View Full Version : Professor's arguments against gun control

Medula Oblongata
01-07-2007, 01:19 AM
SouthCoastToday.com > News > Opinion

January 4, 2007

CONSERVATIVE CORNER: Some perspective on call for gun control
Peter Friedman

"The recent shooting rampage at a local strip club committed by a lone crackpot has brought a call for increased gun control by Mayor Scott W. Lang, the editorial board of The Standard-Times and others. This is a knee-jerk reaction that would be ineffective and would punish law-abiding residents.

Because gun crimes make sensational news stories, generally reported without any proportionality, gun owners are easy targets. When viewed in balance with other risks in society, firearms deaths are relatively uncommon. At the same time, firearms in the hands of the law-abiding have been proven to reduce crime.
To keep things in perspective, the United States has about 300 million people; it is not surprising that with this many people, deaths result from a variety of causes every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2003 (the most recent data available), there were 112,132 accidental deaths in the United States. Of these, 730 were firearms related, while 44,757 resulted from automobiles. Other large contributors to injury deaths were falling (17,229), poisoning (19,457), suffocation (5,579), drowning (3,306) and fire (3,369). Surprisingly, even bicycles and tricycles caused more accidental fatalities (762) than firearms.

Of the 29,789 total firearms-related deaths in the U.S. in 2003, a sizable majority resulted from suicide (16,907). Japan's suicide rate, which is 25 percent higher than that of the United States, coupled with their draconian gun laws, suggests that without firearms, those who want to commit suicide will find other ways.
A large fraction of the 11,920 U.S. firearm homicides in 2003 were gang-on-gang violence and occurred within a limited number of high-crime urban centers; this type of crime is committed almost entirely with illegal guns and would not be meaningfully affected by further restrictions on the law-abiding.

Crimes committed with semiautomatic sporting rifles such as the type used in the Foxy Lady (improperly referred to as "assault weapons" in the media), are very rare, running in the neighborhood of 1 percent of gun crimes. Nationally, murders with knives, clubs and axes outnumber murders with "assault weapons" by 20 to 1.

Locally, New Bedford had a total of six murders in 2006. For comparison, (according to The Standard-Times) in the one week before Christmas alone, Southeastern Massachusetts had nine deaths due to heroin overdoses. (Given the relatively much greater danger of heroin than so-called assault rifles, perhaps The Standard-Times should reconsider its editorial position favoring making hypodermic needles available without a prescription.)

While out-of-proportion news coverage focuses on gun crimes, the benefits of gun ownership receive little attention.

Forty-five percent of American households have at least one firearm, and most gun owners are law-abiding citizens who keep their guns for self-protection or use them for legitimate recreational purposes, such as collecting, hunting or target practice.

Criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck has written peer-reviewed studies that report that firearms are used three to five times more often for defensive purposes than for criminal activity. In total, Dr. Kleck estimates that firearms are used defensively about 2.5 million times each year in the United States. In most cases, the gun is only brandished; only in 1 percent of the cases are the criminals wounded, 0.1 percent fatally.

Dr. John Lott of Yale University conducted an exhaustive multi-year statistical analysis of crime trends in every county in the United States and has proven that allowing law-abiding citizens to be armed lowers crime.

Disarming law-abiding citizens guarantees that criminals have the advantage by leaving potential crime victims vulnerable. Generally, criminals avoid targets that they think can defend themselves. Female ownership of guns has been particularly beneficial in reducing crime.

Over the past 20 years, the right of citizens to carry firearms for self-defense has greatly expanded, while at the same time the crime rate in the United States has dropped substantially.

Forty states have laws that generally allow most residents the right to carry a gun for self-defense.

To his credit, after his public call for more gun control, Mayor Lang invited a number of local gun experts to discuss the issue. According to Standard-Times sports columnist Marc Folco, who attended the meeting, the mayor listened and admitted being unaware of much of what he was told, including that the guns he was advocating banning are popular sporting rifles. After being better informed, the mayor's position seemed to soften.

While adding new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners would be of no benefit, there are beneficial steps that could and should be taken. Most important, we should more strictly enforce the thousands of gun laws already on the books, many of which, although potentially effective, are not enforced.

Mayor Lang and the new district attorney, "Safer" Sam Sutter, could request that the federal government bring "Project Exile" to New Bedford.

Project Exile is a proven, highly effective program in which any convicted felon caught with a firearm is prosecuted under existing federal laws.

The key to its success is its strict enforcement with severe penalties (five years in a federal prison) and simple burden of proof: Any felon in possession of a gun is already in violation of federal law.

We were all saddened by the violence at the Foxy Lady. But as we look to the future, we should look at effective solutions instead of writing ineffective laws that only serve to punish the law-abiding."

Dr. Friedman is a professor of mechanical engineering at UMass Dartmouth and an NRA life member. He lives in South Dartmouth and can be e-mailed at


I would take issue with his claims that greater firearms ownership and the proliferation of CCW's has had an impact on crime rates (there is only anecdotal evidence, and a recent five year trend of violent crime staying the same to slightly higher in new CCW states, as extrapolated from the FBI uniform crime report), but the variety of violent crime has shifted from assaults against people on the street (the crooks don't know who is armed) to extremely violent robberies and home invasions (there is a great probability that the occupants of the structure will be armed so they either come in shooting, or round everyone up and shoot them in the back room).

However, I enjoyed the read, figured y'all would too.

01-07-2007, 09:41 AM
Here in Massachusettes the 90% democrat controled House and Senate are talking about expanding the current "Assault Weapons Bill" to include ALL firearms that resembles ANY firearm that is currently being used by ANY Governments Military.
With the new Democrat Governor, If this actually becomes a bill I'm sure Devil ... er Deval Patric will sign it into law.
I'm glad I already got my PS90! (and my AR15 and my Ak's and my HK91 and my M1A )

Good luck in FREE AMERICA!!! I might have to defect! :)

01-07-2007, 03:47 PM
Lets talk about the 800 pound monkey in the room that no one talks about Hep C,Staff,and HIV , these three thigs are growing in the U.S. at a scary rate.

Unlike you have been told Hep C WILL KILL YOU as will the rest of these infections Do you know HEP.C can live out side the human body for up to FOUR days it is smaller that the rest of the infections so smalll it cant be found in blood tests for up to the first year but a tissue sample from you liver could tell you

In Lehigh county PA all persons that come in contact with prisoners at the county Jails holding places were latex gloves because the Staff infections up there are out of control this is the staff that is almost compleatly untreatable antibiotics ect. dont work they clean the walls with bleach and can still show traces of it. can be transfered from unbroken skin to a scratch that did not even bleed!

As for H.I.V if you stop at the gas station and scratch your hand on the pump that was just used by an infected person that scratched there hand you only need a closed bore tip of .031 to get infected and As for you LEO's out there the drugs that you can use if you are exposed will just about kill you and only work once.

go find out about it on www.cdc.gov -Centers for Disease Control- but dont read just what they put up for the public because it is very misleading read the medical research docs that are on the site the tests thats where you can find the truth of how easy it is to catch somthing and how very dangerous these infections are i had no idea but one of my best friends just got out of medical school and decided to share what she learned in school one day.....

Not trying to be a phobic person but better to know than not ....

Oh what i was going to say is there are 10x the amount of infected people out there than the feds are telling us.....not unlike the fact that bicycles and tricycles caused more accidental fatalities than firearms. :soap:

Medula Oblongata
01-08-2007, 02:11 AM
Ok... Not sure I really got the gist of how this related to the article posted, but I do appreciate what you were conveying.

In most states its illegal for prison medical staff to even notify security staff as to the medical condition of inmates, so the guards are left with having to treat everyone as infected (which they should).

On the street, while infections are perhaps less prevalent, coppers should always treat subjects as infectious and WEAR THEIR GLOVES.

I don't touch anyone without my nomex gloves on, and never ANY bodily fluid without my nitrile surgical gloves. I practice a fairly hygienic routine and thankfully have never contracted anything worse than a cold (that I am aware of), of course in order to protect my family I have quarterly blood draws just to make sure.

01-08-2007, 02:24 PM
nice. i wish the gun grabbers would actually take the time to read this article instead of just starting to yell b/c they can't think of any coherent arguments against it.