Re Look out! long hair gun loon!

Wayne Hayes (
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 19:06:12 -0500

I just sent out an article quoting numbers of murders by handguns
in various countries. Just after sending it, I realized that it's
meaningless, because there can still be plenty of murders without
handguns. Perhaps the total murder rate, all weapons accounted
for, is similar in various countries.

Well, after a bit more web surfing, I came upon a chart showing
murder rate is the US broken down by weapon. The web page is
and the chart shows that between 1971 and 1995, the percentage
of murders that occur with firearms fluctates between about 80%
and 95%. So, my argument is complete: the per-capita murder rate
in the US is between 10 and 50 times higher than in other developed
nations, and the slack can almost entirely be taken up by firearms.

My conclusion: if a society has easy access firearms, they will be
used to cause many more murders than would occur without the easy

You can try drawing other conclusions, such as "the government will
find it much easier to impose unpopular violations of freedom", and
you may be right. And that may indeed be a good reason to allow
citizens to be armed. I DO NOT ARGUE THAT POINT.

However, if you think that there's no price, in the form of blood on
the streets and in homes, for allowing citizens to be armed, you are
misguided, for the facts are clearly against you. "The price of
freedom is eternal vigilance." Perhaps to that we should add, "and
some extra blood in the form of societal violence."