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An Honest Liberal Writes about Gun Control ^ | December 17, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 12/17/2012 5:49:02 AM PST by Kaslin

I wrote earlier this month about an honest liberal who acknowledged the problems created by government dependency. Well, it happened again.

First, some background.

Like every other decent person, I was horrified and nauseated by the school shootings in Newton, Connecticut.

Part of me wishes the guy hadn’t killed himself so that he could be slowly fed into a meat grinder.

And my friends on the left will be happy to know that part of me, when I first learned about the murders, thought the world might be a better place if guns had never been invented.

Sort of like my gut reaction about cigarettes when I find out that somebody I know is dying of a smoking-related illness or how I feel about gambling when I read about a family being ruined because some jerk thought it would be a good idea to use the mortgage money at a casino.

But there’s a reason why it’s generally not a good idea to make impulsive decisions based on immediate reactions. In the case of gun control, it can lead to policies that don’t work. Or perhaps even make a bad situation worse.

I’ve certainly made these points when writing and pontificating about gun control. But I’m a libertarian, so that’s hardly a surprise. We’re people who instinctively are skeptical of giving government power over individuals.

But when someone on the left reaches the same conclusion, that’s perhaps more significant. Especially when you get the feeling that they would like ban private gun ownership in their version of a perfect world.

That’s why I heartily recommend Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic.

Here are some of the most profound passages in the article, beginning with a common-sense observation that there’s no way for the government to end private gun ownership.

According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 47 percent of American adults keep at least one gun at home or on their property, and many of these gun owners are absolutists opposed to any government regulation of firearms. According to the same poll, only 26 percent of Americans support a ban on handguns. …There are ways, of course, to make it at least marginally more difficult for the criminally minded, for the dangerously mentally ill, and for the suicidal to buy guns and ammunition. …But these gun-control efforts, while noble, would only have a modest impact on the rate of gun violence in America. Why? Because it’s too late. There are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in private hands in America—many legally owned, many not. Each year, more than 4 million new guns enter the market. …America’s level of gun ownership means that even if the Supreme Court—which ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment gives citizens the individual right to own firearms, as gun advocates have long insisted—suddenly reversed itself and ruled that the individual ownership of handguns was illegal, there would be no practical way for a democratic country to locate and seize those guns.

Which is why prohibition was a flop. Which is why the current War on Drugs is so misguided. And so on and so on.

The author then wonders whether the best way of protecting public safety is to have more gun ownership.

Which raises a question: When even anti-gun activists believe that the debate over private gun ownership is closed; when it is too late to reduce the number of guns in private hands—and since only the naive think that legislation will prevent more than a modest number of the criminally minded, and the mentally deranged, from acquiring a gun in a country absolutely inundated with weapons—could it be that an effective way to combat guns is with more guns? Today, more than 8 million vetted and (depending on the state) trained law-abiding citizens possess state-issued “concealed carry” handgun permits, which allow them to carry a concealed handgun or other weapon in public. Anti-gun activists believe the expansion of concealed-carry permits represents a serious threat to public order. But what if, in fact, the reverse is true? Mightn’t allowing more law-abiding private citizens to carry concealed weapons—when combined with other forms of stringent gun regulation—actually reduce gun violence?

He cites examples where armed citizens stopped mass killings.

In 1997, a disturbed high-school student named Luke Woodham stabbed his mother and then shot and killed two people at Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi. He then began driving toward a nearby junior high to continue his shooting spree, but the assistant principal of the high school, Joel Myrick, aimed a pistol he kept in his truck at Woodham, causing him to veer off the road. Myrick then put his pistol to Woodham’s neck and disarmed him. On January 16, 2002, a disgruntled former student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, had killed three people, including the school’s dean, when two students, both off-duty law-enforcement officers, retrieved their weapons and pointed them at the shooter, who ended his killing spree and surrendered. In December 2007, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle and two pistols entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and killed two teenage girls before a church member, Jeanne Assam—a former Minneapolis police officer and a volunteer church security guard—shot and wounded the gunman, who then killed himself.

The author also punctures the left’s mythology about concealed carry laws.

In 2003, John Gilchrist, the legislative counsel for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, testified, “If 200,000 to 300,000 citizens begin carrying a concealed weapon, common sense tells us that accidents will become a daily event.” When I called Gilchrist recently, he told me that events since the state’s concealed-carry law took effect have proved his point. …Gilchrist’s argument would be convincing but for one thing: the firearm crime rate in Ohio remained steady after the concealed-carry law passed in 2004.

Goldberg elaborates.

Today, the number of concealed-carry permits is the highest it’s ever been, at 8 million, and the homicide rate is the lowest it’s been in four decades—less than half what it was 20 years ago. (The number of people allowed to carry concealed weapons is actually considerably higher than 8 million, because residents of Vermont, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, and parts of Montana do not need government permission to carry their personal firearms. These states have what Second Amendment absolutists refer to as “constitutional carry,” meaning, in essence, that the Second Amendment is their permit.) Many gun-rights advocates see a link between an increasingly armed public and a decreasing crime rate. “I think effective law enforcement has had the biggest impact on crime rates, but I think concealed carry has something to do with it. We’ve seen an explosion in the number of people licensed to carry,” Lott told me. “You can deter criminality through longer sentencing, and you deter criminality by making it riskier for people to commit crimes. And one way to make it riskier is to create the impression among the criminal population that the law-abiding citizen they want to target may have a gun.” Crime statistics in Britain, where guns are much scarcer, bear this out. Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, wrote in his 1991 book, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, that only 13 percent of burglaries in America occur when the occupant is home. In Britain, so-called hot burglaries account for about 45 percent of all break-ins. Kleck and others attribute America’s low rate of occupied-home burglaries to fear among criminals that homeowners might be armed. (A survey of almost 2,000 convicted U.S. felons, conducted by the criminologists Peter Rossi and James D. Wright in the late ’80s, concluded that burglars are more afraid of armed homeowners than they are of arrest by the police.)

That last bit of info is very powerful. The bad guys are more afraid of armed homeowners than the police. Surely, as I explained here, that tells us that gun ownership lowers crime.

Here’s another no-sh*t-Sherlock observation from the article.

It is also illogical for campuses to advertise themselves as “gun-free.” Someone bent on murder is not usually dissuaded by posted anti-gun regulations. Quite the opposite—publicly describing your property as gun-free is analogous to posting a notice on your front door saying your home has no burglar alarm. As it happens, the company that owns the Century 16 Cineplex in Aurora had declared the property a gun-free zone.

I recently mocked the idea of gun-free zones with several amusing posters. It’s unbelievable that some people think that killers care about such rules.

One place that isn’t likely to see any massacres is Colorado State University.

For much of the population of a typical campus, concealed-carry permitting is not an issue. Most states that issue permits will grant them only to people who are at least 21 years old. But the crime-rate statistics at universities that do allow permit holders on campus with their weapons are instructive. An hour north of Boulder, in Fort Collins, sits Colorado State University. Concealed carry has been allowed at CSU since 2003, and according to James Alderden, the former sheriff of Larimer County, which encompasses Fort Collins, violent crime at Colorado State has dropped since then.

I also recommend this video, which makes fun of those who support gun-free zones.

Here is Goldberg’s conclusion.

But I am sympathetic to the idea of armed self-defense, because it does often work, because encouraging learned helplessness is morally corrupt, and because, however much I might wish it, the United States is not going to become Canada. Guns are with us, whether we like it or not. Maybe this is tragic, but it is also reality. So Americans who are qualified to possess firearms shouldn’t be denied the right to participate in their own defense. And it is empirically true that the great majority of America’s tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners have not created chaos in society.

Goldberg’s article, by the way, doesn’t even mention the value of private gun ownership when government fails to maintain public order, as occurred after Hurricane Sandy and during last year’s British riots.

I have a couple of final things to share, including this this video about a woman who lost her parents because she decided to obey a bad government law. And here’s a great study from Cato about individuals using guns to protect themselves.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: 2012; armedcitizen; banglist; guncontrol; gunfreezone; newtown; secondamendment; shallnotbeinfringed; youwillnotdisarmus
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To: Kaslin

Teenager kills 8, wounds 5 in China knife attack

a recent , more “successful” knifer...

41 posted on 12/17/2012 8:03:38 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: reg45

Oops, didn’t see your post (more or less the same). I guess that it is true that great minds think alike. :>)

42 posted on 12/17/2012 8:05:50 AM PST by Ancesthntr (Banning guns to prevent crime is like banning cars to prevent drunk driving.)
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To: Kaslin
According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 47 percent of American adults keep at least one gun at home or on their property...

Mitt said he had a problem reaching 47% too, wonder if there's a connection. Everywhere I go on the tee vee today, important people are clamoring for control of those scary assault rifles. Especially proud ERA members who are hunters who have never needed an assault rifle to hunt with and doesn't know anybody else who does either. Many of them are politicians. Here comes FRiends, rearing its ugly head again.

43 posted on 12/17/2012 8:10:09 AM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: KeyLargo

“The Democrats believe that their best ‘weapon’ against the 2nd Ammemdment...”

Says it all.
And states their goal.

Never let a crisis go to waste.
And here they go.

44 posted on 12/17/2012 8:16:04 AM PST by Texas resident
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To: shove_it

ERA should be NRA

45 posted on 12/17/2012 8:23:21 AM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: Kaslin

We have a mental health instability problem in the USA.

The mother of this shooter knew he had problems. As a non-professional, she kept making decisions about how far he could be trusted. She paid for that mistake with her life, and her death was followed by 27 others.

She apparently told the baby sitter when he was younger NOT TO TURN YOUR BACK.

How powerful a statement is that?

Was she shielding him and the father wanted him to have more professional help? Was that a factor in the divorce????

How does Canada handle the mentally unstable?

Everyone refers to how Canada handles guns, but how do they also handle their crazies?

The ACLU sued in the 70’s and got all the mental institutions closed in this country and got the laws changed so that an outsider cannot get much help for a person who obviously needs it. Only the subject can ask for help, and then such help is mostly only offered as an out-patient situation. The patient is prescribed medication, but there is no actual control of whether that patient takes the meds timely and consistently.

Subsequently, we now have a severe homeless population problem, with the majority of those persons also carrying on in the world with mental instability.

As long as the Liberals try to have everything both ways, such shootings and other trouble will continue.

Meanwhile, MILLIONS of gun owners will be punished for the act of a person who should have been in custody of some kind years ago.

I, for one, am tired of punishing the successful because the multi-generational welfare recipients choose to keep living the same life style—no work—no education—no future—and many children to take care of. Such resources are expected to come from those who were successful for a large variety of reasons. But they don’t deserve to be punished by the takers.

I am also very tired of seeing responsible people who happen to own guns be blamed for something they had nothing to do with.

Liberals think they have an answer and a rule which applies to the successful and responsible in this country.

They don’t seem to ever find a rule to apply to those who are constant and consistant takers.

46 posted on 12/17/2012 8:27:52 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: Ancesthntr; Haiku Guy

>It seems to me tragedy could’ve been averted had the shooter’s mother stored her guns in a safe. I know there are those who don’t like safe storage laws, but it seems to me that if you’re going to have crazy people visiting the house, keeping the guns under lock and key might be a good idea.

In this particular case, the mother KNEW that her son was crazy - she had even warned a babysitter years earlier not to turn her back on him.<

I would argue that in this family’s case, given the “off the charts” IQ of this disturbed, dangerously ill young man, assuming a gun safe could keep him at bay is the height of naivety. And, given the fact that Mrs Lanza paid for whatever mistake she made with her life, I would expect that nothing would have kept young Adam from obtaining these guns.

47 posted on 12/17/2012 8:28:37 AM PST by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: Kaslin; marktwain
Chicago type liberals are often associated with organized crime families. If 'gun control' is passed, organized crime gets to take over a billion dollar industry. That's why liberals in power want gun control.
48 posted on 12/17/2012 8:31:04 AM PST by GOPJ (Detroit should be renamed 'Michael Mooresville'...)
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To: Oberon
You make a good point, one that I've made before. Knives or edged weapons of any sort never run out of ammunition, and don't jam.

Knives are different from guns in two major respects. They require proximity and willingness to harm an enemy up close and personal. They also require sometimes lengthy training for use against a similarly armed opponent.

Guns give you the advantage of distance, as well as a being useful with a minimal degree of training. It should be noted that in some calibers, guns don't produce as large a wound channel (think Kabar knife here).

Of course, putting this kind of logic and information out there is like screaming inside a space suit on the far side of Mars.

49 posted on 12/17/2012 8:34:33 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Bringing children to America without immigration documents is child abuse. Let's end it.)
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To: Kaslin; marktwain
Referring to previous FR post on Rampage Spree statistics, and conclusions from it and from current incidents;

Auditing Shooting Rampage Statistics (Private Citizen vs Police Saves) 31 July, 2012 by Davi Barker
Posted on Sun Dec 09 2012 13:45:34 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) by marktwain

(Posted before Newtown, CT incident.)

The average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by police is 14.3
The average number of people killed in a mass shooting when stopped by a civilian is 2.3.

Factual anecdotal correlation with recent incidents (within the last 2 weeks):

Newtown, CT; Wait for police; when they finally enter, shooter suicides; Death toll = 26
Clackamas, OR: CCW citizen holder immediately intervenes; shooter sees CCW and suicides; death toll = 3

This bears out the statistics irrefutably.

This fact needs to be impressed strongly on media and Congress-critters re uselessness of "gun control" legislation

Note that Adam Lanza approached this with an evil but logical plan:

- Gun-free zone
- Familiar with building from childhood attendance
- Pre-planned checkout with the office
- Populated with defenseless individuals
- No instantly activated alarm for police (for fire?)
- Incident probably a consequence of benzodiazepine-exacerbated depressive/suicidal/raging mental state

We need to especially protect defenseless individuals by eliminating "gun-free" zones and assuring the presence of trained, responsible adults as a reaction force.

A leavening of undiscernable CCW-permitted population makes perpetrator avoid zones where his vulnerability is prevously undetermined.


50 posted on 12/17/2012 8:43:04 AM PST by imardmd1
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To: Kaslin


51 posted on 12/17/2012 8:54:19 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: Kaslin

ping for later

52 posted on 12/17/2012 9:17:01 AM PST by ducttape45
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To: Darnright

Maybe so, but a good safe surely wouldn’t have led to a worse result - and maybe it would have worked as intended.

53 posted on 12/17/2012 10:46:53 AM PST by Ancesthntr (Banning guns to prevent crime is like banning cars to prevent drunk driving.)
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To: Ancesthntr

>Maybe so, but a good safe surely wouldn’t have led to a worse result - and maybe it would have worked as intended.<

That is very true. We don’t know for sure Mrs Lanza didn’t have her firearms locked away, do we?

54 posted on 12/17/2012 10:59:14 AM PST by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: Haiku Guy

“It seems to me tragedy could’ve been averted had the shooter’s mother stored her guns in a safe. I know there are those who don’t like safe storage laws, but it seems to me that if you’re going to have crazy people visiting the house, keeping the guns under lock and key might be a good idea.”

I don’t recall seeing anything in any published article yet about whether or not the mother maintained a gun safe. We just don’t know that yet.

Even if she had a gun safe, and used it, it’s possible the boy may have known where the key was and then accessed the weapons with it.

The real problem here, and the one that’s probably the toughest nut to crack, is that the mother either did not grasp the forces that were taking over her son (sounds like schizophrenia), or sensed them but refused to comprehend and foresee the dangers that could arise. She seemed to realize that things with him were deteriorating, as it was reported that she had mentioned to an acquaintance that she thought she was “losing him”.

If she indeed saw the precipice to which he was nearing, she made a grave misjudgment by not further securing (i.e., removing) her weapons from his reach — probably by completely removing them from the home. One can empathize with a parent (especially a mother) who becomes blinded to the faults of the child. In this case it was a mistake with not only personal, but national, consequences.

55 posted on 12/17/2012 11:15:16 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: moovova

“Honest liberal.”

“Scientists have discovered a new species?”

Yeah, they found him in a bar drinking Martinis with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

56 posted on 12/17/2012 11:39:31 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: imardmd1

“Gun Free Zone” is just another way of saying “Target Rich Environment”

57 posted on 12/17/2012 12:37:08 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: Darnright
That is very true. We don’t know for sure Mrs Lanza didn’t have her firearms locked away, do we?

We know damned little, and this particular piece of information hasn't (to my knowledge) ever been brought up. The MSM is too busy beating the gun control drums that it can't be bothered with investigating anything, or actually verifying any supposed facts. Maybe we need control over the press & media, to make sure that no one acts to harm their own interests due to the gross misconduct of the reporters and editors?

58 posted on 12/17/2012 2:52:01 PM PST by Ancesthntr (Banning guns to prevent crime is like banning cars to prevent drunk driving.)
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To: reg45
“Gun Free Zone” is just another way of saying “Target Rich Environment”

Yep. Adam Lanzo will go down in history as proving that, once more. And the supporters of that approach are going to try to cash in on Adam to expand the TFEs as they did in Britain.

59 posted on 12/17/2012 8:14:47 PM PST by imardmd1
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To: chainsaw

“Before guns/firearms there were swords, arrows, and spears...”

If a crazed man wished to kill a whole first grade class, I believe he would be able to accomplish that very easily with one or two baseball bats. If he managed to get into the school unseen, it is possible he would not have raised enough ruckus that he could proceed then to the second grade classroom...

A few of those struck might survive, but 2-3 hits, most would not.

More effective than a knife. Cheap. Quiet. Un-regulated.

60 posted on 12/17/2012 8:46:31 PM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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