Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

More guns, more deaths

Re: the mass shooting yesterday at a high school in Florida, where 17 people were killed

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the more guns there are the more they are used and the more people are killed. It ought to be obvious that access should be restricted to guns that have as their only purpose killing a lot of people very quickly.

-- "More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence? | America now has 300 million firearms, a barrage of NRA-backed gun laws—and record casualties from mass killers," Mother Jones Magazine

It's not a coincidence that during the period when there was a ban an assault weapons, there were fewer mass shootings, and fewer deaths.

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At 6:45 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mari said...

So you decided to hop on this merry go round that never ends. Every time such an event happens everyone plays their roles and in the end the results are the same. I think the definition of insanity is in there, doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

Baltimore has a homicide problem. We used to have a big homicide problem. Yes guns were part of the equation but they weren't the only part. But the other parts don't look as simple or as engaging as talking/screaming about guns. Banning, heavily restricting guns may seem like the easy strategy but it seems to have the ironic effect of scaring gun lovers who then buy up more guns. Rinse and repeat.

Until next time, rinse and repeat.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

To be fair, I've been involved in public safety issues co-incident with my involvement in the city, although now I mostly write about it, instead of participate directly.

Plenty of entries on "crime."

It's complicated, and yes, the NRA and conservative judiciary have been great at articulating an understanding of the second amendment beyond the likely intent of the Constitution.

It's another example though of somehow not being able to have differentiated policies about gun ownership and access.

1. restriction on assault weapons vs. restriction on guns overall

2. restrictions in urban areas, vs. rural.

3. Carry, open carry, stand your ground, etc.

So the f* what if gun owners get upset. We have a natural experiment about gun policy. Compare the US to Australia, Scandinavia, UK, and Japan e.g., with their restricted gun access and the number of gun related killings.

There's no comparison.

A couple weeks ago we were watching repeats of Wallander and so I looked up how many murders there are in Sweden vs. the US.

DC has more murders per year than the entire nation of Sweden. Most are gun related.

Sweden has 14x the population of DC. It's a bit larger than NYC. Even so, NYC which has had incredible success in lowering the murder rate (and gun violence too, but both are still an issue) still has a murder rate about 2.75 that of Sweden, with 85% of the population of Sweden.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

have you fully moved?

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Mari said...

So repeat?

Am I fully moved? I have not left DC.

So what if gun owners are upset? Okay let me repeat. When they get upset, they go out and buy more guns. Is that what you want? I was under the impression you didn't want more guns in the market. When there is more demand in the market for guns from people who will more than likely pass whatever test (not be on a terror/ sex offender/ whatever list) one needs to pass to get a gun because Obama/Pelosi/ Richard is coming for yer guns, they make more guns!

Gun stores love it when you scare the people with your gun restriction talk. It results in more gun sales. More gun sales, more reason to make more guns. More reason to make guns, strangely, more retail guns in the world.

I could have sworn I heard that all the media chitter chatter about the accessories the Las Vegas shooter used, increased sales of those accessories. Go ahead, talk up the AR-15. Make it sound powerful. Make people want it, who up til last week never thought about it.

Aw crap, I jumped on the merry go round to talk to you. Now I am jumping off and going to do something productive.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

Two things:

1) Good link:


"The average American gun owner owns three guns, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Harvard and Northwestern University. More than a half of them own just one or two, whereas 14% of them–7.7 million or 3% of the US population–own anywhere between eight to 140 guns. This 3% of the population owns half of the civilian guns in the US. The police found 47 guns associated with Paddock in three different locations two days after the massacre, which puts him among the 3%."

I've come to understand there is a subset of the US population that treats guns as a currency -- and use them as way to store wealth. Makes sense -- largely tax free and under the radar.


Hence the difficult of enacting universal background checks -- if you want to get 250 from cousin bubba you can't sell him a gun.

In cities, the debate is different. I've had no problems having illegal gun possession in the district punished with 25 years in prison, no questions asked. However there are obvious reasons why we aren't going don't that path.

and then this:

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

thx for this.

mass shootings aren't a good way to understand gun violence, but they are a good way to understand that restrictions on assault weapons are very reasonable.

I wuz starting to reply to Mari and I didn't, but the point that most people own few guns and such a small proportion the most I was going to mention.

I hadn't thought about guns as a "store of value"/money, that is very insightful.

yes, cities need different laws. For this, for lots of things. The dilemma in government is this necessary difference between urban and rural policy and the failure of elected officials to acknowledge the rightness of this differentiation in law and practice, instead of the universalism of the lowest common denominator tagged to rural policy.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Another thing that's "addressable" in the US is that once you get a license, you don't ever have to renew. By contrast wrt police in the UK, to become certified to carry and use guns is a lengthy process and the authority to carry a gun has to be regularly renewed.

Similarly, Japan makes it hard to get a permit to have a gun and it needs to be renewwed every three years.

What's frustrating about this "issue" is that the proscriptions are pretty simple and don't have to include gun banning, although that's basically the case in places like Australia, the UK, and Japan.

But it should be much harder to be authorized to own a gun; assault weapons and related equipment like bump stocks should be banned; and besides having to certify soundness, regular reauthorization should be required, including soundness.


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