expand the size, scope, and power of the federal government … and strip the entire American population of effective fighting tools.”)

The next question: why does the federal government want to expand its size, scope, and power and strip the entire American population of effective fighting tools?

• Derek says:

That was more of a rhetorical question/statement aimed at casual anti-gunners (the non-true believers) and fence sitters. I have a pretty good idea of what the .govs “objective” is.

21. First, great article.

Second, Search Edpidemic – Replace Epidemic

Win!

23. MikeM says:

I used the ‘utility of sports cars’ argument the other day and it actually seemed to be the one thing to shake my anti friends off of their game. Excellent article! (Oh, and “superficially cathartic persecution” is an awesome turn of phrase!)

• Mark says:

Try this one: We didn’t crack down on drunk driving by legislating “reasonable, common sense restrictions” like outlawing beer and sports cars, limiting fuel capacity and availability, designating “car free zones” and setting horsepower limits because that would have been stupid. Being helpless does not make one safe and being lawfully armed does not make one criminally insane any more than removing smoke detectors protects one’s home from fire or wearing a seat belt makes one a reckless driver.

24. Billy Wardlaw says:

Science! Its still works, b1tch3s!

25. Alan C. says:

One of the best, fact based, logical articles I have ever read on the subject, and like many, I have read a ton of them.

26. John Newmark says:

Yes, Don there is an epidemic of gun deaths in this country. A yearly mass slaughter of 33,000 people by guns is something that thoughtful people need to take a serious look at. Our rate of gun deaths in this country is nearly 10 times the rate of every other modern democracy. Other then Mexico, with its current war on drugs, the US is number one in the number of guns owned privately and number one in the total number of gun deaths and rate of gun deaths.
While it is true that the individual’s chance of being a gun victim is indeed small that does not mean that we should ignore the problem. Automobiles are highly regulated because of the deaths and injuries that arise from their use. However, your comparisons with use of the automobile and the consumption of poison are meaningless. Why? Because of the use factor. If guns were used as often and as ubiquitously as cars and liquids the chance of injury or death would sky rocket.
In your view, for example, we as a society should not be concerned about domestic terrorism at all since only an infinitesimal percentage of people have ever been killed by terrorism. So do away with Homeland Security and get rid of all those metal detectors at the airports-lets get those security people out on the highways writing speeding tickets where many more lives can be saved.
Our gun homicide rate in the US is 3.2 per 100,000. Canada is .5. England is .5. No other country even comes close to the rates of gun homicides. That is true even though other western countries, such as Canada, have similar rates of violent crimes committed.
Now Canada has a very high rate of gun ownership- 30.8 per hundred. The United States has the highest gun ownership rate of 88.8 per hundred. Why then does the US have a gun homicide rate that is over six times the rate of Canada? Even worse our gun homicide rate is thirty times the rate of England and of Israel. The most appalling statistic of our gun epidemic that you fail to mention, however, is the United State’s position of 14.1 child injuries or death by guns per 100,000. Again the US leads the western world.
Why is the US world leader in injuries and deaths from guns? Because we lack sensible regulations to make gun ownership safer. Why? Because the NRA is a superb propaganda machine that has motivated its members by the use of constant fear tactics to vote solely on the single issue of guns. In this manner the NRA has been able to bully our elected officials from passing reasonable gun control legislation that a majority of voters want.

• Massaging the statistics shows the shallowness of your position.
You include suicides in the gun deaths figure, yet suicide rates are unaffected by the availability of firearms.
Homicide rate by firearm for 2011 was 3.6 per 100,000 not 5.
Your “child” injuries or deaths figure is also spurious, as it includes those to age 19 – hardly children, where up to age 14 is the correct definition. Some of the so-called “statistics” used by hoplophobes consider those aged 29 to be “youths”.
Homicide amongst children to age 14 are lower than the overall rate, though including up to age 18 gives a rate just under 6 per 100,000.
Deaths due to ALL homicides in 1-14 year olds were 1.8 per 100,000 not
The latest figure for criminal homicides is 8,770, as number that is almost HALF that from the last year of the so-called “assault weapons ban.”
The US is NOT the “world leader in injuries and deaths from guns” by any means, so we’ll count that as a deliberate untruth.
The majority of firearms homicides happen when the “victim” is engaged in criminal activity, so acting against overall crime would be a better option.
Regulations do NOT stop, mass shootings, nor do they reduce the number of victims.
One has only to look at the UK (with incredibly restrictive firearms laws) to see this.
Michael Ryan killed 16 in 1987 with a rifle & handgun, so they banned semi automatic rifles.
Thomas Hamilton killed 17 in 1996 with two handguns, so they banned handguns.
Derrick Bird killed 12 in 2010 (the same number as Aurora) with a .22 rimfire rabbit rifle & a single barrel shotgun.
These (& more) happened DESPITE firearms regulations more restrictive than anything even the most rabid hoplophobe could even dream of.

All gun owners registered. They must consent to their medical records being examined & have two character witnesses vouch for them.
Handguns banned.
Semi auto rifles (except .22RF) banned.
Each firearm needs “good reason” to be purchased, with personal defense NOT considered such.
Severe restrictions on the purchase, possession, amount & type of ammunition for each firearm.
All firearms must be locked up when not in use.
In the near future, a firearms owner’s spouses or “significant other” will have to be consulted before a firearms license is granted.

Yet we STILL have mass shootings in the UK & our violent crime rate is more than double that of the US.

Don’t look to ever more ineffective laws for the solution; look to fixing what’s wrong with society, rather than labelling it “too difficult” & blaming inanimate objects for the problem.

• Don says:

We have more freedom here and therefore a larger diaspora of haves and have nots. That means more incentive and access for have nots to take from the haves, and the haves to oppress the have nots. The volume of these economics being greater here than anywhere else necessarily leads to more conflict and therefore more violence.

-D

27. John Newmark says:

First read what the Ex- Prime Minister of Australia has to say on Gun Control
By John Howard:
IT is for Americans and their elected representatives to determine the right response to President Obama’s proposals on gun control. I wouldn’t presume to lecture Americans on the subject. I can, however, describe what I, as prime minister of Australia, did to curb gun violence following a horrific massacre 17 years ago in the hope that it will contribute constructively to the debate in the United States.
I was elected prime minister in early 1996, leading a center-right coalition. Virtually every nonurban electoral district in the country — where gun ownership was higher than elsewhere — sent a member of my coalition to Parliament.
Six weeks later, on April 28, 1996, Martin Bryant, a psychologically disturbed man, used a semiautomatic Armalite rifle and a semiautomatic SKS assault weapon to kill 35 people in a murderous rampage in Port Arthur, Tasmania.
After this wanton slaughter, I knew that I had to use the authority of my office to curb the possession and use of the type of weapons that killed 35 innocent people. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Our challenges were different from America’s. Australia is an even more intensely urban society, with close to 60 percent of our people living in large cities. Our gun lobby isn’t as powerful or well-financed as the National Rifle Association in the United States. Australia, correctly in my view, does not have a Bill of Rights, so our legislatures have more say than America’s over many issues of individual rights, and our courts have less control. Also, we have no constitutional right to bear arms. (After all, the British granted us nationhood peacefully; the United States had to fight for it.)
Because Australia is a federation of states, the national government has no control over gun ownership, sale or use, beyond controlling imports. Given our decentralized system of government, I could reduce the number of dangerous firearms only by persuading the states to enact uniform laws totally prohibiting the ownership, possession and sale of all automatic and semiautomatic weapons while the national government banned the importation of such weapons.
To make this plan work, there had to be a federally financed gun buyback scheme. Ultimately, the cost of the buyback was met by a special one-off tax imposed on all Australians. This required new legislation and was widely accepted across the political spectrum. Almost 700,000 guns were bought back and destroyed — the equivalent of 40 million guns in the United States.
City dwellers supported our plan, but there was strong resistance by some in rural Australia. Many farmers resented being told to surrender weapons they had used safely all of their lives. Penalizing decent, law-abiding citizens because of the criminal behavior of others seemed unfair. Many of them had been lifelong supporters of my coalition and felt bewildered and betrayed by these new laws. I understood their misgivings. Yet I felt there was no alternative.
The fundamental problem was the ready availability of high-powered weapons, which enabled people to convert their murderous impulses into mass killing. Certainly, shortcomings in treating mental illness and the harmful influence of violent video games and movies may have played a role. But nothing trumps easy access to a gun. It is easier to kill 10 people with a gun than with a knife.
Passing gun-control laws was a major challenge for my coalition partner: the rural, conservative National Party. All of its members held seats in nonurban areas. It was also very hard for the state government of Queensland, in Australia’s northeast, where the National Party was dominant, and where the majority of the population was rural.
The leaders of the National Party, as well as the premier of Queensland, courageously supported my government’s decision, despite the electoral pain it caused them. Within a year, a new populist and conservative political party, the One Nation Party, emerged and took many votes from our coalition in subsequent state and federal elections; one of its key policies was the reversal of the gun laws.
For a time, it seemed that certain states might refuse to enact the ban. But I made clear that my government was willing to hold a nationwide referendum to alter the Australian Constitution and give the federal government constitutional power over guns. Such a referendum would have been expensive and divisive, but it would have passed. And all state governments knew this.
In the end, we won the battle to change gun laws because there was majority support across Australia for banning certain weapons. And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate. The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996. The American Law and Economics Review found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent. In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.
Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.

• Proof that Howard was both full of **** & acting in a completely undemocratic manner.

The American Law and Economics Review found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent.

Of course he makes no mention that overall suicide rates actually increased slightly.

You haven’t explained why your “statistics” are so far from reality as to be meaningless, nor have you explained why laws in the US will be any more effective at stopping mass shootings than those in the UK which have plainly failed to do just that.
Why are you an advocate of following failed policies?

28. John Newmark says:

You say: “suicide rates are unaffected by the availability of firearms.” Dead wrong.
A study by Chapdeline, Samson and Kimberly in Canada in 1991 found the following: 92% of suicide attempts with guns ended with death compared to 78% by carbon monoxide or hanging, 67% by drowning and only 23% by intentional drug overdose.
A study by P.J Cook of Dallas suicides in 1991 found that 76% of gun suicide attempts ended in death compared to 4% of when other methods were used.
An eight state study by Spicer and Miller in year 2000 found that 82 % of suicide attempts with guns ended in deaths compared to 61% for hanging/suffocation, 34% for jumping and 1.5% for drug overdosing. Additionally, ten case studies over the past twenty years have proven that having a gun in the home is associated with significantly higher rates of suicides. One study by Brent, Perper and Morris in 1991 found that guns were kept in 72% of the suicide victims homes but only in 37% of the control group’s homes. The studies are numerous and readily available to prove the substantial link between guns and suicide. The more guns-the more readily available those guns are- the more suicidal deaths there will be.

You say I claimed the gun homicide rate was 5 per 100,000 for the US. No, I did not. Read my article again. As reported by the FBI the 2011 gun homicide rate in the US is 3.2 per 100,000. I did say that Canada’s homicide rate by gun is .5.

You say my statistics for children are spurious. Consider the numbers from a 1997 CDC study of the US and the twenty-five richest countries among five to fourteen year olds: Gun homicide US 1.22 per 100,000;Non-US .07: US gun suicide .49 per 100,000;Non-US .05: Unintentional gun deaths US .46; Non-US .05.

You say my statistic of 14.1 gun death or injuries by death per 100,000 is too high.
You are wrong. I have used the rate provided by the O.E.C. D. for year 1995. Moreover, that statistic does not include any child over the age of 14.

You say: The latest figure for criminal homicides is 8,770, as number that is almost HALF that from the last year of the so-called “assault weapons ban.”
Wrong: According to the FBI statistics there were 8, 583 gun homicides in 2011. In 1994, the last year of the assault weapons ban there were 9,326 gun homicides. That is less than a 10% drop in gun homicides and has very little to do with with gun laws but is rather a result of the general decrease in violent crime.

You say: “The US is NOT the “world leader in injuries and deaths from guns” by any means, so we’ll count that as a deliberate untruth.”
You are wrong: 8, 583 gun homicides in the US during 2011 puts us in a class of our own. No other advanced western country has a gun homicide count that surpassed 200 except Italy which counted 417 gun homicides . In fact, most western counties had total gun homicide counts of less than 100. How does that stack up to the 8,583 gun homicides in the US? In fact the US had more gun homicides than all of the other advanced western countries combined in 2011. We are in fact swamped by rampant gun violence in this country. Americans turn a blind eye to our gun violence but the rest of the world is astonished at our willingness to live with this scourge.

• How very clever of you to use gross figures when they suit you & rates when they don’t.

The suicide rate in Australia didn’t change when most firearms were banned.
The suicide rate in states with low gun ownership are the same as in those with high gun ownership.

You STILL haven’t explained how more regulation in the US will magically work when it hasn’t anywhere else.

• John Newmark says:

Mike the Limey: I suggest that you read “Private Guns Public Health” by David Hemenway to start learning how outrageous and deadly the NRA’s propaganda machine has been to the welfare of Americans and how regulation could indeed drastically reduce the deadliness of gun ownership in this country. I spent nearly two hours in my last response to you by checking my research to ensure that I had the right facts and figures. You respond with a five minute spiel off the top of your head. I am not going to spend another two hours to explain just how various laws and regulations from around the world have successfully curbed gun violence. How might regulations curb gun deaths? An example for you off the top of my head: Suppose all guns were required to have devices that would prevent anyone but the owner from firing that gun?
That technology is I believe available now. Do you think that a few lives might be saved from accidental shootings, teenage suicides and bad guys who steal those guns? How about this one off the top of my head: Do you think it might be a good idea to have the same kinds of background checks for the sale of guns at gun shows as from gun shops? Is that too much of an an infringement on the Second Amendment? Do you think that maybe one or two criminals or some other dangerous people might be prevented from buying an assault weapon capable of causing massive slaughter if these background checks were required?
The killing of 20 six year-old children by a mad man protected by body armor and carrying an arsenal of guns that have no legitimate need in civil society was the straw that broke the camel’s back for most reasonable people. We must do everything that will work-the first thing that will have to happen however is to expose the NRA for what it is: A slick propaganda machine that maintains its power by instilling fear in its members and by repeating the sames lies and nonsense that there is nothing we can do about being a country swamped in gun violence except to arm more people. That is appalling and deadly nonsense. Regulation will work.

• Matt in FL says:

I congratulate you on your intensive research to support your argument. Except you then went on to say “by a mad man protected by body armor,” and screwed it all up.

Virtually every mass shooter in recent years has at some point, usually in the breathless “early reports” stage, been reported as wearing body armor. Precisely zero of them actually wore body armor. Some of them wore tactical style vests or load-bearing vests. Some simply had on black clothing. But zero, none, zip, zilch, nada actually wore body armor. People who continue to mention body armor are either ignorant, or they know better but are pushing an agenda. Which one are you?

• Hemenway is an anti firearms propagandist & uses the same method of twisted statistics & different measures as yourself.
You still haven’t addressed my point that Derrick Bird killed the same number of people in the UK as James Holmes did in the US, despite our draconian gun laws.
Your use of emotive language might sway the ignorant & uninformed but not those who know firearms.
You talk of “one or two” or “a few” lives possibly being saved by bringing in similarly draconian legislation to that here & as if it is worth it.
The answer quite frankly is not only no but HELL NO because those few lives MIGHT be saved at the certain cost of many others in the hands on armed criminals – lives that could have been protected had they possessed a firearm, or enough rounds in a magazine, or weren’t able to use a firearm programmed to their spouse (technology that ISN’T available in a working form btw).

29. John Newmark says:

Matt your are right.I am really ignorant about the difference between body armor and tactical style vests or load-bearing vests. I really do not spend an awful lot of time learning about guns and all the accessories that go with them. I did depend upon the mass media reports stating that some type of body armor was being used. I really do not, however, have much of an agenda against body armor. My agenda is to stop the NRA from preventing reasonable gun regulations and reducing the gun slaughter in this country from 33,000 yearly. We were able to reduce automobile deaths from over 55,000 just a few years ago to now under 34,000 by improving the safety of cars and by other regulations not by taking away anyone’s right to own and drive a car.. We can do the same with guns. That is my agenda.

• Your agenda is to disarm American citizens, despite all the evidence pointing to the futility of such a measure.
Firearms homicides have almost halved without your interference, despite a growing population & the removal of the so-called “assault weapons ban”.

30. John Newmark says:

Mike the Limey: Your statement shows just how paranoid you are and that your emotional attachment to guns blinds you to any reasonable regulation. Despite the NRA and the big bucks it gets from the the gun manufacturers to buy off politicians there will be reasonable gun regulation passed and you will still have all the guns and ammo you need to keep you safe and to hunt with.

• Paranoid, me?
That’s pretty rich coming from someone who wants to ban guns because they scare him.
I see you’re repeating the lie that the NRA is largely financed by the firearms industry. Go & check the published list of donors & then come back to me on that.
“Reasonable” gun regulation that intends to limit magazine capacity & ammunition purchases isn’t reasonable; it WILL lead to innocent deaths.
Would YOU want to face multiple assailants with one hand tied behind your back?
Well that’s what a 7 round magazine is & your fellow hoplophobes have gone as far as to put forward proposals that firearms be limited to ONE shot.
Admit it; you’re scared of guns because you believe everyone thinks as you do & you know you aren’t mentally suited to handle them.
Thankfully firearms owners are far more rational & stable than firearms haters.

31. John Newmark says:

Mike the Limey: I will send you a free copy of “Private Guns Public Health” by David Hemenway. In exchange you can point me to any publication or media that you think might have information that supports your arguments and I will study it. Most people, as you know, simply do not want to be confronted with information that does not support their world view. You aren’t that kind of person are you Mike the Limey?
In fact, I will send a free copy of this book to anyone here who would like to read this very reliable and complete source on gun violence in America. Any of you gun toters brave enough to take up the challenge.

• As I already stated; Hemenway is a mouthpiece for the anti gun movement & his “facts” have been discredited.
You STILL haven’t explained how gun laws in the US will work better then those in the UK at stopping mass shootings.
Because they wont.

32. John Newmark says:

So, Mike the Limey. Just tell me where Hemenway has been discredited. Have you read it yourself? I asked you to lead me to a resource that would support your world view. Instead of actually reviewing the material in a reasonable and rational manner you simply start disparaging it without any basis whatsoever. That is typical of the far right. You must love Fox News!
And you know Mike you are right about who is rational and who is not. People who oppose any gun regulation are people who never let their emotions color their perception of the facts. People who want reasonable gun regulation-like me-well we just cannot separate our emotions from the plain truth. So this is the truth about the gun debate: Every position taken by the NRA and its supporters is fully supported by the facts. The NRA is not subject to the same kinds of distortion of reality that occurs to other institutions and people when a personal interest is being threatened. In fact, if the NRA did a study and determined that no one should be allowed to own a gun you can bet that the NRA, and of course all of its reasonable and rational supporters would support the end of gun ownership. Even the gun and ammo manufacturers would voluntarily shut down because they, unlike reasonable gun regulation people, do what is based on upon what is in the best interest of people in general and the country as a whole.
Now you say I was wrong about where the NRA gets its money. So I did a little research and this is what I found: Gun manufacturers donate to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. Since 2005, the organization has received at least \$14.8 million from more than 50 firearms-related companies. In 2008, Beretta reached a milestone of \$2 million in donations to the NRA, and in 2012, Smith & Wesson reached \$1 million. According to an April 2012 press release, Sturm, Ruger & Company raised \$1.25 million through a program in which it donated \$1 to the NRA’s lobbying branch for each gun it sold from May 2011 to May 2012.
Now that is a lot of money. But I have to admit, a good majority of the money that the NRA uses to bully politicians comes from other sources. Thank you getting me straight on that issue. I will not make that mistake again. What have you learned from me Mike? Anything at all true in anything that I have said or am I completely wrong about everything?? Mike you are a reasonable and rational gun supporter who would never ignore the truth of an opponent’s argument are you not??? I will send you that book by Hemenway for you to read and to make you own conclusions as to its accuracy. But you won’t. Because you are on the side that already knows the truth .

That is an interesting accusation you make about me being afraid of guns. Well, Mike, I am not sitting here with a gun in my hand in fear of someone charging into my home to assault me with a gun. But you and all your gun toting friends are. So who is afraid of guns me or you?? Read what a fellow gun toter says about carrying a gun:

‘What it’s like to carry a gun.’
I went to a Christmas party in upstate, New York on Saturday night and like many other Americans I spent most of the time discussing gun control in America with friends. The evil incident
in Connecticut last Friday has sparked a debate that will not die.
My entire adult life I have been a registered Republican and I have almost always argued from the right. However, when it comes to the subject of handguns possessed and carried by non-law enforcement civilians I just cannot agree with my friends on the right.
I feel that I am as qualified to speak on the subject as anyone else; after all, I have legally owned and carried handguns in New York State for 26 years.
I grew up in New York City, I joined the NYPD at the age of 20 and I have stared down the barrel of a gun several times.
I have been shot at and I have also fired my gun in self-defense, but in the line of duty.
I now carry a New York Carry Pistol Permit as a retired law enforcement officer.
I know what it’s like to carry a gun and not to carry a gun. I have heard arguments and stories of legal gun owners successfully defending their property and their lives, but I have also heard of more tragic stories, like the one last Friday.
Adam Lanza was able to access his mother’s legally owned guns and commit this heinous act.
That is the bottom line. Every legally possessed gun in America cannot be properly secured. There will be guns accessed by children.
I feel that we have to take an honest look at the laws in this country for the sake of our children. Many people want to own and carry guns because it gives them a feeling of power.
Most will not admit this, but it’s true. When someone is carrying a gun, they act differently. They face a situation, sometimes escalating it, instead of avoiding it.
When I fired my gun in 1992 in self-defense, I was off-duty. It was after I ran down two thugs who had just robbed a store in Queens. They turned and tried to shoot me. If I did not have my gun that day, I would have never run after them and they would have gotten away. No one would have fired any guns that day.
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. No matter what you believe happened that night, if Zimmerman did not have a gun, Trayvon Martin would be alive today.
As a father, who was heartbroken after hearing about the Connecticut killing of those innocent children, I feel I have to be honest about how I feel, even if it means disagreeing with friends.

New York

• Matt in FL says:

“No matter what you believe happened that night, if Zimmerman did not have a gun, Trayvon Martin would be alive today.”

And George Zimmerman very possibly would not.

• John Newmark says:

Really?? Trayvon Martin did not have a gun. Trayvon Martin was not a hoody out scoring drugs. He was on a trip to the local junk food store for a snack. Trayvon Martin was committing no crime. If Zimmerman had stayed in his truck and called the police-as he was supposed to do there would have been no confrontation. People with guns can turn a normal confrontation into deadly event.

• Matt in FL says:

And this is when we digress into who followed who and when they stopped, and who actually instigated the confrontation, and I’m not going down that road. It’s very likely that even after all the evidence comes out at trial, we still will not know exactly what happened that night.

• I don’t & never have watched Fox News.

I’m sure you are quite aware of all the sources that have shown Hemenway to be a charlatan.

You aren’t interested in “common sense gun control”; you’re after disarming American citizens to the greatest extent possible, despite such a policy failing to address criminal possession of firearms.

Tell me why most firearms felonies committed under existing laws are plea-bargained down to insignificant sentences if this “tough stance” you demand is so important.
How about enforcing the laws already on the books, rather than trying to disarm law-abiding citizens?

I’ll tell you why not: It is because those dead kids don’t really matter all that much to you & your ilk, as they are merely a means to an end: The monopolisation of lethal force by an all powerful central government.

I am not sitting here with a gun in my hand in fear of someone charging into my home to assault me with a gun. But you and all your gun toting friends are. So who is afraid of guns me or you?? Read what a fellow gun toter says about carrying a gun:

That’s really quite amusing as I happen to live in the UK & don’t have that option.
I’ll ignore your “message” for as long as you & the rest of the hoplophobes continue to use derogatory terms such as “gun toters” to describe those who are comfortable with looking after their own safety.
A retired LEO is hardly a good example though, as he & the rest of the retired LEO’s are invariably exempted from legislation aimed at the proletariat.

33. John Newmark says:

Sure Matt: Maybe you will never know because it might actually conflict with your world view. Fact: Martin did not have a gun or weapon. Fact: Martin was not committing a crime. Fact: That Zimmerman was not supposed to be carrying a gun on the job. Fact:If there is no gun then no one could have been shot. Fact: If no one gets shot then it would have been very, very unlikely that there would have been a death. Now if you are still confused about what happened then I suggest that you study all of the reliable information available and after you do I am sure- positive in fact- that you will conclude that if Zimmerman did not have a gun that night that there would have been no confrontation that would have resulted in either Martin’s or Zimmerman’s death. Yes, it is a very difficult for gun toters to accept the fact that having a gun actually escalated a confrontation and caused a needless death.

• Matt in FL says:

“… if Zimmerman did not have a gun that night that there would have been no confrontation that would have resulted in either Martin’s or Zimmerman’s death.”

I can’t tell if you worded that badly or if you meant it how it reads, but either way, you’re wrong. If I read it as “if there had been no gun there would have been no confrontation,” then you’re saying the presence of the gun caused or induced the confrontation, which is attributing an ability to an inanimate object that it simply does not possess. If I read it as “if there had been no gun, there may have been a confrontation, but it would not have resulted in someone’s death,” then you’re making a statement that is complete conjecture. There are many ways someone could die in a fight without a gun being involved. Having your head bashed repeatedly on the sidewalk comes to mind, for one.

As I said, we may never know for sure exactly what transpired. Did Zimmerman actually turn back towards his truck after hanging up with the police, as he claims he did, or did he continue following Martin? Dunno. Did Martin come up from behind and accost Zimmerman, as Zimmerman claims? Dunno. What we do know is this from the police reports thus far is this: We have two guys. One guy who is bleeding from both the front and back of his head, and whose back is wet from laying in the grass. The other guy doesn’t have a mark on him, except for a single hole in his chest. That’s all we know for sure at this point. More may come out in court. But the conclusions I can draw from that evidence is that either the bloody guy was getting his ass handed to him by the unmarked guy and shot him defensively, or the bloody guy shot the other guy and then beat himself up.

As I said, I’m not going down this road, and to that end, I’ve already done more than I intended to. If you choose to respond, that’s fine, but I’m finished with talking about something I know next to nothing about.

34. John Newmark says:

Mike:
No, I have not heard anyone but you say that Hemenway is in any manner unreliable. Please provide me with your resources.

You seem to advocate a tougher policy with criminals. Well consider the following:The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in the world. As of 2009, the incarceration rate was 743 per 100,000 of national population (0.743%). In comparison, Russia had the second highest, at 577 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world as 117 per 100,000, and China had 120 per 100,000.
While Americans represent about 5 percent of the world’s population, nearly one-quarter of the entire world’s inmates have been incarcerated in the United States in recent years. Imprisonment of America’s 2.3 million prisoners, costing \$24,000 per inmate per year, and \$5.1 billion in new prison construction, consumes \$60.3 billion in budget expenditures.
So the idea of being tougher on criminals to reduce the annual slaughter of 33,000 people has not worked at all in the U.S.

• Matt in FL says:

BTW, there is a reply link under every comment (if you’re on a PC) or at the top right of every comment (if you’re on the mobile site). Using the appropriate reply link helps keep the conversation threads together, rather than just having each one appear at the end of whatever is already there.

• You can start here:

Hemenway’s methodology is dubious at best & his refusal to share the raw data shows an unwillingness to have his assertions tested.

Your incarceration rate is wholly down to the failed & idiotic “war on drugs” & ensures your prisons are full of people who are in the main no threat to others.
This has little if any effect on true criminality, with child rapists being released after 18 months & felons caught multiple times in possession of firearms being given non custodial sentences.
If incarceration doesn’t work, why are you advocating the introduction of laws where the threat used to enforce said laws is…..

…..incarceration?

35. John McHugh says:

And why do you think that Lott is taking shots at Hememway?
Could it be these statements by Hemenway in his 2006 book “Private Guns Public Health”?

(Lotts’) “gun ownership study data came from exit polls conducted in 1988 and 1996. These data on gun ownership levels are unreliable: Read page 65 of “Private Guns Public Health” to know why Hemenway disparaged Lott’s work.

One study by John Lott (1998) has frequently been cited in the national gun debate. The initial results seemed to show that permissive gun-carrying laws reduced murder, rape, and aggravated assault… In at least eitht published articles, more than a dozen academics have found enough serious flaws in Lott’s model to discount his findings. ..these studies fond that Lott did not sufficiently account for the cycilcal nature of crime…the general consensus is that any reliance upon Lott’s model for public policy would be inappropriate..

“John Lott claims, [” In the U.S. the states with the hoghest gun ownership rates also have by far the lowest crime rates.” He ( Lott) provides no evidence, no citations, and no discussion for this assertion.”] And why do you think that Lott is taking shots at Hememway?
Could it be these statement by Hemenway in his 2006 😕

(Lotts’) “gun ownership study data came from exit polls conducted in 1988 and 1996. These data on gun ownership levels are unreliable: Read page 65 of “Private Guns Public Health” to know why Hemenway disparaged Lott’s work.

One study by John Lott (1998) has frequently been cited in the national gun debate. The initial results seemed to show that permissive gun-carrying laws reduced murder, rape, and aggravated assault… In at least eitht published articles, more than a dozen academics have found enough serious flaws in Lott’s model to discount his findings. ..these studies fond that Lott did not sufficiently account for the cycilcal nature of crime…the general consensus is that any reliance upon Lott’s model for public policy would be inappropriate..

Lott’s conclusion (2003) that concealed-carry laws have reduced multiple-victim public shootings also appears to be incorrect.

“supposedly sophisticated econometric studies that combine the cross-sectional and time series approaches can suggest that middle-aged and elderly black females are the source of much criminal activity.” (criticizing Lott’s 2003 study)

“A good scientist needs to use reliable data and appropriate models and to present findings fairly and accurately. All scientists make mistakes, but one widely cited gun proposnent, John Lott., Jr., all too often presents inaccurate infornmation, uses inappropriate data and models. And obtains questionable results. He then publicizes them extensively.

Hemenway called Lott a crooked scientist ready to fabricate any study to support the lobby.

• So Hemenway is right because he says Lott is wrong but Lott is wrong for saying Hemenway is wrong?

Meh.

• John McHugh says:

You know maybe you could put a little more effort into your responses. Lott was completely discredited by Hemenway in his book. Unlike you, however, I will read Lott’s books and I will read any other critics of Hemenway. I would actually like to know where the truth lies to the best of my ability. I am not going to accept the propaganda put out by the gun lobby or any other organization with an interest in arming as many people as possible. We have an ongoing massive slaughter of people by guns every year in the US. Arming more people is not the answer. Putting more people in prison is not the answer. Finding honest solutions is what is needed not a high powered propaganda campaign by the NRA to protect the status quo rather than protecting and preventing the next slaughter of dozens of little children.

36. John McHugh says:

Zimmerman was in his own vehicle and noticed Martin walking inside the community. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s behavior as suspicious, stating that Martin was “cutting in-between houses…walking very leisurely for the rainy weather” and “looking at all the houses”
When Martin was speaking to the police dispatcher he stated “these assholes, they always get away” and also said “these fucking punks”. According to investigators, while Zimmerman was speaking with police, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. She said that Martin was scared because he was being followed by an unknown male and didn’t know why. Investigators said that Martin attempted to run home, but Zimmerman followed him, because he didn’t want Martin whom he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime, to get away before the police arrived. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and told him an officer would meet him. Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher’s instruction and continued pursuing Martin on foot. Investigators said Zimmerman then confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. With the police on their way and with multiple people aware of the ongoing altercation it is highly unlikely that Zimmerman would have suffered anything more than a severe beating as he was already on his back in the grass.

37. John McHugh says:

A news story in a Canadian Newspaper:

American Becomes Laughingstock of Canada After Letter to Editor Lamenting Lack of Handgun During Mild Confrontation

Walt Wawra, a police officer from Kalamazoo, Michigan, was vacationing in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife Debbie when he encountered a situation that made him reach for his off-duty handgun.
But the weapon wasn’t there because he had been told he has “no need to carry one in Canada.” So he fired a letter to the Calgary Herald instead to complain about his inability to protect his family from the city’s riff raff.
Case in point: While strolling through Calgary’s bucolic Nose Hill Park, Wawra and his wife were suddenly confronted by two men who stepped in their path and, “in a very aggressive tone,” demanded to know if the couple had “been to the Stampede yet” (the city’s annual rodeo, which celebrated its centennial this year).
“We ignored them,” Wawra writes, but “the two moved closer, repeating: ‘Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?'”
That’s when the 20-year police force vet got angry and “quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, ‘Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.'” Walt and Debbie then continued on their way, leaving the Stampede Brothers behind looking “bewildered.”
But what if they had done more than simply ask the same question twice and then move on? What then? Wawra reflects and concludes:
I speculate they did not have good intentions when they approached in such an aggressive, disrespectful and menacing manner. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort, but rather concluded it was in their best interest to leave us alone.
Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another? Why then should the expectation be lower for a citizen of Canada or a visitor? Wait, I know – it’s because in Canada, only the criminals and the police carry handguns.

The Calgary Herald confirmed that Wawra’s letter is not a hoax and was in fact written for real by “a real person.”
Canadians have taken to responding directly to Wawra’s concerns using the Twitter hashtag #NoseHillGentlemen.
“Hey Walt. The 2 men approached you because in #Canada we’re friendly to each other,” wrote one Twitter user. “Think about it: the #NoseHillGentlemen encounter could’ve ended with two dead young men because of a psychotically suspicious gun owner,” wrote another.
For his part, Calgary’s own Charles Bronson remains defiant.
“What concerned me is two young men just approached us and stopped us, stopping us by being in our path, and [began] talking to us without even being welcome to talk to us. They just took it upon themselves to yell at us,” Wawra told CBC News, adding that “he should have the right to protect himself if things had escalated.”
Foulfiendflib and 11 more
Here’s the thing. In Calgary, during Stampede, EVERYONE asks you if you’ve been to Stampede yet. The waiter, your neighbour, the bus driver, the priest, the lady walking her dog, the kids on the playground… It’s like “hello,” “how ya doin'” or “hot enough for you?” If these two men were indeed the first people to have asked that jackhole from Kalamazoo* if they’d been to Stampede, I can only conclude that everyone else realized he was a psychopath and potentially armed.
*Really? That’s so stereotypically perfect that it has to be true.
AlexaAardvark and 6 more
This is why we regard Americans as being so defensive that they come right back around to offensive. We don’t need guns. We just don’t. If someone’s going to mug me or shoot me, kidnap me, whatever reason, it’s going to happen whether or not I like it. I’d much prefer to put the person behind bars than dead on the ground before they’ve even opened their mouth.
Consider the circumstances: It’s the Stampede, people are probably a little drunk, it was a park (let’s face it, the creeps always hang out in parks), and he was an overly protective, jump-to-conclusions kind of guy. Like most gun-toting Americans.

DogIsMyCo-Pilot and 5 more
All I had to read was “I thank the Lord Jesus Christ ” in this guy’s statement. You know exactly the kind of Bible hugging, gun loving idiot he is. He is probably home right now telling everyone about how horrible it was not to be able to shoot somebody who scared him. Later, he will talk with all his friends about all the “Furriners”, Gays and Godless Brown People who shouldn’t have a right to exist in ‘Murica.
littleoleme and 2 more
Jesus. My guess is the two repeated the statement “have you been to the Stampede yet” because you ignored them the first time they asked and they probably thought you didn’t hear them. What no doubt first tripped this gun wacko up was that two strangers were friendly to him and asked a question about a major event taking place in the city. Just what the hell is going on in your country that one of its citizens doesn’t recognize friendly banter and that if he had had his gun he might have shot two innocent people. And this guy was a cop?!
ImRightYoureNot and 7 more
Upon visiting New York City, Mr. Wawra shot to death three campaigners for Amnesty International, six members of Greenpeace, one gentleman offering free comedy shows, and a homeless man.
He told CNN, “They all approached me babbling nonsensically! ‘Stop the torture in Tibet?’ and ‘Save the Rainforest?’ and ‘Spare some change?’ What was I to do?! They were working in gangs!” After some reflection, he added, “Wait, who are you, why are you asking me things like those crazy Canadians?” Shortly after this exchange, Mr. Wawra shot and killed the young CNN reporter and her camera man.
The NRA heralded Mr. Wawra’s trip as a triumph of second amendment rights and expressed gratitude that he was able to survive this horrific ordeal unhurt!
Crown_Jew and 1 more
The extra hilarious thing about this is that Alberta is essentially the Texas of Canada, and yet they still (rightfully) thought this guy was an idiot.
You know who has carry concealed permits in Canada? Essentially no one (exceptions only for people like pols or prosecutors who have been credibly threatened). I believe the figure is like a max of 20 in the whole country at any given time. And that’s how we like it.
revolverx and 1 more
Actually, in that situation, a Canadian uniformed police officer would have NOT pulled out this weapon. He/She would have stepped back to create distance and proceeded to talk to the parties. Pulling a gun out here is mountains of paperwork. Hell, even unlatching the holster is about 3 pages of paper work.

• So – you want to disarm American citizens & leave their protection in the hands of the Police, like officer Wawra……….

• John McHugh says:

No to both.

• If that’s the case then please say what means they will have to defend themselves if you gun prohibitionists get your way.

38. John McHugh says:

N.J. man charged with
taking 28 illegal Pa. deer

Woman says he forced her at gunpoint to drive car while he “hunted.”
BY KATIE SULLIVAN
STAFF WRITER
A New Jersey man accused of forcing a woman at gun-point to drive him around while he shot almost 30 deer illegally was brought back to Wayne County to face charges this week, the Wayne County District Attorney said.
Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said Mark Jarema, 38, of Leesburg, N.J., forced a female companion at gun-point to drive while he shot deer in Clinton and Mount Pleasant townships with a .30-06 rifle Oct. 23, 2010. He is also accused of using the woman’s head as a gun rest to steady the weapon.
Mr. Jarema processed the dead deer at the woman’s home, then transported the meat to New Jersey, where he sold it to two restaurants, the district attorney’s office said.
He was Charged with aggravated as,:ult, two counts of person not to possess a firearm, 28 counts of unlawful killing of big game,false imprisonment, terroristic threats and carrying a loaded rifle in a vehicle.
The charges were filed in October, according to court records. There was no information Thursday about why there was a two-year delay in filing those charges.
Mr. Jarema was arraigned Monday and is slated for a preliminary hearing Wednsday. He was taken to the Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of \$50,000 bail.

• John McHugh says:

You are right-there is no point. He was just another American exercising his God given unalienable right to cause mayhem and terrorism on the rest of us.
Here is another article from the news today in the U.S.
A world class sniper is murdered holding a loaded gun at a firing range. If his gun could not protect him how likely is it that someone with immensely less gun skill is going stop a lunatic with an AR-15 before he murders twenty or more children?

‘American Sniper’ Author Shot and Killed in Texas
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

GLEN ROSE, Texas — A former Navy SEAL and the author of “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle, was shot and killed along with another man Saturday at a Texas gun range, a county sheriff has told the Texas news media.
Chris Kyle at his home in Dallas in March 2012.
The sheriff of Erath County, Tommy Bryant, said Mr. Kyle, 38, and a second man were found dead at Rough Creek Lodge’s shooting range west of Glen Rose, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Stephenville Empire-Tribune. Glen Rose is about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Mr. Kyle wrote the best-selling book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” detailing his 150-plus kills of insurgents from 1999 to 2009.
Mr. Bryant did not immediately return phone calls to The Associated Press seeking comment. A woman who answered the phone at the lodge where the shooting occurred declined to comment and referred calls to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators did not immediately release the name of the second victim, according to the newspapers.
Witnesses told sheriff’s investigators that a gunman opened fire on the men around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, then fled in a pickup truck belonging to one of the victims, according to The Star-Telegram. The newspapers said a 25-year-old man was later taken into custody in Lancaster, southeast of Dallas, and that charges were expected.
Lancaster police did not immediately return calls for comment.
The motive for the shooting was unclear.
Mr. Kyle was sued by the former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, over a portion of the book that claims Mr. Kyle punched Mr. Ventura in a 2006 bar fight over unpatriotic remarks. Mr. Ventura says the punch never happened and that the claim by Kyle defamed him.
Mr. Kyle had asked that Ventura’s claims of invasion of privacy and “unjust enrichment” be dismissed, saying there was no legal basis for them. But a federal judge said the lawsuit should proceed. Both sides were told to be ready for trial by Aug. 1.

• You’re sick.
Trying to use this tragedy to promote your anti gun agenda is almost as low as Obama using kids to promote his.
Just go away, you sad little man.

39. John McHugh says:

Mike the Limey: Absolutely no one, not Obama nor even Diane Feinstein, nor I am advocating that people not have the right to keep a gun for self defense. There are people who been saved or saved lives because they have had a a gun available. Most gun self defense stories are self reported with no verification possible. People who claim to have shot at someone in self defense certainly have a tremendous motive to claim self defense. The number of people reporting such incidences is wildly exaggerated. Read Hemenway and his sources. I REPEAT: NO ONE IS ASKING ANYONE TO GIVE UP OR NOT OWN A GUN THAT IS REASONABLE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF SELF DEFENSE.
Have you learned anything from me yet Mike????

• Matt in FL says:

Who defines reasonable and responsible? You? Me? Dianne Feinstein? Michael Bloomberg?

• John McHugh says:

An AR-15 or other military style is not reasonable for self defense-as a majority of gun owners will tell you. Creating an exact definition of anything is always a problem when creating a law. We need a reasonable definition that will make some people unhappy on both sides of the spectrum. Doing nothing because of the difficulty of defining the terms of is not an excuse for doing nothing.

• Matt in FL says:

Oh, OK. That’s what we’re doing. Generalized statements without basis in reality. There were three separate ones in your first sentence — a rare feat. I’d detail them, but I just don’t care enough to argue with you tonight. I’m curious how the first half of the first sentence would fly with people, some of whom have been detailed on this very site, who have recently actually defended themselves or others with AR-15s while you were making your blanket observations from the warmth of your Snuggie.

• Straight off I can think of one gun store owner & one citizen who are both grateful they had an AR-15 to hand for both firepower & magazine capacity.
Tell them they should be happy with seven rounds to face the kind of threat they did, as neither would have made it with the kind of restrictions you & your ilk desire.

• Don says:

An AR15 is much more appropriate for home defense than most any other option. The light weight high speed bullets, have far less penetration ability through walls and building materials than the much larger albeit slower moving handgun bullets and shotgun pellets. This minimizes the potential for collateral damage greatly while at the same time providing great stopping power on soft targets. With the use of hollow point or frangible ammo, this inherent property for low unintended penetration increases.

Consider for an example, your basic home defense shotgun. It holds about 5 shells, and each shell has in it about nine 0.33 caliber pellets. For each shot you are putting 9 un-aimed projectiles out into the world, AND the shooter must manage the recoil of doing so. This means that the basic shotgun has the firepower to put 45 0.33 caliber projectiles out into the world in a few seconds. The AR15 only has the ability to put 30 .22 caliber projectiles into the world in about 6x the number of seconds than it takes to empty a shotgun. Each one of these projectiles can be aimed however, you don’t have to shoot 9 at once. Therefore you have much greater ability to both control and restrain your application of force with a home defense AR15 than you do with a home defense shotgun. The AR15 allows you to apply “appropriate force” in home defense and minimizes the potential for collateral damage. The shotgun is all or nothing and unwieldy.

• “”not Obama nor even Diane Feinstein, nor I am advocating that people not have the right to keep a gun for self defense.””

There is a recording of Feinstein saying just that & Obama is on record saying handguns should be banned.

There are DGU’s reported in the media on a daily basis including any legal proceedings.

If you make false assertions about these things, then what other falsehoods are you prepared to utter to further your agenda?

• John McHugh says:

Nonsense! It does not exist.

• http://youtu.be/blXkl9YVoHo

I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
— Mendell, David, “From Promise to Power” (2007), p. 251.
I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.
— Pittsburg Tribune-Review (April 2, 2008).
[Obama] backed federal legislation that would ban citizens from carrying weapons, except for law enforcement. He cited Texas as an example of a place where a law allowing people to carry weapons has “malfunctioned” because hundreds of people granted licenses had prior convictions.
“National legislation will prevent other states’ flawed concealed-weapons laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents,” Obama said.
http://www.icadp.org/page236.html (Citing David Mendel, Chicago Tribune, February 20, 2004)

Voted in 2005 to classify all Full Metal Jacket ammo in the following calibers as armor-piercing (since they are capable both of being fired from a handgun and of penetrating Kevlar bullet-resistant vests):

223 Remington
308 Winchester
Soviet 7.62×39
Source: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00217

40. John McHugh says:

Great research Mike. Thanks for taking the time. I will respond.

41. John McHugh says:

No one said it is useless. There are times and places when a gun might stop a tragedy from occurring. But that is not the answer to the insanity of gun violence in this country. Putting more guns in the hands of more people is only going to make the slaughter worse. Our prisons are full. The specialist in the mental health field say it is not the mentally ill who are causing the great majority of gun deaths. Maybe you are right-there is nothing to be done. We must accept the extraordinary and barbaric level of gun violence as just part of our great American society. Maybe we should place a monument on the Washington Mall for the kids in Newton who gave their lives so that gun loving Americans can buy all the guns and ammo that God Almighty decreed they should have. Forget back ground checks at gun shows. Forget bans on assault weapons. Forget limited ammo clips. What the hell are thirty-three thousand dead Americans by guns a year anyway-we have over three-hundred million more people left alive. Too many people in the world anyway-especially those with darker skins. Go ahead shoot em’ up cowboy!

• “Putting more guns in the hands of more people is only going to make the slaughter worse.”

If that were the case, how come firearms homicide numbers have fallen significantly in the face of a huge increase in firearms availability & a significant growth in population?

• JustAJ says:

I’m sorry, but until you and others like you stop using the term “gun violence” I do not believe that we can reach a concensus. “Gun violence” is a made up term, just like “assault weapon” and only serves to demonize the tools used in violent crime where the perpetrator uses a gun. A robbery becomes a “gun crime” cause the robber uses a gun. Sorry, but it’s still just a robbery, and no more or less of a crime because someone used a gun.

I won’t bother refuting the remainder of your “points” since there are numerous resources readily available that do so far more eloquently.