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How do you feel about the idea of weapon bans?

Phil Boettge

Phil Boettge, The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution give me chills

Re: "How do you feel about the idea of weapon bans?"

I don't have "feelings about weapon bans." I have conclusions based on evidence. My conclusions are that weapon bans actually degrade public safety by only disarming law-abiding citizens.

The factual evidence leading to my conclusions is as follows:

Crime In America is Not As Rampant as Portrayed in Anti-Gun Propaganda

American deaths from firearms are actually at their lowest levels since 1993:

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware

The image of America as a wild west in which everyone owns firearms, every home contains fully automatic military weapons and explosive ordinance, and machine guns are sold on corner drug stores with shootouts every weekend is strictly a fabrication of plotless Hollywood action films and anti-gun propaganda. In reality, most Americans will never even see a firearm used their entire lives. This is actually creating a real social problem with complete ignorance of firearm technology and history rendering segments of the public susceptible to factless propaganda and appeals to emotion.

Banning Firearms Does Not Correlate with Reduced Crime Rates

Contrary to anti-gun propaganda, America is not the country with the highest rates of firearm deaths. Ten other countries hold that distinction, each with stricter gun control laws than the United States, with criminal firearm deaths per 100,000 people as follows:

1 Honduras 67.18

2 Venezuela 59.13

3 Swaziland 37.16

4 Guatemala 34.1

5 Jamaica 30.72

6 El Salvador 26.77

7 Colombia 25.94

8 Brazil 21.2

9 Panama 15.11

10 Uruguay 11.52

11 United States 10.54

The UK's experience with gun bans also contradicts anti-gun propaganda. According to official Parliamentary records, firearm homicide rates actually rose after the handgun ban in England and Wales in January 1997. The immediate effect was a 20.4% jump in firearm homicides that rose to an increase of 98% (almost doubled) in 2001. The only years in which the firearm homicide rate were actually lower than 1996 were 2008-2010. The overall trend for UK firearm homicides averaged an increase of 26%.

Source below, Table 1, p. 11. Note that this is an official Parliamentary source, not a Fox News or NRA claim.


The same is true for the overall UK homicide rate. After the ban, there was only one year (2010) where the homicide rate was lower than it was in 1996. The homicide rate only began falling when there was a large increase in the number of police officers during 2003 and 2004. Despite the large increase in the number of police, the murder rate still remained slightly higher than the immediate pre-ban rate.

Source below. See Table 1.01. Again, this is an official Parliamentary source, not a Fox News or NRA claim.

The UK handgun ban did not reduce firearm homicides. It actually resulted in increased crime. The UK government has known this over the past 19 years. The UK returned its firearm crime rates to pre-ban levels by increasing its numbers of armed officers and police efforts, especially for the purpose of responding to terrorist attacks:

Armed police to increase by 'up to 50 per cent'

Scotland Yard deploys 600 new armed officers in wake of European terror attacks

UK Terror Threat: More Armed Police For Regions

So the anti-gun supposition that "fewer guns equal less crime" is contradicted by real-world data.

Public Ownership of Firearms Does Not Correlate with Increased Crime Rates

Let's consider the reality of mass shooting incidents in countries on the European continent in 2016:

January 2 Miass, Russia: 4 dead, 1 injured

January 14 Marseilles, France: 0 dead, 6 injured

January 31 Shlisselburg, Russia: 2 dead, 3 injured

February 3 Odessa, Ukraine: 0 dead; 4 injured

February 4 Loures, Portugal: 0 dead; 5 injured

February 22 Tyumen, Russia: 0 dead; 4 injured

February 24 Nice, France: 0 dead; 4 injured

March 13 Vahrenheide, Germany: 1 dead, 5 injured

March 15 Brussels, Belgium: 0 dead, 4 injured

March 25 London, United Kingdom: 0 dead, 5 injured

March 27 Yakovlevskoye, Russia: 1 dead, 3 injured

March 29 Lisbon, Portugal: 0 dead, 5 injured

April 2 Marseille, France: 3 dead, 3 injured

April 22 Naples, Italy: 2 dead, 3 injured

May 8 Chelnokhovo, Russia: 5 dead, 0 injured

May 22 Nenzig, Austria: 2 dead, 11 injured

June 5 Moscow, Russia: 0 dead, 4 injured

June 23 Ayia Napa, Cyprus: 3 dead, 2 injured

July 2 Zitiste, Serbia: 5 dead, 22 injured

July 22 Munich, Germany: 9 dead, 27 injured

July 26 Magas, Russia: 1 Dead, 4 injured

August 22 Ternopil, Ukraine: 3 dead, 1 injured

August 30 Solotvyno, Ukraine: 1 dead, 3 injured

September 3 Yekaterinburg, Russia: 2 Dead, 7 Injured

September 25 Malmo, Sweden: 0 dead, 4 injured

October 7 Copenhagen, Denmark: 1 Dead, 3 injured

October 26 Langladure, France: 0 dead, 4 injured

October 30 Yekaterinburg, Russia: 0 dead, 5 injured

December 4 Knyazychy, Ukraine: 4 dead, 0 injured

December 5 Stavropol, Russia: 0 dead, 4 injured

December 14 Olsha, Russia: 2 dead, 3 injured

December 18 Nikolaev, Ukraine: 0 Dead, 4 Injured

December 27 Moscow, Russia: 0 Dead, 5 Injured

European countries with mass shooting incidents: Austria, Belgium, Cypress, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, UK, and the Ukraine.

The countries notably absent from the above list: Switzerland and Finland, the two European countries with the highest number of firearms per capita of all of Europe.

We see a similar dynamic in the United States with higher rates of public firearm ownership and lower crime rates in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

Va. gun crime drops again as firearm sales soar

So the anti-gun supposition that "more guns equal more crime" is also contradicted by real-world data.

Firearm Bans Do Not Deny Criminals Access to Firearms

Firearm technology is old and simple.

Observe the image below:

Roman Medicine

The image shows metal surgical instruments unearthed from Pompeii. Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Those metal instruments are nearly 2,000 years old, yet their manufacture and finish are quite high. Any modern surgeon would readily recognize and be able to use those instruments.

Making metal objects is not difficult. Humans have been doing so for thousands of years.

All that firearms require is a tube closed at one end, a projectile, and an explosive propellant. These technological problems were solved 800 years ago. All firearm development since then has just been refinements. Cased ammunition was invented from 1802 to 1850. Fully automatic machine guns were invented in 1884.

Firearms are so simple that, in WWII, the British deliberately designed the fully automatic Sten submachine gun to be easily assembled with a little welding from parts readily available from hardware stores of the time, even in occupied countries.

The Venerable Sten - The Allies' $10 Dollar Submachine Gun

Similarly, the Australian Owen submachine gun was developed entirely by a private individual who simply liked tinkering with firearms:

Owen SMG (Owen Machine Carbine) Submachine Gun

Criminals are finally learning that firearm technology is so simple that they can easily make their own, completely obviating any need to steal firearms or pay exorbitant black market prices. In Australia, 10% of firearms seized by police are homemade:

Australian Police: 10% of firearms seized are homemade - The Firearm Blog

Other examples:

Impro Guns

Homemade firearms include fully automatic submachine guns that are functionally equivalent to the Sten - cheap, easy to assemble, lightweight, compact, easily concealed, and effective. Examples include the Carlo used in Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel and the West Bank:

Say hello to 'Carlo,' the cheap, lethal go-to gun for terrorists

and the Luty:

Here is the Luty in successive stages of construction:

Australian police seize homemade submachine gun during drug raid - The Firearm Blog

The same trend of criminals resorting to improvised and homemade firearms is occurring in the UK:

Beyond direct metal machining, firearms can also be manufactured by 3D printing:

The expectation that gun control is even feasible is irrelevant. Criminals and terrorists alike are learning from history while firearm ban advocates ignore it. The simplicity of firearm technology makes denying access to effective firearms to criminals and terrorists determined to have them simply impossible.

Crime Reflects Culture and Not Technology

Anti-gun propaganda is myopically focused on metallic objects as the root cause of violent crime. In reality, people commit crimes. The motivations for crime are in the cultural context and not technology, as the examples of Switzerland, Finland, and South America clearly reveal.

America has a culture that admires and promotes violent expression. This culture of violence is displayed in:

If American news media only reported on victims and placed a news blackout on reporting shooter identities and grievances, these public acts of revenge and appeals for attention would likely be extinguished.

The below Quora answer brilliantly discusses cultural factors in violent crime.

David Franklin Hammack's answer to Why does the USA have so much more of gun casualties than nations with similar liberal gun policies and nations with a large gun-owning population?

Everything Has a Natural Right to Defend Itself

All living organisms are equipped with natural mechanisms for self-defense, right down to the cellular level with immune systems. Each and every person typing on Quora right now is alive to do so because their immune systems have successfully killed millions of other living organisms diligently trying to sicken or kill them for their own survival.

Your question promotes unilateral disarmament. The biological expression of unilateral disarmament is AIDS.

The reality of life is that there are living organisms that will try to take what other living things have. When attacked by another organism, whether microbial, animal, or human, any person not armed with at least equal resolve and means to defend itself is just a free lunch.

The American right to keep and bear arms has resulted in members of the public defending the public from criminal acts in progress:

I personally have known three individuals who have used their personal firearms to stop crimes in progress. One performed a citizen's arrest of someone attempting to steal his car. The would-be thief went to jail. Two others stopped a total of three attempted assaults on themselves. The attempted assailants fled with no shots fired.


A comprehensive review of attempts at controlling public access to primitive technology like weapons reveals that attempts at banning such technology are ineffective. Depriving the public of means for self-defense actually degrades rather than improves public safety.