David J Smith
David J Smith

Oscar and Chekhov’s Gun

There is a rule in screenwriting that if you introduce a gun into a scene, at some point you must use it. The rule applies to real life too. That’s how Reeva Steenkamp lost her life. A gun appeared in her story, and she got shot dead. Regardless of the circumstances, when guns are near people, they kill people.

I know the gun fraternity will say that it was Oscar Pistorius who pulled the trigger, and not the rest of the gun community out there. But that’s what Oscar would have said a few days ago. He would have said, “I am a responsible gun owner and I will never use my firearm to hurt an innocent person”. Well, whatever happened that night, we can be sure of one thing, he did exactly that. He went from “responsible” gun owner to a man on trial for premeditated murder. And his girlfriend went from a young person to a dead person.

Guns have no real place in our homes any more. The protection argument just doesn’t wash. While home invasion, rape and murder are scary, very real crimes, the murder of a loved one is just as likely when you own a gun. The stats continuously show that the most likely person to die from your gun is you or someone you know. Your children, your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. Just ask Oscar.

When I was at school, a kid in our year had his head blown off while he and a mate mucked about with a gun. It was a tragic accident everyone said. But really it wasn’t. An accident is an unintentional event. When you pick up a gun, you have declared your intentions, you have made yourself clear, you intend to use the gun. There is no other reason to pick one up. You can’t clean the oven with it, or write a letter, or find your way home with it. It does just one thing. It kills things. Gun deaths are no accident.

Some would like to believe that they still need them to hunt for fun or food or sexual satisfaction, but really all of that stuff can be done quite easily without guns. There are people who will whip you, let you whip them, there are supermarkets where you can get food, and video games that let you shoot up aliens and little furry animals if you like. No one needs to hunt, not any more. And if you really can’t do without the thrill of killing animals, get a job in an abattoir, I hear they pay pretty well.

Where does that leave us? Nowhere really. Just with a dead girl, a fallen hero, and a fairly simple rule: Own a gun, shoot a gun. Shoot a gun, kill someone.

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  • In solidarity with women who speak out
  • Leave Judge Masipa alone
  • Pistorius and the unfinished gun ownership debate
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    • Wynand Fourie

      “When you pick up a gun, you have declared your intentions, you have made yourself clear, you intend to use the gun” This is what this whole tragedy comes down to. Well said David J Smith

    • http://feministssa.com Jen Thorpe

      Clear, and exactly what I think. Nice to see you back David.

    • Rich Brauer

      “You can’t… write a letter [with a gun]”

      1. What is this “write a letter” you speak of?

      2. If you watch cartoons, you’ll know that you certainly can write a letter with a gun, if it’s relatively short, of course.

      Pardon the flippancy!

    • http://otdamilola.wordpress.co Otdamilola

      That sums it all up. Guns were made to kill and that’s that. The statistics of innocent people killed by seemingly good people with legal firearms are just piling up at an alarming rate.
      Oscar’s case may be the first major one in Africa but if the appropraite authourities don’t get serious, it could get worse. The tragedies America has faced in the past two years are heart wrenching enough. Guns kill. Responsibility doesn’t count much. Keep them away.

    • Charles

      I agree with your comments.

    • Zeph

      I agree. It is the reason I do not own a gun and refuse to handle one.
      We are all prone to irrational behaviour. No matter how hard we try we will not find anything rational in what transpired that night.
      The argument that it is people who are dangerous and not guns just does not wash with me. Damn right people are dangerous and even more so with a gun.

    • http://http//paulwhelanwriting.blogspot.com Paul Whelan

      Where does that leave us? Why, with accepting a simplicity a child would understand: that if we want to reduce deaths by gun, it means getting guns out of society.

    • http://www.daggaparty.co.za Jeremy Acton

      On 6th March 2000 my father was shot at close range by an armed robber in his shop while trying to shut the door of the shop. He died with a gun in his hand that he didn’t use.

      In the same incident, my brother, who was shot 6 times at very close range, only survived by keeping on shooting back with his revolver. He killed my father’\’s murderer, and drove them off, with one very seriously wounded.

      If my brother had not had a gun, he would have died, and it was later established that after his death, the gag had planned to kill his wife and children. He only lived by a miracle and because he kept on shooting.

      I am saddened at the horrific killing of Reeva Steenkamp, but I WILL say that Pistorius is the responsible factor,not the presence of the gun. There are reports he possible also used a cricket bat. Should we ban them too?

      You are right when people put on a weapon that sooner or later it will be used. I would only put one on with the EXPRESSED intention of keeping the peace and for the protection of life, and with the intention to use it for that purpose.

      My family’s experience with violent crime convinces me that the only life insurance to pay back when you are alive is to have a gun and the knowledge of its lawful use.

      I don’t think guns should be banned because of Pistorius’s behavior. I think Reeva Steenkampo should have seen the problem coming on, and known how to shoot back.

    • Patrick Willis

      Bullshit. My guns have been near hundreds of people, and none of them got dead by it.
      Criminals will never ever have a problem procuring guns. They never have, no matter what country you would like to point at, even the good ole UK, and it would seem you would like the “good” part of society unable to defend itself from the armed, “bad” part of society. There are none so ignore-ant as the purposefully ignorant.

    • http://livelovecreativity.wordpress.com/ Tania

      Very well written and I couldn’t agree more! Guns are purchased with the intention of harming someone who poses a threat to you or your loved ones. However, at some point during the process of purchasing this weapon – a person must think about the physical act of actually shooting someone. This thought then gets neatly tucked away at the back of the mind. The problem is, the thought will always be there and as long as the gun is available, the thought can be acted on. If Oscar did think there was an intruder in his house, he would have acted in a completely different way if there was no firearm present. Perhaps he would have hidden, contacted the police or taken a few seconds to identify his target as a possible threat before taking action. If the shooting of his girlfriend was intentional, he would have planned this with the knowledge of having a gun in his possession.

    • The Creator

      Handguns are not accurate or powerful enough for hunting usable prey, so basically all you can do with them is kill people at close range.

      Or sneak up on Jack Russells. But you have to be careful with Jack Russells. Unarmed models with skull fractures, not so much.

    • Bill Guidry

      You better get rid of hammers and knives too while you are at it……..I will pray that you never have to hide in a closet while your home is being invaded.

    • Will

      I agree regarding handguns (a ban may indeed have saved Steenkamp’s life, although what about the bloodied cricket bat?), but to extend this attitude towards hunting rifles may be a bridge too far, especially given that hunting generates over a billion rand annually for our country’s GDP.

    • Damian Garside

      Nice piece, which makes the case against gun ownership in a strong way, but it misses dealing with Pistorious’ uniquely individual obsession with guns: to the point of becoming identified with a bullet in the Nike ad (his running = the personification of the speed of a bullet).

      It seems to me that the idea that you can’t be touched for speed (reflected in the common phrase “dodging a speeding bullet) could have led to a dangerous, probably unconscious, idea that the gun gives you superhuman power and places you above morality.

    • Stephen

      Couldn’t agree more. In a incendiary rage what do you do if there is no gun at hand. Pick up a spoon? A banana? Much better. Guns kill, that’s what they were made for. Simple.

      @Patrick Willis: you mean ‘yet’ (God forbid). That the country cannot protect its citizens is another issue.

    • Enough Said

      @Jeremy Acton

      “I think Reeva Steenkampo should have seen the problem coming on, and known how to shoot back.”

      So everyone has to carry a gun 24/7 in case they come across someone who has one and might shoot them.

      You belong in the wild west not civilized society.

      Imagine the beer-halls and pubs on a Friday night in South Africa if everyone one was armed and ready to shoot in self defense at the slightest provocation.

      Instead; those issuing gun licenses should be held liable if they issue one to someone who uses it under the wrong circumstances. If the banks give a bond irresponsibly to someone who later defaults they cannot claim that money back and are liable for a huge fine for irresponsible lending. That is the law under the credit control regulations in South Africa. Why not guns?

    • Moloti Nkune

      Thanks David. Paul has a point. Jeremy forgets 1 thing as David said but deserves a mention again. A bat was made to use when playing, it is just that the nature of its design makes it to be used as a weapon sometimes. Please remind yourself with what are guns made for?

      Patrick is at least taking his eyes off the ball. How do you make Reeva the subject to blame in this case. Really now.

    • Momma Cyndi

      Tell you what David, If you can get every single unlicensed gun out of circulation and personally assure me that I (or my family) will never need to protection from a rapist or a murderer, I will happily give up my little gun.

      I’ve had the thing for years and other than a yearly outing to the shooting range, I’ve never used it. Not a single solitary person who I’ve met has been shot by it (despite my rather legendary temper).

      If Oscar had beaten Reeva to death with a frying pan, would you currently be calling for Bauer Pans to be banned? Don’t laugh, I actually know someone who killed a genuine intruder by bashing him over the head with one of those. Does that mean they should now be part of Chekhov’s plot theme?

      Not every play with a bed in it is porn and not every gun owner is following a mythical script.

    • Dagmar

      Does the Nike ad count as pre-mediation?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.spyker Mark Spyker

      @ Jeremy Acton. I’m sorry about the death of your Dad, but the question has to be asked: if he had not drawn his weapon, might he not still be alive? Statistics show that if you are compliant in an armed robbery there is much less of a chance of being killed. My own 9 year-old was killed by armed robbers in Pretoria when when we were out one night, and we think it was the action of our dog jumping up at them that caused the shots to be fired. Interestingly, the robbers’ constant refrain while they marched my 11 year-old daughter up and down the house was ‘Where’s the safe? Give us guns! Give us money!’ (we had none of the 3 in the house)! I think it is totally unacceptable to expect Steenkamp to have been able to ‘protect herself’ with a firearm: again statistics show that more people are killed with their own firearm than people without! Perhaps the one mistake she made was to have ever got involved with this fellow in the 1st place: Pretoria is full of anecdotal stories about his controlling behaviour with women, and his ill-temper, particularly when he has had a few drinks, but then that describes quite a lot of South Africans! Getting rid of guns in society is the only answer!

    • Ivan

      In school my best friend accidentally shot himself with another friends mothers’ gun, which we borrowed from her safe the week before. It was a tragic accident, and one that felt like a really bad dream every morning that I woke up for the next few weeks. Its tragic to say the least, and the families of both Reeva and Oscar are in hell right now.

      Another guy that was in my class in primary school, blew his head off in grade 8, a girl from my grade 3 glass hung herself at veldschool, a guy from the same class commmited suicide(not sure how). Unfortunately guns while being a means to an end, are not the problem here – Its the owners, its those that get them in their hands that are the problem.

      I have two cousins who are involved with private security, and both are incredibly responsible when handling their weapons, in fact i never knew the one carried his on him at all times until recently. It’s just not possible to know who should and should not be allowed to own guns these days, Im sure Oscar came across as a responsible young man, why would he ever be denied a gun license?

      the problem with gun ownership is that we live in fear, people react on adrenaline – I have been on the receiving end of breaks ins while i am in bed, unknowingly walked in on the act – If I had a gun in my hand at the time, I could be writing this from prison. The law needs to get friendlier to innocents and tougher on criminals, if you enter someones house illegally, you should be shot…

    • Peter Reynolds

      This was a very diluted and one sided point of view. If we take your unrealistic views o life into perception then it is also perceivable to argue that there are many items in our world that kill people. like cars, like trucks, like motorcycles, like standing a top of a high building or a mountain, swimming in the ocean, working on electricity. So then according to your ideas on what life is about (seemingly taken from a movie set) then all of those items should be banned or have serious restrictions placed on them. So whenever I get into a car my intentions would be to kill people, or if I drive a car I would have to run people over because by your logic this is what is supposed to happen. I have owned a gun for over 15 years and I have picked it up many times but not once have I encountered this intention you speak of to kill a person, not even in anger and I have had some ex girlfriends say horrible things to my face that would enrage even a pacifist Tibetan monk. There must be something wrong with me then? I do not comply with your logic. There is an estimated 250million guns in the USA yet their murder rate per annum is lower than ours in RSA, According to your logic the USA would be wiped out in less than 3 years.

      Intention is not int he weapon but in the person using it. if not for a gun the news headline would have read: Girl “burglar” bludgeoned to death. If he thought she was burglar and wanted to protect himself then he would have still killed her. its the…

    • Andre

      Every business on my block has been robbed except for one. The one with the sign that reads “Indoor Shooting Range”. The corner cafe has had 8 armed robberies. The shooting range has had one failed attempt which resulted in six armed robbers being shot by Instructor from the range. he who believes that guns cause domestic violence probably also believes that pencils cause spelling errors.

    • impedimenta

      I agree.

      I have taken a handguns course to know what to do if I come across one, but I have never wanted or had a gun in our home. I feel safer without it.

    • Enough Said

      @Peter Reynolds

      There are about 300 million guns in the USA, agreed, and nearly 3000 people die of gunshot wounds every month.

      That is the same amount Al-Qaeda tragically killed on 9/11 every month.

      So every year Americans kill 12 times the amount of their own kind that Al Qaeda managed to kill. So Americans and their guns are more of a danger to each other than Al Qaeda is to America.

      By the way Peter Reynolds, you may believe Oscar thought Rene was a burglar, but neither the cops nor the magistrate appear to swallow that one.

    • Hameeda

      I cannot believe we live in a society where we are advocating for the use of weapons which are made purely for ending somebody’s life. Well said David. There are other less harmful, less dangerous ways of doing things. Guns are never the answer.

    • Ivan

      Andre – i loved that quote. Stealing it…..

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com/ John

      I don’t really know what to say about this… I find it so hard to think that people actually feel this way about issues like this. What is wrong with you people…

      This has to be one of the dumbest articles I have ever read…I would love to debate this topic with anyone willing. Please contact me if you want to debate this… I would openly and honest explain that you are a idiot and I challenge you to try to and show me a different point of view here. So if what I am about to say offends someone out there… GOOD!! You should be offended by what is happening in the country. Take a look at a quote from this article…

      “when guns are near people, they kill people…”

      What???!!! I must have the laziest damn guns around, because all mine do is sit in the gun cabinet and wait for a cold winter morning to go out to the deer lease… Of course pistol waits by the bed, come try and take it from me. Gun owners unite… you simply cannot read this article without getting pissed off. I own guns lots of them… I grew up with guns in the house as a child and my children have as well. If you ask my twelve year old where my guns are at… he knows… he also knows they stay there, he knows how to hold a gun and how to use it properly following all gun safety precautions. Its not the jerk of the trigger that is the issue, its the jerk behind the trigger. Is this article actually stating that if Oscar Pistorius did not own a gun, that he would not have killed his girlfriend?

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com/ John

      All these Gun control laws going around… its not about Guns… its about Control. We dont blame cars for drunk drivers… why blame guns for viloent people. Let the Gun control expert debate that with me… better yet… Take another quote from this article…

      “Guns have no real place in our homes any more. The protection argument just doesn’t wash.”

      Are you kidding me???

      Hey here’s a thought…Firefighters unite… I know there are those of you out there… guess what… we don’t need fire extinguishers in our homes any more, they don’t really protect us from anything. I mean really we have those guys that drive the big red trucks around… they will be here soon enought to put out the fire right… a personal fire extinquisher will do us no good at all.

      One more quote…

      “When you pick up a gun, you have declared your intentions, you have made yourself clear, you intend to use the gun. There is no other reason to pick one up. You can’t clean the oven with it, or write a letter, or find your way home with it.”


      I agree with this to a extent… when I pick up a gun I do intend to use it… and if you walk into my house uninvited, prepare to meet the barrel of my shotgun and due to the rising cost of ammunition I am no longer able to provide a warning shot so get ready bud.

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com/ John

      Next time you see a soldier,look him right in the eye and try and tell him he can’t find his way home with a Gun… the gun that is protecting all our freedoms now…Freedom isn’t free and my gun permit is the 2nd Amendment

      I like this quote…

      “Some would like to believe that they still need them to hunt for fun or food or sexual satisfaction, but really all of that stuff can be done quite easily without guns. There are people who will whip you, let you whip them, there are supermarkets where you can get food,…”

      HAHA this one makes me laugh… no need to hunt you can get all your meat at the supermarket buddy… do I really need to post pictures of where that meat comes from… if I did you would never eat it again. Yep thats right, they make all that food right there in the supermarket, no animals were harmed in that process….Right??? The food comes from somewhere… think about it. Please comment on this if you are on the other side of the fence with this issue I would love to debate with you and find out what had to happen to make all of this world so stupid.

      I could go on all night but I have to take a break, I need to check the spoons in my kitchen, I think they are making people fat. Heck my son is already asking me to buy him some new pencils so they will stop mispelling words…. funny isn’t it… Its the same thing with Guns.

    • Momma Cyndi

      As a very serious question. Why is it that Switzerland, Finland, Saudi, Canada, Peru and about 45 other countries in the world have far more guns per capita than we do BUT we are only shooting each other less than the Americans? Could it be because we are a paranoid nation (just like America) or because we have more UNLICENSED guns than any country not at war?

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com/ John

      I realize that my comments will probably get deleted from this site and this fine… its the way the world opporates.

      But I have more to say on this…According to this article “Guns have no real place in our homes any more. The protection argument just doesn’t wash.”

      If that is the case, why is the secret service still allowed to carry guns to protect the President of the United States, along with all former Presidents as well. Are their lives more valuable than my own? How do you place a value on human life in regards to who’s is more important… I would argue that the President is a Citizen just like my and has the same rights as me.

      Why am I not allowed to protect my family the way his is protected.

      Reading through some of the comments on this article is a joke… please debate this with me, I promise you will lose everytime… unless you are just completly unreasonable. Guns do not kill people… people kill people…

      Lets prove this entire article false right now… Owning a gun will cause you to kill people right? is this what the article is implying? If I take a loaded gun to a kindergarten classroom… and place that gun on the desk, with a room full of children. If no one touches the gun, and I mean no one…. how long will it take before the gun actually kills someone… I can promise as long as no one touches that gun, those kids will die of starvation before the gun does any killing on its own… it has to be picked up and fired… Think…

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com/ John

      Even a bigger problem with this case, regarding Oscar is the media…yes they are stupid as well… because they drive issues into the ground and poke there nose around… then you get people that try to talk about issues they know nothing about like the idiot that wrote this article.

      Why you might ask, is the media a problem… very simple… because of the media attention this is getting you all have already drawn your own conclusions and this Oscar is guilty… Truth be told… in our society now… and the judcial system that we have… its Guilty until proven innocent… not the other way around.

      That is not fair to anyone in our society… it supposed to be innocent until proven guilty… remember? But have articles like this that raise up Gun Controls is better yea! Oscar would not have killed his wife if he didn’t have a gun right? premediated or not… none of you were there. None of you know what really happened… you only now what others have told you have happened.

      Thats the best source of news really right… word of mouth… think people… you were born with a brain use it.

    • http://None Beverley

      If there were no guns, killers would find another way to murder!

    • Jonah

      While I totally agree with the gist of this article, I don’t think you’re aware of some of the more sophisticated defences that have been offered of gun ownership. See for example, http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun

      Until you can construct an argument against this kind of thoughtful, philosophical defence of guns, you’re just preaching to the choir.

    • Truth be known

      Some countries have a responsible gun culture and can have many guns per capita without mass murders and wife killings, while other countries have a very irresponsible gun culture like South Africa and the USA.

      Until countries with irresponsible gun cultures can learn how to handle guns responsibly, gun control is necessary.

      See; “Researcher: U.S. could learn from Aussie gun buyback”.

    • http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/davidjsmith David J Smith

      @John, if i have done one good thing today, it is to keep your hands occupied. Banging away on a keyboard rather than banging away with your guns. The world is a more peaceful place for it.

    • MaDor

      If only the dead could talk…..

    • Honkie Tonk

      @Momma Cyndi

      The more licensed guns around in South Africa, the more guns available to be lost and stolen. That translates into more unlicensed guns.

      Licensed guns are just as lethal as unlicensed guns.

      Keep in mind the protection argument just doesn’t wash. I know more people who were shot because they drew a gun than were protected by their gun. If I lived in a crime ridden area I would like the security of a gun, but realize it could be my undoing as well.

    • Momma Cyndi

      Honkie Tonk

      So you are saying we should take the guns away from our police? They are the ones who ‘lose’ most of them into criminal hands.

      My experience in my not so dangerous neighbourhood is that they have acted as a very effective deterrent. We took our neighbourhood back. One neighbour shot and wounded a criminal but other than that we haven’t had any other incidences in our area where someone was ‘accidentally’ shot or shot in anger. We did have the lady over the road go nuts and try and kill her husband with the garden fork though.

    • http://conspiracyfactorfiction.wordpress.com John

      @David, Honestly its a testament to how truly screwed up this world is hearing your comments and hearing others reactions to this article… I did not realize that there was this many stupid and ignorant people in the world. Are you implying that I sit on my back porch cleaning my guns everyday waiting for some loser to try something so I can blow there head off?

      I had hoped that you would be able to debate this topic with me, but apparently I was correct in my assumption that you really don’t know what your talking about. Is this the only comment that your feeble mind can come back with… an insult… prove to me that a gun is dangerous and that a gun will kill someone if no one touches it… you can’t. None of you can. Which is turn proves that everything in this article is a joke.

    • Mr. Direct

      I do not own a gun. I do not think I ever will either. Maybe this is just the way I am wired.

      I learned to use them when I was in the army. I did not just learn to load, shoot and clean my rifle. I was shown how to check it, make sure it was safe, I was taught how to hold it, where to point it, and when to use it. I was told how to respect it, and I did. I respected the awesome power that it held, the power to protect life, the power to take life.

      But my rifle was only an extension of me. It did not do anything I did not want it to do. It had no life of it’s own.

      What would we be saying now if the noise he heard was an intruder, and Pistorius was able to foil the would be attacker by threat of being shot, Would we be calling the gun a hero right now? Nah, did not think so…

    • http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/davidjsmith David J Smith

      @john It seems we agree, a gun will kill no one if no one touches it. So in the interests of safety, from now on, let none of us touch a gun. I’m glad you could see my point.

    • http://Justasking Jurgen Hoffmann

      When are we going to focus on the real issues rather than blaming guns for our societal failures? Guns have the capacity to kill and hence are used for this purpose. In countries of high road deaths a ban of motor vehicles is not the solution to the countries plight. Many thousand guns are in private hands and don’t cause any killing. Some will be used though by people whose mental fabric is worn out, who have criminal intent and those who see the media sensationalism that is elicited after such an action, as ideal pilgrimage to elevate them on a shrine of self-importance. Once all guns are banned as is proposed do we start to ban media reports on all killings with axes, knifes, crow bars, base ball bats, bricks, poles, poison or whatever is used by a non-functional individual?
      What contribution does the anti-gun lobbyist play to proactively rebuild the framework of a healthy society that relearns the principles of respect, dignity, humbleness and that the reward lies in the effort and not the outcome? When does it dawn that broken homes, divorce, domestic violence, dishonesty, single parenthood, parental incompetence, abuse, nihilism etc are to blame if people lose sense, hope and perspective and an inability to express emotions in an appropriate way. This turns decent persons into monsters. Advocating the banning of guns for senseless murders clearly shows that the dynamics of the whole problem is not remotely understood by the drivers of the anti-gun cause.

    • Honkie Tonk

      @Momma Cyndi

      I never said that.

      But civilians owning licensed guns are are part of the problem not part of the solution if you think it through carefully.

      Friends of mine were shot not so long ago (wife dead), the criminals used a gun stolen from a neighboring farm and were after this farmers guns.

      The more licensed guns in circulation creates more unlicensed guns in circulation. Its a fact the gun lobby cannot get their little heads around.

    • Honkie Tonk


      “Every business on my block has been robbed except for one. The one with the sign that reads “Indoor Shooting Range”.

      The indoor shooting range in my town was held up and robbed of its guns four or five years ago.

    • Brent

      Enough Said, dont know how accurate your figures are regarding US death by guns but do know that the overwhelming majority of death are caused by criminals and gang members in the ‘townships’ which will not be affected by any guns law bannings. The terrible mass shootings that are so loved by Hollywood constitutes a very small minority of gun deaths in the US.


    • Brent

      David presume you wish for a mature debate so please check out my views below (mainly from US sociologist Thomas Sowell) in two parts:

      The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws
      do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding
      citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily
      available.Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been
      places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic
      example. When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural
      areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas.
      The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks,
      but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole,
      hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.
      The few counter-examples offered by gun control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has
      stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.
      But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States.
      Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.
      In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked.

    • Brent

      Part 2:
      NewYork, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since1911, still had several times the gun murder rate
      of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons.
      Neither guns nor gun control was the reason for the difference in murder rates. People were the difference. In Britain, such people have been so successful that legal gun
      ownership has been reduced almost to the vanishing point, while even
      most convicted felons in Britain are not put behind bars. The crime
      rate, including the rate of crimes committed with guns, is far higher in
      Britain now than it was back in the days when there were few
      restrictions on Britons buying firearms.
      In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by
      the 1990s after decades of ever tightening gun ownership restrictions
      there were more than a hundred times as many armed robberies.
      Gun control zealots’ choice of Britain for comparison with the United States
      has been wholly tendentious, not only because it ignored the history of the
      two countries, but also because it ignored other countries with stronger
      gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and
      Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.


    • Brent

      PS – I do not own a gun and have no intension of owning one but live in a secure block of flats and use wisdom/care when moving about town etc. In this country of ours many (millions mainly Black) law abiding citizens do need guns for protection as they get zero from the police (and cant afford expensive private firms) against violent criminals that rule many of our streets and suburbs.