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bitmasher's picture
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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

While we are on gun control, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I agree with gun control advocates, if we could limit guns completely crime would go down. Simply because lazy people would have to become a little more creative when they wanted to bump somebody off.

The problem is that limiting guns completely or drastically is impossible. There are two many pathways for crooks to get guns even in the face of legislation and enforcement. The cat is already out of the bag so to speak. Look at marijuana, illegal with stiff penalties for dealing it, but use even by high schoolers is fairly common. What makes people think they can do better with guns?

Because guns can't be kept out of the hands of crooks even with the best enforcement, gun control legislation, simply takes guns out of the hands of people that would abide by the law anyway.

So basically total gun restriction is impossible, just like perpetual motion machines.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

I'll go beyond that. Even if you could get all the guns, it wouldn't solve the problem. Murder has been around since Cain and Abel, and guns are relatively new. That alone says violence would continue without them.

Those who would kill their fellow man will find a way. Our current war was kicked off with box cutters. David Berkowitz aside, think of the country's most notorious serial killers -- ones like John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Hillside Strangler...very rarely did they use guns, and one could even argue that gun murderers are more likely to get caught due to the evidence trail.

Adolf Hitler killed millions with gas because bullets were too inefficient. Explosives are the weapon of choice in a Middle East full of guns. Aum Shinrikyo killed a dozen with chemicals mixed in plastic bags. Ted Kaczynski waged his war with mail bombs. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 with fertilizer.

In today's world, it's impossible to deny guns to criminals. But even if you could, history suggests they'd resort to more horrifying ways to kill.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Excellant post, Expatriate. It's right on the money. Gun registration does nothing for crime.
You guys have "the right to bear arms" and without that you may be in the same boat as us. Our politicians are gun advocates and the ones that do enjoy guns and shooting are too scared to stick their neck out in fear of not getting elected again. We only see opposition to the bill now from the other political parties because of cost. They probably all support it as well but just look at all the votes they are winning over. It is quite a mess we are in now.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Just guessing but I think there is a segment of crimes that would go down if guns were hard to obtain.

Examples are kids that blow away their teachers (there was one case in Colorado because the kid didn't like the grade he got) or a cop that pulls over a car on a routine stop and the guy pulls out some cheap handgun and shoots the officer in the face (because he doesn't want to get a ticket, yet another recent CO case). The common denominator is that there really is no premeditation, combined with the convenience (and killing effectiveness) of a gun.

This isn't to say that killing would stop in the general absence of guns, certainly it wouldn't have put a dent in the looney's that you highlighted, Expatriate. I'm simply talking about the countless, mostly unremarkable, (expect in their idoicy) crimes, where the convenience of a gun made the killing easier to commit.

However arguing whether or not "idiot" crimes would go down is moot, because heavy gun restriction is impossible to achieve for the reasons put down in my last post. If heavy gun restriction is enforced, it only comes at the loss of those that would abide by the law anyway or at the cost of a heavily miltant government.

Another way to look at it is to say: "Gee if we could reduce gravity to 1/100's of its current value, the number of people getting killed from falling down the stairs would be greatly reduced." This is a true statement (or for the sake of arguement assume it to be true Wink), but we all know that to achieve this reduction in gravity is not practical.

For the record, I don't support gun registration or feel that the second amendment should be lessened with anti-gun legislation. Just trying to point out that even if what the anti-gun crowd says is true (less guns, less killing), it is impossible to achieve in a non-militant style society (militant style being defined as one where only "enforcement" has arms).

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-01-16 21:26 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

The key word is "society." Anti-gunners love to look at Japan's low crime rate and attribute them to some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. On the other hand, gun advocates like to point out Switzerland's low crime rate as evidence that gun abundance doesn't affect crime and may in fact reduce it.

Both erroneously ignore societal influences and assume cultures in other countries are just like the US only bound by other legal systems. That approach is patently false. After living in Japan for over four years, it angers me to no end to hear people imply we could be as safe as Japan if only we adopted their laws. There's a deep sense of community and respect for others that underpins Japanese culture. Unlike the US, which prizes the individual above everything, Japan focuses on the community. Thus, a Japanese individual tends to identify himself more as a member of a community than as an individual. When you value others around you as much (or more) than yourself, the idea of something as self-serving as violent crime against another is repugnant in a far deeper way than seen by Americans.

In that frame, I suspect it would be more appropriate to compare Japan to Switzerland, rather than comparing either to the US. Such a comparison would quickly point out the irrelevance of gun laws and the importance of unwritten social contracts between individuals and societies.

But until people start focusing on what's in the head instead of what's in the hand, we're going to keep missing the mark. Unfortunately, as long as liberal ideology subscribes to moral relativism, liberal lawmakers will continue to attempt to restrict hardware in lieu of behavior.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Good thoughts... saying gun crime is soully a function of guns per captia does sound pretty brittle. Societal values are important, among other factors.

Because I don't know much at all about Japan's gun control laws, I dug up this research piece:

http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/Japanese_Gun_Control.htm

Its conclusions support some of what your saying about Japan's society, put also makes some other points about why crime is so low in Japan, specifically the relationship between government/police/citizens.

The article also notes that even in Japan's police state, organized crime still gets ahold of guns and accounts for nearly all violent crime w/ guns (even though it is relatively low).

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Excellent article, and a shining example of how far some people can go with "common sense" legislation. Thanks for digging it up.

As someone who's lived in Japan, I can vouch for the article. Is it any wonder US forces are so reluctant to turn over servicemen accused of crimes to Japanese authorities?

I worked with a guy (American) who was driving one night and saw something (like an animal) out of the corner of his eye. He swerved and briefly lost control of the car, causing it to drift into the other lane and strike another car with two Japanese in it. Everybody was injured, but one of the paramount things my guy had do do in accordance with custom was visit the family, bow deeply, and apologize with gifts.

But that wasn't all. The Japanese police took him back to the scene, grilled him, and tried to get him to confess that he crossed the centerline deliberately. Thankfully, he stood his ground. Yet when the case went to court, he was found guilty of reckless driving. Yet even that wasn't enough -- the judge slapped him with a $1500 punitive fine based solely on the notion that the judge didn't think the traffic fine was sufficient. We had to take up a collection at work to keep him out of jail.

Oh, and by the way, if you have a driver's license, you're considered a "professional" driver. Therefore, if you hit a pedestrian and kill him (even if he steps out in front of you on a dark street), you're guilty of negligent homicide and will most likely spend three years in Japanese prison.

Clearly, it goes deeper than gun control laws, and Americans would never live in the kind of conditions described in the article.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-01-17 21:56 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Do you think that the Japanese police were harder on the guy because he was U.S. troop or was this standard treatment regardless?

From the article it seems that Japan has achieved quite a low crime rate which is admirable, but it seems to come at a high cost in terms of personal privacy and miranda rights. Indeed while I read it, it seemed to be something more akin to 1984 than any other modern society I have heard of.

I accept that the Japanese are more community oriented and perhaps have a higher respect for life than Americans (although the sky high suicide rate seems to suggest a paradox), but it seems that the overbearing police/state has a lot to do with Japan's low crime.

This is a good example of how there is a trade off between crime rate and personal freedom. Where exactly the fulcrum hits between the two, depends on history and what the people feel is acceptable. Personally I would have deep reservations about being in the type of society described in the article.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Anytime a US serviceman is up against the Japanese legal system, there's tremendous political pressure to drop the hammer hard.

But it's not just because they're GIs. It's a "gaijin" (foreigner) thing. The Japanese are an extremely homogenous society, and have no problem whatsoever with racial profiling within their country. "No foreigners allowed" signs on places of businesses in certain places attests to this.

Back to the topic, the Japanese case shows the danger of pursuing "common sense" legislation. The Japanese consider it common sense to investigate your family before granting you a gun license. If there's a criminal lurking in there, you're tainted and therefore suspect. They also consider it common sense to know a person's blood type before considering marriage, because they believe blood type affects a person's personality and therefore your children might inherit the wrong blood type and be doomed to underachievement.

Common sense is, unfortunately, not always common, nor does it always make sense. Whenever I hear that term in regards to legislation, the hair goes up on the back of my neck.

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