Quote of the day–Gary Kleck

It was ineffective. That is, homicide didn’t go down as was promised following the law’s implementation.

Good guys have good effects with guns, bad guys have bad effects with guns.

Gary Kleck
June 29, 2009
Florida State University Criminology Professor
Some wonder if tighter gun control helps
[And I have yet to see a law passed, or even proposed, that didn’t create more of a impediment to gun ownership on the good guys than it did the bad guys. Hence, my Just One Question.–Joe]

10 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Gary Kleck

  1. And it just goes to show that firearms, just like every other hunk of inanimate metal out there, have no inherent “goodness” or “badness” themselves – all of that is 100% dependent upon the user.

  2. I presume the Kleck quote you gave is in reference to the DC gun ban law.

    Here’s more on Kleck:

    A criminologist at Florida State University, Kleck began his research as a firm believer in gun control. But in a speech delivered to the National Research Council, he said while he was once “a believer in the ‘anti-gun’ thesis,” he has now moved “beyond even the skeptic position.” Dr. Kleck now says the evidence “indicates that general gun availability does not measurably increase rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U.S.”
    (Gary Kleck, speech delivered to the National Research Council, quoted in Don B. Kates, Jr., “Scholars’ ignorant bias causes anti-gun sentiments,” Handguns, June 1991, pp. 12-13.)

  3. Thanks for the quote, Joe. I also enjoyed the “does not measurably increase” one. It’s truly unbelievable.

    Today I wrote about one of the best reasons to limit gun availability. The theory, my theory is that at least 10% of you lawful gun owners should not have guns, for various reasons. I’d love it if you had a read and left a comment. The idea is, if that’s true, if the 80 million grows, so will the 10%.

    Soon I’m going to write about Prof. Kleck from the anti perspective. I’ve been promising it.

  4. My claim is that if someone cannot be trusted to own a gun then they cannot be trusted with a can of gasoline and a book of matches either. Are you going to regulate those to the same extent that you propose regulating firearms? Or are you going to say people that cannot be trusted with guns shouldn’t be allowed in the public (i.e. they should be in prison or house arrest, etc.)?

  5. mikeb; “It’s truly unbelievable.”

    Why is it unbelievable?

    Your blog post starts with what I doom to be erroneous conclusions, and then goes on to rationalize them.

    “The theory, my theory is that at least 10% of you lawful gun owners should not have guns, for various reasons.”

    Ok, lets test your concept a little; Lets say 10% of the population at large will end up as violent criminals. Therefore, as population increases, so will the number of criminals. Does that mean we should pass laws to limit population as a means of reducing the number of criminals? Forced abortions?

    Lets try another; Say 10% of Jews will commit a serious crime in their lifetimes. Would you then say that we need “reasonable restrictions” against the Jewish population?

    How about bloggers? Some percentage of bloggers will commit fraud, tell lies and distort the facts. What “reasonable restrictions” then, do you advocate against the whole population of bloggers? “The theory, my theory is that at least 10% of you lawful bloggers should not have computers or internet access, for various reasons.”

    “Should not have guns” is a qualitative statement. “Should not” is an opinion. “Should” 10% of drivers be forcibly deprived of their vehicles (we are talking about the initiation of force here, prior to any wrong-doing)? To what end? If government can deprive you of your property because of what it thinks you might do, would that make for a just society in your opinion?

    To me, your writing is pointing in the direction of the totalitarian state. Since as you apparently believe, our current criminal background checks aren’t enough, I suppose we’d need to undergo psychological examinations, carried out by state case-workers, before having children, buying a car, a gun, knives, gasoline, potentially dangerous chemicals, etc., etc. If your type of reasoning is acceptable, then certainly all those restrictions, and many more, can and will be justified, and will shift with the winds of political whim.

  6. Yeah; that should be “deem” and not “doom”. Maybe I can’t be trusted with a computer.

  7. Of course, it would likewise be absolutely wonderful if that 10% number had any facts, evidence, statistics, information, or substantiation to back it up, rather than being an entirely fictitious and made-up number used only to demonize citizens for no better reason than that they own firearms.

    Any hope for a rational, logical debate ends when one side of the argument resorts to making up numbers out of whole cloth in order to support their desires for an increasingly authoritarian state.

  8. We could pull the number of 1% our of our butts, or 0.5%, and the argument would be the same. Mikeb didn’t suggest any threshold number, below which all rights “should” be considered absolute. Make the suggestion that he do so, and he will find a number lower than any estimate or statistic, and use that as his threshold.

    We know there is a number of those who will commit crimes. The argument is, it would seem, that if there is some number of people who use this or that product for criminal purposes, then the rest of us should be in some way persecuted or inconvenienced for attempting to use it ourselves. Recent calls for federal knife control are along exactly that line of reasoning. If that makes its way to law, it of course will not stop there. Rather it’s on to the next category of restrictions, all of which amount to prior restraint and as such would be dismissed out of hand in any free society.

    If we’re assuming a totalitarian state then of course anything and everything goes– all these arguments become moot. “It will be this way because we say so” is the only argument required in that case. Such would seem to be, increasingly, the default mentality as more and more law exists that is based on such foolish and ultimately deadly reasoning.

  9. Lets ask mikeb what percentage of computer users perpatrating fraud on line, hacking, or spreading viruses, would he think necessary to justify background checks and licensing for the purchase and sale of a computer and strict licensing of software engineers with ten-year jail sentances for technical paperwork or reporting violations. Surely he can give us a number, as he is no doubt “The Keeper of the Devine Numbers of Authority”.

    What percentage of black people commiting crimes, mikeb, would justify some special restrictions on the behavior or movement, or the reproduction, of black people? We could play this ridiculous, sickening game all day, no? And could we not consider ourselves thoughtful and superior intellectuals, all-concerned for the safety, security and happiness of our beloved masses for doing so? Yeah, lets pat ourselves on the back, give each other silver stars, and denounce all detractors as “extremists” as we advocate the further initiation of force against our neighbors. That makes us really, really super smart, and we all know that the smart people should ordering everyone else around.

  10. Naww, let’s leave mikeb alone. But, only after he spreads his message in the “inner city” and recommends that steps be taken to curtail the birth rate of inner city residents, who, as has been irrefutably demonstrated, commit 85% to 90% of the violent crime in our society. Walk that street mike, without arms, and then report back.

    Yeah, yeah, I know some sonofabitch will call me a racist. Yet, they don’t know what race I am,nor have I stated a target race in my position, nor do they argue with the facts of my position, just with the fact it isn’t polite to point out that we are raising generations of sociopaths because we do not insist on standards of behavior. NO, I am not talking of the force of state to enforce standards of behavior. Just the force of parents, but Hell that’s just too damn tough.

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