We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A propos of Theo’s clip on gun confiscation vs. gun crime, I looked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics site (www.abs.gov.au/ausstats) to see what changes there have been in reported firearms crimes since the 1996 ban on firearms ownership. The data is relatively buried, with different data sets on different pages in different years, but I was able to find the following data (percentage of crimes using firearms):
Percent of Australian Crimes using a Firearm 1995 2006
Kidnapping/abduction 2.8% 5.0%
Murder 17.8% 16.5%
Attempted murder 26.7% 25.3%
The gun confiscation certainly cannot be said to have materially changed the incidence of gun-related crime, although the use of a gun as a threat seems to have doubled the small kidnapping/abduction rate. The Right shouts that gun crime is up, and it is some years, but it is down other years. At best, the gun ban can be said to be irrelevant. Left shouts that they “feel safer”, although they clearly are not; however, they do not do well with statistics.
Inasmuch as Australia is entirely surrounded by ocean, the perpetual complaint that Mr. Bloomberg makes – that New York’s ban doesn’t work only because criminals can buy easy guns in the South – is clearly shown by the Australian experience to be false.
Furthermore, in New York City all firearms must be registered, but there is an exception: because it is illegal for a convicted felon to own a gun, it has been (correctly) held to be unconstitutional to require a convicted felon to registered his guns, as it would be self-incrimination!
There have been a multitude of studies done in the US concerning crime in "carry" states. Those states see a drop, often significant in felonies across the board.
It just makes sense that if a potential attacker thinks you might be pack'n heat, he'll move on to an easier target.
Another point I've made before but it's worth repeating, mantra like if necessary. If you are in a mall or other area and some weirdo starts gunning people down you can at MINIMUM give suppressing fire, forcing the perp to keep his head down until the cavalry arrives. Otherwise you're just trusting to luck in not becoming an early and unanticipated organ donor.