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View Diary: I am a pro-gun-control Democrat. (66 comments)

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  •  A minor correction (none)
    Automatic weapons are not illegal in the US. The National Firearms Act of 1934 places strict registration requirements on ownership, and a transfer tax must be paid whenever a weapon covered by the Act changes hands.

    The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 prohibits the manufacture of new automatic weapons for the civilian market. Automatic weapons registered with the Treasury Dept. prior to that are still legal to own.

    In any case, my point is this: how many crimes with automatic weapons occurred before the law was passed? Did the law stop the crimes?

    In truth, the increase of crime in that era was caused by Prohibition. Ending Prohibition pretty much ended the problem. Likewise much of today's gun crime can be attributed to the governments War on Some Drugs.

    You would probably dismiss any sources I named. One thing that you could do would be to look at the history behind the gun laws of gun control poster children like the UK (in particular the Pistols Act of 1903 and the Firearms Act of 1920) and Japan. You will find that these countries had low crime rates before the laws were passed, and that the laws were passed for reasons other than crime control (such as fear of Communist revolution).

    •  Try me! (none)
      "You would probably dismiss any sources I named."

      Try me!  (And yes, Prohibition did cause violence, but the high crime rate of that period had much to do with the Depression; crime rates were higher in the 1930's than they were in the 1920's.  It would be interesting to see if crime remained high after Prohibition was repealed in 1933.)

      •  Try reading (none)
        The Samurai, The Mountie, and The Cowboy by David Kopel. The book examines the history of gun control in several different nations and addresses the issue of whether their gun control laws would be appropriate for the U.S.

        Be sure to read the chapter on Switzerland before concluding that Kopel is an NRA shill. He debunks the idea, popular amongst pro-gunners, that Switzerland's low crime rate is due to the fact that adult males are required to keep their government-issued assault rifles (the real fully automatic kind, not the bogus "military-style assault weapons" that anti-gunners call any semiautomatic rifle) in their homes.

        The author places significant emphasis on the social conditions in each country and how that relates to crime.

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