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December 15, 2012


Childe Roland

True that, KN. I read recently that there were 30-something federal laws Lanza broke before and during the rampage, from things like how he obtained possession of the weapons, and bringing them into certain areas of the city, etc. As someone said in the comments section of whatever site I was reading, "I'm sure the NEXT gun control law will be the one that makes a difference." You know, because the previous 30 did such a wonderful job.

That's the part of the argument I've never understood from the left. These sorts of shootings aren't carried out by only the mentally ill. They are all carried out by people determined to commit premeditated crime. If you've convinced yourself you're going to massacre 20 school children, I don't think you are daunted by a couple of gun control laws attempting to stop you from building your arsenal. By definition, criminals commit crimes. To quote a popular former football player and coach, "Hello?"

K. N. McBride

Allow me to clarify.

If the goal of your policy is to ensure that multiple-victim attacks never, ever happen again, gun control will not work.

This is demonstrated by recent massacres in Japan, China and Germany, to name but a few. Culturally, we have a great deal in common with Germany (more than most people realize).

So people saying "if only we had a waiting period," or "if only we banned x" are either idiots or lying. By any objective measure, gun control is a failure. But some people feel better when they advocate it, and it gives politicians more control (that's the key word) over your life.

Childe Roland

I saw a few conservative platitudes in there I'd like to combat. Not that I disagree with you about gun control, but I disagree with the typically weak arguments conservatives make in favor of looser gun control. For how thin they are, it is amazing the arguments have been winning.

Sure, somewhere in Japan people are stabbed to death. If we look at the actual numbers however, there are about 4.28 homicides per 100,000 people in the US, compared to just 0.5 per 100,000 in Japan. Japanese may be stabbing people to death, but at nowhere near the rate Americans are shooting and stabbing one another. The argument that "they'll simply use other weapons" seems to hold no water by the numbers. The big problem in Japan is the high suicide rate typically caused by pressure to succeed financially. I was shocked to find that the US actually has a higher suicide rate than Japan. When it rains, it pours.

But in reality, these sorts of comparisons are pointless. Perhaps comparisons like GDP per capita or energy consumption make sense between the US and the far east, as they are not influenced by things like cultural differences. Having friends from Japan and China, I can say second-hand that the cultures of the west and the far east are as different as night and day. So while statements like "oh in Japan and China they just stab people" are demonstrably false, it doesn't mean that tighter gun laws in the US will lower murder rates, because in the US we likely would just stab people.

Going away from numbers and facts, I will say that a large part of the gap is probably that the criminal lifestyle is much more glorified in the US than it is in other countries. While every society will have its Adam Lanzas for which there may not even be a cure, the parading of criminal activities as a glamorous lifestyle is almost uniquely American among developed countries.

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