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Thread: A Fair Question

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    Regular Member Kelly J's Avatar
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    GunsMagazine.com
    http://gunsmagazine.com/Rights11.html


    A Fair Question

    Novmeber 2007
    David Codrea

    “Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide?”

    What with all the calls to do just that, and all the laws building up to it, that sounds like a fair question.


    It’s posed by Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser in the Spring 2007 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.


    Kates is an American criminologist, lawyer and constitutional scholar. Mauser is a Canadian criminologist and university professor. Both are published authors of numerous articles and books. Both are well recognized as top experts in their fields. You don’t earn their reputations in academic and legal circles by being demonstrably wrong, so people on both sides of the gun control debate would do well to consider their findings.


    Beginning with “the false assertion that the United States has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate,” a mantra repeated by gun control advocates under the assumption it is so because they claim it, Kates and Mauser found “Between 1998-2004 … Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates. Similar murder rates also characterize … various other now-independent European nations of the former USSR.”


    This in spite of “stringent gun controls “that suggest where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.”


    But what about countries “with high rates of gun ownership”? The researchers demonstrate how European nations where this is so have murder rates a fraction of those where “gun ownership is much rarer.” Even in England, often cited as a model to emulate, the authors cite a study co-authored by criminologist Hans Toch, (“who endorsed handgun prohibition and confiscation, but then recanted based on later research,”) concluding “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest … [and] American states with homicide rates as low as Western Europe’s have high gun ownership ….”


    What other determinations can we draw domestically? “In 2004,” Kates and Mauser tell us, “the US National Academy of Sciences … failed to identify any gun control that reduced violent crime, suicides or gun accidents.” This was “from a review of 153 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some original empirical research. The same conclusion was reached in 2003 by the US Centers for Disease Control ….”


    So not only does gun control fail to reduce violent crime, but it also fails to reduce suicides? Examining Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann’s claim in The New England Journal of Medicine that “limiting access to firearms could prevent many suicides,” the authors find this assertion is “contradicted by the studies of 36 and 21 nations (respectively) which find no statistical relationship. Overall suicide rates were no worse in nations with many firearms than in those where firearms were far less widespread … There is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership.”


    So what bearing should this have on public policy?


    “In a free society,” Kates and Mauser conclude, “those who propose to abolish a personal liberty passionately valued by millions bear the burden of proving that abolishment is a good idea.”


    What with all the calls to do just that, and all the laws building up to it, that sounds like a fair answer.

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    Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide?”

    What with all the calls to do just that, and all the laws building up to it, that sounds like a fair question.
    Guns are objects. Murder and suicide are behaviors. And suicide shouldn't even be considered because it's not somebody hurting others directly. Maybe we can ban ropes, cars, pools, etc.

    It's NOT a fair question. It's a profoundly ignorant one that is only asked by those who have their own unfounded answer and would like a doorway through which to coerce others into agreeing with them.

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    Regular Member Kelly J's Avatar
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    Demarest wrote:
    Guns are objects. Murder and suicide are behaviors. And suicide shouldn't even be considered because it's not somebody hurting others directly. Maybe we can ban ropes, cars, pools, etc.

    It's NOT a fair question. It's a profoundly ignorant one that is only asked by those who have their own unfounded answer and would like a doorway through which to coerce others into agreeing with them.
    I don't think you read the same article that I did, at least I surely did not get that sort of an understanding out of the above article asI read it.

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    Fixed it to include the part I was specifically referring to. Sorry for the confusion.

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    Demarest wrote:
    Fixed it to include the part I was specifically referring to. Sorry for the confusion.
    ?

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