Debateball – US gun laws (open for comments)

Given that there doesn’t appear to be any more posts on the Debateball headline topic, I’m going to open this up to public commentary. If you want to make a comment about any of the posts, leave one below. But remember, THIS IS NOT A FLAME BOARD. Do be reasonable.


5 thoughts on “Debateball – US gun laws (open for comments)

  1. [In response to albert’s view on guns – a blanket ban]
    Let’s see if your comments still make sense if we substitute other common means of death, eh.

    To be frank, I think US car laws are stupid. I think that owing a carshould be illegal. I know that will offend all the rednecks and police officers and militia members and ex-military people reading. I know. But it’s my opinion. Here’s why. carkill people. Yes, I am oversimplifying things. But that’s still what I think. For one thing, cardon’t actually kill people. Blood loss and organ damage caused by a fast-moving carcaused by a person driving a carkills people.

    So if we substitute cars which actually are involved in more fatalities than firearms; does it make sense to ban the inanimate object?

    No, it doesn’t.

    In the USA, it is closer to a few hundred thousand. Of which more than half are from gunshots.

    Your argument would carry more weight if you had bothered to do some basic research on the issue and not completely exaggerate the numbers. In 2013 (last year with full numbers available) the number of homicides in America was 13,716. Approximately two thirds of those were accomplished with firearms. Now, do you really believe that people would not be murdered if there were fewer firearms?
    Especially given that over 75% of those homicides were related to gang or drug activities?

    Then you can have an amnesty on gun ownership, and people give up their guns. If you then give the population 5 years to give up their arms, we can eliminate most of the guns that hang around in society.

    Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat the mistakes again — the start of the American Revolution came because the government at the time tried to take away the colonists firearms. Do you really think that people will willingly give up their firearms again? Not likely.

    That leaves rednecks, criminals who feel they need guns and libertarians. Who are probably a minority.

    Well you are right about criminals being a minority but not the rest. Let’s do the math, there are approximately 300,000,000 firearms in the USA. No one knows for sure how many since most are not registered with the state or federal government. They are owned by an estimated 40% of the households (hardly a minority) — given there are about 110,000,000 households reporting (many people are reluctant to tell others they own firearms ) — let’s call it 40,000,000 for ease of math.

    I’ll round up the total number of homicides to 14,000 even though 1/3rd of them were not with firearms. — 14,000 divided by 40,000,000 times 100 to get a percentage =0.035%.
    One third of one percent of all gun owners were involved in a murder IF we assume each murder was done by a different gun owner. We know that isn’t true.
    Even if we go with all gun crime – around 400,000 per year according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics — that is still only 1% of all gun owners committing a crime.

    But still there are gun deaths in America.

    UH, Aren’t there still gun deaths in the U.K.? Despite centuries of gun control laws, decades of very restrictive gun control laws, fewer firearms to begin with and your country being an ISLAND?

    So — does the manner of death matter? Is there is special status to being stabbed to death versus being shot?

    and you don’t account for all the lives saved, rapes stopped, crimes prevented each year. Kleck and Gertz estimated in a survey that approximately 2.5 MILLION defensive gun uses occur each year. And that was Before more people started carrying firearms in public. See the truth is as more people own firearms, as more homes have firearms in them, as more people carry firearms in public — firearm related deaths, injuries and crimes have been going down.

    The difference is that 3G never killed anyone. As far as I know.

    So it is hard to believe that people haven’t used 3G to arrange a murder? That people haven’t used 3G to lure someone to a place to kill them?

    3G is an inanimate object, a device just like a firearm, right? So why defend one and not the other?

    As far as I know. All of that said, I’m not really sure on my view on tasers, pepper spray and other non-lethal weaponry. They don’t kill people,

    UH, again doing some basic research on the subject increases your authority on the subject.

    Since 2001, more than 500 people have died following Taser stuns according to Amnesty International, which said in February that stricter guidelines for Taser use were “imperative.” But in only a few dozen cases, medical examiners have ruled that the Taser contributed to the death. In some cases, other factors, such as drug use and prior medical conditions, also played roles.

    And as a person with Asthma, the chances of Pepper Spray killing me is very, very high. Here in American James Gardner was killed in New York City due to a ‘chokehold’ and positional asphyxia — no weapons at all. Deaths happen.

    Instead of focusing on the inanimate object; why not focus on removing the causes of crime and death? Doesn’t it make more sense to work on reducing poverty, increasing employment, decriminalizing most drugs (drug violence is a huge part of the problem here), improving education, strengthening the family (absentee fathers is another huge problem).

    We can work on reducing fatalities without trampling people’s rights.

    Bob S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blimey! We have a new award for longest comment.
      As I defend my position of anti-gun, I’ll do my best to tackle each point here individually.
      Guns kill people, cars kill people. Should be criminalise cars as well as guns?
      Well, I suppose you could make that point about anything – cars, guns, bricks, water, added fat… But the key point with that cars is that as well as potentially killing you, cars can get you places. Bricks can also build houses. Water stops you dying. Added fat…I’m not too sure about what fat is good for. But guns have a primary purpose of killing you. That’s what makes them unique.
      Get some statistics, man!
      Yes. You win on that one. I may have slightly misread the 2010 statistic of 16,000 as 160,000. I have now updated that, so it’s right. Although 68% of those were gun-related, as well as 51% of all suicides. I got that stat from the mindful digression post on this topic, if you want that source.
      People who want guns to stay aren’t a minority
      Yup, you got me. I couldn’t find a number for gun approval ratings in the US. And no, most gun users probably don’t commit crimes. Yes
      There are murders in the UK too
      Of course there are. I don’t claim the system to be perfect. It just has much fewer gun deaths.
      Firearms are good for defensive purposes
      Yes they are. But the question that I would ask is; how many fewer defensive situations would you have if neither party had a gun? In the UK, armed robberies make headline news, and police carrying guns are rare enough that people will occasionally take pictures of them. There simply isn’t the need to defend yourself against people as much, because the criminals are unarmed.
      Tasers and pepper spray also kill people
      They do indeed. So maybe we should ban them? I really don’t have an answer for you on that one.
      Decriminalise drugs to cut out drug-related murder!
      Look, the decriminalisation of drugs is a whole different debate (which may have it’s own Debateball in future). It might work.
      We should deal with the social issues that cause gun crime
      I couldn’t agree with you more. I just advocate dealing with guns as well.

      Anyway, thanks for the most comprehensive comment I’ve ever received. I think the whole prupose of the Debateball project is to create discussions like these. Thanks, and do stick around!


      • Albert,

        ut guns have a primary purpose of killing you. That’s what makes them unique.

        Now you go back to the anti-rights cultists position of talking about the gun instead of rights.
        Even if I stipulate that you are correct (intent is not transferable so you are wrong) — what does it say about the ‘purpose’ of firearms if less than 0.011% percent of them are every used for their ‘purpose’ each year?
        That includes suicides — and if you don’t think that suicides happen without firearms, check out the statistics from Japan.

        So either we ban something because an incredible minority of them are used illegally — and that should include things like knives, cars, drugs — or we accept that it isn’t the object but the people that are the problem?

        I’m leaning toward the problem being people.

        Of course there are. I don’t claim the system to be perfect. It just has much fewer gun deaths.
        So you are willing for people to be killed with hands/feet, knives, bats if it lowers the number of ‘gun deaths’?

        Again why is the mechanism important? Let’s focus on the causes — improve the mental health system in America, stop the inane War on (Some) Drugs – Alcohol Prohibition created an opportunity for organized crime and fueled huge amounts of violent crime.

        But the question that I would ask is; how many fewer defensive situations would you have if neither party had a gun?

        Well, I’m glad you asked — apparently the United Kingdom has an answer for that — MORE.
        The U.K. is more violent (but less homicidal) than the United States.
        For England and Wales, we added together three crime categories: “violence against the person, with injury,” “most serious sexual crime,” and “robbery.” This produced a rate of 775 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

        For the United States, we used the FBI’s four standard categories for violent crime that Bier cited. We came up with a rate of 383 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

        So I’m not willing to trade off more rapes, more robberies, more muggings, assaults, etc for fewer ‘gun deaths’.

        And even the fact that the U.K. is less homicidal than the USA is debatable.

        Finally, as an aside, one has to be very careful in making comparisons across countries because numbers are not always comparable. For example, homicides in England and Wales are not counted the same as in other countries. Their homicide numbers typically “exclude any cases which do not result in conviction, or where the person is not prosecuted on grounds of self defence or otherwise” (Report to Parliament). A more detailed discussion of the difference between “offenses initially recorded as homicide” and “offenses currently recorded as homicide” in England and Wales based on the outcomes of trials is available starting on page 9 here. While this adjustment reduces overall homicides by about 15 percent, it has a larger impact on firearm homicides because those tend to be the ones most likely to involve gang fights that are much more difficult to solve. The problem isn’t just that it reduces the recorded homicide rate in England and Wales, but there would be a sizable reduction in the reported US homicide rate if this approach were used here. For example, from 2000 to 2008 only about 62 percent of US homicides are even cleared by arrest. The numbers in the UK appear to be only adjusted based on cases where charges are brought. In that case, it is useful to note that in the US only about half of those arrested are eventually convicted (also here).

        In America, we count it as a homicide when the crime occurs – not when someone is convicted. Comparing apples to apples, the homicide rates would be still be less for the UK but considerably higher than the reported figures.

        There simply isn’t the need to defend yourself against people as much, because the criminals are unarmed.

        Okay, let’s back up and address this – BUNK. You are telling me you don’t need to defend yourself against the criminals because they aren’t armed? So your wife, daughter, mother, sister, aunts shouldn’t fight off a rapist — because the rapist isn’t armed?
        Or that you should give up your household goods because some yob wants them but doesn’t carry a firearm ?

        BUNK. Stop criminals don’t enable them.

        Look, the decriminalisation of drugs is a whole different debate (which may have it’s own Debateball in future). It might work.

        No, it isn’t. If there was no link between drugs and violence I would agree. But that isn’t the case. The FBI estimates that 50% of all homicides and 85% of all violent crime is drug/gang related. And most gangs are selling drugs, the members rob to get drugs, etc. So addressing the cause of the violence is a huge part of the issue. We can do that without banning firearms.

        I just advocate dealing with guns as well.

        Given the fact you have no positive experiences; do you really have a basis for pushing this?

        I’m the Membership Secretary for a small private gun club – only about 2,600 members. We have not had a fatality on our range during our entire existence — 60 years now. We are open for shooting nearly 365 days a year. We are one of millions of clubs in the country.

        Millions of people shoot each week — recreational, sporting events, etc. For example, two years ago, I had my 50th B-day at the range. We had 49 people out on the range shooting, talking, dining and enjoying each other’s company. I taught my grand-daughter how to shoot for the first time. I taught several other people to do so also……we were out there for the entire day. The worst injury? Some one cut a finger dicing tomatoes in the kitchen.

        Hunters donate thousands of pounds of game animals to homeless shelters each year. Millions of dollars are generated from firearm and firearm related sales that are used for conservation.

        Why should people have to give up a sport, a hobby, a way of life because of the criminal actions of others?

        Bob S.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Firstly, I would really encourage you to take part in the main Debateball event – link below. I reiterate that I have absolutely no authority on guns – I’m a British aerospace student who dabbles in programming, history and culture – I have never held a working gun in my life. It would be really great to get the opinion of someone with authority on the subject,


        • Secondly, I want to stop this back-and-forth. If we go on with just knocking each others arguments, this could get nasty very quickly. I’m going to stop it, I would appreciate it if you would too.
          Now, I’m going to cut past all the semantics here and get to the core issue. There is a big problem in the world – poverty. People are poor, and so are more likely to get involved in gangs, drugs and other generally bad things. They will then frequently get in fights about drugs.gangs/what ever This happens everywhere in the world, and is a basic byproduct of inequality. But in America, there are guns freely available. So people fight with guns rather than knives, and shoot each other. We both see this problem. The difference between us is the solution that seems obvious.
          I see people have guns so take away the guns and stop the killings. You see people are living in poverty, which is the root of all of the problems so if we eradicate the problems further upstream we can cut out the killings.
          I agree completely that we need to change society. I just see that from a practical standpoint, that would take decades. Look at the campaign to change to status of women in the UK – the first campaigners started in the 1860s, and we still haven’t achieved full equality.
          So the quick fix that seems fairly obvious is to take the guns out of the equation. I know that it isn’t a permanent fix, and that it would create problems in other parts of society. Not to mention getting rid of a valid hobby for a lot of people. But the basic fact is that over 30 years, taking guns away would save hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives.
          I know that you probably disagree with most of these points, but it’s still my opinion.


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