Difference between revisions of "Talk:Gun control"

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(Gun control debate vs. greater emphasis on changing violent thinking of society)
(Reversion of Ed Poor's edit: final reply to Philip re: gun control)
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::::::: To summarise, your first post in this section was not a direct response to what I posted, but I replied to your specific claims by showing them to be wrong.  You tried disputing a few of them, but by and large ignored the actual refutations, opting instead for a sweeping dismissal of my rebuttals (I'm "arguing against logic"), and introducing a new, unfounded claim.  When I question you on ''that'' claim, you introduce some ''new'' claims (new to ''this'' discussion), rather than address the specific claims you raised and I refuted.  Changing the subject like this shows that you have no good argument.
::::::: To summarise, your first post in this section was not a direct response to what I posted, but I replied to your specific claims by showing them to be wrong.  You tried disputing a few of them, but by and large ignored the actual refutations, opting instead for a sweeping dismissal of my rebuttals (I'm "arguing against logic"), and introducing a new, unfounded claim.  When I question you on ''that'' claim, you introduce some ''new'' claims (new to ''this'' discussion), rather than address the specific claims you raised and I refuted.  Changing the subject like this shows that you have no good argument.
::::::: [[User:Philip J. Rayment|Philip J. Rayment]] 17:39, 4 December 2008 (EST)
::::::: [[User:Philip J. Rayment|Philip J. Rayment]] 17:39, 4 December 2008 (EST)
:::::::: Philip, your angry posting is an argument with yourself at this point.  In open-minded discussions, estimates are common and helpful.  Jumping on someone else's estimates while refusing to provide your own is a sign of bullying rather than open mind.  Rant and insist on [[last wordism]] if you like, but I'm not going to waste any more time with your approach.  The logical and political rejection of the fallacy of [[gun control]] is so widely accepted in the United States that gun control is rarely advocated in most states here any more.--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 18:16, 4 December 2008 (EST)
== Gun control debate vs. greater emphasis on changing violent thinking of society ==
== Gun control debate vs. greater emphasis on changing violent thinking of society ==

Revision as of 18:16, 4 December 2008

Quote: "This right is a natural right which we are endowed by our Creator with, and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly recognizes this pre-existing natural right of individuals to own and carry tools useful for self-defense."

This assertion requires citation to comply with the Commandments, as, no matter how rational and obvious, it is a personal opinion. Additionally, it would be useful, and would strengthen the assertion, if a clearer explanation of the constitutional right to carry tools really exists, vis-a-vis pre-existing natural rights. If a constitutional scholar is available, it would be great if he could comment here, as the Second Amendment is of the utmost importance and we should support it more clearly.

I agree, the wording of the Second Amendment is hardly explicit. Also, Jesus reprimanded Peter for trying to defend them with a sword, so whether our Creator wants us to defend ourselves with guns is debatable. --Daniel B. Douglas 12:57, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Besides: the "natural" sic for (inalienable?) right stems for the Declaration of Independence not from the Constitution. --Crackertalk 13:06, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

I think my version was more clear and accurate, but it's your site. Palmd001 09:05, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

The Second Amendment gives 'The People' - that is The American People (not persons as in individuals) the right to arm itself, specifically against the British who claimed sovereignty over the American People, forbidding them to bear arms except under the King.

Countries with gun control have fewer homicides, as do US states with gun control. And as Daniel B Douglas points out Jesus requires his followers to turn the other cheek: I certainly don't remember God asking us to arm ourselves to the teeth. KT

The Bill of Rights is specifically about INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. If you think Jesus Christ, the Son of God is a pacifist then you should read about His second coming in the Book of Revelations. In all countries without a similar version of our 2nd Ammendment right have fewer individual freedoms and rights. Gee, if only we were like other countries, sigh.--Roopilots6 19:04, 14 May 2007 (EDT)

You are wrong about states with stricter gun control laws. It's precisely the other way around, as John Lott shows in More Guns, Less Crime. --Ed Poor Talk 07:36, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Patriot Act


Interestingly enough, the USA PATRIOT Act is another law that restricts liberties in the name of safety, yet those in favor of the PATRIOT ACT are often opposed to gun control.

What does "another law that restricts liberties" mean? Is it a "restriction" that any overseas phone call I make to a suspected terrorist will be monitored?

Where is the contradiction between wanted terrorists thwarted, and wanting to defend oneself against muggers and rapists? --Ed Poor 09:00, 16 April 2007 (EDT)


So - is NOW a good time to discuss things like waiting periods (I beleive Virginia has none), conceal laws(Virginia lets you do that) and other such unpleasantries???? Jacobin 20:22, 16 April 2007 (EDT) 20:22, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Any time is a good time to help craft a balanced article presenting arguments for and against gun control laws. I have seen arguments on both sides enough to fill up several books.
Can you boil it down to 2,000 words or less?

well, cars still kill wayyy more people.Jaques 21:55, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Uhm... So anything that kills less that cars per year should be legal to have and use? Timppeli 22:00, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
47,000 fatal car accidents per year in the U.S. versus around 1,000,000 non-fatal uses of guns in self-defense. I'd ban cars on that basis, but there's obviously much more to it. Do we have an article summarizing the findings of John Lott, the statistician who wrote More Guns, Less Crime? --Ed Poor 22:08, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Question: What happens if one of the students who was shot had a gun with which to defend himself? Answer: there would be less people dead then there are now. --CPAdmin1 22:21, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Counter question: How many students would be killed every year in shootouts in schools, if we allowed people to carry guns there? I bet even the accidental shootings would kill more people nationwide, not to mention all the things people can do when they are angry, gang related stuff and so on. Timppeli 22:40, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Question: what happens if the murderer hadn't been able to get a gun? Answer: there would be many less people dead then there are now. -AmesGyo! 22:25, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Question: Who are and who are not prevented from getting guns by gun control laws? Answer: Law abiding citizens are prevented from getting guns and criminals are not. --HSDad 22:36, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Reply Regardless of what the laws are a criminal who wants a gun will be able to get one. Look an how effective (not very) the laws against illegal drugs are. gun control takes the guns out of the hands of the law abiding citizens but not the criminals. --CPAdmin1 22:31, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
More likely he would use some other weapon to kill. Like run over someone with his car.Jaques 22:30, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Well they have so-called "motor-voter" laws that enable people who get driver's licenses to register to vote.
Perhaps they could draft a "motor-toter" law, to issue every driver a handgun? Carjackings would go WAY down. Rob Pommertalk

The argument that criminals would still get guns if they wanted them has some foundation in logic, however, it has no foundation statistically. A comparison to England will suffice. It bears out the conclusion that while some criminals still get guns, it is fewer - the mental & physical block of having to break another law just to get a gun actually deters gun crime :-) -AmesGyo! 22:42, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Allso should be concidered where the criminals get their guns, those dont show up from nowhere. Most are stolen from those who have legally purchased them. Less gun owners, less weapons around to be stolen. Timppeli 22:44, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
or stolen from a cop. ya, all cops have guns. Jaques 12:40, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

Guys, all of this is good stuff, but please consider before posting whether it's better to go to the Debate topics. Are you planning to help write a balanced article here? --Ed Poor 22:47, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

  • Read this information via Hot Air. -- AmeriCan 03:45, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

We've got a discussion going on here already: http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservapedia:Would_the_repeal_of_gun_control_laws_make_incidents_like_today%27s_shooting_at_Virginia_Tech_less_likely_to_occur%3F DanH 04:01, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

Gun Control Leads to gun confiscation.

I am planning to remove this because it has no reference. -Brian

If everyone, including children old enough to pull a trigger, owned a gun, would there be more or fewer shootings of human beings, accidental or intentional? I'm including felons, mentally ill, illegal aliens, legal aliens, and aliens from outer space.

Somewhere else in the world

I'm wondering if it would be useful to add something about Singapore, which has some of the most extrems laws about gun control. Something like :

"In Singapore, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, the capital punishment is mandatory for "arms trafficking", ie owning more than two weapons under the Misuse of Arms Act, and caning is mandatory for any person found in posession of a weapon (not even a firearm)"

Any comment? Emptiness 05:20, 23 May 2007 (EDT)

I, the inferior European who cannot possibly understand anything you superior Americans discuss here, have something to add in too. And yes, that was sarcasm. So here, I´ll offer you a little piece of gun control info from the rest of the world: Here in Finland, we have certain, quite strict gun control laws: it is quite close to impossible for a private person to own a *handgun* without a very good reason, such as being the owner of a shooting range, sports, or being a police officer. Also, anything beyond semi-auto is a BIG no-no for civilians here. Shotguns and Rifles ARE available far easier, since hunting is a very popular pastime here in Finland, especially the northern parts where I live in. Interesting enough, most homicides and crimes in general do NOT involve guns, they involve alcohol and drugs. Far more common as a murder weapon is a kitchen knife than a firearm of some kind, and a very large proportion of ALL crimes in finland involve alcohol in a way or another. Just my two cents, y´know?

..And Come on, we have friggin RUSSIA as our neighbour. FreakyM 08:52, 23 May 2007 (EDT)

Duplicate sentence revert.

Okay, I guess I might just have a bee in my bonnet over this, but the sentence, Increased "gun control" is generally promoted by pacifists and liberals as a remedy to crime. appears twice -- in a row. Once as the end of the first paragraph, and then as the first sentence of the second paragraph. I attempted to correct this obvious mistake, but I was reverted. Would someone please tell me how I was wrong to do this, and why it is necessary to repeat this sentence immediately after itself and why it should not be removed from the tail of the first paragraph?

As it appears in the article:

Such measures can range from a total prohibition on civilian ownership and possession of firearms and ammunition to specific restrictions on certain firearm features, "waiting periods" for gun purchases, licensing of gun owners, registration of firearms, etc. Increased "gun control" is generally promoted by pacifists and liberals as a remedy to crime.

Increased "gun control" is generally promoted by pacifists and liberals as a remedy to crime. Libertarians and conservatives, on the other hand, argue that whether or not guns are officially controlled by the government, criminals will commit crimes, and a black market will exist to provide them with firearms.

Have at me.

The Rev. 22:36, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

I see the revert was removed, and the correction made. Thank you. I am avenged.
The Rev. 10:16, 23 June 2007 (EDT)

Uhh, is it really proper for the article to claim that "Increased "gun control" is generally promoted by pacifists and liberals as a remedy to crime, but that is actually a deceit" right in the first paragraph? I mean, that's a big assertion and there's no citation to back it up. I think such a statement would be better suited to the second or third paragraphs, maybe... GrandSoviet 23:36, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Moved discussion from Talk:Main Page

I've moved the discussion down here for clarity.

If you give a random stranger a gun, there is a 100-to-1 chance that the gun will be used defensively, to prevent crime, rather than to perpetrate a crime. It inexorably follows from that simple observation that more guns leads to less crime.

If a random passenger or pilot had a gun on 9/11, thousands of lives would have been saved. If a teacher or random student had a gun in a public school, they would not be easy prey for people like the Virginia Tech killer. Indeed, most shocking crimes would never occur if there was widespread gun ownership.

As I've said, every credible study confirms that more guns leads to less crime. The next time you read about a serial murder, a rape, a beating, a robbery, etc., just think to yourself: more gun ownership would have reduced the likelihood of that occurring.

I'm going to add this issue to the Essay:Quantifying Openmindedness.--Aschlafly 09:53, 15 December 2007 (EST)

I'm still waiting for you to reference those studies. Meanwhile, I found this page which argues (with facts and figures) that Australia's tough new gun laws resulted in very little change in crime and gun deaths. In other words, it didn't help the situation, but didn't make it worse either. Unfortunately, it's data dates to only a few years after the tough gun laws were introduced, and longer-term data would be better. Philip J. Rayment 10:32, 15 December 2007 (EST)
I'll build up the John Lott entry with more citations. I've already added several. With odds of 100-to-1 that putting a gun in the hands of a stranger will be used for defensive, deterrent and crime-preventing purposes, it's statistically implausible that such gun distribution would increase crime.--Aschlafly 11:31, 15 December 2007 (EST)
I've already said this above but it's probably worth repeating.
I think it is unwise to compare gun control and homicide rates between different countries and then use that as an argument to increase or reduce gun control in a particular country.
The situation in the UK and Australia (similar gun control laws) is very different to the situation in the US. Neither of the former two has an equivalent to the Second Amendment nor do they have a history of common and easy gun ownership. Unlike the US.
While gun crime and homicide rates are much higher in the US compared to either country and almost all Western nations, that doesn't mean that introducing more gun control will reduce gun crime and homicide.
Conversely, using the (perhaps counter-intuitive to non-Americans) US experience of "more gun-control = more gun crime and homicide" to argue for less gun control elsewhere doesn't follow.
The stark reality is that gun crime and homicide are generally higher in countries with relatively relaxed gun-control (such as in the US) and generally lower in countries with relatively strict gun-control.
However, changing from more gun-control to less or vica-versa doesn't necessarily produce the result that is expected - in either direction. Ajkgordon 13:59, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Why are you so obsessed with guns? Knives and swords work just as well, and if carried on a plane would have avoided the risk of a loss of cabin pressure that is an issue with higher-calibre handguns. And what about Tasers and Mace? ...RingWraith 18:19, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Hey, Aschlafly, you just changed the John Lott page from a serious and critical (if short) look at gun control, giving arguments for and against (although more strongly for gun control). Now, as a result of this argument, it is a totally pro-guns piece....conservative bias perhaps? Bolly 10:25, 16 December 2007

There were scurrilous and non-encyclopedic remarks in the John Lott that were properly removed. I've added additional information also.--Aschlafly 16:09, 16 December 2007 (EST)

In reply to Philip above, I want to point out that gun control represents a materialistic style of reasoning that we reject in other contexts. Gun control depends on overemphasizing the significance of what is seen (guns) as the cause of crime, while ignoring the significance of what is unseen (deterrence) in reducing crime. Generally, though not always, advocates of gun control also advocate materialism in other contexts.--Aschlafly 16:09, 16 December 2007 (EST)

Sorry, I can't see the connection between gun control and materialism. I accept that the idea that widespread carrying of guns would deter crime makes sense, but as always, and as Ajkgordon said, this is simplistic as there are always multiple other factors at work. I haven't seen comparative figures for crime in different countries, although I have seen those for gun deaths which show America being over four times the rate of Australia. However, the Australian figures show that most gun deaths are suicides, and these might well happen by different means if there were far fewer guns around, so those figures may not mean much. Philip J. Rayment 20:53, 16 December 2007 (EST)
I don't think I've ever heard any serious analyst saying that guns are the cause of crime. Rather I often hear that wide availability of guns can enable a high level of gun crime catalysed by other factors such as drug use, poverty, disenfranchisement, gang violence, etc. Ajkgordon 16:39, 16 December 2007 (EST)
I think many gun control supporters do think that the guns themselves are the cause of much crime, and that the crimes would not occur in the absence of guns. This is a heavily materialistic style of reasoning, but there are many materialists out there who are attracted to it.--Aschlafly 16:58, 16 December 2007 (EST)
Well, it's simplistic reasoning. Gun-control > fewer guns > less gun crime.
My view is that gun control has a negative ( i.e. lessening) effect on gun crime and violent crime if gun control is the current status quo. Changing from loose gun-control to tight gun-control, however, can often have a positive effect, particularly experienced in some states in the US.
But likewise, your reasoning of Gun-freedom → better defence → less gun crime is also over simplistic.
There are too many other variables at work to make that predictive correlation. And certainly it would be unwise to argue that more guns in places like the UK and Australia would lead to lower gun crime when their gun crime rates are so much lower than those of the US already. Ajkgordon 17:09, 16 December 2007 (EST)
Andy's point is that the widespread availability of guns deters general crime, not specifically gun crime. Whether or not that's true I don't know, but I can see the rationale. Philip J. Rayment 20:53, 16 December 2007 (EST)

Mr. Schlafly, if a random passenger had a gun on 9/11 that would imply anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm could take them onto airplanes. Legal entitelment would assumedly be granted anyone without a criminal record who has been vetted for gun ownership. Terrorists are often people who meet exactly that description. More terrorist with guns on airplanes, passengers with guns on airplanes, shoot outs on airplanes. Apart from the fact that shooting off guns in high altitude aircraft is not a good idea, I have a suspicion that many people would shudder at the thought and come to the conclusion flying would be a more dangerous activity as a result. A more liberal, gun control approach was the introduction of armed Air Marshals on flights, unfortunalely not so much conservative fire-power available in case of an emergency. CillaHunt 17:47, 16 December 2007 (EST)

A gun fight on one of the September 11 planes would bring the plane down, but that would have prevented the far worse consequence of it crashing into the World Trade Center.
But although Andy's got a point about us not seeing what crimes are prevented by guns being widely available, an argument that he's not addressed (as I recall) is that widespread availability of guns means that people who are otherwise law-abiding then use them in a moment of passion or rage, often killing a spouse or other relative or friend, whereas if they didn't have ready access to a gun, the consequences would have been much less severe.
What this means, however, is that we then have to weigh up this apparent benefit of not having guns with the apparent benefit that having guns has in deterring crime generally. It's a difficult issue, made more difficult by the fact that if one goes from widespread gun ownership to very restricted gun ownership, although the end result may be better, in the interim it is the law-abiding people who give up their guns first.
Philip J. Rayment 20:53, 16 December 2007 (EST)
Philip points out a common fear, that guns cause crimes of "passion or rage" that would not occur in the absence of the guns, but please realize that knives, sticks, baseball bats, and fists are still available. Also, the absence of guns means a lack of defense or deterrence against crimes of "passion or rage." So I doubt there is an overall positive effect of gun control on this particular type of crime, which is a probably a small percentage of overall crimes anyway.--Aschlafly 00:32, 17 December 2007 (EST)
A couple of corrections and an agreement:
  • I didn't say that guns cause crimes of passion or rage. Nor did I say that in their absence the crime would not occur. I was saying that in cases of passion or rage, a gun is going to have a worse consequence than if the gun is not available. Sure, a knife or etc. could still be used, but the victim likely would have a better chance of surviving an attack with another weapon than against a gun.
  • I agree that this particular type of crime would only be a small percentage of overall crimes.
Philip J. Rayment 01:09, 17 December 2007 (EST)

<--- Let's take a step back. For those of you who are anti-gun control, why are US rates of violent crime so much higher than almost all other wealthy western countries, most of which have tight gun control? Obviously you don't believe that it's due to the wide availability of guns but there does seem to be a direct correlation. What, in your view, are the reasons? Ajkgordon 07:21, 17 December 2007 (EST)

The U.S. is unique in many ways. The U.S. has a culture of violence in sports, movies and entertainment, it has an enormous drug problem, it has anti-religious public school system, it has widespread gambling and pornography, and it imprisons more people per capita than any other nation. When those inmates get out, they don't easily find jobs, and unfortunately it's back to crime for many of them.--Aschlafly 12:11, 17 December 2007 (EST)
Hmmmm... interesting, thanks.
But it is also one of the most religious western countries, so why does it have these problems in the first place? And are you arguing for more effective rehabilitation of prisoners or fewer prisoners? Ajkgordon 12:15, 17 December 2007 (EST)
The U.S. has a strong religious component, but also a strong anti-religious component. Since crime is perpetrated by only 1% of the population, the U.S. is probably worse off than other countries when viewed with respect to religion and crime.--Aschlafly 12:30, 17 December 2007 (EST)
Well, I, for one, am arguing for a renewal of the culture, to address the problems that Mr. Schlafly just mentioned. Especially the matter of violent sport (and the excuses that team owners and many colleges make for misbehaving athletes), gambling, pornography, and anti-homeschooling regulations.--TerryHTalk 12:32, 17 December 2007 (EST)
Thanks, very interesting.
I wonder what percentage of the prison population is religious compared to atheist. I read recently that 2% of Americans are in prison or on probation/parole at any one time. Let's be generous and say that 10% of Americans are atheists. Does that mean that one in five American atheists are convicted felons? Or is it a more balanced proportion reflecting the religious/atheist split in society as a whole?
Even so, with atheists making up a much bigger proportion of the population in countries such as France and Italy, their prison populations are proportionately much lower. I guess I'm simply struggling with a link between atheists and crime but I may be missing something.
As for violence in sport, football (soccer), rugby, Australian rules... all these are pretty violent in other countries. Gambling is not unique to the US nor is pornography, while homeschooling is so insignificant in most other western countries as to be irrelevant.
What I'm looking for is what makes the US have such a high level of violent crime - a unique differentiator in its culture or wealth or society or education or immigration that doesn't have anything to do with guns. I'm struggling a bit. Are there any well-regarded studies on the phenomenon? Ajkgordon 15:13, 17 December 2007 (EST)
An interesting debate. Aschlafly writes -
The U.S. is unique in many ways. The U.S. has a culture of violence in sports, movies and entertainment.
Absolutely true, but don't forget that the second largest export of the US is entertainment, so the rest of the entire planet is also watching the same violent US-produced material on TV and in the movies. As for sports, apart from the punch-up joke that ice hockey became, I'm not sure how the US sports are any more violent than, say, soccer, or bull-fighting even. I can't see what's unique here, basically.
it has an enormous drug problem
Again, very true, but again, not unique to the US, and I'm sure plenty of studies would suggest the problem is much, much worse elsewhere.
it has anti-religious public school system
Perhaps so, but most other Western countries have far more students in far more secular schools. Again, I'm not sure there's anything unique here.
it has widespread gambling and pornography
The US obsession with pornography is odd, but it's hardly worse of a problem than many other societies, and certainly not uniquely so. However, I would have to disagree with you on the gambling front -in many, many other nations betting shops are as common as the local newsagent, and many perfectly normal people are completely accustomed to routinely place wagers on all sorts of activities, all legally and fully above board. (Though I'm certainly not suggesting this doesn't create problems). The US seems to have worsened its gambing problem in much the same way it worsened its alcohol problem during Prohibition by banning access to the activity to most, and creating these bizarre enclaves (native reservations, bizarre cities) where it's suddenly OK to go wild on wagering.
it imprisons more people per capita than any other nation. When those inmates get out, they don't easily find jobs, and unfortunately it's back to crime for many of them.
Here I'm with you 100%. The US has a staggering incarceration rate, and there's no denying that prisons are unhealthy environments. This is certainly a unique feature of the US. But I'm interested in those studies you quote, and I'm interested in debating exactly what IS unique about the US that causes the gun crime rate to be so high. Reasonableperson 17:38, 17 December 2007 (EST)
That's basically the point I made earlier: I don't see that the U.S. is all that much different to other English-speaking western countries, such as Australia, except that it has a higher proportion of Christians (which should mean that is has less crime) and it has a much more liberal (sorry!) attitude towards guns. Superficially, this would indicate that the higher rate of violent crime is due to the widespread availability of guns. As for movies, I'll endorse Reasonableperson's comment. Much of what airs on Australian television is produced in America. And much of the Australian content has a lower moral standard than the American stuff! Put it this way Andy, if you think the American movie and TV productions are bad (and much of it is bad), perhaps it indicates that you don't know enough about what's produced elsewhere! Philip J. Rayment 21:32, 17 December 2007 (EST)
I agree. Of the points raised so far, only the extraordinary prison population is unique to the US - but there's an obvious logical flaw in blaming the level of crime on the number of prisoners. I'd like to throw this one out there though - does the US have a bigger gap between rich and poor than is common in other developed countries, and is this part of the explanation? Certainly, here in Australia we have a subset of the population which is significantly poorer than the rest of us. And that subset (the aboriginal population) has higher rates of violent crime, and also has a very high prison rate. So perhaps in the US the poverty gap is the cause of the crime, the guns are the cause of the severity of the crime, and the prison population is a result of it? -- Ferret Nice old chat 05:30, 18 December 2007 (EST)

While this is all very interesting, I would like to know where the "100-1 chance" fact came from. From where I am sitting, it seems to me that more guns are not the answer. You do not put a fire out by adding more fuel to it, especially because more guns will find their way in to inner city streets and gang violence. Put it this way: between 1994 and 1999 there were 253 school related deaths, 60% of which involved hand guns. And in a single year, more children die from gun shots than from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, and HIV/AIDS combined. Scare you yet? Oh, and if you are under 15, you are 12 times more likely to be killed by someone using a gun than in the top 25 industrial countries. combined. So do we need more guns? How about we prevent psychos like the VT shooter from getting a gungun safety facts. How about we prevent another Columbine? Nothing is being done and it is sad. Do you need armor piercing, fully automatic weapons? No. More guns does not lead to less crime, we cannot all be the judge and jury, lets put more money in to policing our streets (by not making it basically suicide to be a policeman in the inner city). What credible studies are you referring to? It seems like in America today, violence is more and more becoming the answer, and it shouldn't be. I do not want to have an argument be settled by a gun shot. It ruins lives.

So what to do. Here is my proposition: Stop selling hand guns. And here is why. First off, they serve no purpose other than to kill another human being. Self-defense, gang violence, home violence, curious children, they serve no purpose. The only reason that they are used in self-defense is because it is too easy for people with ill intent to get them in the first place. Second, it does not impede your hunting or right to bear arms. Listen, a 9mm cannot kill a dear if you are hunting it right. A 9mm can kill a police man, or a cashier, or fellow students if in the wrong hands. Seems like the simplest and most effective answer is to abolish them entirely. Thanks for your time.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Afee (talk)

Whilst I agree with much of that, the main problem I see is that if you stop selling guns, you will effectively be stopping honest people from getting them, whilst the criminals will still get them. That could make the situation worse. Philip J. Rayment 06:29, 19 December 2007 (EST)
Certainly that seems to be the problem faced by US states that have introduced strict gun control where before there was little gun control. Ajkgordon 15:35, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Aschlafly, I'm just curious, if you are so dedicated to the preservation of human life, why are you so opposed to gun control. There is no secret agenda behind it, the sole purpose of gun control is to limit access to guns and as a result reduce gun violence. [ed. note: deleted inappropriate comment that follows] --LoveJesus1 19:50, 21 December 2007 (EST)

"LoveJesus1", gun control results in a loss of human life. I know materialists have trouble "seeing" that, but guns deter crime and save lives. Next time you see a police officer look at what he carries. The more citizens who can carry the same thing, the less the crime.
Don't think we're fooled by liberals pretending that "the sole purpose of gun control is to ... reduce gun violence." Liberals care more about increasing dependency on government, as in Cuba, which has the strictest gun control in the world. Less guns means more government dependency, and liberals know that but rarely admit to it.--Aschlafly 23:17, 21 December 2007 (EST)
Aschlafly, comparing gun control in other countries is not a good idea if you want to argue the case for no gun control. And using Cuba as a comparison is, as you know, completely irrelevant - Cuba has a completely different form of government and ideas of freedom. If you insist on comparisons with other countries, then it should be with other wealthy liberal democracies such as the UK or Australia. However, it makes your anti-gun control argument very difficult to support because both of those countries have lower rates of gun and violent crime. In the UK, the police aren't even armed!
There are too many other factors involved to draw conclusions by comparing other countries' experiences with the legal status of arms. The only valid comparisons, in my humble opinion, are those between US states. Ajkgordon 09:01, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Change of graph and wording

Robbery victims.png
The graph that I supplied (right) was drawn from Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 1993 to 2005. The graph that Andy substituted is, in my opinion, inferior, with three problems:
  • It covers the years 1991 to 2000, a smaller range, and particularly only covers a few years after the introduction of gun control.
  • The source of the data on which the graph is based is not specified, although I'm not suggesting that it is questionable; it's probably official data from somewhere.
  • The graph is being used in the article to make a point that is contradicted by the report the graph came from. The report says of this graph:
    It's apparent from the graph that the rates for both robbery and armed robbery rose faster for a couple of years after '96 than they had before. Also, the burglary rate was dropping a little from '93 to '96, but then started an obvious rise. The rises would look like a bad effect of the ban/buyback, except that they stopped after '98. The small downturns for all three in '99 and 2000 could be the ban/buyback stopping some upward trend that had begun, but it is just as likely that the trend reversal was caused by elimination or whatever was causing the trend to begin with. Both robbery and armed robbery appear to have stabilized (two years) at rates higher than they were before the Port Arthur incident and the ban/buyback.
    In other words, the report says that the graph is inconclusive, but the article claims that the graph shown an "unmistakable increase in robbery and armed robbery".

Also, the article says "there is no evidence supporting the promised decrease in crime from gun control", yet the graph that I supplied and which was removed does support that (even if it doesn't prove it, given that other factors may be at work). Furthermore, other ABS figures that I spotted, such as murder rates, seemed to show the same drop. I picked "robbery" because it was the largest category of violent crime, and would have swamped other figures such as murder figures.

Philip J. Rayment 10:02, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Also, the article now says that John Lott "demonstrates" (I had "claimed") that gun control in the countries mentioned have resulted in an increase in crime. It is true that he does quote some percentage-rise figures, but there's almost no actual hard data in the reference to really be able to say that he "demonstrates" it. It's more of a claim with the bare minimum of supporting evidence. I haven't had a close look yet, but his claimed percentage rises don't seem to match the ABS figures. Philip J. Rayment 10:07, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Robbery victims per 100K.png
I've done more searching, and have found figures that appear to match those of the graph from gunsandcrime.org. They only supply a small graph, so one can't compare actual figures, but my new graph (right) appears to match theirs. The differences from the other graph I did (above) are that their graph is crimes per 100,000 people, and their "armed robbery" figures include weapons other than guns. My new graph is the same as theirs in that it is per 100,000 people and includes weapons other than guns. The other significant difference, of course, is that my graph goes to 2005, whereas theirs only went to 2000. I couldn't find the burglary figures that they include on their graph, so I left them off. And because of that, the vertical scale is expanded compared to theirs. Philip J. Rayment 08:20, 25 December 2007 (EST)


Aw, man. This has been protected since June? I had just thought of a possible addition, but then I realized that I can't edit. :( Is this normal? I thought protection was just used for a short time to protect against vandalism. --JakeC 10:45, 24 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks for pointing it out and, no, that is not normal for such protection to continue for so long. I unprotected the page per your request. Please be factual and insightful in improving it.--Aschlafly 10:52, 24 December 2007 (EST)
Thank you kindly! --JakeC 11:00, 24 December 2007 (EST)
And thanks for the work on tidying up the footnotes. Philip J. Rayment 16:30, 24 December 2007 (EST)

Gun Control and Genocide

It is stated here that "the facts are provided" to justify a claim that "Gun control has led to genocide." I disagree. Example: "In 1911, Turkey imposed gun control and then, from 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million defenseless Armenians were killed." What does the gun control have to do with the genocide? It is not disputed that these three states enacted laws suppressing the free ownership of firearms. What I dispute is the link between ownership restrictions and genocide. Is the author suggesting that gun control led to the easy murder of unarmed civilians (for example, Jews would have been able to defend themselves against Nazi murders if they were able to posess personal firearms)? If this is the case, I feel it should be cleared up. ThomasB 13:11, 24 December 2007 (EST)

Genocide would be impossible, or nearly impossible, against an armed group of millions of victims. That is self-evident. If you have an example of genocide occurring without the state first disarming the victims through use of gun control, then I'd sure like to see it. Most people will use their weapons, if they have them, to defend their families.--Aschlafly 13:17, 24 December 2007 (EST)
The millions of victims in the cases above were spread all over the place in small populations. Would such populations, even if they did all manage to gather together in one huge group, armed with small arms and rifles have been able to defend themselves against armies armed with airplanes, armor and artillery? Have you been inbibing too much Christmas spirit? By the way I think your contribution is great. The bloggers will love it. Merry Christmas! CillaHunt 13:42, 24 December 2007 (EST)
CillaHunt, the last bit of your comment is not productive. I brought forth a legitimate concern of mine, which was in no way derisive of the author of the particular section of the article. I agree with the first part of your comment (the victims were unorganized, etc, and would have a hard time defending against armies), but insulting someone is not constructive to this discussion's goals of improving and clarifying the article. ThomasB 13:51, 24 December 2007 (EST)
Well said. Philip J. Rayment 16:31, 24 December 2007 (EST)
ThomasB, I appreciate your rebuttal of CillaHunt's silly and insensitive remarks. Genocide has occurred multiple times and each time it was preceded by gun control. It doesn't take a genius to understand why. Airplanes, armor and artillery, by the way, are not the tools of genocide. Rather, genocide is perpetrated by neighbors with state-provided guns taking away victims who lack guns to defend their families. Can that happen without gun control? It never has, and I think the answer is "no". But I'm open-minded to listen to coherent arguments, if any, that gun control is irrelevant to the ability to carry out genocide.--Aschlafly 13:57, 24 December 2007 (EST)
Thanks for your explanation. I had interpreted the article as saying that gun control was the reason for the genocides, not that it was the reason it wasn't able to be prevented. ThomasB 14:02, 24 December 2007 (EST)
That's a hair-splitting distinction you're trying to draw. I'm not sure there is any distinction in practice between (a) being a reason for something occurring and (b) being a reason that the same thing was not prevented. Without the gun control, it would have been difficult or impossible for the genocides to occur. It seems to me you may seek to cling to gun control without admitting that it facilitated genocide. With all due respect, I'd suggest letting go of the gun control.--Aschlafly 14:17, 24 December 2007 (EST)
My confusion was really just a matter of semantics. I interpreted "gun control has led to genocide" to mean that the firearms regulations caused people to seek to eliminate an entire ethnicity. Thanks, ThomasB 14:32, 24 December 2007 (EST)

Andy, why do you continue to deny the genocide that occurred in Bosnia? SSchultz 17:49, 24 December 2007 (EST)

I would, however, like to make another point with regard to this. For gun control to have enabled genocide in the instances cited, the populations in question would have had to be otherwise armed. Is there any evidence that these populations were, and were able to fight back effectively? The Jews, even when they were organized and armed (as in Warsaw), actually allowed most of their population to be deported before they fought back. A preemptive clarification here, I am in no way attempting to defend gun bans or any more extreme measures of gun control as I fully support individual gun ownership rights. Cmh 10:18, 25 December 2007 (EST)

Gun control creates the vulnerability that enables genocide to occur. There has never been genocide without gun control first rendering the victims defenseless. Without gun control, there is a powerful deterrent to genocide, so powerful that it has not historically occurred in those circumstances. See the Washington University law journal article cited in the entry. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 15:30, 25 December 2007 (EST)

So you're saying that if gun control laws were not imposed, Stalin would not have killed upwards of 20 million people? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ComplexModulo (talk)

the footnotes are presently messed up for this article

the footnotes are presently messed up for this article. Conservative 16:05, 24 December 2007 (EST)

fixed. Thanks.--Aschlafly 16:06, 24 December 2007 (EST)

Australian election results

I removed this from the article:

In Australia, the passage of gun control in 1996 and its expansion in 2002 has led to a complete takeover of all nine federal, state and territory legislatures by the socialistic Labor Party, the first time a single party has ever achieved this in Australian history. (The Sydney Morning Herald - Either way, it's history in the making)

Gun control was brought in in 1996 at the instigation of the federal Liberal Party (conservative) government, who had to get the co-operation of the state governments (it is a state responsibility). Two states objected and had to have their arms twisted, so to speak. Both these were Labor states (Tasmanian and Queensland). The next two elections at state level or above (Western Australia at the end of 1996 and South Australia in 1997) saw Labor governments replaced by Liberal governments. At the federal level, the Liberal Party retained office for the next three elections (1998, 2001, and 2004).

By 2002, all states except South Australia were held by the Labor Party. South Australia went to the Labor Party in February 2002.

So claiming that gun control led to a Labor monopoly seems to be drawing a very long bow. Especially given that gun control was not an issue in the 2007 federal election that finally resulted in wall-to-wall Labor.

Philip J. Rayment 07:19, 25 December 2007 (EST)

Philip, your analysis confirms rather than disputes the truth of the statement above. The point is that gun control causes a shift in voter attitudes towards more dependency on government, and this is precisely what has been observed in Australia. You say that "Especially given that gun control was not an issue in the 2007 federal election that finally resulted in wall-to-wall Labor." But no one claims that the "issue" of gun control itself is what sways the elections towards leftists. It's the increased dependency on government that results from implementing gun control that causes the voter shift to the left. Leftists understand this and push gun control for that reason. Why wouldn't conservatives recognize this effect also?--Aschlafly 11:23, 25 December 2007 (EST)
Andy, could you clarify what you mean by "dependency"? Dependency in what areas? Social services (which I'd suggest has no connection)? Health services (ditto)? Or security/self defence? In the latter case, the population was always dependent on the police anyway, as very few carried guns as a matter of course. It still seems to be drawing a very long bow. Philip J. Rayment 18:50, 25 December 2007 (EST)
I mean emotional dependence. Gun control directly requires voters to depend more on government for protection, and that causes support for bigger government. It's an emotional dependence and plainly affects how people vote. And that, of course, is why leftists push gun control so much. The cause-and-effect in the political results in Australia and elsewhere is unmistakable.--Aschlafly 19:26, 25 December 2007 (EST)
The problem I have with that is one that I've already alluded to: Before gun control in Australia, they always did rely on the government (i.e. the police) for protection. They didn't rely on guns, because most people did not carry guns. I would say from my own observations that there has been no increase in reliance on government for protection because of gun control. Furthermore, for all practical purposes the police forces are state-run, but gun control was instigated by the federal government, so your argument is effectively saying that the federal government introduced gun control to increase reliance on state governments, which is absurd to anyone knowing much about Australian politics. Philip J. Rayment 19:48, 25 December 2007 (EST)
Philip, do you have any stats showing the level of gun ownership before and after 1996? My guess is that it reduced from a small fraction of the population to a small fraction of a small fraction of the population. What's more, pre-96 I would imagine the vast majority of gun-ownership was in rural areas, but the swing against Howard in 2007 was significant in the cities also. So to argue that the change has been so significant to lead to some sort of dependence on government is bizarre. -- Ferret Nice old chat 22:37, 26 December 2007 (EST)
No, I don't have those statistics. This is not a subject that I've ever taken an interest in (and I'm only doing so now because some of the claims are so at odds with my observations here in Oz), so I don't have any statistics "lying around", so to speak. All the statistics I have produced are ones that I've gone looking for. The best (most authoritative) source would be the Australian Bureau of Statistics web-site, so I suggest that you go there and search for gun ownership statistics. Philip J. Rayment 04:51, 27 December 2007 (EST)
You are simply lying if you think that Leftists push gun control to create a dependency on government. More guns equals more crime. I think you should take a walk through Dublin some night, by yourself and see how you get on. We don't have massive gang shootouts here like in the States. And thank God for that. ModerateCatholic 19:22, 25 December 2007 (EST)
Andy argues that more guns equals less crime, so if he believes that, he is not lying. Uncivil comments like that do not help your argument. Philip J. Rayment 19:48, 25 December 2007 (EST)

"In Britain, for example, the enactment of a ban on most handguns in February 1997[15] resulted in the Labour Party winning a landslide 179 seat majority in the general election later that year, the first time it exceeded 40% of the popular vote in over 25 years. The new government soon extended the ban to cover nearly all handguns, and the Labour Party has remained in power in Britain for over a decade." I think the above is very misleading - Labour came in to power for a great many reasons, but I think the restrictions of handguns is extremely unrelated. Having grown up with guns as a hunter, many people dislike Labour's anti-gun stance, but the real reason they won was due to an immoral opposition (sexual scandals etc) and the promise of a younger more media-savvy government. --Mattsday 20:15, 28 December 2007 (EST)

You're arguing against logic and observation. Every gun owner who gives up his gun, or can't obtain a gun, is more likely to vote for the pro-government party. It doesn't take very many of "more likely" shifts to change an election outcome. If the British gun control affected more than 5% of voters -- and it surely did -- then the outcome changes from conservative rule to Labour Party rule.--Aschlafly 20:46, 28 December 2007 (EST)
While I agree with your position on gun control, here is my reasoning in this particular case:
If (in the US) the Democrats came along and made a law that ended with me losing my gun or not being able to get one, I'd surely give my votes to the Republicans ASAP, who would likely (hopefully) try to undo the damage done by said law.
After all, it's not like the Democrats' plan would go much beyond "Guns are bad. Let's control access to them", right? The police was there to protect me before, and I honestly doubt that gun control would suddenly lead to the introduction of Super Troopers patrolling the streets. So voting Democrats after they screwed up would only give them permission to screw up more. --JakeC 23:02, 28 December 2007 (EST)
I assume that Andy meant "...is more likely to vote for the pro-gun party".
Few elections are fought on a single issue. So although gun enthusiasts might like to vote against the government that took their guns away, they might well vote for that party if it supported other things that they considered more important than gun ownership. So Mattsday is not arguing against logic, and if (as I suspect, but I don't know) Mattsday is from Britain, then he would have been the one doing the observing rather than Andy (assuming Andy was not in Britain at the time). Yes, there's a couple of assumptions in that last sentence (that Mattsday was in Britain at the time and Andy wasn't), so if I'm wrong on those assumptions, please correct me.
Philip J. Rayment 07:46, 30 December 2007 (EST)
Mattsday's observations are substantially correct. Less than 1% of the population owned handguns prior to the 1997 handgun ban (shotguns are widely owned in rural areas but are subject to more relaxed regulation) so the number of people directly affected by the ban was small. It's the first time I've heard it suggested that it was a major factor in the collapse in the Conservative vote -- that started with Black Wednesday and was cemented by the antics of an increasingly scandal-ridden and fractious party over the following years.[1] It is a mistake to assume that domestic political controversies in the USA will have any salience in other political cultures. Jalapeno 10:35, 30 December 2007 (EST)
Ashlafly, I think you over-estimate the importance of guns in British society. It is extremely rare for Britons to ever see a gun, let alone handle one or use one. It just isn't in our general culture like it might be in the US. Even the police aren't regularly armed - indeed it's quite a shock for me to fly back into Heathrow airport and see armed police! The gun control imposed upon the British population was perhaps ill-advised and a knee-jerk reaction to a murderous rampage by an armed loon. But it will have had next to zero effect on the outcome of the following general election which was lost by the Conservatives due to numerous other more substantive reasons. Ajkgordon 10:45, 30 December 2007 (EST)

General Comment

Folks, there have been several edits to the content page that have taken out or obscured factual information. Other edits have misled readers by attributing an enactment of gun control legislation to a particular party in control of government at that the time, without recognizing the media pressure created for the gun control based on a statistically insignificant, but much-publicized, act of violence. I'm going to revert inappropriate edits that obscure the essential facts. Guns, the most effective weapon of self-defense which are used overwhelmingly in self-defense, deserve factual treatment here on Conservapedia. Readers can draw their own conclusions. Thanks.--Aschlafly 19:34, 25 December 2007 (EST)

How long do we wait for the effects?

Andy's edit comment associated with the removal of some text was, "removed confusing reference to the opinion of one pro-gun group, and removed emphasis on 2004 crime data relative to 1996 gun control"

I would like to know the following:

  • What was confusing about it?
  • Why is 2004 crime data apparently not relevant to 1996 gun control, yet 2007 election results are?

Philip J. Rayment 20:04, 25 December 2007 (EST)

As to the first half, I find it meaningless to say, "such-and-such group feels such-and-such." Suppose a said that a Christian group favored same-sex marriage? It would mean nothing, particularly without a statement of what most Christian groups felt, or what the most credible Christian sources say.
As to the second half, demographics with respect to crime change over the course of 8 years everywhere. Crime fell worldwide during the period 1996 to 2004, I think, do to declining percentages of teenagers likely to commit crime. But the demographics of voters do not change as rapidly.--Aschlafly 20:09, 25 December 2007 (EST)

Inappropriate "fact" tags

On Wikipedia, "fact" tags are used to make ideological statements. That is not appropriate, obviously. Two "fact" tags were just inserted here:

  • a "fact" tag on the observation that there is "no evidence," but it's impossible to cite a fact for something that is not there
  • a "fact" tag on the observation that Australia moved significantly to the left politically after adopting gun control, which is supported by several cites and, frankly, indisputable.--Aschlafly 20:35, 25 December 2007 (EST)
"Fact" tags can be used to make ideological statements. They can also be used to ask for a reference for something that is agreed. They can also be used to ask for a reference because the claim is either disputed or questioned.
  • The first fact tag was not that there is "no evidence" but that a decrease in crime (generally, as opposed to gun crime) was "promised". I don't remember this being promised at all.
  • The second fact tag was not disputing that the electorate moved to the left, but that this was "due to" gun control. I don't believe that it was due to that, despite all the comments above about how this could happen.
Philip J. Rayment 20:46, 25 December 2007 (EST)
It seems self-evident to me that lawmakers promised a safer country from the gun ban, but I've added a cite to that effect to address your concern. Honestly, I can't imagine supporters of the gun ban saying anything else.--Aschlafly 21:02, 25 December 2007 (EST)
A "safer country", yes, but specifically through fewer gun deaths, not reduced crime generally. And the reference merely claims what you said above, that lawmakers promised a "safer" country. It does say in what way they claimed it would be safer, so does not claim that lawmakers said that crime generally would be reduced. Philip J. Rayment 23:40, 25 December 2007 (EST)
On the second point, you put "due to" in quotes but I don't think I used that phrase. Are you quoting me? I thought I said "led to", which is undeniably true. It's a fact and you're free to suggest other causes, but your other causes should explain why Britain also moved left after its gun control, while America did not move left after it rejected demands for gun control.--Aschlafly 21:05, 25 December 2007 (EST)
I thought that I was quoting you, but you are correct: you said "led to", not "due to". But it doesn't make any real difference—in both cases it is indicating causality, which is what I was questioning, and I reject that it's "undeniably true". There's always multiple factors at work in elections and why people vote the way that they do, so it's never a given that a particular issue is the cause, or even a factor, in the outcome of an election.
I don't believe that the onus is on me to explain what could be a coincidence (Australia, Britain, and the U.S.), given the small sample size. Rather, I think the onus is on you to explain, if you believe that the same factor is a work in all three cases, why Britain moved to the left straight after the introduction of gun control, whereas Australia moved to the right straight after (see my earlier post above) and only moved left later on, after eleven years in the case of the federal government.
Philip J. Rayment 23:40, 25 December 2007 (EST)
Hear hear!!! It's that lazy correlation = causation argument that keeps cropping up. It's worth noting that at present, although the Labour Party is still in power in the UK, the mood seems to have swung significantly back to the right - at exactly the same time as it swung to the left in Australia!! And of course if you wait long enough, ANY country will swing to the left at some point. So using the flawed logic seen above, you can take any change you like and argue that it ultimately led to a swing to the left. In the case of the change in gun control laws in Australia in 1996, the change happened right at the start of one of the longest periods of continuous right-wing federal government in the nation's history with the swing to the left taking 11 years to arrive. -- Ferret Nice old chat 23:58, 26 December 2007 (EST)

WorldNetDaily reference

This article from WorldNetDaily (WND) is being used as a reference for a couple of points, but I believe that the article is unreliable, possibly from relying on claims and figures from the (Australian) Sporting Shooters Association rather than official figures.

A problem with the claims are that there are no specifics, such as what years they are comparing. Presumably, however, they would be comparing, say, 1999 (as the article was written in 2000) with 1995 or 1996 (1996 being when gun control was introduced). Here are some official figures that I've found, and I've highlighted 1995 and 1999:

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Homicides in Australia 326 314 321 287 344 316 310 318 302 263 270
Gun homicides in Australia 58 99 75 54 62 59 50 42 37 32 26
Homicides in Victoria 62 52 63 47 62 55 65 67 69 47 72
Gun homicides in Victoria
Not available (not found)

In particular, I question the following two claims:

  • "Countrywide, homicides are up 3.2 percent"
One problem is that I can't find a 3.2% rise in murders in the official figures (above). In compiling these figures, I did notice a discrepancy between the two sources (the first two listed here), due to having to revise figures in subsequent years, so that might explain the lack of a 3.2% rise anywhere.
The more serious problem from WND's point of view is that the figures are fluctuating, not consistently rising. 1996 was down on 1995, 1997 was up on 1996, 1998 was down on 1997, and 1999 was up on 1998! Anyone trying to make a claim that "homicides are up 3.2 percent" must be being selective with the data.
Furthermore, although WND could not be blamed for this, the years since 1999 have shown a downward trend, with all years except 2002 and 2005 being drops over the previous year, and those two exceptions not being enough to change the trend.
  • "In the Australian state of Victoria, gun homicides have climbed 300 percent"
I can't find gun homicides figures for Victoria at all. But the claim seems very unlikely to be true, or if it is true, it is an exception to the nationwide trend and probably caused by a very low base. Across Australia between 1995 and 1999, gun homicides were about one fifth of all homicides. If that holds true for Victoria, then Victoria's gun homicides for those years would have been around ten to twelve. A 300% increase would bring that up to 40 to 50, which is getting close to Victoria's total homicide rate. This is extremely unlikely. Alternatively, perhaps Victoria's gun homicide rate was lower than the national average to start with. In this case, it is definitely a very low base and not a good argument. Regardless, even if somehow the 300% figure is true, it must have occurred without an obvious impact on the total homicide rate for the state, and it is the exception to the (national) rule, where gun homicides went down every year except 1996 and 1999, and in 2005 were less than half the 1995 figure. Also obvious from the figures above is that Victoria's total homicide rate has fluctuated, with no clear trends up or down.

I'm not questioning some of the other claims (such as assaults being up) simply because I haven't gone to the effort of looking for the figures. But I have to wonder if they can be relied on either.

In summary, the WND article is of questionable accuracy to be used as a reliable source, and the 300% rise is unsafe to use in this article.

Philip J. Rayment 02:20, 26 December 2007 (EST)

Improvements to the article are welcome, but even the table above shows clear increases in violent crime, even gun crime in the years following the gun control. The data ten years later is virtually meaningless as their were worldwide declines in crime due to demographics, not gun control.--Aschlafly 23:23, 26 December 2007 (EST)
It does not show an increase in gun crime in the years following the new laws!! 1996 was the year of the Port Arthur massacre that led to the new laws. 35 people were killed that day, accounting for the large total seen in 1996 - so you should not be using 1996 as a post-gun-control-laws year. The following two years saw 75 deaths (up on 1995) and 54 deaths, slightly below the 1995 figure. The trend has been downwards ever since, to about half of what the prevailing rate was at the start of the table. So unless you are hanging your argument on the 75 deaths in 1997, which is just one data point out of the 11 given, I'm not sure what you are doing. (Note - over the period 1996 to 2005 the Australian population grew by about 14%, making the downward trend all the more marked.) -- Ferret Nice old chat 00:13, 27 December 2007 (EST)
I agree. Any "increase" that one might see is by being selective with the figures, picking out an atypical year. The trends are what is important, and the trends are generally downward. (I had meant to point out, as Ferret has now done, that the figures don't allow for population growth, so the downward trend is greater than shown.) Andy, I don't understand what you mean by "worldwide declines in crime due to demographics, not gun control". What "demographics" are you talking about?
Also, you (Andy) have been making the point that widespread availability of guns reduces all (or most? or violent?) crime, and here you claim that the figures show an increase in "violent crime". But the figures don't show "violent crime" at all—they only show homicides. That is, the figures do not include rapes, assaults, armed robbery, etc. Just homicides. So they don't show anything about "violent crime" per se.
Furthermore, the introduction of gun restrictions in 1996 did not mean that all guns were handed in overnight. It took time, and as you noted, there were further restrictions introduced in 2002. So one would expect that the results of gun control legislation would take some time to show up, and eight years (1996 to 2004 for the robbery chart a few sections above) seems quite a reasonable time to me.
Philip J. Rayment 05:03, 27 December 2007 (EST)

Denial of right to self-defense

I simply included "armed" into the above. Gun control doesn't restrict citizens' rights to self-defense by punching or martial arts or baseball bats... But Karajou reverted me with this bizarre comment on my user page: Don't insert a word into Asclafly's statement on the main because you think it should be included; only Aschlafly can do that. Karajou 11:05, 30 December 2007 (EST) Only trying to help, you know? Ajkgordon 11:07, 30 December 2007 (EST)

That's my mistake; we have a debate going on in the main talk page which got pretty long, so my mistake was not reading it properly. And no, it wasn't bizarre. Karajou 11:09, 30 December 2007 (EST)
No problem. I meant it looked bizarre to me :) Ajkgordon 11:10, 30 December 2007 (EST)

UK 1997 Election

I'm a little confused about the linking between gun control in the UK and the Labour victory in the election. Being British myself I can submit more than enough evidence that gun control was very, very low down on the list of factors that combined to throw the Major Government out of power. Instead I could point to sleaze, the fact that the electorate was tired of the Tories, the inability of the Conservative Government to properly manage itself (see 'Breaking the Code', a book by Gyles Brandreth, a member of the Conservative Whip's Office (internal party organisation) which lists the missteps that they seemed to be dogged by), as well as the fiasco (there is no other word for it) of the Exchange Rate Mechanism also led to the Major Government losing its reputation for economic competence. Darkmind1970 09:06, 2 January 2008 (EST)

I think the fact that you're nearly 500 times more likely to be shot dead in the USA than the UK really speaks for itself. ApGriffith 20:37, 9 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, it does - for the simpleminded. See Essay:Top Causes of Rejecting Conservatism. In fact, the more thoughtful realize that giving a gun to a stranger is perhaps 99 times more likely to deter and prevent crime than to cause it.--Aschlafly 20:46, 9 January 2008 (EST)
The problem with ApGriffith's argument is that it ignores that other factors might be involved. On the other hand, I've yet to see adequately explained what other factors might account for it.Philip J. Rayment 21:21, 9 January 2008 (EST)
Other causes are obvious: drug use, broken homes, violent culture, gambling, pornography, high criminal population, etc.--Aschlafly 21:44, 9 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, but at least some of those other factors also appear to apply in other countries with much lower rates of gun homicide. For example, does America really have a much higher drug use than other countries with lower gun homicide rates? Philip J. Rayment 21:56, 9 January 2008 (EST)
The United States does have the highest rate of cocaine use, and by far the highest incarceration rate. The rate of fatherless families is probably far higher in the U.S. also.
There's no getting around the fact that giving a gun to a stranger in any country is perhaps 99 times more likely to deter and prevent crime than to cause it. Less than 1% of people are willing to engage in violent criminal activity.--Aschlafly 22:29, 9 January 2008 (EST)
I go both ways on this issue: On the one hand the logic seems to go against gun control - as andy pointed out, but in response to Andy: we tell our children not to talk to strangers - should we stop doing that since only less than 1% of people are willing to engage in violent criminal activity? I mean it really is tough, and I agree with the current laws that gun control laws should be dictated on a state-by-state basis --IDuan 22:36, 9 January 2008 (EST)
It's difficult to get valid comparable figures for some of these things. But I will concede that it does appear to be true that cocaine use in the United States is higher than other countries. I'm not sure if that applies to other illicit drugs also, but Australia does have the advantage of no borders with other countries, making it more difficult than most other places to get illegal substances into the country, so that might apply to other illicit drugs as well.
It does also appear—although this is where comparable figures are quite a problem—that America's fatherless home rate is a little higher than Australia, but not "far higher" as you suggested. But it's not likely to be enough to make that much of a difference. One pair of figures I found for single parent families was 16% in the U.S. and 14% in Australia.
From memory, Australia has about one quarter of all the poker machines in the world, but there wouldn't be too much crime associated with that sort of gambling I expect, and America probably has more casinos per capita than Australia, so you might be right on that.
A more violent culture in the U.S. would likely be a consequence of lack of gun control rather than a cause of more gun deaths, so that one is quite unconvincing. The same might be said for the "high criminal population".
Pornography you've suggested before and I've questioned that, and you've not produced any further evidence of pornography being worse in America, so I don't accept that one either.
In summary, at least one or two of your "other factors" might be true in the sense that those factors are more pronounced in America, and theoretically could lead to more gun deaths, but even though this means that one can't say that a higher gun death rate is not due to other factors, it still doesn't prove that it's not do do with the prevalence of guns. In other words, it could be other factors, but it still could be the guns. The case is still not made.
"There's no getting around the fact that giving a gun to a stranger in any country is perhaps 99 times more likely to deter and prevent crime than to cause it.": That appears to be a reasonable conclusion, but it's not a "fact". Furthermore, I can put just as reasonable argument the other way: There's no getting around the "fact" that the more guns you have in a country, and the fewer controls on their safekeeping, the more likely that criminals will be able to get their hands on a gun, and the more likely a gun will be used in a moment of passion or rage to kill someone, and the more likely that someone will be shot by accident.
So this issue is simply not as simple and straightforward as you make it out to be.
Philip J. Rayment 00:07, 10 January 2008 (EST)
I'm sorry, but aren't we getting more than a bit away from the original point here? Gun control, especially in the wake of the Dunblane massacre, had no influence, at all, on the 1997 General Election. Darkmind1970 19:18, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Why is gun control equated with the left wing?

I have always been under the impression that people on the right tend to favour more ordered, law abiding societies. Surely, therefore, gun control is more likely to appeal to the right, rather than the left. Take the Roman Empire - the carrying of arms (swords rather than guns, obviously) was banned for civilians, and it was a sign that an area had slipped into barbarism when this could no longer be enforced when the empire fell. ApGriffith 12:16, 11 January 2008 (EST)

There's no disputing that the left promotes gun control, regardless of whether it actually reduces crime (it doesn't), and that conservatives support a full right of self-defense that includes the right bear arms. So your impression is wrong, I'm afraid.
Are you right about the Roman Empire? I'm skeptical ... Peter carried a sword and cut off a soldier's ear at the beginning of the Passion, and that was in the Roman Empire circa A.D. 33. Swording carrying was so common, in fact, that Jesus even praised the value in carrying one.--Aschlafly 12:26, 11 January 2008 (EST)
Peter was armed illegally. With regard to the right promoting the ownership of guns by civilians, this is not true of the right outside the USA. Indeed it was the Major government that tightened up the controls. With a pretty comprehensive ban on ownership of guns in the UK crime involving firearms is very low indeed - not even the police are usually armed. ApGriffith 12:32, 11 January 2008 (EST)
I wonder if Peter was armed illegally. I think I'm right in saying that they were in a semi-autonomous region of the Roman Empire and could have had various by-laws allowing armed civilians. Don't know just speculating. Ajkgordon 12:36, 11 January 2008 (EST)
Doubtful that Peter was armed illegally. Why wasn't he arrested then? I'd like to see some evidence for your claim. Swords were so common that Jesus even praised arming oneself with them.
The left led the push for gun control in the U.K. Let's not kid anyone here. A highly publicized school massacre followed by an immense media and leftist push got the job done. The Major government was a reluctant participant, at best.--Aschlafly 12:37, 11 January 2008 (EST)
Why wasn't Peter arrested? Can you seriously not think of a logical explanation for that? - JasonAQuest 11:00, 12 January 2008 (EST)

It's equated with the left wing because the liberal left are its primary proponents. They want the government to spearhead all social change, especially unpopular programs which can be forced on others.

By the way, I know a man in a US anti-terrorist force (sorry, I will not reveal any secrets here) who was nearly killed overseas because of gun control. He was unarmed, escorting a captured terrorist when armed men attacked him. It was a miracle that he survived. Yes, he credits God for preserving his life.

But imagine the insanity of forbidding an anti-terrorism officer to carry a pistol! That combined with the rules against so-called "racial profiling" which means that Arabs and Muslims can't be excluded from access to secret information simply because some white or Christian Englishman has "a funny feeling" about him.

Liberals almost got my friend killed!! That's why I oppose them so strongly: they are the party of death; see Communism, which killed over 100 million people (genocide). --Ed Poor Talk 10:41, 12 January 2008 (EST)

Ed, are you sure that it wasn't simply a matter of your friend not having the right to carry arms in a foreign country? Certainly a UK anti-terrorism officer escorting a terrorist in the UK would be armed (if it was deemed necessary) but only on very rare occasions are foreign law-enforcement officers allowed to be armed in the UK. Arming the police (or anyone else) is not a liberal issue in the UK. At least no more than it is a conservative one. While I remain respectfully ignorant of the details of your friend's incident, American security personnel do have a reputation for not trusting local law enforcement agencies and try to conduct law enforcement on their own terms while abiding (mostly) with the local laws. It might have been (although this is of course pure personal conjecture on my part) that your friend's US agency might have been unwilling to accept armed local law enforcement assistance and therefore carried the risk of being unarmed while escorting a dangerous terrorist.
There are two interesting exceptions to this general rule about foreign law enforcement agents not allowed to be armed in the UK. One is the French police at some UK ports and the Channel Tunnel entrance. The other is US armed protection officers during the visit of the US President. Ajkgordon 10:54, 12 January 2008 (EST)
Seeing armed police always makes me feel uneasy. I think it's instinctive. I grew up with unarmed cops around, and seeing them armed makes me feel freaked out. Darkmind1970 08:59, 14 January 2008 (EST)


Where do they teach anyone that the Overview for an encyclopedia article goes in the middle? - JasonAQuest 11:58, 12 January 2008 (EST)

"Western Societies"

The "Western societies" edit strikes me as unjustified, and even offensive. It implies that non-Western societies primarily use guns to attack each other. I don't think so!--Aschlafly 08:37, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

It may not be that accurate, i.e. too narrow, but neither was the previous wording accurate, in my opinion. In some parts of the world, guns do seem to be more for offensive purposes, but perhaps I was a bit hasty with making that change. I think the wording needed to be changed, though. It was a very general statement, making no distinction between different uses for guns. Guns are used for (a) personal defensive purpose, (b) sporting (target) shooting, (c) hunting (duck shooting, deer shooting, etc.), (d) shooting pest animals, and other farming purposes, (e) culling excessive animals, (f) police and security guard purposes, (f) military purposes, (g) crime, (h) para-military(?) purposes (rebels, etc.), (i) terrorism, and perhaps others. In the U.S., most of those would apply, except (hopefully) the last couple. And apart from perhaps military, (a) is probably accounts for most gun sales. In some other western countries (e.g. Australia), (a) would not apply, but (b) to (f) apply (and a little bit of (g)). In some other parts of the world, the relative proportions would change quite considerably, and I wonder if (a) is really all that high in those places. But then, does (f) come under the category of "defensive" or not? Philip J. Rayment 09:45, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Philip, violent criminals are less than 1% of the population in all countries, Eastern or Western. There is no way to convert that basic fact to a claim that guns are purchased mostly for criminal or militarily offensive purposes anywhere.--Aschlafly 09:53, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Andy, that may be so (although I suspect that there are some places where the figure is not as low as 1%), but that response only compares (a) to (f) and (g). There's also (b), (c), (d), (e), (h), and (i). Now perhaps they don't make up a large percentage of sales either, but then again, perhaps some of them do in some countries (e.g. Australia). I'm happy for it to be changed, although not happy for it to be changed back to what it was, as that was too simplistic. Philip J. Rayment 10:50, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

Merely laws? / Opening graph

Gun control is not simply a legislative act. Had there been guns before nations or empires, it would be simply an act of personal politic. I understand that the arguement I just outlined is purely hypothetial, but it has relevance, so lemme get to that. The opening of this article, within the first three words, outlines that it is purely to discuss gun control laws. I haven't read the entirety of the article (it's freakin' yuge), so perhaps I'm being hasty here. But is there any kind of laws which do not simply refer to "firearms", "projectiles", "guns", etc., as anything but axioms. Who's to say a bow-and-arrow aren't just a sharp, slow, wooden gun? I'm serious about this. Gun control, in essence, is about the right to carry shaped metal; about who has the right to instigate friction, momentum, and chemical reactions. It is from this position that I consider myself anti-gun control (don't tack me up for POV-pushing, I mention this about myself in the interest of full disclosure).

My second point is the statement that weapons are "acquired mostly for defensive and sporting purpouses". As a website which takes into account, and is somewhat infamous for points of view expressed on, as well as talk page debates on, subjects such as Creation, Religion, the Universe, sexuality, etc., I think statements like this should be broadened in terms of scope and history rather than definition or other such criterion. Through the course of human history, guns have overwhelmingly been meant for military purpouses; to kill other people on the other side of an imaginary borders. The AK-47 alone has been produced, in various forms, almost 600 million times, mostly to foment and engage in revolutions. It is irresponsible and false to say that guns are acquired mostly for defensive/sporting purpouses. Unless, of course, this articles takes some post-human objectivist thing about all of us really just being animals, and all murder is just "sporting". But that's just as ridiculous.

LinusWilson 16:45, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

I wasn't happy about the "mostly defensive" wording either (and the "sporting" bit got added as a result). But I think that "mostly defensive" might be closer to correct than you realise. First, the phrase is in the present tense, so what was the case in the past is not relevant. Sure, maybe some history could be included in the article, but it doesn't have to be in that phrase. Second, even in the past, if people acquired weapons for offensive purposes, likely at least as many acquired them for defensive purposes, to defend themselves against those who got them for offensive purposes. So the bit about them being mostly for defensive purposes is likely to be correct in most cases, I suspect. Philip J. Rayment 03:11, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Wilson's argument should be sourced and referenced to some typical group or individual who espouses it. I hardly think he's the only one who thinks this way, it it would be good to provide a contrasting view:
  • Through the course of human history, guns have overwhelmingly been meant for military purpouses; to kill other people on the other side of an imaginary borders. The AK-47 alone has been produced, in various forms, almost 600 million times, mostly to foment and engage in revolutions. It is irresponsible and false to say that guns are acquired mostly for defensive/sporting purpouses.
It is a typical liberal POV that we need stricter gun control laws, on the grounds that "guns have only one purpose, i.e., to kill people" and that "they are used more for offensive purposes (i.e., selfish aggression) than defensive purposes".
We can contrast the liberal POV with the facts which Lott brings out. In America there are at least one million defensive uses of guns each year. This doesn't even count the number of robberies and shootings that don't occur simply because someone is known to be armed. Who would dare shoot a Secret Service agent while she was protected Hillary or Dubya? And how many people dare stick up a Brink's guard with a pistol in plain view? (Don't forget policemen in uniform.)
As to the larger issue of whether guns are bad in general, we must ask whether the "just war" concept has any validity. Would God ever bless a nation to fight back against a would-be conqueror? A deeper and thornier question might be, would God ever bless one people to conquer another? (See Book of Joshua.) --Ed Poor Talk 07:33, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Gun control is also the POV of many conservatives, and their reasons are not (limited to) "guns only have one purpose" nor "they are used more for offensive purposes". There is also, for example, "guns can kill accidentally and in moments of passion, which they couldn't if they weren't there". Philip J. Rayment 22:26, 21 April 2008 (EDT)


Before I get in a edit war I would like to know how the current picture adds anything to the article except make it seem like a blog entry. Please rationally support your arguments or don't comment back. No insults or foundationless name calling (i.e. liberal ________). There is too much of that here. I remove the picture in one day unless there is a decent argument presented. Rellik 19:17, 13 May 2008 (EDT)

Instead of deleting the picture, how about adding a caption along the lines of "A poster produced by pro-gun activists", or whatever is actually the case with that image? Philip J. Rayment 22:44, 13 May 2008 (EDT)

External Links

Removed the following two links since they are pro gun-control and more importantly are misleading:

For example the latter site claims (as oopposed to the incorrect description provided above): "Switzerland is frequently cited as an example of a country with high gun ownership and a low murder rate. However, Switzerland also has a high degree of gun control, and actually makes a better argument for gun regulation than gun liberalization."

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jlewis (talk)

Since when is being "pro gun-control" a reason to remove a link?
And how does the bit you quote make it misleading? I think you might be saying that the title of the second page is somehow contradicted by the quote from it, but I can't see any contradiction.
I'm adding them back in.
Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 6 June 2008 (EDT)


I'm going to take out the section on Switzerland, as the content is of doubtful accuracy. It cites a BBC article from 2001 which appears from other sources (e.g. [2] and [3]) to be either incorrect or out of date. In particular, it claims that "the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept", which appears to be outright nonsense, given that such statistics are available (e.g. [4] and [5]). Further, those statistics contradict the claim currently in the article that "Switzerland has one of the world's lowest gun crime rates" (which raises the question of how one would know that if there's no statistics kept!), yet those last two links show that Switzerland has one of the highest rates of industrialised countries (ahead of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, for example).


Guns aren't actually bad in general. According to Thomas Malthus (do not quote me on this, Quote Malthus), the only things keeping the human population under control are wars, famines, and disease. Today, we have much less diseases and famines than were during Malthus's time and we are quickly approaching our carrying capacity. Therefore, if there are more guns in circulation, the human poulation would be kept in check again. So guns are actually helpful. -Sundance

Malthus was wrong (prosperity tends to suppress population growth, as does China's one-child policy), and I very much doubt that we are "quickly approaching our carrying capacity". So your macabre claim is nonsense. Philip J. Rayment 09:24, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

You have to realize there are two types of over-population. One is the obvious excessive population growth of humans. The other focuses on over-population pollution wise. The more wealth pepole have, the more they pollute and the more they use up natural resources. Carrying capacity is defined as the number of organisms an ecosystem could sustain and we're using up envionmental resouces at an increasing rate. Therefore, prosperity would lead to the same consequence as overpopulation. And we are quickly approaching our carrying capacity becuase we are using up more and more natural resources. My claim is not nonsense. -Sundance

That's two problems with overpopulation, not two types.
The claim that the wealthier people are the more they pollute is not necessarily true. The wealthiest nations are the ones that have done the most to limit pollution, whereas the most polluting nations have been places like the much poorer former eastern European countries. Pollution is not inextricably tied to wealth.
That some resources such as fossil fuels are finite does not mean that there are not other resources, many renewable, that could replace them.
In this post you've put a much more reasonable argument than your previous post regarding guns being helpful. That post was nonsense, and as this post doesn't defend that point, this post does nothing to change the fact that your previous post was nonsense.
Philip J. Rayment 22:06, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Law abiding use vs. criminal use

The article now says, "In the United States, law-abiding uses of guns outnumber criminal uses by about a factor of 1000 to 1", with the reference being "http://www.americanselfdefense.com/gunfacts3.0.pdf (p. 60)". Is this a reference to that page saying "Percentage of guns used in crimes: 0.09%"? If so, I believe that it has been misunderstood, as that is talking about the percentage of guns, not the percentage of uses of guns. Philip J. Rayment 22:48, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Incorrect Items About the United Kingdom Crime Level

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita According to this page the UK has a lower murder rate than America even with the UK gun laws. The UK also has less assaults and stabbings. Yet on the Gun Control page it states the opposite. Shouldnt Conservapedia correct the entry? I would do it but only a mod can do it.


--EllisUSA 22:17, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

Removal of my edits

Might I ask why ASchlafly decided to remove my edits? I will concede that the formulation could have done with some work, but I fail to see what the problem with the content was...


Your edit was pure opinion, and one lacking in logic. Guns have deterrent value whether used or not.--Aschlafly 18:25, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

On "Genocide" in the article

How does the genocides in the Soviet Union, Germany, and Turkey have anything to do with gun control? The genocides didn't happen as a result of gun control, nor were the control laws an influence on the decision on the murders of millions. I can expect someone to say "if they have weapons to defend themselves it wouldn't have happened", which isn't exactly true. The army of a massive state, like that of the Soviet Union, and the opressive personality cult states with a militarist society, like that of Nazi Germany, pretty much wouldn't be effected by armed militias. Taking those "examples" and applying it to gun control in the United States is just absurd, like somehow liberals promote racial genocide? Communism, Nazism (or National Socialism) isn't in anyway connected to liberalism and the center-left in America, I'm not trying to defend liberals here but saying they promote laws that inevitably lead to genocide is just crossing the line there. They have many gun control laws in Asia, Japan and South Korea are good examples.
CrimsonKing 22:58, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

Gun control in Britain

I have removed the following fragment:

"In Britain, for example, the enactment of a ban on most handguns in February 1997[1] directly resulted in the Labour Party winning a landslide 179 seat majority in the general election later that year, the first time it exceeded 40% of the popular vote in over 25 years. The new government soon extended the ban to cover nearly all handguns, and the Labour Party has remained in power in Britain for over a decade."

It cites no sources, and is therefore in my mind pure speculation, the use of the phrase "directly resulted" is extremely strong, and needs to be supported by a suitable reliable citation to justify inclusion. If necesary I can find numerous sources citing completely unrelated reasons for Labor's 1997 election victory. ConcernedScientist 09:11, 5 November 2008 (EST)

Liberal Deceit

The article does use the word deceit, so if it talks about liberal deceit, it's not very obvious. Additionally, this article describes the conservative position, should we put this in the conservatism category? HelpJazz 22:16, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Reversion of Ed Poor's edit

I reverted the inclusion of the quote "Even more troublesome is the fact that the places where gun control laws are toughest tend to be the places where the most crime is committed with illegal weapons." for the following reasons:

  • It was taken out of context. The context was a United States study, but inclusion in the article made no reference to the U.S. and was in the introduction, where it would be taken as a general (worldwide) claim.
  • The edit came a day after a news report here in Oz that gun murders are way down ("Only 11 per cent of murder victims were killed with a firearm, the lowest proportion on record and down four per cent on 2005-06.") and all murders are also down ("The statistics show homicide rates have fallen by a third in the last six years.")

Philip J. Rayment 22:26, 2 December 2008 (EST)

  • And America, bless her, has a 12% rate, and what? 200 million more people than Oz? America comes out the winner yet again. :D --₮K/Talk 22:47, 2 December 2008 (EST)
Given that we are comparing rates, not actual numbers, how is 12% better than 11%? And can you give a reference for the 12% please? Philip J. Rayment 01:07, 3 December 2008 (EST)
Gun control causes an increase in assaults, muggings, robberies, kidnappings, burglaries, and ... fear. It's no different in Australia. See [6]. When the aging population is taken into account (older people commit fewer crimes than younger people), then the increase in crime from gun control is even larger. Basic logic dictates this result, as defensive uses of guns inevitably outnumber criminal uses by a 100 to 1 ratio or more.--Aschlafly 23:00, 2 December 2008 (EST)
And yet the reference you provided does not support all your claims:
  • Assaults: Yes, there was an increase (p. 12 of your reference)
  • Muggings: I assume that these are included in assaults; the term is not used in your reference.
  • Robberies: "The rate for robbery peaked in 2001. Following a subsequent decline, the rate has levelled out to 84 per 100,000 in 2006." (p.12)
  • Kidnappings: "The rate of kidnapping remained between 3 and 4 per 100,000 between 1996 and 2006." (p.12)
  • Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI) (burglaries): "The rate of UEWI remained relatively stable from 1996 to 2001 and has declined since then." (p.13)
  • Fear: The reference did not seem to document how fear might have changed.
The aging population would affect the figures, but again the reference doesn't mention that, so it is no more than speculation how much affect it would have. I could just as easily and validly speculate that Australia's increasing intake of refugees from countries with more lawlessness should have caused an increase.
So basically, only one of your claims was supported by your reference.
Philip J. Rayment 01:07, 3 December 2008 (EST)
Philip, you're arguing against logic. The number of assaults went up by about 50%. Kidnappings almost doubled. When adjusted for age, violent crime went up across the board when gun control is imposed. Deny it all you like, as you have free will to do so. But 99% of gun purchases and uses are for defensive purposes, and that inevitably means that violent crime goes up when gun control is imposed.--Aschlafly 10:29, 3 December 2008 (EST)
If I'm arguing against logic, then perhaps you'd be so kind as to explain the logic in a formal way, because you are arguing against the facts in your own reference! And while you're at it, please also produce the following:
  • Figures for your claim that "When adjusted for age, violent crime went up across the board...", because the reference doesn't mention it.
  • Evidence that, in Australia, "99% of gun purchases and uses are[/were] for defensive purposes", because I'd be quite sure that was simply not true.
Philip J. Rayment 20:49, 3 December 2008 (EST)
Philip, obviously it's a fool's errand to debate with anyone who has a closed mind, and I don't intend to do so. Only 1 in 1000 Australians commit violent crimes. A higher fraction, by orders of magnitude, have bought or used guns. If you doubt my 99% estimate, then propose your own. But don't insist on supporting gun control while not forming an estimate about that ratio. That would be the ultimate in irrationality.
Virtually every conservative rejects gun control. A majority of the U.S. Congress rejects it. Australia has moved dramatically and predictably to the left since embracing gun control. I suggest you reconsider the issue, but that's obviously up to you.--Aschlafly 10:17, 4 December 2008 (EST)
"...it's a fool's errand to debate with anyone who has a closed mind...": So now I'm a fool?
I didn't ask you to continue debating. I asked you to provide evidence to back up your claims. Your blatant failure to do that is very telling.
"Only 1 in 1000 Australians commit violent crimes. A higher fraction, by orders of magnitude, have bought or used guns.": Can you back up that claim (the second sentence)? I very much doubt that it's true.
"If you doubt my 99% estimate, then propose your own.": So now you're asking me to make up figures to support my argument? Is that because that's what you do?
"But don't insist on supporting gun control while not forming an estimate about that ratio.": I have formed an estimate about the ratio. That's why I questioned yours, because my estimate is much lower than yours. But my estimate doesn't have an actual figure attached, because I prefer to stick with known evidence, not made-up figures. (For the record, I believe that gun purchases and use for sporting shooters, hunters, and gun collecting would have far outweighed guns bought and used for defensive purposes. If you include guns bought by police and other security forces as "defensive", then perhaps "defensive" outweighs other uses, but still by nowhere near 99%. Further, this is talking mostly about purchase, not use. Actual use for defensive purposes would be far outweighed by sporting and hunting use.)
"That would be the ultimate in irrationality.": It's not irrational to ask someone to provide evidence for their claims.
"Virtually every conservative rejects gun control.": In America, perhaps, but we are not talking about America. In Australia, where we are talking about, that claim is completely false, and you should know that, except that you've closed your mind to the possibility.
"Australia has moved dramatically and predictably to the left since embracing gun control.": It's the height of irrationality to keep repeating long-refuted claims.
To summarise, your first post in this section was not a direct response to what I posted, but I replied to your specific claims by showing them to be wrong. You tried disputing a few of them, but by and large ignored the actual refutations, opting instead for a sweeping dismissal of my rebuttals (I'm "arguing against logic"), and introducing a new, unfounded claim. When I question you on that claim, you introduce some new claims (new to this discussion), rather than address the specific claims you raised and I refuted. Changing the subject like this shows that you have no good argument.
Philip J. Rayment 17:39, 4 December 2008 (EST)
Philip, your angry posting is an argument with yourself at this point. In open-minded discussions, estimates are common and helpful. Jumping on someone else's estimates while refusing to provide your own is a sign of bullying rather than open mind. Rant and insist on last wordism if you like, but I'm not going to waste any more time with your approach. The logical and political rejection of the fallacy of gun control is so widely accepted in the United States that gun control is rarely advocated in most states here any more.--Aschlafly 18:16, 4 December 2008 (EST)

Gun control debate vs. greater emphasis on changing violent thinking of society

I don't pretend to be greatly informed on the gun control debate. I do know of an interesting study in Canada. It seems when television (which certainly has its share of gratuitous violence) was first introduced one town or city did not have it for an extended period but if memory recalls a somewhat nearby town did have television. It seems as if the town that did have television, had a noticeable increase in crime.

It seems to me that more time and serious effort should be spent changing people's attitudes about senseless violence than attempting to excessively control gun ownership.

Switzerland has the highest rates of gun ownership, but low rates of gun related crime compared to the rest of Europe. I think this is likely because the Swiss have less violent attitudes and beliefs. conservative 01:30, 3 December 2008 (EST)

That is indeed interesting. One wonders if their television is as Godless as ours, as full of violence. Some might assume so, but it would be interesting to see if there are studies available... --₮K/Talk 01:35, 3 December 2008 (EST)
From what I've read of Switzerland, although they do have higher rates of gun ownership, there's also pretty strict controls on them. But I think that what is relevant here is that this entire issue is to do with a lot more than just guns and their availability, but includes society attitudes, media influences, general policing practices, and so much more. Philip J. Rayment 04:04, 3 December 2008 (EST)
Such as violent videos and computer games. Jallen 04:22, 3 December 2008 (EST)
switzerland is a bad example about gun control because every man within a certain age is a member of the swiss army reserve and must have his service weapon at home with him. Here Markr 18:09, 4 December 2008 (EST)
  1. As in Australia, gun control passed in Britain based on a highly publicized but isolated and statistically insignificant act of violence.