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Odds and Ends
Armed to immobilize
6 9, 6:38pm
"Failures of law enforcement in US are localized." Then only allow guns in those places, not everywhere. Only allow guns where they have a purpose, not everywhere.
"In early sixties USSR had very little personal car ownership." Sure, and a thousand years ago nobody used other means of transportation than feet or horses. Nobody used a freezer to stop his food from rotting or a computer to store data. Also no one used bulldozers or cranes to build castles (though thousands died to build them). No one used electricity, gaz or coal to stop oneself from freezing to death. And they somehow managed, they didn't have the same life expectancy nor the same comfort but they managed. But because it happened in the past doesn't mean it would be easy for current humans to live that way again... Our society is not organized the same way, it has adapted to those fast means of transportations and if you prevent humans to use them a lot of them will simply die (here i'm talking about trucks) or deperish (here i'm talking about cars)
"Economic impact from ban on guns will be minimal". There are currently 393 millions handguns in the hands of US citizens (according to wikipedia at least), 392 millions of those are posessed without a license. This doesn't seem like a small business to me...
"One of the major pro-gun arguments (law disarms honest people, lawbreakers will have guns anyway) holds up". No it does not, you only see what you want to see there, an other explanation is that Russia is more violent than the USA but because people can't get easily hold of a gun they don't manage to kill themselves that easily. Would you allow them an easy access to guns, homicidal rate would skyrocket. I'm not saying your explanation is necessarily wrong, but there are many other explanations to those facts. And again, I'm still not certain of the relevance of comparing USA and Russia. Don't forget there is a big correlation between violence and poverty (PIB/person) and Russia and USA don't really play in the same league there so it is expected from Russia to be more violent than the USA in the first place.
"Another important point is while handguns are virtually unavailable for civilian use, number of murders in general is higher." Exactly, because gun regulations are not (if they are at all) the only variable that can explain violence.
"While I'll stay away from speculations about political system". Well this one seems easy enough : if you increase the control on people's behaviour the more extreme elements of the society will have less room to do as they want (just like everybody else). It's the classic "freedom vs security" argument. That is why I said it makes sense though it feels wrong (because we always want to see freedom as a good thing).
"I would also say that Muslim countries had a steam release valve of quasi-religious local conflicts like Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya or Syria, which absorbed some particularly dysfunctional individuals, but I have no idea if it has any measurable effect." Well the author states that a lot of countries that have an "inexplicably" (inexplicable means that his model gives higher violence rates for these countries than what they really arenot that they have a very low violence rate, USA and Russia are in that same basket of inexplicable rates, but they are on the high side, both should be less violent than they are. It doesn't mean anything special just that we probably miss some variables to completely explain the data) low violence rate are muslim. Maybe this could be an explicative variable that works only in certain muslim countries that had their violent elements deported in other places (or maybe not).