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vantec08
06-14-2010, 8:42 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR2010061103259.html


Five myths about gun control

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By Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gun regulation is as American as Wyatt Earp, the legendary frontier lawman who enforced Dodge City's ban on gun-carrying within town limits. But two years ago in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court decided for the first time that the Second Amendment grants a personal right to keep and bear arms, a decision that cast doubt on the future of gun control regulations in this country. Now, the court is considering a challenge to Chicago's ban on handgun ownership -- a regulation that has been in place for nearly 30 years. Would a repeal of the ban have a major impact on gun violence in Chicago or in other parts of the country? It's a tricky question. And disagreements on the answer come from several persistent myths about guns in America.

1. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

This anti-gun-control slogan, a perfect fit for bumper stickers, has infected the public imagination with the mistaken belief that it's just criminals, not weapons, that lead to deadly violence. The key question is, really, whether guns make violent events more lethal. While mortality data show that attacks are far more likely to be fatal when a gun is involved, gun-control opponents argue that this difference simply reflects the more serious, deadly intent of offenders who choose to use a gun.

But in a groundbreaking and often-replicated look at the details of criminal attacks in Chicago in the 1960s, University of California at Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring found that the circumstances of gun and knife assaults are quite similar: They're typically unplanned and with no clear intention to kill. Offenders use whatever weapon is at hand, and having a gun available makes it more likely that the victim will die. This helps explain why, even though the United States has overall rates of violent crime in line with rates in other developed nations, our homicide rate is, relatively speaking, off the charts.

As Ozzy Osbourne once said in an interview with the New York Times: "I keep hearing this [expletive] thing that guns don't kill people, but people kill people. If that's the case, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?"
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2. Gun laws affect only law-abiding citizens.

Teenagers and convicted felons can't buy guns -- that's against the law already -- so the only people affected by firearm regulations are the "good guys" who just want a weapon for self defense. At least that's one line of reasoning against gun control. But law enforcement benefits from stronger gun laws across the board. Records on gun transactions can help solve crimes and track potentially dangerous individuals. Illinois law requires that all gun owners have a state ID card and that transactions be recorded, allowing police to potentially link a gun used in a crime to its owner.

The ban on felons buying guns, part of the 1968 Gun Control Act, doesn't stop them entirely, of course. In fact, most homicides involve someone with a criminal record carrying a gun in public. Data from 2008 in Chicago show that 81 percent of homicides were committed with guns and that 91 percent of homicide offenders had a prior arrest record. But the gun laws provide police with a tool to keep these high-risk people from carrying guns; without these laws, the number of people with prior records who commit homicides could be even higher.

3. When more households have guns for self-defense, crime goes down.

Fans of the Heller decision in D.C., and people hoping for a similar outcome in Chicago, believe that eliminating handgun bans and having more households keep guns for self-protection leads to less crime. The rationale: More guns enable more people to defend themselves against attackers; there might also be a general deterrent effect, if would-be criminals know that their victims could be armed. Such arguments cannot be dismissed.

The key question is whether the self-defense benefits of owning a gun outweigh the costs of having more guns in circulation. And the costs can be high: more and cheaper guns available to criminals in the "secondary market" -- including gun shows and online sales -- which is almost totally unregulated under federal laws, and increased risk of a child or a spouse misusing a gun at home. Our research suggests that as many as 500,000 guns are stolen each year in the United States, going directly into the hands of people who are, by definition, criminals.

The data show that a net increase in household gun ownership would mean more homicides and perhaps more burglaries as well. Guns can be sold quickly, and at good prices, on the underground market.

4. In high-crime urban neighborhoods, guns are as easy to get as fast food.

There are roughly 250 to 300 million guns in circulation in the United States. That number strikes some as so high that regulation seems futile. Opponents of gun control cite the sentiment of one Chicago gang member, who said in a 1992 newspaper interview that buying a gun is "like going through the drive-through window. Give me some fries, a Coke and a 9-millimeter."

Our own study of the underground gun market in Chicago, with Columbia sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh and Harvard criminologist Anthony Braga, contradicts this claim. Handguns that can be bought legally for around $100 sell on the street in Chicago for $250 to $400. Surveys of people who have been arrested find that a majority of those who didn't own a gun at the time of their arrest, but who would want one, say it would take more than a week to get one. Some people who can't find a gun on the street hire a broker in the underground market to help them get one. It costs more and takes more time to get guns in the underground market -- evidence that gun regulations do make some difference.

5. Repealing Chicago's handgun ban will dramatically increase gun crimes.

Many legal analysts predict that Chicago's handgun ban is done for. While proponents of gun control may feel discouraged, the actual impact could be minimal, depending on what regulations the court allows Chicago to put on the books instead. New York City, for example, makes it quite difficult for private citizens to obtain handguns through an expensive and drawn-out permitting process that falls short of an outright ban.

Local officials from Dodge City to Chicago have understood that some regulation of firearms within city limits is in the public's interest, and that regulation and law enforcement are important complements in the effort to reduce gun violence. Even before the repeal of D.C.'s handgun ban, the city's police reestablished a gun-recovery unit and focused on seizing illegal firearms. The city's homicide rate has been relatively flat the past several years. If the court decides that Chicago must follow D.C's lead in getting rid of its handgun ban, we can only hope that it leaves the door open for sensible control measures.

OleCuss
06-14-2010, 9:01 AM
I'm all in favor of sensible controls that respect the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

So you can ban violent felons from having firearms.

You can also make firearms training inexpensive and available to everyone so that they will know how to control their firearm when they must stop a bad guy.

winnre
06-14-2010, 9:06 AM
So before 1968 felons could buy guns?

Has anyone done a study comparing 1967 with 1969?

radioburning
06-14-2010, 9:07 AM
The city's homicide rate has been relatively flat the past several years. If the court decides that Chicago must follow D.C's lead in getting rid of its handgun ban, we can only hope that it leaves the door open for sensible control measures.

Morons...

Conveniently left out how the homicide and violent crime level dropped dramatically within 1 year after Heller.

gunsmith
06-14-2010, 9:32 AM
So the WaPo thinks Ozzy is a great source of cutting edge legal reasoning.
Who is in charge there? Beavis or Butthead?

Bugei
06-14-2010, 9:33 AM
[QUOTE=vantec08;4451656]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR2010061103259.html
QUOTE]

1) Ozzy Osbourne? Really? That's who this guy wants to quote? This is their appeal to authority?

2) "Illinois law requires that all gun owners have a state ID card and that transactions be recorded, allowing police to potentially link a gun used in a crime to its owner." Yeah? So this tool is working so well that they've rounded up the gang-bangers who are doing all this shooting. How come people are dropping like ripe fruit on the streets of Chicago, then, if their tools are working so well?

3) "Our research suggests that as many as 500,000 guns are stolen each year in the United States, going directly into the hands of people who are, by definition, criminals.

The data show that a net increase in household gun ownership would mean more homicides and perhaps more burglaries as well. Guns can be sold quickly, and at good prices, on the underground market." The data? What data? I don't see any data. What I see are the usual unsubstantiated claims that the data show something.


4) "It costs more and takes more time to get guns in the underground market -- evidence that gun regulations do make some difference." Not when the gun ban in Chicago has been in place for decades. So a felon needs a gun and it takes a week. He's got time. Has this dropped the murder rate? Why, no. It hasn't. So there is a difference, but it's a rising murder rate, not a dropping one. Nice going, Mayor.

5) "New York City, for example, makes it quite difficult for private citizens to obtain handguns through an expensive and drawn-out permitting process that falls short of an outright ban." So that's the plan? Avoid getting your ridiculous gun ban gutted like a fish by replacing it with a licensing scheme that delays your ability to exercise your ennumerated Second Amendment right (Remember this? "A right delayed is a right denied!") and cost you maybe a grand in the process? Not acceptable.

These guys aren't going to get the message until it is attached to their skull with a 4" drywall screw.

Connor P Price
06-14-2010, 9:47 AM
People shouldn't have guns that could potentially save their lives because a criminal might steal them.

I suppose sick people shouldn't have medicine that could potentially save their lives because drug addicts might steal them.

Our society has somehow decided that criminals and drug addicts are the new protected class. Law abiding citizens seeking to protect themselves are treated like criminals, and the criminals are treated like victims. Disgusting.

Nate74
06-14-2010, 9:52 AM
Who quotes Ozzy on anything? Seriously... who?

warbird
06-14-2010, 9:59 AM
stupidity is supreme in America. Insanity is a close second.

robcoe
06-14-2010, 10:05 AM
so in Chicago it takes about a week for a convicted felon to get a gun.

Thats quicker than a normal person can get a gun here in california.

madmike
06-14-2010, 10:12 AM
This guy is crazy! Quoting Ozzy Osbourne is ridiculous! Everyone knows that Meatloaf is the real authority on violent crime statistics...

-madmike.

shellyzsweet
06-14-2010, 10:25 AM
wow.....people are so dumb!!!! they lost my credibility when I saw the ozzy quote.

MichaelKent
06-14-2010, 10:59 AM
Data from 2008 in Chicago show that 81 percent of homicides were committed with guns and that 91 percent of homicide offenders had a prior arrest record. But the gun laws provide police with a tool to keep these high-risk people from carrying guns; without these laws, the number of people with prior records who commit homicides could be even higher.

Which seems to actually support the "myth" that gun regulation only affects law abiding citizens... if 91% of homocide occurs by people who can't buy guns, and they have guns, then it's obvious that gun control doesn't even work!

I agree that guns can be registered, but that doesn't stop criminals from getting their hands on them...

Also interesting that they don't say how many murders occur with guns... homocide is a completely different legal animal, and has categories like "justifiable homocide (self defense)" etc. and generally isn't near as bad as murder!


And the costs can be high: more and cheaper guns available to criminals in the "secondary market" -- including gun shows and online sales -- which is almost totally unregulated under federal laws, and increased risk of a child or a spouse misusing a gun at home. Our research suggests that as many as 500,000 guns are stolen each year in the United States, going directly into the hands of people who are, by definition, criminals.

Except of course that gun shows and online sales are regulated by federal law, and online stores must ship to FFLs...



4. In high-crime urban neighborhoods, guns are as easy to get as fast food.

Our own study of the underground gun market in Chicago, with Columbia sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh and Harvard criminologist Anthony Braga, contradicts this claim. Handguns that can be bought legally for around $100 sell on the street in Chicago for $250 to $400. Surveys of people who have been arrested find that a majority of those who didn't own a gun at the time of their arrest, but who would want one, say it would take more than a week to get one. Some people who can't find a gun on the street hire a broker in the underground market to help them get one. It costs more and takes more time to get guns in the underground market -- evidence that gun regulations do make some difference.

Sure it can make some difference, but what is $250-$400 for a drug dealer? Or a gang which enforces "taxes" for vendors and shops on their turf? Funny enough a gang member in Chicago has a shorter wait period than a law abiding resident of CA. :p


5. Repealing Chicago's handgun ban will dramatically increase gun crimes.

Many legal analysts predict that Chicago's handgun ban is done for. While proponents of gun control may feel discouraged, the actual impact could be minimal, depending on what regulations the court allows Chicago to put on the books instead. New York City, for example, makes it quite difficult for private citizens to obtain handguns through an expensive and drawn-out permitting process that falls short of an outright ban.

They're correct that this is a myth, but their reasoning is incorrect. New York can put all kinds of restrictions on gun ownership because it's constitutional for them to do so... The bill of rights was only intended to apply to federal government and not state/local (to comfort the states), but "progressive" supreme courts have been incorporating those rights against the states. If McDonald grants 2A incorporation, state gun bans (including NYC) can be challenged on the constitution because it suddenly applies.



1) Ozzy Osbourne? Really? That's who this guy wants to quote? This is their appeal to authority?
So the WaPo thinks Ozzy is a great source of cutting edge legal reasoning.

While the article is pretty stupid, I have to say that comments like these can make our position seem goofy and show that we do not pay attention. They did not quote Ozzy as an "authority" on gun control or as a legal expert, and anybody with good reading comprehension would note that. They used him essentially the same way I've seen people here use quotes from Heston or Nugent - as a side comment that gives color and punctuation to the point they're making.

Though it is disappointing that the Prince of ****in Darkness(!) doesn't appove of guns. Oh well...

N6ATF
06-14-2010, 11:03 AM
The only sense they make is to CRIMINALS, who love the safety they provide.

Fate
06-14-2010, 11:15 AM
Wyatt Earp trod on the Constitution. How is that "American?"

stix213
06-14-2010, 1:12 PM
1. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
- The supposed "fact" that gun & knife crimes are generally unplanned I see as even MORE a reason average citizens should be able to carry a gun. If people are just going on a killing rampage when they happen to snap with whatever weapon is at hand, I would like a gun with me when someone else pops off near me. Is this supposed to be a reason to be unarmed????

What about women or the elderly? If it is true that if we restricted everyone only to knives then that is what would be used in crimes instead of a gun, this restriction gives a HUGE advantage to anyone physically stronger. Teen and twenty something males are at a significant advantage in a knife fight against women and elderly, while the odds are more even when both parties have guns involved.

2. Gun laws affect only law-abiding citizens.
- If felons are illegally buying guns, then how again does tracking who legally bought the gun help track down who stole it from them again?

3. When more households have guns for self-defense, crime goes down.
- Murder rate in Washington DC dropped 25% a year after Heller according to the Washington Times. I think that is proof enough, and not based on some silly theory or conveniently ambiguous source of "data" that cannot be mentioned. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/02/learning-from-the-dc-handgun-ban/

4. In high-crime urban neighborhoods, guns are as easy to get as fast food.
- What handguns can you get for $100???? And the fact that a criminal can get a handgun for $250 in a week as the author uses as evidence that handgun bans are working seems pretty ridiculous to me when it takes me 10 days to do it legally.

5. Repealing Chicago's handgun ban will dramatically increase gun crimes.
- Well the 25% decrease in the murder rate in DC after Heller I think confirms the wording of this one to be a myth, but not for the reasons mentioned.

postal
06-14-2010, 5:54 PM
I think the moron that wrote it.... didnt even read what he wrote....

It couldnt possibly make sense, even to the idiot who typed it....

musta come from berkeley.

calixt0
06-15-2010, 1:51 AM
I love the gross generalities they take liberties with. It started in the first paragraph when talking about Wyatt Earp. From what I could find in history Earp only said that guns could not be carried in town. Said nothing about owning guns in or out of town, nothing about what guns were ok and what guns weren't, simply that they couldn't be carried in town. Now I would come closer to accepting this if our police actually saw them selves as police in the old west did, the ones to stand up to crime and protect the people of the town. Right now many LEO's (at least in my city of Vallejo) care about little more than their pentions, and helping arrest thieves already caught and under control of private security in from neighboring towns. Nope can't help with your call we don't respond to those types of calls...

Merc1138
06-15-2010, 3:26 AM
Wow, I just burst into laughter when they quoted Ozzy. I like some of the man's music, but to quote him like he's some philosopher? LOL. I'm sorry, but to take the word of a man who's had more coke and god knows what else up his nose in his life, than most DEA agents will ever see in a large cartel bust, is just freaking comical.

vantec08
06-15-2010, 5:30 AM
Ozzy Osbourne - Berzerkley law perfessers - Hahvad criminalogists. . . . . ony thing missing is Moms Mabley in the center ring shouting "The Greatest Show on Earth!"