Correlation and Causation

Quite aside from the question of why she was even carrying a gun (to defend herself, she said, even though in Austin, a city of just under 750,000 people, there were just 30 murders last year, compared to, say, the London borough of Lambeth, population 273,000, where there were 23), at least she\’d left it in her car.

I\’ll let you argue amongst yourselves about which way around that goes.

14 thoughts on “Correlation and Causation”

  1. Mr Hannaford seems intent on proving to the Texans that the image of an Englishman as a limp-wristed, effete cad (as played by Hugh Grant) isn’t too far from the truth.

    “I think if Americans must exercise their right to bear arms, they should do so in private where it can’t hurt anybody (or have I missed the point?).”

    Well, I’m sure Texas will get right on with altering all their laws so you can feel safe at the dinner table, chummy….

  2. Hannaford is a wuss, and can be assumed to be of no use in an emergency.

    I have spent enough of my life around armed men and women, and have carried myself, that I have no patience with his fears.

    Given that the criminal can arm himself at any time, and anyway probably has more by way of muscle and viciousness even without a gun or knife, then the good but unarmed citizen will always be at a disadvantage. I cannot cite the specific statistic, but someone in the US took the trouble to estimate the murder rates per 100,000 in Bush counties as 2, Gore counties 11.

    As between open and concealed carry – I wish we Brits could have this discussion for ourselves – I prefer concealed, or at least discreet, but that’s my choice. Open carry doesn’t bother me unless the open carrier is an exhibitionist ass.

    I really like the range of topics which come up here.

  3. Well, if one really wanted to stir this debate up one could also introduce the fact that the Texans do love putting murdering scumbags on death row and actually carrying out sentence.

    As someone supposedly once said: “We ain’t hangin’ him ‘cos he stole a horse. We’re hangin’ him so horses don’t get stole.”

    RM will now sit back and see if he’s stirred up a hornets nest:-)

  4. One of the lessons of the English experience of gun control developments is that gun banners do things slowly. The first step is always small, but it creates a precedent and the next step can be bigger. Eventually what seemed ridiculous and impossible becomes normal.

    Firearms if they are kept hidden and in dark cupboards like some dirty secret become less acceptable. The more public, open and normalthey become the better.

  5. from memory the states with gun control have greater rates of murder, armed robbery and theft from occupied homes than armed states.

    not everyone needs a gun, but the knowledge that any houseowner can be armed is astrong deterrent to braking and entry (and most crimes of violence)

    The banners need to have an unarmed populace to allow the state and its officials to control.

    No need to flash tour gun if everyone is aare you could possibly be armed

  6. I live in Arizona, where anyone (legally entitled to possess firearms) can open-carry, but a permit is required for concealed-carry. I always carry concealed (unless I’m out in the boonies) because it:
    A. Doesn’t upset nervous people like Mr Hannaford.
    B. Doesn’t upset cops.
    C. Doesn’t make me the first target of an armed robber.

  7. If you have ever had to visit a deep rural loony you will want the guns somewhere else. And make sure they don’t think you are the devil etc.
    There are lots of mad people about.

  8. ‘There are lots of mad people about’. Exactly. They don’t care about the law, so they can always get a gun. That’s why sane people need to have them too.

  9. Steves touches on an interesting point. I remember reading (possibly in Seven Myths of Gun Control by Richard and David Horowitz) that household insurance rates in jurisdictions with gun control are higher than in those that do not control the ownership of guns. Those who live in gun nut areas but chose not to own guns themselves often derive many benefits their GFW cousins in “nice, safe places” do not.

    Indeed there’s a jibe the gun nuts often throw at such people: If you’re so anti-gun, why don’t you stick a sign on your front lawn declaring there’s no guns in your house?” Oddly enough, I have never read of anyone following this advice.

  10. I live in Virginia where both open and concealed (with permit) are permitted. When we had the coyote infestation last year and I had to walk the dog, it was open carry all the way. Anyplace else, it’s concealed. As for making the police nervous, I’ve always found that telling a cop right away that I’m armed and asking how they would like to proceed brings a very polite response. I have never been asked to surrender my weapon.

    But carrying a gun in your purse? Good lord. The purse is always the target. ALL of my instructers taught against that.

    And this is simply hilarious:

    “It turned out he was a plain-clothed police officer, but the damage to my nerves was already done. I think if Americans must exercise their right to bear arms, they should do so in private where it can’t hurt anybody (or have I missed the point?).”

    Yes, Alex, you have missed the point. Arms are intended to hurt people and critters that intend harm. That doesn’t always happen in the comfortable confines of one’s home.

    Remind this schlub not to visit my neighborhood. There are 78 families here, 50 of us own weapons and 40 of those owners are women. The place is an armed camp. Poor Alex would be consigned to the romper room with the 5 year olds.

  11. The stats indicate that Austin may be safer than Lambeth because of the guns but we can’t know more than a very general indication because we don’t know the nature of the murders; we might know much more were the stats based on incidents of “stranger murder,” rather than one that may include many instances of murder for which the possession of a gun may have been no help, as in many domestic-dispute cases.

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