A Moment of Clarity

It's worth celebrating a moment of refreshing honesty, in which pretenses of "common sense" are set aside, and a man speaks his real mind.
Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners.


The US doesn't just have a gun violence problem because of its lax gun regulation. It has a problem because it has a culture that encourages large-scale gun possession, and other countries do not. That, combined with Australia's experience, makes large-scale confiscation look like easily the most promising approach for bringing US gun homicides down to European rates.

Large-scale confiscation is not going to happen. That's no reason to stop advocating it. (I also want to repeal all immigration laws and give everyone a monthly check from the government with no strings attached, and will argue for those ideas even though they're doomed.) But it does mean that we should be realistic about what gun control with an actual shot of passage can achieve. It can make us safer. It cannot make us Europe.
The main form of "safety" he seems to think Australia and similar countries achieved was a reduction in suicides by gun. As far as I know, you're as safe from suicide right now as you decide to be. Access to guns may make suicide by gun more likely, but there's no reason to believe (as he asserts) that it would "save" thousands of lives a year. It's not that hard to tie a rope, and it's quite easy to take a few extra pain pills if you can get access to them.

Still, just because I disagree with everything about his proposal and a lot about his analysis, let's celebrate his honesty. This is the real goal: large scale confiscation of firearms, as well as completely eliminating immigration restrictions and instituting a universal basic income. Disarm the public to the greatest possible degree, completely eliminate official border security as well, and then tax anyone with property for enough to pay everyone who comes as much as they are said to 'need.'

Clearly he thinks this will lead to a US that looks like Europe. It will, in the sense that it would destroy both American and Europe. America would rapidly absorb multitudes more from the poorest parts of the world, and rapidly lose whatever wealth could fly. Europe would lose the protection the American military has provided it for seventy years, and with it the capacity to sustain public assistance budgets as large as has been common for decades. That isn't what he imagines will happen, but that is what would happen in fact.


raven said...

This country may be lost. So be it. Empires come and go, the causes have been noted many times over the millennia.

What really bothers me is this- Western Civilization itself may be lost- are we close to seeing the Library at Alexandria burned once more?(metaphorically speaking) We may be close to losing the single greatest achievement in human history.
Are the Vandals going to trash the Uffizzi? And the Louvre? They are no different than Bamiyan or Palmyra to the horde. Will they smash the Hadron collider? Will we see heretics once again on the rack?
The stakes in what we are engaged in are far greater than is commonly recognized.

Gringo said...

Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners.

The problem with this statement is that there is a fair amount of variation in both gun possession and in murder rate in Europe. There are a number of European countries that have higher murder rates than the US.

Murder Rate per 100,000
Russia 9.0
Lithuania 6.7
Albania 5
Latvia 4.7
US 3.8

You mean like THOSE European murder levels?
Not only is there a fair amount of variation in murder rate in Europe, there is also a fair amount of variation in gun possession. While no European countries have gun possession rates as high as the US, many have possession rates substantially higher than, e.g., Great Britain, which is the poster child for anti-gun people in the US.

nation Guns per Capita
Serbia 69.7
Switzerland 45.7
Sweden 31.6
Norway 31.3
France 31.2
Austria 30.4
Iceland 30.3
Germany 30.3
Finland 29.1
Montenegro 23.1
Greece 22.5
Croatia 21.7
Latvia 19
Russia 8.9

By comparison: United Kingdom 6.6

And high gun possession doesn't necessarily mean high murder rate in Europe, or vice versa. Russia has the highest murder rate in Europe, but it is 24th in gun possession.

Nation Murder Rate
Serbia 1.2
Switzerland 0.6
Sweden 0.7
Norway 2.2
France 1

When you do a correlation of murder rate and per capita gun possession for the 38 countries in Europe for which you have data for both indices, you get -.32. Which shows a negative correlation between gun possession and murder in Europe. Not what the pundits believe the narrative is.



Ymar Sakar said...

Just because the Pax Americana is dead, doesn't mean vengeance cannot be obtained on all the enemies of humanity. Detonating the entire planetary nuclear arsenal would do it, more or less.