Re: Dodge City
Sun, 5 Jul 1998 19:22:22 EDT

In a message dated 98-07-05 18:44:03 EDT, (Randall R Randall) wrote:

> >Right... so surely armed private citizens will somehow manage to shoot

> just
> >the criminals and not each other, right?
> Exactly. You will probably be surprised to
> learn that this is precisely the truth; as
> compared to police, private citizens are
> less likely to shoot innocents in a firefight
> with criminals.
> No doubt someone else will post the citation.

Here it is:

Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606).

And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2% of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The 'error rate' for the police, however, was 11%, more than five times as high." -- George F. Will, "Are We a Nation of Cowards?," Newsweek (15 November 1993):93

Again, I return to the different contexts of gun ownership in societies that have developed in a completely disarmed and culturally homogenous fashion and those that have not. If I lived in a society where no one else was armed and I could count on almost everyone I encountered having very similar backgrounds and values to mine, I would feel no compunction about giving up my own weapons, aside from resenting the loss of the sporting aspect of shooting. However, where these factors don't obtain, disarming myself seems foolish. The attitude of people in such other, very different societies seems perfectly understandable to me, and in the context of the relatively peaceful times in which we now find ourselves, fairly rational. However, I can't understand the lack of imagination that seems to lead to a compulsion to export such ideas to a place with a wholly different social context.

	Greg Burch     <>----<>
	   Attorney  :::  Director, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
	           "Good ideas are not adopted automatically.  They must
	              be driven into practice with courageous impatience."