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Look at Switzerland

Posted: May 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

In Charlie Vignola’s column (“Sensible about gun control,” May 20) Vignola is basically making the intellectually flaccid argument that guns cause their own misuse.

He quotes the usual anti-gunners’ statistical canards, while overlooking a biggie that illustrates its falsehood: Switzerland.

In Switzerland, gun ownership is virtually universal... and in fact, mandatory. All people of military age are in the Swiss militia, if not on active duty, and REQUIRED BY LAW to keep their military weapons — including fully automatic machine guns — in their homes with an appropriate amount of ammo on hand. Once they’re too old for military service, they’re allowed to purchase and retain those weapons for their own use.

If guns are the problem, how come the streets of Geneva aren’t running ankle-deep in blood?

Further, even in this country, WHERE are the crime rates the highest? Why, in those very jurisdictions where gun restrictions are the most severe: Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, places like that.

So, I have to say, I don’t see anything “sensible” about Vignola’s column at all.

Comments

chefgirl358: Posted: May 26, 2014 8:45 a.m.

Nice Brian:)


BrianBaker: Posted: May 26, 2014 9:00 a.m.

Thanks, Chefgirl.


stevehw: Posted: May 26, 2014 9:58 a.m.

"He quotes the usual anti-gunners’ statistical canards, while overlooking a biggie that illustrates its falsehood: Switzerland."

And you used the usual pro-gunners' statistical canards, ignoring certain facts as well (mandatory military service and training, the actual homicide rate in Switzerland versus other European Community countries, etc.).

I mentioned the actual stats in the other thread. Too bad you didn't include them here; we might have had a productive discussion.

On second thought...probably not.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 26, 2014 10:27 a.m.

Pfttt.....

Obviously a comment written by someone who's never even submitted anything for publication.

I wrote that on the day Vignola's column came out, on the 20th. In fact, look at my first comment on that thread, and you'll see this LTE is basically that comment restated. You think I just wrote it this morning and it magically appeared?

You already raised your "points" over there, and they've all been refuted. I see no reason to waste time or space here just repeating that.


CaptGene: Posted: May 26, 2014 3:47 p.m.

There's a reason we call Vignola "Chuckles", you know, like the clown.


Indy: Posted: May 26, 2014 4:03 p.m.

The LTE’s comparison of Switzerland and US is a ‘apples and oranges’ comparison and not appropriate.

Sadly, the LTE writer ignores like most conservatives the actual ‘verbiage’ of the 2nd Amendment which reads:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Notice the first 3 words ‘a well regulated’ . . . yet today, we allow military style assault weapons that designed to kill ‘people’, ‘quickly’, ‘effectively’ and in ‘great numbers’ . . . witness the assassination of the elementary school ‘kids’ at Sandy Hook.

In any event, the more outspoken conservative right still believes they are going to ‘over throw’ the US government and needs these assault weapons no matter the harm to Americans, to which we see about 10,000 Americans murdered ‘each year’ using guns. Note: Another 20,000 Americans die from guns from ‘other ‘causes’.

Just take a look at the militia member that had a sniper rifle pointed at US Federal Agents in Nevada that where there to collect delinquent taxes from the deadbeat rancher Clive Bundy . . . who was grandstanded on Fox’s Sean Hannity show . . . till he started talking about the ‘Negro’ to the media.

Anyway, the US has the largest military in the world . . . and we don’t need small groups of disgruntled conservative militias running around with lethal style military assault weapons . . . that should be immediately ‘confiscated’.

Most Americans can protect themselves with the vast array of ‘normal’ rifles . . .


BrianBaker: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:00 p.m.

And Pffffftttt... to you, too, Indy.

Already addressed:

http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/120156/


That's what I'm gonna do each time you guys re-run your comments. Just post the link to the Vignola thread where all of this was already discussed.

The comment was blather the first time around, and didn't improve with repetition.


Nitesho: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:10 p.m.

Indy.

Your comments about military style weapons is just ignorant. There are many weapons out there that have the same power and range that these military style weapons you speak of. Only difference is how they look for the most part.

You seem anti-gun which is fine. Just say your pro-gun for the government because that's what you really are. Because the government will need guns away.


Indy: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:15 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: And Pffffftttt... to you, too, Indy. Already addressed:
http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/120156/

Indy: Thanks for the link! It includes my rebuttals as well . . .

BrianBaker wrote: That's what I'm gonna do each time you guys re-run your comments. Just post the link to the Vignola thread where all of this was already discussed.

Indy: LOL . . .

BrianBaker wrote: The comment was blather the first time around, and didn't improve with repetition.

Indy: Babble on . . . dude . . . babble on . . .


Indy: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:21 p.m.

Nitesho wrote:
Indy, Your comments about military style weapons is just ignorant. There are many weapons out there that have the same power and range that these military style weapons you speak of. Only difference is how they look for the most part.

Indy: It’s similar to the SCOTUS justice that noted that ‘phonography’ is something you ‘know it when you see it’.

We can’t let gun manufacturers that change the ‘look’ of a military style assault weapon to sell more of same be the ‘gauge’ of what we do as a nation.


Nitesho wrote:
You seem anti-gun which is fine. Just say your pro-gun for the government because that's what you really are. Because the government will need guns away.

Indy: It’s not ‘anti-gun’, it’s against allowing Americans to own military ‘weapons’ . . . that give any individual the ability to kill ‘tens of Americans’ ‘quickly’, ‘effectively’ and with ‘deadly results‘ as the Sandy Hook and the Colorado movie theater ‘massacres’ have shown us.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 26, 2014 6:27 p.m.

It would seem that SCOTUS, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Con Law Professor Sanford Levinson -- a liberal and no friend of gun ownership -- all disagree with you, Indy.

But then, you know more than all of them, right?

So why don't you take your boundless wisdom on down the street and set them straight? I'm sure they're all waiting with bated breath to have such a renowned legal scholar as yourself show them the error of their thinking.


tech: Posted: May 26, 2014 7:22 p.m.

By all means, review the thread at: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/120156/

As Brian stated, Indy's assertions have been entirely refuted by logic and SCOTUS legal precedent.

Nitesho correctly observes that modern civilian weapons are based on military and police designs with the exception of being semi-automatic rather than burst or fully automatic fire. They aren't the same and only the firearm illiterate conflate the two for political purposes. "Style" and function aren't synonymous.

Indy doesn't possess the expertise or ballistic experience to recognize that a civilian semi-automatic Browning BAR in a .30 caliber round or above has far greater lethality than a civilian sporting rifle like an AR-15 variant in .223 Remington/5.56 MM NATO caliber. His "arguments" depend on others to be equally Constitutionally and ballistically ignorant as he is.


OldReliable: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:29 a.m.

Progressives such as Charles Vignola use tragedies to further their own self serving, wrong headed agenda...


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 8:57 a.m.

"Progressives such as Charles Vignola use tragedies to further their own self serving, wrong headed agenda... "

A) They're doing a bad job of it, since NOTHING CHANGED after ANY of the massacres in the last few years. Columbine? No change. Sandy Hook? No change.

B) I seem to recall the NRA using Sandy Hook to promote its agenda of selling even more guns, so I wouldn't be quite so quick to blame either side.


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 27, 2014 9:12 a.m.

Once again, try buying a gun in California. All of the "solutions" demanded by the anti-gun lobby are in place but they DO NO GOOD. A mentally ill person (i.e., Isla Vista shooter) will do what they do regardless of the laws in place. The IV shooter did not use assault style rifles. Just semi-auto handguns.

What would have happened had a few adults been carrying weapons that evening in IV? A few more kids may be alive today.


Lotus8: Posted: May 27, 2014 9:24 a.m.

The conversation should not be about guns. Someone who is psychotic or who plans for years and writes a 100 page manifesto is going to kill using whatever means available and be successful because of planning. We have people plan out killings and use cars, machetes, knifes (kid running through school stabbing 25 other kids), homemade bombs (Boston), etc. Are guns an efficient killing method? Sure. But mass murder is not a modern occurrence. Media coverage is.

If someone plans things out appropriately, there are millions upon millions of soft target opportunities out there. Just ask anyone you know in law enforcement. Grocery stores, sporting events, basically anywhere where folks gather with some density. Heck, we've had people drive their cars down the Venice boardwalk trying to kill folks, right?

Sandy Hook - mentally ill kid whose mother took him to the shooting range and never looked in his room for over a year as the kid put blankets over the windows. Santa Barbara - mentally ill kid whose family knew he had major issues and didn't take enough action before the kid snapped, even seeing and hearing his nonsense about women and incidents like the one where he threw his coffee on a couple kissing at Starbucks out of jealousy and rage. Don't make these into an argument about guns. You will never be safe from mentally ill killers planning their killing, even if you took every gun on earth and sent them to Pluto. --edited.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 9:29 a.m.

Yep, AR. Exactly.

Cali has the second most restrictive gun laws in the country, only behind NY, and look what happened.

First of all, half the fatalities were from knife attacks. How about a knife ban?

This whackjob reportedly drove his car into people. He surely drove himself to his various crime scenes. In fact, every one of these mass murderers drove themselves to their crime scenes, as far as I'm aware.

How about a car ban? If they had to take public mass transit to their crime scenes, maybe they wouldn't be able to do their dirty deeds.

But you hit on the key element: armed self-defense.

This loon reportedly tried to kill several people and simply missed. Evidently he was a lousy shot. Maybe one or two people legally carrying their own guns, and who knew how to use them, could have ended this dirtbag's "issue" earlier in the proceedings. DRT.... Dead Right There.


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 27, 2014 10:55 a.m.

There is also another issue here. Isla Vista. This place is a magnet for trouble. Last month- riot. Last 4 months, several rapes. Just 2 weeks ago, a kid fell off the cliff (drunk) and killed herself.

This is an out-of-control environment with alcohol, drugs, sex, and young people at the core. AND, the UCSB administration is powerless to stop it. IV attracts trouble from outside the UCSB community. This IV shooter was a student at the local JC. The rioters last month were prodominantly out-of-towners.

The adults need to take over at UCSB and straighten out this mess. --edited.


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 27, 2014 10:57 a.m.

Parents should think long and hard before allowing their kids to attend UCSB.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 10:59 a.m.

You're right, but you know what happens every time competent authority tries to address college issues: the college reliably interferes, citing some fictional "autonomy" and "authority" which in reality they're in no way equipped, or ideologically inclined, to provide.


CastaicClay: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:12 a.m.

How many of Switzerland's government sponsored guns are rifles and how many are hand guns? I would guess hand guns kill more than rifles. Any correlation there?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:21 a.m.

Clay, here's the gun breakdown I can find:

"In some 2001 statistics, it is noted that there are about 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or "selective fire") stored at private homes, mostly SIG SG 550 models. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession, all selective-fire weapons having been converted to semi-automatic operation only. In addition, there are several hundred thousand other semi-automatic small arms classified as carbines. The total number of firearms in private homes is estimated minimally at 1.2 million to 3 million.

"In 2005 over 10% of households contained handguns, compared to 18% of U.S. households that contained handguns. In 2005 almost 29% of households in Switzerland contained firearms of some kind, compared to almost 43% in the US.[8]"


And

"Government statistics for the year 2010 record 40 homicides involving firearms".

It's such a small number I'm not sure any statistical meaning can be derived from it.


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 1:50 p.m.

Tech wrote: As Brian stated, Indy's assertions have been entirely refuted by logic and SCOTUS legal precedent.

Indy: Yes, I think more and more Americans are becoming suspicious of the SCOTUS since it’s become so politicized . . . and many of the judges vote their ‘beliefs’ not the reality.

Tech wrote: Nitesho correctly observes that modern civilian weapons are based on military and police designs with the exception of being semi-automatic rather than burst or fully automatic fire. They aren't the same and only the firearm illiterate conflate the two for political purposes. "Style" and function aren't synonymous.

Indy: Yes, but when we as a society realize that we arming ‘disturbed’ people that now possess very lethal means of killing other people . . .

I think one has to imagine the ‘horror’ that those kids in the elementary school ‘saw’ as their classmates were ‘blown up’ and disintegrated by the disturbed ‘youth’ that decided by ‘himself’ that he as now going to execute people of his choice . . . with weapons that should be restricted to the military.

Tech wrote: Indy doesn't possess the expertise or ballistic experience to recognize that a civilian semi-automatic Browning BAR in a .30 caliber round or above has far greater lethality than a civilian sporting rifle like an AR-15 variant in .223 Remington/5.56 MM NATO caliber. His "arguments" depend on others to be equally Constitutionally and ballistically ignorant as he is.

Indy: Let’s review the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment again:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This issue of being ‘well regulated’ allows US citizens to ‘judge’ for themselves, not needing nationalist conservatives who still believe they are going to overthrow the US government . . . to decide if certain guns are ‘militarized’ and should be restricted to the military.

In any event, ‘we the people’ can decide in a majority of weapons have become little more than homeland ‘terrorist’ devices for the sick and disturbed.

For per personally, having about 10,000 people 'PER YEAR' killed with gun violence is too high a price to pay so some Americans can possess military style assault weapons.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 1:55 p.m.

Still didn't read the Levinson essay, didja?

He's on YOUR side of the ideological divide. The difference between him and you is that HE'S intellectually honest and consistent.

You, on the other hand, are simply an echo chamber of Dem/socialist dogma and talking points.



BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 1:56 p.m.

Oh, yeah....

"For per personally, having about 10,000 people 'PER YEAR' killed with gun violence is too high a price to pay so some Americans can possess military style assault weapons."

Ready to outlaw cars, too? Tens of thousands are killed in cars every year.


WELL.......?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 2:04 p.m.

Incidentally, in all your blather, you never even bothered to answer the question that is the actual TOPIC of this LTE and thread, to wit:

"If guns are the problem, how come the streets of Geneva aren’t running ankle-deep in blood?"


Hmmmm....?

Wanna take a crack at it, or are you just gonna rely on your usual copy-and-paste irrelevant nonsense?


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 2:35 p.m.

OK, Baker...how about YOU answer it.

If the number of guns is completely unrelated to the number of gun deaths, then why IS the U.S. so high in the rankings and what can be done about it?

I don't want to hear namby-pamby, pie-in-the-sky "better mental health care" or something that isn't going to get anywhere (as I said, you guys don't believe scientists in the *hard* sciences, so to think you'd turn over someone else's 2nd Amendment rights based on a headshrinker's say-so is, IMHO, ridiculous. Never happen.).

The only idea I've heard that would have any impact, and of course won't happen in our lifetimes, is ending the "war on drugs". That might affect the gang-related gun violence to some extent. Some.

All the other "ideas" from the pro-gun side are just talking points at best, or fear-mongering to sell more guns at worst. But they're certainly not any ideas that will actually impact the gun-related death rate.

So how about it? Take a crack at it, as you say.


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:13 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Still didn't read the Levinson essay, didja?

Indy: Haven’t read the Federalist Papers either . . . since I can read the ‘entire’ Constitution ‘as is’.

BrianBaker wrote: He's on YOUR side of the ideological divide. The difference between him and you is that HE'S intellectually honest and consistent.

Indy: Yes, the world revolves around ‘one person’ . . . something I see here among the conservatives that ‘each’ thinks he’s the smartest alive! LOL

Societies are built about ‘individuals’ but our society is governed by a government made up of may ‘individuals’, none of whom has ‘all the answers’.

BrianBaker wrote: You, on the other hand, are simply an echo chamber of Dem/socialist dogma and talking points.

Indy: LOL . . . come on pal, you can do better than saying nothing!


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:15 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Oh, yeah....

"For per personally, having about 10,000 people 'PER YEAR' killed with gun violence is too high a price to pay so some Americans can possess military style assault weapons."

Ready to outlaw cars, too? Tens of thousands are killed in cars every year. WELL.......?

Indy: You’re doing the guest readers here a favor by indicating just how stupid and bizarre it is to compare ‘cars to guns’!!!


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:19 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Incidentally, in all your blather, you never even bothered to answer the question that is the actual TOPIC of this LTE and thread, to wit: "If guns are the problem, how come the streets of Geneva aren’t running ankle-deep in blood?" Hmmmm....? Wanna take a crack at it, or are you just gonna rely on your usual copy-and-paste irrelevant nonsense?

Indy: Again, with all your ‘blabbering on . . .’ I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc.

The real failure, however, is that the US has a ‘military’ and doesn’t need white supremacy group militias out running around pointing their weapons at US Marshals like we saw in Nevada with Clive ‘Negro’ Bundy.

The terrific carnage that is subjected to ‘innocent’ Americans to keep your fantasy of overthrowing the US government alive is outrageous . . .


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 6:28 p.m.

I don't know the answer, stevie, and never claimed I did. There very well may not even BE an answer.

Criminal behavior is the result of a complex set of soci-economic-cultural issues that I think defy easy, simplistic answers.

All I DO know is that there's always a cost to liberty -- I think I've said that a hundred times at least -- and some costs simply have to be absorbed. Either that, or simply give up freedom instead.

As Franklin said, "Those that would give up essential liberty for security shall enjoy neither liberty nor security".



BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 6:32 p.m.

"BrianBaker wrote: Still didn't read the Levinson essay, didja?

"Indy: Haven’t read the Federalist Papers either . . . since I can read the ‘entire’ Constitution ‘as is’."


O-o-o-o-o-h, yeah......

I forgot you were the legal scholar who knows so much more about the Constitution than people who actually do it for a living, and are acknowledged experts in the field...

Ooops, Indy! Your hubris is showing.

LOL


Then this: "Indy: Again, with all your ‘blabbering on . . .’ I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

Wow! You actually got something right for once! It's not guns, it's other factors! Bingo!

Of course, you then went on to ruin it with the rest of your patented nonsense.

However, I do think you should bask in the moment.


tech: Posted: May 27, 2014 6:52 p.m.

"Indy: I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

One wonders why this didn't occur to Indy when comparing the USA to the UK.


tech: Posted: May 27, 2014 7:00 p.m.

"In any event, ‘we the people’ can decide in a majority of weapons have become little more than homeland ‘terrorist’ devices for the sick and disturbed." - Indy

Ignoring your hyperbole, you haven't advised if you support a Constitutional Amendment to modify or eliminate the 2nd.

What, specifically, makes a modern semi-automatic sporting rifle a "homeland terrorist" device?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 28, 2014 9:34 p.m.

"Ignoring your hyperbole, you haven't advised if you support a Constitutional Amendment to modify or eliminate the 2nd."


Tech, haven't you noticed? Indy's the world's leading expert on the Constitution, and undoubtedly knows that it's somehow not necessary to actually amend it to change it.

All it takes is "we the people" to somehow magically make it happen. No explanations required.




tech: Posted: May 28, 2014 10:17 p.m.

The inquiry may be rhetorical and I'd be very much surprised if Indy answers forthrightly, Brian.

Based on his ideological posts, I'm of the opinion that his preference is to erode rights incrementally by extra-Constitutional means to fit his Weltanschauung. However, Constitutional rights can't be voted away, even by a majority. Therefore, amending the Constitution is the only way to change the 2nd Amendment from an individual to a collective right that he apparently prefers.

As the SCOTUS clarified, it's firearms "in common use at the time" and that certainly applies to modern semi-automatic sporting arms.


stevehw: Posted: May 28, 2014 11:41 p.m.

"However, Constitutional rights can't be voted away, even by a majority. "

Where have we heard this before? And who was it that screamed about "the will of the majority"?


stevehw: Posted: May 28, 2014 11:44 p.m.

"I don't know the answer, stevie, and never claimed I did. There very well may not even BE an answer.

Criminal behavior is the result of a complex set of soci-economic-cultural issues that I think defy easy, simplistic answers."

Precisely. Which is why the simplistic "more guns means less crime" isn't an answer, either.

"All I DO know is that there's always a cost to liberty -- I think I've said that a hundred times at least -- and some costs simply have to be absorbed. Either that, or simply give up freedom instead."

Yep. Some "costs" like dead children just have to be "absorbed".

I'm sure that's great comfort to the parents of Sandy Hook or UCSB or any of the other mass murder victims (or even the one-off victims of crime, the victims of accidental shootings, etc.).


BrianBaker: Posted: May 28, 2014 6:48 a.m.

Yes, stevie, sometimes that is the cost, no matter how much you want to whine about it.

So I'll pose the same question to you that I did to Indy.

We lose tens of thousands of people to traffic accidents, INCLUDING little kids.

You want to ban cars? Lower freeway speeds to 15 MPH?

That would save all those young lives, too.

You willing to do that? Or are you just going to stand there and look like a flaming hypocrite again?

Your hypocritical sanctimony is pathetic.


stevehw: Posted: May 28, 2014 9:14 a.m.

Last time I checked, cars weren't designed with the sole purpose of killing things.

And have plenty of laws to make them safer still...DOT regulations, seatbelt and airbag laws, etc. Guess what? They saved lives.


stevehw: Posted: May 28, 2014 9:29 a.m.

"sometimes that is the cost"

So we agree. Far from "whining" about it, I've said it since day one...a few dozen dead children every once in a while are just the price we have to pay.

How many times do I have to repeat it for it to sink into your skull that *I agree with that*. It's not going to change, so we might as well accept it. I do, honestly.

Do I like it? No. But given America's love affair with guns and the lack of political will to change things, anything at all, this is the way it's going to be for a good long while (at least our lifetimes).

I'm just saying that instead of every time it happens going around shaking your head and talking about "what a shame" it is, and how you have sympathy for the victims and their families, you just stand up straight, look them in the eye and tell them: "that's just the price you have to pay".


BrianBaker: Posted: May 28, 2014 1:34 p.m.

It's not an either/or issue, steve.

You can have sympathy for someone and STILL say it's the price you pay.

I'm a vet, and my Dad was a career man. I'm very familiar with the fact that sometimes young people die to pay a price for something, having had friends and acquaintances do exactly that, in some cases right next to me, splattering me with their blood.

I never just talk the talk; I walk the walk. I live my life exactly the same way I write about things here, or on my blog, or anywhere else. Everyone who knows me says that what you see is what you get.

Now, you also wrote: "It's not going to change, so we might as well accept it. I do, honestly."

I take you at your word. So, having said that, how about doing something CONSTRUCTIVE about it?

As I wrote on the other thread, "This whole sorry state is a 'gun-free zone', meaning it's a whackjob's ideal hunting ground, filled with unarmed and defenseless prey."

Maybe if there'd been a couple of people with CCWs at Isla Vista the other night that crackpot could have been dropped before his body count got so high. At least SOMEONE would have had a chance to fight back, instead of just being sitting ducks.

The cops aren't the answer, and it's not even their job. They're not a protective service. At the Aurora theater shooting, they responded very quickly, but to what purpose? So they could arrest the guy. They didn't save a single life.

At the Virginia Tech incident, they waited ON SCENE for about 45 minutes, while the rampage was still going on, before even starting to enter the combat zone.

People need to be legally able to protect themselves, and legal carry is the only effective defense against an armed attacker. We outnumber THEM by a long shot, but being unarmed tilts the odds fatally in the wrong direction.

In support of my point: have you ever heard of one of these whackjobs starting their rampage at a gun store or shooting range, or anyplace else where there was a very great likelihood that their intended victims might actually be armed?

I haven't.



tech: Posted: May 29, 2014 9:18 p.m.

While discussing mass shooters with my brother-in-law the L.A. Deputy Sheriff, he noted that the typical profile dies of a self-inflicted gunshot would when faced with an armed response by a civilian or LE. Not always, frequently.


Indy: Posted: May 29, 2014 5:36 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Criminal behavior is the result of a complex set of soci-economic-cultural issues that I think defy easy, simplistic answers.

Indy: Not allowing these mentally disturbed shooters to get access to military style assault weapons is a ‘simple solution’ . . . thus, keeping militarized weapons from the public here is a reasonable approach.

BrianBaker wrote: All I DO know is that there's always a cost to liberty -- I think I've said that a hundred times at least -- and some costs simply have to be absorbed. Either that, or simply give up freedom instead.

Indy: Interesting that the poster phases the motivation of the more militia based conservative groups in the US that feel they need military style weapons for their ‘future’ overthrow of the US government . . .

I often wonder how the US can lose its citizen’s liberty when our ‘sons and daughters’ would be the ones defending us against this white supremacist anarchist conservative militias that would point their weapons against other law abiding Americans (think of those aiming their rifles at the federal US Marshalls at Clive “Let Me Tell You About the Negro’ Bundy).

Even the police don’t want to see such military style weapons pointed at them . . .

In any event, we’re lucky to have a nation based on a Constitution that includes the Bill of Rights.

The only threat I see today to liberty in the US is the appointment of conservative ideology based judges to the SCOTUS that support minority ‘big money’ interest that follows the failed libertarian market fundamentalist that support ‘wealth concentration’ in the US that will create more and more unrest . . .

In any event, those conservatives that believe the ‘poorly regulated’ implementation of the 2nd Amendment is a ‘cost’ of freedom, ask yourselves if it were your children recently ‘gunned down’ in Santa Barbara, would that cost be a bit ‘closer to home’?

It’s easy to ‘sacrifice’ others family members, isn’t it . .


Indy: Posted: May 29, 2014 5:47 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: "BrianBaker wrote: Still didn't read the Levinson essay, didja?

"Indy: Haven’t read the Federalist Papers either . . . since I can read the ‘entire’ Constitution ‘as is’." O-o-o-o-o-h, yeah...... I forgot you were the legal scholar who knows so much more about the Constitution than people who actually do it for a living, and are acknowledged experts in the field... Ooops, Indy! Your hubris is showing. LOL

Indy: Yes, it’s sad that this poster chooses a pompous approach to the Constitution . . . assuming only ‘legal scholars’ can ‘interpret’ what the Founding Fathers intentions were.

For me, it’s very simple . . . it’s the ‘document’ itself.

It’s great that ideology based conservatives like to tell the rest of us what the Constitution means using their own ideology based references . . . but those aren’t in the Constitution . . . now are they . . .

In any event, I can ‘think for myself’ . . .

BrianBaker wrote: Then this: "Indy: Again, with all your ‘blabbering on . . .’ I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

Wow! You actually got something right for once! It's not guns, it's other factors! Bingo!

Indy: Yes, it is different but the difference is why the Founding Fathers included the first part of the 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, . . .”

And as the other libertarian market fundamentalist likes to point out that a given SCOTUS court ‘dismissed’ this first part . . . ‘forgetting’ that at the time of the Constitution writing, there was no ‘standing army’ as there is now . . . so citizen militias were created to ‘hide’ the Americans that surly would be killed by the British if they knew they were involved in a rebellion . . .

But today is different. The only militias we see are usually white supremacist based conservative groups that we saw step in and act illegally by disrupting US Marshalls there to enforce the laws that the majority of Americans support in Nevada . . . versus watching illegal activities of anarchist that are willing to intimidate law abiding citizens with their ‘display’ of weapons. The residents of this area want these 'militia' members to leave . . .

There’s a reason why the Founding Fathers included the words ‘A well regulated . . . ‘ . . . and this recent incident is good evidence of same.

BrianBaker wrote: Of course, you then went on to ruin it with the rest of your patented nonsense. However, I do think you should bask in the moment.

Indy: Babbling on . . . and on . . . and on . . .


Indy: Posted: May 29, 2014 5:51 p.m.

Tech wrote: "Indy: I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

One wonders why this didn't occur to Indy when comparing the USA to the UK.

Indy: Do read what you write before posting it here?

The British have strict gun laws . . . to which they see less than 100 killed by guns same in given year . . . versus the 10,000 plus killed in murders here in the US by guns and another 20,000 gun deaths by other means . . .

Let’s see, 30,000 versus 100 . . . that’s what, 300 to 1 . . .



Indy: Posted: May 29, 2014 5:55 p.m.

Tech wrote: "In any event, ‘we the people’ can decide in a majority of weapons have become little more than homeland ‘terrorist’ devices for the sick and disturbed." - Indy

Ignoring your hyperbole, you haven't advised if you support a Constitutional Amendment to modify or eliminate the 2nd.

Indy: I don’t think the families of the 30,000 or so Americans killed by guns see that as ‘hyperbole’ . . . sad that you do . . .

As far as the 2nd Amendment goes, I’ll just recite what conservatives like to recite when more laws or required: ‘why not enforce the ones we already have’?

What part of this phrase ‘a well regulated’ in the 2nd Amendment don’t you grasp or understand?

Tech wrote: What, specifically, makes a modern semi-automatic sporting rifle a "homeland terrorist" device?

Indy: I’m sure most Americans killed by semi-auto militarized weapons know exactly what they are capable of doing . . . as the horrific statistics indicate.


Indy: Posted: May 29, 2014 6:02 p.m.

Tech wrote: The inquiry may be rhetorical and I'd be very much surprised if Indy answers forthrightly, Brian.

Indy: Indeed, conservatives get disturbed when anyone else doesn’t recite their ideology or give the ‘right answers’ to their contrived questions . . . did you just figure that one out?

Tech wrote: Based on his ideological posts, I'm of the opinion that his preference is to erode rights incrementally by extra-Constitutional means to fit his Weltanschauung. However, Constitutional rights can't be voted away, even by a majority. Therefore, amending the Constitution is the only way to change the 2nd Amendment from an individual to a collective right that he apparently prefers.

Indy: Now we’re back to the ‘paranoia land’ inhabited by conservatives . . . that wish to redefine the Constitution in line with conservative ideology . . . regarding our ‘rights’ as put forth in the Bill of Rights.

Perhaps you should reread those . . .

Tech wrote: As the SCOTUS clarified, it's firearms "in common use at the time" and that certainly applies to modern semi-automatic sporting arms.

Indy: Here again, the poster can’t understand the changes since 1776 . . . that’s perhaps the most frightening aspect of this guy . . .

In any event, it’s not surprising as we see from this poster that he believes we can simply ‘write down things’ on pieces of paper that will magically solve ‘mass shootings’ versus taking action and removing military style assault weapons from the ‘general public’ that fall into the hands of mentally disturbed people that ‘mass murder' ‘innocents’.


camzilla: Posted: May 30, 2014 11:29 p.m.

A very poorly researched article if I may say.

1. No ammo is handed out withthe soldier's rifle anymore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland
2. There is no law that states that gun ownership is mandatory.
3. It's not mandatory to keep the gun at home. There are armories and they can be left there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland People in urban areas choose more to do so that people in the country.

I wish gun nuts could get it right when talking about my country...

Cheers from Switzerland


BrianBaker: Posted: May 30, 2014 6:37 a.m.

Tsk tsk tsk, camzilla.

My, aren't YOU selective with the facts?

I'll preface by saying that yes, Swiss gun laws have changed slightly in the years since I originally researched them, and I should have refreshed my knowledge before writing that LTE.

However, you certainly were ... free, shall we say? ... with your interpretation.

1. No ammo handed out anymore. Instead, "The sale of ammunition – including Gw Pat.90 rounds for army-issue assault rifles – is subsidized by the Swiss government"

2. No mandatory ownership. Hmmmm.... "Each soldier is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm SIG SG 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the 9mm SIG P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, military police, medical and postal personnel) at home or (as of 2010) in the local armoury (Zeughaus)."

3. Same as #2.

I used the same source you did.

I wish gun-ban nuts could get it right when talking about their own countries.

Cheers back atcha from the SCV.


Indy: Posted: May 30, 2014 3:02 p.m.

Camzilla,

Thanks for ‘slipping’ in and exposing the ‘extended truths’ that conservatives put forth here that are ‘edited’ for content by usually leaving out important words or put forth out of context.

And of course, when these folks here get ‘busted’, they explanation is basically what you saw . . . ‘Tsk tsk tsk’. In other words you caught me but I’m not going to admit same.

Then Baker writes: “I'll preface by saying that yes, Swiss gun laws have changed slightly in the years since I originally researched them, and I should have refreshed my knowledge before writing that LTE.”

Here, this poster argues his positions ‘knowing’ he didn’t check his facts???? Please . . .

These conservatives here usually go to websites where the ‘out of context’ editing is already done for them . . . and usually are surprised or shocked when people here as you’re doing, ‘clarify’ the reality.

If you’ve gone to some of the threads here, conservatives all ‘leave out’ the first three words of the US 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated . . .”

In any event, do the conservatives in Switzerland want to overthrow your government by force?


That’s seems to be the underlying current here in America where these conservative militias, usually dominated by white supremacist, support unrestricted gun laws that allow them the use of militarized assault weapons designed only to kill people . . . and feel OK with the loss of life here when malcontents get a hold of these lethal weapons and start killing the public in ‘mass’ shootings.

Anyway, Baker can’t grasp the reality that the US has the largest military in the world and the ‘militias’ that were cited by the Founding Fathers here are no longer needed . . . unless you’re OK with killing our nation’s sons and daughters in our government’s military when the small groups of militias here start their ‘revolution’ . . . it’s frightening, full of paranoia including their willingness to watch tens of thousands of Americans killed each year from gun violence.


camzilla: Posted: May 30, 2014 3:24 p.m.

So, you agree that "All people of military age are in the Swiss militia, if not on active duty, and REQUIRED BY LAW to keep their military weapons — including fully automatic machine guns — in their homes with an appropriate amount of ammo on hand." is wrong and you still leave it like it is... bad journalism, sorry, very unprofessional.

1. Only at ranges for mandatory training for the army. All ammo has to be removed and return before leaving the range. - Last point of this document http://www.he.admin.ch/internet/heer/de/home/themen/sat/schiessen/schiesspflicht.parsys.0017.downloadList.62680.DownloadFile.tmp/27123d.pdf

2. You wrote: All people of military age are in the Swiss militia, if not on active duty, and REQUIRED BY LAW to keep their military weapons — including fully automatic machine guns — in their homes
Not true, they, as you wrote in the comments not in the article, can be stored in the armoury. And since I'm at it "All people of military age are in the Swiss militia". Nope wrong again. Those who pass the fitness (physical and mental) and background checks (criminal, medical) can join the army. About 1/3 are not - every year. That test is a law, every swiss male at age 19 has to go there http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/19950010/200109010000/510.10.pdf. There is no law that someone has to have a gun.

3. Cylinder action has to be seperated and stored in different places in case someone is breaking in burglars don't get the full equipment http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscriber/message/attachments/11413.pdf

4. Your research must have shown that 1.5 million swiss males are fit for army duty. Only those are guaranteed to have a gun (registered) somewhere. Fitting to following article http://www.thelocal.ch/20110912/1135 that states that 27% of swiss households have access to guns, 26% of men have a gun. So if gun ownership is "virtually universal" in Switzerland and based on your statements mandatory... WHY DO ONLY 26% OF HOUSEHOLDS HAVE A GUN?

But I'm sure, you as a professional wanna be journalist find a satisfying answer. Glad I don't have to look in that mirror for you.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 30, 2014 6:21 p.m.

No, camzilla. Do you have problems reading?

"Each soldier is REQUIRED to keep his army-issued personal weapon..."

What part of "required" can't you understand?

So you're pointing at the exceptions that can't pass the physical? Well, duh. That goes without saying... at least to rational people. Just as our Second Amendment guarantees the right of gun ownership, there are exceptions to that, too. Convicted felons, the insane, etc. You're relying on meaningless and irrelevant sophistry.

Or in plain English, you're wasting time and space with your utter nonsense.

Speaking of plain English, your link is meaningless since it's in Swiss (or German or whatever they speak there).

As to your #4, again, read what I wrote, as that exactly conforms to what I said.

Now, why don't you take your foreign self back to someplace where you actually UNDERSTAND the lingua franca.


stevehw: Posted: May 30, 2014 7:35 p.m.

Wow...could you be any more rude? I'm willing to lay odds that his/her English is better than your German.

Why be so nasty to someone who just *might* know more about the laws of their country than you do?


stevehw: Posted: June 1, 2014 9:38 a.m.

Hey, guess what? Our Swiss friend is correct. Baker wrote unequivocally:

"In Switzerland, gun ownership is virtually universal... "

Turns out, only 27% of households in Switzerland have guns.

Universal: of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.

In whose mind does 1/4 of a group = "virtually" the whole group?


tech: Posted: June 1, 2014 12:31 p.m.

Tech wrote: "Indy: I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

One wonders why this didn't occur to Indy when comparing the USA to the UK.

Indy: Do read what you write before posting it here?

The British have strict gun laws . . . to which they see less than 100 killed by guns same in given year . . . versus the 10,000 plus killed in murders here in the US by guns and another 20,000 gun deaths by other means . . .

Let’s see, 30,000 versus 100 . . . that’s what, 300 to 1 . . .

Thanks for demonstrating my point, Indy. Even after my previous statistical schooling of you on the topic, you still can't manage to control for population.

Do you still claim to have a real MBA?

Population USA: 314 million. Intentional Homicide Rate per capita (100k) = 4.7
Population UK: 63 million. Intentional Homicide Rate per capita (100k) = 1.2

http://www.unodc.org/documents/gsh/data/GSH2013_Homicide_count_and_rate.xlsx


stevehw: Posted: June 2, 2014 10:00 p.m.

UK homicide *by gun* rate per 100K population: 0.07
US homicide *by gun* rate per 100K population: 3.0

That's a factor of 42.9 higher in the US.

If you look at all gun-related deaths, it's UK 0.25, US 4.0

If you're going to criticize him for not getting his stats right, you should make sure yours are clear, too.


tech: Posted: June 2, 2014 1:55 p.m.

Steve,

I could have done exactly what you did but did not for the following reason:

Focusing solely on gun homicides is a statistical distortion because it masks homicide by other means. Those intent on violence will use the tools at hand, including blunt instruments, fists, boots, etc.

In the example of the UK to USA comparison, gun control advocates focus on gun homicides to avoid review of the marked increase in violent knife crimes*.

As long as I'm doing the research, I'll communicate a holistic perspective for clarity. It has nothing to do with my research or statistical analysis ability.

*http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/1000-knife-crime-victims-in-london-each-month-shocking-new-figures-show-8681511.html


stevehw: Posted: June 2, 2014 4:14 p.m.

Well, you could have, but you didn't, and you didn't explain your reasoning.

I notice this is a common tactic, along with just ignoring things when errors are pointed out. We see a couple of good examples in Baker's response to our Swiss poster. Look at just one part of that interchange:

"All people of military age are in the Swiss militia, if not on active duty, and REQUIRED BY LAW to keep their military weapons — including fully automatic machine guns — in their homes"

Key points he definitively stated: ALL people of military age are REQUIRED to keep their military weapons IN THEIR HOMES.

Along comes camzilla, who (likely knowing a little more about Swiss laws than our resident right-wing leader) points out that

" It's not mandatory to keep the gun at home."

Baker responds by completely twisting their statement, and ignoring what they pointed out simply IGNORING the "not at home" part of the regulation *he himself* quotes. Twice.

In the same vein, when it's pointed out that a mere 1/4 of households in Switzerland have guns, and that that is hardly "universal" as was stated by the LTE author, what does he do? The question was

"So if gun ownership is "virtually universal" in Switzerland and based on your statements mandatory... WHY DO ONLY 26% OF HOUSEHOLDS HAVE A GUN?"

Somehow, he magically converts this:

"In Switzerland, gun ownership is virtually universal"

to this

" read what I wrote, as that exactly conforms to what I said."

What the...?

Oh, and then, the usual Baker tactic of taking his toys and running away...he hasn't been seen here since. Just self-declared victory in some weird way, and *poof*...gone.


stevehw: Posted: June 2, 2014 4:16 p.m.

"Focusing solely on gun homicides is a statistical distortion because it masks homicide by other means. Those intent on violence will use the tools at hand, including blunt instruments, fists, boots, etc."

Nevertheless, the data is what it is, and you didn't really present it clearly. We're talking about guns here, not fists.

"As long as I'm doing the research, I'll communicate a holistic perspective for clarity. It has nothing to do with my research or statistical analysis ability."

Uh, okay. I was always taught that actually *being* clear was the important part. I don't know what "communicating a holistic perspective for clarity" is supposed to mean, but it sounds like a good excuse for not presenting the data clearly to me.


tech: Posted: June 2, 2014 4:53 p.m.

You're welcome to your opinion, Steve. It amounts to nitpicking and you made no case I was attempting to obfuscate.

My data set wasn't a subset designed to provide an incomplete perspective. It was quite clear. When you inquired about specifics, I provided a rational response.

In *my* opinion, being clear at the expense of important relevant factors is sloppy. Indy's statistic without controlling for population was simplistically clear but laughably imprecise.

Regrettably, it wasn't your cup of tea. Fortunately, you were able to provide the subset of data you preferred via your own efforts.

By the way, don't lump me in with other forum participants unless I indicate concurrence. I prefer my posts to be evaluated solely upon their content.

Now I'm going to enjoy a cigar on the patio in my backyard oasis. :-)


stevehw: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:58 p.m.

You're right...I shouldn't lump you in with others, that was my fault. And yeah, Indy's stats were, well, unhelpful and simplistic.

I do think it's a good idea to at least get everyone agreeing to the *actual* data and statistics, before working on any explanations or other evaluations. There are lots of ways to slice and dice raw data, but we should at least be comparing apples to apples in these debates and have some sort of concurrence on which stats to use and what they mean.

Enjoy the cigar...right now, I've got a nice Punch lit up :)


tech: Posted: June 3, 2014 11:01 p.m.

Fair enough, Steve. I'll explain my methodology and approach going forward. I've been fairly consistent on source links to date.

I found this of use: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/20tabledatadecpdf

It's the latest full year available with an Excel download link that I found useful for further analysis. 2013 preliminary data is available as well.

I consider the FBI crime statistics authoritative. Concur?

If recollection serves, I haven't smoked a Punch yet. I'll remedy that in my next order. :-)


stevehw: Posted: June 3, 2014 1:24 p.m.

I would imagine the FBI database is pretty sound. I have no reason not to trust it.

I do think if we're very clear about *what* statistics we're discussing, we'll be better off...whether it's raw data, rates, trends, etc. (I'll not insist that everyone post their CIs, p-values, sigmas and whatnot :) We can work with just regular old basic stats...normalized rates, etc.).

If we can get that far, then we can stop arguing about the numbers and start arguing about causes and effects and responses :).


tech: Posted: June 3, 2014 3:33 p.m.

Sounds like a logical course, Steve.

I'm supportive of root cause analysis and cost/benefit review of prospective application of policy. I'm intellectually curious and open to new ideas/perspectives.


stevehw: Posted: June 4, 2014 11:03 p.m.

I mentioned this article in another thread...take a look. It's a pretty dispassionate review of methodologies for studying gun use, crime, etc.

http://home.uchicago.edu/~ludwigj/papers/Crime_and_Justice_gundefense_2000.pdf

I found the discussion of how the many confounding factors were (or weren't, or couldn't be) taken into account in various studies very well written.

What I think it really points out is that even with raw data and some basic stats, one really doesn't have much information to go on to support either side of the debate, because so much has not been considered (and may not ever be able to be properly accounted for). It's a good example of how scientific method is very hard to apply in the social sciences (that is, the necessity of identifying and dealing with any and all possible alternative explanations for results, etc.).


Indy: Posted: June 8, 2014 8:14 p.m.

Tech wrote: Tech wrote: "Indy: I can understand your dilemma in trying to understand why the US isn’t ‘Switzerland’ . . . different geography, demographics, etc."

One wonders why this didn't occur to Indy when comparing the USA to the UK.

Indy: Oh, it did . . . and that again is why I need to know your educational background to better help you understand comparing thing to another . . .

Tech wrote Indy: Do read what you write before posting it here?

The British have strict gun laws . . . to which they see less than 100 killed by guns same in given year . . . versus the 10,000 plus killed in murders here in the US by guns and another 20,000 gun deaths by other means . . .

Let’s see, 30,000 versus 100 . . . that’s what, 300 to 1 . . .

Thanks for demonstrating my point, Indy. Even after my previous statistical schooling of you on the topic, you still can't manage to control for population.

Indy: Let’s see again, 30,000+ > 100 . . . basic math . . . did you take that if you went to school?

Tech wrote: Do you still claim to have a real MBA?

Population USA: 314 million. Intentional Homicide Rate per capita (100k) = 4.7
Population UK: 63 million. Intentional Homicide Rate per capita (100k) = 1.2

http://www.unodc.org/documents/gsh/data/GSH2013_Homicide_count_and_rate.xlsx

Indy: Here again, guns only?

You need to be specific in order not to be accused of distorting the numbers . . . yet another reason for me to help you . . .

In any event, from: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Murders-with-firearms

Murders from firearms:

US – 9,369
UK – 14

Let’s do some analysis in gun murders per 100,000:

US: 2.90
UK: 0.02

Sadly, people still kill each other but in the UK, it’s not with guns . . . anywhere near the mayhem in the US.


Indy: Posted: June 8, 2014 8:16 p.m.

Tech wrote: As long as I'm doing the research, I'll communicate a holistic perspective for clarity. It has nothing to do with my research or statistical analysis ability.

Indy: Distorting the statistics for guns is just that . . . distorting.


Indy: Posted: June 8, 2014 8:20 p.m.

Stevehw wrote: You're right...I shouldn't lump you in with others, that was my fault. And yeah, Indy's stats were, well, unhelpful and simplistic.

Indy: Yes, it’s a bit simplistic comparing two nations but the shocking reality is the overall gun murder numbers, almost 10,000 versus 14?

Tech tries to dismiss that comparison by distorting the death rates using other methods.

Great. But the fact remains that the gun murder rate in the US is horribly excessive to other industrialized nations.

Is that too simplistic?


tech: Posted: June 11, 2014 7:29 p.m.

"Is that too simplistic?" - Indy

Yes, as Steve and I concurred. Review as needed.



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