Saturday, September 29, 2007

Five year old slashes classmate

Boy, 5, attacked pupil with knife at school

Another awful event for the UK, where a five year old child took a knife onto school grounds with him and used it with the apparent intention to kill one of his peers.

"Junaid's mother, Donna, 22, from Eastwood, Rotherham, wants the attacker moved to another school. She said: "It's horrifying that a five-year-old boy should take a knife to school and be prepared to use it against another child."

Miss Judge claimed the other boy had previously made threats against Junaid, including that he was going to stab and kill his five-month-old sister, Lailaa."

What's to say about this? That he would have killed his classmate if he had had a gun? Studies show that an assailant armed with a knife is actually more likely to inflict a serious/lethal injury. No, the point raised by Junaids mother would be a better one;
It IS most horrifying that one person could be so serious about wishing harm done upon another, to take a weapon with him/her and make an attempt at the other persons life.

It's these intentions which turn one into a dangerous person, not the object he chooses as an aid in completing his malicious plans.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Highlights, AUG/SEP 2007

Okay, Here are the Highlights so far, content that I wrote myself, not discussing current events.

I started out with a list of reading recommendations, because I belief that you cannot form an opinion unless you base it on decent information. I know that people like to sneer at "my side" for being delirious. If you believe that, ask yourself: what's the last time you've seen the other side back itself up with data from the department of justice or the FBI?

I started my blog with a profound reply to the culturologists idea that guns are a problem, Iwent looking for a correlation between gun ownership and our violence problem. In August, I wrote a piece that removing guns from society is not at all desirable, even if it were possible. And I'd already been over that issue, I hope to have established that guns are here to stay.

Condensed; We can't get rid of them, we shouldn't bother, we're better off with them.

When it was about the pass the house, I made some observations about microstamping, I also wrote some peices about the kind of legislation I can support back then. (first) (second).
I also wrote a lengthy and disputed piece on the current DC gun/crime situation.

More recently, I wrote a small piece about safe storage, Pointed out a few differences between both sides of this arguement, took some potshots at the Brady blog, and took some more at their terror scare.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bradies Vs Terrorism, scarecrows on an empty field.

Terrorism is a felony,
Felons can't buy firearms,
ergo, convicted terrorists cannot legally buy firearms.
Remember that when you read this page by the Brady campaign.

Now, I am a strong proponent of war on terror, both on an economical and a tactical level. Make no mistake, I fondly believe terrorism is something that needs to e dealt with decisively, to protect our freedoms and our way of life.

But calling out to remove those exact freedoms from people because we "suspect" they might be part of a potentially terrorist organization? Defeating the purpose in my opinion.
Suspected terrorist can be tried on conspiracy charges, the patriot act allows for serious options on gathering evidence; if somebody has ties to a Pakistani terror cell or handles large sums of suspicious money, "they" will find out! No terrorist, real or suspected, will be able to walk into Joes gunstore and arm up without his file landing under sevral federal microscopes.

Stop trying to scare people with imaginary terrorists, that's our (Rep.) job!

And about those explosives the Bradies put on their site ... what? What about them, you put such a big scary word on there and then you don't talk about it? Have you got any idea what you need to go through to get a license to manufacture/store/buy/use/transport explosive substances? Yes, those are all separate licenses, all expiring, and you can bet the farm that application records will never be fully discarded.
And let me tell you, legislation doesn't eliminate the illegal manufacture of explosives of any order. I'm a chemist myself with a keen interest in what's referred to as high energy chemistry.

I've seen accurate descriptions on the internet explaining in great detail how to make both low explosive propellant and burst charges, high explosive primaries, boosters, main charges, shaped charges (as found in armor piercing ordinance) and tons of exotic compositions, all available to your average citizen, all available to an aspiring terrorist.
Yes they're accurate, I check these things with certified literature, yes, that information is out there and poses a real source of information for terrorists, even though a lot of their recent attempts have been "half-assed" to use a popular expression

So what? You're hoping that some more legislation will deter these people, who often intend to die themselves in their attack, from building and using explosives? When is the last time a squad of terrorist gunmen have walked down main street gunning down innocent civilians?

Give it up, because reason never will.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Update on The DSU shooting

A man, suspected to be responsible for the shooting in Delaware sate university has been apprehended:

"OVER, Del. — Police arrested an 18-year-old man from New Jersey on Monday in the shooting of two Delaware State University students.

Loyer D. Braden of East Orange, N.J., was charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment, as well as a gun charge, according to court documents."

The rest of the story can be read on the Fox news website.

So, this guy is facing as many felony convictions as the amount of shots he fired, and still some people maintain that we cannot properly persecute violent gun abusers.

As far as response goes, this incident can be called a success story; The campus was cleared at incredible speed, the victims were well taken care off, and a suspect has already been apprehended and faces hefty charges.
Would have been better if this could have been prevented altogether of course. Just don't bring up reducing gun ownership as an option, at least in the same month when a "school-nail-bombing" has been in the headlines.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Minimal gun locker requirements.

Firearms should be stored in a safe and responsible fashion. Being small, lightweight and expensive, they are great pickings for criminals bent on quick cash. Guns of less monetary worth could be used for other crimes, or even turned on you should an intruder lay hands on them.

Another peril is a child coming across a firearm. I'm well aware that children can be taught to not touch guns, as I learned these lessons from both my birth father and my stepfather. Aged seven I knew not to touch my fathers target pistol, which he never needed lock up from me. In retrospect, he probably kept it unloaded at all times when not out at the range.

Still, no matter how well you have taught your children, they should never be allowed to handle firearms without your knowing, preferably under you supervision. If your child ever brings a friend over, there could be a child without even the basest firearm safety lessons learned under your roof.

You probably know that concealment doesn't equal cover, the same applies to your firearms. Just because they're not in plain sight, or even difficult to reach for younglings, doesn't mean he/she/they won't come across them. in the long run, your kids will be peeking at and into every closet and corner of your house. Guns shouldn't be in unlocked cupboards, or in a box on top of a tall closet, they should only be accessible to you.

Trigger locks are not a viable option. Guns equipped with these locks can still be stolen, and in some cases even be fired with the lock in place! A gun equipped with one of these is in no way to be considered safe. Safe gun locks are available though, they usually block the chamber, running from the breech through the barrel, out the muzzle. Other locks may pass through magwell and ejection port.

A decent safe or locker maybe cheaper than buying locks for your entire collection, and even guns equipped with state of the art locks can still be stolen and forcibly unlocked at another location.
In come locked doors. Ideally, you could have a true gunsafe, which is secure both from children, burglars, fire and even moisture thanks to a built-in desiccant compartment. Many safes are very heavy, making it impractical fro a burglar to run off with the entire thing.
Almost as good are sturdy closets, dressers, (foot)lockers or cupboards which can be properly locked.
Just the lock will probably deter most "in it for the quick pickings" burglars, but not one who has already established that you're not home, and whose curiosity has been spiked by a locked door. Criminals know that a locked door inside a house frequently stands between them and quick cash. chances are they'll pass on breaking it open if they're busy hauling out a TV, X-box and an assortment of jewelery, but if they can pick up the locked box and take it with them, they just might. Bolting the locker to a brick or concrete wall is an option.
If you'd still like to be able to move the locker around, you can bolt a ring into the wall and make a small cut into the back of the locker so you can attach it to the ring with a padlock on the INSIDE of your makeshift safe. You shouldn't be able to move the safe around if it's locked against the wall. Easier than a ring would be an L-shaped piece of metal, one end is bolted to the wall with a screw and washer, the other part which points away from the wall can slide through a small slit into the locker, where a padlock can be attached.

The locker should not be easy to disassemble. A lock is no good if all you need to remove the front door is a screwdriver in order to pass it by. Other weak points are the hinges. They should be welded onto the inside of the locker. If they're on the outside, they could be smashed or cut, if they're screwed, the screw could be drilled.
The locks on the front too, should be protected by the metal plating. Padlocks Are the worst of all, they can be cute in a matter of seconds with a pair of bolt cutters, drilled with a portable drill, or circumvented by cutting the piece connecting it to the door.
A lock which protrudes outside of the box can have it's cover removed with minimal force, and might be prone to being turned with a pair of pliers.

A steel/aluminium dresser which has been welded together and bolted to a wall, has no external hinges and a lock which does not protrude from the door makes a great gunsafe, which keeps your guns safe from all but the most determined criminals, and keeps your children and their peers safe as well.
Another option is to convert a walk in closet to a walk in gunsafe by equipping it with a hard to break door, deadbolt and internal hinges. Essentially the same, only bigger.

Next up, home workshop passive Desiccant containers.

Thank you Zonk, for pointing out some typo's

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nail bomb explodes outside primary school

Up in England, were some people really want to hurt another person, in spite of not having firearms:


"A homemade nail bomb exploded in a teacher's car parked outside a primary school in Liverpool today.
Police described the attack as "despicable" saying the bomb had the potential to cause "considerable damage" and could have killed or seriously injured anyone nearby. The vehicle's windows were blown out and it was in flames.
However, officers said the "improvised" firework-style device, with nails attached, would have killed or seriously injured anyone inside the silver saloon, or in the vicinity, when it went off."

Fortunately, this attempt was most likely directed at property, not person.
As always, I maintain: It's not guns, it's people bent on hurting other people who commit these acts of horror.

Defensive gun use without bloodshed

Gun shop owner turns tables on would-be robber

"Confronted by a masked gunman at his Triangle Gun Shop in Perry, which he has run for more than three decades, he made a break for his office, grabbed his own gun and scared the guy off."

Now this is what most defensive gun uses are like. Merely showing the ability and willingness to resist scares off most criminals, who prey on the weak and are in it for the easy pickings.

On another note:

"Mr. Pieri said many people in the area had reported seeing a suspicious car driving around the shop in the morning, and at least two witnesses wrote down the license plate."

Cheers again to the vigilant, law abiding citizens!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another school shooting

This one took Place in Delaware state University.
Though this one doesn't sound like a spree killer, with only two victims.
I'll try to get follow ups on this.


Okay, there's been an update:

No shooter yet, but there is something to be said for the school administration:
"Administrators mindful of the Virginia Tech massacre ordered a swift shutdown of the campus Friday, lowering gates to keep anyone from coming onto it, while police searched for the gunman.

"The biggest lesson learned from that whole situation at Virginia Tech is don't wait. Once you have an incident, start notifying the community," said university spokesman Carlos Holmes.

Students were warned within about 15 minutes, said Bishoff, 20, a freshman from Washington, D.C. "I think they handled it pretty well," he said."

I agree with that, information and communication, along with decent emergency protocol is the best route to take when you're trying to avert tragedy.

"A federal law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, had said the male victim refused to answer questions by police about the shootings, raising the likelihood that he knew his attacker."

It is not uncommon for shooters to know their victims, furthermore, this was not a spree killer. From the beginning, this had the appearance of a deliberate attempt at taking a specific persons life

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A school that's REALLY in peril

Setting: Israel, where a school is being shielded from incoming rockets by a large metal umbrella like structure, built with the intention of keeping school going children alive.
To little avail alas, as the recent attacks targeted primarily children trying to get to school. The weapons used? Home workshop rockets, manufacturing is well withing the capabilities of most amateur rocket scientists, chemists or metal shop operators with a couple of easy instructions. (

The worst school massacre was carried out with explosives, the bloodies attack on a government building used explosives. (Bath school attack,Oklahoma city bombing), not guns.
Even if you deprive them of firearms, people who are bent on killing others will always find a way to do so. So instead of screaming at the NRA, will you -petty please- scream at you child when he or she is showing no respect for authority, has no discipline and/or adheres to a subculture which preaches violence/criminal behavior.

Please teach your children to respect other peoples way of life, and raise them to be a kind person.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Many purchase weapons after they have been the victim of a crime

In the past, I've always tried to point out the lack of correlation between gun ownership and the crime rate.

"Nothing is perfectly true, and not even this phrase."

The following article points out an obvious flaw in that idea I have put forward in the past, Because there just might be a correlation: "crime causes an increase in gun ownership".
But that doesn't make sense, if there had been such a relationship, it would be reflected in the averaged out statistics, regardless of causality. Why didn't I find it? Here's the catch:

"Montgomery Police Chief Arthur Baylor has said the public apprehension that crime is out of control in Montgomery is more perception than reality. Crime in general is down, he has said, but an unusually high homicide rate and the resulting media attention has created a false sense of insecurity."

Crime isn't soaring, but people are just as scared. So if you want to try to reduce gun ownership, start by -god, am I a broken record or what- fighting crime back even further, and try to get the factual information out there, not the synopsis of the eight o' clock news. People are scared by the media, scared by the possibility of being victimized (again). And even though that chance is small, they are stocking up on weapons and learning how to use them:

"The Montgomery Police Department and a private self-defense teacher have seen an increase in the number of people wanting to learn how to use guns.
The Montgomery Police Department offers monthly firearms familiarization classes through the police academy. It's a free service dating back to the administration of former Mayor Emory Folmar. Records show that interest in taking the classes has grown. Two classes are offered each month, with a maximum of 15 students per class. In the last six to eight months, all slots have been filled."

I'm glad to see that these citizens can count on the police to help them be as safe as they can be when handling firearms.
Now, if you've been with me for some time, you know that I've established to the best of abilities that the removal of guns from our society is neither possible or even desirable, so this is exactly what gun control should be about: A well coordinated platform to teach the law abiding how to properly handle their firearms. Safety, marksmanship and weapon retention are vital to the proper use of firearms, and it would be great if our citizens could learn these lessons from a qualified instructor in -of all places- a police station.

Why do I think this is all a good evolution?
Crime is going down, civilians and police are being drawn together in a voluntary fashion. And all of those people might grow to be friends who occasionally visit the range (private or police range) as a means of harmless recreation.

Most of all I applaud that my allies are continuously defeating the other side of this debate, convincing people that safety starts with "numero uno's" capability to keep him- or herself safe.

Here's a piece from 20/20 in touch, about gun control:

Monday, September 17, 2007

School's up again!

Well, not for me.
My classes only start tomorrow, I'll be having mondays off for the first month or so.
Maybe I'll be doing less research and posting, but I'll try to keep it up.

Meanwhile, out there comic* has thought me an important lesson in life:
"Don't plan ahead, plans only give you something specific to be disappointed about."

Wise words :p

*the cartoon of sept 17

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Two men killed after foiled Bank robery (UK)


The two men shot dead during a foiled bank robbery in Hampshire were from south London, it has been revealed.

Andrew Markland, 36, and Mark Nunes, 35, from Brixton were shot outside an HSBC branch in Chandler's Ford.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating and inquests will open next week.

Terence Wallace, 25, of Oakwood Road, Raynes Park, London, has appeared in court charged with attempted robbery and possessing a firearm.

The police have now recovered a blue Volvo car they were looking for in connection with the investigation.

Banning guns didn't stop gun crime, just like banning bank robbery doesn't deter bank robbers, cameras and armed guards do.

Select readings from the Brady blog

Select readings from this post;

Fox showed a video that has been posted on that is relevant to the issue. I urge everyone, regardless of your point of view on the subject, to watch this short video.

The video clip shows a Federal law enforcement agent, doubtless fully trained in firearm safety, shooting himself in the foot in front of a stunned classroom full of people. (...) If we are concerned about safety in the schools, any guns should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officers.

If you've been reading my blog since it started, you'll find that I agree with keeping guns off school property.
But citizens can be just as responsible and irresponsible with firearms as police officers. Neither have got some kind of jedi-like capability to handle these objects. And just like motor vehicles and power tools, improper use of firearms can lead to serious injury and death.
I don't want my campus (I'm a student) to be guarded by a paramilitary security group, or police officers. The latter would be doing a better job on the crossroads out front, as I'm statistically speaking more likely to die in a traffic accident on my way to school, than by the gunfire of a shooter inside. I'm more likely to slip off a busy stairway and break my neck than I am to fall victim to a spree killer.

But I resent the idea that some police officer, who has to qualify with his service weapon once in a blue moon, is any more responsible than your average Joe Schmoe, Citizens who take self defense seriously will invest a lot of time in learning how to properly handle a firearm, when and how to use it, and when to not use it.

Don't judge those who you know not of.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A fundamental difference.

One of the more common arguments in favor or against gun control is democratic, the number of people supporting either side.

It is a well-known fact that the NRA has an enormous number of members (over three million at any given moment for the last pair of years If I remember correctly), whereas the largest gun control group, the Brady campaign, has far less contributing members.
Feel free to dispute that, this post isn't about the numerical difference, it's about the difference between the individuals.

Both large organizations like to organize rallies and speeches, worthless preaching to the converted IMO, the converted can bring others with them who may or may not fall prey to rhetoric.
I for one did not buy into the NRA's speeches, I was convinced by one man, Whose work can be found here, on his site Much more human than the -to me- faceless organization the NRA is, this man actually bothered to send me a thank you mail after linking people to his site.

That's what's so defining about the gun owners of America who are politically active. They're a closely knit community who are eager to embrace each other on any occasion, for any reason.
The striking power of the NRA isn't the political lobbying it provides or its ties with the industry, it's the raging, arduous fire that burns with passion in the hearts of people who support it.

These people go hunting together, partake in competitive sports involving firearms, they train police officers (!) to better protect their community and fund Eddie eagle programs in hope of keeping their children safe.
Those speeches and rallies pale in comparison to the effect of that kind of a social network.

What has the other side? People don't go to protests because it amuses them (I shouldn't hope so!), they're most often struck by grief or scared. The gun control proponents follow in the wake of tragedy. After the smoke has cleared and the bodies have been hauled off, they'll be outside your local high school with banners and protest signs. They'll organize meeting where people can vent their anger (and call for local business owners to be snuffed out). Sad people, scared people. Broken people.

Let's be honest here, the Million mom march is hardly a cheerful event compared to a
range party or organized camping trip followed by a raffle to support the local NRA chapter. And that's were that NRA power comes from, people fighting for their leisure, millions of citizens happy to donate some money in hopes of retaining their hobbies and pastimes.

If every parent of a "child victim" of gun violence would fill a bucket with their tears, they could not extinguish the fire that burns in every serious gun rights activist. Instead of sorrow we have joy, where they have regrets, we have hope. The things they fear, we seek to fight as much as they do, but we -will- prevail with our ways.
Our being right doesn't even have anything to do with it, we'll win because of sheer numbers and because of our conviction that we truly are right.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"This man obviously was very determined to end his life."

Here's a fitting illustration of the notion "If you want to end your life, you WILL find a way."

"The body of a 41-year-old man was found in a wooded area next to a guillotine he built and used to kill himself, police said.
"I can't even tell you how long it must have taken him to construct," he said. "This man obviously was very determined to end his life."

Seven months for murder

Wife who shot preacher calls sentence too short

"Seven months in custody wasn't a long enough sentence for what she did, Mary Winkler said Wednesday in an exclusive, pre-recorded interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Winkler was convicted earlier this year of the shotgun slaying of her husband, Matthew, at the time the minister of the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tennessee."

Physical abuse or not ... seven months? What on earth is wrong with our justice system that someone walks away from a premeditated murder without spending but one year behind bars?
Now, I sympathize with women who are victims to their abusive husbands, so there's a factor right there for a somewhat lighter punishment, but seven months?!

Whatever happened to filing charges, having a doctor document the marks of abuse and building a court case for a divorce, followed by a restraining order?*
What, is whipping out a shotgun and manslaughter encouraged now?
Silver lining: She realizes this herself as well, so I hope she'll pay her price to society in some other way.

*And by restraining order, I mean both a court order and a concealed carry permit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The supposed effects of the DC gun ban.

One of the first things I did when starting this blog, was warn people about causal relationships.

This has come forward recently in a left rudder post, the author has posted a graph of the DC murder rate. (she sais that the Bureau of Justice Statistics has sourced these, but has failed to provide me with a link). The FBI's uniform crime report puts the count of murder and non-unintentional homicides at 195 and 198 for 2004 and 2005 for DC

She's replying to a deltoïd post, where the author has posted this link, but it doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

The issue at hand: can the DC murder rate (and by extension:crime rate) be caused by the current gun politics?
If it turns out that the murder rate went down, then I don't think so. See, the law bans most guns used for DC murder, so the street availability of guns did not decrease and so: it could not have been an important factor.

But like I said: It's currently very high, which can be a consequence of the reduced amount of people carrying concealed weapons. Of course it's just as impossible of establishing causal relationship here.
I'm currently going through the usdoj myself looking for a complete set of numbers, to get a better picture of the situation, Bureau of Justice Statistics is up next

You should too: always question statistics in the form they are presented to you!

Here's the graph I made from the figures found here:
I really wish that site cited its sources, the last two numbers check out with the FBI, but I don't know if it's all correct.

If this is correct, you can see that the gun ban didn't have all that much effect on the murder count (note: this isn't the murder rate). The surge in violence takes place almost ten years later, which is hardly a reason to blame that specific event in gun law legislation.

The gun ban didn't save or destroy lives, all that it's been proven to have done, is cost the taxpayer money.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Woman tortured for at least a week

Woman tortured for at least a week

"CNN) -- Six West Virginia residents have been charged with kidnapping, torturing and sexually assaulting a Charleston woman for at least a week, the Logan County Sheriff's Department said Monday.
The 23-year-old woman had stab wounds on her left leg and bruises around her eyes, authorities said. The wounds were about a week old, the release said.
The victim was forced to eat rat and dog feces and drink from the toilet, according to the criminal complaint filed in magistrate court, The Associated Press reported."

If it's cold outside, wear a jacket.
If you're house is flammable, buy smoke detectors
Until all people cease to be beasts, I will seek to be able to defend myself.

And that includes being able to ward off a group of attackers.

Small arms up against a professional army

Well, I've recently posted something in response to one of culturologists' "facts"
The issue: can a civilian population repel a well equipped army with small arms?

This is not a hypothetical question, history is riddled with examples of a civilian population rising up against oppression or occupation.

The Russian invasions of Chechnya and Afghanistan are two great examples of this. Particularly the former, where small groups of poorly trained, poorly equipped soldiers proved highly effective in wiping out Russian tanks.
Few days go by in Iraq without a Hummer being turned into scrap metal by a roadside IED.
Why don't you go and find a Vietnam veteran, and try to tell him that small arms are no match for air superiority, high end weapons and a huge war machine to provide you with vehicles, ships, artillery ... the works.

Civilians can rise up against a professional army, they've done so on many occasions and will continue to do so should the need arise.

Anybody who sais that it can't be done, should pick up a history book.

or a newspaper:
The Israeli army gets hit ever so often by home workshop rockets and mortars. The most recent attack was quite the bloody one.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Robyn's back!

Robyn Ringler, one of the few gun control proponents with the necessary qualities for reasoned discourse, has resumed posting on her blog!
Under fire

Both sides of this debate need people willing to listen to the other side, people willing to talk and look for answers without being blinded by prejudice for the other side, this is why I'm overjoyed to see her blog restored to functionality.

Gun control at work in the UK

"Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was stabbed in Bristol. The 20-year-old victim was walking along Bishopsworth Road with two other men when they were attacked by a gang. He was stabbed several times suffering a punctured lung but is said to be "stable" at Bristol Royal Infirmary. "

Removing guns from the equation doesn't put an end to violence and murder, so please, don't focus on reducing gun ownership, focus on reducing violence.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

If not by guns ...

Let's see, some time ago, I wrote that if not using guns, people could kill each other with other means.
We've already seen some knife-murders in the news, here's one of a school bombing:

"Device Explodes At School
A suspicious device that was being dismantled exploded Thursday morning at an alternative high school in Leavenworth.Students had been evacuated after the device was found about 10:30 a.m. and no one was injured."

The manufacture and use of explosive ordinance is not beyond the capabilities of Joe Schmoe, and if he wants to cause a great deal of bloodshed, he just might decide that that's the way to go.
Fortunately, this device did not cause any loss of life or injury, but it does go to show that schools will not revert to their utopically safe state should somebody ever succeed in actually banning guns from them.

It's time to take up the fight against violence, antisocial behavior, people who should be committed. And still, people wish to blame inanimate objects for the behavior of a deranged few.

Assault rifles and grenade launchers, stolen from the military

Here's a little something for those who believe that only law enforcement, the military and a select few government agencies should be the only ones to be trusted with access to firearms:

"Police seized a haul of military weapons, including grenade launchers and an SA 80 rifle, in a raid on a house in County Durham. Officers found 16 weapons, together with ammunition, component parts and manuals, in the search at Chatsworth Terrace, Darlington, on Wednesday."

As long as guns exist, criminals WILL be getting their hands on them.
And the harder you make that process, the more profitable it'll be, providing only more incentive for them to attempt and corrupt "the only ones we should trust with firearms."

Friday, September 7, 2007

Student stabs and kills roommate

"On Wednesday, days after Henderson filed a police report accusing her roommate of stealing, a fight broke out between the two, and Henderson was stabbed to death, authorities said. Harrison was jailed on suspicion of murder."

I've said in the past to leave our campuses alone, and I stand by that statement.
This, I've just decided to prove my point: if one person wishes to kill another, he or she will find a way, guns or no guns.
Denying campus dwellers the right to firearms does not render them incapable of killing each other.

Gun homicide up 20% in the UK

"Ch Con Bristow himself acknowledged that the latest annual total for homicides involving firearms stands at 58 - an increase of nearly a fifth on the year before."
And he echoed the feelings of many officers when he admitted that much gun crime goes unreported."

Forgive me my sarcasm when I say: If only somebody had seen it coming.

There were cheers and shouts of approval as delegates watched a video of Jagdish Patel, a brave shopkeeper from Rochdale who saw off an armed robber with a baseball bat. Not an officially-approved response to a potentially lethal situation. But an encouraging example of a member of the public prepared to take a risk to stop gun crime."

See, this is exactly what the gun rights movement is about; survival. Protecting your life and livelihood from thugs when the police isn't around to do it for you. And seeing as how criminals try to avoid committing crime when in a police officers line of sight, this is most often the case.


Know well that it's not all bad, half a decade past blaming guns, new ways of dealing with crime are starting to be introduced. And some types of offences are actually going down.

Take a look at page 56 of this file:
Crime in England and Wales
Vehicle crime is going down, unfortunately the count of "violence against the person offences" has barely been dented.

Maybe it's time to reform the justice department. And while you're at it, please stop blaming guns for the failing of parents and the education system.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How many guns does it take to kill a man?

It started out as looking for patterns in firearm ownership crossed over with murder rates, it ended in an analysis of a gun control dogma: a lot of guns means a lot of murders.
Now, I did indeed find a correlation between firearm ownership and the murder rate when limiting myself to a limited amount of nations, namely the US, Canada, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Unfortunately the issue is not so simple as to say more guns mean more/less murder, there are also a great deal of countries with far less guns and waaay more murder (Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, ...) which leads me to believe that Economic factors are more important than gun ownership when zeroing on on the reason why people slay one another..

While playing around with MS excel, I calculated how many guns it takes to kill a man in the US.
It takes a little bit over 21000 functional firearms to kill someone.
This information is -of course-nonsense. It takes one gun, and provided the trigger man is calm and controlled, only one shot. But it's never an issue that there are a few guns in the US, no, the control side of this argument loves to wave around the fact that the United states are the most heavily armed nation on the face of this earth. This is true, according to the small arms survey of 2007, as found here:, in THIS FILE.
So, with 90 firearms for every 100 residents (or 900 per 1000 for ease of comparison), we are in fact the most well armed civilian population.

However, according to nationmaster, our murder rate is far from number one, with under 0.043 murders per 1000 residents, we're not even in the top 20, we occupy number 24 . So do the math, 1 murder relates to (9000/0.043) just over 21000 guns if you use the exact numbers* (I try to always round down against my positions favor)

Clearly, the cause of our murder epidemic is not that people own a large amount of firearms, the problem lies with the small minority willing to abuse them.

*0.042802 per 1000 res.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You think people are hurt because of guns? Think again!

Until now, a lot of people have had their ideology revolving around this idea:

It's okay for law abiding citizens to have guns, but we need to keep them out of the hands of criminals.
By denying criminals the right to legally buy guns, and by reducing gun ownership amongst the law abiding (or loophole skipping) we've been trying to reduce the amount of stolen and bought guns available to criminals.

Well, I've been reading a document released by the department of justice:
Weapon use and violent crime.
At page six, we find the following:

Of all violence with a weapon, the crimes committed with blunt objects/other weapons were the most often associated with victim injury (36%). Twenty-eight percent of the crimes with knives/sharp objects and 15% of crimes with firearms involved injury. Offenders armed with knives accounted for 6% of all violence but 24% of all serious injuries — having inflicted serious injury on about 1 in 8 of their victims. About 1 in 15 victims of offenders using a blunt object/other weapon and 1 in 22 victims of offenders with a firearm sustained serious injury.

Edged weapons: 1 out of 8 victims is seriously injured
Bludgeons: 1 out of 15 victims is seriously injured
Guns: 1 out of 22 victims is seriously injured

Furthermore: (skipping to page 7) When a criminal uses a gun, the victim walks away without injury 85% of the time, and when injured, it's most of the time (65%) only a minor injury. This study considers all gunshot wounds to be serious, so those minor injuries are either a black eye from being bludgeoned with a firearm, or hearing damage from a shot that did not hit (intentionally or otherwise)
Even unarmed criminals are more likely to injure you! (23.6% Vs 15.0%) (though less seriously)
Both bludgeons and knifes are more likely to injure the victim, Knifes in 36.0% of the cases, blunt objects 27.7% of the time. Knifes are most likely to inflict a serious injury)

Am I saying we should start to hand out guns to known criminals? Absolutely not!
What I'm saying is this:
If somebody tells you that he or she wants to take firearms away from criminals for your own good, he or she is either uninformed, or pursuing motives other than your well-being.
Fight crime, not guns!

A newfound resource:

I've been browsing the departement of justice's site, and I've found this little gem
It's a source book encompassing a wide variety of crimes and all matters related to them.
I will be adding it to the recommended reading post

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Banning guns won't cut it

"Girl, 14, admits killing sister A 14-year-old schoolgirl stabbed her 16-year-old sister in the back with a carving knife after a row about a boyfriend, a court has heard."

I've said this before and I've said it again, the desire to harm another human being and the availability of firearms are not related. If somebody wishes harm upon another, he or she will find a way. Banning the means does not solve the problem, we must instead attack the cause, or in this case: the reason why these girls could not control their anger.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a man found stabbed to death in his home.

The 44-year-old victim was found by police on Monday in a flat in Paulet Road, Camberwell, south London.

The men, aged 22 and 25, have been arrested and are currently in custody after voluntarily attending a London police station.

Detectives are looking for up to five people who left the murder scene in a Ford Focus and a white van.

Hmm, disarmed criminals turn to to edged weapons and ganging up, who'd a' thunk it?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Gun legislation I support

Just like motor vehicles and dangerous chemicals, firearms can be abused or used accidentally, that's why they should be subject to "some" legislation, here's a quick review of what I believe could and should be done to help curb both gun violence, and violent crime as a whole.

Come down on straw purchases:
Limit new guns to five per month. Few legitimate firearms owners will be affected by this, straw buyers on the other hand will. Limit it to one gun per month if the buyer has had many (I'd cut of at five) firearms unaccounted for in the past, even if he wasn't doing anything illegal, he's not responsible enough to be handling guns.
Make an anonymous registry for checking serial numbers, which will allow the buyer in a private sale to verify if the gun has not been reported stolen. A single federally funded website could do this, could be set up as to not be a back door registration program. Coincidentally, it could also be used to report a gun as having passed a private sale. This would mean that any guns gone from a legal gun owners safe have not been stolen or lost, the sales can be considered lawful, and the ATF can keep track of how many guns said owner has sold privately.

Introduce the castle doctrine, abolish the duty to retreat.
Restore law abiding gun owners the right to defend themselves in their homes and all other places where they ca legally carry a concealed weapon. These "shoot first" laws have for so far not resulted in an increase in homicide, so if they safe even one life ...

Introduce/reform safe storage laws.
Firearms should be stored safe from theft and out of the reach of children. a defensive weapon can be kept within arms reach throughout the day, and in a nightstand during the night.
Trigger locks don't work, gun safes do, maybe when police officers start carrying trigger locks on their guns, I'll consider putting one on mine. A lock which runs from breech to the muzzle on the other hand does work, maybe these could be made partially tax-deductible to provide gun owners even greater incentive to lock their firearms up effectively.

Make firearms safety courses available in schools.
Children should be thought as early as possible that guns can be dangerous. Parents can do their share, but it's important that all children are thought uniformly. Several large groups of both sides of the gun debate have had programs like this, some of which have already made it's way into our schools. (example: the NRA's eddie eagle)

And should somebody commit a crime, punish him!

Crime and punishment.
In my opinion, prisons and jails should produce something; good citizens. Inmates should not be idle for more than an hour a day, they should be studying, learning a profession, preparing their rehabilitation, or working within the confines of their jail/prison to repay their debt to society.
Prison farms where inmates cultivate their own food seem like a good idea to me. They could preform other labor intensive work, the benefits of which could be diverted into a tax break for whichever part of the economy is affected by it.
I'm against the death penalty because it's counterproductive, you're eliminating workforce in an extremely expensive process. The constitution allows for slave labor as a punishment for crime, why is it that we are willing to put a man to death, bu refuse to force him to work?
A sentence should be shorter and harsher than the ones being issued today, reducing the prison population while maintaining a high scare-profile.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Are guns beneficial to society?

My beloved* opposite end of the spectrum has recently released claims that civilian gun ownership is not beneficial to non-gun owners. He lays the blame for gunshot victims by the presence of guns, and states that the defensive use, which he describes as protecting our TV and stereo systems, doesn't outweigh the damage caused when people abuse guns.

In this article, I intend to thoroughly review the entire notion, and prove him wrong whenever he is indeed mistaking

Let's take a look at the blame part, gun control proponents often like to blame guns for violence and suicide. Now, I'll be the last one to deny that defensive weapons are in fact quite facilitating to murder, but can we blame them?
Or -statistically speaking- is there a correlation between firearms ownership and homicide rates? Not according to these figures The USA is the most armed country (% of armed households), but does not have the highest homicide rating, another well-armed country, Norway (82% the guns of the US) is even dangling on the bottom of the homicide rate chart.
Even though we can clearly see that guns are used for murder at a higher rate when a nations gun ownership level increases, guns do not necessarily affect the total homicide rate .
You've all heard some "gun nut" tell you that you can't blame an inanimate object for violence, turn out he may have been right!
The figures found here support that idea, but in a grimmer aspect. They clearly show that the US was not a peaceful nation the year when the numbers were collected, but there is still no correlation between firearm ownership and homicide to be found.

We definitely have a violence problem, a murder problem, but we can't point at guns and yell "culprit!", it's just not true.

Well ... doesn't this end the entire argument? Not entirely, the exact same story can be told about suicide, guncite's got a page on that too, once again there is no direct correlation between the presence of firearms and the suicide rate. You can read up on it on the sixth page of that last document. Once again, we may have a suicide problem, but guns are not too blame.

So, what good are guns to us?
Let's not talk about target guns and hunting weapons, their benefit to the owner is obvious, they're benefit to the rest of society is nil, and they're hardly ever used for criminal purposes (guns used in crime). No, we're talking about handguns and defensive weapons (often dubbed by the misnomer assault rifles)
Starting with handguns: People buy defensive handguns (not Olympic target guns) for self defense. This is the same reason that police officers are issued handguns. They can be carried concealed with relative ease (as to not offend hoplophobes) and do not impede your mobility when used indoors.

Even when a small portion of a population carries concealed weapons, criminals become deadly aware that violent crime becomes a risky occupation. A clear increase of confrontational violent crime has been observed in countries where gun ownership has been reduced. (The failed experiment).
How's that for the benefit of society as a whole? YOU are safer because an NRA member miles away has gone through safety classes, submitted fingerprints and the works, and has spent his hard earned money to purchase a tool for -what appears to be- safeguarding society as a whole.

Now, I know that the statistics published by gun rights organization are grotesquely inflated, but firearms ARE used for self defense, safeguarding life and limb, and often enough, property as well.
I do not agree with shooting somebody who tries to make off with your TV, I do however condone blocking his path and demanding he puts your property down. Should the criminal decide to aggravate the level of threat to lethal, than do whatever you must to stop him.
If you've got a camera nearby, use that instead! Photograph faces, shoes, cars, license plates ... both a camera and a handgun can be operated with one hand, nobody needs to be shot over your TV.

Oh well, what about assault weapons?
Well, depending on whose definition of assault weapon, they are either used rarely for criminal
purposes, or not at all. (Guns used in crime)
What's their possible use? Ask you local police officer. In large cities, it's not uncommon for police cars to have one of those scary black fully automatic machine guns inside, sitting there should a police officer decide he could use it to defend lives. Because of their cheap ammunition, they are cheap and fun to shoot recreationaly, and are marginally effective for hunting and varminting.

In all seriousness, guns cannot be held responsible for the bad side, and they definitely have a good side.
Besides, why would you ban them, not only can it not be done (wrote a piece on that in August, "can we get rid of guns"), but it doesn't help. Read "the failed experiment", take a look at "current events in the UK" on this very blog.
Banning guns does not take guns away from criminals, does not take the murderer out of people and will not give the depressed a new appreciation for life; those are things we'll have to do as society as a whole.

Say, why not go on a camping trip with some hunters? They won't make you kill an animal or point a gun at you. Why not invite your local NRA chapter to the funeral of a "gun victim", they'll be first in line to denounce gun abuse.

Why not be a little more kind to your fellow man?

*Zealots from both sides make me look good :p
Guns used in crime
Gun ownership stats
The failed experiment