back to article Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

President Obama is looking to increase funding for research and development of new technologies that could help to cut gun violence. The President said as part of his executive order on gun crime and accidents that the development of technologies to help track lost or stolen firearms and the development of locks to prevent …

Bronze badge

Re: Ammunition

>No, we can't. And if you even so much as ASK to own a nuclear missile, they look at you like you're totally bat-shit crazy.

Even smaller stuff like surface to air missiles or artillery pieces seems to get frowned upon too.

But what serious militia could act without air defence and artillery support these days? Look at the mess the Syrian rebels got themselves into.

5
0
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Ammunition

"But what serious militia could act without air defence and artillery support these days?"

Yep. As much of a gun-nut as I am, I realize there's a big white elephant in the whole 2nd Amendment argument regarding "protecting ourselfs from the Government". They've got tanks, bombers, drones, artillery, etc.etc. All we civilians are allowed to have are pea-shooters compared to that. True, a .50-cal BMG will put a big hole in a piece of armor plate, but a 105mm Howitzer will put a crater where the armor plate was sitting. So any "armed uprising" we could muster would likely not last long before it had to devolve into guerrilla warfare.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Ammunition

No one is suggesting that citizens with handguns might stand off the US Military except you.

An armed citizenry cannot be easily bullied by government where it counts, within the culture at the local level. That is where tyranny actually takes place you know.

Besides, the normal military makes a lousy suppression force. You want cops for that, which is what makes the heavy arms flowing to the cops so worrying.

3
1
Mushroom

Re: Ammunition

It is unlawful to own a nuclear weapon for much the same reason it is unlawful to randomly point a weapon at your neighbors. Owning a weapon and putting people at risk with a weapon are two very different things, and are quite rightly treated differently in the law. Small bombs that don't present a risk to anyone should be okay, but regrettably even those (ie firecrackers) are now mostly banned in Canada.

icon 'cuz it fits.

0
1
JLV
Silver badge

Re: Ammunition

With all respect for the various viewpoints that go into gun politics and also with respect to the founding fathers and the Constitution, but I find it disturbing that such a high proportion of NRA advocates use "resistance to the lawfully elected government" as a justification for gun ownership. That's a whole different ballpark than "shoot a burglar endangering my family", IMHO.

I mean, many people in Western countries seem dissatisfied with our governments and our politicians. That doesn't mean many people, in countries other than the US, distrust them to the point where we think it necessary to hold weapons for potential armed resistance. That's what elections are for, and the US Constitution has ample, perhaps even excessive, checks and balances built into it to prevent excessive power concentration by any of the 3 branches.

Do some of you distrust your government that much? Your own soldiers? You know, the guys that did the dying on your behalf in the last decade or so. But yet the Republican right generally tends to view catchall anti-terrorist and surveillance laws in a benign fashion and excoriated Snowden?

'sides, as you point out, the balance of power is way on the Federal side anyway. Not to mention that, in any contest between a group of individuals and a competent military, the military's training and unit-level tactics should easily overcome individual skill, even at weapon parity level.

3
1
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Ammunition

"No one is suggesting that citizens with handguns might stand off the US Military except you."

Eh, have you heard about the non-event going on in Oregon? It's not involving the military, true, but it is the Feds they are waiting to "stand up" against, not the local yokels.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Thank fuck I don't live in the US

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35229220

8
6
Silver badge

Re: Thank fuck I don't live in the US

So, gun shows horrify you, do they? I suppose the sound of a gunshot has never been heard within the safe spaces you inhabit? Can you even conjugate the verb 'hunt'?

Oh, BTW, the US is thankful you don't live there too. ;-)

12
31
Silver badge

I've Lived in the US

It's a big place and even though there is a lot of gun violence happening all the time, the only place I saw it was in the media.

Now living back in the UK, I do fear violence especially when out at night time, there is a permanent threat there. My nearest pub was closed down because of persistent violence and the next nearest has one of those police riot van stationed on Friday and Saturday nights. It also has its own armoured camera. It was never like that for me in the US.

13
3

Re: I've Lived in the US

Where the hell do you live? You need to move - thats not normal in the UK.

However, do you ever feel like you are likely to be shot at a moments notice by any random nutter while living in the UK? Do you fear for you life anytime you have an interaction with the UK Police?

11
1
Silver badge

Re: Thank fuck I don't live in the US

@ RegGuy1

I am sure the americans are thinking exactly the same.

4
4
Silver badge

Re: I've Lived in the US

@ BoldMan

"Where the hell do you live? You need to move - thats not normal in the UK"

I would say you were lucky, werdsmith is on the ball. Back in my home town prostitutes are often in the paper as murdered or missing and when I moved to the city I was very near a pub the police wouldnt visit. A couple of stabbings on the road and lots of problems but still a no go for the cops until the coalition talked about police cuts (not sure if its just a coincidence but its a big one). And the gun ban doesnt seem to have stopped the manchester shooting between gangs either, some of those areas I used to have to travel through.

The fear is not being shot, dead is dead.

2
4

Stats for comparison

The UK population is around one fifth of that of the USA. In 2015 there were 30 times as many gun deaths in the US as there were in the UK. You can't easily get guns here in blighty. Given recent events in Paris (guns being more readily available in mainland Europe) it is reasonable to assume that our strict gun laws perform a useful function.

I personally have enjoyed using guns in my younger days and would likely have one if they were more readily available here but they aren't and our society is likely less violent for it. I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun but the facts do seem to speak for themselves: increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot.

27
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Stats for comparison

Yes, yes.. someone trots out those stats every time there's a gun control discussion. They're not the stats that we care about. It's not important how many people get killed by guns, the important number is how many people die violently.

Sure, you Brits have less gun deaths, but you have a lot more knife crime instead. The real problem doesn't go away just because you took the guns away. You still have violent crime, but it's been shifted onto other weapons.

There are two things that guns help with: rage killings and accidental killings. Guns simply make it easier to kill someone in the heat of the moment. They also make it easier for a two-year old to kill his parents without even knowing what the gun is. But no amount of banning weapons is going to stop someone that really wants to kill other people and is willing to put in the time or effort to do it.

12
11
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

'"a lot more knife crime instead"

Sounds a lot like someone is in denial about their countries real problems. Had you suggested a binge drinking comparison, clearly 'we Brits' are as bad (and more probably worse) but the knife thing isn't on the same scale as it's mostly teens and gangs, fear and false bravado.

At the very least, it's unlikely a toddler will manage to kill a parent or more than injure itself should it get its hands on a knife (outside of movies like 'chuckie' anyway).

13
4

...knife crime

Indeed, with a general lack of available guns in the UK, we possibly have more knife attacks than somewhere like the US. However, a knife can (and generally will) do less damage than a bullet. Google someone like Lisa Potts (a UK primary school teacher that shielded her pupils when a man with mental issues went on the attack in the school with a machete) and count the number of injuries and deaths that occurred (I'll make it easy actually, 7 and 0).

Now consider the same scenario in the US, but instead of a machete (a short ranged weapon, I'd guess a range of arm length + 18 to 24 inches) substitute a gun or guns. I'd wager that both the injury and death toll would be significantly higher.

Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the US, and guns have been a part of the way of life for so long that it's almost impossible to change the way of thinking over there. It's a part of the constitution, and the constitution is an important part of what makes America what it is. But despite the continuous claims from the NRA that guns don't kill people, it's the person pulling the trigger, there's no getting away from the fact that having guns readily available makes it significantly easier to kill people than not.

19
0
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot.

Gun ownership in Honduras 6.2 per 100 population; Homicide rate 67.18 per 100,000

Gun ownership in USA 112.6 per 100,000 population; Homicide rate 10.64 per 100,000

6
1

Re: ...knife crime

Exactly that. How would those two IS wannabes who macheted Lee Rigby to death have fared if they had an AR15?

The 'if I have a gun I can shoot the aggressor' argument doesn't seem to stack up either, wasn't there an active shooter incident at a US army base a while back? IIRC the shooter killed people without being killed, choosing to kill himself after taking out three others and injuring a number more.

5
3

Re: Stats for comparison

What are those stats even meant to be showing? 112.6 what per 100000?

0
2

Re: Stats for comparison

It means that there are more guns than people.

1
2

@AC Re: Stats for comparison - Knife Deaths in the UK

It's true, people do use knives for violence over here even though posession is severely restricted, however, looking at the overall murder rate gives around 530/yr in recent times. Multiply that by 5 to account for population size and you get 2650. This still falls well short of the total number of people killed in the US by shooting alone, which I gather was 13,344 in 2015. Obviously not all of those are murder, some are accidents, but even so the variation is quite stark.

Another noteworthy point is that the overall trend is downward in the UK, whereas it is upward in the US. Perhaps reducing peoples' exposure to weapons reduces their willingness to resort to violence over time?

I honestly have no strong opinion on gun control in the US: it's not my country and I don't really care if people I don't know get killed, even here in the UK. I'm just interested in comparing two ostensibly similar western societies that have different approaches to gun ownership in the interests of informed debate.

I really can't see how you can remove guns from US culture given the constitution and the fact that the country appears to have been founded and settled thanks to the use of firearms. Perhaps you could limit the ammendment to only allow the bearing of arms that were available at the time the constitution was written? Single shot muzzle-loaders on black powder don't lend themselves to mass killings...

12
2
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

Knife crime stats

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Knife+Crime

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_352297.pdf - says knife crime fallen 15%, and hospital admissions down 14%

In England 11,372 "actual/grievous bodily harm offences" with knives in 2012/2013, (similar number for robbery).

So incidence rate for those assault offences with a knife then was 21 per 100,000 population

For US in 2012, from FBI tables ( https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/15tabledatadecpdf)

"Aggravated assault", "Knife or cutting instrument", Total "all agencies" 123,344 offences which (with population of 274,808,793) gives a rate of 44 per 100,000 population.

10
0
Megaphone

Re: Stats for comparison

In the end, any comparison of US and UK gun deaths is a completely useless comparison, not because the US and UK have very different gun laws, but because the US figures are skewed by two significant factors:

1. Suicides by gun

2. War on Drugs

The former represents the largest category of gun deaths in the US, not homicides or mass killings. The latter has introduced this insane militarization of police and a propensity to criminalize behavior for little benefit.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: ...knife crime

@ Fraggle850

"Exactly that. How would those two IS wannabes who macheted Lee Rigby to death have fared if they had an AR15?"

They did have a gun. As I recall it was a pistol. And the police shot one of them too if I remember. They didnt kill more people because they didnt want to regardless of the tools they had and the disarmed population waiting some time for the armed response unit

"The 'if I have a gun I can shoot the aggressor' argument doesn't seem to stack up either, wasn't there an active shooter incident at a US army base a while back?"

If I remember right the rules ensured nobody was armed. So he had free run.

3
3
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

The UK and the US measure violent crime differently, and the UK has a lower murder rate - http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/01/12/fact-checking-ben-swann-is-the-uk-really-5-times-more-violent-than-the-us/

1
0

Re: Stats for comparison

'Small' correction; 2014 US Homicide rate was 4.5 per 100,000. Way less than even 1960. The 10.64 figure you quote is an exaggeration of the peak figure of 10.2 - 9 per 100,000 from 1980 - 1994 since when it has been in steep decline.

Stats here: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf CDC

Data on mortality 2013 Tables 10 and 11

Suicide/intentional discharge firearm - 21,175 (non firearm 19,974)

Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms - 11,208

(Accidental discharge of firearms - 505)

giving rates of 6.7 and 3.5 per 100,000 for suicide and homicide respectively

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@codejunky - Re: ...knife crime

You crazy Americans, you will never cease to amaze me!

You mean any person can and will walk in the street carrying a gun while people on an US Army base are unarmed, not even carrying a stick ?

2
1
Silver badge

Re: @codejunky - ...knife crime

@AC

"You crazy Americans, you will never cease to amaze me!"

FYI not an american but as I understand it there are many places you are not allowed to carry a firearm in public and on an army base. The public places are often the victims of the mass shootings because there is less resistance. I am in the UK where the mere mention of a gun causes lots of worried faces unless talking to immigrants (they want to come to the gun club). The overreactions are amazing in the UK.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Stats for comparison

> ...the important number is how many people die violently.

This is where comparisons with Britain fall down, Americans are generally nice people, Brits are often brutal sociopaths who will kill people with their bare hands should an argument about a garden hedge go pear-shaped.

Putting an equivalent number of guns in the hands of Brits would be a truly terrifying prospect.

However banning guns has led to Britain having a much lower rate of actual deaths.

0
4
JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

I guess it boils down to whether you are happy to accept a higher chance of being shot in exchange for the freedom to own a gun

When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

1
2
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

When gun-nuts talk about their rights, I always wonder why they ignore the right to not get shot.

Like vermin you mean? Wallabies, rabbits, possums, feral cats, crows, uncontrolled dogs... Speaking of the latter, do you enjoy the idea that sheep should die slowly from the wounds inflicted by a pack of domestic "pets"? Funny how dog owners always say: "My dog's not a sheep-killer!"

1
4
JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

No, people I mean.

That's a really weak counter-point you've made. Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

Hunting and pest-control are legitimate uses for guns; neither requires a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun. All of those are for killing people.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

Guns have a place as a tool on farms, but show me a farmer who would shoot a sheep rather than cut its throat and I'll show you a gun-nut.

Gun control laws apply to farmers as well as townies. I used to be able to borrow a rifle from a neighbour when the rabbits and wallabies got out of hand. Not any more... And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

And no, it wasn't a " a Glock, nor an AR-15, nor a pump-action shotgun"; it was a .22. The vermin are quite active near the house where it is illegal for me to shoot them at point blank range (5-10 metres). To comply with the gun laws I need to be at least 100 metres from the house which means I would need to be shooting directly towards the house and a far more accurate shot required for a kill.

2
0
JC_

Re: Stats for comparison

And the rabbits, wallabies, possums etc are out of hand so I'm glad I'm moving into town later this year.

The wallabies really are getting out of hand if they're ravaging sheep...

If Australian gun laws prohibit gun-owners from lending out firearms to unlicensed people, then it's hard to see a problem with that. If you want a gun, get a gun license.

Laws prohibiting shooting around dwellings are also quite sensible. Most people would prefer that there are no bullets flying anywhere near their house and family. Possums and rabbits are easy to trap and as for wallabies, they're native and cute, so let them be.

In any case you're setting up a straw man arguing about farmers when farmers would be completely unaffected by a prohibition on Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns.

Australia implemented gun control after Port Arthur and there hasn't been another massacre since; who would want to go back to the slaughter that the US experiences. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine High - none could have happened in Australia, thankfully, and hopefully one day they won't repeat in the US.

1
2
Silver badge

Re: Stats for comparison

I suspect that you are being deliberately obtuse. I never wrote that the wallabies were ravaging sheep. I included dogs in the list of vermin, specifically people's pets. These aren't farmers' dogs, they belong to townies who have moved into the countryside and brought their towny "ideals" with them.

The law doesn't prevent bullets from flying around near houses, it encourages them. There is no way I can shoot wallabies and rabbits near the house from a hundred metres away. First, there's far too much vegetation around the house to actually be able to see the target. Second, the gun I used to use was nowhere near powerful enough, nor for that matter am I a good enough shot beyond about 20 metres. The ideal location for shooting these rabbits and wallabies is from the front deck of the house since it's elevated 2 metres above ground and surrounding shrubbery. It also ensured that all the shots I fired were away from the house and its occupants.

During the 34 years I have lived here I have only very rarely needed a gun. The local farmers' sons and daughters used to shoot recreationally. The farmers used to carry a gun on the tractor or in the truck so that when the opportunity arose, they could shoot vermin as they came across them. As the farmers and farmworkers have been displaced by townies, the vermin have increased in numbers markedly.

Yes, I could join a gun club (mandatory), purchase a gun safe (mandatory) and a gun. But this would cost several thousand dollars and no doubt annoy the newcomers who think it's cruel to shoot "poor, innocent animals", but not cruel to allow their dogs to run around mauliing farm animals. Go figure...

While possums (and feral cats) are easy to trap, the question arises what to do with the captured possum. Set it free too near where it's caught and it will return from a remarkable distance. Set it free far enough away and it will attempt to displace the local possum(s), they are territorial animals. It will either succeed or starve to death. How humane is that?

Rabbits can only be easily trapped with rabbit traps (illegal), or snares (illegal).

I didn't set up a straw man argument regarding "Glocks, AR-15s and pump-action shotguns"; I was quoting from the post I was responding to. Australia's gun laws apply to the .22 calibre rifle I used to have access to and no longer do so. Prior to the Port Arthur massacre I couldn't justify owning a gun. Now I need one there's so much excessive regulation it's easier to move to town and leave the wildlife problem for someone else to deal with.

Wallabies are only cute when they are not eating your crops.

It is true that there have been no mass shootings in Tasmania since Port Arthur, but Barry Unsworth only called for one such in order for the parliament to pass the gun laws it wanted. Why would they need any more once the legislation passed?

1
1
Unhappy

Re: Stats for comparison

@ Fraggle850

"....increased gun availability increases the chance of being shot......"

I think you will find that Canada and Switzerland (off the top of mu head) would belie your statistics.

I don't have a citation, but I have read somewhere that Canada has a greater number of guns per head of population that the U.S. but has nowhere near the same amount of gun crime or deaths.

I don't know if it still true, but in Switzerland, every male of military age has a military weapon at home with ammunition. Switzerland is hardly a hot-bed of mass shootings. I think I heard of 1 happening a year or two back.

1
0
WTF?

Re: @AC Stats for comparison - Knife Deaths in the UK

@ Fraggle850

"....posession is severely restricted..."

What? How is it restricted? Seriously. Every home has has several, they aren't locked up or secured in any way, so apart from a ridiculous law making it illegal to carry a knife on the streets, they are hardly restricted. Tell me, how does that work for chefs, for example, carrying their knife roll to work, hmmm?

Or, I;ve just bought a knife but I can't carry it back to my car or house?

Another stupid unenforceable law. But it shows that the politicians are "doing" something, eh!

1
0

Clearly a film buff

Did the Prez get his technological idea from watching Skyfall?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

The end.

2
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

You do realise that might well kick off a second American civil war?

Some insensitive sod will write 'gets popcorn' at this point.

But it won't be me...

6
2
Silver badge

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

If you ban all the legal guns in the US then what is left? Answer = illegal guns and a lot of them. All in the hands of people who don't care much for the law.

So that should give them a safe feeling.

It's not a good situation where gun ownership is allowed for self-defence leading to a kind of shaky peace because of a Mexican stand off between goodies and baddies, but that's the way it is there and there sure ain't "a simple fix".

6
4

This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

The big problem with America is that whatever you do right now, there's a sizeable legacy of serviceable weapons stashed all over the US.

Can you imagine some mullet-wielding chap will surrender his prize 'plantation civilizer' (to a man from The Government) because someone in Washington says he has to?

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

It doesn't matter how old and flawed it is, any solution is more flawed. How do you control guns in a nation where there are a hundred million small arms in circulation?

I didn't suggest it's a good thing, it's an abominable situation they've got themselves into. But there's not a simple way out.

The NRA claim that if a crazy shooter appears, then goodies with guns can take them down. This rarely or never happens, of course, either they shoot themselves or the cops do it. When these nutters start out on their killing spree they have already made the decision to die, so if a goodie with a gun takes them down it's already too late.

The real problem is a large amount of the population want the weapon as a kind of comfort blanket as they don't feel powerless against an assailant or intruder - who may well be armed. It's a tough call to ask all of these people to give the balance of armed power over to the criminal - because they won't feel safe.

9
1
Silver badge

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

How do you control guns in a nation where there are a hundred million small arms in circulation?

Easy, enforce the first part of the second amendment and recall the state militias, on Supper Bowl Sunday.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

There has been a pronounced change in the type of weapons used in homicide since monitoring began. Firearm use has declined by more than half since 1989-90 as a proportion of homicide methods, and there has been an upward trend in the use of knives and sharp instruments, which in 2006-07 accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims.

http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/weapon.html

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

A 2013 study from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) found 94 fatal police shootings for the period between 1992 and 2011.

When the mass shooting at Port Arthur occurred there was an immediate call for changes to gun ownership laws. When the police execute unarmed people for being mentally ill, nobody really gives a fuck. If you're not mentally ill, what's there to worry about?

2
1
WTF?

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

I don't like popcorn, but if the only red-neck response is to go to war because of the introduction of background checks and investment in new technology then go ahead - I doubt the outcome will be as desired for anyone in the US but the rest of the world will just look on in bemusement..

I don't even see how the changes restrict anyone's access to firearms or right to bear arms, so what's the problem as it relates to the second amendment? (Which also raise the question, what will the benefit be?)

0
2

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017