I have a number of friends and colleagues living in the US and from conversations I gather that they feel shots being fired in public as a serious possibility. (One told me even about a fight with a guy who freaked out in a fast food place who turned out to carry gun. Even if he didn’t draw it, he well could have.) This situation would be the last I expect in any major cities I’ve lived in or been to here in Europe.
I think there is definitely a lot of fear about that sort of thing happening in the USA, but that fear is almost entirely media driven. I would guess that just about anybody who is addicted to Blue Church media has a level of fear about guns right now that’s off the charts compared to the 1990s, even though our homicide rates today are half what they used to be.
Whatever the statistics say, I can’t figure a reason a private person should be allowed to own assault rifles, which I believe are not generally banned in the US.
Semi automatic rifles are not banned. Automatic rifles are … basically. It’s conceivable that someone might be able to purchase a fully automatic rifle here but the costs and government hoops are so outrageous that they’re basically all owned by businesses who are heavily regulated.
It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation of the proportion of gun homicide to homicide in general compared to gun ownership. Even if absolute numbers might not be correlated, relative numbers could.
I’m not sure I’ve seen this analysis yet. I agree it would be an interesting thing to take a look at, but there have been some even more interesting things hit the press this year which are worth looking into. While the multivariate link between ownership and homicide is relatively scant, it turns out that the multivariate link between ownership and non-domestic homicides is literally zero. There *IS* however a multivariate link between ownership rate and domestic homicide.
Newsweek‘s Bogus Gun Rhetoric Misses an Amazing Find
Newsweek dropped a really ripe one today, full of misleading statistics and bogus rhetoric. Let’s go through some…
And since we already know that there’s a multivariate link between overall suicide in men and gun ownership rate…
The Left Is Making the Wrong Case on Gun Deaths. Here’s a Better Case.
The gun conversation in this country has real, systemic problems.
…the implication seems to me that the only deaths in which ownership rate matter are very specifically deaths in the home, due to emotional instability or arguments/fights that would have resolved themselves in a nonlethal manner had a lethal item not been available. That’s it. That’s the only correlation. The rest of it literally doesn’t matter.
And that makes some sense in a gun saturated country. As I mention in another article..
The Magic Gun Evaporation Fairy
Three Reasons Why Gun Ownership Rates From Other Countries Don’t Matter
Any criminal int he US can probably find 10 guns if he wanted. Get rid of half our guns and any criminal could find 5. And since he only needs one, crime reduction via gun reduction doesn’t work here without confiscation on a scale so massive it can’t possibly even be attempted. This is a mathematical conclusion, and I feel confident I’d come to this conclusion even if I was anti-gun.
In any case inferring any causations with a complex issue like this seems to be inherently tricky to me (e.g. there might be different reasons for gun ownership prevalent in the different states; the distribution of types of guns etc.).
I agree. And thank you very much for the considered dialogue!