Seattle gun ban WTF



  • http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004468024_guns10m.html

    OK, I know this is a tech related forum but this article made me go "WTF." This topic isn't about weather gun control is right or not - it's about a law that mandates law-abiding citizens who have gone though background checks and the like to be told that their concealed weapons permit isn't valid on public property.

    Now, first WTF: regulating concealed weapons is like regulating underwear. You can't enforce it without taking everyone's pants off at the park entrance.

    Second WTF: is a criminal really going to look at a "no guns allowed in park" sign and say "gee, I guess I'll have to put off my planned shooting until they remove this law"? No. The aren't. If anything they will think "gee, now I guess I don't have to worry about the chance of someone else having a gun to stop me!"

    Again, gun control or no gun control, this law is stupid. Fortunately, a Seattle lawyer who happens to have a concealed weapons permit walked into a park (after informing officials he would be carrying a gun) so he could be kicked out and have grounds to sue the city.

     

    On a side note, this does have a slice of relevancy in the tech field as the head of the web department I work at has a permit himself.



  • Hmm - your first and second WTFs here are actually the same point, aren't they? That it's impossible to prevent people carrying concealed weapons, but did you ever think that perhaps the law isn't actually expecting criminals not to be carrying concealed weapons, but rather to give the Police the power to stop them and take away those weapons, when and if they are spotted?

    Without the law, anyone can wander around with hidden guns and nobody can do anything about it until after they have pulled the trigger. With the law, if a policeman thinks you look suspicious, stops you and finds a weapon, he can arrest you. Or, more simply, nobody has any good reason to be carrying a gun around in a park, concealed or otherwise, so why allow them to?



  • If a policeman does that based only on suspicion, then that officer is breaking the law.  We do have the right against unreasonable search and seizure.  Merely having a suspicion is not grounds for a search.

    I can think of a few parks that I wouldn't mind being armed in.  Not every park is a playground with a bunch of kids on it.  Not too mention, at least in my area, the police do not patrol the parks - they certainly never patrol the trails.  It generally falls to the ranger. 

    As a more exetreme example, I have friends that frequent the national parks out west and they are always armed.  It seems a number of fugitives would rather rough it in the wilderness than face a court.

     



  • It's nice to live in a state (PA) that has state pre-emption. No city/municipality/etc can make a gun law more strict than the state's.

     The problem with cities or municipalities or townships having different gun laws is serious. There are already ~26,000 gun laws on the books, and it's very difficult to stay legal, even in states with CCW reciprocity. Without reciprocity, when you cross into the next township to get some milk are you breaking the law? Hard to say.

    In PA, where you can and cannot carry are well-defined (except primary/secondary schools, we haven't figured out if a LTCF is a "lawful purpose" for having a gun on school property... But who wants to carry in a school, anyway? That's asking for trouble).

    If a municipality or city makes a law saying "You can't carry in parks", it's immediately shot down, and is unenforcable. :)



  • Well, I guess that not living the US, I don't really have any useful comments to add. I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot, but I appreciate that most of you have a different view - I guess your wilderness is quite a lot 'wilder' than ours :)

    About your first point though, surely if a Police Officer searches you and finds a gun, his search wasn't unreasonable. Or perhaps that's the point of the law?



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    Well, I guess that not living the US, I don't really have any useful comments to add. I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot, but I appreciate that most of you have a different view - I guess your wilderness is quite a lot 'wilder' than ours :)

    The typical counter-argument is that [i]not[/i] allowing people to carry guns does not decrease the number of [i]innocent[/i] people who get shot. I am not aware of whether this is actually supported by evidence.

    @DaveyDaveDave said:


    About your first point though, surely if a Police Officer searches you and finds a gun, his search wasn't unreasonable. Or perhaps that's the point of the law?

     

    In the United States, it doesn't work that way. A police officer can't just randomly walk up to people in the street and search them. Even if the officer finds something illegal, that search is still illegal. The officer would have to have either what the legal system refers to as "probable cause", or an order signed by a judge.

    Of course, this is how it works [i]in theory[/i]. In practice it can be difficult for the person being searched to prove that the officer didn't have a reason to search him. For instance, if an officer searches a random citizen and finds that he's carrying marijuana, how do you prove the officer didn't smell it?



  • The point of the park ban is to pander to voters.  People think of poor innocent kids on the playground getting shot up by crazed gunmen.  They associate gun with bad and that's it.  Law abiding citizens aren't doing anything but protecting themselves from those who'd think nothing of comitting a crime.

    About the police and searches, it depends on the reason for the search.  It requires warrant, consent, arrest, or probable cause.  An arrest has to be justified and probable cause is even tougher.  If the judges throws out the arrest or the search, the charge gets thrown out with it.



  • Not to mention that Seattle is one of the most liberal places in the United States.

     I grew up there. The place is full of people who make themseleves feel good by supporting such worthless laws.

    All it really does is add one more charge to the long list if a crazed gunman ever did let loose in public.



  • the real wtf here is that the city responds to a shooting by a mentally ill person by disallowing law-abiding citizens from carrying guns on city property.

    first of all, the city is going to rely on posted signs to keep people from entering with guns. short of searching every person entering the property (which would not go over well) they are not actually going to stop anyone from entering with a gun if that person is determined to. also it should be noted that the mayor's executive order does not allow the police to arrest people for carrying a gun on city property- they can only be asked to leave (can be arrested for trespassing if they refuse) or give up their weapon.

    second, the article mentions there was a fight but doesn't mention if it was a gun fight or only the crazy guy was shooting. i'm guessing that if there were two people shooting at each other, both would be facing charges and mentioned in the article. so it sounds like it was one guy shooting at unarmed people. the mayor's order is going make another shooting worse by disarming honest people who may otherwise have some means of defense.



  • @lincoln said:

    the real wtf here is that the city responds to a shooting by a mentally ill person by disallowing law-abiding citizens from carrying guns on city property.

    Yeah, look e.g. at the Germans. They draw the right conclusions and usually blame first-person shooters (or, as politicians say, "killer games"... o wait, killer games include all games in which you kill, which can be expanded to a large percentage of the video games in existence) as the primary reasons for school shootings.

    (There were even gaming events canceled as the people offering the room for the event banned some FPS and Warcraft 3. And I read an article about how WoW is a strategic war simulation. What the fuck indeed.)



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    Without the law, anyone can wander around with hidden guns and nobody can do anything about it until after they have pulled the trigger. With the law, if a policeman thinks you look suspicious, stops you and finds a weapon, he can arrest you. Or, more simply, nobody has any good reason to be carrying a gun around in a park, concealed or otherwise, so why allow them to?

     

    That's just not true.  You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon, and police have the right to ask to see your permit should they notice you have one.  They do not have to wait until a trigger is pulled. Criminals don't have conceled permits.  Well, at least most don't.  I have never seen a case where somebody who had a conceled weapons permit robbed anybody at gunpoint (or anything else stupid like that).



  • I'm tempted to say this should go in General Discussion.

     

    @DaveyDaveDave said:

    I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot...

    A person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not.  The only people who are stopped by gun bans are people wanting to defend themselves.  In the US, mass shootings almost always happen in gun-free zones.  Disarming law-abiding citizens turns a headline of "Madman Pulls Gun At Park, Shot By CCW Citizen Before Anyone Was Killed"* to "15 Dead In Park After Madman's Rampage, Turns Gun On Self".  There is plenty of info out there on the Internet if you are actually interested in learning, but I'm not going to waste my time finding links for you.

     

    <font size="1">* Okay, the media would never run a headline like this.  More like "Man Who Lost 3rd Cousin in Iraq Suffers PTSD Breakdown, Is Brutally Murdered By Gun-toting Right-winger. Bush To Blame?"</font>



  • @amischiefr said:

    You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon...

    Not in Vermont, which is also the state with the lowest gun crime.



  • @jpaull said:

    All it really does is add one more charge to the long list if a crazed gunman ever did let loose in public.

    Or, more likely, it adds a dozen charges of murder because nobody could stop him until he ran out of ammo.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    A person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not.  The only people who are stopped by gun bans are people wanting to defend themselves.  In the US, mass shootings almost always happen in gun-free zones.  Disarming law-abiding citizens turns a headline of "Madman Pulls Gun At Park, Shot By CCW Citizen Before Anyone Was Killed"* to "15 Dead In Park After Madman's Rampage, Turns Gun On Self".  There is plenty of info out there on the Internet if you are actually interested in learning, but I'm not going to waste my time finding links for you.
     

    Exactly.  If they would let soldiers cary weapons on base (I mean ffs, they're fucking soldiers, their job is to shoot and kill the enemy, and they can't carry a weapon?) then the shooting on Ft Hood would have gone a lot differently.   Taking away the rights of the individual to protect themselves does not stop criminals.  

     

    Look at England (taken from a news article outlining the stastics for gun crimes in England)

    Homicides by firearm:

    1998/1999 - 49
    1999/2000 - 62
    2000/2001 - 72
    2001/2002 - 95
    2002/2003 - 80
    2003/2004 - 68
    2004/2005 - 77
    2005/2006 - 50

    So, does taking away the right of the common man to carry guns prevent douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in England.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @amischiefr said:

    You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon...

    Not in Vermont, which is also the state with the lowest gun crime.

    I'm not sure this is entirely true.  It may as well be, though, as (AFAIK), in VT, it's very easy to get a CCW and above all, it's free.



  • Unless they changed it (or it was only a Clark County thing), any public (.gov) place that bans firearms is required to provide a secure gun check.  It was always fun going to the courthouse seeing the looks on the officers' faces when I would start stripping my guns off (I usually had a couple backups on).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @DaveyDaveDave said:
    I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot...

    A person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not.  The only people who are stopped by gun bans are people wanting to defend themselves.  In the US, mass shootings almost always happen in gun-free zones.  Disarming law-abiding citizens turns a headline of "Madman Pulls Gun At Park, Shot By CCW Citizen Before Anyone Was Killed"* to "15 Dead In Park After Madman's Rampage, Turns Gun On Self".  There is plenty of info out there on the Internet if you are actually interested in learning, but I'm not going to waste my time finding links for you.

     

    Having plenty of time to waste myself, I have found a link for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence#Homicides_by_country

    Sort it by the third column ('Firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.'), and you see the US near the top, with England and Wales second to last, with 20 times fewer people getting shot per 100,000 of population. Interestingly though, sorted by the fourth column ('Non-firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.'), the UK and the US are very close together. To me, this suggests that we have similar levels of desire to kill our neighbours, but allowing people to carry guns increases the liklihood of people getting shot. Actually, common sense suggests that to me, this just seems to back it up.

    Of course, you're quite right when you say that, "a person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not", but by making it illegal, you've forced that person to break the law as soon as he steps out of his house, rather than when he pulls the trigger. To me, that gives passers-by, the Police, security guards or anyone else who might encounter our murderer before he gets to his target, a better chance of seeing something is amiss, alerting the necessary people and/or getting somewhere safe. If it's perfectly legal to carry a gun, then it surely becomes much harder to tell who is a perfectly sensible, law-abiding, gun-toting citizen, and who isn't.

    I know that in the UK, statistics show that carrying a knife makes it much more likely that you will be stabbed, I'd be surprised if the same didn't apply for guns in the US.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @amischiefr said:

    You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon...

    Not in Vermont, which is also the state with the lowest gun crime.

    I'm not sure this is entirely true.  It may as well be, though, as (AFAIK), in VT, it's very easy to get a CCW and above all, it's free.

    http://gunowners.org/vtcarry.htm

     

    Unless the law changed very recently, you don't need a permit to carry in VT.



  • @amischiefr said:

    Homicides by firearm:

    1998/1999 - 49
    1999/2000 - 62
    2000/2001 - 72
    2001/2002 - 95
    2002/2003 - 80
    2003/2004 - 68
    2004/2005 - 77
    2005/2006 - 50

    So, does taking away the right of the common man to carry guns prevent douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in England.

     

     

    This would be a reasonable argument, if you showed the same list for the US with '0' against each year, because of all the friendly passers-by using their guns to prevent people getting shot. As per my post above, 20 times as many people get shot in the US, per 100,000 of population, than in England, so your numbers above are something like 100-times bigger for the US. Put another way,"does giving the right of the common man to carry guns prevent douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in the USA."



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence#Homicides_by_country

    Sort it by the third column ('Firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.'), and you see the US near the top, with England and Wales second to last, with 20 times fewer people getting shot per 100,000 of population. Interestingly though, sorted by the fourth column ('Non-firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.'), the UK and the US are very close together. To me, this suggests that we have similar levels of desire to kill our neighbours, but allowing people to carry guns increases the liklihood of people getting shot. Actually, common sense suggests that to me, this just seems to back it up.

    Of course, you're quite right when you say that, "a person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not", but by making it illegal, you've forced that person to break the law as soon as he steps out of his house, rather than when he pulls the trigger. To me, that gives passers-by, the Police, security guards or anyone else who might encounter our murderer before he gets to his target, a better chance of seeing something is amiss, alerting the necessary people and/or getting somewhere safe. If it's perfectly legal to carry a gun, then it surely becomes much harder to tell who is a perfectly sensible, law-abiding, gun-toting citizen, and who isn't.

    I know that in the UK, statistics show that carrying a knife makes it much more likely that you will be stabbed, I'd be surprised if the same didn't apply for guns in the US.

    The UK has higher rates of rape, assault and home invasion than the US.  Murder is pretty much the only crime statistic the US leads the UK in, and we have for over 200 years.  I don't know why the US has always been more murder-prone than the UK, but there it is.  I suppose less social homogeny and lots of intermingling cultures might be part of it.

     

    People who want to murder will murder, whether you ban guns, knives or whatever.  Guns make it easier to murder someone, but they also make it easier to defend yourself, by a much larger margin.  Your point about banning guns is just wrong, though.  Gun murders are highest in the US in places where guns are the most tightly controlled: Chicago, D.C., Baltimore, pre-1995 NYC...  Additionally, you are very unlikely to be murdered with a gun in North Dakota or Vermont, two states with lots of guns.  The fact is, there is a correlation between gun bans and a drop in gun crime: gun bans increase gun crime.  Of course, this isn't a hard-and-fast rule.  NYC is extremely safe today and they have strict gun bans.  However, NYC is the outlier and it's rapid reduction in crime is more likely due to demographic changes and a very large, active and expensive police force.



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    Put another way,"does giving the right of the common man to carry guns prevent
    douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in the USA."

    Except that there are lots of places in the US where carrying a gun is illegal.  And shocker: those places have very high rates of gun crime.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @DaveyDaveDave said:

    Put another way,"does giving the right of the common man to carry guns prevent
    douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in the USA."

    Except that there are lots of places in the US where carrying a gun is illegal.  And shocker: those places have very high rates of gun crime.

    I should point out that I'm hardly an idealist here: I don't think allowing CCW in Chicago is going to result in a drop in crime overnight.  One reason is that the roots of gun violence go far beyond guns.  The other is attitude: law-abiding citizens of Chicago and D.C. aren't going to carry guns, even if they are legal.  At least, not in very large numbers.  CCW can't lower rates of gun crime if nobody carries because they have a bias against firearms.

     

    Also, look at European countries like Switzerland or Finland: gun ownership is very, very high there, yet gun crime is low.  You simply cannot truthfully say that allowing guns creates gun violence.  It is a much more complex problem than that.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The UK has higher rates of rape, assault and home invasion than the US.

     

    I'll give you home invasion (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_bur_percap-crime-burglaries-per-capita), but you're wrong on assault (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_ass_percap-crime-assaults-per-capita) and rape (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_percap-crime-rapes-per-capita), at least according to a very quick Google.

    Granted, the two countries are pretty close, so I'm sure who's ahead of whom differs by how you count, but to me, the fact that all crimes except shootings are very close, and the US is way ahead on shootings, speaks for itself. No?



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    This would be a reasonable argument, if you showed the same list for the US with '0' against each year, because of all the friendly passers-by using their guns to prevent people getting shot. As per my post above, 20 times as many people get shot in the US, per 100,000 of population, than in England, so your numbers above are something like 100-times bigger for the US. Put another way,"does giving the right of the common man to carry guns prevent
    douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in the USA."
     

    You completely missed the point of my arguement.  I was not trying to compare America to Englend. I was trying to illustrate that even with all of those strict gun laws, you could not prevent people from being murdered with guns.  True, you have shifted the burdon of murder to knives, bats etc., but you didn't stop the criminals from getting guns and using them.  Sure, they are less accessible, therefore criminals are using alternate means of comiting crimes, but you haven't prevented it.

     

    That was my whole point.  Banning weapons only stops regular joes from carrying them.  The criminals don't care about a 'no-gun law'.  They will get them, and use them regardless. 



  • @amischiefr said:

    Banning weapons only stops regular joes from carrying them.  The criminals don't care about a 'no-gun law'.  



    Human nature and gun usage is an extremely complicated topic, please cite references to defend your position. The only references posted here so far tend to negate your position.

    Yesterday, we ridiculed a programmer for thinking a 'proof' of software was valid without an actual test. Maybe we should apply that attitude about 'proofs' to a wider sphere.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @amischiefr said:

    You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon...

    Not in Vermont, which is also the state with the lowest gun crime.

    I'm not sure this is entirely true.  It may as well be, though, as (AFAIK), in VT, it's very easy to get a CCW and above all, it's free.

     

    Unless the law changed very recently, you don't need a permit to carry in VT.

    You are correct, Morbs. You don't need a permit to carry in Vermont. However, they offer permits so that you can carry in states that have reciprocity with Vermont (so you have that piece of paper to show the police in the reciprocal state, should you need to).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @belgariontheking said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @amischiefr said:
    You have to have a permit to carry a conceled weapon...
    Not in Vermont, which is also the state with the lowest gun crime.
    I'm not sure this is entirely true.  It may as well be, though, as (AFAIK), in VT, it's very easy to get a CCW and above all, it's free.
    http://gunowners.org/vtcarry.htm

    Unless the law changed very recently, you don't need a permit to carry in VT.

    I must have been thinking about another state then.



  • @renalexam said:

    You are correct, Morbs. You don't need a permit to carry in Vermont. However, they offer permits so that you can carry in states that have reciprocity with Vermont (so you have that piece of paper to show the police in the reciprocal state, should you need to).

    Yep.



  • @NorseLaQuet said:

    This topic isn't about weather gun control is right or not
     

    I think this is wrong! I should be able to carry my weather gun anywhere I want.



  • @monkeypants said:

    @NorseLaQuet said:
    This topic isn't about weather gun control is right or not
    I think this is wrong! I should be able to carry my weather gun anywhere I want.
    Don't they get rusty when there is any form of precipitation?



    Having been bitten by the last gun thread on here, I've decided it generates more heat than light, even on here. So any further comments from here shall be dedicated to persuing the more flippant comments, and possibly mentioning Section 44 in the UK... where newspaper reporters, or indeed tourists, may be molested/questioned/threatend with arrest by people (who aren't actually employed as police) for taking photographs.



    Are the US taking immigrants from the UK?



  • @PJH said:

    Having been bitten by the last gun thread on here, I've decided it generates more heat than light, even on here.

    Politics usually do.  Personally, I wish people would just leave that crap on Kos or Free Republic.

     

    @PJH said:

    Are the US taking immigrants from the UK?

    Really, I wish we would accept more.  I'm all for giving "the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free" a shot at economic prosperity.  But with Europeans we know they aren't coming here as much for the money (since they can make a comfortable living in Europe) but because they prefer a smaller, less-restrictive government.  Likewise, I wish Europe would throw open the gates to American lefties so they could have their socialism and leave the rest of us alone.  The problem with poorer immigrants to America is that they move here for the money but with little understanding of the nation and they end up voting for lefty politicians who promise them all kinds of free goodies.  Combine their votes with the votes of the punative liberals who think everything America does is wrong and who want us to "pay for our crimes" and the votes of the well-meaning but misguided quasi-liberals and before you know it we're all living in a banana republic, just like the one they left.



  • @amischiefr said:

    Homicides by firearm:

    1998/1999 - 49
    1999/2000 - 62
    2000/2001 - 72
    2001/2002 - 95
    2002/2003 - 80
    2003/2004 - 68
    2004/2005 - 77
    2005/2006 - 50

    So, does taking away the right of the common man to carry guns prevent douchebags from shooting people?  Apparently not even in England.

     

    Oh wow, we're not too far short of that here in Boston, MA, alone. And those numbers are for a whole country, you say? I'd say that those stats actually support the claim that gun control works.



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    Well, I guess that not living the US, I don't really have any useful comments to add. I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot, but I appreciate that most of you have a different view - I guess your wilderness is quite a lot 'wilder' than ours :)

     

     It is, actually. Out west, there are many hundreds of square miles that have not been touched by humans. Ever. A lot of it is preserved as national parks.

    Plus, we have bears. And rattlesnakes.

     

    About your first point though, surely if a Police Officer searches you and finds a gun, his search wasn't unreasonable. Or perhaps that's the point of the law?

     

    The limitaiton on unreasonable search isn't to protect the criminal in cases like the one you mentioned above. It's to protect the dozens of people that police officer also searched who turned out to just be funny-looking. You can't un-search or un-arrest someone.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I'm tempted to say this should go in General Discussion.

     

    @DaveyDaveDave said:

    I just really don't see how allowing people to carry guns can possibly decrease the number of people getting shot...

    A person intending to murder will carry a gun whether it is legal or not.  The only people who are stopped by gun bans are people wanting to defend themselves.  In the US, mass shootings almost always happen in gun-free zones.  Disarming law-abiding citizens turns a headline of "Madman Pulls Gun At Park, Shot By CCW Citizen Before Anyone Was Killed"* to "15 Dead In Park After Madman's Rampage, Turns Gun On Self".  There is plenty of info out there on the Internet if you are actually interested in learning, but I'm not going to waste my time finding links for you.

     

    <FONT size=1>* Okay, the media would never run a headline like this.  More like "Man Who Lost 3rd Cousin in Iraq Suffers PTSD Breakdown, Is Brutally Murdered By Gun-toting Right-winger. Bush To Blame?"</FONT>

    Well put, sir. 

    I'm bowing repeatedly with my arms extended, à la Wayne's World, chanting "I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy".

     



  • Well, the one time I was in Seattle, there was a gun battle at the base of the Space Needle while I was at the top. I live in New York, and was twice in violent confrontations that could've been a lot worse if the asshole in question had a gun. Or, for that matter, if a "helpful" bystander had pulled a gun. I'm glad that the stupider/crazier criminals find guns difficult to get in NYC, and that the culture discourages law-abiders from carrying.

    Meaningless anecdotal data ftw! My intuition is that restricting gun sales indirectly reduces criminal gun ownership, and that concealed carry causes more deaths than it prevents, but I can't provide any actual evidence.



  • @HonoreDB said:

    I'm glad that the stupider/crazier criminals find guns difficult to get in NYC...

    They don't, believe me.  Illegal guns are very easy to get in NYC.

     

    @HonoreDB said:

    My intuition is that restricting gun sales indirectly reduces criminal gun ownership, and that concealed carry causes more deaths than it prevents, but I can't provide any actual evidence.

    Well, your intutition sucks.  But you live in New York, so we already knew that.  You are ignoring the numerous places in the US and Europe where guns are prevalent and gun crime is not, as well as the places in the US where guns are heavily restricted but gun crime is rampant.  How long have you lived in New York?  Twenty-five years ago it was more anti-gun and your chances of being gunned down were pretty good.  Clearly you have no sense of history, correlation or statistics.



  • @joemck said:

    Oh wow, we're not too far short of that here in Boston, MA, alone. And those numbers are for a whole country, you say? I'd say that those stats actually support the claim that gun control works.

    Yes, the gun control in Boston works.  That's absolutely what he was saying.  You are a motherfucking genius.



  •  The gun control point can be illustrated best by putting yourself in the criminals shoes for a moment.  Regardless of what you plan to do (murder, robbery, mass killing, whatever) the gun-free zones are always better targets.  Why would you take the risk of pulling a gun on someone in public when theres a decent chance 3 people within earshot/eyesight also have them and can take you out with a few well placed rounds?  And you're going there to commit crimes much higher on the ladder than possession of a firearm, so what the fuck do you care about walking into a gun free zone with a whole stack of guns?

    In all the research I've done on this topic, I have to find a SINGLE INSTANCE where a gun control law actually reduced gun crimes.



  • @Master Chief said:

     The gun control point can be illustrated best by putting yourself in the criminals shoes for a moment.  Regardless of what you plan to do (murder, robbery, mass killing, whatever) the gun-free zones are always better targets.  Why would you take the risk of pulling a gun on someone in public when theres a decent chance 3 people within earshot/eyesight also have them and can take you out with a few well placed rounds?  And you're going there to commit crimes much higher on the ladder than possession of a firearm, so what the fuck do you care about walking into a gun free zone with a whole stack of guns?

    In all the research I've done on this topic, I have to find a SINGLE INSTANCE where a gun control law actually reduced gun crimes.

    Of course.  The only gun control that would reduce gun crime would be confiscating every firearm in private possession, the policing the borders to guarantee none come in.  Of course, knife crime and broke-beer-bottle crime would soar, as would rape, home invasion, muggings, assaults, robberies and many others.  So then we'd have to outlaw pointy knives and sharp objects and if a man is assaulted by a group of gang-bangers and he fights back we'd have to send him to jail for more time than his attackers, just so people understand that they have no business defending themselves since that's the government's sole right and responsibility.

     

    Man... that sounds like some place I've heard of...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    So then we'd have to outlaw pointy knives and sharp objects
    You jest, but this is a reality (though perhaps not, yet, in the US.) There was a post elsethread about some guy getting 7 days(?) jail time for carrying a knife in a car IIRC. Yes it's idiotic.



    @morbiuswilters said:
    and if a man is assaulted by a group of gang-bangers and he fights back we'd
    have to send him to jail for more time than his attackers
    While not gang-bangers, there have been two cases that I know of (UK) where burglars have been accosted by the house owners, and the house owners have had jail time. The burglars (who lived) did not. At least not for the burglary.



    Tony Martin, a farmer, who shot dead (1999) one of two burglars on the premises, and Munir Hussain (this year) who chased them down the street, and broke a cricket bat into three pieces applying brain damage to one of them.



    @morbiuswilters said:
    Man... that sounds like some place I've heard of...
    Indeed.



  • @PJH said:

    You jest, but this is a reality (though perhaps not, yet, in the US.)

    Actually, I was referring to the UK the entire time.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @PJH said:

    You jest, but this is a reality (though perhaps not, yet, in the US.)

    Actually, I was referring to the UK the entire time.

    Got a cite for:
    man is assaulted by a group of gang-bangers and he fights back we'd have to send him to jail for more time than his attackers
    ... I don't recognise it as anything that's happened recently (or less recently,) in the UK, but if it didn't make 'big media' I've probably missed it.


  • @PJH said:

    Got a cite for:
    man is assaulted by a group of gang-bangers and he fights back we'd have to send him to jail for more time than his attackers
    ... I don't recognise it as anything that's happened recently (or less recently,) in the UK, but if it didn't make 'big media' I've probably missed it.

    It seems I may have confused the details of the case I was thinking about with others, although the basic point remains:

     

    Eric Butler, 73, a retired credit controller from Chingford, Essex, said: "The concept of reasonable force is nonsense. I should know: when I defended myself, I had the book thrown at me."

    In 1987, Mr Butler's plight provoked an outcry. He was attacked on a London Underground train by a man who kicked him in the face, grabbed him by the throat and began banging his head against the carriage.

    Only Mr Butler knew that the walking stick he carried concealed a four-inch ornamental blade. As the grip around his neck tightened and he felt his consciousness fade, Mr Butler unsheathed the blade and fought back.

    The attacker was taken to hospital with abdominal wounds and later received an 18-month prison sentence. Mr Butler was convicted of carrying an offensive weapon, fined £200 and given a 28-day suspended prison sentence. On appeal the sentence was quashed but the fine raised to £300.


    There is no mention of gang-bangers in that article, although other versions of the story say he was attacked by two men.  Additionally, he didn't get more time than the attacker(s), although I know I've heard of cases where that has happened.

     

    Here's the source of that quote: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1475456/Stories-of-bravery-and-tragedy-from-crime-victims.html   I don't remember if The Independent is considered a reputable newspaper in Britain, although there are plenty of other sites with his story.  I just picked this one because it differed the most from what I claimed; I don't want people to think I'm cherry picking here.  Also, it's the only source I found that has a modern quote from Eric Butler, so it seems a bit less anecdotal than the other tellings.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Eric Butler
    Totally unaware of the case. Though the details don't surprise me, ta for the info.



    @morbiuswilters said:
    I don't remember if The Independent is considered a reputable newspaper in
    Britain
    Never actually read it (though maybe I should for a while) but I get the impression they're alongside the Guardian, and Times, rather than the 'red tops' such as the Sun, Mirror and Mail (though the latter doesn't actually have a 'red top' it maybe should.)



    It should be (probably redundantly) noted that the name of the paper probably doesn't reflect it's independance. At least in any field of interest to news reading members of the public.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The only people who are stopped by gun bans are people wanting to defend themselves.

     

    Or people that react badly to being upset.  You know, the kind that, eventually, when you piss them off enough, don't just consider using their gun, they actually grab it and point it at you.



  • There are a lot of laws like that. They aren't enforceable per se, but they can be used to jack up the charges against anybody they arrest for something else.

    So if you arrest a guy for something else (perhaps only on suspicion) and then find he has a concealed weapon, then you can charge him with that even if the original charge falls through or is too weak to hold him.

    I'm not defending this particular law, but rules like this could have a purpose, generally speaking.



  • This argument is clearly not going anywhere, because - hardly surprisingly - none of us are suddenly going to change our minds. Ultimately, I'm very definitely not a liberal lefty, and, when it comes down to it, I do think that everyone has the right to defend him/herself. At the same time, though, I would always choose to live in a country where it's harder to get guns, than one where it's easier. Not because I think that stops people getting guns, but, undoubtedly it reduces the total number of guns, which must, at least in part, reduce the number of shootings.

    Just a few points that I can't stop myself commenting on...

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Also, look at European countries like Switzerland or Finland: gun ownership is very, very high there, yet gun crime is low. You simply cannot truthfully say that allowing guns creates gun violence. It is a much more complex problem than that.

    Very true, and, of course it's a more complex problem, I don't think anyone truly believes that switching the 'legal guns' switch on or off makes any difference at all. However, a couple of points, first, I can't quickly find any stats for Finland, but according to this site:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir_percap-crime-murders-firearms-per-capita

    Switzerland has a 5 times higher rate of murders with firearms than the UK, so I'm not sure that your point is quite right here. Secondly, I believe that both countries have much more expensive cost of living than either the US or the UK, so it's reasonable to assume that they are able to police their citizens more effectively - your argument works both ways - can you really say that banning guns wouldn't reduce shootings still further in Switzerland or Finland?

    @amischiefr said:

    You completely missed the point of my arguement. I was not trying to compare America to Englend. I was trying to illustrate that even with all of those strict gun laws, you could not prevent people from being murdered with guns.

    No - I think you missed the point of my argument. Of course there will always be people with guns shooting other people, I don't believe I ever suggested that banning guns would make them impossible to acquire, just harder. My argument was that this is borne out by the fact that, statistically, you are 20-times less likely to be shot in the UK, than in the US.

    @Master Chief said:

    In all the research I've done on this topic, I have to find a SINGLE INSTANCE where a gun control law actually reduced gun crimes.

    With all due respect, might I suggest that "all the research" you've done, hasn't been very much, given that the very first result of my first search provided just such a SINGLE INSTANCE.

    @PJH said:

    Tony Martin, a farmer, who shot dead (1999) one of two burglars on the premises

    I can't comment on the Munir Hussain case, as I know nothing about it, but a good friend of mine lives on a farm neighbouring Tony Martin's, and I have a reasonable understanding of that case. Had he just shot the scumbag gypsy who had been terrorising him for years, he would have been perfectly within his rights, been charged with nothing, and everyone living in the area would have fully supported him - it's very much a farming area, and gypsies are a constant nuisance for the law-abiding citizens who live there. HOWEVER, he actually shot the burglar in the back, while the burglar was running away - hardly something that could be considered 'reasonable force'. Even that probably wouldn't have got him a custodial sentence, as I understand it, but he then left his house and went to stay in a hotel overnight, leaving the guy to bleed to death.

    This pretty much amounts to vigilante justice, and, clearly, the law can't just ignore that. It was made very clear at the time, that had he done everything the same, but phoned the police to report the fact that he'd shot a burglar, he'd have been deemed to have done nothing wrong. Of course, another decade of Labour government might mean that this is not currently true, but that was definitely the case at the time.

    @The Independent said:

    Only Mr Butler knew that the walking stick he carried concealed a four-inch ornamental blade. As the grip around his neck tightened and he felt his consciousness fade, Mr Butler unsheathed the blade and fought back.

    The attacker was taken to hospital with abdominal wounds and later received an 18-month prison sentence. Mr Butler was convicted of carrying an offensive weapon, fined £200 and given a 28-day suspended prison sentence. On appeal the sentence was quashed but the fine raised to £300.

    So, he was fined £300 for carrying an offensive weapon, quite reasonable. Clearly the law had no problem with him defending himself, or he would have gone to prison, but no matter how you look at it, this man was carrying a 4-inch blade around with him - this is illegal, for exactly the reason I mention in my very first post - if you make it illegal to carry a knife, you can take that knife away from a potential attacker, before he stabs someone.

    The Independent is generally a pretty sensible paper (I say that as a generally right-wing person, no doubt a Guardian (left-wing) reader would disagree), but I do think the language in that first paragraph is pretty emotive...

    I can't help but notice that in the same article you are quoting here, there are plenty of other examples of people defending themselves with reasonable force, and facing no criminal charges. The only potential charges mentioned, for Mr Mercer, are civil charges, and I believe that the current nonsense of people suing each other for any small thing has its roots your side of the Atlantic...

    I very often read cases like this in the British papers, and am initially outraged that the criminal appears to have been treated better than the victim, but in all the cases I can think of, I've later gone on to learn more about the case, and understood that the victim wasn't quite as defenceless, or did go beyond reasonable force.



  • @DaveyDaveDave said:

    @PJH said:
    Tony Martin, a farmer, who shot dead (1999) one of two
    burglars on the premises
    I can't comment on the Munir Hussain case, as
    I know nothing about it, but a good friend of mine lives on a farm neighbouring
    Tony Martin's, and I have a reasonable understanding of that case. Had he just
    shot the scumbag gypsy who had been terrorising him for years, he would have
    been perfectly within his rights, been charged with nothing, and everyone living
    in the area would have fully supported him - it's very much a farming area, and
    gypsies are a constant nuisance for the law-abiding citizens who live there.
    HOWEVER, he actually shot the burglar in the back, while the burglar was running
    away - hardly something that could be considered 'reasonable force'. Even that
    probably wouldn't have got him a custodial sentence, as I understand it, but he
    then left his house and went to stay in a hotel overnight, leaving the guy to
    bleed to death. This pretty much amounts to vigilante justice, and, clearly, the
    law can't just ignore that. It was made very clear at the time, that had he done
    everything the same, but phoned the police to report the fact that he'd shot a
    burglar, he'd have been deemed to have done nothing wrong. Of course, another
    decade of Labour government might mean that this is not currently true, but that
    was definitely the case at the time.
    I believe you've misinterpreted the point I was trying to make. The Munir Hussain case was also vigilante justice. The guy he brained was nowhere near the property - they chased them for quite a while before using the cricket bat. Of course (some of) the media are presenting it as a travesty of justice where the victim gets a jail term, when in fact, no travesty has taken place in the court room. They're selecting the wrong person as the victim.



    And I agree with your interpretation of Tony Martin's case.



  • Oops - sorry, my bad. Carry on :)


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