John Lott Speaks: U.N. vs. Guns


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WAGCEVP
July 12, 2003, 08:15 PM
John Lott Speaks: U.N. vs. Guns

John Lott. FYI (copy below, reference links in original):
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-lott071103.asp
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July 11, 2003, 11:50 a.m.
U.N. vs. Guns
An international gun-control fight.

By John R. Lott Jr.

The U.S. government often makes American gun owners feel
besieged. For example, over the last decade it is simply
impossible to find one study by either the U.S. Justice
Department or the Treasury that measures the benefits from
people owning guns. While this has been done by both
Democratic and Republican administrations, the Clinton
administration surely set new standards for misleading
attacks on gun ownership with its studies and public-service
ads.

But if you think that is bad, the Clinton administration
pales in comparison to the United Nations' attitude on gun
ownership. This week the U.N. conference to "Prevent,
combat, and eradicate the Illicit Trade in small arms and
Light Weapons in All Aspects," which concludes today, puts
these views in straightforward terms: Governments have the
"right" to guns for "self defense and security needs." On
the other hand, not one acceptable reason for individuals
owning guns is mentioned. And to the extent that
individuals do buy guns, third-world and western European
countries are pushing for a tax on every gun purchase, with
the money then being used to eliminate world hunger.

WHEN GOVERNMENTS ARE A THREAT The U.N. claims that guns used
in armed conflicts cause 300,000 deaths worldwide every
year. The solution proposed in conference's "Program of
Action"? Keep rebels from getting guns by requiring that
countries "prevent, combat and eradicate" what those
countries who want to stop rebels from getting the guns
define as "the illicit trade in small arms"

This may be an understandable "solution" from governments
that don't trust their citizens. But it also represents a
dangerous disregard for their citizens' safety and freedom.
Why? First, and most obviously, because not all
insurgencies are "bad." It is hardly surprising that
infamous regimes such as those in Syria, Cuba, Rwanda,
Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone support these "reforms."
To ban providing guns to rebels in totalitarian countries is
like arguing that there is never anything such as a just
war.

In hindsight, would Europeans have preferred that no
resistance was put up against Hitler? Should the French or
Norwegian resistance movements simply have given up? Surely
this would have minimized war causalities.

Many countries already ban private gun ownership. Rwanda
and Sierra Leone are two notable examples. Yet, with more
than a million people hacked to death over the last seven
years, were their citizens better off without guns?

Political scientist Rudy Rummel estimates that the 15 worst
regimes during the 20th century killed 151 million of their
own citizens. Even assuming that the
300,000-gun-deaths-per-year-in-armed-conflicts figure is
accurate, the annual rate of government-sanctioned killing
is five times higher. Adding the U.N.'s estimated deaths
from gun suicides, homicides, and accidents still provides a
number that is only a third as large.

Of course, this last numerical example is questionable as
gun control is more likely to increase than reduce violent
crime. To put it in its most extreme form, suppose that
tomorrow guns were banned, who would be most likely to turn
them in? Presumably the most law-abiding citizens ??? not the

criminals. And my own research shows that disarming
law-abiding citizens relative to criminals emboldens the
criminals to commit crimes.

What about the massacre of civilians in Bosnia? Would that
have been so easy if the Bosnian people had been able to
defend themselves? And what about the Jews in the Warsaw
ghetto during World War II? Wouldn't it have been better if
they had more guns to defend themselves? More recently, the
rules would have prevented the American government from
assisting the Afghanis in their fight against the Soviet
Union.

There is a second reason to avoid a ban on small arms. Even
in free countries, where there is little risk of a
totalitarian regime, gun bans all but invariably result in
higher crime. In the U.S., the states with the highest
gun-ownership rates have by far the lowest violent-crime
rates. And similarly, over time, states with the largest
increases in gun ownership have experienced the biggest
drops in violent crime.

Research by Jeff Miron at Boston University, examining
homicide rates across 44 countries, found that countries
with the strictest gun-control laws also tended to have the
highest homicide rates. News reports in Britain showed how
crimes with guns have risen 40 percent in the four years
after handguns were banned in 1997. Police are extremely
important in stopping crime, but almost always arrive on the
scene after the crime occurs. What would the U.N. recommend
that victims do when they face criminals by themselves?
Passive behavior is much more likely to result in serious
injury or death than using a gun to defend oneself.

TAXING GUN SALES Brazil's President Liz Inacio Lula da Silva
advocated the arms-sales tax as a way that the world's
wealthy nations could eliminate world hunger. French
President Jacques Chirac immediately said, "Lula's idea is a
simple one. People must be able to eat three times a day,
and that is not the case today." Elsewhere Chirac has also
called the tax on guns "quite justified."

Yet, this tax makes about as much sense as taxing medicine
to help feed the poor. One would think that the rest of the
world would understand that the police simply cannot be
there all the time to protect people. The 2000
International Crime Victimization Survey shows that almost
all the western countries in their survey have much higher
violent crime rates than the U.S., including: Australia,
Canada, Denmark, England/Wales, Finland, France,
Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. (Jeff Miron argues
that the relatively high murder rate in the United States is
driven not by our gun-ownership rate but by gang violence
that results from our drug-enforcement regulations.)

The Bush administration deserves credit for stopping the
2001 U.N. conference from implementing many of the same
proposals that are still being pushed now. One thing you
can say about those united nations: They sure are

persistent.



John Lott, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise

Institute, is the author of the new released The Bias Against Guns.

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Standing Wolf
July 12, 2003, 09:03 PM
Political scientist Rudy Rummel estimates that the 15 worst regimes during the 20th century killed 151 million of their own citizens.

<sarcasm> We can probably slaughter more than that in this new century. Disarm the commoners! </sarcasm>

George Hill
July 12, 2003, 09:54 PM
The UN.

Feh.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=375245

NIGHTWATCH
July 13, 2003, 02:51 PM
Excellent article. :)

Hkmp5sd
July 13, 2003, 03:18 PM
In hindsight, would Europeans have preferred that no resistance was put up against Hitler? Should the French or Norwegian resistance movements simply have given up? Surely this would have minimized war causalities.

"It is astonishing that the German's managed to hold France with so few divisions, considering that everyone who wasn't draining German resources by the clever maneuver of surrendering en masse and making the Nazis feed them was vigorously and bravely engaged in the Resistance? Is there a village without its Place de la Resistance? But one has to be fair; one has to understand the Gallic notion of resistance. Any hotelier who overcharged a German was in the Resistance. Each whore who gave a German soldier the clap was a freedom fighter. All those who obeyed while viciously withholding their cheerful morning bonjours were heroes of liberty!"

Shibumi by Trevanian

Bigjake
July 13, 2003, 03:40 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"It is astonishing that the German's managed to hold France with so few divisions, considering that everyone who wasn't draining German resources by the clever maneuver of surrendering en masse and making the Nazis feed them was vigorously and bravely engaged in the Resistance? Is there a village without its Place de la Resistance? But one has to be fair; one has to understand the Gallic notion of resistance. Any hotelier who overcharged a German was in the Resistance. Each whore who gave a German soldier the clap was a freedom fighter. All those who obeyed while viciously withholding their cheerful morning bonjours were heroes of liberty!"

alright, so pouting about the germans made them freedom fighters? i think not

TallPine
July 13, 2003, 03:50 PM
third-world and western European countries are pushing for a tax on every gun purchase, with the money then being used to eliminate world hunger.

Ha! I use my gun to help eliminate world hunger every fall, at least the local version of world hunger. My family is part of the world, too.

So they should pay me for my efforts. :neener:

Harold Mayo
July 13, 2003, 03:52 PM
Hey, George? Where would I go to a protest where I would find protestors like that...?

On a more serious note, though...why should anyone actually care what the U.N. or any of the individual member nations want? What actualy HELP has the U.N. actually been anywhere?

A tax to end world hunger? Yeah, that'll work. Try teaching the primitives to NOT overfarm their land. Teach resource conservation. Teach birth control.

Ah, why do I even post...?

Hkmp5sd
July 13, 2003, 03:56 PM
so pouting about the germans made them freedom fighters?

Facetious adj. tongue-in-cheek, unserious, not serious, joking, jesting, joshing, kidding, funny, humorous, comical, jocular, jocose, wagish, witty, droll, whimsical.

The author is not praising the French.

Bigjake
July 13, 2003, 06:09 PM
my bad. wasn't awake when i read it. that is pretty funny.

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