Dewayne notes a piece by Rachel Maddow (a few minutes of video) .. states with a lot of guns have much more gun violence. ---
If you look at gun deaths at an international level you find some dramatic results.
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports for 2009 list 10,224 homicides that involved a gun. So by this count, Lautenberg's number was a little low.
Mamoru Suzuki of Japan's National Research Institute of Police Science e-mailed us that there were seven gun murders in Japan during 2009.
For the United Kingdom and Germany, we had to extrapolate, taking firearm murder rates per 1,000 people, then, using population statistics, calculate the number of firearm murders. The data, from a United Nations survey of crime trends, cover 1998 to 2000, the most recent available for firearms deaths.
We found that the United Kingdom had 63 firearm murders, and Germany had 381. Experts we consulted said the figures sounded about right.
One wonders if some regions and political divisions are more driven by fear than others? The Second Amendment argument holds little water historically, but having guns is deeply embedded in America and the modern interpretation came about sometime later.
Although the Second Amendment is often invoked in this debate, the dynamics of America's battle over guns have almost nothing to do with either the historical Second Amendment bequeathed to us by the framers, or even the more individualistic Second Amendment conjured by the present-day Supreme Court of John Roberts in two controversial decisions. The original Second Amendment was the product of a world in which a well-regulated militia stood as check against the danger of a professional standing army. The framers certainly believed in a right of self-defense, but most viewed it as something that was so well-established under the English common law that there was no need to write it into constitutional law. Even among those eager to secure a bill of rights, the dominant view (with a few notable exceptions) was that the right of self-defense was best left to the care of individual states to regulate as part of their criminal law. Even the more expansive modern notion of the Second Amendment popular today (an interpretation endorsed by the Roberts court) permits ample room for reasonable regulation. American courts are still wrestling with how to implement this new model, but most legal schools agree there's plenty of room for regulation.
If not from the founding generation, where did our modern notions of the Second Amendment come from? A more individualistic conception of the right to bear arms did emerge at the end of the 18th century, and it gained a stronghold in the early decades of the 19th century. The passage of the first true gun control laws in the 19th century, a response to the proliferation of cheap handguns for the first time in American history, actually helped strengthen this new gun rights ideology. Then, as now, gun violence was largely a problem about handguns, not long guns. Not surprisingly, the efforts to ban guns back then led to the first clear defenses of a modern-style Second Amendment right to bear arms unconnected to the militia. Some of the new state laws wound up in state courts, and judges divided over how to interpret them. Some jurists saw them as unconstitutional, while others upheld them. The dysfunctional modern debate over firearms was born out of this struggle and has nothing to do with the original Second Amendment. The notion that regulation is antithetical to the Second Amendment has no basis in history or law. As long as there have been guns in America, guns have been regulated. Even at the height of the Wild West in Dodge City, gun regulation was a fact of life.