Thanks for the response, and I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to it sooner. I really apologize, but as I think you can guess, these articles get a lot of traffic, and I do try to be as engaged as I can with the folks who read them.
However, take a domestic abuser, who has already purchased a gun in the past. Nothing you said improves this situation. Even assuming there is some national record of holders of gun licenses (which freaks out the gun people, similar to a registry), what happens next?
I don’t think you can solve domestic abuse through gun control, but I would like to point out that there are definitely measures in place to help with this, at the state level. In Georgia (my very red state) if a spouse or ex-spouse files a TPO against their abusive partner, the cops collect all the partner’s guns immediately when serving the TPO, and hold them until things are resolved in a hearing. The abusive partner isn’t even allowed to speak for themselves before the guns are seized. I have known a woman who filed this against her abusive ex-husband, and the process worked reasonably well, outside of the sheriff’s office dragging their feet serving him. I’ve also known a man whose partner filed an improper and unjustified TPO against him, and he spent something like three hours helping the police collect and categorize his 50 some odd guns, which he then collected back from them a month later after the hearing determined that his girlfriend was the actual nut job. So state laws often “run afoul” of the purist gun rights position in domestic abuse scenarios already, even in places which are very red.
Next, I still struggle with the need of ordinary citizens to own assault rifles. I grew up around guns, my Dad was a hunter, I came home late from a date one night and he was sitting on the front porch with his shotgun over his knees. He made his point! But I just don’t “get it” with the need to own an assault rifle, unless you are preparing for an armed uprising or to defend yourself and your family against same
All guns are for killing. Most guns are for killing people. The different styles of guns are much like the different styles of cars and trucks — they kill people in ways that are optimized for specific circumstances. An “assault rifle” as colloquially defined is designed for medium range running gun fights against other armed opponents that might last five to ten minutes, and where both groups of combatants are relatively mobile. The people who buy them are people who think there’s a chance, albeit admittedly small, that they might get stuck in a medium range gunfight with other armed opponents. I mean, that’s the straight logic to it.
They’re not actually all that great at crime. They’re very suboptimal at shooting school children, truthfully, because they’re not concealable and the rounds are heavier. The most effective school shooters use concealable guns with lighter weight rounds so they can fit more in a backpack. I’ve read Jon’s piece you linked, and I think there are several errors in it. I think I may have responded there.
My take on “why assault rifles” is here:
The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper
Or, “Who Needs an AR-15 Anyway?”
I think it’s my most popular article. The Medium staff seemed to like it. And I only wrote it as an addendum to the overall gun series, because assault rifles are a statistical non-problem. Less than 1% of gun deaths are from rifles of any kind.
I read your statistical analyses carefully but I disagree that mass shootings should be discounted as anomalies. Yes the press hypes the problem, but these appear to be becoming more frequent (too soon for statistical conclusions) and you have to admit that the world data show a benefit from more restrictive laws. You seem to discount all that based on the low numbers of lives lost.
I don’t think they’re becoming significantly more common, and I think gun homicides in general are becoming far less common. The data show this extremely clearly. I also don’t think the world data show any meaningful bivariate relationship between gun proliferation and gun homicide, and I don’t think it would matter if they did. The cat is out of the bag here, and it cannot be put back in. In my view, liberals who want to reduce gun ownership in the US to common levels of other countries are just as fanciful as conservatives who think we can roll back the sexual revolution. These things are equally non-reversible, and for us to move forward, we need to acknowledge that, and think about ways to move forward with what we’ve got.
Please recognize that a very large number of parents have zero-tolerance for any remote chance that their kid will be shot in school, at the mall or the movie theater, and that like it or not, the Parkland generation overall seems more anti-gun than pro-gun, so dialog will be more constructive than dismissing them.
“Zero tolerance” about anything creates bad policy, because nothing can ever be eliminated by policy. So when the next thing happens, the laws get more and more ridiculous. This is across the board, be the issue guns, drugs, sex trade, whatever.
I’m also not convinced that the Parkland generation is as monolithic as you think. I think the newer generations are going to undergo a pretty severe reaction away from Progressivism. If you look specifically at the Parkland Generation, they are trending more libertarian, not more progressive.
Young Americans Are Actually Not Becoming More Liberal
For years, America's younger generations have been described as progressive. But data shows that they're actually just…
I don’t agree with all of the tone in this piece, which contains a lot of “republicans are racist!” dog whistling, but I chose it instead of some conservative ones to avoid those obvious conservative dog whistles because they might irk you. The valuable paragraph is here:
iGen’s other social and political beliefs also defy expectations. Compared to previous generations when they were young in these national surveys, iGen is more likely to support abortion rights, same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana and less likely to support the death penalty — usually considered liberal beliefs. But they are also less likely to support gun control, national health care and government environmental regulation — usually considered conservative beliefs.
How can iGen hold these seemingly contradictory beliefs? In short, because they’re libertarians (or at least more libertarian than their elders).
Here’s another article that’s not laden with conservative whistles:
Why Democrats Should Be Losing Sleep Over Generation Z
Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin There has been much talk about the Millennial generation being…
There’s some interesting science going on right now that may tie some of that together. Childhood intelligence correlates with fiscal conservatism and social liberalism in adulthood, which are hallmarks of the ‘libertarian’ mode of thinking.
Higher levels of childhood intelligence predict increased support for economic conservatism in…
A number of studies have reported that higher intelligence is associated with socially liberal attitudes. Less clear…
As IQs rise from the Flynn Effect, future generations may adopt more libertarian principles purely due to brain function.
I also think there’s an overall shift in the works over the next few decades back towards traditionalism, because of the root changes going on in the indoctrination paths of both factions:
These things may end up broiled into a new article at some point.
Last point, the CDC should clearly not be banned from studying gun violence in a comprehensive, scientific way. We need that data!
The CDC isn’t banned from studying guns. They’re banned from spinning data into gun control advocacy, and they’ve been caught red handed more than once trying to push agendas which don’t match the data, or hiding data that didn’t fit their narrative. I live in Atlanta, and I know first hand how ideologically monolithic the employees at the CDC are.
Thank you so much for reading the articles and thinking deeply about them. I really appreciate the readership, and the dialogue, and I apologize again for not getting back to responding sooner.