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Old 12-17-2012, 12:44 PM
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horatio horatio is offline
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Thanks for the links.
I didn't like the Guardian article as it did not give per capita data but the other article was brilliant, especially the part about ideology:

For one segment of American society, guns symbolize honor, human mastery over nature, and individual self-sufficiency. By opposing gun control, individuals affirm the value of these meanings and the vision of the good society that they construct. For another segment of American society, however, guns connote something else: the perpetuation of illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, and the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers. These individuals instinctively support gun control as a means of repudiating these significations and of promoting an alternative vision of the good society that features equality, social solidarity, and civilized nonagression.

Ideology can even make people to ignore facts and when the empirical side is messy ideology matters even more.

Personally I obviously belong to the second group mentioned by the professors but I totally accept the pro-gun logic of deterrence. A petty criminal can get a gun independent of gun laws (like in the case of drugs illegalization only leads to artificial scarcity, i.e. prices are driven up and the item is not comfortably available in a shop) anyway so better keep one yourself. I find this incredibly funny.
But a psychologically troubled adolescent who wants to kill other people and himself isn't a professional criminal who needs a weapon for "work". I wouldn't know how to get a gun over here and if I were suicidal I would most likely lack the willpower to struggle to get a gun.
In short, legalization of guns has probably no influence upon organized crime (mobsters get their guns anyway), an ambiguous effect upon petty crime (cheaper gun for criminal vs. deterrence) and a negative effect upon people who wanna see the world burn or psychopaths.

That's why I think two things should happen. First, make it harder at least for the people who are already certified (obviously I am not advocating to give psychiatries too much power, we all read our Stieg Larsson) to be dangerous to themselves or others to get a gun. Second, ban assault rifles as semiautomatic weapons are hardly practical for self-defense and as a majority of people supports the reinstatement of the 94-04 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
And as the article mentions at the end, the most important thing is that people sit together, talk reasonably and with an open mind (translate, while being aware of their own ideological biases).
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