Do Bans Work?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mactastic, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #1
    Well? Does banning something reduce or eliminate it's use/abuse?

    I'm curious because on the one hand we have a great many conservatives who say that banning guns (particularly ones they feel the other side sees as "scary") will have no effect on gun crime.

    On the other hand we have a great many conservatives who say that banning abortions (particularly ones they see as "scary") will have a great effect on abortions.

    Now obviously (and I really didn't think I needed to state the obvious, but apparently it is offensive to some to even make this connection) there are pro-gun people who are pro-choice - such as myself - and there are anti-gun people who are anti-abortion as well. But if you look at the broad spectrum of conservatives you see people who hold both views and do not see them as inconsistent.

    If you do not hold both of these views PLEASE DO NOT BE OFFENDED OR TAKE THIS TO MEAN THAT I THINK ALL GUN OWNERS HAVE CERTAIN MORAL OR RELIGIOUS LEANINGS.

    Now that we've gotten past the disclaimer, can we have a discussion about whether or not banning things actually works?
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #2
    Makes it more difficult, but those that want will always find a way to get what they want.

    Just means no more purchases in a controlled and managed setting that the government can track.
     
  3. Queso macrumors G4

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    #3
    Outright bans of anything only give organised crime another revenue stream. Tougher regulation whilst keeping things legal is always preferable.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Yep- look at the "War in Drugs" for a great example.
     
  5. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #5
    I think a ban will keep people like Cho from killing people, but like many people suggest, criminals will have no problem getting guns. I think in the U.S. the problem is our culture and acceptance of weapons.

    Some people equate a ban on guns to a ban on alcohol, but that's not a valid argument since MANY more people drink than desire guns. If the government did try to ban guns, I think only top tier criminals would own them, not the kind of petty thugs that break into peoples' homes
     
  6. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #6
    again, this is not a valid argument since the desire for mind altering chemicals far outweighs the desire for weapons.

    I can name 10 people that do/want to do illegal drugs, but only 1 that owns a gun.
     
  7. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #7
    Yup. Agree with you 100% on this topic. Ranks right up there with Prohibition, yet politicians don't see the similarity at all.
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #8
    interesting question.

    no i don't think broad 'bans' work at all. i'd rather see better gun control and enforcement of said policies. and rather than banning drugs, regulation and control as well. it'd at least make things overall safer and the same money wouldn't necessarily be wasted away with nothing to show. granted this is all my opinion and i'm sure many people disagree with it for one reason or another.
     
  9. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #9
    on the other side in switzerland after softening drug laws only more problems came up and now the big towns in switzerland are big drug distribution centers known across the borders for stuff like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy

    it can't be said on general it depends on a lot of things
     
  10. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #10
    yeah, drugs/alcohol is totally different than most things. The demand is huge. Guns don't enjoy that demand.
     
  11. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #11
    At least then it becomes a user problem rather than an organized crime with high profits issue. No one wanting to rid our country of the "War on Drugs" wants people to become substance abusers any more than we want to have people become alcoholics just because booze is legal.
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    #12
    The small size of Switzerland combined with it being surrounded by much larger states with drug prohibition means that organised crime is still in control of the supply. If France, Germany and Italy repeated the policy, the Swiss problems would virtually disappear.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    There's a simple equation: If the production and sale of handguns (the type that are banned in Canada, for example) is reduced by a factor of 10, or 100, then the amount of handguns available to the criminal market (through theft or shill purchasing) will be lower.

    There's this prevailing atitude among anti-regulation advocates that goes "Well, your proposed restriction would not eliminate the problem 100% so it would be worthless to try."

    Bumpers, seatbelts, speed limits, side door reinforcement and headlight/taillight regulations do not eliminate accidents. But they REDUCE HARM, which is why we tolerate the regulation, and we don't campaign on the Capitol's steps for the right to drive a deathtrap car with no lights or turnsignals.

    It's not about eliminating the problem. Its about reducing the harm of the problem. Criminals will get guns, yes. Restricting the sale of handguns will make it a bit harder. But it will also reduce the amount of harm that a "normal" individual can do in rage (family-on-family), or insanity, or depression (suicide) or carelessness (child with parent's gun for example).
    It's just simply easier to inflict serious harm with a gun than practically any other method. It doesn't take skill or strength, it doesn't have to be up close. Its fast and powerful.

    And I admit my bias: I reject the proposition that a civilian owning a gun is a protection OR a deterrent. I believe that the net harm (accident, suicide and fortuitous availability of a deadly weapon in a enraged state) to the gun owners, their family, and bystanders FAR outweighs the benefit of being able to draw down on that mythical intruder or mugger.

    The incidence of violent crime is so small (statistically speaking),
    multiplied by the % of time that the 'protective' weapon would be availilable at that instant (seldom, unless the civilian is packing at all times),
    multiplied by the % that the civilian is competent, can react appropriately and fast enough,
    multiplied by the % that introducing deadly force to a situation escalates it to a far more serious situation,
    multiplied by the % that the wrong person gets shot,
    multipied bt the % that a criminal, knowing their victim could be armed, goes in hard,
    and I think the net benefit in deterrance of crime by personal protection weapons is negligable
     
  14. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #14
    I think that the question isn't this simple. It depends a lot on what you're banning, how much the population agrees with the ban, what the incentives are for breaking the ban, how much effort is put into enforcing the ban, and so on.

    Off the top of my head, the idea that banning smoking cigarrettes in hospitals is the same thing as banning smoking pot in private homes is obviously false. One is much more likely to succeed than the other.
     
  15. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #15
    would you risk it ?
    after all: all criminal statistics point up in switzerland while in most surrounding countries they point down in the last years

    why should they if the status quo is works ?

    the drugs i mentioned aren't legal in switzerland either but the more liberal laws concerning a few ones resulted in increased demands for harder drugs and higher organized crime rates
     
  16. Queso macrumors G4

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    #16
    Because of the reputation as drug centres attracting users of other drugs and therefore their dealers. But still, if you leave the supply of anything on the streets it's the criminals that benefit. I would license drug supply outlets, but keep the price at a point that made it unattractive for foreigners to make the trip to my country just to buy the drugs. If however an unlicensed dealer showed up trying to undercut the licensed outlet, the outlet would be allowed to price match the dealer, making his efforts so unprofitable he moves on. Buying from unauthorised dealers would still be considered a crime.

    With a guaranteed quality supply, price matching and no risk of getting a criminal record, the users would mostly use the licensed centre. Any cash that the outlet generated in profit would go to local social services and law enforcement, with the final aim of getting as many people off drugs as possible and stopping new drug users from becoming drug addicts.

    In a way, it's similar to the licensing of brothels they have in some countries. Sex and drugs will always be sold, fact of life.
     
  17. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #17
    New York once made it so difficult for couples to get a divorce that it might as well have been a ban. So, those who could afford it moved to Nevada for whatever length of time it took to become "citizens"; six weeks, IIRC. The Nevada divorce was considered binding on New York, via a SCOTUS case. My point is that people always seek ways around bans.

    Abortions were banned, back when I worried about the possibility of a shotgun wedding. But they were done. Lotsa deaths from lousy medics, too.

    Prohibition. War on Drugs. Effective?

    IF you could get the votes to ban guns, and IF the penalties for possession were harshly administered, and IF you could collect all guns (A "taking" under the Fifth Amendment? Purchase at a fair market value? 300 million or more, at an average of around $500 each?) you definitely would reduce gun crime.

    Side effects: No more Dingell/Johnson or Pittman/Robinson funds to support wildlife research and protection. No more money from hunting licenses. No more hunters' $$$ into small-town local economies. A lessening of the ad valorem tax take from ranches, as the productive value would be lessened; no income from leasing for hunting. A helluva lot more car wrecks from interactions with whitetail deer. Land would no longer be managed for the benefit of wildlife.

    After our home invasion rate increased, the cost of housing would increase as people fortified their homes. More walled subdivisions with guarded gates.

    And along the Mexican border, the smuggling of guns INTO the US would continue or even increase, with higher prices to the purchasers--mostly, those who already are criminals. I note that the police already are abandoning some parts of the greater Los Angeles basin, per articles in the LA Times. 70,000 police cannot deal with 150,000 gang members.

    So, yeah, the number of gun deaths would notably decline. I strongly believe, however, that the overall murder rate would not.

    As to enforcement, I note that when the USSR collapsed, there were numerous TV film clips showing civilian possessors of full-auto AK-47s. That's in spite of the police state system and the KGB, etc. What sort of enforcement would be needed, here?

    'Rat
     
  18. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #18
    The reason common thugs own guns is because they are cheap and easily accessible on any street corner in some neighborhoods. Until all the guns are melted and made into washing machines, it will be that way because these guns are stolen in the first place! I say prosecute a registered gun owner who does not secure their weapons at all times when not in use as vigorously as the convenience store bandit... end of problem. My gun is in a fire safe bolted to the concrete floor of my home. With a trigger lock. Registered and deadly accurate, but only used for varmint issues.;)

    As far as bans, I can't think of a single ban that has ever been successful in America. The home of the free... and ready to fight for it. Unfortunately people in America don't always make the best choices what to do with their freedom, but if I want freedom I must allow all others freedom. Try banning my lifestyle and you might be calling me a whacked out psycho! ~ Don't worry, all I want is surf, sex, and sleep.:D
     
  19. halfprep455 macrumors regular

    halfprep455

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    #19
    If you look at history, banning things such as abortions, guns, drugs, alchohol, sex, gay issues, do NOT under anymeans reduce the problem. Banning or trying to strictly regulate a social issue will only shove it under the carpet. The only effective way to adress social issues is through education and understanding the issue. Simply telling people its illegal will not stop them from doing it. For example, do any of you honestly think that if abortions were outlawed, that the number of women who get abortions would go down? Do any of you think that if we made all guns illegal that crime rates would fall? Do you think if we made gay sex or sex out of wedlock illegal that it would just disappear? Do you think if we banned porn that people would stop looking at it and it would stop being produced? If you answered yes to any of these questions you are most certinaly wrong. Government restrictions do absoultly no good. As for gun control, severly restricting access to guns will not lower crime rates one single bit. Look at Washington DC for example. DC banned guns in the 1970's and is was the murder capital of the nation for 15 years! It still ranks 3rd for murder!
     
  20. mactastic thread starter macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Desertrat sez
    You're being disingenuous here. Unless, of course, you hunt deer with a Glock.

    Don't take this as me being in favor of banning handguns, but you are conflating the argument for a handgun ban with a complete gun ban. Banning handguns (again, something I'm NOT advocating) would not affect hunting / ranching / car wrecks, and a complete gun ban has never been advocated by any serious politician I can recall.

    However, the rest of your post I'm in agreement with. Haven't heard of LA cops "abandoning parts of the basin" though. LA cops are some tough SOBs. They're not ones to cede ground easily.
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Disingenuous? The opening post spoke of banning guns, not banning handguns.

    A couple of points, from Wright/Rossi/Daly in "Under The Gun": First is that, on average, of those shot with handguns, one-third die; two-thirds live. For those shot with rifles or shotguns, the reverse is true.

    Next point is the general response from interviews with prisoners in Flroida's Raiford Penitentiary, felons convicted of violence with firearms. When queried as to what would be done if there were no handguns, the general answer was that long guns and hacksaws would provide concealable weapons. (Whitman's first five gunshot victims were from the use of a sawn-off single-shot shotgun. He shortened both the barrel and the stock with a hacksaw.)

    I conclude from these responses that if we could "magick" away all handguns, the deaths from firearms violence possibly could increase in number.

    'Rat
     
  22. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #22
    This logic is puzzling, going by your explanation, we should increase the number of firearms and that possibly will decrease deaths from firearms violence?
     
  23. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    angelneo, per mac's comment about the ban being only for handguns, there would still be those tens of millions of long guns out there. The comments from the felons' interviews say that they'd go to stealing long guns for use in crime. You take a hacksaw to a rifle or shotgun, and you then have hellaciously more powerful cartridges in your concealable weapon.

    My assumption is that they'd be as likely to shoot in future crime-events as they are now, okay? No change in the number of shootings. If this assumption is reasonable, then the authors' one-third/two-third statistic applies.

    I hope this clarifies my point...

    'Rat
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Another aspect of banning

    You'll hear calls to ban "high capacity" magazines, as though that would have any effect.

    The effectiveness of this presumes that a Bad Guy is too clumsy to quickly remove and replace a lesser-capacity magazine. Big mistake. Once the technique is known, a very few hours of practice can make a shooter competent at a speed reload. Fire a shot, change magazines, fire a shot: At most, two seconds. One second is doable.

    But I ain't gonna tell ya how. You might be a potential Bad Guy. :D

    'Rat
     
  25. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #25
    I see, I thought you are talking about firearms in general.
     

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