Do Strict Gun Control Laws Work?

One of the things that has troubled me in the gun control debate is this: is there any data that suggests that strict gun control laws actually produce results?  Do gun control laws reduce murders?  Do they even reduce gun murders? I decided to do some very rough research.  Here’s what I found.

AR15

First, I went to the website of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and downloaded the full state scorecard report.  The Brady Campaign ranks each state (except for a couple of states from which there isn’t much data) on its gun laws, and how strict they are.  They rate things like:

  • Gun Dealer Regulations
  • Limiting Bulk Purchases of weapons
  • Record Retention
  • Crime Gun Identification
  • Laws on Reporting Lost/Stolen Guns
  • Background checks on all gun sales
  • Permit to Purchase
  • Ammunition Regulations
  • Assault Weapons Ban
  • Large Capacity Magazine Ban
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Access Prevention
  • No Guns in the Workplace
  • No Guns on College Campuses
  • Not a CCW Shall Issue State
  • No State Preemption

(You can see a description of the categories here)

The score scale is from 0-100, and the top ten states with the “best” (strictest) gun laws are:

State State Rank State Score
California 1 81
New Jersey 2 72
Massachusetts 3 65
New York 4 62
Connecticut 5 58
Hawaii 6 50
Maryland 7 45
Rhode Island 8 44
Illinois 9 35
Pennsylvania 10 26

Given those rankings, one would expect that gun violence in these states would be the lowest among all the states.  So, I looked at the FBI data from 2011 (the same year that the Brady Campaign had rated the states), and found an aggregated spreadsheet of all the FBI info on the Guardian UK website, and found the following ranking of states (in this case, the #1 state has the lowest incidence of gun homicide per 100,000 residents):

State State Rank Gun Homicide Rate
Hawaii 1 0.07
New Hampshire 2 0.53
Rhode Island 3 0.57
South Dakota 4 0.68
Iowa 5 0.71
Vermont 6 0.75
Montana 7 0.76
Minnesota 8 0.82
Maine 9 0.90
North Dakota 10 0.93

So, only two of the top ten states with the strictest gun control laws made it into the top ten states with the least gun violence (Hawaii and Rhode Island).  At least the rest of the top ten states were above average, and made it into the top 25, right?  Wrong.  Here’s where the strictest states ranked in gun violence among the states:

State Gun Law Ranking (Brady Campaign) Gun Violence Ranking (FBI)
California 1 32
New Jersey 2 29
Massachusetts 3 18
New York 4 41
Connecticut 5 23
Hawaii 6 1
Maryland 7 44
Rhode Island 8 3
Illinois 9 27
Pennsylvania 10 40

Only 4 of these states were above-average when it comes to gun violence.

Interpreting the Data

There’s only a few possible explanations for this data:

  1. 2011 was a really bad year for gun violence in the states that have the strictest gun control laws.  This data is a fluke.
  2. Since there’s no uniform minimum standard of gun laws across the United States, the “bad” laws in some states cause a rise in gun violence in the states with “good” gun control laws.
  3. Strict gun controls laws have minimal effect on gun violence.
  4. There are other causes of gun violence (other than guns) that aren’t accounted for in this data.

It’s also possible that some gun laws have an effect on gun violence, but once those basic laws are in place, additional laws have very little or no effect.  It’s interesting to look at a geographical map of gun violence in the United States.  It seems that there are pockets of high gun violence, and pockets of very low gun violence.

regional gun violence

It looks like there are regional pockets of violence.  It also looks like the states that have very low violence and low violence vary widely as to where on the Brady scale they lie.  Some, like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, are among the worst-rated on the Brady scale.  Others, like Washington, Oregon and Colorado score fairly well on the Brady scale.  This lends credence to the third and fourth interpretations of the data–that most gun control laws don’t have a large effect, and there are factors other than guns that have a greater influence on gun violence.

Discussion Question: Do you see more evidence for the effectiveness of gun control laws?  If not, should Congress and state legislatures be pursuing stricter gun laws?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.akre Dave Akre

    Nice work, Bob! You’re right on target. I think it’s a safe assumption that the people who are obeying the gun laws that are already in place are not the ones committing the crimes in the first place. It’s not like gangbangers are going in to their local gun shop, getting a background check, waiting out the waiting period, then legally purchasing their guns. After all, assault, robbery, and  murder are all against the law, so how is another gun law going to deter the guy who is already intending to break other more serious laws?

  • boomSLANG

    All in all? Smoke ‘n mirrors. While it may be true that having gun-laws doesn’t stop law-breakers..e.g..”gangbangers” from gaining access to guns,  that doesn’t mean that we don’t need gun-laws in place.  We don’t stop requiring sober drivers from registering their cars, nor do we say that they don’t need a driver’s license, just because some people are going to drive drunk despite the laws. The whole, “criminals are going to break the law anyway!” sphere of thought is seriously lacking.   

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Boom, my point wasn’t that criminals are going to break the law in any case, so why have any laws. My point is that, if the intent is to decrease violence, the laws purpose by the Left so far are not accomplishing the objective, and perhaps we should be looking at the problem a different way.

      • boomSLANG

        “Boom, my point wasn’t that criminals are going to break the law in any case, so why have any laws” ~ R. Ewoldt

        Okay, fair enough.  If that wasn’t your point,  then I’m still going to go ahead and assume that you advocate and understand the necessity of gun-laws,  which is unquestionably a form of  gun-control. If I am correct in that assumption, then you are pro gun-control, as am I. Very well. We’ve found some common ground for a change.

        “My point is that, if the intent is to decrease violence, the laws purpose by the Left so far are not accomplishing the objective[….]” ~ R. Ewoldt

        Firstly, I did not realize that the pro gun-control and anti gun-control camps were “Left” and “Right”, respectively. In fact, I understand you to be in the pro gun-control camp(see above), while yet, I’ve understood you to be on the conservative “Right” all along. It seems like you are an exception to the rule then, and I suspect there are many more such exceptions, so then it’s probably not a good idea to turn the gun issue into a “Right”/”Left” issue. 

        “[….]and perhaps we should be looking at the problem a different way.” ~ R. Ewoldt

        I personally think that most of us are smart enough that we can attack one problem..e.g.. gun violence, more than just one way. So, I find very lacking the sphere of thought which holds that, since strict gun-laws don’t necessarily decrease violence, then we shouldn’t have strict gun-laws. Personally, I  think that we can have strict gun-laws while tackling the problem in other ways, for instance, addressing mental health. Two things at once, right? I know that many from “Right” have proposed that the increase in gun violence is because “God” is no longer invited in our schools, yadda, yadda., but frankly,  I see no evidence that belief in “God” precludes one from evil.  

        So, being that you’re pro gun-control advocate from the Right, what is y’all’s suggestion for attempting to cut back on gun violence in America?

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Boom, I think that most people (left and right) would affirm that we shouldn’t allow felons or the severely mentally ill to have guns, since they are the most likely to use guns in a manner that they weren’t intended to be used. In order to accomplish this, I’m in favor of some kind of background check before one can buy a gun.

          When I say “ideas from the Left,” this includes the “assault weapons ban,” which did nothing from 1994-2004 when it was in effect before, magazine capacity laws, gun owner registries, continuing background checks or re-registration, etc.

          I think that there’s a law of diminishing returns when it comes to gun laws. The basic ones may actually save lives, while the “stricter” laws have little or no effect, and are restrictive only on those who are law-abiding (as I’ve shown in this post). I’m open, however, to convincing when it comes to some of the proposals–magazine capacities or background checks for ammunition–but I would have to be convinced that (a) they actually have an effect, and (b) that these laws wouldn’t be overly-burdensome to legitimate gun owners.

          I would also like to see some focus on the mentally ill, and how to both treat them effectively, and how to keep them from getting guns.

          Lastly, I would like to see some greater efforts at security in the places that need it–especially places that are marked “gun free zones” (schools, hospitals, stadiums, etc.). Whether this means training security guards or allowing trained, licensed concealed-carry holders to have weapons in these places, I don’t know. But it’s something to consider.

          What are your ideas?

          • boomSLANG

            “I think that most people (left and right) would affirm that we shouldn’t allow felons or the severely mentally ill to have guns, since they are the most likely to use guns in a manner that they weren’t intended to be used.”

            “Intended to be used”?  Guns are intended to KILL, whether they be in the hands of a mentally ill guy on a killing spree, or in the hands of the guy defending his home against a cat-burglar.

            In order to accomplish this, I’m in favor of some kind of background check before one can buy a gun.”

            I’m in favor of that too, which, again, is an attempt to control guns.  You ask what my ideas are, well, one of those is to get people who are “pro-gun” to see that many of their arguments are lacking. For instance, the internet is rife with pro-gun memes such as,  “Guns don’t kill people!…people kill people!”. If that’s a comprehensive look at things, then I have to wonder why we send soldiers to war with guns, when we could just send the soldiers, according to the above mind-set  It may be true that guns are inanimate objects and that it is ultimately the people who use them who are responsible, but that doesn’t mean the guns don’t contribute to the problem. We need gun laws. What “strict” means,  probably varies from person to person.  Whatever it means, if you can’t fend off a cat-burglar in under 10 shots, you probably shouldn’t own a gun.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Do you own a gun? Have you had any firearms training? Or, more specifically, have you ever been trained to use a firearm in home defense?

          • boomSLANG

            I’ve owned a Crossman pellet gun, no formal training in home defense or otherwise. Relevance?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Because you said that if someone can’t stop an intruder with ten bullets, then they shouldn’t have a gun.

            However, I’ve heard firearms instructors say that if there’s two intruders, ten rounds is likely not enough. I’ve also heard that police in the field are accurate 1/5 of the time.

            So, you’re of the opinion that we should only give people enough rounds in their magazine to stop one intruder, but not a two- or three-person team?

          • boomSLANG

            “Because you said that if someone can’t stop an intruder with ten bullets, then they shouldn’t have a gun.” 

            Actually, I said, “they probably shouldn’t own a gun”, as in, I’m not claiming to be an expert who is using statistics and/or tested data to give his opinion.  I’m merely making what I believe to be a reasonable speculation that a man or woman who goes to the gun range a few times @ week, IOW, someone who can stand there and blow their target to smitherines for an hour or so,  that they ought to be able to take down a man of average size in 10 shots. And this, of course, is assuming that the trained gunman is prepared for the intruder. After all, if you’re awakened to an armed intruder standing over you, it wouldn’t matter if you had a flippin’ bazooka. You’re a goner.  

            “However, I’ve heard firearms instructors say that if there’s two intruders, ten rounds is likely not enough.”

            So, I guess then if there’s a dozen intruders, 10 rounds is definitely not enough.  Or wait,  what about in the scenario that  the wack-job doomsdayer’s twisted fantasy of the  government coming to take their guns comes true? 10 rounds definitely won’t be enough to fend off a SWAT team. So what next? People wanting to put landmines in their yards to thwart gun confiscation?

            IOW, where does one draw the line with ” defense” weaponry, because it has to be drawn somewhere

            “So, you’re of the opinion that we should only give people enough rounds in their magazine to stop one intruder, but not a two- or three-person team”

            See above.

             

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Where do we draw the line regarding the defense of the home? When it comes to magazine capacity, why do we have to draw a line at all?

  • boomSLANG

    (response relocated due to lack of “reply” feature)

    “Where do we draw the line regarding the defense of the home?” ~ R. Ewoldt

    Depends on what one is defending one’s home against. Take a UFOlogist who believes that ancient space-travelers are coming to take over earth. What if he or she feels that they need anti-aircraft guns to defend their home? Or take the wack-job doomsdayers who believe that the government, per orders of our sinister, black, “Muslim” Commander in Chief, is coming to take their gunz, so they want to be able to defend their home with an M4 Sherman.  Should he or she have the right to purchase a tank and park it his or her back yard? If not, why not?  

    “When it comes to magazine capacity, why do we have to draw a line at all?”

    What you’re now talking about is the right for gun owners to have endless access to shots fired, and in that case, the first and foremost answer to your question is,  because you’ve yet to provide any reasons why anyone needs such fire-power other than they just want it. We’re not talking about obtaining or collecting stamps and butterflies; we’re talking about devices that are made for the sole purpose of KILLING. Or maybe you mean that only “qualified”, mentally-stable people should have endless fire-power. Okay, what that mind-set seems to forget is that not all crazy people are born crazy. No, sometimes mentally stable people “snap” and GO crazy, possibly because of an adverse and/or devastating event in their lives.   

    This whole idea that our society would be a “safer” over-all society if all “good” citizens were armed is seriously mistaken at best; just plain moronic, at worst.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Your conclusion–that an armed citizenry making our society more safe is “seriously mistaken at based” or “just plain moronic, at worst”–has no backup in fact, so far.  In fact, that’s the point of this whole post.  The data, so far, supports the assertion that states that have a more permissive stance toward gun owners actually have less gun violence.

      In your second question, what you’re really saying is, “There is a point in time at which we shouldn’t trust the armed citizen.”  New York says that law-abiding people can’t possibly have a use for more than 7 rounds, but we know that that’s not the case. Some legislators say 10 rounds, which is find for one (maybe two) intruders to one’s house.  Some (Colorado) say 15 rounds is all that law-abiding people should be trusted with, because you can’t possibly need more.  Some say that a 30-round capacity magazine is OK, because it’s convenient because you don’t have to keep reloading when you’re target practicing, but no one could have a use for a 100-round magazine other than to kill people.

      Here’s my deal: I’m open to hearing arguments for a magazine capacity limit, but I have two problems: first, it has to be a reasonable limit, one that does not deter law-abiding citizens from doing things that they need to do (and I would say that dealing with 3-5 intruders is not unreasonable, but dealing with 50-100 is questionable); second, I have to be convinced that the magazine capacity limit wouldn’t be a law that would ensure that criminals are the only ones with large capacity magazines.  For instance, I’ve heard from gun owners that the magazine is the easiest thing to home-manufacture.  So, what’s to say that criminals won’t just make their own high-capacity magazines, thereby ensuring that they’re the only ones that have them?

      • boomSLANG

        “Your conclusion–that an armed citizenry making our society more safe is ‘seriously mistaken at based’ or ‘just plain moronic, at worst’–has no backup in fact, so far.” ~ R. Ewoldt

        First things, first—-when I talk about an armed society(general population) being far more dangerous overall than a society in which only law enforcement and other trained persons possess automatic/semi-automatic weapons along with endless ammunition, I’m not just talking about “street thug vs good ol’ boy”. No, I’m including accidental child deaths..e.g…when curious son(or daughter) finds daddy’s hand gun or hunting rifle and kills self(or sibling); I’m talking other accidental gun deaths..e.g…when Ronnie Redneck pulls out his gun, points it at friend, pulls the trigger, and says, “Huh, huh, huh!…..don’t wurry, it ain’t loaded”(friend’s head blown into red confetti); I’m talking about accidental deaths while cleaning/maintaining guns, and lastly, I’m talking about hot-headed, “hair-trigger”(pun intended)  types who would just as soon shoot someone who looks at them wrong as they would a mugger.  Factoring in all of the above?… I fail to see how anyone can tell me with a straight face that MORE guns in circulation would make for a “safer”, overall society. You can try, but I say BS.   

        “In fact, that’s the point of this whole post.  The data, so far, supports the assertion that states that have a more permissive stance toward gun owners actually have less gun violence.”

        Maybe there’s just less violence in general in some places, and if so, it would follow that there’s less “gun-violence”. ‘Not sure how that wouldn’t be up for consideration.

        “In your second question, what you’re really saying is, ‘There is a point in time at which we shouldn’t trust the armed citizen’.” 

        No, in fact, that is NOT what I’m saying; that is your spin on what I’ve actually said(like the good ol’ days). My “second question” was this….

        Or take the wack-job doomsdayers who believe that the government, per orders of our sinister, black, “Muslim” Commander in Chief, is coming to take their gunz, so they want to be able to defend their home with an M4 Sherman.  Should he or she have the right to purchase a tank and park it his or her back yard? If not, why not? ~ Me

        So? Yes, or no, and why? As it stands, I would trust a citizen trained in law enforcement over the above-described citizen, and I believe I’m being reasonable to do so.   

        “Here’s my deal: I’m open to hearing arguments for a magazine capacity limit, but I have two problems: first, it has to be a reasonable limit, one that does not deter law-abiding citizens from doing things that they need to do (and I would say that dealing with 3-5 intruders is not unreasonable, but dealing with 50-100 is questionable); “

        I think any limit should be based on a statistical average, not on your opinion of what a “reasonable” likely amount of intruders would be.

        “second, I have to be convinced that the magazine capacity limit wouldn’t be a law that would ensure that criminals are the only ones with large capacity magazines.”

        No  “law” is going to “ensure”(in an absolute sense) that criminals won’t do or acquire “X”. 

        “For instance, I’ve heard from gun owners […]”

        So, you’re not a gun owner?

         “[I’ve heard from gun owners] that the magazine is the easiest thing to home-manufacture.  So, what’s to say that criminals won’t just make their own high-capacity magazines, thereby ensuring that they’re the only ones that have them?”

        Nothing’s to say that won’t happen. What’s to say there won’t be another “Timothy McVeigh”? Maybe there’s another criminal who, as we speak, is building a massive bomb with which he plans to blow up a building full of people. There is nothing, to my knowledge, that will ensure that this won’t happen. So? Should citizens be allowed to drive around with bombs?

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          You: “Should he or she have the right to purchase a tank and park it his or her back yard? If not, why not?”… “Should citizens be allowed to drive around with bombs?”

          When I write an article advocating these things, then we can debate that.  Until then, these can remain red herring arguments.

          You: “Maybe there’s just less violence in general in some places, and if so, it would follow that there’s less ‘gun-violence’. ‘Not sure how that wouldn’t be up for consideration.”

          If these areas are, in general, less violent, then indeed there would be less gun violence as well.  But that’s my point, to a certain extent: in those areas, there’s the same prevalence of guns (or moreso, even) as in other areas, yet they have a lower incidence of violence.  Why is that?  Perhaps it has nothing to do with guns.  Maybe it has to do with the people.  Is there something different about the people in those areas as compared with the people in the high-violence regions?

          You on magazine capacities: “I think any limit should be based on a statistical average, not on your opinion of what a “reasonable” likely amount of intruders would be.”

          I agree with you (stop the presses!) that any limit should be statically based, but not necessarily on the average.  For example, if the average number of intruders is 2, you might set the maximum magazine at 15.  However, if it’s statistically likely (even though it’s not the average) that you might encounter 3 or 4, then the capacity should be higher.  However, I think we would both agree that it’s statistically highly unlikely that you would encounter 15-20 intruders at the same time, so you don’t need to build the law around that highly unlikely scenario.

          You: “So, you’re not a gun owner?”

          Not yet.  Since I live in Illinois, it takes an insanely long time to get a FOID card.  I’ve applied for one, but it hasn’t come yet.  As soon as it comes, I will be a gun owner.  However, I think, in this debate, it’s a good thing to listen to what gun owners/instructors actually are saying, because they can tell you things like “You’re statistically unlikely to stop a single intruder with 5 rounds.”

          • boomSLANG

            testing

          • boomSLANG

            Comment moderation all of the sudden? 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            boom, I’m not actively moderating you… I’m trying to figure out why Disqus isn’t post just that one. Hold on…

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great data and facts. Thanks for sharing this information. 

  • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

    There are multiple reports about how burglars work in teams.  Here are a couple:

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/10-charged-in-pharmacy-burglary-spree-1842681.php

    http://www.justice-studies.com/JS118_ch12_F'11.pdf

    Additionally, you say, “When come along and contend that there are some citizens who currently have bunkers in their backyards because they actually and truly believe that the government is out to get them (and their guns), that, friend, is not a diversion(red herring).”

    It seems that you have view of some gun owners baracading themselves in a bunker because the government is coming after them.  That’s about as frequent as your statistically unlikely lightning strike.  However, there are many people who do not think that the government is after them, but are cautious that the government, at some point in the future, might become tyrranical.

    You might not see the distinction, but it’s there.

    Furthermore, your red herring argument was not about people who believe that the government is coming to get them; rather, your red herring argument was this: Should we allow anyone who wants to to own a tank?  Should everyone be allowed to have bombs in their possession? Those ARE red herring arguments, because they have nothing to do with the guns that we’re talking about.

    • boomSLANG

      RE: 1st link(“10 charged in pharmacy burglary spree”)

      For every group of  burglars who work in “10”, I wonder how many burglars work alone. Hmmm

       IOW, providing 1, 2, 3, or even 100 incidences of burglars working in groups of  “10”, is fine and dandy, but I’ll wager that for every such incident that you can find, there are thousands if not tens of thousands of burglars who work alone. And BTW, we were talking about defending one’s home;  we were not talking about defending a “pharmacy”. No one would argue that some places, say, a bank, would need extra security all the way around.  

      If you’re going dig up statistics, I would hope that those statistics are in the context of what your arguing for, which, if we back up, is home protection.

      RE:  2nd link(“justice-studies”)

      I see ‘lots of descriptions and definitions. However, unless I missed it, I don’t see any statistics of  home invasions where burglars work in, or had worked in, small, medium, or large groups.

      “It seems that you have view of some gun owners baracading themselves in a bunker because the government is coming after them. That’s about as frequent as your statistically unlikely lightning strike”

      I’m talking about a specific group of pro-gun people, namely, that of the Anti-government sphere of thought who believe door-to-door gun confiscation is right around the corner. And while those with bunkers might be on the extreme end of the spectrum of that group, the group itself is large in number. If you’d like, I can dig around and look for a estimate for membership/affiliation. But I assure you, its numbers far exceed lightening-strike deaths per year in Florida. 

      However, there are many people who do not think that the government is after them, but are cautious that the government, at some point in the future, might become tyrranical.”

      You might not see the distinction, but it’s there.”

      Perhaps it’s there, but it’s a distinction of no practical value, since, a) pro-gunners from both groups readily admit that they aren’t giving up their guns, and b) if the government actually becomes “tyrannical”, said government will expect compliance from all citizens at some point. If said compliance isn’t given, it’s reasonable for us to conclude that any “tyrannical” oppressor would come after those who don’t comply.

      “Furthermore, your red herring argument was not about people who believe that the government is coming to get them; rather, your red herring argument was this: ‘Should we allow anyone who wants to to own a tank?  Should everyone be allowed to have bombs in their possession?’ Those ARE red herring arguments, because they have nothing to do with the guns that we’re talking about.”

      Have you specified by name, and/or, make, and/or caliber, what guns “we’re talking about”?  I recall some chatter about magazine capacity, but not make or model, so, until you delineated such things, guns are guns are guns are guns, including that long thing on a tank. No “red herring”.

       I reiterate: the line for personal protection by gun MUST be drawn somewhere. Personally, I don’t believe any common citizen needs the type of weapon depicted in your accompanying photo to defend their home or hunt food, and I firmly believe that magazine capacity needs a line, where you’ve alluded to that it doesn’t….

      “When it comes to magazine capacity, why do we have to draw a line at all?” ~ R. Ewoldt

      • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

        Military weapons are already illegal, so tanks and bombs are not a part of this discussion.  Unless you want them to be legal.

        Hence the red herring.

        Secondly, if you looked at the second link that I sent, you would see this:

        “Many burglars work in groups to:

        – Reduce their own fear and apprehension;

        – Enable faster searches of residences;

        – Reduce their perceived risk of getting caught;

        – Be able to use ‘lookouts.'”

        If you would like to provide evidence to support your “wager” that most burglars work alone, feel free.

        • boomSLANG

          “Military weapons ar[…..]

          There are no hard lines between “military”/”civilian”.  Even gun-owners admit this, and even if they didn’t admit it, they cannot agree on what constitutes “military” and what doesn’t.  To some gun-owners, a civilian model of a weapon designed for military use is still a military-grade weapon.  I tend to agree with this(see below) 

          “[Military weapons are] already illegal, so tanks and bombs are not a part of this discussion.”

          Tanks and bombs aren’t legal, very good, and they’re not legal for a damned-good reason, underscoring the point that I’m trying, but so far failing, to get you to absorb: The military uses tanks ‘n bombs as weapons of mass slaughter/weapons of mass destruction, hence, why there is no good reason why a civilian needs those things. So, it should follow that there’s no good reason why civilians need semi-automatic weapons with endless ammo'(like soldiers in the military).  
           
          “Hence the red herring.”

          It’s not a “red herring”, because as of yet, zero hard lines have been established between “civilian” and “military” weapons. For analogy, if rail dragsters aren’t street legal, but I decide do build a mock-up of one that goes just as fast, that doesn’t make it legal or reasonable that I drive a rail-dragster to work. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know how to classify it it.

          “If you would like to provide evidence to support your “wager” that most burglars work alone, feel free.”

          So, before I research this, it’s your contention that most home burglaries in America are carried out by groups of “10” or more burglars. Correct?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            How about you start your research on burglars by proving that the vast majority of burglars work alone, since that was your original assertion.
            In terms of military vs. civilian, it must not be that hard to distinguish, because there are a lot of military weapons that are already illegal, like tanks and bombs (as pointed out already). Your analogy of a street race doesn’t hold water, because in your analogy, the mock up you make drives just as fast, whereas with guns, the ones that LOOK like military weapons function just like any other semi-automatic rifle, and NOT like the “military version.”

      • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

        How about we narrow the discussion to things that are currently legal in most/all areas of the U.S.  (as most reasonable people would)?

        • boomSLANG

          “How about we narrow the discussion to things that are currently legal in most/all areas of the U.S. “

           By “things”, I assume that you mean guns

          But okay, I guess the next area to cover would then be the following, which isn’t as cut ‘n dried: 

          Should every citizen, because it is their constitutional right to hunt and/or defend their personal property, be in possession of gun “X”, just because said gun is “legal in most/all areas of the US”?  I  say, “no”.  

           

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Which guns that are legal now would you like to be banned, and why?

        • boomSLANG

          “Which guns that are legal now would you like to be banned, and why?”

          Sure. For starters, the “civilian” version of the M-16 and/or the AK-47.  And yes, I’m aware that the  semi-automatic versions “only” fire one bullet per trigger-squeeze, but I  don’t care.  I don’t believe the general public need that type of weapon to hunt food or to fend off an armed cat-burglar, never mind an unarmed cat-burglar. 

           And now that I’ve obliged you on that question, I hope that you don’t mind obliging me on my last question to you, which was….

          Should every citizen, because it is their constitutional right to hunt and/or defend their personal property, be in possession of gun “X”, just because said gun is “legal in most/all areas of the US”?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            No, I believe that someone should have something merely because it’s legal in most or all states, or should DO something merely because it’s legal, but in the case of guns, that’s a good place to start the conversation.

        • boomSLANG

          I don’t know if you misspoke, or what, but as it stands, I’m having a hard time discerning where you stand in regards to my last question. You answered…

          “No, I believe that someone should have something merely because it’s legal in most or all states, or should DO something merely because it’s legal[….]”

          It seems that it should be either, “No, I don’t believe[etc]”, or “Yes, I do believe[etc]”

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            You’re right. It should have been, “No, I don’t believe…”