Chicago’s weekend gun toll

It’s only 5 p.m. on Monday, but so far over the 3-day Memorial Day weekend, Friday until now, 60 people have been shot in Chicago. Five of them were killed, including a 15-year old girl—”collateral damage” from gang violence. I wonder how many people were shot by those claiming self-defense against trespassers or muggers?

More than ever, and especially in Chicago, we have to get guns out of the hands of private citizens.

100 Comments

  1. gary
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    “… we have to get guns out of the hands of private citizens.”

    If you can’t stop criminals from using guns now, what makes you think you can disarm them? It seems you want criminals to be the only ones with guns. As soon as you treat honest people like criminals we are likely to stop listening to you.

    • Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      No gun lasts forever. Eventually, if we stop putting guns out there, they’ll stop adding to the ones in the hands of criminals. Some of those criminals will, under the right circumstances, sell their guns, too, or lose them in a bet. Undercover cops could help with that.

      Sorry I don’t have statistics at hand to show the number of gun-related deaths due to criminal activity versus the number due to self defense. There should also be a category for idiots who shoot themselves. A guy I know still angrily defends gun rights, even though he walks with a permanent limp, now, from shooting himself in the leg.

      • Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        “Sorry I don’t have statistics at hand to show the number of gun-related deaths due to criminal activity versus the number due to self defense.”
        The numbers I’ve seen suggest that criminals tend to shoot other criminals, and most law abiding citizens are shot by guns owned by other law abiding citizens. In other words if you aren’t a gang member, drug dealer or user, you’re most likely to be shot by a friend, neighbor, family member, or yourself, accidentally, or committing suicide. And if you own a gun legally you’re more likely to shoot a friend, neighbor, family member, or yourself, accidentally or committing suicide than a criminal in self defense.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Ohh, I’d say that was a “cutting” comment, if “cutting” wasn’t almost exactly the wrong adjective.

    • Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      “If you can’t stop criminals from using guns now, what makes you think you can disarm them?”
      Much of the western world has managed to largely stop criminals from using guns by keeping them out of the hands of private citizens.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Control of ammunition availability is a significant point too. Same as with, for example, cyanide : you can have all the delivery mechanisms you want for cyanide (spoons, cups, hypodermic syringes), but without cyanide, you can’t kill someone with cyanide. You can still club them to death with the cup though.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        There are gun extremists in every nation.

        But only US has made gun extremism a socially acceptable viewpoint. (Despite most being against guns.)

        How did that happen? [/what is wrong with you people]

        • rickflick
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          “How did that happen?”

          Less than half of the NRA’s revenues come from program fees and membership dues. The rest now comes from the $gun $industry. The NRA seems to make a shooting sport out of terrifying their members, and everyone else, about home invasion and government confiscation, and the need to keep and bear arms in case the president decides to create a monarchy.

      • DiscoveredJoys
        Posted May 31, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        Much of the western world has managed to largely stop criminals from using guns by keeping them out of the hands of private citizens.

        Something I am glad about in the UK – however the USA has let the guns go into general circulation and people will always resent ‘giving up’ things more than never having them in the first place.

        My guess is that the long term reduction in shooting deaths of non-criminals will depend on rigorous control of the amount of ammunition that can be purchased and stored. Criminals will still get around that though.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Agreed on ammunition. Also less likely to generate “think of the children ” arguments. If you want to keep more than 2 reloads for $WEAPON $, then go through a professional gun-use course. Including the “don’t shoot bystanders ” elements.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Whatever you think you said…it makes no sense. I would bet that just about all the shootings in Chicago were gang members shooting other gang members and citizens getting mad and shooting other citizens for no particular reason except they have guns. No other modern or civilized country has anything like this and for one reason….they take the guns away from the people.

      Who the hell needs a gun in Chicago or any other city for that matter. And don’t you know it is illegal to shoot a gun in the city limits and what a joke that is. If one of the 60 shootings was someone shooting an armed criminal we can all fall over from surprise.

      Today in Omaha, some guy with a gun walked up to a house and shot into the house several times hitting one woman in the leg that was in the house.

      • jeffery
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        As is the case with many of these “rocket-surgeons”, he probably had the wrong house, too!

      • chris moffatt
        Posted May 31, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        “No other modern or civilized country has anything like this”….
        Mexico, Jamaica, almost any country in Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan? Plenty of places where it is worse than the USA even without the enlightened “interventions” of the Empire. At least we here don’t usually bring our AK47s to weddings.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        [SARCASM] Serves her right for disagreeing with the gun-user.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      In Britain, not only is possession of a (hand) gun a tightly licensed matter, but also sale and possession of ammunition is a very controlled activity.
      It is debatable which would be a faster way to turn guns into expensive clubs – control of the gun bodies, or control of the ammunition – but simultaneously controlling both would help to rapidly reduce the public health threat represented by guns. Controlling clubs (blunt instruments) will be harder.
      A good start might be to require manufacturers to serial-number bullets, and for sale of bullets to be controlled. The (alleged) law-abiding majority have nothing to fear from getting 30 (EG) rounds for a day at the shooting range (shell casings returned, counted, and accounted for) and keeping a double-clip (clip + reload) at home for the laughabe “self-defense” excuse. People buying a thousand rounds for [whatever indefensible excuse] … are obviously a target for police investigation.
      Sorry, did you want polemic?

      • geckzilla
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        So, funny anecdotal comment from a conversation I had with my brother, who is a gun hobbyist. He’s expressed frustration with purchasing ammunition because apparently, due to a constant climate of fear within the gun community, people will purchase ammunition in bulk because they actually think that maybe we’re just one school shooting away from not being able to buy it at all.

        To further annoy the gun community are people who exploit these fears by going to, say, Walmart on the day they get all their ammo in stock and buying every last case of it, presumably to resell at a higher price elsewhere.

        This happens especially when Obama utters any sentence containing the word “gun” in it. He calls Obama the best gun salesman in the world because of this.

        My country is weird.

        • mordacious1
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          At some point though, if you’re not firing it off, demand goes down. Who keeps buying when they already have 30,000 rounds stacked in the den?

          • Achrachno
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            Gun nuts. Just as they tend to accumulate hordes of guns — more than would be needed to equip a platoon of infantry.

            Horder mentality + paranoia + insecure manhood + weird political ideas = a basement full of guns and ammo.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

              They are an issue. But 90% of the problem can be taken out consideration.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Ammunition is a consumable, and does have a limited shelf life. (A friend who had a ‘bang’ license was once requested to help clear “Granddad’s” stock of WW2 ammo without getting “the authorities” involved. He looked at the stock, a cardboard box seeping “Oh shit!” in the attic … and called the UXO people. The ammo wasn’t too scary, but if there were hand grenades or phosphorus bombs in there … nope, get the pros in)
          While there are loopholes to any such rules, they do the job. Over years.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted June 1, 2016 at 12:31 am | Permalink

            Old detonators are equally… interesting. Decades back, on a shall-not-be-named Pacific island, we had a visit from an Air Force Bomb Disposal officer to advise on some old leftover WW2 stuff. While he was there, someone asked him to look at the quarry’s explosives storage shed. What he found alarmed him. He suggested we carry it – very carefully – down to the beach and burn it.
            But first he asked our permission to take photos of it because some of it was so old he’d never actually seen it before.

            Even more interesting were the seven ex-WW2 Squid depth charges…

            cr

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 5, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

              Having had to approach a failed charge to insert a new det and run a fresh blasting line … I can appreciate.
              But why carry the (presumably sweaty) “bang” down to the beach. Start the fire a few yards from the explosives shed but not on the door side, then sweatily carry each sweaty package to within arms reach of the fire and lay it in. Retreat at a speed that you’re comfortable with.
              (For those that don’t know – most modern explosives will burn, sometimes vigorously, but not explode in a fire. It’s a design feature. You need the shock wave of from the detonator to get the bulk explosive to detonate.)
              Depth charges … never seen one, but I know what my response would be – walk away and then send someone reliable to raise the “shout” while I keep guard at a comfortable range.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted June 5, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

                Ummm, this wasn’t the main explosives shed, it was in the works department yard, near houses. And about 50 yards from mine.

                Curious feeling sitting on a Squid to steady it while the bomb disposal officer watched our workshop foreman (an Irishman who’d been in the British Army) unscrew the nose cone with a hammer and drift. (Sitting on it was bravado. I could have kept it at arms length. I figured it would make no difference at all.)

                cr

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

                One of those “sheep or a lamb” moments.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                More like lamb chops, but yeah 😉

                cr

    • Dan McPeek
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      I believe criminals are private citizens.

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    More than ever, and especially in Chicago, we have to get guns out of the hands of private citizens.

    Not while Republicans whore themselves out to the NRA.

  3. LawrenceT
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Are Gang Members Private Citizens?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I think two relevant phrases are “guilty until proven innocent” (eh, what?) and “probable cause”.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Should I have flagged that with #sarcasm ?

  4. rose
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Wonder if the news channels will cover this,or will it just be about what Trump did this weekend.

  5. Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    sub

  6. Jay
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Why is it OK for cops to have guns, for people like Hillary to have a bunch of armed guards around her 24/7, but not citizens? It does you no good to call the cops while you’re being attacked.

    ( Ever notice that the primary areas of high gun violence are also Democrat strongholds?)

    • ploubere
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      False equivalence, trying to equate gun violence with being Democrat. High gun violence areas have high poverty rates, which leads to gang activity and related violence. Poor people also tend to vote Democratic. Correlation doesn’t mean causation.

      Why would you point out Hillary and not Trump? They both have security, because of the likelihood that a nut with a gun would shoot them. There are simply a lot of people who shouldn’t have guns. That’s why we have so much gun violence in this country.

      • mordacious1
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        So, by your logic, the answer to gun violence is not gun control, but improved economic conditions among the poor. Let’s focus on that.

        • Achrachno
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          The people who oppose gun restrictions often also oppose efforts to ameliorate poverty.

          • mordacious1
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            Not true. I’m all for improving the economic conditions of the poor. I’m pretty poor myself. I also support sensible gun regulation…like magazine size. I don’t support restricting non-criminal, mentally healthy Americans right to own a firearm, especially if you want to do it without a constitutional amendment.

            • Jonathan Wallace
              Posted May 31, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

              Does your ‘not true’ comment apply just to yourself or are you generalising to all opponents of gun control? I don’t think Achrachno said ALL people who oppose gun controls also oppose efforts to relieve poverty – he suggested that the two positions OFTEN go together. Do you disagree with that?

              • mordacious1
                Posted May 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

                Depends. Are we talking sensible regulations (like background checks) or gun control, meaning severe restrictions on gun ownership? If a person does not support ANY type of restriction placed on guns, including background checks, then perhaps his statement is true. But most Americans support the basic right to own a firearm. That includes poor people, Democrats, Republicans, atheists, christians, etc. If you are in this category (the right to own a gun), then support for action to reduce poverty is pretty much the same as in the general population. And if “often” means, more likely than not, then I don’t think his statement is true.

  7. jay
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Whenever there’s a gun crime they want to take guns away from the people that didn’t do it.

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Having guns around in large numbers is just insanely dangerous. How many people have been shot by toddlers and small children in the US so far this year? North of 25, I think. Many gun owners are very careless, leaving their loaded guns where anyone can get them.

      How many people just like yourself have accidentally shot themselves or a friend? It’s a daily occurrence here in the US, you know. Remember our former VP who accidentally shot his friend in the face, for example?

      • Achrachno
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Sorry — I was wrong about the gunslinging toddlers. It’s only been 23 shot by them in the US in 2016, at least as of early May.

        “Toddlers have shot at least 23 people this year – The Washington Post
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/2016/…/toddlers-have-shot-at-l…The Washington Post
        May 1, 2016 – The pace of toddler shootings has accelerated since last year. … This past week, a Milwaukee toddler fatally shot his mother after finding a handgun in the back seat of the car they …”

        • Achrachno
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          If one considers all accidental shootings by minors (17 and under) it appears I minimized the problem — it’s not just toddlers who are a threat in our gun-littered land.

          “At Least 96 Child Shootings in 2016 … where a person age 17 or under unintentionally kills or injures someone with a gun.”

          https://everytownresearch.org/notanaccident/

          They have a nice table listing each accidental shooting with links to news accounts reporting each incident.

          Angry 12 year olds who find a gun in a nightstand and intentionally shoot someone are not included in the totals.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I’d control access to ammunition faster than access to guns. A “legitimate” user (say, home owner + spouse) could keep “clip + reload” at home, and obtain however much they wanted at the training range (and account for same) for training. That covers most “legitimate” use cases, while leaving the illigitimate uses starved of ammunition.
      Generally, access to explosives (cordite, gunpowder) is controlled already?

      • mordacious1
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        No, you can go into most sporting goods stores and purchase gunpowder for reloads. It’s roughly $30/lb. and it depends on what you’re reloading as to how many rounds you get per pound.

        If you recall the attempt at alcohol prohibition, you’ll realize how difficult it is to restrict things from the population. Gunpowder is actually fairly easy to make, from saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur. I think the hardest thing to make from scratch would be the primer caps, but if there was a demand…

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          If everyone used gunpowder the problem may diminish.
          Gunpowder would lessen the power of any gun significantly and fill the area with a huge amount of smoke.

          • mordacious1
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Meh, smokeless powders are not that more difficult to make than black powder…you’re basically just talking about additives. In fact, smokeless powder can be easier to make because it is also more stable.

            The point remains, that there are many people who could supply ammunition if it was restricted. All it would do is increase the cost and promote organized crime.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

              Fair enough. I was thinking off someone at home just mixing up those ingredients you mention.

              I also thought that most of the smokeless stuff was made from various forms of Nitro.

              If gangs can make methamphetamine I guess they can make smokeless powder.

              • mordacious1
                Posted May 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

                I should clarify, without telling someone how to blow themselves up. Single base powder is not that difficult, but double base powder would need nitroglycerin and you don’t want to go there. Hopefully, it won’t get to this or people will be blowing up their neighborhoods.

                A lot of the illegal alcohol was provided by companies that had a license to make legal alcohol (for medical purposes). So, if there’s a demand, someone will provide the product. The government has been trying to keep heroin out of the country for a hundred years and it’s now easier to get than ever.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

              “organised crime” already exists.
              I am talking about increasing costs .
              Side effect : your ganglord has an ammunition factory. Given all the calibres, propellants etc … its a big deal.
              If/When that site is taken out … by the police, or other ganglords. It still represents what system analysis describes as a “single point of failure”.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Having made a variety of both brisant and propellant explosives from scratch (for the chemical challenge), I have no illusion that it is impossible. But it is a barrier to activity.
          [SCENARIO] 2025, you are a drug dealer and Roger Smith (Family Dad, IIRC) is stealing your turf. With bullets at $0.30a pop, how many do you use? And if bullets are $1.50 a pop …
          It’s not a “solution” strategy, it’s a “harm reduction” strategy.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Hmmm. I’ll bet that I’ve made more gunpowder from scratch than most people. The recipe is simple. Actually making it, and getting an even mix is a touch harder.
          You might be able to get materials for doing your own re-loads. How many people actually do that, and do a good job of it?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted June 2, 2016 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            I’d say making the primer would be far more difficult and risky.

            cr

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 5, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

              “Primer” in the sense of the impact-detonator that the “hammer” hits?
              I wouldn’t even try. I considered making fulminates – and decided not to. Nitrogen “tri-iodide” was educational enough.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted June 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

                Yes, that bit. I Googled a diagram of a cartridge to check.

                cr

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

                Well then, if self-loading became a serious impediment to (serious) gun control, then primers would be controlled too. Not, of course, that any significant number of US politicians are serious about gun control.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Believing that more guns are needed by everyone to protect themselves from all the people who have guns is the perfect self-fulfilling prophecy. The result of arming a large portion of the people in the cities of America with hand guns causes more shooting and more dead.

  9. Ralph
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sick of the U.S. gun debate, I just don’t have the energy to engage. I think instead I’ll look back to find the last picture of cute kitten that Jerry posted to distract me from all of this violence.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      When I hear the word gun, I reach for my culture.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Clever!

      • Posted May 31, 2016 at 2:56 am | Permalink

        Not bad!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        [GODWIN EXCLUSION] Himler?
        Gravelinspector version ” When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my Petri dish.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Is that the kitteh with the gun to it’s head.
      [MEMO TO SELF : build cat-usable guns and train them to use the weapons. Don’t tell dog-lovers.]

  10. mordacious1
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I see a couple of problems in reducing gun violence in Chicago. One, is that back when they had very restrictive gun laws in Chicago, criminals could get guns out of state. So the laws did very little to reduce gun related gang violence. Two, there is a movement to reduce strict penalties against African American males who commit crimes, including those with guns. Mayor Rahm has been pushing for tougher sentencing for gun crimes and has gotten resistance from the very people that would benefit from those stricter sentences…the African American community.

    I don’t see this situation improving anytime soon.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I see a couple of things about your comment. By restrictive gun laws I wonder just how restrictive could they be? If they did not remove large numbers of hand guns from the people how else could it work? The only law I can think of that would make a difference if given time is what they wanted to do in Washington DC and that was make hand guns illegal. The supreme court did not allow DC to do it. Additionally, the penalties simply do not make that much difference in reducing the behavior. Example: Drugs This is the wrong end of the snake.

      • mordacious1
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Plus, there are so many guns owned now, it would take a hundred years or more to round half of them up. Someone else here stated that guns would eventually wear out. No, they wouldn’t. The movable parts of a gun and the barrel are easy to make…even if you were using it that much.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Where do you get your data? 100 years to round up half the guns? How long did it take Australia to put their new gun laws into practice? Was not many years before they saw massive improvements in the stats on crimes with guns.

          How do you predict anything that was never tried? Your ideas on guns are mostly made up.

          • Achrachno
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            Good point.

          • mordacious1
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

            Unless the SS is breaking down doors, few people that now own guns are going to give them up. Voluntary turn in? In your dreams. Just make them illegal? (which isn’t going to happen) So what? There are more than 300 million guns in the US. Good luck collecting all those. You want to be the one that goes to take the gun away from one of these militia nuts? You can have that job. I know many people who now own guns that are illegal and unless they use them in a crime, no one will ever know.

            And lastly, the US is not Australia and it’s not the UK. I don’t know why you would think it is even similar.

            • Achrachno
              Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

              Gun ownership is in constant decline, even though the number of guns increases. Fewer and fewer owners, each with more guns (and thousands of rounds of ammo).

              http://www.vpc.org/studies/ownership.pdf

              “From 1977 to 2014, the percentage of American households that reported having any guns in the home dropped by 40 percent.”

              While total elimination of guns in private hands is not going to happen, at least not any time soon, reduction in numbers, better regulation, and consequent reduction of injuries and death are possible.

              • mordacious1
                Posted May 30, 2016 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

                If you want gun ownership to go up, just make them illegal. Drugs are illegal and anyone can get them, anywhere in the country.

              • Achrachno
                Posted May 31, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink

                “If you want gun ownership to go up, just make them illegal.”

                Yes, we made machine guns illegal to possess, and now everyone has them. Same with flamethrowers and RPGs.

                And of course, Australia banned many types of guns and now that country is reported to be armed to the teeth and a general free-fire zone.

                Clearly firearms and drugs are very similar and comparisons between them are entirely valid.

              • mordacious1
                Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

                No, not everyone has an automatic weapon, but I would say that there are more people who own them now than before they were made illegal. People didn’t own them before because, they were impractical and no one (outside of John Dillinger) really needed one. Same as today, if there was a practical use for them, people would own them, illegal or not.

          • keith cook + / -
            Posted May 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            Civilising the guns out of American culture is not something I can see happening soon.
            The Australian example was a one off, after the Port Arthur massacre, the pressure came on and the Australian Govt of the day pushed through laws taking control, buy back of guns and other moves in the same year as Port Arthur.
            The first point below is a can of worms but several factors also come into play. Traditional and historical ties to the British conservative way of life, the population, the number of guns involved.
            And just as importantly, they (Australian govt)struck while the iron was hot, when the issue of wasted innocent lives, 35 died at Port Arthur was looming large and from that had huge support from the general public.

            Can you see the US doing that?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          I refer the honourable gentleman to my comments about ammunition.

  11. Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    People in the US kill 5 to 10 times as many of their friends and neighbors each year than foreign terrorists have managed to kill in 15 years. And which group are we scared of?

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, but foreigners are scary!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Est ce que ces que je suis terrible? Comment? Mon Chat! V raiment, je suis disputation. Maisemore “terribke”?
        J’apologise. Je parle Francis comments unexpected vache Espanol.

    • mordacious1
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      That depends on which state you’re taking about. By “foreigners” I’m assuming you mean illegal immigrants. Where illegal immigrants tend to be in high numbers, they tend be a larger proportion of the crime statistics. For example, between 2008 and 2014, 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal aliens. In New York it was 34% and Arizona 17.8%.
      During those years, criminal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions in the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York, while illegal aliens constitute only 5.6% of the total population in those states.
      That 38% represents 7,085 murders out of the total of 18,643.

      It’s not currently popular among the Left to point to such problems, but I think it is ridiculous to ignore it. Just because obnoxious people like Trump harp on this as an issue, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue that needs to be dealt with.

      When SF refused to turn over that violent felon to the feds, because they don’t cooperate with ICE, and that young lady was murdered, it was contemptible. Those people in SF who support such a policy have blood on their hands.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes and I saw another article that said the illegal immigrants federal sentences for murder convictions was 12% nationally. Higher for some other categories. But so what. It will still be better to attack the problem by eliminating the guns. And why, if we have such a wide open immigration problem, meaning millions of illegals, don’t we get rid of the guns?

        On one hand, the Trump thinkers say get rid of all the illegals. But also, make getting guns so easy, even Trump can get dozens. Where is the logic?

        • mordacious1
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Trump is not going around shooting anyone and is unlikely to do so, so I don’t care how many guns he has in his mansion.

          • Achrachno
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            As long as no one breaks into his stock and takes what they want.

  12. Billy Bl.
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    The gun problem is a symptom. Address the disease, and the symptoms will abate.

    • Filippo
      Posted May 31, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      How would you describe the disease – a fatuous fixation on fondling and firing firearms?

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how many people were shot by those claiming self-defense against trespassers or muggers?

    It should come as no surprise if some, or perhaps even many, of those responsible make such claims. It is often the only defense available where the identity of the shooter is beyond dispute.

    It is another question, of course, how many of those claims are legitimate. The problem regarding fallacious self-defense claims has been exacerbated by the enactment in many jurisdictions of so-called “castle” laws and other laws abrogating the duty to retreat before employing deadly force.

  14. nicky
    Posted May 31, 2016 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Forgive me my ignorance, but what has become of the ‘well regulated militia’ part of the second amendment?

    I also fail to understand why background checks are such an issue. Appears to make sense not to licence guns to people with antecedents of violent behaviour or mental instability and the like.

    • mordacious1
      Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      District of Columbia v. Heller put that to bed for a while, when it ruled that, ” The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home”.

      • nicky
        Posted June 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that. Looked it up and saw that that was but the latest judgement in a long string. For this latest one we have Scalia to thank. Truly a literalist! (sarcasm)

        • Filippo
          Posted June 2, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Did Scalia the Literalist ever publicly go on record regarding the 1857 Dred Scott case?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Surely you mean ‘evidence’, not ‘antecedents’. My grandfather used an anti – aircraft gun on people evacuating a (depth charged) Uboat as an act of mercy. So, I pay a penalty for his actions 22 years before I was born?

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 31, 2016 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    But – it’s traditional. Ever since the great days of Prohibition, Al Capone and St Valentine’s Day. These people are upholding the cultural values that made Chicago famous, just as Dodge City and Tombstone were in their day.

    cr

  16. Posted May 31, 2016 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    I’m privileged enough to live in the far northwest side of Chicago, but have lived here long enough to know that almost no part of the city is completely insulated from gun violence.

    That said, I feel it’s important to move the debate from the second amendment to the utterly racist “War on Drugs.” Chicago is the only city in the US that ranks in the top 5 of all major US drug markets for the 4 main drug categories: pot (5th), meth (4th), cocaine (3rd), and heroin (1st). Chicago also has one of the largest open-air drug markets on the planet. I’ve been abstinent for almost 2.5 years now; I know of what I speak.

    I’m not saying that all gun violence is directly related to drug dealing, turf wars, battles with cops, etc. But don’t forget the ripple effect that huge sections of the city experience because of the drug trade. Neighborhoods have no employment, no networks, little if any police protection and other city services. The brutal ripple effects of being surrounded by the cycle of poverty that the drug trade and its violence are well documented. People will lash out and shoot for the most minor of transgressions just…because. So when I hear, “we’ve got to get guns out of the hands of private citizens,” ultimately I agree. My opinion is that, as a species we haven’t matured enough to handle such weapons responsibly. But good luck enforcing that. In the interim, we aren’t going to “get guns away from people” anytime this century. It is far more realistic, and far better for society, to remove or radically change the larger circumstances that fuel gun violence.

    We have to legalize, control, and tax all drugs. Fuck this war on the poor, I mean drugs. It’s already working in other countries. We can choke off the drug money that fuels terrorism while dramatically reducing the social, human, and legal costs of addiction–including the elimination of drug money that destroys neighborhoods and results in immeasurable associated suffering.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it. We’ll meet up and I’ll take you around myself. Or, you can hang out with Jerry at the U of C for lunch, then walk 10 minutes south or west and get the same idea.

  17. Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Some thoughts:

    1. There is no reason I can think of that any private U.S. citizen should own a military grade weapon.
    2. Much of the stockpiling of weaponry and ammunition is done by “Preppers”, “Apocalyptacists”, and other types of End of the World nuts. They’ll be able to protect their families and all that stockpiled food
    when the rest of us idiots that haven’t planned ahead try to steal from them.
    3. It is relatively easy for anyone to find instructions (and the materials) for making various kinds of weapons, including guns.
    4. So far, it is relatively easy for people who make their own bullets to find and obtain the necessary materials.
    5. There are numerous types of weapons in addition to guns that have been made illegal in the U.S. The laws vary from state to state and city to city. Martial arts type weapons are illegal. Too strong or too large a container of pepper spray or Mace is illegal. Some stun guns are illegal. Use of insect spray may be illegal in some states. Certain kinds or sizes of knives are illegal. Etc. None of this keeps people who want any of these from having them.
    6. Teenagers in juvenile justice system facilities and adult prisoners easily find ways to make weapons even though extreme care is taken by guards to prevent it.
    7. Making guns illegal for private citizens to own in Mexico has not prevented them from being owned nor prevented illegal transport and sale of such weapons cross-border. The legal and illegal market for gun sales seems to escalate as the profits increase.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 31, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      “3. It is relatively easy for anyone to find instructions (and the materials) for making various kinds of weapons, including guns.”

      Yes, it probably is. BUT – it’s a hell of a lot of work. And the result, unless you’re a master craftsman, is going to be something fairly crude that would suffice to kill someone at short range but wouldn’t compare with a proper manufactured gun. 99% of people wouldn’t have the ability or just wouldn’t bother. It’d be much easier, for example, to make a bomb.

      Even in countries where manufactured guns are illegal (for example Britain), no criminals use home-made guns. It’s easier** for them to acquire illegal manufactured weapons.

      ** And that does not mean easy, or cheap.

      cr

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Since I am short on battery, I’ll only assess your last 2 points.

      Sue, anyone with two braincells to rub together can make a weapon. A highly-lethal weapon that can act at a distance … much harder

      Mexico ….. has the problem of sharing a border where people can buy these things. It’s a problem that America ha§ exported.

  18. Carl Morano
    Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Weird. So a minuscule percentage of the population is criminal and committing horrible tribal violence therefore the rights of the overwhelmingly lawful citizens must be suspended as well. Has that happened with other constitutional rights where the violation of laws by the few results in everyone being treated equally as criminals? Would that really end gun violence? Very bizarre logic.

  19. Helen Hollis
    Posted May 31, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    If one wants to keep up on the murder in Chicago I recommend two websites. One is HeyJackass the other is Second City Cop.

  20. bb
    Posted June 1, 2016 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    “I wonder how many people were shot by those claiming self-defense against trespassers or muggers?”

    Not sure how this is relevant. Coyne appears to be suggesting that he believes this number is very low, and therefore the self-defense argument is bogus. But you don’t have to actually shoot a trespasser or mugger in order to defend yourself against them using a gun. You don’t even have to wield it, or even have a gun, for that matter. The idea that people *could* have guns, under their pillows, etc, for example, could potentially act as a deterrent and thus a means of self-defense.

    Not saying this is so. Just that Coyne’s argument, in not addressing this, is lacking.

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    “The idea that people *could* have guns, under their pillows, etc, for example, could potentially act as a deterrent and thus a means of self-defense.”

    Or it could just mean that any sensible mugger or trespasser would make sure they’re packing heat. As, y’know, a means of self-defense…

    cr

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Bugger! Done it again!

      That was, of course, a reply to bb at #20

      cr


%d bloggers like this: