Empirical Evidence: Irrelevant to the NRA and the Gun Fetish Cult

One myth missing is that we need guns to overthrow the tyrannical government, because I like my chances with an AR-15 against an M1A2 or five, but the ten listed cover considerable territory.  Of course, most of us who read LGM already know this, aside from the mediocre right wing trolls we seem to attract like flies (if anything, please send us smarter wingers!).

While allowing that a couple of the inferences are tenuous (e.g. I suspect that the 4.5x greater likelihood that the armed get shot than the unarmed is a partial result of the armed possessing an attitude that creates the situation where they’re more likely to get shot in the first place), according to the Dave Gilson article linked, it turns out that:

1. They’re not coming for your guns.  Seriously.  Get over it.

2. Guns do kill people: “People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns.”

3. An armed society turns out to be a less polite society.

4. Good guys with guns don’t stop “rampaging” bad guys with guns.  However, “In 23% of shootings within the (ER), the weapon was a security officer’s gun taken by the perpetrator.”  While good guys with guns might not stop bad guys with guns, they do accidentally provide the weapon used in a significant number of ER shootings.

5. An armed home is not a safer home: “For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.” That’s a ratio of 1:22.

6. You are not magically safer because you’re armed. Indeed, it turns out that an assault victim is 4.5 times more likely to be shot if they’re armed.

7. Likewise, guns do not make women safer. However, the data presented to support this point seem indirect, but what isn’t at all surprising is that women are six times more likely to be shot by a husband, boyfriend, or ex partner than a stranger.

8. Video games do not deserve more blame for a violent society.

9. Gun ownership as a proportion of the population is not increasing.  Rather, a shrinking percentage of the population are buying more guns.

10. We do need more gun laws, rather than merely enforce the gun laws we already have. More accurately, we need better gun laws, not those designed with the significant influence of the NRA. I’m considering changing the example used in my lecture on the iron triangle from Boeing to the NRA.

At least we can still cling to the myth that the 35% of American who do own guns, specifically the subset of those who own 7.9 guns per person (the connection in the article is ambiguous), can protect us by overthrowing the tyrannical government when the time comes.

139 comments on this post.
  1. atheist:

    Of course, most of us who read LGM already know this, aside from the mediocre right wing trolls we seem to attract like flies (if anything, please send us smarter wingers!).

    I suspect that the smarter ones don’t show up because they quickly learn you’ll make them look foolish. The mediocre ones don’t learn so quick.

  2. Graham Shevlin:

    Well, I see that Bob in Boston is doing his best to cycle through all of the standard assertions of the NRA Supporters Club, complete with strawmen, inappropriate and misleading cites from history and historical documents, and fallacies to be deployed to his next message in 3,2,1…

  3. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    There you go again with your FACTS and FIGURES. Typical liberal.

  4. c u n d gulag:

    Sorry if this insults you, not-so-dear gun fetishists, who own more than a simple handgun to protect your familiy and property, and/or a rifle to hunt with, but you’re pussies – and I don’t mean that in an insulting way to any women who may read this.

    It’s just that, in today’s America, that word, “pussy,” defines your level of cowardice, fear, and paranoia, best.

    Now, I’ll grant you that I don’t know jack-sh*t about your precious guns.

    I grew-up in NY City. I lived in 4 of the boroughs, and in some fairly dangerous neighborhoods, or near some really dangerous ones (and mostly, they were dangerous because the crimes often involoved guns – yes, most of the illegal, but guns none-the-less).

    I lived in Center City, Philadelphia, right next to one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

    And, I lived in an old and down-trodden apartment complex in a not too good part of Fayetteville, NC. This complex housed a lot of military personel, and their families, who were relatively poor.

    I also worked as a bartender and bouncer in the Alphabet Jungle in the Lower East Side of NY City, back in the late 70′s and early 80′s. That, was a very rough part of Manhattan back then. As a matter of fact, one of the bars I worked at when I was bartending, had a huge Hells Angel working security.
    And guess what?
    He didn’t carry a gun. Or a knife. He was just one huge, tough looking, tatted-up, SOB.

    And, and all of my almost 55 years, I never saw a gun in those places.
    Never felt the need for one in my apartments in the poorer neightborhoods.
    Never felt the need for a gun when I walked the streets, day or night, of the 4 boroughs I lived in – and, my bartending/bouncing shifts in those sh*tty neighborhoods, often ended at 2 or 4 am, with a long walk to the subway, since most cabs didn’t drive around that part of town, since it was pretty dangerous.

    So, I didn’t grow up around guns.
    I lived in “urban” areas that would scare the living sh*t out of a lot of Heartland ‘Murkins, and never felt the need, or wanted, a gun.

    And yeah, in all of the years I lived there, I did get mugged.
    Once.
    After leaving my bartending shift at 2am.
    By 4 “Blah” teenagers. With knives.

    Did I get scared, and move out of the city? No.
    Did I run out and buy a gun? No.
    Did I run out and buy a knife? No.
    I just kept doing what I had always done, and never had another problem in all of the years I lived there.

    Now, I’m not exactly a tiny man, and wasn’t then. But I wasn’t like that Hells Angel.
    Mostly, I carried a book or newspaper around with me, so that I had something to read once I got to the subway station, since, sometimes it takes some time for your subway to arrive in the dead of night. And, it was better etiquette to read something, than look, or stare, at any fellow passengers who might be on that train in the dead of night.

    So, let me ask you, if I didn’t feel the need for a gun when I lived and worked in those neighborhoods (which I loved, btw), or wanted one, why do you feel the need to carry an AR-15 with a large magazine strapped to your back to go to your local Chick-fil-A for lunch or dinner?
    Or, your home?
    Or in your car?

    The only conclusion I can come to, is that you’re a frightened and cowardly pussy, with some self-esteem and mental issues.

    Btw: I’m not such an anti-gun nut that I feel that ALL guns should be outlawed – though that would be nice.

    No, if you feel the need for a simple handgun to protect yourself, your family, and your property, feel free – though your chances of someone being shot by accident in your homre far outweigh your chances of having to face-down 4 vicious armed intruders.

    And, if you want to keep a rifle or two, because you enjoy hunting, and because it provides a cheap source of protein for you and yours, have at it!

    I don’t hunt, and I still don’t feel the need to ha
    ve a gun where I live in a suburb in Upstate NY, for protection. And I don’t want one.

    Please take the time to explain why I shouldn’t come to the conclusion that you’re a fearful pussy, with self-exteem and mental issues.
    But, be nice.
    Words can hurt.
    Not as bad as a bullet, but they CAN hurt.
    Like I’m sure that calling people who feel they need or want to carry guns around, 24X7, a pussy.

    End, of long word-turd rant.
    Begin your verbal assault.

  5. joe from Lowell:

    4. Good guys with guns don’t stop “rampaging” bad guys with guns. However, “In 23% of shootings within the (ER), the weapon was a security officer’s gun taken by the perpetrator.” While good guys with guns might not stop bad guys with guns, they do accidentally provide the weapon used in a significant number of ER shootings.

    I remembering thinking about this when there were National Guardsmen walking around airports with M-16s after 9/11: wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for someone providing security in a crowd situation, who is actually in with the crowd, to have some sort of stick, and have armed backup just offstage?

  6. Chet Manly:

    One myth missing is that we need guns to overthrow the tyrannical government, because I like my chances with an AR-15 against an M1A2 or five

    Even if the imaginary tyrannical government had nothing but light arms this myth has been the most ridiculous of all for at least 70 years. A few dozen US troops killed several thousand Somalis during the Battle of Mogadishu. I can’t imagine a bunch middle-aged Glenn Beck fans hollering “Wolverines” would fare any better.

  7. c u n d gulag:

    Those guns were meant to not only scare-off any potential terrorists, but also to make the the people who were in the terminals feel more secure.

    But, beyond mere security, their other purpose in having armed guards there, imo, was to make the people walking through there feel psychologically intimidated.

    A cowed population, is a compliant population.
    And you need a compliant population, if you’re about to foist two unnecessary wars and occupations on them.

    And, since Bush and Cheney couldn’t be everywhere, swinging their (wannabe-big) dicks in everyone’s faces, those M-16′s were the physical manifestations of those guys tiny shriveled peckers.

    So, yeah, your way, Joe, makes a hell of a lot more sense.

    But where’s the fun in it?
    Where’s the intimidation?
    Where’s the dick-swinging?

  8. c u n d gulag:

    They wouldn’t.

    But it would make a very bloody movie for the rest of us.

    Only, instead of being titled “Red Dawn,” it would be “Red Mist” – since that’s about all that would be left of these wanna-be patriots.

    In the end, I don’t suppose that movie would do very well at the box office, since there wouldn’t be a whole lot of drama or tension in watching a bunch of armed fat men, dressed in cammo, get blown to smithereens by drones, artillery, and missiles launched from fighter planes and helicopters – all without a single US soldier in sight of the lens.

    I’d pay to see it, since I love a good comedy, bloody though it may be.
    Think, “Keystone Kops With Bushmasters: This Time, They’re Taking On The US Government!”
    Buh-bye…

  9. tt:

    My habit when reading these kinds of articles is to check a few random references to see whether the author actually understands the data they are dealing with or just cherry-picking figures that support what they want to hear. The evidence as a whole is convincing, but Gilson does do some annoying things: for example, he takes the higher of unadjusted or adjusted values rather than staying consistent throughout. Fact #3 is mostly driven by gun owners being maler and younger and young males being ruder. On the other hand, the figure in fact #2 that the states with the highest gun ownership rates have a 114% higher gun murder rate is not literally correct, because this is an adjusted value taken from multivariate analysis; the authors find that prior to correction for various other factors there’s no significant relation between gun homicide rate and firearm prevalence.

  10. JC:

    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

    It doesn’t matter to the gun nuts if you show them the statistics. They all know that their own hyper-competence will get them a good result, even if all those other losers are more likely to shoot their family, or themselves.

  11. sparks:

    He just wants to beat Loomis to the NRA Enemies List.

  12. cpinva:

    nah.

    “Only, instead of being titled “Red Dawn,” it would be “Red Mist” – since that’s about all that would be left of these wanna-be patriots.”

    after the first couple got turned into pink mist, the rest would piss in their pants, quickly drop whatever weapons they had, and surrender. end of war. it would take less time, than the 10 minutes alloted, for the berlin brigade’s survival, in the event west berlin were invaded.

  13. greylocks:

    I can’t imagine a bunch middle-aged Glenn Beck fans hollering “Wolverines” would fare any better.

    You and other rational people can’t, but they can.

    This is tied up in their also-not-supported-by-facts belief that the militia won the American Revolution.

  14. spencer:

    I’m not sure that they even understand what it is they’re afraid of, in many cases.

  15. Marquis de Lafayette:

    THE FRENCH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

  16. cpinva:

    i kind of liked his first one, where he claimed that most artillery (cannon) were owned by individuals, in the 18th century. that could explain the existence of the “5 hour men”, the minute men’s lesser known auxilliery.

  17. spencer:

    I thought the same thing when I was flying out of Gatwick on 7/10/05.

  18. c u n d gulag:

    No wonder they almost all hate FDR. He called them on “nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

    You’d think they’d apprecriate him, since probably more than a handful of the gun nuts playing citizen-soldier are collecting SSDI.
    But I’m sure that’s lost on them, too.

  19. Maréchal de France Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau:

    Mais oui.

  20. i.boskone:

    Minor correction viz The Battle of Mogadishu/The Day of the Rangers/”Blackhawk Down” – those pinned-down US troops didn’t have that much ammunition. They were supported by many many strafing sorties by AH-6 “Little Bird” gunships.

  21. DrDick:

    These are the folks that put the “special” in special ed.

  22. dyspeptic:

    I suppose with the muzzle titty babies all history is ancient history, but if you look back a mere 25 years ago there was something called the USSR. It was an authoritarian regime with a large army, with the tanks and artillery and soldiers in proportions found in such regimes to quell all threats foreign and domestic. It also had an almost complete lack of private gun ownership. It was over thrown, as was its many satellites, from within and below by unarmed citizens.

    Apparently our super patriots feel they aren’t brave enough or smart enough to pull something like that off

  23. Andrew Burday:

    “I suspect that the 4.5x greater likelihood that the armed get shot than the unarmed is a partial result of the armed possessing an attitude that creates the situation where they’re more likely to get shot in the first place”

    I agree, but on the other hand many of them wouldn’t act on that attitude if they didn’t have a gun. E.g. a Zimmerman probably has a bad attitude no matter what, but he’s not dumb enough to challenge a (bigger, younger) Martin unless he knows he’s carrying a hidden trump card. Similarly in the case where both parties are armed and one of them gets shot, at least some of those incidents wouldn’t have happened if the victim hadn’t been armed — even if the victim’s attitude had been just as bad as it was in reality.

  24. Joe:

    Guns might make certain people safer. If not, we should do away with armed security guards and the like. Like many things, however, this does not apply to everyone. OTOH, our English brethren informs us even the police rather not carry guns.

    The take away our gun concern was used by Prof. Kopel to oppose any sort of registration and someone else when I brought up the logic of safe storage laws (the slain mother by some reports did not safely store her gun collection).

    If “they” want to take away your guns, they will find a way. As a whole, gun ownership is not some big secret though some will fall between the cracks obviously. OTOH, didn’t they take away a certain type of gun in Australia? Of course, you will still have lots of other guns, but that is the sort of thing people point to.

    The list is very good on the whole.

  25. LosGatosCA:

    This is news in the same way that smokers are not swayed by medical studies showing smoking caused health risks or that teenagers in the back seat aren’t using common sense when they aren’t using birth control or protection.

    The guns are serving the primal and/or psychologically addictive needs of these sad people. Imagine the fear of impotence and public nakedness they will feel without their guns. Have you no compassion for their need to mow down perps and innocent bystanders alike? Even if it means there is a higher likelihood that they will be mowed down first? Doesn’t that prove that their courage is real, even before Baron Von Struker comes to kill them?

  26. Adam Roberts:

    It’s almost as if these are being used as post hoc rationalisations, rather than reasons, for gun ownership. And the hoc to which they are post is: ‘I just really like owning a gun’. That’s what needs addressing, I’d say.

  27. Joe:

    As to #10:

    http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/undue-burdens

    Be helpful to have a head of the ATF. I don’t really think there is a reason for it to be a position where confirmation is necessary, especially if the result is going to be that a permanent officer will lie vacant for this long.

  28. DocAmazing:

    Yeah, but it isn’t by any means alone in that. Look at what and how people drive, for example; given a choice between behaving in a manner that maximizes safety for the community and getting one’s jollies, jollies win most of the time. Guns are but one expression of the Primacy of Jollies.

  29. Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben:

    Das ist wahr.

  30. LosGatosCA:

    If the name of the blog was gunsmoneykillslawyers.com they would be all over it.

  31. LosGatosCA:

    Everything.

  32. LosGatosCA:

    Or Charles de Gaulle in 1996.

    Security theater was not invented here or on 9/12/2001.

  33. Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko and Kazimierz Michał Wacław Wiktor Pułaski:

    Tak pomagaliśmy jesteś witamy

  34. John Protevi:

    This is an excellent and all-too-often overlooked point. Odd that our “last line of defense against tyranny” friends, who usually celebrate anti-Communism, never seem to mention it.

  35. Lieutenant Général des Armées Navales François-Joseph Paul, Marquis de Grasse Tilly, Comte de Grasse:

    Effectivement.

  36. Lieutenant Général des Armées Navales François-Joseph Paul, marquis de Grasse Tilly, comte de Grasse:

    je suis d’accord

  37. snoey:

    We don’t need to push the river on this.

    Driving cars real fast can be fun, and shooting up stuff with high power weapons can be too.

    So responsible people go to the track to drive fast cars, and to the range to shoot guns.

    You don’t expect either to be street legal.

  38. Leeds man:

    “It also had an almost complete lack of private gun ownership.”

    In several Soviet bloc countries, that probably helped get the army onside. Soldiers facing unarmed civilians are more likely to be sympathetic.

  39. Leeds man:

    Shouldn’t that be called The Bloke Thing? I’m trying to think of one male acquaintance who is as good a driver, or PC expert, as he thinks he is. OK, there are one or two.

  40. Winchester:

    And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

    ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

  41. joe from Lowell:

    That’s a wonderful theory.

    In practice, what actually happens when people shoot at the police?

    Let’s ask the Branch Davidians how that worked out.

  42. Malaclypse:

    Yes, we know Solzhenitsyn was a wingnut. Did you have a point? Can you quote the parts where he blames the Jews for everything?

  43. Hugo Torbet:

    Of the 12,000 firearm deaths each year, excluding suicides, only 300 involve rifles. The so-called “assault weapons” are only a fraction of this 300. Therefore, even if all of these scary looking firearms were vaporized, and you could fairly assume that those who would kill with them would not kill with something else, you would see a statistically insignificant reduction in firearm deaths. In other words, achieving Feinstein’s goal would do nothing in regards to the problem people are hyperventilating over.

    I suggest that folks examine how much hot air and media space is being occupied by what amounts to nothing, and ask whether or not all of this might be a calculated distraction. Most people have no trouble suspecting the motives of the politician who says something they disagree with; however, they lose this suspicion when they hear things they agree with. I suggest that probably it would be wise to distrust politicians all of the time, particularly politicians with track records of treachery, at least for the purpose of a reasoned analysis.

  44. Hogan:

    IIRC, Zimmerman was quite a bit larger than Martin.

  45. xxy:

    Assuming you’re right, we’d better at least ban handguns. But won’t killers just use shotguns or rifles if handguns are banned? Better ban those too! Best ban all guns! I’m on board with that.

  46. N__B:

    You say that as if you believe commies have human feelings. Did you learn nothing from Red Dawn?

  47. Hogan:

    a calculated distraction

    Or, possibly, a good start.

  48. Malaclypse:

    There are approximately 3M men in the Ohio-Michigan area with hunting licenses, and almost all of them are good shots. Collected together, with sufficient motivation, they are the largest, most effective army in the world — at least in terms of beating back an occupation.

    Hot air indeed.

  49. Ahistoricality:

    “There are not enough jails, not enough policemen, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people.” — Hubert H. Humphrey

  50. Lieutenant Général des Armées Navales François-Joseph Paul, marquis de Grasse Tilly, comte de Grasse:

    Or the revolutionists in 1776, 1789, 1836, 1917, etc.

    As they say, when you aim for the head of the king, you better not miss.

    People do in fact end up with the government they collectively deserve. Or at least the government they tolerate through apathy.

  51. LosGatosCA:

    The votes that count in history are made with guns, feet, and money.

    Just the details are worked out at the ballot box.

  52. joe from Lowell:

    None of the revolutions you mention involved people ambushing the police when they came to arrest them.

    You seem to be confusing the police with the army.

  53. joe from Lowell:

    Now, unlike the “Let’s shoot at the police and then they’ll back off” theory, there actually are examples of peaceful mass resistance, including jail-stuffing, working.

  54. Malaclypse:

    You of all people should know that the revolutionists of 1776 had the assistance of a major empire, as did those of 1836. And those of both 1789 and 1917 were up against weak, bankrupt governments.

  55. joe from Lowell:

    What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

    There would have been a massive public backlash against the killing of police, cultivated to great effect by the government, leading to an outpouring of support for the security agents as they bravely tried to make the city safe, lending credence to their claims that there was a dangerous underground working to destroy the social order, while the crackdown was expanded and militarized.

    Happy?

  56. SatanicPanic:

    I’m not enamored of this argument for this reason- they’ll still think they can. No matter how much information you throw at them.

    I prefer to argue that 1) I am not on your side, crazy right-winger, so don’t try to sell me on this 2) This never works out well. The right and the left (both sides!) have a pretty awful track record of overthrowing tyrannical dictators only to end up with something worse.

  57. Edward Furey:

    We don’t have to imagine how a tyrannical government could be overturned by an armed populace, because he experiment has already been carried out by the Polish Home Army in 1944. Armed with roughly the same weapons possessed legally by Americans, plus a handful of machine guns and mortars, the Polish Home Army struck for its freedom from Nazi tyranny with the Soviet Army a short distance away. The Poles were not facing a Nazi Army at the height of its glory, but one that had been freshly battered by the destruction of Army Group Center — one of the most crushing defeats suffered by any army anywhere — plus the rout of its forces in France by the Western Allies, who were closing in on the German border in the West.

    The Poles lacked artillery, tanks, combat planes and were short of machine guns, mortars and anti-tank weapons. They did not lack courage. They initially overthrew the tyrants, as the Germans waited to see if the Soviets would arrive with heavy artillery, tanks, combat planes, machine guns, mortars and anti-tank weapons. The Soviets held back, for reasons that have been debated ever since.

    Once it became clear that the Polish Home Army was not going to supported by a real, fully equipped army,the Nazis counterattacked into Warsaw and destroyed the Polish Home Army, most of which was either killed outright or forced to surrender. Then to top everything else, they razed the city to the ground. Not a good precedent for the NRA Against Hypothetical Tyranny.

  58. xxy:

    And when the Soviet Union finally fell, it was because of an armed uprising by a civilian milita! Oh, wait…

  59. Anonymous:

    Or his hatred of the Enlightenment, his support for Putin, and his belief that the Czars weren’t so bad.

  60. greylocks:

    Also, too.

    We had reasonably competent generalship and a rather good, if undermanned and undersupplied, regular army.

  61. Winchester:

    Was Solzhenitsyn scapegoating the Jewish People?

    Genuine question. If he did, I was not aware of that. And I should apologize for quoting a nefarious tool.

    I read only one book of his, and did not notice no anti-jewishness (anti-semitism).

  62. greylocks:

    See also Gandhi, the US civil rights movement, et alia.

  63. xxy:

    The last (and only) example of armed civilians overthrowing a tyrannical government without state support I can think of is when Fidel Castro and Che Guevara overthrew the Bautista regime in Cuba. Gee, I wonder why gun nuts don’t bring that up…

  64. Hogan:

    You could start here.

  65. Thlayli:

    Pretty sure you have that date wrong, seeing as how de Gaulle died in 1970.

  66. Thlayli:

    Oh, you meant the airport.

    Never mind.

  67. Major Kong:

    So let’s suppose the Wolverines! actually did somehow manage to overthrow the “tyrannical” government.

    I suspect within 5 minutes the Patriot’s Front of America would be engaged in a bloody civil war with the American Patriot’s Front over who got to be the biggest warlord in town.

  68. Major Kong:

    When I think “Unstoppable military superpower” the first thing that comes to mind is “Cuban military circa 1959″.

  69. joe from Lowell:

    That’s what made him so intimidating in 1996.

  70. Hogan:

    Yeah, I almost went there too.

  71. efgoldman:

    End, of long word-turd rant.
    Begin your verbal assault.

    Friend gulag, this is one of your best ever. Thank you.

  72. efgoldman:

    My parents went to Israel some time in the 70s.
    One of the first things my mom said when they came back was “There were soldiers with machine guns everywhere! It felt very strange.”
    I didn’t have the wit to ask her then, if she felt safer or more intimidated.
    This had nothing whatever to do with politics.

  73. xxy:

    Meanwhile, leftist community organizers crush them easily, because they can, you know, organize the community. Communist black magic!

  74. Pestilence:

    +1

  75. efgoldman:

    I have no problem with guns for recreational (target or skeet, e.g.) or practical (hunting) use. Nor do I have a problem with genuine collector/hobbyists. Some guns are really excellent examples of the mechanical arts (especially some older ones) and some exhibit beautiful craftsmanship.
    But the chickenshits we’re talking about, and the NRA is defending, are none of those things. The guys who walked around with their AKs over the shoulder in the wake of Newtowne were performing an equivalent act to the guys who unzip on the street in front of a group of high school girls. “Look what I got, kids. Be careful or you’ll get it!
    As amoral as the manufacturers and their enablers are, the real evil are the authorities in various jurisdictions who encourage this penis waving by passing open carry and concealed carry laws.
    And then there are the states that enable the wholesale (literally and metaphorically) importation of guns into urban centers. That’s a whole ‘nother thing…

  76. efgoldman:

    How about a late lunch of pancakes for all, with gunpowder syrup.

  77. Pestilence:

    That also explains the odd smells in the Paris airport

  78. Hogan:

    Maybe that’s why they all smoke so much.

  79. DrDick:

    Delusional as well.

  80. DrDick:

    ++2

  81. Dave:

    Besides, it’s not as if all the people who’d wanted to shoot at the Bolsheviks hadn’t tried:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War
    It took 5 years, the Bolsheviks won, next question?

  82. c u n d gulag:

    Thanks, efgoldman.
    Yours is one of the opinions I really respect here, so I’m glad you liked my verbal droppings.

  83. efgoldman:

    Yours is one of the opinions I really respect here…

    That’s the scariest thing I’ve read on a blog so far this year.

  84. Ruby:

    Martin was taller, but Zimmerman outweighed him by almost 100lbs, IIRC.

  85. Leeds man:

    “I suggest that folks examine how much hot air and media space is being occupied by what amounts to nothing”

    20 dead kids are statistically insignificant. Nothing. Please use this argument often, and loudly.

  86. Jon Hendry:

    Hunters you say?

    They’ll be in for quite a surprise when they’re up against something that shoots back.

  87. wengler:

    Ah yes. The Jews are all commies smear. This shouldn’t be unfamiliar to Americans.

  88. Jon Hendry:

    They think the military/police will come over to their side rather than fire on (white) citizens.

    That’s the entirety of the plan.

  89. Jon Hendry:

    Or the Whiskey Rebellion militants.

  90. c u n d gulag:

    BOO!!! ;-)

  91. wengler:

    They would definitely split on the repeal of the on the amendment that mandates the direct election of Senators.

  92. MAJeff:

    The 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments would also come up for renewed debate.

  93. Mark D'ski:

    wait till they get a load of those cruise missiles!

  94. Mark D'ski:

    don’t forget the American Liberation Army and The Patriot’s Liberation Army!

  95. MAJeff:

    MMMM. Tastes smokey.

  96. Pestilence:

    ahh, it’s the revolution of the sock puppets :)

  97. Pestilence:

    I had the same reaction every time I went through German borders – heavily armed men labelled ‘Grenzer’, not a good feeling at all.

  98. Ol' Bill:

    I remember having the same reaction on my first visit to Spain. Franco was still alive and uniformed troops with automatic weapons were everywhere. One felt like a potential clay pigeon at any moment. Yeah, more guns, that’s the answer.

  99. Edward Furey:

    Ah yes, as with the theological disputes in “Life of Brian.”

  100. kerFuFFler:

    It is true that the bulk of gun deaths are not the result of assault type guns, but the horrific lethality of those weapons as demonstrated at many mass shootings is alarming. I think a lot of people realize that they can keep themselves safe (statistically speaking) by avoiding gun ownership, not trafficking in drugs or guns, avoiding dangerous neighborhoods, and so on but they feel powerless to protect themselves and their families from the random killings of heavily armed lunatics. If such powerfully lethal weapons were confined to shooting ranges people would feel safer and enthusiasts could enjoy their sport.

    With all the loose talk about “second amendment remedies”, people are growing concerned about the destabilizing potential of powerfully armed squads of self appointed “tyranny” fighters. In the wake of a series of Tommy-gun related crimes in the 30′s, Tommy-guns were outlawed, not because of what they had already done, but because people recognized the potential for Tommy-guns to disrupt a prosperous, orderly society. A majority of Americans currently feel this way about assault weapons, and it is not unconstitutional for such weapons to be restricted! Gun manufacturers have been supporting a childishly simple interpretation of the 2nd amendment. That is how some gun enthusiasts choose to interpret it, but it is NOT tyranny for the majority of citizens to demand regulations that keep our society safer from mayhem.

  101. Peter:

    Actually, that wasn’t far off from what happened. The rifles held by the guardsmen in the terminals were, by policy, unloaded. They were carrying ammo on their persons, but in general, the rifles wouldn’t have been effective weapons if stolen. I remember reading that a few years after 9/11, and thinking a) that’s a highly sensible policy, b) but it only works if the public is kept in the dark about it, which c) always raises my hackles a bit.

  102. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    I think you make a good point, which is why we should ban all guns. And start confiscating them as well.

  103. Jeremy:

    I wouldn’t say they were everywhere, but when I lived in Madrid in 2000, there was an occasional National Police car with a couple officers standing around with automatic rifles. Even that felt weird.

  104. Wimpy:

    As the owner of 7 legacy guns, 7.9 if you count the BB guns, I’d like to point out that the 7.9 guns per person statistic isn’t as meaningful as you may think it is.

    It’s like saying not many people have bobble-head collections, but some people have 7.9 or more bobble-heads. Bobble-head nuts!

    Or maybe, lots of people have only two frying pans, but Megan McArdle has 30 frying pans.

    Not sure what point I’m trying to make here, but not sure what point you’re trying to make by citing the number in the first place.

  105. Jeremy:

    Isn’t there a cocktail with (a very small amount of) gunpowder in it?

  106. John Protevi:

    I am particularly impressed by the way Brave Sir Hugo ran away from this thread, where a number of challenges were posed directly to him: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/01/duck-hunting-gun-nut-logic-and-other-gun-news

  107. Jeremy:

    I think the point is that not that many people own guns, but of people who do, they tend to own a lot. As a non gun-owner, to me 7 is a lot.

  108. e.a.f.:

    excellent points. guns kill more people than protect them. In countries where there are stricter gun laws and less guns there are fewer people killed others.

    if people are concerned about home security get a dog. burglers tend to by pass homes with them. they make a nice little alarm also. the dog doesn’t even need to be large. a little yapper usually does it.

    I had to laugh when the gun nut suggested women needed more bullets in case the first 6 didn’t get the bad guy. I have never heard of a case where a woman had to fire 6 bullets to protect herself and kids and needed more. that woman shouldn’t have a gun. if she can’t hit something with 6 bullets, something is very wrong. better she stood behind a door with a baseball bat and first called 911.

    if dying by gun was an illness there would be all sorts of charities out there to deal with the disease. I live in Canada where we have gun control and it works very well. you don’t need an ak whatever to go hunt bear or deer.

    as to defending yourself against the government; thats why you go out and vote. if you’re afraid of your government, vote and replace it. if you think the American military is going to go out and kill its own citizens and you need to be prepared to defend against it; not going to happen. they out gun you way to far.

    women are usually killed by men they know so really if we were to apply the gun happiers theory you should carry a gun around when you’re with men you know not men who you don’t know. gun controls will not only save lives but reduce the medical costs of the country.

  109. Wimpy:

    Yeah, well, that’s just your opinion. At least it’s not 30.

    Still not a compelling argument for or against anything in particular.

  110. Malaclypse:

    Because there are plenty of seven-handed gun owners who can use seven.

  111. Peter:

    as to defending yourself against the government; thats why you go out and vote. if you’re afraid of your government, vote and replace it

    Funny thing about this. If you look at the popularity of American militia/separatist movements, there’s a huge spike around 1993. Then it drops off again in about 2001. Then it picks up again, faster than ever before, in 2009.

    We have elections, but they don’t always go the way the Confederates want. Ergo, tyranny.

    About half the country seems to believe that they have a constitutional right to see their preferred candidates win, regardless of the actual vote counts

  112. ExpatJK:

    I am sad to report that there is only one person in my large Jewish family who has ever been a commie, and his affiliation with the party was 3+ decades ago. Sorry to disappoint, guys.

  113. ChrisTS:

    OMG. A thoughtful and moderate opinion. You must be a commie, or something.

  114. ChrisTS:

    Where are the Quakers (American Friends Society)?

    Are they too passivist to even make the NRA’s enemy list?

    I feel dizzy, now.

  115. Steve:

    The Afghanis seem to have resisted the American military quite nicely with Cold War and earlier weapons.

  116. Chilling Video: NRA warns Obama scheming to use UN for gun grab – The Brenner Brief:

    [...] Empirical Evidence: Irrelevant to the NRA and the Gun Fetish Cult (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) [...]

  117. guthrie:

    That’s because 1) They don’t seem too bothered about their own casualties and 2) the American’s aren’t just allowed to kill everyone they see. And of course point 3) They didn’t exactly have much of a reason to be there in the first place, whereas an american army propping up an american dictatorship would have every reason to be there and shoot anyone who gets in the way.

  118. Jon Hendry:

    Probably. People have been making cocktails containing liquid nitrogen, leading to a girl in London needing her stomach removed when she drank it before the nitrogen had boiled off.

  119. joe from Lowell:

    Where “resisted” means “can’t establish effective control anywhere, or prevent the American military from doing anything, but can kill people.”

  120. [image] 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down | feimineach.com:

    [...] Empirical Evidence: Irrelevant to the NRA and the Gun Fetish Cult (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) [...]

  121. Hugo Torbet:

    You are displaying characteristics of a stalker. Personally, I am not alarmed, because you appear harmless and imply to crave attention. However, if you act like this in your private life, you are a restraining order waiting to happen.

    Be guided by your own good judgment.

  122. Hugo Torbet:

    A gun owner does not have to justify the assertion of his Constitutional right any more than a scholar must explain why he prefers that the FBI not look through his files or a trade union must explain why its meetings are closed to management. On the contrary, it is for those who seek to restrict constitutional freedoms to develop reasonable arguments to restrict freedoms in narrow ways which will advance important interests.

    The problem with making decisions in fits of hysteria or in times of stress is that freedoms will likely be unintentionally sacrificed (for the sake of safety), and the problem with this is that freedom is rarely given back.

  123. impressions:

    Even with the armed checkpoints, active patrols and religion specific taxis, what surprised me most about living in Belfast were the friendly chaps who met you just inside government buildings to take your backpack and put it in the bomb vault.

  124. vigilantes and criminals:

    Not sure about where that number comes from but many of the studies with high multiples of bad outcomes related to gun possession capture a significant amount of violence related to the drug trade.

  125. Leeds man:

    Stalking? Why not throw in arson and grand larceny as well? They’d make about as much sense.

  126. PBF:

    I hunted when I was a teenager and had almost 10 rifles and shotguns. 3 shotguns – deer, small game, birds 2 rifles – deer in adjacent state 2 starter guns – .22 and .410 and a few other “historical” rifles that I never actually fired. I never purchased a gun, all of these were just passed down to me and since I was the youngest brother I ended up with the lot of them. I did however use 4/5 out of 10 every year for six years or so.

  127. John Protevi:

    Personally, I am not alarmed, because you appear harmless and imply to crave attention.

    Yeah, that’s it. I’m riding the coattails of Hugo Torbet, the Che Guevara of the Ohio-Michigan area.

    Seriously, dude, this is a community of commenters. We (well, at least Mal and I, but I think many others) take it as evidence of bad faith when someone leaves direct challenges unanswered and then picks up on another thread as if nothing was wrong. But there is something wrong with that kind of behavior. So if you want us to stop mocking you, you can summon your arguments on the “last line of defense against tyranny” bit, or you can admit you got nothing. Either one would restore your reputation as someone to take seriously.

    To help you out, here is the challenge:

    Alright, Hugo, please provide a concrete analysis of how exactly the private arms of the American people are going to allow effective resistance to the full might of the American military /security / law enforcement system. Consider geography, social structure, and the ability to communicate effectively given the surveillance capacities of the US government. Be specific and avoid facile analogies to situations like Afghanistan and Iraq, but instead focus on contemporary realities here at home.

    Note also ajay here on the disanalogies between the US and Iraq / Afghanistan w/r/t the possibilities of effective resistance.

  128. Patrick:

    Any chance for sources/citations for #2, #6, #7 and #9? I always hate seeing/using un-sourced quotes like that, and would love to have ‘em.

  129. Patrick:

    Do’h, sorry, missed the whole “ten listed” link to the Mother Jones article. My bad!

    (I figured it was something like this, but thought I had checked everything… grrr.)

  130. ChrisTS:

    What could it possibly mean to “imply to crave attention”?

  131. Origami Isopod:

    I think a lot of people realize that they can keep themselves safe (statistically speaking) by … avoiding dangerous neighborhoods

    The people who have to live in those neighborhoods due to lack of money would like a word with you.

  132. Malaclypse:

    You are displaying characteristics of a stalker.

    Longer Hugo: Time was, a man could beat off to Red Dawn in the privacy of a public blog without people looking askance. But Protevi keeps mocking me, so I’ll blame him for the whole sorry episode.

  133. ajay:

    Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

    A moving and effective argument against Poker Control. Thanks, Winchester.

  134. Hugo Torbet:

    The essence of the argument is that an armed group of citizens could not possibly win against the might of the US military; therefore, they have lost their 2nd A right to fight against oppression.

    There are at least two problems with this argument: First, it conflates “battle” with “war”. Of course, the US military might be able to roll into a given town and kill a lot of people with its helicopters and tanks. However, that would not be “mission accomplished”. That wouldn’t prove anything. That would just be a lot of dead people, with many more people still alive to carry on.

    Second, it discounts human spirit. Of course, this may be difficult to understand for someone who’s biggest fight in life was to get a dealer to take $500.00 off the new Prius, but the fact of the matter is that when people are pushed too far, they tend not to submit to the domination. To the contrary, they fight back. Take a look at Egypt.

    By what moral authority do a few hysterical people presume to decide for all people for all time that no one may ever join with his neighbors to resist tyranny? Even if these folks are right that such a fight is pure folly, don’t those who disagree retain their inalienable freedom, which, obviously, is subject to several restraints, the discussion of which is beyond the scope of this post? Even if these folks are right, shouldn’t we all move slowly and make certain that the restriction of any freedom be both warranted and narrowly tailored?

    I don’t understand why folks who support the Kervorkian stuff are the first in line to support the principle that citizens reserve their right to fight for freedom.

  135. Malaclypse:

    By what moral authority do a few hysterical people presume to decide for all people for all time that no one may ever join with his neighbors to resist tyranny?

    You keep using this word tyranny. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  136. John Protevi:

    The essence of the argument is that an armed group of citizens could not possibly win against the might of the US military; therefore, they have lost their 2nd A right to fight against oppression.

    Nonsense. I said nothing about “rights.” I’m critically examining your argument that private arms would be effective — the famous 3 million in the Ohio-Michigan area being “the largest, most effective army in the world, at least in terms of beating back an occupation.” That is, your pragmatic argument that justifies the 2nd Amendment in terms of private ownership of arms being “the last line of defense against tyranny.”

    shouldn’t we all move slowly and make certain that the restriction of any freedom be both warranted and narrowly tailored?

    Please point to anyone at LGM who doesn’t believe that.

    this may be difficult to understand for someone who’s biggest fight in life was to get a dealer to take $500.00 off the new Prius,

    Fuck you. You know nothing about my life and the fights therein. I’ve been mocking your words, you know, by quoting your words. I haven’t said anything about you the person. So let me repeat: fuck you.

  137. Links 2/5/13 | Mike the Mad Biologist:

    [...] (excellent) What The Fucken Fucke Are These Assholes Even Talking About?? (about the stock market) Empirical Evidence: Irrelevant to the NRA and the Gun Fetish Cult Idaho state senator: Obamacare just like the holocaust (more from the highly successful GOP Jewish [...]

  138. free.fr:

    Der Hugo Sekt handel zählt zu den stabilsten
    Branchen”. Aus diesen Ergebnissen eine sehr grosse auswahl die die Studie durchführenden Wissenschaftler den Schluss gezogen, daß Fettsäureergänzungen eine sichere die wirksame Behandlungsoption auch bei Erziehungs- Prosecco die Verhaltensproblemen von Kindern mit ADHS darstellen können. Dezember 2010 – Welche Mitgliedstaaten jener Europäischen Union hatten für sich auch in Brüssel mit ganz neue Kennzeichnungsvorschriften fuer Hugo Sekt geeinigt.

  139. 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down [image]:

    [...] Empirical Evidence: Irrelevant to the NRA and the Gun Fetish Cult (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) [...]

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