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RE: SHOOTINGS

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I would like to say one thing regarding this gun control debate (which I
generally side with Mr. Madden on):  

I find it rather vexing when opponents of gun control mention the 2nd
Amendment, as though the rest of it may not be aware of it.  While I think
we can all appreciate the circumstances that brought on this amendment
(hunting, individual protection from aggressive Indians, and militias for
protection against aggressive nations), I think we can agree that these
circumstances have changed.  Today, we are more concerned with crime
prevention, and apparently some of us aren't sold yet on this whole
'democracy' thing working out.  Obviously hunting is still a concern, but I
assume that very few of us want to protect automatic weapons in order to
hunt with them.  Secondly, I think we all recognize that a firearm today is
not the same thing as a firearm in 1789.  

Given these two drastic changes (circumstances and technology), I suggest
that the 2nd Amendment is not what it once was, and therefore should not be
an argument, in and of itself, against gun control.  The debate must be on
the merits of gun access versus control, not 200-year-old laws.  

Regarding the debate going on here:

1. I think we are all aware that guns are not the only method by which to
kill someone.  However, I doubt that there's much argument that guns are far
more efficient than other methods.  I imagine that the rate of killing in
the 'heat of the moment' would fall dramatically if fewer people had guns in
the home/car/office.  It is not 'B.S.' you are reading, Mr. Luisoni, and
it's rather insulting to call it that just because you find the argument
unconvincing. 

2. Kennesaw, Georgia, (population approx. 11,000), is an interesting story.
I wonder, given such a small population, what the crime rate was before and
after?  Given the sample size, I can't imagine the statistics are all that
telling.  
  
3. Mr. Kazanjy: I did as you suggested and looked at www.nationmaster.com.
What I found was this, under Murders with firearms:

#1   South Africa: 0.719782 per 1,000 people        
#5   Mexico: 0.0337938 per 1,000 people       
#8   United States: 0.0279271 per 1,000 people      
#19   Switzerland: 0.00534117 per 1,000 people    
#20   Canada: 0.00502972 per 1,000 people    
#21   Germany: 0.00465844 per 1,000 people    
#26   Ireland: 0.00298805 per 1,000 people    
#27   Australia: 0.00293678 per 1,000 people    
#31   New Zealand: 0.00173482 per 1,000 people    
#32   United Kingdom: 0.00102579 per 1,000 people 
   
I assume this is NOT the point you were trying to make.  It looks to me as
though economic conditions have a larger influence on crime than gun control
laws.  Either way, I don't find these statistics to be a very compelling
argument.  P.S.: what is an 'effective' way to deal with people we feel
threatened by ("before he did something bad," as you put it)?  

4. Mr Truesdell: While I see the point you're trying to make, I don't think
the sarcasm is especially effective.  The questions of how to recognize
warning signs and find help for these people, and where we draw the line for
self-protection, are serious questions, and I think we should try to discuss
them in a more somber, respectful manner.

I apologize to everyone for running on for so long.  I wanted to say
everything at once and be done with it.  Thank you for humoring me.  I look
forward to hearing more engineering topics in the near future.

Andrew Eklund





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