It’s the Guns, Stupid

I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.

America can prevent shootings. But it has to come to grips with the problem.

By German Lopez/ Vox.com/ May 18, 2018

Editor’s Note: Charts do not come out well in this posting. Try the link to the article:https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/21/17028930/gun-violence-us-statistics-charts

guns

These mass shootings don’t keep happening because we don’t know what to do.

With another mass shooting in the US — this time, in Santa Fe High School in Texas — many Americans are once again horrified and bewildered by what feels like constantly occurring tragedies. Calls for action are already popping up on social media. But if this plays out like it has before, there’s a very high chance that little to nothing will happen on a national scale.

Since I began covering mass shootings at Vox, I have seen this pattern play out again and again: A shooting happens. There are demands for action. Maybe something gets introduced in Congress. The debate goes back and forth for a bit. Then people move on — usually after a week or two. And so, with little to nothing changed, there’s eventually another mass shooting.

As a reporter, I have become eerily attuned to this horrible American ritual. I do the same thing every single time we get news of a mass shooting: verify reports, contribute to a “what we know” article, and then begin to update our old pieces on guns. I do this almost instinctively at this point — and that terrifies me. No one should get used to this.

As I see it, the core issue is that America as a whole refuses to even admit it has a serious problem with guns and gun violence. And more than that, lawmakers continue acting like the solutions are some sort of mystery, as if there aren’t years of research and experiences in other countries that show restrictions on firearms can save lives.

Consider President Donald Trump’s initial speech in response to the Parkland, Florida, school shooting: His only mention of guns was a vague reference to “gunfire” as he described what happened. He never even brought up gun control or anything related to that debate, instead vaguely promising to work “with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

This is America’s elected leader — and he essentially, based on his first public response, ignored what the real problem is. And although the White House eventually came around to bipartisan proposals to very slightly improve background checks and ban bump stocks, the compromises amount to fairly small changes to America’s weak gun laws.

In my coverage of these shootings, I’ve always focused on solutions through studies and policy ideas that would tamp down on the number of shootings. The good news is there are real solutions out there.

But America can’t get to those solutions until it admits it has a gun problem and confronts the reality of what it would mean to seriously address it.

1) America has a unique gun violence problem

The US is unique in two key — and related — ways when it comes to guns: It has way more gun deaths than other developed nations, and it has far higher levels of gun ownership than any other country in the world.

The US has nearly six times the gun homicide rate of Canada, more than seven times that of Sweden, and nearly 16 times that of Germany, according to United Nations data compiled by the Guardian. (These gun deaths are a big reason America has a much higher overall homicide rate, which includes non-gun deaths, than other developed nations.)

A chart shows America’s disproportionate levels of gun violence.Javier Zarracina/Vox

Mass shootings actually make up a small fraction of America’s gun deaths, constituting less than 2 percent of such deaths in 2013. But America does see a lot of these horrific events: According to CNN, “The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, but holds 31% of global mass shooters.”

The US also has by far the highest number of privately owned guns in the world. Estimated in 2007, the number of civilian-owned firearms in the US was 88.8 guns per 100 people, meaning there was almost one privately owned gun per American and more than one per American adult. The world’s second-ranked country was Yemen, a quasi-failed state torn by civil war, where there were 54.8 guns per 100 people.

Gun ownership by country.Max Fisher/Washington Post

Another way of looking at that: Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet own roughly 42 percent of all the world’s privately held firearms.

These two facts — on gun deaths and firearm ownership — are related. The research, compiled by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center, is pretty clear: After controlling for variables such as socioeconomic factors and other crime, places with more guns have more gun deaths. Researchers have found this to be true not just with homicides, but also with suicides (which in recent years were around 60 percent of US gun deaths), domestic violence, and even violence against police.

For example, a 2013 study, led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher, found that, after controlling for multiple variables, each percentage point increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate.

This chart, based on data compiled by researcher Josh Tewksbury, shows the correlation between the number of guns and gun deaths (including homicides and suicides) among wealthier nations:

A chart showing the correlation between the number of guns and gun deaths.

Guns are not the only contributor to violence. (Other factors include, for example, poverty, urbanization, and alcohol consumption.) But when researchers control for other confounding variables, they have found time and time again that America’s high levels of gun ownership are a major reason the US is so much worse in terms of gun violence than its developed peers.

2) The problem is guns, not mental illness

Supporters of gun rights look at America’s high levels of gun violence and argue that guns are not the problem. They point to other issues, from violence in video games and movies to the supposed breakdown of the traditional family.

Most recently, they’ve blamed mental health issues for mass shootings. This is the only policy issue that Trump mentioned in his first speech following the Florida shooting.

But as far as homicides go, people with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims, not perpetrators, of violence. And Michael Stone, a psychiatrist at Columbia University who maintains a database of mass shooters, wrote in a 2015 analysis that only 52 out of the 235 killers in the database, or about 22 percent, had mental illnesses. “The mentally ill should not bear the burden of being regarded as the ‘chief’ perpetrators of mass murder,” he concluded. Other research has backed this up.

More broadly, America does not have a monopoly on mental illness. That’s not to say more access to mental health care wouldn’t help; it could, for example, be effective for reducing the number of gun suicides. But mental health issues aren’t what make the US stand out in terms of gun violence.

The problem that’s unique to the US, instead, is guns — and America’s abundance of them.

As a breakthrough analysis by UC Berkeley’s Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins in the 1990s found, it’s not even that the US has more crime than other developed countries. This chart, based on data from Jeffrey Swanson at Duke University, shows that the US is not an outlier when it comes to overall crime:

A chart showing crime rates among wealthy nations.

Instead, the US appears to have more lethal violence — and that’s driven in large part by the prevalence of guns.

”A series of specific comparisons of the death rates from property crime and assault in New York City and London show how enormous differences in death risk can be explained even while general patterns are similar,” Zimring and Hawkins wrote. “A preference for crimes of personal force and the willingness and ability to use guns in robbery make similar levels of property crime 54 times as deadly in New York City as in London.”

A chart showing homicides among wealthy nations.

This is in many ways intuitive: People of every country get into arguments and fights with friends, family, and peers. But in the US, it’s much more likely that someone will get angry at an argument and be able to pull out a gun and kill someone.

3) The research shows that gun control works

The research also suggests that gun control can work. A 2016 review of 130 studies in 10 countries, published in Epidemiologic Reviews, found that new legal restrictions on owning and purchasing guns tended to be followed by a drop in gun violence — a strong indicator that restricting access to firearms can save lives.

Consider Australia’s example.

In 1996, a 28-year-old man walked into a cafe in Port Arthur, Australia, ate lunch, pulled a semiautomatic rifle out of his bag, and opened fire on the crowd, killing 35 people and wounding 23 more. It was the worst mass shooting in Australia’s history.

Australian lawmakers responded with legislation that, among other provisions, banned certain types of firearms, such as automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. The Australian government confiscated 650,000 of these guns through a mandatory buyback program, in which it purchased firearms from gun owners. It established a registry of all guns owned in the country and required a permit for all new firearm purchases. (This is much further than bills typically proposed in the US, which almost never make a serious attempt to immediatelyreduce the number of guns in the country.)

Australia’s firearm homicide rate dropped by about 42 percent in the seven years after the law passed, and its firearm suicide rate fell by 57 percent, according to a review of the evidenceby Harvard researchers.

It’s difficult to know for sure how much of the drop in homicides and suicides was caused specifically by the gun buyback program and other legal changes. Australia’s gun deaths, for one, were already declining before the law passed. But researchers David Hemenway and Mary Vriniotis argue that the gun buyback program very likely played a role: “First, the drop in firearm deaths was largest among the type of firearms most affected by the buyback. Second, firearm deaths in states with higher buyback rates per capita fell proportionately more than in states with lower buyback rates.”

One study of the program, by Australian researchers, found that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people correlated with up to a 50 percent drop in firearm homicides and a 74 percent drop in gun suicides. As Dylan Matthews explained for Vox, the drop in homicides wasn’t statistically significant because Australia already had a pretty low number of murders. But the drop in suicides most definitely was — and the results are striking.

Firearm suicides plummeted after Australia's gun buyback program began.Javier Zarracina/Vox

One other fact, noted by Hemenway and Vriniotis in 2011: “While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the [Australia gun control law], resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres.”

4) State and local actions are not enough

A common counterpoint to the evidence on gun control: If it works so well, why does Chicago have so much gun violence despite having some of the strictest gun policies in the US?

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made this argument after the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting: “I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

It’s true that Chicago has fairly strict gun laws (although not the strictest). And it’s true that the city has fairly high levels of gun violence (although also not the worst in the US).

This doesn’t, however, expose the failure of gun control altogether, but rather the limits of leaving gun policies to a patchwork of local and state laws. The basic problem: If a city or state passes strict gun control measures, people can simply cross a border to buy guns in a jurisdiction with laxer laws.

Chicago, for example, requires a Firearm Owners Identification card, a background check, a three-day waiting period, and documentation for all firearm sales. But Indiana, across the border, doesn’t require any of this for purchases between two private individuals (including those at gun shows and those who meet through the internet), allowing even someone with a criminal record to buy a firearm without passing a background check or submitting paperwork recording the sale.

So someone from Chicago can drive across the border — to Indiana or to other places with lax gun laws — and buy a gun without any of the big legal hurdles he would face at home. Then that person can resell or give guns to others in Chicago, or keep them, leaving no paper trail behind. (This is illegal trafficking under federal law, but Indiana’s lax laws and enforcement — particularly the lack of a paper trail — make it virtually impossible to catch someone until a gun is used in a crime.)

The result: According to a 2014 report from the Chicago Police Department, nearly 60 percent of the guns in crime scenes that were recovered and traced between 2009 and 2013 came from outside the state. About 19 percent came from Indiana — making it the most common state of origin for guns besides Illinois.

This isn’t exclusive to Chicago. A 2016 report from the New York State Office of the Attorney General found that 74 percent of guns used in crimes in New York between 2010 and 2015 came from states with lax gun laws. (The gun trafficking chain from Southern states with weak gun laws to New York is so well-known it even has a name: “the Iron Pipeline.”) And another 2016 report from the US Government Accountability Office found that most of the guns — as many as 70 percent — used in crimes in Mexico, which has strict gun laws, can be traced back to the US, which has generally weaker gun laws.

That doesn’t mean the stricter gun laws in Chicago, New York, or any other jurisdiction have no effect, but it does limit how far these local and state measures can go, since the root of the problem lies in other places’ laws. The only way the pipeline could be stopped would be if all states individually strengthened their gun laws at once — or, more realistically, if the federal government passed a law that enforces stricter rules across the US.

5) America probably needs to go further than anyone wants to admit

America’s attention to gun control often focuses on a few specific measures: universal background checks, restrictions on people with mental illnesses buying firearms, and an assault weapons ban, for example. It is rare that American politicians, even on the left, go much further than that. Something like Australia’s law — which amounts to a confiscation program — is never seriously considered.

As Matthews previously explained, this is a big issue. The US’s gun problem is so dire that it arguably needs solutions that go way further than what we typically see in mainstream proposals — at least, if the US ever hopes to get down to European levels of gun violence.

If the fundamental problem is that America has far too many guns, then policies need to cut the number of guns in circulation right now to seriously reduce the number of gun deaths. Background checks and other restrictions on who can buy a gun can’t achieve that in the short term. What America likely needs, then, is something more like Australia’s mandatory buyback program — essentially, a gun confiscation scheme — paired with a serious ban on specific firearms (including, potentially, all semiautomatic weapons).

But no one in Congress is seriously proposing something that sweeping. The Manchin-Toomey bill, the only gun legislation in Congress after Sandy Hook that came close to becoming law, didn’t even establish universal background checks. Recent proposals have been even milder, taking small steps like banning bump stocks or slightly improving the existing system for background checks.

Part of the holdup is the Second Amendment. While there is reasonable scholarly debateabout whether the Second Amendment actually protects all Americans’ individual right to bear arms and prohibits stricter forms of gun control, the reality is the Supreme Court and US lawmakers — backed by the powerful gun lobby, particularly the NRA — widely agree that the Second Amendment does put barriers on how far restrictions can go. That would likely rule out anything like the Australian policy response short of a court reinterpretation or a repeal of the Second Amendment, neither of which seems likely.

So the US, for political, cultural, and legal reasons, seems to be unable to take the action that it really needs.

None of that is to say that milder measures are useless. Connecticut’s law requiring handgun purchasers to first pass a background check and obtain a license, for example, was followed by a 40 percent drop in gun homicides and a 15 percent reduction in gun suicides. Similar results — in the reverse — were reported in Missouri when it repealed its own permit-to-purchase law. It’s difficult to separate these changes from long-term trends (especially since gun homicides have generally been on the decline for decades now), but a review of the evidence by RAND linked milder gun control measures, including background checks, to reduced injuries and deaths — and that means these measures likely saved lives.

There are also some evidence-based policies that could help outside the realm of gun control, including more stringent regulations and taxes on alcohol, changes in policing, and behavioral intervention programs.

But if America wants to get to the levels of gun deaths that its European peers report, it will likely need to go much, much further on guns in particular.

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57 Responses to It’s the Guns, Stupid

  1. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are some videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXao52NPbEk, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrxmO3UU888, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iMaH3ao1v8, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf6SNaYuBJE, 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R8gH98Wf4s, 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6Sb5GSJ08M, 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTA2105xumQ Many tragedies with guns could be avoided if the people who were the victims of gun-related tragedies could defend themselves. In plain English, the text of the 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Militias are essential to the security of a free state, hence militias. The right of individuals to keep and bear arms is also not to be infringed upon. Most of these dopes who issue rallying cries for gun confiscation would surround themselves with security that is armed to the teeth. For that hypocrisy/double-standard to not be so blatantly obvious is absurd. While the Aurora Colorado shooting could have been avoided if the shooter did not have the gun, it is true that more lives could have been saved if people were allowed to be armed in the theater when it happened.

    • The thought of everyone having guns in public places doesn’t reassure me. And your usual complaint about people wanting gun confiscation is disingenuous. I don’t know anybody that want to confiscate all guns. But most Americans want sensible gun control. Big difference.

  2. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, watch the video I linked where David Pakman and Ben Shapiro were discussing the issue of how we can reduce gun deaths. Why is it that every single mass shooting results in a rallying cry for gun confiscation? Why is it that these people who call for gun confiscation surround themselves with security that is armed to the teeth in order to avoid being assaulted? Any person who cannot see the lack of common sense in this thinking should catch a clue. Gun-free zones have no impact on criminals. They only impact law-abiding citizens. Gun control and registration was implemented by the Nazis.The Nazi party is the national Socialist worker’s party basically the left in America. Nazis wanted guns to be out of the hands of the citizenry in Germany, just as Democratic Party politicians want to do to us.

  3. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, a frying pan could inflict damage if it is used to assault a person. However, as with firearms, they do not assault people by themselves. Regarding bump stocks, I see no reason for those to be banned. By the way, the same people who issue calls for gun confiscation would also call the police, people who have guns, when faced with armed robbers. The inconsistency in the thinking of these people is absurd.

    • Ragnar, are you drinking NRA KoolAde? The bottom line is the U.S. has the most number of guns in the world, and the highest rate of gun deaths among developed countries. Firearm deaths are correlated with firearm proliferation. What more do you need to know?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I know that many of the deaths could have been avoided if people could defend themselves more adequately. Sitting down and just taking it is not a solution.

        • One thing for sure, Ragnar, many more deaths could have been avoided if there were less guns.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, try living a country where people have no right to defend themselves from a government that abuses of its citizens. Then come back here and see how much better off people are here. What about these hypocrites who call for gun confiscation out of one side of their mouth and yet call the police, people with guns to come and save them out of the other side of their mouth?

  4. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if the right to defend oneself from an abusive government was taken up for a vote by its leadership, the person who wants to defend himself or herself would lose out on that if it was done on an individual basis. Why did we win the American Revolution? Because we sat on our hands and did nothing? No. It was won because of the fact that the Colonists had enough of the tyranny from a far off Parliament.

  5. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects individual gun ownership. Gun control laws do not deter crime; gun ownership deters crime. Gun control laws infringe upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety. These hypocritical politicians who call for gun confiscation are probably surrounded by armed secret service agents, people who have guns, so what are they going to do-insist that the Secret Service agents never have firearms on their persons while in a public venue? Gun control laws give too much power to the government and may result in government tyranny and the government taking away all guns from citizens. All guns should be legal and accessible to law-abiding citizens. The full text of the Second Amendment says in plain English, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Leftists omit the part that says, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” when they make their arguments. Since any weapon could be used in an “assault,” the assault weapons terminology is a misnomer. Baseball bats could be used in an assault. Do we ban them? No. Knives are used in assaults. Are they banned? No. An axe could be used in an assault. Should we ban them? No, because many people use axes do so for the purpose of cutting wood. Gun-free zones are a magnet for mass shooters — almost every mass shooting we have experienced has occurred in a gun-free zone. One person’s right to defend himself or herself with deadly force if needed should not be up for the vote of another.

    • Guns, unlike baseball bats, have only one purpose: to kill. And who is it that calls for total gun confiscation? I haven’t found anyone.You still haven’t answered my question: should a nuclear weapon be legal? Or a true assault rifle with multiple magazines? Should homicidal maniacs and terrorists have guns? There has to be limits.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, no civilians would need nuclear weapons, nor should any civilians have them. Regarding their being legal, why don’t you ask that question of the government? Assault rifle is a misnomer. Regarding assault weapons bans, anything could be used in an assault that could be seen as a weapon. Do we have a knife ban? No. A ban on frying pans? No.

        • No nuclear weapons, Ragnar? So you do agree with arms control. It’s just a matter of degree. And apparently you don’t see the difference between a frying pan and an assault rifle. This is the Encyclopedia Brittanica definition of an assault rifle:
          ” military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. Because they are light and portable yet still able to deliver a high volume of fire with reasonable accuracy at modern combat ranges of 1,000–1,600 feet (300–500 metres), assault rifles have replaced the high-powered bolt-action and semiautomatic rifles of the World War II era as the standard infantry weapon of modern armies.” I hope that clarifies the matter.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, it depends on what extremes it goes to. If someone who has military experience has an unused torpedo on display in that person’s house, what does it matter if its purpose is just as a display? What about alcohol? Why is that not being as heavily regulated as a firearm? Both can kill, however, firearms are used for self-defense and alcohol is used by people who cannot understand the damage associated with it.

  6. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the text of the 2nd Amendment says in plain English, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The 2nd Amendment is the most important of all for is the one that protects all the other ones. How is shall not be infringed difficult to understand? Gun ownership is a god-given right in this country. Right to bear arms is not just a constitutional right, but a natural right. 2nd Amendment simply acknowledges and protects that fundamental right. Gun control laws give too much power to the government and may result in government tyranny and the government taking away all guns from citizens. Gun control laws will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns or breaking laws. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects individual gun ownership. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun ownership is an American tradition older than the country itself and is protected by the Second Amendment; more gun control laws would infringe upon the right to bear arms. Violent felons with guns forfeited their rights to bear arms following a premeditated act of violence with guns. I know that Progressives are Constitutionally illiterate, however, their gun control agenda does not alter the fact that we have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

    • That sounds straight from the NRA Handbook, Ragnar. Our founding fathers would be shocked to see today’s weapons. Why do you suppose they started the 2nd Amendment with the idea of a well-regulated militia? It seems to me even the Supreme Court believes in some forms of realistic gun control.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, militias were to protect the security of a free state. Hence militia being used in reference to protecting the security of a free state. Those who advocate for gun bans omit the part of the 2nd Amendment that says, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” when they push for gun control. Just stick to the restriction/prohibition of gun sales to minors, people with a history of mental illness and people who are convicted of violent felonies and have people who want to own firearms go through background checks. Be sure to look into that video I linked where David Pakman and Ben Shapiro were discussing how some agreement should be able to be had related to reducing the number of gun-related deaths. Even though I disagree with him politically, David Pakman seems to handle himself with a great deal of class. He does not rant, does not go into tirades, does not ramble on without getting to the points he is trying to make. Each video of his that I have seen, even with his obvious bias, I have found to be enlightening.

        • Surely there must be limits, Ragnar. Machine guns? Multi-magazine assault rifles? Nuclear weapons? Homicidal maniacs and known terrorists owning guns?Please say yes.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, no civilian would need nuclear weapons. However, AR-15 style does not mean assault rifle. The AR part stands for Armalite. So this assault weapons talk is intellectually dishonest and completely false.

          • For the record, Ragnar, I didn’t mention the AR-15. And you never really answered most of my questions.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, a homicidal maniac should be banned from owning firearms, yes, however, any person who wants to own multiple gun magazines should have every right to. Nuclear weapons preferably should not exist, however, the rule about mutually assured destruction should be applicable. If we are attacked with those, we should respond in kind. Guns do not fire or load themselves.

  7. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the text of the 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” People who advocate gun ownership restrictions omit the part that says, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Unless I am misinterpreting that part, it seems to me that our right to self-defense is not supposed to be taken up for a vote by other people.

    • There has to be controls, Ragnar. The right to bear arms is not absolute (just like the First Amendment). Unless you don’t mind your neighbor having a machine gun or a nuclear weapon.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, outside of the prohibition of gun sales to minors, mental health status evaluations and criminal background checks, all other regulations should be scrapped. Our rights to defend ourselves should not be taken up for a vote. Regarding the proposed assault weapons bans being talked about, any weapon could be used in an assault, so this just a roundabout way to call for a restriction of Constitutionally guaranteed rights. The text of the 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”Proponents of gun control omit the latter part where it talks about our right to keep and bear arms not being infringed. Just another case of people cherry-picking what parts of the U.S. Constitution they like and what parts they don’t like.

  8. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, no matter the selective cherry-picking of the parts of the U.S. Constitution Leftists do and do not like, particularly about the 2nd Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms, all gun laws are unconstitutional due to the supremacy clause. Our rights are not up for political debate. Gun violence has gone down most everywhere even states with no gun control. Check the statistics for yourself. Nowhere does it say in the 2nd Amendment anything about getting a license to own any guns.

  9. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTA2105xumQ I align politically with Ben Shapiro, however, David Pakman also presented himself quite well. When all hell breaks loose, I don’t think a defenseless citizenry would be a good thing. What is so easily lost on people who advocate restrictions on gun ownership regarding the part “shall not be infringed”? I would not be surprised if more acts of gun violence took place in gun-free zones, not fewer. If guns were outlawed, Then only outlaws would have guns. What should we do about guns? Buy many and buy often. Why do I oppose gun control? Its simple. Because it helps no one except the very people you need protection from. Large scale gun bans or registration would undoubtedly lead this country into a revolt against the government. Why are guns the only thing that is under constant attack from lawmakers and politicians? Why not cars, hammers, knives, workplace safety issues or a myriad of other issues that kill tens of thousands if more Americans each year? What about the over 1000 gun laws that already exist? Its not gun control its people control. In order for a government to have complete control the people must have no efficient means to defy government.

  10. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, according to some people, more gun control laws would reduce gun deaths. Gun control laws ultimately infringe upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety. “But keeping guns out of the hands of people will make them safer,” will be a claim made by some people. Gun control laws will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns or breaking laws. Of 62 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012, 49 of the shooters used legally obtained guns. Are you going to advocate taking guns away from law-abiding citizens in response to these occurrences? Gun control laws give too much power to the government and may result in government tyranny and the government taking away all guns from citizens.

  11. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, gun laws don’t affect guns, they affect people who use them. We could enact all of the same laws that they do in countries that heavily regulate gun ownership and it still would not do any good. More gun control is linked to higher crime. These gun control advocates who want to deprive us of our Constitutionally protected (and God-given) right to keep and bear arms would turn on a dime if they were looking down the barrel of a shotgun. A lot of these people who call for gun confiscation would hypocritically turn on a dime and change their tune if they were looking down the barrel of a shotgun and being unable to defend themselves.

    • “More gun control is linked to higher crime.” I don’t think so, Ragnar. Sounds like a right-wing NRA talking point. Please provide evidence .Here’s mine: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/ Common sense dictates that more guns = more violence, not the other way around.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, how many deaths could have been prevented in all cases of gun violence if the victims were able to defend themselves? What part of “shall not be infringed” is so easily lost on people? The text of the 2nd Amendment plainly and simply says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” “But we are not calling for a nationwide gun ban,” say some people. The 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights recognize the natural rights that everyone is born with. 90% of all mass shootings happened at gun free zones.

  12. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, any person who is of sound mind and good judgement should be able to own any firearms that person elects to.

    • That’s scary. C’mon Ragnar, shouldn’t we draw the line somewhere: assault rifles? machine guns? nuclear weapons? Certainly we need restrictions, unless we want to live in a violent, dangerous country (and we are nearly there already)

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I said sound mind and good judgement. Sound mind and good judgement does not mean giving a mentally disturbed person or a violent criminal access to firearms. There are people in the U.S. right now who own a variety of firearms, many of them peaceful, law-abiding, non-violent, whose right to own firearms should not be arbitrarily taken away because of random acts of gun violence. What part of “shall not be infringed” is so hard for gun control advocates to understand? Drunk drivers kill people. Why is there no ban on alcoholic products? Cigarettes kill people. Why not ban those and all other tobacco based products?

        • Ragnar, what part of ““A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state…” do you not understand? As far as cigarettes and alcohol are concerned, they have
          uses beside killing. Guns have only one purpose: to kill. If we can regulate and register automobiles, why not guns?

  13. Sorry, Jeffrey, but I don’t think arming more people and making the U.S. a military state is a good solution.

    • Arlen Grossman, the 2 things you mentioned are unrelated to each other.

      • My point is we don’t need more weapons (militarizing our society) as a solution to gun violence. That’s like making heroin more available to wage war against drugs.

        • Arlen Grossman, more guns would be a greater deterrent to violent crime. I know that Left wing types don’t care about facts, however, they should not be ignored because they are inconvenient.

          • You’re kidding, right, Jeffrey? The U.S. has far more guns than any other country, and far more gun deaths than any other country.. That is an inconvenient fact . I suggest you reread the article above for some more inconvenient facts, By the way, states with the most guns have the most gun deaths (another inconvenient fact).

          • Arlen Grossman, how many school shootings happen because they are gun-free zones? Why do we have people who say that they oppose having guns, however, these people surround themselves with armed security?

  14. Arlen Grossman, the issue of school shootings is easy to resolve. Here is my solution: Have mandatory firearms training for teachers and other staff members at these schools. Want to know why school shootings happen? Because they are gun-free zones. Gun-free zones are target rich environments.

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