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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

Appearances can be decieving

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

Appearances can be decieving

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It appears to me, in the wake of this Virginia Tech shooting, that there tends to be a great number of shootings in "gun free zones". From Post Offices to schools and malls- places that don't allow guns seem to be places where these shooting sprees occur.

Please, note my emphasis- appears, seems. Based on a layman's perusal of news headlines, I've reached this conclusion. The conclusion seems a reasonable one- a shooter is going to get farther if there's no one with equivalent firepower. But I'm not certain the conclusion matches the facts.

So, what are the facts? Anyone got some statistics? Do mass shootings tend to occur more often in gun free zones? What impact to "gun free zones" have on crime within that zone? I've got my opinion, but I'd like to see some actual peer-reviewed statistics. Google is leading me down the path of "guy with a website" opinions and towards John Lott's book, More Guns, Less Crime.
  • Knee-jerk says confirmation bias, but I lack stats too.
    • There's also a lot a variables to control for- it's not a simple question. Most gun-free zones also are areas where people congregate. So of course, spree shootings are going to gravitate there. But, does declaring something a "gun free zone" have a measurable effect? Given stats for areas that weren't gun-free, and now are, and controlling for other variables (like the national average for gun crime, perhaps?)- can we show a positive or negative effect from a gun-free zone?
  • No one ever holds ups gun shops as it's kind of a losing proposition. In fact, I'd bet a person would have to be pretty suicidal to attempt a hold up of any buisness within two blocks of a gun shop, donut shop, a police station or an army base. Even the most derranged of psychos know better than to do their thing in areas where superior firepower can be brough to bear on them very, very quickly. This is why even though you have plenty of crime in Detroit you'll never see this kind of shooting spree happen - the attacker would make it about three minutes, tops, before one or more "concerned citizens" put them down in a veritable hail of gunfire.

    Thus, if you want to really get a good body count in, go someplace where no one else is armed. A "gun free zone" would be ideal. Find some nice cozy suburb, or a prestine college campus, or a Starbucks. Say, the Royal Oak Post Office? You know, nice, serene, peaceful Royal Oak where no crime ever happens?

    Oh the irony!
    • There in lies the rub: Sometimes the person is suicidal and decides to take out as many people with them as possible. You're just not going to prevent that sort of thing, even if there are people with guns standing about. A guy with an assult rifle or a sawed off shot gun is going to do some real damage before someone with a pistol takes him out.
    • But how much damage would they do without that guy with the pistol there. Oh wait, we already know.

      Would a small number of armed citizens have improved the situation? Maybe- maybe they would have escalated it, made things worse. Maybe the lunatic would have only gotten a single round off before someone ended them. It doesn't matter.

      The real question is, do people have the right to defend themselves with the tools at our disposal, or are we required to rely on the "authorities" for our safety?
      • do people have the right to defend themselves with the tools at our disposal, or are we required to rely on the "authorities" for our safety?

        On that vein: what happens when we must defend ourselves from the "authorities?"
    • If a person is truly suicidal they can just grab a box cutter and hop on an airliner.
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