GOP Rep Calls for Gun Ban; Gun Control Discussion Starting? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

GOP Rep Calls for Gun Ban; Gun Control Discussion Starting?

According to Politico.com, New York Republican Peter King plans to introduce a bill in the House that would make it illegal to carry a gun with 1,000 feet of high-ranking Federal officials, including members of Congress.

It's unclear whether King's legislation will see the light of day in the Republican-controlled House. But four days after a gunman killed six people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., King is among a handful of gun control advocates still trying to spark a discussion in Congress on limiting access to firearms.

Following up on Donna's post - Arizona Shootings Offer a Pivotal Moment - I don't know how much the political and talk-show rhetoric is going to change in the wake of Tucson, but I would not be at all surprised if we start to hear quite a bit about gun control. Peter King's bill may not make a lot of sense and be too onerous (how am I supposed to know if I'm within 1,000 feet of a Federal official at any given time), but there's already quite a bit of discussion about the gun and magazine used and other issues regarding the background check, etc.

Don't expect that to let up. There will be a lot of talk in Congress over these issues, including the assault-weapons ban, the nature of a Second Amendment "arm" vs. a weapon of war or "mass destruction" and discussion regarding national databases, background checks, waiting periods... you name it. Whether or not anything will happen is anyone's guess, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if we all end up spending a lot of time on this over the next many months.

Previous Comments

ID
161537
Comment

Additional gun control legislation planned this time by Carolyn McCarthy, Democrat and well-known gun control advocate. The legislation may target the high-capacity magazine used in the shooting.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-11T17:23:21-06:00
ID
161539
Comment

McCarthy has already said she knows any gun control legistlation has about a snowballs chance of passing. Waste of time and talking. Guns aren't the problem any way, nutcases are. Gun laws are for law abiding people, criminals and nutcases don't care about laws. 15 million new laws aren't going to stop them. Why renew the assault weapon ban? It didn't make a diffence when it was in effect anyway. Just what is an assault weapon? The military doesn't even have a definition of an assualt weapon other than " any weapon used to attack a fortfied position" that could be anything from a rock to a a-bomb. I'll have to agree people with mental problems records need to be in the FBI's database for background checks. They aren't now.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-11T17:43:52-06:00
ID
161541
Comment

Fun Fact: Every criminal was once a law-abiding citizen, Bubba—until he or she committed a crime.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-01-11T17:46:25-06:00
ID
161548
Comment

fun fact: Law abiding people don't commit crimes,those poeple that do were just criminals in waiting. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-11T18:17:19-06:00
ID
161550
Comment

Ah, *that* makes sense, Bubba. Let me guess: You can tell who is gonna stay law-abiding by looking at him/her.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-01-11T18:33:36-06:00
ID
161552
Comment

Donna- Made sense to me...lol Nope, can't tell by looking.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-11T19:00:22-06:00
ID
161554
Comment

Todd- You are right Pete King's bill make no sense at all. Like a 1,000 foot law would stop some nutcase from shooting a gov't offical they had already decided to shoot. They're really gonna care about that law. Does he actually thing they are gonna think "I would shoot him, but I can't take a gun within a 1,000 feet of them, wouldn't want to break that law." LOL You really have to wonder about the intelligence of some of these politicians.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-11T19:38:36-06:00
ID
161556
Comment

The 1000-feet-within-a-federal-official provision is a bit too onerous. What if I happen to have a gun at my side while walking by a federal official wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt without something identifying him or herself as such? Perhaps, the law should be amended to where you can't have a gun within 1000 feet of a federal building or gathering where federal officials may be present.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-01-11T22:20:00-06:00
ID
161557
Comment

Golden- 1000ft from a federal building is not going to work either. Which ones? Most post offices are within 50ft to 100 ft of a street, people would be going in and out of 1000ft zone around federal buildings just driving down the street with a gun legally in their car. You would be breaking that law 4 or 5 times driving on Hwy 80 from Clinton to Pearl. Be the same on State, probably even a few place on I55 too. It's already illegal to have a gun on federal property,don't see their logic that we need another law,that would do nothing to stop this from happening again. Nutcases and criminals don't pay attention to laws.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-11T22:50:30-06:00
ID
161560
Comment

Forget even walking near a federal building, what if a Federal official buys the house next door? Those citizens are expected to just give up their Constitutional right, or sell their house? Bubba's right -- the AWB and its ilk are just fear-based and do nothing to address the actual crime issue. Last time I checked, threaded barrels and pistol grips don't make a lick of difference to the lethality of a weapon.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T09:23:55-06:00
ID
161562
Comment

It's already illegal to have a gun on federal property,don't see their logic that we need another law,that would do nothing to stop this from happening again. Nutcases and criminals don't pay attention to laws. There are a few different kinds of laws, Bubba, and not all of them are made specifically to stop a particular behavior; some of them are made to encourage other behavior or to give the police a freer hand in dealing with a situation. For instance, if it's illegal to carry a gun in certain circumstances, then the presence of a weapon is instantly grounds for arrest, without forcing the police to wait for an (apparently) law-abiding citizen to become a criminal by pulling the trigger. If it's not illegal to carry that weapon under certain circumstances, then you have to wait for a greater crime to occur. Other types of laws are about commerce and access -- if it's illegal to buy a high-capacity magazine, then that doesn't mean that they'll never trade hands, because there will always be a black market -- it means, more simply, that they won't be available at Guns-R-Us, re-sold on eBay, in pawn shops, etc., thus cutting way back on availability, manufacture and re-sale. It also means that the mere presence of such a magazine in a situation gives the police an opportunity to make an arrest and/or may add to the sentencing on other crimes. Yet another type of law can be used to establish better process, procedure and funding for solutions that make a municipality, state or nation a better place to live -- like a bill that would create a more comprehensive, nation-wide background check for gun purchases with no loopholes or special circumstances. Again, that would force criminals to buy guns on the black market instead of at Guns-R-Us or at gun shows, but it might more effectively cut down on purchases by crazy folk, people with a record in another state and "law-abiding citizens" who are fixin' to stop abiding the law. ... The oddest thing about discussions with gun folk is how they go completely blank over the idea of gun laws and regulations when they are, by and large, "law and order" types. If gun laws can't "stop criminals" then why make it illegal to steal cars? Good people won't steal cars anyway... only criminals, right? And it's not like they're going to not steal cars because it's illegal. Good people won't do drugs, just criminals. The criminals keep doing drugs even though it's illegal. Hell... some of those criminals even *sell* the drugs, which is *way* illegal. So, what's with the laws against stealing cars and doing drugs... they don't do any good, right?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T09:30:31-06:00
ID
161564
Comment

The oddest thing about discussions with gun folk is how they go completely blank over the idea of gun laws and regulations when they are, by and large, "law and order" types. If gun laws can't "stop criminals" then why make it illegal to steal cars? Good people won't steal cars anyway... only criminals, right? And it's not like they're going to not steal cars because it's illegal. Good people won't do drugs, just criminals. The criminals keep doing drugs even though it's illegal. Hell... some of those criminals even *sell* the drugs, which is *way* illegal. So, what's with the laws against stealing cars and doing drugs... they don't do any good, right? You are conflating the means by which someone can commit a crime, and the crime itself. The reason stealing cars is illegal is because it's a violation of someone else's property rights, and you can actually stop a car theft in progress, or find the criminal and prosecute him after the fact. But buying a gun isn't a violation of anyone else's rights. It's not only not a crime, it's actually a protected right. The better analogy is to point out that even though it's common for criminals to use crowbars to break car windows, the purchase of crowbars itself is not crime, and there's no point in regulating it -- those intent on actually committing the crime of stealing a car would just find another heavy, hard object to use instead. I'm not touching the drug example, because that debates rests on whether it can be established that drug use is harmful only to those who use it, or if it also violates the rights of people other than the user, and I think that's a debate for a different thread.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T10:05:43-06:00
ID
161565
Comment

You are conflating the means by which someone can commit a crime, and the crime itself. Actually, the point I'm making is obvious, presuming one doesn't purposely try to misinterpret it. Not every law is designed to *stop* a criminal act from happening. The fact that many gun advocates make the argument about gun regulations that they won't extend to other types of regulation (even search-and-seizure, unless it has to do with guns) is... curious. But buying a gun isn't a violation of anyone else's rights. It's not only not a crime, it's actually a protected right. We're not talking exclusively about buying guns, but the general regulation of their use. Additionally, taking an abundance of caution in ensuring that people who are not allowed to purchase guns do not do so isn't a violation of your rights. While I'm not a constitutional scholar, I don't believe words "cheap," "easy," and "quick" are not found in the Second Amendment. The better analogy is to point out that even though it's common for criminals to use crowbars to break car windows, the purchase of crowbars itself is not crime, and there's no point in regulating it -- those intent on actually committing the crime of stealing a car would just find another heavy, hard object to use instead. Actually, that's not a particularly good analogy, because crowbars are not designed and manufactured specifically to break car windows, whereas handguns are designed and manufactured specifically to kill people. They have no other purpose; they are not also useful for changing tires or starting fires in fireplaces or for the maintenance of heavy machinery or to chop up vegetables. Hence, they should be regulated (to the extent that they can be Constitutionally and that the citizenry determines they should be) with that use firmly in mind.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T10:33:07-06:00
ID
161566
Comment

Actually, that's not a particularly good analogy, because crowbars are not designed and manufactured specifically to break car windows, whereas handguns are designed and manufactured specifically to kill people. They have no other purpose; they are not also useful for changing tires or starting fires in fireplaces or for the maintenance of heavy machinery or to chop up vegetables. Hence, they should be regulated (to the extent that they can be Constitutionally and that the citizenry determines they should be) with that use firmly in mind. That's an extremely biased view. Depending on which of the four Aristotelian "purposes" we are talking about, I could argue that: Handguns are designed to send a small projectile extremely fast Handguns are designed to punch holes in paper Handguns are designed to knock down iron targets Handguns are designed to kill vermin Handguns are designed to provide food Handguns are designed to save lives Handguns are designed to prevent crime ...and so on. Simply asserting that "handguns are designed and manufactured specifically to kill people" is stacking the deck -- you're asserting the conclusion of your argument in the definition of the terms. It's an old joke, but it still rings true -- if guns kill people, then all of mine must be defective.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T11:00:46-06:00
ID
161567
Comment

I should explain a bit -- I referenced "four purposes" -- Aristotle spoke of four causes, really, but the same categories can be applied to related causal concepts like purpose and design.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T11:09:16-06:00
ID
161569
Comment

Tood- Criminals are already forced to buy guns on the black market. the backgound check already kicks them out and the so called gun show loophole is anti-gun people lie, you still have to do a background check at a gunshow to buy from a dealer. Years ago the FBI or Bureau of Prisons did a study interviewing prisoners who had used guns in crimes and very few had gotten their weapon at a gunshow, something like 2 out of 100. Why have a law against stealing cars? Ah I think it's there to punish the people who get caught stealing them. It sure hasn't slowed down anybody from stealing them since 1 is stolen every 30 secs in the U.S. Laws apply to people who have the morals and decency to follow them. Somebody that has decided to kill a gov't offical isn't going to be detered by a law that says he can't have a gun within 1000 feet of them. Why would he? He already decided to committ murder,the law against that didn't deter him, so I don't think the 1,000 ft law would give him any pause. You must not have ever worked on a farm, industrial maintenance or the maintenance of heavy machinery. A crowbar is very handy in all those jobs. Even very useful changing tractor and implement tires since they are often rusted on..LOL

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T12:41:05-06:00
ID
161572
Comment

Like I said early new gun control laws aren't very likely. Great! http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/11/new-gun-control-legislation-in-congress-unlikely/

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T13:14:21-06:00
ID
161574
Comment

Full-throated voiceover guy: Glock 19. When you really, really need to punch a hole in paper.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T13:35:53-06:00
ID
161575
Comment

Sure, Glocks do quite well at competitive shooting events. Preferred by a lot of competitive shooters.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T13:44:12-06:00
ID
161576
Comment

Todd- You are so right, thousands of people use Glocks in shooting sports punching holes in paper. I'm not real fond of them,don't like polymer guns and grip angle doesn't suit me, but they are dependable and accurate. Probably the best selling gun in the U.S. Your sarcasm is pretty useless on people who know anything about guns and shooting sports.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T13:55:04-06:00
ID
161580
Comment

Bubba: First you write this: Why have a law against stealing cars? Ah I think it's there to punish the people who get caught stealing them. It sure hasn't slowed down anybody from stealing them since 1 is stolen every 30 secs in the U.S. Then you write this: Somebody that has decided to kill a gov't offical isn't going to be detered by a law that says he can't have a gun within 1000 feet of them. Why would he? You're making my case for me. If you decide you're going to have a law that says you can't have a gun within 1000 feet of an official then it's going to be (a.) because that then makes something *new* illegal about it (making it easier for cops to intervene) or (b.) "it's there to punish the people who get caught..." In other words, you wouldn't have to wait for a murder attempt in order to nab someone for something. It's certainly unlikely to deter would-be assassins, but that wouldn't be the point. Such a law's intention is to give police more leverage. See a gun... restricted area... instant felon. Shoot on sight. (Oh, wait... handguns aren't designed for shooting people... my bad. Maybe if someone holds some vermin in front of the perp a bullet might go through the vermin and slow the perp down. :-) And I'm not arguing for the 1000 feet law by the way; as I've said, I think it sounds too onerous. But that doesn't mean all gun/bullet/magazine control is a bad idea. As for your glee over no new gun laws... give it time. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see some of the assault weapons ban language brought back around this time... and certainly some deeper background checks will be up for discussion. I say it's even money that they'll at least limit some of these magazine sizes, even if that's more political showmanship than anything else.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T14:16:05-06:00
ID
161581
Comment

Shoot on sight? What happened to due process?

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-12T14:23:30-06:00
ID
161582
Comment

BTW, NPR has an interesting treatment of the Scramble to Control Narrative of Tucson Massacre. I found this passage particularly interesting: Horwitz is among gun control advocates who say they have been alarmed at the shift in gun rights rhetoric — from arguments for the right to possess guns for hunting and self-defense to arguments that frame the right as intrinsic to holding a tyrannical government accountable. That sentiment was off the grid, he says, in 1995 when Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, a militia sympathizer with strong anti-government motivations, bombed a federal building. "The idea back then that you could take up arms against the federal government was a fringy thing," he says. "Now it is more of the core of who we are as Americans." It's interesting, in part, because we've had conservatives in Congress from 1994-2006, and the GOP in the White House for eight years. Why the anti-government sentiment from the gun rights folks?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T14:32:51-06:00
ID
161584
Comment

Todd- Your little scenario has on basic flaw. Just how are cops going to see guns in resricted areas? They have x-ray eyes? They will never see it, no instant felon,still got nutcase shooting someone. Gonna have to strongly disagree with on new gun/bullet/magazine control as not being bad. Yes it is a bad idea. Limits on magazine sizes had no effect on crime the first time and it still won't now. Why would any part of the so called "assault weapon" ban have any effect either? There has never been a rash of crimes with "assualt weapons" They have been used in only 2% of crimes and 8% of gun crimes. Hardly a need for a new AWB. Why has that even been brought up? An "assualt weapon" wasn't even used. Oh yeah forgot, "Never let a good crisis go to waste" Making useless laws for political showmanship is stupid and any congressman who would vote for it should be voted out of office.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T15:03:47-06:00
ID
161586
Comment

Nothing is interesting on NPR but Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T15:15:19-06:00
ID
161587
Comment

Nothing is interesting on NPR but Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. :) Ha! NOW you're showin' your hide, son. Marketplace is the best show on radio (barely edging out "JFP on WLEZ"). You don't like Thacker Mountain? Click and Clack? Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T16:07:30-06:00
ID
161589
Comment

I don't see why it would be a problem to restrict the capacity of magazines, even if it would make only a limited impact on crime. Bubba, you can say that it wouldn't make any difference and that criminals would buy high-capacity magazines on the black market. But look at what actually happened in Arizona. There is no reason to think that Loughner had access to any sort of black market. And he was tackled while he was trying to reload. It is highly likely that Loughner would have killed and wounded fewer people if the biggest clip he could buy held 17 rounds. Understand that I am generally skeptical about gun-control legislation. But no one needs a high-capacity magazine for self-defense. You certainly don't need it for competitive shooting. I wonder whether you can offer any argument against restricting the sale of such magazines beyond the fact that you don't think there should be regulation of handguns? If so, that's fine. I just wonder if there is any room for compromise on these issues. As an aside, the argument about the "purpose" of handguns smells of sophistry to me, as long as we're getting Greek about things. Clearly, Todd's statement went too far. But a handgun is only a weapon, while a crowbar can be used as a weapon or some other kind of tool. That was the essence of his argument.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-01-12T17:19:14-06:00
ID
161590
Comment

As an aside, the argument about the "purpose" of handguns smells of sophistry to me, as long as we're getting Greek about things. Clearly, Todd's statement went too far. But a handgun is only a weapon, while a crowbar can be used as a weapon or some other kind of tool. That was the essence of his argument. Looking back on it I realize that I need to amend the statement: The *primary* purpose of a handgun is to kill people. They can also, as has been pointed out, be used to shoot other things.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-12T17:41:36-06:00
ID
161591
Comment

Lovin' this thread. Can I be Greek, too? Pretty please.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-01-12T17:44:28-06:00
ID
161592
Comment

Brian- You must not have ever been to any competitive shooting matches, if you think high-capacity magazines aren't used or needed in them. Loughner wouldn't have had to go on the black market to get the 33rd magazine,nor would anyone else. Even with the AWB, there were tens of thousands legal high-capacity magazines,he or you could have bought one from anyone, legally, but manufactors couldn't make anymore or sell them. You might be right he might not have shot as many people with a 17 round magazine or he might have practiced reloading more there would on be a 1 sec pause in the shooting and actually shot more people. You would be amazed how fast people can reload. Sounds more like to me, he was fumbling with reloading and that's when they jumped. Yes I can offer an arugement against restricting magazine capicity. Why pass a useless law that will do nothing to lessen crime,would have prevented this from happening, other than to cave to the uninformed anti gunners? Just to give them a warm fuzzy feeling?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T18:46:47-06:00
ID
161593
Comment

that should say "would not have prevented"

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-12T21:45:44-06:00
ID
161596
Comment

Bubba, it may shock you to hear that you are not the only person who takes an interest in guns. There are, in fact, many on the left who learn about weapons and how to handle them. One would hope that you would embrace this fact rather than assuming that everyone beside yourself is ignorant of firearms. Many configurations of weaponry are demonstrated in competitions, but high-capacity magazines are beside the point. They are "used" but not "needed." The real question is accuracy and speed, though skill with reloading matters as well. Eliminating high-capacity magazines would make no substantial difference to competitive shooting. You can acknowledge that without giving up on the argument. We cannot know whether Loughner fumbled with reloading at this point. Even Glocks do not always cooperate as we would like. But whether he was nervous or whatever, he would have fired 13 fewer shots had he had a standard clip. That likely would have saved lives. That has nothing to do with fuzzy feelings. It's a cold fact. Maybe banning high-capacity magazines is wrong, but you're not making a convincing argument. You see the whole thing as political kabuki between the NRA and "anti-gunners," whoever they are.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-01-12T22:34:19-06:00
ID
161601
Comment

Brian- Actually I know a lots of people who take interest in guns,probably communicate with about 75 to 100 of them every day, many who know alot more about guns than I do, never said I was the only one knew anything about guns. Nor I did I say people on the left didn't like guns or know about them, sure some do, just like there are some anti-gun people on the right(Peter King) and have no knowledge of them. I assume you brought that up because you consider yourself on the left(?) and own guns(pretty sure I heard you mention that before) But we weren't talking about right or left were we? If you don't know who anti-gun politicians and supporters are or how uninformed most of them are about firearms then all I can say is, you haven't been listening to the gun debates for that last 25-30yrs. Please tell me how a the old magazine limit or a new one would have stopped Loughner from getting a high capacity magazine? They were still legal to have,buy,sell under the AWB ban. The ban only effected new gun sales,they were limited to 10rds. Before I forget-If a competitive shooter didn't "need" a high capacity magazine to win, why do they use them? Why lug around the extra weight of ammo you don't need to win?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-13T00:43:44-06:00
ID
161606
Comment

Regarding whether or not another high-cap magazine ban constitutes a "reasonable" compromise: The issue here for me is that the logic behind such a ban is the exact same logic behind gun bans in general -- the idea that we can somehow reduce violent acts by taking away the most commonly used weapons. It's the same failed logic that led to the ban on switchblades (or more properly, automatic knives) because "gangs" used them. As if gangs would just disband because their knives were now illegal. Bubba's already covered many of the practical failures of such a ban on high-cap magazines (most importantly, the continued availability of these magazines regardless of whether or not they are still being made). At best, the high-cap ban serves to push prices up on "pre-ban" high-cap magazines by $10 to $40, generally speaking. It's a tax on law-abiding gun owners and does nothing to stop those who intend on breaking the law. But the bigger issue to me is this idea that somehow, because the AZ shooter chose a Glock pistol with a 30+ rd magazine, that combination must be removed from the marketplace. The implication seems to be that because this pistol with this magazine was used, it must be the most deadly or dangerous available. It's just fear-based argumentation. You can take away new high-cap magazines, and the shooter will buy a used high-cap magazine. You can ban Glocks and other "scary" pistols, and the shooter will walk up with a shotgun under his overcoat. You can restrict gun sales to "hunting weapons", and the shooter can take his deer rifle and find a spot 150 yards off and snipe (this scenario bothers me the most -- a deer rifle is much more powerful than a 9mm pistol, and the shooter would have a much greater chance at getting away). You can ban all guns and the shooter can drive his truck at 60 mph into the crowd. Gabby Giffords probably owes her life to the fact that the shooter chose to use a relatively weak 9mm pistol. Arguing over the possibility of lives saved with a smaller magazine is the epitome of silliness -- if I had my druthers, I'd rather that the AZ shooter used his 30+ rd magazine than an OEM Glock 15 or 17 rd magazine -- the aftermarket 30+ rd magazines are notorious for being finicky and unreliable. But that's not really the issue here, is it? It's not about whether one is more effective than the other -- it's about political grandstanding, pandering to those who respond emotionally to these issues without considering the facts of the situation.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-13T10:46:45-06:00
ID
161614
Comment

Richard Florida has a new post/graphics up at The Atlantic that fits this discussion. See: The Geography of Gun Deaths. No surprises: Mississippi ranks high on this one, as does Arizona. Definitely look at the post/graphics, but here is a bit of what the statistical analysis shows: So what are the factors that are associated with firearm deaths at the state level? Poverty is one. The correlation between death by gun and poverty at the state level is .59. An economy dominated by working class jobs is another. Having a high percentage of working class jobs is closely associated with firearm deaths (.55). And, not surprisingly, firearm-related deaths are positively correlated with the rates of high school students that carry weapons on school property (.54). What about politics? It's hard to quantify political rhetoric, but we can distinguish blue from red states. Taking the voting patterns from the 2008 presidential election, we found a striking pattern: Firearm-related deaths were positively associated with states that voted for McCain (.66) and negatively associated with states that voted for Obama (-.66). Though this association is likely to infuriate many people, the statistics are unmistakable. Partisan affiliations alone cannot explain them; most likely they stem from two broader, underlying factors - the economic and employment makeup of the states and their policies toward guns and gun ownership.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-01-13T15:35:03-06:00
ID
161615
Comment

And some of y'all will hate how Florida ends the analysis, but that doesn't mean it's not meaningful information. Here 'tis: And what about gun control? As of July 29 of last year, Arizona became one of only three states that allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Might tighter gun control laws make a difference? Our analysis suggests that they do. The map overlays the map of firearm deaths above with gun control restrictions by state. It highlights states which have one of three gun control restrictions in place - assault weapons' bans, trigger locks, or safe storage requirements. Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48). While the causes of individual acts of mass violence always differ, our analysis shows fatal gun violence is less likely to occur in richer states with more post-industrial knowledge economies, higher levels of college graduates, and tighter gun laws. Factors like drug use, stress levels, and mental illness are much less significant than might be assumed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-01-13T15:40:10-06:00
ID
161619
Comment

No need to hate Florida's analysis, just have to point out how spurious the analysis actually is. For example, his correlative rates of "death by gun" for Obama states vs. McCain states is all but meaningless (or worse than meaningless, actually -- it's constructed to convey a misleading conclusion). Isolating "gun deaths" while ignoring the more critical murder and violent crime rates is simply a statistical red herring. If we want a more accurate and interesting correlative rate for Obama and McCain supporters, we can look at the murder rate per 100k by county, as calculated by factcheck.org, presented as a correction to a false right-wing propaganda email forward: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/01/unreported-stats/ The murder rate for counties carried by Obama was 6.56 per 100,000 inhabitants, less than half the rate claimed in the message. The rate for counties carried by McCain was 3.60 per 100,000, much higher than claimed in the message. The numbers were similarly aligned in the 2000 election: They were debunked by Snopes which put the actual county-by-county murder rate at 6.5 for counties supporting Gore, in 2000, and 4.1 for counties supporting Bush. Now, if you are only interested in reducing gun crime and gun deaths, with no regard for the effect on other violent crime and murder rates, then I guess Florida's numbers might hold some interest for you. But not me.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-13T16:13:49-06:00
ID
161624
Comment

Enough flaws have been found in Flordia's "Creative Class" theroy, and his analysis of data by other economist, I would tend to doubt the validity of any study he does.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-01-13T16:49:45-06:00
ID
161637
Comment

As I said before, I have a low temperature on this subject. I don't know that eliminating high-cap magazines would do any good. I respect that many people oppose restrictions on firearms from genuine principle. I am also moved by the argument that there is something futile about addressing one element of the most recent catastrophe. Those things said, I am vexed by the implications of two of your arguments. One is that it is pointless (and unfair) to ban high-cap magazines because they would remain in circulation for many years. The other is that all weapons are essentially equivalent, so banning any weapon is pointless because a determined killer will always find another. On the first point, you have certainly proved that a ban would be imperfect. But the supply of high-cap magazines would surely dwindle over time. They would become ever more scarce and expensive. They would also become more "finicky and unreliable," as you described aftermarket high-cap magazines. Moreover, getting your hands on one would require more patience. Ordering a high-cap magazine and waiting for its arrival is not very difficult. But it is more difficult than buying one at a store. More generally, I wonder about the implications of applying your logic to other industries. The best analogy I can come up with right now is banning further use of lead pipes. Such a ban doesn't replace lead pipes in existing buildings overnight. But over time, lead pipes become rarer and rarer. Surely, it is a good thing to ban lead pipes even if they will remain in buildings for many years. Isn't it better instead to argue that the limit on rounds per magazine is arbitrary and unconstitutional? I think that's really your argument.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-01-13T19:48:11-06:00
ID
161638
Comment

As for the second point, you may be right that banning any particular weapon will only send a determined assassin to some other weapon. Still, there are real differences between weapons. For all the fact that a deer rifle is much more powerful than a semiautomatic handgun, sniping would not kill as many people, at least not all at once. After the assassin has taken his shot, people will scatter. His chances of killing the primary target are higher if he is a good shot, but he will not kill as many people. More to the point, political assassinations are quite rare. Most deaths from firearms have nothing to do with politics. One of the things that makes firearms particularly dangerous is that they are impulsive weapons. That is not my opinion--it is well supported by scientific evidence. For example, people with guns are likelier to commit suicide than people without guns. The reason is that it is easier to pick up a gun and shoot yourself in the head than it is to slash your wrists with a razor. Similarly, it is easier to get drunk and accidentally shoot a friend with a semiautomatic than it is to get drunk and accidentally chop your friend's head off with a sword. I cannot support this last example with direct evidence, but I am confident that it is true. Surely, a huge number of undesired fatalities drop out as we disrupt the impulsive element of weapons. I think that's part of the rationale behind waiting periods and trigger locks. Again, I don't want to ban semiautomatics. I have no particular feelings about a ban on high-cap magazines. I respect the argument that some natural right protects people from being forced to use trigger locks. But some of your arguments don't seem quite right.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-01-13T20:03:51-06:00
ID
161640
Comment

It's a supporting consideration, not the central issue at hand. Just pointing out that even if it could be established that the existence of high-cap magazines posed a specific threat to innocent people, a ban on the manufacture of new magazines would be incredibly slow and ineffective at limiting the availability of said magazines, and given that we seem to be talking about the kind of crimes in which the perpetrator plans ahead in order to inflict the most amount of damage (for example, our AZ shooter had been focusing on Giffords for at least 2 years), I don't know that there's much practical benefit at all. And that's all assuming that a case could ever constructed demonstrating the specific and imminent threat posed by high-cap magazines that outweighed the loss of economic and personal freedom that goes hand in hand with the ban of a product.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-13T20:12:58-06:00
ID
161658
Comment

Isolating "gun deaths" while ignoring the more critical murder and violent crime rates is simply a statistical red herring. If we want a more accurate and interesting correlative rate for Obama and McCain supporters, we can look at the murder rate per 100k by county, as calculated by factcheck.org... Wow, lots of unsupported statements in this one. Let's break this down: 1.) Florida's data is a "statistical red herring." For what? What's his bait and switch? The point made is that there's a fairly obvious correlation between gun-culture states and "deaths due to injuries by firearms." Florida presumably includes in his "gun deaths" statistics accidental gun deaths, murder, manslaughter, suicide, domestic altercations, justifiable homicides, etc... and the conclusion drawn, if any, is that in states with stronger gun control laws (as one factor) -- which happen to be state-by-state and therefore lend themselves rather well to state-by-state comparison -- there appear to be fewer per capita deaths that result from gunshot wounds. Here's what Florida says: "Though this association is likely to infuriate many people, the statistics are unmistakable. Partisan affiliations alone cannot explain them; most likely they stem from two broader, underlying factors - the economic and employment makeup of the states and their policies toward guns and gun ownership." 2.) Murder/violent crime rates by county are "more accurate and interesting correlative rate for Obama and McCain supporters." Or... maybe just different? Florida is looking at “red” and “blue” states while you’re looking at “red” and “blue” counties. There are “red” counties in New York, a “blue” state. There are “blue” counties in Mississippi, a “red” state. It would require a detailed analysis to see how well these two distinct datasets actually correlate, but at first blush I’d have to say not well enough for the conclusions you draw about Florida's "apples" -- by substituting your own oranges. 3.) For example, his correlative rates of "death by gun" for Obama states vs. McCain states is all but meaningless (or worse than meaningless, actually -- it's constructed to convey a misleading conclusion). Florida is using McCain/Obama as an indicator for "red/blue" states, which is useful in the sense that **gun laws are set at the state level**. Unless you're making some statement about gun-related ordinances at the county level, there's really no relevance in the data you quote to rebut Florida's argument, nor do you appear to support your criticism that his correlation is "meaningless." 4.) Now, if you are only interested in reducing gun crime and gun deaths, with no regard for the effect on other violent crime and murder rates, then I guess Florida's numbers might hold some interest for you. But not me. Bold emphasis mine. Definition of false dilemma. One can be both interested in reducing gun-related deaths and reducing violent crime, and I would posit that many people are. 4.5) But not me. Indeed.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-01-14T14:13:52-06:00
ID
161678
Comment

One can be both interested in reducing gun-related deaths and reducing violent crime, and I would posit that many people are. 4.5) But not me. Indeed. Nice selective editing there, Todd. Shall I quote your words to make it appear as if you say things you in fact didn't? The unproven assumption in your claim is that we can reduce gun deaths in isolation from (and with no effect upon) the larger crime rate and accidental death rates. There are many ways to cut the data cake, but when one moves away from pop-researchers like Florida and actually examines the most rigorous studies (for instance, the studies comparing violent crime rates in the same nation or state before and after significant gun legislation, or compare violent crime rates between two nations or states over a period of time), what one finds over and over is that (1) more legally-owned guns seem to depress the overall violent crime rate, and (2) other factors ("war on drugs", government/police corruption, ethnic/cultural conflict) seem to correlate much more strongly with overall violent crime rates. That, in a nutshell, is why Florida's research is a red herring. It's like suggesting that since lots of people die in Toyotas, the overall automotive death rate could be reduced by taking Toyotas off the road. Out of curiosity, have you seen the violent crime and murder numbers for Washington, D.C. since the court struck down the more restrictive statutes? Interesting stuff.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-01-17T11:13:45-06:00

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