'Only in America'? Gunning Down a Claim

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'Only in America'? Gunning Down a Claim

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:59 am

'Only in America'? Gunning Down a Claim
By Steve Stanek : 20 Apr 2007

In response to the horrible mass shooting at Virginia Tech on Monday, overseas leaders as well as many Americans have condemned the "gun culture" of the United States. Perhaps these overseas leaders and American citizens would be less hard on our country if we discuss what has been happening in other countries.

Major news outlets reported on April 18 about the shooting deaths of at least 19 gang members in Rio de Janeiro by rival gangs and police. These shootouts occurred despite Brazil's strict gun control laws.

Also in Wednesday's newspapers are reports about Tuesday's shooting death of the mayor of Nagasaki, Japan. Japan has some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the industrialized world.

In Scotland authorities are enacting knife control policies because violent crime has continued to climb (with knives as a weapon of choice) in the wake of the nation's gun bans. Should Americans speak contemptuously of Scotland's "blade and booze" culture?

Last November in Emsdetten, Germany, a teenager shot and wounded more than a dozen persons before killing himself. In 2002 in a school in Erfurt, Germany, a gunman killed 17 people and himself.

Five years ago I did research for an article on mass shootings. Here are a few of the headlines I came across:

"8 slain at council meeting"

"Teen wounds 5 in tech school"

"Suspected gang shooting leaves 4 dead, 2 injured"

"Man kills ex-bosses, principal, himself"

"Gunman kills self, 7 others"

The incidents these headlines describe occurred in France, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany and Italy, respectively. In the five years since that research, crime rates have continued to climb in many other countries with far stricter gun control laws than those in the United States.

In 1996 in Port Arthur, Australia, a crazed man shot and killed more than 30 people. After learning of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, Australian Prime Minister John Howard told reporters this about his nation's response to the Port Arthur horror: "We took action to limit the availability of guns and we showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country."

Prime Minister Howard neglected to say anything about the "culture" in Australia that prompted a man to commit a mass shooting. He also neglected to mention Australian government figures that show five years after the Port Arthur-inspired gun crackdowns, homicides had climbed 3.2 percent, assaults had gone up 8.6 percent, and, astoundingly, armed robberies had soared 45 percent. Crime rates remain high in Australia despite the confiscation of hundreds of thousands of firearms, and gun bans.

On September 28, 2001, in peaceful Switzerland, a man shot and killed 14 people, including 11 members of a local canton council.

In the 2002 presidential election in France, many political observers cited soaring crime as the Number 1 issue. Nationwide strikes by thousands of France's police officers a few months before the election heightened the issue. The strikes came in response to what police said are growing dangers from gun-wielding criminals. They had strong evidence to cite, including the recent shooting deaths of two police officers during an armed robbery in a Paris suburb.

I've heard people say "only in America" in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Clearly, though, it's not only in America. Terrible incidents like these have occurred and are occurring in countries across the world, including countries that severely restrict or ban the private ownership of firearms, and countries with a reputation of peace and harmony.

Steve Stanek is a freelance writer and editor in McHenry, Ill., and research fellow at The Heartland Institute in Chicago.
http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=041907D
***********************************************************

We have discussed here in the past the fact that the UN named Scotland the most violent nation in the developed world, with 2000 knief attacks per week. Fancy that. Scotland is worse than the US, even with the latter's gun policies. Crime has been skyrocketing in Scotland since the gun control nuts stampeded the nation into a draconian anti-gun policy in the late 1990s after a - guess what! - school shooting.

The problem in France is exacerbated by the refusal of the French authorities to investigate Muslim violence for fear of Muslim repraisals. French victims of Muslim assaults are dismissed, their reports not investigated, and if a Muslim is brought to trial, the judges dismiss the charges as the result of a "culture clash." Where crimes by Muslims are concerned, the French are second-class citizens in their own country.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:45 am

As we know, England's crime rate went through the roof post-ban, too. They've actually (and they're taking this rather hard, judging by the articles I've seen) managed to achieve a higher violent crime rate than the US in recent years.

EDIT: Do you have some articles that discuss those happenings with regards to Muslims in France? As far as I knew, they were being treated like excrement by mainstream French culture, hence, the riots and all.

Perhaps post-riot they're scared to do something about crimes... :roll:

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Post by keaggy220 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:11 am

Corlyss - you are incorrect about the Muslim violence in France - they are only haveing problems with "youth" violence. This can easily be confirmed by reading many of our trusted mainstream media outlet stories regarding the violence. :lol:

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:01 am

So, are we speaking of Muslim teenagers raising hell there rather than the mature, older ones? Or, a case of overall youth violence?

To be blunt, the reports I've seen said they treat the Muslims the way they're stereotyped for treating tourists so Muslim violence would not surprise me.

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Post by slofstra » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:57 pm

I've recently finished reading Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma, which deals specifically with the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, but looks also more generally at the problems within the large underclass of migrant Muslim workers in Holland, France and other countries. Buruma also discusses Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has lately become a media darling in North America as she was in Europe. This girl is trouble. Bottom line on Buruma's book: Europe has a big problem. Must reading for anyone seeking insight on this issue.

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Post by slofstra » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:18 am

I checked out the claims concerning Scotland's violence, and although there are a large number of assaults, they still have only 1/3 the murder rate of the U.S.

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:24 pm

So to sum up Corlyss's Points:
1) Guns just don't kill people here in the USA
2) People in other countries kill each other
3 Knives are also deadly weapons
Live and learn I always say :roll:

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Post by slofstra » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:35 am

Ted wrote: 3 Knives are also deadly weapons
No they are not. Assuming that Americans have no greater propensity to violence than Scots, and that knives are the weapons of choice over there, and guns over here, how would you explain the fact that the murder rate is three times higher in America?

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:27 pm

Scots have bad aim with a knife? :roll:

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