International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Archive for the ‘Gun Control’ Category

How not to help your cause

There are a variety of ways of responding to a massacre of innocent people. This probably ranks up there in the top 10 worst ideas.

The Journal News story includes comments from both sides of the gun-rights debate and presents the data as answering concerns of those who would like to know whether there are guns in their neighborhood. It reports that about 44,000 people in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties are licensed to own a handgun and that rifles and shotguns can be purchased without a permit.

It was accompanied online by maps of the results for Westchester and Rockland counties; similar details had not yet been provided by Putnam County. A reader clicking on the maps can see the name and address of each pistol or revolver permit holder. Accompanying text states that inclusion does not necessarily mean that an individual owns a weapon, just who obtained a license.
Basically, this tells the next gunman where he might obtain his arsenal. Recall that his weapons were in fact stolen…
A gunman killed his mother, drove to an elementary school and massacred 20 first-graders and six adults, then shot himself. All the weapons used were legally owned by his mother.
This being the internet, the response has been overwhelmingly mature. Or not.

Some responded by publicizing the home addresses and phone numbers of the reporter who wrote the piece, along with other journalists at the paper and even senior executives of Gannett. Many echoed the idea that publicizing gun permit holders’ names is tantamount to accusing them of doing something wrong, comparing the move to publishing lists of registered sex offenders.

But never fear, the journalists in question are ever ready to pat themselves on the back for their courageous decision to publish a massive amount of personal data for ends they themselves probably can’t quite articulate.

The Journal News is standing behind the project. It said in the story that it published a similar list in 2006.

“Frequently, the work of journalists is not popular. One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular,” Janet Hasson, president and publisher of The Journal News Media Group, said in an emailed statement. “We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.”

Irony no. 1: No doubt quite a number of those gun permits are for people who’s job only exists because some people use guns irresponsibly.

Irony no 2: Newspapers can be used irresponsibly too.


Campbell Live follows party line

Samuel Dennis points out a silly thing that happened on Campbell Live tonight.

It seems that Texans are buying up guns, big time. That’s fine – outside of the rather odd observation that none of those purchasing had used a gun for protection (surely that’s the point – it means they’re working as a deterrent) the report to a really odd turn…

But how does Campbell Live illustrate what this is about? Using a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, calling for more restrictions to stop such events because guns are bad. Well pardon me, I thought that shooting occurred because guns were restricted on campus so no-one was able to stop the shooter. Virginia Tech is the perfect illustration of why America should NOT be tightening the gun laws. There are so many guns in circulation there that the criminals have no trouble obtaining them, so restricting guns just leaves their law-abiding victims defenceless. [a point well made by those purchasing in the report- S1] In New Zealand, with far more restrictive laws than the USA, criminals have no problem obtaining high-powered weapons. Think how much easier it would be in America.

Interesting, because I saw this the other day. It seems that there is some rethinking going on with how the police respond to shootings. NewsBusters praised this honest reporting a day or so ago.

At this point, Mr. Keefe could have taken the emotionally satisfying and intellectually lazy approach: “Let’s take their guns away and everything will be okay.” A student of gun control journalism may want to stop reading at this juncture to avoid another disappointing tour of Fantasy Island, but instead, Mr. Keefe explains how law enforcement reviewed and modified its tactics because the old procedure of waiting for a team of officers to assemble produced tragic consequences:

Based on the Virginia Tech data, experts determined the first officer on scene should make entry immediately with an aggressive attack on the shooter.

Every minute the officer waits for back-up, another three or more people could die.

In other words, while it was once considered suicide for a lone officer to take on an active killer, it is now considered statistical homicide for him not to do so.2

The text remains relatively neutral, leaving an opportunity to travel down a well-worn media path, but the conclusion notes some basic truths about mass murderers:

The other statistic that emerged from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out “gun free” zones for their attacks.

In most states, concealed handguns are prohibited at schools and on college campuses even for those with permits.

Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises.

Now tacticians believe the signs themselves may be an invitation to the active killers.3

Mr. Keefe concludes by listing attributes of mass murderers:

1. They want to quickly inflict maximum damage.

2. They have no intention of surviving.

3. They select “gun free” zones because it virtually guarantees no “interference” with point 1.

4. When confronted with armed resistance, the murderer commits suicide.

Keefe’s article concurs with John Lott’s research published in his book The Bias Against Guns:

If right-to-carry [liberal concealed carry] laws allow citizens to limit the amount of attacks that still take place, the number of persons harmed should fall relative to the number of shootings… And indeed, that is what we find. The average number of people dying or becoming injured per attack declines by around 50 percent.4

Hm, facts. Personally it’s the right’s persistence in sticking to facts that has always persuaded me over the left’s hysterical and irrational screaming.

Gun Violence Kills Who?

Again, the MSM is not helping the cause once the truth comes out!

One assumse they hope it doesn’t. But then they shouldn’t put those facts in the story.

A devout Christian married 54 years, Joe Cooper presides over a family that tallies 10 children, 28 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren…But, bullet by bullet, violence is costing his family.

It all seems so horrible doesn’t it?

The story gives us the body count. Grandson Kelsnic wounded, a cousin brain-dead, grandson Deron killed, Cooper’s son-in-law murdered. What a mess. Those guns roving about Miami are a dangerous gang, huh? Those evil, evil guns must be eliminated so that this poor innocent Cooper family is spared this random horror.

But wait. Innocent?

Several paragraphs down in the story we begin to see that the Coopers are not so very innocent after all.

The recent violence is a result of the Cooper grandsons and their drug dealing activities. It also seems that they may have stolen from other drug dealers and the shootings are acts of revenge as opposed to random “gun violence.”

As to the death of Cooper’s son-in-law, sadly his own daughter is the one responsible for that little deed. Apparently in a domestic dispute Cooper’s daughter stuck a shotgun in her loving hubby’s stomach and let go a death-dealing blast.

Then we learn that Deron was also killed in a drug deal.

None of this is really a result of “gun violence” but a result instead of criminal activity. To act as if this is “gun violence,” a term that usually refers to random acts of violence that afflicts innocent people — or at least offers that implication — is quite disingenuous here. The Cooper family is certainly devastated by violence, but it is violence of their own making.

Reflection on Gun Control

I’ve always considered NZ’s policies on guns to have been a good thing, with much lower gun-related crime than the US.

Now, after reading Investigate’s latest magizine, I am no longer so sure.

So, I’m throwing myself open folks: convince me, bring me your arguments, your data. Feel free to show your opponents selectivly quoting (as I suspect Ian has – and this is open to Ian too) research as well as twists etc in existing data. Linking to sources compulsory :).

Assuming substantive feedback, I will post my conclusions later on.

I have added the “Gun Control” category to link into wordpress’s community on the issue.

Update: Bumped to the top

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