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Rob Freda

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Solving gun violence in the US in today's insane political climate requires a solution that makes it painless for everyone.

First that this idea even needs to be broached in the first place is ridiculous especially given the lack of clarity in the second amendment (eg it does not specify types of arms so that should be handled by laws not as a "do what you will free for all").

That said it seems there are some major elements that would be necessary to reduce gun deaths in the US and there are some obfuscating interests embodied in the NRA that must be sidestepped or accommodated in the solution.

Four main areas of focus jump out to reduce gun deaths:

1) "mass killings" (included in this would be the 2 or 3 person shootings as well as as Newtown or Aurora types)
2) Accidental shootings
3) Non-owner shootings (eg the shooter is not the owner of the gun)
4) "black market" trading

Added to these I would say the parameter that makes gun control legislation difficult is gun manufacturer revenue stream protection using the second amendment as a shill.

So what are the necessary parameters to make something happen vs. the absurdity of what is going to happen over the next few months in Washington:

1) Figure out a way that shifting policy creates more revenue for gun manufacturers so they get the NRA on board
2) Make sure that guns cannot be used in public places or by someone other than their owner

The Idea - Mandatory gun locks and universal kill switches.

On locks, all responsible gun owners have gun safes. Why not move the lock to the gun's trigger mechanism either with a combination code or biometric locks. That would prevent unauthorized use of the gun by anyone but the owner.

On kill switches, in the same locking mechanism put a chip and actuator that freezes the locking mechanism mentioned above when it receives a certain modulated radio signal.

If mandatory then all existing guns will have to be refitted with the new bolt mechanism creating revenue streams for the gun manufacturers and on all new guns they can charge more creating more revenue.

Thoughts?

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  • Feb 11 2013: This says it well enough.

    GUN BANS LEAD TO INCREASE IN VIOLENT CRIME
    December 3, 2007

    The problem with Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban -- as anyone who can look up the crime numbers will see -- is that D.C.'s murder and violent crime rates went up, not down, after the ban. Prior to the ban DC's murder rate was falling. After the ban, DC's murder rate rose, and only once fell below what it was in 1976, says John Lott, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland.

    Further:

    •The District's ban specifically points to Great Britain's handgun ban in January 1997; but the number of deaths and injuries from gun crime in England and Wales increased 340 percent in the seven years from 1998 to 2005.
    •The rates of serious violent crime, armed robberies, rapes and homicide have also soared.
    •Similar experiences have been seen with other bans, such as those in Ireland and Jamaica.
    The District also notes that the regulations requiring the lock-up and disassembly of guns do not "prevent the use of a lawful firearm in self-defense." But taking the District's claims as accurate, locked guns are simply not as readily accessible for defensive gun uses, says Lott:

    •In the United States, states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a 5 percent increase in murder and a 12 percent increase in rapes.
    •Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes and those attacks are more likely to be successful.
    Since potentially armed victims deter criminals, storing a gun locked and unloaded actually encourages increased crime, says Lott. If the phrase "keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes" was chosen for a purpose, it might be that gun lock laws raise their own problems that limit people's ability to use guns for defense."

    Source: John Lott, "Gun bans lead to increase in violent crime," Jurist, November 24, 2007.

    For text:

    http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/hotline/2007/11/gun-bans-lead-to-increase-in-violent.php
    • Feb 11 2013: Maybe you should look at this source http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm
      Overall crime rates in DC has been falling consistently regardless of a gun ban or not.
      Furthermore, the article you offer is misleading.
      It takes "over all violent" crime and compares it to guns.
      Physical assault is considered a violent crime yet does not involve a gun. Brits are notorious for their brawling. What happens when a gun takes the place of a fist??
      Will the banning of guns see a spike in gun crime absolutely since criminals will believe that they are invincible but as you start picking them off the streets and making them less available to come by so will their chances of committing the next crime with a gun.
      There is a reason why the overall homicide rate in Great Britain has dropped 75%. And that has been because handguns are banned.
      Statistics show that 68.3% of all homicides in America come at the end of a bullet. In the UK it is 8%
      And here is another link that you should explore before attempting to use your source as a gospel.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8681469/Crime-in-Britain-the-key-statistics.html
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        • Feb 12 2013: But wait a minute, you provided a link that tries to lead the believer that gun bans increase violent crime?? Now you are excusing it??
      • Feb 12 2013: I had to take another look at it to figure out why you are wrong in citing that table. while you are focused on the reduction in violent crimes you are neglecting to account for the reduction in population. per capita = O/P where O is incidence of occurance and P is total population. For 1976 the violent crime rate was 10,399/702,000 people for a per capita rate of .014. In 1987 we see only 10,016 violent crimes but the population is 622,000. 10,016/622,000 = .016 try it for the rest of the years and you will find one year where the per capita violent crime was less than the first full year (1976) while the gun ban was in effect. The ban was enacted in 1975, struck down in 2008. Lets compare 2007 and 2009 violent crime statistics. In 07 the ban was in effect in 09 it wasn't. The 07 numbers are 8,320/588,292 = .014 The 09 numbers are 8.089/599,657 = .013 So with hand gun ownership rights reinstated the violent crime rate drops to .0134 and without them it only goes lower than the first full year (1976) of the ban once. The other 34 years, excluding the one year that was lower, had higher violent crime rates per capita than 1976. I believe that is what the Author, Mr. John Lott, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, was expressing. Banning hand guns didn't reduce the percapita incidence of violent crimes in the way that reinstating gun ownership did. Yes, violent crime rates have been on the decline in Washington DC since 2008. Following the reinstatement of the right to own hand guns and not have to keep trigger locks on them inside of the home that is.As for your argument about gun violence in England, the article glosses over the fact that the highest incidence of gun related violence occured 5/6 years after the ban was instated. The UK aslo has five times the incidence of violent crime per capita than the United States has. "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
      • Feb 13 2013: Comparing USA to GB is apples to oranges.

        Different set of freedom, or lack of. Much smaller overall population. Distinct demographic differences. Very unequal border parallels.

        All factors apply when trying to parallel two countries. Just citing gun violence doesn't take into account the border control difficulties the USA has. The increase in minority immigration in a higher rate. The greater set of freedoms afforded to it's citizens.
        • Feb 13 2013: I disagree here. Brits have the same amount of freedoms if not more than Americans.
          Here the problem.
          The act of eliminating illegal hand guns in GB has allowed that OVERALL homicide rate to drop 75%. The act of banning handgun possession in China has allowed their overall homicide rate to become 1/4 that of the US. You are 144x more likely to die of a gun homicide in the US than in China, 200x vs Japan, 11x vs Great Britain, 7x vs Canada, 4 x vs Australia
          And with Canada who experiences the most influence from American society AND shares the world's longest unprotected border, their experience with severe handgun restrictions shows it does work. In fact as a Canadian, I feel freer knowing that I will most likely ever mean my demise at the end of a gun in the hands of a fellow citizen.
          So trying to excuse them by saying we are not them carries no merit because you haven't even considered going the direction. It is just another deflection.
      • Feb 13 2013: Dwayne your inflamatory statement, 'And here is another link that you should explore before attempting to use your source as a gospel." has no place in this discussion. You're 65% vs. 8% percent seems like a rediculous point of contention, are you saying that some other form of homicide is preferred? Canada has higher percentages of stabbing, bludgening, and death by fire than the United States, are you advocating more of these types of homicide as opposed to firearm? Homicide in general has been on a decline for decades. Why does a Canadian citizen have so much to say about gun ownership or regulation in America? Did you own a gun prior to the ban? Your country made their choice. You have no skin in the game and far too much to say about an issue that doesn't affect you, which you can't vote on.
        No Dwayne you don't have any say in the matter, you are not a United States citizen. You have an opinion. You could close your border the same way we have tried to do with Mexico. You could accept the fact that inspite of a 13 year long ban on gun ownership your country still has criminals who use them to kill people. Crimals are a part of every society. We the legal, law abiding gun owners of America do not accept punishment for the actions of criminals. Your stance on the issue is very socialist. Everyone must pay for the choices of a few.
        • Feb 13 2013: First of all no form of homicide is acceptable and each case needs to be dealt with at some level. But in life, you need to tackle the bigger problems before you deal with the smaller ones.
          You offer a straw argument when you talk about higher percentage of stabbings in Canada. The reason the percentages are higher is because there is a lack of guns and in particular handgun to do their bidding. And even still, per capita our OVERALL per capita homicide rate is a fraction of what it is in the US. The same could be said for Great Britain.
          On the flip side, as stated in an earlier post Switzerland has a 11x greater rate of gun homicides than Great Britain and they are forced by law to own guns. Do you see the correlation here.
          As a Canadian citizen, I have every much a right to a say as you do because it is your problem that feeds some of the gun violence here as it does in Mexico.
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      Feb 11 2013: I see your Washington DC and raise it with Australia. Check out our gun crime stats since 1996.. The problem the US has is that gun control laws can only be effective if the borders of the region in which the laws apply are secure. If you ban handguns in a state you must have supporting laws regarding movement of guns over state lines, and thay need to be policed. I think the US dislike of federal law making means that gun control laws are unlikely to happen in any meaningful way even thought they work well elsewhere.
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        Feb 12 2013: Again, and how many ways could I say this. You are not an American and are not familiar with laws here. There are restrictions on buying guns across state lines. And the rules for gun ownership in many ways are the same as in Australia. Registration, forms to fill out, If you want to carry a weapon, you start at the Sheriff's Office, take the training, fill out the forms: does this sound familiar?
        Now, even with your remarkably low gun violence numbers in your country, will close examination show that the perpetrator had an illegal gun to take an illegal action. If you read these 500 entries , the vast majority are proposing actions against legal gun owners in America. The criticism of why do you want that kind of gun and it has too many bullets and there is no reason to own a gun,and, and, and
        is mostly pointless, because in America it is legal. Then there are those that say the law is wrong and it should be changed. Americans have the opportunity to change it, but most don't want to.
        Why, because the problem is not with legal issues, it it with illegal issues and there is almost no comment on that aspect in this conversation.
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          Feb 12 2013: "Registration, forms to fill out, If you want to carry a weapon, you start at the Sheriff's Office, take the training, fill out the forms: does this sound familiar?"
          No that doesn't sound familiar. It is illegal to carry a weapon in public in Australia under any circumstances unless you are in law enforcement or employed as an armed security guard. This also includes knives.
      • Feb 12 2013: Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice, no. 359
        ISBN 978 1 921185 84 7
        Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2008
        "The public's perception is that violence is increasing, but trends in violent crime reported to police since the early 1990s reveal a mixed story. Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively. The rate of aggravated assault appears to have contributed to the marked rise in recorded assault, and for both assault and sexual assault the rate of increase was greater for children aged under 15 years, with increases almost double that of the older age group. Neither population changes among young adult males nor rates of offending seem to explain the trends in recorded violent crime, and indicators of change in reporting to police provide only a partial explanation. Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased. Victimisation survey data also do not illuminate the most significant recorded increase in violent victimisation, against children, as they are collected less frequently and only apply to those aged at least over 15 years. The paper speculates that the rise could be due to better public understanding of child protection issues and increased reporting due to public awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault - especially within the family - but this requires further investigation to examine how many recorded violent crimes against children relate to current and/or past events and of the relationship to the offender." Which stats?
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        Feb 12 2013: Pedro

        You have been touting that sucess for some time now, me thinks it is time for you to update your data base and look at this subject from the perspective of a physics teacher.

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-18/news/chi-the-failure-of-gun-control-in-australia-20130118_1_gun-control-mandatory-gun-gun-deaths
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          Feb 12 2013: Total murders with firearms 1997= 122 2007= 33. These are from the Australian institute of criminology. Not sure where the Chicago tribune gets the idea that there's been no change in the rate of homocide with firearms.
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          Feb 12 2013: http://www.ssaa.org.au/research/2008/2008-09-04_Australian-firearms-buyback-effect.pdf
          Here's the paper. it basically shows that if you crunch the numbers in enough different ways you can get any result you want. Luckily they include the raw data at the end which clearly showa the homicide with firearm rate to be subtantially lower now than it has been in recorded history in Australia. The same is true of the suicide rate. See pages 25 & 26
        • Feb 12 2013: most interesting! And if you crunch the numbers any way you want, the deaths are still the same, deaths. Does it really matter if you die by gun, knife, or gas?
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          Feb 13 2013: 122 to 33 not bad for a country that also increased it's population by about 4 million in that time too
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        Feb 12 2013: Sorry, poor choice of words, I meant to have a gun. To walk around all day can be done, it is usually security, or guards they could be publci or private..

        And don't get to uptight, I have heard that down under in the bush, your "cowboys" like ours have guns with them as they look after the herds.
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        Feb 12 2013: Pedro


        The point is that the trend was headed that way anyway. The same thing is occurring in the United States.

        This from the article the Brooking institute are Socialists they are the last people to color the story away from gun control. It appear gun control is to the Aussies what healthcare is to the Brits?:

        A study published by the liberal Brookings Institution noted that the decline didn't accelerate after 1996. Same for lethal accidents. Suicide didn't budge. At most, they conclude "there may" -- may -- "have been a modest effect on homicide rates."
      • Feb 12 2013: Peter I've looked at the report you provide, pages 25 and 26. I'm looking at the decline in firearm related homicide and non firearm related homicide per capita from the eight years preceeding the firearms ban and the eight years that follow it and I dont see a rapid decline in the incidents that you are hinging your premise of results upon. I see a gradual rate of decline in firearm related homicide that is mirrored in the eight years preceeding the ban as well as following it. From .701 in 1998 to .320 in 1995 presents a reduciton per cpaita of .381 (the eight years precceding the ban) and from .405 in 1997 to .159 in 2004, the eight years following the ban presents a per capita reduction of only .246 (the eight years following the ban). There was a greater reduction in per capita firearm homicide before the ban than following it. Let's not ignore the rate of non firearm related homicide which between the years 1998 to 1995 dropped from 1.69 to 1.48, a reduction of .21 and from the years 1997 to 2004 it drpped from 1.32 to 1.14, a reduction of .18. Once again we see a greater decrease before the ban than after. The gun ban had no discernable effect. How can you say the mean average has been declining and that it would have rebounded at the same time? I calculated the actual numbers of firearm homicides per capita and tallied the amount of decline for the years starting from 1988 and ending in 2004, excluding the transition year of 1996 when the ban went into effect. The decline for the years 1988-1995 totaled -.3807175 and the decline for the years 1997-2004 totaled -.2458496. This isn't subject to opinion or speculation, this is the math. There are a number of examples where the firearm homicide rate decreased and the non firearm homicide rate increased in the same year. Overall, people have been decreaseingly prone to commit homicide by firearm for the last century in spite of advances in technology.
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          Feb 12 2013: If you look at the whole series you see large fluctuations around a mean that is going down slowly. The numbers dropped quite sharply just before 96 and the previous 80 years of numbers suggest this woulod have been followed by a rebound. After 96 there are no further rebounds just a constant decline. Why is there a change in behavior. The graphs make it pretty obvious. The problem I have with the analysis in the paper is that the writers ignore the pattern demonstrated in the first 70 years.
      • Feb 13 2013: @ peter

        Just because something works elsewhere doesn't mean it will work in every situation. If you like Australia, move there.
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          Feb 13 2013: I fully accept that the Australian solution wouldn't work in the US as the problem is much bigger, but that doesn't mean there isn't a solution in a similar vein. BTW I'm Australian.
    • Feb 11 2013: try having a look at NYC. From 2000 in 1990 to 500 in 2012. Gun bans do not increase the murder rate consistently. You cannot pick and choose data that suits you. at least not and claim that you actually have a point.
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        Feb 12 2013: Rob,
        I think if you further check those NYC numbers you will find that NYC had hired the highest rates of police then any of the big cities in the USA. Large numbers of police will deter street crime. A better comparison is Chicago and Houston. Similar population, similar numbers of police, similar numbers of violent crimes. Chicago has some of the strictest gun controls in the country, Houston is in Texas, not so much on gun controls. That is why the NRA says gun control laws as noted is not much of an answer. I think that another factor is that Texas has the highest rate of capitol punishment. Convicted of a violent crime? Texas is on top of the death penalty. My concern is there that they get it right.
      • Feb 12 2013: The National Vital Statistics Reports Preliminary Data For 2011, published by the Center for Disease Control, Volume 61, Number 6, is my source of information. Here are some statistics for how a portion of people died in 2011. Drug induced Death 32,163. Alcohol Induced Death 26,256. Motor Vehicle Accidents Resulting in Death 34,677. How about some firearm related data that resulted in death. Accidental Discharge of Firearms 851. Suicide by Firearm 19,766. Homicide by Firearm 11,101. Discharge of Firearm Undetermined Intent 222. Lets do the math, total firearm related deaths, (suicide accounting for 55.7%), totaled 31,940. While Alcohol (26,256), Drugs(32,163), and Automobiles(34,677) accounted for 93,096 deaths. There are an estimated 247 million cars in America, an estimated 270 million guns, yet somehow 312% more people are killed by cars than are murdered with firearms. Yes that's 312% more deaths associated with an item equpied with brakes, seat belts, traction control systems, and air bags than were maliciously killed with a firearm. In spite of laws regulating the ownership, possesion, and use of drugs, alcohol, and automobiles, people continue to use them in ways that result in intentional and unintentional deaths. A legal drinking age, a drivers license, a prescription, these things don't stop illegal activities. Wasn't it prohibition that fueled the rise of the mob? Didn't the War On Drugs result in the drug cartels and the massacres in Mexico we saw on the news? There's never been a drunk driver in an uninsured vehicle that caused a fatality, has there? The US population clock provided by the census bureau says there are 315,313,816 people living in the united states with 270 million guns. Thats a lot of responsible, legal gun ownership. I bet many of them drive, drink alcohol and use medicine responsibly too. I believe I've made my point, what was yours?
        • Feb 12 2013: You numbers are very deceiving.
          You try to cloud the issue by including intent and incidental.
          How many people are intentionally killed through the use of a motor vehicle.
          Furthermore, you imply that motor vehicles account for 93096 overall deaths then claim that guns account for 1/3 of that total. The fact is that 34,677 is the true figure of the amount of motor vehicle deaths. And of that what percentage of that is intentional homicide??
          Now what percentage of overall homicides come from criminal intent through the use of a firearm. I will tell you. 68.3% of the over 15,000 homicides in your nation. Automobiles account for less than 1%.
          As for your argument about gun bans, where are the mobs in Great Britain, China, Japan??
          The violence in Mexico is triggered by your nations thirst for drugs and you provide the guns to feed that violence.
        • Feb 12 2013: Andy, I am simply pointing out that there "Cause and effect" which influences the difference in statistics. Yes, guns are being removed from criminals but they are also being removed from irresponsible citizens may not be showing criminal intent, are still breaking the law knowingly or not.
          The issue of high magazines et al is a straw argument because they do not account for the massive majority of gun related crime. It is handguns that are. But to put your argument into perspective, the shooter in Newtown had access to both even though the mother was complying to the law. It was her son who removed those legal weapons illegally and used them illegally even though he was subject to a background search of which he failed. And that is the problem. As long as guns are available, they can and will be used.
      • Feb 12 2013: To further support your argument, NYC had a stop and frisk law that allows officers to frisk people what are suspected of trespassing on private property. The impact of that law meant that more guns were being seized from the criminals. Less guns, less gun related crimes.
        • Feb 12 2013: Dwayne you just wrote that the guns were taken from criminals in the act of a crime. How does that have any bearing on banning certain types of rifles or high capacity magazines currently available to law abiding citizens? Were the criminals carrying, "assault rifles" they had legally obtained and decided to take with them while tresspassing? Was it a high capacity magazine that allerted police to their presence? How does tresspassing equate to a gun related crime? Have you ever looked up, "false syllogism"?
        • Feb 12 2013: Dwayne, the numbers aren't deceiving. Read it again, 11,101 homicides by firearm, 34k+ deaths by automobile. As for your clarification, persons illegally carrying a firearm while trespassing are by definition commiting crimes and are therefore criminals. Restrictions on law abiding citizens do not reduce crimes by the very definition of law abiding. A person becomes a criminal when they break the law. If I may simplify the issue for you, guns kill people the same way pencils misspell words, through their application. In many US states there are laws against cell phone use while driving yet many people do it, sometimes resulting in fatal accidents. I don't hear or read anyone proposing a ban on cellular phones because a few people have used them in violation of the law and it resulted in death. The link you provided shows an overall increase in homicides in the decades following the hand gun ban implemenation in Washington DC. How do you account for the drop in both violent crime and murder in Washington DC starting in 2009 when citizens could legaly own handguns once again? Your contention is that less gun ownership equates to less violence and murder but the numbers you cited don't agree with you.
    • Feb 13 2013: There is a difference between Violent crime and deadly crime.

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