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“Guns carried in public by private citizens—open or concealed—threaten public and private safety.” – Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director, Violence Policy Center [via]

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  1. “This is so insane as to which my brain cannot accept the information” – Ted Nugent

    Are you kiddin’ me?!

  2. *flame suit on*
    Within the context of the article/debate you posted? No, they don’t. Just a total ban on carrying outside the home.
    *flame suit off*

    In the context of the broader gun control agenda? Hmm, let me go ask Feinstein & McCarthy.


  3. Sounds like they want to disarm us to me. Honestly all you need to do is show statistics from Israel and Switzerland to shut them up!
    This is fear and lack of understanding talking.

  4. Does anyone outside the media actually care about Josh Sugarmann? He’s been around for 20+ years and in that time period he has successfully led his organization so far into the ground that South African gold miners say, “Day-ummm.”

    I say we let Sugarmann keep talking. All he does is help our side, along with Feinstein and McCarthy and everyone at VPC. If they ever found a moderate, reasonable person to speak for them a) it would be a first, and b) they might actually make progress. As long as it’s the True Believers spouting their spiel, we’re A-OK.

  5. Josh Sugarmann and the Violence Policy Center claim that conceal carriers have killed 402 people since 2007. That works out to an average of about 80 per year. Since there’s roughly 7,167,214 concealed carriers in the US that works out to an annual rate of 1.1 per 100,000.

    For 2007 – 2010 (the years I could find) the FBI’s Crime in the United States report shows the following national murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rates:
    2007: 5.7
    2008: 5.4
    2009: 5.0
    2010: 4.8

    So, couple things. First, if the average citizen were as “dangerous” as your average concealed carrier, there’d be about a quarter the killing in this country. Second, current trends would have to continue until 2022 for the rest of the population to get to our level of peacefulness.

    • Still, I don’t think those numbers prove the argument very well. Many of those murders are done with guns. In countries where all the guns are registered, the murder rates tend to be lower. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, a murder rate of 4.8 is terrible. It means we are only about half as safe as Lebanon.

      • So we are a violent country. It does show a correlation between the increasing number of concealed carriers with respect to a decreasing trend in manslaughter. As an aside, many countries such as Lebanon don’t report the government sponsored deaths.

        • I just think we need to be careful with murder stats. The “spike” in murders in the UK was from 1.2 to just under 1.3. After a few “confiscations” in Italy, the murder rate stayed steady at 0.9.

          America is not just violent, we are amazingly violent. When we look at the statistics, I don’t think there is any way to argue that easy availability of handguns has made us less violent.

        • As the decreasing violent crime trend continues and record sales of handguns in particular trend upward; it is my opinion that the relationship of unregistered lawful firearms ownership is either irrelevant to the violent crime rate OR has a positive effect on reducing it. Again, it’s only my opinion.

          Look at the record sales of handguns and follow the decreasing trend in violent crime.

      • Funny, how when their strict gun bans were implemented, we see no change in their murder rates.

        Hence no proof of causality that restricting and controlling firearms by any useless regsitration ka ka for law abiding citizens works.

        Not to mention this annoyingly pertinent “Haynes vs US 390, 85 1968”! You know, the US Supreme Court ruling felons dont have to obey ANY law requiring them to violate their 5th amendment right of NO SELF INCRIMINATION, EVER.

        Man, over 85% of the 20,000 existing gun control laws require you to identify yourself, hence they dont apply to felons.

        Then of course with all those registration schemes, we have yet to see ANY crimes prevented or solved, otherwise, we would NEVER see any registration schemes eliminated, but New Zealand, Canada long gun registry part of a $2 billion plus tax payer cost and less than 55% compliance, and low and behold, CoBIS a NJ, MD, NY state 11 year experiment that cost tax payers $44 million plus to prove, yep, the two firearms traced were stolen, scratched from the state budgets this year.

        Yet our USDOJ National Gang Threat annual assessment report along with CDC Death Data shows over 92% of all killings where a firearm was illegally used were committed by career criminals/gang members and suiciders (thats a felony so they are criminals also).

        You really should get a clue before making such statements as yours on gun savvy blogs as we dont care what you believe, only what you can prove, and you have no ACTUAL proof gun registration saves lives or prevents violence, no matter how you spin ANYTHING.

      • Dave, I looked up the stats to provide context for the number the VPC tosses out there acting like it means something it doesn’t.

        Take a look at the report I linked to. It pretty well refutes the hypothesis that more guns = more killing. It goes back to 1991, which corresponds pretty well with the start of the trend toward shall issue. Over that time period, the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate fell steadily. It’s now about half of what it used to be.

        Even worse for that hypothesis, you can look at the places with tight gun regulation and loose gun regulation and see what the effects are. It’s extremely difficult to get a gun legally in Washington, DC and impossible to get a concealed carry permit, as far as I know. It’s really easy to get a gun in Seattle and trivial to get a CPL. The murder rate in DC is 21.9. Seattle’s is 3.1.

        • You think guns are what led to the decrease in murder rate? Not the decline of the crack epidemic? I think you are just looking at a small portion of the picture that agrees with your argument.

          Comparing Washington to Seattle, of course, the numbers could be related to guns, or they could be related to the poverty rate, the level of gang activity, the level of drug use, or the easy availability of illegal guns. It is not hard to buy an unregistered gun in Washington DC if you have a car, a bicycle, or a bus ticket. If you are willing to register it, then you don’t even need a car. Washington DC gun laws are hardly extreme, and are rarely enforced except against gangs or drug dealers.

          And when the gun laws are enforced against gangs, it has always led to decreases in violent crime.

          There are people here who have argued that it is unfair of me to compare Italy and Spain to the U.S., but they are perfectly willing to compare Washington DC to Seattle.

          I think my analogy is better in at least two ways. First, it is a lot tougher to get an unregistered gun in Italy than in New York, and second, there was not a massive crack epidemic in Spain in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

          I am OK with people supporting the right to own unregistered guns. It is a free country, believe what you want.

          But it is not fair to keep quoting a single statistic and ignore all the other ones.

        • Your reading comprehension isn’t great, is it Dave? I never claimed the drop in the murder rate was related to the increase in guns. I said that the massive increase in legal gun availability and the legal right to carry during a huge drop in the rate of intentional homicides is a strong refutation of the idea that allowing people to carry guns will lead to more killing.

          The comparison of Washington and Seattle is to further develop the point that allowing people easily legally access guns and carry them in public will somehow cause death and mayhem. If that were the case, then Seattle should have a much higher intentional homicide rate than it does, and Washington should have a much lower rate.

          To spell it out even more basically, the easy availability of legal guns, and the ease with which law abiding citizens can carry them in public does not positively correlate with homicide rates. The VPC and other gun control organizations argue that it does, and wish to restrict or otherwise burden a constitutionally protected right on that basis. That’s what the statistics were about.

          Now, as for your other points. DC gun laws aren’t extreme? Then why did it take a Supreme Court case to get them to them to start issues permits to allow functional weapons in the home? Why is it that a suit is pending for the right to carry a weapon?

          And you don’t see why it might there might be objections to comparing the US to nations with different cultures that are 1/5 or 1/6 the size of the US, but not similarly sized cities (about 600K) in the US?

  6. His story is the epitome of the EXACT reason this site always advocates home carry. Sugarman basically calls her an idiot because she open carried to soccer games. Then found it “ironic” that she was murdered in her own home while she DIDN’T have her gun.

    I try to stay calm on this forum, but this guy can go FLAME DELETED himself. What a total prick.

    *I policed myself on that one*

  7. You know what I just noticed? The arguments on the site are ranked by the numbers of positive vs negative votes they received and on each of the gun and self defense questions, it’s a straight run of pro-gun or pro-self defense responses at the top and anti at the bottom. And it’s not close either.

  8. This guy has no clue. In every city in the USA where they have tried this, when you take guns away from the lawful only the criminals have guns. Chicago comes to mind. In cities with high concealed carry permits crime is low. we do not live in an utopian world where there is no crime and everyone is equal. The criminals will be armed why not the rest of us?

  9. I generally support registration laws. From what I have seen, countries with strong registration laws tend to be safer. So basically, yes, I am in the “gun control” camp by your definition, but Sugarmann does not speak for me.

    Does Ted Nugent speak for you?

    • So what about places such as GBR? Registration, then confiscation. AUS, again registration followed by “buy back” (confiscation). Not only have they experienced a spike in crime, but they all had and still have registration schemes. Many of the countries with registration schemes also have a population that is magnitudes smaller than the US. Coupled with culture and education, it’s comparing apples to oranges.

      • The point is that they changed their culture by restricting gun ownership. Instead of preaching that sudden deadly violence is the solution to every problem, they started a culture where it is much harder to shoot someone.

        The fact that their murder rate was already low does not invalidate the argument. In fact, it supports it.

        • Yet I would be much more likely to be assaulted, battered, raped, or stabbed walking the streets of London than just about anywhere in the US.


          You know, you write and argue inane and irrelevent beliefs as facts just like MikeB.

          You know, the felon expat who now lives in Italy and provides this blog with endless amusement and fodder for articles with insane comments, just like your failure of proof as to why murder rates were lower in England versus here.

          Oh wait, does England have MS13, Zetas, Sinoloa drug cartels, etc, etc, etc, etc? Oh they do not, we do and they are violent, not to mention even the police acknowledge who does most of the shooting, yeah, bad guys on bad guys.

          Shall we review police studies in Chicago and NYC where between 76-80% of those involved in shootings, both shooter and injured were both involved in criminal activity at the time of the incident.


          More police firearm discharge studies since then, care to review and prove they have changed dramattically, good luck with that, but please warn us when you have such data to prove those changes, we will need to dress warm for hell freezing over.

        • One other thing einstein, Englands murder rate was ALWAYS LOW even before the communists took the law abiding citizens fireams from them, and their government HOME OFFICE UK / CRIME AND STATISTICS DATABASE shows this as in 1898 they had 328 murders with a population of 29 million, a rate of 1.13 murders per 100k people.

          Funny, all those strict gun control laws since then, and the murder rate has gone up,

          So much for less guns in law abiding citizens hands means more violence.

        • I think I mentioned in my last post that their murder rate was already lower than ours. Repeating my statement doesn’t really disprove it.

          The point I was making is that restricting ownership of unregistered guns is one of the kinds of things that less violent cultures do.

          I am not trying to disarm responsible gun owners, I just haven’t heard any good arguments that there should be more unregistered guns.

          Comparing me to MikeB is also an odd argument. Does that automatically make me wrong? MikeB doesn’t speak for me any more than J Sugarmann does.

          You have at least one good argument on your side: Disarming honest citizens automatically makes them helpless against criminals. In America, we have the right to stand up against being disarmed.

          But the statistics you are quoting don’t come anywhere near proving the point. America has gradually stepped up law enforcement against gang activity in general and crack sales in particular. A huge portion of the progress we have made against violent crime seems to be related to police activity. For you to make the argument that it is all about easy availability of handguns is not just hard to prove, it is impossible to prove. Because it isn’t true.

          When you are talking about basic human rights, you are correct, but when you are talking about statistics, you are drawing some pretty weak conclusions.

          So does that make you wrong or right? On balance, I would say that calling someone “einstein” before making a sarcastic and unrelated argument is not making the rest of your post more convincing.

        • South Africa is yet another example of a country with stringent registration, and their intentional homicide rate is 32 per 100,000, or nearly seven times what what it is in the US.

          You haven’t provided any good arguments for why registration would help at all. Registration schemes only serve to harass law abiding gun owners and are completely ignored by the criminal element. Your “solution” solves nothing.

        • Uh where did I say that easy availability of guns was the root cause of crime reduction, uh NOWHERE.

          You made that inference all on your own.

          Then again, kinda hard to ignore all those justifiable shootings. You realize the reduction in carjackings in Michigan in the 3-4 years after concealed carry became shall issue? Its called the DARWIN AWARDS, there are still a few stupid criminals left, but most were smart enough not to take the chance of getting shot nowadays and quit carjacking.

          By the way, can a criminal killed by an intended victim ever commit another crime, nope.

          Criminals who are willing to use violence are not gentelle or civilized, and only understand one thing to make them desist from their violent act, equal or greater violence as it has been proven police dont deter jack squat.

          Then again, all we did was show how useless and pitiful the government was at enforcing the existing laws, and how poorly the police protected the individual citizen.

          We have tried it your way for the last 4 decades, it didnt work.

          So until the government actually enforces the existing laws, eliminates hunger, poverty, one family homes, entitlement programs, illicit drugs and all those other lovely tendencies humans have, we will choose to be prepared.

          Or is being prepared for the worst case scenario insane such that you can prove you have no life, home, car, or medical insurance right?

          One thing you really should understand, WE DONT GIVE A HOOT WHAT YOU BELIEVE, ONLY THAT WHICH YOU CAN PROVE, which so far is nothing.

          You can not definitively point to ANY SINGLE COUNTRY whose strict gun control of the law abiding citizens affected the violent crime rate.

          Would you prefer some derogatory curse word describing a definitive lack of grey matter rather than EINSTEIN? No? Didnt think so.

          MikeB never uses real data, only beliefs and emotions, the same way you are arguing this point of discussion. Yet he keeps repeating those same inane beliefs as if doing so will make them true to people who rely on both facts and emotions to make a decision.

          If you dont like that comparison, then get some real GOVERNMENT data that shows defined change from before the bans to after the bans to prove your position rather than a lame arsed one point in time apples to oranges comparison that is the trend of the data inept.

          Then what with police budgets being constantly slashed over the last decade, police numbers not going up, but down, 91.94% of all violent crimes committed on an average year not being solved to prosecution, the age and pool of criminals being depleted by their aging as baby boomers, the burn out and death of said crack heads running its course, and the most violent ending up in prisons, which are at an all time population level, and so many other factors, please spare everyone any fantasy belief that violence is under control due in large part to police becoming more effective.

          Then again, you really are barking up the wrong tree here as you are trying to convince a person who saved his mother from a violent felon with a defensive gun use that your right, and that WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    • “From what I have seen, countries with strong registration laws tend to be safer.”
      El Salvador

      What do they all have in common? They all have gun registration programs, and they all have a murder rate that is ten times that of the United States. Safer? Not so much…

      • I’ll add in Brazil. They legislated gun rights out of existence in 2003 and since then gun crime has only gone up. The criminals have no problems getting guns, of course, and now that the citizenry in general is disarmed they’re bolder than ever.

        Stripping the average person of the most convenient and effective tool for self defense in an already violent country is a recipe for disaster. There are things that can be done to discourage violence in society generally, such as promoting rule of law, not having prohibitions that create black markets, and various other measures, and I think they should be done. But disarmament isn’t one of those things and only serves to open the way those who don’t respect boundaries to take advantage of those who do.

        • Not quite right. Brazil has the second largest arms industry in the hemisphere. Millions of guns are sold to neighboring countries and smuggled back into Brazil.

          Guns are easy to register (you can pay the tzx by internet), but almost impossible to carry legally. Still, there are numerous armed militias, and about 35,000 gun deaths per year.

          Considering the massive number of guns easily available anywhere in Brazil, I am not sure you can make a good argument that the real problem there is too few guns.

        • No, pay attention: the problem is too few gun rights. The average citizen has to deal with dozens and dozens of regulations. There are caliber restrictions. Carry outside the home is essentially illegal. The law-abiding person on the street goes out unprotected, but the criminal can be armed to the teeth. Tightening regulations would only push this imbalance further in the wrong direction.

      • You are blaming the gun laws in Honduras for their murder rate? Up until 2007, you could walk down the street in Honduras with a handgun and a rifle, and not be breaking the law at all. They only changed the law in 2007 because they had the highest murder rate in the world. (They didn’t even ban machine guns until 2003.)

        El Salvador? They also held a vote in 2007 as to whether they should actually have a gun law. The 2007 vote was prompted by the “gun free town” project, where San Martin reduced the murder rate by 40% in a single year.

        Venezuela? They also adopted a gun control policy in response to the high murder rate. In 2006, they started a tax on bullets, and started arresting people who were smuggling guns into the country. Restrictive? You can still carry a gun in plain sight, as long as you paid for a license.

        Guatemala only passed a law in 2009 to limit people to three guns each instead of the previous 12.

        These are your examples of failed gun registration programs? It seems to me like these are countries that are giving registration a try because nothing else worked.

        In each of the cases you listed, I think the population supports Sugarmann’s argument more than yours. In each case, the citizens and the government enacted the restrictions because of the perception that guns carried in public by private citizens—open or concealed— were threatening public and private safety more than protecting it.

        They are barking up the wrong tree, of course. It is the drug business that is killing people, not the guns. (It is like getting bitten twice by the same dog, and blaming the dog instead of the owner.)

        If I were living in Honduras, though, I might want more control too.

  10. If we are to evaluate the idea that gun registration is a wise policy directive,we have to see what the outcome is.When looking at districts and territories with gun and/or owner registration,the crime stats are no different or worse compared to unregulated areas.As a crime reduction tool,gun registration does nothing.

    As a means of identifying who to tax and which guns to seize when the order goes out to *collect arms*,however,a registry can be very useful.

    • Even when there is no confiscation, the costs are beyond prohibitive and really again punish no one except the law abiding. Just look at Canada.

  11. Some do. Some don’t. The more extreme the more they want to ban all guns. Some want to ban all handguns and others ban all semis. Some are ok with hunting guns only and others want to ban just hunting guns. It is all a long-term slippery slope for us to avoid.

  12. It is sad that political affiliation can often be inferred from comments like these. He doesn’t want civilians to be armed. He has no problem with police officers being armed, though. Even though some are more trigger-happy than others, there is no process through which those officers are given training to cut down on their wont for trigger action. But it’s okay: They’re representatives of the government. The government knows what’s best for you, even when they don’t. So it’s okay if they’re more irresponsible than the average gun-toting citizen.

  13. Gun control advocates threaten public and private safety. Period. Not only do they threaten all of our lives and the lives of our loved ones with their advocations, but they desire the negation of human rights. Which is why I view them as an enemy every inch as great if not greater than the criminals who murder and rape. Been trying to get people around here to see that for some time, and to stop coddling antis with their “nice war” tactics.

    • People advocating for gun control are accomplices to criminals. Let’s say a neighbor was adamant that locked doors are dangerous: in the event of a fire our children, in a panic, might be unable to unlock the door and die of smoke inhalation. So the neighbor comes over and removes all the locks from my doors against my will … and threatens to have the police arrest me and child protective services take my children away if I reinstall the locks. The next day, a criminal happens by and, since the house isn’t locked, helps himself inside and rapes my daughter. How is my neighbor not an accomplice to the rapist at that point? How am I not responsible for going along with such an irresponsible course of action?

      The trouble is that we have been conditioned to be nice — even to people who are out to harm us. For example a local school district recently told the students that the school would expel them if they defended themselves from another student who attacked them. And we had the example in 2010 I believe in Wisconsin of a woman who legally carried a handgun openly to a church only to have the local police show up, approach her at gunpoint, handcuff her, arrest her, take her handgun away, and then drive her to jail. Or we have local universities with “absolutely no guns” rules under threat of arrest even though such rules violate our state and federal constitutions. My solution? We the people should show up in overwhelming numbers to demand justice and the repeal of such immoral policies and actions. Imagine if 10,000 armed citizens — with openly holstered handguns and signs demanding that the State respect our rights — converged on the local university or police station that illegally arrested a citizen who was armed? It isn’t possible to arrest and process 10,000 citizens — much less go through trials for all of them. That would force the lamestream media to broadcast the message of our armed citizenry. And it would send a strong message to our elected representatives.

      The sad reality is that most people are too selfish, however, to actually do anything. Unless “we the people” will commit the time and effort — even taking personal or vacation days from work if necessary — little if anything will change.

      • I think the argument you are making is that people who want to register handguns are taking away your only defense against bad guys. If I made an argument that weak, in favor of gun control, you would destroy the argument.

        For example, if I said the NRA was an accomplice in every murder that was committed with a legally-obtained handgun, you would immediately see the problem with my argument.

        Yet you just made the exact same argument.

        • The first thing I’d say is that the NRA doesn’t force people to own guns and advocates safe and legal ownership, whereas a gun ban forces everyone to follow unsupported and destructive policy, leaving no individual choice. The NRA didn’t put the gun in the hand of the criminal, but the gun-grabbers did take away the victim’s chance for defense.

          There’s more to it, and I recognize that that argument can use more thought and work, but I unfortunately don’t have the time at the moment. Your response about how the antis might react is food for thought.

  14. “Guns carried in public by private citizens—open or concealed—threaten public and private safety.”

    Um… Prove it.
    The linked article has 6 paragraphs and not a single argument supporting his initial claim. He opens with the above statement and immediately goes on to talk about something entirely different. Correct me if I’m wrong but, isn’t this the definition of the Chewbacca Defense or Red Herring?


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