Re: GUNS: Accidental Deaths (was Re: FAQ Additions (Posthuman mind

Michael S. Lorrey (
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 09:07:03 -0500

Eric Ruud wrote:

> I think maybe I'm missing the point of this whole strain... is it intending
> to say we should loosen control on guns until gun deaths exceed automobile
> deaths, or that we should regulate automobiles and bathroom tiles to prevent
> deaths?
> Guns and automobiles are inherently different in one sense:
> Guns (at least handguns) were meant to harm people, while automobiles are
> not. I think I see the point you're getting at here(that guns aren't as big
> a problem as people think) and I don't necessarily disagree, but it seems
> we're comparing two completely different classes of things (see how I
> avoided a platitude there?) by comparing auto and gun deaths.

The purposes of guns are three fold:
a) hunting
b) deterring the violation of the rights of one's self, family, property and state
c) being there for use against opressors when deterrence fails

It is not possible to use cigarettes safely, for example. Automobiles are almost never used purposely to kill people, yet they do so unpurposefully and 'accidentally' far more than guns do. It is a tool which is unsafe when in normal use. It is a device which is designed to travel at over 100 mph, yet has such a lack of safety features that it is frequently fatal to crash in one above 30 mph. Accidents at normal highway speeds are fatal more often than not. This means that cars are unsafe in normal use.

A gun, on the other hand, has a myriad of safety features, such that the user can carry one safely with very minimal risk of accidentally shooting someone. Indeed the user must purposefully use a gun improperly in order to 'accidentally' shoot someone, which makes the event negligence, not accident. Negligence is a crime of the user.

Moreover, it is conclusively proven that liberalizing gun laws actually prevents more deaths than it causes (see Prof. John Lotts book _More Guns, Less Crime_) which results in the net reduction in all violent crimes by 8% on average, with an 80% reduction in multiple death crimes within 5 years of passage of liberalized gun carry laws.

Putting more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens who can carry them freely is equivalent to putting more police on the highways to reduce speeding and drunk driving.

Moreover, if all jurisdictions in the US had gun laws like the large cities do, there would be at least ten times as many gun deaths, because only criminals would own guns. Evidence of this? Look at South Africa and Taiwan. As has been reported recently, those two countries have higher murder rates than the US, even though their gun laws are far more restrictive (its a death penalty offense in Taiwan).

Additionally, we need to look at the number of people killed by guns, what demographic groups they belong to. There are far more criminals and far fewer innocent civilians killed. Who should care that criminals are killed? Why should they even be included? The stats also count suicides. Why should they be counted here in the US? Most other countries do not count suicides in their gun death crime rates.

Finally, according to the stats, if you disarmed 1,000,000 policemen and armed 1,000,000 law abiding civilians you would save five times as many lives.

Mike Lorrey