Posted by Jason | Posted in Gun Control | Posted on 03-03-2010
While reading some of the comments on the Wall Street Journal about the case before the Supreme Court, I had to chuckle. Liberals think guns are so horrible, and they talk about the gun as if it had legs and a mind to go shooting whoever it chooses. They get all huffy and puffy saying things like, “Sure let’s have more guns, bigger guns, bazookas!” Then one guy said he’s sick of gun rights. People should be thrown in jail for life if they commit a crime with a gun and people should basically be economically raped for any gun related accident.
What is so funny about all these liberals is how much they focus on guns, when guns really aren’t that dangerous. Let’s look at some statistics.
There is about 1 gun for every person in these United States. That’s roughly 300 million guns. According to WikiAnswers, in 2007 there were roughly 10,000 people killed with firearms. That’s 1 death for every 30,000 guns.
OK, well how does that compare to other means of death.
Well, about 43,000 people die yearly in car accidents. According to US Department of transportation there are roughly 62 million registered vehicles and 6 million unregistered. That is 1 death for every 1581 vehicles.
In the book Freakonomics, the author’s talk about how when some parents find out little Junior’s buddy’s house has a gun it in, they get all worried and don’t allow Junior to go over there anymore. But, they have no problem with Junior going over there when there is a swimming pool, and the chance of a child being killed in a swimming pool related accident compared to a gun is much higher. The death of a child by swimming pool is something like 1 in 11,000 pools, while guns is like 1 in 1 million plus guns. Even the total number of deaths by pools are higher than by gun. According to the authors, there are 550 deaths of a children under 10 in the US every year from drowing in swimming pools. There are roughly 175 children under 10 who died because of gun related accidents.
How about outright killings of babies, otherwise known as abortion. There are approximately 1.3 million abortions performed a year. Whoa! Tell me how bad guns are again! That is one killing for every 230 people. But wait! Men can’t even have abortions, so really you can only count women. That would bring the killing of a baby to one killing for every 115 women. That is assuming half the population are women, but I believe they actually account for a little more than half.
Also, these firearm related deaths don’t even take into account how many people protect themselves every year by using guns. According to a Florida State University study (cited in 2nd to last paragraph), there are 2.5 million cases a year where guns are used in self defense. Also, from the same article, according to a Justice Department report, states with right-to-carry laws have a 30% lower homicide rate and a 46% lower robbery rate.
It would appear if we wanted to have a safer world, we could forget about gun restrictions and focus on restricting liberals from making laws.
Posted by Jason | Posted in Gun Control | Posted on 19-02-2010
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments related to gun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. Those trying to uphold the bans are arguing that the second amendment does not limit what states can do. It only applies to the federal government. If the court rules in this direction, what does that say about the rest of the Bill of Rights?
The court will consider March 2 whether the Constitution blocks states from restricting handguns. The case could further rework arms regulations in the aftermath of the court’s 2008 decision to strike down a law for violating the Second Amendment for the first time.
That decision invalidated the District of Columbia’s handgun ban for infringing what the court called an “inherent right to self-defense.” The capital’s peculiar status as a federal enclave, however, left unclear the implications for state law.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments over that question in challenges to handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., weighing whether the principle it set for Washington, D.C. also applies to states and local communities. The issue has scrambled traditional alliances, as gun-rights groups battle each other over how to argue the case, and some left- and right-leaning legal theorists unite over how to interpret the Constitution.
No need to worry. The Supreme Court supposedly leans conservative now. I’m sure our rights will be protected.
In judging the justice’s stances, most enigmatic may be that of Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion in the District of Columbia case.
In a 1997 book, “A Matter of Interpretation,” Justice Scalia wrote that he viewed “the Second Amendment as a guarantee that the federal government would not interfere with the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Yet, this next passage gives court watchers some pause. “Of course,” Justice Scalia continued, “properly understood, it is no limitation upon arms control by the states.”
Now a claim to the contrary—that the Second Amendment does limit arms control by the states—is pending. Justice Scalia declined to comment through a court spokeswoman.
Eh boy. Guess we can’t just assume that we will have our rights protected. So, if what Scalia said in his book is the way he rules, what does that say for the rest of the Bill of Rights? Can we look forward to states establishing their own churches? Maybe they can limit our free speech by imprisoning us without due process and use cruel and unusual punishments on us when we complain about the state? Hey now you say? Well, apparently the Bill of Rights only applies to the federal government. You can’t go around proclaiming your rights to the state.
It would seem only our “elite” politicians and judges could have a hard time understanding the intent of the second amendment. How hard is it to interpret,
“the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”?
Sounds pretty straight forward to me. It does not say “shall not be infringed by the federal government”. Maybe the founders made a mistake using words. Maybe pictures would have helped our leaders figure out what they meant.
Clearly the right to bear arms without government interference was the intent of the founders. By the very statement in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life and liberty (and property which was edited out), it would seem to me implies you have a right to defend that life, liberty and property. If we are stripped of our right to defend ourselves by the state, then you really have no rights at all. You only have the rights that have yet to be taken from you.
Posted by Jason | Posted in Gun Control | Posted on 04-02-2010
Why is anyone shocked by this? It’s always different for the rulers. They can steal, lie, commit fraud, create ponzi schemes, counterfeit money and basically every other crime you can think of, but they do not want citizens to be able to have something as basic as self defense.
Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home just outside Tabor City, N.C. about 5 p.m. Sunday, the prosecutor for the politician’s home county said.
The intruder, Kyle Blackburn, was taken to a South Carolina hospital, but the injuries were not reported to be life-threatening, according to Rex Gore, district attorney for Columbus, Bladen and Brunswick counties.
The State Bureau of Investigation and Columbus County Sheriff ‘s Department are investigating the shooting, Gore said. Soles, who was not arrested,declined to discuss the incident Sunday evening.
“I am not in a position to talk to you,” Soles said by telephone. “I’m right in the middle of an investigation.”
The Senator, who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public, didn’t hesitate to defend himself with his own gun when he believed he was in immediate danger and he was the victim.
Over Thanksgiving dinner, my brother and I began our normal debates of politics, war, health care, etc. This year was a little different.
I’ve always been the typical conservative, who believes the government is a necessary evil that wants to control us more and more with healthcare, welfare, net neutrality and on and on, but we need to maintain a strong military and remain on the offense in the war on terror.
Having always considered my self a free market capitalist, I was reading pro-capitalist books, websites, etc. Eventually, I found myself in a world that challenged my own contradictions. I’ve always realized that liberalism was irrational and illogical, but I always thought conservatism was rational and logical. After reading Ron Paul’s book, End The Fed, I started a debate on Mises.org, a pro-free market site founded to spread the economic ideas of Ludwig von Mises. Like most conservatives, I liked Ron Paul’s belief in the constitution and his domestic policy beliefs, but I thought his foreign policy was isolationist and unrealistic. In the forums, I said I like Ron Paul and would vote for him, but I didn’t believe in his isolationism and questioned whether he believed in a strong military. Having always laughed at liberals and all their contradictions, it was now I who seemed to be the one with contradictions.
Not being used to people debating with logic and reason, I quickly felt like I was being presented an option. The forum users were offering me the Red Pill, leading me on a path which would challenge my assumptions and the Matrix in which we live, or the Blue Pill, in which I could ignore their arguments and stay in the comfort of what I’ve always believed and had reinforced by the Matrix. Having always believed in pursuing TRUTH in spite of fear, ostracizing, or ego, I took the Red Pill. Quickly I realized I was outside the Matrix looking in.
The first thing you realize is the Matrix is constructed of two sides who are opposites of the same contradictory, statist coin. Both believe in using government force in order to compel the populace to live by their terms. One side believes in “national greatness” while the other believes in “national virtue”. Neither fulfills their stated goal, and neither believes in individual liberty. Both sides benefit from the endless debate and the “my team is best” mentality. The Matrix was not constructed over night. It was developed over time piece by piece and quickly became the known world to those who know no alternative to life inside the Matrix. Current generations have had the programming loaded into their minds through the government schools. Even if you attend private schools, you must meet certain mandated “standards”. As an adult, your programming is reinforced with TV shows, news programs, and “educational” programs that reinforce the assumptions that were programmed into you as a child.
The founding institution of the Matrix, the State, is formed by competing parties, which you are encouraged to cheer one as your team and boo the others as the enemy no matter what the topic. Debates rage with differing opinions, but never involve root causes or underlying assumptions. Both sides debate particular wars, but never discuss what caused the war or whether foreign intervention is just and in our best interest (ex: Should our military is deployed in 150 countries). We debate how to best raise the standards of public schools, but no one questions the existence of the public schools or the historical failure of them(ex: Black Americans went from 20% literacy rate in 1860 to 80% by 1890. Now, black Americans have a 60% literacy rate). They debate how to best handle retirement savings, but neither questions whether the government should be handling it at all or the consequences of their mishandling (ex: Inflating Wall Street pay via 401ks and IRAs). Currently, we’re debating health care. One side argues for national health care, and the other argues against it. Neither side debates government involvement and it’s effect on skyrocketing prices in the first place.
It’s not hard to understand why the Matrix is so hard to break free from. It’s all we’ve known. We haven’t experienced schooling without public schools, health care without insurance, a world without US policing, or life without so called “safety nets”. During the debate with my brother, who always argued with my beliefs on foreign policy when I was inside the Matrix, agreed Americans were not looking at the issue properly because they are surrounded by re-enforcing factors such as the media. The media never gives a historical perspective. They only ask what should be done about terrorism or which war we should fight. They never ask why is there terrorism or if we think punishing civilians via embargoes will help them overthrow tyranny. They never ask if we believe it creates less responsibility for Wall Street executives when the Fed drops interest rates to zero and promises to prevent bank failures. They are only asked whether we should have bailouts or not.
The funny thing was as soon as the debate turned to public education, my brother was back in the Matrix. I asked the question of why there should even be public schools, and immediately his programming took hold. “You have to have government schools. How would people get schooling? I don’t think the schools are bad. It’s our culture. Teacher unions aren’t to blame, it’s the parents. You can’t teach a child who’s parent is a drug addict. What about the poor?” On and on the debate raged, but he could not get his head around the fact that the government has created the disastrous system in the first place. He could not comprehend a world without the government. It was if nothing comes about without the government. It’s understandable. Can you imagine arguing what life would be like without slavery in the early 1800s? Surely, you would have been nuts. They were living inside their Matrix, created by generations that came before.
Over the coming months, I will attempt to touch on some of these topics. While I am not an expert, I will present you with Red and Blue pills. The Red pill will question whether our lives our better with government involvement in all aspects of our lives. Is the government really protecting us? Could we live without government? You will have to open your mind and challenge your assumptions if you take the Red pill. On the other hand, you can take the Blue pill. You can stay in your comfort zone, fight the same old fights, assume the government is there for your protection, and live out the consequences of those beliefs. The choice is yours, but you must make a choice.
Bob Murphy had a great post on his blog, FreeAdvice, about how the Right-Wingers (I’ve always considered myself a right-winger) are always blasting the government for it inefficient and disasterous social programs, but yet we act like things are different when it comes to the military, war, and safety. Here’s a snippet of his post.
A person familiar with the matter said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was told about the intercepted emails several months ago. But members of terror task forces aren’t allowed to share such information with their agencies, unless they get permission from the FBI, which leads the task forces.
In this case, the Pentagon worker, an employee from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, helped make the assessment that Maj. Hasan wasn’t a threat, and the FBI’s “procedures for sharing the information were never used,” said the person familiar with the matter.
So the above suggests to me that even if we gave up enough civil liberties to transform the entire country into one big military barracks, we still couldn’t trust the government to protect us from obvious terrorist threats.
Since that’s the case, I vote that we don’t give up our civil liberties and test the theory.
Of course, what will happen is that they will “streamline agency cooperation” and implement other reforms, so that the above doesn’t happen again. Just like Fannie and Freddie and General Motors will keep revising their procedures every time they lose another few billion dollars.
“Just give us some more money and liberty, we’ll get it right eventually. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
Bob is completely right. Right-wingers (me) have a contradiction in their ideas of government. We know the government is horrible at basically everything it does, and the free market is much better at handling the allocation of resources and meeting needs, but we still think it is better equiped to protect us and to wage war. Why would that be? Protection and war are basically just services. Think about it on a local level. Police don’t actually protect you. At best, the thought of police deter some from committing crimes against you, but for those who disregard the threat of police force, you are unprotected. Police can only come after the crime has been committed.
In this case, the military couldn’t even protect it’s soldiers against an obvious threat. So, how did the government actually function in it’s role as protector? It had the exact opposite effect, as government always does. Instead, it disarmed soldiers with idiotic gun control, so that the soldiers had no defense against this mad man. This is the same thing you have in most shootings. The government forces citizens to disarm, and the citizen is left unprotected against those who would do them harm.
The only way to prevent episodes like this or to at least minimize their damage is to rid ourselves of these ridiculous gun laws. “Whoa, whoa, whoa there militia boy. You can’t just have people running around with guns everywhere. It’s too dangerous.” Why is it too dangerous? Study after study have shown that crime is lowered as gun rights are increased and vice versa. If everyone carried guns or at least everyone could be packing, do you think it would not make those who want to do harm hesitate before they do it? Are we to believe that Hasan would have had the stupidity to start his rampage if he knew the other soldiers were armed? Are we to believe that he was not emboldened by the knowledge that the soldiers were unarmed?
Let’s walk through a small scenario. Say there is a guy who wants to kill another guy. He isn’t suicidal, and he doesn’t want to die. He knows where the guy is. Now, let’s say the victim carries a gun. Do you think the killer is going to plan his attack based on where the victim goes? Let’s say the victim works at a school, about the most unprotected place on the planet. Where do you think the killer is going to attack? He’s going to attack the guy when he’s working, because the guy remains unprotected, and no one around the guy will be able to help him either. Everyone is unprotected. Now, if you have unregulated gun ownership as the constitution allows, the killer doesn’t know who has a gun. The killer, not wanting to die himself, will hesitate because the victim could have a gun as well, or anyone around him could have a gun. The more people in society that have guns the more of a deterance to those like our killer here.
“Well, yeah, but what if he doesn’t care if he dies like this Hasan?” Well, if that’s the case, you will not prevent the attack no matter what, but you will end the attack quickly with less lives lost. In the case of Ft. Hood, if the soldiers were allowed to carry, someone would have taken Hasan out after his first kill. It’s horrible to have even one death, but it’s much better than a massacre.
To take it to the next step, would we even have had Hasan if we didn’t have 9/11. Without 9/11, we wouldn’t be fighting two wars against muslims. Because the government prevents anyone from carrying arms onto a plane, you had unprotected passangers unable to do anything to prevent the terrorist attacks. Do you think the terrorists would have hijacked the planes if they knew there were people on the plane with guns and they didn’t know who was armed? So in order to prevent hijackings by armed criminals, we get the exact opposite result of what we wanted.
This is a tough subject, but one that must be thought through rationally. We can’t just wish the world to be the way we want it to be, and then try to regulate it to conform to our ideals. As I’ve said, you end up with the exact opposite of what you wanted. Below is a video from Freedomain Radio. It’s a bit long, but he has a great way of explaining how going against our intution is a much better solution. He even takes it as far as leading to world peace. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but he makes a great case.
During this health care debate, I’ve argued many times that any government program comes at the price of your freedom. While the government supposedly can’t take away your rights as they are re-established in our Constitution, they can suppress those rights through coercing you to voluntarily give them up. They already do this with large portions of the population that rely on the government dole for their daily sustenance. How do you get the rest of society? Slowly you work toward one large government program that can be used as a carrot against the citizenry. What is that carrot? It would obviously be health care, the one program that can decide life and death matters.
“So what are you getting at here Mr. Profiteer?” By holding the carrot, the government can make you voluntarily give up your rights. If you tried saying that taking away your freedom of speech or your right to bare arms is unconstitutional, the government’s retort would be that it’s optional. You do not have to take government health care. You can forgo it. How do you forgo it when the private insurance has been decimated by trying to compete with the government’s ability to print its own money? On top of that, how do you pay for your own health care out of pocket when eventually physicians will be highly regulated and costs will be driven up so dramatically because of regulation and rationing?
Think this is a crazy scenario? How about you Mr. Frank with The Wall Street Journal? One simply need to read about what the CDC is looking into to see how quickly we may be chasing after carrots.
Take the Obama administration’s justification for its new gun research. “Gun-related violence is a public health problem – it diverts considerable health care resources away from other problems and, therefore, is of interest to NIH,” wrote the agency spokesman in an e-mail responding to questions from Republican members of Congress about new grants the CDC is giving out. The statement assumes the conclusion of the research before the first study is done.
The research on right-to-carry laws illustrates the problem with the CDC. Dozens of refereed academic studies by economists and criminologists using national data have been published in journals. While the vast majority of those studies find that right-to-carry laws save lives and reduce harm to victims, some studies claim that the laws have no statistically significant effect. But most tellingly, there is not a single published refereed academic study by a criminologist or economist showing a bad effect from these laws.