...a couple staffers had been armed?

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States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.

Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths. The disclaimer here is that correlation is not causation. But correlations can be suggestive:

“The map overlays the map of firearm deaths above with gun control restrictions by state,” explains Florida. “It highlights states which have one of three gun control restrictions in place – assault weapons’ bans, trigger locks, or safe storage requirements. Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48).”

Because the real issue is total crime, not gun related crime.

But the real question is, do states with looser firearms laws have lower or higher overall crime rates?  The pro-gun thesis is that allowing ordinary citizens to have firearms reduces crime overall.

There was no firearms related crime in the 11th century.  But there was plenty of violence and mayhem.

The fallacy behind this sort of statistic is the assumption that the citizens of all states are homogeneously similar, but everyone knows that the typical Texan is far from identical to, say, a New Hampshireite. Studies based on "states with" have to find some way of accounting for that and I've never seen that done. Have you?

The fact that "Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation" means little unless you can disentangle the statistics from the fact that (to cite the map above) Californians aren't North Carolinians, for example.

I wonder about correlations with other population density, income, poverty rates, drug use, employment, etc?

I'm sure that liberalizing drug laws (only beginning to happen in the U.S.) and treating drug abuse as an illness instead of a crime would help a lot. 

But what about the guy selling the drugs?

If the drugs became legal, the thugs who presently control their distribution today would have to find other work.  So would the more casual sellers who perhaps have never committed a violent act in their lives.

People who deal drugs are the last ones who want them to become legalized; they would find their merchandise much less valuable.

I'd personally like to see full pardons for anyone whose "crime" was purely using drugs and maybe even selling them--but any sort of violent crime related to the business should never be pardoned.

Fischer: God Didn't Stop CT School Shooting Because He's a 'Gentleman' Who Doesn't Go Where He Is Not Wanted

Bryan Fischer spent the first hour of his radio program today discussing this morning's truly horrific shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, which he, of course, blamed on the fact that prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments are not taught in public schools.

Fischer said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre, but didn't because "God is not going to go where he is not wanted" and so if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer:

Unlike Huckabee, who had a figment of a point, this guy is completely full of shit (based on your text excerpt).

   I'm sorry, I'm going to sound like a jerk here, forgive me. When it comes to guns, people get about as ignorant as those people who cling to the bible. I'm going from memory here, but let me just break down a couple of the arguments displayed here.

  First let me say a few things about myself. I own a gun, I'm blind, totally blind in fact. I've never had to use or even draw my gun, of course if I drew my gun I would use my gun so the numbers would be the same there. However, my poin is, I know what you have to go through to get a gun in the United States and all that. Been there done that, and I actually do have the T-Shirt, no joke.

  So, the police. The police in America go to the range once or twice a year to qualify with their side arms. In some districts that number is even lower. Private gun owners, and gun carriers go to the range substantially more than that for the most part. I go at least once a month, usually twice a month. Most police training involves radio call codes, and the law, not how to use a gun. That is why you see such high shot counts with cops, they fire a lot of bullets cuz honestly most of them can't hit crap. cops aren't Walker Texas Ranger out there.

  Second, someone said that you can't wipe out a classroom any faster than a gun. I'd like you to tell that to the victims of the most deadly school attack. Anyone wanna guess what killed the more than fifty students in Bath Michigan back in the 1920's? Hint, it wasn't a gun. The answer, an explosive.

  If you take away guns, people will use bombs. Take away bombs people will use homemade bombs. Take away homemade bombs and people will use cars. Take away cars and people will use swords on horseback. People have been killing long before guns existed, and they will keep killing after the gun is an antiquated piece of technology.

  As for the murder rate in England. First, on this very site there is a video of people in England protesting to get guns back because they want to defend themselves. Just because people aren't killed with guns, doesn't mean guns don't have a use.

  Besides that, your statistics have a fatal flaw in them. We have cities in America with nearly the population of the United Kingdom. We have states with the land area of the United Kingdom. You're not comparing apples and oranges, you're comparing apples and trucks. Of course we have a higher rate than you do. We have a higher rate of everything but tea consumption than you do.

  Next, switzerland. I really don't get this argument. Switzerland has a higher gun to population ratio than we do because they issue guns, and they have extremely low violence rates. Yet, you think less guns makes you more safe? That doesn't really make sense.

  You can see, if you look at statistics from different cities, that the safest cities in America, and the safest states, have the lowest number of anti-gun laws on the books. The murder capitol of america for 14 years running was Washington D.C. Guns were absolutely forbidden in Washington D.C. at that time. Now, they have a drastically lower crime rate, and they also have concealed carry.

  People who are so afraid of guns, unless you live in Wisconsin, have been to banks, movie theaters, stores, and all sorts of places with people who have guns. You don't know it, because they keep them concealed, but they are all around you, and they never go off. One guy goes off in Colorado or in Connecticut, and suddenly guns are bad and should be made illegal.

  Let me clue you in on a few things. Murder is, believe it or not, illegal in this country. I know, I was shocked too. That guy murdered nearly thirty people. Something tells me that laws don't really worry him that much. Otherwise he wouldn't have broken the law against murder. Second, guns aren't allowed on school grounds, its illegal. That law didn't stop him either. Third, no one under the age of eighteen can possess a long gun, and no one under the age of twenty-one can possess a handgun. That law didn't stop him either. Can anyone give me any bit of reason to believe more laws would stop criminals who don't care about the laws they're already breaking?

 Finally, I love the argument against the "guns don't kill people, people kill people with guns". You say, "Yeah, but guns make it easier". Computers make it easier for me to write this message to you. I don't have to send up smoke signals. Its still me writing it. If I've pissed you off in here by saying that you are being as ignorant and illogical as Kent Hovind, you're logic would say you hav to get mad at my computer, cuz it did it, not me. I mean, that's how guns work, right?

If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that another disillusioned person is watching the media, hatching a plan and has access to some of the hundreds of millions of guns just sitting around in dressers, closets, and sheds. Ten thousand homicides by gun per year. One percent of gun deaths are justifiable. Spin it how you like, It is out of control.

I'm inclined to believe that the problem isn't so much who has the guns and what they're doing with it, but rather the psychology of my fellow Americans as a whole. Now, I'm not well versed in the studies of how and why the brain does what it does, but clearly there is a sickness here that needs to be rooted out, diagnosed, and cured.

There are quite a few civilized countries that have avoided the outright banning of guns and done just fine. Loo at Switzerland, for example. They have fewer guns than Americans, sure, but there are also a lot less of them. With their total rate of Civilian Firearm Ownership being only in the area of 3.4 million, they've managed to keep from going completely batshit crazy with their guns. In 2010, they reported only 53 gun related homicides, compared to the United States' whopping 14,159 homicides in the same year. Even adjusting for population differences, that is a staggering gap in the numbers.

So what I'm saying is that, at a glance, we can surmise that having guns isn't the problem, not entirely. I personally am of the opinion that people will find a way to kill if they really feel they have to. I don't subscribe to this "John Wayne" mentality of so many Gun supporters, but I do in fact support the second amendment and hope to soon enjoy the privileges it grants me as a united states citizen. I think, if we want to stop tragedies like this, then we need to start seriously examining ourselves as a society and a people and figuring out what is so very wrong with us that makes this sort of thing common in the US. We need to look at other gun-friendly nations and figure out what they are doing differently to cause such a drastic difference in Homicide rates.

Obviously, what we are doing in the US is NOT working. I don't believe we're completely, irrevocably damned when it comes to guns, but I do think we need to start seriously examining the people who want guns. We need regular, thorough examinations and training to make sure they're well versed in the use of their weapons and the ramifications of their actions. If you are going to hold onto a deadly and powerful weapon, then you have an obligation, a duty, a responsibility to be as knowledgeable and as secure in its use as possible. You have a duty to your fellow man to recognize when you are unfit to wield a firearm, and if you are deemed to be psychologically unfit to carry such a potent force, then maybe you should look into other methods of self-defense.

Training, education, study, self-control, and, most importantly, responsibility would do wonders for us as a gun-toting society. If we cannot prove ourselves capable of rising above this, then we are only proving ourselves incapable of gun ownership.


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