Saturday, August 8, 2009

Eric Thompson, Gun Dealer Extraordinaire

The Brady Campaign reports on the disturbing news that the same gun dealer who sold guns to Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, also did business with Sodini, the PA gym killer.

Eric Thompson, the arms dealer from Green Bay, Wisconsin, said publicly after helping arm the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois university shooters that since homicidal maniacs were buying guns and accessories from him, law-abiding citizens should buy guns from him, too, to protect themselves from the killers he was arming.

Now, he has done it again. The tortured misogynist who killed three and wounded nine in a Pittsburgh area gym this week was another customer of TGSCOM, the online arms warehouse that Thompson operates, buying a magloader and a high-capacity magazine from the dealer last year.

Once again, Thompson is telling journalists how upset he is, and how the incident proves that potential victims should arm themselves, to protect themselves from killers. The victims the Pennsylvania killer shot were participating in an aerobics class.

I remember seeing Thompson on a video interview after Virginal Tech. To me he seemed to personify the pro-gun mentality which says "Hey, it's not my fault," while shrugging the shoulders. I hear a lot of that around here whenever we talk about responsibility.

Mr. Thompson has promised to start a web site to discuss the issues of gun control and gun violence, a forum where both sides of the debate can meet.

“I hope and pray I will never again be in a position where I am asked questions about selling items used in a crime,” said Thompson. “The next news story I want to be involved in is how I sold a firearm to someone who helped prevent tragedy - not cause it.”

Now that's curious. Why do you think he didn't offer examples of DGUs which he could claim partial credit for? Obviously, because he doesn't know of any. It's very hard to reconcile that with the continual claims of how many lives are saved by gun use.

This has been an ongoing discussion. Do the incidents of DGU so greatly outnumber the incidents of gun violence that all we need to do is arm more of the good guys? That is the suggestion from some. I say it's wrong for several reasons, all of which which I've elaborated at length. But an old, very unscientific proof has been coming up again.

Some time ago I subscribed to a Google Alert under the title "shooting." So rare are the DGUs, that I think I need to amend my original estimate which was 100 to 1. It's really more like 200 to 1. Is this a conspiracy by Google to further their anti-gun agenda? Or could it be that the defensive gun proposition is not all it's cracked up to be?

What's your opinion?

Confederate Revenge

The Post and Courier out of Charleston SC reports on the latest.

South Carolina is one of America's weakest gun-law states fueling the "iron pipeline" of weapons elsewhere, the anti-gun violence Brady Center said Wednesday.

Using federal data on the origins of guns recovered nationally in 2008, the Brady group said dealers in states with so-called "weak" gun laws supplied out-of-state guns at more than five times the rate that dealers in the states with "stronger" gun laws did.

The results indicate South Carolina is not shedding its reputation as a gun-buyers' haven, Brady Center senior attorney Daniel Vice said.

"Unfortunately," he said, "in South Carolina it is very easy for dangerous criminals to get deadly weapons."

Well, at least they're not saying it accounts for 90% of the guns traced. That should help everybody stay on topic, the topic being that too many guns found in cities like Chicago and New York are coming from places like South Carolina. The discussion of gun flow from the U.S. into Mexico became so bogged down over the question of percentage, that many people seemed to forget what the point was. In this case the point is clear. States like South Carolina have too easy access to guns and that's a problem for places where the people want to do something about the problem.

The Brady Center's analysis came from ranking the 50 states based on what it said was their overall and per capita contribution to interstate gun-trafficking. The formula covered the per capita rate of crime gun exports and guns taken across state lines and recovered in a crime.

The South led in the analysis, with Mississippi reporting the highest rate of recovered crime gun exports. Next in line were West Virginia, Alabama, Virginia and South Carolina.

What's your opinion? Do you think like I do that this refutes that oft-repeated refrain from the pro-gun crowd that crime in Newark and Camden and Chicago proves their gun laws don't work? Doesn't it make sense that if the same strict gun laws were applied everywhere, we'd see an improvement?

Please let us know what you think?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Keith Olbermann on Blackwater

Your Typical DGU out of Houston Texas reports on an incident of defensive gun use.

A young robbery suspect was dead and two others in custody after a run-in with an armed snack vendor.

The vendor told police the suspects walked up and demanded that he hand over some of his products.

“When he advised that it was not their policy to provide product outside of the actual store, they became irate and demanded that he basically give them something, at which time one individual began to assault (the vendor), striking him in his nose,” HPD Homicide’s Brian Evans said.

Evans said a second suspect then started punching the vendor, so the vendor grabbed his gun and opened fire.

“The individual is a concealed handgun license carrier and was armed at the time. He retrieved a weapon and subsequently shot and killed an individual here on the scene,” Evans said.

I suppose being punched and struck on the nose could be considered a lethal threat. The response was certainly lethal. What's your opinion? I get the feeling that down in The Lone Star State this kind of thing is condoned. And, it's not only in Texas, is it?

I'd say, from the scant details, the vendor acted with excessive force. Of course, if the incident was under video surveillance and the hitting and punching had a particularly vicious and escalating nature to it, he very well might have been justified. But, I doubt it.

This case illustrates perhaps the biggest problem with those incredible claims of how many DGUs there are. Many are listed as legitimate which are not justified at all. And, it's not a simple case of removing them from the one list; they must be added to the other. Picture it like a bar graph, one column is "incidents of gun violence" and the other is "DGUs".

On the first column, "gun violence," there's very little chance that any of them belong on the "DGU" list. On the other hand, many supposed DGUs really should be on the other list, so for every one that reduces the height of the "DGU" bar, it automatically increases the height of the "incidents of gun violence" bar.

Please leave a comment.

Houston Texas, a Violent City

The Houston Chronicle reports on the grim situation down in the Bayou City.

Houston has a higher rate of violent crime than any other Texas city and ranks among the highest in the nation, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of FBI crime data in the 25 most populous U.S. cities.

The city also has fewer police officers per capita or per square mile than the national average, the analysis shows.

The prediction is obvious.

“There's no doubt that there's going to be a spike in crime as a result of this,” said Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union. “We have to learn to work smarter and try to use technology a little bit more, but some hard decisions may have to be made and some other city budgets may have to be looked at. Tough times cause people to have to make tough decisions.”

I remember reading somewhere that in situations like this the police actually encourage private citizens to apply for concealed carry permits in order to help out. What do you think? Is that the solution for Houston?

But, don't the good folks in Texas already have a lot of guns? Aren't they right smack in the middle of the Bible Belt, where guns and Christianity mix? Then why all this violence? What seems to be wrong?

What's your opinion? Would increasing even more the number of guns and CCW holders make things safer? I think that would continue to add fuel to the fire of never-ending violence.

By the way, if one person is a gun owner and staunch believer in the 2nd Amendment and has a certain opinion on this, and another person does not own a gun and believes in gun control and has the opposite opinion, which one do you think is more likely to be biased?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ex-Gay Therapy

I saw this on the wonderful blog of Southern Beale.

What's your opinion? It sounded to me like the guy who conducted the ex-gay therapy on Patrick had his own issues. Either he was suppressing his own sexual orientation in a sort-of denial, or he was lying to everybody and doing the whole thing for the thrill of dealing with young gay boys. But, whatever his story is, I believe there are any number of programs run by straight men who are conservative Fundamental Christians and sincerely believe they're saving souls from hell. What do you think about them?

My youngest child is a 5-year-old boy. I honestly believe if he started to show signs of being gay, I wouldn't say word one to try to discourage him. I think the worst thing for gay kids is parental and societal disapproval. My boy would have none of that from me. How do you feel about that?

Please leave a comment.

Erik Prince and Blackwater

Our friend at PhuckPolitics tipped me off to this fascinating story in The Nation about Blackwater.

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

Those are two brave guys to come out with this. One of them even has his picture all over the internet. Why do you think they did it? Did they have a change of heart about their chosen business? Did they decide to cooperate with the government before it's too late, abandoning a sinking ship, as it were? Susan Burke, a private attorney working in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate civil cases filed in the Washington, DC, area.

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting "illegal" or "unlawful" weapons into the country on Prince's private planes.

Now, what could that mean? If he were bringing the illegal weapons in for his own men, there wouldn't be any profit in it. So, I wonder who was buying the stuff? What do you think?

To me, the murders, the small-scale genocide that Blackwater supposedly conducted in Iraq, these weapons charges, even the Christian Supremacy nonsense are all to be expected. These guys are hired guns, after all, who happen to be led by a Christian Fundamentalist. What bothers me is what PhuckPolitics picked up on.

The best part of the story, the part that get’s me harder than Bob Dole watching an episode of True Blood and snorting a pile of crushed Viagra off a random stripper’s tit, is how our government gave Blackwater billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to fight on our behalf in two wars that has cost us over three trillion dollars.

Of course you won’t hear anything about that in the news because they’re too busy bitching about the government trying to take over health care, the government running out of money for the successful “Cash for Clunkers” program, Obama being a secret Kenyan, Obama being a racist, and Obama hating America because he drinks Bud Light.

What do you think about the Bush decision to utilize the services of a company like this? Is the military not enough? Are they ill-equipped for war compared to these hardened mercenaries? Was that the idea?

Is Obama failing to deliver on one of his major promises with regards to Iraq? And is part of that failure the decision to continue doing business with Blackwater.

What' s your opinion?

Nightmare at the Gym - Update

The Gun Guys provided the updated details which were not available when I made the original post. They also provide their opinion, which will surprise no one.

The Daily News reported on early morning Aug. 5th that George Sodini, 48 used two handguns that he legally purchased and fired about 50 rounds in a matter of minutes in an all-female dance class at a LA Fitness gym. Sodini killed three women, including his estranged girlfriend, and wounded ten other women before killing himself.

The gun lobby perpetuates the myth that "law-abiding" gun owners don't commit crimes -- until they massacre innocent people in a shooting rampage.

That's what I wanted to know, his name and why he did it. I guess you could say guns were bad news for his girlfriend. The same rules that apply to violence in general apply in a special way to domestic violence. These sick inadequate men who can't avoid abusing their partners are bad enough, but when they have easy access to guns, it's much worse.

What's your opinion? Are the Gun Guys on to something about the "myth" perpetuated by the gun lobby? Do you think George Sodini makes a good representative of the famous 10%? I certainly do.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cops and Robbers

Nightmare at the Gym

Yahoo News reports on the nightmare shooting at a fitness club near Pittsburgh which left 5 dead.

An armed man strolled to the back of an exercise class at a health club in suburban Pittsburgh on Tuesday night and then pulled out two guns and started spraying bullets, leaving five people dead, including himself, and injuring at least 10 others, police and a hospital said.

"He did not say anything," Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said. "He walked right into the room where the shootings occurred as if he knew exactly where he was going."

The shooting was at the L.A. Fitness Center in Bridgeville, a community of about 5,000 residents not far from downtown Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh International Airport.

I suppose this is a good story to point out to AztecRed in response to his comment to me the other day. Pennsylvania has been the home to many a tragic shooting. This one illustrates the absolute absurdity of the pro-gun position of arming the good guys in response to possible violence. Can you picture the aerobics teacher leading a class wearing a gun? Can you picture armed citizens, members of the club, encouraged to wear their guns while working out. The swimming pool would be a problem, I imagine.

No, I'm afraid these situations would be absurd. The only way I can see to improve things is through stricter and better enforced gun control laws. I realize this would inconvenience legitimate gun owners, but it would also prevent some of the nuts like this Pennsylvania shooter from getting their hands on guns.

What's your opinion? Don't you think it's a worthwhile goal to make it more difficult for people like this go get guns? Aren't all these high profile shootings too high a price to pay for the pro-gun idea of freedom? I say yes.

Can we talk about responsibility for a minute? The gun manufacturers, who make huge profits from selling guns in America knowing full well that many of them end up in the wrong hands, share in the blame for this. That's my opinion. I know what the courts decided in the Glock case, nevertheless, this is what I think. It's not unlike the tobacco industry, after decades of litigation, finally being held responsible for the damage their product causes. They knew it was doing harm but chose to focus on the smokers who enjoyed smoking without getting cancer. Glock knows that their product does harm but chooses to focus on the legitimate use of their guns.

Anti-gun control people share in the blame too. If it weren't for them, their organizations, their lobbyists, their influence, America would be a safer place today. That's my opinion. I never said any particular gun owner is "responsible for murder," like I've been accused of. What I do say is legitimate gun owners who actively oppose gun control share in the responsibility for the mess.

Please feel free to leave a comment. If you're not sure what's acceptable, please consult the New Commenting Policy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Long Island Woman Arrested for Trespassing

Thanks to Microdot via Crooks and Liars.

A woman who police said had an XM-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and 500 rounds of ammunition in her car was arrested and charged with trespassing after officials at the Air National Guard Base at Gabreski Airport called the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office to report that she was taking photographs on base property in Westhampton Thursday night.

Nancy Genovese, 49, of Lakewood Avenue in Quogue was charged with criminal trespass in the third degree, arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court on Friday and is being held at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead on $50,000 bail.

As it turns out she's a big Glenn Beck fan, or maybe follower is more like it. According to her My Space page, she's bought into the FEMA concentration camp hysteria. How much would you bet that she's also a birther?

What's your opinion about the influence guys like Beck have on people like Nancy Genovese? How widespread is it, do you think.

Shouldn't she be charged with having weapons outside the home or business like Plaxico? What about having loaded weapons with the intent of harming someone?

Please leave a comment.

Plaxico Burress Indicted

Because I always try to do what Il Principe says, I'm linking to this story in Reuters.

Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was indicted on Monday on two felony counts accusing him of criminal possession of a weapon and one misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, prosecutors said.

Burress, 31, who caught the winning touchdown in the Giants' Super Bowl victory in February 2008, was released by the team after a November 2008 incident in which he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a New York nightclub.

When we talked about this last time, I quoted Bryan Miller lamenting the fact that Burress hadn't been suspended. In today's report it says he "was released by the team." Is that different?

Under New York's strict gun laws, Plaxico is charged with possession of a gun, possession of a loaded gun outside the home or business, and possession of a loaded gun with the intent to harm another. If convicted he'll probably do some time, which could range from a year or two all the way up to 15.

What's your opinion? What would be wrong with putting him in the same category as the white collar criminals? For them I usually recommend strict supervision and heavy fines but no jail time. Wouldn't this guy be better able to contribute as a professional athlete than as a convict?

What's your opinion? For me the question is this, does society need to be protected from Plaxico Burress to the point that he needs to be locked away? What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Cartel Grenades

MSNBC reports on the newest concern to surface in the never-ending Mexican Drug Cartel violence on the border.

It was a scenario U.S. law enforcement had long feared: A fragmentation grenade from Mexico's bloody drug war tossed into a public place.

Only the grenade thrower's bumbling prevented bloodshed in a south Texas bar — he neglected to pull a second safety clasp. But the act was proof that one of the deadliest weapons in Mexico's drug battle is a real threat to the U.S., and investigators are stepping up efforts to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Besides the mistake made by the attacker, which prevented a disaster, there was an impressive act of heroism on the part of an off-duty police officer. After the grenade bounced off the floor and landed on a pool table, he "picked it up and threw it back out the door. No one was hurt, no arrests were made, and authorities are divided about whether the targets were rival gang members or off-duty police officers."

The hand grenade used in this failed attack was identified a having come from the same batch of weapons that were used in two other attacks, in October at the U.S. consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, and at a television station in early January in the same city. The grenade thrown at the consulate failed to explode also, and no one was injured when the grenade hit the Televisa network's studio as it aired its nightly newscast.

But all three grenades were manufactured at the same time and place, and were at one point together in the same batch from South Korea. Their manufacture date was unavailable.

The immediate source of these weapons is the black market which flourished after Central America's civil wars. Some are brought in by weapons smugglers. Others are diverted from the region's militaries: In April, Guatemala seized 563 grenades after a shootout with Mexican drug cartel members, and officials later determined the grenades came from Guatemalan military bases.

The article mentions that the United States and South Korea are the biggest producers of grenades found in Mexico. I couldn't help but wonder why they're not claiming 90% of the grenades have been traced back to the U.S. I guess that's because South Korea has a big piece of the action.

ATF officials said the United States keeps tight controls over its own grenade inventories and that it knows of no grenades recovered in Mexico that were taken directly from American military supplies.

What do you think of that? Wouldn't that be similar to that lawsuit against Glock.

They claimed that the manufacturers deliberately made more guns than the legitimate market could support and sold them through channels that would reach a "secondary market" of private and under-the-table transactions.

Although the lawsuit was unsuccessful, it sounded quite plausible to me. In a similar way, American grenade manufacturers are producing far more than we need for our own military, and shipping their product out to unstable Central American Countries in spite of the clear probability that many will end up in the Mexican Drug War. And, just like the Glock people, the grenade producers shrug their shoulders and say it's not their problem, they certainly can't be held responsible for what happens to their product down the line.

What's your opinion? Is that how it goes? Are you all right with it?

Please leave a comment.

The New Most Trusted Man in America

Replacing the late great Walter Cronkite.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cops Legitimately Kill Bronx Man

The Daily News reports on what they describe as a wild shooting in the Bronx, which left one suspect dead.

A Bronx man was mortally wounded by cops after he opened fire on them, sparking a fierce shootout on the street, police and witnesses said.

Oswaldo Sevilla Moran, 31, was shot in the chest during the gun battle with four uniformed cops in Longwood, the Bronx.

"He turned and fired several shots," a police source said of Sevilla Moran. "Our guys fell back behind a van and returned fire."

I don't like cops shooting people any more than the next guy, but I have to admit this one sounds legit. One of the reasons I don't like these incidents is this. ""This is as clean as it gets," said a police source of the shooting." That sounds to me like someone familiar with the "less clean" shootings.

Another thing that bothered me about this case is that reportedly 30 to 40 rounds were fired. That would be up to 10 rounds per police officer. I'd say something's wrong with that. I suppose that's what the Daily News reporter meant by "wild."

I couldn't help but notice how the whole thing started.

The gunfire erupted after a concerned citizen approached two patrol cops at Southern Blvd. and Avenue St. John about 2:30 a.m.

"That man has a gun," the witness told them, according to the source.

Assuming the shooting was as righteous as it sounds, I believe we have to credit the strict gun control laws in New York for this. As the pro-gun folks keep saying about gun laws, only the law abiding will obey them. As a result, it's easier to identify a potential offender. What do you think about that?

What's your opinion?

Fatal Shooting in Hawaii

The Honolulu Advertiser reports on something you don't see in the news that often: a fatal shooting in Hawaii.

Police tonight arrested a 33-year-old man as the suspect in a fatal shooting early yesterday morning outside a karaoke bar off Ke'eaumoku Street.

The suspect, identified as Phillip Deleon, 33, was arrested at 9:15 p.m. at Honolulu International Airport, where he was trying to catch a flight to the Mainland, police spokesman Maj. Clayton Kau said.

Shawn Powell, 35, of Honolulu, was fatally shot following an argument at 4:19 a.m. in the parking lot at Seoul Karaoke on Rycroft Street, near the intersection with Ke'eaumoku.

The article didn't offer that many details. Perhaps it was a run-of-the-mill argument, or it could have been drug related. I was interested in the idea that the shooter must have gotten rid of the gun before going to the airport for the flight to the mainland, a flight he never made thanks to the police. I wondered if he'd come over to the Islands recently and had picked up the gun there. What do you think?

The first commenter made me laugh, although maybe there's something to it. At first glance it struck me as international hysteria.

It would appear that Mexican drug ties are now in Hawaii, entrenched, and building a large presence here.

I'll bet we start seeing how 90% of the Hawaiian guns are coming from Mexico, the ones of which some people still say 90% come from the States. How much is 90 times 90?

What's your opinion? Do you think there could be something to the Mexican gangs infiltrating Hawaii?

Please leave a comment.

Did You Hear the One About the Old Italian Guy in NJ?

(Thanks to my friend Christian, who has a wonderful blog and web site.)

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey.

He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as there had been a long drought and the ground was very hard.

His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison, (unfortunately a case of mistaken identity). The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. You and your friends would have done it in no time! I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop,
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried!

At 4 am, the next morning, FBI agents, CIA officials and the local police arrived and dug up the entire area from corner to corner without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.

That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Accidental Shooting in Ohio - 5-year-old Dead reported on the tragic accidental shooting of an Ohio 5-year-old.

A 5-year-old boy died Sunday after accidentally shooting himself in the chest.

Investigators said Zachariah Nesbit shot himself through his lower right lung Saturday around 8:40 p.m. at apartment along Gordon Smith Boulevard.

In a 911 call, a man told dispatchers that the boy had gotten the gun from inside a closet at the home.

The latest on this story is that the father is being charged.

David Nesbitt was charged Friday with negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

If convicted, the 35-year-old Nesbitt faces up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

It's hard to imagine the mental suffering a father would go through in a situation like this. Then on top of everything to have to go to jail, it almost seems like overkill. Or is the charge of negligence right, perhaps a few months in jail for this is insufficient. What's your opinion?

Gun owners who have children must be faced with a difficult dilemma. Keeping a weapon at home which is unloaded and locked away, as it is supposed to be according to the law, severely detracts from the benefit of having it in the first place. I suppose many of these guys try to hide the guns in places where the kids cannot find them, others I've been told, believe teaching the kids from a young age to handle guns safely is the solution. What's your opinion?

To me, a responsible parent should not need this advice from the police. But obviously that's not the case.

Police urged gun owners to pick up a gun lock from their local police department and remove ammunition from their firearms.

"Take the bullets out," said Officer Rick Burkhardt, of Hamilton police. "You can put them in if you ever need to, so then it's two steps, another step for a kid if he finds a gun and bullets aren't there. There's nothing that could happen."

Please leave a comment.

The Linoge Logic

Linoge is one of my most virulent critics, but he happens to be a guy I have a lot of respect for. I like his unwavering belief in his position and the certainty with which he describes it, qualities he shares with a number of other pro-gun bloggers I've had the pleasure of knowing.

His site, Walls of the City is a wonderful example of a pro-gun blog. The recent post entitled Graphics Matter, contains this chart, which might be better viewed on his site, I'm not sure if the magnifying function will work over here. The amount of work that went into this leaves me in awe.

After describing the various elements that went into this work, Linoge said this.

I know that the facts are the only things that matter, again, unlike the anti-rights advocates, and anything that can give us a better look at those facts is something we should pursue.

Facts, that's what we need. Who could argue with that? Certainly not I.

I pointed out to Linoge that the Brady Background Checks law and the Assault Weapons Ban, which he's marked on the top line called, Firearms Related Deaths, must be responsible for the decline which was quite drastic after those two events.

Actually, MikeB, there is absolutely no proof that the Assault Weapon ban affected crime, and, additionally, there is absolutely no proof that the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act affected crime either.

To support the claim of "no proof" he's kindly linked to two pro-gun sites. This is where I'm afraid the passion of the pro-gun argument blinds them to the obvious facts, facts which they themselves point out. For this there's "no proof," because obviously there are a number of other factors involved. This is where common sense and logic come in, attributes which are sometimes lost in the pursuit of "facts" and "proof."

Another idea I questioned is the oft-repeated statement that the number of guns is increasing while the number of violent incidents is decreasing. The green and blue lines, I pointed out, which represent total population and total guns look more or less parallel.

Not so, says Linoge, and to show that he added that last line showing total number of guns per 10,000 people, which clearly indicates an increase. It still seems minor to me, far different from what I've been told many times.

The best thing about this chart for me is, it refutes all those claims I've heard that after the Brady laws and the AWB, gun deaths increased. Linoge has clearly shown that that's just not true. The only question is, although as he points out, there's no proof, did those two laws help decrease the violence or not. To me the answer is clearly "yes."

What's your opinion? Is there a place for common sense and logic to work hand in hand with facts and proof? Is it fair for the pro-gun crowd to keep claiming exclusive ownership of the facts, when in fact they themselves are doing some interpreting? Do you think the Brady law and the AWB had nothing to do with the decline?

Please leave a comment.