An Open Invitation

New Trajectory asks:

In your comment, please suggest an issue that YOU feel both sides can agree (like that too many criminals get guns), and what you would do to help that issue.  As Obama said, keep it civil and honest.  Links to positive articles are welcome.  Please don’t write a book, and please keep it to one suggestion and solution, in the interest of space and simplifying the conversation.  This should get us talking.

I agree too many criminals get guns, but the argument is over, at root, what can be done about it. I will say this categorically: there is no gun control I believe that works effectively at reducing criminal access to guns. At best, our existing laws have only a marginal effect.

Even if you assume a starting state of no guns, which is a fantasy, the only way you can reduce availability to criminals is to reduce availability to the law abiding. And note the word reduce. You will never eliminate criminal gun possession, even if your starting point is a society without guns.

But we’re not a society without guns, and therefore even total prohibition would still mean a very high availability of guns for criminals, with no concurrent availability to the law abiding for defense against those criminals. The end result will be that many otherwise law abiding people will keep guns illegally, which will continue to feed another violent black market, in the same manner that’s happened because of drug prohibition. Not to mention such laws would turn ordinary people into criminals themselves for no greater crime than wanting to protect themselves and their families.

So I don’t think there is common understanding, because you’re starting from the premise that gun control can be effective. I don’t think it can be. So it really comes down to, what set of useless laws am I willing to live with in order to make enough people who are wary of guns comfortable enough to not spend their time and money trying to pass more and more regulations. That’s the better question.

21 thoughts on “An Open Invitation”

  1. Posted. I suggested that we enforce current laws before passing new ones.

    Lets see if its approved.

  2. Most of the time, they also don’t agree with the premise that people can defend themselves with guns. They see them only as a liability, and don’t think any good comes with them, whereas I believe most of us realize it’s a trade-off.

  3. I think oleg volk makes the best point on one of his recent posts . If the penalty for owning a gun, any gun is so severe then, people are going to start to have illegal stens and full auto ak47s instead of stolen brycos and jennings

  4. Actually, this makes me think of a previous post, of knowing thy neighbors. In those times, the hardware store wouldnt have sold the gun (because, then, hardware stores could and did sell guns) to ol’ Crazy Harry because the store owner knew the skinny on Harry. Not the case anymore.

    So isn’t a bigger question more the subject of how to improve the state of mental health care in America?

  5. Sebastian…well put…to me this is a classic “smokescreen” site aimed at sucking us into a futile, worthless debate…Michael B

  6. Since comprehensive CDC and DOJ studies over the past 30-odd years show zero positive effect on crime and violence rates by every gun control law tried, which is supported by a moments use of formal logic, the only answer is nothing can really help. Nothing at all.

  7. Cue Admiral Ackbar: It’s a trap!

    I posted a coherent series of questions of the “graph” post which of course got RD’d. It was easy to critique the “research.” Just a few questions that one might ask:
    – Where does your death rate info come from? FBI? CDC? What types of deaths does it include?
    – Why did you use data sets from multiple different years?
    – How did you establish causation?
    – What percentage of variation in deaths was due to different LCAV scores (that is, what is R^2 for your regression line)?
    – Why can I count fewer than 50 bubbles? Were some states omitted? Why?
    – Are you aware that the 2002 data source for firearms ownership has significant biases because 30 states reported data only from some areas? How have you corrected for this potential bias?
    – Did you control for any lurking variables? Which ones?

    Those are all the sorts of questions any serious researcher would just start with. They have no intent to do anything other than propagandize. RD is in full effect on this blog right from the get go and I sense that there is no intent to give folks a fair hearing. I am also leery because Baldr has been watching what goes on at Joan’s blog. He may well learn from her experience. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see some “anonymous” or other false-flagged posts that are rude/violent and purport to be from pro-gun people.

    Its a trap.

  8. It’s no trap. I honestly want your feedback. And it would be unethical to “make up” extremist feedback comments. I get plenty without having to do so. Most don’t get posted, as I refuse to post answers that are foul-languaged or outright ugly.

    Sebastian, I’m not about banning guns. It’s not realistic, nor a good idea in our nation.

    Those were good questions of the data, Chris, and fair. I intend to answer them, but I need to take another look at the source of the data. Causality is particularly difficult to determine, for any population data (especially human populations!). Oh, I’ll answer one question now: all 50 states are there, but some are covered by other “bubbles”.

    Pyrotek85, I do agree that people have the right to defend themselves and own a gun for that purpose. Recently we had a couple justified shootings here in my area (Eugene, Oregon), though I wonder if, in one case, it had to happen. I think you are wise to say it is a trade-off. Arming oneself brings with it plenty of risks. I hope to educate people on those risks, from my side. You can too.

    Michael, no debate is worthless. Though we can’t always agree, I think there is much to learn from both sides. In my most recent post, I have called for the pro-gun side to make suggestions for solutions to reduce gun-related violence. Though some, like you, do not take me seriously, some who have commented have made suggestions that I think both sides can start from in finding compromise. My next post will focus on those.

  9. Too many criminals have guns. The best solutions aim at reducing the numbers of criminals.
    1- first time offenders should be segregated from repeat offenders in all aspects of the legal/penal system. Currently, jail ensures that young criminals get opportunities to learn how to be worse criminals.
    2 – monsters should stay locked away.
    3 – sentencing guidelines should be revised, to avoid destroying lives. A teenager who commits a petty crime and gets 2 months in jail will necessarily fail a grade in school. A young man will lose his job. The judicial system looks at stupid kids who have made mistakes, and closes every door, encouraging them to become career criminals. The least we can do as a country, is to give ex-cons preferential hiring over illegal immigrants.
    4 – indoctrinate the crap out of kids, each year in school, to be proudly nationalistic, patriotic, and pro-family. Teach them the best life is in a happy marriage. Convincing our youth they want to get married and have kids is the very best way to reduce crime.

  10. One big problem is the huge population of “criminals” who have committed no moral transgression. Selling someone something they desire is not wrong. It may be illegal, but here we have compelling evidence that illegal and immoral are completely different.

    Ending this ridiculous dichotomy would go a long way to cutting down on all sorts of crime and violence.

  11. Baldr said: “some who have commented have made suggestions that I think both sides can start from in finding compromise”

    So, what are you willing to give up? Our side has been giving up Second Amendment Rights since 1936. Will it be a good compromise for your side to stay off creating new gun laws for 70+ years? Or how about cutting by 2/3 the 20 thousand gun control laws currently in the books? Will your side publicly and loudly admit for the mistake and pay reparations for all the gun control laws placed in order to exert control on the Black population and other minorities plus the deadly consequences they brought? Will you call for the investigation on the abuses of the ATF and the prosecution of agents and administrators that broke the law?
    You see, for your side, Concealed Weapons Laws, Open Carry, the cases of Heller and McDonald and the Assault Weapons Sunset appear as big steps back. For us,75 years of constant erosion of our Rights, those things do not even constitute a Good First Step (Remember this expression, if you don’t know it, you’ll hear it plenty coming from your side).
    When we hear “compromise” we actually hear “get in the back of the bus nigger. And don’t complain, we are letting you ride the bus after all.” When we see a property with a sign saying “No guns allowed” what we see is “No Blacks, Spics or Chinks” or water fountains that say “For White People Only.” When we see in the news that a legislature wants to criminalize self-defense because they think police should be the only ones armed (and not because they can actually stop crime when it happens, they know better than that) or a prosecutor seeking political notoriety decides to drop the powers of his office on a law abiding citizen that had to defend himself with a gun, what we see is a crowd of idiots dressed in white robes and hoods, lynching a good man under the light of a burning cross.

    But you want solutions and I’ll give you my take: If you are not a felon or determined mentally incompetent by a panel of 3 randomly-selected psychiatrists that specialize in violent people, you are free to carry and own whatever you please, otherwise you are forbidden. Next apply Florida Law: you get 10 years for using a gun in a crime, 20 years if you shoot it and Life in Prison if you wound somebody.

    And if you think that is not enough, let me remind you that even a low life psychopath like Jared Lee Loughner will never have his First Amendment rights and many others suspended. As a matter of fact, he is being provided at taxpayer’s expense all the considerations possible to be tried under the cannons of our Bill Of Rights.

  12. Sebastian, I’m not about banning guns. It’s not realistic, nor a good idea in our nation.

    I didn’t make the claim that you were. But prohibition is the most extreme form of control, and if even that would fail, and I believe it would, how are lesser controls going to accomplish anything?

    I’ve proposed ways our gun laws could be restructured that I could live with. Some of them even address your supposed concerns about background checks. But for some reason I suspect you’d reject them.

  13. Eh, another Joyce Foundation Hack referencing Joyce Foundation “Studies”, and claiming to have an open mind.

    If they we’re such an incestuous lot, and if they had the insight to try ruses that haven’t been done to death (Hell he’s just copying what Joan Peterson did a few months ago…and openly admitted she wasn’t going to debate the issue. Before that it was Mike Bonomo, who’s just a common troll) I might have some hopes. But these hacks are all the same, I don’t even see the point in differentuating between them.

  14. “I agree too many criminals get guns, but the argument is over, at root, what can be done about it. I will say this categorically: there is no gun control I believe that works effectively at reducing criminal access to guns.”
    I generally agree however prisons can be used as a tool to limit criminal access to guns. It won’t completely succeed, as there are certainly markets for drugs and cell phones that we know are met inside of prison walls. But, using prisons has the additional advantage that when the gun control laws fail, the criminals (and their guns) are still in prison ;)

  15. He RD’ed my post noting the problem of rational public ignorance about firearms and firearms policy, and the propensity of gun control ideologues to exploit that ignorance.

    A fair-minded gun control advocate of good will, any more than a staunch Second Amendment proponent, shouldn’t want the debate about firearms policy to take place in a context where the public is being consistently misled about the technical characteristics of firearms. Right, Baldr?

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