Thursday, October 2, 2008

L.A. Times Scorecard of Violence

This is a challenge. I would suggest that the most passionate pro-gun advocate, if he were to make a sincere attempt at reading this report with an open mind, would have to ask himself a question:

Is the proliferation and availability of guns in America part of the problem?

I say yes. I say yes, after reading countless comments to the contrary, always with the open mind on my part. I understand the "gun is just like any tool" argument, and partially agree. I understand that free citizens are responsible for protecting that freedom in the event that the federal government oversteps its bounds, and I agree. I understand that responsible gun owners should not be penalized because of the criminal sub-culture, and agree wholeheartedly. I've heard all the snide remarks about gun control people simply suffering from a fear of guns, and reject that with a simple qualification. Some may be operating out of a type of fear, some even from a phobia, but many are sincerely trying to find a solution to a complicated and dangerous situation. I could easily turn it around and ask if the gun folks are not the ones suffering from fear. Yet, when reading the chronicle of what's happened in Los Angeles over these last weeks, I can understand that fear, or concern, if you prefer.

I say that although many of these crimes were committed by criminals who might have used other means to commit their respective crimes had no gun been available; in some cases the lethality of the gun which was readily available made the difference.

My questions are these: where did all those guns come from? What percentage came from the huge pool of legal weapons now in circulation? Were some of the guns used in LA this month legally owned? Is there a connection between the philosophy which preaches "meet potential violence with greater violence" contributing to the problem?

What's your opinion? Are you not moved by shock and horror to read what's happened in Los Angeles recently? Tell us in a comment.


  1. Again, Mike, I challenge you to make a more nuts-and-bolts post on what you think should be done. You seem to be stuck in this purely academic logic loop of "Something should be done!!! What will YOU do??" Then when we say "Punish Criminals, allow the lawful tools of protection, and take steps to eliminate the Gang and Drug culture that creates the violence." Then you again say: "Something should be done!!! What will YOU do??"

    You're smarter than that, Mike, so I'd like to hear what you think should be done.

    Also I'd like you to take note what laws restricting access to firearms are in place for the denizens of LA County.

    If you can't quickly see that the guns are a red herring issue, you're living behind mental walls you built for yourself.

    Seriously, make your next post a "What Mike B Would Do!" Post. Be Proactive, and we'll tell you what we think, and why we think it.

  2. in some cases the lethality of the gun which was readily available made the difference.

    readily available? guns, in Los Angeles city and county? certainly not to the law-abiding. Mike, you've got no idea what gun laws and restrictions are already in place in this country if you think that. the only place in the USA where guns are likely to be more strictly restricted would be New Jersey, which is reputed to have its own crime problems.

  3. Mike,

    If Number of guns equals greater opportunity for crime and actual crime, wouldn't you agree that would be reflected in the number of murders committed with firearms?

    So, does the evidence follow that thought? Nope

    Top Countries with civilian firearms on a Per Capita basis

    #1 USA 90 per 100
    #2 Yemen 61 per 100
    #3 Finland 56 per 100
    #4 Switzerland 46 per 100
    #5 Iraq 39 per 100
    #6 Serbia 38 per 100

    Top Countries with murders committed with firearms (per capita basis
    #1 South Africa
    #2 Columbia
    #4 Guatemala
    #5 Paraquay
    #6 Zimbabwe
    #7 Mexico
    #8 USA

    If what you believe is true, then why don't Yemen, Finland, Switzerland, Iraq & Serbia lead the murder rate?
    If what you believe is true, why isn't the USA at the top instead of #8?

  4. Weer'd, I'm still asking questions which need to be answerer before we can discuss what's to be done. These are two of 'em:

    "My questions are these: where did all those guns come from? What percentage came from the huge pool of legal weapons now in circulation?"

  5. Mike,

    Sorry to put some statistics in, but I can't do this without it.

    In 2006 there were 388,897 firearm crimes in America. In 2006, the
    estimated number firearms in America
    was 238,000,000. Actually between 238 & 276 Million but let's go with the lower number

    388,897 firearm crimes (let's count each crime as a separate firearm) divided by 238,000,000 firearms times 100 (express as percentage = 0.1634% of all firearms were used in crimes.

    Less then 0.2% of all firearms in were used in a single year in crimes.

    Tell me anything we can do to stop that small of a percentage of firearms from ending up in the wrong hands?

  6. Can we get a post from you now, Mike?

    Also I'll note that here in Boston they talk a lot about "Comunity Guns" Where Gangs will stash a gun and ammo in a public place, and members of that gang can "Borrow" the gun to commit a crime and return it when they're done for the next guy.

    This can mean that a single gun can commit dozens of crimes in the hands of dozens of criminals. And of course this doesn't count profesonal robbers and gang soldiers who commit multiple crimes over the course of their "career".

    So Bob's 0.2% is likely a HIGH estimate.

    So what would you do to reduce that number?

    Again, get tough on crime, and take the legs out of lucrative criminal enterprizes like Drugs and Prostitution. This will not only stunt GUN violence, but stabings, beatings and other violent crime that still vastly outnumber crime spesifically with a gun.

    Let's see the Post Mike, what would you do?

  7. Twice as many people were killed by gunfire of a primarily handgun nature in Chicago this summer, in a town that DOESN'T ALLOW PRIVATE HANDGUN POSSESSION AND MAKES LONG ARM POSESSION MOSTLY ILLEGAL THAN US SOLDIERS WERE KILLED BY ALL MEANS IN COMBAT IN IRAQ OVER THE EXAT SAME TIME PERIOD. Showing gun control to be stupid.

    Victim disarmament zones. After you solve the flow of marijuana and cocaine into this country, I'd like to see you stop the flow of guns. Teache a dog to sniff for a gun instead of a machine tool in a shipping crate while you are at it.

  8. If you want to read something useful about gun control try this. Best friend and great neighbor for many years. He's sorely missed and he taught proper "gun control".

    Moved to be my neighbor because of STUPID CALIFORNIA LAWS, by the way...

  9. 3 whole posts on other things.

    Mike, are you running from my challenge?

  10. Mike,

    Since you haven't answered, I've decided to help you out and up the odds a little bit.

    I've thought about it; 0.2% is too low to handle. There are approximately 65 million handguns in America, probably more. Since we don't know how many are imported illegally - those drug trade routes can bring more than drugs, right?

    Again, let's go with 65 million handguns. 388,897 firearm crimes divided by 65,000,000 times 100 = 0.598% of all Handguns. Less then 6 tenths of a percent of all handguns are used in crimes.

    Let's even increase the odds for you; let's say each owner has an average of 3 firearms. Hmm, 388,897 divided by 21,666,667 (65million/3)times 100 = 1.795%

    Okay, now we are getting some place. 1.8% of all firearm owners used their firearms in crimes in 2006. Never mind, as Weer'd mentioned, "community guns" and professional criminals, those would reduce the number.

    Okay, Are those numbers accurate? Probably not, probably very high. If we assume each crime is committed by a separate person, then the percentage of people involved in firearm crimes is around 0.129%. Research will also tell you that most of the firearm violence is associated with the drug trade.

    So, is taking guns away and keeping them away from 99.871% of the population worth it?

    Is getting rid of the vast number of handguns, only 1.795% of which are ever used in crimes worth it?

  11. You know, you guys are so defensive, it's funny. I'm going to answer Weer'd's challenge by getting more specific, and it won't have anything to do with gun control or legislation. I've said repeatedly, I don't trust the government any more than Thomas does, why do you all keep talking like I'm a gun control proponent?

  12. "why do you all keep talking like I'm a gun control proponent?"

    Maybe because we own guns, and you keep pointing fingers and saying things like "Too many guns!"

    Bob points out that nearly all the guns here are legally held and causing no problems.

    If you say "Too many guns" how can I NOT think that you're talking about our guns?

    Also you seem afraid to take any nuts and bolts stance on this issue, one side or another, but you definitely don't like guns.

    And you call US defensive ; ]

  13. Mike,

    I believe that I answered your question, don't you?

    Is the proliferation and availability of guns in America part of the problem?

    The answer has to be without a doubt, NO. Consider all the information I've presented (and you've pretty much ignored)

    Finland, Switzerland, & USA has the highest level of firearm ownership, but not the highest firearm murder rates.
    England with centuries of gun control and decades of gun bans has a higher total crime rate.
    I've posted information about the fact that most murders in America are related to the illegal drug trade. I've shown in this post the vast, overwhelmingly vast number of firearms are not the problem, it's the people who use a few.

    This isn't the first time, Weer'd, Thomas, and I have shown this information but it seems you keep coming back to the same premise; too many guns.

    Honestly Mike, we haven't been that defensive here. We do consider you to be advocating gun control when you continue to make statements about how fewer guns would mean fewer "gun crimes".

    Here is an idea. You recently posted about the con man that defrauded the seniors. I believe there are too many frauds going on, do you agree?

    In order to prevent frauds from happening, let's ban free speech. (Another enumerated, constitutionally protected right). I realize that most people don't commit crimes every time they talk but we have to do something to address this horrendous issue.
    We'll enact laws that require everyone to go to the police stations, submit to a background check, give fingerprints and voice prints,be photographed. Once submitted,they will have their mouths sealed (they can have an IV for nourishment). Once cleared they can have a permit to speak. If you agree to do this, I'll agree to your gun control laws.

  14. Oddly enough, Mikeb, I've never in my life been called defensive. Offensive quite often, defensive, well, you are a first. =]