Outside of gang related murders in America's largest cities such as L.A.,
Chicago and New York City, I would be curious to know how many Americans are
actually killed each year as a result of guns.As horrific as
shootings such as those in Colorado, Tucson and Newtown are, and I would in no
way want to diminish the agony they have caused many people and their families,
would many of the gun control measures being debated both locally and nationally
have any real effect? If one were to assume that tighter and
tighter gun control laws equals less and less gun violence and deaths, while
looser gun laws equals more and more gun violence and deaths, Utah would have to
have one of the highest per capita rates of gun deaths in the country while
states such as California would be at or near the bottom.Is this
actually the case? If it is not, how come?
A little risk analysis is in order. When you have a gun and keep it readily
accessible, you may slightly decrease, but cannot totally eliminate, the risk of
harm from another person to yourself or a loved one. But you also increase the
risk that you, a loved one, or an innocent bystander may be unintentionally
harmed by your own weapon, because accidents happen, people are sometimes
careless, and you could miss or make a mistake about the perceived threat. On the other hand, if you have no gun, you assume the statistically
miniscule risk of being harmed by another without adequate means of protection,
but you totally eliminate the risk of harming another innocent person through
misuse of your non-existent firearm.Every person must perform his or
her own personal risk analysis. I prefer to accept the small increased risk of
harm that comes from not having a firearm for protection (I take a much greater
risk every time I get in a car) in exchange for the peace of mind from knowing
no firearm of mine will ever be used to harm an innocent person.
Not anti gun at all.We should all be allowed to keep guns. No
argument there.Couple of reasonable things.Be required
to show shooting and gun handling proficiency to be allowed to carry in
public.Basic common sense.Require that guns be locked up or
have a trigger lock in the home. Those who do not take reasonable precautions
with their guns should be held liable if a child is harmed with an unsecured
gun.And commonly hear about these scenarios.Gun
ownership carries a big responsibility. Many take that responsibility very very
seriously and I am happy to be around them knowing they carry. Many don't
and they scare the heck out of me, knowing that they have no business in public
with a gun.
Life is full of risks. My wife and I just returned from an early morning trip
to the grocery store. The roads were iced over. Several cars were stuck.
There was one accident. But we all made the necessary trips, knowing that if we
were careful, we had ever expectation of returning home safe.Some
people expect somebody else to take life's risks for them. They want the
soldier and the policeman to stand between them and the criminal. They want
somebody else to put their life on the line. They demand the same thing every
time government comes up with another "freebie". They want somebody
else to pay for their housing, their food, their transportation. They want the
government to wipe their noses every time they get a sniffle.Is it
any wonder that those same liberals want to make laws that would take away our
right to keep and bear arms? They refuse to live in the real world. They want
to pretend that laws keep criminals honest. Why move the prison? With so many
laws, we should have no criminals. Who needs a prison when criminals are just a
figment of the imagination?
Curmudgeon and J.B. have both expressed reasoned arguments. Mike R., however,
takes the route of the "straw man" argument in an attempt to make
"keep and bear arms" not just a principle, but an absolute. His
paragraph ripping "some people" is especially inaccurate and off-topic.
Actually, I found Mike Richards comments applicable in response to
Curmudgeon's remarks concerning risks. Two different views on the same
topic...I find the contribution of Mark B an attempt to support one
opinion and denigrate another.Mike responded not to just
Curmudgeon's remarks but to a trend in our society to demonize gun
ownership. Perhaps "some people" would like the conversation to be just
what is stated in the present forum and article, but there is a much larger
conversation happening concerning the second amendment and its application in
today's world. Just mention the LDS church, marriage, or Duck
Dynasty, and see how much larger the conversation gets!Curmudgeon's remarks were also applicable. He outlined his "risk
analysis" and shared his conclusion. I support him in his decision not to
be a gun owner. I also support Curmudgeon's lack of trying to force his
conclusions via public policy on others. Of course the day is
Firearm deaths per 100,000:Alaska 20.4Louisanna 19.2Utah
12.2CA 7.7(KaiserFamilyFoundation/CDC)In 2004 the
National Research Council looked at the same data Lott used for his book,
"More guns, less crime" and determined: "The committee
found that answers to some of the most pressing questions cannot be addressed
with existing data and research methods, however well designed. For example,
despite a large body of research, the committee found no credible evidence that
the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime, and
there is almost no empirical evidence that the more than 80 prevention programs
focused on gun-related violence have had any effect on children’s
behavior, knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs about firearms."In
2010:"We buttress the NRC’s cautious conclusion by showing how
sensitive the estimated impact of RTC laws is to different data periods, the use
of state versus county data, particular specifications, and the decision to
control for state trends. Overall, the most consistent, finding to emerge from
the array of models is that aggravated assault rises when RTC laws are adopted.
For every other crime category, there is little or no indication of any
consistent RTC impact on crime."
Welcome to America! We have a Constitution. No President, Priest or King is
above the law. No "enlightened" liberal or conservative has the
authority to set aside the Supreme Law of the Land. Read it. Honor it. Respect
it.2nd Amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to
the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed."The Supreme Court ruled that we do NOT
need to be part of a militia to keep and bear arms.The founding
fathers did not add that amendment so that they could hunt geese for their
Christmas dinner. They added that amendment so that no tyrant, like King George,
could ever again force a free people to bend to his will. They were patriots.
Because of them and the thousands who used their firearms against King
George's army, we are free.Some of you seem to wish that we had
a king who could tell us exactly what to do. It seems to me, that some people
detest freedom and the PERSONAL responsibility that goes with it.The
"reasoned argument" to override the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution is
"As many as 2 million times a year, firearms stop or prevent assaults,
including murders. "That's false. If it were true,
we'd have a heck of a lot more assaults and murders since the vast majority
of people don't carry guns. @ClarkHippo"I would be
curious to know how many Americans are actually killed each year as a result of
guns."I don't know the breakdown, it's around 10k
total homicides with firearms.Tucson's shooter was stopped when
reloading. If we had a magazine limit in place he would've likely had to
reload faster and might've been stopped half a dozen or so victims
earlier."Is this actually the case? If it is not, how
come?"It's not a simple formula that goes from loose to
strict gun laws or vice-versa. Other factors are in play, like poverty. Hence
the poor inner-city areas have higher violence. The South (also poor) has higher
violence rates as well despite being loose on gun laws.
Mike Richards,Can't you make your argument without phrases
like"some of you seem to wish that we had a king"? I'm pretty sure
that no one posting comments here wishes we had a king.
@Curmudgeon" I prefer to accept the small increased risk of harm that
comes from not having a firearm for protection"A robbery victim
is statistically more likely to be shot by the robber's gun if the victim
also has a gun. In situations like that where an armed individual isn't
looking to kill anyone, they likely won't fire unless they feel
threatened.@Mike Richards"The Supreme Court ruled that we
do NOT need to be part of a militia to keep and bear arms."And
I'm sure you never ever disagree with a Supreme Court ruling... (Roe, Prop
8...)."They added that amendment so that no tyrant, like King
George, could ever again force a free people to bend to his will."So you think the right to have guns is based on making it so you can shoot
cops and soldiers if you think it's necessary... that's the argument
that always just makes me support more gun control.
Mr Richards,Based on your adamant support for the second amendment,
how do you feel about congress's law concerning 3d printing and guns.It states basically "The law prohibits guns that
don't contain enough metal to trigger screening machines commonly found in
airports, courthouses and other secure areas accessible to the public."Is this in violation of the 2nd Amendment in your book?
As one of those dreaded so called "liberals" that Mike Richards claims
wants a king… I personally own many firearms. I know that is a deep
conundrum for some of the deep thinkers here…. that it is entirely
possible that some people have very conservative views on certain issues, and
less so on others… but it is the paradox that I am. I personally actually
don't view myself as a bleeding heart liberal…. but sometimes merging
religion's compassion with conservative values makes for odd situations.I am interested in the data behind this comment…."As many as 2 million times a year, firearms stop or prevent assaults,
including murders."How does anyone really quantify this
statement? Based on what? That means that 1 in 150 Americans has fought off a
criminal with a gun. I don't know… but that is a pretty high bar.
I mean, in total there were 9 million arrest last year. That is for all crime.
Am I really to believe there were 2 million more incidents where a victim
fought off a criminal with a gun? Seriously? There were 1.1 million violent
crimes… and 2 million more averted because of guns?
The 2nd Amendment, passed by the States before this nation existed as a nation,
prohibits the Federal Government from infringing on our right to keep and bear
arms. Nothing in that amendment limits our right to keep and bear arms. If you
want to make a plastic gun that can withstand 40,000 pounds of pressure per
square inch, and if you have the ability to make such a gun, then that
Constitution allows you to make it, to own it, and to sell it. Tyrants tell us
that they are above the Constitution. They presume that God put them on earth
to instruct us. They reject God in everything else, but they support Him in
their belief that God made them "superior people" and that they are
superior to everyone else.We have the right to keep and bear arms.
Period! "Shall not be infringed" covers "plastic guns". It
covers magazine capacity. It covers bullet type. It covers any and all
arguments from the "enlightened" ones who think that they, not the
Constitution, are the source of our law.
@Mike Richards"If you want to make a plastic gun that can withstand
40,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and if you have the ability to make
such a gun, then that Constitution allows you to make it, to own it, and to sell
it."""Shall not be infringed" covers "plastic
guns". "Congress just reauthorized a ban on plastic guns.
Guess you're wrong.
Mike,Do you believe that when the constitution was written that our
founders envisioned plastic guns, or drones or grenades or machine guns. While those guys were pretty darn smart, they could not anticipate
everything. And I certainly think that they would not take the rigid stance
that you espouse.Yes, I think that they created an amazing document
and it is hard to imagine that it has stood the test of time with such few
amendments. I will be flying this Christmas and I am thankful that
guns are not allowed on planes, or in large stadiums, or at the Republican
National Convention or in courtrooms.There are just too many crazies
out there.Sometimes common sense must prevail.It amazes
me daily, some of the things that you defend.
"Envisioning" plastic guns has nothing to go with the Supreme Law of the
Land. If you don't like what the 2nd Amendment guarantees, you have the
right to try to amend the Constitution. You need to get 66% of Congress to
agree with you and then you need to get 75% of the States to agree with you.
Until then, plastic guns, unlimited magazine capacity, single shot, bolt action,
semi-auto or full-auto are allowed by the Constitution. We have the
Constitution for a purpose. It is to keep people from jumping on to a popular
leader's bandwagon and waving his flag as if it had any merit. Obama is
being shown to be one of the least honest Presidents in American history, but he
still has the hearts and minds of those who, with him, despise the Constitution.
Thank God that we had patriots who put freedom above their own wishes. Thank
God we had patriots who did not think that their "intellect" entitled
them to dictate to the rest of America the rules under which we should live.
Justice Scalia writing for the majority, Heller v. D.C.:"Like
most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From
Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely
explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever
in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.Although we do not
undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the
Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on
longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the
mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places
such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and
qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. We also recognize
another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said,
as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in
common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is
fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of
“dangerous and unusual weapons.”
What legislation have big-gov folks proposed that would have actually PREVENTED
Colorado, Tucson and Newtown?None I've seen.In a
free society you are going to get tragedies like these, caused by evil people
who mis-use their freedom to harm others.The only way for the
Government to completely insure it never happens... would be to take away all
freedom. I mean it. If they leave us even a LITTLE freedom... somebody will
find a way to use that to hurt somebody.We need to understand that
the Government can't prevent all evil. And that giving up your liberty
for security is like walking up and asking to be put in a cage because you
can't trust yourself to not hurt others, and you can't trust others to
not hurt you.The answer is not to give up everybody's freedom
just because you are afraid and no longer trust people.But we do
need to do something. I just hope we don't decide that "something"
means nobody can be trusted with the means to protect their country and their
family. And you just have to wait for the police when something happens.
@mike.... so you unconditional reading of the constitution, does this also
extend to freedom of speech, and in that this freedom also includes all forms of
pornography - regardless without exception? Just as there should be no
restrictions or limitations to gun ownership, there should likewise be the same
reading of the constitution when it comes to free speech?"Thank
God we had patriots who did not think that their "intellect" entitled
them to dictate to the rest of America the rules under which we should
live."Yes indeed. Thank heavens not everyone gets to impose
their own views on the rest.
@UtahBlueDevil,You controls your speech? Does the "state"
send a policeman to monitor you 24/7 to keep you from committing a crime or are
you expected to take responsibility for your own actions?The 1st
amendment allows you to speak freely. Penalties are attached after you misuse
speech. No one in government censors what you say BEFORE you speak just as a
criminal is not convicted of robbing a bank BEFORE he robs a bank.In
America everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. Actions are
required to prove guilt. Every American is allowed to keep and bear arms. He
does not have to ask for permission to keep and bear arms. That is a guaranteed
right. Forbidding a citizen to keep and bear arms is a crime because it presumes
guilt before an action has taken place.So, where do you stand on
freedom? Do you want a government employee to pre-approve everything that you
say or do you insist on your right to free-speech, knowing that if you misuse
speech that there may be penalties?
The original law regarding undetectable (plastic) guns came from the Reagan
administration. So who's the tyrant? Anybody?
Perhaps it's my monarch-craving, God-defying, Constitution-hating
muddle-headedness, but I can't get my head around the rationale that there
shouldn't be restrictions on the manufacture and sale of weapons which can
defeat a basic metal detector security screening.The Constitution
was made for us and not the other way around. It is designed to serve us and out
needs. Its authors were rational men who would call us barking mad to throw out
common sense by viewing the Constitution as so inflexible that it endangers the
fundamental safety of "We, the People."Before anyone jumps
on me, they're free to see my collection of guns -- made of metal.
Unreconstructed Reb,Your point deserves a response. The
Constitution protects the people against government. Should the
government have the authority to tell the people what kind of firearms they can
own? Where is that right vested, in the people or in the government? The
Constitution tells us that the people make that decision and that government has
no say in what kind of firearms we own. The Constitution allows each of us to
decide for ourselves what kind of firearms we keep and bear or whether we even
want to keep and bear firearms. It is our choice. Just who would
you trust in government to make that kind of decision for you? Who is
government would you give the right to take away your right to keep and bear
arms UNLESS he agreed with your decision on the type of firearm, the rate of
fire, the magazine capacity, or the caliber? Why would that be a good thing?
What would happen if that government worker didn't like you or didn't
like the way you voted?God gave us agency. Government has nothing to
give. It takes freedom from us.
I'm still waiting to see PROOF of the claim that "2 million times a
year people with guns prevent violence." Do some fact checking.
You will find it is another LIE.Here is an excerpt from one study
that disproves that absurd claim: "But an investigation into his
research by Harvard Injury Control Research Center director David Hemenway
concluded that Kleck's study was conducted with "serious methodological
deficiencies" leading the self-defense figure to be "an enormous
overestimate." In fact, Hemenway found that the defensive gun use number is
so high that it is a mathematical impossibility. If Kleck's figures are
correct, victims of burglaries would have to use a gun to defend themselves over
100 percent of the time"
No, J Thompson. There's nothing in the Constitution abrogating common
sense. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition. The right to own firearms
must be balanced with the public good. That's why private citizens
don't have access to heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, claymores, etc.
Collectively we see no need to allow that and, through our lawmakers, enable
legislation against it. Plastic guns have no utility that ordinary
guns do not, and massive downsides. I see no reason against restricting them.
Despite what others have argued, second amendment restrictions can and do
exist."God gave us agency. Government has nothing to give. It
takes freedom from us."No, government is what gives us the
ability to maintain our freedoms in a way that anarchy does not. In a
democracy, government is not an enemy intent on stripping us of freedom. In a
democracy, government is *us*. We decide how it should work. The give and take
of that how goes back and forth, but the key to isn't to retreat to the
bunkers. The key is to be engaged in the sort of government we want by making
the best case for our positions.
ClarkHippo. There is always some sophestry to prove one thing or another that is
pure bunk. Utah has less gun violence than in some other places for many reasons
not related to the number of guns in general circulation. Population density, a
strong moral code, a less stressed environment, etc. But the NRA argument that
more guns is better, or the solution to gun violence, is just plain foolish. In places like Australia where stonger gun controls have been
legislated, incidents of gun violence have dramatically decreased. But it seems
to me, that failing to take reasonable steps to curb deadly violence,
implicitely makes a society into a kind of co-conspirator to the crimes. Those
who work to maintain a gun status quo in the face of the slaughter that is going
on, and those that choose to remain remain silent are supporting the deadly
status quo and so must share accountability for the deadly activities with those
that maim and kill innocent people. You are either part of the solution or you
are part of the problem.
Some need a published report that states scientifically that it takes a person
with a gun to stop a person with a gun. I think it's common sense.What active-shooter was stopped by a person without a gun??? I
don't know of any.I don't think we ALL need to carry a
gun. But SOMEBODY needs to. Even if it's just the police.How
did the active-shooter incident at Trolley Square end? (Hint... it was an
armed person who intervened). How would it have turned out if that man was not
armed that night?? Hmmm...---I think not knowing... is
a deterrent to some criminals. Criminals not knowing who is armed and who
isn't. Not knowing if there is an armed person behind the next door. Many
criminals have admitted that they avoid places where they suspect people may be
armed. That's a deterrent... without even needing to fire a shot or even
carry a gun!Guarantee there are nothing but UN-armed people
inside... and you setup the perfect situation for a cowardly shooter like the
people who shoot up kindergarten classes, movie audiences, etc.
Re: "I'm still waiting to see PROOF of the claim that "2 million
times a year people with guns prevent violence" (one old man)...What if it's not 2 million? What if it's just ONE? I remember
Democrats in Congress saying if we can save even ONE life... we should do it (in
the rush to limit gun rights after Sandy Hook).I can think of
NUMEROUS incidents that were ended by a person with a gun.Trolley
Square is one that comes to mind. That's one... that's enough.I think ALL of these incidents eventually ended because somebody with a
gun showed up. Do you think the shooters would have stopped if nobody with a
gun ever showed up??
Re: Mike Richards"The 2nd Amendment, passed by the States before
this nation existed as a nation, prohibits the Federal Government from
infringing on our right to keep and bear arms. Nothing in that amendment limits
our right to keep and bear arms." You are incorrect in your statement Mike.
The US Constitution was ratified by the states in September 1787. The Bill of
Rights weren't proposed until 1789 and ratified in 1791. Therefore, that
states existed as a nation when the 2nd Amendment came into being. As far as nothing in the amendment limiting our right to keep and bear arms, I
agree. However, nothing in the 1st Amendment limits our right to exercise our
religion (human sacrifice anybody? Care to be the first sacrifice Mike?)or our
right to free speech (Can I watch pornography in public especially while
children are around?)I don't think so.