Originally Posted by a1c
As 2A supporters, we need to be honest, and acknowledge there is unfortunately not enough research or data to assert that armed neighborhoods are safer than unarmed ones, or that the rate of LTCs has a deterrent effect. Just not enough data, not enough scientific research, and way too many other factors at play. Lott's research is impressive but also controversial. Correlation and causation are two different things.
However, I know this: gun control doesn't work.
Like many on this board, I come from a country where there is strict gun control - France. Like a lot of those countries, strict gun control was imposed after World War 2, when civilians were ordered to surrender or register certain classes of firearms. Even among resistants, a lot of people didn't want to bother with paperwork, and sometimes chose to give away whatever rifle they had gotten parachuted over, or pistols stolen from the Germans. I suppose at the time, it was a way for some people to turn the page. They didn't see the value in it.
Getting a shotgun in France is easy if you have a hunter's license (and there are a lot of French households with legally owned shotguns, or old shotguns who have been handed from one generation to the next, and are often not registered - ask me how I know). Getting centerfire rifles or handguns is a lot more paperwork, and requires a license, membership with a club validating your permit everytime you shoot, and so on (that said, ironically, I know French people who legally own full auto ARs).
Now, for a very long time, the truth is that gun control actually did work in France, in the sense that there was very little violent crimes compared to the US. And very few gun-related deaths. The crime rate is higher for petty crimes, but much lower for murder, armed robbery, and so on.
So an argument could be made that in those countries, gun control worked. Guns were very difficult for criminals to obtain, making it harder to commit violent crimes.
But things quickly changed when the Iron Curtain fell. I remember going to Romania in January of 1990 and meeting soldiers trying to sell their AKs (for ridiculously high prices, BTW).
And a lot of Eastern European countries have now joined the EU, making it easy to truck merchandise from one end of the continent to the other.
The result? Some gangs in Western Europe now have relatively easy access to AKs. The Arab Spring will no doubt also facilitate the smuggling of more illegal guns from the Middle East and Northern Africa to Europe.
There are also a lot of militaria collectors in Europe who regularly break the law to get some items that are regulated or prohibited.
Now the bad guys over there have fire superiority. But even if getting a shotgun is still within reach for the average citizen, getting access to any other kind of weapon is very difficult. And forget about LTCs.
Things are changing in some countries. The firearm legislation in France is under review and some legislators are pushing for less paperwork and making it easier for law-abiding citizens to acquire them. Not sure if that will happen under the current government, but it could happen within years.
Now some of my friends in Europe (or antis in the US) sometimes tell me "Well you're acknowledging that gun control regulation did work in Europe, so why are you opposed to it here?"
And to me the answer is obvious and twofold:
1. The RKBA is in the US Constitution. Period. It's not in those other countries. Which is why, by the way, I don't like it when people transpose US issues to other countries, and vice-versa. It is a fundamental American right.
2. Historically, this country has been built with guns. It doesn't matter if you're Howard Zinn or Burton W. Folsom Jr., all historians will agree that they played a huge role in building this country. There are hundreds of millions of them. There is no way you can have gun control in this country on an even practical level. So deal with it.
To me, that settles it. I don't need any argument dealing with crime vs. gun control. It doesn't matter. There are plenty of very safe neighborhoods, some where everybody's got a gun (legally), and others where almost nobody does. And there are plenty of crappy neighborhoods where people can carry legally, or where gun control is very strict. It's not the legislation that really has an impact here, it's other factors: unemployment, poverty, education, population make-up, lack of LE, lack of services, etc.
If you start using statistics to make that point, the other camp will have just as many to throw at you. You're not going to convince them.
Just tell them this: there already are plenty of guns out there. Some in the hands of criminals (the minority), and most in the hands of law-abiding citizens. There is no way any amount of gun control is going to make a difference. You want less crime? Work on what causes crime. Hint: it's not guns.
Rant over. Back to work.