SCATTERSHOT

I have a sincere question for concealed/open carry advocates or anyone else who cares to hazard a guess.

This is going to require one assumption – that the point of carrying a gun, concealed or otherwise, is to have it available for self defense (mugging, etc.) or to intervene in a Virginia Tech-type spree shooting incident. You know, the Heroic Bystander, Good Guy With Gun Stops Bad Guy With Gun thing the NRA and its water-carriers are always talking about.

As we are constantly reminded from casually following the news over time, The Police aren't great shots. Perhaps they are the best possible shots under the circumstances in which they shoot, but even if so the statistics show that their best is pretty bad. It is hard to find comprehensive statistics on police discharging their guns, so information from the FBI and individual departments has to stand in. Consider this:

According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent. When suspects did not return fire, police officers hit their targets 30 percent of the time.

This is particularly alarming when one considers that:

The NYPD has some of the most comprehensive and sophisticated firearms training of any police force in the country, using a combination of live fire, non-lethal force and simulated scenarios.

It stands to reason that officers in smaller departments with fewer resources and less rigorous training would fare worse. However, lacking better data let us assume that the NYPD numbers – about 1 in 5 bullets in firefights and 1 in 3 otherwise – are roughly representative of the nation. This likely gives cops more credit for accuracy than they deserve, but let's run with it.

The majority of bullets that miss the intended target presumably hit nothing, and a minority of them hit bystanders. The reverse could not be true unless the police fired into a densely packed crowd, which is possible but unlikely. This is to say that police inaccuracy creates some non-zero risk for bystanders and the public in general. Missed shots, in short, are a bad thing.

The police have many, many benefits that a civilian carrier would not. Their firearms, if we use the NYPD as an example, are expensive automatic pistols designed for accuracy (limiting recoil, for example) and in calibers (9mm, .380 ACP, etc.) chosen specifically to avoid over-penetration (Which concealed carriers also tend to avoid. Zing!) if the bullet misses the target. The police, in other words, are shooting with weapons chosen specifically, usually through extensive trials and testing, to give them the greatest possible chance of hitting the target and not harming anyone else. They're not blazing away with .44 and .357 revolvers like in the cop movies from the 1970s. Check out the prices on the handguns your local PD uses – usually H&K, Sig, or Glock. Not cheap, are they?

So. With everything factored in to maximize accuracy, the police are still really goddamn inaccurate.

At long last we come to my question: If this is the police performance, how accurate do you think civilian carriers would be in any situation in which using their gun was justified? Let's say a mugger accosts them in a dark street or a man with a gun starts shooting up their office building.

In contrast to the police, civilian shooters have no formal training for using a gun in a "live", stressful situation. Often they have no formal training, period. Civilian shooters also have a variety of weapons ranging from state-of-the-art to Grandpappy's Old Six Shooter. They also have a tendency to own, and perhaps carry, firearms that are ludicrously overpowered for any practical use. Flip through a handgun magazine at the bookstore and look at some of the shit being advertised and written about. My stepbrother has a Desert Eagle. The last time I went to a shooting range, one of my acquaintances was plugging away with a .454 Casull revolver suitable for killing elephants or shooting down Russian helicopters. Anecdotes? Yes. Rare? I doubt it.

Leaving aside the question of how the police are supposed to tell The Shooter apart from a civilian carrier who is plugging away in the middle of a spree shooting, what percentage of bullets fired by bystanders can we expect to hit an intended target rather than coming to some other, potentially dangerous end? It's hard to imagine how they could conceivably exceed the performance of the police – performing under duress is a bitch, after all – so that 18% figure for the NYPD would seem to be the absolute upper limit.

My guess (and I'd love to know if any data are available) that something on the order of 5% of bullets fired by non-law enforcement shooters hit the intended target. I'm inclined to guess lower, but since we're being generous with the police figures let's extend the same courtesy to carriers.

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183 Responses to “SCATTERSHOT”

  1. Freeportguy Says:

    Personally, I have one question for the gun nuts:

    If Chris Kyle, the "American Sniper" himself, a decorated Navy SEAL, the best of the best with training and experience like none of those gun nuts will ever come close to, could NOT stop "the bad guy with a gun" while he (Kyle) was armed, what makes these loonies think they will suffer a better fate in a gun fight…?

  2. Middle Seaman Says:

    They carry to be macho not to kill. The NRA wants to sell arms and does. If you ever used a personal weapon, you know that you are going to miss. You may not want to admit it.

  3. Gil More Says:

    The study you propose is full of holes already. Jacked – upped on adrenal rage, a long time officer faces life or death situations where slow action can mean death to himself, his partner or the public. Rather than retreat, he engages with lethal action.

    All the while, the brains dump tons of chemicals.and all rehearsed and retrained movement disintegrate. bringing the officer to less than civilain's abilites.

  4. Kyle Says:

    Uh… civilians aren't affected by fear and adrenalin?

    I'm not sure that these things "disintegrate" rehearsed movements either. Ever see an athlete do something incredible with the game or race on the line?

  5. Xynzee Says:

    1) Your assailant knows what they intend to do. Ergo they already have the drop on you AND their weapon is already in their hand ready to use.
    2) Following from above: said weapon is pointed at your head.
    3) Your weapon is holstered ie. not ready for use.
    4) You still need to process this shunt in your reality from 6 beers watching the game to a gun in the face.
    5a) If you have open carry, well there goes your "element of surprise" doesn't it?
    5b) Somebody twitching on adrenalin will be keeping an eye on you for stupid movements to get your weapon from its concealed holster.
    6) They'll probably demand you give them your firearm, dead or alive (your choice).

    So after all of that, turns out it was a fat waste of time arming yourself.

    Might I suggest investing in BJJ or similar instead. That way your weapon is then always at hand—pun intended =)—even when it doesn't look like it.

  6. Seth Says:

    I'll endeavor an answer. I think part of it is that having a gun may mean you win without ever firing a shot. This is certainly the argument of, e.g., Gary Kleck—that most "defensive gun uses" aren't shots fired; the mere brandishing is sufficient. I find Kleck's estimates of the number of such uses to be questionable, but his overall point is probably correct: you don't always need to be able to hit someone to defend yourself.

    It would also be useful to compare apples to apples. What were the circumstances under which the police usually had to shoot, I wonder? If it was mostly firing at fleeing suspects, that alone might explain their low numbers. By contrast, I suspect at least some defensive shootings are at fairly close range, at a standing target.

  7. Alan C Says:

    I think the biggest problem with open carry is, as Ed states, "how the police are supposed to tell The Shooter apart from a civilian carrier who is plugging away in the middle of a spree shooting." Or how I'm supposed to tell that someone brandishing a weapon in public is just a Citizen Exercising His Rights and not some dangerous lunatic. Or both.

  8. Sarah Says:

    Here is what a Marine Corps weapons instructor has to say about this.

    https://www.quora.com/Guns-and-Firearms/Is-it-better-to-own-a-gun-for-self-defense-or-is-that-more-likely-to-cause-problems/answer/Jon-Davis-10?srid=nG8l&share=1

    Quote:

    As a side note, I also have a serious grievance with those who think that they can use a weapon for personal self defense outside the home. The fact is that if you are considering carrying a weapon in your pocket or purse, you are literally endangering everyone around you with virtually no chance of being of any use to anyone. First, a weapon that is not holstered is one of the most dangerous things a person can do to those around them. There are many ways that a weapon floating around can go off. If you carry one like this, I hate you. You're going to hurt someone. Secondly, please imagine a time when you might need the weapon.

  9. carrstone Says:

    5% ain't so bad. Millions buy lottery tickets every week knowing that the odds of winning are way <5%. Or are you saying that there's some minimum standard against which you've measured?

    I haven't forgotten that, when I went to school, the cane was an effective deterrent and not a weapon. How does that factor into your odds calculation, Ed?

  10. Sarah Says:

    On the other hand, some gun nuts are perfectly okay with untrained civilians having and using guns as long as it makes them OMG SO TOTALLY HAWT, even when they're the same misogynist reactionaries who bitch and moan about how women can't be effective on the force or in the military because smaller, slower, weaker, and less logical than their male counterparts.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-wrong-girl.html

  11. carrstone Says:

    @Sarah
    Gosh, is that right? And how do you know that your causal linkages are more than just offal sausages? or are you just grinding your ax?

    Here's a thought: maybe those misogynists (male only?) are just big ol' softies who, imagining themselves riding their steeds and wearing armor, consider themselves chivalrous protectors of the weak.

    Your score: 1 out of 4 – I'll grant you that women can be just as logical as men.

  12. Xynzee Says:

    @Sarah: I was reading a poll that has found the 59% of self identified Republicans believe that gun laws should be tightened where DV and convicted stalkers are concerned.

  13. Major Kong Says:

    As I've said before:

    I can think of few situations so dire that I need to be carrying a firearm, yet not so dire that I'm still able to employ the weapon by the time I figure out what's going on. That's a pretty narrow sliver of probability.

    I have to factor that against the inherent risk involved (and don't kid yourself, it's there) in handling and carrying a loaded weapon on a regular basis.

  14. E* Says:

    Oh yes, in the situation Xynzee lays out, the carrier is completely fucked. In most situations involving real danger, the carrier is completely fucked (along with a handful of strangers –fun times!) But that's not the *real* purpose here, is it? I mean, unless you're allowed to carry, how on earth else will you be able to kill unarmed black kids in cars or black kids armed only with skittles?

  15. c u n d gulag Says:

    Back in the 60's, when the Black Panthers started protecting black neighborhoods with long guns and machine guns, even CA Governor Ronald Reagan became an advocate for gun control.

    Of course, if any black male showed up carrying a long gun or semi in public, he could instantly be identified by our white male gun-loons as a "bad guy," and killed or wounded – so I don't advocate doing this.

  16. E* Says:

    Sigh… I guess I just accused all carriers of being racist, and that's probably not totally true. What is likely true is many fear some unknown Bad Person (be it a black teenager, a scary mugger, a movie theater shooter, you name it), and having the gun assuages the fear. Let me throw in some anecdata:

    My friend works at a small store that was held up. I can't imagine her fear laying there on the floor with her co-workers with a gun pointed at her head. It was a total, utter loss of control. She later bought a gun. The gun makes her feel better -like now she can have some control.

    The problem is, her gun would never help her out of the situation, because as Xynzee points out, the assailant is two steps ahead of her. Logically, it's a stupid choice. In reality, she might end up killing someone innocent. But it sooths the fear and makes her feel in control of some unknown situation.

    And there you have it. We think that we are logical creatures, but the reality is that most of us act on emotion most of the time. Ed's logic is sound, but it falls on deaf ears.

  17. Mayya Says:

    To me, that you put the "Good Guy With Gun" business in initial caps in the 2nd paragraph indicates that you do NOT have a sincere question at all. Hence, didn't bother to read the rest of the post.

  18. Chris Gerrib Says:

    Actually, I think the civilian hit rates are better than the police. In part because of all the cases above where the civilian never gets their gun out, civilian shootings tend to be at very close range – inside 10 feet.

    Police numbers are skewed because you have a lot of situations where the police are running *to* a problem, and engaging at longer distances.

  19. Jason Says:

    Forgive me for doing a Fire Joe Morgan post.

    "This is going to require one assumption – that the point of carrying a gun, concealed or otherwise, is to have it available for self defense (mugging, etc.) or to intervene in a Virginia Tech-type spree shooting incident. You know, the Heroic Bystander, Good Guy With Gun Stops Bad Guy With Gun thing the NRA and its water-carriers are always talking about."

    I will not claim my experience is representative, but every concealed carrier I've had contact with has little interest in the second scenario. Remember, the NRA isn't all gun owners, not even close.

    "The NYPD has some of the most comprehensive and sophisticated firearms training of any police force in the country, using a combination of live fire, non-lethal force and simulated scenarios."

    How often are they required to qualify? Many departments require it a couple of times per year, so it is not rare for officers to practice far less than a typical gun enthusiast.

    "The police have many, many benefits that a civilian carrier would not. Their firearms, if we use the NYPD as an example, are expensive automatic pistols designed for accuracy (limiting recoil, for example) and in calibers (9mm, .380 ACP, etc.) chosen specifically to avoid over-penetration (Which concealed carriers also tend to avoid. Zing!)"

    Holy crap, what are you talking about? The NYPD and every other force uses guns that are popular with general public. "Limiting recoil"? Do you think most civilians carry .500 magnums or something? The most popular brands for civilian carriers are pretty much the same as for cops: Glock, Sig Sauer, HK, Walther, Smith and Wesson, etc. You'll get the occasional Hi-Point in there for the budget-conscious.

    As for ammo, again, I have no idea what you are talking about. 9mm is by far the most popular round, same as the police. And choice of ammo is a constant topic of discussion with the standard being hollow points designed not to over penetrate.

    "if the bullet misses the target. The police, in other words, are shooting with weapons chosen specifically, usually through extensive trials and testing, to give them the greatest possible chance of hitting the target and not harming anyone else."

    Much like civilians.

    "They're not blazing away with .44 and .357 revolvers like in the cop movies from the 1970s. Check out the prices on the handguns your local PD uses – usually H&K, Sig, or Glock. Not cheap, are they?"

    Glocks are pretty cheap. Police trade-ins on those guns are even cheaper and are seen as great buys because police guns have next to no mechanical wear; most cops never get in shoot outs and they rarely practice.

    "If this is the police performance, how accurate do you think civilian carriers would be in any situation in which using their gun was justified? Let's say a mugger accosts them in a dark street or a man with a gun starts shooting up their office building."

    What kind of evidence do you want here? I mean, I can give you links to news stories where normal people, some with guns already pointed at them, successfully defended themselves. I know of only two occurrences of an innocent bystander being killed by a legal carrier. And that's over a period of ten years or so (which is how long I've paid attention to the issue). If you can find more, I'd appreciate it, sincerely.

    "In contrast to the police, civilian shooters have no formal training for using a gun in a "live", stressful situation."

    And you know this how? In fact, many do. There are all kinds of training courses throughout the country. I won't pretend that they are the norm, but they do exist in significant numbers.

    "Civilian shooters also have a variety of weapons ranging from state-of-the-art to Grandpappy's Old Six Shooter. They also have a tendency to own, and perhaps carry, firearms that are ludicrously overpowered for any practical use."

    Again, by far the most popular round is 9mm. The others are .40 and rarely, .45. The .40 is nominally more powerful than the 9mm, and the .45 is hardly a hand cannon. Most people I know choose size of gun as the biggest factor, few want to carry a huge gun, they are harder to conceal and a pain in the ass (literally depending on where you place your holster) to carry.

    "Flip through a handgun magazine at the bookstore and look at some of the shit being advertised and written about. My stepbrother has a Desert Eagle. The last time I went to a shooting range, one of my acquaintances was plugging away with a .454 Casull revolver suitable for killing elephants or shooting down Russian helicopters. Anecdotes? Yes. Rare? I doubt it."

    Rare as *carry* guns? YES. The DE is a novelty, a joke among gun enthusiasts, like a four wheel drive truck raised five feet off the ground. The .454 is a hunting round. I'm telling you, virtually no one carries those concealed, that's insane.

    "It's hard to imagine how they could conceivably exceed the performance of the police – performing under duress is a bitch, after all – so that 18% figure for the NYPD would seem to be the absolute upper limit."

    No, it's not hard to imagine. It's not uncommon for civilians to practice more than police. Most police have to qualify a couple times a year, and since gun play is rare for most cops, they often practice only enough to make their quals. Again, police trade in guns are seen as great bargains because they are used so little. Are most civilians better than most cops? I have no idea. But given that almost one in 30 Americans has a carry permit, I'd think we'd have plenty of stories about them putting rounds everywhere (including on innocents) but on target.

    Freeportguy Says:
    "Personally, I have one question for the gun nuts:

    If Chris Kyle, the "American Sniper" himself, a decorated Navy SEAL, the best of the best with training and experience like none of those gun nuts will ever come close to, could NOT stop "the bad guy with a gun" while he (Kyle) was armed, what makes these loonies think they will suffer a better fate in a gun fight…?"

    Would you like examples? We just had one last week in Philadelphia. A patient barged in on his doctor's office and killed one woman. The doctor retrieved his gun and hit the patient multiple times. I have another one where a man at a gas station was the victim of an attempted car jacking. He already had at least one gun pointed at him, and his kid was in the backseat, so he refused to give up the car, got to his gun in the car, and shot the attackers.

    Middle Seaman Says:
    "They carry to be macho not to kill."

    There are gun owners that make ridiculous generalizations about anti-gun people. I do my best to dispute them. Can you try the same? I've carried for over five years. I don't feel macho carrying, my penis has not grown nor do I wish it to. It's a tool for a rare emergency, one that I likely will never have to face.

    "If you ever used a personal weapon, you know that you are going to miss. You may not want to admit it."

    How many instances of this being wrong can I present before you'd admit it wasn't the case?

    Sarah says:
    "Here is what a Marine Corps weapons instructor has to say about this.

    Quote:

    As a side note, I also have a serious grievance with those who think that they can use a weapon for personal self defense outside the home."

    Happens all the time….

    "The fact is that if you are considering carrying a weapon in your pocket or purse,"

    Good thing I carry in a holster! And damn near everyone who carries I know.

    "you are literally endangering everyone around you with virtually no chance of being of any use to anyone."

    No evidence to back this up. It's nonsense.

    "First, a weapon that is not holstered is one of the most dangerous things a person can do to those around them. There are many ways that a weapon floating around can go off. If you carry one like this, I hate you. You're going to hurt someone."

    I agree! Everyone I know agrees. Which is why we use holsters. Makes concealing easier too.

    "Secondly, please imagine a time when you might need the weapon."

    I have. I've also read dozens of stories where people have used their carry guns and harmed no one else.

    Mayya Says:
    "To me, that you put the "Good Guy With Gun" business in initial caps in the 2nd paragraph indicates that you do NOT have a sincere question at all. Hence, didn't bother to read the rest of the post."

    You are likely wise. I took the bait.

  20. FMguru Says:

    There was a famous incident a couple of years ago at the Empire State Building: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Empire_State_Building_shooting

    Someone decided to gun down a coworker they had a beef with in front of the ESB. He shot him to death, and then walked down the street, where he was confronted by a couple of police officers. He raised his gun at the cops, who fired on him, killing him. The police shot 16 bullets, the gunman went down, and NINE bystanders were wounded. Two trained officers (as Ed points out, the NYPD puts a particular effort into regular range practice), a clear target (who didn't get a shot off), fifteen seconds of blasting away, the best possible example of how good guys with guns take down a bad guy who is presenting a public menace – and still nine people went to the hospital (and one to the morgue, but fuck him).

  21. quixote Says:

    I read Sarah's link to the Marine firearms instructor, and he says what every knowledgeable person I've read before says: don't bother carrying a gun or keeping one in the house. It won't help.

    The people I know (not many) who are eager to jump onto the concealed carry movement are all men who say it's about protection. But they act like the only thing they're protecting is their man card.

  22. cat Says:

    In general I agree with this post except for one thing. The police do make compromises on accuracy by taking into account stopping power and and "carry-ability".

  23. cat Says:

    @Jason
    " I've also read dozens of stories where people have used their carry guns and harmed no one else."

    I've accidentally read dozens of cases where people accidentally kill their family or just some person who happened to be nearby.

    There are people who read all the papers looking for shootings and compiling stats. I believe we are 50/50 on absolutely innocent deaths vs people who maybe guilty of something deaths.

    Thats a fairly poor ratio considering we are talking 1,000s of deaths a year. The vast majority of 'guilty' of something deaths come at the hands of the police while the vast majority of verifiable innocent deaths are committed by civilians.

  24. Carter Says:

    Ah Ed, you said "automatic" when you meant "semi-automatic" by the rules of internet gun debate, your argument is forfeit.

  25. Freeportguy Says:

    So Jason, you think that by using ONE example, you shoot down the entire Wheaton: what makes the loonies think they will fare better than a Navy Seal?

    Want me to give you examples of people shooting themselves or their siblings by mistake while cleaning their guns or simply showing it?

  26. Freeportguy Says:

    Sorry: the entire QUESTION

  27. Nick Says:

    The only thing I would add to Jason's post is to build on what Chris said—that the nature of civilian engagements is quite different than police engagements. Civilians aren't chasing people into buildings or down the block, civilians aren't clearing rooms, civilians aren't getting in shootouts. I read somewhere that the vast majority of civilian "shootouts" (which, as someone else pointed, are themselves a small minority of defensive uses of firearms) follow the "rule of three": Three meters or less between the two people involved, three seconds or less in duration, three or fewer shots fired. Not exactly a SWAT entry/rolling police gun battle scenario.

    And yeah, just to reiterate the ridiculousness of assuming that the guns you see on the covers of magazines are all carry guns–I have literally never met anyone who carried a semi-auto pistol in a caliber larger than .45 (and few of those) or a revolver in a caliber larger than .357/.38. There are probably a handful of exceptions, but the idea that we're all packing Desert Eagles and .454s and other collector items/bear guns under our t-shirt and jeans is hilariously absurd.

  28. Jason Says:

    Cat:
    I was not making a general gun control argument. I was answering the notion that concealed carriers have no chance to use their weapons or that it never happens.

  29. Jason Says:

    Freeportguy Says:
    "So Jason, you think that by using ONE example, you shoot down the entire Wheaton: what makes the loonies think they will fare better than a Navy Seal?"

    I can present many many more and I even asked how many it would take before we can all agree that yes, concealed carriers can and do successfully defend themselves. I wasn't attempting to provide a precise number, just that the idea that it never happens or that it *can't* happen is not true. And I'm pretty sure that was hyperbole, but I said nothing about how good civilians are, only that for as many of them as there are, they don't seem to be littering the nation with the corpses of innocent bystanders hit during a legal act of self defense.

    "Want me to give you examples of people shooting themselves or their siblings by mistake while cleaning their guns or simply showing it?"

    You can if you want to. It would have nothing to do with anything I said, but you can do what you want.

  30. Greg Says:

    I remember there being a guy at the Giffords shooting who was armed, but did not draw because he was afraid of being mistaken for the actual shooter. Also that the OR mall shooting had a carrier who did not draw because he could not get close enough to trust his accuracy and didn't want to shoot any bystanders. Responsible gun owners, no better equipped than anyone else.

  31. Nick Says:

    cat: Actually, the police are over five times as likely as civilians to shoot an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (11% versus 2% of shootings). (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/02/21/disarming-the-myths-promoted-by-the-gun-control-lobby/2/) So really, if someone pulls a gun for a "defensive shooting" near you, your best-case scenario is that they aren't a cop.

  32. bb in GA Says:

    So…if we accept the argument that CCP holders are not the answer. to anything, but contribute to the problem, what do the assembled wise heads here suggest one do when his or her personal SHTF day arrives?

    //bb

  33. JohnR Says:

    Let's see:
    1. iirc, there was a study done maybe 30-40 years ago which indicated that most trained soldiers in live-fire actions had remarkably poor accuracy rates (I believe it was based on WWII/Korean War info, but don't remember). Fwiw.
    2. Anecdotally, the gangers where I live, despite a fair amount of real-world, live shooting, often at unarmed or cc targets, aren't notorious for their accuracy either. 'Friendly' fire casualties are more the norm than the exception.
    3. Everyone likes to think he or she is Special.
    4. Some of us like to pretend we're the star of our own Action Jackson movie.
    5. People who drive cars have extensive training in real-world situations, and often a good deal of experience as well. Yet, somehow when push comes to shove, a surprising number of drivers do the wrong thing in an emergency situation.
    6. Some people are by temperament and training well-prepared for unexpected events. Some people are also well-trained in the use of their tools. Almost all of us are less prepared than we like to think, and have a bad habit of fumbling, dropping or misusing our tools under pressure. A lawnmower or chainsaw may just chop bits off you if you screw up; a gun may kill somebody at random, like a 9-year-old kid getting a haircut down the block. Personal handgun carry is stupid at the best of times, and especially so with these prick-waving jackasses doing it. To answer bb's question, you can do the same thing you do when an idiot crosses over into your lane going the other way – hope you can avoid him and if not, hope you survive. CC isn't the answer for almost all of us, but the way I figure it, it puts all of us at greater risk.

  34. charluckles Says:

    We live in a country where half the people are below average at any given thing and yet the answer to personal safety issues appears to be to arm everyone with deadly weapons. This is insanity.

    I am a gun owner and I think hand guns should be banned completely. If you need to carry something with you to feel safe then purchase some Counter Assault. If it will stop a grizzly, it will stop a mugger or a rapist.

  35. Jason Says:

    JohnR Says:
    "Let's see:
    1. iirc, there was a study done maybe 30-40 years ago which indicated that most trained soldiers in live-fire actions had remarkably poor accuracy rates (I believe it was based on WWII/Korean War info, but don't remember). Fwiw."

    I can't be certain, but it sounds like or similar to research done by S.L.A. Marshall. His work is often cited, but it has largely been discredited.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.L.A._Marshall#Controversy_after_death

    If you aren't talking about his work, never mind. :)

    "2. Anecdotally, the gangers where I live, despite a fair amount of real-world, live shooting, often at unarmed or cc targets, aren't notorious for their accuracy either. 'Friendly' fire casualties are more the norm than the exception."

    You are comparing gang bangers with cops and CCW holders, a group that has even less training and fires in different circumstances. For instance, "drive by shootings" which are done from a moving car at targets that might be farther away than a normal self defense shooting.

    "3. Everyone likes to think he or she is Special."

    My mom lied to me?

    "4. Some of us like to pretend we're the star of our own Action Jackson movie."

    I have no idea how many CCW holders like to do this. Neither do you. I do know that almost one in 30 Americans has a permit, and if a lot of them thought they were action stars, we'd hear about a Hell of a lot more screwy shootings.

    "5. People who drive cars have extensive training in real-world situations, and often a good deal of experience as well. Yet, somehow when push comes to shove, a surprising number of drivers do the wrong thing in an emergency situation."

    I don't think anyone is saying that all cops, CCW holders, etc. are flawless Terminators who will always perform perfectly in the face of a terrifying situation. Straw man.

    "6. Personal handgun carry is stupid at the best of times, and especially so with these prick-waving jackasses doing it."

    More stupid pseudo-psychological nonsense.

    "CC isn't the answer for almost all of us, but the way I figure it, it puts all of us at greater risk."

    How do you figure it? With over 11 million permit holders nationwide, surely you can point to evidence that CCW holders put "all of us at greater risk". You can come up with some news reports of jackasses negligently discharging their guns in bathrooms and such, and I can come up with news stories (like the Philadelphia incident just this last week) where a permit holder almost certainly saved multiple lives (his own, plus others because the gun man was carrying 58 rounds; he'd already killed someone else, I don't think it's likely he was going to stop once he got the doc.

  36. Nick Says:

    Also, I have to say that it boggles my mind how the same people who (rightly) call out the police for indiscriminate use of force suddenly change their tune when the topic turns to guns. On any other day, the police are over-militarized, institutionally racist, dangerously closed-ranks, quick to use force, rarely held to account for shootings, etc., etc. But when the topic is guns, suddenly the police have nigh-mythical Training and Experience and Judgement that we mere mortals could never hope to achieve.

  37. SeaTea Says:

    The truth of it is that, in his mind, all those cops and trained service personal are nowhere near as AWESOME as the guy who's concealed carrying.

    He's bad-ass, cool under pressure… hits his target every time. One shot… one kill. He's a ninja master. Of course he'll do better in that situation.

  38. SeaTea Says:

    @Nick – Nobody said the police have nigh-mythical training and experience. Just that they have more than the average concealed-carry yahoo.

  39. Nick Says:

    SeaTea: While I'm sure you're an expert on average training and skill of both police officers and concealed carry permit holders, I would reiterate that a cop is more than five times as likely to "mistakenly" shoot an innocent person than is a civilian, so I'd be interested in seeing where you got your facts.

  40. BlankSlate Says:

    Longtime lurker chiming in as this topic is one that is intensely personal to my household. A couple of years ago, my spouse was encouraged by the police, the courts, victim services to acquire a concealed carry permit due to a deranged stalker dedicated to my husband's destruction. They also suggested home defense and I now own a shotgun. I do not want to own one and my spouse did not want to carry a gun around all the time. We are not gun nuts, nor open carry advocates, or NRA members. My spouse is well-trained in gun use, but even so, there's little comfort. Our personal safety against one nutjob is not guaranteed by being armed and we look forward to the day that carrying and owning guns is not required.

    We both hope that we will never have to use it; my husband does not want that burden on his heart. Nor do I.

    I read comments and opinions all the time regarding this issue and rarely do I encounter our particular set of reasons. It's difficult to hear the venom towards gun owners and be lumped in with the ammosexuals, yet here we are…in a very strange place indeed.

  41. Cody Cromarty Says:

    This blog post is so full of wrong information that I can't even begin to break it down in time before work.

    Like, you're not even arguing from reality in some cases.

  42. Jason Says:

    Thank you for your post BlankSlate. I'm truly sorry about your situation, no one should have to live in that kind of fear, and no one should have to carry because of a persistent, specific threat. I've never been in so much as a fist fight and I'm proud of it. Violence should be avoided as much as possible. You don't have the option of walking/running or talking your way out of your situation. I can't imagine having to deal with that every day.

    I want to point out that no gun owner with any sense thinks that owning or carrying a gun guarantees their safety, far from it. No more than my seat belt guaranteeing that I make it out of a bad crash, etc.

  43. Hagge Andersson Says:

    This gave me a good laugh. I live in socialist paradise Sweden and even I know that basically everything in this blog is bullshit.
    Especially the bit about weapons. Cops seldom get to choose a gun that fits for their personal physique. CC people do. And that list of calibers… Damn. Everyone uses those. No cop ever gets any good training with their firearms. That shit costs money. But gun "nuts" as you would call them go to the range every weekend and train religiously. I do not have the luxury of defending myself with a firearm, but you in the US (mostly) do. Never give up that right. I am at the mercy of people with illegal machineguns and a police force 100% incompetent with no legal way to defend myself. Anyway, the biggest reason for people to dislike guns is because they have 0 experience with them. Ask a "gun nut" to take you to the range and the get educated.

  44. Robert Says:

    I've lived in Oakland, California for almost twenty years. The one time I had a gun pointed at me, I was walking about a block from my house. A car pulled up to the curb, the door opened, and a handgun was pointed at me.

    How long would it have taken for me to get my gun, point and shoot?

    How many times would I have been shot during their process?

    The police officer taking my report assured me that letting the gunman take my wallet was the recommended course of action.

  45. BlankSlate Says:

    Thanks Jason, much appreciated. We live in no-man's land where neither the pro- or anti-gun arguments mean much to our situation. We remain cynical optimists and hope to never have to use the damn things.

  46. Assistant Professor Says:

    Robert, of course the officer would have said that; the tyrannical state wants a cowed, frightened citizenry rather than manly men who can defend themselves.

    (See, I can speak libertarian!)

  47. Nick Says:

    Robert: You and others keep waving the "But if a gun is in your face, you'll be shot anyway!" argument like it means anything. As far as I've seen, nobody here has argued that a gun in a holster beats a gun in the face. But what you seem to be missing is that someone with a gun has the exact same options as someone without a gun (retreat, give the bad guy what he wants, call the police, etc.), plus one. The fact that using a gun is not a solution in all situations does not mean that it's not a solution in any situation. It's just another tool in the toolbox.

  48. Ed Says:

    "Someone with access to firearms is three times more likely to commit suicide and nearly twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide as someone who does not have access, according to a comprehensive review of the scientific literature conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco."
    http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/01/111286/access-guns-increases-risk-suicide-homicide

    Deadly force that only requires a twitch of a finger has quite a downside, dontcha think?

    More fun facts:

    Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively.

    Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years: 0

    For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.

    A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than 7 times if he has access to a gun.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

    I support hunters, but I think handguns are far too dangerous.

  49. Ed Says:

    "The fact that using a gun is not a solution in all situations does not mean that it's not a solution in any situation. It's just another tool in the toolbox."

    So why not carry hand grenades?

  50. Jason Says:

    Ed:
    If you have no intention of having a good faith discussion, why not just close the comments?

  51. Nick Says:

    Ed: Probably because there is a conceivable and not uncommon situation in which a firearm could be advantageous, whereas there is not such a situation where a hand grenade could be advantageous?

    But I suppose if we're just going to go with "LOL WHY NOT JUST HAVE NUKES IN YOUR POCKET TOO" derp, hand grenades are as good a defensive weapon as any.

  52. charluckles Says:

    If you can make an argument that in a certain situation having a firearm would be advantageous you can certainly also make an argument that in a certain situation having a hand grenade would be advantageous.

    One of those arguments sounds reasonable to you because of what you happen to believe but I think the point would be that we shouldn't set policies for our society based on whether or not someone can come up with a hypothetical situation in which a particular interpretation of a law might benefit them.

  53. mac Says:

    Ever get the feeling the NRA pays people to make comments on websites?

  54. Nick Says:

    Charluckles: The difference being that there are actual instances in which handguns have proven advantageous. We can argue about the numbers, NCVS versus Kleck versus whatever, but it is a fact that defensive uses of firearms do happen. It is also a fact that in those situations, a hand grenade would likely not be useful, and that's such a stupid argument that I can't believe I'm even bothering to address it.

    There are some good arguments for gun control; I generally disagree with them, but they exist. "LOL A 9MM IS THE SAME AS A GRENADE LOL" is not one of them.

  55. Nick Says:

    mac: Yup, we're from the NRA. There is nobody in America who supports gun ownership who isn't either paid off or brainwashed by the NRA. The fact that, of 80 million or so American gun owners, about 76 million are not NRA members, is just an NRA conspiracy to hide the fact that we all secretly fellate mannequins in the likeness of Wayne LaPierre.

  56. Jason Says:

    charluckles:
    Describe to me the scenario where a hand grenade could be used legally in self defense. I think you'll find that such a situation, for all practical purposes, never happens. Grenades are also (and I can't believe I have to say this) far less discriminating than a handgun. On the other hand, situations where a handgun *might* be useful occur hundreds of thousands of times per year, maybe millions.

    Ed succeeded though. He managed to change the subject with a ridiculous diversion so that he doesn't have to answer for the many factual errors in his post.

  57. Jason Says:

    mac:
    I can't stand the NRA. They are fear-mongers and right wing shills. Now, would you like to actually address the problems with Ed's post or are you going to throw out more "NRA ooogie booogie booogie,"?

  58. bb in GA Says:

    Jason:

    I'm not absolutely certain, but I think "Ed" (our fearless blogmaster) is identifiable in bold red lettering that when clicked upon will lead you to his throne. The black letter 'Ed' is another person who is a commenter just like you and me.

    //bb

  59. Nick Says:

    bb: I was wondering that too. Also, what do you suppose Ed's throne would look like?

  60. Jason Says:

    bb in GA:

    Thank you, I wasn't aware of that. My apologies to the "real" Ed.

  61. bb in GA Says:

    @Nick

    Probably white porcelain…..:-)

    //bb

  62. charluckles Says:

    Much like defensive uses of firearms do happen (I don't think anyone is arguing any different) if we as a society were to allow people to carry grenades with the same frequency we do guns there would on occasion be instances where defensive uses of grenades came into play. But just like with firearms, flooding our society with grenades would be a horrible policy regardless of whether we can cherry pick instances like that one time Fred saved his coworkers by scaring off the robbers with a hand grenade.

  63. charluckles Says:

    I guess I look at our policies towards firearms with the same incredulity and disbelief with which you look at the hypothetical hand grenade scenario, which I agree does seem ridiculous. Whether or not a firearm might be of use in a particular scenario doesn't change the fact that having a policy of allowing everyone access to firearms is absolute insanity.

  64. sluggo Says:

    Never owned a gun.

    Never wanted a gun until this fucking woodpecker started eating my fucking house.

    I have looking at gun catalogs ever since……………

  65. Jason Says:

    charluckles:
    "Whether or not a firearm might be of use in a particular scenario"

    They *are* of use in thousands of scenarios a year (at the low end of the estimates) and might have been of use in hundreds of thousands more.

  66. Hugo Says:

    I'm British (a country where it is impossible to legally obtain a handgun and much harder to obtain a long gun than in the USA) and now live in Canada (a country where it is much harder to legally obtain a firearm and where you absolutely cannot wander around with a firearm, ever).

    I'm curious as to what Americans, particularly those who are pro-gun, feel that the Second Amendment gets them that we don't have in Canada or Britain. A serious question. Without resorting to circular reasoning (i.e. the difference between the US and Canada/Britain that the right to guns gets for Americans is guns), when you compare these countries, what gains do you see from being able to legally own and carry firearms? (Note: even in Canada, where handguns are legal but hard to obtain, you can never, ever just wander around with one).

  67. Ed Says:

    If your name is Ed, don't fucking post as Ed. I'm Ed. You're not Ed. Think of something else.

  68. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    But what you seem to be missing is that someone with a gun has the exact same options as someone without a gun (retreat, give the bad guy what he wants, call the police, etc.), plus one.

    They also have the "option" of accidentally shooting other people, or having their kid accidentally shoot someone, or reaching for the gun in a moment of despair rather than having to wait and rethink suicide.

    And they do.

    What are the firearm death rates per 100,000 in the US, Canada and the UK again?

  69. Hugo Says:

    9.42, 2.38 and 0.25 respectively. Homicide rates are 2.72, 0.5 and 0.04.

  70. Nick Says:

    In 2011, the UK had 577 homicides involving all weapons (approx. 0.92 per 100k). In that same year, the US had 4,081 homicides involving all weapons except for firearms (approx. 1.3 per 100k). So even if you magically waved a wand and removed all firearms from the US, and none of those homicides were committed with another weapon, our homicide rate would still be significantly higher than the UK. Correlation and causation are not the same thing–unless you want to argue that a lack of gun control also causes beatings and stabbings.

  71. Nick Says:

    Oh, and Hugo, I believe that the right to self-defense is worth protecting, even if you don't get into the whole Constitutional issue of an armed populace as part of a system of checks and balances. The UK technically has legally protected self-defense, but without the means to defend oneself, the right to do so is more or less irrelevant–an elderly person or a pregnant woman who is unarmed is unlikely to be able to defend themselves, whether or not they are legally allowed to do so. This is not to say the US doesn't have a violence problem, or that I feel unsafe when traveling to the UK due to the lack of firearms, only that I am unconvinced that the legality of firearms is the causal factor of our violence problem.

  72. Eau Says:

    @Hagge: There are ten gun deaths in the US for every one in Sweden.

  73. Eau Says:

    @Nick: the UK has a significantly smaller total population . This would at least partially account for the .9 vs 1.3 discrepancy. That's not a big difference.

    9 vs .25 (Hugo's gun death ratio) seems a little more compelling.

  74. Eau Says:

    @Nick: But imagine if this elderly, pregnant poms had HAND GRENADES! Then we'd see some fucking self defence!

  75. bb in GA Says:

    @Hugo

    What is your source on US Homicide rates? I think you are low. The last time I saw the FBI data we were running between 5 and 6 with about 75% of the murderers using firearms.

    Depending on your stat source the US had a homicide rate rising from about 1.0 in 1900 [recently subject to revision higher] to about 9.7 per 100K back in 1932, trended downward to about 4.5 in the late 1950s and locally peaked in 1980 at about 10.2 and gradually reduced to the 5.5 to 6 range by 2000. We’ve been bumping along roughly there since.

    Murderers who use guns have most recently accounted for about 75% of the yearly total which would be about 4.3 per 100K. The so-called ‘assault’* rifles (usually just bad-assed looking semi-auto weapons with large capacity magazines) have regularly been used in 1 – 2% of these murders.

    * actual assault rifles have full auto capability

    //bb

  76. Hugo Says:

    @Nick: "I believe that the right to self-defense is worth protecting, even if you don't get into the whole Constitutional issue of an armed populace as part of a system of checks and balances."

    To what end, though? Self-defense isn't a goal in and of itself – it's a means to an end. What end are you protecting?

    @bb: Sources are the FBI, and the University of Sydney School of Public Health. Year is 2011 (more or less).

  77. Assistant Professor Says:

    Some quick Googling shows that UK homicides are usually around 1.2-1.3 per 100k with US homicides around 4.2 to 5 per 100k (as recorded by law enforcement). That puts UK homicide rates about four times as high as the U.S. Canada's anywhere from 1.6 to 2 per 100k.

    Source: http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=UNODC&f=tableCode%3A1

    And as I've noted elsewhere, a lot of more extreme gun owners feel that the NRA and gun manufacturers are sell-outs. For the real crazy, you need to Gun Owners of America, whose head you can hear talking about Obama's sinister plan to deputize black gangs to confiscate the guns of white America. (Source: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gun-activists-warn-obama-raising-private-black-army-white-massacre-americans)

    That said, gun ownership is a minority right–and we've few of those left as it is. It's also written into the Constitution based on a lot of Common Law precedent (see Malcolm's To Keep and Bear Arms, for example).

  78. Nick Says:

    Eau: That's taking into account population difference, hence the "per 100,000" bit. Basically, accounting for population, you are nearly 50% more likely to be murdered in the US by someone not using a gun than you are to be murdered in the UK by someone using any/no weapon.

    Hugo: How is the defense of one's own life not a valid end? I mean, the end goal of defending oneself is to not die; that seems sufficient to me as motivations go.

  79. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    So even if you magically waved a wand and removed all firearms from the US, and none of those homicides were committed with another weapon, our homicide rate would still be significantly higher than the UK.

    Nick, I didn't say "homicide". I said "firearm death rates".

    Yes, Americans kill each other more than Brits do without guns. They also kill each other deliberately more than Brits do with guns AND kill each other accidentally more than Brits do with guns AND kill themselves more than Brits do with guns.

    You're sorta in the position of someone arguing that smoking tobacco isn't that bad because it isn't a very large factor in heart disease – while ignoring lung cancer.

  80. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    I mean, the end goal of defending oneself is to not die

    Those death rates from firearms per 100,000 that Hugo gave before – 9.42 US, 2.38 Canada and 0.25 UK.

    Doesn't seem to be working, does it?

  81. Hugo Says:

    @Nick/Phoenician: This is my point, exactly. If the purpose of free gun ownership is the preservation of life, then it is evidently a rank failure. You may be right (although, given the preponderance of evidence, I seriously doubt it) that there is no correlation between gun deaths and gun ownership – but you certainly can't argue that guns save lives. The evidence is concretely against that.

  82. bb in GA Says:

    Just checked the FBI stats…

    We have have had a 15% reduction in homicides in the 2007 – 2011 period. In 2011 there were 12,664 murders of which 68% were committed with a firearm. This percentage has remained constant through the period. If you take the US population as 310E06 during the interval then the rate calculates to 12,664/3100E05 or about 4.1 homicides per 100K population.

    Some grits….for 2011

    Rifles 323 ('Assault' rifles are less than 200)

    Shotguns 356

    Knives or cutting inst 1694

    Blunt Objects 496

    Hands, Feet, Fists 728

    I expect to hear a cry for Knife Control and 'Feet and Fist' Control with equal or greater fervor than we had for the renewal of the 'Assault' Rifle ban since they are about10 and 4 times that problem. respectively/sarc

    //bb

  83. ConcernedCitizen Says:

    Bill Burr, anyone? "'Cause life ain't a movie."

  84. FDChief Says:

    As a U.S. Army medic I was required to carry a M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol and qualify with it every year, as were my fellow medics. Typically we qualified on a 25 meter KD range on fixed paper targets. Most of us had no problem hitting the targets with the majority of our shots.

    One year (supposedly after hearing one of his medics talking smack about his marksmanship) my medical platoon sergeant had us double time to the range, dropped us for pushups, and the had us shoot; all but one of us failed to qualify.

    He then told us that in actual combat (which he knew a little about – he'd been to Vietnam as a line medic with the 173rd Brigade) we'd be lucky to even get a shot in the same grid square as our target, between fear and physical exhaustion.

    Most civilians "train" under similar controlled range environments and are typically less fit and less prepared for the sudden stress of a live fire engagement than a line medic.

  85. April Says:

    http://www.stonekettle.com/2014/04/bang-bang-crazy-part-9.html
    And all his "Bang Bang" posts actually.

    I think he's the sanest voice in the room on this issue, and he has the credentials to go with it.

  86. Jason Says:

    As I feared, this has turned into a general gun control argument without fully addressing the flaws in the original post. Anyway…

    Ed Says:

    "Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively."

    So do guns make people act more aggressively or do aggressive people drive with guns?

    "Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years: 0"

    This is one of the most idiotic stats imaginable. First of all, it's wrong. I can name several, the latest being last week as I already mentioned. More importantly, how can we prove a negative? If a mass shooting was nipped in the bud before it became one, that doesn't count and allows you to say it's never happened. It's asinine.

    "http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check"

    Ah, Mother Jones on guns. This is like quoting the Wall Street Journal on the benefits of social safety nets.

    Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:
    "They also kill each other deliberately more than Brits do with guns AND kill each other accidentally more than Brits do with guns AND kill themselves more than Brits do with guns."

    In other news, residents of Los Angeles have higher rates of traffic fatalities than the Amish.

    "You're sorta in the position of someone arguing that smoking tobacco isn't that bad because it isn't a very large factor in heart disease – while ignoring lung cancer."

    On the other hand, you seem to be in the position of someone who is assuming that most or all of the difference between the two countries' gun murder rates are the presence or quantity of guns. The fact that our non-gun murder rates are higher already demolishes that notion. But in addition to that, you don't mention any of the myriad cultural, demographic, and economic differences, differences that are known to affect crime rates. I have no doubt that the quantity of guns in our country makes up part of that difference, but it's not all of it, not even close.

    Hugo Says:
    "@Nick/Phoenician: This is my point, exactly. If the purpose of free gun ownership is the preservation of life, then it is evidently a rank failure. You may be right (although, given the preponderance of evidence, I seriously doubt it) that there is no correlation between gun deaths and gun ownership – but you certainly can't argue that guns save lives. The evidence is concretely against that."

    You aren't balancing potential lives saved in self defense. The absolute rock bottom estimate of defensive gun uses accepted by gun control darling David Hemenway is 60,000 per year*. We obviously can't figure out how many of those incidents saved a life, but I'd hope we could agree that it's greater than zero. That number was, at the time, four times greater than the number of gun murders, roughly triple the number of gun suicides, and double the total number of gun deaths. And again, that's if we accept the lowest count out of many, most of which are much higher (and I'm not even counting Lott).

    *Those numbers are old and both Hemenway and Gary Kleck agree that due to crime being down compared to that era, the actual number today is definitely lower. But so is the gun murder count.

    Also, you need to explain how, while legal concealed carry exploded in the last 10-15 years, the violent crime rate in general and gun murder rate specifically, have gone down. I am not presuming that the drop in crime is due to that trend, that would be confusing causation with correlation and the available evidence doesn't support it. But that leaves you to explain how crime has dropped so much while so many more people are carrying. Guns = violence and all.

  87. Seth Says:

    Jason: "You seem to be in the position of someone who is assuming that most or all of the difference between the two countries' gun murder rates are the presence or quantity of guns. The fact that our non-gun murder rates are higher already demolishes that notion."

    How so? The total murder rate is (gun murders) + (non-gun murders). Assuming you and Nick are right that we have a higher rate of non-gun murders, so what? If, as Nick says, we could "wave a magic wand" and make all the civilian-owned guns in the U.S. disappear overnight, the it's at least plausible that the vast majority of the difference between our total murder rate and other developed nations' would disappear, because people would be denied the means of committing those murders, and murdering people with other tools is more difficult. It might still be somewhat higher than that of the UK even if we had no guns, but that doesn't mean that the bulk of the difference in the TOTAL murder rate isn't explained by the ready availability of guns.

    And, you know… you're right! The difference might NOT be explained by that, or at least not entirely explained by that. The gun thing could be a red herring! But I'm not sure anything has been "demolished" here. Basically, there is a huge murder gap between us and countries we like to think are like us. The predominant majority of our murders are committed with guns. It's not irrational to think that the ready availability of guns might be a major contributing factor. That doesn't mean, of course, that it's the only factor. But it might well be an important one.

  88. Hugo Says:

    "You aren't balancing potential lives saved in self defense. The absolute rock bottom estimate of defensive gun uses accepted by gun control darling David Hemenway is 60,000 per year*. We obviously can't figure out how many of those incidents saved a life, but I'd hope we could agree that it's greater than zero."

    OK, so why is it, then, that every single country with stricter gun controls than the United States also has fewer deaths per capita by firearm? And why is it that every country with more gun deaths per capita has laxer laws or a government unable to enforce them? You believe that this is just a coincidence?

    60,000 crime preventions per year sounds great. If you're citing the study I think you are, then an average of over 1.2 MILLION crimes were committed with guns per year during that period. Even if the number of crime preventions was ten times the number you quote (pretty unlikely), that's still two crimes committed with firearms for every crime prevented by one – and it's more likely to be twenty.

    Also, to return to my original question, what does the USA gain through allowing firearms that other countries do not? We have established that public safety and the saving of lives are not it.

    You may also be interested to know (link: http://www.livescience.com/27740-gun-laws-deaths-study.html) that in the various states of the US, those with stricter firearm laws also have fewer firearm deaths, and where gun violence is lower, other forms of violence don't rise to compensate (suggesting that those injuries/suicides/homicides that would have been committed by firearm are not replaced with the same acts committed with other weapons). If what you say is true, shouldn't the reverse be occurring (since we have controlled for cultural/social/etc. differences between countries and are merely comparing states in the same country)?

  89. Seth Says:

    Jason: Sorry — I missed key word the quoted section of your post. You were asking about differences in GUN murder rates.

    Okay. Fair point. I think the argument is, "The non-gun murder rates differ for cultural/economic/whatever reasons. So likely the difference in gun murder rates is, too." I think that's a fair argument. On the other hand, why would the difference be so lopsided, if it's not the availability of guns? We commit more non-gun murders, but we commit a LOT more gun murders. What is it that's driving all these gun murders, above and beyond whatever explains the difference in non-gun murders?

    I mean, if the difference in non-gun murders is a factor of 1.4, and the difference in gun murders is a factor of 68, what explains THAT difference?

    COULD be cultural, economic, religious, whatever factors. But doesn't it seem like the presence of the tool itself plays at least SOME role?

  90. Seth Says:

    Left out a part of a sentence. Should read: "The non-gun murder rates differ for cultural/economic/whatever reasons. So likely the difference in gun murder rates is explained by such factors, too."

  91. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    @Jason

    The fact that our non-gun murder rates are higher already demolishes that notion. […] You aren't balancing potential lives saved in self defense.

    So, on the one hand, the fact that relatively many Americans are murdered with guns can be ignored because relatively many Americans are murdered without them, and on the other hand, the presence of guns in America prevents murders?

  92. Death Panel Truck Says:

    "Ah, Mother Jones on guns. This is like quoting the Wall Street Journal on the benefits of social safety nets."

    When you don't agree with the conclusion, attack the source.

    The Founders really fucked up when they made gun ownership a right rather than a privilege. I don't trust anyone who owns a gun. Not cops, and certainly not civilian blowhards claiming to be more proficient with their guns than cops. "I go to the range every weekend!" So fucking what? I'd still rather you stayed as far away from me as possible.

  93. Nick Says:

    Seth: The point of my statement isn't that we could get rid of that portion of homicides by getting rid of guns. It's that, even if you take guns completely out of the equation, the United States is extremely violent for a developed nation. There are a number of complex and interconnected reasons for that violence–poverty, social inequality, lack of basic social services/safety net, geographic concentration of poverty, ineffective reform efforts in prison, the drug trade, the drug war, poor public education, poor healthcare, etc., etc., etc. Saying "Country A has more civilian guns, Country A has more violent crime, therefore civilian guns cause (or are at least a major contributing factor to) violent crime" is the textbook definition of equation correlation and causation. Shootings, by and large, are caused by the same things that cause stabbings, beatings, poisonings, etc. Could we maybe eliminate a few murders by gun that wouldn't be replaced by other weapons if we banned civilian firearms? Probably. But considering that such a measure is completely unrealistic (even if you had political support for it, there are currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million guns in circulation in the US; even if you could get rid of all of those, the War on Drugs is a pretty solid illustration of how well making something illegal works to prevent criminals from obtaining it), it seems like our time would be better spent addressing the root causes of crime, rather than arbitrarily separating "gun crime" from "other, apparently more acceptable violent crime" and passing feel-good laws targeting the objects themselves.

    Of course, this is all leaving aside that gun crime rose for a decade after the implementation of stricter gun controls in England following the 1996 Dunblane Massacre (Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html ; yes, it's the Daily Mail, but the figures are from Parliament). I'm not arguing that the increase was caused by gun control–again, correlation versus causation–but if gun control were effective, we should have seen the opposite, or at the very least a less dramatic increase, right?

    Hugo: "Every single country with stricter gun controls than the United States also has fewer deaths per capita by firearm"? Mexico (gun homicide rate in 2010: 10/100k, compared to the US's 3.6/100k that same year) would have words with you, as would many others. Or maybe you attribute that to "a government unable to enforce them"? Tell me then, how exactly would our government be able to enforce such laws? We haven't done such a bang-up job of enforcing drug laws. Sure, some people get arrested, but I haven't seen anything indicating a correlation between harshness/funding of drug enforcement efforts and drug crime rates. So why would gun crime be any different?

    As for that study, it actually backs up the idea that crime is caused by factors other than guns. Take a look at Table 2 in the study (states ranked 1-50 on gun control legislation compared with firearm death rates–homicide, suicide, and both). You've got #6-ranked Maryland, with a per-100k gun death rate of 10.5, outpacing last-place Utah, with a gun death rate of 9.8–there are outliers in any study, but you'd think first and last place would show some effect of the stated trend. You've got #2-ranked California, with a rate of 8.0, tied with #20-ranked Maine. And once you differentiate homicide and suicide, the numbers become even more disparate. First-place Massachusetts actually has more gun homicides per capita than Utah, 44th-place Idaho, or tied for 37th South Dakota. Sure, the highest rate is Louisiana and the lowest is Hawaii, but the overall homicide trend does not appear to have any correlation with the rank on the list. Meanwhile, the suicide numbers predictably appear to increase drastically in poor and rural states–Alaska, Louisiana, Montana–and decrease in wealthy and urban states, particularly those with good social programs–Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island.

    If you really can't see a difference besides gun laws that might cause gun deaths to increase between Hawaii and Louisiana, or Rhode Island and Alaska, then you're in denial. So why is the solution for every problem "gun control"? Why is the solution for suicide not "improved mental healthcare and access to therapy in poor and rural areas"? Why is the solution for homicide not "improved social safety nets, education, and economic opportunity–which could be funded by scaling down the Drug War"? Now, if you want to complain that the politicians who fight those sorts of programs often support gun rights, you won't hear any disagreement from me. But I don't consider it a victory to switch out a shooting for a stabbing, or to delay someone killing themselves while still having no access to mental healthcare or therapy that could help them live a normal life. Considering the time, energy, and dubious efficacy involved in the implementation of any gun control–let alone any gun control severe enough to actually make an impact (after all, banning a 30-round magazine probably won't do much to prevent a suicide)–why spend an unbelievable amount of effort and political capital on something that might or might not even work, and will certainly work less well than other measures?

  94. Hugo Says:

    "Every single country with stricter gun controls than the United States also has fewer deaths per capita by firearm"? Mexico (gun homicide rate in 2010: 10/100k, compared to the US's 3.6/100k that same year) would have words with you, as would many others. Or maybe you attribute that to "a government unable to enforce them"?"

    Yes, I would. Large parts of Mexico are basically in a state of civil war right now, or don't you read the news? Does it come as a shock that lots of people die from gunshot wounds when there is a war going on?

    "So why is the solution for every problem "gun control"? Why is the solution for suicide not "improved mental healthcare and access to therapy in poor and rural areas"? Why is the solution for homicide not "improved social safety nets, education, and economic opportunity–which could be funded by scaling down the Drug War"?"

    It should be. Nobody is arguing that guns are the sole cause of crime, whatever you think. What we argue is that the availability of guns makes the commission of crimes a lot easier and killing a lot easier, which means a lot of crimes will occur that otherwise wouldn't, and a lot of crimes will escalate into something more serious when guns are involved. Not to mention suicides and accidents, of course.

    The experience from Canada, the UK, Australia etc. is generally that non-gun-crime does not replace gun crime. Your figures on the UK are disingenous given that now, some time after the post-Dunblane gun laws were passed, gun deaths are a tiny fraction of what they are in the USA.

    The study you cherry-picked examples from doesn't support the conclusion you reach. Did you actually run the Pearson's R for the states, or just pick a few that look out-of-place?

    And you still haven't answered my question. What social good does the right to bear arms get you that we don't have in Canada or the UK? (n.b. if you say "freedom" I'm going to laugh at you, so don't bother).

  95. Nick Says:

    I am aware that Mexico is less than an ideal place to be at the moment, yes. I'll go ahead and assume that you're equally aware that certain American cities have extremely high, usually drug related violence as well. So I'll ask again: Given our utter failure to control the supply of drugs or related violence, what makes you think we'd be any better at controlling guns?

    I know what you're claiming. But you have provided little to no evidentiary support for that claim, beyond confusions of correlation and causation (eg the UK has fewer guns, the UK has less crime, therefore fewer guns = less crime) and one study that could hardly be called a slam dunk for gun control.

    Likewise, you ignore the fact that, while post gun control gun deaths in the UK are a fraction of those in the US, they were just as much of a fraction (in fact, more so) before gun control. The UK has been significantly less violent than the US for an extremely long time, maybe the entire existence of the latter, and attributing that difference to gun control that was enacted a couple decades ago is absurd. This is why I keep going back to that whole correlation vs. causation thing. If gun control worked in the UK, gun crime there should have dropped after it was enacted–not relative to another country, relative to the UK before gun control. Claiming that gun control in the UK has worked because the UK has less gun crime than the US is like me claiming that gun control causes crime because of Mexico–it completely ignores the differences between two very different nations, and makes the wrong comparison (ie to another country instead of the same country before and after gun control was implemented).

    No, I did not run a full statistical analysis. You caught me. Typing on my phone while taking a shit I failed to fully analyze the data. But I hardly cherry picked examples–they're all over the map, and generally follow a pattern you'd expect even if guns were taken out of the equation–poor and rural states, which tend to be more conservative and thus have less of a social safety net, tend also to have more crime and suicide. Again, if you think that guns are the major difference between Rhode Island and Louisiana, you're being deliberately obtuse. Again, you'd think at the very least that the #1 state for gun control would be better off than the number 50 state for gun control, no?

    And I have answered you, you just disliked the answer. I believe self-defense and self-reliance are valuable. I also believe the idea of the people being enshrined as a check on the government is valuable. You're free to disagree with those conclusions, but don't pretend that people are ignoring your question for some reason because you dislike the answer they're giving.

  96. carrstone Says:

    @Nick

    Loved your smart reply – a veritable 'home run' or do I mean you 'hit him for 6'? What are you like when you're not on the pot?

    The broken-window fallacy, as Henry Hazlitt already noted in 1946 "is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences."

    Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose.

  97. Hugo Says:

    "Given our utter failure to control the supply of drugs or related violence, what makes you think we'd be any better at controlling guns?"

    So your contention is that because the USA would be unable to effectively enforce gun-control laws, they shouldn't have any gun-control laws at all?

    "But you have provided little to no evidentiary support for that claim, beyond confusions of correlation and causation"

    See, here's the thing. Correlation doesn't prove causation. However, in the presence of a correlation between lower rates of gun crime and gun-related death and stricter firearms laws, I don't see how you could possibly propose that the causal relationship is the *opposite.*

    "If gun control worked in the UK, gun crime there should have dropped after it was enacted–not relative to another country, relative to the UK before gun control."

    It did.

    The problem I see here is that a quick Googling for stats on gun crime in the UK pre- and post-gun-ban is that pretty much every site has obviously started with the conclusion (gun control doesn't work) and worked backwards from there. Lots of stuff from Townhall.com, Breitbart, etc. – not credible sources.

    An actual credible source (like this one: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-violent-crime-and-sexual-offences–2012-13/index.html) reveals that the number of crimes involving firearms initially went up after the ban (which is probably explained by the fact that owning given firearms had suddenly become a criminal act when it was not before and changes in crime reporting practices), but within a few years, the number of injuries and crimes involving firearms had fallen to below pre-ban levels.

    "The UK has been significantly less violent than the US for an extremely long time, maybe the entire existence of the latter, and attributing that difference to gun control that was enacted a couple decades ago is absurd."

    So your proposal is that since Americans appear to be more violent, it makes sense to arm them with guns? Wouldn't the reverse make more sense? I think most people understand this given that they don't support giving criminals (especially violent criminals) firearms – they know that if someone is more violent, that's a good reason *not* to arm them.

    "And I have answered you, you just disliked the answer. I believe self-defense and self-reliance are valuable. I also believe the idea of the people being enshrined as a check on the government is valuable."

    To the first, I ask again, what is the end of self-defense and self-reliance? You aim to preserve life? Have we not already proven that firearms do the opposite (I know you contest this, but you don't have any evidence, so let's just take it as read, OK)?

    To the second, given the runaway corruption and ineptitude of the US government and the absolute dominance of corporate interests over the public good (and I don't think you could rationally argue against this very self-evident point), that check has failed, considering that those problems are not nearly as bad in either the UK or Canada, which don't allow such free and unfettered access to firearms. The checks on the UK and Canadian governments actually seem to be working better, don't you think?

  98. Nick Says:

    "So your contention is that because the USA would be unable to effectively enforce gun-control laws, they shouldn't have any gun-control laws at all?"

    No, my point is that even you, who is operating under the assumption that gun control is effective in ideal circumstances, admits that gun control is not effective if the government can't enforce it. So even if I were to agree that gun control is effective, I would still have to question why you want to spend so much capital and effort to implement it, when it's unlikely to be effective under the circumstances here anyway.

    "See, here's the thing. Correlation doesn't prove causation. However, in the presence of a correlation between lower rates of gun crime and gun-related death and stricter firearms laws, I don't see how you could possibly propose that the causal relationship is the *opposite.*"

    I have never once proposed an opposite causal relationship. In fact, I have specifically and explicitly stated that gun control does not cause crime. I have, however, stated that a lack of gun control is not a causal factor in crime, since every instance in which a lack of gun control correlates with higher crime is also an instance where well-established causal factors of crime–poverty, income inequality, lack of education, etc.–is also present.

    "the number of crimes involving firearms initially went up after the ban (which is probably explained by the fact that owning given firearms had suddenly become a criminal act when it was not before and changes in crime reporting practices), but within a few years, the number of injuries and crimes involving firearms had fallen to below pre-ban levels."

    So, after gun control was enacted, crime went up and then down–from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9.865 in 2008/09, to 8,135 in 2012/13 according to your link. Meanwhile in the US, between 1993 and 2010, gun homicide dropped by 49%, from 18,253 (7 per 100k) to 11,078 (3.6 per 100k), and nonfatal violent crime involving firearms dropped by 75% (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/). But yeah, tell me more about how the UK cut violence dramatically in a way that the US never will as long as we have guns.

    "So your proposal is that since Americans appear to be more violent, it makes sense to arm them with guns? Wouldn't the reverse make more sense? I think most people understand this given that they don't support giving criminals (especially violent criminals) firearms – they know that if someone is more violent, that's a good reason *not* to arm them."

    Or, you know, we could stop pretending that "Americans are more violent" and work on the conditions in America that create violence, instead of assuming every American is destined to become a criminal.

    "To the first, I ask again, what is the end of self-defense and self-reliance? You aim to preserve life? Have we not already proven that firearms do the opposite (I know you contest this, but you don't have any evidence, so let's just take it as read, OK)?"

    Oh, okay. So because you've decided that guns cause crime, despite not having any clear evidence to that effect, any party to the debate must stipulate that you are correct. Gotcha. Yes, I suppose if I took your unsubstantiated assumptions as gospel, you would be correct. However, since you have yet to show that civilian owned guns are in fact causal with regard to crime rates, I'll go ahead and continue to support the right to self-defense.

    "The checks on the UK and Canadian governments actually seem to be working better, don't you think?"

    Debateable. The UK practically invented absurd levels of surveillance, and Parliament is not exactly free from the influence of money. To your broader point, are you advocating armed revolution against Congress? Because while I do believe that an armed populace is there to provide a check on the government, I have to think that maybe we ought to exhaust non-violent options prior to shooting members of the House of Representatives.

  99. Hugo Says:

    "So even if I were to agree that gun control is effective, I would still have to question why you want to spend so much capital and effort to implement it, when it's unlikely to be effective under the circumstances here anyway."

    Which is exactly what I said – why bother, since it won't work. Thanks for denying that that was your contention and then contending it anyway.

    "I have never once proposed an opposite causal relationship."

    Good. So you admit, then, that there's no way that gun control laws could actually increase gun crime. They could only decrease it or not affect it.

    Or did you mean to say "I never once proposed an opposite causal relationship but I am now"?

    I have, however, stated that a lack of gun control is not a causal factor in crime, since every instance in which a lack of gun control correlates with higher crime is also an instance where well-established causal factors of crime–poverty, income inequality, lack of education, etc.–is also present. "

    Source?

    "But yeah, tell me more about how the UK cut violence dramatically in a way that the US never will as long as we have guns."

    I did. Why don't you tell me about how you controlled for the fact that suddenly a lot more things (i.e. possession of guns) were now "gun crimes" in the UK in your analysis of UK gun crime figures?

    "Or, you know, we could stop pretending that "Americans are more violent" and work on the conditions in America that create violence, instead of assuming every American is destined to become a criminal."

    You raised that point. Now you wish to withdraw it? The USA is either an inherently more violent place or it isn't, according to you, depending on which one better suits the argument you're currently making.

    "So because you've decided that guns cause crime, despite not having any clear evidence to that effect, any party to the debate must stipulate that you are correct."

    I've given you statistics and documentation of this. I think that your standards for "evidence" just can't include anything that contradicts the conclusion you started with.

    For example, your proposal that guns prevent 60,000 crimes per year. That was met with the point that guns were used to commit 1,200,000 crimes per year in the same period. You just ignored that and dropped the point entirely, probably because it's evidence which contradicts your argument that guns are useful for self-defense, as they enable many, many more crimes than they prevent.

    "To your broader point, are you advocating armed revolution against Congress?"

    Are you? Do you think that's reasonable? You would have to in order to believe that an armed populace is any kind of a check to government. Otherwise, it's an empty threat.

  100. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Just this week, there was a pistol-packin' 86-year-old guy in the Chicago suburbs who came on a store robbery in progress and decided he was Wyatt Earp. He shot twice at the fleeing robber, except that the robber was already being pursued on foot by a police officer, and Grandpa's shots forced the cop to break off the pursuit and take cover, letting the crook get away. Fortunately, some other cops grabbed him a short time later.

    Luckily no one got hurt or worse. How long will this lunacy be tolerated?

  101. Jason Says:

    @Bitter Scribe:
    No one who carries, at least that I know, would EVER advocate shooting at an escaping criminal. If the guy is running away and unless he's literally shooting back at you over his shoulder, the game is over. His behavior was idiotic and I hope he gets some sort of charge.

    Are you willing to at least acknowledge that there are circumstances where the outcome is far more positive? As in the Phildelphia incident I keep referencing?

    And not like anyone cares, but to the people here who have answered my earlier posts and not got replies back, it's because Nick has more or less answered them and done so more eloquently than I would have.

    To Death Panel Truck- The Mother Jones crack was a joke, a poorly placed one, but still a joke.

  102. Nick Says:

    I've still got one comment awaiting moderation. Hooray, links!

  103. Hugo Says:

    "No one who carries, at least that I know, would EVER advocate shooting at an escaping criminal."

    And yet…

    Could it be that "data" is not the plural of "anecdote"?

  104. Sarah Says:

    Pregnant woman shot in the head and killed by her friend who was showing her his gun, and for some reason thought pointing it at her was a good idea.

    http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/pregnant-florida-woman-dies-after-being-shot-head-after-friend-showing-her-gun-18110.shtml?wap=0&amp;

  105. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Jason: I'm sorry, but that's No True Scotsman stuff. This guy carried, and he certainly advocated shooting at an escaping criminal. It's great that no one you know would be that irresponsible, but unfortunately, guns cannot be restricted to the responsible likes of you and your friends.

  106. Sarah Says:

    Fifty years ago the NRA's top attorney was convicted for shooting and killing a single mother.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/29/1317544/-Mother-Jones-NRA-s-Top-Attorney-Convicted-Of-Shooting-Single-Mother-In-In-1964?detail=facebook#

  107. Jason Says:

    Hugo Says:
    "Could it be that "data" is not the plural of "anecdote"?"

    Correct. Which makes me wonder why you didn't challenge his anecdote. The point being if you guys are going to keep posting random gun tragedies/screw-ups, fairness dictates that you recognize the reality of the opposite.

    Coincidentally leading to….

    Sarah Says:
    "Pregnant woman shot in the head and killed by her friend who was showing her his gun, and for some reason thought pointing it at her was a good idea."

    "Fifty years ago the NRA's top attorney was convicted for shooting and killing a single mother."

    What do either of these stories have to do with anything discussed here? They have no relevance to the original post nor any relevance even to the discussion that has veered away from it.

    Bitter Scribe:
    "Jason: I'm sorry, but that's No True Scotsman stuff. This guy carried, and he certainly advocated shooting at an escaping criminal."

    It would have been a NTS if I claimed that he was not a concealed carrier or that his actions should not count against the general policy of concealed carry. They should. My point, apparently poorly expressed, is that just as heroic deeds are not representative of the typical carrier, neither are idiots like this guy. Again, we're over 11 million people with carry permits in this country (and that doesn't count the handful of states with so-called "Constitutional Carry", meaning any adult eligible to own a gun may carry with no permit). If crazy old bastard up there was in any way representative of legal carriers, we'd actually have the fabled "Wild West" environment that gun control people bring up.

  108. Sarah Says:

    Sarah Says:
    "Pregnant woman shot in the head and killed by her friend who was showing her his gun, and for some reason thought pointing it at her was a good idea."

    "Fifty years ago the NRA's top attorney was convicted for shooting and killing a single mother."

    What do either of these stories have to do with anything discussed here? They have no relevance to the original post nor any relevance even to the discussion that has veered away from it.

    Dude, you are the one who is yammering about how gun owners are Very Safe and Responsible Citizens. We have not been able to have any kind of reasonable discussion regarding tragedies that happen as a result of people acting irresponsibly with their firearms because every time the subject comes up you get out your "no truly responsible gun owner" logical fallacy (as someone else pointed out upthread). You insist on yapping about all the ways that guns are used responsibly. Fine. I can add a few to that myself, given that my father comes from a family of avid Minnesota hunters and he always uses the meat from what he kills. But you've got a serious issue with cognitive dissonance when you seem to think that instances in which gun owners don't act responsibly–and actually act downright negligently and/or maliciously–for some reason doesn't seem to count. Yet another senseless shooting? We need a do-over! I wasn't ready for that one! Re-set the counter!

  109. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Jason:

    If crazy old bastard up there was in any way representative of legal carriers, we'd actually have the fabled "Wild West" environment that gun control people bring up.

    Give it time, my friend. Just give it a little time.

  110. Xynzee Says:

    Could either Jason or Nick explain the hole in the logic that: because gun control does not stop violent criminals from getting ahold of guns, therefore we should do away with gun control.

    How is that different from saying: because laws prohibiting murder do not prevent murder we should do away with laws prohibiting murder.

    Because there's a long history of laws prohibiting murder, yet murder still occurs. In fact we can conclude how ineffective these laws are as even when the death penalty is used as a deterrent, murder has not been eradicated. Therefore outlawing murder is ineffective, so we should just remove those laws.

  111. Jason Says:

    Sarah:
    "Dude, you are the one who is yammering about how gun owners are Very Safe and Responsible Citizens."

    I've not said anything that precise. I've implied (and common sense and data show) that the vast majority are. Obviously there are irresponsible and even dangerous gun owners. No one disputed that.

    "We have not been able to have any kind of reasonable discussion regarding tragedies that happen as a result of people acting irresponsibly with their firearms"

    That wasn't the topic of the original post. And yes, it is me who is responsible for keeping reason out of the discussion. Here's a few posts from the sensible, logic-based anti-gun folks here:

    "…what makes these loonies think…"

    "They carry to be macho…"

    "…some gun nuts are perfectly okay with untrained civilians having and using guns as long as it makes them OMG SO TOTALLY HAWT…"

    "…how on earth else will you be able to kill unarmed black kids…" (To be fair, he backed down on that a bit later)

    "But they act like the only thing they're protecting is their man card."

    I've not even gone through half of the comments, I think you get the point. Keeping the discourse high requires both sides.

    "You insist on yapping"

    Why do you insist that I insist that I "yap"?

    "about all the ways that guns are used responsibly. Fine. I can add a few to that myself, given that my father comes from a family of avid Minnesota hunters and he always uses the meat from what he kills."

    You drop info that has nothing to do with the original post or even gun control in general. What in the world about your dad and his family being hunters gives your arguments credibility?

    "But you've got a serious issue with cognitive dissonance when you seem to think that instances in which gun owners don't act responsibly–and actually act downright negligently and/or maliciously–for some reason doesn't seem to count."

    I never said that, I never implied it.

    Bitter Scribe Says:
    "Give it time, my friend. Just give it a little time."

    How much time do we need? Legal concealed carry has been the norm in the majority of the country for a decade or so. And crime and gun deaths keep going down.

  112. Jason Says:

    Xynzee Says:
    "Could either Jason or Nick explain the hole in the logic that: because gun control does not stop violent criminals from getting ahold of guns, therefore we should do away with gun control."

    I'd be happy to if you can show where I said we should do away with gun control.

  113. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Jason: There are large swaths of the country, like my hometown of Chicago, where concealed carry has just become legal. And in Chicago we just had a horrific Fourth of July weekend where 16 people were killed. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I think the Wild West is coming.

  114. Jason Says:

    Bitter Scribe:
    Chicago, contrary to what many pro-gun people say, still has a relatively low gun crime rate for a big city. But more to the point, what does the recent violence have to do with concealed carry? Virtually no one in Chicago is getting permitted. To be clear, I am in disagreement with some (maybe most) of the concealed carry promoters on the deterrent issue. The available evidence pretty consistently shows little or no effect from legal concealed carry, so I wouldn't expect the technical legalization of CC to change anything. And it certainly wouldn't with virtually no one carrying legally.

    Remember, though concealed carry is technically legal everywhere, it is still practically illegal in the more restrictive states or specific cities in those states.

    We are still sitting at 41 or 42 states where it is both legal and available for the whole state. California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and a couple others that I can't remember and am too lazy too look up, still make it exceptionally difficult or impossible to get a permit.

  115. Nick Says:

    Xynzee: see my above post. You're still operating from the assumption that gun control is or would be effective if properly implemented. Like I said, even if I agreed with that I think there are more effective ways to reduce gun violence, but the difficulty of enforcement is actually not the major argument against gun control; the main argument is that even if it could be perfectly implemented, it wouldn't work, because crime is caused by factors unrelated to the ability of civilians without criminal records to buy firearms.

    Bitter: Yes, because this is the first time Chicago has had such a weekend. It must be due to the legalization of gun ownership.

  116. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Nick: Your sarcasm seems to indicate that you think the lack of gun laws will make no difference in gun violence in Chicago. I hope you're right, but I deeply resent being forced to find out.

  117. Nick Says:

    Scribe: Your interpretation is correct. Perhaps the sarcasm was unnecessary, but it's a refrain I've heard many times, whenever ownership or carry or whatever is legalized in a new manner or location. Yet the sky never falls as predicted and life seems to go on much as it did before.

  118. Nick Says:

    Also, my last massive post is still apparently awaiting moderation, so if Hugo's still reading these, it's coming.

  119. Robert Says:

    Historically, the intent of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure an armed militia. The Constitution does not mandate a standing army (described by Franklin as a dangerous temptation to foreign adventures), only a navy. In case of border incursions by Indians or slave uprisings, having a plurality of free white adult males with firearms and training was a necessity. Defending the Republic from the elected government was not a priority for the Founders, as the Whiskey Rebellion learned.

    I'm starting to think that gun control is like the metric system – no matter how well it works in other countries, there are enough Americans who refuse to consider it that we'll never get to try it for ourselves.

  120. democommie Says:

    "@Bitter Scribe:
    No one who carries, at least that I know, would EVER advocate shooting at an escaping criminal. If the guy is running away and unless he's literally shooting back at you over his shoulder, the game is over."

    You must have a very small circle of friends who gotz to haz teh handcannonz. I know maybe fifty people who are allowed to carry handgunz, every friggin one of them has told me at one time or another that they would shoot someone who was stealin' their shit.

    And I steer clear of the total gunzloonz who populate the ranks of Larry Pratt's GOM*.

    * Gunz Ownerz of MurKKKa.

  121. bb in GA Says:

    I think there is a fallacy in believing that laws are passed to prevent behavior.. Sometimes, maybe.

    The major criminal laws represent behaviors that we, in our particular society, will not tolerate post hoc. If you do these things that we proscribe you WILL receive the penalty (theoretically anyway)

    And certainly, we have the fervent hope that you will look at the law and the associated penalty and refrain from that behavior.

    Law rarely changes people's hearts. The best we can hope for is that it MAY modify their behavior..

    Example: The civil rights laws changed not one bigot's stony heart against black Americans. It only enforced a modicum of behavior..

    //bb

  122. Xynzee Says:

    //bb: that was precisely my point and was a response to Nick's well why not "hand or knife control". Which some pro-gun person always comes up with in these discussions, that whether people have a gun or not, they'll still kill someone…yadda yadda yadda.

    So taking that to the logical conclusion would mean that as laws prohibiting murder are ineffective, then we might as well not legislate against that too. If murder is no longer recognised as an illegal act then that solves the problem of murder doesn't it?

    However, despite the fact that murder has not been entirely prevented by either social convention nor through legislation does that mean we give up on trying to prevent and enforce it? No.
    Same with drunk driving. D/D laws and education still do not prevent 100% of alcohol related driving fatalities, yet we still take action to do something about it. Yet, guns are moved into some mythical realm by their advocates. Would anyone ever say the solution to a bad drunk behind the wheel is a good drunk behind the wheel? The solution to drunks behind the wheel is LESS not more. Though I can see some libertardian try to make the argument about how DUI laws impinge upon their freedumz!! or something.

  123. Nick Says:

    So apparently my moderated comment got deleted. One thing from it I think worth mentioning is that Hugo's contention that the rise is gun crime is due to possession offences is false–his own link states that possession offenses were not included in the calculation.

    Also in that post was something directly on point to Xynzee's assertion that I am going down the "why not knife control" route. I am not, because even that is based on an assumption that control of a weapon works at all. I'm simply stating that even if gun control worked, which I don't believe it does, it would be an inefficient method of addressing violent crime rates.

  124. Xynzee Says:

    @Nick: yes, and laws trying to prevent murder or drunk driving are also ineffective. However, we DO NOT say more murder or drunks on the road are the solution.

  125. democommie Says:

    Fewer murders with gunz doesn't necessarily mean fewer shootings. It means better medical care including getting people who would otherwise die to a trauma center where people who really know how to keep those "circling the drain" from going over the event horizon.

    Hundreds of thousands of stupidential gunz discharges, every year–many of them not even being written up, because injuries don't rise to the level of requiring professional medical care–and the gunzloonz say, "Cars do it, TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!", ignoring the fact that many people have to drive to get to work, school and jobs and NOBODY except cops, soldiers and a small %age of the rest of us NEED to carry gunz for any reason other than to demonstrate their badass bonafides.

    That they still rely on Kleck and Lott for their information tells me about all I really need to know re: their "statistical analysis" of the situation. If we go with Kleck's & Lott's patently ridiculous (and ridiculed, by a lot of people who do REAL studies) statistical data–SWAG's–then I suppose we may also posit that BILLIONS of instances where people DON'T have gunz result in NO SHOOTINGS. Seems fair.

  126. Nick Says:

    Xynzee: Stricter drunk driving laws actually have been shown to have a preventative effect. When it comes to homicide, you're comparing apples and oranges–laws punishing the commission of a crime versus laws designed to prevent a crime. We should punish the commission of gun crime, certainly. I'm fine with sentence enhancements for the use of a firearm and the like. But making certain guns illegal in the hopes that doing so will prevent the crime from occurring is inapposite, and punishes actions (ie possession) that are not in and of themselves criminal.

    Democommie: As I posted above (the Pew Social Trends link), nonfatal gun crime has dropped even more than gun homicide in recent years. But don't let a silly thing like facts prevent you from going on an ad hominem laden rant.

  127. Mike Says:

    So, you have touched on the dirty little secret (maybe not so unknown by those who wish to make/keep it a secret) and fallacy of the citizen defender. I am a lifelong shooter, starting NRA sponsored target shooting (.22) at the age of 10 and started shooting my "pappy's" guns even earlier. I am also a 22 year veteran of the Army and USAR and a combat veteran of Afghanistan…so I have a little incite into ammosexuals and the gun culture.

    I have always told anyone who asked my opinion, and a few who haven't, that the ONLY thing that a "helpful citizen" carrying a weapon and taking the "initiative" (O for initiative, U for judgment) to actively engage in a shootout resulting from a crime on the street or close by, will accomplish is more casualties, not less. And, there is a good chance that not only the lack of accuracy, but the lack of even fundamental CQB tactics, will result in the death or wounding of the good Samaritan – this is especially true in any shooting spree situation. It's why I cannot recall one instance where a potential shooting spree was EVER stopped by a civilian who just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time AND was carrying a weapon AND decided that they were not going to be their usual selfish git (I mean, come on…most gun-humpers don't even know of the concept that is the social contract or give two shits about their fellow man) and wade into a gun battle.

    Why? Well, you covered a big reason and touched on a couple more.

    A) Most people cannot shoot accurately to, literally, save their life. I qualified expert on every weapon system (pistol and rifle) I have ever been tasked to shoot and I was in a very small minority…even for an Infantryman. And, even those who can actually put a round in the black (not the bullseye…just black) at more than 10 feet, after a draw, do so against a paper target in a controlled setting, from a standing rest position.

    B) Short of sneaking up on a shooter from behind or sharp oblique angle, one has to expose themselves to the shooter to get a clean shot at the shooter. This makes one not only a target, but an immediate threat to the shooter. Like a boxer will tell you, punching bags don't punch back and paper and even tactical targets don't shoot back either…but sociopaths and nutters who have lost it and likely know they are going to buy it (and may WANT that to happen) are definitely going to shoot back. Only the most clueless or stupid don't realize this and so VOLUNTEERING to put oneself in that position for someone or something that likely has nothing to do with you is likely a non-starter. This includes having the balls to TRY and sneak up in some way. This ain't Xbox and you don't get to reset to the last save position when you get shot.

    C) Even if one gets through B and are better than most at A, you then have to contend with actually trying to put a round on target (unless you just want to "pin them down" or make them un-ass your AO and still…) whilst: a) your life is on the line, b) a real gun may be pointed at you and rounds may be coming your way, c) your heart-rate and blood pressure is sky-high, d) you may end up taking a life…something you cannot take back…ever.

    D) The odds of you being alone (not with family or friends), carrying your weapon, and being at the scene of such an event are minuscule even if more than zero.

    Bottom line is all of the gun-humpers and ammosexuals who parade around with longarms and pistols carried openly and the vast majority of concealed carrying civilians are ill-skilled, ill-trained, ill-equipped, and overall ill-prepared to engage in what amounts to a combat firefight given the kind of weaponry we allow the average schmuck to own and carry around. The end result would likely be significantly MORE casualties as opposed to less.

    All the Xbox heroes and target shooting rangers may think they have what it takes, but they don't. Most humans don't, even the trained ones (see police and combat statistics). They watch movies like Blackhawk Down and others featuring special operations soldiers doing their thing and they think if they buy the Gucci Gear and crouch when they walk and have the sunglasses and fork out the cash for their HK USP or Glock (complete with sticker for your car or a t-shirt) and buy their glazer safety rounds and practice playing paintball or Xbox, they can do it…they know they can. They can't.

    There is a reason why only a few make it past selection for special operations units. It takes more than athletic ability and cool gear to be a trained killer who can do what they do. Years of consistent and constant shooting practice, to the point of muscle memory akin to Michael Jordan shooting a basketball, physical training that teaches how to operate under conditions of super high stress and fatigue, and mental preparation that takes place during all of the above is what it takes…and even these men (and some women) fail when the first real shots are fired as all of that requires experience to ensure that the end result is what you intended it to be. Period. Full stop.

    I carry my weapon for LAST RESORT DEFENSE…only. Priority #1 is safety of myself and family and friends and that means not being in the wrong place and if so, finding somewhere else to be. I carry it concealed as I have never understood the point of advertising your order of battle. The professor who wrote about dealing with gun-idiots is right: if you are in a restaurant where some gun-humper(s) come in swaggering with their penis extensions…leave…immediately. You are NOT safer with them there and you are likely in MORE danger because they are there in that capacity. Don't pay, leave. If the manager chases you down, let them know why and keep walking.

    You have it right…the NRA is not in the gun rights business, it's in the gun selling business – they are working for the gun manufacturers, not people. Fear is the easiest marketing tool there is and the irony is that they sell more by, well, selling more.

  128. Mike Says:

    @Nick – The lethality of weapons should most certainly be considered and ownership and carry should be regulated. There is no practical reason to own anything for self-defense that is fully automatic or capable of firing more than 6 rounds before reloading. If you need more than that to end the problem, then you have a bigger problem that likely isn't going to be mitigated by full auto or a 30 round magazine.

    But…put such weapons in the hands of a sociopath or the proverbial "law abiding citizen" who just decides to lose it that day and you have recipe for disaster that will NOT be countered or prevented by arming everyone with the same types of weapons (see above).

  129. Nick Says:

    Mike: I hear these sorts of scenarios wherein CCP holders create dozens more casualties every time the subject is brought up. Yet I've never heard of it actually occurring in real life. Why is that?

    You're right, most gun owners aren't prepared for a combat firefight. But a firefight in battle is a whole lot different than the scenarios for which a CCP is designed. I touched on this above in the discussion about police–a concealed carry permit does not mean that you can perform a tactical entry, that you are qualified in close quarter warfare, or anything else. I don't know why you seem to have this assumption that most gun owners are carrying in anticipation of a North Korean hit squad or something, instead of carrying for exactly the same reason you do: last resort defense only. I agree the open carry dipshits are stupid people, but they're also a tiny minority of gun owners.

    When were we talking about automatic weapons? I don't believe anyone in this debate has mentioned machine guns. As for magazine size, I don't understand why 9 rounds is a self-defense weapon and therefore acceptable, but a 10-round magazine on the exact same gun is a dangerous evil assault weapon. Either the gun is the causal factor in the violence–in which case, the magazine size is irrelevant to whether it should be allowed–or the gun is not the causal factor–in which case the magazine is irrelevant. That's probably why there doesn't seem to be any correlation between weapon type and number of deaths in mass shootings, and why only a tiny fraction of gun violence involves so-called "assault weapons."

  130. democommie Says:

    "Mike: I hear these sorts of scenarios wherein CCP holders create dozens more casualties every time the subject is brought up. Yet I've never heard of it actually occurring in real life. Why is that?"

    Because most of them are selfish, egomaniacal pricks AND cowards?

    I've been hearing and reading for years that uparmed moronz were the last line of defense between me and whatever enemy the people at the NRA and other Gunzloonz Justification Groups were shitting their pants about at any particular moment and yet I've heard about few if any of them actually, y'know, DOING anything about stopping those people–the putz in the Las Vegas Walmart being a case in point.

    Now that Kleck and Lott have been shown to be liars and fools you gunzloonz are pushing the "Assault weppins don't kill peepul, peepul kill people." Oddly, the two most recent mass shootings that resulted in a fuckton of dead people and wounded people were perpetrated by people with militarily derivative designs of semi-auto rifles and semi-auto handgunz.

    BTW, how many time have you intervened in a shooting situation?

  131. Jason Says:

    Is there any limit to the number of links I can post into a reply? I've seen other comment boards that cap it and will throw out any replies with more.

    Reason being, I keep seeing post after post that depicts armed self defense as a fantasy; normal people have virtually no chance of doing it without getting themselves or others killed.

    I fired up my old laptop tonight because it's got my collection of defensive gun use stories. These are not NRA published, they are not FW:FW:FW email urban legends. These are to plain old local news stories, both print and television. I haven't been looking for them for some time, but during the relatively brief period I did, I collected 55.

    I make no claims about this being a representative sample or that they depict the typical life of a gun owner. But for Christ's sake, can we dispense with the Marine Corps/world champion shooters who tell us that it can't be done? It's a provable freaking lie (or mistake).

    During the same period that I collected those links, I believe I found two stories of innocent people being hit during otherwise legal shoots (I think I saw one more after I quit saving the links, but I'm not sure). I welcome anyone to show me anywhere close to 55 links about innocent people being killed by legal carriers in the process of defending themselves or others over the same time span. I can assure you, if they happened, you should have little problem finding them, that kind of story is far sexier to the media than a simple act of self defense.

  132. Nick Says:

    Demoncommie: I'm thankful you've provided a solid example of the cognitive dissonance of gun control proponents. First you say that gun owners are just trigger happy psychos, itching for a chance to shoot anyone and everyone. Then, when you can't find any evidence of that, you take the complete opposite tack that gun owners are just cowards who would never use their guns anyway. Reminds of the Tea Partiers who insist that Obama is simultaneously a tyrannical dictator bent on unspeakable power, and then in the next breath claim that he's a useless hippie making America look weak. Which is it?

  133. Nunya Says:

    So the only credential I will claim is being the son of an LA cop. I learned to shoot at seven years old simply because guns were necessarily part of my upbringing. My dad wasn't a gun nut but, in theory, he was required to be armed 24/7/365.

    I grew up in a place that would not issue concealed weapons permits if you weren't a judge, a cop, or a DA. It simply wasn't an option. What this provided the police with was an extremely trained eye for people who were carrying guns. Shit that you and I I would never, ever notice flashed like bone on a X-ray for the cops of California.

    I moved to Seattle about 20 years ago. This is a "shall issue" state for concealed pistols. I was absolutely amazed that zero training or proof of proficiency was required to obtain a permit nor were any pamphlets about legal requirements offered.

    At 21, I applied for and received a CCW permit. I bought a pistol and carried it everywhere I went for about two weeks. During those two weeks,I noticed that mt behavior changed. I would walk right through some thuggish looking folks that my formerly street-smart self would have crossed the street to avoid. After that, I started walking through parts of town that conservative looking white folks simply knew not to go to. In short, I became an insufferable asshole.

    After two weeks, I put my pistol in a safe, tore up my permit, and bever carried a pistol again.

    Fast forward twenty years and I have yet to have been robbed, raped or murdered and I did it all without being armed.

  134. Nunya Says:

    Mike, nicely said. I couldn't agree more.

  135. democommie Says:

    "I fired up my old laptop tonight because it's got my collection of defensive gun use stories. These are not NRA published, they are not FW:FW:FW email urban legends. These are to plain old local news stories, both print and television. I haven't been looking for them for some time, but during the relatively brief period I did, I collected 55."

    And I can find, without working for more than a few hours, several hundred stories about idiotz with gunz shooting themselves and other people for no fucking reason, whatsoever. Do you really want to go there? Kleck and Lott put out some fantastic (in the true sense of the word–not believable) numbers about gunz stopping crime, but you can come up with 55? Kleck & Lott's "methodology" indicates that there have been something like 1-3M DGU's per year, yet the NRA and every other gunzloon group have a hard time finding .001 % of those incidents. That's because they don't happen with anything like the frequency that you and others THINK that they do. How many people do you know who've stopped a crime because they had a gun?

  136. Robert Says:

    According to what I've read, about two thirds of all deaths by firearm in the USA are suicides. As a parent of a depressed teenager who has been under treatment for suicidal ideation, I believe it is in my best interests to not have a firearm in the house.

  137. Xynzee Says:

    Of course what we've been missing from this slanging match that we call a discourse is the obvious. Which is having the NRA supported laws repealed which prevent the FBI, CDC, etc. from doing their jobs in collecting, compiling and analysing data on the subject. Doing that alone will do the topic wonders.

  138. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    You say "It stands to reason that officers in smaller departments with fewer resources and less rigorous training would fare worse." Of course it does, but one of the implicit myths which underpin the NRA point of view is that small town and rural people, mostly in red states (oddly enough), are actually all squirrel hunters and deadly marksmen by culture, the progeny of Natty Bumppo and Sargent York. No wonder big city cops can't shoot straight–they are mostly of a mongrel breed and recently southern European, if not black or Mooslim. See, e.g., the conversation between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken in True Romance. I'd say 95% of the myth of the 2nd Amendment rests on exactly what it once explicitly was grounded in–the supression of black revolt. This is why local news is so heavily weighted with stories of black crime. It's all fear based.

    The NRA is currently developing a new marketing strategy–the opening of small town "gun shoppes" by persons "certified" by the NRA and aimed at marketing weapons of all sorts to frightened suburbanites and home-makers. In the last month my little local newspaper in NC has run two feature stories on two such openings!

  139. Jason Says:

    Democommie:

    You completely ignored my point. Over and over in this thread, we have heard that civilian armed self defense is a myth. That us normals without military or police training will be lucky to even get to our guns without pissing ourselves or fainting, and even if we do, we'll wildly shoot everything except the bad guy.

    The stories I referenced were used only to refute that notion, not to throw my hat into the defensive gun use count war. As I said, I welcome stories that show the opposite. Show me all the examples of gun owners *during the act of legal self defense because that's what we're talking about* screwing up and hurting innocent people or getting themselves killed. You should be able to find a few. I'll be amazed if you can come anywhere near 55, particularly over such a short time span.

    I even referenced earlier that I don't trust Lott at all, and that even if we go by the lowest estimate (at the time) accepted by pro-gun control researchers put the number at about double the number of all gun fatalities, and around six times the number of gun homicides.

  140. democommie Says:

    "You completely ignored my point. Over and over in this thread, we have heard that civilian armed self defense is a myth."

    No, I did not ignore your point–I didn't and don't SEE your point. Civilian armed self-defense IS a myth–there has never been a peer reviewed study that's shown ANY link between decreased crime and the prevalence of gunz in ANY community that I'm aware of. Correlation out the wazoo, no causation. Anecdotal evidence is NOT evidence.

    "The stories I referenced were used only to refute that notion, not to throw my hat into the defensive gun use count war."

    Bullshit.

    You've made a lot of comments on a number of threads about gunz and it's fairly obvious that you ARE on the side of pretty much anygunz, anywhere, allatime. You claim that you're limited to a small number of links. So, start a blog, put all of the stories on the blog.

    This is one link, to one newspaper story about idiotz with gunz:

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-12-15/news/os-gun-accidents-20131215_1_mario-whitehead-florida-agency-hospital

    I think you'll find a fuckton more than 55 cases of shitheadz with gunz doing stupid, careless and hurtful or fatal things in the stats from Florida's ER's–in any given year.

    Go ahead, do the research.

  141. Jason Says:

    Democommie:
    "No, I did not ignore your point–I didn't and don't SEE your point."

    Not going to disagree with you there.

    "Civilian armed self-defense IS a myth–there has never been a peer reviewed study that's shown ANY link between decreased crime and the prevalence of gunz in ANY community that I'm aware of."

    Have you actually read any of my posts? I specifically said I didn't think concealed carry had any effect on crime rates. AGAIN, that's not what I was talking about. The original post was about individuals not being capable of using guns for self defense. Numerous posters have quoted various "experts" as saying you should just forget keeping a gun because even if you need it, there's no way you'll be effective and will likely kill yourself or others.

    THAT is the myth I was dispelling, not any deterrent effect.

    "Anecdotal evidence is NOT evidence."

    If the argument is, "Normal people can't defend themselves with guns," how does one refute it? It's not a scientific hypothesis in the first place. It is proven wrong by presenting a single case, it is demolished when you realize it happens all the fucking time. Furthermore, I asked for people to post examples of *what has been claimed over and over*, that is, normal people can't competently use a firearm in self defense.

    "You've made a lot of comments on a number of threads about gunz and it's fairly obvious that you ARE on the side of pretty much anygunz, anywhere, allatime."

    You're flat fucking wrong. I have no problem with numerous gun control laws. No problem with: background checks, various prohibited person laws (adjudicated mentally ill, under a restraining order, violent felons, etc.), I have no issue setting up a NICS stand at gun shows and requiring everyone there to use it. I would love if non FFLs could access NICS for private sales.

    "You claim that you're limited to a small number of links. So, start a blog, put all of the stories on the blog."

    I didn't claim I was limited to a few links, I asked if that was the case.

    "This is one link, to one newspaper story about idiotz with gunz:"

    And that link has nothing to do with what I said. I know accidents occur. I know jackasses fuck up and murders are committed. Again, I made it clear that what I was looking for were regular people who, in the act of legally defending themselves, hurt themselves or someone innocent. I asked for that kind of example because AGAIN, the specific point of the original post and many of the comments was that normal people can't defend themselves with guns and will likely do more harm than good.

    "I think you'll find a fuckton more than 55 cases of shitheadz with gunz doing stupid, careless and hurtful or fatal things in the stats from Florida's ER's–in any given year."

    Yeah, I'm sure I could. It's just not what I was looking for, which, if you had read what I wrote, was clear.

  142. Spiny Norman Says:

    "It's just another tool in the toolbox."

    A line stolen from the DeNiro character in Mamet's (uncredited) script for the thriller Ronin — a film with an extraordinarily high collateral body count.

    Just sayin'.

  143. Nick Says:

    Spiny: It's a pretty common saying, but next time I decide to steal a package for a fringe Irish Republican terrorist group before double crossing them and selling it to a Russian mobster instead, I'll keep that in mind.

  144. democommie Says:

    "I didn't claim I was limited to a few links, I asked if that was the case."

    Then put up or shut up.

    You have the links, put them here, one at a time.

    But, howzabout you look at the information on the Miami/Dade/Florida ER stats and find out just how many fucking idiotz with gunz are out there. I don't know you so I have no idea whether your weapon handling skilz are better or worse–and I don't honestly give a fuck if they are better or worse. People who have NEVER been in combat or in stress situations with someone trying to kill them or other people have no fucking idea about they'll actually deal with it and, yes, that includes you and every other person who thinks that shooting targets equates with using a gun in such a situation.

  145. Jason Says:

    democommie:

    "You have the links, put them here, one at a time."

    Stand by.

    "But, howzabout you look at the information on the Miami/Dade/Florida ER stats and find out just how many fucking idiotz with gunz are out there."

    HO LEE SHIT. Are you being thick on purpose? How many times do I have to explain to you what the point of both the original post and my replies were? I KNOW bad things are done with guns. The proprietor of Gin and Tacos asked (skeptically) about whether or not legal gun carriers have any chance of defending themselves or not hurting innocent people. Many commenters more or less answered, "Hell no, Joe Concealed Carry isn't trained, can't shoot, can't do it, can't do it, can't do it." I answered that it happens and it happens regularly. I'll start putting the links up after I answer this post. But what's the point? I could post 1000 of them and you will reply, "Yeah, but look at the emergency room stats from Gundeathistan," as if it has a single fucking thing to do with anything I've said.

  146. Jason Says:

    I'll start with ten:

    http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=9273275&nav=8h3xx5xh

  147. Jason Says:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/teen-charged-in-death-of-robbery-accomplice-by-intended-victim-vl7cba9-176048841.html

  148. Jason Says:

    http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/handgun-carrier-shoots-multiple-suspects/nS3ms/

  149. Jason Says:

    http://articles.philly.com/2012-11-15/news/35135931_1_men-shot-gunshot-wounds-unidentified-man

  150. Jason Says:

    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Police-Home-invader-shot-killed/17456912

  151. Jason Says:

    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Police-Attempted-robbery-suspect-shot-killed/17456794

  152. Jason Says:

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/man-found-slain-in-front-yard

  153. Jason Says:

    http://www.news9.com/story/20568878/shawnee-woman-thwarts-home-invasion

  154. Jason Says:

    http://www.abc-7.com/story/20944990/police-investigating-shooting-in-fort-myers

  155. Jason Says:

    http://www.click2houston.com/news/Home-invasion-suspect-arrested-after-woman-opens-fire/18331728

  156. Jason Says:

    Here's 12 more.

    http://www.nbc12.com/story/21228202/state-police-assisting-in-prince-edward-investigation

  157. Jason Says:

    http://www.khou.com/story/local/2014/08/01/11972860/

  158. Jason Says:

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/Ellis-County-sheriff-Shootout-lasted-minutes-before-teens-killed-selves-199402471.html

  159. Jason Says:

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Robber-gunned-down-on-Pasadena-street-4415402.php

  160. Jason Says:

    http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/21993610/robber-shot-dead-by-would-be-victim-outside-everman-store

  161. Jason Says:

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/04/two_men_shot_including_suspect.html

  162. Jason Says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/alleged-penn-intruder-dead-attacking-elderly-woman-club-004819256.html

  163. Jason Says:

    http://www.click2houston.com/news/hpd-homeowner-fires-gun-at-3-armed-suspects/21278478

  164. Jason Says:

    http://www.news10.net/news/article/222195/2/1-dead-in-Sacramento-home-invasion

  165. Jason Says:

    http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/victims-fight-back-robbery-attempt-outside-monroe-/nTpkf/

  166. Jason Says:

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/police-woman-shot-intruder-9-times-in-self-defense/nFB7g/

  167. Jason Says:

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/local/police-allen-homeowner-kills-intruder-in-invasion/article_646a8d9e-e30c-11e1-85d7-001a4bcf887a.html

  168. Jason Says:

    That's 22. The remaining 32 links fall into one of three categories:
    1) The link is so old I now get a 404.
    2) The link is so old it's behind a pay wall/archive
    3) As the collection was for defensive gun uses, it included stories where people brandished but didn't fire their guns, making them inappropriate for this list.

    But hey, no excuses right? I said 55. 33 to go, here's the down payment, 10 more:

    http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/11/20/columbus-2-shot-cascade-court.html

  169. Jason Says:

    http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5187078-74/jones-devault-shot#axzz2miS14lYw

  170. Jason Says:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/12/11/cell-phone-store-owner-shoots-kills-robber/?utm_medium=VPH&utm_source=topvph_news&utm_campaign=513933

  171. Jason Says:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/police-east-point-homeowner-shoots-kills-intruder/ncYyc/

  172. Jason Says:

    http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/01/30/south-ogden-ave-home-invasion.html

  173. Jason Says:

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140213/PC16/140219700/1006/fatal-shooting-ruled-a-clear-case-of-self-defense-for-76-year-old-lincolnville-man

  174. Jason Says:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/holiday-shooting-in-chiropractors-office-was-self-defense-authorities-say/2166109

  175. Jason Says:

    http://www.wxyz.com/news/mom-opens-fire-on-home-invaders-in-detroit-to-defend-children

  176. Jason Says:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20140326/NEWS01/303260024/Detroit-homeowner-kills-intruders

  177. Jason Says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cops-no-charges-for-man-with-concealed-carry-permit-who-fired-at-armed-male-20140405-story.html

  178. Nick Says:

    Jason, you realize your links won't actually matter, right? Democommie is convinced that as long as he uses extraneous z's, he's correct. I get the impression he started this practice years ago and will keep doing so until someone recognizes its brilliance. All the factz about gunz and gunz ownzerz in the world don't make a differenze.

  179. Jason Says:

    Nick:
    Yep, I know. I'm a glutton for punishment.

  180. democommie Says:

    Of the first six links (all of them painfully slow to load, btw) none is more recent than 2012. Also, none of them are cut & dried; without knowing a lot more about the incidents reported it's not all that clear that the "vics" were "vics".

    55 in what, six years (your first link was to a story from 2008)? I'm completely unimpressed. There have been, in the last couple of weeks, in one state–Tennesse–a number of fatal shootings and gunshot injuries by idiots with gunz. Not one mention of any vigilante saving anyone.

    Carry your fucking gunz wherever you want to. Live in fear, just make damned sure that you're constantly turning to see who's behind you.

  181. Jason Says:

    See the power of democommie as he moves goalposts with just a few keystrokes! And repeats irrelevant information that no one disputes! Yeah, I think we're done.

  182. democommie Says:

    Jason, go fuck yourself with your favorite long gun.

  183. Jason Says:

    Thanks for classing up the joint demo.