...a couple staffers had been armed?
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My understanding is that fifty years ago gun ownership in the UK was *much* less restricted than it is now (you could for example buy a shotgun in London with no hassle). And the difference in crime rates existed back then too; in fact New York City (quite gun restricted even back then) had more crime and more gun related crime than the UK (then unrestricted) did.
That's evidence in favor of your view that it's cultural differences, not differences in gun laws, that are the major factor.
As an aside: apparently armed robbery in the UK went up in the years after the near total ban on firearms went into effect.
It is the difference between Brits and Yanks, not the difference between how many guns are around. I'm not proud of that fact but I do believe it's true.
I do agree with you, Unseen. I don't hate guns.... well they scare the crap out of me to be honest, but that's probably just because I am not accustomed to them.
In the UK, we have had over the past few years, some horrific knife crimes. Far more stabbings than should be acceptable, also amongst young men. The UK has now made it an offense to carry a knife in public places. (Switchblades have been illegal for some time). The law is a bit odd, as it technically doesn't permit me to go to a shop and buy a carving knife and carry it home.
So we don't have guns, and our young men are busy stabbing each other instead. As far as I know, however, our perpetrators tend to stab people that they actually want to stab for some personal reason, rather than random people. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or whether its just the technological restraints of the weaponry.
I had this idea at one stage, of having martial arts taught in schools from an early age. I thought that might help reduce the attacks, particularly if everyone had those skills. Of course I can see that we could be creating a generation of 'trained' thugs rather than untrained ones, but as far as I understand martial arts training, it has a code of honour involved, without which you don't progress.
But then again, I expect there are good reasons why that would not be a wise idea. The jury in my head is still out on that one. What do you think?
Would it be too much an 'article of faith', to think that less guns would equate to less death by guns? I would think that there are too many other variables that could feed into the question.
Since we still have crazy people, people that have limited cognitive capacity to control/certail their use of guns, and people that could accidently miss use a weapon, without some culture wide program to deal with these, we could still face a statistical tendency for weapons as a source/cause of death.
I still consider background checks, possible psychological evaluations(where possible), and mandatory weapons training, as a first stage attempt to reduce the 'by gun' death rate.
A second stage, could be a reduction of weapons in the population, an attempt at a culture wide program of 'demystification', or 'de-romance-ification' for the 'gun culture', as a deep challenge to the NRA subculture.
As an added demand, the citizenry should expect a metric to determine the effect of such programs, with modifications to these programs made public and subject to a public evaluation. The 'pro-gun' lobby, need to face up to their, at times, negative effect.
And as I just pointed out, those differences existed before there was such strict gun control in those areas. So the gun control has nothing to do with it.
Still trying for that "Mr. Congeniality" merit badge, I see --
You talkin' to me?
Because that's how it would go down, just like that. Police in New York injured 9 people in a shooting when a pistol was pulled on them against 1 guy who was right in front of them. That is highly trained, professional officers.
Maybe some of the kids could have been saved, maybe even more got killed. Maybe the killer decides to wear a bombs vest or flak jacket (which he did). What about grenades, bombs? How do you know what he has? How do you even know what to look for? Maybe he has an accomplice waiting for the guard to appear. You don't rush this kind of situation because of these unknown parameters. And properly checking a large building with many rooms and places to hide will take time. When SWAT teams or hostage rescue missions take place they try to build the lay out of the building to practice any number of different situations that make the difference between everyone dying and as few as possible. And they do it in teams of four to six to cover each other.
What kind of doors are they? Do they have windows? Locks? Are they fire doors? Heavy? How do they open, in or out, how far? Are there corners either side? How do the handles work? Are they knobs that twist or levers that bend? Are there keys? To which rooms? Clockwise or counter? Do some rooms connect to other rooms? What is the separation? Bullets easily go through temp walls. Are they easily blocked? What is available to block them? Push a door when you should pull it and you have alerted the killer and boom, he could easily take more lives. Someone who hasn't had this kind of training is not likely to be able to subdue someone in protection who has lots of ammo and a lot of easily grabbed hostages. You don't just go tap tap and it's finished. You have to pump the killer until you know he is no longer a threat. During the Iranian Embassy siege, one terrorist was shot 95 times, because a couple of rounds to the chest means he can still flip a switch. Pull a pin. Again, people who do this don't go on weekend courses. They do it full time, day after day, refresher course after refresher course. How many schools in the U.S.? How much will it cost to fund all this? You okay with that tax hike?
Tell ya what, Unseen.
YOU convince the country to spend the money to do it PROPERLY -- well-trained currently-active policemen acting as security guards, *NOT* minimum-wage bus drivers looking for extra cash (and fer chrissakes, not teachers in their classrooms with handguns in their theoretically-locked desks) -- and we'll consider your idea *ALONG WITH* banning assault weapons and high-capacity clips.
You know it won't happen. Penny pinchers will stick a gun in a medicine cabinet in the teacher's lounge and call it good. And adding MORE guns in untrained hands, won't improve anything. (May as well save a step and give it to the killer directly.)
Furthermore, the moment someone says "See? Now we don't have to ban assault weapons!", the entire point is lost.
An armed society is NOT a polite society -- America is both the most armed AND the most murderous country on Earth.
Properly trained security guards are fine. Making weapons of mass murder less available to every idiot on the street is better.
I didn't start a thread about whether an armed response to such killings would ever happen. If I had, your comment would have been more a propos.
Arming every school would be a big national project. So would enforcing a ban on the sort of weapon used at Sandy Hook Elementary which is, contrary to what some think, not am assault weapon but a one trigger pull one shot weapon, like most pistols. It just looks nasty and can take large clips containing many bullets.
Would the Connecticut elementary school toll have been smaller if...
a couple staffers had been armed?
Your thread start looks a lot like you did, Unseen. If that wasn't your intent, I think you might have posted a few more lines in the start, to clarify.
What is your definition of "police state"? I always thought it was one where the powers that be kept themselves in control through jackbooted police knocking heads or dragging people to oblivion while the rest of the world slept, secret police, and constant surveilance.
Apparently, for you, a police presence designed to protect rather than to oppress is a police state.