Bagdad gun laws looser than ours

Ended up at John Lott’s website today. Lott is the author of the book More Guns, Less Crime which shows that crime goes down when a state enacts a concealed carry law.

I had read a while back a story about U.S. soldiers going door to door and searching houses for guns. (Sorry don’t have a link) The story was primarily about how the troops did everything they could to be culturally sensitive to the people, but the Iraqis were still pissed when it was over. But the thing that struck me was what they weren’t looking for. It is legal in Bagdad to own a machine gun, as long as you only have one. Can’t do that in the US.

Lott discusses this in an article about guns and crime in Bagdad. He does this because of a quote by Donald Rumsfeld saying the per capita murder rate in Washington D.C. – a city with some of the strictest gun control laws in the US – is higher than Bagdad. In the aftermath of a war. During an active guerilla war.

5 thoughts on “Bagdad gun laws looser than ours”

  1. Actually you can own an automatic weapon in the U.S. It depends on which state you live in, but machine guns, short barrelled shotguns, rifles & sound suppresors are legal to own. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made owning one of the above illegal unless you paid a $200 tax & submitted an application for approval. The application required fingerprints as well as a signature from your local sheriff or chief law enforcement officer.

    Of course, I wouldn’t live up to my rabid reputation if I didn’t point out that the NFA is the most flawed of all federal gun control laws & the easiest to prove unconstitutional. Never mind that whole second amendment thing – you’ve got a $200 tax on what at the time was a $125 machine gun, or a $10 shotgun or a $2 sound suppresor. SCOTUs decided in the early 19th century that a tax was unconstitutional if it was merely a regulatory scheme. In other words its main purpose must be to raise revenue. How much revenue do you think was raised on a 10,000% tax on sound suppresors? or a 2,000% tax on a short barreled shotgun? or a 160% tax on a machine gun?

    & today prices are a bit higher, but if we take away the distortion in the free market caused by the NFA & another law that banned new manufacture of machine guns (hughes amendment to the FOPA of 86) the $200 tax is still prohibitive. I estimate that a STEN submachine gun would retail for around $200 or so (newly manufactured) today, sound suppresors would be between $50 & $200 & short barreled shotguns &/or rifles would range from $80 up. $200 is still prohibitive & its only purpose is regulation – not revenue.

    But of course the Iraqi’s were ticked off. No matter what the reason for us being there is, you have a foriegn army that is disarming citizens. Hell, I don’t like it when our government disarms us in part, so I understand why the Iraqi’s were a bit upset. But thankfully the disarmament of civilians has stopped.

    & The Smallest Minority has a decent post up on the different crime rates in the U.S. & European nations. if ya get a chance check it out.

  2. Maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you read? Especially if it comes from Lott. Last month there were at least 470 dead from gun fire in Baghdad. Compare with about 20 gun homicides in metro Washington.

  3. Tim: Did you read his article? Because he deals with this number (470) specifically. 470 was the number of bodies the Bagdad morgue dealt with that month. Cause of death wasn’t mentioned at all. So you can’t say it is the murder rate, so you can’t compare it.

  4. Publicola:

    You do know your shit. I thought you had to have a special license from the ATF in order to own a full auto weapon.

    Of course the requirement for approval from my local sheriff or chief of police would probably make it impossible. I seriously doubt the Houston Chief would grant approval. Doubt the Harris County police would either.

  5. Tim:

    I have to amend myself. Those 470 were gunshot deaths. Still doesn’t prove they were murders. Could have been suicides or accidents as well.

    Frankly to me I would expect the death rate to be higher in Bagdad. They are fighting a war.

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