Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Well, DUH!

Reuter-Rooter reports: U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people. This according to the Small Arms Survey, 2007 coming out in September. Per the report, we 300 million Americans own some 270 million of the estimated 875 million small arms that exist worldwide. We apparently are buying about 4.5 million of the estimated 8 million new guns rolling off production lines each year, worldwide. Even better, the number of guns estimated to be in private hands worldwide is only 650 million, so we own over 40% of them. The other 225 million are held by police and military forces. And best yet, "Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons are thought to be registered with authorities."

Yeah, baby!

Our closest competitor? India with 45 million privately held arms, but a population of over a billion. Per capita, Yemen comes in second with 61 guns per hundred population. How big is Yemen? About the size of Connecticut? Many of theirs, I would bet, are full-auto capable AK-47s. I bet they'd be amazed to know what they would be worth over here - if they could just sell them legally.

It is the gun-controller's mantra that "the number of guns" is the cause of violent crime. This report reminds me once again of the conclusion of the 1983 report of a meta-study of gun control research, Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America:
The progressive's indictment of American firearms policy is well known and is one that both the senior authors of this study once shared. (My emphasis.) This indictment includes the following particulars: (1) Guns are involved in an astonishing number of crimes in this country. (2) In other countries with stricter firearms laws and fewer guns in private hands, gun crime is rare. (3) Most of the firearms involved in crime are cheap Saturday Night Specials, for which no legitimate use or need exists. (4) Many families acquire such a gun because they feel the need to protect themselves; eventually they end up shooting one another. (5) If there were fewer guns around, there would obviously be less crime. (6) Most of the public also believes this and has favored stricter gun control laws for as long as anyone has asked the question. (7) Only the gun lobby prevents us from embarking on the road to a safer and more civilized society.

The more deeply we have explored the empirical implications of this indictment, the less plausible it has become. (My emphasis.) We wonder, first, given the number of firearms presently available in the United States, whether the time to "do something" about them has not long since passed. If we take the highest plausible value for the total number of gun incidents in any given year - 1,000,000 - and the lowest plausible value for the total number of firearms now in private hands - 100,000,000 - we see rather quickly that the guns now owned exceed the annual incident count by a factor of at least 100. This means that the existing stock is adequate to supply all conceivable criminal purposes for at least the entire next century, even if the worldwide manufacture of new guns were halted today and if each presently owned firearm were used criminally once and only once. Short of an outright house-to-house search and seizure mission, just how are we going to achieve some significant reduction in the number of firearms available?
Now, substitute "270,000,000" for the "100,000,000" in that last paragraph and ask yourself the same question. And here's part of that conclusion that I have not previously quoted:
To members of the gun subculture who have been around guns all their lives and have owned and used guns as long as it has been legal for them to do so, the indictments of gun control advocates must appear to be incomprehensible, if not simply demeaning. We should not be surprised to learn that they may resent being depicted as irresponsible, nervous, potentially dangerous, prone to accidental or careless firearms handling, or as using their firearms to bolster sagging masculine self-images. Of course, from their viewpoints, they have none of these characteristics and in all likelihood resent being depicted as a demented and bloodthirsty lot when they are only guilty of embracing a set of rather traditional, rural, and masculine values. Indeed, one can only begin to understand the virulence with which gun control initiative(sic) are opposed in these quarters when one realizes that what may be at stake is a way of life.
Again, I repeat: Well, DUH!

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