Thread: Nat'l Security Let's research gun violence.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:25 AM   #860
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
No difference between 15 and 16.. so, yes I agree if a line is drawn it will be somewhat arbitrary.
So the question becomes, is drawing a line worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
This is where you are simply guessing and where I assert that your guesswork is completely wrong. There is absolutely no evidence that any of these "barriers" on legal gun ownership will prevent mass shootings. None.
What kind of evidence do you need to see?

There are three sets of causes that people point to explain events like Newtown. Killer psychology, the environment of violence in our popular culture, and third, the easy access to guns. Each of these can explain individual events, but we're looking to answer the question: why do we have so many of these events?

The facts: the US has 3.2 gun homicides per 100k folks. That's 12 times higher than other developed countries. If psychology is the main course, we should have 12 times as many psychologically disturbed people. We don't. America takes mental disorders pretty seriously, treating them and refusing to stigmatize them -- we actually do better here than other developed countries.

The popular culture excuse is just laughable -- there's almost no significant difference between our pop culture and the rest of the Western world's, thanks to enhanced globalization. It's basically the same culture. Japan is home to a lot of the video games the NRA hilariously blames, yet Japan's gun homicide rate? Zero. (They have one of the most restrictive gun control templates in the western world.)

When looking internationally, it's obvious that the one feature internationally that would explain why America has such dreadful gun homicide rates is so excessive. We have incredibly permissive laws when it comes to the sale and acquisition of guns.

We have 5% of the world's population, yet we have 50% of the world's guns. We also have evidence that tightening gun laws even in countries with traditions of gun ownership can and does reduce gun violence. Following Austrailia's 1996 ban on all auto and semiauto weapons (a real ban, not one with some 600 exceptions like the Clinton ban did), gun related homicides dropped by 59% over the next decade.

To me, all the evidence points in the same direction: barriers to gun access can and do work. They make perpetrating gun violence more difficult, they require potential criminals to go an extra mile (even a few extra feet will deter some folks). I am not of the belief that Americans are just a different breed -- we're the same species as the rest of the planet, and are of the same cultural development as the Western world. What's different are our laws.
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