Thread: Gun Control
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:06 AM   #51
Glenn E. Meyer
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Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 19,593
Quote:
It is unfortunate that some people abuse their right to self-protection with firearms and hurt others, but that is not unique to guns. Banning the tool is the wrong approach. Steps in the right direction might be more efficient detection of twisted minds, better enforcement of existing laws and tougher sentences to keep people who use guns in crimes off the street. Wish I had a cleaner, simpler, easier solution, but this is a complex problem that doesn't lend itself to knee-jerk emotional reactio
As a diversion, I might disagree somewhat and turn to something I said before. I think we see two types of gun crimes.

1. Crimes of passion, suicide by cop, etc. All driven by some emotional cause. There will always be such and I think unaffected by gun laws - unless we had total confiscation by a totalitarian enforcement process.

Better detection of the small percent of mentally ill people might help. That several states did not correctly or promptly report to the NICS system has been found in some cases. Overall, though we do not have the tech to find those prone to such unless they have already committed violent acts. The only reliable predictor of violent acts is past violent acts. Well researched.

IIRC, and I would have to dig for the reference, the gun crime rate among middle to higher SES in the USA and Canada was very similar and flat for many years. Relatively stable populations so we just see crimes of passion and the small number of mental illness prone to violence.

2. The major increase in gun crime came with the drug wars in the 70's. It was driven by economic turf disputes and the revenge cycle among gangs. The reason for that was the destruction of communities by loss of economic opportunity. That causes family disruption and turning towards drugs. Been pretty well researched. The loss of jobs - well, look overseas and the loss of US manufacturing. Our inability to provide good jobs for average folks is a problem.

Law enforcement is a band-aid for #2. Gun crimes have dropped overall but we see pockets of intense gun crime correlated with lack of opportunity and its concomitant social disruption.
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