Gun control – some reading

As the gun control debate rumbles on in America, thought I’d share some of the articles that resonated recently:

The following extract is from the Morning Advantage bulletin of Harvard Business Review on the 27th of December:

Morning Advantage: The Business of Guns

by Sarah Green  |   6:00 AM December 27, 2012

The business community has been pretty quiet in the wake of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook. But I have found some of the most interesting and compelling journalism in the aftermath to be focused on the firearms industry, itself, and how it is regulated (or isn’t). Five I’ve found the most thought-provoking:

1. NPR’s report on why the AR-15, the weapon used in the massacre, has become so popular. One explanation: as the number of gun enthusiasts wane, gun manufacturers are marketing more expensive (and more lethal) models to a shrinking pool of customers.

2. Drew Magary’s profanity-laced screed on Gawker won’t be for everyone, but he does raise the interesting question: in a country that hasn’t hesitated to demonize Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Media, why does the gun control lobby get so angry at the NRA and almost never talk about the gun makers themselves?

3. Farhad Manjoo, Slate’s technology writer, compares gun makers to other consumer products companies and unearths some of the technological advancements we have developed — but are not using — that could make guns safer.

4. Robert Cyran and Reynolds Holding in Reuters asking why, in a country that has mandatory car insurance, we don’t have mandatory gun insurance?

5. Bloomberg’s Henry Goldman looks at the research to try and figure out how much gun violence costs the US economy. One estimate put the damage in dollars at $174 billion in 2010 alone.

Follow Sarah Green on twitter – @skgreen

Check out Chris Rock talking about bullet control a few years ago:

It chimed with this article from the Atlantic about the regulation of bullets and how such regulation would side step some of the accusations that gun control efforts infringe liberties protected by the second amendment. Worth a read.

…But unlike guns, bullets are single use. You fire a bullet, you expend its propellant. While attempts to remove guns from the streets would either be incalculably slow or require heavy-handed, dangerous government action, curbing the ability to buy ammunition would mean a natural diminishment of the arsenal that remains. Every time a bullet is fired, that bullet is lost forever.

Read the rest of the article here: No, Really, Regulate the Bullets

More on the author: PHILIP BUMP and @pbump


I read it the following article the morning of the Newtown shooting and found it interesting and a bit depressing. It suggests that ‘fewer’ people died at  the shooting in Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore., Dec. 11 because US as a culture has adapted and learned to mitigate the damage caused by attempted mass shootings. As it was, two people died and one was critically wounded before the killer turned the gun on himself.

..Improved police practices and greater public awareness about what to do in an ‘active shooter scenario’ may have limited casualties during the Clackamas mall shooting Tuesday in Portland, Ore.

Read the rest of the article here: Why more people didn’t die in Clackamas mall shooting

More on the author:  who you can follow on twitter @dixiebureau

It’s wonderful that so few people died in what could have been another horrific mass shooting. But it’s very sad that a society would need to adapt to limit that damage caused by such shootings.