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On a New Road

It's long past the time.....Sunday December 16, 2012

(as seen on Richard Branson's blog)
Comments:

I'm sure you realize that Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the US. And that basically every school shooting involves the shooter violating numerous local, state and federal laws meant to control where guns can be. I don't have a simple answer to gun violence in the US (although I can't imagine why schools across the US have less security than shopping malls in the same neighborhoods). However, for the last forty years or so, mass shootings have been followed by more gun control laws. So far it hasn't had any measurable effect. I'm very dubious that one more law will do the trick.

Posted by Max Lybbert on December 16, 2012 at 08:14 PM PST #

West Germany does not exist anymore, since 1990's German reunification...

Posted by Bobby on December 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM PST #

@Max, it's just a very old ad, outdated numbers, if they ever were correct to begin with. So yes, let's ban all guns. Surely, someone running amok will not use guns then because nobody sells these on the black market. And as for the whole "making it easier" argument: There's a device that most americans have, with which you can kill dozens of people in a wild killing spree just with a press of a pedal. Your car. Are we having a car debate? Or how about a knife debate? Do you really need 10 meat knives in your kitchen drawer? This incident proved 2 things: 1) Gun Free Zones are not protecting the victims, they are protecting the criminal. 2) One teacher with a gun and some basic training would have been able to stop the guy. Sady, all they had was words. Words do nothing. A "no guns here" sign does nothing. And you can call 911 all you want but at the end of the day, YOU are the first line of defense. Not a cop who's 7 minutes away.

Posted by Toumal on December 17, 2012 at 07:45 AM PST #

Somehow the ability to create guns with 3D printers completely slipped my mind (e.g., http://www.sync-blog.com/sync/2012/07/oh-great-now-your-friendly-neighbourhood-psycho-can-print-his-own-guns.html and http://www.morganwarstler.com/post/38167967965/guns-are-harder-to-control-than-people-pt-1 ). I don't believe Americans are violent because they are well-armed (or that we could have avoided recent violence if we had just disarmed the populace a long time ago; I think the populace has been well armed since before the Wild West). I think it's a cultural issue. But in any event, it doesn't seem plausible that a firearm ban could be implemented, and I don't believe stricter gun control laws are likely to have any more effect that they've had in the last few decades.

Posted by Max Lybbert on December 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM PST #

I'm afraid that even if you changed your gun laws in the United States today, it wouldn't change anything in reality. There was a study that said that you currently have enough guns in your households to uphold the status quo for at least the next 200 years, even if it were illegal to buy new weapons. Oh, and I second what Bobby posted: Germany has reunified more than two decades ago. We even officially regained our sovereignty and even World War II is now officially over.

Posted by Winfried Maus on December 18, 2012 at 02:07 AM PST #

Law enforcement will never be perfect. So why not just abolish all laws? People still kill people because they drive under the influence. Obviously, the enforcement is imperfect. But few argue that making D.U.I. illegal is completely ineffective as many offenders are caught. Similarly, exerting strict control over gun ownership and ammunition will slowly but surely decrease the number of operable guns, and hence reduce their involvement in crimes.

Posted by Gottfried Theimer on December 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM PST #

@Gottfried Theimer ("Law enforcement will never be perfect. So why not just abolish all laws?"): I'm not arguing that law enforcement would be imperfect; I'm arguing that it would be completely ineffective. What good is a law that people cannot take the same brand of cough medicine twice in 24 hours given that it simply can't be enforced? More to the point, how can guns be banned in the US given the world we live in today (millions of registered guns, an untold number of unregistered guns, and the ability to use 3D printers to create new guns without raising red flags)?

Posted by Max Lybbert on December 19, 2012 at 03:19 PM PST #

@Gottfried Theimer ("exerting strict control over gun ownership and ammunition will slowly but surely decrease the number of operable guns, and hence reduce their involvement in crimes"): there are already thousands of federal, state and local laws that exert strict control over gun ownership and ammunition. There have been such laws for decades. Is there any evidence that they have actually decreased the number of operable guns or their involvement in crimes? The last I checked, the highest crime areas in the US almost always had the strictest gun control laws (I mean that "last I checked" literally; I don't follow crime statistics closely, but I checked into whether there was a relationship between gun control laws and crime levels several years ago). It seems that so far that gun control laws have not any any effect on the use of guns in violent crimes. Is there any reason to think that trend will change now?

Posted by Max Lybbert on December 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM PST #

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