March 12, 2008

Reuters: Gun Owners "Not Just Urban Criminals and Drug Dealers"

Thanks clearing that up, as I was a bit confused.

The American affinity for guns may puzzle foreigners who link high ownership rates and liberal gun ownership laws to the 84 gun deaths and 34 gun homicides that occur in the United States each day and wonder why gun control is not an issue in the U.S. presidential election.

The owners are not just urban criminals and drug dealers. There are hunters and home security advocates, and then there are the gun collectors.

Not that it matters, but Reuter's reporter Tim Gaynor interviewed two men from Douglas, Arizona in this article, Alex Black and fellow gun collector Lynn Kartchner. For whatever reason, Gaynor neglects to mention in the article that Kartchner is not just a collector, but a gun shop owner, though that fact emerges in the caption of a story-related photo.

Perhaps ironically, another photo that was shot for the story shows a customer in a Cabela's store in Forth Worth, Texas, features Cabela's salesperson Larry Allen showing a customer a handgun.

The firearm in question? A Taurus revolver marketed as "The Judge" which gained it's name according to Taurus, "because of the number of judges who carry it into the courtroom for their protection."

The judges that prefer this revolver, presumably, are not just urban criminals and drug dealers.

Update: I would probably be remiss not to mention that like the author, I too, would like to see gun control advocacy made an issue in the 2008 presidential election.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 12, 2008 09:05 AM

We Americans forget that the vast majority of Europe gives up it's political rights and freedoms pretty frequently, historically speaking. In our parents lifetime, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Eastern Block states, etc have all surrendered their political and human rights.

Posted by: Techie at March 12, 2008 10:15 AM

The article is actually very objective, amazing coming from Reuters. They didn't offer any "balance" by having a member of the Brady organization comment, for example. I thought the article was remarkably fair for the MSM.

Posted by: Robert at March 12, 2008 10:42 AM

I carry a pistol, and I can guarantee you that it is NOT to protect me from NRA members or, legal permit holders.

Posted by: Joe Justice at March 12, 2008 10:45 AM

Aw, c'mon! Why can't you all just admit to your inferiority and enslave yourselves to your betters?? Yeesh!

I carry (.45ACP Kimber Pro Carry) whenever and wherever it's lawful to do so. And I'll continue to do so...I don't think I qualify as an urban criminal or a drug dealer...I'm a teacher, a businessman, a firefighter, EMT, and a Soldier. None of which are probably popular with Europeans.


Posted by: Orion at March 12, 2008 10:53 AM

And, you know, *hobbyists*. I don't carry, hunt, or collect, but I do shoot (at the range) for fun.

Posted by: Kai Jones at March 12, 2008 11:09 AM

As Ted Nugent says, if the only use for a firearm is to kill another human being, all of mine are defective.

I like that Taurus, BTW. Not a bad weapon for a judge to carry: powerful, simple and of limited range.

Posted by: Jeffersonian at March 12, 2008 11:14 AM

"[T]he vast majority of Europe gives up it's (sic) political rights and freedoms pretty frequently"

I have always felt that a great gulf between American and European sensibilities vis-a-vis government, rights and freedoms is informed by the fact that, as a society, we do not share the historical experience and culture of feudalism. For thousands of years and numerous generations many Europeans were mere chattel to the government and institutions, and the political culture that grew from that reality is still largly authoritarian, controlling and elitist. In America, however, many who built our political machinery have their cultural roots in specifically leaving behind feudalism and even actively fighting against its long reach.

Posted by: submandave at March 12, 2008 11:26 AM

I once met a group of soldiers on holiday in Mexico; they came from England and the Netherlands. We got drunk and talked politics.

They told me that the United States has an advantage over Europe, politically, because we were lucky enough to invent our government while they merely inherited theirs, with 2000 years of warts. They seemed a tad envious.

Posted by: John at March 12, 2008 11:36 AM

It does appear that they seem actually surprised about this novel Sociological discovery of theirs, almost at the level of, “Whoa! Gun owners can read and write, and they use SPOONS too!”
One real subtext of the story is that Americans maintain a vibrant interest in our actual History and the means by which we maintain our independence.
That is reflected in that same story-context is that Teh Yuropeen's are so ultra sophisticated and suffused with *it* they are disdainful and “over” History. Well, History may be done with them too as Eurabia takes over.
They remind me of the foppish idiots posturing in glossy Vanity Fair couture ads - hapless fashion victims.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at March 12, 2008 12:06 PM

The column also insults the intelligence of foreigners.

Posted by: Matt at March 12, 2008 12:07 PM

None of you has mentioned the fact that all the Europeans who refused to give up their freedoms to the various tyrants either died fighting them or came here. We have a gene pool selected for those who will do what it takes to stay free.

Posted by: Mike K at March 12, 2008 12:31 PM

Jeffersonian said:

I like that Taurus, BTW. Not a bad weapon for a judge to carry: powerful, simple and of limited range

Not a bad concept for ALL of a judge's tools. Powerful, simple, and of limited range... ;o)

Posted by: Don at March 12, 2008 12:34 PM

Well the reason for calling it the judge really ruined it for me. I always thought it was named the judge because it's the last thing a criminal wants to see aka the judge. Or even better would be the other two guns I wanted released by Taurus... The Jury, and The Executioner. Don't worry, they'll fire this reporter for being a gun lover soon enough.

Posted by: drdoct at March 12, 2008 12:36 PM

84 gun deaths a day? 34 by homicide? Do we really think there are more accidental gun deaths than homicides in the US each day? Where did they get their facts? Something stinks here.


Posted by: Subsunk at March 12, 2008 12:37 PM

Is it true that Europeans EAT THEIR DEAD?

Posted by: Apollo at March 12, 2008 12:42 PM

Mike K,

The gene pool is selected as you note. However it is subject to the same degeneration so prevalent in Europe. See the faculty of any Ivy League university for concentrated examples.

Posted by: Right Wing Nutter at March 12, 2008 12:45 PM

Actually, the problem has always been in the numbers. When you have 300 million citizens and a 30k die every year, even from unnatural causes like "gun related homicide", it's really not the great tragedy, as cold as that may sound.

Further, notice how he splits out his numbers regarding "gun deaths" and "gun homicides". If you didn't know, suicide is the number one gun related death (54% I believe) in the United States per the Bureau of Statistics and spiked considerably after 9/11/01. Which is not unusual either.

Why aren't people demanding gun control laws? Ask yourselves, as you read this blog, how many of you personally know someone who was shot and/or killed with a gun? Not related to military experience, that is.

It's about 1 in 10,000. Not an epidemic. Certainly, not a good reason to change or damage a constitutional right.

Posted by: kat-missouri at March 12, 2008 01:02 PM

Subsunk, don't forget suicide. The gun is quite handy for suicide. Although most suicide I saw was brought on by health issues. Seems that some folks don't want to wait around for cancer.

Posted by: Peter at March 12, 2008 01:10 PM

Mike K said:

We have a gene pool selected for those who will do what it takes to stay free.

Agreed . Another way in which the gene pool is selected is for religion. For those Europeans for whom religion was important, but who disagreed with the state religions of the countries they were born in, many came to the US where they could practice their faith without government interference.

Many Europeans who were not strong believers in the state religions, to whom religion was a matter of indifference , so that they did not feel degraded to outwardly conform to the state religions ( I obey but I do not comply), stayed in Europe.

So the gene pool in Europe has been self-selected for indifference to religion, as the gene pool in the US has been self-selected for those to whom religion is important. I am an American and an agnostic, but I do not feel the hostility towards believers that many in Europe do.

Posted by: Gringo at March 12, 2008 02:35 PM

The majority of gun deaths in the US are suicides. Elimination of guns would turn most of those into drug overdoses, etc., and not reduce the number.

Posted by: Byron at March 12, 2008 02:51 PM

When I first heard about gun control in a 9th grade Civics class (in 1949) I brought up the subject at dinner that evening - blindly following my teacher's influence (she was all for it; and a dyed in the wool liberal - an admirer of Claude Pepper).

My dad - whose role in life was to teach us to think for ourselves - said, "Honey, if you wanted to take over a country whose populace was armed, what would be the first thing you would do?"

"Get rid of the guns?" I answered. (Duh!)

"Yes!" my father said, beaming at me - his belatedly smart offspring.

As long as a large portion of our country is armed, that's as long as we will remain free.

A note to the "guns are evil" crowd: We also keep you free!

Posted by: Shi at March 12, 2008 02:53 PM

I think Taurus is kidding about the origin of the Judge's name. I don't remember it being marketed under any other name (though it bears a resemblance to the Thunder Five); how were judges buying it before it was available?

Oh, and:

Not a bad concept for ALL of a judge's tools. Powerful, simple, and of limited range... ;o)

Brilliant. Wish like heck I'd written that. :)

Posted by: Mars vs Hollywood at March 12, 2008 03:19 PM

"Perhaps ironically, another photo that"

I know the media gets it wrong all the time. But that is not an AK 47. AK 47s have milled receivers, that is a stamped receiver. But then again it is not a true AKM either because it is not select fire. Looks to be a parts gun made from a Yugo built barrel and receiver and more than likely U.S. manufactured trigger and bolt groups.

In echoing many of the others. I am in the military, hold a TS-SCI, and I carry a Kimber Custom Covert II (legally). Am I somehow a criminal?

"I carry (.45ACP Kimber Pro Carry) "

Good piece, but I prefer the full five inch.

I also own every standard issue service rifle the U.S. has ever issued, and am now working on my Russian collection.

"The column also insults the intelligence of foreigners.
posted by Matt at March 12, 2008 12:07 PM"

This was not me.

The real Matt

Posted by: Matt at March 12, 2008 05:05 PM

Personally, I carry a copy of It Takes a Village with me for self defense, and read it aloud to attackers.

Posted by: mike at March 12, 2008 05:10 PM

Sorry I quoted the wrong picture. I meant to put this one up.

"Gaynor neglects to mention in the article that Kartchner is not just a collector, but a gun shop owner, though that fact emerges in the caption of a story-related photo."

Posted by: Matt at March 12, 2008 05:11 PM

Most of the gun death statistics fall into four categories: 1)murder of victims, 2) homicide of criminals by victims, 3)suicides, and 4) accidents. The accidental death/injury toll is rapidly declining, and the criminals are being shot by more and more victims, due to concealed-carry laws. These are good trends. If the suicidal people do not have guns, they have unlimited other methods. The bottom line is, most of the people getting shot now deserve it.

Posted by: lynn kartchner at March 13, 2008 04:27 PM