Orion's picture

    Reassessing Violence

    During a conversation, Artappraiser took note of the fact that everything going on in Ukraine reinforces the need for people to have firearms in order to defend themselves or a community. I retorted by saying that the weapons there are only accessible by militia members, who get them after an application process.

    Part of why gun rights are so salient is that there is a strong logic to it. In NRA literature, I once read that "the simple presence of a gun is enough to end a situation." This is honestly true. Display a weapon and you could very well end a toxic situation that would only just continue if people didn't realize that you could actually take it that far. 

    I would say that the Ukraine situation makes us reassessing weapons as tools that are quite necessary. Weapons are tools - you can use them to get a rapist to stop or you could use them to kill children.

    Nevertheless the Second Amendment is pretty clear about what it intended:

    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.

    An individualist, capitalist culture is going to lead to rogue individuals shooting people. The Second Amendment not only mentions "well regulated," which could constitute gun control but also "militia," which denotes a community of people tasked with defense. That is a fantasy that right wing survivalists would play out but the Ukraine situation actually shows it in action. A communitarian society is going to have those tools in the hands of those who are in a position to protect.

    Comments

    The simple presence of a gun is enough to cause a shootout as well. Seen it happen. Happening more and more - especially to/from rappers.


    Orion it's the same old same old. The solution is simple and has long been offered: firearms must be licensed and insured and users must be licensed JUST LIKE MOTOR VEHICLES.

    The founders didn't know from licensing of anything, so they used the terminology "well regulated" instead.

    Why can't we accomplish this like we did when horseless carriages started to become popular?

    Well, libertarian types think if the gummint knows where the guns are, they will have all the into. to come door to door and confiscate them when they plan a totalitarian takeover. 

    I will then add this about Ukraine. Those individual firearms weren't enough for Zelensky's crew to fight back against against a takeover. You may have noted how he's been begging every day, every hour, every minute for more bigger weapons.


    Not really - the Founding Fathers were all about militias as the way to preserve democracy, and militias are obviously more "regulated" than "licensed", which wouldn't make sense. There was a pretty decent article on this recently, but God knows where.
    And seems Azov guys are much better behaved as part of a well-regulated militia, go figger.


    Guns are maybe sort of useless in large scale war.

    And Peracles is on point. When I've travelled, I've seen guns on guards and other individuals that I'm pretty sure weren't licensed - but when I asked, I was told there is a network by which as are made available.

    That means you have to get informal social approval to get a weapon. If there's money involved, the money is informal too. I think the Second Amendment was really just reaffirming how weapons are usually distributed and prohibiting a ruler from screwing that up.

    In a militia setting, weapons are provided and they get them by being in the militia. It's a transaction based on social trust, not necessarily a license and registration.

    The concept got screwed up by us being a commercial republic in which nothing is commercially out of bounds.

    I think there's also an implication there that in a society where everything is for sale, there's not much of a social trust.

    Democrats have gone nowhere by treating the issue materially but current events in the world, I think, actually give them an opportunity to affirm what the role of weapons are. They can point to Zelensky and demonstrate that this is a man defending his country. They can point to women in Hindu fundamentalist India who have acquired guns. They can demonstrate that these are the social situations in which defending yourself or others is necessary, and they can then affirm that the Right has been affirming the right of anyone to have such tools for whatever context they see fit, even if that means evil.

    Seriously guys, if Democrats used words like "social trust" on this issue, they would go gangbusters.

    Gun advocates are always on about how kids used to be taught marksmanship and what not. Okay, so Dems should propose just such programs and then advocate them for community defense against people who shouldn't be armed. Flip the whole script on them.

    Imagine the narrator's voice -."You want to defend your family, not those who would harm them."

     


    I'm not convinced this would help the violence situation much, precisely because the crime epidemic we are experiencing in this country is not for the most part being executed by political "extremists" but by repeat career criminals ad criminally insane.

    But if violent extremists is what keeps you up at night (irrationally I think), this is for you. You probably won't lke it, but here it is anyway

     


    just a warning for those who want to go there and emphasize the danger of white supremacists-conservatives are making lists, checking them twice, and posting them on social media, like this one, for example:

    and in their heart of hearts, most urban dwellers know the problem is most definitely not racism


    The problem is a lack of community. I said this to people around me a long time ago. If you don't communicate with one another, then you end up at war with one another. You end up suspicious of everyone, because you have no idea who they are and they must be the cause of your alienation.

    We adopted an ideology a generation ago that has consequences more horrific than we could have ever anticipated. When you don't properly regulate pharmaceuticals, you end up messing up the chemistry of people who may have never even needed any medication, causing madness and/or illness. 

    When you break up families, you end up with overworked parents who do not communicate or spend enough time with their children, and if the children experience bullying, abuse or hardships, are left to come up with their own explanations for what is occurring or to get explanations from the worst kinds of people. 

    When you create a market system in which everything is for sale, there is truly nothing to stop anyone from buying weapons and causing mayhem.

    And, I'm not sure how much this will go over with the Dagblog audience, but I'm not entirely convinced that the issue is material. Human interaction is natural and something spiritual had to send us to a place where we became this disconnected from one another, only to realize suddenly how bad it is.


    You know, until recently, people were agricultural and lived far distances from each other. 72% of the world was in agriculture in 1900.

    In 1900, just under 40 percent of the total US population lived on farms, and 60 percent lived in rural areas. Today, the respective figures are only about 1 percent and 20 percent.

    Which meant they were largely disconnected, no community except family on the farm - why didn't the saddle up, ride into town and kill everyone?


    As someone who has studied a lot of 19th-century and early 20th century cultural history, I totally agree with you. Of course the societal situation then did drive a considerable number of small-town and farm people mad (not to mention the isolated insulated "protected" women and children of middle and upper class urban families) but they usually didn't take it out on the neighbors, instead they might hack their relatives to death. (Jack the Ripper and Ed Gein were outliers on that front, that's why they got so famous.)


    Sorry but I just see you projecting your own needs and desires onto society at large.

    I think there's few people who pine for the mythical golden olden days when Gladys the local telephone switchboard operator knew everyone's business and spread gossip about it. So that everyone in town knew your kid had gay tendencies so they better shape up or else, and that artsy girl over there better shape up, settle down, get married and have children.

    Yes I admit we did hire police forces so that Aunt Bea would no longer be in charge of policing the community.

    Only reason so many more got the loneliness blues recently is that they were forced into lockdown without an ability to interact socially. Doesn't mean that in normal times, their extended family drove them crazy and they wish they could cut down on the contact.

    Let's try this again: for over a decade recently NYC was one of the safest cities in the world. It's very possible, it's really is. WITHOUT any change in living conditions where people do not even know the person in the apartment next to them and everyone rode the subway in cold silence so as not to break anyone's privacy You don't need Aunt Bea snooping into everyone else's business to have total safety and a energized entrepreneurial and creative population into meeting people totally different from themselves



    Here is the very good NYTimes article from Weds. comparing the U.S. on gun violence to other countries, in full.

    The difference in shootings, IT'S REALLY ALL DUE TO LACK OF REGULATION OF GUNS. In a similar way to that which cars and drivers are regulated. THAT'S ALL THE DIFFERENCE IS. THERE IS NO NEED TO GO INTO ANY OTHER REASON.That's really the reason and the only difference. We Americans are not a different species.You have said it yourself: other countries have guns. The difference is that they regulate them somehow and we don't. It's actually loony to even argue about why they should be regulated, they are complicated machines like motor vehicles that can kill and no one argues about licensing registering and insuring motor vehicles.

    Other Countries Had Mass Shootings. Then They Changed Their Gun Laws.

    Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway: All had a culture of gun ownership, and all tightened restrictions anyway. Their violence statistics now diverge sharply from those of the U.S.

    By Max Fisher, May 25, 2022

    The world over, mass shootings are frequently met with a common response: Officials impose new restrictions on gun ownership. Mass shootings become rarer. Homicides and suicides tend to decrease, too.

    After a British gunman killed 16 people in 1987, the country banned semiautomatic weapons like those he had used. It did the same with most handguns after a 1996 school shooting. It now has one of the lowest gun-related death rates in the developed world.

    In Australia, a 1996 massacre prompted mandatory gun buybacks that saw, according to some estimates, as many as one million firearms melted into slag. The rate of mass shootings plummeted from once every 18 months to, so far, only one in the 26 years since.

    Canada also tightened gun laws after a 1989 mass shooting. So did Germany in 2002, New Zealand in 2019 and Norway last year.

    Only the United States, whose rate and severity of mass shootings is without parallel outside of conflict zones, has so consistently refused to answer those events with tightened gun laws.

    Though such restrictions have always brought some controversy, most were broadly embraced by voters in other countries.

    Even in Australia, where conservative-leaning politics and rural traditions had long favored gun ownership, citizens broadly accepted the buyback. Some even surrendered weapons they were legally permitted to keep, in a show of support for their country’s tightening gun laws.

    Every mass shooting is, in some sense, a fringe event, driven by one-off factors like the ideology or personal circumstances of the shooter. The risk is impossible to fully erase.

    Still, the record is clear, confirmed by reams of studies that have analyzed the effects of policies like Britain’s and Australia’s: When countries tighten gun control laws, it leads to fewer guns in private citizens’ hands, which leads to less gun violence — and to fewer mass shootings.

    Britain: Sweeping Bans

    Britain today has one of the strictest gun control regimes in the developed world, with even many police unarmed. But it was not always that way.

    The country’s history of sport hunting had ingrained a long cultural tradition of gun ownership, especially in rural areas.

    That began to change in 1987, with the so-called Hungerford massacre, named for the small English town where it took place. A 27-year-old local man used two semiautomatic rifles and a handgun, which he owned legally, to kill 16 people. His motives remain unclear.

    Britain’s Conservative government swiftly banned rifles like those he had used and mandated that shotgun owners register the weapons with police

    The 1996 school shooting in a small Scottish town, where a local man killed 15 students and one teacher, prompted more sweeping changes. A government inquiry recommended restricting access to handguns.

    The Conservative government went even further, banning all but the smallest-caliber handguns, which a subsequent Labour government banned the next year.

    The reforms also require owners of permitted firearms to pass a strict licensure process, which involves interviews and home visits by local police, who can deny approval if they deem the would-be owner a potential public safety risk.

    Mass shootings did not completely disappear in Britain: An attacker killed 12 in 2010, and another killed five in 2021. But all forms of gun-related violence have dropped significantly.

    Today, there are about five guns per 100 people in Britain (except in Northern Ireland, where this number is higher), one of the lowest rates in the developed world. The gun homicide rate is about 0.7 per million, also one of the lowest.

    Australia: Nationwide Buybacks

    American gun control activists often cite Australia’s sweeping buybacks. Though no country rivals the United States’ gun ownership rate, which is more than double that of second-place Yemen, Australia has had similar cultural and political affinities for gun ownership.

    Despite this, after a mass shooting in 1996 in which a gunman killed 35 people in the town of Port Arthur, authorities successfully imposed sweeping new restrictions.

    The nationwide buyback ultimately took between one in five and one in three privately held guns out of circulation. This mostly targeted guns like semiautomatic rifles and many shotguns that, under new laws, were no longer permitted.

    The country also reframed gun ownership from being an inherent right, as it is in only a handful of countries like the United States, to becoming a privilege that citizens had to affirmatively earn.

    Australia’s would-be gun owners now face a national registry, a 28-day wait period and a licensing process that requires demonstrating a valid reason for owning a gun.

    Since then, mass shootings have effectively disappeared in Australia. What was once an almost annual event has only happened once since the reforms, with a 2018 attack that left seven dead.

    But the greater impact may have been on other forms of violence. A 2011 survey of crime and suicide data concluded that the program “seems to have been incredibly successful in terms of lives saved.”

    Australia’s gun-related homicide rate subsequently halved, as did the rate of firearm suicides, the study found. Non-firearm homicides and suicides did not increase. Subsequent research confirmed these findings.

    The reforms were initially controversial, including within the ranks of the conservative government that passed them, as well as some rural communities. But fears of electoral backlash or even violent resistance — Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, wore a bulletproof vest during one address — never materialized.

    “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control,” Mr. Howard wrote in 2013 in The New York Times.

    Still, Australian gun ownership rates have crept back up in recent years, as have rates of gun-related killings.

    Canada and Norway: Gradual Change

    Not all reforms have been as dramatic as Britain’s or Australia’s.

    Canada tightened restrictions on gun ownership in response to a 1989 mass shooting that killed 14 female college students. Licenses became required for shotguns and rifles, and those firearms had to be registered with authorities. Similar rules already applied to handguns.

    But the new rules, which proved controversial in rural communities, were not applied until 1995, six years after the shooting, and were mostly abolished in 2012.

    While Canada’s gun rules remain far stricter than those in the United States, they are looser than in most other countries. Its gun ownership rates, gun homicide rates and frequency of mass shootings all follow a similar pattern: a fraction of America’s, but higher than in most other developed countries.

    Norway, too, has moved relatively slowly in the wake of a 2011 far-right terrorist attack that killed 77 people.

    Though the country has one of Europe’s highest gun ownership rates, it has relatively lower rates of gun-related violence. The country has had strict rules for years, including mandatory gun safety classes and an involved licensing process. But it took seven years after the 2011 massacre to enact a ban on semiautomatic weapons that was inspired by the attack. It went into effect at the end of last year.

    New Zealand, which like Norway has traditionally had a high gun ownership rate but tight restrictions, along with low rates of gun violence, moved more quickly.

    When a far-right extremist killed 50 mosquegoers in 2019, authorities took less than a week to announce a ban on military-style semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines like those the attacker had used.

    But Norway, New Zealand, Canada and Australia are all outliers in one important way: Each began with high rates of gun ownership, relatively few restrictions or both.

    In most countries, there are fewer guns or pre-existing gun rights to restrict in the wake of a mass shooting — and, perhaps as a result, there are also far fewer mass shootings in those countries.

    Still, such governments often act. In Germany, after a gunman killed 16 people, the government raised the minimum age for carrying what few weapons were permitted to 21 years old, from 18.

    When another attack hit Germany seven years later — both were exceedingly rare events in a country with little gun violence — lawmakers set new rules allowing for random police checks on gun owners.

    With gun ownership already strictly controlled, there were simply few other measures left to impose

    Max Fisher is a New York-based international reporter and columnist. He has reported from five continents on conflict, diplomacy, social change and other topics. He writes The Interpreter, a column exploring the ideas and context behind major world events.

    Now if you have laws but let people continually break them and don't punish them for that, those laws are not going to work. That's another thing.

    You need someone to enforce the gun regulations - POLICE - and you need adequate punishment, either through torts (lawsuits) or criminal prosecution. If you are going to threaten to abolish police, then of course people are going to want guns.

    You know when you are standing in line at an airport, you know to not even joke about bombing or hijacking? That's because of harsh enforcement. It works. Nothing to argue about. You want commercial air flights or don't you?


    BTW the Senate IS working on some gun laws for a vote, up or down, get everyone on the record, but first they're giving it the old college try on compromise so they can get something that might actually pass. Here's how it's going so far:


    Just FYI, you have said in the past that other countries have guns BUT NONE HAVE ANYWHERE NEAR the astronomical number that the U.S. does now. So much so that it's like comparing apples and oranges, it won't get you anywhere thinking that way:

    Chart showing civilian gun ownership around the world

    And that's in 2018! As the associated BBC article from May 25, America's Gun Culture in 7 Charts says

    The US ratio of 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, up from 88 per 100 in 2011, far surpasses that of other countries around the world.

    More recent data also suggests that gun ownership grew significantly over the last several years. One study, published by the Annals of Internal Medicine in February, found that 7.5 million US adults - just under 3% of the population - became first new gun owners between January 2019 and April 2021.

    This, in turn, exposed 11 million people to firearms in their homes, including 5 million children. About half of new gun owners in that time period were women, while 40% were either black or Hispanic.

    A separate study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2021, linked a rise in gun ownership during the pandemic to higher rates of gun injuries among - and inflicted by - children....

    in addition

    How do US gun killings compare with other countries?

    In 2020, 43% of the deaths - amounting to 19,384 people - were homicides, according to data from the CDC. The figure represents a 34% increase from 2019, and a 75% increase over the course of the previous decade.

    Nearly 53 people are killed each day by a firearm in the US, according to the data.

    The data also shows that the vast majority of murders, 79%, were carried out with guns.

    That's a significantly larger proportion of homicides than is the case in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, and many other countries.

    Then there's this

    A graphic showing an international comparison of gun-related killings as a percentage of all homicides in each country. The US leads with nearly 79% of all homicides occurring with guns.  

    Finally, this is interestng as to public mass shootiings in the U.S. The records are spread out over time. Others can use this information in other ways, but I think it shows that getting rid of high powered weapons will not really solve many of our related problems, it will only reduce the rare outlier events. The massive number of handguns is the real problem in this country and has always been, before this epidemic of owning them got worse during "Defund" protests combined with the Covid pandemic (going all the way back to the 19th century, when some sheriffs made people park their handguns at the civilization line)

    Chart showing worst mass shootings in US since 1991


    ^ p.s. I don't mean to mimimize the issue of mass public shootings by high-powered weapons,  just that they are not as related to the overall problem of gun violence. They're more like a bombing, in that they have a terrorism effect, it is more of a psychological effect on the whole population. (Which is also something people in gun-crime-ridden neighborhoods live with 24/7, but is still not reflective of the whole problem because now many more than ever in "good" neighborhood are victims of domestic violence shootings, suicides, road rage type and other rage shootings etc. In the latter people are not afraid, but maybe they should learn to be.)


    THE NYPD IS MAKING PROGRESS REVERSING THE DAMAGE OF THE DISASTER THAT WAS 2020 with the godawful Geo. Floyd anti-police protest hysteria taking over the city and country while Covid wreaked devastation of normal society. IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! YOU OUTLAW GUNS EXCEPT FOR THE LICENSED AND YOU HAVE A TOUGH POLICE & PROSECUTOR COMBO. Not to mention you return bail laws to the way they were before.( And secondarily, you don't have an administration in DC fucking with rule of law ten ways to Sunday while lefty idiots are agitating.)

    IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, YOU ARE OVERTHINKING THIS and pulling the rest of us in to doing the same. I should have seen that sooner, my bad.

    NEW YORK CITY HAD A MIRACULOUS ASTRONOMICAL FALLING CRIME RATE for more than 2 DECADES, peace and prosperity increasing greatly during Mayor Bloomberg's time in office! It can be done again, just watch.

    Yes, please share. Perhaps policing is working better. Murder and shootings are down ~10% this year.
    It's fascinating to me that this is used as some kind of "gotcha" from policing and NYPD haters. Murders are still up 20% and shootings ~65% from 2020. https://t.co/YdvOkrKymS pic.twitter.com/sE0GhohCJa

    — Peter Moskos (@PeterMoskos) June 3, 2022

    I am sure plenty of teens uptown were on SSRI's during that time, it's the demographic that resulted in the book "Prozac Nation" after all. The crack cocaine epidemic in the 80's did us in, but the SSRI and anti-depressant one did not, as a matter of fact, it may have contributed to the peace, certainly there is a correlation!

    Much less no violent crime, we didn't have to lock our doors to our cars and homes. SERIOUSLY, REALLY. I dare say people might have tried not using bicycle locks either because more than once in my addled state circa 2014 to 2016 I left my purse in my yard overnight near the sidewalk and it was still there in the morning. One time I even left my car running all night near the sidewalk and it was still there as well! Not kidding, lucky it was cool out or it would have overheated and died (Compare the mid 1980's when my entire dashboard, not just radio was stolen while parked outside the Bronx zoo)

    NO ONE, I REPEAT NO ONE was afraid to use our subways in the late 20th century and 21st century before Covid and the Defund protests. Now everyone in this city is!

    Really stop overthinking this. It was abundantly clear to me what happened in NYC since I moved here in 1983 and why, just as it was abundantly clear how the utterly safe and civilized Milwaukee I left quickly descended in the opposite direction into a hellhole during the same time period.

     


    p.s. the reason for the difference since 2020 is KNOWN, it's right at the top of the crime news thread I post on every day!  a pandemic + protests against police caused

    this record event

    In 2021, Americans bought 19.9 million guns; in 2020, they bought 22.8 million.

    together with this one

     a total of 73 officers intentionally killed by perpetrators last year. This number represents a 59% increase from 2020. The total is the highest since 2001, a year that included the police officers killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in which 72 officers were killed in a single day. Excluding 2001, 2021 saw the most intentional killings of police officers in the U.S. since 1995, when 74 officers were murdered

    We are back to 1995 but with a lot more guns, a lot lot more, and a lot more lack of  respect for rule of law and police.Throw in a ton more felons on the street with no compunction about repeat offending or worse, for two reasons: 1) stupid pandering by prosecutors and courts in liberal blue districts to the "abolish" crew on bail and sentencing, and  2) early release from prisons and jails, lack of strict bail, and lack of normal working courts, prosecutors and parole officer, due to the covid pandemic lockdowns.

    It really makes no sense to talk about SSRI's or screwed up men within the context of two years, 2020 through 2022!!! You're ignoring elephants in the room to verify beliefs you have that have no bearing on the matter of the rapid rise in the violent crime rate since 2020! We still had an overall low crime rate before that!!! (You can even find it on dagblog, rmrd arguing that there's only been a "small uptick" in homicide in mid-2020 and that it means nothing, meantime police have all of a sudden turned into brutal monsters just look at all the stories in the media, yadda yadda... Biden was one of the brave few to step up and say we need more police, not less)



    how would you review this? I'm sorry, I was against Tipper Gore's crusade, but some of this stuff just goes too far


    "social organization does not have much direct influence on crime and we should avoid policies that depend on invoking residents’ informal social control"
    A thought-provoking challenge to neighborhood community organization as effective crime control https://t.co/BznNuF3Xmo

    — Jerry Ratcliffe (@Jerry_Ratcliffe) June 26, 2022

     


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