More Guns = More Crime?

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In an earlier discussion, our friend the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, hereafter known as "puffy" or "puffalump," made the baseless assertion that "fewer guns = less violent crime." Based on that faulty assumption, he proposed that handguns have a hefty tax on them:

First of all, a handgun should cost $1,500. Not only would that reduce the demand for guns (ie, you can have one, if you really want one)

{Yes, puffy really did stop right in the middle of the sentence.}

The extra thousand or so dollars should go to police gun buy-back programs in high crime areas. you give $100, $50 per gun, you could remove 10-20 unregistered guns. think of it, +1 legit gun, -10 illegit guns. People should be free to exercise their constitutional rights, but I'm sure you'll all agree that freedom isn't free...

"So if you or your mother wants a gun, that's great. We don't question that she should pay for the metal in the gun, the craftsmanship, the technology. She should also pay for the risk that her decision puts on the rest of society."

I wonder if the Supremes would say that a $1000 tax on abortions is an unreasonable burden. But I digress...

First, let us examine puffalump's assertion that "fewer guns = less crime."

We will look at 2001, for which we have data on gun ownership from a survey of over 200,000 households. We will compare that to the violent crime rates for 2001, which come from the FBI through here.

When we actually plot one versus the other and draw a trendline on the data, we see that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership rates and violent crime rates.

Violent%20Crime%20Rate%20vs%20Gun%20Ownership.JPG

This follows logically from many studies on the use of firearms to deter crime:


Polls by the Los Angeles Times, Gallup, and Peter Hart Research Associates show that there are at least 760,000, and possibly as many as 3.6 million, defensive uses of guns per year. In 98 percent of the cases, such polls show, people simply brandish the weapon to stop an attack. Professor Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, indicates there are
upward of 2.4 million defensive uses annually. Kleck’s research is considered the largest national study on this topic, to date. In a follow-up survey of those who reported the defensive use of a firearm, one in six respondents said they believed their intervention with a firearm prevented the loss of life. This suggests that upward of 400,000 lives are being saved by the use of a firearm annually.


So let's now concentrate on the murder rate. The gun-banners will surely tell you that, since guns are made to kill, we can expect fewer murders if there are fewer guns. We also get the 2001 murder rates from the FBI through here.

Murder%20Rate%20vs.%20Gun%20Ownership.JPG

Well, that's not much of a correlation, is it? In fact, the R-squared value is 0.0007, meaning that 0.07% of the variation in the states' murder rates can be explained by their rates of gun possession. Even puffalump cannot call that statistically significant.

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41 Comments

ACTivist said:

Jack,

Am I analysing the data correctly? Whether a high-gun ownership rate or a low-gun ownership state, the crime rate seems to have no correlation to guns (depending on geographic area or not)? The death penalty doesn't seem to make a difference, either. The crimes consist of those reported only.

The survey is what I don't give much creedance to. I know that if someone called me on the phone asking about gun possesion that I would be leary to give a factual answer (called in crime speak as "phishing").

If nothing else, the data as I interpret it, doesn't really lean to one side or the other. Am I reading it incorrectly?

Jack said:

ACTivist, you are correct. The R-squareed value for gun ownership is also small. Only about 4.2% of the variation in the states' violent crime rates can be explained by gun ownership.

Yes, the survey is questionable, but it is the best data we have on gun ownership.

Devin P said:

Quote, "First of all, a handgun should cost $1,500. Not only would that reduce the demand for guns (ie, you can have one, if you really want one)"

Wow. I like how raising the price of guns will really only affect law-abiding citizens.

Interestingly, there is no solid plan presented, only an idea, and a poor one at that. Why do I say poor idea? Result: Instant black market for cheap guns for criminals.

Here's an example: Why don't we legalize drugs, and make the price of cocaine $500/gram?

Result: Instant black market for cocaine.

This idea to artificially inflate the price of guns, ostensibly as a 'tax' is about as dumb as making bullets illegal. Criminals can still get them, there are reloading kits available. Jeez.

A machinist can make a serviceable weapon for less than $1500, and now you've just created a market.

Duh.

Here's a better idea: If you really want to increase the price of guns, you need to increase demand. This can be done through implementation of a firearm education program, showing the public how crime would drop if we put MORE weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Duh.

stay puft said:

Devin,

I already responded to you in the original thread (not sure why Jack started a new one...)

http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2007/09/gun_control_laws_and_homicide.php#comment-87573

Jack,

why did you start a new one?

first of all, don't call me a "gun banner" The rhetoric isn't helpful. I said flat out in the my original comment which you are quoting above that I do NOT believe that guns should be banned:

http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2007/09/gun_control_laws_and_homicide.php#comment-87410

second of all, are those numbers for handguns, or all guns?

I've said that handguns are designed to kill people ...we're not talking about hunting rifles. I don't want to ban rifles; no one does. And if you ever found yourself in the position of defending your family and homestead against a tyrannical government, my guess is you'd reach for a rifle over a pistol, anyway.

third of all, "I wonder if the Supremes would say that a $1000 tax on abortions is an unreasonable burden."

abortions don't place society at risk.

Jack said:

Puffalump, I started a new thread to get the charts properly, and prominently, displayed.

"second of all, are those numbers for handguns, or all guns?"

No distinction was made. So what? If you have data on handgun ownership rates, by state, please provide it. You are making a claim (less guns = less violent crime) without evidence. I have provided evidence that your assertion is incorrect. Now you want to change from "guns" to "handguns." Fine -- provide the evidence. While your at it, why don't you try to distinguish between the guns that are legally owned and the ones that are illegally owned?

"I've said that handguns are designed to kill people ...we're not talking about hunting rifles."

Most guns are designed to kill. A gun that can kill a deer can kill a person, and vice versa. (I do know people that hunt with handguns, too.) But we are not talking about hunting rifles. Hunting rifles are NOT protected by the 2nd Amendment. Military weapons are (see Miller v United States).

"I don't want to ban rifles; no one does."

Then why the "Assault Weapons Ban"?

"And if you ever found yourself in the position of defending your family and homestead against a tyrannical government, my guess is you'd reach for a rifle over a pistol, anyway."

That depends on the situation. No matter who breaks into the house, a pistol is generally better than a rifle. Have you noticed the military has been looking at reviving the .45 pistol? They are very good for urban warfare and in-house fighting. It takes much longer to bring a rifle to bear than it does a pistol.

"abortions don't place society at risk."

Yes, they do. We are killing over a million children a year, and our borders and culture are being overrun.

Anyway, as I have shown, guns do not place society at risk, either. Crime rates have gone down when concealed carry laws are passed. Crime has gone up in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada when handgun bans went into effect and all the law-abiding citizens turned in their guns.

If you can figure out a way to take guns away from criminals but not law-abiding citizens, let us know.

ACTivist said:

Puft,

There are many states trying to do exactly what you say they are not; taking away "high powered rifles". Only a few have specifically singled out the .50 caliber round. There are already problems in many countries who aren't able to submit a shooting team in the Olympics because they aren't allowed to have rifle practice in their own countries. These rifles are only .22 caliber.

The gun banners consider "any" firearm as a "bad" firearm. Regardless of which firearms are being presented in this data, the stats say what they say. If you remember the D.C. sniper (misnomer) it was a semi-auto .223 tactical rifle used-one shot at a time. The distance wasn't even that great. The gun banners want those tactical (assault as they call them) rifles as well.

If you really want to make a difference in "gun" crime, start by ridding those things (violent video games, porn, lewd dress, idleness, lack of respect, drugs and prostitution as income, etc.) which warp the senses and degrade the mind and social fabric. It's the person, not the means (including guns).

stay puft said:

"So What?"?????

I can't help but think that you're being a little disingenuous here. This discussion goes back to our discussion about handguns and violence in inner cities. Most of the time violent gun crimes involve hand guns, not rifles. I'll post something if you want me to, but anyone can google it just as easily (it's also common sense). that's what led me to say that there should be a tax on handguns, and to emphasize HANDguns throughout my previous posts. I thought that if I occasionally used the word "gun" it would still be understood that we're talking about handguns. What did you have in mind when you talked about defensive use of weapons and "brandishing" a gun to prevent a crime?

anyway, I imagine there are lots of rural, very-low crime areas where a high proportion of the population owns a rifle of some sort.

'the 2nd amendment doesn't protect hunting rifles'

Well the second amendment protects guns for the sake of maintaining a militia, if you want to be technical. yet all you ever talk about is crime prevention and personal defense. Are you in a militia Jack?

"If you can figure out a way to take guns away from criminals but not law-abiding citizens, let us know."

I've suggested a tax on handguns to fund handgun buy-back programs in inner cities. What's wrong with that?

""abortions don't place society at risk."

Yes, they do. We are killing over a million children a year, and our borders and culture are being overrun."

...that's a non sequitur if there ever was one. Let me guess, if women had fewer abortions we wouldn't need foreign labor? well, population growth in the US began to decline even before abortions were widespread, and other developed countries have followed a similar trend. It's a fact of human civilization, as affluence goes up, population growth goes down. It seems that, abortion or no, there's a tipping point at which women choose to have fewer children. I'd love to see you defend the position that women should be forced to breed for the sake of maintaining cultural purity, but that's another topic...

Jack said:

"What did you have in mind when you talked about defensive use of weapons and 'brandishing' a gun to prevent a crime?"

All sorts of guns have been used for that purpose -- rifles, shotguns, and handguns. However, when one is out of the house, it is generally easier to carry a handgun.

"Well the second amendment protects guns for the sake of maintaining a militia, if you want to be technical. yet all you ever talk about is crime prevention and personal defense. Are you in a militia Jack?"

Yes. So are you. Go read the U.S.Code I linked to in the earlier post. You will also notice that Miller lost his case NOT because he was not in the National Guard, but because evidence that sawed-off shotguns were used by the military was not presented to the court. The ruling was based on the type of firearm, not on Miller's militia status.

In any event, YOUR excuse for pricing handguns beyond the reach of the poor is to reduce violent crime. So I have presented evidence that counters that claim. Are you ever going to present evidence that SUPPORTS ports your claim?

"I've suggested a tax on handguns to fund handgun buy-back programs in inner cities. What's wrong with that?"

First, how can you "buy back" what was never yours? Second, criminals do not turn in their guns in such programs. So they only disarm the law-abiding citizens. Third, DC has had several such programs. Go correlate the crime data with the "buy-backs" and let's see how much the crime rate was reduced.

"It's a fact of human civilization, as affluence goes up, population growth goes down."

Right, that explains our population growth rate's going from about 0.1% per year before the industrial age to 2% per year in the 1960's.

Not only are most males here part of the militia from a federal standpoint, even more are from a state standpoint. The code of Virginia (44-1) states:

"The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia."

Almost all males and females of the Commonwealth are members of the unorganized militia -- I am, so is my wife, and two daughters.

jacob said:

Puff,
You need data at this point boy to support your social engineering "no-gun=no-crime" assertion. Something that trends in the manner predicted by your assertion. Otherwise you are just blowing smoke this point.

You also need to look at the US code, your idea of what constitutes a militia does not jive with either the Law or tradition. I do not think you have a leg to stand on, unless you cite some case law that agrees with you. Can't you do that?

Jack said:

Here's a little more evidence for you, puffalump: http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288

The town that enacted the gun ban has their crime rate go UP more than the surrounding area, while the town that required head-of-households to keep and maintain a gun saw a substantial drop in the crime rate.

Dan said:

A couple of issues with gun buyback programs. First, many of the guns turned in are non-functional anyway, so no gain. Second, a gang banger can turn in a non-functional gun and use the proceeds to buy a replacement on the street. With a no questions asked buyback, a gun used in a crime can be turned in and the proceeds used to replace it. Certainly a sweeter deal than chucking it in the river..

There is no demonstrated effectiveness anywhere of a gun buyback, other than a waste of taxpayer dollars. Your basic liberal approach of throwing money at a problem, and not bothering to determine the effectiveness of the "feel good" approach. What sounds good over a glass of wine and a little cheese does not necessarily work very well in the real world..

Someone mentioned 50 cal rifles. The 50 cal rifle was developed by citizens and adapted by the military. Yes, the 50 cal round was initially developed for machine gun use, but a bolt action rifle was developed by enthusiasts of long distance target shooting. Many of our military small arms and ammunition have roots in civilian use.

The "handguns" were developed to kill people argument ? This argument applies to all firearms, going back to the Chinese hand cannon. It was not until much later that technology advanced to allow them to be feasible hunting tools. Me, I take the glass is half full argument - handguns are built today to allow we to provide protection to myself and my family from the threat of death or bodily injury.

Lastly, that majority of guns crimes are localized to a very small number of U.S. counties, and these counties are all blue..

Jack said:

"Lastly, that majority of guns crimes are localized to a very small number of U.S. counties, and these counties are all blue..."

That's why the socialists want to allow ex-cons to vote.

Dan said:

Jack, so true. Look at Florida, they could not import enough aliens to make it a blue state, so now they are counting on felons to do so.. Virginia's also now in their crosshairs.

Some will never get this very simple concept, gun ownership does not cause crime, but crime certainly causes gun ownership..

Jack said:

You would think the socialists would WANT more gun crime. They have a lock on the felon vote AND the dead vote. It's a two-fer!

stay puft marshmallow man said:

Jack will you kindly refrain from your unnecessarily rhetorical use of the word "socialist"

Now there's data that goes both ways. Given that I'm fairly busy at the moment, I may not have the chance to review all the literature on this.

Here's the bottom line, though. A tax on handguns would reduce demand for them, and would not violate the 2nd amendment. I'll link to studies if I get the chance, but can we agree on this much in the meantime?

Jack said:

No, puffalump, that would be dishonest. You see, they ARE socialists.

Every presidential candidate for the Democrat party has put out their Universal Health Care plans (after complaining about how much Bush is spending). They are socialists, and the Democrat Party is controlled by socialists.

Anytime you use the phrase "tax cuts will cost the government..." you are implying that it is all the government's money, and a tax cut is a transfer of the government's money to the taxpayer. Why don't they use the phrase, "tax cuts will save the taxpayer...."

When they stop espousing socialist programs, then I will stop calling them socialists.

Jack said:

"Here's the bottom line, though. A tax on handguns would reduce demand for them, and would not violate the 2nd amendment. I'll link to studies if I get the chance, but can we agree on this much in the meantime?"

No.

Let's have a $10,000 tax on abortions, too. That would not be an "undue burden," would it? Let's tax blogs -- $1000 per article. The rich could still afford it, so it would not violate the 1st Amendment, would it? Of course, we will also put the poll taxes back. After all, having ignorant people voting is detrimental to society. Hey, if really you want to vote, you can. Freedom isn't free.

Dan said:

"Here's the bottom line, though. A tax on handguns would reduce demand for them"

Right, that's worked so well with gas...

All you are saying is that you don't think the poor have a right to defend themselves and their families, that women who are struggling economically should not be able to defend themselves when stalked by estranged abusive spouses or boyfriends.

Jack, your socialism analogy is spot on! Maybe if we taxed left wing lunacy, not to reduce demand, as there is none, but as a means to make it go away..

Dan said:

Jack -

You shoud know by now that :

"Given that I'm fairly busy at the moment, I may not have the chance to review all the literature on this."

Is Liberalese for we should always accept what they say without rebuttal as they are so smart that they cannot be bothered with backing up their opinions with trivial things such as facts..

stay puft marshmallow man said:

dan you need a primer on basic economics. the demand for gas is less elastic than the demand for guns.

excuse me but posting here doesn't exactly pay the bills. Please accept my apology but sometimes there are more pressing things I have to attend to. If in your view that somehow makes my comments less valid, I don't know what to tell you.

Jack, I guess you're trying to bring the debate down in flames with your detractions about socialism and abortions.

As I've said, abortions and blogs pose no threat to our safety. I don't need to worry about getting mugged by a someoneblog or an abortion. Although it's easy to imagine how a proliferation of handguns might.

Dan said:

stay puft -

As I said elsewhere, it is not safety, it is the illusion of safety you seek..

Jack said:

"I don't need to worry about getting mugged by a someoneblog or an abortion. Although it's easy to imagine how a proliferation of handguns might."

Might what, puffalump?

Sotto voce....
Let's see. Puffy used two verbs in the previous sentence, "worry" and "mug." A proliferation of handguns might worry? No, that can't be right -- handguns don't worry, people worry. A proliferation of handguns might mug? No, handguns don't mug, either, people do. Oh, maybe in his haste, puffy meant that PEOPLE might mug other people if there were a proliferation of handguns. No, that doesn't make any sense, either, because all the evidence points to a REDUCTION in violent crime when people have guns.

Now I've got it! Puffy has to IMAGINE it, because it is not REAL!

Stay Puff,

My problem with putting a tax on anything that is a right is in fact a violation of the constitution. Poll taxes were outlawed for just that reason. It makes it less viable for the poor, and gives the right only to the rich.

The 2nd amendment states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Trust me, if you put a $1000 tax on gun purchases, you will definitely infringe my right to bear arms. Poll taxes were used as a means to infringe the rights of the poor to vote. Adding a $1000 tax to gun purchases will have the same effect on the poor.

What you ought to think upon is that there is no reason to curb gun ownership by law abiding citizens. There has been no evidence that stands to peer review that supports reducing the ownership of guns reduces crime rates. There are already enough laws on the books to stop felons from purchasing guns. The answer to the problem of crime is not involving the government more -- that has consistently failed. The one thing that consistently works to reduce crime is people *getting involved*.

stay puft said:

Jack,

alright, like I said, I've been fairly busy recently. As a result, my comments might have been somewhat "off the cuff" If you want to parse paragraphs and pick out grammatical errors, fine. I trust that at long last you'll still understand the spirit of my comments. :)

Brian,

yes, I posted a link to a peer-reviewed study that showed a clear link between rates of gun ownership and violent crimes.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447364

Table 3:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447364&rendertyp

There's plenty of evidenced of that. What I haven't posted is a study that shows the same thing for handguns in particular.

It's true that the idea behind the 2nd amendment is that a well regulated militia is a good thing for the country. That's why Jack pointed out that it is militia weapons, not hunting rifles, that are protected by the constitution. Yet the pro-gun folks here only argue for guns because they believe they reduce crime, not because guns are a necessary part of their militia activities. Who here is in a militia? Apparently we all are (?) I didn't get that memo. So much for well regulated...

zimzo said:

Uh, Brian, where does it say in the Constitution that you can't tax anything that is a right? Poll taxes weren't outlawed because they were unconstitutional. The Constitution had to be amended with the 24th Amendment to outlaw them, meaning that they weren't unconstitutional to begin until then. I'm glad you aren't teaching American History.

jack said:

Puffalump, that was the same stupid study I debunked before. In Table 3, which you particularly quote, they picked the 4 states with the lowest prevalence of firearms, and the six states with the highest. Then they took the average homicide rates for those states and said, "Look, the states with more guns have more homicides." The problem is that two of those lots-o-guns states (WV and WY) had homicide rates LOWER than one of the few-guns states (NJ). The other lots-o-guns states were Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. What do those states have in common?

The other three few-guns states were Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. What do those three states lack that the above four (and New Jersey) have in abundance?

And no, the paper did NOT adjust the numbers to correct for this characteristic.

stay puft said:

Jack, those states were included in the regional analysis:

"At the regional level, we found a positive and statistically significant relationship between rates of household gun ownership and homicide victimization for the entire population, for victims aged 5 to 14 years, and for victims 35 years and older"


..what do those states have in common? poverty rates?

the study:
"Overall homicide rates were significantly higher in states with higher rates of nonlethal violent crime, poverty, and urbanization. Per capita alcohol consumption and unemployment were not significantly associated with homicide rates in multivariate regressions."

no, I know the point you're driving at here: guns don't kill people, Black people do. Isn't that right Jack?

Also, look at Washington DC, as I've pointed out, when there were fewer guns there, there was less violent crime. Period. It's not as though the violent crime stayed at the same level, with people using knives or crossbows in place of guns. No, the crime rate dropped when guns were removed form the equation, increased again when they were reintroduced (via the black market)

But really, I don't have the hard statistics on hand to show that is true for handguns in particular. It's a hypothesis. Once again the point I'm making is that a tax on handguns would not violate the 2nd amendment.

Dan said:

"..what do those states have in common? poverty rates?"

Stay puft is saying that he really meant to say we should tax poverty as a means to reduce crime ?

"Once again the point I'm making is that a tax on handguns would not violate the 2nd amendment."

No, it violates the 14th.. Your proposal subjects an enumerated right to an economic litmus test..


ACTivist said:

Puft,

Did you ever consider that the crime rate in D.C. went down because the criminals were on equal ground with the victims? Could have just been laziness and not wanting to put forth the effort. I think that it shows when the odds are at least equal, actions are questioned. Hence why criminals in right-to-carry states don't have the knowledge of who the easy mark is.

And just call Jack a racist and get it over with. I love when you guys play that card.

jack said:

Sorry to bust your bubble, puffalump (OK, I'm not sorry), but you're wrong yet again. DC's violent crime rate peaked in 1970 (2226.8 per 100,000) and was trending downward, well before the 1976 gun law went into effect. (In 1975, the violent crime rate was 1774.3)

Despite the 1975 bump in violent crime, the four-year moving average continued to decline until 1980 (at 1614.4), when it was above the four-year average of 1604 in 1976.

Chicago did even worse with their gun ban:

"But even cities with far better police agencies have seen crime soar in the wake of handgun bans. Chicago, which banned all handguns since 1982, has police computer systems that are the envy of the nation, a bevy of shiny new police facilities and a productive working relationship with community groups. Indeed, the city has achieved impressive reductions in property crime in recent years. But the gun ban didn't work at all when it came to reducing violence. Chicago's murder rate fell from 27 to 22 per 100,000 in the five years before the law and then rose slightly to 23. [Table 5] Between 1982 and 2003 there was only one year when the murder rate was even slightly lower than it was when the ban was instituted in 1982. (Chicago did not report its crime data to the FBI for 1984. Chicago also did not report its rape cases in a way consistent with the FBI reporting rules so the violent crime graph excludes rapes.)

"The change is even more dramatic when compared to five neighboring Illinois and Indiana counties: [Table 6] [Table 7] [Table 8] Chicago's murder rate fell from being 5.4 times greater than its neighbors in 1977 to 3 times in 1982, and then went back up to 6.1 times greater in 1987. The robbery data is quite dramatic showing that Chicago’s robbery rates remained at three times the average of adjacent counties until immediately after the ban when Chicago’s robbery rates soared to eight times greater than its neighbors after five years.

"In other words, crime rates actually improved prior to these bans and then deteriorated after they took effect. Even though guns will leak into the District and Chicago from neighboring areas, at least some minor benefit still should have been observed if gun bans did indeed reduce crime. Instead, the opposite was the case. The gun bans appear to have disarmed mainly law-abiding citizens while leaving criminals free to prey on the populace."

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.22768/pub_detail.asp

And if you want a tax on handguns, you would be willing to accept a similar tax on abortions? Far more people are killed by abortions than by handguns. If a tax places an "undue burden" on one right, it must also be an undue burden on others.

stay puft said:

Dan that's not what I was saying. Please don't put words in my mouth. Thanks.

Jack,

crime in DC was trending downward, reaching an it's lowest point in years shortly after the gun ban. Right? Why wasn't there a spike in the crime rate following the ban? Well, there might be a few ways of explaining this.

...but like I said, the point I'm making now is re: a tax on handguns and the 2nd amendment.

Abortion, or any medical procedure, is a little different because it's a service rather than a good. (ie the you can only prevent them from happening) But yes, taxing abortions would reduce the demand for (clinical) abortions.

of course your claim that more people are killed by abortions is a semantic one. It is interesting logic, since you say that abortion is murder; far more people are killed by murder...

and finally, if we're going after what kills the most people, what about heart disease? You want the poor to have guns to keep them alive long enough to die from a chronic illness that they don't have the resources to prevent?

jack said:

"Why wasn't there a spike in the crime rate following the ban?"

Because those guns registered prior to 1976 were still legal.

"Abortion, or any medical procedure, is a little different because it's a service rather than a good."

What's that got to do with anything? (Services are taxed, too, puffalump.)

"You want the poor to have guns to keep them alive long enough to die from a chronic illness that they don't have the resources to prevent?"

So you WANT the poor to die young? Socialists always know what's best for the ignorant poor, don't they? It's better to be aborted than to be born poor. And if one is born poor, it's best if he is not allowed to defend himself, because he'll just die of something worse later on. It's better to get shot dead at 25 than have heart disease at 55. (The "resources" they lack, BTW, are a proper education, thanks to the socialist-run public schools.)

Have you completely lost it, puffy?

stay puft said:

Have I lost it? Is that your question? The ultimate aim is to reduce violent crime, not to have poor people get shot more often. What are you talking about??

like I said, a service is "a little different" not "entirely different" A tax will reduce demand for a good or a service, but you can't "buy back" a service.

this isn't moving forward, and you're use of the word socialist is starting to mimic the way you accuse some of using the word "bigot," So I'm just going to write the conclusion and call it a day:

A tax on handguns would reduce the number purchased without violating the 2nd amendment of the constitution.

Dan said:

"Once again the point I'm making is that a tax on handguns would not violate the 2nd amendment."

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Taxation is a form of infringement for those that cannot afford it. Privileges may be taxed, not fundamental rights and freedoms.


jack said:

"The ultimate aim is to reduce violent crime, not to have poor people get shot more often."

Then for God's sake man look at the data! Crime goes DOWN when people are allowed to defend themselves.

"A tax will reduce demand for a good or a service, but you can't 'buy back' a service."

You cannot "buy back" what was never yours. Oh, I forgot, socialists think EVERYTHING belongs to the government. But you're right about one thing, the children murdered in abortion clinics can never come back.

"A tax on handguns would reduce the number purchased without violating the 2nd amendment of the constitution."

And the result would be INCREASED violent crime. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

stay puft said:

Dan,

in short, you're wrong.

Jack,

The programs are called, "buy back" I know you'll jump at anything that might let you use the word "socialist," but that's beside the point.

""A tax on handguns would reduce the number purchased without violating the 2nd amendment of the constitution."

And the result would be INCREASED violent crime. There are none so blind as those who will not see."

...so we are in agreement as far as the constitutionality of a tax on handguns. Good.

jack said:

"...so we are in agreement as far as the constitutionality of a tax on handguns. Good."

No, we are not. The Supreme Court has ruled that placing an "undue burden" on the exercise of one's constitutional rights is unconstitutional. (The power to tax is the power to destroy.)

You have agreed that the tax you propose would reduce the demand for handguns, particularly among the poor. Therefore, it would be an undue burden on their right to keep and bear arms.

And why would you want such a tax anyway, when the evidence indicates that the result would be INCREASED violent crime? Why do you want the poor to suffer greater victimization?

Jack said:

Here are some more facts for you, puffy. Read it, and consider carefully your position on gun control.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa109.html

zimzo

While the 24th amendment made poll taxes explicitly unconstitutional, they were from the start. Just because the court refuses to rule properly, doesn't mean that they rule correctly. One of the original arguments against the "bill of rights" was that it would be used as a tool to state that these were the only rights the people had. That argument was overruled as being outside the the intent. The defense of the bill of rights was that some things were so important that they needed to be explicitly stated so there would be no doubt.

The idea of taxing something that is a right was and is still unconstitutional. Free speech cannot be taxed. Religion cannot be taxed. assembly cannot be taxed. Petition for redress cannot be taxes. At least not constitutionally. The 24th amendment was added because there was controversy, and the need to make it explicit was seen. The constitution does not say anything about eating vegetables, but it is the right of the people (anything not explicitly in the constitution is reserved to the states and the people).

Any right explicitly within the constitution cannot constitutionally be abridged. I believe it is you (and the poor follows that think the 24th amendment was required to eliminate poll taxes) that need the history lesson. You need to go back farther in history to see why the 24th was unnecessary from a constitutional standpoint.

stay puft said:

there's a contradiction there between the idea that things which aren't explicitly stated are still rights and the idea that taxing anything that is a right is unconstitutional. people have a right to own property. is property tax unconstitutional?

of course any sales tax is regressive in nature. unless it's a luxury tax, it's going to hit the poor harder than the rich. this is also true of a flat income tax. maybe you'd like to see a more progressive tax policy in general?

"The Supreme Court has ruled that placing an "undue burden" on the exercise of one's constitutional rights is unconstitutional." the Supreme Court has also ruled that women have the right to a procedure that you insist is a form of murder.

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