The Second Version

16/06/10

Meta-discussion on Gun Control

There has been a fresh wave debate of gun control issues at some blogs, and I have some sparse idea about the dabate itself. Do not expect a structured article but rather a collection of more or less loose thoughts.

  • Comparing rates of homicide-by-gun between different countries is tricky (and this is valid for all sides) because those countries have different history and at any given time present a spread of cultural and socio-economic conditions. I think, but I am not sure, that crime statistics tell more about a country's cultural and socio-economic conditions than about the tightness of its gun control.
  • Aggregate crime statistics for whole countries also hide a lot of useful information because they group together areas with a wide range of factors as population density, average income, type of employment etc. Not to mention cultural and eventually ethnic differences.
  • The police officer with such a developed training to make him fundamentally different from common citizens is basically a myth. At least in Italy your average cop shoots a few rounds at the range from time to time; only the equivalent of SWAT teams have serious combat training. Guns are stored quite safely in police stations, true, but terrorists and maybe also criminals have attacked cops, police stations and army barracks to obtain firearms.
  • While guns are rather efficient at killing people, true mass-murder is accomplished even more quickly with explosives and incendiaries. In fact, when enough motivated manpower is available, even machetes did the job. Anyway, on September 11 and on July 2005 in London, groups of islamic extremists have used machines never intended to kill and homemade explosives to cause massive destruction and loss of life.
  • People who are determined to terminate their lives seem able to find a way to do so regardless of the availability of firearms. Some kill themselves via cooking gas asphyxiation, which poses a serious risk of explosion. And while I do not recommend suicide, I think that people are the owners of their own life and can end if they choose so.
  • Discussions between pragmatists and people arguing from faith are pointless because facts cannot bring down a belief by themselves. Something that hits at a deep emotional level is required.

Etichette: , ,

2 Commenti:

  • All of those are excellent and valid points. Criminals are the problem, not firearms.

    Di Blogger BobG, Alle 16/6/10 21:45  

  • Disagreement about this point is at the core of much of the discussion on gun control.

    And I see no easy reconciliation between the two sides. Or better, gunners for the most parts are willing to live and let live; anti-gunners are the ones willing to intrude in other people's life.

    Di Blogger Fabio, Alle 16/6/10 22:23  

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