Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Volokh Conspiracy on Guns vs. Cars

responding to the report that in Michigan there are now more gun deaths than car deaths.

But wait: The number of accidental gun deaths in Michigan in 2009 (the most recent year reported in WISQARS) was … 12, compared to 962 accidental motor-vehicle-related deaths. 99% of the gun deaths in Michigan that year consisted of suicides (575) and homicides (495).

Now say what you will about whether some gun control laws might reduce suicides or homicides, but it’s extremely unlikely that any “safety-related changes” or “regulat[ions] … for health and safety” are going to eliminate all but a tiny fraction of those suicides and homicides, which are overwhelmingly intentional acts by people who are willing to kill and are unlikely to be stopped by “regulat[ion] by the federeal government for health and safety.” 

Yet curiously the op-ed says nothing about how few of the gun deaths were accidental, and how few homicides or suicides could be prevented by “safety-related changes” along the lines of the safety regulations imposed on cars.
My comment:

You're leaving out a couple things. 

1. The UK has an intentional homicide rate 4 times higher than the US, largely due to gun availability. So when you say gun control would not impact our homicides and suicides very much, you're wrong. 

2. The frequency of use and proliferation of cars is much higher than that of guns. Factor that in and your precious guns become 10 times more deadly than cars, or more.

What's your opinion? Is that Eugene Volokh one of the slickest gun apologists around, or what?

The problem is that his flim-flam attacks of reasonable gun-control arguments are swallowed whole and endlessly repeated by pro-gun bloggers. Some of them might even believe it.

Check out Sebastian, who seems to believe it, just like he believes anything that supports his agenda.

Glenn Reynolds, in his typical fashion, called the Detroit Free Press dishonest, not his buddy Eugene.

Say Uncle refers to the Volokh post as if it's the final word.

Every one of these guys, and most of their readers, are so biased towards gun rights and so dedicated to justifying their extreme positions on gun control that they've lost the ability to be reasonable.  They wouldn't recognize a truthful gun-control statement if it jumped up and slapped them in the face.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Cut to the bottom line, Mikeb. Have you finally told us the truth? You praise the U.K. Is that what you want here? The British people are banned from owning handguns--forget about concealed carry. Long guns are heavily regulated. Is this your admission that you really don't want private citizens to own firearms after all?

    But since you asked, I find Volokh to be an intelligent and rational commentator on the subject of guns and gun control. You're surprised, I'm sure.

  2. mikeb302000 said "My comment.....1. The UK has an intentional homicide rate 4 times higher than the US, largely due to gun availability."

    ??....??...?...? I think you have your UK and US mixed up, or am I reading that wrong?

    1. Yup, he made a typo--a small problem worming its way out of the huge problems in the reasoning.

    2. Yes, an embarrassing mixup.

  3. You forget, it's your side that keeps bring up the UK as an example of gun control that does not work. I'm just putting the lie to that.

    1. No, gun control works in the U.K. The people are disarmed. Home invasions are on the rise, as are other violent crimes that the police are now afraid to report accurately. But hey, so long as good citizens aren't able to defend themselves, it's all good, right? The U.K. is an example of where your proposals lead.

    2. "The people are disarmed."

      Greg, you cannot make such sweeping statements and expect them to stand. This one is just not true, it's a pro-gun myth.