Odds and Ends
Armed to immobilize
5 9, 6:22pm
People can go to work, hospital or school on a bus => No they can't. At least not everybody can. As I said, I do not own a car and use one very rarely, but it is because I live in Paris which has a very good public and mass transportation system. But not every city in France is the same and I grew up in a small village where you can take the bus only one time a day (at 7:30) and it only drives you to one place. Considering that the place where most people work (the bigest town nearby) is 30 km away, there are no other way than to use cars to go there or spend more than 2 hours in transportation time every day. And France is a relatively small country but I bet it can get much worse in the US or in Russia.
But again I'm all for banning cars (maybe leave one year or two for people to adapt) in cities that have other good ways of transportation (like Paris) while allowing it where it's more convenient than mass public transportation (you could also enforce some limitations to encourage carpooling in such places). I'm also in favor of building more train/metro/tramway lines (I prefer them to buses because they are safer and more ecological) where you can while reserving buses in places where it's not worthwhile to build those. And I'm not sure about Murica, but i'm pretty certain people are ready to accept such changes in Europe. I don't know why we do nothing about cars, but it probably has more to do with the fact that it would have a strong negative impact on economy (Germany especially has a very strong car industry) than the population's lack of desire to change. And I suspect it is the same for guns in the USA.
After hearing your explanations and reflecting a little bit about what I know about recent history, I'm not certain it is very usefull to compare Russia and USA : the 2 countries seem too different to draw valid conclusions from one another. In particular, you seem to have less shooting in Russia more because the population is poorer than because the policies applied are good. Also it seems the government in Russia, unlike the one in the USA, has struggled a lot during the last 3 decades to maintain public order (but the condition seem to be improving swiftly, I'm not sure wether it has to do with putin's regime or not). In that context it seems more likely for a citizen to have to defend himself, because the government can't do it for him. And in that context I'll grant you the fact that guns may have utility. That being said, because it is true for Russia doesn't necessarily mean it is true for the US. And I don't think the US government is failing that much to maintain public order.
As I've stated before I really don't have a strong belief as to wether gun regulations discourage homicides. But I'm probably still strongly in favor of such laws because I don't think the world needs more weapons and strong regulations certainly discourage weapon industry. Also I always found odd the fact that the USA was such an oddball amongst the rich countries and thought it would fit nicely to explain that by their love of guns.
PS : I've been trying to find some statstics about violence explications and found this :
. It's in french but is pretty interesting. They don't say a thing about gun regulation (probably because it is hard to determine a "degree of gun regulation"). But it is interesting to see that violence is positively correlated to democracy (precisely it is negatively correlated to dictatorship) and youth which seems logical but somehow wrong... Christianity (particularly catholics and protestants) seem to be positively correlated to violence too. And here we thought islamists were violent... Of course the study has many shortcomings (only consider countries as a whole for example, but the reality is much more complicated) but it seems a good base to compare countries one by one.