Guns in America: And Around the World

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paul Barrett, author of "Glock" (Jody Avirgan/WNYC)

Paul Barrett, assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and author of Glock:The Rise of America's Gun, looks at gun laws in other countries.


Paul Barrett

Comments [43]

Kurt Tank from NJ

I come from a country where a tyrant came to power through elections. He is still in charge there. People demonstrate in thousands before his windows, and he does not care. He calls them traitors of the homeland. His security detail run people down on the streets with their cars and get away with it. Now the only thing that can rid the country off of him is a bullet. Gun ownership in the country is not a problem at all, if you one of his thugs. If you are Joe Shmoe, bend over, take it and like it. And don't dare to raise your head.
I say, America should thank God for 2nd amendment. It's the best idea ever. Even if crime is higher because of it. "Liberty or death" what Americans used to hail. Those who are willingly giving up that liberty for an illution of safety will bent over and take it from some despot, or their children will.

Jan. 25 2013 08:13 AM
MG from Manhattan

@RUCB_Alum Yes I am aware at the "interpretations " that have expanded this into the state of crazyness we have today... the right wingers always talk about the "intent" of the founders. to me the amendment demonstrates clearly the intent and restrictions. TO the gun nutz that say " we need these guns in case of tyranny" I tell them like John Stewart said with respect to armed jews in the Nazi ghetto... " I am pretty sure France had some guns.. didnt help them" to that I add Poland, the Netherlands, and almost consumed England and Russia... and do not forget what power to resist the stockpiling of weapons and an intent to use them to resist the Feds gave to the ( tragic ) situation at Waco TX.

once you go into these extreme positions of gun "rights" instead of privileges "necessary to the security of a free State" .... you become a gun nut blind in one eye and cant read the constitution out the other. If we did do as the constitution mandated and everyone with an arm was part of a "well regulated militia" at the state level, it just might be easier to self regulate and root out the mentally ill and other crazies ... as much as it is when people are in a group and meet regularly. Now let's talk about those "regulations" the CONSTITUTION mandates.

Jan. 24 2013 08:53 PM

I ♥ RUCB_Alum!!

Jan. 24 2013 06:33 PM

@MG "Are you a member of a "Well Regulated Militia" as the constitution states? if not you do not have a constitutional right to bear and keep arms."

Not according to SCOTUS...go read Dist of Columbia v. Heller. Scalia et al. extended gun ownership to ALL private citizens with the POSSIBILITY of SOME state regulation. Give the Righties on this court long enough and the RIGHT TO BEAR said arms will be set in stone, too. That is, public carry laws will be found unconstitutional.

@Biggy Smalls from bed sty "The constitution says the blacks are 3/5 of a person."

The Constitution never said anything about blacks...The exact language was 'all other persons'. In any case, the 13th and 14th Amendments corrected that language.

Don't you recall the kerfuffle when the 112th opened with a Congressional reading of the Constitution - which they had the temerity to repeat this year! - excluded the 3/5 language because they read the Constitution 'as amended'.

@Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights
"I blame violent video games, FPS, First Person Shooters, where the game centers on shooting monsters, zombies, people."

Violent video games have never killed anyone so how can you logically blame them. Your premise that viewing violence inures all of us, and propels some of us to commit violent acts does not hold water. What was Lizzie Borden viewing? Or Billy the Kid?
Or Leopold and Loeb? Gimmeabreak! Guns don't kill people, bullets fired from guns kill people.

BTW, you need to head back to Wikipedia and look up Operation Barbarossa.

Jan. 24 2013 04:54 PM
Mac from Mexico

The violence in Mexico is due precisely because of the importation of firearms from the US so don't say that gun violence in Mexico occurs in spite of strict laws there.

Jan. 24 2013 12:14 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Screw Karl.

Give me Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo.

The nazis of WW2 called themselves national SOCIALISTS.

As did the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

In 1939, National SOCIALIST Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet SOCIALISTs. Both Socialists then invaded Poland.

AKA known as the hitler/stalin pact of 1939.

"The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, officially the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union,[1] and also known as the Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact or Nazi–Soviet Pact, was a non-aggression pact signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939 that secretly divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet "spheres of influence"."

Jan. 24 2013 12:09 PM
MG from Manhattan

Well I am up front I am a SOCIAL ist. Isn't all the innovation we see in the SOCIAL sphere where we all get together ... Facebook , twitter etc Wayze , they are SOCIAL tools for a Social species . I am not ashamed to be a Social ist... The INDIVIDUALIST is was too self important. there are individual rights and group and SOCIAL rights. They are not mutually exclusive...

Jan. 24 2013 12:02 PM

MG from Manhattan~

I hear you. I am not a commie or even a socialist. I've lived in enough socialist countries to understand the downside of socialism.

I do believe we find ourselves trapped with a form of capitalism that is WAY out of control.

As someone said of Marx; "It seems Marx may have been wrong about communism but, he was right about capitalism."

Jan. 24 2013 11:44 AM

We live in a culture of Kororate® predation.

Media™ perpetuated anxiety.

Fear as a way of life - get yourself a GUN!!

Jan. 24 2013 11:34 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I blame violent video games, FPS, First Person Shooters, where the game centers on shooting monsters, zombies, people.

Those "games", killing simulators, like flight simulators, affect weak minded and mentally ill people into thinking that shooting people is easy and a way to solve personal problems.

Also current day movies from Hollywood that portray shooting, are a problem.

Jan. 24 2013 11:24 AM

ro - you are right there was no national guard to wait on... but that is not modern warfare whatsoever. that's why there are amendments. and if it was really the case of national defense - then the gun owners should have no problem of being "well regulated". The gun industry doesn't want any impediment to their production levels though - and that is the reality of it all.

Jan. 24 2013 11:21 AM
MG from Manhattan

This whole crap about driving being a privilege and not a RIGHT is an example of government NOT acknowledging the fact that, of course freedom of movement is a RIGHT not a privilege. It was so much a right that it was not even a point of discussion any more than the rights of breathing and eating and was not mentioned. People "Drove " in the 18th century. There was no "privilage" to drive a carriage or ride/drive (what difference between two verbs?) a horse?

Any LAw that says that driving is a "privilege" is onerous and it is just wrong wrong wrong. This just points out that GUNS were SPECIAL and the fact that they are mentioned with STRICT limits in the theatre of use means that they are to be regulated

Jan. 24 2013 11:19 AM
Biggy Smalls from bed sty

The constitution says the blacks are 3/5 of a person.

that's all I have to say about the ignorant ones that read the constitution literally.

Jan. 24 2013 11:17 AM
MG from Manhattan

Hey Dboy I like your sentiment ... but on the last point ... lets bring more people on the boat .. how about just emphasizing that corporations are SUPPOSED to be co operations where we all work together for the profit and benefit of all, in stead of the few. Lets not let the selfish and paranoid sidetrack human progress and development

Jan. 24 2013 11:11 AM
ro from Midland Park, NJ

I would like to point out that when I went to the DMV to get my license I was informed that driving is a privilege, not a right. Like it or not, the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined as a right in the constitution just like free speech. However, just like we regulate speech, gun ownership needs to be regulated. I think the founders believed in our right to keep arms in our homes, what would have happened if the minutemen had to wait for the national guard to show up? That being said, I don't think any one is arguing I should be allowed to keep an atomic bomb or an F-16 in my garage, so maybe instead of gun control we should call it arms control. That way, the argument becomes less constitutional and more about the degree to which we disagree.

Jan. 24 2013 11:10 AM

MG - you are correct. The don't read the whole amendment to know that the right to bear arms dealt with "well regulated militia's" at a time when there was no permanent army and the Continental Army needed militia support to fight. That says nothing of the fact there was no police back then either.

Jan. 24 2013 11:09 AM
MG from Manhattan

TO James : Militia "a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
Are you a citizen of this country? Then you are intended to be a member of this well regulated militia."
So what...?
That does not take the steam out of the Law. I ask again show me the WELL REGULATED MILITIA gun owners are are a member of if they intend to exercise a right to bear and keep arms. I will have to do the same..... so what ?
The constitution clearly states this stipulation from the FIRST FOUR WORDS. The INTENT of the FOUNDERS could not be more clear. Individual unorganized and not well regulated arms bearing and keeping is NOT a right guaranteed in the second amendment.
Gun people refuse to acknowledge this because it undermines their arguments. I wil bet that the vast majority of them are NOT members of a well regulated militia and thus not legal according to the constitution.
The definition of a Militia in no way undermines the force of the 2nd amendment's true intent and meaning

Jan. 24 2013 11:08 AM

How do we measure PARANOIA??

We live in a culture of unmitigated FEAR.

Justifiably so; in a go-it-alone, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, capitalism-out-of-control culture where EVERYTHING, including your access to healthcare and education is commodified, it's no wonder!!

If we had a more empathetic system, where PEOPLE came first instead of Korporations™ we might see less isolation and less anxiety.

Jan. 24 2013 11:04 AM

John - read the whole statement... I said in comparison to other first world countries... you can go find them - if you really want to. Well put it this way - the guest himself admitted the U.S. had the highest gun homicide rate of any first world country.. Well go check the Department of Justice and FBI sites and you will learn that over 67% of U.S. murders are committed with guns. Not too difficult to figure it out. Again though - go check the stats yourself. 20 years ago - the U.S. even had a higher murder rate than Mexico. The proliferation of guns flowing across the border (just as my earlier statement in relation to how guns get to Jamaica) to fuel the drug trade to the US is what increased Mexico's murder rate.

Jan. 24 2013 11:02 AM
oscar from ny

Please America understand that taking away your right to own a gun will be a circumcision of your safety a vasectomy to your common sense of independence, reason other countries don't have weapons is because their either poor in everything or have a Communist government with self purpose.
Ps: I adore Hillary Clinton but shes in trouble because she didn't think to acknowledge how brutal and evil those ppl in Livia are, how can she ignore or underestimate those rabid dogs that killed their own only good leader they had general Kadafy..

Jan. 24 2013 11:01 AM

The ER doctor's comments (whose funding was cut with the help of the NRA) make sense. For example, if similar statistics hold for power tools (injuries attributed to power tools being more likely in the homes of those who own them), why would a gun be any different?

Jan. 24 2013 10:59 AM
MG from Manhattan

INTERESTING so they are addicted to guns.... I can see that in the strange and non logical arguments that are based on fear and paranoia that gun owners proffer

Jan. 24 2013 10:58 AM
James from Brooklyn

MG from Manhattan:

"Are you a member of a "Well Regulated Militia" as the constitution states? if not you do not have a constitutional right to bear and keep arms."

militia |məˈliSHə|
a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.

Are you a citizen of this country? Then you are intended to be a member of this well regulated militia.

Jan. 24 2013 10:58 AM
harry bewal from nyc

Guns don't kill people, people that own guns kill people

Jan. 24 2013 10:58 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There is no question that a gun in the home is very hazardous. I personally know of two cases where a gun at home caused one fatality, a 13 year old brother of my friend, and one injury, again a young member of a family friend in Baltimore. Both were the children of Holocaust survivors determined never to be without a gun.

Nevertheless, all risks taken into account, our Constitution must be upheld. There are risks in upholding the Constitution, but greater risks in not doing so.

Jan. 24 2013 10:58 AM
Sandra from Manhattan

if a owning a gun can save only 1 life shouldn't we be doing all we can do make sure law abiding citizens are armed? oops, maybe i messed that up...

Jan. 24 2013 10:54 AM
Ana from Brooklyn

Grew up in a city of 500 thousand in Russia during and post Soviet Union. Brother is a cop, according to him we had 1 murder a year in the entire city. For his work duties he had to carry an AK47. The law at that time prohibited police officers from carrying AK47 on the street. Needless to say, civilians were banned from having any kind of weapon at home at all. There weren't many stores to get them either.

Jan. 24 2013 10:53 AM
S from manhattan

honduras and colombia may be different cultures from the US but i would say their gun violence and gun culture is influenced by the united states in recent years with the drug war and in the past with the US's fundamental intervention in the way latin america operates

Jan. 24 2013 10:52 AM
MG from Manhattan

"If it were to become illegal to sell weapons of mass destruction the next day there would be a thriving underground market for criminals. We'll have weapons of mass destruction runners instead of rum/drug/etc runners. Any control measures will only make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. Police are great, but they are not typically present for a mass murder or robbery or terrorist act - but they do a great job at piecing the crime together after the fact and putting an outline around your body."

Jan. 24 2013 10:52 AM
John from NYC

AG -- your statement "the U.S. has the highest violent crime rate" is simply untrue.


Jan. 24 2013 10:52 AM
Doreen from sunnyside

I grew up in Ireland (Republic of) and there is a very low level of gun
violence. Funny when we are know for bombs and violence in the Northern Ireland struggle. However those guns would have all bee illegal. Hardly any regular person owns guns AND it may surprise your listeners to know that even our street cops - DO NOT CARRY GUNS! Only the detectives, and other higher level police officers are allowed to carry them.

Jan. 24 2013 10:52 AM
Pablo Alto from Brooklyn, Yo.

It should be noted that Finland is the model for public education that everyone points to as among the best in the world. Perhaps they LEARN how to navigate the world without shooting each other.

Jan. 24 2013 10:51 AM

You had a Canadian caller shortly after the Newtown shooting who talked about their gun laws (5-year licenses, background checks, waiting periods, character witnesses, etc). Could you talk about their system some more?

Jan. 24 2013 10:50 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I agree for the most part, with you Terrell but it doesn't mean guns shouldn't be registered when purchased.

Jan. 24 2013 10:49 AM
MG from Manhattan

Are you a member of a "Well Regulated Militia" as the constitution states? if not you do not have a constitutional right to bear and keep arms.

Jan. 24 2013 10:49 AM
James from Brooklyn

The problem in comparing the U.S. to other countries is that the right to bear arms is a right framed into the very founding of this country; to my knowledge, a unique situation. As we know, this is a fact that the far right likes to exploit and the far left likes to ignore but the fact remains. Gun control advocates need to openly say that guns ARE a right and that they can never be taken away before any real dialogue can begin.

Jan. 24 2013 10:48 AM

Are the numbers per hundred legal guns? Or all guns?

Jan. 24 2013 10:47 AM

John from NYC - when you compare it to other first world countries - the U.S. has the highest violent crime rate. It's ridiculous comparing the U.S. to developing countries.

Jan. 24 2013 10:47 AM
John from NYC


Jan. 24 2013 10:45 AM

VERY GOOD QUESTION. Well in the country my family comes from - Jamaica.. There weren't really any guns until the late 1960's. Because Jamaica became a cold war football because of it's proximity to Cuba - political strife brought violence. By the 1970's the country became awash in guns. Those guns came from gangs who went to the United States and shipped them back. Now Jamaica sadly - has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. That still continues to this very day. The same states that supply illegal guns in NY... also supply them to Jamaica... and Mexico. It's also a fallacy that legal guns make you safe. Legal gun holders can become specific targets... specifically because guns are not made in Jamaica.

Jan. 24 2013 10:45 AM

While it can be hard to argue to against something like an assault weapons ban, to think that the ban would have a significant impact on gun violence would be naive.

Jan. 24 2013 10:41 AM
Terrell from Manhattan

We live in a world of yapping idiot talking heads. We cannot control the illegal DVDs, watches, drugs, whole human beings, and more entering the country. If we stopped all gun manufacturing and sales completely in this country, how can a person of any intelligence believe criminals will not have easy access to weapons. Hell, I can go down the corner and pick up some Chinese knock off movies and even kids at the local PS seem to have no problem obtaining drugs.

If it were to become illegal to sell guns the next day there would be a thriving underground market for criminals. We'll have gun runners instead of rum/drug/etc runners. Any control measures will only make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. Police are great, but they are not typically present for a murder or robbery - but they do a great job at piecing the crime together after the fact and putting an outline around your body.

Jan. 24 2013 10:33 AM

any studies reviewing the percentage of violent shooters labeled as mentally "unstable" (prior to their felony)?

Jan. 24 2013 10:30 AM

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