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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Had to happen, didn't it. (Page 6)

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Author Topic: Had to happen, didn't it.
Jutsa Notha Name
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FlyingCow: thanks, I appreciate the elaboration.

I will look into it for my own edification, since that could certainly be an example that meets my request. I am skeptical only because Texas has also had increased punishment for crimes over the same time period, especially after GW Bush became governor in 1994 (I think. I wasn't there).

Your comment about The Club is a good one. Car alarms are an example I would respond with, since the introduction of car alarms has begun to now see more methods of bypassing the alarms, up to and including waiting until a person unlocks their door before approaching them with a weapon. We could go back and forth with different scenarios and outcomes, but the point is that criminals are adjusting, have adjusted in the past, and will continue to adjust in the future.

quote:
While the argument was made that such evaluation takes rational thought, so does premeditated mass homicide, to a degree. Cho seemed to have chosen his location carefully.
Carefully? That was where he went to school and spent a large portion of the last couple years of his life. That sounds less like a carefully chosen location and more like an obvious one.
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FlyingCow
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Justa, the Kennesaw example might also serve as an example of it not being a visible deterrent - what I mean is, shortly after the law, burglars may have avoided the town. Years later, with the publicity having died down, how many would even know that those residents all had handguns in the house?

As an anecdotal aside, I lived with a guy in the Buckhead area of Atlanta who told me that he had his home burglarized several times - and he was a gun owner who had more than a couple firearms in the house. He then put a sign on each door and the first floor windows that said: "I am a gun owner and will shoot trespassers" over a picture of a handgun. It had been five years, and there had not been a single break-in.

I don't think it was the gun in the house itself, so much as that sign. I'm sure the sign would have worked fine without him even ownin ga gun. Just like you can put The Club on your steering wheel and not lock it - the only thief who's going to find that out is one who doesn't care about the Club in the first place.

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FlyingCow
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What I meant about the carefully chosen location was that particular engineering building, with chains on the doors, etc. He'd been planning the assualt for 5-6 days, based on the dating on the computer files he used to create his manifesto.

Would he have chosen the campus police station instead of the engineering building? Or even a ROTC building?

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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Justa, the Kennesaw example might also serve as an example of it not being a visible deterrent - what I mean is, shortly after the law, burglars may have avoided the town. Years later, with the publicity having died down, how many would even know that those residents all had handguns in the house?

As an anecdotal aside, I lived with a guy in the Buckhead area of Atlanta who told me that he had his home burglarized several times - and he was a gun owner who had more than a couple firearms in the house. He then put a sign on each door and the first floor windows that said: "I am a gun owner and will shoot trespassers" over a picture of a handgun. It had been five years, and there had not been a single break-in.

I don't think it was the gun in the house itself, so much as that sign. I'm sure the sign would have worked fine without him even ownin ga gun. Just like you can put The Club on your steering wheel and not lock it - the only thief who's going to find that out is one who doesn't care about the Club in the first place.

Look at the numbers in Kennesaw. They are not significant. There was a drop, yes, but not by more than a quarter to a third at best (at worst, even less). What I am pointing out is that while it may have seemed like a dramatic change, the actual change was not as remarkable. As an argument for deterring crime, the Kennesaw example is no better than many other anti-crime tactics. Even a simple change like increased patrols can yield those kinds of results.

quote:
What I meant about the carefully chosen location was that particular engineering building, with chains on the doors, etc. He'd been planning the assualt for 5-6 days, based on the dating on the computer files he used to create his manifesto.

Would he have chosen the campus police station instead of the engineering building? Or even a ROTC building?

I honestly think you are giving the man a bit too much credit. I doubt the engineering building is the only one that has chains. I will agree that someone with crime in mind will avoid places like police stations, but an ROTC building? What is the significance of that? Wouldn't any weapons in the building, even assuming there are any, be locked up or not loaded? I've never heard of ROTC programs on campuses outside of military campuses that store any amount of ordinance or live ammunition. If he wanted easier targets he didn't have to chase, why not go to a media center or the lunch area, with a more wide open space? I don't think his decision was one that was planned out with tactical efficiency in mind. If his writings are anything to draw from, he was not prone to highly complex thinking. Obsessive, yes, but not complex.
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FlyingCow
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I mentioned ROTC because of the training, discipline of those in the program - not the availability of weapons. As an assailant, I'd have to assume that it's seemingly easier to attack those that have not been trained militarily.

A cafeteria, media center, classroom, etc, is likely to have the same risk level to an assailant. A police station would obviously have a lot higher risk level. I'd say an ROTC building would have a slightly higher risk level of victims resisting, which is why I'd assume even an irrational assailant would avoid it.

It's perception, I think, more than anything. If a victim is believed to be more risky, I would assume they would be passed up for a less risky victim - whether or not there was any actual increased risk.

As for a temporary 25%-33% drop in crime rate in Kennasaw, I'd say that's pretty significant.

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Boris
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You know, there are other reasons for an English Major to shoot up an Engineering building. Having been in both disciplines, I've seen a little bit of low level animosity between the departments.
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
It's perception, I think, more than anything. If a victim is believed to be more risky, I would assume they would be passed up for a less risky victim - whether or not there was any actual increased risk.

This is true, and is a fairly common paradigm of security. There are ways other than actually being armed to carry one's self as more risky, though. This is a concept taught in basic civilian self defense classes.

quote:
As for a temporary 25%-33% drop in crime rate in Kennasaw, I'd say that's pretty significant.
I can see how it can seem pretty significant, until you've heard sales pitches from security systems companies. [Smile] I have actually heard it claimed that motion activated floodlights alone can provide up to 20% deterrence. Full home systems including lights, alarms, and a direct monitoring system have had claims of 80-90% deterrence. Sales people have loads of (obviously biased) statistics to correspond with their claims. However, neighborhood watch groups have had better success and for longer than the rate in Kennesaw. [Smile] I promise I'm not making that up, but I could provide numbers if you are incredulous.
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FlyingCow
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So, what do you get when you add in Kennesaw's efforts, plus a neighborhood watch, plus floodlights and alarms and whatnot?

If I was a burglar, and I knew that the houses in that neighborhood were equipped with flood lights and alarms, the area was watched by the neighborhood watch, and that all the residents had easy access to a firearm? I think I would try the next town over.

Of course, all of this could be in place, but if the burglar doesn't *know* about any of it, it won't really matter.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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But I see no arguments about using multiple methods to reduce crime, especially with regard to debates about using guns as a defensive weapon against criminals. I agree that a multi tiered approach is more effective, and as I already pointed out there is data that shows it being more effective than just guns. In almost every debate I have ever seen regarding firearms, and in every debate regarding firearms as a defense, that is not the argument being made. Perhaps that is some unsaid inference for a portion of the individuals making the case for guns as a defensive weapon, but it is never said.

Perhaps that is because such debates involve pro and anti gun folks debating the overlying issue of whether ownership should be allowed. Since I am in full agreement that the right should exist, that isn't any part of what I've been saying. If nothing else, I have been asserting that owning firearms with the motive of defense is dangerous and a poor precedent. I have asserted that firearms as defense are not as effective as other methods. I have asserted that, in situations like the Virginia Tech shootings, firearms in other civilian hands would have complicated the scenario from a law enforcement perspective, and that it is just as likely more could have died as it is likely that less could have died. Civilians, even concealed carry licensed civilians, just do not get the amount of training law enforcement gets. Often, security companies require more training than is required of civilians (though this is not absolute). The training involved in dealing with many criminal elements goes beyond being capable of handling, aiming, and squeezing, and for this reason the average citizen is not equipped to deal with such high stress situations.

This is not true for every case. There are certainly citizens who can fix their cars as well as a trained mechanic. There are certainly citizens who could design their homes or work buildings as well as a licensed architectural engineer. There are certainly citizens who could face a burglary or hostage situation with the ability to maintain a level of control and calm. I am saying these citizens are not always the average, and expecting them to be ignores the depth of training and responsibility that goes into the jobs of those who do it professionally, and sets the average person up in a scenario where they could be more threatened. A firearm alone does not equip someone with the capability to deter criminals except in the most superficial manner.

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FlyingCow
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Not sure what you're arguing about in the first paragraph. I never said you argued against multiple methods. You have, from as far as I understand, argued against having a gun in the home for purposes of defense.

Or do I have that wrong?

You do seem to be against having armed, defensive-minded citizens - claiming it is dangerous. Now it seems you've taken a turn at argument based on assumption that you were trying to keep out of this discussion. Do you have the evidence of situations where civilian use of a firearm in such a situation resulted in more casualties - or is that based simply on your belief that it would complicate a situation? (Appalachian State showed an example where armed civilians had a positive effect, as did the 1966 U of Texas sniper incident, and others listed in articles linked earlier in this thread)

I am curious as to your position though. You are pro-gun ownership, but not for the reason of defense. So, is your argument based on the belief that people should have the right to own guns for sport and display only?

You are right that a firearm alone does not automatically make a person a prime deterrent to crime. However, in a situation when there is a gunman, who is a more effective deterrent - the person able to shoot back and stop him (or make him flee), or the person who has no recourse but to hope to get out of his line of fire?

It's like the saying "God created men. Colonel Colt made them equal." Or the line from the Untouchables about not bringing a knife to a gun fight. I understand your fear of escalation, but I don't expect many criminals to be riding around in Panzer tanks, or toting chain fed machineguns. In a situation with an armed gunman, the only people capable of determent are armed people - and in lieu of immediate police intervention, that leaves the citizenry.

Militias were meant to keep the peace, after all, no? Why not have a well regulated militia of "civilian marshalls" who are allowed to carry firearms so that they can respond in a time of crisis. That would play into Olivet's earlier idea - and likely be far more in line with the founders' intentions than vaporizing a deer with an assault rifle.

[ April 21, 2007, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Not sure what you're arguing about in the first paragraph. I never said you argued against multiple methods. You have, from as far as I understand, argued against having a gun in the home for purposes of defense.

Or do I have that wrong?

You are correct. I said further that there were more effective means of defense.

My meaning in the first paragraph is that the stance I am taking is not one that you will commonly find, because the debate over gun regulation and ownership has become such a polarized issue that even studies produced are begun under the asumption one way or the other and are rarely balanced.

quote:
You do seem to be against having armed, defensive-minded citizens - claiming it is dangerous.
I can see how you would come to the conclusion that I am against armed defensive minded citizens, but that is not true. I am against the false sense of security a gun can have for someone who is not properly trained in dealing with a high stress situation where their life is in danger. I am also concerned about situations where someone has a gun on their person and uses it when they shouldn't. This story is an example:
quote:
From the article -
BRIAN LEWIS was leaving his apartment, heading to a gig as a disc jockey in January 2005, when three guys jumped him.

Two of them pulled pistols.

The men wanted his gear, including two CD mixers worth $499 each.

They also wanted Lewis to turn around and go back inside his house with them.

What the robbers didn't know was that Lewis had a gun, and a permit to carry it.

Lewis reached for his gun, telling the robbers he was pulling out the key to his door.

Lewis aimed across his body, drawing a bead on the head of one man aiming a pistol at his back.

Click.

The gun was loaded, but there was no bullet in the chamber.

The two robbers heard the pistol's dry fire and blasted away, shooting Lewis in the back.

"I was able to stand my ground and get a round in there," Lewis said.

"I turned around, started yelling and shooting back. I shot every bullet I had in my clip. I just kept pulling the trigger."

Lewis hit two of the three men, killing one of them. Lewis slumped to the ground and briefly passed out.

Mr Lewis survived, but he was extremely lucky in this case. He got into a shooting match when he was outgunned over things that could be replaced. You (general you) do not get a second chance when dealing with your life. When dealing with material possessions, they can be recovered or replaced.

quote:
Now it seems you've taken a turn at argument based on assumption that you were trying to keep out of this discussion. Do you have the evidence of situations where civilian use of a firearm in such a situation resulted in more casualties - or is that based simply on your belief that it would complicate a situation? (Appalachian State showed an example where armed civilians had a positive effect, as did the 1966 U of Texas sniper incident, and others listed in articles linked earlier in this thread)
I hope you do not mean to imply that I have changed my argument, because I have not. Perhaps your perception of my argument has changed, and it is possible that it is because I am better clarifying myself. I have not changed what I have been saying, though.

I don't know what you want pertaining to "evidence" in such cases, but the article I linked above is an example of one way in which a situation can become complicated and more dangerous. It is not the only way, however. This speech from 1983 illustrates two other ways in which owning a firearm for protection purposes can be more of a problem than a benefit.
quote:
Richard J. Brzeczek states:
In trying to deal with the problem of firearm violence overall and trying to dissuade people as much as possible from even getting involved with firearms, there is always the argument, "I need a gun to protect my home." The counter-argument to that is that the argument is nonsense, because statistically the chances of using that firearm against the intruder are almost non-existent. Basically; the intrusions are made into the homes, into apartments, condominiums and town homes which are vacant. Since most people know they can not carry a firearm with them, they generally leave the gun at home, and as a result, the vacant home simply provides an additional commodity for the intruder to take and to resell on the street. Eventually that gun ends up in circulation to be used in the commission of a serious criminal offense such as homicide, rape, or armed robbery.

They do not understand it that way. They do not understand [Page 335] that despite the fact that in the spring of 1981 there was a very dramatic article in the Chicago Tribune in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms demonstrated through its own research, that most of the guns that were being picked up on the streets of Chicago in connection with serious offenses were guns taken in residential burglaries in the outlying areas of the city and in the suburban areas around the city. People do not realize that exactly what they have in their home is a weapon available for potential use in a murder or other serious offense.

The other thing that saddens me about the so-called "home protection gun" is the number of really outrageous accidental shootings or unintentional shootings that take place. One of the most dramatic things that I read was an article appearing in the The Washington Post not too long ago, where an individual in Andover, Kansas, out of fear of someone making an intrusion into his home, bought a .357 Magnum. One would think that he was concerned about elephants or hippopotami making the intrusions, but he purchased that type of weapon to protect himself, his family and his home. Around 2:00 o’clock one morning he heard a noise coming from another part of the house, and as the good leader of his family, and protector of his domicile, he grabbed his .357 Magnum, ran to that part of the house where he heard the noise coming from, heard the noise again, and proceeded to discharge his firearm through the door. After he discharged the firearm, he heard a thump, opened the door and found his wife lying on the floor, fatally wounded. The reason why she was in that room at that time of the night was that she had recently given birth to a new baby and was up for the two o’clock feeding. The husband thought it was a burglar in the house, grabbed his gun, shot through the door, and killed his wife.

That is just a typical example. Maybe a little extreme but a typical example of the types of things that we see around the country resulting from the use of firearms by individual citizens.

The first two paragraphs are not hypotheticals. I know two individuals myself who have had a shotgun stolen, and that is only because there were no handguns in the home at the time. Statistically, criminals will enter an empty home to rob significantly more often than they will an empty one. At that point, all the training in the world will not help you prevent that crime and if you have a gun in your home and not locked in an inaccessible location you have just forfeitted your defensive weapon and armed the burglar. This Department of Justice brief gives more information on guns used in crimes and some ways in which they are acquired. A large percentage of criminals, mostly juveniles, have stolen guns and either sold them or used them later in crimes. Just one notable sentence in the document is the following: "The Victim Survey (NCVS) estimates that there were 341,000 incidents of firearm theft from private citizens annually from 1987 to 1992. Because the survey does not ask how many guns were stolen, the number of guns stolen probably exceeds the number of incidents of gun theft." This page from the NCPA gives a different (and more alarming) figure on criminal ownership of guns: "Half had stolen at least one gun in their criminal careers; between 40 percent and 70 percent of the handguns these men possessed most recently were stolen. These were incarcerated felons, likely to be among the most active and strongly motivated criminals."

quote:
You are right that a firearm alone does not automatically make a person a prime deterrent to crime. However, in a situation when there is a gunman, who is a more effective deterrent - the person able to shoot back and stop him (or make him flee), or the person who has no recourse but to hope to get out of his line of fire?
A situation where having a gun when faced with a criminal would be useful is so statistically low that I have a problem understanding how your scenario can justify an increasingly armed public when the United States already leads the rest of the first world nations in gun deaths. Add to that the information I posted above about the leading source of guns for criminals, and the risks seem (to me) to outweigh the benefits.

quote:
It's like the saying "God created men. Colonel Colt made them equal." Or the line from the Untouchables about not bringing a knife to a gun fight. I understand your fear of escalation, but I don't expect many criminals to be riding around in Panzer tanks, or toting chain fed machineguns. In a situation with an armed gunman, the only people capable of determent are armed people - and in lieu of immediate police intervention, that leaves the citizenry.
I know you mean that in the most neutral manner possible, but I cannot help but find what I perceive the mentality behind those sentences to be incredibly frightening and exactly the problem I was speaking about earlier. The problem is the national methodology of using escalation as a tactic for fighting crime. The criminal element is always going to be at least as well armed as the average citizen, if not more, and will always be less hesitant about using it. Escalating the level of armament for the average citizen invariably escalates the armament of the criminal population. No hyperbole is going to change that, because the vast majority of the criminal element is getting its firearms from the citizens in the first place.

quote:
Militias were meant to keep the peace, after all, no? Why not have a well regulated militia of "civilian marshalls" who are allowed to carry firearms so that they can respond in a time of crisis. That would play into Olivet's earlier idea - and likely be far more in line with the founders' intentions than vaporizing a deer with an assault rifle.
You are suggesting a redundancy. We already have this: police departments and security companies. No offense intended, but what you are describing sounds more like vigilantes.

My sentiment toward the issue may not be common, but it is held by more than just myself. This article shows Montana law enforcement holding similar reservations to lowering gun ownership restrictions and allowing concealed carry within city limits. A while ago I found an essay by a martial arts sensei covering some philosophical aspects that I think can be applied in this debate: The Mistake of Warrior Spirituality. The sensei is talking about something different than gun control or even defensive weapons, but the appeal for balance and understanding that there are differences in available training commensurate with the responsibilities of the person's place in life can apply here, I believe. That is not to say that I think you should just deal with it and be satisfied, but that there are methods by which you can become more capable to respond and react to a violent criminal in the most effective manner, but that taking the short route of having a gun on your person is not going to guarantee such a thing. There is more to being a police officer than a gun and a badge, just as there is more to being a soldier than fatigues, rank, and rifle.

quote:
I am curious as to your position though. You are pro-gun ownership, but not for the reason of defense. So, is your argument based on the belief that people should have the right to own guns for sport and display only?
Are those the only options available? I tend to think not. Owners always have them for a mixture of reasons, but others can include educational exhibition, job related reasons, for fending off dangerous wildlife, for more ambiguous 'enthusiast' reasons, and I can even accept the reasoning that someone owns a firearm under a sense of civic duty per the 2nd Amendment (which I have been told was a reason by someone before). My objection is to desiring a gun to replace or extend the protection you (general you) feel should be provided to you by law enforcement. I may not agree with some other reasons, but I do not openly object to them and can accept them as an individual's prerogative.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't believe for a second that when the 2nd A was written they intended for firearms to be used for the purposes of police work. It's not what they had in mind when they wrote it.

If the original intent of the founders doesn't matter to you, that's one thing. But then, if it doesn't matter, I wonder what the point of mentioning the 2nd A is at all.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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I don't follow what you are saying? What are you disagreeing with?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Militias were meant to keep the peace, after all, no? Why not have a well regulated militia of "civilian marshalls" who are allowed to carry firearms so that they can respond in a time of crisis. That would play into Olivet's earlier idea - and likely be far more in line with the founders' intentions than vaporizing a deer with an assault rifle.
That.

Vaporizing a deer with an assault rifle I don't believe is really what the founders intended for either, but everyone running around with a gun is vigilante justice, which they abhorred.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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So you weren't disagreeing with me, I take it? I ask because I wasn't the one who who posted that. [Smile]
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Morbo
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Jutsa, I think you are wrong in your summary of the Lewis case. Not only was Lewis' stuff at risk, but his life.
quote:
Mr Lewis survived, but he was extremely lucky in this case. He got into a shooting match when he was outgunned over things that could be replaced. You (general you) do not get a second chance when dealing with your life. When dealing with material possessions, they can be recovered or replaced.
The robbers were forcing Lewis back inside at gunpoint. They could easily have been planning to execute him there to silence him as a witness. By Lewis using his gun (badly, true), he might have saved his life.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
So you weren't disagreeing with me, I take it? I ask because I wasn't the one who who posted that. [Smile]

No, I was actually agreeing with you.

Given my propensity to disagree with you however, I can see why you'd be confused [Smile]

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Jutsa Notha Name
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Lyrhawn: honest mistake on my part. I think it had more to do with the location of your post without a quote for reference, though. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
Jutsa, I think you are wrong in your summary of the Lewis case. Not only was Lewis' stuff at risk, but his life.
quote:
Mr Lewis survived, but he was extremely lucky in this case. He got into a shooting match when he was outgunned over things that could be replaced. You (general you) do not get a second chance when dealing with your life. When dealing with material possessions, they can be recovered or replaced.
The robbers were forcing Lewis back inside at gunpoint. They could easily have been planning to execute him there to silence him as a witness. By Lewis using his gun (badly, true), he might have saved his life.
You are assuming a lot of 'what if' in your reasoning. If they are robbing him and want him to open his home, it is just as easy to infer that they wanted more than just the stuff he had on him. Maybe this is so, but since armed robbery is statistically more common than murder of a complete stranger, I would argue that your 'what if' does not reflect the vast majority of crimes out there.
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Morbo
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Yes, but we're talking about one case, not all crimes. It's just as valid to assume the robbers could have planned to kill Lewis as not. True, armed robbery is more common than murder, but so what? Murder is certainly common enough during armed robbery. Any victim in Lewis' shoes had to consider that possibility.
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
Yes, but we're talking about one case, not all crimes. It's just as valid to assume the robbers could have planned to kill Lewis as not. True, armed robbery is more common than murder, but so what? Murder is certainly common enough during armed robbery. Any victim in Lewis' shoes had to consider that possibility.

No, you are talking about one case. My entire post talks about many cases, and in this case the person who owned the gun not only still got shot but still got robbed. You can also look at it with a "glass half full" view and say that he survived and managed to kill one of the robbers, but he still got shot and still got robbed. He was lucky to have not been killed no matter which way you look at it, but he still got shot and he still got killed.
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Morbo
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But you are assuming the outcome was worse because he had and used a gun. There's no way to prove that. Then you generalize from that assumption to further your argument that "desiring a gun to replace or extend the protection you (general you) feel should be provided to you by law enforcement" is somehow objectionable.
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FlyingCow
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quote:
I am against the false sense of security a gun can have for someone who is not properly trained in dealing with a high stress situation where their life is in danger.
I understand this. It's why I advocate mandatory licensing with a high level of training prior to being allowed to purchase a weapon. You shouldn't just be able to get a weapon with a driver's license and clean criminal record, for instance.

By the same token, a bulletproof vest provides security, but isn't failsafe. If you feel you are invulnerable wearing one, that is your own false sense of security. If you feel you are untouchable with a firearm, then that is also your own false sense. Training prior to, and during, gun ownership would help prevent that false sense.

quote:
I hope you do not mean to imply that I have changed my argument, because I have not.
Not at all - just that you started making statements that had (at that point) no grounding in evidence - which is something you were quick to jump on in other people's arguments.

quote:
Statistically, criminals will enter an empty home to rob significantly more often than they will an empty one. At that point, all the training in the world will not help you prevent that crime and if you have a gun in your home and not locked in an inaccessible location you have just forfeitted your defensive weapon and armed the burglar.
Again, this is part of the licensing/training argument. You don't keep a gun in your nightstand, for instance. My friend's father has his locked in a heavily reinforced (and nearly immovable) rifle cabinet, for instance. My father kept his service weapon locked up at all times in the house, as well.

Also, when you are not in the home, no one's life is in danger from the burglar - your protection there is your insurance company. When there is an armed intruder when people are home (admittedly more rare), your only defense without some form of weapon is the hope that the intruder does not harm you before help can arrive.

Also, a defensive gun is not always intended to kill an intruder. While you should be prepared to kill every time you draw your weapon, it should not always be your intent. A drawn weapon can often force an assailant to a prone position until the police arrive, or force them to flee without firing a shot.

quote:
he grabbed his .357 Magnum, ran to that part of the house where he heard the noise coming from, heard the noise again, and proceeded to discharge his firearm through the door.
Again, this comes from lack of training. Discharging your weapon through a closed door? Why not just shoot at noises in the dark, or hold your weapon out the window and fire randomly into the night?

This again feeds into my argument that there should be mandatory safety/usage training prior to gaining a gun license. I'd assume visually identifying an imminent mortal threat before pulling the trigger would be a pretty important point made during training.

quote:
A situation where having a gun when faced with a criminal would be useful is so statistically low that I have a problem understanding how your scenario can justify an increasingly armed public when the United States already leads the rest of the first world nations in gun deaths.
Not sure where you get the evidence to make the "so statistically low" claim. This also goes back to the training bit. I've never said we should just hand out guns on street corners - gun owners should be required to participate in training programs and licensing/certification.

This feeds back once again into the "civilian marshall" concept.

quote:
The problem is the national methodology of using escalation as a tactic for fighting crime.
I don't see it as escalation. You do. We're going to just have to disagree on that one, I think.

Or are you expecting more and more criminals like the one at the start of Lethal Weapon 4?

quote:
You are suggesting a redundancy. We already have this: police departments and security companies.
Yes, we have a police force. We also have a national guard, security companies, bounty hunters, etc. Weren't you an advocate of multiple layers of defense? I can easily get behind a trained and regulated group of civilian marshalls (who can make citizen arrests, as all citizens can) who have the ability to respond more quickly than the police department.

quote:
There is more to being a police officer than a gun and a badge, just as there is more to being a soldier than fatigues, rank, and rifle.
Yes, and yes. And there should be more to gun ownership than just possessing the weapon. I think we agree on all of that, though.

quote:
I can even accept the reasoning that someone owns a firearm under a sense of civic duty per the 2nd Amendment
I'm curious what you define this to mean. What is the "civic duty" aspect of gun ownership?

quote:
My entire post talks about many cases, and in this case the person who owned the gun not only still got shot but still got robbed.
If someone pulls a gun on me, I have to seriously consider the possibility that they are going to kill me. There's no "maybe they'll just rob me" or "maybe my life isn't really in danger" about it. If a gun is drawn on me, I have to assume that my life is in imminent danger.

To think otherwise is naive and foolish.

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Morbo
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Two points from FlyingCow's post:
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
1:
quote:
he grabbed his .357 Magnum, ran to that part of the house where he heard the noise coming from, heard the noise again, and proceeded to discharge his firearm through the door.
Again, this comes from lack of training. Discharging your weapon through a closed door? Why not just shoot at noises in the dark, or hold your weapon out the window and fire randomly into the night?

This again feeds into my argument that there should be mandatory safety/usage training prior to gaining a gun license. I'd assume visually identifying an imminent mortal threat before pulling the trigger would be a pretty important point made during training.

2:
quote:
My entire post talks about many cases, and in this case the person who owned the gun not only still got shot but still got robbed.
If someone pulls a gun on me, I have to seriously consider the possibility that they are going to kill me. There's no "maybe they'll just rob me" or "maybe my life isn't really in danger" about it. If a gun is drawn on me, I have to assume that my life is in imminent danger.

To think otherwise is naive and foolish.

My point above is summed up nicely by FlyingCow in the second part quoted.

As far as point 1 goes, I thought the same thing: an idiot fired through a closed door at a noise, and tragedy resulted. We can also dig up anecdotes about moronic criminals killing people, but it would prove nothing.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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FlyingCow:
quote:
I'm curious what you define this to mean. What is the "civic duty" aspect of gun ownership?
That is something someone else has told me, so I'm afraid I will not be able to explain it. I only listed reasons told me from others.

We are obviously talking past each other now. Both of your (FlyingCow and Morbo) posts are so wrapped up in the semantics that you almost completely disregard the larger points I was making.

FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree that the vast majority of guns that criminals have and use are stolen? The FBI and Department of Justice seem to conclude this, so do you accept this statement? Please explain if you do not.

FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree than the majority of burglaries occur when no one else is home? Please explain if you do not.

Let's start from there and work our way forward.

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Morbo
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I just claim that your specific anecdotes do little to further your argument against owning guns for protection. After watching the train-wreck in the "had to happen" thread, I'm not going to have an involved gun-control argument with you now, Jutsa. Sorry.

BTW, I probably wouldn't argue gun-control with Rakeesh either.

I will say that I have a very hard time admitting mistakes. I think we share this vice, Jutsa.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
After watching the train-wreck in the "had to happen" thread, I'm not going to have an involved gun-control argument with you now,
Wait, aren't we in the "had to happen" thread?
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
I just claim that your specific anecdotes do little to further your argument against owning guns for protection. After watching the train-wreck in the "had to happen" thread, I'm not going to have an involved gun-control argument with you now, Jutsa. Sorry.

BTW, I probably wouldn't argue gun-control with Rakeesh either.

I will say that I have a very hard time admitting mistakes. I think we share this vice, Jutsa.

[Confused]
I must be missing or misunderstanding something. This is the "had to happen" thread.

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Morbo
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I meant to say the "Taking advantage of VT to 'promote' faith" train-wreck.
See, I just admitted a mistake!
Watch me evolve before your very eyes!
[Big Grin]

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Jutsa Notha Name
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Okay, so what you meant was a comment about my personal character?
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FlyingCow
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quote:
FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree that the vast majority of guns that criminals have and use are stolen?
Yes. Not sure how this pertains to this conversation, though.

quote:
FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree than the majority of burglaries occur when no one else is home?
Yes. I'm not sure why this matters so much in the greater context of the thread, either.

My points have been:
- Before someone is allowed a weapon, they should have a license. Said license should only be able to be obtained after training in safety, usage, proficiency, and maintenance.

- Those so trained and licensed can be useful in a crisis situation such as the VTech shooting.

- Those so trained and licensed could be given a sort of civilian marshall status, able to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis. This would be complimentary to governmentally sponsored emergency personnel - akin to volunteer EMTs or volunteer firefighters, trained to react in a crisis in order to save lives.

- Someone with a firearm who is so trained and licensed is more able to defend themselves and deter a criminal act than someone who is not.

It seems you do not agree with many of these points, however. These are the points I have argued - so I'm not sure how the questions you posed to Morbo and I have application to this discussion.

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You will see how they pertain as we continue.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
quote:
FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree that the vast majority of guns that criminals have and use are stolen?
Yes. Not sure how this pertains to this conversation, though.
Given that you agree to the above, do you also agree that since the guns are stolen, they are stolen from citizen gun owners? Please explain if you disagree.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
quote:
FlyingCow and Morbo, do you accept or agree than the majority of burglaries occur when no one else is home?
Yes. I'm not sure why this matters so much in the greater context of the thread, either.
Would you also agree that unless someone owns a gun for work purposes or has a concealed carry permit, that their gun is stored in their home?

And to address your points:
quote:
My points have been:
- Before someone is allowed a weapon, they should have a license. Said license should only be able to be obtained after training in safety, usage, proficiency, and maintenance.

I have never once argued otherwise, but I will say we already have that. The laws and regulations as they exist today require a certain knowledge and proficiency. Yet guns are still stolen, and the US still leads the first world in gun related deaths (which includes accidents and crimes).

quote:
- Those so trained and licensed can be useful in a crisis situation such as the VTech shooting.
Based on what? Law enforcement sources do not seem to think so. Please see my earlier post, those sources are law enforcement (police, FBI, DoJ).

quote:
- Those so trained and licensed could be given a sort of civilian marshall status, able to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis. This would be complimentary to governmentally sponsored emergency personnel - akin to volunteer EMTs or volunteer firefighters, trained to react in a crisis in order to save lives.
That is vigilantism.

quote:
- Someone with a firearm who is so trained and licensed is more able to defend themselves and deter a criminal act than someone who is not.
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but knowing how to shoot a gun does not prepare you to be able to handle the stress and tension of a crisis.

quote:
It seems you do not agree with many of these points, however. These are the points I have argued - so I'm not sure how the questions you posed to Morbo and I have application to this discussion.
I am asking those questions to establish a basis by which I can explain why I believe what I do. My attempt to put it into one large post resulted in you semanticizing separate pieces of the whole and not the whole idea itself. So, instead, I would like to see if we can follow a line of reasoning to where we can understand and agree on at least the defining factors, then work from there. I feel that if we don't at least to that, then we are going to continue doing a "nuh uh, uh huh" conversation that goes nowhere.

Before I continue, however, I would like to ask you another only partially related question:
You stated earlier that you refused to engage in a conversation where the other "side" had no intention of listening or changing their mind. Are you even open to the idea that my reasoning is not based on irrationality and could at least have merit worth considering?

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FlyingCow
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quote:
Given that you agree to the above, do you also agree that since the guns are stolen, they are stolen from citizen gun owners?
A portion of the illegal weapons in the country are stolen from legal users at one point in time. Illegal trafficking in small arms/light weapons is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, after all - and all of it isn't because a private sidearm was stolen from a person's nightstand.

Beyond this, many weapons used by criminals are not legal for anyone to use (such as the Uzi or MAC-10).

Further, and this seems like a point that I've made before, safety training will cut down considerably on stolen weapons. Why? Because those who purchase weapons would know how to store them so that they are far less likely to be stolen. For instance, a "smash and grab" burglar who rifles through drawers for jewelry and small electronics might stumble upon a gun in a sock drawer or nightstand. If all gun users were required to be trained on how to safely and securely store their weapons, that same burglar would find no weapon unless he could also crack a safe.

quote:
Would you also agree that unless someone owns a gun for work purposes or has a concealed carry permit, that their gun is stored in their home?
Again, see above. I'd like to see someone steal a gun from any of the gun owners I know. Again, you don't keep your gun in a sock under your pillow - you keep it locked up when you're not around. It's common sense, but since such safety training is not required, it becomes less common.

Guns are not stolen from responsible users. They are stolen from users who do not know how to protect their weapon from theft. Hence, traing users *prior* to gun ownership, and you cut down on the possibility of guns being stolen from residential homes.

quote:
I have never once argued otherwise, but I will say we already have that.
No. We don't. I'm not sure what makes you think we do. This is a HUGE problem.

We DO NOT have such mandatory training and licensing. I'm not sure what lead you to believe we did.

quote:
Law enforcement sources do not seem to think so.
Are you talking about the Richard Brzeczek piece from above? After reading it, it seems that most of your arguments have stemmed from there. Please note that he is a lawyer who was appointed as police superintendent for 3 years, before returning to the practice of trade and antitrust law.

Even in that article, he says that: "In light of these requirements, it seems somewhat ludicrous to me that when the activity is the ownership of a weapon, the ownership of what I call an inherently dangerous instrumentality, these same governmental agencies require absolutely no prior training in their usage."

He is also calling for prior training, even using the car licensing argument I used above, and points out that such training does not currently exist.

Are you basing your argument on other law enforcement officials?

You've linked to 3 Kennesaw articles, 1 article from Brzeczek, 1 article from DoJ (that was statistics based only, and has no argument regarding self defense use of firearms), 2 news articles, an NCPA "myths" page, and a warrior spirituality page.

Please show me the overwhelming evidence from law enforcement officials. Those that I know through my father (25 years as a NJ police officer) are very pro-ownership and pro-training.

quote:
That is vigilantism.
Do volunteer firefighters have no right to put out fires for the public's safety? Do volunteer EMTs have no right to help the injured or sick? If it is a regulated and formed set of "civilian marshalls" sponsored by the governement, it isn't vigilantism.

Note the regulated bit, and the sponsored by the government bit. I'm not saying people can print out a badge from their computer and run around shooting people. Organized - much like a volunteer fire company or EMT station.

quote:
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but knowing how to shoot a gun does not prepare you to be able to handle the stress and tension of a crisis.
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but that's what training is for.

quote:
. Are you even open to the idea that my reasoning is not based on irrationality and could at least have merit worth considering?
Absolutely. I don't see you as being irrational, just functioning from a different set of givens. I think a lot of our disagreement is because we have a different set of givens. I have considered your points - either I disagree with them (and point out why), or I have trouble seeing their revelevance (and point that out as well).

I still don't quite understand the whole of your argument - and by your inability to explain the "civic duty" bit, I don't think you have a full understanding of your argument, either. You seem to be selectively anti-gun ownership, while at the same time being selectively pro-gun ownership.

I'm still trying to figure out where you're coming from - though fully reading through the entire Brzeczek article settled a lot of things. You seem to be in line with most of what he says.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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The point-counterpoint is getting tiresome on both sides, and is deepening the misunderstanding. The more we engage in it, the more I believe we are talking past each other. So I will use the quotes as little as possible and try to be as clear as possible.

The whole of the problems I find with the argument to carry weapons as protection is that they require dubious statistical data (like John Lott's), ignoring correlating data (like population density, presence of organized crime, differences between rural / suburban / urban areas), or reduction of scenarios to "well, if I were is such and such a situation." None of these take into account the larger aspects of how a more armed citizen population would adversely affect the ability of law enforcement to do its job, the increase in danger to the citizen population through an escalation of force, or the basic differences in training of how and when to use a gun by those whose job it is to protect the wider public from those who have criminal intent. Finally, the entire paradigm of escalation regarding protection is an example of why America in general is often viewed as poorly equipped to handle problems with anything outside of a show of force.

I have been asked to provide data that proves that citizens carrying guns make crises or criminal situations more difficult or dangerous. However, as I have already stated, there are no such collections of data because there are no groups studying those kinds of issues. This is because the "gun debate" has become so extremely polarized that almost any and all available data is either funded or used (or both) by groups that begin with a specific agenda in the first place. Distinctions that would break down the topic into a less contrete and more nuanced debate are rare. So, instead, to approach this subject a look at the data available in its least manipulated form is required to begin with, hence my use of the DoJ data. The data I pointed out leaned heavily toward a number of felons, including a large portion of juvenile offenders, using guns they had acquired either through stealing themselves or purchase from those who stole the weapons.

From the DoJ link I gave earlier, one of the many facts within the docment was that the preferred firearm for violent offenders is a handgun. Whether stolen from homes or stolen in incidents like this (stolen from a sheriff's department, ostensibly more secure than a home), the evidence is that average criminals are getting their guns domestically. For those who might doubt the conclusion I present regarding the numbers given from the DoJ (jointly released with FBI) document, the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation (PDF) concurs with my assessment. While there is much data within the link that is notable for both sides of the wider "gun debate" (meaning pro versus anti gun arguments), the notable data I would like to point out is the following:
quote:
While the national policy debate has focused primarily on criminal acquisition of guns through corrupt gun store owners, unregulated sales at gun shows and a black market in street sales, in the past ten years nearly 1.7 million firearms have fallen into criminal hands through theft, most often because a gun is improperly stored in someone’s home. As a consequence, every year in America, tens of thousands of legal gun owners are the victims of a crime that unintentionally arms the enemy.
This includes states that have storage requirement laws. Still, the AGS Foundation also concludes that, based on the available data, most criminals are being armed from the armed citizen population.
quote:
An estimated 81.2% of stolen firearms were taken from individuals’ homes and cars, with the rest being stolen from gun stores, places of business, off their person, from common carriers, or from other sources.
quote:
While child gun accidents and suicides are high-profile and tragic, it is far more likely for a gun to be stolen than it is to be used by a child to kill or injure. In fact, it is twenty-three times more likely that a firearm will be stolen from an individual than used inappropriately by a juvenile in a gun accident or suicide. In 1999, 716 children under the age of 18 were killed, either accidentally or through suicide, and 5,668 were injured, compared to the 145,829 firearms reported stolen that year.
I am pointing this out to underscore the sheer number of stolen firearms. That higher likelihood of the bun being stolen is significant along with the fact that the United States leads the first world in gun related deaths in children (link):
quote:
Of the 161 million children aged less than 15 years during the 1 year for which data were provided, 57 million (35%) were in the United States and 104 million (65%) were in the other 25 countries.
Just to note: "children" in this study were counted as under 15 years of age, teens 15 and over were not counted in the statistics. This data is, according to anti gun groups, considered flawed by omission yet still underscores the higher average of danger in the US regarding irresponsible ownership. Also, keep in mind that the declining rate mentioned within the AGS Foundation document did not correlate the federal ban on certain semi automatic weapons that lasted from 1994 to 2004, which definitely affected access to the number of weapons.

Before you rush to the reply button to point out that nothing I've said makes my case against using firearms as protection, I ask you to please continue reading and take everything I am saying as a whole. The data above alone does not give a full description of why purchasing firearms for defensive purpose outside of a job based necessity is a bad idea. The data above is solely meant to establish the concrete fact that the large majority of voilent criminals who use guns in their crimes are getting their weapons from domestic sources, mostly through stealing them or purchasing stolen weapons. There is naturally a danger to increasing the target area from which criminals can obtain weapons, and it is a concern, but it is only part of the reasoning.

I mentioned earlier that the chances of being in a crime situation where having a firearm can be useful is statistically low. This quick breakdown by the Bureau of Prisons of the types of offenses criminals currently serving time are in prison for gives a brief glimpse at what I mean. While instances that could conceivably have taken place using a gun are collectively just barely above immigration, even the data within that link doesn't tell you (general you) whether the crimes of robbery, burglary, homicide, or violent offenses were carried out with a gun, which is not the case for all instances within the number. However, this DoJ state by state breakdown offers a slightly better picture, with total personal (meaning crime against a person by a criminal) crime involving a a weapon being 45,000 out of 924,700 cases or 4.9%, or if you wish me to be generous and attribute half of the residential and auto burglary convictions as well the number rises to 56,350 in 924,700 or 6.15%. That number is low but still high enough to be alarming, until you (general you) take into account that weapons convictions are rarely made alone, being opverwhelmingly added to other convictions to provide heftier sentences. Not having access to such data I won't try to manipulate the numbers without data to back it up, but I will caution you (general you) to keep under consideration that the actual number is almost assuredly lower than the number listed on convictions alone. I am sure there are lawyers who can verify for you (general you) that felony charges are often stacked in a criminal case, and those of you who know police can verify that felony charges involving weapons often involve a list of charges against the criminal when arrested. I am relying on the common sense of interested individuals to be able to follow up on that verification on their own rather than me attempting to arbitrarily choose a number to divide those percentages by. The end result, however, is a number significantly lower than even the significantly low number I have listed here. Statistically speaking, you have a higher chance of being involved in a traffic fatality (traffic stats for good measure).

Others have mentioned lower rates of crime in states that have more open gun laws. FlyingCow specifically cites Texas as having a lower carjacking rate due to concealed carry of citizens. This NEA breakdown state by state of number of violent crimes with a gun shows some interesting statistics. I am hoping it is acceptable to assume that certain states have higher population densities than others (if not, here is a reference), Since FlyingCow has mentioned New Jersey and Texas (though not necessarily in argument), let us first compare those two. New Jersey's population density is nearly fifteen times that of Texas, and New Jersey has significantly more strict gun laws (according to this site). However, using this and this as sources for actual population versus estimated number of violent crimes, Texas comes in with a higher violent crime rate (0.44%) involving a firearm than does New Jersey (0.31%). If the population density numbers mean anything, it is that New Jersey likely has more urban development throughout the state to facilitate the significantly higher density, and statistically urban areas are far more prone to crime (link for those interested). However, Texas contains a higher percentage of violent crime involving a gun, even though Texas has a higher rate of legal gun ownership, a higher number of concealed carry licensees, and more lenient laws regarding the use of deadly force for protection (made more lenient this year by the castle doctrine laws, if I recall correctly). Statistically, both states have numbers that are significantly low compared to other crime and the numbers in the previous paragraph (though I am being careful to not assume which is more accurate, as the number is likely in between), but if owning a weapon for protection is supposed to be a deterrent to crime, then that purpose has failed in Texas as far as the number of violent crimes compared to the population is concerned. Even New York, which has more lenient laws than New Jersey but still more strict than Texas, with its flagship city historically portrayed as the gothamesque home for organized crime, east coast gangs, and boroughs some people wouldn't dream of walking through unarmed (all of this overblown nonsense, in my opinion), comes in lower than Texas in violent crime involving a gun at 0.42%. Michigan (with Detroit, once named murder capital of the nation) ekes in slightly lower than Texas with 0.43% (and less than half of the actual number). As a credit to Virginia, which sits squarely between New Jersey and Texas in terms of strictness, the state about which this entire thread began has the lowest rate of any states I've mentioned, 0.21%. [Smile] For the sake of keeping this post just slightly shorter than it could conceivably be, I will simply refer to my other post regarding Kennesaw as another example of how the "proof" examples often cited in the "pro versus anti" gun debate are skewed, and how the actual crime data shows little to no change in the short term and an increase after a few years have passed.

And just to refute a few minor points:
quote:
FlyingCow stated:
Beyond this, many weapons used by criminals are not legal for anyone to use (such as the Uzi or MAC-10).

I have no idea where you got such information, but it is false. See the DoJ document I linked earlier and several other sources I linked within this post. Most criminals prefer handguns of the revolver or small semi automatic type.
quote:
FlyingCow asked:
Are you talking about the Richard Brzeczek piece from above?

No, I am talking about his piece (which is not just Brseczek, it also cites then police Chief Rinaldi of DC), the Montana news article, the AGS Foundation, and the Department of Justice statistics. None of those sources are claiming that people shouldn't have guns, but express various concerns about ownership with regard to criminal access to weapons.
quote:
FlyingCow stated:
No. We don't. I'm not sure what makes you think we do. This is a HUGE problem.

We DO NOT have such mandatory training and licensing. I'm not sure what lead you to believe we did.

We do have them for open carry and concealed carry licensees. I fail to see how a gun could be used as protection otherwise except for very, very rare cases.
quote:
FlyingCow stated:
Do volunteer firefighters have no right to put out fires for the public's safety? Do volunteer EMTs have no right to help the injured or sick? If it is a regulated and formed set of "civilian marshalls" sponsored by the governement, it isn't vigilantism.

Those things already exist. The APBA of New York City, I don't know where you live in New Jersey but there are Citizen Police Academies like this and this, most states have Crimestopper or community watch programs, and more. These groups do not operate armed with guns, though, for legal liability reasons (among others).
quote:
FlyingCow stated:
I still don't quite understand the whole of your argument - and by your inability to explain the "civic duty" bit, I don't think you have a full understanding of your argument, either. You seem to be selectively anti-gun ownership, while at the same time being selectively pro-gun ownership.

I believe yo uare misreading what I said when I mentioned "civic duty." That was an exact quote told to me by an associate, with very little to define it. However, that reason, along with others, does not trouble me despite the probability that I personally disagree with it, because that person doesn't engage in concealed carry and is not a likely target for crime anyway. He is an enthusiast who owns numerous guns of varying types, and as far as I know only brings them out (of a locked safe) to clean them and to fire rounds at targets. As far as I can tell it isn't an activity I find preferable but neither do I find it dangerous or worth discouraging.
quote:
FlyingCow stated:
I'm still trying to figure out where you're coming from - though fully reading through the entire Brzeczek article settled a lot of things. You seem to be in line with most of what he says.

While I agree with many things in that piece, hence my linking it, I would not say that it mostly describes my stance.
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FlyingCow
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I'm not ignoring you, Justa - life has interfered, and I don't have time to read through your post today. I will try to get to it later this evening or tomorrow.
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