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  • Banning guns has backfired

    Here's a recent article that I found interesting:

    Banning Guns Has Backfired
    by John R. Lott, Jr.

    Worried that even showing a starting pistol in a car ad might encourage gun crime in Britain, the British communications regulator has banned a Ford Motor Co. television spot because in it a woman is pictured holding such a "weapon." According to a report by Bloomberg News, the ad was said by regulators to "normalize" the use of guns and "must not be shown again."

    What's next? Toy guns? Actually, the British government this year has been debating whether to ban toy guns. As a middle course, some unspecified number of imitation guns will be banned, and it will be illegal to take imitation guns into public places.

    And in July a new debate erupted over whether those who own shotguns must now justify their continued ownership to the government before they will get a license.

    The irony is that after gun laws are passed and crime rises, no one asks whether the original laws actually accomplished their purpose. Instead, it is automatically assumed that the only "problem" with past laws was they didn't go far enough. But now what is there left to do? Perhaps the country can follow Australia's recent lead and ban ceremonial swords.

    Despite the attention that imitation weapons are getting, they account for a miniscule fraction of all violent crime (0.02%) and in recent years only about 6% of firearms offenses. But with crime so serious, Labor needs to be seen as doing something. The government recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 199899 to 200203.

    Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.

    The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey done, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35%, while declining 6% in the U.S.

    The high crime rates have so strained resources that 29% of the time in London it takes police longer than 12 minutes to arrive at the scene. No wonder police nearly always arrive on the crime scene after the crime has been committed.

    As understandable as the desire to "do something" is, Britain seems to have already banned most weapons that can help commit a crime. Yet, it is hard to see how the latest proposals will accomplish anything.

    Banning guns that fire blanks and some imitation guns. Even if guns that fire blanks are converted to fire bullets, they would be lucky to fire one or two bullets and most likely pose more danger to the shooter than the victim. Rather than replace the barrel and the breach, it probably makes more sense to simply build a new gun.

    Making it very difficult to get a license for a shotgun and banning those under 18 from using shotguns also adds little. Ignoring the fact that shotguns make excellent self-defense weapons, they are so rarely used in crime, that the Home Office's report doesn't even provide a breakdown of crimes committed with shotguns.

    Britain is not alone in its experience with banning guns. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar to rates similar to Britain's after its 1996 Port Arthur gun control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 74%.

    During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry guns. Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murder rates and other violent crimes.

    Many things affect crime; the rise of drug-gang violence in Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. Drug gangs also help explain one of the many reasons it is so difficult to stop the flow of guns into a country. Drug gangs can't simply call up the police when another gang encroaches on their turf, so they end up essentially setting up their own armies. And just as they can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

    Everyone wants to take guns away from criminals. The problem is that if the law-abiding citizens obey the law and the criminals don't, the rules create sitting ducks who cannot defend themselves. This is especially true for those who are physically weaker, women and the elderly.

    September 6, 2004

    John Lott [send him mail], a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of The Bias Against Guns(Regnery 2003).
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  • #2
    Re: Banning guns has backfired

    Again with the "Gun Stuff" Cing...we gotta get you a girlfriend :icon_eek:
    "On My Commad, Unleash Hell"
    "And Let Slip The Dogs Of War"

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    • #3
      Re: Banning guns has backfired

      Originally posted by RYN
      Again with the "Gun Stuff" Cing...we gotta get you a girlfriend :icon_eek:

      hey now dont start or you will get the

      "constitution"

      and the "liberety"

      Lectures on why its a good idea to allow america to arm themselves as well as iraqis were allowed to and then forget all about militias..... oops here comes a lecture i bet....lol


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      • #4
        Re: Banning guns has backfired

        Originally posted by RYN
        Again with the "Gun Stuff" Cing...we gotta get you a girlfriend :icon_eek:
        Nah... She'd just cut into my shootin' time.... :icon12:
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        • #5
          Re: Banning guns has backfired

          Originally posted by CingularDuality
          Nah... She'd just cut into my shootin' time.... :icon12:

          Lmao!! Not Bad.....not bad at all.
          "On My Commad, Unleash Hell"
          "And Let Slip The Dogs Of War"

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          • #6
            Re: Banning guns has backfired

            So many things wrong with that article.

            Worried that even showing a starting pistol in a car ad might encourage gun crime in Britain, the British communications regulator has banned a Ford Motor Co. television spot because in it a woman is pictured holding such a "weapon." According to a report by Bloomberg News, the ad was said by regulators to "normalize" the use of guns and "must not be shown again."
            I have seen that add. The gun used looks identical to a real gun and the audience is meant to believe at first that she is going to shoot her husband. In the end it turns out to be a starting pistol. Therefore, at the start of the add a real gun is shown for all intents and purposes.

            What's next? Toy guns? Actually, the British government this year has been debating whether to ban toy guns. As a middle course, some unspecified number of imitation guns will be banned, and it will be illegal to take imitation guns into public places. [...] Banning guns that fire blanks and some imitation guns. Even if guns that fire blanks are converted to fire bullets, they would be lucky to fire one or two bullets and most likely pose more danger to the shooter than the victim. Rather than replace the barrel and the breach, it probably makes more sense to simply build a new gun.
            Replica gun =! toy gun
            A toy gun is made of plastic and has a big red blob on the end. A replica gun is almost identical to a real one. It can be converted to fire without much trouble. It doesn't matter how many times it can fire. One bullet can kill. The threat of a real looking gun will allow you to rob a shop. This is what they were talking about banning.

            Labor
            You can't Americanise the proper noun "Labour."

            Here comes the worst bit:
            Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.
            According to which source? If the author is really up on British politics, he will have noted that in the last week of parliament before the summer break they were arguing about these very figures.

            Crime in the UK is recorded both by the police and by the British Crime Survey (BCS). The Police only count reported crime whereas the BCS interviews a sample of the population and asks them about their experiences of crime. The two disagree with each other. I belive the BCS shows only a very small rise in violent crime and a drop in overall crime since 1997
            The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey done, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate in the U.S.
            Who conducted this?

            The high crime rates have so strained resources that 29% of the time in London it takes police longer than 12 minutes to arrive at the scene. No wonder police nearly always arrive on the crime scene after the crime has been committed.
            Have you ever seen the traffic in London? It is one of the largest and most congested cities in the world. Has this figure improved or gotten worse? How could the police arrive at any other time than AFTER the crime has been committed? Did their spidey sense tingle and tell them a crime was about to take place?

            Britain is not alone in its experience with banning guns. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar to rates similar to Britain's after its 1996 Port Arthur gun control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 74%.

            During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry guns. Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murder rates and other violent crimes.
            Again according to who? I would be thrown off my course at Uni for this disregard for citing sources.

            Many things affect crime; the rise of drug-gang violence in Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. Drug gangs also help explain one of the many reasons it is so difficult to stop the flow of guns into a country. Drug gangs can't simply call up the police when another gang encroaches on their turf, so they end up essentially setting up their own armies. And just as they can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.
            At last, one sensible paragraph!

            Lastly, and most significantly, I am not contesting that gun crime in the UK has risen. To attribute this to the ban on hand guns simply because it happened at the same time is ridiculous and unscientific. Thousands of variables have changed since 1996 including the party in government.

            Cing, I know you could have written a better article yourself so I don't understand why you bothered to post it. What I would really be interested to see would be a summary of a government white paper (do you have these in the US?) on this issue.

            Why am I up writing this? A curse upon the sandbox!
            Wintermute

            Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.

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            • #7
              Re: Banning guns has backfired

              Originally posted by Wintermute
              Cing, I know you could have written a better article yourself so I don't understand why you bothered to post it. What I would really be interested to see would be a summary of a government white paper (do you have these in the US?) on this issue.
              I don't have the patience to do the type of research that John Lott specializes in... Data for his articles can be found at one of his websites:
              http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/B...yGunsWSJE.html
              http://www.johnlott.org/
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              • #8
                Re: Banning guns has backfired

                Statistics can be confusing and easily manipulated. Since I'm an ocean away can you explain this; if reported crimes are higher than those given in a survey wouldn't that suggest the survey is innacurate? It seems the reported crimes given by police would be more reliable, no? The Police report crimes as a whole not based on a sample of survey takers, right?

                Originally posted by Wintermute
                Crime in the UK is recorded both by the police and by the British Crime Survey (BCS). The Police only count reported crime whereas the BCS interviews a sample of the population and asks them about their experiences of crime. The two disagree with each other. I belive the BCS shows only a very small rise in violent crime and a drop in overall crime since 1997
                New to TG?

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                • #9
                  Re: Banning guns has backfired

                  Originally posted by CingularDuality
                  The irony is that after gun laws are passed and crime rises, no one asks whether the original laws actually accomplished their purpose. Instead, it is automatically assumed that the only "problem" with past laws was they didn't go far enough.
                  The funny thing I see with this debate is that I haven't seen a shred of evidence that this isn't indeed the problem. Not that I am totaly "sold" on gun laws, etc., but the argument is that the criminals still get said guns and the law abiding citizens can't. It could be argued that if the laws were better in some way, then the criminals wouldn't be able to aquire said banned guns. Not that I really have a suggestion to fix this or what to do to make these laws better, but this question remains unanswered.

                  Why am I up writing this? A curse upon the sandbox!
                  indeed. I couldn't stop myself, and now, I have posted this on the overhead projector at work, spawning a great debate. :D
                  --
                  CaveDog
                  "Go sell crazy somewhere else... we're all stocked up here."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Banning guns has backfired

                    Originally posted by Wintermute
                    I belive the BCS shows only a very small rise in violent crime and a drop in overall crime since 1997
                    So it's fair to say that the ban on handguns and these ads has done practically nothing?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Banning guns has backfired

                      Originally posted by CaveDog
                      The funny thing I see with this debate is that I haven't seen a shred of evidence that this isn't indeed the problem. Not that I am totaly "sold" on gun laws, etc., but the argument is that the criminals still get said guns and the law abiding citizens can't. It could be argued that if the laws were better in some way, then the criminals wouldn't be able to aquire said banned guns. Not that I really have a suggestion to fix this or what to do to make these laws better, but this question remains unanswered.
                      You could argue that, but before you start stripping away liberties there should be strong evidence that your proposed solution will work, and after its been in place for a while there should be demonstrable results for those liberties to remain stripped.

                      Tyrrany is a real thing. In the USA, the framers of the constitution wanted to ensure that they preserved liberty and constructed government in a fashion such that it wouldn't become tyrranical. You know all of this, but see how easy it is to tell yourself that you're so smart that you wouldn't take things too far? Not you!

                      Yes when one's intentions are good one may feel entitled and correct in taking all sorts of rights away from other people.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Banning guns has backfired

                        Originally posted by leejo
                        So it's fair to say that the ban on handguns and these ads has done practically nothing?

                        not at all, because the term violent crime is a large area to cover. violent crime covers things like glassing, stabbing, aggrevated assault, to equate a ban on hand guns with a slight rise in violent crime is ludicrous.

                        if tomorrow i made ford escort cars illeagle there would be a rise in owners of ford escort cars, because people already have them. these early figures are not an indication of a problem.

                        The problem with the Guns is not changed much yet, in the UK citizenes have never really had guns unless they are farmers with a shot gun. and only in the poorest of areas will you get a gun culture. the ban on hand guns i believe is a good idea here, as many of the guns crimes that do exist in london are drug related and usually between 2 drug families. and also mentioned in one of those reports FYI was the fact that operation trident had siezed many weapons and people under its new legeslation and that the actual use of guns in the capital had declined in the last quarter.


                        to combat the issue of replicas, when a 14 year old boy buys a replica for 20 he can walk around and knowone will know apart from on closer inspection that the guns is a fake. most importantly of all the police do not know. i have actually seen cctv footage of a boy brandishing the gun at a police officer and threatening to kill him. this led to an armed collegue to draw his weapon.

                        if the toy guns were illegle it may not stop the problem all together but it would take the guns out of the mainstream and not so readily available.


                        www.TeamElement.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Banning guns has backfired

                          Originally posted by DudeMan
                          not at all, because the term violent crime is a large area to cover. violent crime covers things like glassing, stabbing, aggrevated assault, to equate a ban on hand guns with a slight rise in violent crime is ludicrous.
                          OK, what the heck is "glassing"? And why wouldn't you attribute a rise in more brutal crimes to the fact that guns are less available? If you can no longer do drive by shootings, don't you think the thugs are going to do drive by knifings?

                          if tomorrow i made ford escort cars illeagle there would be a rise in owners of ford escort cars, because people already have them.
                          You completely lost me...

                          if the toy guns were illegle it may not stop the problem all together but it would take the guns out of the mainstream and not so readily available.
                          No, if toy guns were illegal, only criminals would have toy guns... You've already seen this in the UK with handguns. Banning guns doesn't affect criminals, it only takes them out of the hands of law abiding citizens.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Banning guns has backfired

                            Glassing is taking a pint glass or the like and shoving it in someones face. See Trainspotting for an example.

                            I think what DM is saying is that by making something outlawed, those that owned it before the outlawing automatically increase the numbers that are on the wrong side of the law.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Banning guns has backfired

                              preciselybenny, oh please how many drive by shootings do you hear of involving a semi automatic hand gun.

                              further more not enough people in this country had guns for the reason of protection, therefore criminals did not require hand guns or otherwise to commit crimes against the person.

                              crime circles did have hand guns however they were already illeagally owned,

                              and my point is cingular, is spouting violent crime has gone up since 1997 is irrelevent, violent crime has been rising for decades, what am i supposed to forget that violent crime was increasing all the way through the 1980's just to concentrate on a not so new pattern emerging just because guns were banned. no.

                              but the author has duped his readers into thinking that violent crime was controlled until 1997 when the gun ban made it sky rocket. thats pure crap.

                              oh and for the record violent crimes include domestic violence which in more cases than not is a result of alcoholism and poverty, but the figures still contain this. it is ludicrous to put those two in the same sentence.

                              oh and btw the weapon of choice over here for most violent crimes is still a knife.


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