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Old 03-06-2013, 02:11 PM
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Freakanomics: How to Think About Guns

Freakonomics How to Think About Guns: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
LEVITT: I would just say that anyone with any sense looks at the current political climate, thinks about the kinds of proposals that are being made and accepts the fact that none of these proposals are going to have any real impact at all.


Nicely done presentation of why proposed gun controls aren't going to work, because they don't "target" the people with guns that do the most damage and since guns are "durable goods" you can't just deal with guns that aren't sold yet.


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Old 03-06-2013, 02:23 PM
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Not sure about mandatory sentence enhancements -- if someone is going to go away for a long time, it might make more sense for them to kill any witnesses since 25-life wouldn't be much different from a long felony term.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:28 PM
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Not sure about mandatory sentence enhancements -- if someone is going to go away for a long time, it might make more sense for them to kill any witnesses since 25-life wouldn't be much different from a long felony term.
Not to mention the fact that long sentences -- or even the death penalty -- would make much difference for the mass shooters. Such things are deterrents to the rational mind and let's face it, nutsos that are randomly killing people aren't rational to begin with. And a good number of these shooters then kill themselves when the cops close in; it's part of their end game.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:32 PM
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Not sure about mandatory sentence enhancements -- if someone is going to go away for a long time, it might make more sense for them to kill any witnesses since 25-life wouldn't be much different from a long felony term.
The devil is in the details in past implementation of mandatory enhanced sentencing. In some jurisdictions, the mandatory sentencing was subject to judicial manipulation by undercutting the primary sentence to compensate for the mandatory enhancement. Also, as you mention, where the primary sentence was already longer than the mandatory enhancement by several factors, it was no longer a social deterrent.

Actually, mass shooters are such a small percentage of killers that the goal of lawmakers is to go after the more pedestrian users of firearms in crime.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:36 PM
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The devil is in the details in past implementation of mandatory enhanced sentencing. In some jurisdictions, the mandatory sentencing was subject to judicial manipulation by undercutting the primary sentence to compensate for the mandatory enhancement. Also, as you mention, where the primary sentence was already longer than the mandatory enhancement by several factors, it was no longer a social deterrent.

Actually, mass shooters are such a small percentage of killers that the goal of lawmakers is to go after the more pedestrian users of firearms in crime.
That's not what I mean. I mean if the mandatory sentence for gun crimes approaches the one for killing someone, it might make an armed robber more likely to shoot witnesse -- the difference in potential prison time is small, but the chances of getting off scot-free are increased.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:40 PM
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That's not what I mean. I mean if the mandatory sentence for gun crimes approaches the one for killing someone, it might make an armed robber more likely to shoot witnesse -- the difference in potential prison time is small, but the chances of getting off scot-free are increased.
That presumes that an armed robber is willing to cross over to homocide, whereas there's research that most have no intention of crossing that line, since armed robbery is already an enhanced felony, verus mere larceny.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:27 PM
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The problem is, like what the Feds are proposing in the stupid gun trafficking law by making all these state laws federal crimes...is that the state laws are a patchwork and its hard not to break them sometime. Also most of the state laws are illegal and just haven't been challenged in court yet.

Should loading 8 rounds into a mag instead of 7 really be a felony that ruins your life?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:29 PM
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Would we not think that somebody who is intent on conducting armed robbery would use the weapon with which he was armed, else why bring the armament?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:53 PM
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Would we not think that somebody who is intent on conducting armed robbery would use the weapon with which he was armed, else why bring the armament?
Why did the US and USSR have nukes?

The vast majority of "armed robbery" suspects merely show the weapon versus discharging it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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Right, so it's not a big deal if an armed robber pulls a knife or gun, he probably wont use it.

Nothing wrong with that assumption.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:44 PM
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Who said it wasn't a big deal? Armed robbery is generally considered an aggravated violation. The threat of the use of deadly force is the aggravated circumstance. Spdrun suggested that an enhanced mandatory sentencing would encourage armed robbers to commit more homicides of witnesses. I haven't ever run into any research or study that has found that effect attributed to enhanced mandatory sentencing.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:49 PM
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Clearly I misunderstood the dialogue. My apologies.

In my opinion we have plenty of good gun controls on the books. What we have is poor and inconsistent enforcement of existing laws at state and fed levels. I doubt enhanced sentencing will have much effect. People who do armed robbery aren't going to score high on the common sense scale. Putting more years on the charge probably wont affect their behavior. I have no data, just a bare-nekkid opinion.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:22 PM
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Who said it wasn't a big deal? Armed robbery is generally considered an aggravated violation. The threat of the use of deadly force is the aggravated circumstance. Spdrun suggested that an enhanced mandatory sentencing would encourage armed robbers to commit more homicides of witnesses. I haven't ever run into any research or study that has found that effect attributed to enhanced mandatory sentencing.
You would think that the determining factor for a Robber to shot you would be if they thought that you would be able to identify them.


If you are shot and Killed with no one to witness or other compelling Evidence who did it is unlikely the Robber would even be suspected of the Crime let alone be convicted of it. So a varation in Prison time would mean nothing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:30 AM
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Under the theory above, muggings and convenience store events would be bloodbaths . . . But they're not. How come?
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:47 PM
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Clearly I misunderstood the dialogue. My apologies.

In my opinion we have plenty of good gun controls on the books. What we have is poor and inconsistent enforcement of existing laws at state and fed levels. I doubt enhanced sentencing will have much effect. People who do armed robbery aren't going to score high on the common sense scale. Putting more years on the charge probably wont affect their behavior. I have no data, just a bare-nekkid opinion.
When you need a fix, enhanced sentencing is the last thing on their minds.

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