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Quote of the Day

From Richard Fernandez:

This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West.  It has been remarkably effective. From a certain point of view the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.

The response? British soldiers should not wear uniforms. Keep Calm and Carry.

48 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

  1. Jack says:

    They’re banning uniforms even though the late Lee Rigby was *not* wearing a uniform at the time.

    Familiar eh?

    And then there’s this story of the woman who distracted one of the goblins until the police came.
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/better-me-than-a-child-woman-hailed-as-hero-describes-confronting-knife-wielding-london-attackers

    Via AP at Hotair who notes:
    “Via Mediaite, here’s an interview with one of the bystanders yesterday. She was no match for the terrorists physically so she did what she could to slow them down until the cops arrived: She distracted them by talking to them while they waved around knives and meat cleavers just a few feet away. ”

    And of course she was no match because the UK mandated it.

  2. aerodawg says:

    Its a personal rule of mine that despite carrying virtually everywhere, I don’t get involved with whatever is happening if it doesn’t involve me or mine. I might have to violate that rule is someone is having their head removed in front of me…

    • Overthetop says:

      Same here on both counts. Although if I was in merry ‘ole England, I might keep walking when I realized the victim was already dead. Interfering with the two animals would likely result in me facing criminal charges for dispatching said animals. The .gov over there doesn’t seem to take very kindly to citizens depriving it of its right to violence.

    • Bryan S. says:

      I have a very well defined “shoot the guy trying to behead the other guy” policy.

      Could there possibly be a self defense case there? Maybe… but if you get to that point, its not about defense, and that person should be stopped.

      • spunnky says:

        Bryan, Just be sure you are prepared to pay the required price, whatever it turns out to be.

  3. Geoff says:

    Just like my time in the Army during Viet Nam. Don’t wear your uniform off post. Of course everybody had long hair except for GI’s so they knew who we were.

    But the worst thing those leftie pukes could manage was a mouthfull of spit. And only if they outnumbered you.

    If I saw a soldier set upon by thugs I would do my best to help him, to include drawing and firing if necessary. The law and society be damned, no man should have to die like that for wearing a uniform in his own country.

  4. ursa ele says:

    My theory is that, long ago — like 250+ years ago — anyone and practically everyone in England who was worth his weight in courage, initiative, and self-reliance left England for other parts of the world. Many of them came to the American colonies, or the united States (after we became that). Those who had the willingness to think for themselves and act for themselves left England, and their children grew up outside of England, and their children, and their children and you get the idea. What was left behind? The people who were quite happy to be “ruled”. And the ruling classes have always had a strong hold on the power in England. We think of that country as a parliamentary democracy, and it has some flavor of that, and their people twice did execute their king (both of those cases were prior to the American Revolution, and the British people have not executed any kings or queens for, oh, 300+ years), but even their parliamentary system has always served to amplify the power of the privileged, i.e. connected, class. Attempts by the authorities to prevent the common people from having firearms go back at least to the period immediately following the Napoleonic wars and were pursued in earnest after World Wars 1 and 2. They did not invent gun control after the Dunblane school massacre. It was already in their DNA. They just needed an excuse to inflict it more severely. And why exactly is it that the same country that gave the world the Magna Carta and the original Bill of Rights can be so ruthless in putting down any chance for the common person to take the initiative and rely on him or herself? Because, frankly, the people who gave the world the Magna Carta long ago left England. LONG AGO. England has been a lost cause for over 300 years. The biggest mistake we made in World War 2 was that we did not liberate the British people from their National Socialist government before we went on to liberate the rest of the Europeans. We had all those troops over there in England. We had tanks, planes, guns, etc. We owed it to Edmund Burke to at least TRY to liberate the British people.

    The good news is that when those people left England over the past 300-400 years, many of the ones with initiative and self-reliance in their DNA came here.

    • ursa ele says:

      I have the same theory, by the way, about Russia and the other Eastern European countries. In the 200 years leading up to World War 2, the people who had initiative and a built in determination to be self-reliant left Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe. What was left behind were people who were quite happy to be ruled. Then the commies came along and for nearly 50 years they ruled with an iron fist. Except they made one fatal blunder that, incidentally, Fidel Castro was smart enough to avoid (and, the communist Chinese have avoided this blunder, too). In every generation of living things, spontaneous genetic mutations will arise. In Russia and eastern Europe they had walls and tanks and machine gun nests to keep the people in. They kept ALL of the people in (well, they kept the vast majority of them in). And within each generation was born some with the “mutation” for self-reliance. Eventually, the population of those people reached a critical mass that resulted in Russia and the other countries being liberated from within from the communist slave-masters. But why would a country like East Germany overthrow its commie rulers and yet Cuba, vastly more poor and destitute and hopeless would go right on slaving away under the yoke of Castro? Ah, that’s the secret that Castro understood and the East Germans did not. If you have people who genuinely don’t want to be there, you need to let them get out. Sure, they will serve a propaganda role for your enemies, and sure, they will take badly-needed skills with them, but the fundamental number one rule for dictators is that you can only rule people who are willing to be ruled. Anyone else, has to go. So, the East Germans kept everyone in and allowed that critical mass of people to be born, grow, and reproduce. Castro always found ways to let the disgruntled leave. The more obvious ways were the boat lifts. But even without that, he had lots of ways of letting people walk away. The Cubans would send delegations of artists, doctors, etc to Spain to “study” or to other countries to “work” and many of those people simply walked away and left for better lives in other countries. Castro rarely ever retaliated against the family members left behind by the defectors, and he never did anything to improve the “security” of those workers sent abroad so that fewer of them would leave. It was an unwritten rule of sorts that Jews who wanted out of Cuba could volunteer for those overseas assignments and then simply walk away as long as they kept quiet about it. So, Castro was left with, as I’ve said before, people who for the most part were quite happy to be ruled. That’s why Cuba is a communist country almost 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. The point is (there is indeed a point to all of this) that England is a lost cause for freedom and self-reliance. Don’t mourn for their people’s lost freedom to defend themselves. They are getting exactly the governing that they darn well want.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am genuinely amazed at your ignorance. You seem to think that the UK is ruled by some sort of feudal ‘elite’ class, leaving the majority of the population powerless and repressed. Maybe this is an accurate representation of England in the Middle Ages, but to even suggest that this is the case today or in modern times is nothing short of libelous. I’m sorry to inform you of your delusion, but the UK offers far greater social mobility and indeed democracy than the USA: we have had a female head of government. Have you? No. We have implemented social provision in the form of free healthcare and state-provided housing, whilst America continually forces its poorest people to effectively fend for themselves. In the 2012 Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index (the most widely used index of its sort in the world) we are 16th. The USA is 21st.

      So do not attempt to intimate that the US, with its archaic preservation of its citizens’ right to firearms, is somehow a purveyor of the rights of the ‘common person’ which the rest of the world looks up to. It is an absolute fallacy. You suggest that for 250+ years Britain has lacked citizens with ‘courage, initiative, and self-reliance’. May I remind you that for much of those 250 years Britain was far more powerful and influential on a global scale than the USA has ever been, whilst our influence over the basic principles of democracy is yet again far greater: the Westminster System of government has been adopted world-over, whilst your two-party system, in which each voter is effectively forced to vote for only two choices, is yet to catch on around the world.

      And as far as initiative goes, I am surprised you do not seem more aware of the fact that it was us who actually went to war against the Nazis, whilst you were happy to ignore the atrocities that occurred in Europe for two years. Ans self-reliance? I’ll think you’ll find that we had that in abundance during the most recent invasion of British soil in the Falklands in 1982, whilst I don’t recall a single American military operation in the last 100 years which has not required foreign support, most frequently from-surprise, surprise-the UK.

      So for the last time I urge you to lose your arrogant, misguided and ultimately fictitious views, I could barely keep myself from laughing whilst reading much of your comment:’Their parliamentary system has always served to amplify the power of the privileged’. Excuse me, but it seems to me that half of your former Presidents have the same last name!

      But I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much from a community (and I am talking about the community of this and similar websites rather than the country as a whole, which I am fully aware contains some truly amazing people) which genuinely believes that freedom of gun ownership is a good thing. Guns, as I’m sure you are aware, are a machine SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED in order to KILL. Therefore, to introduce constraints on their ownership is surely, unquestionably, a good thing, which will PREVENT DEATH. You all talk about ‘self defense’, but the reality of a gun-free society is that there is far less to defend yourself against. In 2011 in the USA, there were 3.60 gun-related homicides per 100,000 of the population. In the UK there were 0.04. That 90 times fewer gun-related murders. 90 times!! And yet people on this website make fun of our people’s lack of self-defense. It truly beggars belief that anyone could possibly think that a policy which resulted in a 900% increase in the number of gun-related homicides could possibly be a good thing. And yet it seems that, somehow, many of you do. Once again sections of American society continue to be a laughing stock in the eyes of the rest of the world.

      • mike w. says:

        “Once again sections of American society continue to be a laughing stock in the eyes of the rest of the world.”

        Yup, and Brits like you, who so fundamentally misunderstand what individual liberty is all about, continue to be a laughing stock in the eyes of freedom loving Americans.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m sorry, I didn’t realise that individual freedom included the right to murder

          • jeremys says:

            Dear Commie,

            More guns = less crime.

            Repeat that over and over until you are no longer ill.

      • Shinner says:

        Some of us have noticed how your suppression of gun rights in history has often correlated with your desire to enforce your control over nearby geography, like Scotland and Ireland. And we Americans have appreciated your behind the scenes influence in the gun control battle, while you were exercising your influence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. You couldn’t chance us shinners sending any OTC guns back to the Old Sod.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yet another ill thought-out comment. You talk about ‘enforcing control’ over Scotland. Clearly you are unaware that Scotland is part of the same country as England and indeed the rest of the UK It is an integral component of the UK, and by no means ‘under control’. In fact, it is an integrated and vital part of the UK to such an extent that Britain has had several Scottish Prime Ministers. I’m sure even those who want independence for Scotland (and it is a minority, who will nevertheless be provided with a perfectly democratic referendum)would be amused at your suggestion that Scotland is some sort of occupied territory.

          As for Ireland, it is not really a case of the UK ‘exercising its influence’ but protecting the right to self-determination of those in Northern Ireland who wanted to remain British. As you may or may not be aware, Ireland is a very divided country. Whilst in most of its provinces the vast majority have for over a century been in favour of Irish independence (which is why there is an independent Ireland, which by the way has a very close and amicable relationship with the UK), the north has historically had very strong movements both for independence and remaining part of the UK. It has never been a case of ‘the UK versus the people’ in Northern Ireland, and the conflicts that occurred for much of the late 20th century, are very much the product of a divided Northern Irish POPULATION.

          Once again, you seem unaware of the fact that Northern Ireland is in fact PART OF the UK. It exists solely because a majority of its people want to remain British, and has absolutely nothing to do with the UK ‘exercising its influence’. As far as exercising influence goes, I believe the USA is an expert in doing so in countries which aren’t even its geographical neighbours.

          I do not know exactly how you feel this all fits in to your overriding argument for ‘OTC guns’. It is true, yes, that gun controls are far more lax in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK, but to suggest that they are available ‘over the counter’ is simply untrue: their ownership is still subject to reasonably strenuous controls. I personally believe that there should be equally strict controls on the use of guns in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK, but of course this is politically difficult given that Northern Ireland is partially self-governing.

          What is important to consider, however, is that you may only own a gun in Northern Ireland if you either have a verifiable reason for having one (such as for hunting) or if the police deem that you are ‘at risk’ and may require one for self defense. Whilst I do believe that this is too lax, and that there should ultimately be a gun-free society in Northern Ireland, you cannot argue that this process is far more effective at ensuring that guns do not fall into the wrong hands compared to the ridiculous system in the US where virtually anyone can freely and easily obtain a gun. Just to put it into a bit more context, the number of gun-related homicides per 100,000 of population in Northern Ireland is 0.11. In the USA, as I have said before, it is 3.60.

          • Shinner says:

            “What is important to consider, however, is that you may only own a gun in Northern Ireland. . .”

            You forgot the condition that you are a member of a Loyalist paramilitary that is in collusion with the British and they have supplied the gun to you.

            Save the rest for your pre-conditioned English and American audiences.

          • Shinner says:

            a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_loyalism”>Reference:

            Collusion with the security forces

            During the Troubles, there were incidents of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and members of the state security forces (the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary). Some were members of both paramilitaries and the security forces. As well as taking part in paramilitary attacks, some soldiers and policemen are alleged to have given weapons and intelligence to loyalists, turned a blind eye to their activities, and/or hindered police investigations of them. The De Silva report found that, during the 1980s, 85% of the intelligence that loyalists used to target people came from the security forces.[24]

            Another reference:

            Northern Ireland loyalist shootings: one night of carnage, 18 years of silence

            In 1994 six men were shot dead in a bar at Loughinisland – but no one was charged. Ian Cobain follows the supply of arms used in the massacre and investigates allegations of state collusion

            Our American gun owner friends should really learn about these things, if they would see their own future.

            • Anonymous says:

              You seem to think that I am staunchly defending the British government’s actions in Northern Ireland? Of course there was collusion, and of course this should not have been the case. The British government and the police made a lot of mistakes in Northern Ireland, this is an undeniable fact.

              But of course all of this is wholly irrelevant to everything I have said: I have not attempted to make a judgement about how fairly each of the main movements in Northern Ireland has been treated, I have simply said that the existence of Northern Ireland is not a case of some sort of British colonisation, but because a majority in Northern Ireland wanted to retain the Union.

              As for gun-ownership in Northern Ireland, I was simply saying that even the lax gun-ownership laws there are much more effective than those in the USA. This is backed up in the figures I have already given.

              My conclusion, and the obvious inference from the statistics, is once again that greater restrictions on gun ownership result in reduced gun-related homicide rates. How this can possibly be surprising to 2nd amendment advocates, given that guns are designed to kill, is beyond me.

            • Anonymous says:

              I am also surprised on your insistence on highlighting a few cases of collusion in Northern Ireland in order to demonstrate why you feel that shouldn’t be gun ownership restrictions in the UK. Once again, I do not feel that gun restrictions in Northern Ireland have been ‘done well’ so to speak, but I do think that it is wrong to use them as an example of some sort of dangerous future for the US, as even in Northern Ireland, with its flawed gun legislation, there is still a far lower rate of gun-related homicides than in the USA.

              It is always possible to use individual events as a form of scare tactics in order to push forward a change in legislation, which is partly why I have avoided mentioning any individual gun-crime events in the USA. What I do feel cannot be ignored, however, is the overall rate of gun-related homicides, and the simple fact is that this is far higher in the USA than in countries where gun ownership is restricted, including Northern Ireland.

              How can you possibly feel that a policy which results in SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER MURDERS is a bad thing?

              • Shinner says:

                Not all. I highlighted “a few” cases of collusion in Northern Ireland just to illustrate the gross hypocrisy of the British establishment, and because you offered me an opening to inform an American audience of facts that were reported in international outlets, but go unreported by American media, thanks to their “special relationship” with (and in some cases, ownership by) the British press.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The British government certainly has made huge and unforgivable mistakes in Northern Ireland, one of these being collusion. I agree with you on this. What I do not agree with is your use of these issues to suggest firstly that stricter gun laws would cause similar problems in the USA (whilst statistics suggest that the opposite would be the case), and secondly that Britain is somehow colonising Northern Ireland, when in fact it is merely protecting the majority view.

                  Overall I feel it is dangerous to compare the USA to Northern Ireland in this (gun law) or indeed any context, simply because the level of division along religious and political lines, and between similar proportions of the population, is not representative of the US as a whole by any means.

                  As for your suggestion that coverage of Northern Ireland in the American media is somehow censored at the wish of the British government, this is frankly just paranoid and ridiculous, as you have made two huge misconceptions about 1) the level of British influence in the American media and 2)the British Government’s apparent desire to prevent the spread of information about Northern Ireland. I assure you that the issues in Northern Ireland are quite widely and openly reported in Britain itself, including on the BBC, and I do not see why the British government (which recently issued a public apology for its past unlawful actions in Northern Ireland) would have the opposite philosophy in America. It is far more likely, I feel, that a lack of NI reporting in the American media is simply from a lack of interest/demand on behalf of the American public.

      • Ceefour says:

        My my,I didn’t realize you had a Utopian society there in Merry ol England..despite what your own crime reports indicate….that GB is the MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY IN EUROPE. You talk about ignorance..ha…your little message has shown the world that your level of intelligence is questionable.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am not trying to say that there is a Utopian society in the UK, and frankly I made absolutely no suggestions to that effect. Compared to the rest of Europe we have at some points over the last five years had amongst the highest rate of violent crime per 100,000 (although our overall homicide rate is, as of 2013, currently second lowest in Europe, with only Monaco’s lower).

          Whilst I am sceptical about which crime reports you are referring to, I am not trying to deny that Britain is not one of the safest countries in Europe at all: the UK is plagued by varied and complex societal problems which if anything have increased (in certain respects) in recent years.

          What I have tried to do, however, is demonstrate the disparity between the USA and the UK, in order to deconstruct the opinion held by certain users of this website that the USA is some sort of bastion of democracy and personal freedom thanks to its lack of gun ownership restrictions.

          Yes, the UK is by certain measures among the more dangerous countries in Europe, but if you were to compare the USA to Europe I think you would be in for a big shock: according to the UN the homicide rate per 100,000 in the US is currently 4.8, compared to 1.2 in the UK. To put that in a bit more perspective, the homicide rate in the Palestinian Territories is 4.1, and in Yemen (the home of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula)it is 4.2.

          You seem convinced that my intelligence is ‘questionable’and that there is some lack of logic to what I have said, but if you thought clearly and looked at what the data really meant, then surely you would find that the issues are clear:

          The USA has a very high homicide rate for a country for a country at such a high level of development. The proportion of these homicides that are gun related is also high, at around 75-80%. By comparison, the homicide rate in the UK, which is not even (as Ceefour has so kindly pointed out)amongst the safest highly-developed countries, is around a quarter of that in the USA, whilst the proportion of these which are gun related is about 4%. That’s 4%, compared to 80% in the USA.

          And the fundamental difference between the two countries? The rate of public gun ownership. You can make whatever arguments you like about the importance of personal freedom, but it is clear to see that greater public gun ownership = more murders.

      • jake says:

        Boring!

        • Anonymous says:

          ‘Boring’.

          You are making your like-minded compatriots look bad by demonstrating such a low level of intelligence and reasoning.

      • Alpheus says:

        Yep. You want to be ruled.

        I have lived in Great Britain for a couple of years, so I have some experience towards what you speak.

        I have experienced their health care first hand, and have seen others experience it as well: thus, I have fought tooth and nail, to keep such a system from establishing itself here. For the last seventy years, we have eroded free market health care, and it has suffered…yet, despite being hampered the way it has, it is *still* better than that of Great Britain’s.

        I have experienced a mugging in Great Britain, but I have never been mugged in the United States, not even when I lived for several years in New York State (albeit the Albany area, but still). I remember to this day learning about how someone lost his friend to a similar mugging, because that person had his head bashed in with a hammer. I also remember a family assuring me that it’s a myth that Great Britain was gun-free: anyone who really wanted a handgun could get one. Indeed, the fact that shooting deaths in Great Britain have *increased* since the gun ban, bears this out.

        I have lived without insurance; my siblings live without insurance; in my adventures of dealing with insurance over the last few years, I have procurred quite a bit of medical debt. Even through all this, I would *much* rather live in America, where we still have at least a little bit of freedom, and a healthy respect for the suffering and for life in general, than I would to live in a “humane” system like Great Britain, where one can sit in an ambulance for hours waiting for treatment as a matter of course, or wait months for cancer care when time is of the essence, or wait months for hernia surgery.

        And as for gun laws, I’d much rather live in Utah, or Arizona, or Wyoming, where guns are accepted as a part of life (and murders are somewhat rarer), than I would in Chicago, or New York State, or Washington DC, or Great Britain, where murder is substantially greater.

        As for being more influential across the world: how many countries have sent people to the moon? Which country leads the world in medical research? Which country educates the world’s engineers and doctors? Which country developed nuclear power (both peaceful and warlike)? And which country continues to inspire hope and self-reliance throughout the world, even when its politicians do their best to mute it, and to stapm it out, at home?

        As for Nazi atrocities: your country was just as willing to ignore them as ours was; it was just brought to your door sooner than it was to ours. Or have you forgotten Neville Chamberlain, who was celebrated for bringing “peace in our time”.

        Finally, you’re too fixated on guns being machines designed to kill. They are not: they are machines designed to stop others from killing, or from general tyranny and mayhem. If someone attempts to club you, or murder you, or rape you, a gun lets you shoot such a person until he stops (such “shooting” might not occur at all, or if it does occur, it often merely injures the person seeking to do harm). That you can’t tell the difference from stopping someone from killing (aka self-defense) and downright murder (which can easily occur with or without a gun), will explain why there’s been a net increase of murder and violent crime in general in Great Britain, rising in concert with Great Britain’s efforts to make it more and more difficult to own weapons, starting shortly after WWI.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just thought I should reiterate that gun-related homicide rate in the USA, as most of you seem happy to ignore it. 3.60. That’s higher than in West Bank/Gaza, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka and Lebanon, to name but a few. There were civil wars in many of these countries just a few years ago, and current conflict in several. Yet incredibly you are more likely to be shot dead if you are in the USA. How long is it going to take for you to realise that this needs to be addressed?

    • Sebastian says:

      Our murder rate has been dropping for 20 years. If the trend continues, we’ll be on par with most of Europe before too long. And I’d note this decline has happened while coinciding with nearly every state easing its laws about carrying firearms for self-protection, combined with the number of firearms in civilian hands greatly expanding. I’d say we are addressing it.

      • Anonymous says:

        The fact that the murder rate is decreasing is irrelevant as there is no evidence at all to suggest that there is a casaul relationship between this and reduced restrictions on gun ownership. To analogize, there is a direct and strong positive correlation, over the last few decades, between the number of countries providing women with the vote and global warming, though to suggest that there is an actual relationship between these two variables is obviously ridiculous.

        I accept that America has become safer and that gun-related homicides have become less prevalent, but this is ultimately down to other preventative measures (education, better policing, wider awareness etc), which frankly would largely be redundant if the US were simply to take the step of introducing strict restrictions on public gun ownership.

        You say that the situation in America is ‘being addressed’, when in reality you fail to see that the number of gun-related homicides is still far higher than that in countries where there are restrictions on gun ownership, including countries which by most other measures would not appear to be safer. It is not a reasonable response to simply say that ‘things are getting better’, when in reality they are effectively going from terrible to bad: gun related homicides may have gone from 7.0 per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 in 2011, but this is still off the charts compared to the rest of the developed world. Is it so difficult for you to make the connection that there is an unassailable link between guns and murder?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just as an additional response to your suggestion that the USA’s murder rate will ‘be on a par with Europe before long’, I am wondering what exactly it is that you are basing this prediction on? Yes, your gun-related homicide rate has approximately halved over the last twenty years, but it is ridiculous for you to simply extrapolate this rate of decrease for the future, as it is still far greater than that of most European countries. The reality is that it will be impossible to match gun-related homicide rates in Europe without introducing greater restrictions on gun ownership, and to think otherwise is simply absurd.

        • Sebastian says:

          I did not argue it was necessary correlated, but neither can any correlation be proved between gun ownership and crime, even within this country. There are plenty of examples in this country of states which have almost no gun laws to speak of and have practically no crime to speak of, including murder, and yet other examples of states which have European-style restrictions and yet crime and murder rates which are out of this world.

          But regardless of whether it’s correlated or not, the fact is that we’ve lowered our murder and violent crime rates substantially while simultaneously increasing guns in civilian hands and making it easier to carry concealed firearms for self-protection. The best anyone has been able to demonstrate is that easing restrictions on carrying guns in public has had no effect on crime. No one has been able to conclusively prove that it drives crime. And why would it? Most criminals aren’t going to go to the police station and ask for permission to carry a gun, get fingerprinted, and submit to a background check in order to carry a firearm in public. They’ll just do it, consequences be damned.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes, of course criminals may illegally obtain firearms without a background check, but this is effectively irrelevant. The fact is that lax gun ownership laws vastly increase the circulation of guns amongst the civilian population (88.8 guns per 100 people in the US is far higher than any other country), and make it far easier for criminals to obtain guns, whether they do so through official channels or not. By your logic, any criminal in the UK could just as easily illegally obtain a gun as they could in the US, but this is frankly not the case as indicated by our far lower level of gun-crime, and believe me it would be very naive to suggest that there is any less of a criminal culture here than there is in the US.

            You also talk about easing ‘restrictions on carrying guns in public’. I do not doubt that changes in this legislation would have no effect on levels of crime, as this has absolutely nothing to do with gun ownership. Making it illegal to carry a gun in public is hardly a deterrent to any criminals who already possess a gun, particularly as they are so easily concealable. What I, along with most anti-gun advocates, am actually talking about, is the need for greater restrictions on gun OWNERSHIP and access.

            As for there being very little crime in certain states, once again this is not surprising and essentially irrelevant, as in every country there are areas where there is little crime; and crime and the ‘ease’ of committing a crime are by no means correlated. Likewise, it really is foolish of you to suggest that low levels of crime in certain states are BECAUSE there are lax gun ownership laws, as there really is absolutely nothing to suggest that this is the case (given that lax gun ownership laws and high gun-crime levels seem to correlate very well across the country as a whole). The reality is that, as a proportion of the population, both the number of gun owners and the number of gun-related homicides is very high in the US, whilst in the UK, for example, where there are very strict gun ownership restrictions, both of these figures are far lower.

            It is no good to simply look at trends in certain states or regions of the country, as gun ownership restrictions are of course not the only variable that affects crime. It is equally inappropriate to compare the level of crime, even if it is specifically gun-crime, between two different states. You cannot possibly say that because one state has lax gun restrictions AND relatively little crime, introducing gun restrictions would not reduce crime across ALL states. A much better comparison would be between deprived, inner city areas in the US, and similar inner-city areas in countries such as the UK. Were you to do so I am sure you would find the difference in the level of gun crime staggering, and indeed I am sure you would find a similar disparity by comparing areas of all levels of affluence.

            You talk about other countries having high crime and murder rates, but European-style restrictions on gun ownership. This may be true in some respects, but it is once again irrelevant, as you are conflating all crime with gun-related crime. I would be very interested to see an example of a country with strict restrictions on gun ownership which has a greater level of GUN-RELATED CRIME than the USA, and I certainly doubt that there are very many (if any) countries which fit this description.

            I accept that it is impossible to absolutely, statistically PROVE whether introducing greater gun restrictions would reduce gun-crime without actually doing so and seeing for yourself, although the evidence and basic logic overwhelmingly suggests that this would indeed be the case. Equally you cannot possibly say that any ‘evidence’ to show there would be no effect is even remotely reliable.

            Ultimately, however, I do not understand how you have come to your conclusion that there would be reduction in gun-crime levels should gun restrictions be introduced. If far fewer people were able to own a gun, then it does not take a genius to realise that there would be less gun-crime, it really is as simple as that. Your crime and murder rates may be falling, but they will remain far, far higher than those in countries such as the UK, if you continue to avoid taking this next step.

            • jeremys says:

              tl;dr

              You really have a poor sense of what is relevant. Really. All of your assumptions are flawed. Read that last sentence again.

              Tip: this is the internet, not an academic journal where people have time to decipher and argue with a wall of text. Just pick one point and make your best case quickly.

              • Anonymous says:

                It seems to me that you are criticizing me or being too academic? It is not my fault if you do not want to read what I have said, or if you feel it is too much of a ‘wall of text’, but I will not apologize for making a reasoned argument supported by evidence, something that you have failed to do. If you feel I have made flawed assumptions, I think it is a bit telling that you haven’t said why: it’s almost as if you don’t have any evidence to suggest that this is the case!

            • Sebastian says:

              What you seem to be saying is that there are a lot of other factors that go into determining crime and murder rates that have nothing to do with levels of gun ownership. So then why would you suggest controlling the level of gun ownership is the solution to the problem? I agree that gun ownership is not the driver of inner-city crime. I tend to believe the drug trade is the driver of inner city crime, and I’m not sure how you prevent gangs who traffic in contraband already from obtaining and trafficking in contraband like firearms.

              The fact that there’s other factors involved probably is a reason why there’s not even a correlation internationally between gun ownership rates and murder rates, unless you cherry pick. This is true even if you only look at reasonably wealthy and democratic countries.

              That’s not even getting into the difficulty that the US is a country where civilian gun ownership has long been accepted, and is constitutionally protected. Even if we were to pass a complete ban tomorrow, there will remain huge quantities of black market guns available for criminal use. The only effect it would have is disarming people who are not inclined to commit crimes with their guns. I also personally don’t care about reducing gun crime. If guns were banned, but violent crime increased, I wouldn’t consider that a net benefit.

              • Anonymous says:

                Of course gun availability is not the ROOT of crime, I have not even remotely suggested that it is. The point is that guns ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WEAPONS (and highly attractive to criminals as opposed to say knives), and increasing their availability to criminals (who are already committing crime for whatever background reason, is obviously going to result in more people being murdered. Seeing as 3/4 of American murders are committed using guns, this would seem quite difficult for you to deny.

                You mention criminals being able to access guns whether they’re illegal or not, but the reality is that your gun laws allow for a far greater circulation of guns within the population, and so they are far, far easier for criminals to get their hands on. That is quite simply why there are not only fewer murders, but fewer gun-related murders in countries like the UK. And believe me, as I have already said, we have just as strong a criminal culture (and a voracious drug trade) as you do in the US.

                As for arguing that global statistics do not correlate, this is obviously going to be the case for ‘homicides’, as in most countries guns are only used in a minority of murders. You also have to consider the incongruence of comparing developed, otherwise highly safe countries such as the USA to developing, crime-ridden states such as Honduras, where the gun ownership may be low but gun-murder rates are high. This is all because of a complete disparity in the prevalence of crime, power of criminal syndicates and quality of policing/anti-crime legislation.

                If you compare the USA only to other countries of a similar level of development (using factors such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, literacy rate etc), you will then see that there is a significant correlation between gun ownership and gun-related homicides. Seeing as gun-related homicides do indeed form a majority of American homicides, it therefore does not take a genius to realise that fewer guns will result in fewer murders in America.

              • Anonymous says:

                As for an increase in violent crime should guns be banned, I really do not know how you can possibly make such a suggestion…it certainly isn’t obvious to me how banning a dangerous weapon would automatically result in more violence.

    • jake says:

      blather, blather, blather…. the Congo? Sierra Leone? don’t make me spit out my cup of Earl Grey…you missed the entire point of the article (linked to, but the quote works as well), Mr or Ms. ‘anonymous’… if that is your real name…. :)

    • Alpheus says:

      Another thing comes to mind. I’m not sure where to find the blogpost at the moment (perhaps Sebastian had linked to it at some time), but someone recently wrote a good blogpost explaining how comparing American and British statistics is comparing apples and oranges. The FBI only counts homicides–and does nothing to keep track of how many of these homicides are eventually found to be justifiable. The British factors out justifiable homicides; they also do certain things that fudge the results of what counts as a “homicide” in their statistics.

      Unfortunately, I do not remember the details (I don’t even remember where the blogpost was), but it boils down to this: you CANNOT trust comparisons of murder rates between the US and Great Britain. For a variety of reasons, the two countries are measuring completely different things.

      (Incidentally, this applies to health care as well. The United States, for example, counts 20-week births as “viable”, because our hospitals can sometimes save children born so young; in Great Britain and Europe, however, births up to 24 weeks are often counted as “stillbirths”, even if the baby takes a breath. Thus, the US *seems* to have a higher infant mortality rate than Europe, but it comes down to the two cultures measuring different things.)

      • Anonymous says:

        For all statistics on homicides etc I used data published by the UN. Whilst statistics are never going to be 100% accurate, I assure you that the UN will have compiled these statistics independently and objectively, and would certainly have ensured to make adjustments according to differences in the methodology of their source material. However I believe that the UN compiles much of its statistics independently, and so any confusion or difference in methodology is once again unlikely.

        Furthermore I have not used at any point data provided by either American or British government institutions (such as the FBI etc), so once again your suggestion at there being an imbalance in what the data represents is completely untrue.

        It is no good for you to make wild assumptions to attempt to undermine the statistics I have used, and if you start to go down the path that ‘no statistics can be trusted’, then you really will throw away the best, most comprehensive and most reliable available evidence.

        Is it so difficult for you to actually respond to the data at hand, rather than trying to defame its credibility based on, essentially, one person’s random blog. I’m sure whatever UN research department that is responsible for my data is a far more reliable and trustworthy source than whoever it is that is responsible for the blog you are referring to.

        • Alpheus says:

          First of all, I am unfamiliar with the UN methodology, but even so, I do not consider the UN to be an “independent and objective” voice, any more than I consider either the FBI, or the CDC, or British government agencies to be “independent and objective”. I *am* familiar with the flawed studies that they produce about health care, so I don’t see why I should necessarily trust them on murder rate statistics, either.

          The UN itself is biased towards justifying and protecting the thugs, the dictators, and the socialists of the world, than they are about establishing the freedom, and the resulting prosperity, that countries like the United States have established.

          Second, I value statistics and statistical methods as important, if flawed, ways to understand our world, but they are not the foundation of my opposition to gun control. My opposition is founded on the basic philosophy that, for a people to be free, they must accept responsibilities to provide for themselves–and this applies as much to self defense, and self government, as it does to anything else. As the police have demonstrated time and time again, you cannot trust them to come to your aid at the greatest moment of need, so you must be ready to do what you can to thwart those that intend to do you harm. The fact that statistics generally show that guns in the hands of the law-abiding helps to reduce murder rates is only vindication of that philosophy; as far as I could tell, however, a culture’s respect for life, liberty, and property is a FAR greater indicator as to what the murder rate will be, than any silly law made about guns.

          (Case in point: Chicago gang culture has no respect for human life, and you can see that in the weekly murder statistics of that city. Legalizing guns in Illinois is only going to allow the honest to defend their lives from these thugs; thug-on-thug killing will likely to continue unabated.)

          • Alpheus says:

            Now that I think of it, I would be interested to know what the UN methodology is, if it isn’t “We’re going to compile a lot of official statistics, and then make conclusions from them”. What resources does the UN have, to collect crime statistics in a different manner from the way other countries report them?

            I’m not sure about other countries, but I do know that in the US and the UK, both use police agencies to collect their statistics. That method certainly has its flaws–and furthermore, *technically* these aren’t statistics, but “population parameters” (statistics is what you get when you select a random sample of all the data)–but it’s difficult to see how else you would collect these numbers.

            To further complicate matters, because we’re talking about *really small numbers* (10,000/300,000,000 is 0.0033% of the population, or 1 in 30,000), typical statistical sampling is NOT going to work! Granted, there are other statistical techniques that can be used, when what you are measuring is so small, but those techniques are that much more tricky to use.

            In any case, the more I think about it, the more I wonder what statistical analysis the UN did. Could you provide a link to the studies you are citing? It would be appreciated!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am not even remotely ‘missing the point’, as my initial comment was a response to one made by Ursa Ele, and each of my subsequent points have been a response to somebody else’s comment. I have not made any comments in direct response to the article, so I am afraid it is you who has ‘missed the point’.

    I did not respond directly to the article before simply because the the writer of the article itself would almost certainly never have seen my comment. Seeing as you seemed so desperate to hear my opinion of it, however, here it is:

    I certainly did not agree with its contemptuous tone, partially inaccurate reporting of the event (which occurred near to where I live) and suggestion that the British people have been forced to behave a certain way by the British government. Furthermore I have absolutely no tolerance of the author’s use of a tragic, isolated incident to try and suggest that the personal freedom and safety of the British public has been ‘destroyed’ as a result of our strict gun ownership laws, when in reality these laws have made the British public far less likely to be the victims of gun crime than the American public.

    As for your contemptuous tone, I have equally little tolerance. If you genuinely believe that it is a valid response to my arguments to attempt to mock me, without even attempting to challenge anything that I have said, then I find it hard to imagine anyone taking your opinion very seriously in life. I could just as easily have attempted to mock any of the users of this website (and believe me there is no shortage of ‘gun nut’ stereotypes at my disposal), but I believe that it is important to make arguments civilly, and with supporting evidence.

    You laugh at my comparison of the USA with D.R. Congo and Sierra Leone, but the comparison is right there in the statistics: you are statistically more likely to be shot dead in the USA than in either of these two countries. Fact.

  7. Andy B. says:

    It’s kind of late in the thread to say this, but, watch out, it looks to me like Anonymous is somebody trolling for something. He’s putting a little too much work into persuading an audience that won’t be persuaded, and that he knows won’t be persuaded. And who cares what a ferriner thinks? :-)

    Sebastian touched on an excellent point about the places that have almost no gun laws and almost no crime. I’m always reluctant to raise the issue because people sometimes start crying “racism!”, but if you could subtract out urban areas from our national statistics, most of the country would look far better than the rest of the world. Maybe the rest of the world handles poverty better than we do, or maybe they haven’t had successive waves of immigrants replacing each other for a couple centuries, with each new wave replacing the previous one was the practitioners of violence.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not trolling, I stumbled across this blog and felt compelled to speak out against what I saw as fallacious and irrational views. I realise that you are all very unlikely to be instantly convinced to change opinions, but I do not see how that devalues the cause of challenging view that I strongly disagree with. There was a time, not too long ago when much of the western world strongly felt that homosexuality should be illegal and so forth, and views like this are only ever changed if people argue against it. I realise that you will all most likely continue to look to your existing ‘evidence’ for why gun ownership should not be restricted, but at the very least I urge you to consider the statistics I have quoted, because they are not what they are for no reason. As for putting in ‘too much work’, each of my posts has taken no more than 5 to 10 minutes to write, which I do not think is unreasonable given that I feel quite strongly about the subject of gun law. As for the term ‘ferriner’, I’ve never heard of it.

      Now, moving on to your points. I’m not going to argue against Sebastian’s view again, because I’ve already explained why it is ridiculous. As for your suggestion about subtracting urban areas from the national statistics, this really is a complete non-point, as this effect would be seen in virtually ever developed country in the world. You really are delusional if you do not realise that ‘high crime in the cities, low crime in rural areas’ is a pretty much global trend, and not isolated to the US. Just like you, the UK has comparatively very high crime rates in inner city areas, with virtually no crime in rural areas such as the Scottish Highlands. So there really is no excuse for your statistics. I’m really not prepared to respond to your racist (and it is indeed racist, as you are suggesting that immigrants are more inherently dangerous than Americans) assertions, but I will assure you that the UK’s inner cities are just as deprived, and have been the focus of just as much immigration as yours, so once again this really isn’t an excuse for your higher crime rates.

      By saying that the rest of the world handles poverty better than you, however, you are in a sense right, as criminality generally occurs within the less affluent and more disaffected sections of society restrictive gun laws quite simply. The reality of your gun laws and a high public circulation of guns is that it is far easier for criminals to obtain firearms.

      • Andy B. says:

        Contrary to what you assert, the apparent worldwide difference between rural and urban violence exactly makes my/our point.

        I grew up is a world literally awash with guns, but absent of gun violence. We had at least a half-dozen guns standing behind our kitchen door at any given time, with the ammunition for each standing on the kitchen cabinet next to the door. The only time one of them was used in a menacing way was when a big hurricane and flood in our region brought opportunistic looters and other criminals to the area, and my mother brandished a rifle to discourage one of them who was menacing her in our yard.

        So if the presence of many, many guns in one place results in almost no violence, while the presence of a few guns in another place results in frequent violence, I would say that is substantial empirical proof that guns are not the source of the problem of violence, and maybe in fact are its solution.

        I am not without sympathy for the urban poor who experience the worst of the violence, but I am not going to countenance abandoning the rights of an entire country, because one thing happens to be the tool for violence of a minority of the population, and a minority of our geography, that are perpetrating the violence for some entirely different reason. It would make no sense at all, even if it were effective. And human rights cannot be based entirely on the social utility of violating them or not.

        • Anonymous says:

          I have never even remotely suggested (I must have repeated this by now?) that guns CAUSE crime. Of course you will not have cases of good, well-meaning people having access to a gun, and suddenly start thinking ‘might as well commit some crime’. It is clearly and obviously the case that criminals commit crimes for, as you say ‘entirely different reasons’. There is no debate as far as that is concerned.

          The issue is that guns are the weapon responsible for a large, majority share of American homicides. Seeing as you are a highly developed country, with excellent policing, law-enforcement and safety and awareness campaigns, and which does not have social problems unlike those seen in other highly developed countries (remember the London riots? We have a disaffected, unruly minority of the population as well), it does seem surprising that your homicide rate is so high compared to otherwise similarly developed countries. The clear inference, given that guns are used in so many of these homicides, is that your extremely law gun laws are indeed responsible for so many murders taking place.

          Once again, it is quite clear and undisputed that the perpetrators of gun crime do so for a variety of complex socio-economic reasons, but the mistake that the US is making is allowing these people to so easily equip themselves with guns, which even for criminals are very hard to get hold of in the UK.

          You talk about a gun ban violating human rights, but guns are SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO KILL. I for one do not understand how it can be a violation of human rights to take away a person’s right to murder, and uphold a population’s right to safety.

        • Anonymous says:

          As for that personal anecdote of yours, do you really believe that guns are the ‘solution’ to violent crime? What a ridiculous suggestion. Try telling that to the families of the 10,000+ people murdered using guns in the USA every year. And empirical proof? I’m sorry but how is the fact that your family had half a dozen guns and din’t kill anyone empirical proof for anything?

          I mean seriously, think before you type complete falsehoods like these.

          • Alpheus says:

            I find it even more hilarious, and more ridiculous, that you think bannig guns are a “solution” to violent crime. When you consider that approximately 15,000 people in the United States are murdered each year–of which *only* 10,000+ are committed by firearms–I’m sure that those 10,000+ who are murdered by firearms will be eternally grateful that their murderers will have had to use some other means to murder their victims, because their first weapon of choice was banned.

            Except that it’s a bit more complicated than even that, of course. Some of those “murders” (since we’re well into the realm of FBI statistics) are justifiable homicides–that is, self-defense. Additionally, *many* of those murders are committed by GANG THUGS for whom it is already ILLEGAL to own the said guns, on MULTIPLE LEVELS: gang thug felons can’t legally own guns by virtue of their felony status; gang thugs can’t legally own guns by virtue of their residencies in Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago; many gang thugs are minors, and thus are banned by virtue of being too young. But, hey, what’s yet another gun regulation among friends, eh?

            You stated yourself, in a previous comment, that guns are designed to kill people. That’s the funny thing about guns: there are so many of the darn things in the United States (indeed, enough to give every man, woman, and child about one gun, more or less), yet only 30,000 people are killed by them, either by homicide or by suicide. That’s 0.001%, or 1% of 1% of the population, that’s going to be killed by a gun. It’s just a BIT LESS than the number of people who die each year in car accidents! And the funny thing about each of these deaths is that, unlike car accidents, each one of them is done BY CHOICE, and the CHOSEN MEANS in some of these cases happened to be guns.

            Now, if murdering a person is a choice, what makes you think that murder will shrink, just because guns are outlawed? You would be better served by banning cars, if your goal is to reduce deaths. Heck, you would be better served trying to eradicate gang culture! Because that causes more murder (with or without guns) than the decision to own, or even to carry, a gun.

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