Sandy Hook and gun control — 3 Comments

  1. There are reasons beyond self defense for owning guns – hunting and competitive shooting sports come to mind. As with any tool, there are different guns for different tasks: a handgun isn’t effective for duck hunting. I would guess that the majority of gun owners have more than one gun.

    My belief is that the ongoing rant about gun control is just another case of political misdirection. Our leaders are incapable of dealing with the real issues behind most violence: drugs, substance abuse, and mental illness. It’s much easier to pontificate about banning guns even though there’s little reason to believe that draconian gun control laws would have significant impact on these kinds of crimes.

  2. Well, if you have lots of guns doesn’t it make sense that it makes it easier for you to kill more people?

    Here’s what I found from Googling and checking Wolfram Alpha. The last data available for both countries is 2009. In that year there were about 15,000 murders in the U.S. and population was 307 million people. That means there were about 4.9 murders per 100,000 people.

    In Japan there were 1,097 murders and the population was 127 million. That means there were about 0.86 murders per 100,000 people.

    So the murder rate in the U.S. is about 5.6 times higher than the murder rate in Japan. Unless Americans are 5.6 times more unbalanced than Japanese it could be argued the difference is due to the availability of lots of guns.

  3. Does having four or five computers make a programmer four or five times as productive? Effectively firing two long guns at a time is impossible, and while two hanguns is possible the Mythbusters demonstrated recently that it would take a lot of practice to be good.

    I think the difference in murder rate in the U.S. vs. Japan has a lot more to do with culture and society than with gun control laws. There’s little evidence that gun control laws have a significant effect on murder rates – compare the murder rate in Vermont (1.3 per 100K), which has relaxed gun laws, vs. my own state of California (4.8 per 100K) which has extremely restrictive gun laws. One could argue that gun control laws are likely to actually increase the murder rate!

    This morning I heard a news report that the school’s principal died in a vain attack to body tackle the shooter. Had he had been armed, the odds would have been more in his favor. If all the teachers in that school had been carrying weapons and skilled in their use, would the casualty rate have been so high? Perhaps the best approach to preventing something like this from happening again would be to require handgun proficiency from schoolteachers just as we do with police officers.

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