One Nation, Under The Gun

Houston Gun Show at the George R. Brown Convention CenterJill Lepore details the incredible number of guns in America, for the New Yorker:

…There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American…

The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three. In 1980, nearly one in three Americans owned a gun; in 2010, that figure had dropped to one in five.

Men are far more likely to own guns than women are, but the rate of gun ownership among men fell from one in two in 1980 to one in three in 2010, while, in that same stretch of time, the rate among women remained one in ten. What may have held that rate steady in an age of decline was the aggressive marketing of handguns to women for self-defense, which is how a great many guns are marketed. Gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, higher in the country than in the city, and higher among older people than among younger people. One reason that gun ownership is declining, nationwide, might be that high-school shooting clubs and rifle ranges at summer camps are no longer common.

Although rates of gun ownership, like rates of violent crime, are falling, the power of the gun lobby is not…

[continues in the New Yorker]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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158 Comments on "One Nation, Under The Gun"

  1. 300 million guns in America?


    Some people aren’t doing their part. These numbers really need to come up.

  2. troll harder, majestic.  also, this was just posted on huffpost and everywhere else.  you’re still a lazy fat bastard.

  3. Mikejones01 | Apr 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    Disinformation on lol?? Way more people own guns now then they did in the 80’s. Gun ownership is breaking records right now. Propaganda all the way.

    • Jin The Ninja | Apr 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

      not when the numbers prove otherwise.

      • Not sure regarding who is right here – I consider the argument academic, really – but Reuters reports gun ownership is actually spiking:

        • Jin The Ninja | Apr 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

          there is a difference between people who already own firearms purchasing them, and first time owners purchasing them.

          • Is there a distinction made in either article? I must have missed it. I see something about individuals owning more than one gun in the NYT article, but did the writer pull that from the actual FBI stats or just made an educated guess? Honest question, here. I don’t really have a dog in this race. 

            Edit: I’m not explaining myself very clearly. What I mean is, did the reporter take the estimate of number of guns owned by individual Americans and then divide the number of applications for ownership by that number for an estimate, or is there a citation that I’m missing here? It’s not unlikely: I got very little sleep last night!

          • Monkey See Monkey Do | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm |

            “People with guns don’t understand. That’s why they get guns. Too many misunderstandings.”- Seinfeld 

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

            i didn’t see a specific citation; however in the article you linked it did not make a distinction, and in the above article it stated gun ownership is decreasing. To me, this suggests people who already own guns are likely to purchase more, and  the number of ‘first time’ gun owners has decreased.

          • Okay, so we are making some broad assumptions to support the article with the more palatable contention.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |

             no more assumptions than you made.

          • Which assumptions am I making? The article, a Reuters piece, requires no assumption. It states a fact that seems to contradict what was in the other article. Please help me, I’m trying to understand why you think the other one was accurate.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |

            i think both are flawed in that neither reveal data on previous ownership.

          • But you’ve argued in favor of the one that you consider more acceptable. I don’t consider either of interest or relevant.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |

            I actually take no issue with the reuters article, and i do not hold the NYT in high esteem, so neither do i find one more acceptable than the other.

          • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm |

            Imagine had just one of the 77 gunned down by brevik had had a gun to protect themselves.  I remember the open carry policy was being broached at a Texas University by students who wanted to be able to protect themselves and assert their second amendment rights, suddenly there is a shooting, the day before, how convenient for the government….


          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:03 am |

             america =/= norway. don’t falsely equate individual rights in distinct sovereign nations.

          • Ah. Nation-States are fine when they support your argument, yes?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:09 am |

            No, but i take issue with american exceptionalism.

          • Can you provide a definition of American Exceptionalism? What does that mean to you?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:21 am |

            I meant, it is false and exceptionalist to claim that individual rights in sovereign nations should parallel individual rights in the US. You knew that already though.

          • This is American Exceptionalism?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |

            an aspect of it.

          • Ah, I see what you mean, and that’s a good point at its base, but what does that mean in the contextof American Exceptionalism?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:12 am |

            and the acknowledgement of extant and distinct nation-states =/= my support of the political construct, simply denotes my respect for their individual sovereignty.

          • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |

            Sorry I don’t know what =/= means.  I also don’t know what you meant with everything post =/=.  Brevik committed his act in Norway yes?  Not Sweden.  I don’t know what their gun policies are in Norway, I’ve heard almost every Swiss is packing and interestingly enough they have a very low crime rate apparently…. Regardless, I’m sure if any of the 77 gunned down had thought to bring a weapon with them, the day may have gone differently indeed.  This is why I invoked the desire for rooting tooting Texans (God Bless Them) to carry concealed at school was ” coincidentally” interrupted and postponed by another lone nut who then kills himself conveniently.  Witnesses report 2 shooters but I digress….. Forest for the Trees Jin, Forest for the Trees.

          • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:15 am |

            Swiss/Swede/, need caffeinneeeeeee

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:18 am |

            I did initially write ‘Sweden’ but i changed it within several minutes of my initial post, so good on you for catching that! You’ve heard? cite me a source, perhaps on norway too, and we’ll talk.

  4. one reason people don’t like guns is that people have to think twice about socially manipulating others like there is no consequences

    •  that’s only talking about what this article is talking about, legal gun ownership, the illegal ones use it a bit differently

      • Than England must have huge illegal gun ownership and violence..right?

        • No, but the English do have a ton of “illegal” knives, and there’s an epidemic of what they call “knife crime” there. That being said, I’m hardly comparing their rate of violent crime to America’s.

          • there’s an epidemic of knife crime? really?  I’m trying to picture this, and all I can do is laugh..knife epidemic..thanks Matt, I needed that..

          • I come from England… and it may seem that way, but it’s mainly hype. You get alot of kids carrying knives around because it makes them Hard Men or ‘Gangsta’ in the absence of guns. Most of the time it’s just gasbags running their mouths off. Manchester got the nickname ‘Gunchester’ because of these exact same gasbags telling everyone they got a gun to make themselves sound hard. There’s no real ‘knife epidemic’ (yes, rofl), just children stealing their mother’s kitchen knives most of the time and waving them around. I think the only thing that would happen if the UK legalised guns is more stupid, accidental deaths rather than motivated crimes.

  5. The human is the only animal that recoils at the idea of its own self-defense. I’m always surprised by the number of people who somehow think that owning and knowing how to use a firearm is some kind of moral failing. I had one soft-hearted, bleating progressive (disclaimer: I’m no conservative, either) ask me in all seriousness if my parents abused me when they discovered that I had even been allowed to play with toy guns as a child. I hope his sense of moral superiority is of great comfort when he hears someone outside attempting to jimmy his door at 3:00 AM.

    • mannyfurious | Apr 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

      The human is also the only animal that raises its children through the first 18 years of life (if not longer). It’s also the only animal whose language differs depending on geographic location (spanish in Mexico, Swahili in Tanzania, American English in the U.S., British English in Britain, etc.), it’s probably also the only animal that commits suicide. We’re the only animal that has civilization and the written word and complex forms of music. We’re probably the only animal that puts on long dramatic impersonations (plays, movies). We’re the only animal that does animation. We’re probably the only animal that uses language to tell jokes. We’re the only animal that drives cars. We’re probably also the only animal that produces firearms. We’re the only animal that flies planes. We’re the only animal that draws imaginary lines in the land and pretends that this side of the line is better than that side (nationalism). We’re probably the only animal that uses toilet paper and uses electricity to our advantage.

      The point is that “the human” is a unique animal for a variety of reasons and pointing that out is not necessarily a good argument for or against something. Saying we’re “the only animal that recoils at the idea of its own self-defense” is both oversimplifying the issue and not a good argument even if it were accurate.  

      • Perhaps that’s a good point, but I am specifically referring to self-defense, unless you mean that being able to do a dramatic impersonation has some bearing on the discussion. If you’d like to not own a gun, then I strongly support your right do so. As for myself, I believe that it is my right, and one that I’m not in any way interested in giving away to those who feel that they have my best interests at heart.

        • mannyfurious | Apr 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

          Well, it only has bearing on the discussion if you continue to insist that humans being the only animal that recoils at it’s own self defense has any bearing on the discussion. 

          In theory, I actually defend your right to own a gun as well. But considering that, despite what the news and certain politicians/pundits would have you believe, violence is actually exceedingly rare in this country, particularly if you stay out of certain neighborhoods. The home of the brave is really nothing more than a bunch of frightened men-children clinging to their guns with delusional images of John Wayne and John McClain running through their minds as they fend off imaginary threats (see: George Zimmerman).

          • Being struck by lightning is pretty darn rare, too, but I tend to take proper precautions during thunderstorms. 

            “The home of the brave is really nothing more than a bunch of frightened men-children clinging to their guns with delusional images of John Wayne and John McClain running through their minds as they fend off imaginary threats (see: George Zimmerman).” is a fantastic example of hyperbole, but more than that, I think it says more about your perspective on gun ownership than a thousand more comments about “oversimplif[ed] issues” and supporting rights in “theory”. 

            It’s the usual shaming attempt that paint-by-number party-liners use: pair gun ownership and the advocacy of the same with violent fantasies, delusions and wish-fulfillment. 

            I’ve actually had someone attempt to break down my door in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I could have “opened a dialogue”. Instead I  presented a weapon. Crime does come to you, on occasion.

            Love the “certain neighborhoods” comment. What neighborhoods might that be, Mr. Zimmerman?

            EDIT: My wife, a better shot than me by far, will love the “men-children” comment.

          • eyeoftheaxis | Apr 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

            Chances are, if you live or work in a crime free building around here, you
            are paying private security to carry a gun for you.

            John Wayne’s Teeth –

          • While I certainly appreciate them, you’ll excuse me if my faith in private security or local law enforcement to provide for my defense in a prompt and effective manner isn’t very strong. 

          • eyeoftheaxis | Apr 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

            Relatively low crime neighborhood life experience – He ran back out the
            door he had cut the screen on to unlock, and through the rose bushes. 20 minutes
            later when the police did show up, he was easy to ID. he was covered in cuts
            from the rose thorns. It was not my verbal skills that sent him running. No way
            could we afford (or want) a private security guard.

          • Good he was apprehended and no one – neither your housebreaker nor you – was hurt.

          • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm |

            I concur, we had some idiot shooting off his gun in the air this weekend right in front of our place. Called the cops, they did nothing but drive right by him.  Even cops respect the gun.  I think that is the whole point.  

          • Wow, that’s just terrible. Presuming that said idiot was doing such a thing in my area, he’d be arrested in a heartbeat.

          • Calypso_1 | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

            If that was my block the fool would have a dozen laser sights on him before anyone could call the popo.

          • By the way, Manny, and totally off-topic, but I checked out your site. You’re a pretty good poet. Not sure why you trash yourself so much, though. I’ve read much, much worse, for sure.

          • mannyfurious | Apr 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

            Didn’t see this response coming. Thanks for the good words. The self-deprecation is more for effect, although I’m not really sure how good (or not) my poetry really is. 

            Now it’s hard for me to respond with any kind of vitriol (used mostly for effect, as well). 

            I get that I partook in hyperbole and generalizations. Most of the good shots in my family are–fittingly–women too. But the point is still the same. I think in this country we’re too quick to resort to the most extreme kinds of violence we can muster. If owning nuclear bombs were within the realm of possibility, I could see many using the excuse that we all have the right own own nukes for our own protection (in fact, this is what our government did during the arms race). But the argument is somewhat circular. We can argue that violent crime is up, but access to violent weapons is also easier. But access to violent weapons is easier because crime is up and people want to feel safe. But people want to feel safe because crime is up because there are more weapons on the street. But there are more weapons on the street because crime is up… and on and on ad infinitum.  

            Again, I really do believe people have the right to bear arms… responsibly. What scares me more than random acts of violence being perpetrated against myself and my family by marauding bands of thugs and psychopaths, are those loons (admittedly, probably, a vast  minority of gunowners) wandering around with a gun on their hip and a general proclivity towards using it at the first possible instance–whether it’s called for or not. 

          • I see absolutely nothing in your response with which I can disagree.

            Edited for grammar.

        • Problem here to me is about practice. The average american gun owner doesn’t practice the tool they bought. Much like the dullards that come into town and shoot each other ever frickin year because a bright orange jacket looks like a whit tail deer. This goes double for self defense. We hold our so called law enforcement and military up to these requirements, whom have trained for it. Now put the same scenario with the average idiot that feels like they are making their selves safe through buying a gun, and in comes the myriad of bad examples which creates these arguments..

          You’ll shoot your eye out kid 😉

          • Great idea. People should have to take some sort of class or log a minimum number of practice hours with a qualified shooter as part of registering to purchase a gun. Regular practice should also be a part of responsible gun ownership. I have a deep respect for the potential dangers associated with gun ownership.

      • I’d like to add to mannyfurious that we have the capacity for dialogue with other human beings (who may or may not own/have a gun) to diffuse an issue. I suppose if you need a gun to defend yourself against an attacking animal, there isn’t much you can do in the way of discussion.

        • That’s true: sometimes you need a gun to defend yourself against an aggressor. Occasionally, discussion isn’t an option. My firearms are always at home in a secure location, and I never carry a weapon with me in my vehicle or otherwise. My concerns are solely based on the defense of my loved ones and property against homebreakers.

        • By the way, I wanted to say that I appreciate that you use what I assume is your real name. Not many people do, and I think that it’s really cool, no matter if we agree or disagree on any one issue.

      • Linear Inequality | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm |

         >It’s also the only animal whose language differs depending on geographic location

        actually, whalesong varies dramatically from pod to pod, and ocean to ocean.

        >We’re the only animal that draws imaginary lines in the land and
        pretends that this side of the line is better than that side

        ants go to war over territory and resources. so do chimps.

        • Jin The Ninja | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm |

          but the concept of `nation-states` is purely homo sapiens.

          • Calypso_1 | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:39 am |

            But territorial, hierarchical, kinship/clan structures are not.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:52 am |

            true. but while territory can be fixed, it can also be ephemeral. which is something that humans don’t really abide by.

          • Good luck fixing the ephemeral “nation-state” thing. 

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:31 am |

            I’m not trying to ‘fix’ it, i merely noting that the idea is deeply flawed. And perhaps by doing so, can lend something to its deconstruction- part of the many myths of nationalism.

          • I respectfully disagree, but doing so amicably is one of the great benefits of living in a civilized nation-state. 😉

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:09 am |

            Your nation, is not what i refer to as “civilised,” but carry on;)

          • I politely beg to differ. Presuming  that I would have the benefit of knowing what nation you’re a citizen of, then I’d be happy to find a few examples of not so civilized behavior.

            Hey, have you ever heard about the Rape of Nanking? Unit 731? 

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:19 am |

            Your assumption that i’m japanese would be grossly incorrect, and that i’m unfamiliar with east asian history also grossly incorrect.

          • I never said that you were Japanese. I only provide these examples because you seem to be enamored of Japanese culture to some extent. I’m also, admittedly in a snarky fashion,trying to make a point that there’s no nation that’s free of the stink of imperialism, war-crimes and “exceptionalism”. I do find it interesting that you don’t wish to reveal your own nationality, but I guess that’s your right.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:31 am |

            Pretense aside for a moment, I am under NO illusion that any nation currently extant, is an utopian society, free from violence or coersion. I don`t believe in any kind of nationalism. period. Not my “own” and certainly no one else’s. Which is why i readily decry american exceptionalism, and it’s pervasive effects across the globe.

            As for my national origin, I`ve revealed it dozens of times on this very site. Multiple dozens, it`s no secret. And my national origin doesn`t reflect my ethnic or cultural origin. I am very taken with aspects of japanese pop culture, and to some extent aspects of it’s historical past, but again i am not ethnically inclined to Japan, nor do i hold any romantic illusions of it’s bloody and violent past.

          • I don’t know your national origin because I’m not a regular commenter here, and I’ve only recently gotten to know you. I only brought it up because it seems that you’re willing to extend some exceptions for its own martial culture. Please define “American Exceptionalism”.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:38 am |

            I am unwilling to extend exception for empire. I am willing to embrace historical, literary, and popular culture readings of martial history. there is a diffence.

            I could easily link the wiki article on it, but that sort of ruins it, no?

          • I think that you’re not willing to provide your own definition because doing so might reveal some amorphous application that, in turn, would weaken your criticisms.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:46 am |

            no, i’d rather not define something that exists as a multi layered ideological position that permeates so many facets of american culture. If i am acknowledging i believe what i said above to be an example of american exceptionalism, you should interpret that at face value, that i understood what i was saying. A cursory defintion does nothing meaningful. unless that is what you want to hear? an ideological position of american superiority and the semi-mystical belief in its democracy and social practices, history and legal contexts.

          • So you’re saying that you’re believing something that you refuse to define, but ask me to take it on faith that it applies to each and every thing that you say it does? I think I’m starting to understand you a little better.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:50 am |

            i edited my previous comment so i gave a cursory defintion. believe what you will.

          • Still no identification of your own nationality?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:42 am |

            My nationality reveals nothing fixed. I was a ‘third culture’ kid, raised in asia and the US and canada. an ethnic studies scholar would say, me and mine have ‘transient identities.’

          • I also took a guess that “Onikoroshi” was a Japanese surname. My mistake. 

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |

            it is a manga reference, so you weren’t wrong.

          • Is this a “Yaoi” manga?I Googled it. I’m not much of a Manga fan, but am always interested in learning more about what other people enjoy.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:58 am |

            Curious you’d choose, “Yaoi” which is 95% women-oriented.
            but no, it’s from a shonen manga. Inu Yasha.

          • No, I didn’t choose it. I don’t know anything about “yaoi” or manga. It was the first thing that popped up. I *have* heard of Inu Yasha, though. There’s an anime cartoon too, right?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 11:03 am |

            yaoi is also known as ‘boy-love’ stories. written mostly for women and occasionally gay men. i don’t take any issue with it, it’s quite mainstream, but i don’t read it. Yes, with subs and english dub. It’s also from ‘Blue Exorcist.’ and the name of a particularly good sake, if you fancy that sort of thing.

          • I’ll check some of it out. I’m trying hard to branch out a little more. I’m more of a Western comics guy. My favorite of the bunch currently is “DMZ” which I believe just ended. I’m reading the graphic novels. Given your interests in American politics, violence and nation-states, I bet you’d love it. Try volume one: “On the Ground”. I’d enjoy hearing your opinion. I also strongly recommend “The Nightly News”, which is harshly critical of the media and cites Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and a number of other folks that I think you are probably familiar with.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 11:11 am |

            LOL. Brian Woods is one of my all time favourite graphic novelists. Demo. The Couriers. Couscous Express. The one about the japanese-swedish girl running from the mob. Great stuff.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:21 am |

            And i have NEVER asserted my nation of origin was ‘civilised’ either, that is your assumption.

          • Then if my country isn’t civilized, and neither is yours, then what is your point in stating this? Please help me – I’m genuinely hoping to understand you.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |

             cool that we like the same comics. I’ve always it considered a good measure of a person;)

            repeat your last post, seemed to go into oblivion.

          • Calypso_1 | Apr 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |

            I assume by ephemeral territory you are talking about something such as nomadic peoples and not transitory boundries ie balkanization, or redistricting?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

            yes. nomadic or nation-less.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 21, 2012 at 9:59 am |

            i should clarify that i meant both (transitory boundaries and transient peoples)- in that modern `nation-states` consider it quite the affront to their existence to have either. 

        • mannyfurious | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

          Good point, although it doesn’t really make my argument less (or more) sound (the point was that humans are unique animals for a lot of reasons. Pointing out we’re unique for one specific reason is neither an argument for or against “nature”). Either way, I would argue it’s still different. The chimps and ants fighting with other chimps and ants have developed certain sociological bonds that are not imaginary. An argument could be made that the same is true of nationalism, but it’s not. In the U.S. the people who live in California do not share a lot in common with those who live in Alabama. And those in Louisiana are not sociologically tethered to those in New York. Again, these are broad generalizations, and there are obviously bound to be many cases where this is not the case (a man who lives in Alabama and whose brother lives in California, for example). But the general culture and politics of each region is so different that it’s foolish to say that it’s the same thing. I mean, really, I live in Colorado, and I would say, in general, I have more in common with the Canadians I’ve met than the Texans I’ve met, and yet I’m supposed to automatically feel some kind of brotherhood with the Texans that is not expected from my relationship with the Canadians. 

          And we haven’t even gotten into the point of how America isn’t a standalone country, how our well-being is directly tied to the well-being of foreign countries that provide us resources (oil, coffee beans, chocolate, jewels, cheap labor, etc.). This simply isn’t the case with chimps and ants, which are generally defending self-sustaining eco-sociological geography from “outsiders.”

    • DeepCough | Apr 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

       You seem to forget that the whole point of civilization was to make us humans less like animals. Funny how that worked out.

      • I’m not so sure that this is even possible: We are animals. I’m no expert on the  purposes of civilization, but I bet that there’s a plethora of reasons that it evolved. That being said, yes, it is too bad that there are those among us who can’t suppress their predatory instincts. 

    • Linear Inequality | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

       >The human is the only animal that recoils at the idea of its own self-defense.



      This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever read on Disinfo.

      Do certain types of limp-wrist, hand-wringing, slave-morality weaklings recoil at the idea of self-defense? Yes. Do all humans in all situations recoil at the idea of self-defense? No.

      • I’m speaking generally about people, and unless I’m mistaken I didn’t say “all” human beings. I suspect you understand that, though. 

    • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

      Thanks for sharing that Matt.  Wow…… Patty Hearst syndrome is concomitant with the inability to protect oneself.   

       “Stockholm Syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”  

      Yep that sounds pretty much like your average corporate cog brainwashed into subservience to the state on every level from effective schule’ing.

      • I’m very familiar with Stockholm Syndrome, but am having a very hard time understanding how you mean to apply it to this particular discussion. Do you mean that the “average corporate cog” exists in a state of Stockholm Syndrome with an abusive state? If so, I find it an interesting point and would love to hear more about it.

        • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm |

          I mean the deep seated fear of not being able to provide for oneself or protect oneself manifests in strange ways, stockholm syndrome being one where people identify with their corporate/political captors and excuse their obvious tyranny and en$lavement.  I think being capable of defending yourself on any plane leads to greater peace, as you are not restricted to fight/flight tendencies of the R complex.

    • GoodDoktorBad | Apr 17, 2012 at 11:46 am |

      Sorry Matt, I just couldn’t resist your “self defense” diatribe. Get real. People that own guns for “self defense” are afraid. You are afraid of other gun owners -particularly the criminally motivated sort.

      Your fear is the worst enemy you will ever face and owning a gun will only further cement this fear into you.

      The fact is, owning a gun makes it far more likely that you will get shot -more than likely by some other fearful fool with the power of death in his trembling hand.

      Indeed, you have a “right” to own a gun, just as you have a right to pick your nose. So what.
      Free Will is the power to do anything. The only logical question that remains is what will come as a result of your Will….or the lack thereof.

      • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

        I disagree.  Being able to defend yourself does not imply that you are afraid.  Perhaps experienced yes, definitely not naive to what can happen.  Did you see Matt’s story where he dissuaded with no fuss a potential home invasion?  

        • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

          With a GUN of course.  Also I disagree, you meandered into some type of secret/crowley esque non sequitur,  I don’t think that will convince an armed assailant not to hurt you.

          • GoodDoktorBad | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

            Free Will is a fact of existence. Just cause Crowley talks about doesn’t make it a non sequiter. It is indeed at the very center of this discussion.

            ” I don’t think that will convince an armed assailant not to hurt you.”

            That statement proves this…….

        • Calypso_1 | Apr 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

          I’m going to agree with Camron on this.
          …I’m also going to go check to see if hell just froze over ; )

      • Thanks for the laugh. Seriously.

    • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

      a continuation of our previous. Yes, i love DMZ, brian woods, the couriers, demo, the swedish-japanese girl running from the mob. and Yes, i was cheekily referring to my wiki comment, when i offered to link it to you. So impasse- yes. mutual understanding- yes. agreement no. but great taste in comics nonetheless.

  6. DeepCough | Apr 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    So…..what the fuck is this bullshit I’m hearing about “gun control?”

  7. HopeForTheBlurst | Apr 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

     “Better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it.” – True Romance

  8. I believe the solution to gun violence is to give each gun its own gun, so that if it were to be misused the gun could shoot the person about to commit a crime. 


  10. Wfzlsster | Apr 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm |

    Like it or not, guns are the great equalizer. A single person can defend themselves against superior size and number with a single weapon. 

    • The Afghans and the Iraqis beg to differ with you.
      The people that were at Waco think that’s absurd.
      The people of Shays’ Rebellion know better.
      The notion that a ragtag militia can beat a well equipped drone army
      is old school revolutionary war propaganda.

      • RVJames246 | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:42 am |


        I don’t think Wfzlsster was referring to guerrillas vs actual
        armies, especially considering most guerrilla campaigns involve more than just
        guns, they usually involve mortars, bombs, rockets, etc. The statement about a
        gun being the great equalizer refers to the fact that an 80 year old man is
        just as equal as a 20 year old man if he has a gun.

        Regarding guerrilla warfare, I’m not sure if mentioning
        Afghanistan or even Iraq were really that great of examples. Afghanistan is
        still ongoing and by most accounts the US is having a lot of trouble there.
        Regarding Iraq, that was more a situation there’s still violence going on even
        to this day.

        Also there’s still plenty of successful guerrilla actions to
        this day. There was of course the Vietnam war, the Soviet-Afghan war, Rhodesian
        Bush War, 1982 Lebanon war, the first Chechen war, and plenty of others.  

      • Vincent Vega | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:43 am |

         A well equipped drone army is not invisible.  The must be launched from somewhere, there is a base somewhere.  Somewhere is vulnerable.

      •  You can’t be serious. Your
        proof that a guerrilla army can’t defeat an advanced army is the Iraq war and
        the ongoing Afghan war? Are you talking
        about the same Iraq war, in which the US lost several thousand people, spent
        eight years trying to control, poured over 3 trillion dollars into, and put in
        power a government which often sides with Iran?

        With “success stories”
        like Iraq, I’m surprised you didn’t include Vietnam war and the Soviet-Afghan
        war as well.

        • The US continues to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.
          (Oops, I wrote Iran at first, but the US hasn’t formally invaded yet.)
          The Viets defeated the Americans,
          but not without a lot of help from Jane Fonda.

          The average ‘Mercan is soft, fat and brainwashed;
          hardly a challenge to the Amerikan Kill Machine,
          but armed and dagerous to fellow ‘Merkins.

          Every armed rebellion in the US, big & small,
          has been crushed by the Amerikan Army/Police Force.

          Besides, it’s time we evolved beyond using violence
          just to make a point.

          • “Every armed
            rebellion” has been crushed? never said anything about Americans “rebelling”
            against the government. The phrase the great equalizer has nothing to do with
            fighting the government. All it means is that the gun makes the weak man just
            as strong as the strong man because with a gun physical strength isn’t really
            an isn’t.

            Your proof that a guerrilla
            army couldn’t defeat an advanced army was by mentioning two very poorly
            executed wars. My point was that modern armies still can be defeated by guerrilla
            armies. I don’t think any serious military expert would contend that point.

            It may be comforting to
            attribute our defeat in Vietnam to an American celebrity instead of our
            inability to defeat the NLF and the North Vietnamese army but it simply doesn’t
            stand up with the facts. The war started in 1955 when Diem started killing tens
            of thousands of communists and other anti-government elements rather than
            uphold the Geneva Accords and hold a
            democratic election which would determine
            whether or not to unify the country. Between  3-4 million Vietnamese were killed or 17% of
            the population, 2 million were harmed by chemicals, and four countries were
            bombed, yet the war kept going on. The NLF and the North Vietnamese kept
            fighting despite these losses. It got to the point as many wars do where it
            becomes clear the cost of victory isn’t worth the cost of continuing the war.

    • Camron Wiltshire | Apr 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

      God created man, Samuel Colt made them equal….

  11. Bill Hicks on guns:
    . . . England, where no one has guns: 14 deaths.
    United States, and I think you know how we feel about guns – whoo! I’m gettin’ a stiffy!
    – 23,000 deaths from handguns.
    But there’s no connection,
    and you’d be a fool and a communist to make one.
    There’s no connection between having a gun and shooting someone with it,
    and not having a gun and not shooting someone. . . .
    OK, though admittedly last year in England they had 23,000 deaths per soccer game. . . .

    • Linear Inequality | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

       yeah, the Brits hate guns.

      except when they needed American guns and military aid to fight off Hitler. and they said okay to American nuclear missiles to keep the USSR at bay.

      • Jin The Ninja | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

         two points:

        1) america did not win wwII by itself

        britain has engaged in armed conflict several times since WWII without american involvement.

        2) neither did they use the supposed nukes against the soviets.

        there is a distinction between a cold war arms race and `liking guns.`

        • You got to love these kinds of knee-jerk reactions from the US

          “My country sucks??? Yeah, well, we can bomb yours back to the stone age! AND we have more freedom than you!”

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:56 am |

             i think that is my big problem with this issue. it’s not even gun ownership that bothers me- it’s gun ownership PAIRED with reverence and esteem for violence and war. it’s not guns, it’s the gun culture.

          • Says the big fan of “ninjas”.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:32 am |

            When was the last time you heard about roving bands of ninjas looting and plundering in america?

          • Eric_D_Read | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:52 am |

            Well, they do specialize in stealth. You’ll only hear about it if they screw up.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |

            lol. yes, true. but a shuriken is quite a distinct tool of the trade. i’m sure a conspiracy theory would exist that alludes to it, if this so called american ninja clan existed.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:10 am |

            frightening. truly.

          • The eighties were a pretty funny time. I was absolutely CRAZY about ninjas. I had a ton of shuriken, and all of us kids played “ninja” in the woods all day. You would have really loved it, had you been around then.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:24 am |

            From what i remember, mulroney, thatcher and reagan did not promote a very holistic or compassionate view of society. But generally you are correct, i was around, but not `of age` until the mid nineties.

          • My point is, and so far it’s one that you’ve avoided, that you obviously have zero issue with learning how to use deadly weapons and martial arts – apparently you have an active fandom thing going for all things ninja and you’ve made references to swordfighting – but you draw the exception to gun ownership. It just seems incongruous. Were we all to carry swords and learn to use them would this be any more acceptable in your eyes?

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |

            cite me the exact instance where i stated explictly i am contrary to the notion of gun ownership. I never stated such. I am against the reverence for guns and gun culture that engenders the pseudo-mystical nationalism that is required for Empire (and imperialism).

            I would rather not engage in interpersonal or societal violence (and would go at great lengths to do so), but a sword takes skill, so yes, it would be preferable.

          • I’ve got news for you: a sword is nothing but a big knife, and unless your idea of a proper and just society being full of trained men and women carrying ninjatos and claymores strapped to their backs everywhere we go, then we’re still going to run into the problem of bad guys hacking up into little pieces.

            Also, the firearm technology is out of the bag now. There’s no going back. They even have illegal firearms in the UK.

            That being said, I believe that we share a common belief in learning how to use a weapon should be a mandate for anyone who wishes to own one. Properly using a firearm takes skill as well, and I’ve got no problem at all requiring people to develop that skill as part of gun ownership.

            Edit: I’m quite sorry; I didn’t respond to your request for citation. I didn’t say you were against gun ownership, only that you seemed to believe in certain generalizations regarding gun ownership, specifically that it comes with a love of violence.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:16 am |

            i never said i wanted to regress technologically or socially into a feudal samurai society. I don’t dream of meiji or heian or kamakura. I’d like to see guns become unnecessary relics in an evolved future, but i am not that naive. I do agree that marksmanship is a skill, and gun ownership should encompass the appropriate use of said skill.

        • I “like guns”. What’s your diagnosis? Seriously, I’m not in any way being fatuous. If there are any heuristic assumptions that apply to any and all people who like guns, I’d love to hear them.  

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:49 am |

            I didn’t apply any assumptions, in my above comment, to people whom ‘like guns.’ I merely stated that brits have no fear of the military or the forceful use of it. You would do well to re-read what i wrote, and its context to the OP.

          • On the contrary, you seem full of assumptions about people who enjoy guns. I’m only using this as an opportunity for you to clarify them.

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 10:00 am |

            name one assumption i stated, and we can procede.

          • Monkey See Monkey Do | Apr 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

            You…Enjoy guns? Don’t tell me you like to go hunting.

    • Vincent Vega | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:29 am |

       Total BS.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do | Apr 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

      HAHA, so very true.

  12. I wish you guys could experience relatively gun-less culture for yourselves. It’s quite nice.
    Maybe if I had your govt I’d feel differently but cultural relativity being what it is and all – knock yourselves out.

    • Vincent Vega | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:41 am |

       Where do you live doop?   I’m not so interested in a gunless culture, I’m interested in a crimeless culture where one does not need to defend themselves or their property.   It doesn’t take a gun to kill another human being, it can be done with a butter knife, or rock, or just a shove off a cliff.  Murder is easy and you certainly don’t need a gun to do so.

      There are many places where it is so small the govt is not a threat to the people.   The 2nd amendment is to protect the people from the govt. If the govt gets tyrannical and  out of control the 2nd amendment is there, people have guns to fight back.   Will it be affective? hard to say.

      If and when shit hits the fan, you’ll need a way to equalize your force to protect you and your loved ones, not only their person but your resources.

      • Jules Winnfield | Apr 17, 2012 at 5:09 am |

        If you’d like a pretty much crimeless culture come here to the Faroe Islands, four murders in a century.
        7 people pr every 100.000 stay the night in jail/drunktank every night
        I have in my 25 years never locked my front door even when abroad, car keys stay in the car overnight.
        Not saying we are a perfect society far from it, but when it comes to crime you are gonna be really hard pressed to find a better spot.

        • That sounds like a wonderful place. I just Wiki’d it. With only 50,000 residents in 540 square miles it must be pretty easy for people to get to know each other. Sounds beautiful, too.

      • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 8:04 am |

        if murder is so easy- learn swordfighting. the only thing that seems ‘easy’ is to hide behind the 2nd amendment and a property line when shooting someone.

        • No one with any sense would say murder is easy or right. I’d love to learn swordfighting, but its practicality in any modern self-defense situation is negligible. I hardly consider shooting someone if need be who has broken into my home the moral equivalent of “hiding” behind a property line or the Second Amendment. Rapists and murderers do exist, and they do acquire firearms. It’s a sad fact,but its true, and if you feel absolutely confident of your ability to defend yourself with a medieval weapon then I suggest you try charging a friend and seeing how many times they can say the word “bang” before you get within melee range. 

          • Jin The Ninja | Apr 17, 2012 at 9:47 am |

             “Murder is easy and you certainly don’t need a gun to do so.”
              Vincent Vega.

            I’m confident of my ability to possess the tact and skill required to deal with a range of social interactions. I am also confident of my ability to defend myself without a gun. And if said attacker has a gun, well all pretense aside, i’d be just a f*cked having one as not. I choose not to live my life in the fear of some shadow character who may or may not come. I also choose not to revere a document codified by a group of landed aristocracy 200 years ago.

          • Defending yourself against an individual with a gun is dubious at best. Defusing any situation – armed or otherwise – without violence is the best option. I don’t carry a weapon at all, and would – like I mentioned to someone else in this discussion – much prefer to hand over my stuff and run in any situation. I keep a gun in my home – it stays home unless I’m going to do some target practice at a safe and reputable gun range – as one additional option should someone break into my home. 

            I can think of another landed aristocracy with a codified martial culture: the feudal Japanese.  Obviously you have no issue with learning how to use weapons and self-defense of some sort. Why the exception to firearms?

  13. Vincent Vega | Apr 17, 2012 at 2:23 am |

    Whomever wrote that article was either mislead or is lying.   Firearm ownership regardless sex, race or anything else is UP, not down.

    Every month for the last 6 months has been a record gun sales month, every month the number of guns sold is larger than the previous and many of the people buying them are first time gun buyers.  I know a few that are first timers and are having a lot of fun with it.
     How can an increase in first time gun owners equal a reduction in guns per person?    Thee only way that could be true is if people were being locked up and losing their gun rights at a rate higher than the new gun owner rate.     All the new laws just make criminals out of otherwise law biding citizens.
    Even if protecting yourself is a serious subject, shooting guns is fun, making them better and adding stuff to them is fun.   If you get the bug you know what i”m talking about.  

  14. even if you have a gun, someone with evil intent will get you, because they will be shooting first. A gun is an assault weapon especially pistols, its not a defensive weapon. Well maybe a rifle turtled up in a bunker is defensive.  If anything they need to put those tracking chips in guns and make available to the public a chip scanner that warns when a gun is around you. If criminals know other people have guns they will be a little more scared about using them and if innocent people know that there are guns around they can choose to walk away from the location before something happens. Anyway just a wild idea in the middle of the night, probably really hard to implement. But instead of sticking those evil chips in innocent people, stick them on evil things like guns and repeat sex offenders. Will probably become more viable idea as technology gets even more efficient.

    What I really have for defense is a 1 watt portable laser that can blind someone in less than a mili second. Its kinda hard to shoot when you are blind. They also make infra red lasers that are invisible to the human eye but pack just as much power. These lasers can blind even when the eye lids are closed and can burn plastics at ease or anything dark and really powerful lasers 2 or more watts that are still portable, burn anything not just dark materials. Its the future of weapons. I like them because there are not lethal but can still send a message. And the advantage they have over guns is that they can blind someone a quarter mile away, if the laser is powerful enough, and some lasers have lenses that make the dot the size of a baseball, making it very very easy to aim. 

    • Bungle, I don’t in any way disagree with tighter gun ownership restrictions. The laser is certainly a good way to blind someone momentarily, but I wouldn’t stake my life on it. Then again, my “go-to” plan when facing an armed criminal in a public area is to either give them everything I have – I can always replace my stuff – and/or run like hell. 

  15. @Outlaw_Jin:disqus I seem to have lost track of where you offered to link to Wikipedia to define “American Exceptionalism” – maybe it got deleted in some kind of glitch – but…

  16. @Outlaw_Jin:disqus , In the hope that you come back to this thread: I think that we’ve we’ve reached an impasse. Maybe a state of mutual understanding or at least a state of detente. I’ve enjoyed our discussion and for my part seem to understand your perspective a little bit better. I’ve got to get to work. Check out those comics I suggested. You’ll love them, I think.

  17. Monkey See Monkey Do | Apr 19, 2012 at 7:25 am |

    Big Guns, Little Dicks.

  18. Wow, typical lefty harum-scarum anti gun article full of half truth and lies.  More guns per capita in the US now than ever….and many, many are now owned by ladies buying, learning to use and getting permits to carry.  Many folks that never owned guns, never hunted, never thought about home defense are now armed. Obama and his merry band of destroyers have done this…and should be proud.  When the voters go to the polls this time, Obama will go down and the people with guns will make sure it sticks….there will not be a leftist revolution followed by a commie state.  We will return to the Constitution and the “Rule of Law”.  That will make the rest of us proud.

  19. Co-opted Confederate | May 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

    Some chicken excrement liberal member of the Sara Brady fan club outs her self as a moron and were supposed to read NewYorker magazine after that? I would not use NewYorker to line my bird cage for fear of tweetys little feet rotting off.

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