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Guns and baloney

Via Phelps, we learn that James Wolcott is a dumb ass. Note: I don’t really thing Mr. Wolcott is a dumbass but since he spent a good portion of the piece insulting Glenn Reynolds in particularly childish ways, I figured I’d show him a faster way to insult people without boring readers. I guess it might be fun to refer to him as James Doodiehead or James Stupidface so that I maintain the level of childish discourse he’s comfortable with. Says Wolcott:

Because according to a CDC study from 1998, there were 19 gun deaths in Japan, 54 in England and Wales, 151 in Canada.

As compared to 11,789 in the good old US of A.

That is the metric he places in Reynolds’ mouth. Reynolds, of course, merely quotes Heinlein: An armed society is a polite society. When you take someone else’s rather subjective point (i.e., what polite society means) and ascribe your own measure to it, it’s easy to use whatever stats at your disposal to discredit it. To wit:

Note also in 1998 per Wolcott’s own source, gun deaths were actually over 30,000. He excluded suicide and accidents. However, he fails to mention robbery, rape, assault and other violent crimes that may be affected by gun ownership. When you look at overall violent crime, England and Wales, Canada and Australia have higher rates than the US. Their rates are actually rising while the US violent crime rates are dropping. England even has higher gun crime rates. So, by making up a criteria to define polite society, it’s easy to show that we’re far more polite.

Another asinine statement he makes is:

“An armed society is a polite society.” Think about that. Think about societies where the adult men routinely pack and tote arms.

Afghanistan. Yemen. The badlands of northern Pakistan (Bin Laden Country). The Sunni Triangle. Beautiful downtown Mogadishu.

Do these regions and cultures leap out at you as polite societies? Places where you could safely stroll for a nightly constitutional and enjoy vigorous differences of opinion that wouldn’t break out in a misunderstanding between AK-47s?

Why not mention Switzerland? Where they have compulsory gun ownership and a lower murder rate? In fact, citizens are issued military rifles by their government. Or Finland where there is a much higher rate of machine gun ownership? In the US, it’s almost impossible to own an AK-47. Those activities are highly regulated here. They also have a lower murder rate. Are those countries polite? Beats me, never been there. The reason he doesn’t mention them is because, like all good journalists/editors, he merely found the most convenient anti-gun group and quoted them. Parrots repeat.

And, of course, what about the 46 states that allow citizens to carry handguns? The number that will soon be 48 when Nebraska and Kansas come around – and they will. Are they polite? The prevalence of gun ownership doesn’t tie directly to violent crime or murder. And it damn sure doesn’t tie to politeness.

Why are Americans a murderous lot? I don’t know. But many of the violent crimes in the states are inner-city, black on black violence (here and here). I guess poverty is a factor.

He concludes with:

No, I think I’ll stick with my illusions about too many guns equating to too many stupid, needless, tragic, preventable violent deaths and maimings.

Admitting it’s an illusion is the first step. After all, not even your wrongly quoted CDC thinks gun laws affect crime.

6 Responses to “Guns and baloney”

  1. Guav Says:

    Pro-gun liberal here, just wanted to say keep up the good work đŸ™‚

  2. SayUncle Says:


  3. xx y Says:

    Don’t lump Maryland in with those 46 other states. It’s “may issue” and it is nearly impossible to get the required permission slip unless you are politically well connected. (Assuming you are actually willing to get permission to exercise a right).

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Yeah, I should point out that 35 are “shall issue” and 2 have no licensing requirement and let people carry without a permit.

  5. Xrlq Says:

    And that one (Alaska) is both shall issue and a state where you can carry legally without a permit.

  6. Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » RINO Sightings: The Star-Spangled July 4th Spectacular! Says:

    […] Now, we all know guns don’t kill people, and neither does James Walcott, but he comes very close to boring SayUncle to death with his tired anti-gun ‘arguments’… […]