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View Diary: To those who want an armed society. (277 comments)

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  •  That's not the core of my argument at all (0+ / 0-)

    In fact, I'm not sure how you figure that I'm ignoring any country. Absence of firearms isn't the only determinant of gun violence; there's political and social stability, economic opportunity, etc.  So the question is all other things being roughly equal (which means Mexico [and arguably the US] falls out of the sample), what is the relationship between firearms and violence?  

    I'm not shopping around for superior liberties in other respects, although I'd say that most of our European neighbors provide adequate protection in those areas.

    •  Then I misunderstood (6+ / 0-)

      Please accept my apology if I mischaracterized your position.

      While all the OECD nations have more restrictive firearms laws than the United States, some of them are far more tolerant and accepting of firearms ownership as a society than we are. Switzerland has limits on some types of firearms, but also has state-sponsored marksmanship training in public schools, and open carry of an assault rifle by someone in civilian clothes is assumed to be a reservist going to practice, even if the reservist stops for groceries or the Apple store on the way there or back. Compare that to the fauxtrage if someone did the same at a JC Penney in the United States. The Czech Republic has varying gun permit levels based on knowledge and competency, and they allow national concealed carry. Belgium has an exception in its laws to allow collectors to buy fully functional machineguns. Finland allows ownership of silenced firearms. Germany has no region with high-capacity magazine bans. Etc., etc.

      So, you really have no evidence that a coerced gun-free society is any better than what we have here. England comes closest, and their record on civil liberties is abysmal and their non-gun violent crime rate is several times ours.

      I do agree with you that there are many factors involved other than gun laws, so much so that you cannot simply state "they are better than us because of their gun laws". But that works both ways. If Mexico breaks the mold because of cultural differences and makes direct comparison of gun laws invalid, so then does England, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and so on.

      Violence is reduced when people stop being violent and that is a matter of education, not prohibition. Taking away particular items just changes how the violence is done.

      •  I wouldn't be falsely outraged if I saw someone (0+ / 0-)

        carrying a rifle at the grocery store.  I'd be genuinely terrified, even if the person was wearing military fatigues and presumably had come from National Guard training, because I'd wonder why someone was walking around with a gun in a grocery store instead of, say, leaving the gun in the trunk of his/her car.  

        And before you assume that I live in an urban area where people use public transportation and thus have no cars in which to leave firearms, I live in a small town where everyone drives.  

        Is it different where you live?  I'm not trolling, I'm genuinely curious, since different areas have different standards for what is normal and what is not.  A grocery shopper with a carbine slung over her back would not be normal in my town, but obviously this isn't the case other places.

        This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

        by Ellid on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:32:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think any of them are as tolerant (0+ / 0-)

        as the US when it comes to firearm ownership.  Switzerland is one giant police station, and gun ownership within the home and out and about is strictly regulated.  There is a duty rather than a right to keep and bear arms.  The same can be said of Israel.  That said both countries also have gun ownership out of the context of conscripted service, but you'll find that regime to be very similar to the rest of the West.  I wouldn't necessarily find such an arrangement unappealing--there's a ton of health and educational benefits in conscription--but it's probably not an idea that would fly in the US.

        The Czech Republic is indeed as libertine in its gun laws as you suggest.  It also has fewer guns per capita than Canada.  The same goes for Belgium.  Germany and Finland have higher rates of gun ownership (30 and 45 percent respectively), but also much stricter, shall issue licensing and registration.  I also suspect a degree of non-compliance with existing gun laws is at play. You can be sure that I at least will never argue that gun laws themselves reduce gun violence.  

        I do agree that education plays a principal role in reducing violence, but properly structured prohibition can as well by merely reducing the number of implements available for use.

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