Rather than re-hash all the general arguments for and against gun control, I am interested in people's personal experiences/views about whether gun control laws would make them feel more or less safe.
Here are a couple of studies on the topic that I found interesting:
Two example findings:
Murder rates in Russia (where firearms are banned) are higher than the US.
Murder rates in Norway (32% home gun ownership) are much lower than the US.
These findings lead to the hypothesis that other factors (e.g. culture) have an important part to play alongside gun control (seems to make sense).
Indicates that the strictness of firearm legislation in US states is negatively correlated with firearm fatalities, both for homicides and suicides.
This study is interesting because it is more of a like-for-like comparison. I understand that the states in America have their own "sub-culture" but it seems likely that they are more similar to each other
than America is to, say, Norway or Russia.
The issue is of course not straightforward but, as I say, I am interested in people's personal views of their own safety.
I live in the UK and I am personally in favour of gun control laws. I understand the argument that people who don't obey laws won't obey gun control laws either. Obviously whatever you do there will still be
people who get hold of guns. However I would not feel safer having more guns around generally. I have heard people say that once someone has trespassed on your land they are "fair game" but I wholeheartedly do not agree with this. They have certainly broken the law but I do not automatically consider them to then be a valid target for gunfire. If someone breaks into my house to steal my TV I will try my best to stop them but I absolutely do not want to shoot them for this. Without training I am highly likely to maim or kill them by hot-headedly firing off a gun. The thief may be just some 19 year old kid who's gone off the rails a bit rather than a hardened criminal.
I concede that I have always lived in an environment where crime is low and this may bias my view which is why I am interested in other's experiences. Maybe someone's story will affect my views on it.
In the UK, apparently, getting them illegally IS the easy option.
I see what you are saying...but violence, death and injury due to gun use is not limited to thug/mafia/habitual-criminal behaviour. Crimes of passion, accidents, "bad shots", children playing with guns, children borrowing their parents not so well locked up gun etc. are also tragic consequences of badly regulated gun policy.
Gun policy in the EU should be comprehensive and there is very little support in the EU for relaxing already tough gun control.
"Crimes of passion, accidents, "bad shots", children playing with guns, children borrowing their parents not so well locked up gun etc. are also tragic consequences of badly regulated gun policy."
Huh? How does one legislate common sense? A parent acting irresponsibly by leaving unsupervised access to a firearm by their children is NOT a consequence of badly regulated gun policy. Millions upon millions of firearms are properly stored away in law abiding households. It's the isolated cases where someone acted irresponsibly that get all the media attention. Education is key but sometimes you can't fix stupid, through legislation or otherwise.
Millions upon millions of firearms are properly stored away in law abiding households. It's the isolated cases where someone acted irresponsibly that get all the media attention.
Law-abiding citizens will obey the law; the others won't.
Also, if your purpose in having a gun is defending the castle, seconds lost locating the key tl the cabinet, disabling the trigger lock or whatever, could be seconds one may need.
Though I would never think to discourage discourse or conversation of any kind, I actually think that the US debate has been stuck where it is largely because of (some people's) over-reliance on anecdotal evidence and 'what-if' scenarios. Opponents of gun regulations are always bringing up stories of legal gun-owners who stop criminals with their guns, and these few examples are used to generalize to the ridiculous idea that guns actually keep crime and violence lower. While this is completely untrue, it wouldn't make the argument against gun ownership less valid.
For example, here's a fairly incontrovertible idea that's rarely talked about: how many accidental gun deaths would be prevented by not having guns? All of them, I would say. It's simply impossible to accidentally kill someone, or yourself, with a gun when there aren't any guns around. As you point out, people would still find ways to hurt themselves and others, but the number of accidental gun deaths in this country is not insignificant, and I feel that this alone is sufficient reason to at least make it much more difficult to acquire and keep a gun.
Another example: gun-rights people insist that 'the bad guys' will find and use guns no matter what the law says, so upright citizens like themselves are morally obligated to carry guns as a deterrent. Unfortunately, there is no statistical evidence backing up the idea of deterrence, and there's a lot to suggest that the opposite is true. Furthermore, the idea rests upon a 'romanticized' idea of criminals, Italian guys in suits with silenced pistols knocking over banks. In reality, much gun violence is in a 'non-criminal' context, in which the perpetrator and victim know each other. Finally, while there would undoubtedly be some people who managed to get their hands on guns in a nominally gun-free society, this belies how much harder strict gun control would make it for people to get their hands on guns. It should be obvious; the more guns there are floating around, the easier it will be to acquire one. In terms of price, accessibility, danger of detection, and culture, a complete ban on civilian-owned firearms would make it enormously more difficult to get a gun, even if you're one of those 'bad guys' the gun-rights people like to imagine are out there, just waiting for everyone else to disarm.
I find this (almost everything you've said) pretty obvious myself. What surprises me the most about gun control is the lack of even the most basic regulation in some countries and US states. In a states like Alaska or Arizona where you need a licence to drive a car or motorcycle (and in many places obligatory driving school), sell alcohol, go fishing or even play a guitar in the street...one can instantly purchase and openly carry a gun (including assault weapons) without any license, background check, registration, fire arm maintenance training, safety training, minimum quota of target practice, use of gun safe at home nor any inspections of any kind. It sort of boggles the mind really. So many accidents, misfires and "break-ins which spiral out of control when gun owner who has no idea what they are doing confronts criminal" could be avoided with even a few of these regulations.
"So many accidents, misfires and "break-ins which spiral out of control when gun owner who has no idea what they are doing confronts criminal" could be avoided with even a few of these regulations."
Education, not regulation. I think there are already plenty of laws regarding firearms "on the books." Mandatory training before ownership is an acceptable option. Since the advent of mandatory hunter education there has been a remarkable drop in the incidents of hunting accidents. Education eliminates ignorance and hopefully the unintended misuse of a firearm.
Wireless midrange defence stun gun technology. There are currently two technologies in the field testing stage.
The Leyden Gun is a lightweight somewhat-riffle-shaped weapon that fires a needle like projectile that does not stick to the target but delivers a jolt of electricity. It has an automatic setting (I think there are four rounds).
The XREP is a taser technology like bullet which can be fired from commonly owned shotguns (which are easily converted). The bullets deliver a 20 second jolt of electricity to the target.
These are not like wired taser guns which only allow two shots and where there is a cable between the taser head and the weapon.
The long term objective is to have non-lethal (or minimum-lethal) weapons which have all the advantages of firearms but far less dangers (to the target and the owner) and far less accidents.
Long term research:
There are several "non-lethal" wireless long range weapons in the testing stage (not in the field). They involve lasers, plasma streams and concentrated rapid jets of air. Very interesting.
I did have a reply, but somehow TA's dysfunctional software reduced it to just the first word, so here goes again, written offline and dropped into the comment box.
Well, there you have some weapons that, ironically, COULD be banned because I don't think any of them would be subject to 2nd Amendment protections under the US Constitution.
Well, you call them non-lethal, but they are actually just less lethal because any weapon of the types you describe could induce a heart attack. As soon as that happens, there will be calls to curtail their use. That has happened with choke holds, which are mostly non-lethal but have caused some some deaths, and now most police are instructed not to use them. Among police, the slogan is "Smoke 'em, don't choke 'em."
Besides, why would I want to non-lethalize an attacker who might return later to finish the job when I can make sure that doesn't happen?
Unseen I honestly don't care if Americans would adopt this technology or not (if it delivers on its promises) nor what policies or constitutional amendments or ridiculous excuses will get in the way. Arm yourselves to the teeth with guns and bullets if you like. It's your choice.
I wrote this reply because I see that wireless taser technology is promising and might help avoid needless death in countries which choose to adopt it if this technology (assuming it's field testing works out). The new taser bullets are designed to incapacitate the target for several minutes and that is but the first model of wireless taser technology to come out.
Some information about close range tasers: 2800 confirmed deaths per use of close-range taser in 15 years world wide (tasers are widely used in Canada and Europe). That's how many people die every week in the US because of firearms. Death rate from use of tasers is a miniscule fraction of death from use of metal bullets.
I would rather be shot at with a taser bullet or a metal bullet. I would rather a group of children fool around with taser bullets or metal bullets. I would someone who has no idea what they are doing use taser bullets than metal ones.
I personally welcome the possible future of less-lethal weapons by the police and those licensed to use weapons. If the technology turns out so...I am sure it will be a popular policy in Canada and the EU to arm police with less-lethal weapons. Hopefully it would result in less needless death.
It's just a possibility Unseen.
What's not possible, realistically, is a change in the US Constitution.