GUNS: Re: Government's war against it citizens

Mark Grant (
Sun, 24 Aug 1997 21:28:03 +0000

On Sun, 24 Aug 1997, Arjen Kamphuis wrote:

[ Since I suspect most people on the list have heard this a zillion times
before, you might want to reply privately.]

> If everybody can (and does) own guns, policing becomes dangerous as hell,
> cops want bigger guns and more of them, and they will use them more often.

"Police only have an easy job in a police state" - someone or other.

As for 'bigger guns and more of them', how come cops in many European
countries carry submachineguns, yet most US cops only carry pistols? Does
this mean that those European countries have more guns than the US?

> In Holland NOBODY get's to own a gun unless there are special circumstances.
> our murder-rate is about 15 (fifteen!!) times as low as the US (per capita).

The majority of murders in the US occur in a few large cities. Outside
those cities there are many towns or entire states where the murder rate
is no higher than normal for Europe. Those are also the states with the
most relaxed gun laws; at the other end of the scale, Washington DC is
normally the most dangerous US city, yet it has the toughest anti-gun laws
in the country. Isn't that odd?

Back in the 'bad old days' of the Wild West when just about anyone could
walk into a gun shop and buy a gun with no questions asked, the US murder
rate was comparable to that in England today (about 1 per 100,000). Why has
the US murder rate gone up as more and more gun control laws have been
passed? Can you say 'prohibition'?

Holland has very liberal drug laws. The US has the infamous 'War on
Drugs'. Most murders in the US are literally casualties in that 'War'; and
note that in the last two weeks in England three people were shot dead in
the street in battles between drug-smuggling gangs and two more shot in
battles between beer-smuggling gangs (in fact five more people were shot
today, though noone knows the motive yet). How could that be with Britain's
incredibly tough anti-gun laws?

> Now, there could also be other reasons for this but IM(very)HO the private
> ownership of (hundreds?)of millions of handguns, shotguns and such has
> something to do with it.

Oddly, criminologists disagree with your simplistic viewpoint. But here
are a few obvious examples:

In Switzerland most men are required to keep a fully-automatic assault
rifle at home as part of their militia duties. Yet Swiss murder rates are
far lower than the US average.

In Israel people wander around the streets or even drink in bars with an
M-16 or Uzi slung over their shoulder or a holstered pistol on their belt
(which would be a heinous crime in most of the US). Yet the murder rate in
Israel is lower than the US average.

Here are two countries where the people don't just possess wimpy handguns
and shotguns but fully-automatic military weapons. Yet they just don't
shoot each other. Why?

In Jamaica and Mexico, gun ownership has been banned for years, yet the
murder rate is several times as high as the US. How come?

> I onze read somewhere that between 1965 and 1975
> more than 500.000 US citizens where shot in the US (10 for every American
> killed in 'nam).

That figure is definitely high for deaths, unless it includes suicides and
killings in self-defence (even then it seems high). Even so, so what? You'd
prefer they had their brains bashed out of their skull with a blunt

And before you come back with some nonsense about how people wouldn't
commit suicide without guns, note that the US suicide rate is rather lower
than in Holland. And if Holland is such a paradise, why do Dutch people
kill themselves so often?

> For their sake, please consider a society without (to much) guns and a
> governement that you at least trust a little bit.

A government which doesn't trust me to own a gun is not a government
which deserves my trust.

And as a left-winger you might like to research the real reasons behind
past gun control laws; they weren't instigated in Britain because they
were expected to have any effect on crime, but as a means of keeping guns
out of the hands of socialists and communists, and thirty years ago the
American left would have been bemoaning the Californian gun-control laws
passed to disarm the Black Panthers. How soon we forget.


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