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On Gun Violence: Not Nostrums, but Reality

The gun-control mentality aims at criminal culture by targeting the law-abiding.

by
Abraham H. Miller

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March 8, 2013 - 12:00 am
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A group of teenagers got off a city bus in Oakland, California, early on February 22, and then proceeded to shoot out the back window, sending glass flying toward the passengers. Hearing the window explode, the driver instinctively hit the brakes, sending some passengers to the floor. Then realizing the bus was under attack, the driver hit the gas trying to get the bus out of harm’s way, but further hurting the passengers on the floor who were pulled to the front of the bus by the force of the deceleration.

There was no altercation between the teenagers and anyone on the bus. They got off the bus and shot five times toward the bus.

For those of you unfamiliar with Oakland, it is vying with Chicago for the title of murder capital of America. The second weekend in January of this year began with four separate gun-spawned homicides. Oakland’s much praised attempt at a cultural resurgence known as First Friday, where the streets bustle at night with arts, crafts, and music, was marred in February — for the first time in seven years – by gun violence. The message to the community is that when you’re out in Oakland, you’re not safe.

Oakland, like Chicago, has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws. Honor student Hadiya Pendleton, whose murder in Chicago made national news when Michelle Obama attended her funeral, was the victim of an alleged getaway driver who was on probation for another gun-related crime. Her 18-year-old alleged shooter had been implicated in numerous murders.

You have to be 21 to buy a handgun in Chicago, or anywhere in California. And, of course, in neither place can you carry a concealed weapon.

In California, there is no registration exception for private sales or gun show sales. All sales have to be registered through a licensed gun dealer. There is an examination, hefty fees for both the registration and the examination, and a waiting period while the potential gun owner’s background is checked by the federal government.

So, if you think tougher gun laws are the answer to a bunch of teens shooting out a city bus for no apparent reason — as if there could be one — you really are just some kind of stupid.

If you live in suburbia and think that you can make your streets safer by putting up more stop signs, you quickly learn what every city manager and traffic engineer already knows: if you put up too many stop signs, motorists simply ignore them. If you make gun ownership and ammunition ownership too difficult, people who currently obey gun laws will just ignore them. What are you going to do — clog an already unworkable criminal justice system with suburbanites who won’t register their guns and will be storing too many rounds of ammunition in their family rooms? In California and many other states, we are releasing convicted felons because our prisons are severely overcrowded.

The wonderful thing about supporting more and more stringent gun control is that you only have to think about the intentions of your policies, not about the logical outcomes. And most people I talk to about gun control have never even so much as fired a weapon. They simply have a vision of strict regulation preventing shootings. So, for those of you who think that prohibition stopped alcohol consumption and had no unintended consequences, here’s some basic information about gun culture.

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Top Rated Comments   
There is another erason for owning and carrying personal defensive weapons you have failed to mention, and it is THIS reason that has driven sales through the roof these past four years.... it is sort of related to a form of fear.. but of the same sort what causes most thinking people to fasten their seatbelts before starting up the car and driving off. Things happen. Statistics, what insurance companies call "actuarials", show bad things happen just about anywhere. A car crash can happen, through absolutely NO FAULT of mine, on any roadway. So, against that I fasten my safety belt, and strongly isist anyone else riding in MY car do the same. And so with carrying my handgun. I take steps to increase the likelihood I will see a situation developng before I, or any round about me, are in danger, even if that takes leaving the area or not stopping there. Why? My "tool" is carried ONLY for one purpose.. to neutralise the applicatioin of lethal force by anyone not authorised to bring such force to bear on myself, or anyone else who should not be victimised. In a very real sense, I consider myself a "First Responder" to unauthorised lethal force. It is no more fear that motivates than does fear motivate my use of the safety belt, bicycle helmet, safety chain when pulling a trailer, the spare tyre (or spare fuel in a portable tank), or the toolkit I always carry when driving. ONe never knows when trouble of any sort might visit. Best to be prepared. A wise man sees trouble and hides himself from it.. one valid way to hide is to be prepared against it. If I flat a tyre at one AM on a lonely road far from services, the real trouble is not the flatted tyre, but the being stranded the rest of the night. By simply changing out the spare, using the wheelbrace and socket, I have hidden myself from the real trouble. It is not an unhlealthy fear. Consider the Korean shopowners, armed with what would today be termed "assault rifles" who hid themselves from the trouble intended by the gangs of roving marauders who burned down some fifteen HUNDRED homes and businesses in that week in Los Angeles. They STOPPED the advance of the thugs. Would that some in London could have had such "hiding power" during the rioting a year and some months back. They tried acquiring baseball bats, but the government, always ready to "help", ended sales of these faulty and weak tools. I suppose they'd have preferred the use of cricket bats, a more patriotic form of self-defense... never mind those ridiculous round Yankee bats.

Travel into bear country, best be perpared should you happen across a bear and she take umbrage at your "invasion" of her territory. Your ingorance means nothing to her. A .44 Magnum or even a .357 Magnum revolver could save several lives IF things came to a sticky pass..... hopefully, however, one will never need to display one's weapon to prevent dire consequences from visiting. Just as I've never NEEDED my safety belt, OR my cycling helmet, I ahve not NEEDED my handgun. Nor do I ever want to. Fear is NOT part of that equation. In a very real sense, I fear the legal and paperwork affairs almost as much as I fear death or serious harm at the hands of another with criminal intent me-ward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gun control laws are not about violence or crime. They are about slowly strangling the right of individuals to buy and keep firearms. The laws are so numerous and arbitrary now that it is risky to do anything with a firearm besides keep it in your home.

Though I try to stay abreast of all the gun laws, I have run afoul of such laws while traveling on hunting trips with firearms. In recent years I have given up trying to take my own guns hunting outside Texas, because there are so many laws in other states one simply cannot discover them all.

The left is not greatly concerned about crime. Thus they can loose criminals among us while in the same moment decrying violence committed somewhere with a gun and denigrating the efforts of victims to use firearms for protection.

They are much more concerned about achieving their progressive, communitarian utopia in which instruments of individual responsibility and self reliance such as firearms will be banished.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why is anyone bound to obey laws that are un-Constitutional? All gun control laws passed since the 1934 National Firearms Act are infringements on the 2nd Amendment and therefore illegal and illegitimate. I argue that none of these laws have done anything to fetter violent criminals' access to firearms and have only put undue burdens on good citizens.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
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Abraham Miller, your said "you really are just some kind of stupid."
I think your sense of fairness an propriety when discussing the Objectors to Liberty is was over blown. Your being way too nice with these evil nitwits. Just let it go, these bankrupt ideologies do not deserve one iota of consideration. :-) Push them out, pinch them off, flush them down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Where in the world do people think the criminals get their guns from to perpetuate crimes with guns? From legal gun owners? From legal gun retailers? Until legal gun owners and retailers take responsibility for maintaining deadly weapons in a secure manner and held responsible to do so, nothing much will change! On a running ten year average, nearly 500,000 guns are stolen year after year. About 40% of assaults and other violent crimes with guns innvolved, are commited each year, by those who have NO previous serious criminal record.

Want to deal with a problem it usually is the more prudent thing, to begin with the underlying 'source' of the problem! In this case, the underlying source of the problem is 500,000 guns per year not being responsibly secured from theft.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There were 5.5 million firearms manufactured in 2010. Are you telling me that 1 in 10 weapons made are stolen? Forgive me for not taking your word for it.

Regardless, targeting (forgive my use of violent language) law abiding gun owners will do little to limit the number of weapons on the black market. For one thing guns are very durable, meaning the hundreds of millions already in the wild will remain available for decades, if not centuries. Any restriction on legal weapons will simply make them more valuable, meaning criminals will be willing to go to greater lengths to obtain them. Finally, even if every firearm on the planet were to magically disappear, the technology to manufacture them exists in every municipality with more than 10,000 or so residents. Remember, most of the popular weapons designs are very nearly 100 years old, made for an industrial base whose capabilities can be matched by a basic CNC machine that can be had for a few thousand dollars used.

You, like all liberals, are failing to think. Please rectify this deficiency before you vote.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Are you telling me that 1 in 10 weapons made are stolen?"

Never stated or remotely infered such a thing and don't have a clue where you come up with the 1:10 ratio. It wouldn't even correlate to DOD manufacturing requirement and certainly doesn't correlate to non defense manufacturing.

You don't have to patronize me with your cutsie comments as I most likely have far more weapons in our household than you and most do. I grew up on a farm and had my won rifle at age six hunting and target practices until I went in the the USMC where I spent 32 years and have collected weapons throughout most of those years.

I can appreciate all your normal hand fed talking points however, I will assume that you have a certain level of intelligence to understand that if you have a problem, you look to the 'source' of the problem to find some eqitable resolve for.

Using your logic you wouldn't have a leg to stand on decrying that the border be sealed to cure the immigration problem because the motive and 'causation' of illegal border crossing (economic enhancement opportunities) can't be overcome. You develop an enforceable iron clad system in which signficantly decreases or eradicates the motive/causation, you will have signficantly decreased illegal border crossings!

Likewise, making gun owners responsible and accountable to securing their weapons from theft is NOT in anyway infringing on the Second Amendments right to own nor is registering guns! ALL militaries do it, ALL law enforcement does it and all states guards do it. Why should not all gun owners be held responsible and accountable for the safe keep of their deadly weapons from theft?

Anybody not licensed to manufacture and sell weapons and does so, are already subject to criminal prosecution, if not NFA or FFA compliant (licensed) and depending on your state!

Anyway, infringement claims for regulating ownership responsibility to secure weapons from theft are simply without any merit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Marion Carl wrote that guns are stolen even from Marine bases. But I'm sure you know how to make my house more secure then a Marine base. Thank God you got here in time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In my 32 years in the USMC every enlisted marine had a M1 or later an M14 issued to them as 'their' property! Every officer likewise, had a .45 issued to them as their property. Every living barracks had a rifle rack in which everbody in that barracks was repsponible for locking their rifles in and it was the duty of both the fire watch and duty NCO to account for all the rifles during their nighttime patrols through the barrracks as was it the duty of the duty officer during his rounds. Zero rounds of ammunition were allowed to be in the pocession of any marine at any time in an unauthroized place or time. Had any weapon come up missing, God save the butt of that marine! Of course that was old corps and more responsible generations for which I never heard of any weapons ever stolen from any barracks or any armory. In fact, even when on field maneuvers, if a marine was caught laying his rifle down and and leaving unattended it was immediately confiscated by an NCO or officer and not returned too the marine until he returned to his company and after a CO mass or an article 15.

Over my many years in retirement, we've had our homes burglarized many times and never once have we lost any of my many weapons. If you have a sound sense of responsiblity for your deadly weapons you will figure out how to keep them safe from loss. If not........
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When bans and regulations become too onerous, they ARE ignored. Consider the fate of broken refirgerators. It is nearly impossible to rid one's self of them when no longer functioning, certianly not worth repairing them. EPA regulations so restrict their disposal it places an unacceptable burden on those needing to do so. Scrap buysrs are not allowed to buy them unless "certified" as being properly "prepared" beforehand. not cheap. SO, what becomes of them? Find an area well outside of town with little-travelled roads, especially with a hillside below the roadbed, and you will find dozens of them tipped out of the beds of pickups over the edge and down the hill. Unintended consequences? Certainly. Predicatable consequences? Certainly. I have learned how to crush and hide them in loads of other types of metsl scrap,, not so much for the few dollars I get for their weight value, but to avoid the insanity of "proper" disposal. At least, they're NOT merely tipped off my truck at the roadside.........
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Abe knows my feelings about guns in America because he read an article about it on my blog quite recently.

The need for Americans to have guns is a mystery to almost everyone who's not an American but I recently figured it out.

It's all about FEAR.

A FEAR that with the exception of 3rd world countries exists only in America.

I lived in LA for 15 years (I was born in the UK and live in Israel) and never felt the need for a gun!

I cringed when somebody told me that he goes to sleep with a gun next to his bed, and when I heard a woman say recently, "I don't open my door after 8:00pm without a gun in my hand".

The above doesn't apply in Europe, in Japan, in Israel or any other first one country that I can think of.

The blog in question is here http://tinyurl.com/c5lh24a and comments are welcome: even if you disagree ;-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is another erason for owning and carrying personal defensive weapons you have failed to mention, and it is THIS reason that has driven sales through the roof these past four years.... it is sort of related to a form of fear.. but of the same sort what causes most thinking people to fasten their seatbelts before starting up the car and driving off. Things happen. Statistics, what insurance companies call "actuarials", show bad things happen just about anywhere. A car crash can happen, through absolutely NO FAULT of mine, on any roadway. So, against that I fasten my safety belt, and strongly isist anyone else riding in MY car do the same. And so with carrying my handgun. I take steps to increase the likelihood I will see a situation developng before I, or any round about me, are in danger, even if that takes leaving the area or not stopping there. Why? My "tool" is carried ONLY for one purpose.. to neutralise the applicatioin of lethal force by anyone not authorised to bring such force to bear on myself, or anyone else who should not be victimised. In a very real sense, I consider myself a "First Responder" to unauthorised lethal force. It is no more fear that motivates than does fear motivate my use of the safety belt, bicycle helmet, safety chain when pulling a trailer, the spare tyre (or spare fuel in a portable tank), or the toolkit I always carry when driving. ONe never knows when trouble of any sort might visit. Best to be prepared. A wise man sees trouble and hides himself from it.. one valid way to hide is to be prepared against it. If I flat a tyre at one AM on a lonely road far from services, the real trouble is not the flatted tyre, but the being stranded the rest of the night. By simply changing out the spare, using the wheelbrace and socket, I have hidden myself from the real trouble. It is not an unhlealthy fear. Consider the Korean shopowners, armed with what would today be termed "assault rifles" who hid themselves from the trouble intended by the gangs of roving marauders who burned down some fifteen HUNDRED homes and businesses in that week in Los Angeles. They STOPPED the advance of the thugs. Would that some in London could have had such "hiding power" during the rioting a year and some months back. They tried acquiring baseball bats, but the government, always ready to "help", ended sales of these faulty and weak tools. I suppose they'd have preferred the use of cricket bats, a more patriotic form of self-defense... never mind those ridiculous round Yankee bats.

Travel into bear country, best be perpared should you happen across a bear and she take umbrage at your "invasion" of her territory. Your ingorance means nothing to her. A .44 Magnum or even a .357 Magnum revolver could save several lives IF things came to a sticky pass..... hopefully, however, one will never need to display one's weapon to prevent dire consequences from visiting. Just as I've never NEEDED my safety belt, OR my cycling helmet, I ahve not NEEDED my handgun. Nor do I ever want to. Fear is NOT part of that equation. In a very real sense, I fear the legal and paperwork affairs almost as much as I fear death or serious harm at the hands of another with criminal intent me-ward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Excellent rejoinder. As logical and concise an explanation of personal carry as I have ever read or heard. Thank you, Tionico, for arming us with a logical and reasoned argument. Fear indeed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Miller:
"Most gun violence occurs in neighborhoods that are gang-infested. Gun violence is largely, not exclusively, ethnic and racial in this country. It is disproportionately black and brown."

The data I've seen support this as a fact, which is why it is utterly irrelevant to policymakers and advocates unless it somehow advances another pet agenda.

"To reduce gun violence, we must have a conversation about the social and economic conditions that give rise to gang culture in the inner city. We need to have an open discussion about the culture of the ghetto that induces young men to throw away their lives and someone else’s before they all have begun to live."

What "conversation" would you imagine that this nation, with this leadership, and this media would be able to engage in?

Exactly...young African-American and Hispanics shooting and being shot by each other would all be the fault of upper and middle-class White Christian males, who would be found in clear need of even more unConstitutional oppression under color of Law so as to prevent even more Black and Brown people from murdering each other.

Been there, done that, and we've heard it all before.

There is no "conversation" needed. What IS needed is quarantine and a plentiful supply of ammunition so that they could kill each other off if they so chose to and without endangering innocents by their shoddy marksmanship skills.

That and utterly ignore the number of bodies that they heap up in their neighborhoods, since media attention of this matter does no good whatsoever.

Perhaps at some point they will, like alcoholics, hit bottom and decide that they no longer want to live under a Damocles' Sword of their own making.

...or they will become extinct, but that will be largely no concern of ours.

God may have created all men equal, but they do not lead equally worthwhile lives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Tninfidel & askeptic - There is an interesting sidelight to the NFA-34. It's the Miller case. In it, the Supreme Court heldNFA-34 as constitutional, thereby allowing the government to prohibit sawed of shot-guns. The Court held it could so because such firearms have no military purpose. By very strong implication, then, the government cannot ban guns that have do a military purpose. If it could ban such guns, the reasoning in the Miller case would be incoherent (but whoever said the government is coherent?). Hence, it would seem, that assault rifles, which most certainly can be used for military purposed cannot be banned. For the life of me, I don't understand why someone didn't try to bring that to the Supreme Court in the 1990s. Also, it would seem to me, that restricting magazine size so as to render a firearm useless on the field of battle also can run afoul of the Miller decision.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Consult dictioinaries and other such resources contemporaneous to the period of our COnstitutin's origin, you will find that the term "ARMS" means weapons of any type to be carried and used by individual soldiers. It is THIS CLASS of weapon our Founders meant to preserve for OUR use as WE THE PEOPLE. In other words, their clearly stated purpose, time and again, was to preserve and guarantee for US, the "mundanes" who comprise this nation, the right ownership and use of military grade weapons such as an individual soldier might carry and use in combat. And now they want to ban the most quintessential class of such weapons.......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And even more interesting is that the government lied about the use of sawed off shotguns as military weapons as they were and are deployed in that role. Not only that, but Miller's attorney did not show up to argue the case.

If you haven't already, read "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross. It is a great read for anyone who cares about freedom and liberty.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They call them "trench guns", as they are short, thus easily maneouvrable in the narrow confines of the trenches common in ground warfare. This is also part of why the M-16 and variants are as short as they are, eyt with the minimum required barrel length. In many combat situations, short IS better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Chicago, especially the south side, needs to be nuked.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I posted this yesterday on Bryan Preston's piece in PJM, but it didn't seem to get much response, so here goes again:

The table below is from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2011, Table 20. (Note: Alabama and Florida not included in Table 20). According to the table, 323 homicides are by rifle. Assume all of those are assault weapons. Look further down and you will see that knives and cutting instruments account for 1689 homicides. And why exactly are assault weapons being assaulted? It must be that some of our Senators are innumerate.

Total Homicides ..... 12,626
Handguns................ 6,193
Rifles..........................323
Shotguns................... 356
"Firearms
(type
unknown)"...............1,680
"Knives or
cutting
instruments"........... 1,689
"Other
weapons"................1,657
"Hands, fists,
feet, etc."..................728


Let me add some other factoids:

When the UK banned guns in 1996 the Enlish violent crime rate was a tad below the US violent crime rate. (I only have data for England and Wales - that's why the switch from UK to England.) By 2005, the English violent crime rate was about three times the US. There was then a large increase in the English police presence, so the rate has come down. Nonetheless, it is still twice the US rate. So, how did that gun ban work out for England?

US homicide and violent crime rates have been falling continuously since the early nineties. That has conincided with a large increase in the number of guns in the US (from about 200 million to 300 million). So guns are bad?

In 2007, across the states, the greater the police presence, the greater the violent crime rate. Does an increased presence cause violent crime? Actually not. High violent crime rates cause a larger police presence. If there were, however, sufficient police, one would not see a positive colrrelation between police presence and crime. Rather, one would see no correlation (a horizontal scatter plot with crime on the vertical axis and police presence on the horizontal access). That's because the police presence would be sufficient to make crime rates cluster around some constant for all states.

How does police presence stack up to gun ownership? When one plots gun ownerhsip against police presence, one get a negative correlation. That is, low gun ownership is accompanied by a large police presence, while high gun ownership is accompanied by low police presence. That implies police presence substitutes for gun ownership. The next time someone complains about the high cost of police, tell them we need easier access to guns.

Finally, there is mild (but not statistically significant) negative correlation between gun ownership and homicide rates or violent crime rates. Consider the line horizontal (violent crime or homicide rates on the vertical axis and gun ownership rates on the horizontal axis). Remember what I said about police presence? That with a large enough police presence the line should be horizontal? Well, here we have the horizontal line for gun ownership. That suggests greater gun ownership does a much better job of preventing crime than greater police presence. How's that gun control working out for you Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo?

Finally, I end on a kind sad note about the black community. In it homicide and violent crime rates are astronomical. If one were to remove the black homicide rate from the the nationa rate, we would see the rate tumble from 4.7 to 2.6. An interesting factoid is that blacks own guns at half the rate that whites own guns. I suspect that run-ins with the law an early age may be preventing now law-abiding blacks from acquiring guns in sufficient numbers to fend off the depradation of criminal blacks. States may need to consider expunging felony records of all people who have not had run-ins with the law for a considerable time, say 15 years, but others may have differing opinions on this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Jack - Excellent post. Senators are not innumerate - they simply do not care about the facts. Facts conflict with their ideology and ideology always trumps facts. This is about power - power for its own sake. Totalitarians prefer unarmed subjects - much less messy that way. Molon Labe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Omitted from the very same statisical facts are the statistics at the bottom titled "justifiable homicides to include law enforcement." Its been some time since I've looked at that particular report but as I reacall, the number was around 320. Included in that number is 'sucide by law enforcement" which trends up and down.

The more important statistical data are the reports of crimes involving guns. A real eye opener!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The true racism is allowing the conditions in urban-cores to continue to generate a gang/thug culture that breeds upon itself, and impoverishes all that come into contact with it.
Since this is a culture nurtured by Progressives, when they start flinging the Racist! charge over discussion of their handiwork, they need to be reminded of their own culpability, and their projection.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
TNinfidel - The only reason to 'obey' these unconstituional laws is that the state is bigger than you or I. But you can practice a little civil disobedience if you're careful.

Remember: The government that doesn't trust its citizens to be armed is a government that doesn't deserve the trust of its citizens.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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