Here's the part I found most interesting.
Now, where have I heard that argument before, the one about "focusing on crime itself rather than the tools criminals may use." Oh, yeah, right here on the blog about a hundred times. The difference is no one who's suggested this before accompanied it with a contrary statistic like this guy did about Hong Kong. Usually, the way I've heard it is, it's not the guns, period. Now, we've got something else to work with.
I used to be in favor of gun control. I lived in Hong Kong for a while. The only way an ordinary citizen could have a lawful gun was to keep it at a target-shooting club. In Hong Kong the weapon of choice of petty criminals was a knife, and the homicide rate was about one-quarter the U.S. rate. I came back to Seattle in 1993, when the U.S. crime rate was at about a 60-year high. There was a drive-by shooting at Ballard High School, and a student killed (not even the one the shooter intended). And I thought: this is ridiculous. We should get rid of guns.
And if I were designing a society from scratch--a society on Mars, maybe.--I would do that. But we don't start with a blank slate. A right to own small arms is deep in our culture, and is protected in the U.S. Constitution and even stronger in the 1889 Washington Constitution. I revere those documents for all the rights they protect, and I don't want to cut any more holes in them. We have to live with gun rights, and I think we can by focusing on crime itself rather than the tools criminals may use.
According to the Hong Kong statistics, it is the guns. So, how about if the pro-gun crowd get over their ridiculous paranoia about gun confiscation and their equally ridiculous claim that civilian gun ownership is what's keeping tyranny at bay, and start cooperating on common sense and reasonable gun control laws that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals? How about it?
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