Guns in the USA (follow-up)

Why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West? You have a gun and I have a gun, and we'll settle it in the streets if that's they're thinking. We think we're such an improved society... The rest of the world is laughing at us.

— Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

The Mayor of Chicago responded here to a recent statement by the of the United States of America that the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 is unconstitutional, and handguns may not be banned by the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court enacted that the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

The Second Amendment states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. As you can imagine, it's a very old stuff: it was enacted in 1791, shortly after the war of independence against the British. More than two centuries have passed, but it has not been modified.

A few months ago, about several articles published in the , where they showed that guns are a main Public Health issue in the United States, with tens thousands casualties a year. Unfortunately, it seems things will not change before a long time in that country.

In fact, Mayor Daley, most of the people in the civilized world are not laughing at the U.S.A. They are astounded rather, and sometimes scared.

12 comment(s):

    I will expect the standard argument, my friend: "it is not guns that kill, it's people!".
    Well, yes. A good reason to avoid those people having easy access to guns, right?
    Can we make an analogy with drugs? "it's not drugs who kill, it's people who take them!" It sounds a lot sillier that way, I think.
    The stupid thing about the right to bear arms is that it sidles into a duty to bear arms. I mean to say, the situation arises where unarmed people are assaulted with guns and get reproached for not wearing a gun.
    My dad always said that if you carry a weapon you're not that handy with, the chances are pretty good you end up being wounded by your own weapon, which is another good reason not to wear one.
    Then, a more pragmatical argument. Look at my handbag. Before the mobile phones it was fine. You know, packet of paper hankies, gloss, little mirror, little notebook, a pen, a wallet.
    Gradually things have been added. The mobile phone, the pda, another wallet with ID and drivers licence, and whatnot. It has rendered my handbag in a weighty bulky thing.
    So, suppose I had to add a gun to that! Unwieldy thing. And considering I am often too late to locate my phone in that handbag to answer it before it goes to voicemail. What am I supposed to do, hold up my hand to the assaulter, say "wait a moment, I will get something from my purse" (as it is the US and handbags are purses there :P)... and try to find my gun in there (which isn't vibrating or making a noise. One hopes)?
    Yeah right.
    Totally inane!

     

    aw, Saskia... just hit the bugger with the weighty bag up his head:P

    I knew friends who told me they keep guns because 'government shouldn't hold all the guns, in case it turns fascist or something'....

    how about that?

     
    On 30 June, 2008 03:18 ahllfixit said...

    The US Supreme Court's interpretation of the US Constitution's Second Amendment confirmed a pre-existing right -- the prohibition of government infringement on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court cut down the DC gun ban. Politicians who earlier supported the DC gun ban are now flip-flopping to disavow their past support for it.

    Flip-flopping is typical behavior by spineless politicians who are scrambling for votes in this election year. In spite of its gun ban, DC has failed to protect its crime victims from violence and aggression. Even the 'Prince of Change', Barrack "Gaffe" Obama, flip-flopped with this smooth rhetorical statement by his campaign minions, " .he believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives...". Keep in mind that all Obama statements come with an expiration date.
    DC had the highest crime rate of all US cities -- a 97% increase since its 1976 gun ban. In studies by the federal government and the National Academy of Sciences, no significant evidence supported the effectiveness of gun control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that no gun law had a meaningful impact on gun violence. This is a compelling argument that Americans deserved the right to defend themselves.

    It is an right, not a "duty", to carry a firearm. The ruling does not force anyone to carry a firearm.

    I applaud the Supreme Court!

    Ahllfixit

     

    Saskia — HAHAHAHAHAHA. I believe Bedouin is right, with such a handbag, you own a weapon of massive destruction already and don't need a gun obviously.

    Bedouin — I wonder what your friends think about your present government and head of state...

    Ahllfixit — 'Owning guns to combat violence and save life' is undoubtedly a great idea. Too bad not everyone can have tanks or atomic weapons also in the USA, for sure there wouldn't be any violence at all there.

    'It is a right for everyone to own a gun': everywhere in the world, you can own guns for hunting, or defend yourself in very special, usually professional, situations. In every developed country though, but yours, it is rather considered a right for every citizen not to live in fear, not to be scared by every other people you meet because they might bear a weapon and shoot you if you have an argument at a crossing.

    You can find statistics to support every opinion. Rather than picking up those that comfort your views or mine, please have a look at my previous blog, about the articles in the New England Journal of Medicine I referred to. There is a map there that displays figures in the whole of the USA. You may also find out about what happened in other countries aften they banned guns too, in Canada for example.

    Anyway, beside the laws here or there, that can always be changed, there are Public Health issues, and there's no getting away from the facts there: every year, there are 30 times as many USAmericans killed by firearms in the USA than in Iraq. Many times as many people in the USA alone than in the rest of the whole developed world. Bearing guns cannot be a solution to the violence of your society. Granted, this antique behaviour is not its only cause either — it is its consequence rather, there would be a lot to write about that. Yet it part of it.

     

    @ Bedouin: better idea, since I have a blue belt in kyokushinkai karate. I once aimed a neat kick at the sternum of my opponent, a rather tall guy, but my foot got caught a smidgen on the low end.
    Besides, there's expensive stuff in that handbag. Pff, not going to smash my nifty PDA on some brickhead. (And I read your new blogpost but haven't commented yet, it was quite a lot).
    @ Fixit: I agree that banning guns when many abound is like installing mosquito nets after you left all the windows open at night with all the lights on. Look! Mosquito nets really have NO effect on the amount of people bitten by mosquitos in that house! Uhuh. So you have a point, but Billy's main point stands, I think.
    And you say there is no explicit duty to bear a fire arm. Sure, as there is no duty to install locks on your door, but if someone enters your house and robs it, people still find it's your own fault. As if entering a house and robbing stuff is not the bad act, but you're the stupid one not to prevent it. That is the key.
    @ Billy: read Bedouins blog! it's all there, it was so clear that I fear for his life, as so many egyptian bloggers get detained and treated unnicely. To put it mildly.
    Guns. I hate them. I can't fathom to deliberately point a weapon that might maim or kill at a fellow human being, and heaven forbid that I will ever be in such a position.
    Thank deity of choice we have a pretty much noncorrupt government and police force here. I am fine with just government officials being allowed to carry arms in public. I am not sure I would be happy with it if I couldn't trust the police. But I can, and they seldom carry arms here anyway. I live in such a cute and quaint little country!

     

    Saskia-- Ouch! and yeah,I think carrying guns that extensively only means a severely corrupt security system, so much that, "people are taking care of it themselves".

    Billy-- Oh! Mubarak has a consensus of resentment. but those friends I was talking about were Americans. I had this discussion before with them, and all they worried about is; if they 'give up their right' and then the government held all the guns, that would be incentive to the government to turn fascist. of course that is a VERY weird guarantee for democracy, but hey! anything to keep the magic going :)):P.

    It does have a lot of interference going on, gun industry is throwing billions a year on this sort of propaganda and magical sophistry just to keep the battle going. Billions that could've been spent on developing a better security system, a better health system, more jobs (and so less crimes). but noO! let's fear the fascism:P

     
    On 24 July, 2008 02:47 Anonymous said...

    To Billy: You missed my point: The US Supreme Court supported the US Constitution's Second Amendment which simply states that USA citizens have the right to bear arms to defend self, property and family. That Second Amendment does not grant the criminals and law-abiding citizens the right to 'antique behavior' (violence), nor does it guarantee the reduction of such. It does not require modification just because it is “old”.
    To put things in global perspective for Billy and his gun control supporters: More gun laws only impact law-abiding citizens--not criminals. Ask Germany what happened when Adolph Hitler utilized gun records in France to reduce the competition. Ask the folks in England and Australia who have seen huge increases in gun-related crimes since they made guns illegal.
    While I was visiting England in 2007, the ‘Bobbies’ were carrying automatic weapons --- very shocking to me. Before you “Americanize” the French crime scene, French gun crime rates have risen while America’s has fallen. Interestingly, the French government has blamed the illegal firearms black market – thanks to the infiltration of illegal firearms from eastern Europe. Is this the Europe I thought was safe? Not any more.
    Gun control is effective for those political fanatics whose future intent is to disarm the population so they can rule the country in accordance with their warped dreams.
    Any predatory criminal will admit that they love gun control --- the ability to hit your target the first time every time. They also will admit that they fear the private citizen who legally possesses a firearm more than they do the police. Why? Because criminals are no longer certain their victims are defenseless.
    Billy, you are right when you stated that statistics can be tweaked to fit the pros and cons of gun control. Anti-gun and the anti gun-control folks cite their supportive statistics. One needs to take into account that studies that do not control out alternate explanations for the effect under study are essentially worthless. For a definitive study on gun control in the USA, I cite this URL for you: http://homepage.usask.ca/~sta575/cdn-firearms/Lott/guns.html .
    This is my final contribution to Billy’s gun-control blog. Thank you! ahllfixit

     

    Thank you for this comment Ahllfixit and its quiet stance, despite our disagreement on the topic. You know, I just cannot understand you arguments. I think the cultural gap between Europe and the USA — or certain places in the USA — is too large here.

    I am not afraid, for instance, when I see a policeman with a weapon. It is his job to protect citizens, hence his right (and even his duty) to carry one. I am not scared of people walking in the streets either here, because I know they cannot have guns. As for criminals, they will always find weapons somewhere, especially when legal industry makes money in making a lot, theoretically for the average citizen.

    But, well, as I wrote it in a previous blog, I won't claim I fully understand a topic that simply does not exist outside the United States. There *is* a huge cultural gap between the USA and the whole developed word about violence in human societies. Shortly said, European governments and citizens consider that violence (that is, guns, the death penalty, bellicism, religious 'crusades'... you see what I mean) is a survival from archaic societies, that human civilization aims at eradicating. Slowly, granted. More slowly in certain places.

     
    On 26 July, 2008 15:37 Anonymous said...

    Billy: Culture Gap. How interesting! A truly debatable topic! Perhaps a 'culture gap blog' is required. The previous topic is worn out because it is an ancient topic with a predictable result -- no one wins.

    Allow me to initialize the discussion by defining your perception of 'culture gap' as pure European anti-Americanism. Even your very own French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy was quoted, '.... we French intellectuals invented it' (Anti-Americanism).
    The United States of America has become the whipping post for its global policy, its people, its education system, its economic system, its government, and its president. The barbed whips are wielded by European countries who have forgotten USA assistance during WWI and WWII. Billy, you probably were not even developing eyelids when the Americans were helping France during the wars.

    Billy, your anti-Americanism doesn't surprise me. This European-based anti-Americanism received a major growth after the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the US. The CNN liberal media hounds have labeled our Iraq soldiers as 'killers of children, their families, and innocent bystanders'. The French soldiers were guilty, too but that was not newsworthy.

    In a demo of prophetic reporting, this same liberal media took a much needed breath to loudly bellow the arrival of the 'Obamessiah' to the European countries and the rest of the world during Obama's visit to Germany. And the European intellectuals are loving it. Please note that Obama has the same monkey ears as Bush -- perhaps a bit bigger and more rounded.

    After braying like a jackass about your anti-American right to bear arms, do you care to reveal more of your anti-Americanism, Billy? Or is this just another pompous display of your lugubrious prolixity because you will never understand the complexity of culture gaps?

    Thanks, Ahllfixit

     

    Allfixit: I didn't get your point about candidate Obama, who favours the right of bearing arms.

    Thank you for your comments, a pretty good illustration of the cultural gap I talked about.

    There's a similar gap between, say, most people from San Francisco or New-York and most people from Western Virginia or Idaho. Too bad then if the 'Antiamericanism' pet theme is enough of a explanation for you.

     
    On 27 July, 2008 00:55 Anonymous said...

    Billy: You are correct about the 'culture gap' since it is YOUR pet theme in your blog, and you have arrogantly (and ignorantly) 'anti-Americanized' the global issues of war and gun control. I will presume that you are 'anti-American' until proven otherwise. It is too bad that you have a misconception of America as a melting pot of gun-toting vigilantes with violent intentions. Because of your confined intellectual culture gap, it is apparent that you do not understand. France has some very serious problems that concern most of the gun-toting vigilantes of the United States of America.

    During late 2007, the poor, harmless misguided youth of unnamed ethnic origin in Paris, France peacefully demonstrated against oppression by shooting at 80+ cops with hunting weapons. The result: over 200 wounded policemen and six arrests. Evidently, the police were not very effective. Evidently, gun control is alive and well in France. Firearms are widespread in France and police generally carry guns. In this case, It looks like France forgot to do background checks on everyone.

    So much for the gun control that you so fervently fawn over. This incident made our violent American vigilantes look like declawed housecats. You say anyone can get a gun permit in France? These misguided youths were of Arabic and Black immigrants and they were rebelling against a French establishment they felt has left them behind. Now, Billy, are you going to be an 'apologist' for the violent intents of these radical Islamic youth? Where were the French citizenry with gun permits? They stayed home to defend themselves, their property, and their families while these misguided adherents of radical Islam sashayed throughout Paris with intents to kill. Isn't this supportive evidence of an archaic French society? Has French President Sakosky finally got his country under control?
    Initially, Obama was dead set against bearing arms. After the DC gun law was struck down by the US Supreme Court, Obama flatuently flipflopped and stated that he favors the right of bearing arms. While an Illinois Senator, Obama voted to ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns. His voting record reveals his true intent. But that's not all: Barack Obama’s psychotic, dopey, dangerous views on ending jihad with “understanding” and 'empathy' is a delusion about the 'climate of poverty and ignorance' that supposedly breeds Muslim terrorists, bearded airplane students, and suicide bombers. This guy needs a serious reality check.
    Billy, I do want to be your friend (albeit via chat). I don't like arguing, but I don't like the misconstrued anti-American views. However, if it is true, I will accept the truth. For every thorn you toss my way, I can toss one back at you, but is it worth it? No! *smile
    Peace! Ahllfixit

     

    Ahllfixit — Haha, French arrogance missed to the cliché. You know, Frenchmen are so arrogant that they will also criticise their own country all the time, it's some kind of a national sport here. Please feel free to do the same here or here for example. You might also put thorns back in the bald eagle, if you ever think it deserves some.

     

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