How to cut gun death toll

How to cut gun death toll

This is a discussion on How to cut gun death toll within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/1...ex.html?hpt=C1 Editor's note: Philip J. Cook is ITT / Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy at Duke University. Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor ...

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Thread: How to cut gun death toll

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    How to cut gun death toll

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/1...ex.html?hpt=C1

    Editor's note: Philip J. Cook is ITT / Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy at Duke University. Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law and Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Cook and Ludwig are co-editors (with Justin McCrary) of Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs (forthcoming, University of Chicago Press).
    (CNN) -- The assassination attempt and mass killing in Tucson, Arizona, last Saturday was reportedly committed with a Glock 9 mm semiautomatic handgun equipped with a high-capacity magazine that held 31 bullets.
    The shock of having a member of Congress shot in the head at close range has led many Americans to wonder: Was it a mistake in 2004 for Congress to sunset the assault weapons ban, which, among other things, banned the manufacture or import of new magazines holding more than 10 rounds? Is it a mistake for America to have such weak firearm regulations more generally?
    Congress let the 10-year-old assault weapons ban expire in 2004, and the only notable gun-related legislation under President Obama has been to legalize concealed carrying in national parks. Most of the "action" around gun regulation is in the courts, where "gun rights" advocates seek to tear down regulations under the banner of an extreme laissez-faire interpretation of the Second Amendment.
    Democratic politicians have backed off of this issue or, like the Tucson victim, Rep. Giffords, have endorsed gun carrying. The tragedy in Tucson seems unlikely to stimulate much sustained political support for major new gun regulations, given how quickly public interest in this issue faded out after other mass shootings.
    A small sampling of these notorious cases helps demonstrate the point: Killeen, Texas; the Long Island Railroad; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Columbine High School; Red Lake High School; Trolley Square Mall; Northern Illinois University; Virginia Tech; Binghamton, New York; and, last August, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona (five of the six victims dead).
    Still, perhaps there is now a chance for Congress, faced with this attack on one of their own, to take modest steps to reduce the ease with which psychotic individuals can shoot large numbers of victims. One such step is to reinstate the prohibition on high-capacity magazines.
    What good would such a ban accomplish? In the case of Tucson, news reports indicated that the shooter was subdued by private citizens while he was trying to reload his weapon. Had his magazine held fewer rounds, he would have had to reload sooner than he did, and perhaps fewer people would have died as a result.
    More generally, research by Christopher Koper of the Police Executive Research Forum suggests that on average, only one in every three or four shots fired by criminal assailants winds up hitting someone. Having a high-capacity magazine enables criminals to fire more rounds more quickly; all else equal, more shots fired means more victims shot.
    A high-capacity magazine in effect turns a semiautomatic firearm into a weapon of mass destruction. The public interest in getting such weapons off the street was recognized by Congress back in 1934, when, with the support of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the National Firearms Act was enacted. It effectively stopped commerce in machine guns of the sort wielded to such deadly effect by John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and the employees of Murder Inc.
    Banning high-capacity magazines is a modest, incremental step that would achieve modest benefits. Research by Koper and others shows that in the majority of gun homicides in the U.S., only a few shots are fired. Only about 3% of all criminal homicides involve multiple killings. But as Tucson tragically reminds us, mass shootings have a vastly disproportionate impact on our sense of well-being and security.
    Incidentally, it is important that this time the ban go further than the 1994 assault weapons ban. That law had a giant loophole -- it grandfathered all existing large-capacity magazines, and there were millions in circulation at the time in the United States (or that could be imported from Eastern Europe). This time, we would hope for a flat ban on transfer or possession, such as the one that exists, say, in New York state.
    As economists, we take seriously the importance of comparing benefits to costs of any new policy, and we recognize that many people wish to keep guns for legitimate uses like self-defense and hunting. Fortunately, the costs of banning high-capacity magazines also seem to be extremely modest.
    Author John Lott, an economist who supports gun carrying, says that in the vast majority of cases in which a private citizen uses a gun in self-defense, the gun is only brandished and not actually fired at the assailant. Banning high-capacity magazines will have a negligible effect on the ability of citizens to use guns to protect home and hearth. For hunters, a ban on high-capacity magazines would be largely irrelevant.
    More dramatic changes in federal gun laws might have greater effects on public safety but seem unlikely in the current political climate. Banning high-capacity magazines strikes us as a common-sense policy change that is likely to generate modest but important benefits to society at a very small cost, and so is worth doing.
    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.
    We're all in favor of reducing violent crime. It's just that pro-gunners have a method that is proven effective. Anti-gunners don't.
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    John Moses Browning day is January 24th, 2011


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    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    "modest incremental step"

    ah yes, the cry of the incrementalist who will flay us to death with a thousand tiny cuts.
    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    You are not paranoid if They are actually out to get you, however, They probably are not and you probably are.

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    Banning high-capacity magazines is a modest, incremental step that would achieve modest benefits. Research by Koper and others shows that in the majority of gun homicides in the U.S., only a few shots are fired. Only about 3% of all criminal homicides involve multiple killings. But as Tucson tragically reminds us, mass shootings have a vastly disproportionate impact on our sense of well-being and security.
    Emphasis mine.

    Ditto, chivvalry, but at least this author is honest about it. He knows that it won't really stop any crime, and that the very best that could be possibly hoped for is that, in a tiny fraction of shootings, there might be a tiny fraction less shots fired. But he knows and admits that it's not about actually saving lives or preventing crime, it's about our (well, HIS, really) sense of well being. That is not, in any way, to be confused with our ACTUAL well being, which means nothing to people of this mindset.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    I thought it was hilarious that they actually quoted Lott.
    We're all in favor of reducing violent crime. It's just that pro-gunners have a method that is proven effective. Anti-gunners don't.
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    John Moses Browning day is January 24th, 2011

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    Don't these fools realize that a person who has decided to use a firearm to kill someone only requires 1 bullet? Sure 6 dead is worse than 1 dead, but once the gun is fired at another person for the intent of murder a crime is in process. Low capacity magazines may or may not keep the damage to a minimum, but one person murdered is two too many. A person with one of their super-safe ten round magazines can easily kill 10+ people. Banning objects will never reduce crime, they may help to minimize the possible damage but not the crime. Staying a 1000 feet away with a gun wouldn't have stopped him, hell the murder is illegal thing didn't stop him (I think it's a commandment also). This guy was not slowed by any laws, no law rattling around in the most liberal of all liberal minds can ever stop someone from using any tool they can dream up to commit murder.
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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    I guess 10 dead is acceptable. Maybe they should make it 5 so that we can have high capacity revolvers.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Member Array dylistn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joker1 View Post
    Don't these fools realize that a person who has decided to use a firearm to kill someone only requires 1 bullet? Sure 6 dead is worse than 1 dead, but once the gun is fired at another person for the intent of murder a crime is in process. Low capacity magazines may or may not keep the damage to a minimum, but one person murdered is two too many. A person with one of their super-safe ten round magazines can easily kill 10+ people. Banning objects will never reduce crime, they may help to minimize the possible damage but not the crime. Staying a 1000 feet away with a gun wouldn't have stopped him, hell the murder is illegal thing didn't stop him (I think it's a commandment also). This guy was not slowed by any laws, no law rattling around in the most liberal of all liberal minds can ever stop someone from using any tool they can dream up to commit murder.
    No law proposed! But what they propose is the "Incremental Step". When banning mags over 10 rounds doesn't work. They'll ban owning or carrying an extra mag. Then, next, (maybe 10 to 20 years down the road) a license to purchase a gun (handgun first) with a required pysch evaluation. They might seam irrational, but they are not going to waste effort. Any thing that they spend time and capital on, has a design.

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylistn View Post
    No law proposed! But what they propose is the "Incremental Step". When banning mags over 10 rounds doesn't work. They'll ban owning or carrying an extra mag. Then, next, (maybe 10 to 20 years down the road) a license to purchase a gun (handgun first) with a required pysch evaluation. They might seam irrational, but they are not going to waste effort. Any thing that they spend time and capital on, has a design.
    We already have those prerequisites in Costa Rica and crime keeps increasing. We have to pass a psych evaluation, submit our fingerprints for the criminal database, provide an oath statement declaring the intended use of the gun (hunting, sport or self-defense), pass a practical and theoretical exam and the gun has to be registered. It takes us 1 - 2 months to get our hands on a handgun and we can only register 3 handguns for concealed carry. Now, the government intends to impose a ban on calibers higher than 9mm, only 1 gun per person will be able to be registered, there will be more prerequisites and they are going to increase taxes on firearms and ammo. The firearms enthusiasts of Costa Rica are fighting hard to avoid this reform to pass in Costa Rica, but unfortunately we do not have anything in our Constitution like the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The worst thing is that automatic rifles (AK-47's) are sold in the street like candy and the government thinks that the problem with crime is because of civilians firearm ownership.

    All of this has come about due to an incident where a school teacher was shot in the head and killed by a mentally disturbed student. It is outrageous that governments always focus on civilian gun carry as the main focus of gun violence and crime since criminals don't care or obey the government's laws and the black firearms market is booming all around the World. I feel your anguish with regards to what is going on in the aftermath of the Tucson massacre. I cannot believe they are focusing on firearms and high capacity magazines as the culprit of this whole incident when with just taking a quick look at the perpetrator's photo you clearly see that it was performed by a deranged lunatic. You simply cannot control a deranged lunatic with no psychological assistance from the Government or help from his close friends and family. If a person is crazy he will cause a massacre with whatever he can get his hands on (knives, tools, a car, a plane or even a bomb). Therefore, the Government should be looking into more direct factors of this tragedy such as the education system, unemployment, drug use, illegal immigration, law enforcement, terrorism and the mental health program in the US to avoid it from happening in the future. The problem is that for politicians it is always easier to blame firearms as a quick fix to a tragedy rather than work on the aforementioned factors since it will make it seem like they are doing something and they will gain votes, win the public's opinion and provide citizens with a false and temporary sense of security.

    Don't get bummed out and just support the NRA and be very careful to who you give your vote to.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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