Gun Violence Poll

Started Jan 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
boggis the cat
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Re: Decrease
In reply to Great Bustard, Jan 21, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

boggis the cat wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Question:

If guns were made illegal in the US (note: this doesn't mean that there are no guns, just that they are illegal, except for police and military), do you believe that the number of deaths due to assault (that is, not due to suicide or accidents) will increase, decrease, or stay roughly the same?

Please write "Increase", "Decrease", or "Same" in the subject line of your reply, and feel free to elaborate in the body of the reply.

The USA is populated with people that are much the same as those in comparable countries. In those countries, less guns available leads to less murders.

Is there any reason to believe that the US population isn't more violent than in "comparable" countries?

What would be the causes for being more violent?

There is some interesting research (dating back to the 1990s) that has linked atmospheric lead to the rise, then fall, in violence.  So far there have been no studies with contradictory data.  For example, the rate of violence was much higher in cities than in small towns as the lead levels were higher (impairing the development of the brain), whereas it is now level again.

Lead linked to violent crime

So, there can be causes.  But, what specific 'American' cause exists that does not affect e.g. Canada?  Do Maple trees confer immunity?  Is Ice Hockey so violent that Canadians get their 'fix' vicariously?

Bonus question:

What about injuries (cuts, broken bones, etc.)?

Also decreased.

The amount of violence in a society is not determined by a single-factor, however the thinking that gun violence is a viable 'last resort' will push some people to be more aggressive given this level of 'protection'. You may be less inclined to go too far in an altercation with a person that clearly outmatched you physically, but a gun 'levels the playing field'.

This also means that even those people relatively immune from unarmed or lesser-armed violence directed at them -- due to individual physical capacity or being in a larger group -- are still at risk from guns; hence they require a gun also for 'protection'.

The argument that more firearms leads to more personal safety is like arguing that if everyone walked around carrying a sword we'd all feel more secure from being attacked and potentially killed -- e.g. by swords.

On the other hand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennesaw,_Georgia#Gun_law

In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21][19]

(b)Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.
(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

Gun rights activist David Kopel has claimed that there is evidence that this gun law has reduced the incident rate of home burglaries citing that in the first year, home burglaries dropped from 65 before the ordinance, down to 26 in 1983, and to 11 in 1984.[20] Another report observed a noticeable reduction in burglary from 1981, the year before the ordinance was passed, to 1999. A 2001 media report stated that Kennesaw's crime rates continued to decline and were well below the national average, making citizens feel safer and more secure.[21] Later research claims that there is no evidence that [the law] reduced the rate of home burglaries [in Kennesaw],[22][23] even though the overall crime rate had decreased by more than 50% between 1982 and 2005.[24]

The city's website[25] claims the city has the lowest crime rate in the county.

That is entirely plausible.  If you are wanting to do some burglaries then why not go elsewhere?

But, if all of the households are equally armed then you're back to choosing a least-worst option -- in which case taking your own gun with you for protection makes more sense.

Similar to how any deterrence works: alarm your car and the car thief will pick a car with no alarm.  All cars are alarmed?  Car thief picks the easiest / best benefit-to-risk target.  What the car thief does not do is give up stealing cars.

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