Re: some US observations & notes

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 08:13:05 MST

Neil Blanch wrote:
> In V6#364 "Some US observations & notes" Brian D Williams said:
> "Here in Chicago, handguns are completely illegal and have been for 20 years
> now.
> By the logic of the antigun folks, Chicago should by now be completely free
> of handguns and violent crimes like murder should be non-existent. "
> Brian, I can think of a few reasons why Chicago's crime situation is so bad.
> 1. Whilst the availability of guns in Chicago has become more
> difficult, it is no difficulty for a determined individual, particularly a
> criminal, to simply cross state lines & purchase a gun in a state with more
> lax ownership & sales restrictions. Gun restrictions will only really work
> if they are applied on a federal (or better yet international) level.

Yet there are federal gun restrictions which prevent such acts as you
describe. It is a federal felony to purchase a gun from a dealer in a
state in which you are not a resident. It is also a federal felony for
anyone to sell a gun to someone who is a felon.

The fact is that MOST of the gun violence that occurs in Chicago happens
at the behest of Mayor Richard Daley and his police force, since most
guns used in crime in Chicago have been found to have been sold to
criminals BY the police, illegally.

> Piece-meal approaches to gun restriction only seem to favour those who will
> use such weapons for nefarious purposes.

As demonstrated by the rise in gun crime in Britain and Japan and
Australia, broad sweeping gun bans only favor those who have no respect
for the law to begin with, and penalize those who are already law

> 2. The current US system of plea-bargaining seems to favour the
> more hardened criminal. Example: a street level dealer (or "runner") is
> arrested. It is highly unlikely that he will have worthwhile information on
> his superiors & it is unlikely that he will be able to effect much change in
> his charges by plea bargaining. Someone higher up the chain is arrested &
> because they have more details on the overall supply system, they can
> effectively plea bargain a more serious supply charge away in exchange for
> that information. This is one of the reasons that the majority of people in
> jail for drug offences (for example) are in for relatively minor offences
> (mandatory "3 strikes" sentencing doesn't help much either), & the big
> sharks are still out in the community, doing maximum harm.

I thought we were talking about gun laws, not drug laws. The fact is
that pro-gunners instituted Operation Exile in Richmond, VA to require
minimum mandatory 5 year federal sentences for any felon caught with a
gun, no plea bargains allowed. Violent crime dropped by 65% in one year
in that city following institution of this project. The anti-gun
liberals refuse to allow this practice to be imposed in the cities they
control, thus they perpetuate the high violence of democrat controlled
big cities, and are thus accessories to mass murder.

> I cannot claim to know what the best solution to the guns/crime problem in
> the US. The issues involved are difficult, the pressure from various
> interest groups so intense & the size of the problem so large, that no easy
> solution presents itself. To my mind the gun availability issue plays a
> major role in the problems that the US faces, however it is only one of many
> issues that will need to be addressed if the US is to curb the horrific rate
> of violent crime that afflicts the majority of the united states.

Guns are a scapegoat, nothing more. The fact is, since a majority of
states passed 'shall-issue' concealed weapons laws in the early 1990's,
violent crime has dropped in the US by 60%. In the same period, nations
with restrictive gun bans, like Britain, Australia, and Japan, have all
seen double digit increases each year in various violent crime

If guns were the problem, Vermont would have the highest crime rate in
the world. Instead, it has one of the lowest. End of story.

I don't expect to have to repeat this debate with you on this list. I
did create the exi-freedom list on yahoogroups for the purpose of
debating various freedom issues, like guns, which many extropians list
members find repetetive and old hat.

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