People were the difference

Thomas Sowell has a great piece responding to calls for greater gun control in the US.

When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

The few counter-examples offered by gun control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.

But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries– and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.

Neither guns nor gun control was the reason for the difference in murder rates. People were the difference.

Yes – that is a problem. You can’t change people simply through legislation.

Guns are not the problem. People are the problem — including people who are determined to push gun control laws, either in ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.

There is innocent ignorance and there is invincible, dogmatic and self-righteous ignorance. Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun control advocates.

Sowell also makes this point:

Yet many of the most zealous advocates of gun control laws, on both sides of the Atlantic, have also been advocates of leniency toward criminals.

While true – that is a separate argument.

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302 Responses to People were the difference

  1. Infidel Tiger

    Now, I often do not agree with Viva, but he argues his corner admirably.

    She.

  2. Admit it liar, the story about the father & the handgun never happened anywhere except in your mind.

    It happened – I really couldn’t give a stuff whether you believe me or not.
    The father in question had been told that his son was dying. Anger is often part of grief. BTW, I didn’t say it was a handgun. You made that up. I never specified what sort of a weapon it was. The Andrew Bolt syndrome….

  3. jumpnmcar

    Show me where I’ve said these various things. It’s the Andrew Bolt technique – making up “facts”

    Up at 9:02pm you shameless freak.

  4. Compare Viva to the self-proclaimed (and proud) bigot John Mc (with his bigotry illustrated in bold)
    :B) numnbers, (sic) worked for the government most of his life as a bureaucrat, was conscripted into the military for about 5 minutes forty years ago but still assumes it as a significant part of his identity and hasn’t stopped whinging since, spent his life complaining about the productive elements of society not paying enough tax to fund the social reforms he knows will lead to a better society, doesn’t believe his fellow citizens can be trusted with things like firearms, believes society is brought into existence through government undoubtedly staffed by wise bureaucrats like himself redistributing wealth and preventing others making bad choices
    Numers (sic) is proud of being a bigot.

    Enough, Sinc, please rid us of this particular example of internet vermin (John Mc)

  5. jupes

    Apologise and in the spirit of the season we will continue to think of you as just as sad old sack with no friends or prospects.

    Funniest quote of the year.

    But true.

  6. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    BTW, I didn’t say it was a handgun. You made that up. I never specified what sort of a weapon it was. The Andrew Bolt syndrome….

    Can someone please find the quote where numbers first brought this little gem up. I can’t do it as I am on my i-phone.
    I am sure that when he first raised this, he made a point about it being a handgun as it was concealed.
    Any help appreciated.

  7. Viva

    As emotionally horrifying as it is, there is no real reason that a person who is a victim of mass murder is more of a tragedy than any other murder victim. There is no real reason to believe that someone who is shot is more tragic than someone who is murdered by any other means.

    Rationally speaking you are right – but it is the emotional horror of large numbers of kids gunned down at school (Newtown, Columbine) or the mass slaughter of young people out for a night of fun (Aurora) or on a shopping expedition (Oregon) that strikes at the heart and soul and wounds a community so badly that it takes years to recover – if ever.

    Of course, keeping the discussion in the realms of the purely rational is a way of distancing oneself from the pain and deep trauma of such events and results in a failure to understand why such events are not sustainable.

  8. Only post at 9.02 was jumpnmcar.
    As I said, you make up “facts”.

  9. I am sure that when he first raised this, he made a point about it being a handgun as it was concealed.

    I am on my i-phone.

    Lame. You’ve been caught out. Apologise.

  10. John Mc

    Fair enough, the 2010 data says the US/UK murder rate is 4 times, not 3 times as high.

    And “Rape and robbery are similar, and other crimes against the person are higher in the UK.”

    It hardly makes the case for more killing machines, does it?

    Considering that the UK has over a century gone from virtually unregulated firearms ownership to virtually no firearms ownership it absolutely makes no argument why the US should even consider going down the UK’s path, doesn’t it?

    Where is the benefit? Yep, there are 3.6 extra murders per 100,000 citizens. However, there has been a margin like this between the countries for 200 years, and before the UKs current gun control approach.

    In actual fact, I think this data is noteworthy. Thanks numbers, it could be the first positive contribution you’ve made yet!

  11. Carpe Jugulum

    FFS, what has that got to do with gun control?

    Go back and read what you posted at 9:20 Numbers you insane dribbler, you are an embarrasment to the 21st Fighting Fluffers.

  12. jupes

    …results in a failure to understand why such events are not sustainable.

    What does that mean?

  13. John Mc

    Of course, keeping the discussion in the realms of the purely rational is a way of distancing oneself from the pain and deep trauma of such events and results in a failure to understand why such events are not sustainable.

    The way people personally deal with emotions is important. But we are all different, so when it comes to crafting policy we can all live by we must use a rationally derived basis form purely emperical data.

  14. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    Caught out how fuckwit?
    It is almost impossible to search effectively on an i-phone.
    Why don’t you re-post the original to clarify for us?

  15. John Mc

    Enough, Sinc, please rid us of this particular example of internet vermin (John Mc)

    Sinc, I think numbers has a point. One of us has to go.

    I think we should take a popular vote on who is out. Any comments from the audience?

  16. jupes

    Lame. You’ve been caught out. Apologise.

    I doubt it.

    Meanwhile you were caught out at 8.21 by Huckleberry.

    Apologise.

  17. jumpnmcar

    @ 8:51,
    Your words, educator (sic).

    *Your are now in stealth mode *

  18. steve from brisbane

    Numbers to stay. Of course.

  19. jupes

    Any comments from the audience?

    Sorry John.

    As someone who beclowns themselves on a regular basis, Numbers is much more fun than you.

  20. .

    BTW, I didn’t say it was a handgun. You made that up. I never specified what sort of a weapon it was. The Andrew Bolt syndrome….

    Can someone please find the quote where numbers first brought this little gem up. I can’t do it as I am on my i-phone.
    I am sure that when he first raised this, he made a point about it being a handgun as it was concealed.
    Any help appreciated.

    WTF?

    So a parent got the gun off your mate, who must have been an absolute idiot, loaded it and pointed it at your head?

  21. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    I don’t think that there is really any argument John Mc.
    Most of the resident trolls here are treated relatively well, almost like the rogue drunken uncle at Christmas. They get told off when they burp or fart, but they are part of the furniture and tolerated to an extent.
    On the other hand, this numbers creep is just a big ball of far left, chip on shoulder nastiness.
    This site, no, in fact the whole Internet would be a far better place without him.

  22. Gab

    It really is not contest, John Mc. You add far more value to the site than numbers ever could. How many sites has he been banned from now?

  23. candy

    “Any comments from the audience?”

    everyone needs to express themselves and their points of view; perhaps it’s better and healthy that they can do so somewhere? even if it be grating.
    Prof Davidson’s site offers something unique in this regard.

  24. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Hmm. Turns out a lot of the gun-related murders in the USA are armed criminals murdering other armed criminals.

    Link

  25. Alfonso

    Profile the mentally ill and data base the results, that way correlation doesn’t deliberately get confused with causation by the comrades.

    “The Daily Mail :

    The Sandy Hook gunman worshiped the devil and had an online page dedicated to Satan, a former classmate revealed, as his childhood barber recalls Adam Lanza never spoke and would stare at the floor every time he had his hair cut.

    Lanza’s worshiping page had the word ‘Devil’ written in red, Gothic-style letters against a black background, Trevor L. Todd told The National Enquirer, something which he said was ‘weird’ and ‘gave him the chills’.”

  26. Gab

    I never specified what sort of a weapon it was.

    yes you did. You said it was a gun. Not a knife, not a sword, not a cannon. A gun.

  27. Viva

    The way people personally deal with emotions is important. But we are all different, so when it comes to crafting policy we can all live by we must use a rationally derived basis form purely emperical data.

    Fair enough John – however when looking for solutions to any problem input from different perspectives is vital as this joke by the great Jack Paar demonstrates.

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    Man with short left leg seeks woman with short right leg. Object: out of this world tango!

  28. Rabz

    Fuck Off, spud peeler, you insane lying syphilitic ol’ Dick Head!

    Take that as an endorsement of John Mc, people…

  29. Those supporting the availability of semi-autos and handguns are quite simply raving lunatics. Common sense has nothing to do with it.

    Having been threatened by a gun-toting father in 1989 when I was a principal changed my attitude on this. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt – it was my job to protect the disabled kids at my school.

    15 Dec 12 at 10:22 am

    ………

    I’ve been working in an around schools since 1969 in this country. The closest I’ve come to seeing guns in a school was when an old army mate in Townsville bought a squad to my school on invitation and showed the kids the Steyr. I needed regional office permission and consent from the neighbours of the school for that to be OKd.

    19 Dec 12 at 9:06 pm

  30. Those supporting the availability of semi-autos and handguns are quite simply raving lunatics. Common sense has nothing to do with it.

    Having been threatened by a gun-toting father in 1989 when I was a principal changed my attitude on this. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt – it was my job to protect the disabled kids at my school.

    15 Dec 12 at 10:22 am

    ………

    I’ve been working in an around schools since 1969 in this country. The closest I’ve come to seeing guns in a school was when an old army mate in Townsville bought a squad to my school on invitation and showed the kids the Steyr. I needed regional office permission and consent from the neighbours of the school for that to be OKd.

    19 Dec 12 at 9:06 pm

    Seriously.

  31. jumpnmcar

    Huck

    Those supporting the availability of semi-autos and handguns are quite simply raving lunatics. Common sense has nothing to do with it.
    Having been threatened by a gun-toting father in 1989 when I was a principal changed my attitude on this. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt – it was my job to protect the disabled kids at my school. Fortunately he calmed down and went home.

    I can see how that slimy lying tricky turd works.
    To think children were exposed to it, Blue card background checks must include their internet activity to weed out this sort of loon.

  32. Brian of Moorabbin

    (God help me, I’m going to defend the Digital One….)

    Technically what Numbers has said (in relation to guns at schools) is correct. The arguement being that Numbers stated he had seen a gun at scool only once on two seperate occasions.

    – He stated that he got his (ex-squaddie?) mate to bring some weapons to school for a lecture. One

    – People are stating that he also said he had been threatened at school by a disgruntled father. Two

    HOWEVER, what Numbers actually said was:

    ’m afraid I can’t be as charitable.
    Those supporting the availability of semi-autos and handguns are quite simply raving lunatics. Common sense has nothing to do with it.
    Having been threatened by a gun-toting father in 1989 when I was a principal changed my attitude on this. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt – it was my job to protect the disabled kids at my school. Fortunately he calmed down and went home.
    The sanctity of an elementary school and the innocence of childhood apparently are not worth protecting in the interests of a powerful and cynical gun lobby.
    Anyone here brave enough to speak up for the rights of those 20 kids and the teachers who vainly tried to protect them?

    Now, whilst he does say that it was his job to protect the kids at his school, he does not actually say that the threat actually happened at the school… (Mind you this is the same defence Julia is making over the AWU ‘slush fund’.. that because Blewitt and Wilson were AWU officials then the AWU was aware of the existance of the ‘fund’).

    Secondly, the only reference to any specific type of gun is from a sentance before the actual story of being threatened (as indicated in the italics above).

    (I feel so very dirty now, I’m off to take a shower..)

  33. Brian of Moorabbin

    Also, beaten by jumpnmcar by 2 minutes…

    ..still going for that shower though…

  34. For some reason my comments are not being accepted here. Not going into moderation, just disappearing.

    Anywhere, here’s a screencap of all I was trying to point out. And I’ll leave y’all to it. Maybe I’ll start hanging out at Numbers’ or SfB’s blogs – there seem to be fewer trolls there.

    Have a good Christmas, everyone.

  35. Mk50 of Brisbane

    So, and again by his own words, Numbers is:

    - a liar
    - a fabulist
    - a racist
    - a bigot
    - anti-American
    - probably an anti-semite

    Sounds like a very typical leftard, when coming down to brass tacks

  36. Gab

    probably an anti-semite

    mmmmm, don’t know. What do you call someone who says:

    to develop an understanding of the end result of the vilification of one section of the community? Back then it was Jews. Now it’s Muslims.

  37. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    Thanks for the up thread research guys.
    numbers, I made a comment earlier today to the effect that you should be an ALP candidate such is your level of obfuscation, dissembling and sophistry.
    I take none of that back.

  38. Mk50 of Brisbane

    No, Swannie, that’s brass tacks not tax you front-bench cretin, you can’t ‘save your surplus’…..

    … too late, he’s off with a new idea in his pointy little head

  39. Mk50 of Brisbane

    He’s a good fit for the ALP. Why he has all their…. hmmm. What IS the inverse of virtue?

  40. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    What IS the inverse of virtue?

    gillard?

    Tag team comedy gold!

  41. John Mc

    Interesting point (as numbers has partially pointed out above, though probably unintentionally), that the UK has always had extremely low murder rates compared to the rest of the world.

    “For England, the risk of homicide falls from 1.7 (in the 1840s) to 0.7 (mid-20th Century) and back up again as we approach the present day. The Scottish data is even more pronounced – falling from 2.9 down to 0.7 and then rising to a level equivalent to the mid-19th Century.”

    Note that the UK went from virtually no gun control – with wealthier people owning sub-machine guns – to the current situation, starting around the early 20th century.

    Although it’s unpopular to say it, the UK was the centre of the civilised world in the 1800s and early 1900s, and the height of civilisation. Perhaps this is reflected in the murder rates.

    Where the USA has always been more violent, and rode a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but on a constant downward trend.

  42. Greg

    I would like to pose the question as to whether the gun market in the USA is actually a free market? Does the second amendment act as a form of protectionism rather than protecting a freedom? In Australia, I have the right to buy a gun without having a second amendment equivalent. I do not feel any compulsion to do so for protection of myself or my family, because I don’t have to protect myself from other gun owners. In the USA there seems to me to be a degree of incentive to purchase a gun for protection from other gun owners which we don’t feel here, and which is not felt in most Countries. That degree of incentive or pressure or compulsion arises because of the prevalence of guns in their society. There is no other Country in the World that I am aware of that has a similar gun culture, and no other Country that has the equivalent of the 2nd Amendment. What would he gun market in America look like without the 2nd Amendment? In a true free market, where participants in that market cannot fall back on a form of Government protectionism, which is what the 2nd Amendment may act as, would the gun market look the same as it does now? I think not. So rather than protecting a freedom, does the 2nd Amanedment actually protect a market? Is it the biggest example of an unintended consequence ever seen?

  43. There, there, now that everyone has ceased hyperventalating, a few closing comments are apposite.

    Technically what Numbers has said (in relation to guns at schools) is correct.

    It has nothing to do with “techncally”.
    I was accused of lying. If you look at what I posted (thanks B of M), you’ll note that at no time did I specify the exact nature of the weapon. I talked about a “gun-toting father”.

    But I am sure that when he first raised this, he made a point about it being a handgun as it was concealed.

    That’s (in the teminology used here a “lie”. It’s actually a misrepresentation, but that degree of accuracy is absent when I’m accused, so I’ll simply follow the common practice here. It’s a lie.
    So Huckleberry Chunkshit, you owe me an apology.
    Then there’s the gun wanker’s contribution -

    So, and again by his own words, Numbers is:

    - a liar
    - a fabulist
    - a racist
    - a bigot
    - anti-American
    - probably an anti-semite

    Sounds like a very typical leftard, when coming down to brass tacks

  44. So let’s look at each one of these little gems -
    - a liar. See above.
    - a fabulist. Anything anyone posts is ultimately unverifiable. This can be thrown at any poster. It’s thrown at me because may of my opinions (based on life experience) upset the extremist orthodoxy apparent here.
    – a racist. This is rich coming from a poster who has an obsession about African Americans and repeats over and over again his view that their presence skews the statistics as they relate to gun violence in the USA.
    - a bigot. Again, ironic coming from a poster who has a range of bigoted opinions about refugees, African Americans, people who don’t get off with guns, and anyone with whom he disagrees.
    - anti-American. No, I just don’t think the sun shines out of their collective arseholes. That makes me an exception in this company.
    - probably an anti-Semite. This is confected because I noted that Jewish schools in Melbourne where armed guards are posted are not typical of the Australian scene. I suppose that if I’d said that the British class system isn’t observed in Australia, that would make me anti-British.
    So the gun wanker owes me an apology as well. I won’t see it. Individuals who hide behind guns to cover their moral and intellectual inadequacies usually lack the guts to apologise.

  45. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    apologise to you, an inveterate liar? Go fuck yourself you deluded, sad piece if shit.
    You continue to wallow in the self pity of your 10 month tour of duty from before I was born.
    As a tribute to you fuckwit, I am debating as to whether I should intersperse my posts with references to the 3 years that I worked as a bouncer while I was at uni. I’m sure that I will be able to make up an anecdote to suit every occasion. Even better, maybe I can draw upon my experiences in the car industry or air traffic control. What about my time managing a SME? What a plentiful range that I have to make up stories from. I am sure that if I put my mind to it I will be able to out-bullshit your made up anecdotes with my own made up ones.

  46. sdog

    OH GOOD ANOTHER THREAD hijacked into being ALL ABOUT NUMBERS!

  47. OH GOOD ANOTHER THREAD hijacked into being ALL ABOUT NUMBERS!

    Stop shouting. Your neighbours won’t appreciate it at this relativelly early hour.

  48. steve from brisbane

    How disappointing that it wasn’t just about how fantastic gun ownership is, hey sdog.

  49. steve from brisbane

    Both tom and chunkwart used to in ATC? I didn’t realise the profession attracted people with anger management problems…..

  50. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    Tom was a involved in media/journalism you moron Bad Boy Bubby Steve.

  51. This very sane piece brings the three issues together succinctly – the psychology of the killer, the environment of violence in American culture and easy access to guns.
    It also points out that the standout American exceptionalism is the third (and critical) factor.

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