Thursday assorted links

by on December 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 anon December 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm

4. The two California shooters are Muslims with links to terrorism. One is second generation Pakistani. And all of this days after Tyler’s posts on Muslim immigration to the US and its resounding successes (especially Pakistani immigration). It’s almost like real world events are mocking you.

2 T. Shaw December 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

America needs common sense Muslim control laws. Guns don’t kill infidels, Muslims kill infidels.

The USA is suffering from an EPIDEMIC of Muslim massacres. Islam/Koran teach hatred, hegemony, violence, etc. Every Muslim is a predator/time bomb waiting to go off on us.

Congress needs to appropriate $3,000,000,000 to CDC to create effective propaganda against the epidemic of Muslim mass murders.

How does it feel to wake up and learn that everything you were taught and believe is complete bullshit?

3 T. Shaw December 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

FYI – the above comment simply replaces the word “guns” (from 50 years of liberal bullshit) with the word(s) “Muslim/Muslims.”

4 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Congress needs to appropriate $3,000,000,000 to CDC to create effective propaganda against the epidemic of Muslim mass murders.

Actually, if you change it back to gun murders it’s still a good argument. Muslims murderers are in the subset of people who commit mass murder.

5 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Except the CDC’s propaganda never stopped “murders”.

It was intended to get guns simply banned – which is why they don’t get to have any funding for it, because they couldn’t even pretend it was science anymore.

6 Gochujang December 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

I am going to interpret Tyler’s link as “we are screwed,” as indeed we are.

People seem uncomfortable with the set-theory reality. There are mentally ill, there are terrorists, there are shooters. These sets overlap. None are equivalent. None are distinct.

We have American born shooters who have a constitutional rights to guns. What can we do?

(I ask rhetorically, of course.)

7 albatross December 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Also, there is very likely a social/copycat aspect to these mass shootings, and also to lone-wolf type terrorist attacks (the Fort Hood shooter, not the coordinated attacks in Paris). Trying to control that probably involves freedom of speech issues.

8 Harun December 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm

I believe there are more than gun rights involved.

Freedom of religion and freedom of the press is involved as well, plus human rights of the mentally ill.

Let’s ignore terrorism, and just look at the usual young man with social problems who kills a bunch of people and has a manifesto. Sure, he may use a gun, but the Santa Barbara killer knifed most of his victims and also used his car.

But the key is that he had his videos, his journal, and all his grievances lined up.

He has some expectation that the media will air his grievances, ask his parents, teachers, and classmates about them, perhaps confront ex-lovers, etc.

He knows that the media will do this…except the media asks one little favor in return: the media needs a mass killing – exciting and large body count, please!

The media needs ratings and these events justify the airing of grievances, see. its like a bargain: you create the news event, and then we’ll address all of your concerns and let the public be aware of your issues.

Keep in mind the media makes huge amounts of money on these incidents, no matter how they look pained on camera, they know this money in the bank.

So, if we want to stop mass killings of this type, you must remove the media angle. No name for the killer, only local coverage, only be about the victims, no photo of the killer in his cool clothes with his cool guns, etc.

To me, these are common sense controls on the first amendment that would reduce copycat mass killings, much as football broadcasts not showing streakers reduced streaking.

This seems just as legitimate as banning guns or regulating them, but somehow this kind of “common-sense” restriction on our rights is never brought up.

9 Harun December 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm

or…we could accept media freedom and the deaths it causes as a price of freedom and do the same with guns.

10 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Works for me.

11 Gochujang December 3, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Can anyone explain how Australia or Canada or Scotland, with their reduced rights, is a hell hole for their citizens? Because if not, the whole “works for me” takes on a more tragic tone. We are protecting ourselves against empty fears, shooting each other to protect against .. a pretty good life.

I seriously doubt that if I’d been born in Australia or Canada or Scotland I would be busting to get out. I seriously doubt that if any of the staunch defenders of gun rights you see here were born in Australia or Canada or Scotland they would be either. I don’t they would have the creativity to say “forget this, we need guns!”

What you see is the endowment effect with respect to guns and gun policy. When I say “we are screwed” it is in that sense. We lack creativity to be anything other that what we are. Human beings are smart, but not that smart.

12 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

“When I say “we are screwed” it is in that sense. We lack creativity to be anything other that what we are.”

People who disagree with me are stupid – Leftist. Every. Time.

No one trusts you to not impose yourself on others, because you are an egotistical control freak.

13 Gochujang December 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Answers like that are making me cut down on my MR time.

You didn’t engage. You didn’t think about the counterfactual. Would people in Australia or Canada or Scotland need more guns to be safe or happy? Should they change? Why?

You just got mad and called names. Have a good night.

14 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 10:35 pm

Okay, feel sorry for yourself. Meanwhile, consider that you suggested that anyone who believes in gun rights lacks the creativity to imagine other interesting and fun hobbies. You started the insults you’re now crying about. Again, typical leftist.

15 Alain December 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm

> Answers like that are making me cut down on my MR time.

Is that all it takes, for someone to point out that you constantly want to impose your preferences on others? Ever post by you I have seen can be boiled down to: “I really don’t like what some other group is doing, the threat of violence should be used to insure that they stop” or “I want more people to do this thing I like, we should use the threat of violence to insure that they do it”. Or more simply : “I don’t like freedom for others to chose, the must listen to me”.

Please leave.

16 albatross December 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

Alain: Everyone who wants to pass a law wants to impose their beliefs on others. If you want laws against drug use, murder, or sprinkling anthrax spores off the top of tall buildings, you want to impose some of your beliefs on others.

It seems obvious that the decreased free-speech rights and also the much-decreased gun-ownership rights in (for example) the UK have not turned the country into some hell-hole. Similarly, France still has substantial freedom even with the headscarf ban, and Singapore is reportedly a very nice place to live despite having a whole lot less democracy and individual rights in principle than the US.

Still, I prefer living under our set of laws w.r.t. both free speech and gun control. Maybe this is what different countries are for–we can make different tradeoffs across a wide range of issues, and still get decent societies, and so different societies make different tradeoffs and appeal to different people.

17 enoriverbend December 4, 2015 at 10:53 am


“Would people in Australia or Canada or Scotland need more guns to be safe or happy? Should they change? Why?”

If your point is merely about anchoring, then yes, people become used to a certain level of freedom and may be more pissed off if you take freedom away then glad if you give them more.

How would North Koreans react if they had press freedoms? Some of them, perhaps many, would be horribly confused and upset to read a variety of opinions. Does this argue against freedom of the press?

But more to the point, Switzerland has the 4th highest gun ownership in the world, and nobody points to them as a great exhibit for the need to crack down on guns. Why? Because they’re Swiss and civilized! Sweden’s 9th, ditto.

What is the primary relevant difference between your examples of “Australia or Canada or Scotland” and the US? Demographics. People.

If a Canadian moves to the US, are they magically turned into armed robbers, do they commit gang murders? No, they’re Canadians, so they are extremely unlikely to.

If we moved all of the population of Detroit to just up the road into Toronto, would their violent crime rate drop from 1,988 (per 100K) to 809? Not too likely.

It’s the people, and their culture, not the tools being used.

18 msgkings December 3, 2015 at 2:35 pm

If there was any chance of this working I’d actually be in favor. Even if we get past Constitutionality, social media and smart phones would make the attempt pointless. You might get the TV stations to stop but you can’t stop the internet.

I also wish we could put aside the 1st Amendment regarding political campaigning, maybe not allowing any until the actual election year. But again, you can’t do it even if you wanted to.

19 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm

“I also wish we could put aside the 1st Amendment regarding political campaigning.”

Hillary Clinton would sure like that. We’d have never heard of her private email server for getting donations from foreign nationals in return for state department favor, or her billion dollar foundation which is the actual manifestation of money in politics.

20 Gochujang December 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Good points. We can also add that “tactical” is a respectable hobby now, and any American born boy or girl can buy all the gear.

21 Floccina December 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

I was trying to think of a way to reduce mass shooting deaths. I thought maybe if we all carried non lethal weapons (tasers, Pepper spray) that would help. Then I though perhaps I should buy a non lethal weapon and start to carry it, then I though that is a lot of effort for something tiny chance of being near a mass shooting.So if it is too much cost for me because it is a tiny chance of being there why would I expect Government to act on it?

Arguments and fights seem to be the biggest single cause of murder.

We can do this:

Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

22 albatross December 4, 2015 at 9:26 am

Mass shootings are like terrorism–they’re spectacular and horrible and get lots of media attention, but they’re a tiny fraction of all murders, and they’re very rare–you are extremely unlikely to ever be within sight of one so any weapon you carry is extremely unlikely to have an impact.

23 Arjun December 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Come now, let us not jump to conclusions, it is quite possible that the shooters were just trying to better assimilate into American culture by participating in the time-honored tradition of carrying out a mass shooting!

24 Agra Brum December 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm

So have all the 350+ mass shootings this year been by Muslims? Or is it just this one?

25 JWatts December 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm

The shooting yesterday was the deadliest Mass Killing spree in years. So, that makes it particularly noteworthy. But I’m guessing you already knew that.

26 Boonton December 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

Kind of irrelevant, if you start shooting at a bunch of people the number that will end up dead is essentially a random function.

27 Bob from Ohio December 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm

“350+ mass shootings ”

This talking point is already a “fact”, it seems.

28 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

It must be so, I’ve seen it repeated so often!

The source appears to be this – and it is exactly as I suspected; a list of links to media reports of what ends up being mostly mere criminal activity; gang retaliation and warfare, botched robberies, and the like.

The “mass shootings of random people for either insane reasons, ideology, or the like” list is … much smaller.

But it doesn’t sell “mass shooting epidemic WE NEED GUN BANS NOW”, does it?

29 mulp December 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm

So, if your spouse and kids are shot and killed in a robbery, or as bystanders to an argument in the mall between gangs, that is no big deal because they were not killed for political reasons?

And reports of a gang shooting where you know your family is will not be terrifying to you because the shooters are just drug dealers, you will not fear for their safety?

30 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm

“So, if your spouse and kids are shot and killed in a robbery, or as bystanders to an argument in the mall between gangs, that is no big deal because they were not killed for political reasons?” No, mulp, you Santa Claus looking deranged liberal, but you already knew your false dichotomy was bs.

31 Dan Weber December 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Wait, is the narrative

“your chance of dying from Muslim terrorists is very low”


“your chance of dying in a mass shooting is very low”


Because both are true. I’m not changing my daily routine one bit since learning about the shooting, or since learning the IDs of the shooters.

32 Urstoff December 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Indeed, hopefully someone will discover their own cognitive dissonance between “mass shootings are low probability so not a problem for legislation to address” and “don’t let Syrian refugees in because of ISIS”.

33 Cooper December 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

And surely the reverse is also true:

“We shouldn’t do anything about terrorism because it’s so rare” VS “OMG, we’re all going to die because of mass shootings, BAN ALL GUNS”

34 Doug December 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

A lot more Americans derive enjoyment from guns than Syrian refugees. You’re ignoring one side of the cost-benefit analysis. Even though the chance of dying in terrorism is small, the utility gain to US citizens of letting in Syrian refugees is also quite small. In fact given the more sizable experience of Muslim immigrants in Europe, the utility gain is likely negative. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t a large utility gain for the refugees themselves, but many people believe that the purpose of a national government is to act in the interest of its citizens. You may disagree, but this is a value disagreement, not a factual one. And in this case you would be in the minority of the American electorate.

35 Dan Lavatan December 3, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Reply to Doug – you aren’t doing the cost benefit analysis properly because you are presupposing a huge immigration bureaucracy.

There are huge gains to being able to drive across the border at over 100MPH without slowing down, never waiting in line at an airport, and redeploying all CBP staff to useful duties. We can’t very well support restrictions on Syrians while we advocate for otherwise complete travel/border decontrols. There are also substantial gains associated with having an abundant labor supply.

I don’t care that much about Syrians one way or another. But as a citizen I hate being inconvenienced and it is certainly not in my interest to interfere my with right to travel. Our numbers grow every day and once we come to power borders will go away and never come back.

36 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Urstoff, are you really this dumb?

37 Doug December 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

@Dan Lavatan

If the Syrian refugee issue was being couched in terms of a broader struggle for hassle-free immigration, maybe that might be the case. But that describes at most maybe 0.01% of the total volume of discussion on the issue. It’s definitely not going to be the start of a snowball movement that culminates in short lines at Newark International. If anything Syrian refugees are likely to make your cross-border travel more of a pain in the ass in the future, as a potential terrorist attack will lead to a clampdown in immigration bureaucracy. The fewer potential terrorists that live in the US, the less of a hassle other countries’ immigration systems will give American citizens.

38 Urstoff December 4, 2015 at 12:01 am

The argument is simple: mass shootings are very low probability events. Terrorism from refugees is a very low probability event. The use of guns and the admission of refugees both have upsides: entertainment/security for the former, humanitarian for the latter. All people can fall back on in the face of the obvious cost-benefit analyses is unjustified citizenism.

39 Dan Lavatan December 3, 2015 at 7:45 pm

Do you know how much he saved the people of California in pensions alone? As far as I’m concerned Muslims can come here and shoot municipal employees all day long. Anyway, thousands of people die every day so nobody cares.

40 Horhe December 4, 2015 at 10:01 am

The funny thing is that statistics include Muslim violence in White violence, pushing up the tally for everyone who likes to compare racial statistics on violence. So, for all intents and purposes, Whites did it again. At least the 9/11 crew weren’t citizens. Imagine what a spike that would have been.

41 Horhe December 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

Yes, I know, Muslim isn’t a race. I meant to say Arab, North African, and subcontinental violence 😀

42 stan December 4, 2015 at 4:46 pm

The argument that liberals are making — that we should have the kind of laws already in place in France and California so that we can stop what happened in France and California — lacks a bit on the logic side. I realize this has never been an impediment to lefty arguments, but eventually one might expect a bit of reasoning to intrude.

43 Boonton December 5, 2015 at 8:20 am

What country did the Planned Parenthood shooter immigrate from? Damm you Puritans and all the terrorists you spawned!

44 TMC December 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

#4 Typical Vox. “Australia enacted a mandatory gun buyback that achieved that goal, and saw firearm suicides fall as a result.”

Strawman alert. “firearm suicides”. Australia had an uptick in suicides after they enacted their gun buy back.
The homicide rates are similar. A gun is a tool. The gun violence just transferred to violence by other means, with the same results.

Also suicide is not murder, and should not be included in the article. I guess when you have little to lean on, you make use of what you have.

45 Cooper December 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

There’s a strong overlap between people who support restrictions on firearms to reduce the suicide rate and people who support euthanasia.

They see nothing hypocritical about this.

46 Axa December 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm

What would be your reaction to? a) a friend committed suicide at home without telling anyone, b) a friend calls you to say “I’m putting a bullet in my head next month, just wanted to say goodbye”. Just because the second conversation makes you uncomfortable does not mean it’s not a valid option. Euthanasia is like option b and people taking this options could be considered braver because they sustain their choice during the waiting time.

Also, suicide and euthanasia are not “used” by the same type of people. Peak suicide is around 50-55 years old and the option is taken by people with mental issues. Peak euthanasia is around 70-75 years old, the option is taken by very ill people.

Nice trolling, but euthanasia and suicide are as close as water and wine, both are good for thirst.

47 mulp December 3, 2015 at 8:13 pm

They might not want to cause you any pain and quickly kill you to prevent you from grieving after they committed suicide. Here in NH, murder suicides aee frequently in the news.

48 Dan Weber December 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Eh, I support people’s right to end their lives, but it’s something they ought to talk over with someone, not just do one night after drinking.

FWIW, I don’t think gun restrictions would seriously impact suicides for more than a few years.

49 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

They just don’t like guns. The gun suicide isn’t something they really care about.

50 Tim C December 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Suicide Rate in Australia: Gun buyback starts October of 1996 and finishes at the same time in 1997, which the highest year for suicides followed by a steady decline.

Homocide rates, as the Vox article explicitly says, are much less clear:,+August+29,+7.32+PM+1.png (note gun buyback line is off by a year). You would need a more detailed analysis to figure out the effect of the program, which of course Vox referenced.

Aka a gun is a tool, and humans are defined by their tools – what tools are available matters.

51 albatross December 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

A gun isn’t just a tool, it’s a tool designed to kill people. That makes it a lot easier to successfully commit suicide with than other stuff you might have lying around, since most things are designed to make it hard to kill someone with them. (Though you can screw up the suicide attempt with a gun, too.)

Also, I expect there’s a different “activation energy” needed to get to the point of committing suicide in different ways. Imagine if the only way to commit suicide were to climb a high mountain somewhere and throw yourself into a volcano–only really determined people would manage it. Lots of suicidally depressed people (and terminally ill people who might have a perfectly rational motive for killing themselves) would just find it too hard to manage. A handgun has a pretty low activation energy for killing yourself–it doesn’t take a any planning, it’s not likely to hurt much, it can be done quickly before you come to your senses and realize that you didn’t really want to be dead.

52 Justin Kelly December 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Then explain South Korea, Japan and China (by CDC estimates, not Chinese official numbers) have some of the highest suicide rates in the world despite less access to guns?

In the Army, when we put people on suicide watch, we had to take peoples belt and boot laces and put an NCO on watch at all times, because we knew someone could kill themselves with anything. The difference with guns is that it has been put in the evoke set of ways to kill yourself. Similar to plastering the world with coca-cola and McDonalds ads keeps them in people evoke set of things to eat when you are hungry. Unlike food, suicide information methods probably have a higher information search cost, so its going to take longer for equilibrium to adjust. No doubt you will see a short run reduction, until other methods get popularized and then well, as Keynes puts it “in the long run we are all dead”.

53 decimal December 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm

“led to a statistically significant drop in firearm suicides — 74 percent, in fact, with no parallel increase in non-firearm suicides.”

“The results on homicides were a little less clear. Leigh and Neill found that the buyback resulted in a 35 to 50 percent decline in the gun homicide rate, but because of the low number of homicides in Australia normally, this change wasn’t statistically significant. “

54 carlolspln December 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

“Australia had an uptick in suicides after they enacted their gun buy back”

Data? Link? Anything?

55 Doug December 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm

This is why Vox has become a parody of its original intentions. Its stated purpose was to take a data-driven approach to current news issues. It turns out that very few people actually want neutral and objective assessments of political issues. They want confirmation of their beliefs, vindication of their allies and excoriation of their enemies. Having “data-driven” on the label is worth it because its high status, but being actually data-driven would undermine the message. They do these intellectual backflips to massage data in to the pre-decided narrative. Like having a card with a title saying gun homicides are correlated with gun ownership, than actually showing a chart of all gun deaths. When, just three cards earlier they outlined how gun suicides are much more common than gun homicides. Its dishonest and obsequiously, but it drives traffic. Which is why FiveThirtyEight, which is actually much more analytically objective and truth-seeking is nearly bankrupt while Matt Yglesias has a nine-digit net worth.

56 Alain December 3, 2015 at 11:04 pm


(And the idea that Yglesias has a nine digit net worth makes me cringe)

57 josh December 4, 2015 at 8:53 am

He does? That’s disgusting.

58 enoriverbend December 4, 2015 at 11:07 am

“Matt Yglesias has a nine-digit net worth.”


He just bought a $1.2M condo and was ragged about it. If he had a nine-digit net worth you’d think he would have spent a little more. Seven-digit sounds more like it.

59 djw December 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

I agree that Vox is mostly click bait drivel, but Yglesias actually writes some of the 2% or so of the articles that are worth reading.

60 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

So Vox does its usual proof-by-assertion. What is the mechanism by which a gun buy-back is likely to reduce gun homicides? The sort of law abiding people who hand in their guns are not the sort of people who go on shooting rampages.

As Vox admits, Australia’s buy back has had no statistically significant impact on their gun homicide rate. Which is why they are so focused on suicides. Vox is calling for an expensive program that they admit will have no impact at all on mass shootings.

The only way to have European levels of crime is to have a European population. White America is not that much more violent than White Europe. Black America is less violent than places like Jamaica or Brazil – or South Africa.

But then logic is not the strong suit of someone who says this “I also want to repeal all immigration laws and give everyone a monthly check from the government with no strings attached, and will argue for those ideas even though they’re doomed.” Can anyone see the slight flaw in offering every single person who wants to move to the US monthly no-strings-attached welfare money?

61 decimal December 3, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Maybe just some common-sense laws then? A few natural experiments from the article:

“For example, researchers have found that:

– After Connecticut passed a law requiring gun purchasers to first obtain a license, gun homicides fell by 40 percent and suicides fell by 15.4 percent.

– When Missouri repealed a similar law, gun homicides increased by 23 percent and suicides increased by 16.1 percent.

– Both firearm homicides and overall homicides are lower in states that check for restraining orders (13 percent fewer firearm homicides) and fugitive status (21 percent fewer) before selling guns, and firearm/overall suicides are lower in states that check for fugitive status (5 percent fewer), misdemeanors (5 percent fewer), and mental illness (4 percent fewer).

– The national assault weapons ban did not decrease gun deaths in the US, though if it had existed longer it might have made certain shootings less lethal. The end of the assault weapon ban did meaningfully increase homicides in Mexico.

– A Maryland law banning cheap, crummy handguns might have reduced gun homicides, but this effect was offset in part by customers rushing to purchase the guns before the ban took effect.”

62 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Common sense does not support gun buy backs.

If those laws were the point of the article, they should have been the focus of the article. The problem with such analysis is that when your torture the data this much you can get any response you like. As the author shows when he refuses to accept criticism of the Australian data on grounds of methodological flaws. However the first article on Connecticut’s homicide rate claims that the non-gun homicide rate did not change. The whole of America, and Canada, saw a decline in murder but not people in Connecticut who did not use a gun? That is reasonable doubt.

The problem with virtually all of them is that they are written by public health professionals. And so useless. Guns are not the problem. Some people just cannot accept their irrational bigotries are irrational

63 T. Shaw December 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Maybe just some common-sense Muslim control laws then?

Farook was not forced to kill 14 Americans by evil, assault guns or his explosives (a dozen or more bombs).

The Koran and Islam teach hatred, hegemony and violence but that had nothing to do with the massacre – it was the GUNS. Here’s how the Religion of Peace works: Muhammad (peace be upon him – OR I KILL YOU!!!)

The NRA and 40,000,000 American gun owners are constantly tried, judged and convicted for crimes they didn’t commit.

FYI – Guns are inanimate objects. And, you don’t realize that everything you believe and were taught is bullshit.

64 Arjun December 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Islam teaches hatred, hegemony, and violence in the same way that Christianity and Judaism do.

However, we (arguably) don’t see the same prevalence of entrenched violent extremism in the latter when compared to Islam. Which means that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to look to religion as a sole or primary determinant; there are obviously other factors involved. If you ask me, one major factor probably has something to do with the fact that a fanatical, totalitarian, and fabulously wealthy state (Saudi Arabia) has been able to export extreme, ultra-conservative, and sectarian interpretations of Islam for decades (which was often aided and abetted by the US government during the Cold War).

Combine this with the dull and alienating nature of middle-class consumer culture, the moral bankruptcy of US foreign policy, and the nihilistic violence that pervades American entertainment media, and you have a delicious recipe to drive angry or mentally ill youth to commit atrocities. Sometimes the given justification is connection with fundamentalist Islam, but more often than no (in the West) it is White youth with no discernable motive.

65 Horhe December 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

“the same prevalence of entrenched violent extremism”

This is wrong on many levels. I don’t know Judaism, so I’ll leave that out. So long as the perpetrator of a religiously motivated killing has an in-built fanbase that ululates in the street and gives out candy to children to celebrate his martyrdom and the infidel lives he has taken, then there’s a problem with that religion. I do not know of any identifiable Christian population that would condone or celebrate such violence. That is your difference. It is the difference between two ancient religions, whose precepts were laid out by tribes in the moral climate of that time, but one of which has become domesticated and not only coexists with science and humanism, but was amenable enough to them for them to be born in its midst.

You are right on Saudi Arabia sponsoring terrorism, and you are right on the spiritual malaise that Western societies, in their current state, induce in people on the left of the bell curve, if they have insufficient guidance and development. I think the War Nerd argued that boredom is an essential part of why non-Muslim westerners join the Jihadi camps or simply go out of their way to find a combat zone to insert themselves in, like the Belgian guy who did radio shows for the Hutu genocidaires.

66 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

What’s “common sense” mean?

(Note that those quotes don’t show me a source, nor do they tell me what the rest of the country was doing that year, or over what period the effect was measured – or if it was cherry picked to produce the “right” result.

Take Connecticut – the change mentioned was made in 1995 [and is only handguns, not all guns; thanks Vox], external research shows me.

In 1994, the murder count for CT was 215; in 1995 it was 150! [That source doesn’t break out gun homicides vs. other, but I’ll assume they’re not lying about 40%]

A huge win for gun control, yes?

Except that in 1992 the count was 166, within margin-of-error of 1995’s count – 1993 and 1994 were oddball highs, not the norm.

CT’s murder rate dropped to 98 in the year 2000 with no additional gun control, then back to 133 in 2010.

One might suspect that CT’s murder rate changed because the US murder rate was dropping after 1994, not because of handgun licensing.

See, thus, here.

Notice the entire US murder rate drops nicely after 1994, with no gun control measures to credit – and that the rate does not increase even by 2014, despite Heller and lots of concealed carry liberalization.

Whatever the murder rate in the US responds to, we can conclude it is not gun control measures.)

67 Jan December 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm

US ‘whites only’ murder rate: 2.6 per 100,000.
Denamark 1.0
Ireland 1.2
Norway 0.8
Sweden 0.9
Greece 1.4
Italy 1.4
Spain 1.2
Austria 0.8
France 1.7
Germany 1.2
Switzerland 1.0

68 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Thank you for that data Jan. So the White only murder rate is 2.6 per 100,000. Admittedly twice as high as most of Europe. On the other hand America’s gun death rate for the entire population is 106.4 according to Vox.

So about one hundred times higher.

Now admittedly they will be cheating by including suicides, but let that pass.

White America really does not have a problem. Homicides are over whelmingly concentrated in one or two minority communities. Perhaps we do not need a debate on gun control so much as the Black community needs a debate on thug control?

69 TR5749 December 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

point of clarification: Vox cites 106.4 per million vs. Americablog citing 2.6 per 100K (whites only), or about 4x higher. The data from Americablog includes an overall US rate of 5.5 per 100K, or a little less than 2x higher

70 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm


Whoa, whoa.

You’re misreading (to be fair, Vox is to blame, since they’re playing silly buggers).

The Vox number is per million, not per hundred thousand.

71 Ted Craig December 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

“The CDC explained in an e-mail that, for the purposes of this analysis, “white” includes both Hispanic white and non-Hispanic white, and “black” includes both Hispanic black and non-Hispanic black. Asians and Native Americans were excluded from the analysis.”

This guy uses a different analysis:

Just to be clear, I’m not advocating a position here, so spare me your claims of racism, but these are facts you need for an honest conversation.

72 Colin December 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Interesting about Switzerland given this factoid from Ian Bremmer:

73 Barkley Rosser December 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm


You should check your data before you make silly assertions. You claim that that the white rate of gun violence in the US is about the same as that in Europe. Sorry, you are way off, basically by an order of magnitude. So, whites are responsible for about half of the 3.55 per million gun homicide deaths in the US per year, let us call it 1.75 or so. Looking at overall gun homicide rates in OECD member European countries finds most of them down in the in 0.1 to 0.3 range, with UK at 0.05. The highest is Luxembourg at 0,60, which is still only about a third of the US white gun homicide rate. Switzerland, which is in the top four for guns per capita has a rate of 0.23.

There is one European nation that beats the US, indeed does do overall, at over 4.0. That would be Serbia, known for its ethnic dleansing tendencies and also in the top four for guns per capita with the US, Switzerland, and Yemen,

Maybe you could use a bit more subtlety, or at least factual accuracy.

74 JWatts December 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Jan posted the numbers two posts up. Maybe you should have read them first.

75 JWatts December 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Oh, I see you specified Guns and he quoted homicide. Once again, everyone uses slightly different terminology making comparisons difficult.

76 Barkley Rosser December 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Gosh, JWatts, you got me. I simply used the Wikipedia entry for “gun-related deaths by country,” whereas your source is the impeccably correct Ann Coulter. Shame on me.

BTW, for any of you who have not heard this widely quoted remark, there are two issues on which “conservative” parties in basically the entire rest of the world view the positions of “conservatives” in the US as basically being completely insane. One of those is climate change and the other is guns, with us having the miinority of gun nuts in control of our political process.

77 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm

“Gosh, JWatts, you got me. I simply used the Wikipedia entry for “gun-related deaths by country,”

So you tried to mislead all of us.

“basically the entire rest of the world view the positions of “conservatives” in the US as basically being completely insane.”

So you’re really cosmopolitan and other people agree with you which makes you feel good about yourself.

78 anon December 3, 2015 at 3:27 pm

“there are two issues on which “conservative” parties in basically the entire rest of the world view the positions of “conservatives” in the US as basically being completely insane”

That’s nice. Why should I care?

79 Barkley Rosser December 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Well, Thomas and anon, if you are Screw-the-rest-of-the-world gun nut global warming skeptics who think that Ann Coulter is infallible, you should be full of yourselves for your views.

80 Floccina December 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Barkley it is from an article debunking Ann Coulter. She had claimed the the USA white homicide rate was the same as Europe but the article said that it was 2x as high.

81 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Barkley Rosser December 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm

One of those is climate change and the other is guns, with us having the miinority of gun nuts in control of our political process.

If you think the pro-gun community is a minority, please feel free to encourage the Democrats to embrace more gun control. Any time.

In the 1930s those nice sophisticated Europeans embraced Fascism. No doubt they laughed at the rubes in Idaho who still believed in freedom. In the 1960s they embraced Stalinism. They definitely laughed at the hicks in South Dakota who still believed in democracy. Only this time the sophisticates on campuses across America joined French intellectuals in working for a victory for the Khmer Rouge.

Align your politics any way you like Barkley. But be careful of their track record.

82 Thomas December 3, 2015 at 8:38 pm

“Well, Thomas and anon, if you are Screw-the-rest-of-the-world gun nut global warming skeptics who think that Ann Coulter is infallible, you should be full of yourselves for your views.”

I’m not, but I’m also not surprised to see that you take roll count before deciding your views. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

83 Bob from Ohio December 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

“an order of magnitude”

The difference between France and US {whites} is one per 100,000. Hardly worth junking one of the Bill of Rights for.

84 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Well it is always a pleasure to hear from you Barkley. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say. If gun laws worked the French wouldn’t be shot up so often by Islamists with AK-47s. But also, let’s look at those homicide rates.

The US sits at 3.8 per 100,000. The next country is Aruba. That is, part of the Netherlands. Also higher than the US is Mayotte (France – 6.0), Turks and Caicos Islands (UK – 6.6), Anguilla (UK – 7.5), Bermuda (UK – 7.7), Guadeloupe (France – 7.9), British Virgin Islands (UK – 8.4), French Guiana (France – 13.3), Cayman Islands (UK – 14.7), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France – 16.5), Montserrat (UK – 20.4) and United States Virgin Islands (US – 52.6)

But also Greenland (Denmark – 19.4)

So it seems the nice Danish, Dutch, French and British states are not that good at preventing murder are they?

Yes, White Americans – a category that the government deliberately blurs by including Hispanics – are more violent than Europeans. But not that much more violent. They are not twenty times more violent than the French for instance. Which seems to be what you are claiming. They are five times more likely to die by gun than the French.

85 TR5749 December 4, 2015 at 2:12 am

“3.55 per million gun homicide deaths in the US per year”

there aren’t even 3.55 million deaths per year in the US, let alone gun homicides

according to the CDC, in 2013 (most recent available data), there were just under 2.6M total deaths in US. Of those, just over 11,000 were homicide by firearm. Additionally, there were another 21,000 suicide by firearm & about 500 accidental firearm deaths. Just under 34K total, so you are off by two orders of magnitude

86 TR5749 December 4, 2015 at 12:20 pm

erp . . . I’m the idiot

87 Floccina December 3, 2015 at 4:36 pm

White America is not that much more violent than White Europe.

I think white USAers muder at about 2x the rate of white Europeans. See:

88 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm

The sort of law abiding people who hand in their guns are not the sort of people who go on shooting rampages.

Nor do they start out as gun nuts who own multiple weapons for years. They are people who get an idea and spend a few months accumulating the weapons. If it’s harder or impossible to procure the weapons, perhaps they won’t go through with it.

89 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

And what do you mean one album? I like Adele but it is still the same album.

90 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

It is an interesting article from one of the blood-sucking middle-men parasites that have made music such a vile industry. In that he wants them to be better blood-sucking middle-men parasites while acknowledging their role in ruthless exploitation of artists. The fact that artists now make 90% of their money from live music suggests they have no useful role to play at all. Technology should be about disintermediation so people like him are out of a job. What is unusual is that he sort of admits it.

The solution is obvious: first we shoot all the record executives.

91 BenK December 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Preparedness against catastrophe always imposes costs. Simple truth.
People differ in their estimation of the future risks, and so they differ in their
willingness to accept the costs.

If someone calls the Second Amendment ’embarrassing,’ it certainly says that they
do not stand with the moaen aabe crowd in their assessment of risks and threats,
and they certainly disagree about the costs. I can safely say that none of the
arguments made by either side will convince the other. None, not one.
The interesting thing is that they both believe they are attempting to protect both
of them.

92 Todd December 3, 2015 at 1:18 pm

I think one thing the article does bring up, though (aside from the qualified success in Australia), is that the 2nd Amendment itself is a bit of a red herring. Well crafted and strongly supported restrictions on guns from Congress would be a lot harder for federal courts to overturn than similar city or county-wide local restrictions. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

93 JWatts December 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

Of course not. Constitutional Amendments aren’t impossible to pass. It’s just that the 2nd Amendment has strong support and we live in a Democratic Republic. So as a society we’ve decided that the cost is worth it.

94 msgkings December 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm

This topic always brings out the absolutes (I guess most do). Just because there’s a right to bear arms doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have many common sense policies on how to best make that work. There seems to be some low hanging fruit to be picked there, and there’s more support for those than for totally unregulated firearms.

95 MOFO. December 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Like what low hanging fruit? Id be a lot more willing to consider these policies if they were anything more specific that “common sense proposals”

96 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Making it more difficult for people with a history of mental illness to procure weapons.

97 msgkings December 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Preventing those on the terror watch list from buying guns. Fingerprint activated trigger technology. Closing the gun show loophole. Making gun sales to under 21 illegal. Mandatory training, gun safes, etc.

Obviously these kinds of measures would not eliminate gun violence, especially among gangbangers killing each other. But it would definitely reduce it, and at very little cost. Basically, make owning a gun like owning a car, another tool that can be deadly if used improperly.

98 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Preventing those on the terror watch list from buying guns. Fingerprint activated trigger technology. Closing the gun show loophole. Making gun sales to under 21 illegal. Mandatory training, gun safes, etc.

1) Illegal – no due process.
2) Doesn’t work. There’s a reason police departments refuse such technology – and cops are at the greatest risk of having a gun snatched and used against them directly! (Especially note that someone who stole the gun can disable such technology pretty easily, in any version I’ve ever heard of; guns are simple mechanical objects, and making a print activation thing that nobody can simply disable or replace will be essentially impossible.)
3) “Loophole means deliberate feature the speaker does not like”. Also note that per BATFE very few criminal users acquire guns at gun shows; a gun show has no magic exceptions from the law. Dealers selling at gun shows must do NICS checks; individuals selling not-as-a-business don’t have to do NICS checks because they happen to be doing so at a gun show [Federally; some states have a requirement – to no obvious effect on criminal misuse of guns, because see preceding]. This is a “feel-good” measure with no practical effect except to make it harder to be “a gun person”. Remember, after “gun show loophole” is “private sale loophole” or “the Craigslist or nickel-ads loophole”.
4) Minors already can’t buy handguns, Federally. Is the thesis that 18-21 year olds buying long guns legally is a plague on peaceful life? Show me some data to support that.
5) Mandatory training? Too easily abused*, and almost all misuse of firearms that we care about is deliberate and criminal.
6) Gun safes? What problem is that trying to stop?

Remember, safety-minded people already use gun safes. But people without kids, who have a gun they carry, don’t really need one much; a requirement is extra money and enforcement and another “gotcha” for poor people and anyone the Man wants to “get”.

And a requirement for storage in the safe prevents self-defense and is this unconstitutional under Heller.

All of the “common sense” here is stuff that is a red herring or a bad idea. We already have all the “common sense gun laws” we actually need.

(* Remember how “literacy tests” for voting became “black people can’t vote because the test is rigged”?

The gun community has not forgotten, and does not trust the State or you to play fair. With damned good reason.)

99 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Literacy tests didn’t “become” anything. They were always about preventing blacks from voting.

Ever heard of the phrase “grandfather clause?” It comes from the BS rule that allowed most white people to skip literacy tests.

100 Horhe December 4, 2015 at 10:18 am

The way I see it, English literacy tests were a good thing. They simply should have enforced them against Euro-Americans, as well. I don’t have any good idea on what to replace it with, but this universal suffrage thing is not working out right, especially in diverse societies. There was this post on MR quoting an open borders guy saying that one man, one vote would be a casualty under open borders.

101 stan December 4, 2015 at 4:54 pm

If there is low hanging fruit, no Democrat has ever identified it. They lie like crazy, but facts are so hard for them to grasp.

102 T. Shaw December 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Todd, That’s (it’s a red herring) un-American. It’s in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

Aside from that, people say the government can’t deport 11 million illegals. Can it imprison millions of Americans that refuse to obey more gun control laws?

I can’t decide if liberals’ love affair with gun control is Orwellian or simple hysterics.

Look at the experience of CT and NY. Both states enacted laws controlling/banning so-called assault weapons immediately (the blood was not dry) after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. Ergo, no new massacre occurred in either state since. Right: and approximately no assault rifle was turned in, and none was registered. I saw an estimate of one million scofflaws in CT. The states’ reactions: crickets. In NY it’s illegal to disclose compliance.

Start here. Violent felons need to be controlled so they cannot harm anyone. Drug/street gangs need to be disarmed. Scores of Muslim warfare training camps around the country need to be rolled up and neutralized.

The gun control canard would be banal if it weren’t so tragic.

103 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm

The Bill of Rights is over 200 years old, written by a bunch of guys who could not conceive of the world we live in today.

Fetishism for “the founding fathers” is silly given what we know about human nature, not to mention the very real facts about how many of the founding fathers had feet of clay.

104 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

By that logic, we should also toss the First Amendment (the Founders couldn’t have imagined the telephone and internet, plus they’re not old!).

The Fourth (how could it apply to telephones and computers? It’s plainly outdated because old and stuff.).

See where I’m going?

The Founders are not revered for being perfect Godlike beings without sin, is the thing.

They’re revered – to the extent that they are – because of their ideas about individual liberty and the role of the State, and not one bit of that has changed in value since 1789.

But an appeal to the Constitution is not even an appeal to the Founders – it’s an appeal to the fact that American government is limited – and that American government is literally justified by its adherence to and flowing from that document.

If you want to change how American government works in a way that goes contrary to the Constituting Document, either we throw out the rule of law by throwing out the justifying, limiting-and-granting-power document, or we use the Amendment process.

If you can’t get support for an Amendment, well … lemme tell you, your changes aren’t good enough to deserve being implemented.

(Note, on the 2nd Amendment, that the Founders could conceive of individuals owning cannons just fine – and you actually still can own those. And of individuals carrying around braces of pistols for personal defense while traveling, because one shot isn’t enough.

Tell me again how the fact that people who carried a brace of pistols would obviously have changed their minds about gun rights if they knew about self-loading handguns; they’d be thrilled at the lack of encumbrance.

“Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.”)

105 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

There is no “by that logic” about the first amendment. I recommend we blow up the whole document and start over. Those same guys would have written a very different Constitution today.

their ideas about individual liberty and the role of the State, and not one bit of that has changed in value since 1789.

Like slaves are 3/5 human?

An amendment invalidated that rule, but it took our country’s bloodiest war first.

106 chuck martel December 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Yes, those founding fathers also wore wigs and had buckles on their shoes. Not only that, in 1789 the word “arms” didn’t mean just hand-held little cannons. It also meant swords, knives, axes, pikes, maces and all the other accessories of hand to hand battle. That’s why state restrictions on switchblade knives are patently unconstitutional.

107 Horhe December 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

Fetishism for “the founding fathers” is a useful anchor when cultural relativism reigns. The problem here is that many just pay lip service to the Founding Fathers’ vision, for the sake of the rubes, and they just go along with whatever agenda they have. Are you going to note the Muslim fetishism for their holy texts and their Prophet? Or the Jewish-American (especially those in high places) ethno-fetishism for Israel at the expense of their country?

108 FUBAR007 December 4, 2015 at 10:42 am

@Sigivald: “They’re revered – to the extent that they are – because of their ideas about individual liberty and the role of the State […] But an appeal to the Constitution is not even an appeal to the Founders – it’s an appeal to the fact that American government is limited…”

A philosophical and political framework premised on the assumption that people are naturally wise, rational, competent, and can thus be trusted to not abuse their freedom and behave destructively. Or, at minimum, that they can be trusted not to behave destructively in a way that significantly affects others or society writ large.

That assumption is false. The vast majority of people are idiots. Nor can the majority of them be trusted to effectively self-regulate. Authority is necessary. Some level of control is necessary. People have to be kept in line. People need to be told what to do. When it comes to paternalistic authoritarianism, it’s not a question of if. It’s only a question of how much.

The irony of your comments is that the American founding fathers understood this all too well. They didn’t envision America as the libertarian minarchist paradise you imagine. Rather, they envisioned a plutocracy governed by those they deemed sufficiently enlightened i.e. people like themselves. Remember, suffrage in the U.S. originally only extended to white, male landowners over the age of 21. You can disagree with the validity of their screening criteria, but those guys were by no stretch of the word democratic, libertarian populists.

109 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm

It is important to recognize that people have radically different priors on this [and many other] subject, yes.

110 BenK December 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

Indeed. And I’d go one further – it is important to take a peek at what those priors would suggest before claiming anything as ‘common sense.’ It can only be common if it rests on priors that are common. So there are no ‘common sense’ gun control regulations that involve the federal government as the primary proponents. There is even debate about state or local governments (and how much they have been coopted by the federal government). From what I’ve seen of neighborhood politics, I really don’t see compromises taking place anywhere, anymore, frankly.

111 albatross December 4, 2015 at 9:59 am

I think it’s even more important to note that this is an argument about values, not about questions of fact.

I think (I’m not an expert) that a careful and fair look at the facts will make it clear that you can cause a pretty substantial decrease in number of homicides and suicides by making guns a lot harder to get. This won’t prevent all mass-shootings, nor will it prevent all homicides, but it will make both more rare. It’s probably very difficult to get a very solid estimate of the likely size of the effect here, since you’ve got to extrapolate from very different situations to the near-future US

But that’s not where the fundamental disagreement is. Lots of people own guns and want to keep owning guns. When you come down to it, their desire to own guns isn’t based on the answer to these social science questions, it’s down to personal preferences and values. Many of the people who care about this issue care about it very deeply, enough so that it can have a big impact in politics. Many other people think owning guns is nuts and can’t imagine that there could be any good reasons for wanting them. This also largely comes down to values.

IMO, the best solution we’re likely to come to is something like federalism–let places where the majority is comfortable with guns keep relatively light gun laws, and places where the majority is uncomfortable with them have stricter gun laws. I suspect this is the best solution to a huge number of political conflicts that come down to values. (Unfortunately, politicians and activists usually prefer to try to win the battle once at the top and impose their answer on the world, via politics or the courts.)

112 Hazel Meade December 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

#3 I think it’s interesting that there seems to be more of a market for chubbier female singers these days. During the MTV days it kind of seemed like a woman also had to look like a supermodel to succeed in music. We seem to be returning to days of the proverbial fat lady with the operatic voice.

113 Thor December 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm

The music industry is not over ’til the Fat Lady sings!

114 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

At this rate by the time she releases the album after next, Adele will look like Taylor Swift

115 Bryan Willman December 3, 2015 at 1:54 pm

And why is it that people always choose the UK or Australia, and never talk about other places with all manner of restrictions on arms that have murder rates on the whole comparable to the US, and on the whole no better than the vast majority of the US away from drug/gang zones? France has firearm laws described as rather more restrictive than the US, and they just suffered the worst attack since WWII. Oh, and the duo in California apparently also had BOMBs – which are already fully illegal everywhere.

Why do proposals always assume that what would pass would be like the UK (for health care as well as firearms) and that the result would be the same (even if its not necessarily better?) The US is not the UK or Australia, nor Denmark nor Sweden nor Finland, and any suggestion of the form “we should do what they did and we’ll get the same result” is always basically nonsense.

We could just as well get the murder rate of Kenya or the health care results of Greece.

I will also note that Tyler has expressed an idea that “well, if nobody drank there would be a lot fewer alcohol induced debacles” – which is true but irrelevent – prohibitiion was TRIED and FAILED.
Drug prohibition is being tried and is FAILING. Nobody has really tried cigarette prohibition since it’s a doomed proposal. Yet a tragic and spectacular yet rare event causes a chorus of “we need to ban firearms, except from the police who many people don’t trust anymore….”

116 Bob from Ohio December 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm

“duo in California apparently also had BOMBs – which are already fully illegal everywhere”

We need common sense plumbing pipe control.

The Boston Bombing was less bad because it was not a”mass shooting”.

117 collin December 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Why shouldn’t China be in deflation? The US has sorta been there the last 15 month so why shouldn’t China be there? My guess commodity price drop probably have a much larger effect on Chinese CPI versus US CPI?

The big question is what happens if/when the Fed increases the rate to .25% – .50%? Does China decide to continue to devalue to dollar or increase value to their commodity trader partners?

118 Larry December 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm

The problem with “Many guns kill many people” is that the US gun ownership and murder rates are uncorrelated. The number of civilian guns in the US has increased steadily from about 80 million in 1960 (0.4 per person) to about 350 million in 2013 (1.1 per person). The murder rate increased from about 5 per 100,000 in 1960-1965, peaked at 10 per 100,000 in 1980 and 1991, and is now back down to 5 per 100,000. I don’t see a correlation.

119 Dan Weber December 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Well, let’s ban all the guns and find out!

120 Anon December 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm

The fact that they are not strictly correlated does not mean homicide rates wouldn’t decrease if gun control was enacted. All sorts of crime has been decreasing over the last 30 years, not just in America but across the WEIRD world. The question is whether it would be even lower if it were more difficult to shoot people.

121 The Original D December 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

I think you’d need to look at it by zip code. What is the density of weapons in areas with the most gun violence?

122 Bryan Willman December 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm

And if “many guns kill people” then Obama, arguably the greatest firearm salesman in history, would do more good by being quiet.

123 dbp December 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm


Of course, Obama is far more interested in virtue signaling than on helping, so he will continue to yap.

124 Bob from Ohio December 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

He was yapping about the same old gun control talking points while the bodies were still warm.

“Universal” background checks before he knew how they got the guns. About a shooting in a state that already has “universal” background checks.

125 So Much For Subtlety December 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm

He could certainly stop his programs illegally selling guns to Mexican drug gangs just for the laughs. That might work.

126 Urstoff December 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Why is there no consideration on the left about the possible negative effects of prohibition? If you’re going to reduce firearms violence through gun control, it would have to be a concerted effort to outlaw any semi-automatic weapons (really, pistols). Given the number of gun in the US, it seems that this wouldn’t be possible without the kinds of problems typical of mass prohibitions: huge black markets that themselves cause massive violence.

127 Bill Kilgore December 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Once a century the American “progressive” movement likes to shoot itself in the face with an inane prohibition effort.

Now is their chance to really make fools of themselves. I don’t see them wasting it.

128 8 December 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm

There would not be a black market for guns, what would happen is there would be very large portions of the country that would not comply with the order and USG would either abandon the policy; allow it’s authority to crumble as people publicly defy the law; or tighten the screws until there was a violent backlash, potentially civil war. Local police have already said they wouldn’t comply with such an order. It would be impossible to collect the guns without risking regime change.

129 msgkings December 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Which is one reason why the nuts that call for total prohibition are as deluded as the nuts who call for zero regulation.

130 Urstoff December 3, 2015 at 3:19 pm

What short of a prohibition on handguns is going to make a dent in gun violence?

131 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm

There’d be both!

I mean, there’s already a black market in guns for criminal users who can’t buy them lawfully.

There’s enough supply – and enough ease of production or smuggled import – to keep that going for years and years even if we magically could ban and confiscate all those guns held by … exactly the set of people who are the least dangerous with them.

(Check the news reports; cops lose guns and have them stolen from their cruisers with great regularity.)

132 CG December 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

4 – re Australia as evidence that “many guns kill people”: firearms deaths in Australia began declining in the mid to late 80s, way before the gun confiscation program. By 2010, total number of guns owned in Australia was back up to where it was before the program – yet there was no uptick in gun-related violence. Also suggesting this was part of a broader trend unrelated to the number of guns available, New Zealand, a country very similar to Australia in a lot of ways, didn’t enact comprehensive gun control measures yet saw similar declines in gun-related death rates.

133 honkie please December 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

A very nice kid I grew up and played baseball with was killed in the San Bernardino shootings.

As to Vox, I don’t know if Tyler regularly links out of genuine respect or for comic relief.

134 Alain December 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

I just wish he would annotate the links with (Vox) or (Crooked Timber). Whenever I click on links to these sites I cringe. I know the argument “my tribe is right, you should submit your freedom to our sophistry!” I get upset that I am giving them money for such drivel.

135 honkie please December 4, 2015 at 12:51 am


136 Floccina December 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

#4 Reads too much there is a competition between countries. It is like the healthcare and PISA scores debate in that regard. I do think murder in the is a really problem to address but we should talk about its size but it would be good if the USA had less than 1 murders per 100,000 residents even if some other country has .25 murders per 100,000.

BTW Southern Europeans have a reputation for ignoring laws is it due to the gun laws that they have low murder rates?

137 JayT December 3, 2015 at 4:21 pm

#4: This line:
“Plenty of research has found a strong correlation between the amount of guns in an area and its gun homicide rate.”

Is a bald-faced lie. The link he provides shows a graph of firearm ownership compared to firearm-related deaths, not homicide. In reality, there is little to no correlation between firearm ownership and homicides in states.

138 Sigivald December 3, 2015 at 6:08 pm

It should also be noted that “firearms ownership” is a tough one.

Lots of gun owners don’t want to tell a stranger over the phone – who might work for a government that has a tendency to oppose gun ownership – that they own valuable, easily sold and transported arms, let alone how many and what kinds.

(And on the other side, the people who own arms illegally never report that, and seem to be involved in a rather higher proportion of gun homicides than the other 100,000,000 or so Americans who have a gun in the house, eh?)

139 JayT December 3, 2015 at 6:28 pm

That is definitely true. I wonder what is the most likely demographic to lie about their gun ownership. Is it the backwoods folks that assume the government is out to take their guns, or is it the inner city person with an illegal sidearm? I wonder if it ends up balancing out?

Of course, in this article’s particular case, the number of people with illegal firearms does nothing to strengthen their argument since a gun buy-back would be nearly meaningless to someone that owned an illegal firearm.

140 Aaron J December 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm

To reiterate a past point about small ball in the NBA, I think it is a smart strategy. But Steph Curry tends to make all coaching decisions that involve him shooting look smart.

141 Floccina December 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Here is a report that claims there are 3 million registered guns in France and 15 guns in France:

142 Colin December 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Dylan Matthews/Vox:

Perhaps the single most supported contention in all of gun research is that more guns mean more gun deaths.

Ok, except then how to reconcile this?:

143 Rafael Guthmann December 3, 2015 at 7:51 pm

How about the elasticity of substitution between gun homicides and non-gun homicides? Of course, its plain obvious that restricting number of guns will decrease number of gun homicides, but it will probably increase the number of knife homicides and it’s not much harder to kill a civilian with a knife than it is with a gun.

Also, in Brazil there are very strict gun control laws: it’s almost illegal for a civilian to own a gun. Murder rates are not that small in there (euphemism).

144 Rafael Guthmann December 3, 2015 at 8:26 pm

On, 2. well the Malthusian model is not taken literally by most economic historians (except ones like Clark). So there is no discrepancy between western and Chinese economic historians on that point. While it’s true malthusian shocks happened in historical economies: population growth driving per capita income down and population reduction (black death) driving per capita income up.

145 jorod December 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm

I would say a good part of gun violence is perpetrated by government against its own citizens. How about Tienneman Square? How many people did Stalin, Mao or Castro put up against a wall? What about Hassad or Sadam Hussein? There are millions of gun owners in US. Where is all the violence? Christians don’t kill each other.

146 jorod December 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

What about the little darlings known as FARC in Venezuela and their attacks on innocent civilians in Colombia? Dirty little facts.

147 Justin Kelly December 4, 2015 at 12:09 am

It puzzles me to see modern economists supporting prohibition. It failed for alcohol, it failed for drugs. It fails for firearms; it will fail even harder in the new era or personal manufacturing with 3D printers.

It disheartens me even more when the problem is clearly an economic one and economists won’t address it as such. Places in the US that economically look like Canada or europe have homicide rates like canada or europe. Places in the US that look like South America have homicide rates like south america. The instant these studies exclude countries in South America, the middle east or the soviet block and ignore Switzerland and Andorra to back their argument for firearms prohibition they tacitly admit the real problem is economic more than anything else.

148 stan December 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Or cultural.

149 Justin Kelly December 5, 2015 at 12:58 am

I say this after nearly 9 years living overseas in east Asia… “cultural” is a crutch for lazy post-hoc rationalizations. Nearly all the cultural traits we proclaim others to have we either have too or just don’t think we do because it “different” if we do it or simply had it a long time ago when we had similar socio-economic conditions.

150 GoneWithTheWind December 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

The article on gun control was dishonest. First to compare America’s gun deaths with a nation in which the citizens can’t own guns is intentionally misleading. Are we to assume that in England or Australia that no one ever dies from a knife or club? At the very least compare all homicides across the board from all causes. Secondly the problem in America is not simply all Americans committing homicides. While it may be politically incorrect to discuss it the truth is African Americans commit most of the gun homicides with hispanics committing most of the rest. If England, Canada or Australia suddenly woke up tomorrow with all of our African Americans they would endure a sudden and sustained high murder rate. So it would be honest to make the claim that guns are not the problem but rather our high African American and hispanic population is the problem. The homicide rate for Americans of European descent is actually lower than the rates of Canada, Australia and England. No one thinks we can ‘fix’ our African American and Hispanic ‘problem’. But to blame it all on guns or to somehow claim that if we just outlaw all guns the problem will go away is naive at best and intentionally subversive at worst. (Subversive as in subverting our constitution claiming to be able to fix a problem that you know it will not fix.) Our choices are to accept the tendency of these two minority communities to commit homicides and allow law abiding people the right to carry a gun to deliver the justice that our system is unable to deliver, OR to concentrate our law enforcement resources where the problem is.

151 Luna December 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm

It’s all relative? A light trgegir is relative when the rank and file are trained on 10-lb. trgegirs. But then, it seems relying on DA revolver like trgegirs is not a substitute for proper training and observation of the Four Rules chiefly trgegir discipline

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