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Women are nearly half of new gun buyers, study finds (wsj.com)
348 points by bookofjoe 40 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 1163 comments




i live in the american south, where everybody owns guns. i own a gun for hunting. but for self defense, i have pepper spray and bear spray instead of guns because i don't want to kill somebody regardless of their intentions. i'd be curious to see the stats of self-defense/firearms, because it seems like self-defense gun owners are LARPing over imagined intruder situations. they're definitely not about to take up arms against the state, and if they think they would do that, then they're certainly LARPing and live in a fantasy world.

exceptions to this rule, especially in the american south, are civil rights leaders and similar political activists. Martin Luther King preached non-violent protest but owned guns for protecting his home against the very real threat of violent racists. (there's some interesting writing about this if you look it up. google something like "martin luther king guns malcolm x")

the bigger risk is accidentally killing somebody with a gun, like an "intruder" that is actually somebody you know. or a kid accidentally firing the gun and killing themselves or somebody else, or somebody intentionally killing themselves.

edit: added "but" in front of dependent clause "for self defense"


It sounds like lower estimates indicate about 55 000 - 80 000 uses of self defense with a gun per year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_gun_use

But it sounds like it really varies source to source. The problem is that a lot of the time it is just an estimate. Not all self-defense uses of a gun are reported as often someone doing a criminal action is not going to self-report it. And the person with the gun may not want to report it either for fear of getting in trouble. Additionally it doesn't seem like there is really a national database that can properly catalogue and account for self-defense actions with a gun. So it seems a lot of it is based on estimates from what data they do have.

Either way that low-end estimate still seems to be quite a large number. It does make you think how many violent crimes may have been avoided because of brandishing a firearm in self-defense. It's unfortunate that it is hard to get accurate data on this.


> Either way that low-end estimate still seems to be quite a large number. It does make you think how many violent crimes may have been avoided because of brandishing a firearm in self-defense. It's unfortunate that it is hard to get accurate data on this.

What are the trade offs though?

> 5. Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense

> Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Center, we examined the extent and nature of offensive gun use. We found that firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense. All reported cases of criminal gun use, as well as many of the so-called self-defense gun uses, appear to be socially undesirable.

> Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. The relative frequency of offensive and defensive gun use: Results of a national survey. Violence and Victims. 2000; 15:257-272.

* https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/gun-thr...


CDC says ~ 60,000 to 2.5 million[1] which is a massive range spanning nearly 2 orders of magnitude. It's likely on the higher side because who calls the cops when they had to brandish a firearm to scare someone away... Brandishing is illegal in many states.

That changes the calculus even more.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/firearms/fastfact.htm...


"they're definitely not about to take up arms against the state, and if they think they would do that, then they're certainly LARPing and live in a fantasy world."

Didn't the Taliban prove otherwise? That would suggest an armed citizenship can be a counter to tyranny.


Taliban is an interesting case, considering that (1) it's unpopular among many (maybe the majority of) Afghans, (2) it would have been better for almost everybody, even most Taliban recruits, if they fizzled out, and (3) you can trace its birth to foreign powers (US, Pakistan, maybe others) arming and training Afghans to fight their own geopolitical games.

Taken together, my take is that an armed and disenfranchised populace can be exploited by demagogues (and foreign powers) to destabilize the society, eventually overthrowing it, to the detriment of everyone in it.

Not exactly an argument for more guns in society.


I think these are two pretty different situations.

If civilian gun owners in the US tried to overthrow the US government, the US military would crush them in a heartbeat. Hell, with the level of militarization of many local police departments in the US, it might not even take the US military.

You can't really compare that to a reluctant, unpopular war fought in someone else's territory. The US was never going to commit the entirety of its military might to defeat the Taliban. And at any rate, it's probably more accurate to say that the Taliban defeated the poorly-trained, poorly-prepared (US's fault) Afghan Army, not the US military. I expect the US could have occupied Afghanistan indefinitely, holding back the Taliban, if we chose to.


" the US military would crush them in a heartbeat "

I think what we've seen in prior civil wars is that portions of the military will support both sides.


Just last year all the living former Secretaries of Defense penned a letter addressed to those serving in the military reminding them of their duty to the Constitution, not to any political figure. That these experts thought it necessary and pertinent to do this extraordinary act suggests that, yes, there's strong likelihood that significant portions of the military would factionalize into separate camps if civil unrest reached a certain pitch.


Then what are private firearms needed for? The local arsenal filled with assault rifles and rocket launchers is going to be a way better option...


Taking on the government isn't the reason most people own guns. There are other much more common reasons such as sport, hunting, self defense, etc. That said, if the armories are only stocked for roughly the population of the military, then there's little chance of arming a significant number of civilians that way. Not to mention the logistics would be a nightmare. The real usefulness of civilians owning weapons in that sort of scenario would be self dense, because the social/legal/etc structure would not be there to protect them. These are things we've seen to a limited degree in areas with violent rioting.


> If civilian gun owners in the US tried to overthrow the US government, the US military would crush them in a heartbeat. Hell, with the level of militarization of many local police departments in the US, it might not even take the US military.

The US military you know is not allowed, by law, to fight civilians. Only the national guard can, and that'll be quite hit and miss. The national guard is also under state control. The military would likely disolve and fight for both sides of civil conflict.


> If civilian gun owners in the US tried to overthrow the US government, the US military would crush them in a heartbeat.

This is such a reductionist argument. Many of those civilians used to be those military, and many of those military would no longer be military if this situation arose.


good point, but i'm speaking from a US-centric point of view. and so is this article. so i don't think the your taliban argument is a strong counterpoint to my claim.


The Taliban was fighting against the US though, with all their high-tech drones and such, which are usually cited as the reason that guns are futile against the state.


i don’t know enough about the military strategy that allowed the taliban to seize control, so i can’t argue with you there. but i do want to point out how your argument could be interpreted as advocating for guns so a tyrannical regime like the taliban can take over a government.


That is fair and I agree with the assessment!

My argument is advocating for guns so that a population can determine its own fate, and not be subject to either domestic or foreign top-down control against its own will.


The thing I always find astonishing about the LARPing element of "taking up arms against the state" is how one-sidedly political it is. An authoritarian right-wing state - say, an alternate world where Trump had somehow seized power and suspended democracy - would find large numbers of American gun owners who would be very happy about this and serve as a pro-government paramilitary (coordinating the police/military and doing all the Bad Things that the government doesn't want to be seen doing, like human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing).

It shows an astonishing lack of historical awareness to imagine that gun ownership in private hands will be default mobilized "against tyranny" - like tyranny is always going to be some sort of sneering baddies that the public is 95% against. There are obviously some genuine libertarians among gun owners, but there's also a pretty large contingent of authoritarian right wingers (or people who are libertarian only in respect to their own freedoms).


Exactly. Nothing enables a tyrant like a sympathetic mob that is more heavily armed than those who would fight for freedom. Historically, would-be tyrants tend to make sure their sympathizers are well armed more than to disarm anyone. The idea of someone with MAGA and Punisher stickers on their pickup using their guns to oppose tyranny is laughable. No, they'll be first in line to trade in their fake military insignia for the real version.


It's actually advantageous to have a separate "mob" as well as controlling the military/police; the last thing you want is to formally deputize or enlist them.

This way you can go to international events and join the hand-wringing over lynchings, torture and murder ("we can't control our overenthusiastic supporters and of course mistakes were made on both sides, etc"). You can also preserve your control of rule-followers and humanitarians in the police and military.

As a rule, weapons in private hands seem to be handy for overriding the policies of democratically elected governments while complaining about "tyranny" (c.f. Ammon Bundy).


> lack of historical awareness to imagine that gun ownership in private hands will be default mobilized "against tyranny"

Why is it so hard to believe? You really think the military would drop bombs on cities and destroy infrastructure just to control the populace?

The nature of tyranny is about instilling fear in the populace in order to control them. If you destroy your own cities it defeats the purpose of being in power as a dictator.

The end goal is CONTROL, and you cannot control an armed populace. There aren't enough police and military to take on a city where a good portion of the people are armed. There are millions upon millions of armed civilians, and even the military wouldn't stand a chance. Not to mention that in history, taking guns away is exactly what dictatorships have done.


I'd be interested to know how you concludes the military would have no luck against armed civilians.


First, the military would need to have its own fight, which would probably reduce its numbers, and then it's a matter of sheer numbers which is on the civilian side. Again, I'm assuming cities won't get bombed, what's the point of destroying your own country. On the ground, there are potentially many strategies that could defeat the military if there are way more armed civilians.


It's remarkable how little you engaged with what I actually wrote, in your haste to deploy the usual LARPing tropes about freedom fighters and "armed civilians" and such nonsense.

Once again, for the slow kids with reading comprehension problems:

Armed civilians are not a reliable source of resistance against certain types of tyranny - notably right-wing authoritarian tyranny. They are, in fact, more likely to crop up in pro-government paramilitaries who are willing to do the dirty work that a tyranny doesn't want to get around to.

In short, for every gun in the hands of a genuine libertarian, there are 2-3 guns in the hands of hard right authoritarians whose embrace of 'libertarianism' only extends as far as "government letting people exactly like me do whatever they want".


I quoted the part I was responding to. The other part seems not true to me. Trump was extremely overblown by media and many believed it. He stepped down... that's not what dictators do, and it was Trump that as LARPing as a dictator just to get reactions. The evidence is that he was an entertainer and had a TV show. How many dictators in history had TV shows? He played the media, and then everyone went insane. Sure, he's an idiot, but thinking he's a dictator? That is also LARPing.

As far as guns, unlike your suggestion of right-wing authoritarian citizens enforcing government, there are many instances in history like Cuba, where the first thing a dictator does is take away civilian guns.

The point of the 2nd amendment, is for anyone and everyone to own guns. We can see this post and also last year during the riots (BLM, left-wing rallies arming themselves) that everyone goes against gun control once they realize they need to defend themselves.


> LARPing element of "taking up arms against the state" is how one-sidedly political it is

Did you look up any news from Portland lately? Because looks like you didn't, otherwise you'd know about people that has been successfully fighting the police and causing a lot of damage to the state, and the state basically retreating before them with the tail tacked between its legs (the reasons might be complicated but the fact is pretty obvious). And those people don't have much love for Trump, to say the least.


> ...i don't want to kill somebody regardless of their intentions...

This is where each person's specific ethics are really important. I would really hate to ever kill anyone. Full stop. But I would definitely prefer to kill a criminal that was attempting to murder me or someone else.

If you would rather be murdered by a criminal rather than kill them, that is a respectable position to hold. Although I do tend to doubt the conviction of most people who claim this position.


i agree, but i've come to believe that there are other ways to prevent this without a gun. hence my believe in mace as a form of self-defense. i've never been in this situation and hopefully never will be in this situation. so we'll let this hacker news comment act as a historical note for my personal decree.


it's interesting that you criticize owning guns for self-defense, but claim it as a (partial) reason for owning your own guns. perhaps you mean self-defense against wildlife rather than people, since you use pepper/bear spray to avoid chancing murder?

but yes, there's is roughly a 0% chance that using a gun defensively in a hostile situation will result in successful self-defense, where only the perpetrator is incapacitated and not the defender or bystanders, primarily because of a complete lack of (extreme duress) experience and (usually) genuine lethal intent. and the mere act of brandishing a weapon in such circumstances tends to escalate them uncontrollably, and to the defender's disadvantage.

we can discourage gun ownership for self-defense and still support them for their (symbolic) value against governmental tyranny, as well their general usefulness in hunting and rural life. regardless, we should work on reducing gun death and injury: over 100K/yr are injured/killed by guns in the US.


> there's is roughly a 0% chance that using a gun defensively in a hostile situation will result in successful self-defense

The evidence that I've seen does not support such a bold claim at all.


> but yes, there's is roughly a 0% chance that using a gun defensively in a hostile situation will result in successful self-defense

I and the dozen other people I've met who have all done so, me without firing a single shot, would all disagree with that bold and ignorant claim.


maybe i'm sleep deprived today, but i'm missing where i claimed owning guns for self-defense? i own for hunting, so i can hunt wildlife. not for self-defense, but for food.


apologies, i must have misread that the first time around.


no worries! it's partially my fault for unclear writing.


> but yes, there's is roughly a 0% chance that using a gun defensively in a hostile situation will result in successful self-defense

I'm pretty anti-gun as they come, but this seems like a pretty absurd assertion. I would certainly expect a non-trivial amount of self-defense situations involving firearms would result in disaster, but I would not expect that to be even close to "nearly all of them".


Very few sane people will consider taking up arms against the government until it becomes a necessity.


Excellent. There's no reason defensive gun buyers should be demographically different from the general population. It's understandable that gun sales for hunting or other activities might show differences, but we all have the same personal security needs.

Side note: I'm one of the people here with a large collection of firearms. One thing to realize when you see the statistic that the US has more firearms than people is that only a percentage of them are really combat worthy/capable. Most of my collection, for example, are collectable historic pieces, or dedicated target/sporting firearms. Some of these could feasibly be pressed into service if you had absolutely nothing else, but they would be extremely sub-optimal for the task.


For decades I have lived deep in the heart of some of the densest cities in the country (SF and NYC). These are places with serious and obvious crime problems that I have seen up close and personal, day in and day out. Yet to me, despite these experiences, the entire concept of "personal security needs" involving firearms is absolutely absurd. It sounds like a Monty Python sketch. Silly to the point of absurdity.

But, I don't deny that tens of millions of Americans do genuinely think that owning a firearm is a legitimate security precaution. Even though they mostly live in vastly, vastly safer zip codes.


Using city life as baseline to measure personal safety needs ignores the fact that living in a city safely usually is a matter of luck & avoiding places like the tenderloin in SF, the west & south sides in Chicago, etc. There’s also cops that are minutes away, and worst case violent people typically want your valuables more than your life.

I grew up in Chicago, but I also spent my summers living on my grandparents’ farm in a deep rural area. It’s just a different experience out there when you’re alone in the middle of nowhere surrounded by occasionally hostile wildlife and occasionally some pretty weird people. There’s much less room for avoidance or flight from danger, which makes guns feel useful to carry. I still feel naked hiking unarmed in California.


You live somewhere with strict gun laws, and in your own words, serious and obvious crime problems.

You think the people living in much safer places have a viewpoint that’s “silly to the point of absurdity”.

Yet, they’re the ones living somewhere with much lower crime and murder rates.

How is this an argument for the efficacy of your preferred policies?


I don't think you can draw causation between "strict gun laws" and "higher crime" at all.


Causation - no, correlation - very likely. Policies and politicians that cause strict gun laws also cause higher crime, and conversely, politicians, when faced with higher crime, would reflectively reach for the only leverage they have - stricter laws. Which would usually be futile (at least without many other measures, which aren't used that frequently). Thus, in practice, strict gun laws and crime - at least in the US - often go together. There are exceptions of course - very safe places could introduce strict gun laws out of virtue signaling, moral panic or other considerations. But the common case is as per above.


I always enjoy watching Americans accuse other Americans of living in places "with strict gun laws", as if nearly all of the US isn't a moderate drive away from a place with lax gun laws.

It's also fairly absurd to refer to places with few gun laws as "much safer". The only way of making that trick work is to compare big cities in areas with stronger gun control with rural areas and small towns elsewhere. The worst US cities for murder rates show no real pattern of being in anti-gun jurisdictions (or the opposite).

St Louis has the highest homicide rate in the US. You figure Missouri is anti-gun? New Orleans, Kansas City, Memphis and Las Vegas also make the top by murder rates.


I should note, in the interest of fairness, that about half of the top 10 cities in the USA by homicide rate are in states that could be described as "gun control states". Thus "no pattern". Although, I will reiterate the idea that any city in the continental USA is really not that long a drive away from a state with lax gun laws.


Not sure how anyone can respond to your assertion that it's silly and absurd. I'm fine with you feeling that way as long as you don't try to restrict my right to own them.

I guess one thing I can say is that security needs indeed are met by firearms, including yours to the degree that the police or private security protect you. So, it shouldn't be too foreign of a concept to anyone. Some of us choose to extend that protection to our homes and person, and take responsibility over it to varying degrees.


>Even though they mostly live in vastly, vastly safer zip codes.

While rural places are safer, there are threats like bears, wolves and other wild animals.


You are not thinking realistically about their security concerns. Being alone in the middle of nowhere late at night in the dark -- that doesn't happen in a condominium in the middle of Manhattan.


> Even though they mostly live in vastly, vastly safer zip codes.

Do they though? Not sure where you got this information from. And are we talking legal gun ownership or guns in general? Because even in the "hood" and the "projects" it's quite common for people to be "strapped". Those guns may often not be legal, but they are also still carrying them for self-defense in most cases. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if these communities had a much higher percentage of weapons. I am sure you'd feel a lot safer walking at night in a low income neighbourhood if you had that kind of protection and I could definitely understand why someone would want to walk around armed.


Not the parent poster, but I would not feel safer in a bad neighborhood armed. If someone is going to draw on me, I doubt I'd have the time to out-draw them. And if they aren't, then I just don't need the gun at all.

Unless you're suggesting that walking around obviously armed acts as a deterrence, but I'm not sure I buy that either. I think it's equally possible that could draw more attention to you.

(I do agree, though, that the parent seems to have some weird ideas as to what is and isn't safe, and what guns may or may not protect someone from.)


Or, the fact that you don't really know a particular gun fits you until you buy it and use it for a decent period of time. I have 6 different semi-automatic pistols because it's hard to find the right fit. Personally, it takes me 1000 rounds or so, plus 8+ hours of draw practice to feel comfortable with a given platform. Finally, selling used guns kinda sucks so I just end up keeping them.


Your standard of combat is obscenely high. Any weapon that can kill an animal can be used quite well against humans in defense.

Would they be standard issue arms for a modern army? Irrelevant.


I've never touched a gun, but as far as a know hunting weapons are not optimal for self defense.

When you hunt a deer you try to hit from far away and if you miss, well, you'll find another.

When someone is trying to harm you (even with a knife), you want to shoot multiple times and as fast as possible. If you shoot once and miss, by the time you manually reload, the attacker can get to you. If you do hit, but with a small caliber, that doesn't have stopping power. You might seriously injure the attacker, but he'll also injure/kill you.


Sure, but if I had to choose between a hunting rifle and a knife I would still take the hunting rifle.


Between the two, I might go with the knife in most situations. I can't carry my hunting rifle around with me all day. Mine also has a huge scope on it that makes it useless at the distances you would typically encounter a hostile human attacker. The rifle is also overpowered for the job, and introduces concern for damage to unintended targets.


Have you ever heard the saying "in a knife fight, the difference between the loser and the winner is that the winner gets to go to the hospital"? Doesn't seem like a fun situation to be in. Especially for people who hunt with weaker calibers or lower powered scopes, it seems ideal to stay out of arm's reach from any potential bad guy


But if the choice comes down to a hunting rifle, a knife, and a Glock 19, I'm going to choose the option that will put the threat down quickly and humanely.


Your comment seems to be a bit of a non sequitur. GP said they were not combat-worthy due to being collectibles/antiques, not due to... whatever it is you're talking about.

Among my collection is a 100-year-old 16ga. H&R single-barrel shotgun passed down through four generations. It hasn't been fired in decades, and hasn't seen an armorer in longer than that. Not only is there no semi-auto, there is no magazine at all, and even if you'd be willing to go to war with something that needed to be manually reloaded after every shot, I am not altogether convinced the breach wouldn't explode upon firing.


This is correct. My current collectables (C&R and antique) are all capable of being fired, but I almost never do due to their value and risk of damaging them. Many are over 100 years old and there's a decent enough chance some irreplaceable part will break during use. I can also easily reduce their value by 1000s of dollars by doing something like this. I keep them because I enjoy their historical significance and the interesting mechanical solutions they embody, not for their ability to launch projectiles. When I'm ready to go to the nursing home, I'll sell them and get my money back or more.

A good percentage of the firearms out there are like this, which was my point for those not aware. Another good percentage are specialized for sporting use. Some are so inappropriate for combat that you'd be better off with a spear (e.g., if given the choice between a 50lb benchrest rifle and a spear, I'll take the spear).


Some old collectables are not safely operable against any target. Some simply aren't operable. Even if they're not worn out from use or disrepair, the chemistry of ammunition has changed over the years and it may not be safe to use with modern ammunition. For others, commercially made ammunition might not be available at all.

Yes, people have been killed by old antique guns. But most of them in this category them are rotting away in attics or forgotten in safes. They're certainly not what is predominantly being used in street crime.


I suspect that those women are realizing they can't reasonably rely on men for any kind of protection, as any kind of physical protection is basically illegal, taboo, and effectively bred out of the middle class now anyway, so it makes sense more women would take responsibility themselves.

Gun purchases also correlate to perceptions of changes in social order as well, where there's a "get 'em before they're gone!" cycle in the political climate. This change in numbers is probably not significant compared to other gun purchase bumps in front of political threats for additional restrictions.


Is it illegal, taboo, and bred out though?

We live in a culture of glorified violence seen widely in film, print, pop culture. We've got an enormous catalog of shooter videogames going back decades that our youngster clamor to purchase and play.

We've got a set of laws that allow you to take steps to defend yourself in your own home, with varying degrees of strictness and leniency.

Anecdotally, I know many people in the middle class who, while abhorring violence, would defend themselves and their families.

I'm not sure I agree.


A gentleman's cane used to be a bludgeon in addition to being a fashion accessory.

Video games are the furthest thing from physical defense. They're amusement. Do you really think that playing video games leads to increased skill and confidence when engaging in a fistfight in the street?

In schools in the US, children are punished for defending themselves in a fight. There is a vanishingly small percentage of people who have the practical experience to be comfortable physically battering a stranger on the street corner to a reasonable degree.

I imagine that description will evoke the thought in your head that there is no reasonable degree, that physical violence isn't the answer, and that the right thing to do in a situation where you're physically accosted is to leave the area or call for security. Yep. That's what we're talking about. There's an amount of security provided by a man who's comfortable slapping another man in the head because the other man is being aggressive, if only because that comfort is communicated in non-verbal ways which subsequently make it unnecessary.


> In schools in the US, children are punished for defending themselves in a fight.

Not only in the US. In France, I had troubles in middle school because I reacted physically to bullying.


I dunno, I definitely feel like it's been drilled into me that in any kind of physical altercation, my duty is to escape and retreat, and that if I hurt my attacker in any way, that might be used against me in court. And even if I successfully press charges against my attacker, and they go to jail, if I hurt them in the course of their attack on me, I can probably expect to get sued.


I agree that many of the lawsuits are absurd. I also don't like the "duty" wording. Sure, you want to avoid, deescalate, flee, then fight. But codifying it as a duty seems to ignore just how messy and instantaneous those situations can be.


Maybe the comment refers to the changes in gender roles over the past decades. Our society no longer widely accepts the idea that women are fragile and men have the responsibility to protect them.


A bit of both. First, men aren't responsible for women, but also, the legal consequences for violence are aimed at punishing it for its own sake instead of recognizing that it is a necessary social deterrant, and removing it rewards certain kinds of predators.

The bred-out part is that administrative institutional jobs that make up the middle class select for traits that disadvantage the skills and traits of traditionally masculine roles like soldiers, builders etc, and so the odds of your partner in a middle class job relationship having the physical presence to fend off a safety threat are less than they once may have been. The best these guys can do is threaten to sue. Hence, this story about women taking on responsibility for their own protection themselves.


the legal consequences for violence are aimed at punishing it for its own sake instead of recognizing that it is a necessary social deterrant

Depends on where you live in the US; I don't think this is true for most of the country, but that's not clear to most people because the MSM is very anti-gun and very rarely reports on self-defense cases unless they're twisted into claimed crimes. Since there are millions of these every year, that statistic first gleaned from data collected by an anti-gun group....


"Is it illegal, taboo, and bred out though?"

One thing that comes to mind are the zero tolerance policies at schools. It's to the point where you aren't allowed to fight back in self defense. You just have to take the beating.


I agree on the illegality and taboo nature, but I strongly disagree with the breeding out. Stats show that Western societies are getting taller and heavier with time. All these giants walking around us could easily conjure up knockout power if they get enough adrenaline coarsing through their veins.


I think they meant it in the literary sense that people are being raised that way, not that the genetics are trending that way. Although, testoterone levels have been dropping over the past 50 years in the US, so there could be some physiological influence.


The personal safety issue is being covered a lot here, but I think some people are missing something else; guns are a lot of fun. In an era where bars and movie theaters were closed due to pandemic, you could safety go to an outside range and ring steel instead. This is particularly relevant if you consider the ongoing shortage in 22lr, a cartridge which is woefully underpowered for self defense, but ideal for killing soda cans and learning the basics of marksmanship.


I largely agree with your comment.

I am curious about the 22lr being "woefully underpowered for self defense" bit though.

I mean, it will put holes into peoples bodies. And I thought the idea was self defense and keeping peoples heads down/awayFromYou.

I know it won't put big holes in doors/tables etc.

I guess I haven't really considered what the real requirements are for self defense in a country where so many people have gun.

So why is 22lr not enough?


A firearm used for self defense needs to provide a balance of bullet energy transfer (correlated with threat cessation effectiveness), ease of use, ability to make attempts to fire on target successfully given extreme stress, little or no notice to prepare, and operating while thoroughly disoriented due to surprise.

Bullets which do not halt upon impact with the body but go through it with minimal damage do not stop the threat. The chances of this occurring decrease with caliber size increases and benefit from hollow point ammunition. Larger ammunition cartridges are heavy and bulky and you can't fit many bullets (=attempts) in a convenient cartridge.

The decision to use a firearm is never taken lightly by a normal person, and normal people can not fire on target under stress. It's a balance between bullet energy transfer which is correlated with threat cessation and ergonomics.

It's important to remember that a single shot will not stop most assailants. It's normal to have to fire 3-6 times with normal 9mm ammunition to stop someone intent on killing on you. Sometimes you get lucky with one, but it's not true most of the time. Many times gunshots are enough to subdue the threat without killing them.


Thank you for the detailed response.

I guess my dreamed up scenarios were more vague "shooter/assailant in the area" whereby I figured I'd want to "make myself less desirable to bother with while I exit the area". Hence small caliber, lots of noise/attempts and if - god forbid - anything connected it would still hurt/slow them.

I never really contemplated a "someone intent on killing you" scenario. It isn't something I think of much and I appreciate that clearly people have.


In general most people simply won't ever encounter that scenario. There are parts of the US where the people who commit crimes against you won't think twice about "eliminating eyewitnesses," especially if they are a protected class with favorable treatment by the judiciary in their particular jurisdiction. Court systems vary immensely around the US in prosecutory discretion and rulings. For this reason it is more acceptable to defend yourself with firearms when in Texas than in the Northeast.

Additionally, 9-1-1 simply does not work in many parts of the country. In rural areas, response times are on the order of half an hour or longer. In cities like Washington D.C., 9-1-1 can take FIVE MINUTES to pick up the phone. I could not believe it until I needed to use it. I was put on hold by 9-1-1, LOL. I was able to run away from the threat and hide in that case. I was attacked unprovoked near a dark wooded area while walking down the street. I got lucky then. The stories about Rock Creek Park disappearances are true.


The standard of a defensive caliber is that it needs to be capable of immediately halting an attacker with the kinds of shots a scared defendant can pull off[0]. Not killing them immediately or eventually, but halting the attack. Plenty of gun shot wounds are capable of killing eventually even if they’re not immediately disabling, and it does you no good if your assailant eventually bleeds to death after they’ve finished stabbing you.

The issue is that halting an attack occurs because of hydrostatic shock, which is a product of a bullets velocity and expansion. 22lr is capable of causing blood loss, which can eventually lead to death, but it does not deliver enough energy to reliable render an attacker incapable of continuing the fight if they’re sufficiently motivated. Assuming that the assailant isn’t immediately scared off by the brandishing or noise of a firearm, which is often the case, 22lr requires extremely good shot placement and volume to reliably end a fight, which makes it a poor choice all around.

Generally for modern firearms the minimum is either 380acp or 9mm, depending on who you ask. The only advantage that 380 has is that some 380 guns are easier to manipulate for those with weak or small hands, otherwise 9mm is generally the winner here in terms of firearm choices, ammunition availability, and terminal ballistics.

For comparison, here are the levels of energy for 3 cartridges. Energy isn’t the be all end all of terminal ballistics, bullet construction[1] and expansion matters, but it’s illustrative. The ranges quoted are necessary due to different bullet weights and pressure loading.

22lr: 130-200fpe

380ACP: 210-330fpe

9mm: 355-500fpe

0 - Any caliber is capable of killing and/or disabling with luck or extremely good shot placement, this is why even 22lr cannot be treated as a toy. But people shooting defensively do not make record shots generally, and you have to accommodate for the fear and adrenaline of a defensive encounter.

1 - The availability of quality defensive ammunition is another big factor. Defensive ammunition has gotten really good over the past half century, and most of these improvements have completely bypassed 22lr.


Thank you for the detailed response. I guess my dreamed up scenarios were more vague "shooter/assailant in the area" whereby I figured I'd want to "make myself less desirable to bother with". Hence small caliber, lots of noise/attempts and if - god forbid - anything connected it would still hurt/slow them.

I never really contemplated a "someone intent on killing you" scenario. It isn't something I think of much and I appreciate that clearly people have.

From your comments it seems clear that "stopping power" holds more of a place in conversations.

It is interesting that 22lr hasn't really been technologically updated. But I guess there would be interoperability issues and a "chicken(gun) and the egg(ammo)" scenario to overcome from a commercial point of view.


> I guess my dreamed up scenarios were more vague "shooter/assailant in the area" whereby I figured I'd want to "make myself less desirable to bother with".

Generally the rule on such matters is that there is no such thing as a warning shot, both ethically and legally. For the same reason that shooting for the legs is a bad idea, bringing a lower caliber firearm to warn someone off is kind of a no-no. You should either be shooting to end the engagement, or not shooting at all.

Obviously retreating from an encounter is always the best course of action (and a legal obligation in some states) if possible.

> It is interesting that 22lr hasn't really been technologically updated.

22lr has seen tons of advancement, just not as much in the realm of terminal ballistics. There is incredibly intense competition for more accurate and consistent 22lr ammo, as this is the caliber used for a lot of olympic shooting and some increasingly popular non-olympic competitions.

Fundamentally, it's really not possible to squeeze much more energy out of 22lr. Every production cartridge has a set maximum pressure and firearms are certified for this pressure by nation specific proof houses. For 22lr the max pressure is about 72% the pressure of a 9mm[0]. Squeezing more terminal power out of this cartridge would risk catastrophic firearm damage and probably company liability.

Making matters worse is the fact that semi-automatic (e.g. handgun) firearm design changes pretty radically around or above 380ACP pressures. Above that firearms must have some sort of mechanism to delay opening until chamber pressures fall to a safe level, otherwise cartridges will potentially rupture during extraction and hurt the shooter. All 22lr pistols are of a much simpler design that improves accuracy and lowers price, but makes getting 9mm pressures into an existing 22lr handgun an impossible task. Much easier still to just start with a 9mm, since those work and are well understood.

Also, it's a rimfire cartridge, and that's undesirable for a variety of reasons I'm too tired to explain right now.

0 - 64% of the higher spec +P ammo.


It has been technologically updated -- they do improve the tolerances and consistency, introduce wear reducing coatings, and stuff like that -- but it is fundamentally a small, light bullet in a tiny case. That's what defines it, so there's just not much more power you can get out of it.


Also, rimfire is pretty close to a dead end technology. 17hmr is probably the last mainstream rimfire caliber we’ll see in our lifetime.


> I guess my dreamed up scenarios were more vague "shooter/assailant in the area" whereby I figured I'd want to "make myself less desirable to bother with". Hence small caliber, lots of noise/attempts and if - god forbid - anything connected it would still hurt/slow them.

This constitutes the crime of brandishing. You should not own any weapons if you can't keep from fantasizing committing crimes with them.


A friend of our family recently bought a gun and that made me ask them why. Their response was of course personal safety at which point I asked them some more questions and turns out they keep the gun in a gun safe and bullets in another location so as to not cause any accidents as they have kids. But this practice seemed utterly useless if their home was being actively being robbed/attacked since they wont have the time to go fetch bullets/gun and most likely they ll end getting their weapon robbed as well.

They also don't carry it everywhere they go so its mostly a trophy in a safe.


I imagine the friend may believe that being confident in one's ability to use guns safely and effectively is also a hedge against danger, independent of the utility of that specific gun. That specific gun may make training and becoming confident with guns possible. Playing it conservatively with storage and handling as a someone new to firearms seems like the reasonable path.


They also have kids so it sounds like that plays into why they would be extra cautious. Maybe they are willing to risk that extra time needed to have the gun out for protection if it means they don't have to worry about their kids getting ahold of their gun.


> Playing it conservatively with storage and handling as a someone new to firearms seems like the reasonable path.

More than reasonable. Highly recommended. Just like driving a car, it takes some practice to routinely handle guns in a safe way. Even if you eventually become an expert who is comfortable with having a loaded gun available at all times, it’s a great idea to respect your own level of knowledge, and to take time to develop practices that make sure nobody else can gain access to your gun.


I do the same thing, although ammunition only moved to a separate safe when we had kids.

For one thing, burglars are typically not going to hit your house like a Navy SEAL team--they are slow, and there is plenty of time to respond.

Second, the ~90 seconds it takes me to get into both safes and load the firearm is enough time to take a few deep breaths and understand what's happening before drawing a weapon.

Third, it's there in the event of natural disasters, etc where police may not be able to respond. Same reason I keep emergency water and food. I've lived through enough hurricanes to know things can escalate quickly, especially when you're running a loud generator.


You're probably overestimating how fast a home invasion can proceed. Unless the intruders are completely silent and/or have perfect information about the home layout and people's locations in it, it will take them quite a few minutes to round up everyone.


Yup, and common advice by well known firearms experts is not to confront intruders, but to retreat to a known location, ideally upstairs and call the police.

Only if the intruders seem like they are going to come up the stairs do you announce that you have a gun and that the police are on their way.

The purpose of the gun is not to kill the intruders. It is to deter them from approaching you and your family, and make it preferable for them to leave.


This advice is from lawyers who are looking to make your actions as legally defensible as possible. That isn't the same thing as maximizing your odds of surviving the crime.

There's a reason every professional military trains soldiers to that their knee jerk reaction to a threat should be to attack it as violently as possible (with some nuances). Taking back initiative counts for a ton in an ambush situation.


I'm trained as a soldier but we still learned to de-escalate if possible.


If you have reason to believe that the home invaders are their with the purpose of killing you, you may be right.

The odds of that, vs just an armed burglary, are very small.


This is correct and any good conceal-carry instructor will make this clear. If your home state does not recognize some form of the "castle doctrine", you can only use deadly force if you believe you're in actual danger. If someone breaks in and you gun them down without being presented with a threat, you're most likely going to jail. Even if you live in one of these states, you'd better hope you get a sympathetic jury and rightfully so.


This is correct, guns are a last resort. They come out when your life is directly in danger, and you shoot to kill, not wound. Most scenarios, like the one I was in, are resolved without a shot being fired.

Edit: I don't believe this warrants downvoting. I'm sharing useful information that would be covered in any Concealed Carry class.


Is it a handgun?

My understanding is that the best firearm for home defense is a shotgun because it has high stopping power, doesn’t require as much accuracy, and is less likely to penetrate walls.

Therefore I don’t particularly take people seriously if their home defense choice is a handgun


shotguns do have more stopping power than your average handgun, but your other points are not really true. even with no choke, the spread from a shotgun at home defense ranges is negligible. you still have to point it directly at the target, though this is a bit easier with a longer firearm. ammo you would choose for defense against humans (ie, buckshot) will easily penetrate one or more walls in a typical dwelling.

the short barrel and relatively low power of a handgun does make it an inherently compromised platform. but the short barrel does have one big advantage: it is much harder for an adversary to take control of the weapon at close range. soldiers sometimes transition to their pistol when clearing structures for this reason, although this is less common now with short-barreled rifles.

but at the end of the day, the "best firearm for home defense" is the one you know how to operate and feel most comfortable using. if they train frequently, you should absolutely take them seriously.


The odds of my house burning down are about one-in-a-billion but I still have fire insurance.


I'm far more worried about not being able to get a gun once supply chains break down and there are hungry people roaming the streets.


It depends - there are gun safes that open instantly by scanning your finger prints. I think I read somewhere that ideally, in the case of a robbery, you should be able to reach a loaded gun in 30seconds. That seems a tad excessive to me, but overall I agree. It is hard to balance safety and practicality.


I leave my guns around the house when I'm home, but I don't have kids. When I do, the guns will be locked away safely, either inside my waistband or in a safe, and the dog will be the first line of defense until the safe is opened.

This is standard practice until kids are old enough to learn gun safety and be trusted around guns, so 6-10 years old, depending on the kid.

Please note that I'm predicating this on the kids receiving actual training, not saying "don't touch". Children should be able to fully field-strip every gun in the house as soon as they can handle it, and the 4 rules are paramount.


Another possibility is that they just keep them that way now but want to have the guns, ammunition, and training ready if the situation in the country should take a sudden downturn. I know a few very liberal people who have bought guns recently primarily because they don't want the crazies to be the only ones who are armed. They would undoubtedly change their storage methods e.g. if Trumpists decide to violently contest or reject the results of an election.

ETA: How are guns not a sort of trophy for the majority of gun (especially handgun) owners? That's certainly how my gun-afficionado friends on FB seem to treat the ones they post about. Almost certainly never fired at all, let alone in anger.


Afghanistan showed that a people with the will and some handguns and rifles can face the greatest superpower the world has ever known, and win. The argument of private ownership of guns as protection from the government is a perfectly valid one.


I think the bigger issue with that argument is that there isn't any one moment where your rights are stripped away and the people rebel. It's a gradual process that most will not notice before it's too late. At least that's how I see it.

I'm very optimistic about the future, and even then, seeing the division in the US and how both sides give zero fucks about the rights of the other shows to me how it can happen even here.


the huge majority of deaths and chaos in Afghanistan wasn't caused by handguns guns, it was caused by IEDs.


This is a good thing. No matter what the lunatic fringe on the left might believe, sexual dimorphism among humans is real and is visible in our physical characteristics. Guns help narrow that physical gap between men and women.

The sanest view on this topic I ever saw out of Hollywood was in Season 2 of True Detective.

Ray: What's with all the knives?

Antigone: Could you do this job if everyone you encountered could physically overpower you? I mean, forget police work. No man could walk around like that without going nuts.

Ray: So, they're equalizers. Makes sense.

Antigone: No, I'd still wear them even if I wasn't on the job. Fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands. Man of any size lays hands on me, he's gonna bleed out in under a minute.


The entire police force can do nothing for you on the phone. I think it is the reductions in police that are convincing more women to purchase.


It's not just that police forces have been reduced. In some major cities police abandoned certain areas to anarchy.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53218448


I believe also the police have no duty to respond based on a court ruling. Basically the entity we are supposed to rely on in the worst situations has no SLA and we have no recourse if they don't come and help.


Multiple court rulings, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia is the first major one.


I live in the PNW, I've been to the area. If spray paint on a police building is lawless anarchy, alright, I guess, but my best friends girlfriend works literally across the street from the police station depicted, and you know what? It's fine. These stories are bullshit meant to rile you up because fear gets clicks.

Some folks have a different opinion, but these folks seem to be afraid anytime they see a houseless person, or a needle in an alley way, and neither of those problems have been solved with the ever increasing police budgets, just pushed it to a slightly different area, where the outrage starts all over again. There's a problem, sure, but the police ain't the tool to solve them, no matter how much we would like for complex problems to be solved with simple solutions.


Do you consider this fine? I don't think anyone benefits from a breakdown in civil order and the rule of law.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/7/2/21310109/ch...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53491223


CHOP was fine. Walked through there multiple times when it was happening because I was curious, it really does appear to me like media blowing things out of proportion for clicks/views.


Aside from the half dozen people they shot, I guess.


What's the excuse for the shootings that happened in other areas that the police didn't abandon? Perhaps it's because shootings happen regardless?

But you know, you're right, I'll take the news medias version of events, my eyes were lying to me, since what I witnessed doesn't jive with sensationalist news coverage.


I’m glad you weren’t there while any of the shootings were happening, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.


I was, a man drove his car in to the crowd, when people tried to stop him he fired once out of his car. He ran past me on the way to the police line (the police hadn't abandoned the precinct yet).

So, ironically enough, I was there for a shooting that happened while the police were still holding the area.


Christiania has been operating in Copenhagen for generations and that's one of the wealthiest and healthiest cities on the planet.


Christiana is very different from the areas the person you replied to described.


What reductions in police? Basically no location has actually defunded their police depts, despite all the talk.


Seattle cut police funding by 17%: https://mynorthwest.com/2339588/seattle-final-2021-budget-su...

180 police officers quit in 2020, 66 officers as of April 28th: https://apnews.com/article/seattle-police-government-and-pol...


True, but lots of police have moved departments to safer places, e.g. suburbs.


Department policies have caused a surge in resignations and early retirements, with no supply of new recruits eager to step up.

In sense, the movement was successful because it reduced the number of police on the street. OTOH, those places are having to increase their police budgets and raise salaries to replace officers who have left.


I live in Seattle, and I can assure you that the SPD is basically useless now. Whether or not it was "defunded", there were budget cuts and enough restrictions added that the PD essentially doesn't respond to calls unless someone is being actively and indisputably murdered.


Or increasing tales of police being less than useless in investigating or arresting sexual assailants.


Have you ever tried to call the police for an emergency? In my experience they've never been very responsive, no reductions needed.

A friend of mine had literally held someone down who assaulted a woman on a train and the police took 20 minutes to arrive.

I was in a hit and run that rendered my car unusable and the police told me to walk to the station and file a report.

I've got a lifetime of stories like this. I don't even bother calling anymore. This is a major city with a police force that has enough funding to have multiple helicopters.


Eight years ago I was mugged on the street, phone and laptop stolen after getting slammed into a concrete wall for not forking my stuff over as quickly as they would have liked. I walked a few blocks to the closest police station, and the cop at the desk exuded a complete lack of interest. I asked if I could have help getting home, and he said "we don't do that". I ended up walking six blocks to a bus stop (right back through where I was mugged) and took the bus home.

Actually, my memory is fuzzy, but I think I didn't walk initially; a friendly bystander drove me to the police station. Surprise, random stranger took better care of me than the police.


God created (wo)man. Sam Colt made them equal.

(This is an old tagline for a gun company, in case you are unfamiliar.)


Some off topic here. The origin of word "man" is manas - an old word for mind. A man is basically any creature with mind.


I've only known one person to use a gun in self defense.

She didn't fire it.


throwaway for the obvious reasons... take this as you wish.

I am a person who has drawn their licensed handgun in self-defense, twice, separated by ~25 years and hundreds of miles. One an attempted robbery or interrupted break-in in a rear parking lot by two men who probably thought I had access to the building, the second by a group of three that split and approached quickly from two sides on a city street. In neither case did I need to fire. I had situational awareness that these people were coming toward me to do some kind of harm and the fact that I was absolutely prepared to kill in my own self-defense caused these would be criminals to stop and run away.


From what you are saying, it looks like you also practice drills, at least semi-regularly. I think that is key, no matter the caliber. Hell, even using pepper spray should be exercised once or twice a year.


I didn't fire the one time I had to draw in self defense, and neither did my father the one time he needed it, and neither did my mother the one time she needed it.

For context I grew up around Atlanta.


Anecdotal as well, but I stopped an attempted home invasion with a 1911. I walked out with it in my hand, pointed at the ground, and they left. Fast. That was it.


A wonderful book that covers the history of the 2nd amendment along with its modern interpretations is The Second Amendment Primer: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Amendment-Primer-Authorities-C.... It has useful and interesting information regardless of where you stand.


I've heard that American Homicide is a good book on the history of homicide in the US too.


I believe it. In Seattle we've had a huge spike in crimes, as violent protesting, anti-police sentiment, and defunding have resulted in a mass exodus of police officers. Much of this crime isn't even tracked well, since a lot of it is unreported (things like fires started by vagrants, sewage dumping, public exposure, etc). There have also been increased shootings, armed robberies, and harassment on the street. It's gotten to the point where my neighborhood has flyers posted warning women to watch out for a known predator that the police can't do anything about for some reason. Female friends I know that would count themselves as staunch Democrats are all of a sudden discussing things like going to a beginner's gun class as a group, which I would have thought unthinkable just 1-2 years ago.


Hypothesis (which I have given about 30 seconds' thought): buying a gun was formerly a way to feel masculine, or to feel potent, or for use in a sport such as hunting or target shooting. In these situations, women found them to have little appeal.

Recently, buying a gun is more often because of an actual concern for safety. Women are about as likely as men to feel concern about that. Hence, the numbers are now more equal.

If this is the actual underlying reason, then these new gun buyers will be less likely to buy a second, third, fourth, etc. gun. Like someone who just buys a car to get around, and thus is less likely to have an urge to get a new one every year, the new gun buyers of 2019-2021 will be more likely to only buy another gun if there is something wrong with the old one.

Again, I gave it about 30 seconds' thought, but that's my guess.


> a way to feel masculine, or to feel potent

This smacks of the modern left's derision for self defense tools. It's a nicer way of saying someone has a gun to compensate for their genital insecurities. Guns are largely a tool to the people purchasing them. They are also mechanical objects which give pleasure to people who appreciate craftsmanship.

I generally agree with your post, but I think it would be better without that biased(intentional or not) take.

For what it's worth, marginalized groups have often armed themselves when they feel the state is unwilling or unable to protect them.


> This smacks of the modern left's derision for self defense tools. It's a nicer way of saying someone has a gun to compensate for their genital insecurities.

One of the biggest issues I have with the modern left is their tendency to let their prejudices dictate their perceptions like that. It's annoying and repulsive, and it should be embarrassing for people who say stuff like they "believe in science."


As a member of the "modern left", I, too, found the OP's characterization to be cringe-worthy.

While I do know a few people who fit that description ("guns make me feel manly"), they're in the minority. I don't have many friends who own guns, but those who do mostly derive their enjoyment from them by going to the range for target practice (I've tried it and found it fun, too). One acquaintance owns some fairly old weapons and appreciates their construction & design as well as their possible future resale value.

I'm fairly anti-gun, and don't own any myself, but I'm just as tired of the "compensating for something" trope as I'm sure y'all are. It's tired and juvenile, and I assume the only reason it's pulled out is to make the name-caller feel better about themselves.


Luckily the modern left is the only group of people who let their prejudices dictate their perceptions.


> Luckily the modern left is the only group of people who let their prejudices dictate their perceptions.

I never said they had a monopoly, but I'm not going let them off the hook just because they've got competition. Their displays of that repulsive tendency also clash more harshly with their rhetoric.


Well enjoy your endless conflict, because what you describe as your biggest issues with the modern left is simply a trait (some would call a flaw) that affects all people. I would work on something more concrete when it comes to your issues with a political leaning if I were you.


The difference is that the left's entire shtick is about not being 'prejudiced' against individuals because of their group identities.

I.e. not assuming they have slimy, horrible negative personal qualities because of the group they belong to.

When this is your 'thing' and main claim to legitimacy, it hits harder when you're hypocritical about it.


The difference being the modern right wears their prejudices on their sleeve, whereas the modern left hypocritically denounces prejudice, and then deploys prejudice at the drop of a hat when it supports their cause. See: discussions about whiteness, about men, about hetereosexuals, about Christians, about "Karens", Trump's weight, etc.


"[M]arginalized groups have often armed themselves when they feel the state is unwilling or unable to protect them."

An example of this is calling to reduce policing, which probably would have the biggest (and very negative) impact in high crime areas. I believe gun sales increased rapidly starting last summer.


I have watched a lot of videos from Peter Santenello [1] on YouTube. He takes a somewhat deep dive into a lot of communities that the traditional media typically fails to highlight or fails to do it properly. He has quite a few videos where he speaks with people in the "hood" or the "projects" in various places across America.

In many of these videos he asks some of the people in these communities what they think about police. The response is often something along the lines of there being a "F the police" mentality, but at the same time they respect the good ones and still need their presence. So even the people living in the communities that are apparently most impacted by the police still are able to say positive things about them. Especially when they talk to any of the "elders" of these communities, they always preach the importance of the police in keeping their communities safe.

So it begs the question, why do so many white people on the left constantly speak for these black communities? These communities never seem to actually say they want less policing in them. Yet it's something you hear all the time from the traditional media and from activist groups.

Personally I am getting pretty sick of the white saviour complexes it seems like a lot of activist people have. They don't live in these communities and maybe have talked to a couple people, but that is enough for them to speak on behalf of a whole community. It's enough for them to go out in protest and riots on their "behalf". And the sad thing is that when black people in these communities speak out about this, they are usually attacked by the activist's and berated. I've seen seem people yelling racist slurs at black people at protests who oppose what is being protested. It's insane.

The virtue signalling is insanely present these days and is super unproductive and harmful.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/c/PeterSantenello/videos


> These communities never seem to actually say they want less policing in them.

They do! They've been saying it a long time, but no one paid them any attention until George Floyd's life was slowly and casually extinguished by a police officer on camera. Go ask any black male from New York in their 20s or 30s what they think about "Stop and frisk" and the sense of being violated by over policing.

Before you accuse me of having a "white saviour" complex, I'm black. Speaking of "saviour", I'm curious to know if you have experienced american policing, outside of youtube? No snark at all, this is a legitimate question.


I'm not sure 'stop and frisk' == 'policing in general'.

Sure, the actual situation matters. People will probably choose no cops over racist cops. I am not cynical enough yet to think that is the only choice available though.

OP is talking about policing in general, and I've seen other news reports(not youtube, but that doesn't make it gospel) that align with what he's saying. I'm not trying to say your opinion or experiences are wrong, but I think there is more nuance to this discussion and absolutist positions aren't very useful or accurate.


> Go ask any black male from New York in their 20s or 30s what they think about "Stop and frisk" and the sense of being violated by over policing.

I mean I just linked to a YouTube channel specifically interviewing and talking to different people from these areas you mentioned and as I already stated this is not how they feel.


It's a little weird to tell someone to ignore their lived experience and instead watch a YouTube video to learn about their own life.

I don't know Santanello, his videos, or his positions, but I don't think he'd be able to get a full picture no matter how he tried. Yes, I am sure there are black people in rough neighborhoods who do appreciate some of what the police does. But I am sure there are also many who don't. And if you ask those same folks in Santanello's videos if they're ok with stop-and-frisk, I would not expect to hear "yes".


Can you please stop replying for the parent commenters on all my comments? I'm more interested in what they have to say here rather than someone clearly biased coming in to share their opinion against me everywhere.


HN is an open forum - there's nothing wrong with them hopping onto the thread: we aspire to debate ideas here, not kill the messenger.

I also cosign that it's very weird that after I tell you I'm black you ask me to go watch Youtube interviews.


I mean you responded to my comment that specifically focused on the contents of a YouTube channel. It's not too surprising that I am suggesting you go watch the content my post was speaking about.

You are disagreeing with my post without even having reviewed the content my post was citing and speaking about.


The anecdotal content you cited is irrelevant because your falsifiable statement (that I quoted) is false - unless you feel like only the black people interviewed on that channel matter.

Additional facts, independent to the alleged opinions of the interviewees: NYPD's Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional[1] as it violated the 4th amendment.In 1999 9 out of 10 people who were stopped were completely innocent. 84% of those stopped were black or latino[1] (yet they were only 50% of the population on New York then). Both percentages slid down a little over the years, but in each subsequent year, the majority of stopped people were innocent, and black & latinos were consistently over-represented (against relative populations size).

1. https://civilrights.org/edfund/resource/nypds-infamous-stop-...


I really have never said I agree with something like stop and frisk so I am a bit unclear where you are going with this? I have been talking about perceptions of police in these communities not their opinions on one old police program that no longer exists.


I see your point, but I don't know another way to put it. It's like "why do men have swords on their wall more often than women"? Neither men nor women use swords in self-defense much anymore (at least not in the First World). But I would venture to say that there is at least a 10x factor of men vs. women having swords on their walls.

By the way, I'm not politically left-wing, and I do have a few swords on my wall (although no firearms).

I could see why you thought it was being said in this way, though. No offense intended; obviously there are many different reasons why a person might own a firearm.


There’s a difference between “appeals to their masculine tendencies”, which suggests they’re baseline masculine and owning a gun matches it; versus “makes them feel masculine”, which suggests they are baseline not masculine and are buying it to compensate.


I may deserve downvotes for this, but:

I find it ironic that so many on the right like to criticize the left for being "oversensitive snowflakes", and yet here we have you, presumably right-leaning (apologies if I've mischaracterized you), being upset about the difference between "appealing to masculinity" and "compensating for a lack of masculinity". I feel like if the tables were turned, someone on the right would accuse someone on the left of being oversensitive.

I say this not to insult or demean, but in a way that actually makes me happy, because it's another point in support of people on the left and right not being from different planets. Because I totally agree with the point you are making here. There is a difference between saying someone does something because it appeals to their masculinity, vs. saying someone does it because they feel unmasculine and need a boost. And I think you're right to be sensitive about it, and the parent should have worded it differently (or thought about it differently).


The left (both modern and not) is much less self-defense averse than you think. There's plenty of leftist gun clubs; the Socialist Rifle Association and Redneck Revolt, formerly John Brown Gun Club, come to mind immediately.

There's also the long history of unions literally going to war against capitalists, like in the Battle of Matewan.

Also worth remembering that leftist groups like the BPP encouraging its members to legally own firearms led to significant gun control expansion in California.


Sure, without a doubt. Are there any major political parties on the left with pro-gun or not-anti-gun platforms though?

I feel like the political parties of the left use fear of guns like the political parties of the right use fear of non-whites.


Depends on your definitions, right? What you describe sounds an awful lot like the Democratic party, but they're liberals, not leftists. I'd argue they're center-right.

From what I've seen at least, when more leftist parties like Green, DSA, the various communist parties, etc, talk about reducing gun violence it's in the context of eliminating poverty and other environmental contributors to the problem.


> Women are about as likely as men to feel concern about that.

I'd say they are actually even more concerned. A gun is a way to equalize the physical differences between men and women.


This mirrors what I've seen personally. I shoot quite a bit, and had a lot of friends reach out about advice on buying a first gun.

Fears were largely around the general civil unrest and BLM rioting last summer. I've heard several women say they don't feel safe being out alone anymore, and felt the need to protect themselves. I've heard a few mothers voice concerns about protecting children as well.

I always coach people to take a gun safety course before bringing a firearm into their home. It worried me seeing so much buying based on fear. I think an armed person is better off, but having a firearm you don't understand, and bought on a knee jerk fear reaction, can be dangerous. I think the best thing I, and other gun enthusiasts, can do is get out there and educate all these new owners so that they're comfortable and safer.


I'm not quite following, but are you saying that women are afraid for their children because of Black Lives Matter?

Have there been any documented cases of BLM indiscriminately attacking women or children? This seems weird to me.

I've taken gun safety courses run by local police, and every time they told us that it's ideal to not have a gun in your house at all because they see more accidental shootings than thwarted break-ins. This is of course, anecdotal, and I'm sure they prefer fewer citizens to have guns... so it might be BS.


> Have there been any documented cases of BLM indiscriminately attacking women or children? This seems weird to me.

Well, there was widespread rioting across more or less the entire nation. Also, while not direct violence by BLM agents, many metropolitan police forces have either introduced "reform" in direct support of BLM policy or have otherwise changed tactics to avoid getting bad press and riots in their own town. There is also the issue of officers getting fed up with these changes and leaving for more supportive locales.

In my city, I've had two different hood-rat road rage incidents this year, having only had one other incident 10+ years ago. In both cases drivers made high-speed dangerous maneuvers and then attempted to run me off the road and stick their firearms out the window. One yesterday morning, the other in February. In the former case, I provided a full description of the driver, vehicle, and plate number to 911 and they never even touched the case. I'm still waiting to hear back some 6 months later. I never bothered calling in the second incident.

Actions have consequences, and a less safe city is a result. Criminals, particularly Black criminals, are emboldened by these changes and the zeitgeist that will back them up no matter how much wrongdoing occurs. It's only natural for folks to look after themselves in the face of a faltering police force.


What is a “BLM agent”? How often has gun-toting helped defend you against “Criminals, particularly Black criminals”?


Wasn’t a woman shot in Indiana for saying all lives matter to BLM protestors?


Not OP, but he may be right. And not because it's true, but because people are irrational. The same people buying guns because they are afraid of BLM/Antifa are also avoiding vaccines while hoarding ivermectin. Irrational.


It's amusing to see how various gaps are shrinking between two genders. Although still a long way to go, pay gaps are starting to shrink, at least at big corps. On the other end, for things like marital affair rates, both genders are now pretty close. Right now there is still huge gap in violent crimes between two genders but I wonder if this will shrink as well with new stats like in this article. A lot of our pre-assumptions about genders were either plain wrong or evolution is working its way towards equality as there is no longer need for hunter-gatherer social roles.


On the topic of gun ownership by people some would not expect to be into guns, this New York Times article is quite interesting:

The Black Gun Owner Next Door, by Tiya Miles

I’m an African-American historian and, on most issues, decidedly liberal. Could I rethink my anti-gun stance?

Tiya Miles is a professor of history at Harvard and the author of “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/09/opinion/sunday/gun-owners...


Also, what the fuck does this have to do with tech?


There's something admirable about the idea that a government would not take away all the guns. The idea that people should not have to give up all of their ability to fight. The idea that people should not be entirely dependent on police for their defense. And the idea that physically weaker people (often women) can defend themselves against the strong.

Does this idea work? Surprisingly well. If you had to guess the effect of supplying a country with more guns than people -- some 300+ million -- you might guess that people would be dropping like flies. But the U.S. murder rate is not all that remarkable, really. Murder is not a major concern outside of a handful of dangerous areas.

And that's it, really. Guns are a problem in these few areas. But people everywhere else don't want to give up their guns because of a few areas where they are a problem. And they have a point: often in those dangerous places, existing laws against illegal gun sales or felon-in-possesseion aren't enforced very well.

One thing is for sure: picking around the edges by outlawing certain kinds of rifles or making all kinds of other weird laws won't do anything. Rifles are used in something like 2% of murders. Either you outlaw and collect all handguns (including revolvers), or don't bother.


> But the U.S. murder rate is not all that remarkable, really

The US is at 4.96/100,000 for 2012. For reference, Angola is better at 4.85. Bulgaria and Romania, the poorest countries in the EU, are at 1.3. France is at 1.2.

If by not remarkable you mean 3 as bad as other developed countries, sure. The numbers are only for intentional homicide, not even counting accidents and suicides which are also made worse by the high availability of guns for everyone. Not all that remarkable is a weird way of putting it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intention...

Furthermore, i find US fascination with their theoretical ability to fight their government with small arms adorable and misguided. Protests and revolutions in France have done more to guide government power than anything ever that happened in the US. Blatant corruption, lobbying, outright incompetent representatives, abuses of power, erosion of human rights, blatant disregard for human rights. If Americans didn't fight against the Patriot act, wars, torture, what will they fight for/against? Mask mandates?


The US is not that bad compared to other New World countries. From your link we see Brazil at 27, Mexico at 29, Argentina at 5, Uruguay at 12, Greenland at 5, Panama at 9, and Costa Rica at 11. Canada is the biggest outlier, but the US still has less homicide than even relatively nice New World countries.

If you’re going to tout France’s low homicide rate of 1.2, I’d invite you to observe that Japan’s homicide rate is 0.26. Does this mean that France should adopt some aspects of Japanese law, for instance, by readopting the death penalty? Or does it simply mean that France and Japan are different countries?

In fact, I would posit that the arrow of causation can point the other way. If you live in a country with higher rates of homicide and violent crime, you will be more interested in defending yourself.

> Protests and revolutions in France have done more to guide government power than anything ever that happened in the US.

This seems like a bizarre and dubious oversimplification. France had an outright military coup in 1958 when the democratically elected government didn’t want to hold onto Algeria. While both democracy and Algerian independence worked out in the long run, the mere possibility of a military coup—something that French military officers will occasionally make threats to repeat—seems to be a major distinction that is not in France’s favor here.

Meanwhile, popular protests in the US led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and ultimately even withdrawal from Vietnam. It’s not like the American public is politically powerless compared to that of any other democracy.


I winced when you started the comparison with Brazil and Mexico. Those countries may be New World, but anybody who's visited Mexico knows not to go random places alone.

In other words, if Brazil and Mexico are our points of comparison, we're... not in a situation I'd want to be in, to put it diplomatically. Reddit's running joke is that every gunfight happened in Brazil. In fact, I often wonder if most of the gunfight videos actually do come from Brazil.


It's doubly ironic because of course a large swath of the guns in what is bordering on civil war in Mexico are supplied by the US, made possible through the (lack of) gun ownership regulation.


> It's doubly ironic because of course a large swath of the guns in what is bordering on civil war in Mexico are supplied by the US, made possible through the (lack of) gun ownership regulation.

If the cartels can ship large amounts of highly illegal cargo transnationally and setup infrastructure like their own private cellular networks, I think they'd be able to acquire all the guns they need even if the US had strict gun control. It's not like they're that hard to make, especially if you're not above kidnapping some machinists.


> the cartels

"The cartels" is not a single organisation. Yes the largest best-organised gangs could build firearms factories - or more realistically just bribe some soldiers or cops to "lose" a few truckloads of weapons, just like they do with automatic weapons right now.

But there is a huge difference in a weapon being available by the dozens to the highest tier of the top 2-3 cartels (like machine guns or rocket launchers or IFVs are right now), and a weapon being available by the hundred thousands for anyone with a few dollars to their name!


You know, if there's a market, the cartels might step in to fill it...just like they have with illegal drugs.


You are correct about USA supplying guns to criminals in Mexico. Obama's ATF did the gun running. https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2011/09/28/fast-and-fu...

When government runs guns, women are smart to arm themselves for defense.


> made possible through the (lack of) gun ownership regulation.

The US has plenty of gun ownership regulation.

Criminals choose not to follow that though.


Lackadaisical enforcement in the US


Violent gun crimes are felonies with the exception of the victimless I tried to carry my handgun through the airport type of crimes.

Do you have evidence otherwise?


I meant more than just criminal prosecution. For example, federal gun control checks are prohibited from being automated and there’s a fixed time limit the FBI needs to respond within or the gun can be sold. Effectively this neuters federal background checks. Similarly, there’s ways of skirting even that trivial thing through private sale and firearm shows.

The entire system is a farce and I’m surprised there’s anyone who thinks it’s not. I would have though pro gun advocates would at least know enough to acknowledge the Swiss cheese nature of the systems in place around gun ownership in America.


> federal gun control checks are prohibited from being automated

There is an automated system behind it.

> Effectively this neuters federal background checks

That is incorrect.

https://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/gun-background-check-nics-g...

As the article mentions, there are people that slip through the cracks, but the foremost problem around keeping weapons out of the wrong hands has little to do with the FBI.


It’s not lackadaisical.


That depends on your definition. Only 3% of federal firearm offenses are prosecuted. So at that level, I would say it is lackadaisical.


It depends what you mean by a firearm ‘offense’.

For example, there are a large number of guns owned by people of color who didn’t buy them legally, not because they couldn’t, but because they either didn’t know they needed to, or they didn’t trust the legal route.

That’s the kind of thing your 3% number applies to. The only way to ‘prosecute’ those offenses would be to lock up a lot of otherwise law abiding black men who are only criminals on paper because of racist gun control laws.

It’s important to understand this context before using words like ‘lackadaisical’.

If you mean things like actual violence or conspiracies to traffic firearms, these are prosecuted vigorously and the 3% figure is bullshit in that context.

I’m guessing you weren’t aware of the detail behind this figure.


"If you mean things like actual violence or conspiracies to traffic firearms, these are prosecuted vigorously and the 3% figure is bullshit in that context."

I'd love to see your data then. My data shows a different picture.

The majority of prosecutions within that 3% are possession by a felon. The next most common are ones involving a violent crime or drug offense, and possession by a person in the United states illegally. The reason prosecution is so low and doesn't include more violent offenders is because the federal government is lackadaisical and decides not to prosecute them. They instead allow the states to prosecute under state law. Even if the states prosecute under their own laws, the feds still can prosecute under the federal law if they wanted to.

Around 10k federal prosecution out of over 400k occurrence of violent crime involving a firearm. That's a terrible percentage in my mind. Links at bottom

"there are a large number of guns owned by people of color who didn’t buy them legally, not because they couldn’t, but because they either didn’t know they needed to, or they didn’t trust the legal route."

You seem to imply that they are not prohibited since they could buy them "legally". What exactly do you mean by buying them "illegally"? Do you have any data on this "large number" of minorities that bought guns illegally and how that compares to other groups?

I'd also like to hear how you believe the federal laws are racist and which ones in particular. I know there are some state laws that have racist roots. I can even agree that the structure around loss of rights should be reexamined, but isnt wholly racist (non-violent felonies should be excluded, and some recent case law is starting to move this).

https://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/492/

https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/gun-violence-america


> The reason prosecution is so low and doesn't include more violent offenders is because the federal government is lackadaisical and decides not to prosecute them. They instead allow the states to prosecute under state law.

Wait, so the 3% number is a lie? It’s not the percentage prosecuted. It’s the percentage prosecuted by the federal government rather than the states?

You said: “Only 3% of federal firearm offenses are prosecuted.”

Which turns out to be false. The offenses are prosecuted, just not by the federal government. You say that is ‘lackadaisical’ as if you have some justification for that, but deferring to states is a common practice in the US and indicates no such thing.

It sure looks like you are intentionally trying to mislead people, otherwise you’d probably have mentioned this up front.

As far as racism goes, it’s pretty easy to understand if you apply Ibram Kendi’s definition - if it disproportionately affects black communities, it is a racist policy.


"Which turns out to be false. The offenses are prosecuted, just not by the federal government."

You don't seem to understand how the law works. The Federal offenses are not prosecuted. The State offenses are. My statement is true.

"but deferring to states is a common practice in the US and indicates no such thing."

Lack of interest in pursuing the law would fit with the definition of lackadaisical. I've given you the stats that show they are not interested in pursuing the federal crimes.

This isn't really deferring to the states. If one is not guilty under state law, the feds may subsequently prosecute under the federal law. Even if you're found guilty at the state level, they might prosecute you just to make an example of you (Chauvin, recently). It's a sloppy way for the people in power to ignore equal application of the law by picking and choosing who deserves it, which to me undermines the very principle of rule of law.

"It sure looks like you are intentionally trying to mislead people, otherwise you’d probably have mentioned this up front."

I have not tried to mislead anyone. Perhaps you were projecting your own ideas on it based on your lack of willingness to engage in a meaningful debate. After all, you're the one calling my statements total BS, yet not providing any responses to the questions posed around sources or data to support your position or refute the data I have provided.

"As far as racism goes, it’s pretty easy to understand if you apply Ibram Kendi’s definition - if it disproportionately affects black communities, it is a racist policy."

If that's the case, everything is racist and the very definition provided is racist since it only deals with "black communities" and not others. Perhaps we can use a widely accepted definition, like from a dictionary. Then you can also explain what is being disproportionately affected along with the why and how.

So, where is your response to the requests around definitions and data for "illegally" purchased guns and their impact? Conveniently ignoring this too? I'm starting to think you are a troll.


> You don't seem to understand how the law works. The Federal offenses are not prosecuted. The State offenses are. My statement is true.

It’s only true in a narrow technical sense. You were clearly trying to give the impression that people were simply getting away with these offenses, when what is actually happening is that the federal government doesn’t see the need to prosecute people who are already being prosecuted by the states.

> It's a sloppy way for the people in power to ignore equal application of the law by picking and choosing who deserves it, which to me undermines the very principle of rule of law.

Prosecutorial discretion definitely undermines the rule of law, and is a well known people, but it’s everywhere in every justice system and has nothing to do with the government’s approach to guns.

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp...

As for the Kendi definition, I was using black in this example because most gun control laws disproportionately affect black people. Substitute other races if you like.

I don’t need to refute your position with data - that’s not what’s wrong with it.

We’ve shown that your 3% claim was misleading as presented.


> Prosecutorial discretion definitely undermines the rule of law, and is a well known people, but it’s everywhere in every justice system and has nothing to do with the government’s approach to guns.

Prosecutorial discretion is an incredibly great thing, and is another element of the legacy bequeathed to us from the Romans by way of the English, through English Common Law.

The old statement de minimis non curat lex (the law does not concern itself with trifles), alternatively, de minimis non curat praetor (the praetor does not concern himself with trifles) illustrates why justice must be tempered with wisdom, although not exactly the same thing as prosecutorial discretion.

The government does not have unlimited resources with which to pursue cases. When it does wield the terrible power of the justice system against a suspect, it should be in the right instances, and for the right reasons, for an example.

A good example of prosecutorial discretion is around a case where a father finds his daughter or son, actively being raped/molested. In some cases, it may go to grand jury if there is a death [1]. However, in other examples [2], a prosecutor declines to prosecute given all of the circumstances, and weighing what happened.

While there is such as thing as selective enforcement, where bias has entered the mind of some element of law enforcement and enables some to be pursued, or others not to be for some bogus reason, that is not what we are talking about here.

[1] https://abcnews.go.com/us/charges-texas-father-beat-death-da...

[2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2700872/My-son-save...


"We’ve shown that your 3% claim was misleading as presented."

Lol where did you show that? The 3% claim is only misleading because you are applying a context to it that it was not intended for. The point is that additional federal gun laws will not be enforced because the government does not enforce the current ones, and doesn't even have the resources to do so. If anything, you have been the misleading one by presenting false information and failing to back up your (trolling) claims. You can go back to the root comment to see that they are approaching this from a light that additional federal gun laws would not be effective since the current ones are not being enforced.

"I don’t need to refute your position with data - that’s not what’s wrong with it."

Then, please, get to the point and tell me what is wrong with it. Stop draffing this out with unsubstantiated claims, twisting words, and flat out lies. Not all my questions were data related, but also conceptual - yet you ignore those as well (for example, you still haven't defined the 'illegal' gun purchases).

Good bye, troll.


Whoa, whoa. I'm not a mod, but I don't want you to get in trouble -- a friendly note to remember that this debate really isn't worth it, and calling people names isn't going to do anything positive for you or the site.

Not my place, but unfortunately there's no contact info in your profile, so I can't email you. I'd rather risk saying it here than watch you kick a hornet's nest. Being rate limited is no fun, but it's the inevitable consequence of such behavior; penalties only increase from there.

It's easy to get heated, so a quick edit + heading outside is often the cure, for me at least.


Are you talking to me or the person calling me a liar? Trolling is not allowed, and a preponderence of the evidence shows the other person to be trolling (using false statements and not correcting them, calling others a liar, not engaging in meaningful debate, avoiding legitimate questions while continuing to attack, etc). I have full confidence in the mods here.


The venom with which you've imbued your comment is toxic to the culture of the site. One of the most important ideas is the principle of charity, which means you must interpret each argument as if they're not trolling. Flat out calling someone a troll and a liar is a personal attack, and if you keep doing it I have no doubt the mods will be along to defend the site – which is their duty. Hence, kicking the hornet's nest.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26637365 is a surprisingly good primer for this, if you'd like to understand where they're coming from. Notice that "name-calling" is explicitly called out.

Having full confidence in the mods is actually a dangerous thing. I too had full confidence in the mods at one point. And, like you, I wasn't aware that I was using HN in a way that HN isn't designed for. This is a friendly reminder that you may get lucky and escape notice (HN is quite big now), but it's a matter of time before you'll get a stern talking to; the penalties only increase from there.

Don't take it personally, if it happens. It's not. And if I'm mistaken about any of this, I will happily eat crow and apologize, along with hanging up my hat of "issuing friendly warnings" in general. You could email them and ask, but the inevitable outcome is a "yes, calling people trolls and liars is off topic here; HN is for intellectual curiosity, which is a delicate thing," along with attracting attention to yourself.

In other words, don't let other people get to you. It's not worth it. Even if they are lying or trolls, you can simply say "That's not true because X" and leave it at that.


The USA also has plenty of gun production capacity. Unless you really believe 25% of Americans own 20 guns each, there is a lot of winking and nudging that guns are going south for drugs coming north.


Actually that's not far off. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/15/the-gun-numb... 3% of americans own near half of the guns.

Generally if you're going to own guns you're going to own several, just like you likely own more than one screwdriver. Small gauge shotguns for small birds, larger for larger birds, smooth bore for deer depending on state. Rifles there will be several, same for pistols. With rifles and pistols you generally practice with small caliber rounds like 22 as it's much much cheaper ($.02 / rnd vs $2), and really more pleasant (quiet, doesn't kick) than hunting rounds.

Everyone I know who has a gun has at least 4.

My friend's grandfather owns 73. In many areas that's an unremarkable number, especially for older shotguns where you didn't have interchangeable chokes.


> Rifles there will be several, same for pistols. With rifles and pistols you generally practice with small caliber rounds like 22 as it's much much cheaper ($.02 / rnd vs $2), and really more pleasant (quiet, doesn't kick) than hunting rounds.

Most of my experience, thanks to the US taxpayer to whom I am permanently indebted, is with an M60, an M240, and an M249.

I would like my wife, and my daughters to have skill with weapons too, so I was thinking about an HK417 for myself, and then getting an HK416 clone chambered in .22LR for practice.

It takes a healthy respect, and practiced expertise in weapons to build competency, and I think that relates to a number of rounds fired. Hopefully, small caliber for cost savings!


I got a 22lr slide for a 40sw sig for $300 and paid for it in about 3 trips to the range and a few thousand rounds. Benefit, it stovepipes all the time so it lets you practice failure modes all the time. Very worth it. I swap between it and real rounds to keep myself from getting recoil-shy.

I'd also recommend something like a mantis-x which lets you practice smooth trigger pulls while dry firing. It's actually a pretty smart bit of tech, it's all based on the one of the solid state accelerometers like you have in your phone.


> I'd also recommend something like a mantis-x

I was thinking this would be something similar to the trigger squeeze and breathing monitors I used with weapons training VR, but this actually looks like it would be really useful, and very data driven. Appreciate the info!


> Unless you really believe 25% of Americans own 20 guns each

On average, that's entirely believable.

I think the vast majority of those people own 4-10 guns, but there are enough people who own hundreds of guns to make the mean a lot higher. In fact this is a classic example of a situation where mean can be significantly higher than median.


Brazilian gunfights between criminals and off-duty cops are a pretty big trope when it comes to videos of self-defense incidents. Of course, off-duty cops are basically the only Brazilians allowed to conceal carry.

Numbers wise, we are doing much better than Mexico and Brazil, by about the same factor that France is doing better than we are and Japan is doing better than France. US homicide rates are a lot closer to Greenland or Argentina, and significantly less than a lot of nice LatAm countries that are popular with Western expats such as Costa Rica or Panama or Uruguay. The legality and availability of firearms cannot fully explain these differences, and it’s incomplete to simply compare the US to the EU.


> I winced when you started the comparison with Brazil and Mexico.

What about Greenland?

> ...anybody who's visited Mexico knows not to go random places alone.

It's the same in the US, and basically every country in the world. Some places are dangerous, others aren't.

> ...if Brazil and Mexico are our points of comparison, we're... not in a situation I'd want to be in, to put it diplomatically.

Put it undiplomatically. What exactly do you mean by that? Draw me a picture with crayons, I want to understand clearly what this means.

An important point in the comment you replied to was that maybe demand for firearms is the result of the crime rate and not the cause. Care to address that?


> It's the same in the US, and basically every country in the world. Some places are dangerous, others aren't.

No, it's really not. I spent a number of years living in Seoul, and you can have a 25 million people metro area with virtually no areas you wouldn't go to alone at night. They may exist, somewhere, but you really have to struggle to find them. That plus no loud and aggressive people on the streets, basically never having to feel guarded or adjusting your walking path to avoid that one sketchy person.

US cities can be such stressful, on-guard, subtly "stand your ground"/"toughen up" experiences in comparison sometimes. It's draining, really just wasted energy, and as a man, makes me behave in wasy I don't actually want to.

Culture really matters. Weapon laws really matter. And national pride in places and spaces that just simply don't shape up well is something to resist.

I have a feeling that the entire "arm the populace" mindset and everything that goes along with it (the lack of interest in consensus-building displayed by wanting to maintain an exit from it, etc.) is much more likely to generate the sort of politics and politicians that would ever require civilian I arms use.

States can certainly go bad in many ways. South Korea managed to impeach its most recent bad President through peaceful protest alone (search "Park Geun-Hye protests") with basically not even a punch thrown, however.


Idk why the downvotes for orangepurple, that is basically correct. Heterogeneous societies are much harder to govern. Different kinds of people living side-by-side fight. The calmest, most in-control societies around the world are homogeneous. SK, NK, and Japan are the most ethnically homogeneous countries on earth.

Oh, and SK is an oligarchy. Essentially everything is run by a handful of families (those who run the chaebol), everybody knows about it, and it's been the status quo for years. Not that that's necessarily bad, though it isn't ideal. SK has risen from destruction to dictatorship to mostly-rich-and-democratic.

I disagree that weapon laws really matter, they matter maybe a little. Most of the variance in murder rates is more productively explained by things like homogeneity, rich-poor divide, cultures of violence, etc.


> Different kinds of people living side-by-side fight. The calmest, most in-control societies around the world are homogeneous.

Switzerland. 3-4 ethnic groups with entirely different languages as well as quite different wealth levels, managing to go without massacres and civil wars for hundreds of years. (So that their different wealth levels now look like the difference between "well-off" and "filthy rich" to their neighbours...)


Good comment. They're all white europeans and they're physically separated from each other by geography, which makes this importantly not like the U.S. for example. We can see small examples of this in cities that have longstanding (hundreds of years +) minority populations. It's not like they're mixed together, what always happens is there is a "Jewish Quarter", "Chinatown", etc. More like micro-states within a state.

edit: Maybe people thing "Good comment" was sarcastic? I genuinely meant it was a productive addition to the discussion :-) Also, I'm not just making this up. There's significant scholarship on the question.


> Culture really matters

I agree with you wholeheartedly. The cultures of SK and the US are very, very different. Particularly, south Koreans are all united by being under the constant threat of devastating war as long as almost any of them have been alive.


Which is also something that you rarely feel in daily life, although it does certainly have impact on society (mainly in terms of a period of mandatory army service for young men, similar to many European countries). I'd say the War on Terror or the Cold War had a lot more presence in the US.


IDK, there are scares every so often in SK. I remember being told to carry my passport and a couple thousand dollars in cash + memorize your color-coded evac route by the Embassy during one such crisis.


"By the Embassy" is the critical point there though. Did your Korean friends?


Gun laws don't matter.

South Korea homicide rates are 300% higher than Czech Republic, which is a shall issue country, and most permits are for concealed carry.


Seoul is a collectivist society without "diversity." You can't compare it to the US. Shootings are highly concentrated in "diverse" neighborhoods.


diverse == poor, right?

I find it very interesting that race is so front and center in the US, while class hides behind it and rarely gets mentioned.


No, it is meant in the true general sense of the term


So, you are claiming that diverse (what does that even mean, racial, social, intellectual diversity?) neighbourhoods have more crime.

That's an interesting theory, are there sources which I can read up on around this theory and the evidence for it?


> What about Greenland?

It's not a country and it has a very low population (less than 60k). Small regions make bad statistical samples.


OK, how about Argentina?


What about Canada, Australia, and New Zealand?


Because I can't help but get the sense that using those countries, culturally very distinct from the US, is cherry picking st best. If the "legal firearms lead to more violence and crime, and if we restrict comparison to new world highly developed countries this still holds" argument is to stand, then the comparison has to apply to every country with firearm restrictions, not just a couple. If it doesn't apply across the board then that is an indicator that culture plays an outsized role and legal status of firearms does not.

So I answered your question, now your turn, what about Argentina?


Because Canada is the closest country on earth to the US culturally and Australia and New Zealand are not far behind. Also, poverty tends to increase crime and CA/AU/NZ are closer to US economically as well, while Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa are far behind. If you want to pick one country to compare it to the US, it only makes sense to pick Canada. Argentina is very far down the list.

The main difference between Canada and US (and to a great extent Australia and New Zealand) are not cultural or economical. The main differences are in access to firearms. I fully expect Canada's murder rate to rise to US levels if US gun laws were adopted here.


There are a few very significant cultural/economic differences between the USA and Canada/Austrial/NZ.

The biggest one is that only the USA has a legacy of slavery. The USA has much higher population density as well. The USA is also somewhat more economically unequal than the other 3. The USA is more diverse than any of the other 3, especially Canada and Australia.

These factors might play a role in gun violence.


The US is the least diverse of those countries. Australia has 30%(2019) of foreign born resident's to NZ's 27.4%(2018),Canada's 20%(2016) and the US's 13.7%(2018)


"Foreign born" is really not the best judge of diversity in this context imo. I would instead look at the fraction of population that has European ancestry.

I have not seen many statistics linking foreign-born residents to higher crime, but locally-born oppressed minority populations (e.g. Black, Aboriginal, Native, Maori) are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system due to ongoing legacies of systemic violence.


Generally, when you correct for poverty, those differences disappear.


I thought the whole point of the ongoing systemic racism debates in the US was that even after correcting for poverty, African Americans still had worse outcomes on essentially every metric from college graduation to murder rate?


While there are almost certainly small variations, the high order bit is economics. By a wide margin.

This is almost invariably left out of the equation when these things are reported.

Just like the so-called "gender wage gap", which is at best a "gender earnings gap", because pay is equivalent, dissipates almost entirely when you account for things like occupation and hours worked.


Even if you accept that differences are solely economic (this a very tough sell for raical inequality imo, it's far from fully explained by economics), that leaves you with the question of why are black people disproportionately impoverished. This is a tougher question than why women tend to work fewer hours.


Hmmm...I used "generally" and "high order bit".

Somehow this turned into "solely". Why?

And I am fully aware that these facts are a "tough sell" these days, because they don't fit the prevailing narrative.

Another one: yes, the criminal justice system is biased against blacks. However, it is vastly more biased against males. By a 6:1 margin.

And yes, I agree that the question why black people who are not recent immigrants are disproportionately impoverished is important to answer. It is important to ask the right questions if you want to get a usable answer. And I doubt there is a unifactorial answer.

Why the "who are not recent immigrants"? Black people who are recent immigrants from Africa actually do better economically than whites.


"Solely" is a thought experiment, just to highlight the importance of that question.

It's a tough sell because statistics don't back it up; there are other significant factors at play.

There are certainly some biases against men but i think you are overestimating this one. Are you accounting for the differences between men and women?

The success of African immigrants suggests that the effect really has nothing to do with skin color, but other societal and cultural factors. Luckily society and culture are both mutable.


1. When someone writes "generally" and you answer with "solely", it sure sounds a lot like you're setting up a straw-man.

2. The statistics do back it up.

3. "This gender gap is about six times as large as the racial disparity that Prof. Starr found in another recent paper."

https://web.archive.org/web/20180428124536/https://www.law.u...

4. Yes, skin color certainly does not appear to be a dominant factor, and maybe not a factor at all as you write.


A young black man in the 2nd perctile of income has the same chance of being incarcerated as a young white man in the 65th. The difference between the 1st percentile and 99th percentile young white men is smaller than between 80th percentile black men and white men. [1] I'm not sure which stats you are looking at, but the ones I see suggest that economics are not the biggest factor.

The gender disparity is interesting and I wasn't aware of it's severity. Thanks.

[1] https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2018/03/19/race-class-deba...


Access to guns is the main source of gun crime. 'Oppressed local minority populations' or non-european diversity or whatever other racial euphemism you wish to use has nothing to do with it.


So 13% native black population, a higher percentage native born Hispanic population, multiple generations of multiple different Asian cultures, these dont count? Why?

All your metric does is demonstrate who began allowing immigration first.


US is 76.3% white compared to Canada's 77.7% white. Still pretty similar. Actually, US's numbers are from 2019 but Canada's are from 2016. Canada's percentage should be lower than US's now, given the difference in their annual immigration numbers.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Canada#Visible...

Or if you want to do the math yourself: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/pr...


I think 76.3% white is misleading because, while the U.S. Census Bureau counts hispanic people as "white", basically no North American's intuitive model of race or ethnicity would count hispanics as white. Which is why the Census is always careful to break out non-Hispanic white.

The real comparison is non-Hispanic white to non-Hispanic white, where it becomes ~55% to ~75% or so. Hispanic people in the U.S. are easily visually differentiable, most often have one or more languages aside from, or instead of, English and come from cultures that are markedly different than mainstream U.S. culture.


It's getting into the weeds a little, but there are also likely differences between local vanquished populations, immigrants and their descendants who arrive voluntarily by air/sea, those who arrive voluntarily by land and those who arrive involuntarily.

Canada and the USA are close overall, but Canada's immigrants are much more likely to be educated professionals than those coming to the USA. And since Canada never implemented widespread slavery, there really isn't an analog to the experience of black Americans. I think that is a very big factor.


Please dont prick the right wing narrative of "homogeneous culture" which is a dog whistle for "racial segregation amongst countries".


Canada might watch the same TV as the US, but criminal laws and attitudes/views/gun laws are VERY different.


None of this has to do with what I asked you. What do you think the driver is for the violent crime rate in Argentina that doesn't apply to the US?


Economy and poverty


Alright. And what about the US precludes these from being the cause rather than guns?


Because its poverty and economy are like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand much much much more than Argentina.


Mexico is a big country. There are places in Mexico where you can go random places alone, and places that it would be ill-advised.

There are places in the US where you can go random places alone, and places that it would be ill-advised.

There are places in the Baltimore metro area where you can go random places alone, and places that it would be ill-advised.


That's true for every sufficiently-large section of the world. But different places have different statistical properties.

Look, my grandpa took me shooting when I was young. I remember doing target practice under a bridge when I was like 7, using a freakin' magnum revolver of all things. It was next to a very small river, and someone further downstream was trying to fish. I asked gramps "Do you think he heard us?" and he laughed "I don't think anybody didn't hear us."

That's the kind of culture I come from. I suspect in this thread there are at least three factions: the pro-guns, the anti-guns, and the undecideds.

As someone who was raised from an early age to be pro-gun, I do see the merits. But it's important that we acknowledge the downsides. If, statistically, America is so screwed up that you need to compare to Brazil and Mexico before the numbers start looking sort of reasonable, there may be a correlation with gun ownership the way that smoking may be correlated with cancer.


> If, statistically, America is so screwed up that you need to compare to Brazil and Mexico before the numbers start looking sort of reasonable, there may be a correlation with gun ownership the way that smoking may be correlated with cancer.

Compared to Mexico and Brazil, the US numbers look fucking awesome.

Compared to Greenland and Argentina, the US numbers look perfectly reasonable.

Compared to France, maybe we look bad. But compared to Japan, even France looks bad.

If I was trying to convince the French to reinstate the death penalty by pointing out that their homicide rate was 4-6 times as bad as Japan, and the French said “yeah but our homicide rate is 1/4 that of the US”, they would have a point. Single factors that map onto popular political controversies aren’t as big a factor as broader social and cultural factors. If you look at those factors, Japan is not a comparable country to France and France is not a comparable country to the United States.


Basically your argument boils down to: The USA is substantially an undeveloped shithole full of corrupt/ineffectual law enforcement, barely functional or legitimate government, broke unemployed people incapable of solving problems peacefully with nothing to lose, and powerful thugs beyond the reach of the law, so we should feel great pride that we aren’t quite as violent and dangerous as places where the gangsters are the primary source of local force and the law enforcement / military are essentially gangsters themselves.

I guess....

But on the flip side, the USA is almost incomparably richer than those countries (in natural resources, infrastructure, human capital, ...), has a much better developed and more legitimate set of public institutions, has a tradition of settling disputes via political/legal processes instead of gang warfare, and in most ways looks much more like wealthy industrialized countries than new developing-country slums.

So, instead of giving up and patting ourselves on the back because it could always be worse, as an alternative we could, y'know, try to get the most desperate people access to basic essentials required for human flourishing, and aim to reduce the levels of violence and corruption over time, the way people have successfully done in many other countries around the world.


> Basically your argument boils down to: The USA is substantially an undeveloped shithole full of corrupt/ineffectual law enforcement, barely functional or legitimate government, broke unemployed people incapable of solving problems peacefully with nothing to lose, and powerful thugs beyond the reach of the law, so we should feel great pride that we aren’t quite as violent and dangerous as places where the gangsters are the primary source of local force and the law enforcement / military are essentially gangsters themselves.

No, it doesn't.


>> That's true for every sufficiently-large section of the world

Well I think Mexico is a sufficiently-large section of the world that statements like "anybody who's visited Mexico knows not to go random places alone" should be called out, don't you agree?


I would say poverty has more to do with the murder rate than anything else.

If you want to go and rob houses or join a gang, you'll get a gun, legally or illegally. This happens everywhere, not only where guns are legal. If you can't get a gun, you'll get a big knife or a baseball bat.

The USA is rich in GDP per capita but has patches with poor people with little to lose. In many EU countries there is far less people with little to lose, even among the poor ones. Crime in EU is, similarly, disproportionally caused by those who have little to lose, eg. illegal immigrants.


Murder clearance rate by police has more to do with murder rate.

You are much more likely to get away with murder in the US (where clearance rates are 60% at best) than you are in Japan or the UK (where clearance rates are above 90%).


> I would say poverty has more to do with the murder rate than anything else.

You'd be surprised. Historically, countries like Japan used to be much poorer than the US but still had very low murder rates.


This is the only metric you can find where these two countries are comparable??

The famous”some places you can walk alone, some you can’t” statistic??


> but anybody who's visited Mexico knows not to go random places alone

Canadian here... isn't that true in most of the highly-populated areas in the US as well? And, to be honest, some parts of Canada as well; I definitely know a neighbourhood not to far from where I live where I'm highly unlikely to walk in the dark.


It's going to be true almost everywhere (not Japan? Switzerland?)

The real question is to what extent is it true? I think stumbling into such a place at night in the U.S. would be quite hard, Canada even harder. In Mexico, my feeling is you really ought to plan. You can't just drive from Point A to Point B across the country at night, whereas in the rest of North America you sure can.


All that gun control in Mexico is working just great with its low murder rate…oh wait.


" if Brazil and Mexico are our points of comparison"

Almost half of all US homicides are drug/gang related, so obviously there will be links to south american countries where these enterprises also operate.

If you want to avoid high crime, move north. Northern states have a homicide rate roughly half the national average.


You ever heard of Chicago? Up to the minute crime statistics in this northern state city with some of the most restrictive gun control can easily be found. [1.]

[1.] https://heyjackass.com


Yes, and Mexico has even more restrictive gun control with many times more murders than the USA.

It's pretty clear that gun control is not the most significant factor.


> The US is not that bad compared to other New World countries. From your link we see Brazil at 27, Mexico at 29, Argentina at 5, Uruguay at 12, Greenland at 5, Panama at 9, and Costa Rica at 11. Canada is the biggest outlier, but the US still has less homicide than even relatively nice New World countries.

"On a par with Argentina" is still not great. The US is doing a lot worse than comparably wealthy countries.

> Does this mean that France should adopt some aspects of Japanese law

Yes.

> for instance, by readopting the death penalty?

No. Why on earth would that be what you'd jump to? The death penalty is very rarely applied in Japan and, if you look more widely, not at all correlated with low homicide rates.


You are comparing the USA, a developed country, purely to developing countries. I mean, ya, the USA does better than much poorer countries, but can’t compare to any other developed ones. And just because all developed countries don’t have a unified homogenous homicide rate doesn’t really provide any excuse why America does so much more poorly.


I believe the problem with our developed country being compared to other developed countries goes beyond murder rate, wouldn't you agree?

We have less mobility and opportunity between the ranks of our society than some of these other countries.

That lack of equality makes our richest very well off, but our poorest live in literal third world conditions (as Alabama was designated two years ago.)

To be honest I don't see a problem with comparing us to both, but with the consideration that there is an awful lot of variance between the different subsections of our society.

What do you think?


> You are comparing the USA, a developed country, purely to developing countries. I mean, ya, the USA does better than much poorer countries, but can’t compare to any other developed ones.

Almost every country in the world is much poorer than the USA. Most European countries have a smaller per-capita GDP than Mississippi, the poorest US state.


Ya, that just makes the USA’s high homicide rate even more embarrassing.


Why? Money doesn’t magically solve all cultural problems.


Obviously, America is a case in point.


So you agree that social problems are independent of GDP and have no explanation for why you think America should be embarrassed? Seems like just baseless anti-Americanism.


> Furthermore, i find US fascination with their theoretical ability to fight their government with small arms adorable and misguided.

I’m not sure how you mean adorable and misguided.

1) If you mean it would be ineffective against a military invasion, I have to disagree. The military has never won a guerrilla war, let alone one on their own turf. Think Afghanistan on steroids with how many guns are in the states.

2) If you mean that being politically active would be far more effective though then I 100% agree.

I know some gun owners in the states, and my impression is that for some it quickly turns into standard consumerism. Maybe their first gun was for self defence, but not the 20th. They can obsess over their guns, similar to how people obsess over other gizmos like the latest iPhone etc.


Comparing the US to lawless, poor countries doesn't help make your claim.

The more rational 'New World' comparisons would be Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and guess what: very low murder, very low rates of gun ownership.

"Does this mean that France should adopt some aspects of Japanese law, for instance, by readopting the death penalty? Or does it simply mean that France and Japan are different countries?"

Or more rationally, they could just completely ban firearms and make them totally inaccessible to anyone, as they are in Japan.

(And also create a super conformist, rule-following slightly authoritarian culture)

But at least the gun laws themselves in Japan are extremely rigid which hints pretty strongly that restrictions definitely work.

Wether those can be pragmatically applied is another question.


> The more rational 'New World' comparisons would be Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and guess what: very low murder, very low rates of gun ownership.

Who could have imagined that British colonies who didn’t violently overthrow the British colonial government would end up being less violent overall?

Also, who would have guessed that former British colonies that didn’t have millions of African slaves shipped in for cheap agricultural labor and treated as a perpetual underclass for centuries would be more peaceful places to live?

Nah, must be the guns.


The US has the gun fetish because it has a perpetual racialized underclass, among other reasons. You're right the violence is tied to its history. But so are the guns. You cannot separate the two.

As others have pointed out; personal firearms are pretty useless as a vehicle for resisting state oppression and tyranny. But they're useful for stopping slave revolts or, more contemporarily, guarding your McMansion.

The problem in the US isn't the right to bear arms. It's that the wrong people are bearing them. The militia types are the authoritarian aggressors that they themselves fantasize about resisting.


Yeah both of these points are revisionist bullshit. Go read the primary sources. The gun fetish comes from our origin story being successfully overthrowing the British with civilian firearms.

As to effectiveness: the Taliban just recaptured their country from a US backed military. The point of civilian gun ownership is to force citizen soldiers to decide between defecting and killing their neighbors. That’s exactly what happened in the Bangladesh independence war. The revolutionaries knocked over military depots in Dhaka to acquire firearms. Once the fighting started, Bangladeshis in the Pakistani military defected.


While it's a bit much to suggest 'guns are because racism', I think it's a reasonable point to consider.

Also, though there is some legitimacy with the 'Guns Stop Tyranny' issue ... it's unlikely to happen.

The US will not be invaded by anyone, and the US government with all it's flaws is considerably more legitimate than most of the people with guns and has been for more than a century.

If the US falls, it will be due to crumbling from within, and given what has happened in the last few years, I'm afraid gun owners, however responsible and conscientious, are as likely to 'Rise Up' against a pack of falsehoods and populism than they are any kind of legitimate reality.


> While it's a bit much to suggest 'guns are because racism', I think it's a reasonable point to consider.

Why? What’s the evidence other than juxtaposition? Arabs are also nuts about guns. People from pastoral honor cultures (like the Scots Irish ancestors of many southerners and Appalachians: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/10/the-sco...) often are. Is that caused by racism too?

> Also, though there is some legitimacy with the 'Guns Stop Tyranny' issue ... it's unlikely to happen.

This is “end of history” bullshit. You need guns because having to kill people is a central part of the human experience. Tens of thousands of my people died at the hands of the Pakistani army because they had to fight with sticks and rocks until they knocked over some military depots to acquire firearms: https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/bangladesh-liberation-.... The Afghans have now expelled two superpowers from their country with handheld weapons. Guns work.

All of that stuff could happen in America too. Because history isn’t over, civilization is a thin veneer over nature, and there’s nothing fundamentally different about us versus them.


1) During slavery, guns were essential in keeping Black people under the thumb. So for at least 1/2 of US history, guns were an essential fabric of society for that reason.

In much the same way you could argue US gun culture comes from being 'at the frontier' - well - slavery was another big artifact of history.

When the slaves were freed they were a huge portion of the population, and there was every reason to believe there would be retribution and revolts.

Since then, there has been ongoing efforts to suppress that community, which rationally might engender violence.

In pop culture, African Americans have been portrayed as violent, which can make people afraid, and since the 1980s there's been a huge uptick in violence within that community, which also makes people afraid (though the violence is mostly intraracial not interacial).

2) "This is “end of history” bullshit. You need guns because having to kill people is a central part of the human experience. "

Your arguments here are very poor.

First, the Army 'has guns' as a legitimate form of managed violence. Keeping the Army in check is a central part of managing the powers in a liberal democracy. If the Army gets out of hand, it's going to be very bad.

'Look what the Taliban' did is a horrendous argument, because the Taliban are totalitarian murderous overlords who murder for their own ideology and not the wellbeing of their fellow countrymen.

You're basically arguing that 'Guns Work Because Look How Well The Nazis Murdered Jews!'

That's an argument against the population having guns, because it seems to me the American Right Wing Taliban are the group the most likely to use guns and for all the wrong reasons.

"All of that stuff could happen in America too."

Yes, but it's unlikely to happen because the 'government goes bad'. It's going to happen because a demagogue like Donald Trump will rile up the gun-wading population to commit violence on the basis of a pack of lies. It won't start like that, it may just be a protest, but if starts to get out of hand, some blood is spilled and then each side uses that as justification for increasing the threshold.

The last 6 months have revealed that Trump pressured the military hard for the 82cnd Airborne to be used against BLM protesters and the Pentagon refused. Thankfully, that's the Army standing up against authoritarian leaders.

I don't think there has been in all of American history an example of where American citizens took up arms against the government in situation wherein they had some kind of moral legitimacy.

Liberal Democracy stay intact with education, transparency, oversight, a free and rational press, legitimate institutions, independent judiciary. If it delves into individual militias fighting against government units 'it's all over'. Americans can then expect the quality of life of rural Pakistan.

While there is some argument for 'Guns v. Tyranny' I can't see how it works out in practicality. One idea might be to require the government a Congressional vote to send any troops anywhere, for any reason, to further restrict US forces from being deployed in the homeland etc..


The US had a huge amount of help from France overthrowing the British. Including full support of the French navy and large amounts of French professional soldiers. An inconvenient fact that Americans try hard to forget.


The French didn't start committing troops or ships till the Americans won a major battle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Saratoga#French_aid

So that refines the question to: how important was the private ownership of guns in the American victory at Saratoga? Well, the Wikipedia article referenced above says that, "militiamen and supplies continued to pour into the American camp, including critical increases in ammunition, which had been severely depleted in the first battle."

"General Fraser was mortally wounded in this phase of the battle, . . . The fall of Fraser and the arrival of Ten Broeck's large militia brigade (which roughly equaled the entire British reconnaissance force in size), broke the British will, and they began a disorganized retreat toward their entrenchments."

So that got me curious about what "militia" meant exactly during this time frame. Well, General Ten Broeck's Wikipedia page says that 2 years prior to the action described in the last paragraph General Ten Broeck was colonel of the Albany County militia, which has a Wikipedia page, which starts as follows: "The Albany County militia was the colonial militia of Albany County, New York. Drawn from the general male population, by law all male inhabitants from 15 to 55 had to be enrolled in militia companies."


(Replying to myself.)

Washington didn't think the militia helped:

>To place any dependence on the Militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff. Men just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestic life; unaccustomed to the din of Arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to Troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge and superior in Arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows ... if I was called upon to declare upon Oath, whether the Militia have been most serviceable or hurtful upon the whole, I should subscribe to the latter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)#Confed...


There is a big difference: The US Government will never leave the US. However everybody (including the Taliban) knew that it was just a question of time before the US would exit Afghanistan.


It's common knowledge that a lot of early gun control legislation was passed to prevent ethnic groups like the black panthers from gaining equal footing with groups who would harass them. Much safer to lynch an unarmed man after all. Claiming to be motivated by the plight of poor minorities given that history seems in remarkably poor taste.


It's 'poor taste' to misrepresent history as much as you have in your statement. There were no groups running around 'lynching' Black people during the Black Panther era, moreover, the Black Panther era saw an explosion in gun crime across the US that was acute among the African American community. As much as gun laws are a part of the problem, the vast disparity in gun crime among different groups can't be avoided either.


>There were no groups running around 'lynching' Black people during the Black Panther era

No, but some of the very earliest gun control laws were aimed at only black citizens and were enacted during lynching's heyday. Gun control in America has a very sordid history when viewed through a racial lens, and its ties to the civil rights era and the drug war are less blatant but still insidious.


> The US has the gun fetish because it has a perpetual racialized underclass, among other reasons. You're right the violence is tied to its history. But so are the guns. You cannot separate the two.

The American gun fetish dates back to the earliest arrivals in the New World, in all areas of the country, both initial northern states, and later southern states, and the West. If you haven't spent enough time in the wild to encounter a grizzly, a 300 pound boar, a wolf pack, a coyote pack, or a solitary mountain lion intent upon considering you as a food source - consider yourself lucky.

> As others have pointed out; personal firearms are pretty useless as a vehicle for resisting state oppression and tyranny. But they're useful for stopping slave revolts or, more contemporarily, guarding your McMansion.

Au Contraire

The Taliban, freedom fighters, or Terrorists, perhaps both, just seized pretty much the entirety of Afghanistan with roughly ~70k light infantry, against a force roughly 4x their numbers with much heavier armament. [1] This, after having fought to a standstill one of the nations with the best fighting force in a long guerilla warfare, vs airpower, advanced weaponry, drones, armor, you name it.

Because they had willpower.

> The problem in the US isn't the right to bear arms. It's that the wrong people are bearing them. The militia types are the authoritarian aggressors that they themselves fantasize about resisting.

Flyover country has neither the presidency, the House, or the Senate, but the US wants not for authoritarianism.

The unfortunate, and tragic fact is that the vast majority of the gun violence in the US happens in inner cities [2], typically with repressive gun laws. Sure, there will be the occasional red state nutjob too.

If you truly and deeply cared about the horrible gun violence, you might ask why, where, for what reason, who, and why don't we know more about it? [3]

You might seek to grasp a true understanding of the culture involved, the economics, education, or lack thereof, opportunities denied, the crime involved, or not, and to paint us a full picture.

But you don't.

Instead you leave us with a shallow political attack on others. Demonizing, rather the engaging in a civic manner. Pontificating, rather than questioning. Politicizing, rather than conversing.

Take a break from the keyboard and have a socially-distant coffee with others. Your others. Have two.

We're all human.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/world/asia/taliban-victor...

[2] https://www.thetrace.org/2020/09/mass-shootings-2020-gun-vio...

[3] https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2015/10/roseburg-attack-...


People get way too wound up over guns. This is a rural/urban issue. Where I live (edge of civilization) the police response time is around 20 minutes. That is too long to deter or prevent most crime. So most rural people own a gun or two and for some reason the bad guys don't mess with us much. Taking my gun rights away makes my family a lot less safe so...

> You might seek to grasp a true understanding of the culture involved

Please do the same. Your entire post is dripping with an urban elitism and does not show any hint that you might consider someone else's point of view. Enjoy that coffee.


> Your entire post is dripping with an urban elitism

That is kind of ironic, since I am isolated in a deeply blue area in a deeply blue workplace that eschews the local orthodoxy

The difference is that I don't assign an urban or rural divide around this. I've lived in the sticks where first responders were an hour away, in the city, suburbia, and warzones. But, it was never locale only that divided those who wanted weapons vs those that did not. There were other divides there, mainly a cognitive and worldview one.

Many of my friends have had weapons, for both reasons of upbringing, hunting, and also, experience in the combat arms.

However, I would be remiss not to realize some of the underlying reasons for the high crime in the close-enough-to-be-concerned urban blight which made itself into so many rap songs. I am not deluded - there is a vast difference in opportunities, and good/bad influences in varying locations. Due to good fortune, I happened to be in an area that pushed people towards better choices. But, many people I knew did not have that good fortune, and so were more inclined to a different path merely because of that. They were not forced to make a series of bad decisions, but the opportune to become was definitely readily available.

> and does not show any hint that you might consider someone else's point of view.

I consider everyone's views, since, they are up front everyday. For the most part, the Uniparty is split into two dominant factions with subcliques from there on out. I am neither.

I try to balance my perspectives in both the company I keep, and the echo chambers from which I drink. I value what other perspectives bring to the table and how they think about things. While I might not share all of them, and I maintain a measure of independence, I deeply appreciate other worldviews.

> Please do the same.

I do.

> Enjoy that coffee

Oh I definitely shall. That is a bonus!


> The problem in the US isn't the right to bear arms. It's that the wrong people are bearing them. The militia types are the authoritarian aggressors that they themselves fantasize about resisting.

Authoritarians control institutions. What do the “wrong people” control? If the January 6 nutters had taken the capital, who would have supported them? General Milley? The national guards of DC, MD, or VA? Any of the country’s corporations or other institutions? You’re confusing the Whiskey Rebellion for the Beerhall Putsch.

Maybe give some consideration to the possibility that what’s really happening is that you’re a resident of the Capital clutching your pearls at the “threat” posed by people in District 12.


This speculative argument falls flat in the face of actual data.

More effective and regulated gun control and less access to guns is 100% consistent with less gun crime.

That there was a revolution in 1777 doesn't change the fact both the UK and US were fairly equally involved in other kinds of political violence, I mean, you do realize the UK have been at war with others and themselves since the dawn of time? That they had their own 'revolution' and a Republic 100 years before the US?

The Japanese have quite a violent history as well and yet have zero gun crime.

Most regions in the US don't directly have a relationship with slavery and even accommodating for elevated levels of crime among those communities - gun violence is still very high.

Guns are widespread and available to almost anyone in the US, and there's a huge amount of gun crime.

Canada/Australia - more restrictions, less gun crime.

Europe - quite heavily restricted, a small amount of gun crime.

Japan - effectively totally banned, and almost 0 gun crime.

Switzerland has militia training and ownership, but it's generally not pistols, and they definitely don't carry guns for personal defence. Their rifles are locked up in the basement.

Mexico has tight gun laws, but they're not enforced.

While there are concerns about freedoms, the formation of 'tyranny' etc. to contend with, there's no doubt that effective and highly restricted gun control has a significant impact.

To anyone who's lived in Europe, Can/Aus/NZ and the US, it's just blindingly obvious, it's not a rhetorical argument at all, it boils down to trying to understand the reasoning of people who have difficulty conceding the reality of how safe it really is when there aren't that many guns floating around.

Most police in the UK don't even carry guns, that's how real the implications are ... and it's not cause 'they didn't have a revolution'.

EDIT - FYI here are the data points:

USA: 4.5/100K gun homicides, 1.2 guns per/capita

Canada: 0.5/100K gun homicides and 0.4 guns per/capita

France: 0.1/100K gun homicides and 0.2 guns per/capita

Japan: 0.0/100K (!!!) gun homicides and 0.006 guns per/capita

It's crystal clear and unambiguous: for countries that have civil infrastructure, general lawfulness and the means to affect social policy etc. - fewer guns means fewer gun crimes. Obviously, there will be variations (i.e. Scotland has a crazy amount of stabbings) but prevalence of guns is a firs order issue.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r...


> More effective and regulated gun control and less access to guns is 100% consistent with less gun crime.

So what? I don't care about "less gun crime"; I care about "less violent crime".

Talking about the subset of crime, violence, death, and injury that's caused by firearms is fundamentally dishonest. You could argue by the exact same logic that the lack of passenger trains in the US reduces train suicides compared to Japan. The specific tools are not the fucking issue.

> I mean, you do realize the UK have been at war with others and themselves since the dawn of time? That they had their own 'revolution' and a Republic 100 years before the US?

Sure. For instance, England and Scotland were intermittently at war for centuries, which resulted in a lot of the people living in the English/Scottish border regions developing a particularly violent way of life. These people were a huge pain in the neck after the unification of Great Britain. So a whole lot of them got shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to America.

You know who else the British shipped to America? Violent criminals. This was one of the reasons we declared independence, actually. People think of Australia as a former penal colony, but that only started because we stopped letting them ship people here.

Who else came here? The Puritans, whose other accomplishments included such things as burning witches and violently establishing that English Republic you alluded to.

The normal, peaceful, law-abiding Brit who wasn't particularly interested in violence or religious fanaticism? Those are the guys who stayed behind in Britain.


New Zealand does not have a “very low” rate of gun ownership. It has ~ 26 firearms per 100 people, well short of the USAs 120 but still ranked 20th in the world.


I don't think it's bad in general considering the size of the country and especially considering the fact that we have hundreds of millions of civilian owned guns (23 million sold last year, and even more sold this year already). When you compare guns to other stuff like drunk driving it shows how blown out of proportion the problem is.

- CDC stats (2018) -

US Firearm Homicides: 14,414

US deaths caused by drunk drivers: 10,511


I would expect drunk-driving deaths to far exceed firearm homicides, and it's honestly shocking that firearm homicides are that high. I think the stats show that it's not blown out of propertion.


It is estimated that 250,000 people die per year from medical errors. That doesn't mean that people should shoot their doctors...

The problem is an underfunded systems and huge workload and a bit of funding would instantly safe more lives than restricting gun ownership.

Calling for restriction is a transparent political move or is born out of ignorance in my opinion (I am not from the US).

People that would profit the most from restrictions are policemen, which are probably underpaid in the US considering their risk.


Why would you expect that when drunk driving gets practically no attention at all? It's even socially acceptable and joked about within certain cultural circles.


That's exactly my point. Drink driving is not uncommon, to the point where it's acceptable to some parts of society. But no part of society believes intent to kill with a gun is acceptable, yet despite the heavy scrutiny it receives, firearm homicides are still way higher than drunk driving deaths.

I know that these numbers are not directly comparable, but given the deadly nature of automobiles in general, I expected drunk-driving deaths to be somewhere around 50000 per year.


Why would you expect that?


Erm, what? Firearms causing more deaths than drunk drivers seems like a very strong argument for tighter gun regulation to me.


Then why isn't there any serious discussion about tighter alcohol regulation then? The CDC says that alcohol abuse in the US results in ~95,000 deaths per year, combined with drunk driving thats over 100k deaths, thats significantly higher than all gun deaths. On top of that it's difficult to argue there is any utility to it at all beyond recreational use. Where are the cries to ban alcohol?? Wouldn't it be worth banning it even if it saved just one life???


The same reason there isn't serious discussion about voter competency tests: US politics is traumatised by the specific history of that particular kind of law.

(Though IMO you're focusing on the wrong half. Drink-driving deaths don't show that alcohol is dangerous, they show that cars are dangerous - you only have to look at the number of non-alcohol-related driving deaths to see that.)


There are more guns in the US than cars as well, so deaths per car vs deaths per gun is higher.


True, although it's really the driver at fault, and the next logical thing to blame would be the alcohol. The connection between drugs/alcohol and gun violence gets completely overlooked though so why not blame the cars.


> The US is not that bad compared to other New World countries.

> Or does it simply mean that France and Japan are different countries?

Huh? Are you implying that simply existing in the “New World” would cause the baseline expected murder rate to be higher for some reason?


> Huh? Are you implying that simply existing in the “New World” would cause the baseline expected murder rate to be higher for some reason?

That’s the pattern we empirically see with most New World countries, and if you consider the question with an open mind for a few minutes while considering the history of Western settlement of the Americas you can come up with a few decent hypotheses as far as what the reasons might be.


Another way of looking at it is proximity to the United States, its massive supply of guns and "war on drugs", which somehow seems to be correlated to an increased homicide rate.


The homicide rate in Puerto Rico is super high, comparable to other news world countries, but it’s an island and has almost no guns.

Also, the US homicide rate was extremely high compared to Europe long before gun laws in other countries or the drug war. It was 10x higher than the UK at the turn of the 20th century.


It means different countries have different cultures that value life and violence in different ways.

And that your immediate neighbors will have more of an influence on that than a country on the other side of the world, especially if there's a substantial amount of immigration.

In the case of the US, I'd say it's more-so, because so much of the violence south of our border is directly related to moving things and people over it.


Congratulations, you've just successfully argued that the USA is a third world country.


New world?? Are you kidding?? Talk about cherry picking.

What about comparing it to Australia or NZ??


I wonder if there is a good history of how the civil rights acts and Vietnam withdrawal actually happened.

For instance, did the war protests really have that much effect or was it because the war was lost?


The war wasn't lost until the US unilaterally withdrew.


>The US is not that bad compared to other New World countries.

Yeah, I'd add that France doesn't have a long, porous border with the developing world. Nor nearly as much heterogeneity in its population.


I'm not actually sure how accurate that is. France has an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous population, high levels of immigration from Africa, and open borders with the rest of the EU.


You’re drastically over estimating the amount of African immigrants in France.

And very few people are immigrating from the rest of the EU (in fact, French immigrants are a bit of a meme everywhere else, escaping high taxation).


Open borders with the rest of the EU is...Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium. And adorable Andorra. Oh, and Italy. All of which are comparable to Mexico where it counts, of course. /s


There are usually no border controls from France as far as the EU borders with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia and Andorra.

Romania and Bulgaria's borders seem fairly porous, and Bulgaria borders Turkey.

There is a marine border with North Africa, which is probably the closest equivalent to the US/Mexico border.


There's also Hungary, Poland, Romania....


France is quite heterogenous. The "homogeneous = less crime" argument is a bit xenophobic/racist at best, and not quite true.

Societies with an impoverished underclass is what causes higher crime rates, regardless of whether or not the underclass is mainly comprised of ethnic minorities. France (heterogenous) and Japan (homogenous) take better care of their poor than the US (heterogenous) and Guatemala (homogenous), which is what causes the disparity in murder rates.


> The "homogeneous = less crime" argument is a bit xenophobic/racist at best, and not quite true.

Why the ad hominem? It stifles conversation. I think it is entirely legitimate to make the claim that ethnic, and actually more so religious/worldview heterogeneity can cause conflict. Heterogeneity is inversely correlated with trust because trust is formed through understanding and appropriate agreement and these differences often mean misunderstanding and disagreement. You can talk about dialoging as a way to reduce conflict, but even when understanding exists, when one norm must prevail and two groups are in conflict, this will leads to problems. The more fundamental the conflict, the worse it gets.

Look at Yugoslavia. Are Croats, Serbs, and Bosnians "racially" different? No. Language? Not really. So the source of conflict is religious.

The political conflict in the US today is mostly religious in nature, where "religious" is broadly understood.


I don't think France is very heterogeneous. I'd guess it's 80-85% "white" (mostly French, some Italian + other Europeans), remainder mostly North African immigrants, half of whom live in Ile-de-France (Paris metro area). Anywhere outside of a couple cities in France is suuuuuuper homogeneous.


> France is quite heterogenous.

Paris, yes. France, no.

France as a whole is very homogenous.


Immigrant populations in both France and the United States are in the mid-teens, percentage-wise. [1]

Japan's immigrant population stands at 2.0%, and Guatamala's is 0.5%.

I'm aware that there are other measures of diversity, but many of the comments here were mentioning the United States's border with Mexico specifically as a reason for its high murder rate, which doesn't seem to hold up once you dig into the numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_d...


I think the other measures of diversity are the ones that are important. For instance, an influx of Canadian immigrants to the U.S. would, I expect, cause no problems at all because Canada is by and large very culturally similar to the U.S.

The border is important in my thinking mainly because corruption and organized crime are endemic to Mexico, though immigration of people from a significantly different ethnicity+culture is also important in the U.S. picture.


Pretty sure that in total far more guns are moving south from the US than north into it


Mexico is trying to sue because of that:

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/28/1031965159/mexico-sues-u-s-gu....


Not sure why you're being downvoted. These are facts about France vs. the U.S. Maybe "developing" is a /little/ strong for Mexico, but I take your point to be more about Central America generally.


Because it's nonsense. Until the 60's, Algeria was literally part of France. It's an extremely diverse country.


France is diverse because it had a colony several thousand Km to the south?


PS: I am strong supporter of Gun rights and proud gun owner.

I fully agree with anti-gun crowd that having vast majority of guns in hands of citizens (legally or illegally) leads to more deaths. USA's comparison with Angola is actually more serious than the numbers tell you because you need to realize that USA has far better medical response and doctors trained to handle gunshot wounds. So to truly compare Angola and USA you might have to increase USA's number with those who are shot instead of dead.

Having said that I am totally for guns in the hands of citizens. Mostly because I think it acts as a bulwark against further restrictions. After 2nd ammendment you will be seeing "commons sense rules for free speech" like we have seen in UK, Canada and Australia.

Every constitutional right has its price. Anyone who fails to see this is not honest. Give police the power to search you without warrant and we almost certainly will solve more crimes. Force individual to testify against themselves and we will most certainly keep more child rapists in jail. But then as a society we need to figure out the trade-off and in my personal case I would rather keep my guns and face a 5/1000 chance of dying of gunshot wound than surrender my guns.

> Blatant corruption, lobbying, outright incompetent representatives, abuses of power, erosion of human rights, blatant disregard for human rights. If Americans didn't fight against the Patriot act, wars, torture, what will they fight for/against? Mask mandates?

In my experience USA lot less corrupt than most other countries. Lobbying overall is a net good thing for a democratic society. Representatives are incompetent everywhere. American abuse of power is nowhere close to what EU or AU does to its citizens. I am not sure wha erosion of human rights you are talking in USA.


> After 2nd ammendment you will be seeing "commons sense rules for free speech" like we have seen in UK, Canada and Australia.

This is extremely shaky reasoning. You've done nothing to prove that the 2nd amendment is actually protecting these rights, only mentioned the existence of two facts and asserted a causative relationship between them. Have there been attempts to introduce censorship in the US that have been defeated by armed activists? Were there violent uprisings against censorship in the UK, Canada, or Australia that failed due to a lack of access to arms? The 4th amendment was gutted into oblivion in pursuit of the War on Terror -- why didn't the armed citizenry protect our rights?


Have there been attempts to introduce censorship in the US that have been defeated by armed activists?

No, because there _are_ armed activists.

Were there violent uprisings against censorship in the UK, Canada, or Australia that failed due to a lack of access to arms?

See Hong Kong of late. Many banners seen during free-speech protests there lamented their lack of a "2nd Amendment".


> No, because there _are_ armed activists.

No, because despite whatever the talkshows say, both parties and especially the judiciary are largely committed to preserving constitutional rights. There's disagreements on finer points of where the lines are drawn, but that's handled in courts and legislation, and rarely ever guns ablazing.

Compare to Hong Kong, which is not governed by consent of the governed.


> No, because despite whatever the talkshows say, both parties and especially the judiciary are largely committed to preserving constitutional rights

Wasn't there an impeachment procedure blatantly sabotaged by one of said parties like last year? Didn't the same party blatantly say they're stacking the supreme court in their favour up to the last possible moment, in an extremely hypocritical manner after refusing to accept Obama's nominees in his last year? Didn't multiple US presidents abuse and violate human rights with illegal wars and torture, mass surveillance? Didn't a US president order the murder of a US citizen without due process? Didn't a US state create a blatantly unconstitutional law for witch hunting women ? From across the pond, it seems that most US politicians in power, mostly from one of the parties, are wiping their asses with the the US constitution.


There is a lot of historical evidence that rulers were afraid of an armed population and fear alone is enough in most cases. What are you expecting here?


> PS: I am strong supporter of Gun rights and proud gun owner.

I don't understand the pride bit.

It seems like a regrettable situation where your distrust of your fellow citizens is so strong that you are comforted by the ability to kill them with minimal effort.

(I'm in Australia, where we have some truly horrendous legislation, but I totally agree with our gun ownership laws here, and echo other people's observations that gun ownership does not seem to equate to, or ineluctably lead to, better laws / more freedoms outside the right 'to own lethal weapons' itself.)

Perhaps I could interest you in some Iain M Banks (taken from Excession) :

"It could see that - by some criteria - a warship, just by the perfectly articulated purity of its purpose, was the most beautiful single artifact the Culture was capable of producing, and at the same time understand the paucity of moral vision such a judgement implied. To fully appreciate the beauty of a weapon was to admit to a kind of shortsightedness close to blindness, to confess to a sort of stupidity. The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation of weapons was a kind of tragedy."


> I don't understand the pride bit.

I can't speak to the parent, but I take pride in self-reliance, and taking responsibility for securing and defending the well-being of myself, my family, neighbors, and community.

I also am a volunteer, state-certified structure firefighter, and take pride in that for the exact same reason.

You might find it interesting that, as part of our classroom instruction, my structure firefighting class was asked how many of us owned guns — all of us raised a hand.

This mirrors my experience in the broader fire service.

> Perhaps I could interest you in some Iain M Banks (taken from Excession).

I love Iain M Banks' Culture series, but they live within a utopian, post-scarcity benevolent dictatorship managed by AIs with powers verging on that of a demigod.

We most certainly do not.

As for the quote? Any tool can only be fully appreciated within the context of its intended purpose, and the effects that it can produce in the world around us.

The value of a gun as a tool is a tragedy, but the tragedy isn't the gun, but the necessity for one, and it's a tragedy inherent in our mortal existence.


> the tragedy isn't the gun, but the necessity for one, and it's a tragedy inherent in our mortal existence.

Well, they're sure not necessary here in Australia. I don't think I've ever met someone who owns one, certainly no-one has ever mentioned owning a gun to me. It's just not a thing. Seems to be just "a tragedy inherent" in the USA.

I was watching every day, and supporting, the George Floyd protests, and after a while those in Seattle and Portland.. until Raz got machine guns from his car and starting handing them out. WTF?! That was the plan?! I switched off, disgusted. That suddenly all seemed insane.

Like it does hearing people from the US on HN talking about guns. It just sounds crazy. I read on HN someone from the US saying Australians wouldn't be under lockdown if only we had guns etc. It just sounds insane, disturbing even reading that. What am I gonna do with a gun?!

But maybe, when everyone else has a gun, you feel you need for one too. Just know that it's not like that in every country.

Although if my country had spent most of the last 120 years invading other countries, subverting their politics, stealing their wealth, like the US has, I'd have urges to defend myself from it with a gun, too, maybe, I don't know. It's weird though. US violence has been focused outwards, on other countries, yet to hear people from the US, they never heard about that, don't feel involved or responsible, yet are obsessed with the possibility of US government violence happening to them one day.

I don't claim to understand the situation, just I'm very glad not to live in a country where everyone has a gun. OK, now I will stop reading gun stories/comments on HN. Good luck!


I think Australia is a great example of what happens when guns are given up. You have a government that’s going on witch hunts for covid cases and exerting extreme authoritarian pressure for remarkably low covid rates.

Some would say it’s them testing the limits of their populace. What are they gonna do? Protest? That’s illegal when in lockdown.


So you're saying that covid measures wouldn't exist if there were more guns, and that would be a good thing?

Maybe the remarkable low covid rates are there because of the authoritarian pressure? Authoritarian is never a good word but if people simply won't listen when it comes to matters of public health (that affect everyone - an overflowing ICU is never a good thing) and thus endanger the health of others then they have to live with the consequences. It's not a matter of politic, opinion or ideology.

The suggestion that this should be responded to with guns is just the most perfect own goal.


No you don’t.

You do have one of the lowest Covid death rates in the world. You have a lot of states with complete freedom.


Your response to the accusation that a government is being authoritarian is that it’s OK because there’s “a lot” of places with “complete” freedom? That’s bordering on “this is good for Bitcoin” levels of Stockholm syndrome.


...except if you want to leave, lol.

UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 13

    Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.


The majority of Australians grumble about it but agree with the lockdown restrictions. Looking at the insane number of people dying from COVID in the US compared with Australia I understand why.


This reminds me of my first year of high school in Australia. I had come from the USA and everyone wanted to hear my war stories about people shooting each other (and for me to say 'Watermelon' over and over). It completely blew my mind how misinformed Aussies (granted we were young) were about life in America. It's a huge country, you gotta keep in mind the news and action movies sensationalize and glorify isolated violent events.


I'm not sure when that was, but in a contemporary setting, the line of questioning (and fascination about what's been normalised) would be highly reasonable.

Consider the frighteningly lengthy list of school shootings in the USA. [0]

I note that Wikipedia does not have an entry for school shootings in, say, Australia. Or in fact most other places.

I'm seeing a figure of ~ 1300 school shootings in the USA since 1970, so it doesn't appear to be an entirely modern problem.

In the USA (contemporary, again, sorry I'm not sure what era your experiences are from) there's ~30-40 (children-aged) victims of gun-related violence a day, with ~8 of those resulting in death. [1]

From outside that society, how people put up with this, living with regular active shooter drills, managing the additional anxiety, etc, is definitely going to be of interest.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_th... [1] https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/gun-violence/16-facts-about...


the US does seem to have a rather unique problem with school shootings. it's certainly worth investigating why this is the case and considering countermeasures. at the same time, and I know this is a cold thing to say, the issue really gets blown out of proportion for political reasons. it's about as likely for a US student to get killed in a school shooting as it is for you to get hit by a bolt of lightning.

> From outside that society, how people put up with this, living with regular active shooter drills, managing the additional anxiety, etc, is definitely going to be of interest.

I was in grade school not that long ago, and quite frankly, there wasn't much to "put up with". we did active shooter drills as or less frequently than fire drills (not often). I don't remember ever feeling anxiety about being shot at school, and I am a lot more anxious than the average person.


I know a few friends of mine who are extremely risk averse: they live boring safe lives and think I'm crazy going to those dangerous mountain bike trails. They don't seem to get the concept of freedom: their freedom ends with a choice of a tv movie for the evening and that's enough for them. Some people here really believe that freedom is more valuable than safety, more valuable than the number of deaths or whatever else statistic you might have there. Once these people pass away evenrually, the drive behind this freedom will vanish, and America will turn into Australia, with draconian control of guns, speech and whatever else, but I hope to not be alive by that time.


I think you have a strange view of freedom in Australia.

We'd have to be one of the more free countries around.

Yep, there are some laws that you would see as draconian, but are you offended because they actually impact you, or are they just something you don't like for "reasons"? Many places have laws and conventions that are different, it's about how you live with them. We have crappy and corrupt politicians. We have criminals and we have gangs. we are not perfect. The way we treat our first nations people is frankly shameful. Unemployed are in a in a hard shake, with benefits being far too low to both live and search for a job without family assistance.

We also have a country where you can walk down most streets without concern for your safety. Most places in the city you lock your doors but can get away with not setting an alarm. My current work at home office is on our back deck, and I'm happy to leave my computers out here for a few hours if I need to go out. Most places outside the cities you don't bother locking your doors. If you break down on a country road, your biggest fear is that somebody won't turn up to help you, not that they will come and rob you. Most of us don't know of anybody who has been killed by violence. I know one, she was shot by her boy friend when I was about 8 years old, way before the current gun laws were enacted. Most of the population understand that we need to work together for the common good, be it responding to natural disasters or putting on a bloody mask to help stop the spread of covid. In a disaster your neighbour will come and check that you are ok. If I want to have my say about something, as long as I'm not stupid or violent, there are many forum. I've walked all over the big (lol) cities in the country and never felt threatened or been accosted. This would be different if I were female, but I believe that is a problem world over. I still believe that the police are there to help and look after me, and have no fear about talking to them. Of course I'm white middle class male and my experience is not that of other groups, however police violence is still rare enough that it creates an outcry.

Overall, the only place I would prefer to live than Australia would be New Zealand, and then I'd have to put up with the cold weather.


See, you're putting so much emphasis on safety: your entire text is about how safe Australia feels. I just don't see what's so valuable in feeling safe on a dark alley if you have zero control over the situation should anything go wrong.


You are not more free in the US than you are in Australia. Unless you cherry pick specific laws (guns for example) as the definition of what freedom is. Freedom to me means having choices. So if you pick (say) healthcare then not having access to healthcare in the US (for example) means you have less freedom in the US than most European countries. If you pick guns then people living in failed states have more freedom than the US because there are no laws stopping them from (say) acquiring nuclear weapons (illegal in the US). My point is that claiming that you are more “free” in country A vs. B is very much a subjective assertion.


Everybody is hugely misinformed about every country, especially kids.


> Like it does hearing people from the US on HN talking about guns. It just sounds crazy. I read on HN someone from the US saying Australians wouldn't be under lockdown if only we had guns etc. It just sounds insane, disturbing even reading that. What am I gonna do with a gun?!

As an American, the gun discourse especially on tech forums like HN sounds insane to me too.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposed_Japanese_invasion_o...

You might want to consider some counterfactuals where the US kept more to itself.


Inherent? Like, sure, I'm dimly aware that there are guns somewhere, and that if things get really bad then the police ultimately call in the firearm squad occasionally, but it doesn't feel like something that's inherently necessary.


> It seems like a regrettable situation where your distrust of your fellow citizens is so strong that you are comforted by the ability to kill them with minimal effort.

It's usually the opposite sentiment for gun owners- I trust my fellow citizens with arms.

Guns are seen as an integral part of self-reliance by many. They provide you with a reasonably effective defense. One way to significantly erode individual's/citizen's power, and in turn give power to government, is take away their ability to defend themselves. People worry that as government becomes more powerful and citizens more reliant there is greater likelihood of oppressive government, in other words disarming populace is step down a slippery slope


> Guns are seen as an integral part of self-reliance by many.

For context, can you clarify if the many you're referring to there are some fellow USA citizens?

If so, I'll note that USA is < 5% of global population, and also note a very fresh Pew paper[0] which indicated more than half of that population was keen on stricter gun controls. So 'many' has some caveats around it.

> They provide you with a reasonably effective defense.

Against what? Other people with guns, or other people with feebler weapons?

If it's the former, then we're back to a basic escalation problem, and it's what most other western nation states have avoided falling prey to by, simply, not playing that game.

If you trust your fellow citizens with arms - who is it that you don't trust and that you need a weapon for 'effective defense'?

As to:

> ... in other words disarming populace is step down a slippery slope.

I really can't speak to what it looks like from within the borders of the USA, but from outside, it feels that the USA is well down that slippery slope (of eroded freedoms, and citizenry exploitation) compared to many other democratic nations - so guns in the hands of private citizens don't appear to be a panacea.

[0] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-a...


Yea I'm referring to fellow US citizens (I am also an Australian citizen, but the Aussie half of my family could care less about guns).

I grew up rural in US and now live in the city. It may as well be two different countries with respect to views on gun ownership, so nationwide polls won't capture any of the variation (also state to state is massive difference).

> Against what? Other people with guns, or other people with feebler weapons?

Any living threat, which could be a much much larger attacker or mob of attackers. Consider the rattlesnake, it's the same thing- a great deterrent. It's peace of mind, a last resort, something that's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

> who is it that you don't trust and that you need a weapon for 'effective defense'?

Have you ever read about the terrible things people do to eachothers? Or the barbarism of human history?


Hang on. You came in with:

> It's usually the opposite sentiment for gun owners- I trust my fellow citizens with arms.

And now:

> Have you ever read about the terrible things people do to each others? Or the barbarism of human history?

Those positions aren't precisely orthogonal, but they certainly have some conflicting sentiment behind them.

As to owning a handgun for private use for:

> Any living threat, which could be a much much larger attacker or mob of attackers.

... from a naive perspective (I've never been in that situation, thankfully) it feels like any advantage I may have, via agility, negotiation, ability to out-run, etc, would be negated if everyone involved had a handgun. Certainly if everyone in that scenario is armed, there's no clear advantage to me to be armed.

(I concur that if the other party(ies) were not armed, and I was, then that's advantageous to me. And if they were armed, and I was not, well that's also very bad for me. But that's not the likely scenario in a heavily gun-equipped scenario.)

Anyway, I'm sure you've gone through all this before, with many people smarter / more informed than me.

Precisely why many Americans are convinced gun ownership is an answer to something, despite all the statistical evidence, I'm just not likely to ever understand. Thank you for your patience with my questions.


>Precisely why many Americans are convinced gun ownership is an answer to something, despite all the statistical evidence, I'm just not likely to ever understand. Thank you for your patience with my questions.

It probably doesn't change much but Americans ask the opposite question since ownership is already legal.

We ask what you hope to solve by removing gun ownership.

From the perspective of a gun owner who is in favor of better gun control, the biggest issue with gun legislation in the US is that those proposing restrictions either have no idea what they're talking about or are just catering to those who don't.

The pro gun control crowd is too busy inventing a nonsensical category of guns to ban ("assualt weapons") to even acknowledge that the homicide rate comes from poor people killing eachother with cheap, concealable handguns.


Well, yes, that question would be asked, as the current state, that the majority of US citizens have grown up with, is now considered normal by them.

Reasonable enough, but many people have access to information about how the world outside those borders operates - which is why free healthcare, minimum wage, and other changes, are now being a bit more actively discussed.

Anyway.

> We ask what you hope to solve by removing gun ownership.

What's on offer is a significant (order of magnitude) reduction in the number of violent gun deaths. [0]

No one's trying to sell this to the USA.

OTOH various agencies within the USA are certainly trying to sell the idea that this is a bad thing. The budget differential of the two groups is enormous - consequently it'll almost definitely never happen.

[0] https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/08/05/7435796...


> What's on offer is a significant (order of magnitude) reduction in the number of violent gun deaths.

I think I wasn't totally clear about the point I was trying to make.

Very very very few politicians in the US (I can't name a prominent one but I'm hedging) are for any sort of firearm prohibition that would put us in line with any of the nations we are often compared with. So, given that, the restrictions being proposed will not and should not be expected to bring us in line with those nations. Therefore, the question I'm asking is, given the proposed restrictions, what benefits should we expect.

The point I wanted to make was that the answer to that question, "what benefits should we expect?", is basically none from the current viable proposals and that's why, while I am for more gun control, I am against most existing and proposed gun control measures as I feel they are either completely ineffective or overly burdensome for their effectiveness.

I find the oft-said quote of "If we can save even one life..." type of argument a massive red flag.


Okay, so if I understand you correctly, you're saying that - with the constraint of what's currently being proposed, a small set of tentative / cautious controls around gun ownership - that there's not much to gain, so consequently there's not much point trying ... ?

If that's roughly it, then I'd suggest:

a) the cautiousness is a political necessity - and does not preclude the option of pursuing stronger, but similarly sentiment policy changes down the road. First steps, and all that.

b) my understanding is that even very basic, not hugely contentious (almost bipartisan support for) ideas, such as removal of full automatic and ridiculously high calibre from the marketplace, stopping sales at gun shows without background checks, cooling off periods, requiring safe storage gun cabinets, etc - would result in a measurable decrease in deaths (murders, massacres, suicides, accidents).

In any case, it feels like even if (b) wasn't a highly likely, the cost of doing it is relatively low to the potential (but, really almost guaranteed) outcomes.

> I find the oft-said quote of "If we can save even one life..." type of argument a massive red flag.

I don't speak for all non-American citizens, but outside of the country looking in, it feels like (media, social groups, etc) this past year or four we've had an alarming reveal about the attitudes of a surprisingly large portion of American society -- even if something trivially inconvenient is requested of them, that demonstrably will save the lives of other citizens, there's an instinctive and violent push-back.

So, yes indeed - suggesting that some lives could be saved probably isn't a sufficient and satisfactory argument for many people there. But that's a separate problem.


The love of guns by certain segments of society can be tied to the US history of fear of slave rebellions and Indian raids.


You're saying this like it is an accurate portrayal of the entire modern positive sentiment towards guns. The honest truth of it is a lot of people just really do not like the government.


"Certain segments" != "the entire".


I am aware and that is what I am pointing out, but he's said this multiple times in a way that insinuates everyone who owns a gun is doing it for racist reasons.


"Some cows are green" is not an insinuation that "all cows are green."

> Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.

I guess I should add, if you can't find a way to respond to a comment without violating the guidelines, it's better to downvote, or flag if it's called for, and move on. I've discarded quite a number of half-written responses (and hastily deleted a few freshly-posted comments) on that basis.


I didn't violate the guidelines. It seems clear what their intent was and I added information to the conversation. I could still be wrong. To me, if he was trying to usefully inform other readers he would have commented on why his/her perceived historical connotations are meaningful.


> I could still be wrong. To me, if he was trying to usefully inform other readers he would have commented on why his/her perceived historical connotations are meaningful.

Aha. See, if you had phrased that as a question, there could be room for curious conversation. Instead, you took the least generous interpretation and ran with that.


There's far less generous interpretations available. I could have transparently accused him of race baiting.

If I did something similar, like ran around pointing out that children can actually consent do actually have a working theory of the world in a thread about CP you'd probably question whether or not I have a load of CP on my computer. There is something as too much benefit of the doubt.

So... maybe?


I haven't said anything multiple times.


don't forget fear of being raided by the mongol hordes and viking skirmishers. We musn't forget these ever present dangers


> Have you ever read about the terrible things people do to eachothers? Or the barbarism of human history?

We live in a tiny window of prosperity and safety. WWII was only 76 years ago. Syria is a short plane ride away. Afghanistan is a contemporary product of our own hubris.

Yet people still assume, for reasons that I genuinely cannot fathom, that this tiny window of privilege that we're lucky enough to inhabit will last indefinitely, and never backslide.


> Have you ever read about the terrible things people do to each other? Or the barbarism of human history?

Nearly all perpetrated by the armed against the unarmed. The lesson of "might makes right" is to be suspicious of might before it makes right.


" They provide you with a reasonably effective defense"

No, they don't at all. Just the opposite actually.

I get the 'Guns to defend against Tyranny' argument, that's kind of reasonable.

But as 'personal defence' they don't work nearly as well as having strong gun regulations which keep guns out of the hands of the morons. It's much safer walking down the street in Canada where you can't legally carry a gun, because there are just so few guns the baddies have a harder time getting them, and use them much less.

I do think we ought to be more concerned about authoritarian creep ... but guns are probably not the best solution to that either, as if it gets to that level it's very, very bad. Legislative, civic reform, voting, literacy etc. would be more helpful there.


But your premise rests on the trust that criminals won’t obtain guns illegally if more restrictions are created. On mobile, so don’t have the numbers, but I recall a large amount of gun crime is done by illegally obtained firearms.


It doesn't rest on the premise that bad guys won't obtain guns illegally ... because they for sure will and that's the case everywhere.

Supply and Demand applies to the Black Market as much as it does to legal markets.

Again Japan is a great example: there are pretty much no guns allowed, anywhere, and guess what? There is almost zero gun crime.

There's no doubt that anyone with basic resources and need could obtain a gun if they really put their minds to it, but that's part of Supply and Demand, it's just not worth the extended effort in most cases. But if you have them lying around, with easy access, and your whole crew has them, and your rival gang is also easily and well armed, well, then you have a problem.

The argument that guns are good for personal defence just does not add up, it's just irrational at face value that everyone running around with guns (even legal ones) creates safer conditions.

The only place they would be useful is in highly dangerous situations, ironically made dangerous at least in part because historically lax gun regulations. If I lived in Mexico, I may very well own a gun, but in Maine, it would be basically pointless for the purposes of 'self defence' there.

Switzerland has high gun ownership, but they do not really have pistols and they do not carry them for self defence.

Mexico has strict gun laws, but they are not enforced, so the laws don't have much of an effect.

USA -> Can/Aus -> UK/Europe -> Japan form a fairly straight forward examples of ever stricter gun control leading to considerably less gun crime.

Note that some of those places have elevated levels of physical assaults, and knife attacks, but that leads to considerably fewer injuries and fatalities.

The 'stand against tyranny' argument notwithstanding, I think there's some legitimacy there, but that's another can of worms.


> Again Japan is a great example: there are pretty much no guns allowed, anywhere, and guess what? There is almost zero gun crime.

I think the relevant counterfactual example you're looking for here is, "If Japan had much more liberal gun laws, would murder rates go up?" I don't think anyone's specifically concerned about gun murders.


"I don't think anyone's specifically concerned about gun murders. " That's because they don't exist. They are made impossible because of the restraints.

Consider that Japan has so effectively kept gun violence out, that we consider their 'no gun deaths' an artifact of their culture.

Reference my comment on this thread for data on Japan, France, US, Canada.

If you add in Korea, which is similar to Japan, you see that guns are not completely restricted but very rare - and guess what - homicide by guns, though still rare - does materially exist above the levels of Japan.

So yes, if you allowed 'some guns' in Japan, there would be some gun crime.

The homocide rate in Japan is about 1/2 that of Norway, which seems about right, it's not like they don't murder people there.

My bet if that gun laws in Japan were the same as Norway, you'd see 1) that more of the homicides would be by guns and 2) the homocide rate would creep up a bit because it's just so easy to reach for a gun.

Of course, if guns were as widespread in Japan as they are in the US there would be much more homicide, but still considerably less than in the US.

Put another way: while culture is obviously an important factor - that culture is driven by gun availability.

And other things as well of course: if everyone has healthcare/welfare, well, that's going to start to limit the very negative situations people get into on the margins. I'm not making an ideological point here, rather than trying to illustrate systematic effects.


>Put another way: while culture is obviously an important factor - that culture is driven by gun availability.

I think that's incorrect. You really need to do experiments to get at this sort of causal story, though econometricians think they can sneak their way around said experiments. It's definitely a feedback loop and the availability of guns seems like a very, very small part of what goes into a "culture".

Anyway, what I really came here to say is I think you misinterpreted my comment: I didn't mean japanese people don't really care about gun murders, I meant all of us shouldn't really care about gun murders. From a public policy perspective, the thing we care about is just plain old murders--with what tools people decide to commit them is irrelevant. The relevant counterfactual you need to consider is, "If Japan had more liberal gun laws, would the murder rate go up?" if the claim you're interested in is "Do gun laws influence the murder rate?", NOT "If Japan had more liberal gun laws, would the gun murder rate go up?". It seems likely that the gun murder rate would go up to me, but who cares? What if the overall murder rate went down? What we really care about is the # of people murdered.


No, it rely on the fact it’s harder for criminals to get guns if it’s harder for everyone.


Canada is 80% white (so considerably more homogeneous than the U.S.), enjoys somewhat lower levels of inequality, and doesn't have a long, porous border with a developing nation that has endemic corruption, violence, and organized crime. It's really different.


I imagine you have some proof or statistics that it's Mexicans doing most of the gun killing/dying in the US? Or am i misunderstanding what you're insinuating?


Yes, I think you are misunderstanding.


Honest question: would you trust your fellow citizens to have access to nuclear weapons as well?


As another gun owner its not necessarily people that my gun can defend me and my family from. I grew up living out side of town out in the country. I have in my yard seen bear, cougar, coyotes and while hiking/camping/fishing also come across wolves and various snakes. Around age 12 I started carrying a .22 caliber pistol loaded with snake shot when fishing in case of rattle snake.


Obviously anecdata, but on point: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/25/us/feral-hog-death-trnd/index...

Woman in Texas was killed by feral hogs.


> It seems like a regrettable situation where your distrust of your fellow citizens

It is other way around. People who want gun bans do not trust the fellow citizens and hence want to restrict their freedom of owning firearms. Gun lovers on other hand are some of the nicest people around, we want everyone women, lgbtq, blacks, whites, asians and everyone to own firearms and we trust them to be responsible for it.

Pride part :

1. I come from a long line of fighters. Weapons are part of our lifestyle and no government or law can stop my family from being armed. (Though we will always obey law).

2. Guns are a symbol of individual freedom. There is an inherent responsibility to protect one and their private property and community. I will not hesitate to use violence to fight a tyranny.

Australia is practically under house arrest today and we see articles like :

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/nsw-covid-upda...


Welp, I guess it’s time to finally give the Culture series a go.


Always a good idea.


So if more Texas liberal women were armed, they would still have the right to choose to get an abortion?


If they can shoot the men trying to rape them maybe they won’t have to?


A) most abortions aren't in response to rape. [0] B) most rapes aren't surprise attacks in a darkened alley or parking garage; it's by an acquaintance or intimate partner of the victim. [1]

[0] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/24/rape-a... [1] https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics


Have you ever tried to pull a gun on someone attacking you? I think most people find it easier to fantasize these 'armed defense' reactions then to actually experience one.


The CDC[0] links to a report[1] mentioning estimates of anywhere from 60,000 to 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year. I’m not necessarily agreeing with the previous comment, just adding some context.

0: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/firearms/fastfact.htm... 1: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2013/Priorities...


The authors (one being the notable Alan I. Leshner, MS, PhD) clearly states in the report that those numbers are unreliable:

>> The lack of standardization across databases limits their comparability (NRC, 2005). The absence of clearly defined concepts complicates data collection and interpretation. For example, definitions of “selfdefense” and “deterrence” are ambiguous (NRC, 2005; Weiner et al., 2007). There is no standardized method for data collection or collation, which prevents researchers from harnessing the potential power of data across multiple datasets


There's tons of footage available on the internet. Usually from Brazil.


Yes.


The general idea is to first avoid such situations, and then to have your hand on your gun's grip, or pull it before it's too late. You know, the whole CONSTANT VIGILANCE! thing.

If you're walking around in Condition White all the time you're unlikely to succeed. But that doesn't describe many if not most US concealed carriers.

The fact that you cast this as "fantasy" tells us it's not something you've ever seriously considered.


LOL, yes, if we were only all just like Joe Zamudio in 2011:

>> “I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready,” he explained on Fox and Friends. “I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this.” Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. “And that’s who I at first thought was the shooter,” Zamudio recalled. “I told him to ‘Drop it, drop it!’ “

https://slate.com/technology/2011/01/joe-zamudio-and-the-gab...

>> But the man with the gun wasn’t the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. “Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess,” the interviewer pointed out.


No. The point of trade-off is that you get some you lose some. They got guns rights and lost abortion rights. Or like back then with the Prohibition and women's suffrage https://time.com/5501680/prohibition-history-feminism-suffra...

"It became clear to them that giving women the right to vote was only way they could ban alcohol."


What evidence do you have for suggesting that a citizenry with guns serves to protect other freedoms? The US generally isn't among the top countries on the various international freedom indexes[1] despite our prevalence of guns. We are usually behind Canada, New Zealand, the Scandinavian countries, and a few other European countries depending on the specific criteria being evaluated.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_freedom_indices


I have a very simple litmus test. In how many countries can you openly (with lots of publicity) organize "Draw a Muhammad" or "Burn the bible" events.


Interesting. Kids in many countries throughout the middle east and northern Africa have essentially unrestricted access to firearms, including shit you can't buy in most US states, but your "Draw a Muhammad" litmus test wouldn't fly. What does this indicate?

Let's burn the American flag instead. How's that gonna go in rural counties of the US? Will it be safe, or will the response be armed?


The litmus test is to measure freedom and not effectiveness of guns on freedom.

It is pretty hard to organize 'Draw A Muhammad' workshop in non-muslim countries like Canada, UK or India. That tells you how less free those countries are.

Secondly, freedom is used (always) in the context of Government. In India, Canada or UK it is not the fellow muslim you have to worry about but the government jailing you. In the absence of a robust violent respons from society government will take away your freedoms one by one to simplify their own life at your expense.

> Let's burn the American flag instead.

Please do. It is an important freedom Americans have and constitutional granted free speech right. American flag is burned, insulted on regular basis in USA. Just like flag insulting national anthem is another form of protest in USA. I have not heard of anyone being punished or killed in USA for burning American flag. Most certainly the government can't punish you for the same.


> It is pretty hard to organize 'Draw A Muhammad' workshop in non-muslim countries like Canada, UK or India. That tells you how less free those countries are.

Sorry, bub. I live in Canada, and you're extremely misinformed about the law here. It would not be hard to organize a "draw a Muhammad" event here. If Megan Murphy speaking at the Vancouver Public Library is any indication, you could even do it on government property, replete with security to keep you and the protesters away from eachother.

Or, change my mind. Show me the legal precedent where Canada jailed somebody for drawing Muhammad. I'm curious about the UK, India and Australia, too. But I'm calling bullshit on your claim about Canada.

The closest I've seen was a dude got fined for distributing hate speech targeting an individual. He couldn't afford to pay the fine, and that was the end of that.


How about getting an abortion as the test of freedom? My point is that “freedom” is very much a subjective definition.


>Let's burn the American flag instead

The response will be armed

You will not be Shot unless you tried to harm someone first

You will be yelled at, called names, and maybe at most hit across the head

They will try to stop you, put out the fire, and prevent you from burning the flag

They will not shoot you dead...


You're saying that I should expect to be assaulted and arrested in response to an exercise of free speech. That's a fail.

If I persist, or defend myself, as people attempt to stop me, are you positive that I wouldn't get shot by some trigger-happy kid like Kyle Rittenhouse?


And what happens if I physically intervene to stop them from putting out my flag?


Honestly, depends what state you are in and if defending property is legal.


That is a poor test in my opinion. I do not value symbolic personal liberties like bible burning or drawing Muhammad more than economic or press freedom which have a much larger cascading effect on our lives. And the fact that the US is lacking in those two latter categories compared to many of our peer nations calls into question whether our freedom regarding guns or speech actually protects our other freedoms.


The US is not lacking in either press or economic freedom compared to ‘peer’ nations.


Did you click through to the link in my first comment?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Freedom_of_the_World

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_Press_(report)

There are 2 indexes each for economic and press freedom. Our rankings on the economic freedom lists are 5th and 20th. On the press freedom ranks we are 44th, and 37th.


You seem to be looking at the the rank order alone, which just means there are a lot of closely bunched countries near the US on the indices.

If you look at the heat maps and the actual indices themselves, along with the countries with comparable numbers, you’ll see that those lists precisely support my claim.

Thanks for providing this corroborating data.


You are simply factually wrong in your description of this data. 3 of the 4 indexes I listed provide defined tiers. The US is in the top tier on only 1 of the 3 lists. On that one list there are 60 counties in the top tier. On the other two lists we are in the 2nd tier defined as "satisfactory situation" and "mostly free". The organizations behind the lists clearly think there is room for improvement. This data does not corroborate your point.


I am not factually wrong.

Here is what I said: “The US is not lacking in either press or economic freedom compared to ‘peer’ nations.”

Whether or not there are countries who have better ratings, any honest reading of the list sees that the US ratings are similar to peers.

When you consider how large and diverse the US is compared to most countries on the list, the ranking becomes more impressive.

The first list puts the US above all of Europe except Switzerland, and above all of Scandinavia, and Canada and Australia.

The second list puts the US above Sweden, Germany, and Japan for example.

The third, doesn’t have ranks, but places US in the ‘satisfactory’ category along with most of Europe, Canada, and Australia.

The fourth, is the only one in which the US does a little worse on their points scale, however *it is back in the top tier described as ‘free’ alongside all its peers, and above the UK, France and Japan in the ranking.

It’s just bullshit to claim these lists indicate that the US is lacking compared to peers.


I started writing out a longer response to you, but then realized it isn't worth it. If you aren't going to acknowledge that we maybe have room for improvement when we are internationally ranked in the 30s and 40s in press freedom then I don't see much value in continuing the conversation on how our freedom might be lacking.


> If you aren't going to acknowledge that we maybe have room for improvement

This is a completely dishonest representation of what I have said.

Here it is again:

> The US is not lacking in either press or economic freedom compared to ‘peer’ nations. Whether or not there are countries who have better ratings, any honest reading of the list sees that the US ratings are similar to peers.

Nowhere did I say there wasn’t room for improvement or even claim the US was at the top.

If you’re going to lie about both what I said, and what the links show, what do you think we can accomplish?


These lists seem to show that the US is pretty much on par with the rest of the western world. I'm not sure how you could look at these and say that the US is behind it's peers very much, especially on the economic freedom measures. Only the second press freedom list seems to have the US at the low end compared to other western countries, but it's still above the UK, South Korea and a few others.


Here is what I said initially:

>We are usually behind Canada, New Zealand, the Scandinavian countries, and a few other European countries depending on the specific criteria being evaluated.

The countries we are behind on all 4 lists and therefore unanimously behind:

    - New Zealand
    - Switzerland
The countries we are behind on 3 of the 4 lists and therefore countries we are "usually behind":

    - Canada
    - Australia
    - Ireland 
    - Denmark
    - Finland
    - Netherlands
The countries we are behind on 2 of the 4 lists and therefore countries we are on par with:

    - Germany
    - Norway  
    - Sweden 
    - Iceland
    - Belgium
    - Austria
    - Portugal
    - Czech Republic
    - Lithuania
    - Slovenia
    - Andorra
    - Liechtenstein
    - Luxembourg
    - Estonia
    - Cyprus
    - Jamaica
    - Costa Rica

So that is a yes on "Canada, New Zealand... and a few other European countries". I don't know why you and the other poster are pretending that naming countries that we are ranked higher than disproves this statement. The only thing that isn't backed up by those rankings is that I said "the Scandinavian countries" when it is only Denmark and Finland ahead of us while we are on par with Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.


You also said this:

> And the fact that the US is lacking in those two latter categories compared to many of our peer nations

Which is still bullshit.

As I said before, whether or not there are countries who have better ratings, any honest reading of the list sees that the US ratings are similar to peers.


Is your enter point through these several posts that my definition of "peer" is too broad? It should have been obvious in context that I was referring to something along the lines of "western democracies" since I listed countries before ever using the word "peer". It honestly seems like you are arguing just for the sake of argument at this point.


> It should have been obvious in context that I was referring to something along the lines of "western democracies" since I listed countries before ever using the word "peer".

I already dealt with that in this response:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28560646

> It honestly seems like you are arguing just for the sake of argument at this point.

That doesn’t seem honest to me.


I said "compared to many of our peer nations". You are acting as if I said "compared to all our peer nations". Pointing out countries we are ahead does nothing to disprove that there are 8 countries in which we are "usually behind".

But either way, I give up. This isn't worth spending any more time on. Congrats, you win!


> I said "compared to many of our peer nations". You are acting as if I said "compared to all our peer nations"

This is where the misunderstanding arises. You are actually incorrect. I’m not acting as if you said compared to all of our peer nations. I clearly and repeatedly accepted that we are behind some of our peer nations.

You on the other hand, are using the fact that we are not literally at the top of the list, to argue that we are behind our peers in a general sense.

If you weren’t you’d simply say “we aren’t at the top of the list - there are 8 countries ahead of us”, instead of the false, and more generic sounding “compared to many of our peers”.


Along that line of thinking it's now illegal to burn the US flag.


No, it is legal to burn the US flag assuming it's your flag (in the United States)


Sort of, there are still laws against it in almost every state.

https://apnews.com/article/803cf0e75e924afbbbe9c77f15517da5


Wow, it is infuriating that people are still getting harassed for that. However, the fact that it is constitutionally protected basically precludes any of those charges from being pursued. Apparently, sometimes flag burners are harassed with other petty crimes like theft/littering.


Those aren't enforceable, and haven't been for decades.


How often do you make use of your freedom to make meaningless antagonistic gestures to Muslims or Christians? Would you rank it as more or less important than the freedom to go for a run in public without being shot or harassed (which is not really afforded to Black Americans [0])?

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/sports/running-while-blac...


How should I make sense of the fact that I saw several Black Americans jogging this week. Are they scofflaws and rebels?


You clearly didn't read the collected stories in that article. The NYTimes requested letters from Black people on their experiences running after a Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, was murdered awhile running and a big part of the national narrative consisted of false allegations that he had just burgled some place.

It seems a lot of Black people are afraid to run because they know there's a real risk that they'll be shot by white people who will assume they've committed a crime. They're afraid people will immediately assume they're scofflaws, as you joked (?), and hurt or harass them.

So you may have seen black people running, but that may be because you live in a more progressive neighborhood with BLM signs that has made Black runners feel less like they'd be murdered in your neighborhood than in other neighborhoods (as one person explained in that article).

If we're measuring freedom, the right to exist in public without a reasonable expectation of violence and harassment seems important.


Okay, but you said "Blacks are not afforded the freedom to run," not that some people (how many?) have apprehensions or misgivings about doing so (not a lack of freedom). Apartheid in South Africa was a different thing from "some people are afraid, possibly irrationally so".

Lastly, this has nothing to do with gun ownership? You can find people expressing exactly the same sentiments all over western Europe.


Actually, what I said was

>...the freedom to go for a run in public without being shot or harassed (which is not really afforded to Black Americans)".

I could quibble about that claim, or point that I've read countless tweets and anecdotes from Black people describing that they have to carefully plan their routes and wear shirts from ivy league schools because they've been assaulted or harassed by white people in the past and they just want to make whites feel safe, or look back to my upbringing in Grosse Pointe, a wealthy suburb just east of Detroit that was hardcore redlined [0] where I saw Black people routinely harassed for existing in public. But the core of this is that Black people in American don't have the freedoms white people do. Black people don't get personhood here, unlike people who look like me [1].

And as a homicide researcher, I assure you, gun ownership is extremely relevant to the denial of freedom to Black Americans.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_Metro_Detroit...

[1] https://twitter.com/jbouie/status/1255088329634308096?s=20


Your argument sounds compelling on a sentimental level. Unfortunately, as soon as one digs down into the numbers and does any sort of statistical analysis -- I guess something I'd expect a homicide researcher (what is that anyway? [0]) to do -- the claim falls apart. Controlling for any correlated factors -- criminality, age, income -- whites and blacks are about even in many (but not all) respects [1]

It's true that in some cases, there are disparities that seem to suggest a very small amount of racial bias. Summing up that situation by saying that as blacks are not free is about as unproductive and untrustworthy as using Jamelle Bouie as a source for anything.

[0] seriously, what is that? A description of your hobby of reading newspaper articles and downloading public datasets?

[1] https://www.nas.org/academic-questions/34/3/testing-the-test...


My title is "data scientist", and my main job function has been researching homicide and developing policies that reduce the homicide rate/increase the homicide clearance rate. I was embedded in the homicide unit of the Bureau of Detectives my local (Chicago) police department for a year and a half, and over that time, I saw footage of hundreds and hundreds of homicides, and one remarkable thing about them (besides how horrible they are) is how racially segregated the victimization is.

Over 80% of people shot or killed in the city I've lived in for over a decade are Black, and over 80% of shootings or homicides occur in neighborhoods where 80+% of residents are Black. These observables forced me to ask "Why are Black people so disproportionately victimized by violent crime?" and "Why is housing so intensely segregated?". Looking into segregation, I found this problem isn't unique to Chicago, rather it's a feature of every US city with a significant Black population [0], so the cause likely wasn't purely local in nature.

Growing up in the Detroit suburb I mentioned previously, I was very familiar with "redlining", as the the boundary line separating Detroit and Grosse Pointe was also the boundary line separating white and Black residents as that Wikipedia image clearly shows. I am somewhat embarrassed that I had to watch hundreds of people be murdered before I thought to ask "why are we still so racially segregated, over 50 years after LBJ's administration signed so many civil rights bills into law?" but asking that question lead me to investigate, and unsurprisingly, a nation-wide effect was the consequence of a nation-wide federal policy. The Federal Housing Administration's explicitly racist mortgage underwriting guidelines [1] explicitly incentivized racially segregating Black Americans out of areas with desirable land, low pollution, good schools, or good services. Here are some excerpts from this Federal policy that provided a massive investment vehicle nearly exclusively to white Americans:

* "Natural or artificially established barriers will prove effective in protecting a neighborhood and the locations within it from adverse influences. Usually the protection from adverse influences afforded by these means includes prevention of the infiltration of business and industrial uses, lower class occupancy, and inharmonious racial groups." (Section 935: "Natural Physical Protection"),

* "Areas surrounding a location are investigated to determine whether incompatible racial and social groups are present, for the purpose of making a prediction regarding the probability of the location being invaded by such groups. If a neighborhood is to retain stability, it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes. A change in social or racial occupancy generally contributes to instability and a decline in values." (Section 937: "Quality of Neighboring Development"),

* "However, if the children of people living in such an area are compelled to attend school where the majority or a considerable number of the pupils represent a far lower level of society or an incompatible racial element, the neighborhood under consideration will prove far less stable and desirable than if this condition did not exist." (section 951: "Quality and Accessibility of Schools"),

* "Satisfaction, contentment, and comfort result from association with persons of similar social attributes. Families enjoy social relationships with other families whose education, abilities, mode of living, and racial characteristics are similar to their own." (Section 973: "Social Attractiveness"),

* "The infiltration of inharmonious racial groups will produce the same effects as those which follow the introduction of incongruous land uses, when the latter tend to lower the level of land values and lessen the desirability of residential areas." (Section 1360, "Estimation of Remaining Physical and Economic Life of Buildings",

* "Racial Occupancy Desiqnation. This will be a letter indicating predominating racial characteristics, as follows: W-White M-Mixed F-Foreign N-Negro" (Section 1850)

* etc.

The FHA is a federal agency of the US government, which extends its reach across the US. The FHA's underwriting manual provided explicitly racist rules for determining whether the FHA would insure mortgages in an area, and if the FHA wouldn't insure mortgages in an area, that drastically reduced the number of banks that would issue mortgages in an area, which reduces the supply of buyers, which reduces land value. As a consequence, these policies incentivized real estate agents, banks, and white residents to push Black people out of desirable areas and into ghettos or areas far from economic opportunity. While these policies were outlawed by the Fair Housing Act of 1968, many millions of white Americans were able to buy real estate thanks to this program thereby enabling those white Americans to generate generational wealth on those assets, while Black Americans were denied access to this class investment, or could only access it through predatory means (eg "contract buying", where the buyer gains no equity until the very last payment is made, so failure to pay the penultimate payment could result in the resident being evicted with nothing). Even with redlining being explicitly illegal, banks still do it [2].

Over the past hundred years in the US, real estate has been an incredibly well performing investment, and access to this investment class many decades ago has allowed white families to profit from (and pass down) the compounding returns, while Black families were locked out of this. The resulting racial wealth gap [3] is staggering, with the median white family net wealth being around $188k, while the median Black family's net wealth is around $24k. As a result, segregation is maintained by the massive population of white Americans who are able to afford rents or mortgages in areas with high quality services, while the population of Black Americans able to afford the same rents or mortgages is disproportionately smaller.

As a result of this intense, systemic racial bias (which is undeniably obvious, just look at these maps [0]!), average Black Americans enjoy nowhere near the freedom that average white Americans do. Last year, there were over 4000 shootings and 769 homicides in Chicago, and the overwhelming majority of them occurred in the neighborhoods where the majority of Chicago's ~780,000 Black residents live. In the Detroit suburb I grew up in, I could (and regularly did) go for walks between midnight and 3am, never once thinking "oh, this isn't safe". None of my classmates were ever murdered or shot. Few if any of my classmates had to work a job to help their family get by, and even most of the mediocre students in my grade went to college. The conditions for Black people my age who just lived 4 blocks north of me, just across the Detroit border, lived under very different conditions.

If you think this is a "very small amount of racial bias", I assume you've just never taken the time to think about this issue. When you look a maps of racial segregation in the US [0], [systemic racial segregation via federal housing policy] is the only explanation that stands up to scrutiny. If you're actually interested in the truth on this issue, you should read "The Color of Law" [4]. If you aren't interested in the truth, keep doing what you're doing.

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/segreg...

[1] https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/Feder...

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/eight-rec...

[3] https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/disp...

[4] https://www.epi.org/publication/the-color-of-law-a-forgotten...


Citing several small countries with many significant differences from the U.S. isn’t solid logic. All of those countries are much smaller, much less diverse, and enjoy the geopolitical shelter of the U.S.


Are you suggesting that a country needs to take away press freedom as its population increases or it becomes more diverse? Otherwise I don't see your point. I can concede that economic freedom might become more complex for larger countries, but why shouldn't press freedom scale? We rank in the 30s and 40s on those press freedom indexes. If you want to eliminate smaller countries, why can't we keep up with a country like Germany who is ahead of us on both lists?


I don't think the suggestion is that a country "needs" to take away freedoms as it grows larger or more diverse. It's just that a larger and more diverse country is simply more likely to have to grapple with tensions between different groups of people. This may lead to some freedoms being challenged.


> In my experience USA lot less corrupt than most other countries. Lobbying overall is a net good thing for a democratic society.

You rightly mention lobbying and corruption together. But somehow you miss that they are on the same continuum. From my EU perspective lobbying in the US is corruption, as the lobbying comes with money and paid-for political promotion.

The situation around guns itself is a clear example: as I understand it, a majority of US people is in favor of more limitations to gun rights (banning automatic weapons, screening psychiatric patients and criminals) but politicians are only expanding gun rights (open carry etc).

If democracy would work as intended then "common sense" limitations would have been introduced long ago.

Note that I am not talking about corruption in the criminal sense: US politics and supreme court have fully legalized and embraced it, conflating it with lobbying.


With regard to your gun control points, there is a bit of nuance you missed that people (like me, if I wasn’t trying to help you steelman your argument) will criticize.

Specifically, there are already heavy restrictions on automatic weapons, which are basically never used in criminal acts. Every automatically gun in the US has to be registered with the federal government for $200 and a lot of paperwork. In effect it means if you’re wealthy you can own automatic guns, which is a violation of the 2nd in a lot of people’s opinion.

What I think you meant when you said automatic is “assault “, which is what most of the gun debate is currently center on, so called “assault rifles”. The issue is that the term is not clearly defined, and under most proposed bans would include many rifles which were traditionally considered hunting tools. Even that is a bit of moot point, because the 2nd was not written with hunting in mind.

Another hot point recently is “ghost guns”, which like “assault rifle”, sounds scary enough on the evening news to grab eyeballs. “Ghost guns” are being used to justify government overreach by banning the sharing of gun plans for DIY construction. The issue is that again, almost no DIY guns are used in crimes. What are used are stolen handguns that have had the serial number scratched off. The stolen guns are grouped in with DIY guns as “ghost guns”.


Automatic weapons were only ever rich people toys. Unless you've got a squad of buddies and one of them is laying down covering fire they're not very useful and they convert money into noise real fast.


Small correction. The term "assault rifle" is pretty well defined.

I think you're thinking of "assault weapon" which gets thrown about a lot and for which there isn't a clear definition.


SKS rifles cost over US$600, a $200 licensing fee isn't infringing any rights compared to the right to a fair and speedy trial.

The term 'assault rifle' is used loosely by us, but in terms of law there are definitions: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1296...


> The term 'assault rifle' is used loosely by us, but in terms of law there are definitions: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1296...

"Assault rifle" has a very specific meaning: an intermediate-caliber, magazine-fed military rifle capable of both semi-automatic and automatic fire. That common meaning has been more or less fixed since WWII when it was adopted from the German word Sturmgewehr.

"Assault weapon" is a legal term that is defined by law (e.g., California's assault weapons ban or the failed federal Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 that you cited). "Assault weapon" includes not only semi-automatic rifles, but also shotguns and pistols that have certain characteristics. The definitions are long and complicated because they attempt to ban only weapons having the visual and ergonomic features of military weapons, while ignoring weapons of similar caliber that do not have those features.


Many people in the US cannot afford that. It’s an arbitrary 33% increase on an already expensive purchase. That’s a pretty strong disincentive for a lot of people. Not to mention people who would prefer to engage with the federal government as little as possible, for a wide variety of reasons.

As for the definition, if you read the definitions of the prohibited components, they are broad enough to ban essentially all rifles, which is likely the goal. For instance, “pistol grip” seems like a well defined thing at a glance, but it is later defined as “ 45) The term ‘pistol grip’ means a grip, a thumbhole stock or Thordsen-type grip or stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.”

That last clause especially is extremely broad. Define functioning as a grip. Is that any piece that enables holding the rifle?


One of the many things you're ignoring is that $200 was originally over $4,000 in today's dollars. And had quite the chilling effect, even if at the last minute handguns were removed from the remit of the NFA of 1934, that's why it has the bizarre "Any Other Weapon" category, it was intended to effectively ban for almost all citizens in the middle of the Great Depression all concealable weapons, as well as full auto.

And you don't get to decide if $200 today plus a very intrusive application process infringes on our rights.


>> As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms. Congress found these firearms to pose a significant crime problem because of their frequent use in crime, particularly the gangland crimes of that era such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/national-firearms-...

Also, the supreme court already weighted on some rights regarding weapon registration:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Freed

>> United States v. Freed, 401 U.S. 601 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held the National Firearms Act's registration requirements do not violate the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.


Try putting a pre-emptive background check, $200 fee, and 10-12 month waiting period for approval on any other constitutional right, whether that right be explicitly stated, or implicitly "discovered".


> SKS rifles cost over US$600, a $200 licensing fee isn't infringing any rights compared to the right to a fair and speedy trial.

$600 for an automatic rifle? I will literally pay you as much just to connect me to the seller.


Correction.

SKS is semi-automatic.

So don't need the $200 ATF machine gun stamp.


Just to clarify, fully automatic rifles ("machine guns") in the U.S. cost tens of thousands of dollars (and have, thanks to gun control legislation, been an absolutely amazing investment). For instance, an M-16 would cost you maybe $30-35k plus the regulatory hoops.


The situation around guns itself is a clear example: as I understand it, a majority of US people is in favor of more limitations to gun rights (banning automatic weapons, screening psychiatric patients and criminals) but politicians are only expanding gun rights (open carry etc).

Strange, isn't it, how polling organizations don't quite seem to capture what the people actually want and vote for.

Actually, your list of "banning automatic weapons, screening psychiatric patients and criminals" is already in place, although the first is limited to a few hundred thousand in civilian hands. Two last time I checked had been used in crimes, the first incident a murder by a policeman.


> From my EU perspective lobbying in the US is corruption, as the lobbying comes with money and paid-for political promotion.

People with money and influence will always try to impact law. In EU it happens through actual bribes which is far worse. (Pretty much like India). In USA an immigrant like me can join hands with 10K immigrants and find enough support in congress openly by hiring lobbiest to advocate for the cause I care about. That is how democracy should work.

It is easy to see lobbying as bad by taking examples you don't like but in reality it is a great example of how people can convince their representatives to pass right kind of laws, legally and with enough regulation. In most countries this happens to secret middleman and nights in shady hotels.

> a majority of US people is in favor of more limitations to gun rights

It is not clear if that is the case. Of course majority of people is irrelevant because this is not a mob rule. That is why we don't allow crowd in SF determine what people in Montana want. It is all fair game.

Secondly, people like me who care about guns care about it lot more to actually form lobbies. On other hand folks who dislike guns only talk about it but will not lobby or donate for the anti-gun causes.

I recommend this excellent video about why NRA despite with a shoe string budget is so much more influenced than many other lobbying groups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdt6Jj64TVU


> shoe string budget

> Revenue (2018) $412,233,508[0]

I don't know what shoestrings you're buying, but I suggest shopping around.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association


> shoe string budget

> Revenue (2018) $412,233,508[0]

That could buy a lot of machineguns, according to the ATF.

https://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/2010/01/25/shoestring-mach...


That's pre-embezzlement revenue. Perhaps the remainder is just a shoestring?


> In EU it happens through actual bribes which is far worse. (Pretty much like India).

What on earth are you talking about?


Please note that automatic weapons are already banned from civilian possession. Regarding psychiatric patients and criminals, this has an exact opposite effect that you want. People are far more scared of seeking psychiatric help when they know that they’re going to lose their rights. This is an open secret in gun community to never mention to a doctor that you have guns, and this is an indirect message to not seek psychiatric help unless you wanna lose your guns. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_incentive#The_origina...


As someone who both owns guns, has a concealed carry permit, and has been in therapy and takes anti-depressants, the pervasive fear about getting red flagged and having your firearms taken away seems like overblown fearmongering.

Can someone point me towards some statistics or reports of such occurrences?


I don’t understand what are you trying to challenge here? My claim that people think that, or their belief that this does not happen?

I don’t know how can I prove that people think that. You just need to be in the gun community and talk to people who would never put it in writing. My own gun trainer told us the story of a man going to the doctor for getting his hand hurt while doing repairs at home, the doctor chatted with him and he mentioned that he lost his job recently that’s why he had all this free time to do his work, the doctor reported this and his guns were taken away. (Please note no more details were provided than the story).

The point is that mental health is a very tricky game, there is an immediate loss of trust due to the fundamental nature of what it is. I personally don’t think you should own guns if you’re taking antidepressants.


> I don’t understand what are you trying to challenge here? My claim that people think that, or their belief that this does not happen?

> I don’t know how can I prove that people think that. You just need to be in the gun community and talk to people who would never put it in writing.

I wasn't trying to challenge anything, just presenting my own anecdata that I personally have not run into gun ownership issues even with my own mental health trials. Nor has my brother, who like another commenter got put into a 72-hour involuntary hold and continues to own and purchase firearms without issue. Contrast this against your own, opposing anecdata from your trainer.

I'm well familiar with the belief and that people live with such fear, I've heard it plenty at ranges, gun stores, sporting goods stores, from colleagues and in bars. Recently, my girlfriend quit her job and her father was near frantic in his insistence that she not cite 'stress' in her resignation letter as that alone would supposedly start some rube goldberg slippery slope mechanism to her losing her right to own guns. Again, to me this feels like such an overblown fear of the evil eye of big government boogeyman and near incredible, which is why I was asking for stats or reports to try to put some numbers to the stories. I certainly won't discount that guns are, on occasion, taken away from their rightful owners without proper due process; but are there any DOJ, FBI reports, etc?


> just presenting my own anecdata that I personally have not run into gun ownership issues even with my own mental health trials. Nor has my brother, who like another commenter got put into a 72-hour involuntary hold and continues to own and purchase firearms without issue.

Ok, so your point is, that making laws which stigmatize mental health (which is what it is) have no impact on people seeking out mental health counseling?


No, my point is that I haven't seen, and am asking for, data to back up the belief that the pursuit of mental health is causing mass seizures of people's belongings.

If anything, my point is that maybe this pervasive (and possibly unfounded, which is why I'm wondering if there is any actual hard data) fear of having guns stolen is impacting people's mental health by disincentivizing them from seeking the help they need.


> No, my point is that I haven't seen, and am asking for, data to back up the belief that the pursuit of mental health is causing mass seizures of people's belongings.

Ah, but that was not my claim. My claim is, association of mental health and guns will cause (and is causing) people to avoid seeking mental health.

I don't know how can I be any more clear, but you can read my past comments again.


No stats, but I have been placed under a 72-hour involuntary hold and even I could still purchase guns in my state.

Being committed by judicial order for having a mental illness/developmentally disabled, or being found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial are the three disqualifiers for gun ownership in my state. It is likely different in each state, so YMMV.


There's a reason that national, electronic, centralized medical records happened before we started hearing these pushes for red-flag laws.


you have got it almost completely backwards. :P Automatic weapons are for all intents and purposes banned. Politicians are constantly passing new gun control. It is far easier to pass new gun control laws than it is to remove them. "Common Sense Gun Control Laws" is a term coined by the Democrats that is used to refer to any gun control legislation that they are currently trying to pass. If they pass the law than the next thing they want becomes "Common Sense"


Yes, personally I would much rather put my trust in my neighboring citizens than the government. I trust myself and other citizens to stand up for our rights more than I trust the government to protect them. So, I'd rather citizens be armed than the government. IIRC Switzerland has an interesting citizen militia/gun ownership situation as well.


Switzerlands guns culture and history is very different. Quite the opposite actually. Civilians were armed, required to own guns for a long time, so local lords and later governments could send them to conflicts quicker.

The argument that you need guns for personal defense, against the government or as part of self-reliance is extremely rare. Also legally there are not many cases where their use would be considered justified self-defense by a court.

There has been some "americanization" in recent years with people copying NRA arguments but not a prevalent mindset anywhere in the country.

The reasons why there are some many guns around are simply because people often take (or had to in the past) the military service riffle home and because shooting is a fairly popular sport. Not because of a perceived need of needing it for defending oneself or family.


Yes, everyone in Switzerland has a gun but you left out a very important detail: ammo is illegal to own.


Sadly, our neighborhood thinks everyone is a potential criminal and hangs signs around saying "I don't call 911" with a picture of a gun. This is not inviting to other neighbors, and not a way to build trust with one another.


I grew up in an area where people have these signs and bumper stickers, and never had a problem socializing. I saw no evidence that people couldn't trust their neighbors or community. I've seen these in rural and urban places as well, and still haven't seen any issue like what you're suggesting. What's the problem supposed to be?


How do those signs introduce trust by advertising violence? Furthermore, I do not want my children playing with other families who have guns inside the household. I don't see it as safe.

Why hang a sign that insinuates "I may shoot you", unless that person really means it?


Because the neighbors know that violence will only be directed against those causing harm in the neighborhood, restoring peace should criminal activity cross a line, and deterring criminal activity by assuring perpetrators will not benefit from their vile actions.

I know other families who have guns are willing & able to protect my children. They've thought about such situations, and have means to protect the innocent.


The signs are clearly intended for would-be criminals, that is the well understood meaning of a phrase like "we don't call 911" or "this house protected by Smith and Wesson". Nobody who lives next to such a house thinks these signs describe them or are meant for them at all, because they aren't criminals. The "I may shoot you" interpretation never occurs to them, because they don't think "I may rob this house" either.

You make a fundamental mistake by thinking that the sign has any effect on how much I trust my neighbors. Unless it's a NAMBLA flag, I am not going to let a bumper sticker or slogan override my personal experience of a person. Most people are like this.


The problem is not specifically criminals, but how people react to others under stress, and how they view guns in their lives. Do they turn to guns quickly, or do they find peaceful solutions? The posted signs are one way to judge, and I really do hope most people are peaceful, even though they portray violence. My family's safety could depend on their true nature.

An example of someone's recent true nature:

>> A Washington man was arrested after officials said he shot and killed a neighbor for revving his engine too loudly.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/state/washington/article...


Those familiar with guns know their place, and are (on the whole) actually much less likely to harm others without cause - precisely because they are familiar with the likely harm.

One cherry-picked anecdote is insufficient. A million or so crimes, murders included, are deterred/stopped every year - most without firing a shot.


> A million or so crimes, murders included, are deterred/stopped every year - most without firing a shot.

The data don't really suggest that this is the case. Compared to other western countries, America has the same rate of crime. The difference is, of course, that criminal activity is more likely to involve firearms and thus death.


>Unless it's a NAMBLA flag, I am not going to let a bumper sticker or slogan override my personal experience of a person. Most people are like this.

If you have lots of personal experiences with a person, that's great. But many people don't have real relationships with their neighbors. Bumper stickers and slogans absolutely will impact such relations, they make first impressions. I certainly wouldn't trust almost-strangers with tons of flat-earth stuff to tutor my kids, would you?


In my experience, conservative and moderate-leaning people do not require a priori confirmation of ideological alignment with a person before they try to know them. Especially if they live next door. In conservative places, where you would expect to find more armed households, you would also see more neighborly relationship in my experience.


That's fantastic. Does this sense of community continue to apply when a black family moves in?


The derangement of liberals knows no end, I see. Just nakedly projecting his own internal reality without a hint of self-awareness.

Being brown myself, I promise you that your cherished pet minorities are doing fine in the suburbs. None of us are looking to urban whites as a savior, and you don't need to involve us in your feud with rural whites. Many of the people who I know that are gun owners are black -- they're very neighborly as well!


I'm glad your experiences have been good. But that doesn't make it true for the country as a whole. Here's a quote by Former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich:

"It's more dangerous to be black in America[...] It's both more dangerous because of crime, which is the Chicago story. But it is more dangerous in that you're substantially more likely to end up in a situation where police don't respect you where you could easily get killed. I think sometimes for whites it's difficult to appreciate how real that is."


That's completely unrelated to whether your rural neighbors will be friendly, though. In fact, both things he mentions - crime and police - are going to be primarily experienced in urban, democratic areas by African Americans.


Are you suggesting that racism is a predominantly urban phenomenon?


Respectfully, you may think you're developing a coherent argument, but you are jumping around between several unrelated points.

Does racism exist? Of course. It probably is even higher among rural and suburban individuals, on some kind of self-reported metric.

Does it have an appreciable, significantly negative impact on the lives of most non-white people in 2021? The evidence is pretty dubious on this point IMO, but of course it depends on your definition of impactful.

Is it related to gun violence? I don't see how.


What argument? I was literally just asking a question. If you thought I was making some statement about gun violence, I suggest that you calm down and stop reading too much into random comments on the internet.


Sure, I guess if someone is asking a loaded (and flippant IMO) question, they can be said to be "literally just asking a question." But I'm not sure how seriously to take "I'm not making a comment about gun violence" several comments deep into a thread about gun violence.


In this thread? I have mentioned nothing of weapons. I really don't know how to tell you that threads and conversations quickly change topic. I'm genuinely curious what statement on gun violence my question was supposed to be making.


I am suggesting that "being African American" is a disproportionately urban phenomenon.


Which goes back to the original point: gun violence is a geographically limited phenomenon.


Is this still true? This article (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.calhealthreport.org/2018/04...) suggests that it's no longer the case in California.


If you follow through to the referenced article, they show a map of CA with extremely high variability between counties. Moreover, the county boundaries themselves are quite broad geographically. For example, it shows Contra Costa as having 5+ gun deaths per 100k, but do you think that's Walnut Creek and Pleasanton's contribution? Or Concord's? Similar questions could be asked about Alameda or Los Angeles counties.


Can you elaborate on how this disqualifies the study findings? I also read it, they say:

"To describe the urban-rural distribution of firearm mortality, we used the county-level metropolitan/nonmetropolitan classification from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2013 Rural-Urban Continuum Codes, which defines nonmetropolitan (rural) counties as having communities of fewer than 50,000 people with less than 25% of the workforce commuting to a metropolitan(urban)county".

Does that work?


I'm not sure how to reconcile that note with figures 5, 6 which show county level aggregation. Moreover, I just noticed that this survey deals with firearm mortality and not homicides by gunshot.

Broadly speaking, if someone says "we should severely curtail gun ownership because at a per-county level some counties have very high firearm mortality rates," it does seem reasonable to me to object on the basis that:

1. in terms of the intersection of quality of life and foundational rights, I care more about the rate of homicide, not gun mortality (which includes accident and suicide). Rights imply responsibility, so the appropriate question is whether people are capable of being responsible with their rights. It is irresponsible if you harm others with the exercise of your freedom.

2. on the basis of individual cities and towns, high gun ownership (freedom) does not seem to correlate to higher homicide (irresponsibility). That phenomenon seems restricted to dense urban areas where gun control is already in effect, and other geographies -- mostly poorer regions where stronger gang and drug enforcement seems warranted.


I'm trying to understand the problem with defining rural and urban areas at a county level. Aren't they looking at per capita fatality rates? Obviously urban centers massively out populate rural ones. I don't really see how rural land around an urban center is poisoning the results here. Ultimately, the authors found that gun violence per capita isn't significantly greater in urban counties than in rural ones.


"A statistician is someone who drowns while crossing a river that is three feet deep, on average"

If you understand that joke, you understand the objection.


Suddenly, the entire study of statistics and demography is unsound to you after I ask for clarification on your issues with a paper's conclusions.

> Furthermore, I do not want my children playing with other families who have guns inside the household. I don't see it as safe.

So we get to the crux of it. It's not the signs that prevent you from socializing with your community.

On to the signs. "Posted, no trespassing" is an indication that bad things may happen if you jump a fence. Maybe all it is is getting arrested and charges pressed. Do signs like that make you feel unsafe?

Signs like that are intended to deter the wrong kind of people, that is, those who would harm you. They have the added side effect of bringing together like minded people, and deterring socialization from people with a problem with it.


> On to the signs. "Posted, no trespassing" is an indication that bad things may happen if you jump a fence. Maybe all it is is getting arrested and charges pressed. Do signs like that make you feel unsafe?

No. Those suggest a normal, decent, measured response, rather than a spirit of escalation. A sign like "talk shit, get hit" would worry me though.


The elephant in the room is race.


I'm just as ready and willing to shoot the white meth-head around the block if he breaks in as I am a black crack-head who breaks in.


Seeing neighbors with signs like that make me feel more welcome, not less.


I don't even care about the tyranny aspect- I own guns because I like owning guns and it's my right. I don't need to justify it to anybody.


Let me start off by saying I love playing with guns, and really frankly anything gun related. I don't know why it is but I've just been fascinated with them since I was a kid.

Ok that said, I don't understand how guns protect us from the government. I think the biggest threats area slow and mundane. Ie erosion of rights or increasing power of some portion of the government over decades. There's no one cataclysmic event that overnight would make sane people take up arms and start popping off.

Likewise, let's say the government went all evil-like. Like in a movie. And you somehow got a huge citizen resistance trying to fight the government forces, unlike in real life where apparently the country would be split and half would join the government forces. The government has armor, air support, artillery, surveillance, and logistics. This isn't the 1700s. Just access to small arms is meaningless unless the 2nd amendment is broadened to include all weapons. And even then, machine guns, manpads, tanks and heat are just tools and a tiny, inconsequential part of warfare.

You always see gun people plinking away at stationary targets. Arguing about mlok vs picatinny. Maybe practicing their tacticool speed reloads. You rarely see people practicing force on force cqb, urban fighting, how to fight as a team.


IMO citizens being well armed is deterrence. It makes the likelihood of 'evil martial law' government less likely by increasing the perceived cost. If you truly disarmed the entire country (something I consider basically impossible), it makes a military coup/governance much more feasible. One of the main lessons of modern history is that insurgencies are incredibly cost effective ways to fight a stronger opponent. You basically have to be willing to commit terrible crimes against humanity to overcome them.

Of course this is all theorizing. I don't America is in danger of that sort of civil war just yet.


The moment anybody tried to organise armed resistance to the government, they would instantly be declared “terrorists” and taken out by legal means or by force. The US government agencies have such information supremacy that it is nearly impossible for any armed groups to organise without the government knowing about it.


The biggest threats are slow and mundane because the population is heavily armed. Anything fast and oppressive (ex.: Australia's Covid lockdown) would be seriously opposed. The "Waco" incident was a fast and oppressive move (violent SWAT-type raid on a group for a small paperwork/tax violation), those targeted fought back, gov't didn't do it again for decades.

Government isn't going to attack lots of individuals via tanks/artillery/etc scattered thru innumerable suburban neighborhoods.

Every year >20,000,000 US individuals partake in live-fire live-target drills, acting practically as lone wolves, as well- and self-equipped snipers in Operation "Deer Season". Just 0.001% of those, sufficiently motivated, would paralyze an oppressive government.

Yes, most "plinking" aren't practicing for serious combat. But they are practicing, and even with a high attrition rate they would, as a diffuse group, take down and/or demoralize violent oppressors. And that's not counting the small but far-from-trivial number taking CQB training seriously.

This year's legislative freak-out over thousands of unarmed & mostly-peaceful protesters occupying the Capitol wasn't so much what they did, but that they represented an enormous number who are well armed.


The majority of Australians agree with the “oppressive” COVID lockdowns. Especially given how badly the US is handling it.


The US government probably seems less corrupt than the EU because of its laid back approach to a lot of policies. However, that's exactly the type of corruption that a lot of people are talking about.

The country needs a lot of change to tackle big problems like climate change and increasing wealth inequality however the government is sitting back doing nothing because many representatives are lobbied by big interests to let the big interests continue doing what they're doing.


Why blame lobbyists for this?

You can see for yourself what actual Americans think the "most important problem" they're facing is:

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/Most-Important-Problem.asp...

Global warming and income inequality are so low they barely register in the poll at all. Representatives follow their constituents.


Over the last few years it's become increasingly clear that many people don't think for themselves and will believe in whatever their favorite media tells them. A lot can be done to convince the population that climate change and income inequality aren't major issues.

Also, that poll seems flawed because it asks a superlative question (what is the "most" important problem) instead of using something like ranked choice where perhaps climate change and income inequality were everyone's second and third options.


I think there are many rights violated as a result of lobbying. Access to basic healthcare is curtailed in the name of profit, largely as a result of the power of lobbyists. I think this has a very large functional effect on the freedom of everyday people. Even if they have reasonable means they may be essentially forced to continue working for an employer who provides health insurance or risk personal financial ruin if poor health befalls them.

The power exerted by 3 letter agencies is greater than any other western nation in my opinion. They are massively bloated with excess capital and power, and it has allowed them to indefinitely extend their jurisdiction until it significantly overlaps with people's right to privacy.

That said I doubt either of these issues would be much improved without guns. An armed population seems mostly incidental. One downside of focusing on armed resistance, however, is that you can easily delude yourself into thinking you're better protected from tyranny, when in actuality the war is already being lost in courtrooms and political backrooms without a shot being fired.


Lobbying is simply an open system of advocacy where all the other countries have closed and informal systems.


> face a 5/1000 chance of dying of gunshot wound

Isn't that a very high estimation?


It's very optimistic to say the least...maybe the OP was assuming the shooter is just a really poor marksman, or using a BB gun?

That said...I'd take being shot by a bullet any day compared to being shot by a modern bow/crossbow. Definitely a better chance of surviving the bullet.


The stat might reflect reality. But reality reality probably includes a lot of people shot in extremities and shrapnel bouncing back from steel targets.

If someone is shooting to stop a threat they're probably gonna have better than 5/1000 odds of permanently stopping the threat.


USA ranks 25 according to this:

https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2020#

So yes better than 50% but not great.


As a proud owner of a pair of pants, what are you so proud about?? You went and bought a gun??


As mentioned elsewhere, the pride usually stems from self reliance.


If you want self-reliance, then get a medical degree. This will bring you further than owning a gun, especially in the US.


Don't be ridiculous.


In america, are you allowed to shoot a police officer who is violating your rights?


Yes!

> In December, a jury in Corpus Christi, Tex., acquitted a 48-year-old man who spent 664 days in jail after being charged with attempted capital murder for wounding three SWAT officers during a no-knock raid that targeted his nephew. The jury concluded that the man, Ray Rosas, did not know whom he was firing at through a blinded window.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/18/us/forced-ent...


Spending nearly two years in jail is not what I would describe as "allowed".


So, he served a two-year sentence. Now do Breonna Taylor.


Breonna Taylor wasn’t charged in court and persecuted (technically it was her bf who was shooting back). Irrespective of whether her death was legal or not, The question was simply about the legality. Kenneth Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, was never prosecuted.


Yes, the charges were eventually dropped, but Walker spent a couple of months in jail. Taylor's killing was an extrajudicial execution, as her murderers weren't charged. Walker can't sue the cops, thanks to qualified immunity, but the cop he shot is suing him.


How can be be sentenced for the crime if he was acquitted?


Yes; it usually doesn't end well, and as NoImmatureAdHom notes the rights violation has to rise to the level at which lethal force is justified in self-defense, but it does happen and people get cleared of the inevitable charges, that's happened in my home town although the shooting did not kill the officer. And armenarmen's link doesn't include the case where black grandmother was killed in her dwelling, that didn't end well for the police.


It's always retrospective, of course, because whether you are "allowed" will be determined in court afterwards. The answer is sometimes yes. Usually you're only allowed to kill, or attempt to kill people when your or someone else's life is immediately at risk.


No...because no matter what the reality is, you will be painted as a criminal, and charged/convicted as such. It's more likely there is no charge/conviction step, and instead you will be murdered by another police officer under a false pretext of a "firefight". The story that we all hear will not reflect reality; you will take the truth to your grave.


There are numerous examples of this happening, a couple mentioned in responses to you, but in Indiana I know that a law was passed a few hears ago (with quite a bit of protest from police unions) saying basically that you can treat a cop as an armed intruder if he forcibly enters your house without a warrant.



In America you can do anything you want because you're presumed innocent until proven guilty... in theory at least. Times are a changin'.


What rights of mine have gun owners protected? The 2nd amendment has protected the 2nd amendment, through compliant courts that have turned gun ownership into an entitlement.


I think "no taxation without representation" was a major one (unless you live in Washington DC, sorry)


Over the years, taxation has gone up and down. Representation has gone up and down (universal suffrage, countered by gerrymandering and voter suppression). I don't see a relationship.


The USA is just as corrupt but the price is substantially higher. With the resources of a business you can almost certainly get away with many things.


Situations like China effectively exterminating populations they don’t like are why gun rights are so important. Order men to re-education camps and forcing their women to sleep in same bed as police/watchdogs gets a lot less appealing if the woman can shoot their government mandated rapist.


Mao used a policy of "rifle taxes" to disarm the rest of the country, and I shouldn't have to repeat his single most famous quote.


Yeah, I cannot fathom the carnage and full blown civil war in Northwestern China if Uighers had guns.


Or maybe nothing would have happened because the CCP would have chosen not to use concentration camps on an armed population.


Yes, in the same way that nothing wrong happened during Cultural Revolution when armed factions of Red Guard fight with each other. Also, I'm not sure how you imagine small militia fighting with worlds biggest army.


All we know is that you are certain that the CCP would have crushed the Uighurs no matter how well armed they were. That’s all well and good.

My point is that a society which trusted all of its civilians to be armed would be very different from the communist China of today.


The murder rate varies widely by state/area. Chicago's murder rate is significantly higher than its suburbs.

The murder rate in the town (37k residents) I live in (in the south) is effectively zero. I wouldn't doubt that all of my neighbors around me (most of us are originally from a northern state) have guns and we've managed not to kill each other.

Do you think the French revolution didn't require violence?


> The murder rate varies widely by state/area.

One fact about murders that has exceptionally low variance is the likelihood of personally knowing the person that murders you. This is 90%, in almost all circumstances and areas.

Means, the gun, is only one part of the equation and has been noted generally the smallest. Motive is far more important when attempting to put murder rates into context.


Ok, so we can either enact gun reform like most of the entire world has done or we can completely alienate ourselves from other people in hopes they don't shoot us. Do you see why gun-ownership is an anti-social trait?


In most gun owning areas of the country, people have managed to be safe and have friends, so your theory is somewhat lacking.


There are also fairly basic lifestyle choices that drastically increase your odds of being murdered. If you aren't part of a gang, and you don't have a male partner with violent tendencies, your odds of being killed are much lower than the national average.

I wouldn't be surprised if the murder rate of my town of 100k people is about on par with a British or German town of 100k people, since we don't have any gang presence here.


> The murder rate varies widely by state/area.

The same is true in other countries. Berlin has a murder rate vastly higher than the countryside, and let's not mention Frankfurt. However even the crime cesspool that is Berlin has a murder rate comparable to or lower than the "low crime" areas in the US.


> The murder rate varies widely by state/area

Everytime I see this line of reasoning I'm utterly shocked at the lack of understanding.

What you said applies equally across any other country too. So France's 1.2 is an average of the entire country.

Yes, half of any country is below the average!


States have different laws. Some states are more strict about guns while others are more lax.

States in the US have significantly more difference than the regions in France (or whatever they are called). It is probably more accurate to compare the US to the EU and France to an individual state.


Vermont is at 1.8. Europe's average is 3.0.

Czech republic, the only shall issue European country is at 0.9.


I think the person meant contemporary France.


How many revolutions has France had in contemporary times?


They had a military coup in 1958.


wow, so all these fourth fifth republics etc, were they all from a coup essentially?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1958_crisis_in_France


France is on its fifth republic. Their first republic started slightly after the US Constitution went into effect. Between those five republics they've had a couple of monarchies and military dictatorships. Though to be fair, a lot of those transitions resulted from France losing wars.


The coup was attempted by military that were not happy with the way things were going in Algeria (i.e. France was losing it). They were not the only ones, and France was coming apart at the seams.

De Gaul, who had been out of power since 1946 when he resigned, understood that he could unify the country behind him, and "proposed" himself as a mr fixit. He obtained the support of the various generals he still knew from WW II, got himself elected by the French, and lead the country for another 10 years (during which he ended up getting out of Algeria)

He was always very sensitive of having the confidence of the French, and at several occasions made it clear that he would go if such-and-such vote would not work out. He resigned in 1969 after losing a referendum on some subject.

He was an extraordinary man, and must have been a serious PITA for the allies. If you want to read more, I recommend https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_General_(book)


TIL, however I don’t think that’s important in the context of the effectiveness of armed civilians being able to have much influence.

If anything, rumours to the effect that Republican senators/representatives are only still publicly supporting Trump because they fear armed Trump supporters, could (iff true) be a relevant example.


It’s actually a counterexample—the 1958 coup overthrew the democratically elected government.

Then Charles De Gaulle came out of retirement and promised to write a new constitution, and since he was widely respected by both the military and the general public, everything settled down. Of course, this technique only works if you have Charles De Gaulle.


They fear Trump voters that will vote however he tells them to, but I do not think they fear them because they are armed.


Republicans who have opposed Trump routinely receive death threats, and those are a lot more credible coming from people known to be armed.


We've reduced the barrier to making a death threat to the point that "X routinely receive death threats" is probably true where X is any public figure.


Reduced?

On the one hand, things like social media make “blowing off steam in private with your mates” basically indistinguishable from what used to be “going out of your way to send a letter to someone to harass or threaten them”. I don’t think that’s a reduction, so much as the system not accounting for the changes wrought by tech (see also: Robin Hood Airport trial).

On the other: while I expect anyone known to more than 1000 people to have other people sounding off about them — and while I expect anyone known to 100k Americans to have indistinguishable-from-plausible threats from gun owners who gained those guns despite specific delusional mental states that ought to have excluded them from gun ownership — Jan 6th had more than just that: it had the extra level of demonstrating that there were a lot of people who were not merely performatively angry FirstnameBunchOfNumbers internet accounts but real people with the means and motivation to travel to DC and to force their way into the Capitol building and private offices therein, to bring Molotovs and pipe bombs with them to DC, to not merely chant “hang Mike Pence” but to do so when someone had set up a gallows (or vice versa, timeline unclear for me).


The same number as the USA, for any reasonable definition of “contemporary”.


Make a point for fuck's sake, the US had what revolution recently?


A rational person compares risks on an absolute scale first. Out of all the things that could happen on a given day, is getting murdered a real concern? For people in the U.S., it's not really worth worrying about unless you have some other risk factors for murder, like criminal activity.

If you are selling lion repellant that makes a lion attack 80% less likely, that's not something I'd be interested in.

That being said, it's great that some countries have driven a small risk down to oblivion. Not sure that firearm laws have much to do with that, though. Probably more to do with policing structure.


When the mobs came to a town next door last year, I knew the safety of my family hinged on which street they were going to choose to go down next, and my own ability to respond.

I watched them smash windows and set fires with zero police response. Any doubts I may have had about my gun collection went out the window that night.

The "guns as fire extinguisher" analogy is apt. It wasn't likely that a mob would threaten my neighborhood, just as it isn't likely any particular person's house will ever catch fire. But I will remain prepared.


The poster to whom I replied was citing averages, which are useless in the context of a large, diverse place like the US with a non-uniform distribution.

The average murder rate in the US is a distraction, except to point out (as I did) that obviously people aren't dropping like flies. If any significant fraction of those 300M guns were killing people, the average would be several orders of magnitude higher than it is.

Go ahead and exercise your personal rights to defend yourself and your family as you see fit based on your values and risk profile.

The averages neither support the idea that we should ban guns, nor that we should all get one. Because, again, averages are pretty useless -- but that's the context of the current thread of discussion, so I felt a need to respond.

EDIT: major rewording for clarity.


> Probably more to do with policing structure.

And culture.


Specifically, cultural homogeneity makes a nation much easier to run. Boring food, though.


Japan has pretty good food for being homogenous.


Love Japanese food. Not sure I'd want to eat it for every meal for the rest of my life. I bet a large part of why I love it is that it's one choice among many.


Boring food can be good, but maybe there are fewer types of restaurants per capita.


You can have more variety with a few types of restaurants than with lots of types of restaurants, I doubt the two are completely correlated.


Another person who doesn't have fire extinguishers in his home, car or place of work, doesn't buy any insurance unless it's mandated, etc.


No seat belts, either. They drive safely, therefore they won't get in a car accident.


You said, "the U.S. murder rate is not all that remarkable". Someone pointed out that claim is demonstrably false. So your response is, "is getting murdered a real concern?" You established a metric, and when it was shown not to support your world view, you try to discredit your own metric. That's called moving the goal post. It is not something a "rational person" does.

An irrational person uses irrelevant data as justification to ignore preventable deaths. We're not talking about how many car wrecks, or heart attacks, or rabid vending machines are out there, we're talking about gun-related homicide and suicide. Preventable deaths that we can prevent just like every other first world country does, but we just choose not to.


I think the point was that the rate is low enough that the risk of being murdered is not a concern for most people most of the time - yes, it is abnormally high relative to other countries, but it's also so low that it's extremely unlikely to be an individual's cause of death.

Your odds of being murdered in the U.S. are very low compared to many other ways of dying (see e.g. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db395.htm), so yeah, it'd be great to see the murder rate lowered (that's always good, right?), but even if you did something drastic that managed to cut the odds in half, it would not have any discernible impact on most people's day to day lives nor on their ultimate cause of death because so few people end up dying that way.


The rate of shooting in the USA was always strange to me. I'm from Ukraine, one of the poorest countries in Europe, the country that on hybrid "civil war" with Russia help for the militia.

There are many ex-militaries from volunteers who go to volunteer battalions. And many of them return with guns. But even with a state like that, you probably won't hear any gunshots in cities in your life. The first time I heard one was where I took a trip to the USA, random "gang" shooting in NY, as I remember.

From my perspective, as someone who is culturally not so integrated with the USA, I think the roots of this are how you see guns and feel around firearms at all. In my country, people are cautious about the idea of using a firearm against other people. Even if they have one, they probably do drunk shit with a knife, not with a gun.

Anyway, I also can't understand how any gangs are still alive in the USA in our time. Even my shittiest country eliminated all of them in the 90s, so are Russia and other CIS countries. You can find many documentation films about that on youtube. There is almost nothing left except massive graveyards of dead criminals with funny grave tomb pictures like "sitting in my first Mercedes Benz with a gun, cool guy."

I may be wrong somewhere. That's just my perspective as an outsider.


Gangs in certain areas are the issue. I support solving it with money, eg paying people to relocate.


Ignore averages. They are often deceptive, and here as well. Most places in the US have zero gangs, and many places have zero murders.

The question is: why are murders so out of control in certain areas? And the answer is: local policing and local politics. DAs don't prosecute, and so police won't risk their life to bring people in. They show up 30 minutes later as the clean up crew.

So it's actually fairly normal for repeat offenses here because someone is never arrested, never charged, out on bail, plead down to a slap on the wrist, or out on parole where supervision is a joke.

Why are local politics so screwed up? That's an interesting question. One aspect is one-party rule: the Democrats are such an overwhelming majority in a lot of these inner cities that all the politics happen before the ballot is ever printed. Within the Democratic party, there's a dangerous contingent that simply doesn't want to imprison criminals for reasons I don't entirely understand.

Why do the people in such cities put up with such a bad system? Because even within those cities, the problem areas are contained, and can be safely ignored (sadly). "Root causes" sounds nicer than "lock 'em up", so most of the people in the city nod along and go about their business, and avoid the bad parts of town.

My guess is that Ukrainians just don't have time for that kind of nonsense. If someone is violent, they are put away quickly. The idea of making a deal with a violent criminal is probably not fashionable there. There are lots of poor people in Ukraine, and mostly the same skin color, so nobody puts up with the "violence is just a symptom of poverty and capitalism and racism and ten other problems that must be solved first". A few civil liberties probably get stomped along the way, which also helps bring crime down to low levels; but I don't think giving up civil liberties is a prerequisite of law and order.


Thanks for the informative answer.

Cant the "roots" be also in segregation problems before? If I remember correctly what I learned early, it was called something like "red lining" created "bad neighborhoods" in cities.

>My guess is that Ukrainians just don't have time for that kind of nonsense. If someone is violent, they are put away quickly.

It is mostly true for Ukraine. But the real curse, as I said, is not organized crime, gangs, or someone with a firearm. The biggest problem in Ukraine is domestic violence. Most police officers don't have any weapon here except pepper sprays, stun guns, and other non-lethal tools. They usually fight with a drunk 40-something man who will get drunk and try to kill his family after that.

Domestic violence is a curse for CIS countries. And even if Ukraine changed government and how everything works with new and young politicians, you can't change people. In the end, 40%+ of the population suffers violence, and most of them, of course, are women. Great inheritance from the Soviet era, where "no violence, no sex, no drugs, only happy people." https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Violence_against_women_in_Ukrain...

>According to the estimation of OSCE the violence towards women is widespread in Ukraine and it is associated with three times more deaths than the ongoing War in Donbas in the Donbas region of Ukraine

Fragment from the Wiki article. More women get killed by their husbands than people die in the ongoing war with artillery, tanks, aviation, etc. This is as bad as you can imagine when you read it.

Want to know how Russia fights domestic violence? They just decriminalized it, that's all. They don't even try anymore, so the only help you can get is from non-profit organizations.


"Cant the "roots" be also in"

Maybe, but it's not relevant. Let's all fix the root problems, but let's not create a dependency on it. If we want to solve a problem, we have to solve the problem in the reality we have (flawed as it is), not the reality we want.

"The biggest problem in Ukraine is domestic violence."

Sad to hear. Going back to the main topic, it seems like you might be suggesting that women owning guns might be a solution to that problem?


> If we want to solve a problem, we have to solve the problem in the reality we have (flawed as it is), not the reality we want.

I totally agree here. It's not better than typical procrastination with waiting for "ideal env" to do anything. It won't happen. The "magic monday" when it's will be the best time to solve a problem won't happen. You try to solve it, or you don't.

>it seems like you might be suggesting that women owning guns might be a solution to that problem?

I'm not sure about that one. Would it actually help women in that situation? I'm not even sure if that won't just create additional problems without any help for the original case.


"Anyway, I also can't understand how any gangs are still alive in the USA in our time. Even my shittiest country eliminated all of them in the 90s, so are Russia and other CIS countries. You can find many documentation films about that on youtube. There is almost nothing left except massive graveyards of dead criminals with funny grave tomb pictures like "sitting in my first Mercedes Benz with a gun, cool guy.""

The U.S. has the rule of law, due process, innocent until proven guilty, etc.


Poland here - we also had issues with gangs and organised crime after collapse of communist government. It took few years for situation to stabilise, but then we got rid of gangs with legal system and police. So it looks a little bit weird that USA with older systems and democracy (not to mention better armed police) can't won with organised crime.


>The U.S. has the rule of law, due process, innocent until proven guilty, etc.

It's the same here, and we use roman law, so there won't be any precedents what someone gets to the court. All cases are the exception and go through all the processes without looking back on the same cases.

Why would you think that the USA is the only country that has it? We even got incredible labor laws. They are so good that we don't even need unions for protection against companies. And just a reminder, that USA is #1 by prisoners in the world. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262961/countries-with-th...

Not so innocent, huh?

I know, most people in the USA think that other countries are like poor villages without tech and law there.

But even poor Ukraine is much more digitalized and advanced in tech. Still, even in the case of transparency of how the law works, where the budget goes (you can even vote with your mobile app where you want to spend budget money in your city), court cases, it's all digitalized, transparent, and easy to check by anyone.

To be more precise, here are some links on typical bankings[1][2], government open source big data on all information that happened in the country[3], digitalized id and passport, with all the documents and request for any data or papers[4], transparent government tenders[5] and one of big media project that does all the corruption investigations with big politicians in it[6]. And no one from journalists even got arrested for that.

With these links and information, I want to say that it's funny that people think that other countries got some shady government, there is no power of law, and all people are struggling without real freedom.

Do you have LGBT raves to block entrance to the White House and annoy the president? Because we do[7]

1. https://www.monobank.ua/?lang=en

2. https://next.privat24.ua/

3. https://opendata.gov.ua/en/

4. https://diia.gov.ua/

5. https://prozorro.gov.ua/

6. https://bihus.info/

7. https://strana.news/news/346451-muzykalnyj-prajd-na-bankovoj...


Vermont has fairly permissive guns laws, no permit necessary to buy and carry an assault weapon. murder rate is 1.8, vs 3.0 in Europe.

What is it about Vermont, where you can walk around with concealed assault weapons, that makes it safer than "Europe"?

Czech Republic is an exception, it's a shall issue European country. The majority of gun owners also have concealed carry permits. Homicide rate is very low, only 0.9.

Why?

"the homicide rate in Europe was 3.0 per 100,000 population." - https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/gsh/Bookle...

https://vermontbiz.com/news/2019/october/23/vermont-has-3rd-...

"Vermont Business Magazine Vermont reported the 3rd lowest murder rate (1.8) compared to other states. This was 3.1 points below the national average of 4.9 homicides per 100,000 individuals, according to a new report from safewise.com(link is external). In fact, the three states from Northern New England had the lowest murder rates."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Vermont#Summary_ta...


Same for other gun toting states like Idaho.


3x a small number is still a small number. Your chances of getting struck by lightning increase if you live on a hill, but no one is basing home buying decisions on that.

The real argument is that guns enable acts that, while rare, and while they affect few people, are so egregious that we as a society will go to great lengths to ensure they never happen (school shootings).


Note this is just murder, but murder is merely a small fraction of gun deaths.

The multiplier for all firearm-related deaths between the US and EU average for example is around 12X, more than an order of magnitude [1].

The elephant in the room however is that the main argument simply doesn't hold up. Owning a gun doesn't just make the owner slightly more likely to get shot, but also everyone around them [2]

Or, as they say: The only thing you need against a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with... nah, not going there. Too sad actually.

Statistic after statistic says clearly that a society with more guns is less safe for everyone (the Switzerland outlier is easily explained by banning of owning munition instead of guns in peace time).

I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like. Where children just go to school without security checks, amok drills and bulletproof safe rooms.

Seriously, that just rocks.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r... [2] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/do-guns-m...


Of course a country with more firearms is going to have more firearm-related deaths. The same is true for automobiles or bridges or baseball bats. The relevant question is what the overall death rate is.

For instance, Japan, per capita, has fewer firearms-related suicides than the US, but it has more suicides. I’d be willing to bet it has more train-related suicides than the US. Does this mean Japan’s suicide rate would go down if they had fewer trains and more guns? No, it just means that suicidal Japanese use the tools that are available to them, as do suicidal Americans.

Britain has very low rates of gun violence. But it has increasing rates of knife violence. Is this because Brits have too much access to knives? Or is it because violent people use the tools that are available to them? Britain is cracking down on knives, but even if they make it nigh-impossible to peacefully chop vegetables in your own kitchen, British criminals will just switch to screwdrivers or cricket bats or the Millwall Brick. But hey, at least you won’t have any more British toddlers getting hurt by playing with kitchen knives.

> I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like. Where children just go to school without security checks, amok drills and bulletproof safe rooms.

Americans a century ago were just as well armed as today (perhaps more so) and had none of that nonsense. It used to be that if you were an American teenager in a rural area, you could even drive to school with your hunting rifle still in your pickup and nobody would care.


Yeah, when I was in highschool (mid 90’s) the principal told us to bring our guns to the office and he’d hold on to them rather than leaving them in the truck. Then we’d pick them up at the end of the day and go hunting. No one even thought that was strange. Now I have to make sure I don’t drive on school property when I have a gun in my car when I go pick my kids up. Park off campus and walk.


>It used to be that if you were an American teenager in a rural area, you could even drive to school with your hunting rifle still in your pickup and nobody would care.

my mom (born 1961) described her high school parking lot as exactly this. she described it as sort of a "clique"/social strata thing, like, guys I associate with wearing heavy Carhartt work coats to school every day and jeans with a clear indentation of a chew can (despite being under 18), would've been the kinds of guys who would proudly leave their sometimes multiple hunting firearms in gun racks in their pickup trucks in the high school parking lot, which nobody had any issue with at all.

1991, the year I was born, someone held up a class at the same high school with a sawed-off shotgun. nobody was hurt but he discharged a few shells into a wall. last I checked you could still see how rough the buckshot-riddled concrete wall still is, despite having been painted over. (interestingly, this story never made national news...)

I went on to attend the same high school and sometime around 2008 we had a complete school lockdown one Monday because a kid had left a paintball gun in his car from over the weekend... in the parking lot of the other high school across town. pretty sure he was tried for a felony.


>I went on to attend the same high school and sometime around 2008 we had a complete school lockdown one Monday because a kid had left a paintball gun in his car from over the weekend... in the parking lot of the other high school across town. pretty sure he was tried for a felony.

This is what you get when everyone at every level feels compelled to "do something".


I went to school in the 90s and two kids shot up their high school. They murdered 12 students and one teacher. It was called the "Columbine massacre" after the name of the school, Columbine high school in Colorado.


sometime in 7th grade, in the 03-04 school year, our student counselor came into our class one day and gave a presentation about something along the lines of identifying signs of school shooter-types in your fellow classmates, or something. she said "I know you're going to say 'awesome,' but the Columbine shooters had made a level of their school in a video game, and they used it to practice their shooting before they did it." (everyone predictably whispered "dude, awesome.") despite being ostensibly too young, I was a huge DOOM fan at the time, and I was quite knowledgeable about the Columbine incident because it fascinated me. so I raised my hand and told the student counselor that this was false and merely an urban myth—one could go online and find "the Harris WADs" quite easily, and it was pretty well-known among anyone who had a passing interest in the WAD scene that none of these maps, in fact, resembled a school, much less that particular high school, in any way. she made me sit in the hall.


It used to be that if you were an American teenager in a rural area, you could even drive to school with your hunting rifle still in your pickup and nobody would care.

My Silent Generation father grew up in a city, which quickly turned rural at its edges, and it was routine to keep your hunting long gun in your locker to save a trip back home for hunting before or after school. Antonin Scalia mentioned carrying his .22 target rifle on the NYC city subways to and from practice.


>It used to be that if you were an American teenager in a rural area, you could even drive to school with your hunting rifle still in your pickup and nobody would care.

My grandmother's high school had an elective class where they would even shoot at the school.


The vast majority of Americans do have a feeling of society without perpetual danger and violence. Gun violence is only a real concern in a handful of cities like Detroit and Baltimore. Now we should do more to improve safety in those cities, and our society has let those places down. But for everyone else those cities might as well be in another country. In my city most years the murder rate is literally zero.

If you read the distorted stories in the news media you'll get a completely unrealistic impression of how most Americans actually live.


I live in San Diego and two people were just shot on the same block as my house. One of them died and he was exactly my age. It's where I do regular walks, next to a nearby Pokemon gym.


"I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like."

I don't feel paranoia. Maybe most people are fine except people who consume too much fear-driven media?

I mean, it's not like paranoid people are only paranoid about guns. They are paranoid about everything.


>They are paranoid about everything.

And once you (start paying the Dane-geld) give into that paranoia, that paranoia never goes away (get rid of the Dane); it just gets larger and larger.

The end state for the nations that sacrifice themselves to paranoia is that other nations that have managed to control their paranoid impulses take over the ones that can't, but that takes a while and generally leaves those conquered worse off than before. That said, inactions have consequences.


> murder is merely a small fraction of gun deaths.

You must mean the others are suicides. Why not say so?

> The multiplier for all firearm-related deaths between the US and EU average for example is around 12X, more than an order of magnitude [1].

Ah, because by not saying so you can make up this 12X figure, by comparing firearm suicides in Europe where in many cases there is marginal civilian gun ownership with firearm suicide in the US where there is widespread civilian gun ownership.

Of course this is a flawed comparison, because Americans don’t commit suicide at 12x the rate of Europeans, they just happen to use guns rather than other methods.

The giveaway that your comparison is deliberately misleading is that you don’t mention suicide. You intentionally hide how you get to this 12x figure.

The Switzerland outlier is explained by a culture of safe handling.


The swiss are not an outlier.

Czech republic is shall issue, and almost everyone has concealed carry permits.

Homicide rate is 0.9.


Excellent information. Do you have a reliable source for that?


Which part?

Czechs have a half-millennia old, entrenched gun tradition, with amusingly even stronger protection on gun ownership than even Americans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_the_Czech_Republic

The only times this was suspended was during German and Russian occupations.

Homicide rates is easily accessible public information, from various sources including world bank and the UN?

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5

Year by year chart: https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/CZE/czech-republic/cri...

Their gun culture is certainly an outlier in Europe, compared to even the Swiss. Very permissive, and yet murder rates are essentially on par with entirely gun-less Asian countries vaunted for their "safety".


This is great - such a strong datapoint that culture is the factor and not guns. Similar to the datapoint Japan provides about suicides.


>I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like.

We don't perpetually feel like we're in danger or feel paranoid.

>Where children just go to school without security checks, amok drills and bulletproof safe rooms.

You are describing most of the US.


"I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like."

And I wish you could better grasp just how big and diverse America is. :) There are parts with terrible problems that make for scary headlines, but those parts are not in any way representative of very large swaths of the country. Where I live there is essentially zero violence (of any kind). We don't live with perpetual feelings of danger or paranoia - heck, we often forget to lock our doors at night.


> I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like.

Do you think having fire drills and extinguishers is "a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia"?

> Where children just go to school without security checks, amok drills and bulletproof safe rooms.

Maybe try to do something against bullying? It might seem a bit harsh but having been on the receiving end of that, it's hard to find empathy for those people that panic once the victims start fighting back.


Along your line of thought, I think with the threat of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, car crashes, plane crashes, hackers, identity theft, terrorism, etc, anyone who wishes to live with a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia can freely do so, there's no need to pick firearms in particular.


> I wish Americans could get a feeling of how different a society without a perpetual feeling of danger and paranoia feels like.

Me too, but that will never happen. Consider America's past: armed revolution, native genocide, violent [secret] coups with foreign governments, murder of its' own citizens by "peace officers", it goes on and on... It's not a peaceful place with a peaceful history, so I don't think your wish is too realistic. That said...you did say "wish", and I wish it also.


Comparing the relatively densely populated, ethnically homogenous, lower income inequality E.U. states to the U.S. does not make for an equal comparison. Simply look at how the bulk of firearm homicides are restricted to perhaps a hundred or so ZIP codes nationwide to see the disparity. See Chicago for example. [0]

[0] https://heyjackass.com/


> go to great lengths to ensure they never happen (school shootings)

To dig into the far past...the potential bodycount during Columbine dwarfs the actual body count because they only were able to kill victims with guns. Their explosives failed, and hundreds of lives were spared as a result.


Yeah - I think that's the core, outlier events are extremely bad.

I think there are real things that could be done short of a total ban, but the issue in the US it's a constitutional right so it's hard to restrict in any sensible way and it's politically impossible to amend.

As it is, the policy question is accepting the tradeoff of the right to bear arms vs. rare, but extremely awful death of school children. I'm not really taking a strong position, I think that's just the reality of it.

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/PeSzc9JTBxhaYRp9b/policy-deb...

https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/08/14/beware-isolated-demand...


outlier events are extremely bad

Don't forget the history of the 20th Century where such "outlier events" included 100 million previously disarmed people killed by Communists running their countries, and the Left likes to remind us of the small death tolls in right wing countries, although many of those were fighting communists. See also the WWI era Armenian Genocide which was so ignored by the rest of the world it convinced Hitler he could do as he pleased.


Anyone who dismisses any of the "white terrors" and the general repressions/pogroms/genocides (Nazi Germany, Francoist Spain, Argentina, Chile, Imperial Japan, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria etc.) that happened in right wing countries isn't to be taken seriously.


Then I guess it's a good thing I not only brought them up, but didn't dismiss them. But only the ignorant, idiots or partisan Leftists claim the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (Aberter as in worker) is "right wing." Even if these national socialists were at daggers drawn with international socialists from their founding, would in fact be a footnote in history without the existential threat from Communists.

I'd grant you Imperial Japan, but I wasn't talking about them or what they did, which you fail to notice was done to others, non-Japanese peoples. Like how I noted the Armenian (and lessor known but still significant Greek) genocides by Muslims running Turkey were also of a different nature.

Meanwhile, you might want to try a legitimate reply attacking what I said, not myself.


I'd actually argue that guns don't enable these egregious acts, they're just a popular tool. If someone wants to kill a bunch of people there are lots of ways of doing it. Guns are fixed in the imagination because we've evolved to be specifically good at modeling intentional, face-to-face interpersonal violence. See action movies.


Why doesn't the data back that up then? Do you really think that toddlers blow their own heads off because America has an iherently murderous identity and it has nothing to do with reckless access to guns?


It doesn't seem like you've done the work of actually engaging with the data. Toddlers don't blow their own heads off at any appreciable rate. There are a few hundred "accidental" firearms deaths in the U.S., a nation of 330,000,000 people, in a given year (almost all of which are adults). Many of those are not really accidents (people who plan to commit suicide want insurance money, religious burial, etc.).


Your comment is 100% spot on. It's not the unhinged criminals with handguns and a couple rifles I am worried about. It's the single pissed off vet who drives a moving truck to a federal building packed to the brim with fertilizer.


Furthermore, i find US fascination with their theoretical ability to fight their government with small arms adorable and misguided.

So did our Deep State as they lost a twenty year fight against the Taliban. Who immediately started seizing the people's guns upon capturing Kabul.

not even counting accidents and suicides which are also made worse by the high availability of guns for everyone

The suicide statistics from some countries with effective total bans on civilian gun ownership do not support your claim for those, and for accidents we're at 500/year out of a population of 330 million people. There were years when more very young kids were accidentally drowning themselves by getting stuck upside down in 5 gallon (19 L) plastic buckets that are are ubiquitous here.

If Americans didn't fight against the Patriot act, wars, torture, what will they fight for? Mask mandates?

Are any of these, the middle ones not directly affecting us, worth starting a civil war that would take hundreds of thousands to millions of lives?

(I might argue yes for the wars, but it's not the sort of thing I suspect has ever happened in human history.)


> So did our Deep State as they lost a twenty year fight against the Taliban. Who immediately started seizing the people's guns upon capturing Kabul

I sincerely doubt the average first world person has what it takes to sacrifice their comfortable life and go live in caves to resist a tyrannical occupation. And there's no need for them to do that, realistically.


> I sincerely doubt the average first world person has what it takes to sacrifice their comfortable life and go live in caves to resist a tyrannical occupation.

Why are you talking about the "average first world person"? IIRC, Afghanistan is a country of ~30 million people, and the most recent estimates I saw said the Taliban only had ~75 thousand fighters. That's 0.25%. So not even the average Afghan did that.

Also, guerilla warfare isn't so much about living in caves as melting into the population.


>melting into the population.

Or, as in Afghanistan, actively supported by the population who hated both the occupiers and the VICE (Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise) known as the government.


Sure, it won't happen if everyone's life is still comfortable, that's the point. It's a safeguard against life becoming so extremely uncomfortable that the people started fighting.


Still, one of the first signs of a society approaching tyranny is the government cracking down on guns. So if nothing else, it serves as a great canary in the mine.


> Still, one of the first signs of a society approaching tyranny is the government cracking down on guns

In a dictatorship, yes.


Australia?


Do Australians have Freedom of Movement back yet?


Exactly how do you think you wind up in a dictatorship?


Australia doesn't seem that tyrannical to me.


Have you not heard of Gladys?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLTGXblgUoc


Haven't really been paying attention to the news out of Australia over the past year and a half, have you?


That is not actually true historically. That is popular talking point.

On the other hand, quite a few authoritarian tyrannical movements started by arming themselves and taking it on themselves to get power. Both nazi and communists started as private citizens arming themselves and causing fights in the streets or robbing people.


Partially true.

"On Nov. 11, 1938, the German minister of the interior issued "Regulations Against Jews Possession of Weapons." Not only were Jews forbidden to own guns and ammunition, they couldn’t own "truncheons or stabbing weapons."

In addition to the restrictions, Ellerbrock said the Nazis had already been raiding Jewish homes and seizing weapons.

"The gun policy of the Nazis can hardly be compared to the democratic procedures of gun regulations by law," Ellerbrock told us. "It was a kind of special administrative practice (Sonderrecht), which treated people in different ways according to their political opinion or according to ‘racial identity’ in Nazi terms.""[0].

[0] https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2015/oct/26/ben-carson...


Amusingly, Einstein's home got raided and they confiscated a kitchen knife or something.


One example close from home, Belarus and Russian governments have gone to lengths in order to limit gun ownership. It is actually very difficult, at least legally. Perhaps when you are trying to stir a revolution you might speak to the nation arming itself. Once you have taken power, peacefully or otherwise, your next steps regarding gun control are still highly illuminating.


> I sincerely doubt the average first world person has what it takes to sacrifice their comfortable life and go live in caves to resist a tyrannical occupation.

I think the people seizing those weapons should be less concerned about "average" gun owners, and more worried about fringe citizens willing to die to detonate a high yield explosive in the centers of power.


The crazies are always the first off the porch. They're a canary.


I sincerely doubt the average first world government has what it takes to sacrifice its comfortable bureaucracy and inspire even a tiny fraction of 330,000,000 citizens to fight back against tyranny.

That’s why federal legislators freaked out when a few thousand pissed off voters simply walked into the Capitol without permission - and without weapons. Every one of those mostly peaceful demonstrators represented a thousand equally angry, and well-armed, citizens not visible on security cameras.


> So did our Deep State as they lost a twenty year fight against the Taliban.

It takes a lot more than a Glock and a few boxes of ammunition from the sporting goods store to befuddle the US military. It takes fuel, food, medicine, training camps, and other infrastructure necessary to survive and fight back. You’re not going to get that in appreciable quantities in the middle of the US without Uncle Sam and several three letter agencies noticing. You would need the help of a foreign power and/or seizing land to tax... at which point the Second Amendment is moot. Might save you a few bucks to have all these small arms laying around, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle.


> It takes a lot more than a Glock and a few boxes of ammunition from the sporting goods store to befuddle the US military

Which is exactly why we resist laws that ban rifles.

> You’re not going to get that in appreciable quantities in the middle of the US without Uncle Sam and several three letter agencies noticing.

I don't think you fully grasp the extent to which the US population is armed.


> Which is exactly why we resist laws that ban rifles.

s/Glock/AR-15/, point still stands regardless of what common legal firearm you want to replace Glock with.

> I don't think you fully grasp the extent to which the US population is armed.

You have entirely missed the point. The existence of small arms is not what lead the Taliban to success against the US. They had billions of dollars from the opium trade, donations, and foreign aid. This money was not just spent to purchase weapons; it was used to fund training camps, fund recruiting operations, buy off politicians and local warlords, maintain supply lines, and the other infrastructure you need to wage war. These are the things the three letter agencies would take note of.

tl;dr: Small arms (in any quantity) are a small piece of what you would need to wage an effective insurgency against ol' Uncle Sam.


> point still stands regardless

No it doesn't. The rhetoric of "remove weapons of war from America's streets" does not jive with the "small arms are not good enough weapons of war" argument.

> The existence of small arms is not what lead the Taliban to success against the US.

Okay, but Americans have more than that, they have everything you mentioned. They have the largest economy in the world from which to draw the wealth needed for those things. They have militias, they have state governments with treasuries, a significant portion of the population is trained by way of service in the military.

But even beyond all that, I think you're underestimating the importance of small arms in waging an insurgency. All of those other things exist only to ensure that bullets can be fired.


> The rhetoric of "remove weapons of war from America's streets" does not jive with the "small arms are not good enough weapons of war" argument.

I never mentioned removing or outlawing firearms. But by all means, continue to strawman.

> Okay, but Americans have more than that, they have everything you mentioned. They have the largest economy in the world from which to draw the wealth needed for those things. They have militias, they have state governments with treasuries, a significant portion of the population is trained by way of service in the military.

The functioning society of America has that, but a ragtag insurgency within the country does not. Do you think those state treasuries are physical things you can raid? Do you think corporate America isn't going to help keep the status quo? Do you think all of the anti-crime monitoring (especially in the realm of finance) won't notice any of this before it gets too big? Government gets a whiff of this and it's all too easy to paint the group as a bunch of right-wing nutjobs and sick the ATF on them.

The initiating event would have to be so catastrophic that a large percentage of the population "defects" in a very short timespan. And at that point things are so cataclysmic that the Second Amendment isn't even a factor any more.

> I think you're underestimating the importance of small arms in waging an insurgency.

And I think you're underestimating everything else. The successful insurgencies in history generally did not start out with a well armed population. Small arms are easy to smuggle in once everything else is going--especially when you have a foreign benefactor.


Comparing Taliban to individual gun owners is next level absurd.


why? The taliban is not like a nation state army, more like a bunch or militias and tribes, each of which is a “bunch of local guys with guns”. As the war has progressed, I imagine they have got more professional, but I’m guessing around 80-90% of their strength are non ideological tribal militias who are very good at figuring out which way the wind is blowing and changing sides. That worked in the US favor in 2001-2 when the northern alliance was winning, and against US interests now, that’s why resistance collapsed so quickly back in 2001 and now.


They are not local guys with guns. They were not local guys with guns years before last war. The region fighters started, long time ago, by being trained by army (American) and were sponsored by multiple governments over years.

They are trained, funded disciplined. They are also local guys and local guys join them often. But then become part of something bigger.


Supported by military arms from Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.


And now $85 billion worth of American military arms as well.


Who do you think Pakistan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia by the arms from?


[flagged]


That's true, the F-150 is significantly more capable.


I'd encourage the fanboys who are inevitably triggered by this assertion to just compare dimensions and shipping weights on key components. The F150 is a much heavier vehicle all around.


Blaming the Afghanistan War on the "Deep State" is a very odd choice to me. Does the Deep State ratify authorizations for the use of military force and approve military spending budgets?


>>> Furthermore, i find US fascination with their theoretical ability to fight their government with small arms adorable and misguided.

>> So did our Deep State as they lost a twenty year fight against the Taliban. Who immediately started seizing the people's guns upon capturing Kabul.

> Blaming the Afghanistan War on the "Deep State" is a very odd choice to me. Does the Deep State ratify authorizations for the use of military force and approve military spending budgets?

You missed the point, which was the kind of thinking that says armed civilians stand no chance against a modern military also says the US should have prevailed in Afghanistan.

I believe "deep state" here is a tendentious term that refers to the permanent, unelected parts of the executive branch. Their expert analysis said the US was just about to "turn the corner" for 20 years. It's not about the decision to go in the first place.


I believe "deep state" here is a tendentious term that refers to the permanent, unelected parts of the executive branch. Their expert analysis said the US was just about to "turn the corner" for 20 years.

Exactly. See but the most recent controversy about Gen. Mark Milley, a complete abrogation of the principle of civilian control over the military, something that goes back to George Washington and one of the reasons we have so many places named after Cincinnatus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Quinctius_Cincinnatus