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Gun Control: Where are Optometrists on National Issues?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Mike Cohen, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Greg Vickers

    Greg Vickers Active Member

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    Another case of why we need firearms in our homes

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/26326800#26310592

    This lady was able to protect herself and her posessions from an intruder because she had a loaded handgun in her home. Without her gun, she probably would not be here today? I bet Ted Nugent invites this lady out to his ranch for a little story time.
     
  2. Mike Sandy

    Mike Sandy Well-Known Member

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    I think it was great that she was able to protect herself. I wonder though, how many home-stored guns accidentally kill some innocent person in the home versus an intruder.

    I have a patient (who recently bounced a check to me ironically enough) that was shot nine times by her husband after she went downstairs to get a drink in the middle of the night and he "thought" she was a burglar.

    I own a carry permit and carry. If they banned guns, I'd hand both in.
     
  3. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    I'd hand mine in too, bullets first.... I know I know... what a whack-o, huh?

    But, to your question, here is an interesting look at whether a gun is more likely to be used against your family or yourself, than against an actual intruder:

    CLICK LINK

    Introduction Some papers in the medical literature have written a homeowner's gun is more likely to kill its owner or family member than kill a criminal, and therefore "the advisability of keeping firearms in the home for protection must be questioned." The most notable (or notorious), and quoted in the previous sentence, is written by doctors Arthur Kellermann and Don Reay, and is titled, "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearms related deaths in the home." (New Engl J Med 1986. 314: 1557-60.)
    The oft cited Kellermann paper found a homeowner's gun was 43 times more likely to kill a family member, friend, or acquaintence, than it was used to kill someone in self-defense. Kellermann stated, "for every case of self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms." Florida State University professor Gary Kleck appropriately terms these ratios "nonsensical." (Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, pp. 177-179, 1997)
    Although this study was published in 1986 its findings continue to be uncritically cited in medical journals, government publications, and non-technical periodicals such as health newsletters, general interest magazines, op-ed pieces, letters-to-the editor, etc.
    Not only is Kellermann's methodology flawed, but using the same approach for violent deaths in the home not involving a firearm, the risk factor more than doubles from 43 to 1, to 99 to 1. Let's see why this 43 to 1 ratio is a meaningless indicator of gun ownership risk.
    [​IMG]
    Refutation First we need to understand how the ratio was derived.
    Kellermann tabulated gunshot deaths occurring in King County, Washington, from 1978 to 1983. Table 1 below is taken from Kellermann's paper (Table 3 on p. 1559).

    Table 1. Classification of 398 Gunshot Deaths involving a Firearm Kept in the Home Type of Death No. Unintentional deaths 12 Criminal homicide 41 Suicide 333 Unknown 3

    Total 389 Self-protection homicide 9
    As we see from Table 1, a ratio of 389 violent deaths to 9 justifiable homicides gives us the famous 43 to 1 ratio.
    Let's apply the same methodology to non-gun deaths and non-gun self-protection homicides in the home, for King County, Washington.

    Table 2. Estimation of Violent Deaths in the Home Not Involving a Firearm Type of Death No. Unintentional deaths 0 Criminal homicide1 50 Suicide2 347 Unknown 0

    Total 397 Self-protection homicide3 4
    This ratio of 397 non-gun violent deaths to 4 justifiable homicides reduces to 99 to 1.
    So having applied Kellermann's methodology to non-firearm violent death, the risk factor more than doubles from 43 to 1, to 99 to 1.
    Please note, the purpose of this exercise is not to show that using a gun in the home is better than not using one. This exercise does no such thing. It is merely to show how deeply flawed Kellermann's study really is. Further, a number of tremendously important factors are left unaccounted.
    For example, another way of looking at it is, more martial artists are probably murdered by non-gun methods than they kill in self-defense. Would we conclude that it is best to avoid learning a martial art for self-defense based on such a "nonsense ratio?" Regardless of how the number crunching had turned-out between gun and non-gun violent deaths in the home, we should be able to see that Kellermann's approach contributes nothing towards establishing a general or personal risk factor for a gun in the home.
    What is truly sad about the nonsense-ratio is how often it is cited and uncritically accepted.
    To decide whether or not to own a gun for self-defense based solely on a "kill" ratio is folly. To estimate the risks and benefits of gun ownership many more factors need to be considered. An example is defensive gun use, which outnumbers homicides, suicides, and accidents, and is ignored in most of the medical research. (See How often are guns used in self-defense?)
    For a different approach in critique of Kellermann's study see The 43: 1 Fallacy by Dave Kopel.
    For Further Reading

    GunCite's critique of Kellermann's "3:1" study. More generally, see GunCite's Gun Control Research.
    A criticism of Kellermann's subsequent research, and the bias of the Center for Disease Control's firearm related research: Kates, Schaffer, and Waters, Public Health Pot Shots: How the CDC Succumbed to the Gun "Epidemic", Reason Magazine, April 1997.
    Scroll down to part part XV:"Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home": Kates, Schafer, et. al, Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or Pandemic of Propaganda?. Originally published as 61 Tenn. L. Rev. 513-596 (1994).
    Letters to the New England Journal of Medicine regarding Kellerman's paper titled: "Guns and Homicide in the Home".
    Kellermann responds.
    Kleck, Gary, What Are the Risks and Benefits of Keeping a Gun in the Home?, JAMA, August 5, 1998.
    A differing view from Kleck's: Peter Cummings; Thomas D. Koepsell, Does Owning a Firearm Increase or Decrease the Risk of Death?, JAMA, August 5, 1998.
    Letter to the editor and a response from Kleck, JAMA, July 14, 1999.

    Notes: [SIZE=-1]1. Non-gun criminal homicide calculation: [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]According to Kellermann, firearms were involved in 45 percent of all homicides in King County.

    41 firearm criminal homicides / .45 = 91 total criminal homicides.

    Non-gun criminal homicides = 91 / (1 - .45) = 50 non-gun criminal homicides. [/SIZE]​
    [SIZE=-1] 2. Non-gun suicide calculation: [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]According to Kellermann, firearms were involved in 49 percent of all suicides in King County.

    333 firearm suicides / .49 = 680 total suicides.

    Non-gun suicides = 680 / (1 - .49) = 347 non-gun suicides. [/SIZE]​
    [SIZE=-1] 3. Self-protection calculation: [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]According to the 1997 FBI Uniform Crime Report (p. 24), from 1993 to 1997, non-gun justifiable homicides were 13% of all justifiable homicides. 30% was used instead of 13%.

    9 firearm justifiable homicides / (1 - .3) = 13 total justifiable homicides.

    13 total justifiable homicides - 9 firearm justifiable homicides = 4 non-gun justifiable homicides. [/SIZE]​
     
  4. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    This is one of my favorite websites.... it chronicles the uses of firearms in self defense situations, primarily...

    Civilian Self Defense Blog
     
  5. Ken Elder

    Ken Elder ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Can any of those stories actually be independently verified? I'm all for people carrying guns. I draw the line at heavy artillery. I also think that the issue has become such a political hot potato that there is a lot of dishonesty on both sides of the issue.
     
  6. mike sachen

    mike sachen Active Member

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    I have a patient (who recently bounced a check to me ironically enough) that was shot nine times by her husband after she went downstairs to get a drink in the middle of the night and he "thought" she was a burglar.

    Now, that's funny! I hope he was charged, though. Bad precedent, otherwise. The "I thought she was a burglar" defense. Husbands would be emptying their clips on wives all over the country.:D
     
  7. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    Pretty much all are linked to newspaper or tv station reports.
     
  8. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Politicians with courage where are you?

    The issue of strong gun control legislation has nearly vanished from the public consciousness...until the next mass murders using a firearm.

    The following is an editorial in the 12/23/08 edition of the New York Times that should revive conversation on both sides of this important issue...

    "Price of Lax Gun Laws

    Published: December 23, 2008

    For years, the gun lobby has defeated new gun control laws partly by arguing that stronger laws do not deter crime. A study prepared by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, should finally put that myth to rest.

    The study analyzed trace data for guns used in connection with crimes during 2007. The data reveal a strong correlation between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states.

    Many states have enacted strong gun laws to supplement inadequate federal ones, including mandatory background checks on gun show sales. States requiring the same background checks at gun shows as those required for store purchases show an export rate for guns used in crimes that’s nearly half the national average. This argues for Congressional action to end the gun-show loophole nationally. States with weak gun laws produce different outcomes. More than half the guns recovered in out-of-state crimes last year were supplied by Georgia, Florida, Texas, Virginia and six other states where weak laws make it easy for gun traffickers and other criminals to obtain weapons.

    Weak gun laws also put a state’s own citizens at risk. There were nearly 60 percent more gun murders in the 10 states where exports were highest than in the states with low export rates — and nearly three times as many fatal shootings of law enforcement officers.

    The study by the mayors’ group isn’t the first to document the link between weak gun laws and gun violence or the “iron pipeline” by which guns flow from states with weak gun laws into states with strong ones. Still, the numbers are startling. They explain why the gun lobby resisted their release, and they provide a powerful retort to those who claim tougher gun laws don’t work."
     
  9. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." When will this finally sink in with gun control advocates. Right now I can go on the internet and find a recipe for an explosive and create a mass murder situation. Do I? NO If I am a sociopath, I do. A gun is a tool, just like a kitchen knife, which can be used for destruction, just like a kitchen knife. Does banning guns keep them out of the hands of criminals....no way. Perhaps when you are in a situation where a gun saves your life (I have been), you won't be so quick to ban them; a la Rosie's body guard can have one, but if you can't afford a body guard you deserve to be a victim of violent crime.
     
  10. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    Let's look at the statistics:

    Top violent crime cities (per this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate)


    1. Detroit, MI
    2. Baltimore, MA
    3. St.Louis, MO
    4. Newark, NJ
    5. Washington, DC
    6. Oakland, CA
    7. Philadelphia, PA
    8. Atlanta, GA
    9. Buffalo, NY
    10. Cleveland, OH
    Any trends there?

    This is interesting too...
    [​IMG]

    And this, a graph of violent crime rates in the US:
    [​IMG]

    There were plenty of guns in the 60's...

    Do we blame a pencil for misspelled words?

    Do we blame my fork for making me fat?

    Do we blame the car manufacturers or the car itself when a drunk driver kills someone?

    Guns are not the problem. Society is the problem.

    It always boils down to what you think the 2nd Amendment means, and what the founders intended it to mean. I find it curious how we survived for a couple hundred years or so without the cries for "Gun Control", and now because of the societal meltdown in our larger cities, mostly known for progressive thought, we are supposed to throw our rights out the window to appease the very people who are the biggest part of the problem.
     
  11. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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    My dad and brother would take their .22's to school(that's into the school building since they walked! -but not barefoot in the snow uphill both ways ) in the 50's up in Iowa and hunt rabbits after school. I often had a shotgun in a gun rack in my pickup in the school parking lot in the 70's. We or school officials never even thought twice about it. Maybe we need to wall off the metropolitan areas like Escape from New York. Let them fend for themselves since they can't live with others.
     
  12. Scott Caughell

    Scott Caughell ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    I bet all those cities voted overwhelmingly democratic. Paul's study is poor at best.
     
  13. Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    Don't be a Tool

    We and our children have been exposed to too much violent death. Every news program, every newspaper and every piece of expose journalism scream out bloody murder.

    Do we need to be reminded that we are physically and emotionally fragile? That is the human condition. We hurt easily and die easily from disease, starvation, thirst and at the hand of each other. We have reasons to be afraid. We get it.

    We also get it that powerful tools can control pain and prolong life. Nutrition, hydration and medicine are powerful tools – and so is a weapon.

    We learn early that in defense or aggression, a weapon means control; “I can hurt or kill you, before you can hurt or kill me.” Or, “I have the power to hurt you, or kill you – if that pleases and rewards me.” The choice is up to the “Tool Holder.”

    Second only to money, guns just happen to be the most romanticized tool of power in our time. Consider if you will the movies, rap songs, video games and music videos that romanticize guns as the ultimate symbol of power and control. Our kids and the kids of others have been taught, in song and on the screen, that cool/tough men, women and children bust-a-cap when they want things their way…..role models?

    The “Tool” argument only goes so far. This “tool” in the wrong hands and in the wrong minds – kills more people than all of the screwdrivers, power drills, shop vacuums and paint rollers combined.

    Maybe we’ve become desensitized, or it’s just plain violence that we view through rose-tinted glasses. But, if we are to own guns and truly honor the intent of our Second Amendment, then we need to stop romanticizing guns and talk reality to our children and grandchildren.

    Regardless of what they see in the media, teach the kids that guns are not an acceptable path to notoriety. Guns are not fashion accessories, not side-line income generators, not hormone suppliments, not organ enhancers, not political statements or substitutes for intellect.
     
  14. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Gun don't kill people etc... really?

    Would this madman have done as much damage without an automatic handgun?

    As reported in the 12/26/08 edition of the New York Times...

    "Man in a Santa Suit Kills at Least 8 at a Party

    By SOLOMON MOORE and ANAHAD O’CONNOR

    Published: December 25, 2008

    COVINA, Calif. — A man in a Santa Claus outfit opened fire on a Christmas Eve gathering of his in-laws in this Los Angeles suburb and then methodically set their house ablaze, killing at least eight people and injuring several others, the authorities said Thursday.

    The attack occurred during a Christmas Eve gathering.

    Shortly after the attack, the gunman, identified as Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, killed himself with a single shot to the head at the home of his brother in the Sylmar section of Los Angeles, the police said.

    In addition to the eight people whose bodies were found in the ashes of the house here, none of whom were identified, at least one other person was thought to be missing, and perhaps as many as three. Among the total of dead or missing were the couple who owned the home and their daughter, the estranged wife of the gunman, the police said.

    Investigators continued to search the charred structure Thursday, and coroners said dental records would be needed to identify some of the remains.

    The frenzied shooting occurred just before midnight Wednesday at the two-story house, set on a cul-de-sac in this middle-class town about 22 miles east of Los Angeles. Lt. Pat Buchanan of the Covina Police Department said Mr. Pardo, armed with one or two handguns and fire accelerant, had gone to the house looking for his former wife, Sylvia, with whom he was finalizing a contentious divorce after only a year of marriage.

    People who escaped the house got out by smashing through glass and jumping. One woman broke an ankle when she leapt from a second-floor window.

    The house was owned by James and Alicia Ortega, an elderly couple who were retired from their spray-painting business and who often invited their large extended family over for parties, particularly around Christmas.

    Relatives said about 25 people, among them many children, were inside the home celebrating when Mr. Pardo knocked on the door around 11:30 p.m. He had apparently disguised himself as a hired entertainer for the children in order to gain access.

    When a guest opened the door, Lieutenant Buchanan said, Mr. Pardo stepped inside the house, drew a semiautomatic handgun and immediately started shooting, beginning with an 8-year-old girl who was hit in the face but who survived, as did an older girl who was shot in the back.

    As Mr. Pardo unleashed a barrage of gunfire in the living room, relatives smashed through windows, hid behind furniture or bounded upstairs. Then he sprayed the room with accelerant, using a device made of two pressurized tanks, one of which held pressurized gas. Within seconds, the house was ablaze.

    Joshua Chavez of Seattle was visiting his mother’s house, which sits behind the Ortegas’, when he heard a loud explosion. “Then I saw black smoke and this large flame,” he said.

    Mr. Chavez ran out to the backyard and heard three girls, including the one who had been shot in the back, trying to climb over his mother’s wall. “There’s some guy shooting in there,” he said one of the girls told him.

    “About 20 seconds after that,” he continued, “the house was totally on fire. One girl said that a guy dressed as Santa started shooting.”

    Another neighbor, Jeannie Goltz, 51, saw three more partygoers fleeing the burning home. One of them, a young woman, had escaped upstairs from the living room but broke her ankle when she jumped out a second-story window.

    SWAT teams arrived shortly after Ms. Goltz had shepherded these three survivors into another neighbor’s house, but by that time Mr. Pardo was on his way back to Los Angeles.

    Police officers said they could not recall so horrific a crime in Covina, and neighbors said they would never have imagined anything so grisly on their quiet block.

    The Ortegas had lived in the house for more than two decades and were known for their family spirit, their generosity and their dog, which frequently escaped their yard.

    “I would generally play Santa for the family every year,” said Pat Bower, a neighbor of the Ortegas for 25 years. “The family was always together. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles were always in the house. They were a gigantic family. We all envied them, actually.”

    Robert and Gloria Magcalas lived next door to the Ortegas for 11 years but were celebrating Christmas Eve with relatives in Los Angeles. Their own home was barely spared the flames.

    “They were a big, loving family,” Mrs. Magcalas said. “We usually exchanged gifts with them today. They gave us tamales and cookies every Christmas.”

    The police said they had found two handguns in the ruins, and an additional two pistols at the scene of Mr. Pardo’s apparent suicide. Officials said they would continue to search the crime scene Friday, seeking information about the identities of the dead."


    Solomon Moore reported from Covina, and Anahad O’Connor from New York.
     
  15. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    He would have done much more damage with an automobile, a pound or two of explosives of his choice. Probably would have done about the same with an axe or sword.

    How many did the firearm kill vs. the fire?

    Bottom line is that crazy people will ALWAYS be around, and they will do CRAZY things.

    I can guarantee you, if this would have gone down in my house, he wouldn't have had to shoot himself. That isn't an indictment of the victims here, don't read me wrong, but what if one of them had saved him the trouble of shooting himself in the head?

    Do you guys blame your phoropter for giving out poor prescriptions? :rolleyes:
     
  16. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    I grew up with a loaded gun "handy" in a couple of places in the house. I ran a trap line and carried a "dangerous automatic pistol" almost every day after school; when I was 9 years old. I never believed in a romantacism of violence or of firearms, I used them for their intended purposes. I learned to shoot when I was 5 years old, and will teach my children and grandchildren the same way because the deeply rooted respect I learned for dangerous tools ensured I would never have romanticized ideals.

    We speak of children desensitized to violence, but the violence is sanatized. They have no concept of what actually transpires when using a firearm (i.e. killing), until it is too late. Take a kid hunting and the romance and mystique of guns changes when they kill the animal. It brings it into perspective. I know shooting that first rabbit, realizing what it meant, readying it for consumption and then eating it put it all together. Kids these days don't often get to really experience using a firearm as a tool, so they don't get it and they don't respect them. I make it my priority to see that they do get an appropriate education on firearms, so there can be no ramantic ideals. If everyone else would do the same, the glorification you speak of would not exist.

    The tool argument really does cover it all because the wrong tool in the wrong hands shouldn't happen if the current gun laws are enforced. More laws will not work if they are not enforced, look at speed limits. Look at Switzerland, every able bodied defender of the country has a FULLY automatic assault rifle in their home. A tool for the defense of the country, and a taught respect for the destructive nature of the tool that keeps the children safe.
     
  17. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    An optometric comparison...OK

    However with a trial frame there will be fewer refractions per hour with greater labor.

    Single shot weapons for hunting or even self defense a valid argument. Automatic assault weapons? Give me a break!
     
  18. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    Paul,


    Have you ever shot a gun?

    What is your direct experience with firearms?

    Your argument about automatic assault rifles shows a distinct lack of knowledge in the subject area. In order to own an automatic assault rifle requires special licensing by the BATF. These weapons are highly controlled by both federal and state governments. If a domestic terrorist obtains such a weapon to commit terror, they have broken dozens of laws designed to keep them from getting them. You can ban all guns, the criminals will still get them (reference the UK), but no honest citizens will be allowed to protect themselves----come on!
     
  19. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    As a matter of fact...

    I had a concealed weapon permit issued by the City of New York. Almost impossible for ordinary citizens to get, but when you have friends...;)

    I went to the pistol range and learned to use a 9 mm weapon. The advice from the law enforcement experts was..." If you are stupid enough to carry a concealed weapon learn to use it and be ready to shoot to kill when you draw it. Be certain the caliber is high enough that it not only hits the assailant but will drive them back. They can still hurt you while they're dying.":eek:

    I carried for a while but what a nuisance. Larger pants size for a holster etc. I ultimately weighed the risk /benefit. The chances of my being able to defend myself from an armed robbery when there are several individuals involved was small when they have the advantage of surprise. The risk of them relieving you of your weapon great and then having it used on you also increases.

    Better to put it away well hidden from kids who love to play with weapons. Make every effort to stay out of harms way by sensible lifestyle choices. Packing may make one feel secure and macho. The reality is that more harm than good wil come out of the exercise.

    This an opinion of a urban dweller. I'm certain rural folks have a different opinion. So the debate continues.

    As far as requiring special licenses for automatic weapons...I don't think gang members where these are the weapons of choice have heard about these rules.:rolleyes:

    Nations with strict gun control laws have lower death rates associated with firearms, whether in felonies, accidents or suicides. There must be a relationship wouldn't you agree?
     
  20. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    Paul,

    I am thankful that you are experienced in firearms usage, too often urbanites are not and are therefore unable to argue more than second hand information.

    Your point concerning urban experiences versus rural experiences is spot on. I grew up in rural areas and kids I knew did not "play" with guns. We didn't have to worry about that because we were too well educated on the dangerous nature of firearms and had seen it first hand.

    I have carried not in fear of armed robbery, observation and intelligence are better weapons under those circumstances. I have carried to save lives (note: my current state of residence does not issue concealed carry permits, and I do obey the law). We all have to weigh the pros and cons of our individual situations, and thankfully live in a country that allows us to do so. I will agree that less than lethal alternatives (pepper spray, spring billies, stun guns) are often more effective for the masses because they usually can't kill them when turned on them.

    Thank you for proving my point about criminals. Gang bangers do not obey firearms laws, or any laws for that matter. So they won't obey the bans either, if you think they won't get guns if they are banned, you haven't been paying attention to the illicit drug problem.

    Societies with strict gun laws have lower death rates. Correlation is not causation. These controlled societies often have more (in volume) and more repressive state police forces that skew statistics. The question here is, do we reduce personnal freedoms for the security of a police state?

    The debate will continue as we each decide how much more or less oppressive a government we require.