I ate my wafer...

9/06/2006

Gun Control statistics and other lies.

Since Krupa's return to blogging, his output has been prodigious, and I've fallen slightly behind in reading his work. Rather than write a lengthy, and somewhat tangential comment what is now an old post, I've elected to post about the gun control issues here.

Let me preface this by pointing out that I have been involved in shooting since before I could read. Not only have I long owned a large number of firearms, I've been around their construction and repair both professionally and personally. However, some thoughts for discussion about the gun control issues that Peter raised:

A. I value honest science highly, and both sides in the gun control debate are involved in horribly misleading uses of statistics. Proponents of gun control use a variety of silly statistics, such as attempting to credit the 1990's crime decrease to the Brady Bill/AWB, and the asinine "43 times more likely" argument. To be equally condemnatory, I would give the examples of the gun lobby's use of the lying jackass Lott to insist that the 1990's crime decrease (pdf)relates to CCW laws and firearms ownership. Personally, I think the strongest thing one can argue is that the statistics do not correlate gun ownership with crime in a manner that supports any massive change from existing U.S. policy on the Federal level. Granted, given the lack of NFA weapons used in crime, I think a good argument can be made for removing the 1986 Machine Gun ban, and I can think of a number of state level changes I'd support, but I certainly would not feel comfortable arguing from crime statistics to support Federal significant level changes.

B. Gun control advocates seem vastly ignorant of the technical issues involved, especially the easy in which illicit guns can be manufactured and are willing to make completely outrageous technical arguments. This doesn't even touch on the areas in which deliberate fabrications are used, such as running television news pieces showing licensed NFA regulated machineguns to illustrate reports on the 1994 AWB.

C. A major pet peeve is the completely fabricated 1935 Hitler quote bumper sticker. The most relevant Nazi gun control legislation removed restrictions from the prior Weimar republic law and made it much more permissive of firearms ownership. To suggest that Nazi atrocities were enabled by gun control seems like a horribly misleading correlation. There's nothing more irritating than seeing the "Guns don't kill people.." sticker, which denies the correlation between guns and crime on the same car as the Hitler quote sticker which implies a correlation between restrictive gun control and Nazi atrocities.

Towards the end of the 3rd Reich, the Nazi's were arming pretty much everyone in Germany as part of the Volkstrum, which can be thought of as the Michigan Militia with better weapons and training. Likewise, Iraq has incredibly high rates of civilian firearms ownership during the entire Baathist era. In other words, it isn't necessarily safe to argue that civilian light weapons ownership inevitably prevents totalitarian atrocities. Only firearms (and more likely, heavy weapons) owned by people that have already decided to resist in mass deter atrocities.

4 Comments:

  • My understanding of gun-ownership in Iraq during the Baathist era was that it was extensive but limited to supporters, the minority Shia Baathists who ran things, in order to continue to subjugate the majority Sunnis.

    In the north armed Kurds were able to maintain autonomy until overcome by chemical weapons, today they are armed and autonomous again and their region is less hoistile than elsewhere in Iraq.

    By Blogger DirtCrashr, at 12:49 PM  

  • dirtcrashr, your Kurd example is mystifying. what do you mean by "armed"? a 9 mm under the pillow, or a 50 cal mounted on the bed of the ol' pickup truck and a brace of RPGs riding shotgun? I think "armed" in a middle eastern context likely means something completely different than it does in south florida, so I don't see how even bringing this up has anything to do with American gun control laws.

    I love it when people argue we need the "right to bear arms" to defend ourselves from our government, as if having your musket propped in the corner is going to save you from that abrams tank rolling down your street. it's too late folks - way, way too late. if you want to prepare for massive government oppression, you're better up stocking up on amonium nitrate. oh, and wilderness compounds are out of fashion too. these days it's customary to blend into a nice, quiet middle class neighborhood.

    By Anonymous Krupa, at 2:59 PM  

  • Krupa, the basic idea behind the we need guns to keep our government from oppressing us arguement could be looked at from a sort of investment perspective; namely is it worth the governments time and resources to try to opress an armed populace or is it more costly than the net gain? If this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Bill of Rights, then it could be considered another part of the whole checks and balances that they loved so much. More likely in my opinion that they thought long and hard about it and none of them had the slightest idea about how to go about disarming the common man so wrote a cryptically worded ammendment throwing in the words like Milita and rights etc.. to pass the buck off to later generations.

    By Blogger Christopher A. Lee, at 6:03 AM  

  • To clear the mystifications, first the Baathist gun-ownership part - where Shia's with AK47's were as common as post-Reconstruction era Klu-Kluxer's with rifles and 870 pumps, kept the "inferior" and much despised Sunni down. The sectarian violence between those two groups there goes way-back to near biblical times, and each regards the other with complete and righteous contempt. Under Hussein the numerically dominant group was held in check by the minority, by threat of violence - violence against them which was not followed-up with much police enthusiasm except in regions controlled by them.
    Up in the Wild-West of Kurdistan where Baathist Cops and Military partols were hardly Texas Rangers, an armed Apache populace could at least on an individual and small-time basis keep the old Soviet tank-crew on watch down in the valley, instead of coming up the Bazzar's High-Street. That is until Hussein's guys decided the small-time watchdog stuff was sapping resources, and they came up with a bigger master-plan with chemicals.
    Now in Kurdistan, populated with fewer Shia-Sunni troublemakers, they're running things their way again and peacefully - and in the traditional way, if someone gets out of hand they deal with it.
    Maybe it's like Oakland, CA...

    By Blogger DirtCrashr, at 2:59 PM  

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