Michael Youhana I urge you to consider what the lack of a sense of humor does to consensus politics. Other than that, all I can say is that I'm a fan of disagreement in democracies. Thanks for the input.
Michael Youhana So clearly you can't. Allow me to help. Palestinian militias armed to the teeth began moving into Lebanon from Jordan. This spooked Lebanese Christians sparking a volatile arms race. The influx of guns and arms were a necessary, though not sufficient prerequisite for the commencement of the war. Hardly a straw man. Just a vivid counterexample to your Australia and Britain 'evidence.' Try again.
Michael Youhana "Moreover, the good news hardly extends to every corner of the country. Violent crime remains extremely high in some troubled cities, such as Memphis and Detroit, and in smaller places such as Oakland, California, and Camden, New Jersey. Most striking is an unexpected spike of gang-related violence in Chicago, where murders are up by 28% so far this year. Against a backdrop of a long-term decline in all crime in the city, as well as a 10% decline for the year, the sudden unrest has caused some alarm. The real challenge will come when crime rates bottom out nationally, as one day they will." http://www.economist.com/node/21560870
Michael Youhana Building in game mechanics around these targets could help as well. Making mic's serve some purpose beyond the 'Pundit' ranking could help create an incentive for more agreeable comments. A return of the edit feature could help with clarity. The 'flagging' system also often seems to escalate more, than regulate, conflict in its current form. Reforming that system could help. Maybe anonymize the flagging? Just some ideas...
Michael Youhana It would be even easier for you to obtain drugs,if they were legal. Illegalizing drugs pushes demand for guns upward. Regulating gun production on the other hand... A key distinction often missed by gun advocates. "Simply reducing the rate at which guns are bought or produced legally does not 1) reduce the amount of firearms already available (which is hundreds of millions)..." Once more, agreed. Not sure why you keep repeating this point. "or 2) reduce production and sale within the black market." Also agreed. In fact, "production and sale within the black market" would likely increase. However, aggregate production and sale would decrease, as the black market does it worse than the free market. Now, repeat yourself once more.
Michael Youhana Depends on what kind of weapon he has, and how committed he is to burglarizing that particular house. In some cases its conceivable, in others, less so. However, I find it absolutely insane that you're willing to extrapolate from that very specific case onto society as a whole and all forms of gun conflict. It's, now, little wonder to me why we haven't found common ground.
Michael Youhana No, I disagree that that's usually the case, as I wrote to you before. I don't believe the concept of 'mutually assured destruction' can be applied to guns in the way you're thinking. Remember, they're guns, not nukes. Consider the Lebanese civil war that was actually, in part, caused by the pursuit of such deterrents.
Michael Youhana I mean, the fact that 'guns' are used in 'gun' killing is my strongest proof that they are part of causation -- because they literally are. "If more guns= more killing, why do countries with more restrictive gun laws than the United States have higher murder rates?" I dunno correlation doesn't imply causation -- and a handful of data points certainly don't. Maybe they have highly ineffective police forces. We'd have to look at each country individually. I suppose one could find more 'proof' (I use that word liberally in this discussion) in case studies like: Lebanon, North Mali, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, US, Yemen.
Michael Youhana Regarding dictatorships: High gun ownership rate in Iraq under Saddam. One of the lowest gun ownership rates in the world in Tunisia prior to the revolution. Regarding Australia: Correlation does not imply causation.
Michael Youhana Now a few things: I never made the claim that there's only one way to tackle crime. Drops can be attributed to a number of causes, and typically (outside of the world of natural science) a confluence of factors (rather than a single cause) leads to a measurable effect. That's not a particularly controversial a point, on all ends of the political spectrum.
Michael Youhana Again, To your first point, the CDC study claims, and indeed, the entire WSJ article posted above claims, that there's not enough data to support your conclusion by means of a statistical study. In other words, the people you're relying on to draw your conclusions, don't agree with you. Now, to your second point: It's more a truism than a theory. Guns make killing people quite easy, and, in this regard, they facilitate and escalate violence. Always have -- and not just in the US. Has violent crime declined in the US as gun-ownership has gone up? Yes. Does that falsify my argument? Nope.
Michael Youhana I don't really care what Libertarians believe (not that I think you're a particularly reliable spokesman for the broader group). I care about whether they can make sense of their beliefs. Yours is simply not a reasonable position. Yes, people will still get guns if they want them, but the burden of pursuing and manufacturing guns will increase. You seem to be having trouble with this point. So let me be clear: Will that stop big-time gun enthusiasts outright? You say it will stop "law abiding citizens" alone. I contest that point. Not the ones that are willing to pay the additional cost, and put forth the additional time. But cost is not an imaginary barrier. It will prevent some people from owning a weapon.
Michael Youhana Your history is a bit confused. What Lebanon are you talking about? I'm referring to the Lebanon that saw an influx of PLO militias armed to the teeth in the mid-70's prompting an arms race and civil war that the country is still reeling from. Taliban? 1956? Taliban formed from Pashtun refugees from Afghanistan in Pakistan created by a series of wars sparked by the Soviet invasion in 1979. They came to power in what was effectively the absence of a state as different mujahedin groups who fought the Soviets couldn't agree on terms to form a new government (and waged civil war). In North Mali, Tuaregs procured a mass of weaponry in the wake of the recent uprising and civil war in Libya, and now there's a rather big mess. etc., etc.