Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Rethinking guns

I didn't realize how violent our country is until I moved to Germany. We have seen historically that Germans are not the most passive people, but it is a comparatively safe country. People don't get killed on the news. You can wander around by yourself at night. They claim it is because they don't own personal firearms. You can buy a rifle to hunt with, but it is registered and restricted to weapons that can be legally used for hunting. No one has handguns. This week we (the US) had the church service shooting in Wisconsin and the Nichols situation in Atlanta. This is following up the family of another judge being slaughtered in Chicago. If we want to look back any further there are endless accounts of school shootings, liquor store hold ups, car jackings, and everything else. I am a twenty-something male soldier and I think guns are as cool as everyone else (though I don't give them names). But maybe the price for having them isn't worth the novelty of owning one. I have heard all of the militia arguments about needing them for protection against criminals and a government takeover, but let's face it. The less guns floating around the less likely you are to be the victim of a crime involving one. And the government is already in control of our country. That's why they are the government. If you think owning a Glock is going to help you resist them you are mistaken. They have tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, submarines, aircraft carriers, laser guided missiles, and hovercrafts even.


Cubicle said...

Some important background that i would like to mention.

the viloent crime rate in america has been dropping for the past 25 years.

Also, If i remember correctly American still is fairly high on the list of murders, but for overall serious crime (robbies and such) other countries such as as Britian and Austrilia are taking the lead in thoes areas.

America has always been more violent than many of the countires in Europe. No one has really ever come up with a good explanation of this, but i belive it is because american is not a settled socieity like many of the European countires (we are a constant melting pot compared to many European coutries).

Though their are several trends in several coutnires in europe that are starting match patterns that exist in the US.

Denmark is expericing white flight. (http://www.yuppiesofzion.com/archives/001149.php).

Britian has been expericing large amounts of home invasions.

And france has a large population unasslimated immgrants, which could increase the crime rate.

a good site for cross nation comparisions is: http://www.nationmaster.com/index.php

Les Jones said...

The relationship between gun ownership and crime rates isn't a simple one.

In Sweden, almost every man owns a rifle, and they have a low crime rate.

In the UK almost all guns are forbidden and even airguns are heavily regulated, yet their crime rate keeps shooting upwards.

In the US the number of guns increases by the millions every year, yet crime rates are in a long-term decline.

And I'll bet a lot of Jews would have been happy to have guns in the 1930s and 1940s.

Michael C said...

I went into a gun shop in Switzerland back when I was in High School. It was a student trip to Europe. I was looking for a particular gun for my father, a Parker double barrell 410 if memory serves. I and a friend walked in and the oweners of the shop were stunned. They did everything they could to shew us out of there. All the owener kept saying was Americans love too many guns. Americans love too many guns. There may be some truth in it.

Sandcastle said...

I am not saying that limiting gun ownership would solve all crime, I am just suggesting that it might make things a little safer. And in Sweden owning a rifle for hunting is not the same as flooding the country with handguns and assault rifles. I am just noticing what I have seen. Europe is safer and they have less guns. Finally, if the Jews were heavily armed, do you think that they would have been able to fight off the Nazis? The Nazis defeated entire nations in days. Our government enjoys an even greater power margin today. Would the Jews have survived or would they have been viewed as a militant minority being met by appropriate and equal force? Remember the Nazis also reinvented propaganda.

Cubicle said...

Assault rifles in america are only different from huntiing rifles in regards to looks. They are both semi-automatic weapons.

Assault rifles would not give criminals any advantage that any other hunting rifle would give a criminal.

I do not think removing guns will solve any crime. I can see how it would reduce gun crime, but the overall crime rate would probably stay the same or go up.