(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Lane Haygood lhaygood at gmail.com
Wed Mar 18 01:28:31 PDT 2009

Most criminologists will tell you that economic factors have more to
do with the prevalence of violent crime than do things like gun
ownership.  The most common causes of intentional homicide (in the
vulgar, murder) are things that relate to relatively uncommon events:
high emotions, difficult situations, and organized crime.  The sort of
crime that gun ownership is thought to prevent (where the criminal
rationally considers that there is a greater risk to his or her own
life because of the victim's chance of owning a gun) isn't murder at
all.  Gun ownership might protect the home in case of burglary, or
prevent an assault or domestic assault, but not murder.  For example,
along the border we're experiencing a rash of Mexican drug
cartel-related killings.  These murders go on knowing full well that
the other party is going to be armed, usually heavily so, with the
expectation that there will be a good chance of a firefight.  That
doesn't deter the killers, because their motive is one that outweighs
(for them) the risk of death.

If people really wanted to reduce homicides and other violent crimes,
they'd focus more on removing the motives people have for these
things:  profit through black market, sudden rages and passions, and
assorted economic/social problems.


On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 3:19 AM, Tim Walters <walters at doubtfulpalace.com> wrote:
> brunians at brunians.org wrote:
>> None of them are: it has been illegal for a civilian to own a firearm in
>> SF for some time now.
> And yet, we have a (slightly) lower murder rate than Tucson:
> http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?city=San+Francisco&state=CA
> http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?city=Tucson&state=AZ
>> People in Switzerland are very heavily armed
> Less than half the per capita gun ownership of the U.S.
>> Hardly any crime there at all.
> Their murder rate is almost three times that of Italy, which has a much
> lower gun ownership rate.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_countries_by_gun_ownership
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate
> My understanding is there isn't much correlation in either direction between
> gun ownership rates and murder rates. But I'm open to actual evidence (as
> opposed to cherry-picked examples).
> By the way: do you support private ownership of nuclear weapons? If not,
>  how do you reconcile that with your constitutional views, and how do you
> justify drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable weapons in one
> place rather than another? (These are not rhetorical questions. I'm curious.
> And for what it's worth, I lean against gun control, albeit rather tepidly.)
> --
> Tim Walters | The Doubtful Palace | http://doubtfulpalace.com
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