Apple CEO Tim Cook implicitly backs 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms in sit down with ABC News’ David Muir

By SteveJack

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with ABC News’ David Muir in his office at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California yesterday in a nationally televised 30-minute interview that was broadcast nationwide last evening.

One comment by Cook, among many, perked up my ears:

This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption [exclusively]. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funds encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook (comment quoted begins at 13:38 in the video below)

The similarities to the quoted section above and to arguments put forth by 2nd Amendment rights advocates are compelling. Simply replace “encryption” with “guns” in Cook’s argument:

This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take guns away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own guns [exclusively]. Guns are readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funds guns in many cases. And so, if we limit guns in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find guns anyway.

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Direct link to video here.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section who also basically called the iPhone over five years before Steve Jobs unveiled it.


      1. Australians and disarmed citizens in other countries like China, North Korea, etc. are sitting ducks. They are a controlled populace. They are, in the end, doomed. (Until the USA saves them from themselves again, of course.)

        The reason for the 2nd amendment is to protect against oppressive government. The ability to shoot criminals in the face is just a side benefit.

        The sooner you illogical gun control nuts figure that out, the better.

        1. The 2nd amendment was meant to provide for a state militia. Even at the NRA headquarters they have a big sign showing the second amendment, except that they have the text “A well regulated militia” conveniently left out. Which is pretty revealing.

          But regardless of how you look at that, let’s examine the absurdity of the argument that the 2nd amendment protects us from government oppression. Let’s just say that the govt did decide to usurp our rights and become a dictatorship. They would have at their disposal the strongest, best armed military in the world.

          If the govt really wants to use force against us, I am afraid to tell you that your little guns won’t mean diddly squat. The military has not only better guns, they have tanks, rockets, bombs, jets and helicopters, etc. They could wipe you out from the air or from a distance on the ground before you even knew. The presence or absence of guns is zero protection against a govt that wants to use the military to oppress us, because modern military weaponry has gotten so advanced.

          So then if you really do want the citizens to be able to wage a fair right against the military, then do you want to legalize citizens having bombs, rocket launchers, even nukes? Either way you answer you show the absurdity of the pro gun argument.

        2. I see its Wade, dimmest bulb in the lefty box again. I think you might want to read the 2nd Amendment.

          ‘The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

          It does not say the right of the militia. It say that in order to form a militia, or militia(S), NO ONE SHALL BLOCK THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.

          As far as what is absurd, how many times in recent history has our military been routed by rag tag resistance? Consider that We The People are the largest armed militia in the world. 100 million gun owners. 300 million guns.

        3. Thelonious – How many times in recent history has our military been routed by rag-tag resistance?

          Routed is a bit extreme. How about fought to a standstill? In that case the list includes: Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Korea, Lebanon and probably a few others I can’t remember.

        4. First, re those historical examples…Vietnam, Iraq, etc…let’s just say that our military wins when we want to win. Let’s also admit that with those examples, we were fighting a military…not just the civilian population armed with guns. In Korea, Vietnam esp. we fought against a military force backed to some extent by China and the USSR.

          In fact our military was not met at all by a well armed civilian presence.

          And of course, the US in all of those instances restrained itself due to political and humanitarian concerns. Presumably if for some reason the govt decided to oppress us through force, that would not be a factor. So nice try but no cigar.

        5. Wade, you need to read the letters and papers of the people who WROTE the Bill of Rights. You will find you are dead wrong. You have to remember that the military is a volunteer force made up of citizens of this country, most of whom who would not take up arms against their fellow citizens. They took an oath to support and defend the US Constitution, not some politician who might try to order them to suppress the population. Most of the military are well familiar with the subordinate clause meaning of the militia as a pre-amble to the 2nd Amendment and that the US Supreme Court also recognized it only as an introductory clause, but that the words “the People” mean exactly what they say. The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

          As a matter of fact, one of the main cases of gun control, the 1930’s Miller case hinged on the fact there was no one to argue whether or not a short-barreled shotgun had a military application of not. The fact is that it DID indeed have a military use. Had someone argued that, the Supreme Court would have REVERSED the conviction because it is MILITARY WEAPONS they held were the very weapons that are protected for the PEOPLE to keep and bear!

        6. And . . . . the military is [IMHO] going to uphold the constitution and not fight or disarm the populace if the civilian government were to go full meltdown against its citizens.

        7. stableos: I can just as easily say that the govt is going to uphold the constitution and not try to oppress the people.

          And if you conjecture up some sort of movie type scenario where the govt goes rogue, well, the military is obliged to follow the orders of the govt.

          Now we can debate all we want about what would really happen, but we all know this is just an absurd hypothetical in the first place, which is why neither of us can hang our argument as to what could happen on anything resembling fact or precedent.

          The bottom line: the govt is not going to try to pull a coup and become a dictatorship, and the vast majority of people don’t think that is going to happen. This is ginned up fear mongering to try to justify gun rights.

        8. I can agree with you on some of your points. However, there is one significant flaw in your argument. The military is not, in fact, sworn to uphold the government. This is a common misconception, but anyone who has actually served knows that their oath is to uphold the Constitution. So long as our government also upholds the Constitution, this equates to essentially the same thing. However, should our government actually make a significant move that goes against the Constitution, that would be an act of tyranny, and the military’s obligation would be to the Constitution and those protected by it (the U.S. citizens). But all that aside, part of the reason that we don’t worry much about this hypothetical tyranny by the government is precisely because of the Second Amendment.

        9. Let’s look at recent example of small numbers of belligerent dick-wads in armed resistance against the US authorities. Their cries for the support of patriots produced almost nothing. And the various officers around did not rebel and join the dick-wads. They obeyed the orders of the government.

          This idea of some massive resistance to some massive “takeover” by government is ludicrous. The takeover has already happened. The ultra-rich and their bought politicians have already got you. Your so-called freedom and democracy are already gone. Armed resistance is way too late. And most of the serfs bleat stridently in defense of their wonderful ultra-rich masters.

        10. You are talking as if the American soldiers and their commanders had studied constitutional law and would be ready to apply it when the situation requires it.

          In practical terms, picture this: a Commander-in-Cheif orders his chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (with whom he regularly plays golf on Saturdays and poker on Thursday nights) to suppress the insurrection of armed rebels somewhere in America. Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of whom are in the same poker game on Thursday nights, are not going to invoke some constitution when it is clear that a bunch of rebel loons with guns are creating a nuisance for the local law enforcement, not to mention, disturbing the peace and confusing the broader public.

          In moments of doubt, soldiers are trained to NEVER question orders from above. Efficiency of any army is judged by its discipline — the ability of its soldiers to execute orders exactly as intended, without questioning them. Waterboarding wasn’t some lieutenant’s creative interrogation idea; it was developed and sanctioned at the highest level and the lieutenants simply followed orders (and eventually, paid the price for doing that…).

        11. First, the example you provide is NOT an example of a major violation of the Constitution by the government. Second, the responding agencies were NOT the military. Third, while the average enlisted member of the military may or may not understand constitutional law, the top brass understand their duty and their oath. From my experience with military personnel in general, they definitely do understand the oath they have taken and what it means.

        12. That assuming you could get red blooded Americans in the military to follow orders to kill others just like them. I don’t see that happening. And if so. So be it.
          I will be the first to die after shooting whoever comes knocking on my door for my guns. I will gladly kill as many as I can. And once I die for it. So be it. So many others will do the same. So what makes you think some officer, or member of the military is going to carry out an order like that.

          Sure that can carpet bomb us into dust. But they are to worried about collateral damage against the real enemy.

          Deep down you know it was written for the people by the people to protect themselves. Weather you want to call them a militia or not. Which I take to mean the states had the right to form their own armies against a tyrannical government.

        13. The Supreme Court has rejected this argument. The introductory phrase regarding a “well-regulated militia” is not limiting. The operative language guarantees the right of the “people” to keep and bear arms. Period.

        14. “A well-educated electorate being necessary to the preservation of a free society, the right of the people to read and compose books shall not be infringed.”

          Why is that so much easier to understand when you change a few words?

        15. Love you right-wing Seppos! So arrogantly confident that the Murrican Way is the only path to righteousness! We’ll see who is doomed … [whatever that means]

          And please don’t save us from ourselves; we hate that.

          Best wishes from a downtrodden Australian!

      2. Dude, a comedy routine is not an effective argument. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect against an out of control government. Australians have been disarmed. They are a controlled population now, They have no real recourse. They are STUPID.

        I don’t take advice from STUPID people. I take advice from SMART people:

        Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

        1. Dude, the purpose of the 2nd amendment was not to protect against an out of control government, nor for personal protection. The founders were suspicious of having a standing army, so if the country was attacked, the idea was that all the farmers would get together with their muskets and defend the country. A “well regulated” militia.

        2. Uhhhhh, yehhh, this gubernment document gives me the RIGHT to resist the gubernment, if it gets out of control.

          Idiots!!! If things were that bad, you think you need some kind of legal permission.

        3. Unless you live in Australia, how can you even know what it feels like? At least we’re not shot at at the rate Americans are. There’s some comfort in feeling freer, not living in fear every time you walk out the door, go shopping, catch the bus, drive your car, post a letter, sit in a classroom . . . do anything. At least you could do background checks on people to ensure the mentally unwell don’t have them, at least that.

        1. He is actually exceptionally funny, and that is because his comedy is founded in factual information and research data. That you find it just “kinda” funny (and wrong) indicates how uncomfortable you’re with the realisation that he is actually right.

          But that’s OK. 235 years ago, Americans have given themselves legal permission to privately own guns, cementing it into their constitution. Now, 235 years later, it is clear that this right is causing thousands of needless innocent deaths every year, and those deaths can’t be prevented because the constitutional right of individuals cannot be restricted. The only solace all those families of the people shot by guns is that their loved ones died in order for you to feel good about your right to have a gun.

          Gun ownership in America is a privilege for which the country is paying an extremely high price every year. Of some 14,000 gun deaths (last year alone), half wouldn’t have happened with stricter gun laws.

    1. Actually, that take is about as far away from reality as one can get without going to the X Files. There is no way that you can read into Tim Cook’s comments any implied opinion on guns and gun control. Software encryption is not a gun; these are 2 totally different issues. This is called simply projecting your own bias onto reality.

    2. The amount and granularity of data being collected about us are insidious and expanding. Consequently to protect our privacy, and our rights and freedoms, from the potential for even more government intrusion, every attempt by authorities to gain more access to our digital profiles should not only be met with intense scrutiny and examined in depth for constitutionality but regarded at least as important as any other issue of national security.

      In this respect the efforts of some to disarm the American public and dismantle the 2nd Amendment is no different than Cook’s battle for Electronic Freedom and Privacy. In fact it is virtually the same. Keeping us secure from those who purport to represent us is the foundation upon which both battles rest.

      1. I have bad news for you: if the government wants to use force against you, no guns you own will matter at all against the might of the US military. They can destroy you in so many ways before you would even know it and have a chance to fire back with your little water gun.

        In revolutionary times guns were the most potent weapon available. That has changed big time. Guns or no guns, any govt with an advanced military can easily defeat a civilian population, esp. the US military with the most advanced weapons in the world.

        Ironically, it’s the same conservatives that scream 2nd amendment rights that also keep wanting to give the military even more weapons than they ask for and need. If you really fear your govt, you won’t arm them to the teeth. Of course the fear is a smoke screen that few believe.

  1. No offense, but you’re barking at a tree that isn’t even there. Nobody is trying to repeal the second amendment. Rather, people who give a crap about safety just don’t want crazy people and terrorists running around with guns, and don’t want any civilians (including crazy people and terrorists) to have access to modern military hardware like machine guns and tanks. Don’t try to label Tim Cook as a defender wacko right-wing ammo stockpilers. He didn’t go there. He’s talking about encryption.

    By the way, taking somebody’s statement and swap your words for theirs, while a fun parlor game, is intellectually dishonest. Let Tim do his own talking without subverting his message to your own nefarious ends.

    1. “People who give a crap about safety just don’t want crazy people and terrorists running around with guns.”

      “If we take guns away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people… And so, if we limit guns in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find guns anyway.”

      The only thing “intellectually dishonest” here is you.

        1. There is no need. If Cook is honest with himself, he’s already stated his 2nd Amendment support implicitly above.

          Only a Democrat would be able to listen to Cook’s stance on encryption and say it doesn’t matter in relation to other Constitutional rights because, guns.

    2. I have to disagree; it’s the exact same tactic. Sure, it makes sense to say someone on a terrorist watchlist shouldn’t be able to get a gun, but what you’ve done now is created a way in which the government controls to whom the 2nd amendment applies. It can simply subvert anyone’s 2nd amendment rights by putting them on a terrorist watchlist.

      Now say the same as above, but replace guns with encryption, and 2nd amendment with 4th amendment. The government is looking for a way to selectively decide who is allowed the right to privacy (search and seizure).

      At its core it’s the same tactic designed to give the gov’t the power to subdue people it considers a threat to national security. The whole point of our country’s foundation was to empower the people to not be subject to that form of tyranny.

      1. You all DO realize that the 2nd Amendment was NEVER seen to protect individual rights, until Scalia (and a 5-4 majority of the court) said so. So much for being an Originalist. The power to regulate, tax, license and require training would NOT do away with the Second Amendment, it would simply fall under the “well-regulated” clause that so many of you are so willing to overlook.

        1. You, on the other hand, have clearly not read what the authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights stated on the issue. It was clearly seen as an individual rights issue (else why in the world would you include it as part of Bill of Rights, which were limits to be set on governmental power against individual citizens?).

          Most of the various state constitutions, most of which preceded the federal constitution and BoR, specifically call out a right to individual ownership and use of arms, most typically in a form like “for defense of themselves and the state”.

          The collective right interpretation that you’re fond of didn’t appear, at the earliest, until more than a century after the Constitution was ratified, and for the most part didn’t gain any following of note until the 20th century.

          Supreme court decisions, such as Presser, Dred Scott and Miller either explicitly or implicitly assumed an individual right (the odious Dred Scott decision, that African Americans could not be citizens, included a listing of various things a citizen could do that they obviously could not, one of those things being bearing arms.

          As for “well-regulated”, at the time it had nothing to do with government control. To adjust a timepiece to run correctly was to regulate it. To adjust a shotgun to shoot to point of aim was to regulate it. Showing self control in behavior was to display “well-regulated appetites”.

    3. This is where you are wrong Sum Jung Gai. No one is trying to “legally repeal the 2nd Amendment,” however the war against guns is an attempt to eradicate the freedoms implicit in the amendment without touching the amendment itself.

      Under the pretense of being about safety, cities, states, and the Federal government pick at gun rights with nonsense laws and regulations designed to do nothing other than reducing the number and types of arms people can own. California’s gun laws are so ridiculous and mind-bogglingly stupid that entire manufacturers just pull out of the state. This is clearly the intent.

      If you think this is about safety, you’re delusional. Anyone who believes that gun control is about safety is naive.

      The desire and effort to control guns are a skirmish in the battle for the soul of the nation. Gun control advocates have locked onto guns and regulating them as a powerful method of demoralizing political adversaries. Also, the inane and unceasing attack on gun rights are an attack on the Constitution itself. If liberals can defeat the 2nd Amendment through a deluge of mindless laws and regulations, what about the Constitution cannot be defeated?

      1. I have to disagree with you on this.

        There never has been, and likely never will be, a bill that has come even close to passing both houses that attempted to take away people’s guns. The extreme anti gun lobby does not have anywhere near the sway you imply they have.

        Yes it *IS* to some extent about safety.

        There is absolutely no other reason to have a handgun with a 15 shot clip other than to actively hunt people. A civilian in the U.S. does not need a 15 shot clip for defense. If that many people are coming after you, no matter how well trained you are, you’re dead anyway. (I can tell you that from first hand experience, if you’re out numbered 15 to 1 only some intervening, superior force is going to save you.) That 15 shot clip in your personal handgun will not change the outcome. PERIOD.

        As a gun owner and gun user since I was single digit years old (many, many decades ago) I am a very strong supporter of gun rights. I served in the U.S. military during a period when it was extremely unpopular to do so and was sometimes called a “War Monger” for doing so (virtually the exact opposite of today’s general feeling toward the U.S. military personnel) and used several different classes of firearms there. I’ve owned, trained on and/or used firearms from pre-WWI firearms up through those developed this century. So I do really know the value and purpose of them.

        However, anyone who is honest with themselves and others, and who has more than one functioning brain cell has to admit that there must be *reasonable* restrictions on gun ownership and use.

        The debate cannot be allowed to devolve into “You’re trying to take away all my guns.” or “All guns need to be solely in the hands of the police and military.”, because that is not what is being suggest by any reasonable source. Such a stance (either one) is either pure paranoia or intentionally fomenting an argument that will get nowhere. The extremists on either side are not interested in debating how to deal with the issue, they just want to scream until the other side shuts up. That won’t happen. Both sides will just continue with their inane screaming.

        What *must* happen is people with reasonable intent *must* sit down and debate the issues and come up with solutions (note: there’s NOT just one solution to this, there are an interwoven set of solutions to be agreed upon).

        Thelonious, you are often one of the voices of reason on this site. Unfortunately, in that post you seem to be one of the extremist screamers. I hope that this is just a momentary slip.

        1. Regrettably, too often, the intelligent debate is hijacked by the absolutist extremes, at which point that debate ends and screamfest begins.

          I wonder if any one of the participants in this discussion, who votes on each comment with stars, has given a rating other than one or five (totally agree, totally disagree). Like in the rest of America, people simply take extreme positions, plug their ears, shut their eyes and begin screaming.

  2. I’m sorry, but this holds no water at all. About the only people who see Cook arguing 2nd amendment are those who try using those same arguments to fight against gun control.

    And those arguments are actually bogus. Research all over the world, and even in America, shows that there is a direct correlation between gun control and reduction in gun violence. Wherever there was a change in one way or the other with respect to gun control, change in gun violence followed.

    More importantly, households with guns in the home are statistically significantly more likely to experience accidental death caused by a firearm than those with no guns. The argument that gun owners are safer in their homes because they can use their guns for protection falls flat on its face: gun owners and their family members are at far greater risk of getting killed by that gun than by any other cause (such as burglary, etc). Gun ownership does NOT make ordinary people safer; statistically, it makes them less safe.

    Using data from 1981–2010 and the best firearm ownership proxy to date, a recent comprehensive study found that for every 1 percent increase in gun ownership, there was a 1.1 percent increase in the firearm homicide rate and a 0.7 percent increase in the total homicide rate. This was after controlling for factors such as poverty, unemployment, income inequality, alcohol consumption, and nonhomicide violent crime. Further, the firearm ownership rate had no statistically significant impact on nonfirearm homicides, meaning there was no detectable substitution effect. That is, in the absence of guns, would-be criminals are not switching to knives or some other weapons to carry out homicide. These results are supported by a host of previous studies that illustrate that guns increase the rate of homicides.

    Guns don’t make anyone safer.

    1. One might accept that firearms are dangerous and that they substantially elevate the risk of homicide, suicide, and fatal accidents, but still believe that policies regulating gun ownership are ineffective—criminals, after all, won’t follow them. However, another recent study from May of 2013 analyzed the impact of state firearm laws on firearm-related fatalities. It found that the most gun-restrictive states have significantly fewer firearm fatalities than the states with the least restrictive laws. The results are in line with previous academic studies tackling the same question.

      The whole article, with references to several of many studies done on this, is here.

      1. Welcome to the planet, visitor. I love your rainbow-powered unicorn! When you’re ready to stay in reality, let’s talk. In the meantime, go join a commune of volunteer for Bernie or Hillary, you’ll fit right in with the illogical nutjobs who can’t make things better because they can’t deal with human nature and reality, preferring the comfort of childish fantasies instead.

      1. I’m not sure what is it that you are trying to say. Obviously, what you are suggesting is practically impossible.

        Controlling ownership of guns is quite feasible, and would certainly dramatically increase safety of population and reduce the numbers of homicides, suicides and accidental deaths.

        Eliminating all gun ownership in America will certainly NOT eliminate homicide (or suicide, for that matter). But restricting, or regulating gun ownership would significantly increase the safety of the law-abiding population.

        When you have some time, look at the article linked in my above post. It is quite an eye-opener.

        1. They are quite interesting documents, written a very long time ago. The language is high-minded and florid, and it is a very useful reading for high schoolers and college students.

          Gun fans use variety of excuses to argue for gun ownership, from self-defense, to defense against government overreach, but none of them are actually valid, and extensive studies and research confirms this.

          There is only one argument that is actually valid: gun rights are in the constitution and, unless congress amends it, nobody can infringe. Americans have the right to own a gun. Unfortunately, for this particular right, American population is paying an excessively high price in lives of those who die from those guns. No other country has that many guns per capita, nor that many gun deaths per capita. Research very clearly shows that one causes the other.

    2. Guns make you safer when there is an imminent threat. This includes an out-of-control government. European, Australians, and disarmed citizens in other countries like China, North Korea, etc. are sitting ducks. They are a controlled populace. They are, in the end, doomed. (until the USA saves them from themselves again, of course.)

      The more regulations imposed, the easier it is for the government to locate and round ’em all up when they feel the need.

      The reason for the 2nd amendment is to protect against oppressive government. The ability to shoot criminals in the face is just a side benefit.

      The sooner you illogical gun control nuts figure that out, the better.

      1. The videos you show work quite well at making gun defenders feel better about themselves, but they represent a very rare exception. If you truly believe you will ever find yourself in such a situation AND end up on the winning side (thanks to your gun and quick reaction), there is this great bridge over East River I can sell you very cheap!

        The statistical data is abundant, and tells an opposite story: overwhelming majority of situations such as in these videos end badly for the law-abiding gun owner. NRA will not tell you this, but vast amount of data and research unambiguously proves: legal gun ownership increases homicide, suicide and accidental shooting deaths by a very strong factor. The only thing that changes that is gun control.

        1. Three days ago in Brooklyn Park MN a robber tried to rob a person at gunpoint. It just so happened that the person was also armed and shot and killed the robber during a exchange of gun fire. The victim was not arrested.

          Statistics will get you killed Predrag.

        2. The victim may well thank his lucky star for staying alive; until he pulled that gun out, he had a negligible chance of getting himself killed; robbers use guns mainly to rob people; not to kill them (look up volumes of research). Once he pulled that gun out, his chances of survival dropped to roughly 50-50. The gun fight may have easily gone the other way; the perpetrator may well have had plenty of experience with that gun (and with his job of robbing people).

          That victim should buy a lottery ticket. He is truly lucky he came out alive.

        3. Yes, and for every case like these, there are probably 100 cases of people being shot and killed while cleaning their guns, while playing with their guns, while showing their guns off for friends, or while showing someone else how to “safely” handle a gun.

        4. Yes, and they work quite well to make gun owners feel good about themselves. They may well show lottery winners hitting jackpot. It means exactly the same thing: the likelihood of both outcomes are more-or-less the same.

      2. And the argument about an armed population that can use their guns to keep government in check, that is pure insanity. Tell me exactly how do you intend to “fight back” if, for example, Apple loses this case, and in the course of next five years, US government adopts massive surveillance programmes. Or, for example, imposes mandatory, single-payer, government-run, government-controlled health and pension insurance plans (such as those in Canada, UK, EU and other developing countries), forcing every single American adult to pay into these plans? Will you take your gun to a rally? Who do you plan on shooting?

        There are already Americans who think this way (those armed militias in Montana, Idaho, Michigan, wherever). And their guns did very little for them against the government.

        The point here is that the idea that gun ownership (and a right to own a gun) allows citizens to “protect themselves” against an oppressive government is simply absurd. It may have worked in the 18th century. Today, gun ownership is irrelevant for keeping government overreach under control. No gun ownership helped anyone when Patriot Act was enacted (instituting the most massive, overreaching government spying programme ever, anywhere in the world). And it didn’t help when ObamaCare was passed and population forced to buy insurance.

        American population is paying an extremely heavy price for the right to own and carry guns.

        1. Some 45% of Americans call themselves gun owners. That’s 143.5 million people. There are 357 million guns in the USA. 40 million more guns than there are people.

          The United States Armed Forces total 1.42 million. Not all of them would fight on the side of a government gone off the rails. The US Armed Forces are outnumbered and outgunned 100 to 1. Unless you think they’re going to use nukes on the population, they lose dramatically in every conceivable scenario.

          Your little argument sounds plausible until you look at the facts and then it sounds absolutely ridiculous.

        2. You are dangerously naïve.

          In your scenario, you are assuming all those gun owners are somehow, miraculously going to be on the same side of the problem in question, and then, even more miraculously, organise themselves in order to take on the government.

          What you aren’t comprehending is that your government has already encroached on many of your extremely precious liberties, and we have yet to see American gun owners coming to the rescue against the oppressive dictatorship. The Patriot Act (and the PRISM programme) are far more totalitarian by their nature than anything your founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the constitution (and, two years later, the first ten amendments). Somehow, not many Americans have done anything about it yet.

      3. Just because you say something over and over (this is your FOURTH post on the topic) doesn’t make it true. The 2nd Amendment was NOT to defend against an oppressive government. It was an alternate to a standing national army, which some of the states feared.

        Hey, I thought all you conservatives were all about original intent. Well THIS is the original intent.

      1. Generally no, when you don’t carefully control for other related values. However, in these studies, causative link is clearly and strongly demonstrated. Check out the links I posted above. Some interesting stuff.

  3. Wow guns are readily available in every country well what you learn on here. Depends how you define ‘readily available’ I guess and the trouble is if you are willing to so shamelessly stretch the definition as widely as Jacks does then you can pretty well mindlessly make just about any comparison you like, hey why attempt to be rational at all.

    1. You lose decisively, thanks to logic.

      This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take guns away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people… And so, if we limit guns in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find guns anyway.

  4. No one wants to take away your guns. No one. But a LOT of people want to treat gun ownership with at least the same level of care as we treat CAR ownership — and no one has ever said, “The government is coming to take away my car.”

    Yet think about it: your car must be registered annually; the government must be notified upon transfer of ownership; you must prove you can operate it safely before being allowed to use it; you must carry a minimum amount of insurance in case you injure someone by accident; you can lose your privileges if you don’t follow the rules; and serious violations involving use and/or ownership can result in serious prison time.

    I am ALL FOR legal gun ownership. But I believe in “well regulated” ownership, as per the Constitution.

    1. Where is your car noted in the Bill of Rights? It’s not so stop trying to use that analogy. Your car can be impounded for a myriad of infractions. In Minnesota you forfeit that car if you are convicted of multiple DUI’s.

      1. Silverhawk – You get it! Minnesota is CORRECT in forfeiting your car if you are convicted of multiple DUIs. In lots of juristictions, you can also be thrown in jail.

        Similarly, if you shoot up your office with your gun and kill a bunch of people — as has happened several times THIS WEEK — your gun SHOULD be forfeited, and you SHOULD go to jail. If you can’t use a gun safely, you shouldn’t have access to a gun. That is the very basis of sensible gun control.

      2. And you’re right about the Bill of Rights, too.

        Either the Founding Fathers didn’t include cars because driving a car was never meant to be a right…Or perhaps because cars weren’t invented yet.

        Which one is more logical?

  5. Let me ask rhetorically: where do criminals get their guns? Ultimately, from law-abiding citizens who legally purchase them (ignoring a few percent that are smuggled into the country). The law abiding citizen either sells it to someone that shouldn’t have it, or it is stolen from them.

    If you have a child who, despite all your admonitions and rules in the house continues to break, lose, and misuse his toys, what should you do after nothing else has worked? Take them away. Or put consequences on it.

    To have a weapon which is designed to kill people unregulated in terms of registration, tracking and licensing is insane. We expect the same of automobiles, boats, explosives sales, heck, even a pet cat needs to be registered. But guns are somehow exempt from this is because of the NRA-promoted dystopian fantasy that if the government has a List, they can come take your gun away.

    In my book, if you have a lethal weapon in your possession and you give it to a bad guy, you are morally (and hopefully eventually legally) responsible for what happens next. A sale should only occur after the buyer has been checked out as any retail sale is currently required. If your gun is stolen, you should report it stolen. And if it turns out you didn’t report the sale or theft, then YOU go to prison and permanently lose your ability to possess a handheld killing machine. Spare me any cries of people who didn’t realize their gun was lost or stolen – with great power comes great responsibility.

    What I envision here won’t stop the innumerable suicides, accidental homicides, heat of the moment passion killings, etc. but it will certain reduce the flow of weapons from law-abiding citizens who have a right to “keep and bear arms” to criminals. The second Amendment has the words “well-regulated” right in it, and even if you can somehow make past the part where the Supreme Court somehow decoupled that from militias, the intent of the founders of having regulation of weapons ownership clear.

    So in the end, yes, Tim Cook’s comments could be considered aligned with second amendment arguments, but the two concepts are not at all commensurate. Guns (handguns particularly) have a purpose – to kill things and people (shooting targets for fun does not rise to a constitutional right in my book, sorry). Encryption does not have that purpose. Like any technology, it can be misused for evil (even killing as we extend this to terrorism). However, the *purpose* of encryption is not to kill people (or dissuade them from bad acts). The two are NOT equal in design, use or intent.

    1. Your logic fails miserably. How then do you define a lethal weapon? Replace gun with knives in your statements. that is pretty lethal right there. Just to show you one example of many, remember that college boy in Santa Barbara or somewhere who killed several women in college. His first three victims were killed by a knife. So, why is there no calls to register all knives? There more knives than there are guns. Hell, in my household alone, I have more than 20 knives. Multiply that by the number of people in the US, around 300+ million….that’s a lot of knives. Yet, no one is calling for a registration of knives.

      1. Read the BBC news. In the UK I believe that at least handguns are illegal. The pages are full of bad guys stabbing people with knives so you might have a good point.

        And jimbob, how can a person properly train themselves in how to safely use any gun with out practice. I certainly hope you had drivers ed classes before getting behind the steering wheel of a four-thousand pound machine capable of killing.

        1. In America, guns skill significantly more people than knives. If at any point in the future knives become as much off a problem as guns are now (a person walking into a school and stabbing 20 children to death),, it would then make sense to regulate ownership of knives, as absurd as it may sound today.

          At some point in history it sounded absurd to not have the right to own slaves, or beat one’s wife, or thaw women should allowed to vote (or black people, for that matter)…

        2. I never said anything about interfering with being able to take gun training and safety courses. Please don’t attribute things to me that I never said or make inferences I did not clearly lay out.

          I have no problem with gun owners who don’t transfer them to criminals. I have a problem with folks who don’t take very seriously that they possess a killing machine if they own a gun.

      2. Your logic fails in your second sentence. You create a false dichotomy. There is no comparison. Guns are designed to kill. Period. Knives (generally) are not. If someone is coming into a shopping mall or workplace party armed with a knife, he can take out a handful of people. It will take many minutes. A gunman armed with an AR-15 can fire more than one round per second.

        Guns kill over 30,000 Americans each year. Knives? No idea, but it’s a hell of a lot less, and it’s certainly a lot harder to do a drive by in the ‘hood with knife. There are no laws passed by Congress keeping the CDC from conducting studies on knife violence in order to keep them studying how we might end knife violence. But there is a gag order on studies of gun violence. And that law is as plainly absurd as your comparison of guns to knives.

  6. “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned” (Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. It was used as a basis for the formulation of the U.S. Constitution Second Amendment.) As Obama is perpetually won’t to say, “It’s settled science.”

      1. It depends on your point of view. From my perspective it is a contest for freedom. The constant attacks on the 2nd amendment diminish freedom. Should Apple lose this battle, it will be the first domino in a string of defeated civil liberties. Whenever the government gains power, the people lose freedom.

        It is also not lost on me that in this situation, APPLE REPRESENTS THE PEOPLE, not the government. I.e. A goddamn CORPORATION is fighting our battles for us.

  7. All you gun control idiots need to do is look at what is happening in Mexico. They have very strict gun control. So who has the guns there now? Government and drug lords. Normal everyday citizens? Nope, can’t have them. And their citizens are being slaughtered. So really, get a clue. Go buy a gun, it just might save your life someday.

        1. I think you should be the one to tell them; they were slaughtered because the person who did it could pick up a gun at a nearby Walmart, get plenty of ammunition, load it and spray it across those innocent kids. With proper gun control, this wouldn’t have happened.

  8. Three simple facts in 2011:
    – Guns owned in the US is about 270,000,000. (see 1)
    – All deaths for this period is 2,513,171.
    – Gun homicides for this period is 11,208. (see 2)

    – Guns used to kill people is 0.0042%.

    Incase you didn’t comprehend that, less than half of half of half of 1% of guns killed people.
    I think better use of everyone’s time should be spent on researching what is in common with all the nut cases that go on a murder spree.


        1. Actually, statistically, his numbers are meaningless and in the context of gun deaths tell us nothing. All those guns may well be sitting in some safes, or closets.

          What IS relevant, and meaningful, is that gun ownership and gun deaths are very closely related, across demographics and socio-economic levels. The more ordinary people legally own guns, the more gun violence in their communities.

          Links supporting this are further above. Please don’t ask me to repost them here again, I’m typing on an iPad, it’s a hassle.

    1. Simple facts. Close to 14,000 Americans died from guns last year. The per-capita number of gun deaths in America is three times as high as any other developed country where gun ownership is regulated. And in America, in states with gun control, gun death rates are significantly lower than in states with little gun control. If all American states had same level of gun control as those with strict control, some 3,500 innocent people would be alive today. And that is only from those who were killed last year. And as many more would be alive if gun control in America were at the level of other developed countries.

      Families of those 7,000 people deserve deep gratitude for sacrificing lives of their loved ones, so that you would continue to enjoy the right of unrestricted ownership of a gun.

  9. The United States of America is united, alright. United in steadily ratcheting up paranoia, manufactured by the arms corporations and demagogues. It’s not coming back, either. The rest of the world will just have to stay calm, smile and nod, and hope that the Americans who have hope for a sane future for themselves and their families will leave. By then the remaining Americans will be too frightened of boogeyfolk and the dark, and too busy shooting themselves and each other, intentionally and accidentally in equal measure to notice. For those who leave, it will probably take a few years away from the country to realize. The argument over the 2nd amendment is meaningless. The problem isn’t how to translate a few obscure phrases in the Constitution. The problem is how to change the course of a nation unable to prevent its self-destruction.

  10. There is a bit of a difference: encryption is, by definition, a defensive tool, whereas guns are offensive. That’s not to say that guns are bad, they serve a valuable purpose. But not all guns are the same.

    Many guns were designed to kill animals (and thereby to protect humans from a very real threat), but some were designed for the specific purpose of killing humans. Guns designed for the killing of humans should be subject to stricter control than those designed to kill animals.

  11. @Predrag The article you linked to was published by a left leaning publication that caters to it audience, and by authors who espouse gun control, who work for ArmedWithReason.

    Some of the studies are based upon meta-analysis of with varying degrees of P. You may well know, that while a low P value indicates that your data are unlikely assuming a true null, it can’t evaluate which of two competing cases is more likely:
    The null is true but your sample was unusual.
    The null is false.
    Determining which case is more likely requires subject area knowledge and replicate studies.

    These studies cannot by the definition of their work offer a full analysis of a complex question.

    The authors of one NCBI publication state in the abstract ” However, systematic data on this issue among various countries remain scant”. The study on Homicide and Suicide aggregated data from” unintentional and undetermined firearm deaths from 23 populous high-income Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development countries that provided data to the World Health Organization for 2003.” In the study on female homicide, the authors state “Possible confounding variables included in the analysis were the percentage of the population living in urban areas and income inequality.” However the conclusion ignores the this disparity of local per capita of crime vs homicide occurrence, as that is beyond the scope of the study. The “injury Prevention study uses hunting licenses as a proxy “A newly developed proxy measure that incorporates the hunting license rate in addition to the proportion of firearm suicides correlates more highly with state-level gun ownership. To corroborate previous research, we used this new proxy to estimate the association of state-level gun ownership with total, firearm, and non-firearm homicides.” Really?? The next study like firearms to suicide. The study states that “This means that the primary way through which firearms influence the suicide rate is by making each attempt comparatively more lethal than other methods.” The authors intent is stated in the lines of the abstract “Discussion about suicide should be at the forefront of gun control debates, yet it is often a footnote in meaningful policy discussion. This reflects poorly on our nation’s priorities — it shows a cruel insensitivity to the value of human life, and a miscalibrated sense of morality which says that change is only worth having if it benefits me.” The JAMA article used the Brady Center data, which has well stated bias, and the article states “First, the legislative strength score, which tallies a single point per law, has not been validated. Neither has the weighted Brady scoring system, and we are unaware of any such scoring systems that have been validated. ” The data and indexes they used have not been validated, – obviously, as the bias may have an effect on both the veracity and the resultant conclusions. in fact in the comments this is stated “From the publication data, after separating the combined homicide and suicide rates, homicide rate does not present a compelling correlation to legislative strength score”. The next article referenced is not even an academic study but a blog which states “‘m assuming, in the absence of better data, that firearm involvement is evenly distributed between home and non-home robberies, although a higher level of injury encountered in workplace robberies suggests that this may be overstating the involvement of firearms in home robberies.”

    The FBI report has a lot of interesting tables. However is is not comparative to other nations.

    Let the trolls roll.

  12. in a study on the effects of Gun Control using Australia, New Zealand and Canada,

    Click to access McPhedran%20Baker%20Singh%20Long%20term%20firearm%20homicide%20trends.pdf

    The proposal that Australia has experienced unique declines in firearm homicide over the past decades was not supported. Rather, it appears that the most pro- nounced decline in firearm homicide over the last 20 years has occurred in New Zealand (consistent with recent observations that the overall incidence of homicide in New Zealand has halved in the past two decades; see Collins, 2009), whereas Australia more closely resembles Canada in its incidence of firearm homicide. Therefore, it is not correct to assert that Australia’s declines
    6 Journal of Interpersonal Violence XX(X)
    in firearm homicide are more rapid than the declines in various other countries. Nor are the declines in Australian homicide associated with lower rates of firearm homicide, on average, relative to New Zealand. On the basis of the most recent decade of data, the firearm homicide rate in New Zealand averages 0.17 per 100,000 persons, compared with the Australian average of 0.22 per 100,000 persons.
    It is pertinent to note that the level of legislative restriction surrounding firearms ownership differs between the three countries. For example, Canada and New Zealand permit the ownership and use of the types of firearms that are banned in Australia. In addition, Canada, like Australia, mandates registration of all firearms whereas New Zealand, unlike Canada and Australia, does not require registration of all firearms. However, these differences do not appear to be reflected in the long-term declines in homicide rates, suggesting the need to consider other explanations for the trends.

  13. for another POV

    Countries with the strictest gun-control laws also tended to have the highest homicide rates

    Violence, Guns and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis, Jeffery A. Miron, Department of Economics, Boston University, University of Chicago Press Journal of Law & Economics, October 2001).

  14. Furthermore: In this study of 15 industrialized nations, the US is ranked 12th of 15.

    Click to access ICVS2004_05report.pdf

    The ten countries with the highest rates comprise both very affluent countries such as Switzerland, Ireland and Iceland as less affluent coun- tries (Estonia and Mexico). This result refutes conventional wisdom about poverty as dominant root cause of common crime. Most of the high crime countries are relatively highly urbanised, although this is not true for Ireland (Van Dijk, Manchin, Van Kesteren, Hideg, 2007).


    Click to access mauser.pdf

    International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra more guns = more death/fewer guns = less death.2 Unfortunately such discussions have all too often been afflicted by misconceptions, factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It may be useful to begin with a few examples. One is the compound assertion that: (a) guns are uniquely available in the U.S. compared to other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the U.S. has by far the highest murder rate.
    Though this has been endlessly repeated, in fact, b) is false and a) substantially so. The false assertion that the U.S. has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate is an artifact of politically motivated Soviet minimization of true Russian homicide rates since at least 1965.

    While American gun ownership is quite high, Table 1 infra shows many other developed nations (e.g., Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark) with high gun availability yet murder rates as low as, and often much lower than, developed nations where guns are far fewer. For example, Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, has a murder rate 10 times higher than gun-dense Norway and Germany where handguns are legal and gun ownership in general is very high.

  16. from the prior article
    In the late 1990s England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban on handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands were confiscated from owners law abiding enough to turn them in. Without suggesting this caused violence, the bans’ ineffectiveness was such that by year 2000 violent crime had so increased that England had the developed world’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the U.S

  17. last entry, if gun control is effective then why these headlines in Great Britain? Is is not reasonable to expect that if Gun control worked, that these headlines would never exist?

    “Police fear gun crime explosion” [
    BBC News: May 21, 2003, “Gun Crimes Growing ‘Like Cancer,’” July 16, 2001 “Handgun Crime ‘Up” Despite Ban;”
    July 12, 2002: “[PM Blair] Pledge[s] to Tackle Soaring Street Crime;
    Nov. 7, 2002, “Scottish Gun Crime Soaring;”;
    Jan. 12, 2003. See also: PUNCH, “Britain’s Tough Gun Control Laws Termed Total Failure: Land of Hope and Gunrunning,”
    May 3-16, 2000; NEW STATESMAN, “The British Become Trigger Happy”
    LONDON TIMES, Jan. 16, 2000: “Killings Rise As 3 Million Illegal Guns Flood Britain.”;
    October 13, 2002: “Murder rate soars to highest for a century”; Jan. 9, 2003: “Handgun Crime Rises by 46% [in 2002];
    INDEPENDENT NEWS: January 15, 2002 “Police Move to Tackle Huge Rise in Gun Crime;
    27 December 2002 “Firearms amnesty to tackle surge in gun crime” [
    LONDON TELEGRAPH: 25 August, 1999: “[Home Secretary Jack] Straw Braced for 20% Increase in Crime Rate;
    17 July 2001, “Gun crime rises despite Dunblane pistol ban”;
    17 August 2001, “Gun killings double as police claim progress”;
    3 January 2002, “Police fear crime explosion as school-age muggers graduate to guns”;
    Feb. 24, 2002, “Gun crime trebles as weapons and drugs flood British cities.”

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