February 11, 2013

UK vs US: murder rate trajectory and the lie of gun control

Gun control has nothing to do with crime, or murder rates, or mental health, or protecting children — though there are unquestionably some well-meaning useful idiots whose opposition to gun ownership is based on those factors so easily attached to the debate.

It is instead about people control, and more specifically, individual control, with the removal of self-protection and the protection of the family paramount to a final push to make reliance on government all but mandatory.

I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating: there are certain states, Colorado attempting to be among them, that are misreading the political atmosphere and are going to overstep, even if they manage to get many of their measures passed.

And that’s because those who they are punishing are not passive actors in some governmental morality play — which too often is how the electorate is treated by the political class. There’s more to Colorado than Denver and Boulder, just as there’s more to New York state than merely New York city.

What these political lightweights are hoping to do is pass feel-good legislation that will buy them an easy self-righteous pose. Because they believe public sentiment mirrors that produced by their own insularity and confirmation bias. I don’t believe for a moment they have any idea of the tenor and scope of the pushback they’ll receive should they try to turn erstwhile law abiding citizens into felons while pronouncing themselves moral heroes for having supported government-backed theft.

And what’s most absurd in all this is that people can merely remove the spring and follower from their magazines and call the remaining housing a toothpick holder or a flask, while dealers will just require buyers to sign waivers releasing them from any criminal or civil liability should a lawful gun buyer ever subsequently use the firearm in the commission of a crime (including suicide).

More government, more red tape, more forms to fill out, and no demonstrable effect save that the government lays ever more claim over individual rights — the very thing that disrupts the incrementalism that has proven so successful for the left and could finally wake people up to government’s real aims.

I welcome it, frankly.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 1:30pm
18 comments | Trackback

Comments (18)

  1. The pending Minnesota legislation, which will likely be defeated unless a bunch of Democrats don’t want to keep their phoney-baloney jobs (turnout to the hearings required use of overflow rooms, and you can bet that the vast majority were against the legislation), also includes wording that would outlaw the parts used to make “assault weapons.” So, they’ll cover their asses eventually on that front, if we let them get that far.

  2. an easy self-righteous pose

    zucker went all strike a pose now cnn will never again be able to make any kind of serious claim of being an outlet for journalism

    they pimped those dead babies out so so shamelessly

    and for what?

  3. Kind of funny battle now in the GA legislature, a bill is being introduced that would lower the ccw age from 21 to 18. Some of the folks going nuts about that are the same folks that went nuts about the idea of raising the driving age from 16 to 18, a move that would save a couple orders of magnitude more lives.

  4. Gun control has nothing to do with crime, or murder rates, or mental health, or protecting children — though there are unquestionably some well-meaning useful idiots whose opposition to gun ownership is based on those factors so easily attached to the debate.

    Related:
    — Health care reform has nothing to do with health care costs, or insurance, or quality of care, but instead is meant to give the State a lever by which to force its lifestyle decisions on the rest of us.
    — Welfare reform has nothing to do with getting people off welfare; rather, it’s meant to enlarge both the pool of welfare voters and the opportunities for graft from the programs.
    — Television has nothing to do with showing good programs to viewers; rather, it’s designed to provide the maximum number of consumers to marketers for the minimum amount of production costs.
    — Girl Scout cookies aren’t about raising funds for youth activities. On the contrary, they’re a means by which a few well-connected bakers can make a fortune by exploiting underaged girls to push their overpriced product.
    — Public education has nothing to do… oh, fuck it. See “welfare” above.

    The list goes on and on. It’s amazing how many things don’t mean what we’ve been programmed to believe they mean.

  5. Meanwhile in Illinois things are getting interesting.

    In December, a federal appeals court struck down Illinois’ law that stops people from carrying a weapon.

    And Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the Illinois State Rifle Association, said that ruling closed the door on many of the “negotiations” that surrounded concealed carry legislation in the past.

    “There are certain things that are not negotiable in the process,” Vandermyde said last week at a public hearing.

    Concealed carry “will be a ‘shall issue’ permit, there will be no discretion by some bureaucrat as to whether you get to exercise your right,” he said.

    “It will be a statewide permit, there will be no carve-out for Chicago. There will be no carve-out for Cook County,” Vandermyde said.

    State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, who has authored several concealed-carry laws during his time in Springfield, said the federal court ruling goes even further.

    “The clock is still ticking. June 10 is the deadline,” Phelps said. “We filed a bill, a lot of people didn’t think we were going to because we don’t have to. Constitutional carry will set-in if we don’t do something.”

    Phelps’ plan would require gun owners be trained, pass a background check and obtain a permit. Phelps said he is fine with some limits on where people could take their weapon, including schools, libraries, taverns, amusement parks, airports, government buildings or anyplace prohibited by federal law.

    So if lawmakers must act to stop everyone from being able to carry a gun, but will not be able to place broad limits on just who can carry a gun, what can lawmakers do?

  6. So if lawmakers must act to stop everyone from being able to carry a gun, but will not be able to place broad limits on just who can carry a gun, what can lawmakers do?

    I know! I know!

    Get over the idea “lawmakers must act to stop everyone from being able to carry a gun”. Defend the fucking constitution ya self-righteous fascist overlord wannabe bastards.

  7. What can be clearer than “shall not be infringed”?

  8. I would have liked him to show the major gun legislation on the American timeline like he did with the British one.

    Seems to me, he started with 1910, which was the birth of the FBI. I wonder what Jefferson would have thought of that, as an aside. Anyway, this was closely followed by prohibition, and the resulting increase in power of the FBI in enforcing it, and I believe the first gun control because rum runners were carrying Tommy guns. That was probably responsible for the first big spike on the timeline.

    If you squint, you can see a pattern.

  9. I think it was the St. Valentines’s Day massacre in Chicago that was the impetus for the NFA .

  10. I think it’d be inconclusive and undermine his point. The major gun law milestones (to my reckoning) were the 1934 NFA, the 1968 GCA, and the 1994 AWB.

    If you put those on the US graph, the ’34 law falls in the middle of the big downturn that runs from 1932 to 1945 or so. You could make a case that electing St. FDR reduces the murder rate, but not that the ’34 NFA had any effect.

    Same thing for the ’94 law: occurs in the middle of a long downward slope, doesn’t appear to have any effect.

    You could make a reasonable case that the ’68 GCA led to the massive increase in murder rate over the next 20 years – though personally I’d blame the LBJ “War on Poverty”, which helped create and maintain a permanent drug-using underclass. And the drug turf-wars necessary to keep said underclass adequately supplied with illicit substances.

  11. Yeah, thing is, they pass laws they know won’t be followed, then use the resulting lawlessness to excuse striping everyone of their liberties.

    See: the War on Drugs®.

  12. I just wonder if some of the Leftist Masterminds don’t want us to react to the overstepping in order to give them an excuse to clamp down on us.

    The non-military part of government has a lot of ammo, as do state and local police forces.

    As the past four years have shown, these Tyrants will try anything.

  13. I just wonder if some of the Leftist Masterminds don’t want us to react to the overstepping in order to give them an excuse to clamp down on us.

    I think that’s exactly what they want. Is why they have been working so hard to divide us against each other. They’re just waiting for an excuse. They jumped on Sandy Hook, but that may have been premature. It’s OK, there will be another excuse soon if this one doesn’t pan out. Just know, they will never stop trying. It’s like SSM, rejection never deters them, they just take up the slack, and wait for the next opportunity to ratchet another notch. And they will take whatever gun control they can get now, but they will never stop waiting and trying for more. If they get SSM and a ban on assault weapons this year, next year they will want bigamy and a ban on handguns.

    They’re like the Terminator that way.

  14. The NFA-1934 was of a piece with many things that were done during that era of the great depression. There was fear among the wealthy and powerful of some insurrection coming from the lower classes like had happened in the USSR. The NFA-1934 was a huge tax on ownership of certain weapons and a registration so that those in power could keep track of who owned them.

    The criminal gangs were the reason put forward for the legislation but the fear of an insurrection was what made it possible to get done. After all the heyday of the gang warfare was the 20s not the 30s after prohibition was repealed.

    I found this piece which goes into the nuts and bolts of the major gun control legislation. Some of it is eye opening.

    > At one 1933 hearing, for instance, a Senate subcommittee heard, with no recorded skepticism, calls for a ban on felons riding in automobiles, universal fingerprinting of all citizens, mandatory “papers” for interstate travel, and enactment of national vagrancy laws authorizing warrantless search and arrest of anyone “reputed” to “habitually violate” the laws (with law enforcement officials to testify as to the arrestee’s reputation).

    On a more practical plane, the Department of Justice proposed what became the National Firearms Act of 1934. The constitutional basis for federal intervention, very much an issue in 1934, was resolved by patterning the firearm legislation after the Narcotic Drug Act of 1914. The Narcotic Drug Act used the taxing power to support distributor licensing, requirements that sales be accompanied by a “written order” preserved by the seller and subject to inspection, and a ban on interstate shipment by unlicensed persons. As the Narcotic Drug Act had survived legal challenge, albeit narrowly, it was consciously employed as a model for the new firearm legislation.

    What became the National Firearms Act was introduced as H.R. 9066. H.R. 9066 would have applied to any “firearm,” (p.592)a term defined to mean “a pistol, revolver, shotgun having a barrel less than sixteen inches in length, or any other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, a muffler or silencer therefor, or a machine gun.” “Machine gun” was in turn defined as any weapon capable of firing twelve or more shots without manual reloading.

    All persons engaged in the business of selling such “firearms” were to register with the Collector of Internal Revenue; all sales were subject to a special tax and were to be made pursuant to a written order form. Absent payment of the tax, a firearm could not be shipped in interstate commerce; moreover, knowing possession of a firearm transferred in violation of these requirements was itself a crime.

    During committee consideration, a substitute bill was prepared by the Justice Department. The substitute sought to fill a major gap in the original bill, which (consistent with its excise theme) would have applied only to firearms sold after its enactment. The substitute required existing “firearm” owners to register their arms within sixty days, except “with respect to any firearm acquired after the effective date of, and in conformity with the provisions of, this Act.”

    This would still be premised on the taxing power: “it is important to be able to identify arms to see which possessors have paid taxes and which firearms have been taxed and which have not.” The substitute also refined the definition of “firearm” to exclude .22 caliber pistols and to include rifles and shotguns alike if their barrels were under eighteen inches.

    When ultimately reported out as H.R. 9741, the substitute embodied two additional and significant changes to the definition of “firearm.” First, pistols and revolvers were omitted, so that the bill applied to machineguns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles, silencers, and concealable firearms other than pistols and revolvers. Second, the definition of “machinegun” was changed to cover firearms that fired more than once for each pull of the trigger, regardless of how many shots they might fire before reloading was necessary. The transfer tax on machineguns was fixed at $200, then about a 100% excise tax.

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  16. Some of the folks going nuts about that are the same folks that went nuts about the idea of raising the driving age from 16 to 18, a move that would save a couple orders of magnitude more lives.

    I doubt it. Drivers aged 16 and 17 have higher accident rates than more experienced drivers. Raising the age to drive will mean that drivers aged 18 and 19 have those high accident rates, because they’ll have two years less experience.

    If you want to reduce accidental deaths from automobiles, then get kids into simulators for years before they’re old enough to drive, so that when they actually get behind the wheel of a car, they have more experience. We do the same with airplanes already.

    Then do the same with firearms. If you mishandle your weapon in the simulator, you don’t get to touch the real thing. And nobody dies.

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