From: Dave Long (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Dec 18 2000 - 12:54:22 PST
> ...and glad that it's
> even a little difficult for bad guys to get guns--and think it would be a
> good thing if it were much, much, much, much, much harder for them to.
Can we agree on that statement? Clearly, it's some combination
of guns and people which kill people. Most people with guns are
not a threat (if anyone had statistics which say that there are
several times as many criminal, unstable, insane, intoxicated,
or desperate gun owners as safer ones, I would admit my beliefs
were purely anecdotal), but guns are portable enough that they
can easily reach the wrong hands, where they are deadly.
Looking at the CDC (why are they a poor source?) we can see
the pattern for deaths in the population as a whole is clear:
accidents, followed by suicide, followed by homicide (or legal
intervention, whatever that means). Once one gets old enough
to not be likely to be killed by oneself or one's fellow man,
nature takes over and various diseases and disorders head the
list, but the same relative ordering applies.
Some of those accidents may be firearm-related, but  makes
it look like most firearm deaths are by suicide, homicide, or
legal intervention. It's also clear that the group to avoid
is 15-24 year old males, so one might assume that high schools
and fast food joints would be particularly likely to see more
than their fair share of shootings.
Now, it is also clear that the group not to belong to (much in
life seems to involve picking your parents wisely) is 15-24 yo
black males. Forget accidents, this group is most likely to
die of homicide or legal intervention, and when you have a set
of young men who are more likely to be killed than to just kill
themselves, the status quo appears pretty messed up.
Is it lack of enforcement of existing laws, or do we need more
restrictive ones? Either way, it seems clear to me that part
of firearms responsibility involves providing a reasonable way
to keep firearms out of irresponsible hands; true liberty will
involve responsibility for externalities.
> > (Be truthful, people - how many of you have actually been
> > threatened with a firearm?
Having been threatened with multiple firearms, I was very glad
that it was trivial to demonstrate I was both unarmed and ready
to cooperate, relaxing the officers involved and defusing the
situation (at least from my point of view, at the wrong end of
the barrels) immensely. High availability of hideout weaponry
might have led to a much less civilized interaction.
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