Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let's talk turkey..

O.K. I have been struggling with this post for a few hours. Some have wanted to know my exact opinion about allowing loaded guns on college campuses and in other public places. I am not interested in relitigating laws already passed nor wanting to repeal them. My own state has a pretty loose permit to carry law that I don't like. But there have not been shootings on the streets by permit holders. Nor have there been permit holders using their guns to protect themselves or others in public places. On the other hand, there have been several shootings by permit holders in public places in Minnesota which I have written about in previous posts. 


What I am concerned about is that there are certainly permit holders who are shooting others. You can see some of the incidents collected by the Violence Policy Center.  As this article, which examines the issue from both sides, concludes, neither side has much scientific data to point to their assertions. And so the discussion and debate continues over the issue of concealed and open carrying of guns. Data would be helpful, " But such data is not collected by most law enforcement agencies and not compiled nationally, said Rand of the Violence Policy Center. Her group would like to see nationwide reporting of the number of concealed-weapons permit holders, a “systematic collection of arrest and conviction data” for them as well as hard data on the number of justifiable homicides they’re involved in". " The site says 130 civilians and nine police officers have been killed and 13 mass shootings have been carried out by people with concealed-weapons permits since May 2007." If you check on this link from the Violence Policy Center to the information, above, about incidents of shootings by permit holders, the number has gone up since the quote was made above. 


To my point, here is just one of the more recent examples of a crime by a South Carolina permit to carry a gun holder. Thankfully, permits can be suspended, as it was in this case but sometimes that will come too late to save a life. This is senseless, to put it mildly and the man is lucky that no one was killed.


In Texas, lawmakers want 18-20 year olds to be able to legally walk the streets and hang out in public places with loaded guns. This blog by Dennis Henigan from the Brady Center, explores what is proposed in Texas. Think about 18 year olds you know. Do you want them walking the streets with loaded guns? Kids that age should just have fun hanging out with friends, playing sports, going to high school or college, being on the debate team or writing for the school paper. If these young people are college students, what kind of fun is it to be in constant fear that someone is out to get you on every corner? Is it actually fun to carry a heavy gun around with you everywhere? What about alcohol use and drug use? Apparently the NRA and other groups supporting legislation such as this have not considered the true danger in allowing 18-20 year olds to pack heat. This is just plain foolish and defies common sense. If Texas legislators are really concerned about life, they wouldn't even consider this nonsense. But when you are bought and paid for by the NRA and succumb to the love affair with your own guns, as the legislator who proposed this bill, common sense is not an option.


This article was written by an Oklahoma college student in defense of carrying guns on campus. I almost did a double take when I read this, from the article: " "It is dangerous for people to walk around campus with guns when their states of mind cannot be known," Mr. Akande said. Isn't that what the police do? I haven't been shot by a police officer or know anyone who has." Huh? Does this make sense? To equate a student walking around campus with a police officer is absurd.


I can see that more people will be carrying in more places, just as the gun lobby wants. This South Dakota city council decided to allow residents to open carry in public places. We are headed towards the normalization of citizens carrying guns everywhere. Soon enough, the criminals will also carry and we won't know the difference between the "good guys and the bad guys". On so many levels, this is a bad idea. Time will tell how this will all work out for public safety. In Portland, Maine, however, the opposite vote was taken. The arguments on both sides seem to be the same no matter where this issue is taken up. The solution just depends on who has the majority on city councils, state legislatures and Congress. 


A recent expose on my local television news about permit to carry holders is a pretty well researched series about the effects of the Minnesota Personal Protection Act passed in 2005 and what has happened since. Here is the second in the series about using deadly force and the affect it has on the shooter. And yet another story in the series shows the reporter going through a simulated police training video designed to hone skills for determining when to use deadly force. What stands out, in the end, is that the police officers interviewed suggest that carrying a gun is a serious responsibility and that if you actually shoot and kill someone, it is very difficult to deal with the after affects. It is not as easy as the gun guys would have you believe.


In California, the Open Carry movement is heating up. Here is a blog about a petition by a California gun guy, supposedly representing a group called "Responsible Citizens of California". Really? Come on. To suggest recalling a sheriff because he received an award from the Brady Campaign is just plain ludicrous. If this is how the "gun nuts" want to be seen, then they will be the worse for it. The California Open Carry group is hiding behind a "Toys for Tots" sale to make their point that they should be allowed to carry their guns any place. They are going to meet at a burger place, "Nation's Burgers" in the Contra Costa area of California. When the group got wind of a protest by the California Brady Chapters, they changed their gathering into a collection of toys for the needy. Really? Come on guys. You can do better than this. The cynicism here is just dripping. What next? Giving out food to the needy with the guns strapped to their legs? This is just plain disgusting. This is just not common sense in any way.


The gun lobby's position is that guns get used more often for self defense ( that would include carrying guns in public places) than in crimes. Here is a study that refutes that idea and shows that the opposite is true. In fact, a quote from the article says that: " Regular citizens with guns, who are sometimes tired, angry, drunk, or afraid, and who are not trained in dispute resolution, have lots of opportunities for inappropriate gun uses. People engage in innumerable annoying and somewhat hostile interactions with each other in the course of a lifetime. It should not be surprising that inappropriate, socially undesirable "self-defense" gun uses by people who believe they are law-abiding citizens outnumber the appropriate and socially beneficial use of guns.6


The contributors to this study, David Hemenway and Mary Vriniotis have summarized what I feel about the issue and what the majority of the public feels, when asked. Though this survey took place in 2001, it reflects what people have answered to this particular question many times since. From the abstract of the survey above: "The public believes that increased gun carrying by others reduces rather than increases their safety. Overwhelmingly, the public believes that in many venues gun carrying should be prohibited."

Both sides are caught up in their own rhetoric and emotion when it comes to the issue of who should carry guns and where they should be carried. So, what to do? Is there any place in the middle on this issue? I just know that I and others who work on this issue with me, don't want to be shot nor do we want others to be shot. We believe in prevention. We also do not think of public places as inherently dangerous, though recognizing that shootings do take place in many public places. My view is that I just don't feel that if I don't have a loaded gun, I will be less safe. The gun lobby feels just the opposite. For me this has more to do with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". There are 213 (see VPC link, above) people (since 2007) who will not be sitting at the Thanksgiving table with their families this year and in future years because someone with a permit to carry shot them to death. That is 213 too many and it does not make common sense.

48 comments:

  1. The only reason to argue for 18 year olds to be eligible for a permit-to-carry is to sell more guns. Period.

    As far as open carry - that's not just insane, it's stupid. The only people who would be intimidated by it are the law abiding - and most of them would be angry. Unless you're traveling in a pack, the bad guys would have a field day with you. The bad guy, with his gun drawn, says "give me yours - with two fingers only - or you're dead". And you're going to do what??

    .45 Colt

    ReplyDelete
  2. So at what age do people's rights start in your mind? It is fine that they can join the military and operate complex machinery, shoot all kinds of things, etc, but the rights they fight for don't mean anything apparently.

    I don't think you are giving young adults enough credit. I also think you are going to see a lot more states have suits brought against them for not allowing 18 year old's to purchase or carry. Since the 2nd Amendment has been incorporated to the states, I don't see how those laws can stand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Of those 213 -- how many were due to a "justifiable" homicide?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't think any of them were.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it now acceptable to restrict the rights and freedoms of a group on the basis of a perception that the group in question is in someway inferior or dangerous?

    Would this be acceptable for any other right or any other group of citizens?

    I think the any argument against guns on collage campuses is stronger without a justification of collective disenfranchisement. Many of the worst evils of history have claimed just such a justification.

    Collage campuses may legitimately be claimed to be a special places in need of special rules and restrictions. But to claim citizens 18 to 20 years old are inferior and unreliable and thus their rights (assuming carrying guns is a right) must, on that basis, be subject to special rules and restrictions can not be accepted as legitimate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Let's talk about crime rates. Josh Sugarman at the VPC points out some of the crimes that CCW permit holders do commit. However, the relevant question in my mind is not "Are CCW holders saints?" Rather, it is, "are they more or less likely to commit crimes than the average resident?"

    Let's look at your home state of MN as you express concern about the lax "shall issue" law there. In 2008, 162 crimes overall were committed out of approximately 57,000 CCW holders. Any criminal may have committed multiple crimes, so there are likely fewer than 162 criminals. Only 3 permits were revoked so go figure. That translates to a CCW crime incident rate of ~284 per 100,000 CCW's, compared to the MN average of 3,113.4 incidents per 100,000 residents.

    I counted ~43 crimes against the person (9 x assault, 2 x burglary, 11 x disorderly conduct, 17 x domestic assault, 2 x harassment/stalking, 1 x murder, 3 x terroristic threats) committed by CCW holders. Of those, 12 meet the same definition used by the FBI for compiling violent crime statistics. Even using the higher number of 43, that's a rate of 75 per 100,000 CCWs compared to the MN average of 262.8 incidents per 100,000 residents.

    If you compare "apples to apples" and only consider homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery as the FBI does, then the rate drops to 17.5 per 100,000 compared to 262.8/100,000.

    To put it another way, CCW permit holders committed 1 murder in 2008 (2 murders over a 5 year span); there were over 100 murders per year committed in the whole state each year in the 2000s. That means CCW permit holders are responsible for around 0.4% of all murders in MN. That's less than half the number that we'd expect them to commit if they committed crimes at the same rate as other Minnesotans.

    That was a lot of words, so here's a summary:

    ALL CRIME
    CCW: 284 incidents per 100,000 CCWs
    MN AVERAGE: 3,113.4 incidents per 100,000 residents

    VIOLENT CRIME
    CCW: 17.5 incidents per 100,000 CCWs
    MN AVERAGE: 262.8 incidents per 100,000 residents

    The report also includes crime totals for five years after shall-issue was firmed up in MN. The rates remain similar even if you use the 5-year average instead of just 2008. That implies that 2008 is not a fluke year.

    REVOCATIONS

    Looking at the MN data for 2008, it looks like 4 permits were revoked and 6 suspended, which means that about 99.982% of CCW permit holders did not have a permit revoked or suspended.

    If you look back at previous years of data (I was able to find 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2008) the revocation rates are very similar. In fact, the highest numbers I could find were from the old "may issue" days. Firearms are used in violent crime extremely rarely. Most of the revocations appear to be for traffic violations and DWIs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CONCLUSIONS:
    MN CCW permit holders do commit crimes and permits are sometimes revoked. However, a CCW permit holder appears to be dramatically less likely to be involved in a crime of any type, including violent crime, than the average Minnesota resident.

    This cursory analysis cannot establish causality; that is, we cannot say whether CCW carriers are more law abiding and thus apply and are approved for permits, or whether the act of getting the permit makes someone more law abiding. We can however say that there is a strong correlation between having a CCW permit and being more law abiding by several orders of magnitude than the average resident.

    Interestingly enough, this finding can be replicated across many states over many years. In general, revocation rates are tiny and are usually for non-violent crimes or traffic incidents. Here's a quick sample of revocation rates compared to Minnesota:
    FL 1987 - 2008 (0.3%)
    AZ 1994 - 2007 (0.9%)
    NC 1995 - 2004 (1.2%)
    MN 2002 - 2006 (0.03%)
    MI 2001 - 2007 (0.1%)

    Florida's revocation rate is 10 times that of MN and still, 99.7% of gun carriers are law abiding!

    While Josh Sugarman's research brings to light several troubling incidents, when looked at in the aggregate, the problem of violence by CCW carriers is really much smaller than the anecdotes make it appear to be. Your odds of being assaulted by an individual with a CCW permit are much lower than the chance of being assaulted by any other random resident of Minnesota.

    The other half of the equation is the benefit to society. MN netted a cool $0.5 million from the CCW program in 2008; that is money that can be used for any number of crime reduction programs. Additionally, while the state reported "zero" lawful and justifiable uses of firearms, the requirements for such are quite strict to be counted. Basically, that means there were no incidents where a citizen had to shoot a criminal in 2008. A cursory search found one in 2009 and another in 2010. Defensive gun uses where nobody got shot wouldn't be reported and should be much more common.

    Don't slip in all that blood in the streets. Oh, wait. There is no blood.

    Links:
    http://www.bca.state.mn.us/CJIS/Documents/CarryPermit/2008PTSReport.pdf
    http://www.dps.state.mn.us/bca/CJIS/documents/carrypermit/2006PTSReport.pdf
    http://www.bca.state.mn.us/CJIS/Documents/Page-19.html
    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2009/09/minnesota_crime_rate_falls_to.php
    http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/issues/firearmcarry.asp
    http://www.bca.state.mn.us/CJIS/Documents/CarryPermit/2008PTSReport.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Japete, I just have a question...

    "Nor have there been permit holders using their guns to protect themselves or others in public places."

    Where are you getting this information? I have seen several news stories in Minnesota with permits using their guns to stop rapes or robberies.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. First of all, thanks Chris, for that information. I think there have more revocations, however, and I can check that out. I am actually not saying that permit holders are any more or less likely to commit crimes than the average person. But what I keep hearing from your side is that permit holders are all law abiding and that they don't do anything wrong. That may not be you personally, but I get a lot of push-back about that. Also, I will point out that it is difficult to get public information about permit holders because the gun lobby has successfully managed to get provisions in the bills to keep that information from the public. That is a a problem. My point is that permit holders do commit crimes. Perhaps the person with the permit would have committed that crime anyway. Another point I am making is that, since permit holders are like any other human being, as is mentioned by Hemenway, the potential for using a gun in anger, while under the influence, mistakenly, etc. in public is there. As I said before, I do not want to re-argue these points. My position is in my post and I know you all want to keep going with the argument. I have said what I believe. You have your beliefs. Neither of us have enough proof to say for certain that our side is right. I think it's best if we agree to disagree on this one and move on to something else. You guys won this one with the passage of CCW laws in almost all states. There is not blood on the streets. I have never said there was. I am thinking about potential with more people carrying guns in more places and wanting to prevent senseless shootings. If a gun is actually used legitimately for self defense, so be it. That is why people like you carry guns- for that possibility. But that isn't really happening either. The risk/benefit is up for question, I would say. If I have more information to clarify my arguments, you know I will provide it. Meanwhile, I will continue bringing forth the incidents of shootings because that is what my blog is about. I want to bring a problem to the fore front to call attention to the fact that there are too many shootings in this country and I would love it if we found ways to reduce or prevent those shootings. I am not interested in having people question my motives here. My motives are what I say they are. I know you all don't believe me, but that is not my problem. I will concede "points" in the debate if evidence shows me that I have made an error in my thinking or my facts. I wonder if you all will do the same?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Really, anon? Can you find those for me?

    ReplyDelete
  11. To anon, above. I am not saying that 18-20 year olds are inferior citizens. I know that 18 year olds are considered, for some purposes, to be adults. I also know that in my state, they can't drink legally until 21. There is a reason for that. I had 2 18 year old at one time. I know about their judgement difficulties and watched them struggle through some growing issues. To carry around a deadly weapon and have to make a decision to take a life is hard enough for police officers or older adults. To put young adults in that position does not make much sense. As I said in my blog, it also may rob them of some of the fun of being that age. If these "kids" have to be in constant fear enough to carry a gun everywhere, that seems like a heavy burden that is not necessary. The potential for mistakes is too high. And yes, when my kids were 18, I still considered them to be kids. I was paying for their college tuition and helping them make some decisions. When they both found jobs in the real world and got their own health insurance, they were on their own financially and launched. They still need us for many things in their own lives and I often still call them my "kids". When someone dies, their adult "children" are listed as children. What else do we call them? I know you didn't make that point but others have.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've got an idea, let's make the lowest age for a gun permit 30. Most young people I know in their 20s are not mature enough. I'd say the 18 to 21 year-olds and the 21 to 30 year-olds are quite similar to each other. Beyond 30, you've got some possibility of finding the maturity and experience with guns necessary to safely carry concealed.

    I agree with the first commenter, who judging by his handle is not one of those liberal anti-rights gun-grabbers.

    Open carry is mainly to force confrontations. Criminals would not be deterred, on the contrary, they'd be happy to know who's carrying.

    ReplyDelete
  13. VPC includes false math in their numbers. Of the 213 "homicides" since May 2007:

    3 were acquitted of all charges or no charges were filed (meaning NOT GUILTY)

    4 were justifiable homicides where a lawfully permitted weapon was used to defend oneself.

    9 are still "pending" in the courts - and I'll even remove the ones that are "obviously" guilty until proven innocent.

    So -- subtract 16 from their total...puts it at 197.

    I'm hesitant to include suicides, but:

    24 were suicides - counting only the person themselves (suicide doesn't require a permit, and suicides will happen even without firearms).
    If we use the same logic with cars -- then we should evaluate all licensed persons who committed suicide by car.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hmm- we may have to do some more fact checking on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Neither of us have enough proof to say for certain that our side is right.

    I think we have sufficient evidence to reject the hypothesis that CCW permit holders are more likely to engage in crime than the average citizen. Your argument might have been plausible a decade or two ago when we didn't have sufficient data, but "shall issue" permits have been in effect for decades across many states. There is plenty of data on this question.

    My point is that permit holders do commit crimes.

    True. However, let's assume the absolute worst case scenario: 100% of the violent crime committed by CCW permit holders in MN would have been stopped had they not had a permit. That is, if they didn't have a legal gun then those assaults and murders would have gone away. How does that stack up against the benefit -- defensive gun usages?

    The smallest estimate for DGU's I could find was 108,000 in the 1990s from the National Crime Victimization Survey. MN has 1.7% of the US population. If we assume that MN had a number of DGUs roughly equal to its proportional population, then we'd expect there to be at least 1,836 DGUs in the state.

    You'd have to argue that there are fewer than 823 defensive gun uses every year in the entire nation before the number of violent crimes committed by CCW permit holders in MN eclipsed the likely number of DGUs, or you'd have to argue that DGUs are not proportional to population (they may not be; I haven't studied the question) and that for some reason MN is much less likely to experience DGUs. I haven't seen any study from any group anywhere, including gun control groups, that argues that the number of DGUs in the US is less than 1,000 per year. That is off by several orders of magnitude.

    So What?

    There is data available. It is from reputable sources, such as your state law enforcement agencies. It extends for many years in many states at this point. You can't just wish it away.

    I understand that you fear having guns in public places, and that there are terrible things that might happen. I also understand that a very small minority of CCW permit holders commit abuse their privilege and commit crimes, some of them terrible.

    However, even a cursory look at the data shows that you are much, much safer meeting a CCW permit carrier on the street than any other random Minnesotan. The odds of any MN murdering you are low, but for a CCW permit holder they are even lower (about 1/2 to 1/5). The odds of any random Minnesotan making you a victim of violent crime are low, but the odds of a random CCW permit carrier victimizing you are tiny (less than 1/10th the chance!).

    Moreover, your odds of a MN CCW permit carrier accidentally shooting you are near zero. I understand your fear, but it has just not materialized. Your state has years of evidence to support that. You're concerned with what might happen; I'm concerned with what actually happened.

    And finally, the data show that with any reasonable estimate of DGUs, they exceed violent crime committed by CCW holders -- at least in MN -- by orders of magnitude. Please show me any peer-reviewed study that estimates the number of DGUs in the US to be less than 1,000 per year. I haven't found it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Soon enough, the criminals will also carry and we won't know the difference between the "good guys and the bad guys"."

    You say that as if we now know the difference between the good guys and bad guys.

    The reality is that we don't know the difference between the good guys and bad guys and never will. None of us are psychic. But we do know that bad guys will carry guns whenever, wherever, and however they want, therefore no amount legislation (or lack of legislation) will stop them.

    So the alarmism over campus carry and open carry is for the most part a bunch of empty clutching of pearls.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "
    True. However, let's assume the absolute worst case scenario: 100% of the violent crime committed by CCW permit holders in MN would have been stopped had they not had a permit. That is, if they didn't have a legal gun then those assaults and murders would have gone away. How does that stack up against the benefit -- defensive gun usages?" I don't get this point.
    " However, even a cursory look at the data shows that you are much, much safer meeting a CCW permit carrier on the street than any other random Minnesotan" That is an opinion. There are not many gun murders in Minnesota but I don't think you can say you are much much safer meeting a CCW permit carrier than any other random person.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "empty clutching of pearls" That's a first. You just made my point. If everyone is open carrying so that legal carriers and criminals alike open carry, we won't know the difference. Why wouldn't a criminal just decide to open carry as long as everyone else is.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "empty clutching of pearls" That's a first.

    “Clutching of the pearls” is a recognized idiom. “a moment in time that forces one to clasp their hand to their chest, out of fear or shock, as if trying to protect an imaginary pearl necklace.” Try Googling “Clutching” and “pearls.” It’s a popular phrase in leftie blogs if the results I got were representative.

    Why wouldn't a criminal just decide to open carry as long as everyone else is?

    Try seeing things from the point of view of the criminal on the street. Generally a criminal wants to get what you have at the least possible cost to himself. That’s why he’s a criminal. If he wanted to work hard he could get a job. Most criminals aren’t willing to get themselves shot over the contents of your wallet nor a shot at a little rape on the side. They might want one or both if they can figure out how to get away with it, but they are less likely to take on a hard target. Stupid criminals end up dead or in jail in short order. As we have repeatedly told you, 75% of all murders are committed by people with adult criminal records. Many of the rest are committed by juveniles, so they cannot have an adult record. Neither, felons nor juveniles are permitted to carry guns. Open carrying a gun past a cop who knows that you are a felon or underage earns you a quick trip to the pokey. We understand that the idea of open carry frightens you, but you will have to get over it. Our rights are not contingent on your acceptance of them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You sound so certain that you will win this one. Time will tell. Most people do not want others openly carrying guns in public. You may have to get over that! As to 75% of murders committed by people with adult criminal records- that is not right. Give me a source for that. As you guys have said before, criminals will carry guns anyway so what is your point here? Juveniles also carry guns, though they are not supposed to.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "As to 75% of murders committed by people with adult criminal records- that is not right. Give me a source for that."

    An FBI data run of murder arrestees nationally over a four year period in the 1960s found 74.7% to have had prior arrests for violent felony or burglary. In one study, the Bureau of Criminal Statistics found that 76.7% of murder arrestees had criminal histories as did 78% of defendants in murder prosecutions nationally. In another FBI data run of murder arrestees over a one year period, 77.9% had prior criminal records [Guncite note: 50.1% had prior convictions (Kleck and Bordua at p. 293)]. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Rep. 38 (1971).
    The annual Chicago Police Department bulletin Murder Analysis shows the following figures for the percentage of murderers who had prior crime records:

    1991: 77.15%
    1990: 74.63%
    1989: 74.22%
    1988: 73.59%
    1987: 73.81%

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Rep. 43 (1975).

    John Dilulio, The Question of Black Crime, 117 Pub. Interest 3, 16 (1994).

    Kathleen M. Heide, Weapons Used by Juveniles and Adults to Kill Parents, 11 Behav. Sci. & Law 397, 398 (1993).

    ReplyDelete
  22. "You sound so certain that you will win this one. Time will tell."

    Open Carry? We've already won that one.
    States where Open Carry is not legal at all
    Texas (surprising, isn't it?)
    Florida
    Arkansas
    Oklahoma
    South Carolina
    Illinois
    New York
    plus Washington DC.

    Texas and Florida will change in the next 2 years. DC's laws are subject to the new House majority re-writing them. So far there are 43 states that you can legally Open Carry in. I'd say we've won.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Brent is not a gun banner, by the way. Why don't you guys give up on that label? You hate it when we call you any names and yet you are all free to harrass us and call us things we are not. You won't get anywhere with folks on my side if you continue using that term.

    ReplyDelete
  24. We've dealt with this before: " An FBI data run of murder arrestees nationally over a four year period in the 1960s found 74.7% to have had prior arrests for violent felony or burglary. In one study, the Bureau of Criminal Statistics found that 76.7% of murder arrestees had criminal histories as did 78% of defendants in murder prosecutions nationally. In another FBI data run of murder arrestees over a one year period, 77.9% had prior criminal records [Guncite note: 50.1% had prior convictions (Kleck and Bordua at p. 293)]. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Rep. 38 (1971).
    The annual Chicago Police Department bulletin Murder Analysis shows the following figures for the percentage of murderers who had prior crime records:

    1991: 77.15%
    1990: 74.63%
    1989: 74.22%
    1988: 73.59%
    1987: 73.81%"

    Are these specific to gun homicides? That's what I'm talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  25. http://www.nationmaster.com/country/us-united-states/cri-crime- murders by firearm is over 50% of total murders in the U.S.

    " on average three or four women in this country are murdered each day by current or former husbands or boyfriends. Firearms are the most common weapon used in intimate partner homicides. Guns also are frequently used to intimidate and terrorize victims of domestic violence. Research shows that the mere presence of a firearm – or access to one – increases fatality rates in abusive relationships. " from: http://www.endabuse.org/content/features/detail/1534/
    These domestic abusers are not necessarily felons. They are put on a prohibited purchasers list. Many are not on the list because they have committed no former crime . My brother-in-law was an example of that as were the shooters of several of my friends. Most of the people I know who have had loved ones shot know that the shooter was not a criminal before he shot the gun and killed someone. That is anecdotal but I know quite a few of these folks from my contacts over the years. Of the 4 women in Duluth who are on the Board of my local chapter whose loved ones were murdered, none of the shooters were criminals before pulled the trigger.

    And from the 2007 FBI Supplementary Homicide report: " Of the homicides in 2007 for which the type of weapon was specified, 72.9 percent of
    the offenses involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 87.8 percent of the
    firearms specified. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 7.)
    • SHR data for incidents of murder in which the relationship of the victim to the
    offender was known showed that 22.2 percent of victims were killed by family
    members, 24.1 percent were murdered by strangers, and 53.7 percent were slain by
    acquaintances (neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.). (Based on Expanded Homicide
    Data Table 9.) "

    Check your figures Sean. We are comparing apples to oranges. I am right and you are wrong on this one. By my count the number of gun homicides committed by acquaintances is 75.9%. Now whether some of these people were criminals before they shot-

    Also this: " Of the homicides in 2007 for which the type of weapon was specified, 72.9 percent of
    the offenses involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 87.8 percent of the
    firearms specified. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 7.)"

    And this: " Law enforcement reported 645 justifiable homicides in 2007. Of those, law
    enforcement officers justifiably killed 391 individuals, and private citizens justifiably
    killed 254 individuals."

    Also from this site: ( http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/documents/expandedhomicidemain.pdf) - 42.1% of gun homicides were arguments ( romantic involvement) while 23% were in conjunction with a felony

    I know we've gone around about this before. I would hate to have another circular argument for the sake of an argument when we are talking about different things. And by the way, I really don't like it when you think you are proving me wrong and you yourself are wrong. You are just waiting to jump all over me. Check out your facts as well. You are not always right as you assume you are. I'm done with this now. Move on.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It used to be that people ages 18 to 20 could legally drink alcohol. Now you need to be 21. Why was it taken away? Because people 18 to 20 were irresponsible.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am not a gun banner (said in the guise and voice of Nixon claiming, "I am not a crook.")

    But in my case it's true, I'm not interested in banning all guns, unless you think my disapproval of certain weapons makes me a "gun banner."

    ReplyDelete
  28. But Mike, that's exactly what "they" think. If you dare to say that certain weapons should not be allowed or that there are some places where they are not a good idea or there are some people who shouldn't have guns, you are automatically a "gun banner." It's as simple as that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Chris- I know you sent some long, and very complicated comments in trying to "understand" my point of view. I can't respond to them all here- not enough time. Plus- I thought I stated my point of view in several different ways. I just can't spend that much time right now in responding. Future posts will reveal my positions. I need to get ready to cook a Thanksgiving dinner in the midst of still realizing that this will be the first holiday without my mother. In addition, we are expecting a snow storm- more things to do not involving guns, thank goodness.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm going to exercise one of my rights of living in the US and make several firearms purchases before Thanksgiving. Some may have, gasp, a folding stock. Still others may accept, shriek, a high-capacity magazine. Then, horrors, I'm going to go shoot them safely at the Firing Range with, "OH NO!!", my children. After I'm done, I'll clean them, and take them home to store securely in my safe. For me, this is fun. For me, this is a hobby. Nothing criminal about it. This is what you want to take away from me.
    Just putting it in perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Joan,

    Enjoy the holiday. I know I will. As usual I saved my comments on Notepad so I can just pop them up over on my blog. I apologize if they were too complicated to process.

    Again, condolences for your recent loss.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nope- don't want to take those away from you assuming you are safe. Be careful out there. Have a nice Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Chris- it's not that your comments were too complicated necessarily but my eyes did glaze over a few times! Happy Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sean (and whomever), other than the fact that you can open-carry in many states - why would you want to?

    .45 Colt

    ReplyDelete
  35. .45 Colt,

    How about a medical condition that makes it difficult for me to physically ward off criminals?

    I have asthma that makes fistcuffs a thing of the past and having to wear a cover shirt in the Texas summer aggravates my asthma.

    Right now, it is just to the point of discomfort but as time goes by, it could and will become a danger to my life to get too hot.

    How about the fact that I feel (see antis aren't the only ones with feelings), that Open Carry will reduce my risk of being a victim of crime?

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Sean (and whomever), other than the fact that you can open-carry in many states - why would you want to?"

    You have hit upon the best reason, because we can. There are a lot of other reasons.

    Many people feel that they have a better chance to get to their firearm if they don't have to pull their jacket out of the way. That's why cops open carry, it takes longer to access a firearm that is hidden.

    Another reason is that it teaches people to accept firearms as normal. This country has spent a lot of time and effort trying to teach people that guns are bad. We hope to counteract that negative teaching.

    Another reason is that it serves as a conversation starter. The few people that notice will ask. You then have an opening to network with like minded people, educate them about the actual laws, rather than what they think the law is, and to invite them to join in efforts to overturn unjust laws. The internet is great, but most politics happen in the real world. You have to meet real people and have real conversations.

    Another reason is to teach you, the person carrying, that most people really don’t have a problem with guns nor with people carrying them. 90% of people will not notice. 9% will react positively or at least openly to the idea. I’m still waiting for my 1% that will object. What that teaches you is that you, the gun owner, are not alone. The vast majority of the US is either positive or totally indifferent to guns. Despite what you hear, no one runs screaming, and few call the police. Most police are well trained and know better than to violate your rights. They may check you out, but most of the Open Carriers I know who have had police encounters report that the cop is much more interested in talking about what gun you are carrying and what guns you like, and they like, and why their department issued gun is great/marginal/a total piece of crap.

    And sometimes you just want to be open about who you are and what you are doing. In this day and age there is no reason to hide yourself behind the cloak of “normality” and pretend to be just another cog in the machine. I am guessing that those gays who come out feel something of the same way. I can only hope that they are met with as much acceptance as I am when I open carry.

    If you want to know more about open carry, I recommend www.opencarry.org Look for a group in your area and go to one of their open carry events. I went to an open carry picnic my first time, and it eased the transition.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow- do you really anticipate getting into "fistacuffs" with people on a daily basis. Your world is certainly different from mine.

    ReplyDelete
  38. " Another reason is that it serves as a conversation starter" I, for one, will not be starting a conversation with anyone openly carrying a gun. I don't want any lessons from you all about gun laws either. That assumes that you all know everything and are more than happy to educate the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Joan, I don't anticipate getting into "fisacuffs" on a daily basis. I do happen to know though, that if someone wants to attack me, hurt me, rape me, I will not be able to defend myself without a firearm, as I am not anything resembling a physically imposing specimen. Unfortunately, rapists don't call me the day they're going to attack me and remind me to carry my gun that day. So I make sure I am prepared, even if I don't think it's likely to happen today. Just like I keep a spare tire in my car just in case, or just like I keep an emergency kit at work, just in case.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Joan,

    I don't anticipate getting into a fight on a daily basis, but I'm prepared for when and if that day ever comes.

    Do you think women anticipate being raped every day? Nope but there is a high probability at some point in their lives someone will try.

    I'm simply don't understand how you can advocate policies that will make it harder for people to defend themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Make sure to lock your doors and maybe have a dog or a security system. It might keep you from feeling as if a rapist is going to attack you at any time.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Is that what you think I'm doing? Have you heard me say anything about taking away anyone's rights or guns. No you have not.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Wow- do you really anticipate getting into "fistacuffs" with people on a daily basis. Your world is certainly different from mine."

    I don't anticipate being in a car accident but I'll still wear my seat belt every time. I don't anticipate my house burning down either, but we've got fire extinguishers and smoke detectors too.

    Carrying a weapon doesn't necessarily mean the person is paranoid of being a victim, they're acknowledging that it's a possibility. Even if it's not likely you'll be a victim, the consequences of not being prepared could cost you your life. Whether they feel its likely enough to take that precaution is up to them.

    Some people will take more chances than others, or are more concerned about certain risks than others. It's their life and their choice to make.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Joan,

    We were talking about carrying guns, not guns in the home. How does locking my door at home make me any safer when I'm heading to work alone downtown after dark in a city with higher than average sexual assault rates?

    ReplyDelete
  45. I always think it's a good idea not to walk alone on dark streets in the city. I'm sure there is a higher than average sexual assault rate as there is in my small city. I'm sure it's dangerous for you and I'm not saying you shouldn't carry your gun if that is what you want. I am saying there are alternatives and that carrying a gun can cause unanticipated problems. You do it your way and I will do it my way.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I don't consider wearing seat belts the same as carrying a gun. That's the difference between you and I. I don't know many people who think they are the same. It is mandatory, by the way, to wear a seat belt and wearing a seat belt saves lives. I look at background checks the same way. They could save a life or more.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Joan, if you're fine with me doing it my way and you doing it yours, why the snarky comments about us being terrified of being raped at any moment or expecting to get in fist fights every day? You clearly understand where we're coming from, so why even make those comments?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Heather- snarky is as snarky does. It's not as if you all are polite all the time. I can be snarky occasionally. I suppose you never are, though. Have a nice night.

    ReplyDelete