Now a surprising article from BBC
Subtitle: "Despite the fact there are more than 200 million guns in circulation, there is a certain tranquility and civility about American life."
Hat tip to Peter Buxton....
The guy has lived here for 6 years and is still essentially clueless.
Brits have a very hard time understanding America. Here's part of the reason: England itself is very close to the same size and shape of North Carolina. Throw in South Carolina, and you've got virtually the same square mileage as the UK as a whole. But it is a tiny percentage of the size of our country.
What I am saying is, they have no basis for comparison. What they are used to is so vastly differently from what the USA is, they just can't wrap around it. When they read "X number of murders per year" they naturally think of it in terms they are accustomed to. That many murders, if they all took place in North and South Carolina, would be amazing. See what I'm getting at?
It is also hard for them to accept that a whole lot of our violent crime happens in a few small urban enclaves, and is largely criminal-against-criminal. If you took that part out of the equation, our murder rate would be admirable.
I once mentioned this to a Brit friend and she said, "So if it's criminal against criminal, does that make it OK?" Well, no. And yes. I can see both sides of that one.
Posted by: Brerarnold at April 25, 2008 03:24 AM
yes, if they all looked at raw crime per capita over 1900-2000 with their gun control acts penciled in, some might actually explode in place like a monty python skit.
both sides, hm. yes. "criminal against criminal" might be okay in the boondocks with pistols... but is it okay on busy city streets with select-fire carbines? probably not. even police or citizens v. criminals in that situation is unacceptable and embarassing.
Posted by: jon at April 25, 2008 06:31 AM
Be real, Jon,..."select fire carbines" in the US require a full double-secret background investigation and special Federal license, and frequently the local sheriff has to approve...criminals don't have them...they're too expensive, also.
I too would have no trouble with criminals killing each other with single shot duelling pistols at dawn in the meadow...but then I also have no trouble with innocent intended-victims killing criminals with any portable non-crew-served firearm.
Posted by: doug in colorado at April 25, 2008 11:31 AM
As usual, the Brit correspondent misses the point.
The US is peaceful because potential victims are armed, and not in spite of such.
VT massacres always take place in areas where victims are disarmed ... nutters make a bee-line to such places, as the last thing they want is to get put down before they get a chance to act out.
Posted by: Kristopher at April 25, 2008 02:16 PM
That was good stuff, maybe I should move to Montana.
Posted by: Tom at April 25, 2008 04:06 PM
I actually thought he capture it pretty well.
Posted by: Don Gwinn at April 26, 2008 10:17 AM
I found the article quite contradictory.
Arguments and fights happen all the time. I went to the Belmont 2005 and was very dismayed at the behavior of the white college crowd and their rowdy drunkenness. Now I known this is a special case, but England must be horrible if he thinks we are so serene. I live near Baltimore and Washington. Our neighborhood is decent and no real crime. But every one has a dog. WE are very aware of what the neighbors are doing. WE are outside, all the time. Yes, a very safe and possibly serene, if you do not mind the cars doing holeshots and cars without mufflers. The dirtbikers and loud motorcycles. We tolerate this because these are normal, if sometimes irritating things that families do.
But there is crime, You drive by and get gas and across the street somone is getting arrested. Helicopters linger over head for either a crime or an accident.
Twice convicted felons have escaped from the local hospital and shot their way out after grabbing the cops guns. One ended up in DC getting himself shot while with a hooker.
Cops are generally good and do go after dangerous criminals. Minor crime is not usually prosecuted that hard. Cops come quickly when called. I had a stolen car blocked my driveway a couple of months ago. So crime is here and noticible.
Maybe we just handle it different. My son was driving on I 95 last night and someone in a Mini Cooper,of all cars, decided to tailgate and so my son changed lanes to avoid the idiot. The Mini Cooper did also and got so close that he scrpaed the rear bumper of my sons car. My son took off to get away. Unusual but not that uncommon of incident on our interstates.
I have read about the crime in England with the Pakistani problem. The police prosecuting the victims and not the criminals. But the English keep saying we are so violent.
Is England really that bad?
Posted by: RAH at April 26, 2008 11:42 AM
Anywhere people are afraid to defend themselves is that bad.
Posted by: straightarrrow at April 26, 2008 01:16 PM
"But there is crime, You drive by and get gas and across the street somone is getting arrested. Helicopters linger over head for either a crime or an accident."
I'm so glad that I live in Idaho. I've lived here more than seven years. I have yet to see anyone arrested. Someone did break into my neighbor's house--and got away with my neighbor in hot pursuit with a hunting rifle. I have seen a police officer pull an AR-15 out of his trunk because of a domestic violence situation, but that is the only actual example that I have yet to see.
Of course, I did live in the People's Republic of Kalifornia--and that was bad.
Posted by: Clayton E. Cramer at April 27, 2008 09:29 PM