Re: Cell phones of death!

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From: Chuck Murcko (
Date: Mon Dec 18 2000 - 13:29:33 PST

Dave Long wrote:
> > ...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[0] (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 [1] 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.

Definitely. This is where many illegal firearms, particularly handguns,
end up, in a crappy sociological situation. Any wonder why this is
happening, then, or why we should try to fix it?

The Rochester and Richmond programs are designed to combat the problem
of inner city handgun violence. The lives being saved include a large
percentage of this very group of people endangered by illegal firearms
all out of proportion to other risk factors. And enforcing existing law
seems to work, see below.

> 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.
Yes concerning enforcement, and no concerning more restrictive laws. And
not just with firearms. 8^) That's civilized conduct, taking
responsibility for others' safety as a consequence of your actions.
> [0] <>
> [1] <>
> > > (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.

Chuck Murcko
Topsail Group

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