RE: crime in big cities and Europe

From: Waldemar Ingdahl (
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 08:23:46 MDT

>That is one fact. In Europe, possession of arms is restricted. But the "bad
>guys" also have limited weapons. If you would allow anyone to carry
>then the bad guys will certainly carry them. Although I would have prefered
>to have a gun as long as I lived in Frankfurt, I doubt that it would have
>done any good. If you are unarmed, well, you can get beaten up or robbed.
>Okay. If you are armed, you get shot. Okay, if you are a combat-trained
>gunslinger, you might be able to shoot them, but most people aren't. So
>is no big defense. The bad guys usually have more guns, more firepower and,
>ost important, the least problems of using them.

Hmm, the European criminal community is very well armed. With illegal
weapons. Restricting guns only restrict them to the law abiding community.
Mugging someone in the street often doesn't require firearms, but robbing
banks does. Of course you have to be trained in using a firearm to use it

>Weapons do no harm. It's the people who use them. Most of the people who
>have guns neve use them. At least not on other people. Even most criminals
>would not deliberately use excessive force to achieve their goal. If all
>people have guns, the criminal is forced to use maximum force to achieve
>their goal without danger for themselves. The problem of liberal gun laws
>that the tendency to use them will increase.

That isn't true. In Sweden we have seen a rise in crimes involving firearms
while the government has decreased the citizens' right to bear them (as
noted by criminology professor Leif G.W. Persson lately). The increase of
the use is from very low levels though.

>If we look at the overall facts, crimes like burglary or robbery might be
>more frequent in Europe. But definitely the rate of murder and other
>crimes is much higher in the US. If faced with the choice, I would always
>prefer Europe. Property can be restored, that's why we have insurances. But
>no insurance can give you back your life.

That is again a bit shaky, once again compairing the US to Europe certainly
needs considering that different areas differ quite a lot for each other.
The US isn't homogenous, neither is Europe. For instance Italy has much
stricter gun laws than Sweden in many ways but Sweden has a lower rate of
crimes involving firearms. The same example could be done for many American

>Like the Romans said: Ab igne ignem. - Out of the fire - fire.

Vis pacem para bellum


You might wonder why get into this gun debate? Well I do it for two reasons

1) It is important to understand the complex science of criminology in order
not to fall into the scaremongering so present today. Whatever one thinks
about one's country's gun laws it is important to look at the facts and do
intelligent analyses.

2) Gun control doesn't stop crime. One of the most complete bans on ALL
weapons was instituted by the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan in the 17th
century. It didn't stop rebellions against the shogunate (the Shimabara
rebellion of 1639, the peasant rebellions of the 18th century) nor the rise
of organized crime (the first Yakuza gumi were often formed by criminals
wanting more protection agianst the armed police). People made weapons for
themselves, for instance the nunchaku are really rice grinders. We can
notice that the genocide in Rwanda, where 200 000 people were brutally
killed was largely committed with machetes, spears, clubs and older guns.

There are certainly many more important factors behind violence in a society
than the availability of firearms for the law abiding citizen.

3) As much as some transhumanists wont like it, banning guns will add to a
restrictive pull in society, were other things might be banned as well.
Things that we like better than gun...

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