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Pappas writes: "A new study throws cold water on the idea that a well-armed populace deters criminals or prevents murders. Instead, higher ownership of guns in a state is linked to more firearm robberies, more firearm assaults and more homicide in general."

Outfitter Paul Harris stands behind a shotgun display in the gun library of a new Cabela's store in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (photo: Dan Joling/AP)
Outfitter Paul Harris stands behind a shotgun display in the gun library of a new Cabela's store in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (photo: Dan Joling/AP)


Guns Don't Deter Crime, Study Finds

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science

07 July 15

 

high-profile shooting, like the June 17 crime that left dead nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, is typically followed by calls for greater gun control, along with counter arguments that the best way to stop gun crimes is with more guns. 

"The one thing that would have at least ameliorated the horrible situation in Charleston would have been that if somebody in that prayer meeting had a conceal carry or there had been either an off-duty policeman or an on-duty policeman, somebody with the legal authority to carry a firearm and could have stopped the shooter," presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in a Fox News interview on June 19.

A new study, however, throws cold water on the idea that a well-armed populace deters criminals or prevents murders. Instead, higher ownership of guns in a state is linked to more firearm robberies, more firearm assaults and more homicide in general. [5 Milestones in Gun Control History]

"We found no support for the hypothesis that owning more guns leads to a drop or a reduction in violent crime," said study researcher Michael Monuteaux, an epidemiologist and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "Instead, we found the opposite."

More guns, more gun crime

Numerous studies have found that gun ownership correlates with gun homicide, and homicide by gun is the most common type of homicide in the United States. In 2013, for example, there were 16,121 total homicides in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 11,208 of those were carried out with a firearm. (Gun suicides outpace gun homicides by far; in 2013, the CDC recorded 21,175 suicides by firearm, about half of all suicides that year. Contrary to popular belief, suicide is typically an impulsive act, psychiatrists say. Ninety percent of people who attempt suicide once will not go on to complete a suicide later, but a suicide attempt using a gun is far more lethal than other methods.)

Monuteaux and his colleagues wanted to test whether increased gun ownership had any effect on gun homicides, overall homicides and violent gun crimes. They chose firearm robbery and assault, because those crimes are likely to be reported and recorded in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Report.

Along with that FBI data, the researchers gathered gun ownership rates from surveys in the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing, nationally representative survey in which participants answered questions about gun ownership in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Using those years and controlling for a slate of demographic factors, from median household income, population density, to age, race and more, the researchers compared crime rates and gun ownership levels state by state.

They found no evidence that states with more households with guns led to timid criminals. In fact, firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in states with the most guns versus states with the least. Firearm robbery increased with every increase in gun ownership except in the very highest quintile of gun-owning states (the difference in that cluster was not statistically significant). Firearm homicide was 2.8 times more common in states with the most guns versus states with the least. [Private Gun Ownership in the US (Infographic)]

The researchers were able to test whether criminals were simply trading out other weapons for guns, at least in the case of homicide. They weren't. Overall homicide rates were just over 2 times higher in the most gun-owning states, meaning that gun ownership correlated with higher rates of all homicides, not just homicide with a gun. The results will be published in a forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Pinpointing causation

The results do need to be interpreted with caution — this study method proves that more guns are linked to more gun crime and overall homicide, but not that access to guns directly causes this criminal uptick, said study researcher David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

"This study suggests that it's really hard to find evidence that where there are more guns, there are less crimes, but you can easily find evidence that where there are a lot more guns, there are a lot more gun crimes," Hemenway told Live Science.

It's possible that people stockpile guns in response to higher levels of crime. The researchers tried to tease out whether this was the case by testing whether gun ownership levels were a prerequisite for crime or a response to higher crime levels. Though they still couldn't prove causation, they did find that higher gun ownership levels preceded crime increases, not the other way around.

"It's difficult to imagine how the hypothesis that increased ownership reduces criminal behavior could be valid, given our findings," Monuteaux said.

Other researchers have tried to explore this question in different ways. Boston University researcher Michael Siegel and colleagues found in a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health that over 30 years, gun ownership levels correlated with firearm homicides, such that the higher the gun ownership rate, the higher the firearm homicide rate.

However, Siegel said, it was possible that when people noticed the gun homicide rate going up around them, they went out to purchase guns for protection. To see if the idea held water, the researchers repeated the study, but differentiated between the stranger firearm homicide rate and the nonstranger firearm homicide rate.

They found something striking. Firearm ownership was not related to the number of stranger firearm homicides — cases where someone is killed by a stranger.

But when more people owned guns, the nonstranger firearm homicide rate rose — cases where someone is killed by someone they know.

"It wouldn't make sense to argue that people only go out to buy guns if the nonstranger homicide rate goes up, but not if the stranger homicide rate goes up," Siegel told Live Science. The data, he said, points to a picture in which confrontations between families, friends, bosses and acquaintances become lethal in the presence of guns.

"The types of fatalities that occur with nonstrangers are often situations where the presence of a gun makes all the difference in the world," Siegel said. "Having guns available makes the difference between having a fatal confrontation and a nonfatal confrontation."

Lingering questions

Despite the political firestorm over firearms, some questions about guns are settled science, Hemenway said. He's made a side project of surveying active firearm researchers on the literature in an attempt to learn what areas of research have reached a consensus, and which remain open.

What's known? One, the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide in that home. "That relationship we really know, no doubt about it," Hemenway said.

Second, the research also confirms that more access to guns means more firearm homicides, Siegel added. Research on whether other weapons replace guns when guns are unavailable suggests that they do not: Overall homicide rates, not only gun homicides, creep up when guns are in the picture. A 2014 study published in the journal Injury Prevention, for example, found a 0.7 percent increase in overall homicides for every 1 percent increase in household gun ownership. [Fight, Fight, Fight: The History of Human Aggression]

The devil, however, is in the details, which often remain unexamined.

"We know so little about gun training, we know so little about gun theft, we know some about self-defensive gun use but not really much," Hemenway said. He and his colleagues are working on studies about accidental gun deaths in children, about who kills police and whom police kill, and they'd like to research gun deaths in the elderly and gun intimidation events, in which a person brandishes a gun to scare another.

Also unclear are what policies work best to lower the number of firearms available, Siegel said. He and his colleagues are tackling that question now.

Another recent study highlighted just how little researchers know. In July 2013, researchers published a paper in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, attempting to mathematically model the trade-off between increased gun crimes with gun ownership and gun use for self-protection. Because the available data isn't comprehensive enough, the researchers weren't able to make specific policy recommendations, study researcher Dominik Wodarz of the University of California, Irvine, told Live Science.

"What this really does, this model, is it identifies what parameters are important, which should be measured," Wodarz said. The hope is to motivate future studies on factors like how many people own guns legally versus illegally, how likely someone is to die if there is a shooting, and how many people carry their guns around on a regular basis.

"The model essentially said that reducing the amount of guns would be beneficial with the data we have, but this is not something that we say should inform policy," he said.

How — or if — gun research will inform policy remains an open question. After federally funded research in the 1980s and 1990s began to reach a consensus that firearms in the home were linked to higher chances of violent death in the home, the National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbied successfully for an end to federal funding of firearms research. The prohibition had a chilling effect on the field. After the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2013, President Obama issued an executive order lifting the ban on funding gun research, but little has changed in the two years since that order, scientists in the field say. Congress has to earmark the money for such research, and has not made that cash available to the CDC. The National Institute of Justice and National Institutes of Health have limited funding for gun research, but there is very little federal money available, Hemenway said.

Nor do decision makers necessarily care about science-based policy: Hemenway recalls presenting his research to a group of congressional representatives and having one declare that he didn't care what the data had to say.

"One of the bad things the gun lobby has done is they've said, 'it's us or them, and you've got to choose sides,'" Hemenway said. "That makes it so people choose sides, and then they look for confirmatory data instead of trying to see what the world is really like."

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+19 # Dust 2015-07-07 13:59
I'm sure that SkyLineFirePest will post a response to this article.

I wanted to ask him - if we accept the two following points: 1) Firearm ownership is a U.S. right that should not be curtailed; and 2) Individual citizens do not have the right to own a nuclear weapon, where does the dividing line between these two statements fall? That is - at what point does the right to individual ownership give away to consideration of the common good in terms of not being willing to accept the possibility of nuking San Francisco in return for the freedom of individuals to retain functional nuclear weapons?
 
 
+18 # Billy Bob 2015-07-07 14:36
There's no honest reply to that question. The fact that there really is no line you can draw, where it suddenly becomes a serious problem (without at least admitting that we need more gun control), points to the fact that gun nuts aren't arguing in good faith about this.
 
 
+4 # Dust 2015-07-07 14:57
WEll, p'raps there are some folks out there who DO think that individuals should own whatever arms they choose; I have no idea. But if we accept both ends of the extremes, there has to be a line *somewhere* in the middle (let's hope!) and where that line is drawn should supply us with the real, fundamental core of the issue.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2015-07-07 15:56
But, where do you draw it? I know you're only asking rhetorically, but it's still a fact. And, wherever you draw that line, it will prove hypocritical and arbitrary. There's a huge range of murderous weapons between a plastic spoon and an H-bomb. It's only a question of degrees. If they honestly think we can determine the cut-off point based on "common sense", they haven't put any thought into it. Honestly, I think they do know better, but have just come up with an arbitrary line enabling them to further their political agenda.
 
 
+10 # cyd 2015-07-07 18:33
There's probably a line drawn that isn't very distinct because it becomes about who can afford
more powerful weapons. and the ones that can afford bigger guns own the gov. anyway
 
 
+24 # Billy Bob 2015-07-07 19:37
Yeah. That's what always cracks me up about people (even liberals/progre ssives on RSN threads) arguing that we "need guns to protect us from our government". They have absolutely no idea what our government can do that they will NEVER be able to do.

Politically, the big advantage of being armed to the teeth is to intimidate non-conservativ es. That tactic ONLY works for conservatives though, because, if a liberal does it, they're branded a "terrorist".

Conservatives already have the police and the military on their side. Liberals, if they want to accomplish anything politically, can't rely on bullets to do that. In fact, they get more done by being the victims of conservative bullets (as this past month can attest).
 
 
+1 # MEBrowning 2015-07-08 12:19
Even Ronald Reagan was a proponent of stricter gun regulations — after he was shot.
 
 
-2 # mmcmanus 2015-07-08 12:52
The vast majority of police accross the country have always been in favor of stronger gun control. Your statement that "conservatives have the military on their side" is without support, and likely an affront to the military who understand their role as defenders of all of the people, not just one political faction. Right wing politicians seem prone to commit treason these days by encouraging resistance to Supreme Court decisions, but it is unlikely the military is going to commit a coup. I'm a liberal and I don't own a gun, but I know where to get one quickly and know how to use one--hence I am not intimidated by some stupid rednecks with guns, many of whom can't think of solutions to problems, so they carry guns because they are bullying cowards. And your comment about liberals getting more done by gettng shot demonstrates an astonishing lack of character and humanity.
 
 
+3 # Merlin 2015-07-09 04:24
mmcmanus 2015-07-08 12:52
"Your statement that "conservatives have the military on their side" is without support, and likely an affront to the military who understand their role as defenders of all of the people, not just one political faction."

Really? What is the address of the arctic igloo you have been living in for the last 15 years? You say you are a Liberal. Really?! You sound much more like an authoritarian military man, when you say something like this.
 
 
-1 # skylinefirepest 2015-07-11 21:50
The vast majority of police in this country support law abiding citizens owning guns. The cops who do not like guns are the political ones...the white shirts that take their orders from the politicians.
 
 
+2 # Merlin 2015-07-09 04:25
Hey Billy,
Something of interest:

Norwegian Police Fired Just Two Shots in 2014

http://jonathanturley.org/2015/07/09/report-norwegian-police-fired-just-two-shots-in-2014/#more-91793
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-07-10 13:43
I guess they weren't scared of their criminals. Blue eyes just don't provoke bullets.

Nah! That's too easy. I think it's a bunch of stuff. I think the big difference is literally the gun culture of America, and our love of authoritarianis m that much of the civilized world lacks.
 
 
+10 # backwards_cinderella 2015-07-08 02:37
It's like religion. The gun nuts look at it just like it's their religion & they are never going to argue in good faith about it, because it IS their faith.
 
 
+4 # Glen 2015-07-08 06:50
They also believe on faith that they could fight off the government or militarized police forces. Rational gun owners do not believe any such thing.
 
 
+15 # Merlin 2015-07-07 22:37
Dust 2015-07-07 13:59
“I’m sure that SkyLineFirePest will post a response to this article.”

Pest is an admitted troll and so whatever he would say is going to be provocative rather than instructive. I rather hope he stays away. Too many here love argue with him and to give him red thingies which he checks back to count (he admitted this). He is just trying to piss off "Libruls" again by his own admission.

Your argument is well stated if you are looking to try and solve the problem with logic, reason and studies to back up those.

Unfortunately, the point is that the whole issue of guns is based around emotions. Logic and reason get kicked to the side of the road. The feelings of power and fear are the driving forces. If owning, or holding a gun, for instance, gives the owner a feeling of security instead of fear, (even if its false security) there is no discussion possible at any level. If having a gun in his hand gives the owner a sense of power instead of the feeling of fear and helplessness he would feel without it, you run into the emotional cry of "I'll give you my gun when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.”

This is why Billy is correct that no effective line can be drawn. That line depends on the feelings of fear and need for power each individual requires. A consensus is impossible as that would require an unemotional approach.

It is illusory to search for that line, but that is what we are doing and will continue to do, emotions be damned.
 
 
-1 # skylinefirepest 2015-07-11 21:48
So being a man who is Conservative and loves his country is a troll? You astound me Merlin. And actually there are many studies that show that gun ownership deters crime. And no, you know that I won't list them for you for very good reasons...I won't do your homework for you and even if you read a pro-gun study it wouldn't change your pea-pickin' liberal loving heart.
 
 
-2 # A_Har 2015-07-08 21:12
Of course what is missing from such studies is this: *how many of the people involved in these violent mass shootings turned out to be mentally ill.*

My guess is all of them.

As to this..."1) Firearm ownership is a U.S. right that should not be curtailed..."

It already IS curtailed as there are many laws on the books restricting ownership, and certain types of guns and weapons ARE banned outright. In my state, when someone buys a gun, they have to register it and go through a background check. People who are criminals don't care about those things, so they get them anyway through back channels. So, there are regulations in force, but most people posting here act as if *they do not exist.*

In the meantime, mental health treatment systems have always been the poor stepchild of the healthcare system, and have gone begging for decades. AND, what a sick violent culture we live in!

As to the functional nuclear weapons, the government itself has cornered the angle on that one and the threat of violence inherent in it.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2015-07-10 13:45
Yep. Murderers are crazy - by definition. Murder is a crazy act. It begs the question of why we make so many murderous weapons so readily available.

As to your last paragraph, you don't get off that easily.

Is it the right of every American to own a nuclear weapon? If not - WHY NOT?
 
 
-2 # skylinefirepest 2015-07-11 21:56
Hey Dust, yeah I believe that weapon ownership is a right not a privilege and I already know what I would do with my nuke...and you wouldn't like it. The problem is keeping firearms out of the hands of the criminals and that is just about impossible. You guys want to keep firearms out of everyone's hands and that is not going to happen. Gun laws simply don't have any effect on crime and never will. And further on in this bit there is a comment that doing away with firearms would make a huge reduction in suicides...what bullshit. I've personally photographed at least four suicide by vehicle and can think of several more that could have been but we couldn't prove it.
 
 
-31 # lewagner 2015-07-07 23:10
Don't worry, progressives, it won't be long before the only guns in the USA will be owned by the militarized police, Special Forces, and criminals.
Another great victory, after Obamacare, gay marriage and hauling down that nasty Confederate Flag. Congratulations !!
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2015-07-07 23:59
YAY!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enSYlCEz5VI
 
 
+14 # Secular Humanist 2015-07-08 00:21
So this will come about because the gun ownership and use rules have been relaxed at both the state and federal levels during the Obama administration, and private gun ownership has skyrocketed? Your logic defies me.
 
 
0 # A_Har 2015-07-08 21:15
Quoting Secular Humanist:
So this will come about because the gun ownership and use rules have been relaxed at both the state and federal levels during the Obama administration, and private gun ownership has skyrocketed? Your logic defies me.

The Greatest Gun Salesman In America: President Barack Obama
http://ammo.net/obama

February 21, 2012
By Sam Jacobs
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2015-07-10 13:47
So, I take it you're a big supporter?
 
 
+4 # backwards_cinderella 2015-07-08 02:38
It must be nice to get paid to say idiotic things.
 
 
+4 # StuBones1960 2015-07-08 06:49
It will lead to a decrease in gun suicides. A decrease in little kids finding daddy's gun under the sofa or in a drawer or some other "safe" place and killing themselves or others. A decrease in accidental shootings. A decrease in road rage deaths. A decrease in people dying because they chose the wrong door to knock on for directions. I can live with that.
 
 
0 # A_Har 2015-07-08 21:19
Quoting StuBones1960:
It will lead to a decrease in gun suicides. A decrease in little kids finding daddy's gun under the sofa or in a drawer or some other "safe" place and killing themselves or others. A decrease in accidental shootings. A decrease in road rage deaths. A decrease in people dying because they chose the wrong door to knock on for directions. I can live with that.

Will you live well when the military and police start shooting dissidents and making people "disappeared" and the whole population is UNARMED and defenceless against such actions? And the USA turns into a banana republic? It will be interesting to see how well people do when their neighborhood becomes Iraq, and the gov goons are going house to house kicking peoples doors down and ordering those inside to come out just like they did in Boston.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z-lMOUGuok

Folks act like it can't happen here. OH, yes, it can and it already has. People in the USA take so much for granted along the road of soft totalitarianism . The trouble is that it can turn to hard totalitarianism any time and then we can be royally screwed.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2015-07-10 13:49
So, what's your gun going to do to stop this? Do you think the other banana republics don't have guns? The countries that DON'T have guns are the ones with a better standard of living, lower crime rate, and more freedoms. The banana republics are FULL of guns. You're not even trying to make an argument, are you?
 
 
0 # A_Har 2015-07-10 20:56
Quoting Billy Bob:
So, what's your gun going to do to stop this? Do you think the other banana republics don't have guns? The countries that DON'T have guns are the ones with a better standard of living, lower crime rate, and more freedoms. The banana republics are FULL of guns. You're not even trying to make an argument, are you?

We are turning into a banana republic. And taking away the guns won't stop people from getting them. There are now 3D printing programs that can produce them.

Australia banned guns, but the populace still has as many as before the gun ban.

Australia's Gun Ban NOT Working So Well
http://www.military.com/video/guns/small-arms/australias-gun-ban-not-working-so-well/1775480805001/
 
 
-2 # Billy Bob 2015-07-11 01:06
You're dodging.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2015-07-08 09:03
Quoting lewagner:
Don't worry, progressives, it won't be long before the only guns in the USA will be owned by the militarized police, Special Forces, and criminals.
Another great victory, after Obamacare, gay marriage and hauling down that nasty Confederate Flag. Congratulations!!


Thanks for another little comment from Trollsville, just to clarify what the Reactionary demographic and their mindless, mean-spirited, repressionist lemmings are thinking.
Just in case we didn't already know.
 
 
0 # mmcmanus 2015-07-08 12:54
You're losing, so excercise your freedom to travel and go join a jihadist group in Iran, one that is more in line with your views than the majority of U.S. citizens.
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2015-07-08 16:14
RIGHT ON !!!!!
 
 
+7 # rofo47 2015-07-08 05:39
Lewgner: you are correct. Obamacare is a victory since millions who could not afford decent Healthcare no longer have to worry about getting sick, gays can now receive the same rights and be treated as normal American citizens like everyone else, and the Confederate battle flag is nasty to millions who look at it as a symbol of unamerican racism
 
 
-12 # lnason@umassd.edu 2015-07-08 07:41
I will be interested in reading the study when it becomes available. The entire western hemisphere is extremely violent regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability and the rest of the world is much less lethal regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability.

I would thus argue that the availability is guns is not the problem -- the problem rather appears to be cultural violence.

That said, it is immoral to deprive people -- often the elderly, physically weaker women, or the disabled -- of the possibility of defending themselves from violence by criminals and domestic thugs.

I loosely track gun defense incidents in the US. I only pick up the ones that make the news -- that means that most defensive gun incidents are unrecorded -- but even in this sliver of gun defense incidents, over the past several years I picked up one or two cases every week -- and many of them have resulted in the avoidance of mass murder, murder, and/or rape. I would not have wanted to be the person to tell these defenders that they could not own a gun.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2015-07-08 09:03
Quoting lnason@umassd.edu:
I will be interested in reading the study when it becomes available. The entire western hemisphere is extremely violent regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability and the rest of the world is much less lethal regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability.

I would thus argue that the availability is guns is not the problem -- the problem rather appears to be cultural violence.

That said, it is immoral to deprive people -- often the elderly, physically weaker women, or the disabled -- of the possibility of defending themselves from violence by criminals and domestic thugs.

I loosely track gun defense incidents in the US. I only pick up the ones that make the news -- that means that most defensive gun incidents are unrecorded -- but even in this sliver of gun defense incidents, over the past several years I picked up one or two cases every week -- and many of them have resulted in the avoidance of mass murder, murder, and/or rape. I would not have wanted to be the person to tell these defenders that they could not own a gun.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Like you "loosely track" everything else.
 
 
+5 # Dust 2015-07-08 09:23
I was just going to say...

'Loosely track' means she watches TV.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2015-07-08 15:35
By TV you mean FOX
 
 
+2 # Capn Canard 2015-07-08 09:20
Yes, the west is the most violent. It is also one of the centers of privatized monetary system. Throw on top of that the private property ideal and owning of humans and instantly the SHTF with widespread violence since at least the 1700's. The Europeans are not quite as violent presumably because they have a very strong social democracy tradition(thank s to the defeat of Fascism/Nazism) and that socialization does move more wealth into social concerns. America? Nope. Most Americans have mistaken gun ownership with safety when the data shows quite the opposite.
 
 
0 # Billsy 2015-07-08 12:47
You write "The entire western hemisphere is extremely violent regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability and the rest of the world is much less lethal regardless of the severity or laxity of gun availability." Huh? Are you cognitively impaired? That statement alone flies in the face of statistical evidence. As for your "loosely track.." remark; the BS detector swings into the red.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2015-07-08 15:34
Lee, kindly explain that if increased gun ownership is not responsible increased gun violence then WHY did law enforcement in the "Wild West" insisted that ALL people entering the town had to leave their guns at the law enforcement office before they could enter the town? This was in the "UNCIVILIZED" west.
 
 
0 # RMDC 2015-07-08 17:51
"I would thus argue that the availability is guns is not the problem -- the problem rather appears to be cultural violence."

I agree. There will always be enough guns for the violent people who want them. I don't want any guns and I don't want to shoot any human or animal. So the issue is not relevant to me. But there are violent people who do want guns and they will always be able to get them.

Much better to attack the real cause -- the violence that lies at the heart of US culture. Expose that for the psychosis it is and maybe some good can be done.
 
 
0 # RMDC 2015-07-08 08:42
all of the discussion here acts as if this issue were something to resolve rationally. but it is not. Gun ownership is now the result of a massive marketing campaign, probably bigger than any other commodity now on the market except for "smart phones." Guns are now "gadgets" and Amerians have had a fetish for gadgets since the 1950s. This fetish is purely driven by marketing. I'm sure a marketer could engineer a fetish for "pet rocks" if is wanted to. Americans will buy anything that is marketed well.


It is totally idiotic to think there ever will be a reduction in gun sales. Would there ever be a reduction in smart phone sales. Gun-gadgets keep getting more and more functionality, just as any other gadget does. Stupid American consumers love to play with these new functions and everyone wants the latest. Now the rage in the gun-fetishists is silencers or "suppressors" as the call them. They are even fitting suppressors on to AR 15s. All this is just consumer nonsense.

America is an unusually violent nation. It uses guns and other weapons to kill people all over the world. Americans think killing people is somehow "heroic." This idiocy is used as a part of the marketing for guns. Many gun nuts dream of killing some intruder or mugger. This is sheer lunacy, but it is the marketing reality. Killing people is not heroic; it is criminal and cowardly.
 
 
-1 # skylinefirepest 2015-07-12 13:20
So RMDC, if your home is broken into and your wife and family are threatened then it's "criminal and cowardly" to protect them?? Are you serious??
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2015-07-08 09:13
Surprised? You shouldn't be.
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2015-07-08 10:33
Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.
 
 
0 # rhgreen 2015-07-08 18:11
I think it's unlikely that gun ownership deters crime. But I'm nervous about the statistics here. There is too much confounding. My guess is that more crime and more guns have common causes and that teasing it apart to test for causality, either guns => crime or crime => guns , isn't possible. What you need is an experiment, of sorts. After a 1996 mass shooting Australia toughened its gun laws and here is what happened:
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/14/america-mass-murder-australia-gun-control-saves-lives
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2015-07-09 11:45
Just wondering...... ..how do you guys know that Lee is a woman?
 
 
+1 # Merlin 2015-07-10 17:45
bmiluski 2015-07-09 11:45

Look her up. She is listed.
 
 
0 # jstick 2015-07-09 19:15
In 2013 the NYTimes published a story which spells it out quite clearly: more guns = more deaths. Look at just how this works in Central America:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/sunday-review/more-guns-more-killing.html?hpw&_r=0
 
 
0 # notsofreespirit 2015-07-10 07:49
Old west mentality that the good guy always wins. What makes people think that a good guy with a gun will win over the bad guy with a gun? What does it say about our culture that people call for guns in churches and schools and anywhere else people congregate. Do these good christian people think Jesus would approve of shoot-outs in his house? These people are even against background checks, with no good reason to back it up. If they want to argue the 2nd Amendment, they should read the entire Amendment.
 
 
0 # skylinefirepest 2015-07-18 12:40
And notsofree, just what part of the 2nd do you find fault with? I can guess but then again having studied the origins and reasoning with the Federalist Papers I already know what the truth is...from the writings of the very people who wrote the 2nd Amendment no less!!! Do you think Jesus has a very high regard for those who will not protect themselves, their families, and their friends?? If so then I'd say you haven't studied the Bible.
 

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