Thursday, February 27, 2014

I have a couple of things to say about this Reason post

on the subjects of firearms and violence, and violent crime in general(ignore the Piers Morgan stuff; he's just an annoying bastard for now).

His post is a general "America has ALWAYS been more violent" along with "I don't like guns either."    On the subject of 'more violent', I have to wonder; Kevin has dug up a LOT on the subject of actual crime rates(so far as known); rather than take bits & pieces from his work, I'll suggest you go here and just start working down.  And, we also have this  observation on the numbers from the UK, as noted by Mr. Goddard:
According to the FBI, there were 1.2 million violent crimes committed in the US during 2011.  FBI — Violent Crime

According to the UK government, there were 1.94 million violent crimes in the UK during 2011.

There are almost exactly five times as many people in the US as in the UK – 314 million vs. 63 million. The violent crime rate in the UK is 3,100 per 100,000, and in the US it is 380 per 100,000 population.

Brits are eight times more likely to be victims of violent crime than Americans. For some reason, Piers Morgan doesn’t talk about this.
Lots of people don't.  They also don't talk about this on comparing murder rates:
...As Chief Inspector Colin Greenwood points out here, the Home Office believes it unfair to brand a man a murderer until he has been tried, convicted, and exhausted his appeals.
As a result, murders that have not been solved are not included. If indications in the Telegraph are correct, that would substantially reduce the homicide rate in itself. Murders that have resulted in an arrest but no conviction are not counted. Convictions that have not been appealed are apparently not counted. And the number of minorities reported as murder victims is far below either the demographics or of reason.

If the media reports of a total of 4,760 “violent fatalities of interest to the police” from 1 January 2011 to 30 November 2012 are correct, the murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000 population, the same as our much more inclusive homicide rate, and substantially higher than the United States murder rate.

Of course, the British murder rate is likely to be much higher than 4.7. British police are notorious for “fiddling” with the crime data. Including murder data. It takes less effort to fail to report a crime to the media than it does to consistently report crimes.

If everything is taken into account, England most probably has a murder rate close to 6 per 100,000. Or more.*
The violent crime rate in Britain is a LOT higher than we generally hear about over here.  Including the murder rate.  Except for people concerned about keeping the 2nd Amendment; people dig into this stuff and pass it around.  Sometimes causing great squawks of outrage from people who don't want to believe it.

One more thing on this: as I heard someone say years back, "America doesn't have a violence problem: some particular groups do."  The highest rates of violent crime, including murder, are committed by young inner-city minority-group males.  And usually in places with the kind of gun laws people like Morgan and Feinstein consider wonderful. 

On we go, to this quote that caught my attention:
Pinker also summarizes a theory put forward by historian Pieter Spierenburg, who has suggested that America's high murder rate could be explained by the fact that “democracy came too early” to the U.S.:
In Europe, first the state disarmed the people and claimed a monopoly on violence, then the people took over the apparatus of the state. In America, the people took over the state before it had forced them to lay down their arms — which, as the Second Amendment famously affirms, they reserve the right to keep and bear.
See what bastards we are?  We gained independence before the Crown could force our disarmament!  THAT might be where the trouble lies!

Every time I hear or read something like that, I'm reminded of this scene(good part starts at 1:00)
Yeah, that monopoly on violence over there's worked out real well, hasn't it?  Just like in Venezuela, and Ukraine now and in the past...

What I think is not counted in that 'monopoly on violence' crap is that the founders of this country did not trust the government- ANY government- with such; they set this country up to PREVENT that happening.  I'm damn glad they did.  Someone can bitch about 'all those nasty peasants having arms!', but considering the rest of the world, overall my opinion is that they can kiss our Hoppe's #9-scented ass.

On that line, borrowing from Mr. Huffman,
Mr. Morgan’s approach to gun regulation was more akin to King George III, peering down his nose at the unruly colonies and wondering how to bring the savages to heel. He might have wanted to recall that part of the reason the right to bear arms is codified in the Constitution is that Britain was trying to disarm the citizenry at the time.
David Carr

Last, this bit:
As stated above, I don’t understand the American relationship with guns. I don’t think guns are somehow testosterone-boosting or particularly fun to shoot. The ability to kill something at a great distance doesn’t impress me very much.
Interesting how many people who don't like guns(or don't like non-government minions having them) go to comments about testosterone-boosting, or the usual comments about other peoples' genitals, isn't it?  On the reasons so many like firearms- the history, the mechanics, the skills of using, the use for self-defense- don't bother mentioning them to someone like Mr. Feeney; they won't mean anything to him.  Really, the big difference between people like Morgan and us?  We say "You don't like firearms?  Don't buy one."  They say "I don't like guns, they should be banned!"

*Which reminds me of the way infant mortality rates are counted: here, if a kid is born alive and then dies that day, he's counted; in a lot of countries he's not.  It skews the numbers when that's not taken into account.

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