Monday, April 16, 2007

Protection Prohibition

I'm not a gun person. I don't like shooting them, I don't handling them, I don't even like being in the same room with them. The tragic shooting at Virginia Tech reinforces that sentiment.

And yet I find myself wishing some of those other students carried guns. No, I'm not a member of the NRA. But it's worth noting that if some of those students were armed, fewer people would be dead because we would have more good guys able to do something about it.

Crimminals don't care that much if they break the law--that's why they're crimminals. The shooter broke laws (by bringing a gun on campus) but the good guys, because they are the good guys, didn't. So the laws actually gave the bad guy an advantage. Horrible, but true.

It's no different than anything else, really. The mafia loved Prohibition because they could charge higher prices for alcohol. Drug dealers love the War on Drugs for similar reasons. Crimminals love gun laws. Yeah, it makes things more expensive for them, but it makes it far more expensive for everyone else and they come out ahead.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't necessarily follow that if some of the students were armed, fewer people would be dead. The armed person would have to be in a position to have a clear target and to be sure of the right target. This person would also have to be able to shoot a fellow human being and face the consequences after. There is no way to be sure that there would have been fewer deaths.

David said...

Can we be sure fewer would have died? Of course not and I did not mean to imply it was a perfect truth. In fact, even more people could be dead thanks to stray bullets and poor aim. But to shrug your shoulders at this point would ignore the essential quality of liklihood: it's tremendously more likely that a few armed students would have made things better, not worse.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. More people shooting guns makes it "tremendously more likely" that more people would die.

Anonymous said...

David has hit on two basic truths:
1) If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
2) An armed society is a polite society. Statistics show that crime goes down where the populace is armed.

Uncle Bruce

Anonymous said...

What statistics? Human nature being what it is, wouldn't an armed society be a dead society? And would every nation having wmd mean a peaceful earth or a dead earth?

Anonymous said...

Considering how guns are more likely to be used in an accidental shooting, suicide, or be used against an abused spouse than be used against an intruder, I highly doubt more guns would mean fewer deaths.

Oh and Bruce, your first claim ins silly and your second statement is pure garbage. If "An armed society is a polite society." then the Wild West must have been the the apex of politeness. The second part is misleading because it is caused by the inconsistencies in gun laws. Criminals go from places with lax laws to strict laws because it's easy. If you had a nation-wide standard set and enforced set of laws, crime would go down because one place is no better than another. Consider how places like Japan and Britain have a low amount of gun crime while having strict gun laws.