Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Dec 25 2001 - 09:17:36 MST

Geraint Rees wrote:
> On 12/24/01 4:24 PM, "Mike Lorrey" <> wrote:
> > However, it is a proven fact that for every 1% increase in the law
> > abiding population carrying concealed weapons, violent crime rates drop
> > by 2%.
> I'd be interested to read about this 'proven fact' - do you have a
> reference? Presumably your 'proven fact' only applies specifically to US
> society where it is legal to own a handgun (unlike the UK, where it is not -
> any more).

Actually, it should apply, since violent crime in the UK is higher than
the US. The only crime category where the UK is lower is murder, and the
UKs rate there is rising, while the US rate is falling as more and more
citizens carry concealed weapons here, and fewer carry there.

Dr. John Lott's seminal work: "More Guns, Less Crime" details the 1% to
2% phenomenon, which has been verified by independent experts.

Anti-gunners will typically only compare gun deaths in the UK vs. the
US, and they will typically add in US suicides as well. The proper
comparison is ALL violent crime deaths, as well as all violent crime,
since Brits prefer the use of knives and bats as deadly weapons, while
guns are preferred here.

However, this does not count other violent crimes like assault, rape,
mugging, etc... and the unadjusted raw data that the media reports has
eliminated all reference to the ethnic and racial origins of the
perpetrators and the victims. When you equalize for the fact that the US
is nearly 40% populated by minorities, while Britain is barely 12% (and
that most crime is caused by minorities), the US figures come out
significantly better than the UK.

Although another big problem with British violent crime numbers is how
they are reported. If a person kills three people in one night, the
British government counts that as one crime, while the US counts it as
three. Because of this, British crime data is seriously flawed with
respect to the counting methodology used by much of the rest of the

Furthermore, the British homicide rates were much lower BEFORE it
instituted gun controls.

> I am not an expert on the gun control debate; but I do know enough to know
> that there are far too many people on either side making dramatic claims
> about what has been 'proven'; often without much factual evidence. I suggest
> that we should stick to hard evidence and reference this discussion, or it
> will degenerate into meaningless political posturing.

If you doubt my references, or my word, you can do a little research
yourself to verify this, using the same statistical techniques. I've
looked at crime data published by the FBI, and formerly by the UK
(although the UK government no longer releases this raw data, because it
keeps proving the point of the pro-gun movement).

> > Furthermore, the 'innocent until proven guilty' standard cannot apply to
> > individuals immigrating. Those wishing to travel to our open society
> > from societies with much lower standards of trust must be held up to a
> > higher standard of behavior.
> Pretty shocking stuff. You're advocating an 'open society'; but one which at
> the same time, routinely practices discrimination on the basis of country of
> birth and where all are not equal under the eyes of the law. I believe this
> undermines virtually all the principles on which the United States was
> founded. You're saying that - after gaining permission to reside in the US -
> that some citizens are more equal than others; and more shocking than that,
> that some citizens should not be deemed innocent of crimes until proven
> guilty.

What I am saying is that there needs to be a filtration system put in
place between high trust and low trust societies. Failing to do so will
only result, as we have seen, in a social equivalent of the old 'bad
money pushes out good money' phenomenon. Allowing unrestricted access to
individuals from low trust societies only results in your high trust
society becoming diluted into a low trust society, at a rate relative to
the rate of immigration.

> I am new to the extropian list, but judging from some of the themes explored
> on the other threads, I believe that this would be a position that would be
> profoundly and totally rejected by most transhumanists.

Actually, there is a significant discussion going on about protecting
open and free high trust societies from the corrosive influence of low
trust societies, as well as formulating institutions which would help to
change low trust societies into high trust ones.

> > because, as we have seen, the worst such
> > societies do not generally cooperate with our immigration authorities in
> > determining who is trustworthy or not (especially in the case of
> > individuals who are members of state sponsored terrorist groups).
> Your argument has moved on. Previously you argued that individuals violated
> their immigration status; now you're suggesting that this deception of the
> INS is aided and abetted by foreign states. What evidence do you have to
> support this assertion?

We know that al Qaeda was based in the Sudan with the support of the
Sudanese government, and from there, they recruited and sent terrorists
to the US to bomb the WTC in 1993. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
You apparently have a very poor memory when it comes to terrorism.
Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad would not exist without the tacit support of
the Syrian and Iranian governments, and their headquarters are in
Damascus, openly and publicly.

Al Qaeda itself was the security arm of the Taliban government. What
rock have you been hiding under? Al Qaeda has, we now know, recieved
financial and material support from members of the Saudi Royal Family,
the government of Somalia, the government of Iraq.

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