Date sent: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 01:04:44 -0500 From: Steve Tucker <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [GUNS] a comment To: firstname.lastname@example.org Send reply to: email@example.com
> "Joe E. Dees" wrote:
> > Date sent: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 21:40:52 -0500
> > From: Steve Tucker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Subject: Re: [GUNS] a comment
> > To: email@example.com
> > Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > Actually, I was an anti-gunner until someone challenged my views, and I checked
> > > the evidence and arguments.
> > > - Steve
> > >
> > What is the scientific evidence that it is safe to allow violent
> > criminals, kids and the certifiably insane the free and unfettered
> > right to keep and bear?
> > Breathlessly Waiting, Joe
> My intention is to bow out of this argument, since it is no doubt harming the list
> and no solid evidence has been presented or challenged to refute the "guns in the
> hands of responsible citizens make for a safer society" idea. However (sigh) I feel
> compelled to respond to Joe's insinuations and publicly take his words out of my
> mouth (ptooie).
> Neither I nor anyone else (afaik) who has posted in this debate claimed that it is
> safe or desirable to place guns in the hands of Joe's interminably-repeated list of
> likely gun abusers. Joe, when I say that I am no longer an anti-gunner, it does
> _not_ mean I have decided that putting guns in the hands of the insane et al is a
> positive thing. How you could have made that leap in good faith is beyond me. I am
> obviously not going to produce evidence to back a claim I never made and do not
> support, so you may as well go ahead and breathe.
> However, and perhaps this is the point that has been lost, just because I (and
> perhaps some others) agree with you in principle does *not* necessarily mean that we
> believe your proposed solution will be effective, or that it will not have unintended
> negative side effects. This point has been made many times by myself and others.
> I (and I suspect others) harbor doubts that these laws will be effective. Economics
> teaches us that a demand will always find a supplier. Experience informs us that an
> unreformed violent criminal (insane or not) will not be greatly deterred from
> breaking yet another law if they're already in the process of breaking several
> others. I believe it is already illegal for most of these individuals to purchase
> guns, yet as far as I know there is no particular dearth of repeat offenders in
> gun-related crimes. I believe another poster mentioned Chicago, where gang-bangers'
> demand for guns they could not legally purchase resulted in a black market being
> supplied by the Chicago cops(!).
There is an article in the July issue of Playboy about a squad of Chicago cops masquerading as bikers and gang members and asking to buy guns with which to commit crimes. The firearms dealers were most helpful, and in just two months, the police had purchased 171 weapons for $65,000, all for the explicit purpose of aiding in the commission of criminal acts. One particularly enterprizing gun shop, nestled in the midst of a suburb with a population of 14,000 souls, sold 6500 weapons which were subsequently confiscated by Chicago police after being used in the commission of crimes. In fact, of the 32, 909 people who died of bullet wounds in 1995 (cars kill more, but not many more), most of these were suicides (18,503), and of the remailing 14,406 homicides, only 616 were ruled justifiable and the rest (13,790, or about 96%) were murders. One out of every five handguns purchased in the US is used to commit a crime within four years of purchase.