The number of gun owners and . .

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) contends that “[I]n cities where more people own guns, the crime rate. . . goes down.”

Do you think that there is a (negative) correlation between the number of gun owners and the crime rate?

Do you think that there is a direct causal relationship between them?

I do not think so. Probably, decrease in criminality is caused by another reasons. The more people with own guns the more probability for crime.

I believe there is a negative correlation between gun owners and crime rate. Nobody wants to rob a house whose owner is armed.

“A man’s home is his castle” stated English Common Law. The tradition of respect of safety in our own homes is all the more enduring for our ability to reinforce it. Americans have less concern than citizens in other countries about suffering a forcible home invasion. The reason for that is simple: predators who would break into an occupied home are very likely to be shot by the residents.

In other countries, especially those which have recently outlawed armed self-defense (such as England), home invasions are on the rise. Their criminals have nothing to fear from the law-abiding people.

The question was about the overall crime rate, not just about burglaries.

A handgun first, then maybe a small grenade launcher, then . . . a miniature nuclear bomb? Sure, the rate of burglaries will be on a steady decline. Along with the population. Will the term “collateral damage” enter the everyday lexicon of local newscasts?

“A small town near Houston, TX was accidentally destroyed yesterday as a result of an unsuccessful burglary attempt. The culprit is said to have been the detonation of a small nuclear bomb that the house owner used to deter a burglar. The town will go down in history as the first town in the US to reach the lowest crime record. Until the accident, the average annual crime rate was estimated at 0.005 per capita per year.

“In other news. Pitcher Will Ohman is confident that Sox won’t ‘come up short’ . . . ”

“If lenient gun laws actually reduce gun violence as the NRA claims, the U.S. should have the lowest rate of gun violence. However, a look at the numbers from other industrialized countries does not show this to be the case.” International Gun Laws Show Firearm Availability is Related to Deaths

The gun is not the motivator for the crime. Nobody commits a crime simply because they have a gun. People commit crimes do to motives that have nothing to do with the means in which they commit the crime. The obvious argument against gun control, and one that in 25 years I have yet to hear a good rebuttal to, is that if you enforce a no gun policy you only reduce the amount of LEGAL gun owners. Criminals will continue to have guns, because they don’t care about breaking laws anyway. Only the law abiding citizens will be defenseless.

Also, the first act of every dictatorial regime is to remove their “citizens’” ability to bear arms, thereby better controlling them and making revolutions more difficult. This alone is enough of a cause to continue to allow citizens to arm themselves, thus ensuring the populace freedom from any sort of tyrannical government. This is why bearing arms is a constitutional right in the United States.

Even if say, hypothetically, we could manage to remove firearms from the face of the planet. People have been killing each other for thousands of years before firearms. If someone wants to commit a crime, not having a gun is not going to stop them; they will commit the crime with whatever they happen to have. For example this guy: who robbed a gas station with a Klingon bat’leth:

@tora3 What “those statistics” always fail to mention as that much of that violent crime is gang members killing other gang members. These guns are guns that are already obtained illegally and will continue to be obtained illegally even with stricter gun control measures. once again, hypothetically if we could remove the guns from the gang members’ hands: stabbing each other with knives is also a popular ways for gang members to kill each other. you would see the rates of deaths due to stabbing drastically increase.

In Japan, people kill each other with knives. Even though I can honestly say that I never saw a Japanese in a pickup truck with a rifle, I saw violence in Japan.

According to wikipedia

The Akihabara massacre (秋葉原通り魔事件, Akihabara Tōrima Jiken?, lit. “Akihabara phantom-killer incident”) was an incident of mass murder that took place on Sunday, June 8, 2008, in the Akihabara shopping quarter for electronics, video games and comics in Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.

At 12:33 p.m. JST, a man hit a crowd with a truck, eventually killing three people and injuring two; he then stabbed at least 12 people using a dagger (initially reported as a survival knife)[1] killing four people and injuring eight.

I wonder if Japanese people started using plastic tableware and stopped driving cars, and closed up shop on Sunday there would be less violence.

Maybe Aikido should be taught in physical education class instead of Judo.

What about violent robots with scissorhands? Maybe robotics should be banned.

Of course, once all of these things are banned, Godzilla will take over Tokyo.

Osaka will be okay, because the Yakuza will keep some guns…

“I wonder if Japanese people started using plastic tableware and stopped driving cars, . . .”

But I am not going to use a semi-automatic gun while eating meals on a table.

No, you will use chopsticks. But wait, they could be weapons too! Granted they are not much good against our pal Godzilla, but maybe you could find a stone and some big rubber bands and stop him that way…Wait, we can’t have stones, rocks, pebbles or gravel. They are too dangerous.

Are rubber bands still safe enough for society?

Anything can be a weapon…especially words.

You’ll just have to have a staring contest with Godzilla, Tora3. Gird up your loins, put on your headband. はい、よし! Ichi…Ni…San…

@odiernod Re: Also, the first act of every dictatorial regime is to remove their “citizens’” ability to bear arms, thereby better controlling them and making revolutions more difficult.

No, no, no. The first act is to create virtual enemies and spread FUD. Hereby, you have your Commies, “terrorists,” blacks, poor people, etc. But more to the point:

“thereby better controlling them and making revolutions more difficult.”

Are you kidding me? A gun agains the military? A handgun against a tank and several hundred men with assault rifles?

“This is why bearing arms is a constitutional right in the United States.”

No, no. The right to bear arms is just a historical atavism. A gun from 1776 was a joke compared to modern weaponry. It was a single shot device, that took a few dozen seconds to load, it wasn’t very accurate at more than just a few yards, it was expensive, and you couldn’t conceal it in your pocket and still fire it. It was okay for hunting and when used en masse by the militia.

Would the writers of the constitution penned it the same way today if they knew about sniper rifles with sights, bullets that can go through walls, automatics capable of taking out an entire McDonald’s in a few seconds, and handguns the size of a credit card? I don’t think so.

This isn’t the Wild West any more. Or is it?

An Englishman’s home is his castle, but we aren’t allowed to attack burglars with guns, we’d be up on a charge of assault or worse. Waving a rolling pin at them and shouting “grr!” is as violent as we are allowed to be in defending our property.

As far as the American Constitution goes, I understood that the right to bear arms meant the right to form a militia in times of unrest. A militia is a different matter from every houseowner having the firepower to take out half their street.

I think these ‘pro-gun’ arguments only really work in a very small number of countries. Call me harsh, but having a yet to be amended constitution right to own guns is to me a sign of mass stupidity, sorry.

Defending one’s home from burglars and being able to have a revolution do seem to be the two arguments you hear from pro-gun Americans.

To the first point, do people really feel that under siege? Are your houses being broken into all over the place? Are Americans really that afraid of each other? I’ve never understood this. It’s like people think they live in a war zone, or the wild west - like their homes are surrounded by murderous hordes ready to murder them as they sleep.

As I understand the statistics, there are only 500 or 600 homicides resulting from home invasion in the States. That’s a lot, but in a country of over 300,000,000 people it’s still not that many. And, what’s more, apparently a third of those deaths are the result of the homeowner’s gun! Either they accidentally shoot themselves, or the burglar gets their gun and shoots them.

I understand that the people who actually do experience dangerous home invasions would probably wish they had a gun if they didn’t have one. No doubt. But I don’t accept the argument that everyone having guns prevents crime. I think it just makes criminals prepare for that. It might deter teenagers from breaking into garages on a lark, but I don’t think it would deter professional criminals. Presumably, they would also get guns and work in bigger groups. Whether you have a gun or not, you’re unlikely to be able to “take out” 3 or 4 armed intruders.

I also don’t accept the argument that criminals would still have guns like they do now. If it’s impossible to buy automatic weapons, then where would criminals get them? Look at Mexico. There’s a huge drug war being fought on the border with the US, and it’s largely being fought with weapons smuggled in from the US. Smuggled into Mexico! In Canada too. A lot of our gun crime is committed with guns smuggled in from the States.

I think the fact that criminals have military assault rifles, or easily concealable fully-automatic handguns, is because they are being mass manufactured and because they are available in shops.

As for the revolution argument, a previous poster covered that. I also find it curious that pro-gun Americans seem to consider this a serious prospect. Most other Western countries have banned or seriously restricted firearms, but the rest of us seem to be doing fine.

Basically, I just don’t understand the mindset at all. That being said, I agree that having a gun does not make one commit a crime. However, I think that the price ordinary people pay for having easy access to serious weaponry is very high.

If you have a gun you’re accepting that at some point you can use it, you’re saying that you’re ready to kill someone. I find that VERY disturbing.

And no, you don’t feel safer knowing anyone may have a gun in their purse. And no, burglars aren’t discouraged by knowing that the house owner may have a gun, nor having the death penalty, neither knowing you can go to jail for life. Or are they?.

@astamoore: “The first act is to create virtual enemies and spread FUD. Hereby, you have your Commies, “terrorists,” blacks, poor people, etc.”
No, no, no. You are argument has no bearing on my point. Whether or not creating virtual enemies is the “first” thing a tyrannical regime will do or not does not change the fact that disarming their subjects is a vital component to their keeping control.

“A gun agains the military? A handgun against a tank and several hundred men with assault rifles?”
The first rule of self defense is not to make yourself an easy target. Plus, the number of citizen’s will always outnumber the military.

@berta: Many people who own firearms use them solely for hunting, although a hunting gun can also be an effective home defense gun. And owning a gun for self defense is accepting that you are ready to defend yourself and your family from someone who has invaded your home and is trying to kill you. If you assume that anyone who owns a gun is hoping to shoot someone, I find THAT disturbing. Also, I can guarantee you that nobody who knows my house is defended with a firearm is going to try to rob me.

I do not want to kill anybody, nor do I want to hear of anybody getting murdered, but I love gun and I have it.