By on January 15, 2015

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“Alec, I’ll take ‘Three-Letter Controversy’ for $800.”

“This item kills thousands of Americans every year. It’s easy for people in Montana to legally acquire and operate one, but New Yorkers have a tougher time doing so and Londoners find it nearly impossible. Using one correctly was once considered to be a normal prerequisite of American manhood but in today’s campy culture it’s often satirized as a psychological substitute for the once-controversial but now societally-approved free and morally ambiguous usage of a substantial penis. Disparaging the ownership and abuse of this item on social media is the number-one pastime of non-beautiful women and twentysomething men who cannot bench press two hundred pounds. Robert Farago created a website about it.”

“Alec, this one’s a no-brainer. What is a gun?

“I’m sorry. I’m afraid the correct answer is: What is a car? No, wait, I’m hearing from our backstage experts. Your answer is also correct.”

Firearms and automobiles have been the focus of the progressive kulturkampf in America since before most of TTAC’s readers and contributors were born. Many strange bedfellows are made in the process, and thus it is that the Atlantic finds itself in the position of praising the automobile for a very particular purpose.

The article is entitled America’s Top Killing Machine. The subheading deserves a close reading:

“Gun deaths are poised to surpass automobile deaths in the United States this year.”

My initial reaction to this was visceral: “It’s January 12th of this year, you moron.” In what world can we accurately predict the outcome of hundreds of thousands of complex incidents eleven and a half months before the final tally is taken? If this kind of logic-allergic thinking is worthy of publication in The Atlantic, I have a few more stories for them:

“Heads are poised to surpass tails in coin tosses this year.”

“The number 33 is poised to kick major ass in lotteries this year.”

“Jack Baruth is poised to win the Formula 1 WDC.”

Where’s this factoid come from? Oh, wait: it’s from the Center For American Progress, the same people who think that HIV is rampant in prisons because police seek out and target HIV-positive individuals for arrest and prosecution. I can’t wait for them to explain to me that wasp nests are full of wasps because the patriarchy is kidnapping free-ranging wasps and placing them there. (If any of you care, a far more likely explanation for high HIV rates in prison is the fact that about one in twenty inmates reports being raped in a given year, often by HIV-positive fellow inmates.)

The CFAP’s predictions aren’t worth the paper on which the Starbucks cups consumed by their over-privileged creators are printed, but they align with the desired story so they’re taken as fact. That, by the way, is the biggest problem with the American media in 2015: we regularly skip fact-checking on things that confirm our own beliefs. If you sent me a press release entitled “The Viper TA 2.0 cures cancer in children” I wouldn’t even think of calling anybody for an opposing opinion. If you sent me one with completely factual content like “Licking the hot exhaust pipes of a Viper can burn the tongues of children”, I’d call you a racist or some other word the meaning of which has been degraded by rabid and ignorant usage to simply mean “bad” and bury it under my Recycle Bin.

The Atlantic is eager to push the message of the day, which is simply “Guns (in private hands) should be restricted further”, so they have to temporarily share a bed with the people who have lauded the increasing safety of modern automobiles. They don’t have to like it, however. Can you spot the ridiculous excuse-making going on here:

The number of fatalities on the roads in the United States has been going down for years as fewer young people drive, car safety technology improves, and even as gas prices climb. (Lower gas prices are correlated with more deaths. A $2 drop in gasoline is linked to some 9,000 additional road fatalities per year in the United States, NPR recently reported.) Though even as fatal transportation incidents dropped in 2013, they accounted for two in five fatalities in the workplace in the United States that year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Did you spot it? Let me give you a paragraph with which to compare it:

The number of new chicks Jack hits it off with every year has been going down for a few years as sunspots appear, Jack advances into a remarkably unflattering late middle age, and even as new Terence Howard/Taraji P. Henson projects reach television. Though even as Jack slows down, he’s still accounting for two in five ruined marriages in Central Ohio that year, according to a random post on Facebook.

In other words: Cars are becoming really safe, but that’s off-message. The idea that the automotive industry is proactively creating safer vehicles has to be glossed over at all costs. If cars come to be accepted as both really safe and impressively efficient, it becomes more impossible to get rid of them and usher in the utopia of the future in which everyone lives above a bodega in Williamsburg and telecommutes to their job doing social justice reporting for Horticulture Weekly or something like that. It also hampers the creation of a public mandate for the government to regulate the living shit out of passenger vehicles until they all look like Chiwetel Ejiofor’s CUV in “Children Of Men”.

As if that admitting the reduction in the loathsomeness of the privately-owned automobile wasn’t difficult enough for The Atlantic, it turns out there’s another problem: gun deaths are going down, too, even as the population increases! Ugh. How are we going to get a public policy heavily regulating cars and guns if they keep becoming more benign? It’s a hard-knock life. However, given that much of the editorial material in this country written concerning automobiles and firearms consists entirely of appeals to emotion, it’s not terribly unusual for that fact to find itself simply omitted from most of that material.

There’s just one more somersault to be performed, and this time I’ll help you by replacing the useless posturing with ellipses so you can focus:

CDC data on firearms offers a more complicated picture, in part because of how the agency categorizes causes of death. Gun deaths can include suicides… the number of firearm homicides dropped dramatically over a 20-year period ending in 2011… suicides now account for the majority of gun deaths, according to Pew.

So, just so we’re clear despite massive efforts on all sides to make it unclear, the majority of “gun deaths” are suicides. Note, also, that only in the case of firearms are suicides ever added to the death toll by our servile media. A DOT survey of deaths on long-span bridges would be unlikely to include people jumping off them. When you ask your doctor how dangerous a medication is, he doesn’t include the suicides assisted by that drug in those deaths. Teenagers use Tylenol to kill themselves but I’ve never heard anybody suggest that Tylenol is responsible for suicide, or call a suicide a “Tylenol death”. Sixteen hundred people have died jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge but the media never refers to the Golden Gate as “the deadly bridge”.

Can we effectively recast the entire Atlantic article into a single, mostly unbiased paragraph? I believe we can. Let’s try:

“It is possible that deaths where a firearm is involved will overtake deaths where a car is involved in the year 2015. Both categories have seen significant declines over the past twenty years. In vehicular deaths, improvements in passive safety have been a major contributor to that decline. In firearms deaths, decreases in violent crime have been a major contributor. The majority of firearms-related deaths are self-inflicted. The majority of automotive-related deaths are not self-inflicted. Which means that unintentional deaths by car are still much more common than unintentional deaths by gun. Every one of those deaths remains regrettable and unnecessary.”

Statements like that one don’t drive a particular agenda, but they are effective platforms on which to start building solutions. Statements like the ones peppering the Atlantic article are actively harmful to the process of finding solutions to either automotive-related deaths or firearms-related deaths, because they focus on predetermined conclusions. You can’t do science that way, you can’t improve the human condition that way, and it’s depressing that some of our country’s best minds continue to work that way. Luckily for all of us, there are still people who work on improving crash resistance and ameliorating the root causes of violent crime anyway. There are still people who are focused on truth, not agenda. Those people, like Woody Guthrie’s guitar, are machines that kill — and they kill everything from fascism to socialism.

Just a reminder of our comment policy: You can attack me, you can attack public institutions or figures, but be respectful to each other — JB

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297 Comments on “The Machine That Kills The Most Americans Is…...”


  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Back out suicides and the numbers aren’t even close.

    You can’t equate someone who intentionally harms himself with accidental automobile death.

    • 0 avatar

      If we eliminate guns, cars, viruses, bacteria and everything else that kills people – they will live forever!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        OMG, then we’re faced with overpopulation, what a world, what a world…

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Cars aren’t designed as lethal weapons, BTSR. Guns are.

        That puts guns in a different category.

      • 0 avatar

        @btsr

        We actually need bacteria and viruses. Some of them can kill us, but a modern hazard is that too much antibiotics kill many of our beneficial bacteria (especially in the gut), screwing up our metabolism and other bodily functions. (In fact, the only reliable cure for C. difficile, a really nasty gut infection is the fecal transplant [google it].) Now, new research, which I just wrote about for Microbe’s February issue, is suggesting that viruses may be of similar importance.

        Jack, if you’re reading this, this story gave me my best laugh of the week so far, and very possibly my best laughs of the year so far! And I mean that in a complimentary way.

        Oh, and, how times have changed. I shot 22s at age 7, at MIT day camp. My parents got my brother a BB gun when he was maybe 12. My parents were lefties. My mother was a pacifist, whose first words to my father, as he–dressed in his wwii fatigues–tried to engage her in conversation in the quad at Harvard were, “how could you bring yourself to fight!”

        http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/02/david-holzman/toy-gun-bash-story/

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @David C. Holzman
          @BTSR –
          Multicellular organisms are sexual i.e. need genetic material from 2 sources due to bacteria and virus’s. It makes it harder for them to overwhelm us.

          We worry about bugs in relation to sex but sex exists because of them.

          Antibiotics kill good bacteria and turn our bacteria into “superbugs”. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” must of been written with microbes in mind.

          @Jack Baruth –
          “we regularly skip fact-checking on things that confirm our own beliefs.”

          It is basic human nature and I’ve mentioned it multiple times, we do not seek the truth, we seek validation of our beliefs.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yes, but having a gun on hand makes suicide much easier, and more likely. Or so I’m told:
      http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/gun-ownership-and-use/

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        ” Or so I’m told”

        Did you really need someone to tell you that?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The U.S. has a lower overall suicide rate than nations with strict controls – or outright bans – on firearms ownership. Banning guns will not ultimately reduce the suicide rate. It reduces the rate of suicides committed via a firearm, but people quickly find other ways to kill themselves.

        • 0 avatar
          strafer

          Yeppers.
          S. Korea has one of the strictest gun laws in the world, but also has one of the highest suicide rates.

        • 0 avatar
          kmoney

          An increase in single car accidents around peak suicide periods has often been attributed to suicides, even though such deaths can’t conclusively be put in to that category, as there is no concrete way to gauge intent.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          According to the CDC 68% of homicides are due to firearm assaults.

          A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership.

          Blaming suicides as a contributing cause of high gun deaths is obfuscation at its finest.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            So what? A gun is a great tool for homicide and they are common enough in the US. What you are not saying but trying to infer is that without the guns those deaths would not happen. That is undeniably false. You also ignored the fact that homicide includes suicide and even rightful acts of defense. Tell me, if guns were banned and the homicide rate stayed the same (and it would if the UK is any indicator) would you be happy? Would it really be better for those people to die in other ways?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Drewlssix – That same study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed a strong correlation between homicide in the home and firearms in the home.

            Homicide is not suicide. They are categorized differently and by definition completely different.

            The word “cide” is Latin for death.

            Here are a few prefixes that go with “cide”:

            sui – (Latin) oneself
            homi – (Latin) “homo” meaning man
            geno – (Greek) “génos” meaning race,kind
            pesti – (Latin) “pesti(s)meaning plague
            herbi – (Latin) grass, plant

            I am not inferring that without guns those deaths would not happen. The obvious inference is: “where there are more guns there are more deaths”.

            Here is a metaphor for you; Not all hemorrhagic deaths in West Africa are caused by Ebola but most are.

            I’m sourcing the CDC and Medical Journals not Left Wing sites.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            *snicker* you said “homo”

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            What? Gun crime is highest in Chicago and NY, where gun laws are strictest. Gun ownership has been skyrocketing nation wide as homicides plummet.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            Lou, if your studies are remotely accurate how has the homicide rate dropped by half during a time when gun ownership has risen astronomically? If your numbers reflected reality the suicide and murder rate must have sky rocketed in the last two decades, but especially these last few years. How do you explain the rise in assaults and murders in the UK since the gun ban and the slight but noticeable rise in gun related crimes post ban? I have a dealing these results are like the ” you are more likely to kill a family member than a criminal” line that is passed around. Statistically passable but dishonest in the extreme as a statement.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Drewlssix – I’m citing the results and interpretations of data published in medical journals and from the CDC not right wing or left wing propaganda.

            Unless you happen to be an expert in statistical analysis I’m inclined to believe the CDC.

            Do you smoke?

            You remind me of the early decries from pro-Tobacco that there was no link to cancer.

      • 0 avatar
        an innocent man

        This is why there are no suicides in Japan.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        I’d love to see statistics on what percentage of those committing suicide by firearm are the legal owners of the guns they use.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        Tell that to the Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      And of course we should be talking rates, not totals.

      Rates (n/i of suicide) per population for guns (and ideally a second number to reflect that outside of some specific demographics and subcultures, gun violence is staggeringly rare).

      Rates per passenger mile for autos.

      • 0 avatar
        ckb

        “Rates (n/i of suicide) per population for guns…
        Rates per passenger mile for autos.”

        That’s not a fair comparison. Not everyone is a gun user but every passenger mile accumulated comes from a car user. The most fair comparison I can come up with would be rate of gun deaths per hour of use vs car deaths per hour of use.

        When you consider that somewhere around 100 million americans use a car for an hour or so Every Day, hearing that the total death count is anywhere in the same ballpark as non suicide gun deaths sounds pretty striking…to me anyway. (then again I don’t have a gun so I don’t know if all that do spend an hour stroking them before bed to make the use rate even out.)

        I don’t have a problem with guns, I just have a problem with the very vocal minority that thinks gun ownership rights is the biggest crisis facing humanity (white US humanity anyway). The US has 0.9 guns per capita. Thats 50% higher than the next highest gun owning country…SERBIA! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country)

        The NRA et. al. is just as bad (worse I’d say) than this type of article, they’re just too f’ing paranoid to realize that they’ve already won. Thats what makes the NRA sound like a bunch of…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Heh. I know one man who might have the equivalent of four or five Serbian villages in his home at that rate.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @ckb – I do tend to agree with your post. The whole “I need a gun to protect myself from that 240lb “hominid” is a hugely misplaced fear. Example:After 9-11 more people drove due to fear of more hijacks. There was an increase in automotive death because of it.

          Here is a an abstract of a study published in “PubMed”(US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9715182
          Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.
          CONCLUSIONS:
          Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            Inilectually dishonest tripe. You pose a pro vs con statement and horribly misrepresent the pro. Yes, killing of innocents is bad. But you represent the killing of assailants as the only pro. THAT is the lie. There are at the very least tens of thousands of self defense gun uses in the US every year. Going by a study produced by the anti gun rights Brady campaign there are around 50,000-60,000 defensive gun uses annually. The FBI estimates well over 100,000 annually based on actual crime reports. Independent studies estimate upwards of one million a year. A dead bad guy is not remotely the only measure of effective defensive gun use. The FBI estimates that well over 90% of all defensive gun uses are settled with no shots fired. That both the assailant and would be victim leave in scathed. Of the incidents involving gun fire most of those are non fatal. So by representing the rare justified homicide as the only use of a gun for defense you are spitting in the faces of countless would be victims. I personally know several people who have used a gun in self defense, most never reported it and none actually killed a person. What can we take from these numbers? How about the fact that despite accusations the people of the gun are overwhelmingly good people who avoid at almost all costs harming others.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Yup- and of the remaining gun deaths, something like 80% of the are people with criminal records shooting other people with criminal records (and it’s already illegal for felons to have guns). The last little bit are the accidents, TV-style murders, and self-defense shootings.

      If “gun deaths” are really the problem, then the solution is to have a public awareness campaign about exit bags- basically a bag over your head where you pump in an inert gas like N2 or He to displace the O2 and CO2. Without O2, you suffocate, without CO2, you don’t even realize it’s happening. Painless, and no big mess for your family to clean up. Also a lot cheaper than a gun

      Come on guys- with your help we can cut gun deaths in half within a year!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The criminals killing criminal argument. Here is the whole research abstract:

        “OBJECTIVE:

        Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to injure or kill in self-defense, compared with the number of times these weapons are involved in an unintentional injury, suicide attempt, or criminal assault or homicide.

        METHODS:
        We reviewed the police, medical examiner, emergency medical service, emergency department, and hospital records of all fatal and nonfatal shootings in three U.S. cities: Memphis, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and Galveston, Texas.
        RESULTS:
        During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.
        CONCLUSIONS:
        Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.”

        Lets break this down:

        – 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence
        – 54 unintentional shootings ……….9%
        – 118 attempted or completed suicides..19%
        – 438 assaults/homicides …………..70%
        – 13 (3 were police) shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense …………………..2%

        For every JUSTIFIABLE SELF DEFENCE SHOOTING:
        – 4 ACCIDENTAL SHOOTINGS
        – 7 CRIMINAL ASSAULTS/HOMICIDES
        – 11 ATTEMPTED/COMPLETED SUICDES

        Yup, fur sshur……………..

        sounds like intellectual tripe to me too.

        • 0 avatar
          PeteRR

          The blind spot in the study is this: The huge and vast majority of the time when a firearm is used to deter crime, no shots are fired and nobody is killed or wounded. That is certainly true in the two instances when I used a firearm to deter an aggressor.

  • avatar
    0menu0

    wassup punk….wassup fool…..
    That has to be the lamest “movie villain” car ever

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Excellent article Jack..Your are spot on and I am glad you live in Ohio and not FL. Unfortunately there will always be folks with the Chicken Little syndrome. For-instance I will use the most recent terror of the West, Texting. Even the DOT own federal stats will tell you (you know this as it was already on this site last year) that texting and driving kills (it can and does). They would have you to believing that it is number one on the list even though their own stats say its like 5th or 6th, you know right behind getting a handjob while driving.

    By the way I have visited some other work you are doing, keep up the good work.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    An interesting commentary to say the least. I don’t necessarily agree with it because we’ve all seen the results of a too-liberal gun policy in the number of mass murders by people who should have never had access to them. On the other hand, while reducing the number of auto-related deaths, cars themselves have become a series of life’s most expensive purchases that over the lifetime of the driver may even exceed the purchase price of said driver’s home or homes. Even I currently drive a car that cost more than the house my parents purchased in 1965 while still under construction. My car payment on my most recent acquisition is 3x my parents’ mortgage payment they carried for 25 years. (Their bank begged them to pay it off early with thousands of dollars in discounts.) Of course, that house is valued at near $150,000 today, but many of today’s most popular vehicles cost half that in MSRP on the lot.

    • 0 avatar

      Did you inflation adjust your dollars?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Of course not. That was part of my point.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Question, do you have any evidence what so ever that strict gun control positively effects gun related crime? Or crime in general? The UK has among the strictest gun control in the English speaking world and yet their crime rates have gone up as the U.S. crime rates have dropped. A near total hand gun ban has shown zero decrease in gun related crimes while assaults and specifically rape have gone up more than 50% in twenty years. Criminals still get guns when they want them and UK subjects seem more vulnerable to predation than ever. It has gotten so bad that it effects the tourism trade, European travelers know well that the UK is a dangerous place.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “The UK has among the strictest gun control in the English speaking world and yet their crime rates have gone up as the U.S. crime rates have dropped.”

            Considering the per capita gun-related death rate in the US is 40 times that of the UK, your argument doesn’t make much sense. (I’m a gun owner btw, so not anti-gun)

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            Hybrid: How so? The UK has always had a much lower murder rate, even before the US or UK had any real gun laws.

            The liberal argument has always been that liberalized gun laws (like concealed carry proliferation, or the lapse of the AWB) would result in a dramatic increase in gun crime, and more gun control would reduce it. Well, crime has gone up in the UK and down in the US. Looks like that argument made a testable claim and it has been falsified.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            News flash for you: I have no desire to give up my ccw license or my guns.

            My point was that your argument was just plain bad. If you’re trying to suggest that slacker gun laws don’t lead to more gun deaths then you couldn’t have picked a worse comparison. (40:1 PER CAPITA death rate? You seriously think that helps your argument?)

            And you can’t make the leap that stricter gun laws directly result in a higher crime rate – there’s simply no credible data to substantiate that.
            Crime rate TRENDS (up or down) are much more complicated and could be caused by many factors.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @Vulpine

      Kind of a bizarre argument. House prices and car prices are simply not comparable. A car costs pretty much the same anywhere in the country, but a house’s value is primarily determined by its location. My little shack that I paid $128K for 14 years ago (now worth $225K on a good day), would be worth ~$40K today in far northern Maine, or a couple million in the the Bay Area or Seattle. Or $350K if it was 2 miles down the road in Falmouth ME instead of Westbrook ME. For basically the exact same 1200sq/ft 3br 1bth house. All that ultimately matters for buying either a house or a car is whether you can afford it or not. When I take delivery of my next car, I will certainly have spent more on cars in the past 14 years than I paid for my house, by quite a lot actually. So what? 14 years ago I could afford the house, today I can afford the car. I am neither house poor nor car poor, and neither are the vast majority of people. Though I freely admit that one reason I can afford a $50K car is that I only bought a $128K house.

      On the subject of guns, I feel either no one should have guns, or we should have a Heinlein-esk society where EVERYONE is armed at all times (and everyone is *very* polite). It’s this halfway in-between that seems to be an issue. If I was going to kill myself, I would simply point my Spitfire at the nearest large tree, and go out in a blaze of Olde Englishe Glory.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    This isn’t predicting the lottery. The number of deaths by cars has been decreasing every year, the number of deaths by guns has been steady or, if anything, decreasing at a lower rate. If you want to look at the rates year-over-year, you can see them at http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122535 .

    No, we don’t know the exact date when the lines will cross, but when you have two lines, one of which is described by something like y=10-x/30 and the other of which is described by something like y=5-x/70, they’re gonna cross eventually, unless something changes significantly.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I wanted to read all of this but my brain shut off once Jack decamped from reality with how he thinks we can’t predict future trends. Your own site posts nearly a continuous stream of sales projections and you never froth wildly at those but the second a progressive research center does a similar analysis you’re ready to explode.

    Suffice to say your hand-wringing is pointless. As it stands gun laws aren’t going to change as long as the GOP maintains minority control (2014-16 will be the short span where they get vetoed continuously). The core issue at hand is that we refuse to pay for the police needed to make the world safer, so you’ll hear little argument from me on ‘gun control’ beyond basic background checks and other minor changes. But the slathering of right-wing nonsense just made me not bother to read further.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      What do you intend to achieve by studiously avoiding all brushes with reality?

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Didn’t read further, i.e. placed hands over ears and moaned in horror. Too bad you prejudged, because it wasn’t about right or left wing principles, merely seeking truth in proclamations that are deliberately obtuse.

      Read the f ing article before opening the big mouth. Derek’s been complaining about people who cannot read or refuse to read, and deliver lectures of utter pomposity to the rest of us based on nothing at all.

      That’s what I have to say about that to you.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        I read the whole thing, and xeranar’s point stands. Spending half the article pretending we can’t make statistical projections doesn’t achieve anything.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Whether or not his point stands, he says he didn’t read the article, so it is entirely irrelevant. I could make a random comment about the llamas in Peru, and it might be correct by chance, because my knowledge on that subject is zilch. Which is about what his words amount to – the broken clock being right twice a day syndrome.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Okay, so he deserve the criticism. But that does not invalidate his argument. There would appear to be a double standard.

        • 0 avatar
          fvfvsix

          I’m with Jack. I really don’t think it’s possible to develop statistical projections about how many people will kill themselves and/or others with a firearm in a given year when we’re only 15 days into said year. Society just doesn’t work that way.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Of course these projections can be made. Reams of data are collected that can be crunched and turned into forecasts.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            The sun will rise in the east, and it will do so precisely 365 times in 2015. How do I know this? Historical data.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “The core issue at hand is that we refuse to pay for the police needed to make the world safer”

      How many cops would that be, and how would they do that?

      I’m absolutely serious, by the way. I just have no idea how many cops you think would “make the world safer”, or how they’d do it, unless they’re just magically “saferizing” by existing.

      Let alone how it’d get paid for.

      (As other people have said, when you start with “right wing nonsense” you lose everyone but fellow-travelers.

      I mean, I guess it makes life easier if “guns not bad!” is simply labeled as “right wing nonsense” and then ignored.

      Then again, the idea that ‘basic background checks’ is something you think doesn’t already *exist*, or that more of them will Somehow Stop Bad Things, is bafflingly inconsistent with reality.)

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “Then again, the idea that ‘basic background checks’ is something you think doesn’t already *exist*, or that more of them will Somehow Stop Bad Things, is bafflingly inconsistent with reality.”

        In most states they DON’T exist for private party sales and FTF sales at gun shows.
        And this argument that just because a law won’t prevent all bad behavior it shouldn’t exist is the worst kind of nonsense. Do you know of ANY law that is 100% effective? Even if it only prevents a few deaths it’s still worth doing. (and please spare me the “slippery slope” argument)

        I’m a gun owner btw, so not anti-gun.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “(and please spare me the “slippery slope” argument)”

          Let me get this straight, you have a conceal carry permit and you think that the Brady Bill/MDA/Bloomberg crowd that wants 30rd semi auto rifles banned isn’t already coming after handguns?

          What world do you live in?

          “Even if it only prevents a few deaths it’s still worth doing.”

          The worst statement anyone’s probably ever uttered, and the justification for endless draconian laws the world over. Why don’t we just all live in padded rooms and never go outs1de? That’ll prevent quite a few deaths from occurring! Regulating privately owned pools in peoples’ backyards to no deeper than 2 feet would save many more childrens’ lives than any gun ban could.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            The problem with that “slippery slope” thing is that you can apply it to anything. There are simply no absolutes in this world – even the taking of a human life is conditional on circumstances.
            All public policy issues are nuanced and incremental – it’s never “all or nothing”.

            Even people who favor banning handguns have to acknowledge that it would be equivalent to the war on drugs – unrealistic and virtually unenforceable.

            If you’d calm down for 5 seconds you might realize that we possibly agree on a lot more aspects to this than we disagree.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          The problem is you misunderstand the point of laws. Laws can not prevent crime. Laws against murder do not and can not prevent crime. That is not the intention of practical laws. The idea of laws as deterrents is well and truly disproven. We know from countless attempts that harsher laws and harsher penalties do not prevent crime. Practical laws as I said are not put in place to prevent the crime they address but the provide consistent actions to be taken in response to crimes after they are committed. The two points of executing a law after a crime is committed is primarily to satisfy the public at large. Fairness is an important thing to most people and a sense of unfairness is probably the most destructive element of a society. The secondary and closely related purpose of a law is the prevent the wronged party or those close to them from acting as vigilantes. In that regard a well implemented law CAN prevent crimes, crimes in the form of retribution. This is typically seen in subsets of society that are either removed from the mainstream ( immigrants, religious sects etc) or within subcultures that believe rightly or otherwise that the system works against them. Imp this is where we see the bulk of our homocides, within ethnic subcultures where the idea is they can not trust the law of the greater society. The rational tactic then is not to arbitrarily increase restrictions and laws (as the people you are trying to restrict already defy your law) but to in one way or another alter the perception of those who commit and tolerate said crime so that they believe within reason that the legal system can be trusted to mediate the aftermath of initial crimes.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Police do not prevent crime – they just clean up afterward and look for whodunit.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I like how quickly everybody bandwagoned to ‘well you didn’t read all of it!’ after I made a humorous turn of phrase. I actually did read the entire thing. He spends 2/3rd of the article decrying how we can’t possibly know then complaining that the idea that gun violence and car violence should be equated. I understand exactly what he is saying and frankly I actually support gun ownership. You’ll never hear me wanting to remove guns from the hands of individuals but your knee jerk reaction to calling out Jack’s BS as a right-wing nonsense (which it is, as well as anti-intellectualism at its finest) got you hot and bothered.

      Suffice to say the increase of police officers in metro areas to the point where they can patrol on foot has proven much more effective because ‘community policing’ is about the only effective policing we have. The cost is actually substantial but as it just turned there are more poor in suburbia than anywhere else now so the cost of crime reduction is actually going to get cheaper per capita. But that’s a discussion for another day.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    If you want to decrease gun violence, end the War on Drugs. If you’re not interested in ending the War on Drugs, fine, but stop telling me you want to end gun violence.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      This guy gets it. Stop blaming the symptom for the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        That’s a big part of it. The Swiss have more guns per person than the U.S. (or about the same) and very low gun crime. The problem is cultural, it does not result from guns.

        • 0 avatar
          zamoti

          It’s interesting how people get so hot about the notion of guns; it’s a type of weapon, but still just a weapon. Get a gun ban, watch the sales of $5 machetes from Harbor Freight go through the roof. Then what, a machete ban?
          Have we learned nothing from the Simpsons?! Remember when they got rid of all the guns and then the aliens came? Moe got creative with his nail-emblazoned 2×4 and came correct. Could be a plain 2×4, a pointed stick or even a poo stick!
          Weapons come in all forms, so if someone wants to pop someone else or even themselves they can get creative which is why don’t see why everyone gets in a lather about guns given all the delightful alternatives.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            Sorry, but that’s a very flawed argument in a virtual sea of them.
            Anyone – man, woman, child, paraplegic – can kill with a gun, and with terrifying ease. Despite what you see in the movies, it’s not that easy to kill someone with a machete or a 2×4 – physically OR emotionally.
            And I can’t say I’ve ever heard of an accidental machete death.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            It is a terribly flawed argument, but given the source, is it really a surprise?
            Besides the only point I was making is that weapons come in many forms; I made no claims of the relative ease of use from one to the next.
            But really, maybe if we replaced guns with 2x4s homocide would be that much harder, suicide would be darn near impossible and perhaps more people would take up carpentry as a hobby instead of murder.
            I’d vote for me.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            True story – back in 1995, I was sitting at my desk in my downtown Portland, ME apartment, which happened to overlook a convenience store/gas station one summer evening. I noticed a commotion in the parking lot – one kid whacked another kid with a machete. Sliced kid, bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig, starts banging on the store window for help. In moments, about 1/2 the Portland PD shows up. Very exciting. But the kid lived. Had the other kid had a gun, there probably would have been a chalk outline on the parking lot. this is what passed for “gang activity” in Portland 20 years ago.

            I agree – the hands on killing of someone is a very different thing than shooting them from some distance away. The knife IS the most popular murder weapon in the UK, but their murder rate is ~1/5 of ours.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Most people who support ending the war on drugs also want guns more heavily regulated. I count myself in among those who support both.

      Mind you, I’d also like to see something done on the developing world’s number-one killer: high-sugar foodstuffs. Diabetes and heart disease kill and maim more people than terrorism and drugs combined and cost fantastic amounts of money to treat retroactively, but you don’t see a War On Bad Nutrition.

      The issue of drugs and guns is one of shocking hypocrisy: the same people who lose their minds about guns and drugs are also the same people who fight tooth and nail against the social programs that help people mired in poverty or suffering from mental illness. You want your toy gun? Fine, but there’s a social cost you can pay.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        As a Soldier who is repeatedly threatened by ISIS and other groups that have demonstrated the ability and will to do harm, my Gun is not a toy nor is it a threat to you. Why is it when I go to war to fight these same folks I have to carry all manners of rifles and machine guns but when I get home I am some sort of kook for wanting to protect myself and family from the same sort of people in addition to the rest of the crazies out there?

        Additionally you speak of hypocrisy. Frankly in my opinion those advocating more and more firearms “regulations” who want to do it in a manner other than changing the Second Amendment show that same hypocrisy. Be honest here. With regards to regulation, try to lawfully concealed carry if you live on a military installation. I don’t mean carrying on the installation. That is a no go and while I may not agree I respect those rules but the additional “regulations” make it very difficult to exercise my rights. What would be so terrible about carrying my weapon in its holster to my home and securing it in my safe. Instead I have to stop, clear it, place the weapon on the left rear seat in view, place the ammo somewhere else and inform the gateguard that I have the weapon and the purpose of my having it. This doesn’t happen every time (mainly when my oldest child is in the seat that the pistol is supposed to go in). These are 2013 rules which make it difficult to exercise a Constitutionally protected right and seem to have no other purpose (Would Nidal Hassan have gone through all this?). So pardon me if the concept of “increased regulation” ruffles me a bit.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I wore my bathing suit to church last Sunday and everyone thought I was a kook, but on Saturday when I went to the beach no one thought anything of it.

          I find it a bit disturbing that you’re having trouble differentiating between war and taking your daughter to school

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Oh no, I have no issue with that, trust me once you have smelled Iraq and Afghanistan you’ll be able to tell. My issue is that we have ISIS…an organization that our own government has deemed dangerous enough to to deploy thousands of troops to defeat, advise Soldiers to sanitize their Facebook pages lest they be targeted, and have demonstrated ability to carry out a complex attack in a western country stating over and over that it is their goal to kill US Soldiers and their families here in the US and attempting to inspire people to do just that. I am not talking walking around with a 240B here but I think my little 7 round pistol is prudent.

            And I never carry taking my kids to school as they attend on post schools and as I mentioned, carrying on post is a no go (as are schools off post I imagine). Unlike criminals I follow rules.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            @Lie2me

            Sorry, the bathing suit thing is cute, but it is also clearly an attempt to make mkirk look like a kook.

            I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I am responsible for the safety of my house and my family. So, I’ve sought the training and the tools necessary to be able to respond in the event my own personal policeman doesn’t answer when I call him. If every good citizen truly became responsible for his/her little corner of society (rather than passing it off to some fictitious uber-cop), the earth would be a better place.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The man was talking about what a hassle it is to function in everyday America heavily armed even with his young daughter in the car compared to the ease of functioning heavily armed when he’s in a war zone. HE said people thought he was some kind of kook. I was merely agreeing with him and used an example to explain why.

            Your input is appreciated even if you don’t understand the exchange

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            @lie2me, that wasn’t really my point. On the contrary it is quite the pain to function “heavily armed” in a warzone. Ask anyone who has carried a SAW for a deployment. My point was that sometimes these “regulations” you speak of serve no purpose other than discouraging the exercise of a right. The Army has made it difficult to live on post and carry, as a result few do. However no one intent on doing harm will follow those regulations.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            @Lie2me

            cute retort. touche. Although I’m pretty sure I understood mkirk better than you did.

            You say heavily armed, I say not armed enough.

          • 0 avatar
            zbnutcase

            Apparently you do not understand the world you live in. Wow, truly low hanging fruit here.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had to carry a M249 SAW/PARA, 240B, or M60 and it was never an enjoyable experience. I am a big guy and didn’t get an “Expert” marksmanship badge in BT or AIT. Therefore, they gave the ox that wasn’t the best shot a SAW. I always joked that when they pushed me, with all my gear on, out of the plane with everyone else, I’d get to the ground first. Why couldn’t I be 5’8″ and get an M4?

            The M249 PARA was what I carried most of my time while deployed.

      • 0 avatar
        an innocent man

        I seem to recall a chart that shows the dramatic increase in Diabetes, and it matches nicely with the increase in Corn subsidies. As I tell my kids, High Fructose Corn Syrup is the most toxic substance in the universe.

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          You’re totally right: The #1 cause of death in the U.S. right now is heart attack and cardiovascular/metabolic disease. It wasn’t always so, and High Fructose Corn Syrup is very much a bad actor in the trend that got us here.

          Seriously, corn subsidies kill people. It’s a disgrace that the power of the agribusiness lobby perpetuates Congressional support for the subsidies even in the face of vast quantities of science.

      • 0 avatar

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “As a Soldier who is repeatedly threatened by ISIS and other groups that have demonstrated the ability and will to do harm, my Gun is not a toy nor is it a threat to you.”

        Yes, it is a harm to me. It makes the world a sick place.

        I’d rather see the west carpet Syria with bags of antibiotics, flour, non-perishable foodstuffs and cooking oil (instead of bombs), and invade with corps of engineers and medics (instead of soldiers). I think you’d see a marked decrease in jihadism if more potential jihadis had something to live for.

        I’ve said it before: slightly-fat, happy, regularly-laid people don’t blow themselves up, or shoot other people up. Not in any serious numbers.

        The war on terror is a lot like the war on drugs: misguided at the core, and actually making matters worse because it makes more criminals than it actually addresses.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “I’d rather see the west carpet Syria with bags of antibiotics, flour, non-perishable foodstuffs and cooking oil (instead of bombs), and invade with corps of engineers and medics (instead of soldiers). I think you’d see a marked decrease in jihadism if more potential jihadis had something to live for.”

          From your lips to God’s ear – if only we’d done that in Afghanistan instead of invading the wrong country in 2003 there would likely be no ISIS now.

          That said, it’s going to take many decades to undo the damage done by the criminally stupid Iraq invasion, and unfortunately will require some military intervention – ISIS has become an actual military force, we are no longer dealing with a ragtag bunch armed only with AKs and IEDs.

          As an aside, respect to mkirk for his service. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says but it sounds like he’s damn sure earned the right to say it.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Carpeting the Middle East with antibiotics, flour, non-perisable foods, cooking oil, etc would only be a waste of those supplies (Somalia is a good example). Also, sending in the Amry corps of engineers and medics would lead to beheaded medics.

          Our enemies are not sane and rational people. The War on Terror is, in many ways, misguided, but it’s too late to turn back now.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “The War on Terror is, in many ways misguided, but it’s too late to turn back now.”

            Sadly true.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            It is never too late to begin again more intelligently, or else we would still be pledging fealty to kings.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Well, lets just hit all the “hot buttons” today, shall we?

    Believe me the media has no trouble creating news when there is none, because everyone needs their daily fix of “OMG can you believe…”

    yeh

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    Oh great a gun thread. This will be fun.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      We still need threads on

      Race
      Religion
      Gay rights
      Obama
      NSA Spying
      Welfare mothers
      Deadbeat fathers
      Minimum wage
      ISIS
      Unemployment

      Hey, the day is only half over

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Jack Baruth writes for effect. And he gets it, evoking deeply-held, guttural comments.

        As a gun-owner, FFA3 licensee, and concealed-carry permit holder, I am not unbiased, so I will leave the commenting to others.

        But as an as!de, any of those topics, will generate a lot of hits. It’s all about what we each believe in.

        Effect, indeed!

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          What’s an FFA3?

          (I mean, seriously, I have no idea. I assume it’s a typo for something.

          Holder of an NFA (so called) “class 3” tax stamp?

          FFL Class 3 SOT dealer?)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Sigivald, I should have been more clear. It is a FFL3 with tax stamp and ATF endorsement to receive, register and sell fully automatic.

            In 1985 I partnered with a friend to open up a gunshop. He has long since died of old age and the store closed upon his death, years ago.

            I just kept renewing my licenses every year because they are a great form of I D, along with my CDL.

      • 0 avatar
        MPAVictoria

        As a Canadian I look at gun culture in the US and die a little on the inside. However, I fail to see why we need to talk about it on a car website.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          In Canada, you have more gun restrictions and a lot fewer gun deaths.

          Americans are only able to compare gun deaths to vehicle fatalities because we have so many more gun deaths. This firearms death toll thing has become a point of pride for some of us — we’re really good at using guns to kill each other and ourselves, and we take pride in providing leadership in this important population control strategy.

          As a bonus, this helps to keep trauma surgeons employed, so they’re great for the economy, too!

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            Are you saying Canada has stricter gun controls than NYC or Philadelphia?

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “we’re really good at using guns to kill each other”

            Actually, you’re really bad at, if we want to be truthful in our semantics.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Admittedly, it is tough smuggling weapons past the New York City border guards.

            Oh, wait a minute…

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – we do have stricter rules and fewer deaths. Interestingly enough i read somewhere that Canadians on a per capita basis have just as many guns as Americans.

            Your comment about Trauma surgeons is interesting. Maybe 15 years ago (don’t recall exactly), a ER Doctor working a department in East LA wanted to expose how bad the gun issue was and all efforts fell upon deaf ears until he contacted the military. He provided them with the statistics and they started using his ER as a training centre for Military Surgeons.

            Odd how a voice in the darkness saw no light but Military Training did.

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            >Admittedly, it is tough smuggling weapons past the New York City border guards.

            Oh, wait a minute…<

            No tougher than smuggling those same weapons into the dozen or so states that have a lower gun murder rate than Canada.

            Oh, derp…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Some people need to get out more often. Canada has a thing called a “border” and they have a team of folks who are paid to keep unwanted people and things on the side of it that is away from them.

            New York City has no such thing. Funny how that works.

          • 0 avatar
            56BelAire

            @PCH101…..Apples and Oranges.

            In Canada you also have 10% the population of the US(33,000,000). Of that population only 2.9% are Black and 1.2% Hispanic. In the US, over 30% of the population or over 100,000,000 are Black or Hispanic……..races which commit a disproportionate amount of the crimes/gun deaths.

            When Canada become the wonderful “diverse” community that the US is a comparison might be more apropos.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            So blacks aren’t Americans and their murders don’t count?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @56BelAire

            I rarely resort to this sort of thing, but you are an idiot.

            I live in a state that is WHITER than Canada, in fact, the very lily-whitest state in the nation (>95%), and our rate of gun related deaths is *5X* that of Canada, at ~10/100,000 vs. ~2/100,000. Which puts Maine merely mid-pack among the states for gun deaths.

            If you look at the ranked list of states by rate of gun deaths, most of the worst states are some pretty seriously white places, like Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. Highly diverse states like California are much lower.

            There is a MUCH stronger correlation between poverty and violence than race and violence. There are rarely gun battles in Beverly Hills or Greenwich. But I bet that gun death rates in Appalachia are comparable to those in Compton or Detroit.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I rarely resort to this sort of thing, but you are an idiot.”

            So much “idiot” here, so little time *sigh*

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “In Canada, you have more gun restrictions and a lot fewer gun deaths.”

            It’s really not much more, if at all restrictive to buy guns in Canada than the US. Similar paperwork and fees, registration of hand guns etc. Some particular models are harder to get, but tt’s about as easy to own an AR15 as most states for example. They try and push more safety courses on you, but it can be foregone with more paperwork.

            One difference is there is no concealed carry or open carry of handguns allowed in Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            I’m sorry but comparing US and Canadian crime rates straight up is irrelevant. If you want to prove that the U.S. should regulate guns because that would lower or crime rates then you need to compare other country’s crime rates before and after gun regulation. Sadly if you do you will see that there is no corolation between gun regs and crime. By all available statistical information if the U.S. banned guns and did as good a job as any other nation the gun crime rate would not drop and the assault rates would climb.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          +1

        • 0 avatar
          Maxb49

          @MPAVictoria

          Give me a break. You really don’t have a clue, do you?

        • 0 avatar
          an innocent man

          >As a Canadian I look at gun culture in the US and die a little on the inside.<

          If you think our gun culture is nuts, you should see our car culture. One of the leading causes of death for children, and nobody cares.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        You forgot subprime financing.

  • avatar
    Trauto

    I’m a gun owner but Robert Farago is contraindicated for proportional debate.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I don’t know why Americans can’t compromise. “Guys, guys! How about we trade gay marriage for you guys keeping your guns? Let gays and lesbians marry and you can have as many silenced MP5s as you can buy.”

    This is maybe why I’m not in politics.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Yes! I want gay married couples to be able to defend their marijuana stash with their AR-15s.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Thrown in the de-regulation of select fire automatics and we’ve got a deal!!!

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        That’ll lead to a whole lot less of people flipping each other off at intersections.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Why?

          I mean, contra Popular Myth, “road rage murder” doesn’t suddenly start being an epidemic when a state legalized either handgun possession or legal carry.

          I don’t see why removing the NFA would change that; a dude that’s not going to murder people for flipping him off with a pistol isn’t going to suddenly start doing so because he can get a … machine pistol.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yep, there’s nothing that more deadly about an AK47 with the full auto selector than a current civilian variant in semi only. In fact I’d argue the semi is more deadly as it encourages the shooter to space shots out and re-acquire the target in their sights.

            Pragmatic use for having full auto for me personally? Damn near nothing. It is a fun feature at the range, but shooting would become an even more costly hobby :p Again it is no more deadly, peoples’ perceptions come from Hollywood where Schwarzenegger rips off full magazines from the hip hitting wave after wave of henchmen. Nothing could be further from reality.

            If someone wants to shoot a semi auto fast and inaccurately, they can already do that by ‘bump firing’ the gun or simply operating the trigger very quickly.

            This goes back to the root of gun control. The people who want to enact it oftentimes know nothing about guns, or have never even shot one. It’s a fear of the unknown. People often tell me it’s dangerous to ride a motorcycle and how I’m a statistic waiting to happen. 99% of the time they’ve never ridden before and don’t care to try.

            I think the best way to convince people is not to get into drawn out arguments throwing around statistics and pulling on heart strings, it’s to take someone out to a range and do some target shooting. More often than not, by the end of the trip fear turns into “that was fun!” and before you know it your fearful friend now wants to get a plinker of their own.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “Yep, there’s nothing that more deadly about an AK47 with the full auto selector than a current civilian variant in semi only.”

            Except that an amateur nutbag with the full auto version can kill a lot more people in a lot less time.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Like I said, you’re implying that the amateur nutbag will be able to hit anything at all on full auto. He’ll be out of ammo in about 8 seconds.

            For someone trained, they’d kill a room of people equally efficiently with a semi automatic as with a full auto.

            Again, it’s movies that result in the stigma that full auto = scary, not any sort of rational statistics.

            As many in here have brought up, long guns are used in an exceedingly small minority of crimes. Mass shootings are a tiny drop in the bucket compared to regular street crime committed with handguns.

            If people actually wanted to make a dent in gun crime they’d go into the ghetto and sign up to be Big Brothers/Big Sisters. That would have a much larger effect, without restricting the rights of others.

            If these same people want to curb deaths of well to do suburban children, they should restrict/ban backyard swimming pools, they are much deadlier to kids.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “Like I said, you’re implying that the amateur nutbag will be able to hit anything at all on full auto.”

            The amateur nutbag won’t be anymore accurate with the semi auto. Untrained shooters have a hard time staying on target with each trigger pull and controlling recoil/muzzle flip. With full auto you don’t have to maintain aim with each trigger pull. If he manages to keep the full auto pointed at a close group of people and just holds the trigger, that 30 rounds can do a lot of human damage in a few seconds.

            “He’ll be out of ammo in about 8 seconds.”

            Doesn’t change anything for the people he killed in those 8 seconds. And if he does have time to slap in a fresh mag, well…

            “For someone trained, they’d kill a room of people equally efficiently with a semi automatic as with a full auto.”

            Which is why I said “amateur”.

            btw, I’m a gun owner with a ccw license, so I’m not anti-gun, I just don’t buy “I prefer to hunt deer with my AR15, because it’s, uh, better” – that’s a load of crap.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I’m a gun owner btw, so not anti-gun.”

            Another example of this ins1dious type of gun owner I mentioned before. “Take away the ones I don’t care for just don’t take mine”

            If you don’t like these types of guns fine, don’t buy one.

            You truly believe that allowing full auto long guns in a non- class 3 license type of arrangement will increase gun deaths in any statistically meaningful way? Oh it’ll be like Fallujah in every American city! Every time gun laws are loosened up the same group of people runs around screaming that the sky is falling. And every time, nothing happens. I won’t argue that more guns reduces crime, but arguing that more guns or more of a type of gun increases crime is just as hopeless. There simply isn’t enough correlation to support either case. Other indicators such as how the economy is doing and other socio-economic factors (prevalence of cheap , hard drugs) are a much better predictor of crime.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            Whether you like it or not, “insidious” people like me are the only thing standing between you and sweeping gun control legislation.

            “You truly believe that allowing full auto long guns in a non- class 3 license type of arrangement will increase gun deaths in any statistically meaningful way?”

            Would you care to elaborate on just whose lives are statistically unmeaningful?

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Sounds like Ron Paul’s platform in ’08 and ’12.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      As a Libertarian this deal would be a no brainer.

    • 0 avatar

      Personally, I’d be willing to legalize weed if they would also legalize 60 watt incandescent light bulbs and let me buy Allegra D without a background check.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        I’d be fine with legalizing marijuana if at the same time, we got rid of welfare.

        People want to destroy their brains and make themselves unemployable with wacky weed? Fine.

        As long as I’m not on the hook for their public assistance payments and medical bills, I don’t care what they do.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “Personally, I’d be willing to legalize weed if they would also legalize 60 watt incandescent light bulbs…”

        Good news, you just got your wish – incandescent bulbs are legal (I made a few calls).

        I’m personally hoping bag phones will make a comeback, those were really swell too…

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I still have a “bag phone” buried in a closet, it’s yours. Actually in 1995 it was a pretty damn good phone

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          CFLs suck as dimming ceiling pot lights. They burn out faster than incandescent bulbs in that application (and I used dimmable CFLs).

          I’d buy the LED floods, but they cost $20 each.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            LEDs bro, LEDs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yeah, LEDs, I’ve converted my entire house to LEDs and I’ll bet it’s been two years since I last had to change a bulb

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’ll think about it once the floods in my pot lights start burning out. So far, it’s been three years and all are still working. Every other bulb in my house is CFL or LED. I have ten year old CFLs in my house that I have moved with me from one place to another. They will all eventually be replaced with LEDs.

            My problem is that I have 20-25 flood lights in recessed lighting, in my house. That’s $500 to replace them all.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I did the floods one at a time as the old ones burned out. Not such a hit that way, just have to be sure you get the dimable

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            The thing about incandescents that most people don’t think about is all that waste heat – it actually adds to your cooling load in the summer (depending on where you live of course).

            So they waste energy not once, but TWICE.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Lie2Me-

            That’s the plan. I’m sure the cost will continue to go down. My outdoor rated LED floods were around $50 each a few years ago, and now similar bulbs are $27-$35.

            Hybrid-

            As far as the heat thing goes, I don’t keep lights on that much, especially in the summer. I know they’re wasting energy, but throwing away something that still works is an even bigger waste.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            bball40dtw, as much of a fan as I am of LEDs, I’m not making the switch yet – they’re still coming down in price. So yeah, I’m not suggesting you spend a lot to replace what’s still working.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I was a bit reluctant with the LEDs at first, but they’ve gotten so much better (much more incandescent color light) and so much cheaper and for those hard to get at bulbs, a godsend

  • avatar
    Nessuno

    Jack if you haven’t already, I would highly recommend reading Baudrillards System of Objects… (I’ve only been through the first para but it struck me as relevant)

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Is it more readable than anything else by Baudrillard I’ve ever given up on after half a chapter?

      (Seriously, the man is deliberately incomprehensible, even worse than Derrida.

      And I say this as a person who’s *tried* tried to read both, as a Philosophy degree holder.

      At least Foucault could write and express a clear idea in plain language, and Merleau-Ponty was a breath of fresh air even compared to Foucault.)

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, it’s an article about guns, so I figured it was only a matter of time before this was trotted out:

    “Teenagers use Tylenol to kill themselves but I’ve never heard anybody suggest that Tylenol is responsible for suicide, or call a suicide a “Tylenol death”. ”

    Except…Tylenol isn’t designed to be a deadly weapon. A rapist can’t stick a Tylenol at a woman’s throat and demand her to submit. Nutjobs with flaming orange hair can’t break into theaters and kill 12 people with the stuff. You can find other examples (kitchen knives, baseball bats, etc) of similar items with varied lethality that could possibly be used as a deadly weapon. But the common thread between all of them is that none are intended to be deadly weapons. Guns are. That is their purpose. They are specifically designed to be used in that fashion, and if the intent is to kill or seriously wound someone, or threaten such in the commission of a crime, they work better than just about any “possible deadly weapon” you could name. They can be used recreationally, for target shooting and such, but in the end, a gun is still a lethal weapon, designed for that purpose.

    That makes them a category unto themselves, and I wish people would stop trying to make the false equivalency with non-harmful items that CAN be used in harmful ways.

    It’s the only way you can have a discussion about this topic intelligently.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Finish that sentence:

      A gun is a lethal weapon designed to kill the bad man or beast.

      Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on brute force, as Mr. Colt sure made men (and women) equal in that regard.

      And, Jack, brilliant piece. Thank goodness cars are getting safer. We (as Paul Harvey would say, US, U. S.) could address the firearms fatalities by figuring out why so many people want to commit suicide, but getting America to release its embrace of the void is going to be really hard and cut into a lot of people’s money.

      • 0 avatar
        MPAVictoria

        “A gun is a lethal weapon designed to kill the bad man or beast.”

        Or 30 young children….

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          The deadliest school massacre in U.S. history happened in Michigan during the 1920s. It involved a deranged farmer who loaded up a Ford Model T with homemade explosives and drove it into a school. Perhaps we need Ford control…

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, geeber, maybe that’s why we regulate who can buy bomb-making materials and explosives.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Bomb making materials and assembly of explosive devices were illegal in both Iraq and Afghanistan my last visits…yet my ears still ring from the blasts.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            We also regulate the sale, possession and transfer of firearms. There are over 20 statutes at the federal level alone covering this. (And then there are the various state statutes.)

            The idea that firearms are not regulated in the areas of ownership, sale and possession is a myth.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Right, mkirk, and I’m sure it’s even easier to put together IEDs in, say, Darfur…but this is the United States. We joke and bitch about how dysfunctional our government is, but if you’ve been to Iraq or Afghanistan, you know what truly nonexistent governance looks like. And that’s why it’s so easy to get IEDs put together there…and, on the contrary side, why they’re rare here.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I would agree FreedMike, and while the low hanging fruit was all banned following Oklahoma City (Fertilizer in the correct concentration), Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother still figured out how to build a device that went boom. Honestly Iraq and Afghanistan both have functional Governments in comparison to many places. Think Somalia for example. But yes, I will 100 percent take our government at its worst any day over anywhere I have been.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “We also regulate the sale, possession and transfer of firearms.”

            In most states there is zero regulation of private party FTF sales, and no registration requirement.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            The majority of firearms sales are not private party sales, and there is no proof that registration requirements would do anything to prevent gun deaths.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “… And that’s why it’s so easy to get IEDs put together there…and, on the contrary side, why they’re rare here.”

            They’re rare because they’re illegal? So the minute bombs became freely available, ignoring for the moment that all manner of incendiary and toxic chemicals already are freely available, the hammer principle will come into effect and it’ll be open season on pizzerias and crowded busses?

            That’s complete and utter bullchit.

            There’s not a toolbox in the country without a razor blade in it. We don’t have female genital mutilation.

            You can have concentrated acids shipped to your door without as much as a signature. We don’t throw it in the eyes of women with the temerity to say “no.”

            And you can have guns by the tens of millions yet the only people out shooting each other in any meaningful numbers are Obama’s bastard sons.

            Civilized isn’t a cop. Civilized is a culture.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Dan:
            “They’re rare because they’re illegal?”

            No, they’re rare here because we have effective regulations that govern the purchase of chemicals that someone would use to make an bomb.

            That’s why we haven’t seen any repeats of horrific bombings like the one in Oklahoma City in 1995. The sale of the key ingredient in that type of bomb – ammonium nitrate – became highly regulated after the bombing. Can you imagine the kind of damage that could have been done at the Boston Marathon with a bomb like the one used in 1995 in Oklahoma City? They could have killed thousands of people.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Instead of explosives (which terrorists used in the early 1990s during the first World Trade Center bombings), terrorists switched to commercial jet liners, and killed many more than Timothy McVeigh did.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      You can’t talk intelligently about guns by including suicides with crimes committed against others. You say that guns are unique in their ability to be used as offensive weapons. Okay, so let the numbers for crimes committed against others do the talking. Getting rid of guns won’t save any suicides. Anyone willing to pull the trigger on themselves is committed to the idea and will find another effective method.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Ah the emotional angle of women getting raped, good one.

      In that same fashion, I will argue that the rapist could just as effectively use a knife, or simply his larger physical size to accomplish the same threat (and that’s what seems to happen easily as often as brandishing a firearm, but I have no data to support that). Now if that physically smaller woman had a concealed handgun and was trained in its use, that would be a rather effective deterrent would it not?

      Who do you suppose anti-gun legislation would dissuade from carrying around a firearm: the law breaking rapist, or the law abiding woman that is now at the mercy of a violent criminal?

      People who have carry permits generally are more law abiding than people who do not. This in part is selected for during the background checks. All proposed restrictions do is affect these law abiding people. Not the criminals who are already law breakers.

      People lobbying for these laws are oftentimes living in crime free lily white suburbs, paranoid about their children being shot at school (much more likely to get struck by lightning, and MUCH more likely to drown in a suburban swimming pool of which there are many in aforementioned suburb). Go look at Detroit, where the current police chief is advocating for citizens to arm themselves to defend their homes. He acknowledges that the police force is spread too thin and that response times are a joke. Who is some “Moms Demand Action” snob to tell folks living in a crime ridden neighborhood that they can’t have a decent home defense weapon?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “People lobbying for these laws are oftentimes living in crime free lily white suburbs, paranoid about their children being shot at school (much more likely to get struck by lightning, and MUCH more likely to drown in a suburban swimming pool of which there are many in aforementioned suburb).”

        And people lobbying AGAINST gun laws are also “oftentimes living in crime free white suburbs,” paranoid that someone will try to break into their house and kill them. In the “crime free white suburb” I live in, that is, as you say, about as likely as getting struck by lightning.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Here’s the difference: some guy in the suburbs legally owning some tricked out AR15 and some pistols that he goes and shoots on the weekend affects you in no way whatsoever. Taking that away changes absolutely nothing safety wise. He’ll probably never use it to defend himself, and he’s even less likely to go on some shooting spree with it as so many of the anti-gun people seem to assume normal gun owners do. Someone in Detroit has a 1/20 chance in being burglarized, and the latest crime data suggests that criminals are wisening up to the fact that homeowners are no longer such soft targets (breaking/entering is down significantly, as are car jackings)

          I too live in a pretty safe area, or what I thought was a safe area until we had 7 cars broken into one night and I later walked up on two guys rifling through someone’s car. Sure it’s only property crime right now, but I’m not taking any chances. I look at my guns as fire extinguishers. I sincerely doubt, and hope I never will have the need to actually use them as intended, but having them there in an emergency could make a big difference.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Technically, no that guy in the ‘burbs with an AR-15 isn’t going to affect me. But what if he decides to sell the rifle privately? In that case, he doesn’t need to conduct a background check.

            The “gun problem” isn’t the law abiding folks who buy them – its that they can sell them legally to non law abiding folks, and the only question they have to ask is “do you have enough money to buy this?” That makes it incredibly easy for criminals to get their hands on guns, and there are basically no repercussions for the seller.

            Combine that with the incredible number of guns out there, and you get a massive black market.

            So, no, that guy with the AR-15 isn’t going use it to cause trouble, but if he sells it privately to the wrong person, he could.

            Requiring universal background checks would help bring the people who sell guns irresponsibly into line, and it’ll also make the market for illegal guns tighter, which will drive up the price of the weapons.

            None of that solves the problem 100%, but it would help.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Here’s the difference: some guy in the suburbs legally owning some tricked out AR15 and some pistols that he goes and shoots on the weekend affects you in no way whatsoever. ”

            Until he or some member of his family has a breakdown.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            The federal government banned assault weapons for about a decade throughout the nation, and even several of its proponents admit that it really didn’t do anything.

            Over 30 states have liberalized their laws covering when a person can carry a concealed weapon in public since the early 1990s, and crime rates in general, and the homicide rate in particular, have continued to decline. This is contrary to the hysterical predictions of those opposed to these laws.

            Gun violence is largely confined to a few areas of various metropolitan regions. (Here in Harrisburg, when the local news reports that there has been a shooting, I can predict the neighborhood where it happened, and 90+ percent of the time I’m right.) The majority of these people are already ignoring all of the state and federal laws covering gun ownership, sale and possession. Passing more laws will not change this dynamic.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Geeber

            I agree with you that the emphasis on assault rifles is a bit silly. Handguns are the real issue. But we pay more attention to assault rifles for the same reason that the world freaks out when a plane crashes and kills 200 people, yet 30K car accident deaths go largely unnoticed. A lone gunman shooting up a movie theater or a school is big dramatic news, but the same number of people dying in random individual shootings and accidents is largely unnoticed.

            And to me it is the accidents that are the saddest consequence of our gun culture. Like that Mom out west whose kid reached into her purse and managed to get her gun out of a zippered special compartment and kill her in a moment of inattention in a store. That gun sure didn’t save her from anything.

            Ultimately, I think an awful lot of paranoia in this country is brought on by the incessant 24hr news cycle. Every time something bad happens that is remotely “bad interesting” and it’s all we hear about for days. The net result is people thinking it WILL happen to them, when the chances of anything bad happening to you and yours that a gun will help with are absolutely infinitesimal, unless you live in one of the truly bad areas in this country. Much better chance that your kid will get ahold of your gun and blow his or your brains out. Or the ever popular shooting yourself while cleaning the thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Cops can’t save your life with tylenol.

      A 100 pound woman can’t stop a 200 pound weightlifting rapist with tylenol.

      Admittedly, they are different than tylenol, yes.

      But it’s interesting that the only examples you chose were, well, ones where the category is used for unlawful and wicked ends.

      (It’s like talking about cars and only talking about drunk driving and road rage, as if it’s typical rather than atypical of car operators and owners.)

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, but you could apply the example just as easily to an instance of a gun being used for good reasons. Could a cop use Tylenol to take down a murderer? Of course not. Same difference, really.

        Harmless items that CAN be used as weapons are one thing, and guns, which are DESIGNED as weapons, are quite another. Comparing them is a false equivalency no matter how you slice it.

    • 0 avatar
      StanThe Man

      I think you lost the topic, as the topic was more about facts than theories. This is the number one problem in the U.S.A. Ignorance overtaken by emotion resulting in poor decisions and harmful acts.
      Like the sign says, “Don’t feed the animals, they will become dependent on hand-outs and will not pass the necessary knowledge on to their offspring to facilitate living independently.”
      When will it become PC to be right, again?
      Can you imagine a student getting a free ride to college only to be taking remedial math for both those years? They want you to believe that coming to their school is the best thing for your future, I mean, come back to school so as I can keep my cushy tenured job the rest of my life.

  • avatar
    narcoossee

    Actually, the correct answer is “The Healthcare Machine”, with 200,000 kills/year. No less an authority than Consumer Reports says so: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/05/survive-your-hospital-stay/index.htm

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Gun control would work (see machine guns, dynamite, mercury, anthrax etc). But it would infringe on American’s rights.

    Americans overall feel that the right to buy a gun with minimal tracking and background checks is worth the 33,000 deaths per year.

    Certain groups are trying to shift public sentiment to the ‘not worth it side’, but they haven’t been successful.

    That’s really the end of the discussion on gun control, you might be one side or the other, but majority rules.

    The improvements in safety for cars is only partly because of the technological gains. Due to urban and suburban growth many more of the nation’s miles (as an absolute and as a percent) are now being driven on freeways and four-lane arterials, instead of rural two-lane highways. Much safer.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      What minimal background check are you talking about? Have you tried it? There is nothing simple about it. Even with long guns (rifles and shotguns) there are tons of federal forms. With handguns there is an “instant” background check, more forms and a complex process.

      And while the gun control people worry about AR15s and incorrectly call them automatic weapons, rifles…all rifles including ARs and AK47s, are involved in fewer deaths each year than human fists. Look it up. FBIs numbers.

      But the point of Jack’s piece is not this, but the fact that our media is a shameless propaganda machine. Facts are no longer reported but twisted, omitted and used for purpose.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “And while the gun control people worry about AR15s and incorrectly call them automatic weapons, rifles…all rifles including ARs and AK47s, are involved in fewer deaths each year than human fists. Look it up. FBIs numbers.”

        Airline crashes are rare too, but they’re as deadly as hell when they happen. This is why we regulate airlines.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Well, that and half those “33,000” deaths are suicides.

        Who almost always can pass a background check and have no relation at all to “tracking”, since they’re not buying black-market guns to kill themselves.

        You can’t stop an adult who wants to kill himself from doing so.

        It really is that simple.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “What minimal background check are you talking about? Have you tried it? There is nothing simple about it. ”

        Background checks if you buy from a FFL, little to no regulation of private party sales (in most states).

      • 0 avatar
        Scott_314

        I’m Canadian so that’s my media bias creeping in, I figured you can walk in and slap down $300 cash and get a gun and a box of ammo. So you’re right about the shameless media propaganda!

        Anyway I amend to say that nowhere near all 33,000 deaths could be prevented, but in my opinion quite a few thousand, don’t know the number.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      .

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    Also problematic? Accidental gun deaths are about 600 a year. Comparing gun homicides and suicides to accidental automobile deaths is ridiculous.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    My s*x decades of viewing the world show how far we’ve come with automobile safety/economy. I remember seeing (when I was about 6 years old) a guy in a ’54 Mercury convertible with the steering column through his chest after a 35-mph collis*on with a light pole. I also remember my first car, a ’60 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 (IIRC) with 28k miles on the clock which achieved 7 mpg and used 2 qts of oil every 200 miles. To obscure the fact that automobiles are much better just to prove a narrative defies logic. My background working in operations and maintenance of nuclear plants has helped me greatly in separating the wheat from the chaff when reading/watching news, commentary and opinion pieces. We nukes could not allow predispos*ton/prejudice to interfere with data and information presented; this would in many circumstance made for a “bad day” for many people. Analys*s of data and information could not be “this is BS”, or “see, it’s happening like I imagined” but needed to be “in the real world does this make sense?”. Faux comparison of apples to oranges such as Jack’s example can and do end up making a “bad day” for people, either accidentally or purposely. BTW, being an old nuke helps a lot when dealing with the sales staff at auto stealerships.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      I agree with you regarding the wheat/chaff content of most “news” outlets however, the least-intelligent technical people I’ve ever worked with carried NRC IDs and they were seriously challenged for that honor by the majority of the people I worked with on the utility side.

      Nukes aren’t dangerous because they were designed that way. It’s nearly impossible to seriously screw one up, despite the valiant efforts of the operators and inspectors. In my experience, there was nearly zero fidelity between objective reality and what most operators and inspectors worry about.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        319583076, I should have have qualified that I was a Navy nuke (’69-’92). There is no way that I would have worked for civilian nuke. Too political, too bottom-line driven. Much less safe IMHO.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          I see, the extent of my bias is clear – I assumed you were civilian.

          I think civilian nuke politics are at least an order of magnitude greater than the bottom-line, after all, those costs get passed on to the consumer so spending money isn’t a problem, it’s turned the civilian program into a “work program” of sorts.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    How to turn conservatives against guns in one simple step:

    Point out that many of them are made by highly skilled, highly paid manufacturing employees IN THE UNITED STATES that happen to belong to… Oh God, I can barely bring myself to say it… UNIONS!1!1!1!

  • avatar
    Poppa Gilley

    Food for thought about a gun: If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll never need one again.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Just some thoughts:

      The odds of “needing one” are are rather slim for most of us. I’d be curious to read your definition of “need”.

      Having one introduces other risks that didn’t exist when you didn’t have one.

      Having one when needing it doesn’t guarantee you won’t still “never need one again”. The other guy might be a better shot. You may not have time to draw. Safely having the gun stored in a safe with the ammo locked up separately probably hobbles your readiness to defend against a home invasion if the bad guy’s already in the house. Etc.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        This is the reason I always thought the best gun to have for home safety would be an ‘unloaded’ pump shotgun with a pistol grip (with no live ammo anywhere in the house). You could keep it at the ready all the time and should it be needed, the sound of a pump shotgun being racked is unmistakable. In the vast majority of cases, that sound, alone, would be more than enough to scare anyone off.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        Estimates range from 50,000 a year to 2.5 million a year depending on the regulating guidelines used. It’s noteworthy that the lowest estimate was the result of a study funded by the anti gun organization the Brady campaign. The highest estimates include defense of property and defense against crimes that many areas do not recognize as meeting the legal requirements for lethal force. The results also typically include any and all use of a firearm with most incidents involving no shots fired. I personally know several people who have used a firearm in defense and none have fired their weapon. Obviously the brandishing of a gun to dissuade an attack is a legitimate defensive use.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    I, for one, would be pretty satisfied to see guns and cars treated more or less equally:

    It must be registered, which means it needs a VIN/serial #.
    You must have a license, based on testing, to operate one.
    You can lose that license thru misuse and/or bad behavior.
    You are responsible for what happens by its use. Insurance is not mandatory but you will be liable for its misuse, civilly and/or criminally. Report its loss or theft promptly to avoid liability.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “It must be registered….”

      They are, everywhere I have been.

      It is only the criminals in our society who don’t bother to register their weapons, nor their stolen cars.

      I am not one for a society where only the criminals have guns, or cars.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Not if you buy one from a private individual, HDC. All that transaction requires is a seller and a buyer.

        And that’s not right. If background checks should be mandatory – and I think most gun owners would agree with me that they should be – then they should be mandatory for all sales.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          FreedMike, I attend Gun Shows in many places and have even legally sold a number of weapons over the years.

          I know of no investment that yields the same ROI that guns, brass and reloading gear do.

          Procedure here is to make copies of I D when selling between private individuals, especially if the weapon was bought new by the seller.

          In my case, I often hand down select weapons to my kids and grandkids, as an investment. But I did have to get unattached from my 12-shot, drum-fed Streetsweeper because BATF outlawed it.

          It’s been replaced by an 8-shot semi-automatic, 18″ barrel, Security shotgun, with pistol grip.

          Then again, I have an current FFL3 and can’t speak to all the illegal sales that are going on. Hell, even the US government is wholesaling guns to criminals these days, as in Fast&Furious.

          The bottom line is that when guns are outlawed in accordance with the Liberal/Progressive Democrat agenda, only the criminals will have guns.

          I’m not in favor of that.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            HDC, if some guy wants to buy a gun from you, there’s no law against him coming to your house, and buying it without a background check. Good for you if you run a background check anyway, but there’s no law requiring it under that circumstance. You know it and I know it. And that’s wrong.

            That’s a whole different ball game than leaving guns to your heirs. It also has nothing to do with banning guns. It has to do with taking all steps possible to make sure they don’t get into the wrong hands. It won’t be effective universally but no law is.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, You are absolutely correct! But don’t underestimate the intelligence of legal gun owners, traders and private sellers.

            They don’t sell their guns and reloaded ammunition willy-nilly to every stranger that comes knocking on their door.

            There is something like unintentionally and unknowingly “aiding and abetting” and the burden of proof is on the individual who sold the weapon, even in open-carry states.

            I have found it better to err on the s!de of caution and be very selective who I sell to. Selling is not my interest. Buying selects are. And I have found some jewels over the decades.

            And my CDL, FFL3 and Concealed-Carry permit never leave any doubt in the minds of the seller.

            Criminals, OTOH, have no such burden. They buy, sell and trade off the grid, and not usually in the light of day.

        • 0 avatar
          MrGreenMan

          Your statement is false if taken as a uniform of American law. Perhaps you are describing Vermont, or something about a gun show loophole you saw in a movie or heard from a politician or celebrity with the luxury of having armed guards who deal with the details.

          Why would most gun owners agree with you when you appear to be clueless in the specifics? How many gun owners do you know and talk to on a regular basis? Most gun owners would agree that, if we just had no further crime, we wouldn’t need guns – as Charlie Daniels said, he’d give you his, once you got all of them from the bad guys, but that failed even in Jamaica – but we might as well stamp out lying and cheating, too..

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            ‘Why would most gun owners agree with you when you appear to be clueless in the specifics? How many gun owners do you know and talk to on a regular basis? ”

            I don’t have to. They did a poll, and here’s the results:

            http://www.quinnipiac.edu/images/polling/us/us07032014_ulps31.pdf

            It found 92% of gun owners favor universal background checks. You can make whatever you want of that poll, but I have no doubt that most gun owners would agree that everyone should have to pass a background check…just like they did.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        You must restrict yourself to the East, then.

        Because in free states, guns aren’t registered at all.

        (A NICS check is *not registration*!)

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        I live near Chicago, which most of you recognize as the shooting capitol of the US. Despite tough local gun laws, the weapons used are often purchased across the border in IN, or are imported from southern states with lax laws. The guns are NOT registered, and the transfer of these guns is not tracked since no Fed laws require the tracking. Straw man purchases are frequent, and all the original purchaser need do (if ever confronted) is claim that a gun used in a crime was “stolen”, and there are no repercussions. Making weapons used in crimes traceable back to the seller, with consequences for illicit trafficking would go a long way to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and kids.

        I’m not advocating making gun ownership illegal, any more than I advocate making car ownership illegal. I just advocate that ownership of either brings responsibilities that must be backed up by law.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I grew up in the Chicago area, I live there now. In the middle I lived 25 years in Atlanta (another shoot ’em up city). I’ve never once needed a gun, I’ve never once wished I had a gun. How did I survive?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Maybe you survived because you didn’t have a gun. Statistically, it is those without guns who live longer than those with. In that sense, gun ownership is an intelligence test, like lottery tickets and tattoos.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            Making uninformed broad generalizations can also be a kind of intelligence test.
            With statements like that one you seriously risk alienating potential allies.

            You’d be shocked if you knew how many smart, well educated progressives are also gun owners – many of whom concealed carry as well.

            Just google “gun-toting liberals” if you doubt this.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      What should really be added is mandatory retesting every x years.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I can dig that…if you are going to carry you should be able to demonstrate proficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        @Drzhivago – Such a law would be unconstitutional on a federal level. You couldn’t get all 50 states to pass a law like that.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          The Supreme Court has upheld the notion that states have the right to control guns and gun ownership. I see no reason that the Feds requiring licensing via testing would be unconstitutional.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            @ClutchCarGo
            Your first statement is true, but has no bearing on the second. The States can regulate largely as they see fit, but there can be no constitutional federal law requiring registration of all firearms or proficiency testing a requirement to own. I deal in firearms, so it helps to understand the laws on the books and the FedGov’s boundaries.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            @fvfvsix

            How can the states regulate as they see fit, yet the Feds cannot regulate constitutionally? The Constitution applies to both levels of govt.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      You suggest these things as if they aren’t how things are actually done…by those who choose to abide by the laws…

      For a long gun, the instant check for not being disqualified was good enough for Bill Clinton. Nobody cares about long guns as they aren’t used much in crime.

      Onto pistols: What you and Dr. Zhivago are describing is what CPL law is in most places. CPL holders are law-abiding people who abide the law quietly and peaceably.

      For example, in Michigan, the much-maligned “shall issue” law that was called a license to kill by all sorts of local papers (I think the best went to that useless college rag at Michigan State, but “professional” journalists used the wild west rhetoric, too):
      – To buy a pistol, the serial number will be registered with the MSP.
      – To do anything with your pistol, you will need to get a CPL. It’s just too much of a PITA otherwise.
      – To get a CPL, you have to have had training in liability, safety, and effective use. This involves shooting at least 100 rounds of live ammunition under an NRA or similar certified instructor.
      – They pound into your head – you are responsible for pulling the trigger; you are responsible for what happens. If the bullet was justified criminally when it was fired, accidents happen, but you are civilly liable, too.
      – You have to report loss or theft of your gun promptly not just for liability – it could get you criminally charged, too.
      – If you misuse or have bad behavior, you lose your CPL. If you have a DUI, it’s over. If you are at all intoxicated or high and found with a gun, it’s over.
      – On the fourth year, and then every five years, you have to repeat all of the above to keep that CPL.
      – And the part everybody hates (because they want some politico like Art Busch and Sheriff Joe “Questionable Conduct” Wilson up in Flint to be able to decide based on whether you’ve donated to the Democrat Party lately to get your permit): If you do the above, and you aren’t on drugs, aren’t depressed, aren’t a felon, have possession of all your faculties, you can get a CPL, which still has a list of restrictions on how and where and when you can have a gun on your person.

      This was modeled on the Texas law, which is the model for the nation.

      Edit: just to be clear, all legally purchased pistols are registered with the state police in Michigan, with or without the CPL. Even private party sales require registering the yellow card with your local law enforcement within 10 days of purchase. The euphemism “safety check” just means it goes into the MSP and FBI database for safe keeping until used in a crime.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Do you believe you’re liable for what someone else does with your car, in any sort of general way?

      Where did you get this idea?

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        If I loan my car to someone who causes an accident while DUI, you can bet that I would be sued, and I would have to demonstrate that no reasonable person could have anticipated that an accident would happen to be dismissed as a defendant. If the person who took my car was my child, and I had left the keys sitting out, I would most certainly be liable. Guns should be the same.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      You can quickly and easily do this by pricing the cheapest new gun offered for sale in the US at $11,990 plus TT&L and engineering them to self destruct when they cause property damage or human injury. The reason cars are so regulated is not that they’re dangerous, it’s that they’re expensive and therefore financed, and unlike guns, they’re generally damaged or destroyed when they cause damage or destruction. So we care greatly about who owns them, that they’re operated by qualified operators, and that they’re insured. It’s about money, not life.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “I, for one, would be pretty satisfied to see guns and cars treated more or less equally:

      It must be registered, which means it needs a VIN/serial #.
      You must have a license, based on testing, to operate one.
      You can lose that license thru misuse and/or bad behavior.
      You are responsible for what happens by its use. Insurance is not mandatory but you will be liable for its misuse, civilly and/or criminally. Report its loss or theft promptly to avoid liability.”

      This is exactly where I’m at on this – and I’m a gun owner with a ccw license.

      • 0 avatar
        kmoney

        This is basically the Canadian system with it’s PAL and and ATT licenses. Some of the regulations can be annoying for someone who is a law abiding sports shooter, but I’ve never felt the want for them to be relaxed.

    • 0 avatar
      Drewlssix

      I need no license to own a vehicle, I need an operators license to OPPERATE a vehicle on public highways. As far as I know there is not a country state or city on earth that will issue an operators license for a gun. So ultimately your comparison is inaccurate. Cars and guns would not be treated the same, guns would be (as they currently are ) regulated far more strictly than vehicles.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I’m very thankful I live in a state where I don’t require a firearm to feel safe, but if I did, I could just go find a friend who has plenty and would be qualified to teach me basic safety. Because that’s what we do in MN. We make friends with people. We don’t walk around assuming everyone is a potential enemy out to get us.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      So you’d have us believe. Some of us watch Fargo and know the real story ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Ah, but the real troublemakers in that film weren’t from Brainerd, ya know.

        Also, I’m incredibly hyped about something regarding the TV show’s second season, but I won’t say what exactly because I don’t need to reveal too much stuff online, ya know.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Is it “safe”, or “prepared”?

      You see, your gun toting friend may be on vacation when you need to pop over for some firearms training.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I have more than one friend with guns. At any rate, I shouldn’t have said
        those in the same sentence, since we ourselves know the basics of firearms safety.

        What am I preparing for, anyway?

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          I don’t know and neither do you, but even in relatively crime free whereversville things happen. And when they do they tend to happen fast and violently. If being armed for that one in ten thousand bad thing is paranoid then what is depending on somebody down the street or across town for help when that rare bad thing happens? What’s weird from my perspective as someone who is armed and actively avoids having to use said arms, is the idea that you will recognize a threat at some distance enough to fetch a firearm from a friend and yet you don’t use that space to simply avoid the conflict. If I am both convinced that I may need a gun yet able to travel to retrieve that gun I am simply going to avoid the incident to begin with. If I ever do need my gun it will be because something happened so quickly and violently that I couldn’t avoid it.

  • avatar
    slance66

    This may be my favorite TTAC post ever. Kudos Jack! It isn’t often that people reading these “news” stories even realize the mind warping biases built into them. Pure propaganda.

  • avatar
    This Is Dawg

    Lulz @ today’s articles. Jack I hope you poured yourself a beer and busted out the popcorn while waiting for the yelling to ensue.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Great essay Jack, but you must have known you’d offend some people’s religion.

    As for South Korea, considering the existential threat from the north, it should emulate Switzerland and make itself very, very hard to easily invade. Keeping automatic rifles in many thousands of reservists’ homes hasn’t made Switzerland a dangerous place for peaceful visitors.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    “The majority of automotive-related deaths are not self-inflicted.”

    But I believe 2/3rds or thereabouts are as a result of DUI and/or failure to wear a seatbelt. In my book, that’s basically self-inflicted.

    Would be an interesting discussion to compare accidental death rates of both in situations where the owner/operator did what he/she could reasonably do to prevent death, ie, no dui/drugs, no suicide, and where reasonable safety equipment was used. I imagine both numbers are so small as to be largely insignificant. Thus…who cares. But the antis need to plump up the numbers to induce hysteria.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Kind of reminds me of a crash that killed at least four people back in September. You could call it a two-vehicle crash, when you consider the second vehicle was manned by a person mowing his lawn several yards off the street and the pickup truck rolled (as in barrel-rolled) over him. At least three of the deaths occurred inside the truck and it is known that two of the three were not wearing seat belts. I don’t know if the fourth truck passenger survived.

  • avatar
    puzinbutz

    It’s ALEX. Research instead of ramble ramble ramble.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I have two brother-in-laws that are avid hunters and have tried to pass it on to their children (both of them have only one child, a daughter). The one who grew up in a long tradition of hunting and works as a union electrician believes staunchly that his daughter (17 years old) needs to learn marksmanship and patience and has to use single action rifles. She has bagged an elk on her own.

    The other brother-in-law who does not come from a family tradition of hunting, works as a state highway patrolman here in NM and purchased his daughter (15 years old) a semi-automatic rifle.

    He is constantly derided by the the single action gentleman. “You didn’t teach her to hunt – you taught her ‘spray and pray.\'”

    Flame me all you want but I firmly believe that if something is a legitimate hunting weapon, I have no problem with you owning it. If the only purpose of the weapon is to “hunt man” (say like an AK-47) then I have no problem with heavy regulation on it.

    Personally I look forward to inheriting my dad’s old shotgun and bolt action rifle. I’ll keep them in working condition, I’ll find a place to safely practice with them, but I’ll also keep them locked up.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I could readily support that viewpoint, PD.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      The “assault rifle” is about the most misunderstood thing when it comes to laymen. First, no one is buying their kid a “spray and pray” anything without a Class III license and more than $10k. They’re semi automatic, one trigger pull = one bullet fired.

      Second, while I am far from an “avid” hunter, I have hunted, and I hunt with a Remington 700 Woodsmaster, a semi-automatic .308. The only difference between it and a scary looking AR-15 is that the woodsmaster has a wood stock, I use a smaller magazine than the standard 30-round AR-15 magazine, and the .308 packs a hell of a punch more than the .223 in the AR-15. Outlawing one instead of the other on the basis of “looks scary” or “usually has a bigger magazine” or “hunter rifle vs. assault weapon” is absurd and would be like saying an F-150 is a perfectly acceptable vehicle but an F-150 Raptor can only be used for terrorizing the streets. That comparison might even be worse, because in this analogy, the standard F-150 packs a much bigger wallop than the Raptor.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        lol, given the original Raptor rides like s*&% on the street but is perfect for a Mad Max style apocalypse, (which 99% of the owners will never use the full capacity of said vehicle) your comparison might be more apt than you know.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        The AR-15 is the most popular rifle sold in the USA today for three reasons – 1) it doesn’t require a gunsmith to modify to suit various conditions (e.g., hunting vs home defense), 2) It’s incredibly cost effective, and 3) it is probably the easiest gun to “make fit” all body types. Add to that, the very mild .223/556 cartridge, and you have a nearly perfect platform.

        The AK-47… well, it’s none of those, but it is cheap and ridiculously durable. Not my favorites, but I know plenty of people that hunt with the AK platform.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        @S2k Chris

        Only one problem with your argument – the AR can easily be converted to full auto with parts that aren’t all that hard to acquire (as I think you well know).

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          No, it can’t. You can drop in an auto sear but those are regulated and very expensive. None have been made for the civilian market for decades. This myth about easily converted semis is just that, a myth. Touted by the willfully ignorant.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            So essentially, “no it can’t” but “yes it can”. I see…

            If you consider a couple hundred bucks “very expensive” then I don’t know what to tell you, maybe you’re 14, idk.

            Plenty of people ignore the regulations. There are many unlicensed civilians on AR forums that brag about owning full auto AR-15s – legal I know, but how they acquired the hardware is questionable.
            I mean, you said it’s not easy, right?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      The worst sort of gun owner IMO.

      “Take away the ones that don’t interest me, just leave my babies alone.”

      That would work except that previous experience has shown us that gun control is a slippery slope where it starts with one thing (restricting full auto to very expensive licensed unobtanium), then the soccer moms come after the 30 round semiautomatics (what your hunting relative is against). Then they’ll restrict to semi-autos with detachable magazines to 7 rounds as they did in NY under Cuomo. One can only guess at the next step, bolt action only as long arms are restricted to in the UK?

      It’s reminiscent of the old quote
      “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist”…..etc etc ….”Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”

      What’s completely ignored is that the statistics show that once you remove the suicides, the legit defensive uses, etc, you are left with a vast majority of shootings being gang on gang violence in low income areas, using handguns. These school shootings, as tragic as they are, are a barely noticeable blip on the radar in terms of numbers. Sorry to sound so callous, but I’m a numbers guy.

      It drives me nuts how we as a society always seem to target the symptoms rather than the cause. Crime and violence spur on gun crime, guns existing does not create crime and violence out of thin air (someone already mentioned the example of Switzerland). That crime and violence originates out of poverty and broken homes, a fundamental lack of parenting. I don’t have a solution to that very serious issue, but I know it’s not taking guns, any guns, away from law abiding citizens.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I know several that hunted with an SKS because they were cheap and available. My Grandfather’s deer rifle of choice was a Springfield 1903 and a couple of years ago I enjoyed some great venison sausage courtesy of a buddy toting his M1 Garand into the woods. Lots of Mauser action hunting rifles out there as well. If those weren’t weapons designed to kill men I don’t know what are yet they will drop a deer just fine. I hear some states don’t allow the AR-15 because the .223 isn’t considered powerful enough for a humane kill but that would apply to any .223, not just scary looking ones. Many a deer have ended up on the table because of them. Point is, any weapon can be used to hunt. I don’t figure I have ever taken a shot from a range that an AK47 would not have been effective so long as I had decent ammo.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      What does the second amendment have to do with hunting? It’s there to protect liberty against PEOPLE interested in taking it. You could make a better argument of banning guns that are NOT suitable for combat.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        It’s interesting you say that. While the current movement is to ban scary military style guns the bulk of gun control over the years has been based on “common use” meaning since the 2nd was interpreted to be a means of allowing the people to form militias that weapons not in common use by a military were open to restriction. That reasoning has been used to ban the importation of many civilian only firearms like the once popular European pocket pistol. Full sized service pistols? Good. Compact .22s designed for self defense? Bad.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I have to admit, I’m completely amused by the growing mountains of data that are indicating interstate speed limits that are 75, 80, 85 MPH are safer than interstate speed limits of 60, 65 and 70 MPH.

    The safety weenies have no evidence to point to anymore on this topic. Cars and trucks have become incredibly safe, interstate highway deaths are at the lowest levels ever recorded.

    Never mind the hand wringing over texting and driving, and the countless millions spent on “awareness.” About 1 person a day dies from texting and driving. That’s it. You’d never know it by all the ominous ads and campaigns on the topic.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The reason is plain in California. It’s all about the revenue.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      My favorite quote regarding traffic law comes from a book on land speed record cars I bought more than 20 years ago.

      Next to a photo of a Ferrari F40 being manufactured was the caption, “motor vehicle speed limits are absurdly out of touch with the reality of modern road car technology.”

      I’ve long thought that our national aversion to graduated licenses – as in gradually-increasing skill levels, not that no-driving-after-dark-if-you’re-under-18 business – is due to an overblown interpretation of the concept of equality.

      We’re supposed to have equality before the law in America, not everybody-is-equal-in-all-ways-all-the-time. We demand that every motorist be treated as if he or she is a mouth-breathing, window-licking retard, just because a few people are.

      Why shouldn’t a guy like Jack, who’s an experienced racing driver, be able to get a license allowing him to ignore speed limits and reckless-driving laws, just because some people would fail to qualify for the same license?

      Seriously, why are traffic laws written to accommodate the least of us? I don’t mean the weak and helpless, I mean the fearful and the incompetent.

      Robert Heinlein said it best.

      “It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak.”

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Why shouldn’t a guy like Jack, who’s an experienced racing driver, be able to get a license allowing him to ignore speed limits and reckless-driving laws”

        You’re kidding right?

        Do people like this also get their own “special” roads, or are they allowed to just weave in and out among the lessor sub-humans? What about the car? Can a “guy like Jack” drive an ’87 Chevy with 200K miles on it at any speed, or should he be required to drive a state-of-the-art “S” Class? Did you know a “guy like Jack” got in a near-fatal wreck last year driving at the posted speed limit(you know, the “moron” speed limit). I wonder if a “guy like Jack” would be alive today if he had been allowed to drive faster because he was “qualified”?

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Would Jack have been driving faster were it ‘allowed?’ I believe conditions were a factor in his accident. I don’t speed on ice, and it obviously sounds like the speed limit was too much in this case. What makes one driver safe and another a hazard is their judgement, not the laws under which they operate.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            If you remember the story the black ice was the surprise that caused the accident, so yes, not knowing there was ice he could have very well been going faster had he been legally allowed

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    So for all of those that support gun control to save lives, especially “for the children,” can I count on your support as I continue to push my belief that there should be a national,mandatory 35MPH speed limit? On all roads, at all times? That cars should be restricted by software to prevent from exceeding that limit? I’m usually alone on the issue but apparently I’m about to have a lot more support.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I’ll go a step further and say one should only be able ride a bus or a train…I mean do you really even need a car? And those 700hp Hellcats scare me so nobody should get to own one. I mean what if somebody steals it and uses it in a crime…people could be hurt.

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      Innocent,

      I hope you coordinate your movement with the gun control people. Otherwise you might win first and we’ll have a nation of armed people seething in 35 mph traffic.

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    What I find weird about the human condition is our propensity to create magnificent tools for making our lives easier, and later attempting to blame the tool for its misuse.

    That said – excellent article Jack. You’ve managed to weave one of the three G’s into the discussion quite masterfully. It’s like I can’t turn away from the comments section. :)

  • avatar
    EasternJC

    Interesting read as always from Mr. Baruth. Then the comments started. It’s like standing outside the monkey house. I am nearly done here.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’d rather not be treated like a child until I do something stupid. Give every adult American a right to concealed-carry, no questions asked. And the right to do what ever drugs they want, as much as they want.

    Sure we may lose a few more Americans in the process, but at least as many would be saved. Likely more would live than die. And certainly live freer/happier/better/safer while doing so.

    Except private prisons, law enforcement, the courts, the pharmaceutical industry, and the narco trade don’t want us to live free. They have endless trillions to throw at DC.

  • avatar
    210delray

    “If cars come to be accepted as both really safe and impressively efficient, it becomes more impossible to get rid of them and usher in the utopia of the future in which everyone lives above a bodega in Williamsburg and telecommutes to their job doing social justice reporting for Horticulture Weekly or something like that…”

    Did David E. Davis rise from the dead? Did TTAC finally convince Brock Yates to become a contributor?

    I’m not going to even step into the gun morass, but this tired old meme about the NYC “intelligentsia” or “limousine liberals” banishing the personal automobile really grinds my gears. Jack you’ve surely been to NYC. Yes, there are people who don’t have cars because the subway system works so well, insurance rates are high, the likelihood of damage by horrible roads, collisions, or theft/vandalism is great, and on-street parking can be hard to come by.

    But a whole lot of New Yorkers still own and love their cars, as evidenced by the vanity plates, the number of luxury vehicles, and the (oftentimes) questionable customization. Maybe they don’t commute to work in them but they still exist for trips to the suburbs, errands, or vacations.

    Because my sons and granddaughter live in or near the city, I visit often from Virginia, almost exclusively by car. Traffic can be absolutely nightmarish — the worst has to have been a 17-mile slog across Staten Island and into Brooklyn that took 2 hours!

    But cars are plentiful (hence the traffic), and most New Yorkers would have to have their cars pried from their cold, dead hands.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Had the photo above been real, the Hyundai would be a refrigerator while the shotgun would still prowl the streets in the hands of the next generation of criminals by now. Right or wrong, a gun’s effectively unlimited maintainece free lifespan dooms any attempt at gun control.

    No one would be having this debate if we exercised the level of self responsibility expected by the second amendment.

    Because we dont, we see crap like this.

    http://wate.com/2015/01/13/police-videos-show-1-year-old-putting-handgun-in-mouth/

    • 0 avatar

      And we would not see nearly as many traffic related fatalities if we exercised the level of personal responsibility expected from a driver. It’s not about guns, cars, pools, mattresses too small for cribs, clothing flammability standards… it’s all about personal responsibility. If instead of more legislation to ban, regulate or control things we could pass a law to isolate from society the irresponsible individuals… Not feasible: Would take responsible legislators.

  • avatar
    hybridkiller

    Reality check: neither cars nor guns are going away any time soon, they’re inextricably woven into American, uh – pardon me – US culture.

    Once again, Mr Baruth has tossed a bucket of bloody fish into the shark tank.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>because they focus on predetermined conclusions. You can’t do science that way, you can’t improve the human condition that way, and it’s depressing that s…<<

    That's the problem w/ so much "science" these days. The conclusions are predetermined and the "research" is designed to conform.

    As you said, that's not science. That's politics.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Controlling guns won’t actually do much – you have to get to the root of the problem, which is the general improvement of the human condition. The increasing of education and opportunity, a general maturity and generosity of spirit, a more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth, the recognition that the Earth is here for all of us, and that “paradise” is not something that awaits us upon our death, but is a goal (however seemingly impossible) we should strive to achieve, rather than relying on a fictional “man in the sky” to deliver us from.

    Yeah, right.

  • avatar
    redav

    Honestly, I couldn’t make it through the whole article. But a few statistics I find interesting:

    US car deaths per year: ~35k
    US medical error deaths per year: 100k+ (some put this number over 300k)
    US cigarette deaths per year: ~480k

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      There is no statistical correlation, let alone causal relationship between stricter gun laws and lower violent crime or, for that matter, murder. Vermont has the least restrictive gun laws in the entire world and also an extremely low crime rate. The Veront counterexample falsifies the theory that strict gun control causes lower crime and murder rates.

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        And this is where they jump all over the multitudes of sociological causes for crime train they steadfastly avoid when they demand gun bans or restrictions. At the very least I wish we could agree that there are better routes to take, but to some the thought of a crime free utopia where people can own guns is revolting.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    “In what world can we accurately predict the outcome of hundreds of thousands of complex incidents eleven and a half months before the final tally is taken?”

    In a world with statisticians, you can. And quite easily. This conclusion wasn’t reached with 2 weeks of data, we have decades of data on gun and vehicle deaths as well as any census data for compounding factors like education, wealth, etc.

    I’m not arguing for or against the conclusion- but to argue against it on the basis that it’s a prediction is pretty weak.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Jac;, I didn’t read all 291 comments, but I did read your post. I’m saddened that when I read the original text you excerpted I automatically translated it to something very much like what you artfully constructed. I’ve become so used to pulling slant and spin from my sources of information that if you hadn’t spelled it out I’d be confused by your response to the Atlantic’s reporting. My take away is different from yours though, while you strive to bring integrity to Journalism, I’m just thinking: “three cheers for automotive safety engineers!”

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …suicides acccount for the majority of gun deaths acccording to pew, but homocides account for the majority of gun deaths according to pew-pew…

    …thanks, i’ll be here all weekend…

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    mkirk / January 15th, 2015 at 5:40 pm
    re: “…carrying on post is a no go …”

    wonder why that is?

    one might think rationally and come to conclude that our fighting forces should be sufficiently intelligent and certainly experienced with firearms to conduct themselves in a safe, civil manner while in possession of their weapons in a non-combative environment, since they ARE highly trained, professional combatants – and yet they are still not permitted to carry on-post.

    if our own military leadership does not have sufficient confidence in the appropriate behavior of their own troops when it comes to weapons, how can the behavior of a vast, disorganized, unmanageable, armed civilian population ever be expected to behave any better?

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