crazy loners with guns, and the policies that enable them.

Illinois, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Ohio.

Five school shootings in just a little over a week. Ten people dead.

“Gun-free zones”, all of them.

How are those working out for you?

Of course, we’ll have the usual debate between pro-and anti-gun folks. The pro-gun position will be that gun-free zones are really victim disarmament zones, and that declaring any place a “gun-free zone” is just as good as sticking a sign out into the front yard that says, “CRIMINALS/PSYCHOS, COME AS YOU ARE”.

The anti-gun folks will point to the body count and use it as evidence that “guns are too easy to obtain”, despite the fact that guns are more difficult to obtain now than at any point in our history. A mere fifty years ago, you could order firearms through the catalog by mail–and eighty years ago, you could walk into Woolworth’s and buy a Thompson submachine gun, without having to fill out any forms or submit to any background checks. Nowadays, firearms are the only consumer product that requires federal background checks for every purchase.

But that’s the thing about gun control–if the crime rate goes up after enacting it, they say, “See? This only proves we need more gun control. Imagine where the crime rate would be without it!” If the crime rate goes down, they say, “See? Gun control is working!” And if you ban guns in urban hellholes like Chicago and D.C., and the crime rate is much higher than that of the surrounding areas, you can always blame the failure of your policies on those areas. “D.C. has so much crime because the criminals have easy access to guns in neighboring Virginia!” (So why is Virginia’s crime rate a twentieth of that of D.C.?)

But remember, folks: you don’t need guns. That’s why we have cops. Because when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.  (Two minutes, in the case of the NIU shooting.  Great response time, statistically speaking, but when someone is shooting at a room full of people, it might as well be two weeks.)

I’ve said it before, on a similar occasion: the only thing that will effectively and quickly stop a rampage shooter is a gun. The final victim count is solely determined by whether that gun is already at the scene of the shooting, or whether it needs to be carried there in the holster of a cop.

And for those who are just itching to start typing a scathing rebuttal in favor of banning all guns, do this first:

Look up “Prohibition, History of”, and see how that worked out. Then consider that a handgun is more durable, more profitable, easier to smuggle and transport, and much smaller than a case of whisky or a cask of beer.

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52 thoughts on “crazy loners with guns, and the policies that enable them.

  1. Anthony L. says:

    I don’t even bother arguing with anyone about this subject anymore; you cannot argue with someone over blatant facts. It’s kind of like arguing about whether or not the sun is going to rise. Criminals do not obey the law. Gun laws serve only to restrict the ownership of guns from law abiding citizens. The second amendment is an individual right and is not up for negotiation, not now, not ever. The right to defend oneself against harm to self, property or loved ones is God given, not granted by anyone or any government. Stricter gun laws or gun bans = more violent crime. An armed society is a polite society.

    Anyone who cannot accept these facts is delusional, and therefore not even worthy of my time.

  2. Don Gwinn says:

    Don’t forget the part that most people won’t mention–this nut apparently used a shotgun loaded with buckshot. In other words, even if gun bans work, they’ll have to ban your grandpa’s duck-huntin’ shotgun to stop such things.
    In Illinois, “they” won’t want to discuss that, as it risks turning hunters into gun-rights activists.

  3. Erica says:

    No rebuttals here. I’m in 100 percent agreement with you, especially re: “The final victim count is solely determined by whether that gun is already at the scene of the shooting, or whether it needs to be carried there in the holster of a cop.”

    Damned shame…all of these could have been prevented. Unfortunately, now, it’s relegated to moot point status.

  4. Tam says:

    Illinois should pass a law stating that only people who pass a strict background investigation will be allowed to get a card letting them even touch firearms or ammunition. They could call it a “firearm owner’s identification card”…

  5. […] How are those [gun free zones] working out for you? […]

  6. Jim B says:

    Along with those “firearm owners ID cards” they should also put up signs that say “No Guns Allowed”…Oh , wait…. Never mind.

  7. jimbob86 says:

    Nothing has changed but the names, place, date, and # of victims. This Nut will get his 15 minutes, the same as the last one, and the one before that, as the media splashes his picture and name on our screens. They’ll read whatever scribblings he wrote over the air, televise any video he left, and basically give him the fame (or more properly infamy) that was lacking in his sorry life. They’ll wring their hands about this troubled youth, and celebrate the victimhood of the dead and injured. And then they’ll call for stricter control of gun owners…… because the can’t control the nuts, and must bee seen to be calling for SOMETHING to be done…..

  8. Dustin says:

    Excellent article, well written. I agree 100%! It is long past time we end this FAILED experiment called the “gun free zone” that uses our children as the mice. It has been now well proven that criminals & crazies ignore such rules. Also remember that we NEVER had a single mass shooting until the experiment began.

  9. The Duck says:

    Funny thing is there were not any school shootings till they made schools gun free.

  10. Cactus Jack says:

    “But remember, folks: you don’t need guns. That’s why we have cops. Because when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. (Two minutes, in the case of the NIU shooting. Great response time, statistically speaking, but when someone is shooting at a room full of people, it might as well be two weeks.)”

    Two minutes until the first cop showed up but how long was it before they cops did anything? If I remember right, at Virginia Tech it was 2 hours.

    I wonder how many more unarmed helpless people will die in “gun free safe zones” before the antis finally realize that they dont work? Assuming that they ever do.

  11. MarkHB says:

    Give your kids the gift of life.

    Teach them firearm safety, then arm them.

  12. […] crazy loners with guns, and the policies that enable them. Illinois, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Ohio. Five school shootings in just a little over a week. Ten people […] […]

  13. Good post Marko.
    However, it was only 40 years ago that mail order guns became verboten. GCA of 1968.

  14. sevesteen says:

    Once again, outstanding essay.

    I grew up in Dekalb, and used to ride my bike on the NIU campus.

  15. staghounds says:

    Twenty one students in the same room could have taken this killer if they had attacked rather than screamed. Some would have died, some would have been wounded. But if they had swarmed him, they would have stopped him.

    I suspect the number of shot college students overwhelms the number of burned college students. They have fire drills. Why not have basic “What to do if someone starts killing your class” training?

    Oh, I forgot, we only teach non violent conflict resolution. And it probably interferes with the sensitivity seminar.

    How long does it take to explain that once he’s started shooting he has already decided to die?

    United 93 his ass!


    “The fact that someone walks into a classroom with a gun does not make them a god. Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun.” “In 1998 in Oregon, a 17-year-old high school wrestling star with a bullet in his chest stopped a rampage by tackling a teenager who had opened fire in the cafeteria. The gunman killed two students, as well as his parents, and 22 others were wounded.”

  16. CarlS says:

    How much longer must this go on (before anti-gunners remove the blinders they must be wearing)? Trying the same demonstrably failed policies over and over is either insanity or complicity.

  17. David Glynn says:

    As an inhabitant of another country, can I simply say, you people are morons. No, really. You seem to feel that the best possible scenario is that every individual in your society, approximately 300 million at last count, should carry a gun with them at all times, including school children. This, is it seems, would reduce gun crime to zero. Probably true. But do you really want to live like that? Jesus. You don’t seem to realise that in countries where the sale of handguns is prohibited these crimes simply do not happen with the scale and frequency that they do in yours. (But it was a SHOTGUN he used, I hear you say! Whatever) Yes, of course people in other western countries are killed with guns, but they are a statistical exception. “Crazy loners with guns and the policies that enable them.” Well, that would be this notion, seemingly endemic among Americans, that guns are cool, and that the constitutional right to bear arms actually ensures that the population need never submit to an oppressive government. Tell it to the armed people in New Orleans who vowed not to be removed from their houses by government forces. Didn’t see no citizens militia happening there. And am I given to understand that if you never had a school shooting until after schools became “gun-free zones” then at some point all schoolchildren were once armed, and have subsequently become disarmed? I mean, really, to blame the rise of school and university shootings on a policy of not allowing guns to be carried in these places is insanity of the highest order! I’m sorry, I know this piece is really neither particularly cogent nor is it well-written, but really, the speciousness and simplicity of your arguments is breathtaking. Which isn’t to say you don’t seem like nice, intelligent people. I read Tamara K’s blog, and she’s obviously not stupid.

    David Glynn

  18. straightarrow says:

    David Glyn, of course you may say that. You are wrong, but you may say it.

    In every country in all of history where arms have been denied the common man, violent crime has soared. Genocides have occurred with the exception, momentary only, of those societies recently disarmed. Read that to mean the UK.

    As for your reference to New Orleans, there were neighborhoods who armed and organized stood watches and made it plain they would resist confiscation of their arms. They were not disarmed. They were left alone by official and unofficial thugs. The people who had their arms confiscated were those people who were alone and outnumbered and allowed the usurpers to approach because they did not suspect them of the chicanery they were there to commit. That will prove to be a self-limiting event should a similar emergency occur. There will much more suspicion and much less cooperation than there was in New Orleans. The fact that you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Especially if you factor in the government’s desire for that information not to become widespread. It was on the news, but mostly locally. Not the kind of thing power brokers want known, just how weak they are when resisted.

    No, every school child didn’t use to be armed at school. But more days than not, I was. As were most of my friends. We would go hunting on our way home from school almost every day and sometimes on our way to school, but not often.

    It is not necessary for everybody to be armed, it is only necessary for the evil people to be able to rely on the fact that somebody anywhere they are are besides themselves will be.

    The speciousness of your argument is stunning. You completely ignore the nature of man, especially evil men. You completely ignore all of history and pretend to believe that surrendering ourselves and our security to the benevolence of the state will make us safe and at no cost to our liberty or autonomy.

    No thank you. You continue to believe, if you want, that hiring others to do for you what is your duty to do for yourself is somehow morally transcendant, but most men recognize it as cowardice.

  19. David Glynn says:

    Alright, I am going to apologise for the “you people are morons” bit: it was the heat of the moment. The host of this blog, at the very least, is obviously not a moron. Nor am I going to indulge in further debate. “In every country in all of history where arms have been denied the common man, violent crime has soared.” You really cannot argue with someone prepared to offer a statement like that. Certainly I am prepared to believe that there were in fact armed and organised watches in New Orleans who resisted eviction/confiscation of their arms. Doesn’t alter the fact that any permutation of peoples’ militia you could to offer would have a snowball’s chance against the world’s best-equipped military. (Constant, low-level guerilla activity, on the other hand…) Anyway, I said I wasn’t going to debate. If the host of this site, on the other hand, wished to enter into reasoned one-top-one discussion…

    David Glynn

    P.S. Why is it that none of these comments are submitted under the person’s real/full name?

  20. David Glynn says:

    Okay, this could become an addiction, but hey, it’s only five o’clock in the afternoon here, and I’ve got nothing better to do: it beats watching Mythbusters.

    Anyway, from the original post: “(So why is Virginia’s crime rate a twentieth of that of D.C.?)” I don’t know, I’ve never been to either of them. But am I right in assuming that Virginia is green, leafy, filled with nice white middle class people, and inner-city Washington D.C. is a, to use your phrase, “urban hell-hole.” Socioeconomics, anyone?

    Mass killings, however, are not “crime” per se. They seem to me a phenomenon predicated by definition on the ability to kill en masse (per se! en masse!). And it also seems to me that if the perpetrator were required to perform the act with anything less than firepower, and did not have the ability to quickly and painlessly despatch themselves as soon as the going got tough, then they would occur with far, far less frequency. And do you really think the idea that they may get caught in a shootout with armed classmates is going to put them off the idea, given that their own death is implicit in their actions? Wouldn’t it just add to the spice?

    Just a thought.

    David Glynn

    And one more thing, mr straightarrow, are you telling me that you carried your hunting rifle with you into class?

  21. Daniel W. Curry Of OKC, OK, U.S. of bloody A. says:

    David,

    I can’t help but wonder on a couple of your arguments.

    I sincerely believe (being a veteran) that many, if not most of our military would have a very difficult time shooting US civilians, armed or otherwise, unless fired upon. I KNOW that any politician involved with such an order will never again be voted into a public office.

    Another point, considering you brought beliefs into this, is that even “Biblical Law says that if someone is breaking into your home, he does so at the risk of his life, and the homeowner would never be considered a criminal for defending himself. ” (http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=830)
    And was it not Jesus himself, on the VERY day of his arrest tell his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords, if they did not already have one? Jesus KNEW his disciples were not going to be safe after his death. They were not going to be safe FROM THE GOVERNMENT.David,

    I can’t help but wonder on a couple of your arguments.

    I sincerely believe (being a veteran) that many, if not most of our military would have a very difficult time shooting US civilians, armed or otherwise, unless fired upon. I KNOW that any politician involved with such an order will never again be voted into a public office because he/she may not live long enough to see their trial. I also know that any AMEICAN soldier involved in such a shooting would NOT be allowed to stand on the ‘following orders’ defense at his trial.

    Another point, considering you brought beliefs into this, is that even “Biblical Law says that if someone is breaking into your home, he does so at the risk of his life, and the homeowner would never be considered a criminal for defending himself. ” (http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=830)

    And was it not Jesus himself, on the VERY day of his arrest tell his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords, if they did not already have one? Jesus KNEW his disciples were not going to be safe after his death. They were not going to be safe FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

    It is not a matter of every person in a group being armed that prevents violent crimes like those that have occured in the ‘gun free zones’. It is a matter of the assailant not knowing WHO is or is not armed and if that person is any better with a weapon than themself. Which would you rather go to, if you wanted to make a statement by killing innocent people? A school where guns are verboten? Or maybe an NRA(http://www.nra.org.) meeting? Or maybe that fast food restaraunt, down the street? Is it possible any of the parents in there will be armed? It is the unknown that deters most of this type of violent behavior. The unknown can severely impact one’s chances of success. The number of armed people in the NIU auditorium was ZERO. The assailant knew this. He chose his target(s) based upon that fact.

    With all due respect to your nation and your beliefs, I sincerely hope that you will never be in a situation where you wish you had a firearm or other weapon to defend yourself, or worse, to defend your family. I believe the only way to decrease the risk of such a scenario is to permit the citizenry to be and to go about armed as they PERSONALLY decide to.

    Sincerely and quite loudly I sign this.

    Daniel W. Curry, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.of A.

  22. Daniel W. Curry Of OKC says:

    Moderator, please feel free to edit my previous comment as I made a mistake with the copy/paste.

    Thanks

  23. David Glynn says:

    Okay, and this is definitely my last one. This, from the New York Times:

    “There have been 41 school shootings in the U.S. since 1996, taking 110 lives – almost double the total fatalities suffered in 80 other countries over the same period.”

    Yes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. But still, that’s DOUBLE the number from the next EIGHTY countries COMBINED!

    But no, you’re right, guns ARE good. No, really…

    Good luck with all that.

    David Glynn
    Sydney, Australia

  24. munchkinwrangler says:

    David,

    that NYT quote says “suffered in 80 other countries”, not “the next eighty countries”. For all we know, they could have just cherry-picked eighty other countries with low crime rates. Germany, for example, has had three highly publicized school schootings in the last ten years. In one case, a guy killed 17 students at a Gymnasium in the city of Erfurt. Guns are far more tightly regulated there than they are in the US.

    Look, we have a hundred million firearms in private hands in the US. There’s no legislative wand you can wave to make them all disappear. The bad guys will always have guns, so how do we make sure the good guys aren’t just prey for the taking? Obviously, declaring a place a “gun-free zone” isn’t working too terribly well. Letting permit holders carry on campus would be a start…it makes no sense to allow people to carry at the grocery store and the shopping mall, but not on their college campus. (No, it’s not about “arming every student”.)

  25. David Glynn says:

    Marko,

    you seem like a nice guy, and despite the tone of my comments I really have no desire to argue. I’m not even sure why this issue interests me so much. But I guess my question is, wouldn’t you honestly rather your two children grew up in a country/world where there were no handguns?

    Just asking

    David Glynn

  26. munchkinwrangler says:

    David,

    that kind of world can’t exist at this point. You can’t stuff the technological genie back into the bottle.

    Also, “no handguns” does not equal “no violence”. It doesn’t even equal “less violence”. The Middle Ages were remarkably free of handguns, and I doubt anyone would claim that period to be less violent than modern times. In addition, consider this: there are countries where the ownership of handguns by private individuals is completely outlawed. The UK is one example. Yet there’s still gun crime (because criminals don’t care about laws by definition), and the law-abiding folks have no means of legally fighting back. You essentially hand the place over to the young and the strong, who can gang up on people with impunity. (If you’re interested in some first-hand experiences, I can put you in touch with a few British friends of mine who will tell you what life is like in a place where the young and the strong rule the place with impunity, and where people are punished for defending themselves.)

    In a place where there are no guns, my daughter would have to grow up without the most effective means to defend herself against men twice her size, and my wife would be easy prey (she’s partially paralyzed and therefore seriously handicapped when it comes to fighting back or running away.) Why would I want that, even if it wasn’t a utopian pipe dream?

  27. CrankyProf says:

    While we’re at it, I’d like my very own rainbow-colored unicorn that shits marshmallows and pisses single-malt scotch. I mean, if we’re living in fantasy land, why the Hell not?

    To answer your question? No, I would not.

    Human nature being what it it, you will always have predators of the two-legged variety, looking to harm those they see as easy prey. Whether those inclined towards predation are individuals or governments, they use the weakened status of their potential victims.

    The gun is an equalizer in such circumstances.

  28. Erik says:

    ” (If you’re interested in some first-hand experiences, I can put you in touch with a few British friends of mine who will tell you what life is like in a place where the young and the strong rule the place with impunity, and where people are punished for defending themselves.)”

    Or you can read about a recent case in Sweden, where a family was constantly harassed by a gang of young people for years, and multiple calls to the authorites did nothing.
    Finally, the gang showed up at the familys remote home at 2am, drunk and armed with bats and 2*4’s, and demanded the family come out for a showdown. A call to the police gave no result, other than the police saying they had no officer available to go there to help.
    When the gang started pounding on the doors, the father finally took his hunting shotgun and used it to defend his family. He is currently on trial for it, and the gangs leader was the star witness. (He claimed to be “a really nice guy” on the stand)

    Now one of the leading nespapers are proposing new laws to limit the owning of hunting rifles and shotguns, so people that happen to be hunters wont be able to use them in selfdefense.

    So David is firmly on the side of the gang, that didn’t have any guns, but used their numbers and bats to terrorize their town. And he believes that noone should have the means to defend themselfes, their homes, or their family against it.
    It’s survival of the strongest and most violent, and I find it very telling that everyone on the left seem ok with that.

  29. MarkHB says:

    That’s such a typical bit of British posting from David Glynn there. Aside from the rudeness of it, the apologies for which appear to have been accepted – Marko, you’re a better man than I – there’s the utter blindness to the fact that criminals and psychopaths will find ways to arm themselves. If they don’t have guns, there’s plenty of petrol to slosh about. With knives the new target of social villification here, the purchase and carriage of cutlery’s getting more and more difficult.

    This lunatic notion that items are bad, rather than actions, is rife in the UK. It’s a completely barse-ackwards way of thinking about things which has no connection to reality at all. Witness if you will the genius plan to install “Knife Detectors” or “Knife Arches” (deary me) in every. School. In the land.

    http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=7297061

    Rather than looking into, say, why teen violence is spiralling, or possibly prosecuting people for loathsome behaviour, the item itself is being targetted – and in as ham-fisted and pointless a way as possible. Consider the average schoolbag – how many ferrous items are in there? Upshot: Every child gets used to constant, consensus-free search-and-seizure every single gh0d-damned morning. Talk about boiling a frog! Let’s teach the kiddies to accept a daily frisking and bag-search as the normal way of life!

    The UK is self-destructing, and like most things which are busy imploding, the main hobby is reviling other ways of life. After all, it saves one from having to face the ludicrous broach of thinking which makes Guns and Knives Terrible, but makes a savage beating cause for an ASBO.

    Okay, I’m done now.

    No, wait – banning knives. Genius! Next up, it’ll be a roll of gaffer in the bag to wind around the mirror or other bit of glass in the bag after shattering it. Glass edges are generally sharper than honed steel, unless you’re talking about a scalpel.

    Yeah, now I am done.

  30. MarkHB says:

    Okay one last little bit. One of the more common British Person Phrases:

    “Everyone carrying guns, even in schools! Why would you want to live like that?”

    The only response I can make (apart from giving the Migraine Salute) is:

    “Only criminals and police carrying guns, and both about as likely to shoot you. Why would you want to die like that?”

  31. Jered says:

    My $0.02 is that the anti-gun nutters are tyrants of the worst order, and they need something to justify their tyranny.

    Creating zones where the law-abiding are not allowed to be armed and then publishing that fact is pretty much asking for a sociopath to shoot the place up.

    It doesn’t make as much news if the dirtbag gets shot in the commission of a crime.

    Here, recently, we had a guy show up at a school, flash a gun, and then vanish. All two of the sheriff’s deputies assigned to the area rolled over to the school, a high school if anyone is wondering, to investigate the MWAG call. While the cops are busy there, Mr. Dirtbag rolls over to the friendly neighborhood bank and proceeds to stick it up while the cops are busy at the school.

    I don’t really have a point to this story, other than to say that the hoplophobia has gone too far.

  32. David Glynn says:

    I know, I know… but seriously folks, how can anybody expect to take you seriously when, for Sydney, Australia, you read, Britain, over and over again? A small thing, maybe, but indicative, dontcha think…?

  33. David Glynn says:

    And besides, I’m not even Australian! I’m from New Zealand! Where people get killed! On the street! And in their homes! With all sorts of things! Guns! Knives! Pieces of wood! Fists! But try and understand——THAT’S NOT THE POINT!!!!! And if anybody, as I say, wants a reasoned discussion on this subject, I’ll be at Circular Quay (Sydney! Australia!!) on Monday at 12pm. I’ll be dressed as Martin Bryant. Whose he, I hear you ask? Well, as far as my limited understanding goes, he is the man responsible for the single worst (read most casualties) mass civilian shooting in modern times. 35 individuals. Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1996. Read about it if you will. But still,
    THAT’S NOT THE POINT!!!! The point is, guns are cool! Over and goddamn out…

    David Glynn

  34. David Glynn says:

    Sorry, but’s like a drug…

    In reply to Marko’s comment: “that kind of world can’t exist at this point.”

    It does exist, in almost every other Western nation, where the sale and ownership of handguns is controlled to the point that it amounts to prohibition. But as your current post says, you ain’t gonna convince me, and I ain’t gonna convince you. So I’m going to try really really really hard not to do this any more… honest.

    David Glynn

  35. MarkHB says:

    Sorry for getting your nation of origin wrong, David. However, sat here in the UK, with the rate of gun crime accelerating and a new shooting cropping up almost every week I have to call you on that. Guns are totally illegal in the UK – you can get five years in jail just for touching a pistol.

    And yet, the rate of shootings in the UK is increasing, despite it being impossible to legally acquire a handgun. In fact, it’s been imposssible to legally acquire a handgun for over a decade now.

    What it’s done is make sure that anyone who wants a gun and is willing to get one is so far past the “Citizen/Criminal” baulk line that the 5 years in chokey they’d face is trivial compared to what their other proclivities would put them away for. But these people are convinced they won’t get caught, and by and large they’re correct. This leaves Muggins like me, a law-abiding tax-paying productive member of society, as a target and nothing more. So, as with cancer, it’s just the numbers game until something happens.

    How anyone can simply accept this makes the mind boggle, but the fact that vociferous gun-ban fetishists in English-speaking countries keep shouting at America to ban guns and jump on the victim bandwagon just drives me nuts. Point the first – who the hell are you to tell another country what to do? Point the second – the firearms ban’s working fine is it? In the UK the home secretary’s recommending that people don’t go out after midnight, and we’ve got a new bullet-riddled corpse every week or two.

    It’s a typical attitude that people who are in favour of the right to keep and bear arms are just loonies who think guns are cool.

    If you bother to actually pay any attention, it’s more that the right to defend one’s own life and the lives of one’s loved ones is cool. The fact that in places where many citizens carry guns, there’s less violent crime is pretty cool, too. That would actually be the point.

    Gun bans don’t work. They haven’t worked in the UK, nor will they ever. Dunblane and Hungerford were horrible, yes. But the gun-ban hasn’t worked, and it’s resulted in a mindset of other-dependance in the UK which has emasculated a whole generation. Oh, and a whole bunch of dead people.

    That’s not my opinion, those are simply the inconvenient facts of the matter.

  36. David Glynn says:

    Dear MarkHB(H8?)

    “But the gun-ban hasn’t worked, and it’s resulted in a mindset of other-dependance in the UK which has emasculated a whole generation. Oh, and a whole bunch of dead people.”

    Firstly, that sentence makes no sense whatsoever. My entire paternal family is British, grandmother through to pre-school cousins——which generation of those is the one that is emasculated? And is it only the males?

    Secondly, I have never shouted at America to ban guns. I’m just questioning the logic of some assertions I see posted on blogs of this type.

    Thirdly, I spent 2005-2006 in London (Camden and Whitechapel) and intend to spend half of 2008 there. I am aware of the alarming rise of gun crime in the U.K. in recent years. I am aware that violence can be visited upon one anywhere in the U.K., and at any time, to the degree that the Home Secretary has, as you say, recently stated that he does not feel safe on London’s streets at night. But my feeling is that your “whole bunch of dead people” (irrespective of Hungerford and Dunblane) is, with regards to handguns, less than a handful to date. And my question is this: do you really believe that decriminalising the possession of handguns is going to REVERSE this trend? Come on..

    David Glynn

  37. David Glynn says:

    And another thing, while I’m at it…

    “The Middle Ages were remarkably free of handguns, and I doubt anyone would claim that period to be less violent than modern times.”

    WTF? I am continuously amazed at the random assertions people are capable of making in support of their cause. I mean, really. Were you there? Do you have any idea of the level of violence the common man was subject to on a day-to-day basis? Do you?

    Sheesh…

    David Glynn

  38. munchkinwrangler says:

    David,

    why do you feel the need to argue the subject further? You live in a place where getting a handgun is difficult (at least for non-criminals), and that’s the way you want it. Unless you come over here and spend a few years living in the US, you really have no idea of our mindset and circumstances, and seeing how you’re exactly where you want to be, it’s a bit presumptuous to determine from afar what we should or shouldn’t be doing.

    I, for one, don’t give a rat’s ass what kind of laws they pass in Australia, and I don’t go to Australian blogs and comment on their political/social positions. You don’t have to live under our laws, nor we under yours, so why the obsession with the subject–especially when you already conceded that your position on the issue is immutable?

    Oh, and some of the US states are already just about as tightly regulated as European countries when it comes to gun ownership. (The state of the most recent incident, Illinois, is one of them–you can’t even touch a gun in a store there without a state-issued permit, and there is absolutely no legal carry for non-cops.) We also have places where gun ownership is completely outlawed, just like in the UK…and those places are invariably among the least safe in the country.

  39. staghounds says:

    I hate to pester Mr. Glynn further, but it is something he might not like to mention. Americans- well, lots of members of some demographic groups- are very violent people.

    Even if you strip out all our firearm deaths- but leave in theirs- we have vastly higher homicide rates than Britain, Canada, and Australia.

    I suspect that Washington DC, New Orleans, Memphis, or any other big city has a higher rate of killing by use of hands and feet than England does using all weapons combined.

    It’s not the guns, it’s the killers. School shootings, though dramatic, are numerically small compared to the usual homicides here. Some of us just live in a culture of violence from day to day. Right now, the violent generally stay in pretty well defined geographic and social areas, so they can be generally avoided by anyone who doesn’t live or work in or near those places and people.

    (But that doesn’t matter much- who cares about those old ladies in the housing estates, or the home care nurses who visit them. Take away their guns, and robbers and rapists with pieces of rebar will stand a much worse chance in those fights, won’t they?)

    But one day the violent will branch out, as they are now in Britain. A disarmed population will hasten that day. I don’t want to face that day with nothing but an alarm system to amplify my screams.

    And mass public shootings ARE pretty preventable, we haven’t even tried. A combination of training students to resist and refusal to enfame the killers would help a lot.

    By the way, even in America, guns don’t do nearly the mass murder job that petroleum products do. Even without September 11 and Oklahoma City, our champion individually accomplished mass public killing was done with a can of petrol and a lighter.

    The logic of disarming me to protect me has never been clear. And I know that in a disarmed culture, the night belongs to the cruelest.

  40. staghounds says:

    I care what laws they pass in Australia, and I hope Australians care what happens here. Liberty is our common heritage, we should try to make sure we improve it and pass it on.

    We ought to welcome the chance to talk with those who don’t yet understand us.

    Plus he might not be able to move to a new country. It takes a lot to do that.

  41. staghounds says:

    And, Mr. Glynn- Sydney is out of my way, but I will be in England this Autumn. The beer is on me if you’d care to get together. Send me an email.

  42. munchkinwrangler says:

    staghounds,

    I agree in theory, but after countless debates with my European friends and relatives, I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot pass something on to people who don’t want it. They see us as unenlightened, racist, fear-mongering cowboys, and they don’t understand our morbid fascination with our beloved killing devices. The philosophy behind the right to self-defense (self-ownership and self-reliance) is a fast disappearing concept all over Europe and the Commonwealth.

  43. MarkHB says:

    And that’s the bottom line right there – the simple concept of being personally responsible for one’s own continued existance is alien to pretty much every country except the US. Even there, it’s an increasingly endangered species.

    You can’t tell someone who owns himself that it’s right for him to disarm. You can’t tell someone who thinks the state is more important than the individual to take care of themselves. Well, you can, but it’s a waste of breath.

  44. MarkHB says:

    Oh, and it’s “HB”, thank you, not H8. I’m quite tall, but I wouldn’t go around signing myself “Mark Height”, that would be silly. As to your previous comments, the gun ban in the UK Does Not Work. The emasculation I refer to is the way that most people of my age and younger believe it’s the state’s job to take care of them, and that it’s better to just give a robber or rapist what he wants, rather than “making it worse”. Anyway, this could go on ’til we’re blue in the face, but it’s been ’round the houses so many times that it has become dull.

  45. Don Meaker says:

    Handguns were created in response to a need. Before the “handgun” was invented, a gang of thugs would have little to fear from honest men. Mere inspection could determine if the target had, or had not the means with which to defend themselves. The Thugs had all the advantage. Accordingly, in old Europe, honest people gathered together in towns and villages to protect themselves from bandits, and it was common to bring people into your home so that you would have the extra manpower necessary to beat off an attack.

    After the handgun, a man alone was no longer merely prey. Due to the size and recoil of handguns, women were still required to be protected by a man.

    After Deringer developed his pistol, and still more after Colonel Colt invented his pistol, a woman could live alone, and could travel alone, able to defend herself from unwanted company.

    The Remington typewriter, the electric self starter, and the Colt revolver led to women’s ability to live alone, and to work outside the home. Compare that to Arab countries, women are forbidden to drive, to carry weapons, and are retained in their subservient position.

    My two daughters are fortunate to live in the US, where they have alternatives to a life of servitude. My sons are fortunate to have indepependent and capable women for which to aspire.

  46. staghounds says:

    Don’t be a H8R !!1!

  47. MarkHB says:

    staghounds, Marko and I were mocking that particular contraction well over a decade ago. I thought I’d be nice about it…

  48. David Glynn says:

    Guys,

    thanks for the debate. I won’t annoy you any more.

    David Glynn

    P.S. Mr Staghounds, I’ll be in touch: I’ve never passed up the offer of beer in my life…

  49. David Glynn says:

    except to say this: I’ve started my own blog! Why the hell not, everybody else seems to be doing it. And I’ve had so much fun over the past two or three days. So rather than harassing others in their comments section, well, they can harass me. http://www.thingschicksdig.blogspot.com.
    Sorry, I don’t know how to turn that type into a url. Oh well, maybe we’ll meet again in the cyberworld.

    David Glynn

  50. Eric Hammer says:

    I for one do not really like guns all that much. I have a few, mostly for self defense and periodic target practice with my father, but I am greatly looking forward to trading them in for a light sabre and possibly a laser implant in my eye. The latter would be vastly easier to find in the dark at 4 am. After all, it isn’t just that “guns are kewl!!” it is that I would like to live to get my flying car, and being able to defend myself in case of emergency is an important part of that goal.

  51. staghounds says:

    Mr. Glynn;

    my email is staghounds at bellsouth dot net. Looking forward to it.

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