The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Three-Point Line and Gun Control.

Since the addition of the three-point line, scoring has consistently declined in the NBA. There are multiple culprits for this (better defense, permissive officiating), but it is very likely that the three-point line has something to do with it. And Antoine Walker. Let's not forget him.

The biggest problem is that most NBA players aren't very good three-point shooters. (At least, they're not good enough for the extra point to compensate for the corresponding decrease in shooting percentage). Unfortunately, even bad three-point shooters often enjoy hoisting them up anyway.

If your goal in the NBA is to increase scoring, then the three-point line is in exactly the wrong place. If you moved it in a foot or two, three-point percentages would soar and scoring would increase dramatically. Moreover, scoring would also increase if you removed the three-point line entirely, as the high percentage two-point jumper would come back into vogue.

If you like scoring, either way is better than the current way.

This is where America stands with guns.

Conservative want more guns, of course. That's because they tend to hang out with other conservatives, and they all have guns, and no one wants to be unarmed around a bunch of armed conservatives. They're especially in favor of "concealed carry" laws, which they claim will deter and prevent crime. There is evidence to back these assertions. Areas that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons do tend to have lower crime rates than other, similar American cities.

Lefties, on the other hand, would like to see a substantial decrease in the number of guns. This is likely due to the roving bands of armed conservatives mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Some lefties would prefer an outright ban. While this would be grossly unconstitutional, they can point to the fact that most civilized nations do have substantial restrictions on firearm ownership, and they do enjoy extremely low crime rates.

What is clear is that our current position is incredibly stupid.

My gut reaction is that a decrease in guns is probably the more effective way to go. (Calm down fellow libertarians. I'm not finished yet.) However, just because something is effective doesn't make it right. The Second Amendment is quite clear. You can own guns in this country. Period. And in the context of the history of America, it makes a great deal of sense.

I don't have a great policy prescription for guns in America, but what I do know is that almost any change is superior to the status quo. Moreover, as this is an issue that lends itself especially well to partisan bickering, the status quo is all but assured.

However, the NBA does not have warring factions that get into overly emotional arguments about the right to shoot close three-pointers versus the traditional non-three-point open court, which makes the status quo in the NBA truly stupid.


  • Should have used the Designated Hitter.

    There is your warring-factions argument.

    And I won't mention how one conservative Wisconsin blogger did single me out once as the first one he'd get when the civil war starts. He has guns. I don't.

    By Blogger Jay Bullock, at 10:29 PM  

  • I like Dennis Miller's take on this issue (from a long time ago): What if the right to bear arms meant it's just okay to wear sleeveless shirts?

    I hate guns, I HATE guns. I understand I can't take away your guns, but I'm hopeless enough to think one day I will wake up and people will be handing in their artillery for the sake of society.

    By Blogger Ace Cowboy, at 9:18 AM  

  • The thing I wonder about concealed carry laws is that if a lot more people started packing heat, would there be a reduction in premeditated violent crime and if so, would there be a concomitant increase in people getting shot in situations that today usually end in road raging, cursing, spitting, and fist-fighting?

    By Blogger dhodge, at 9:28 AM  

  • I HATE guns too. It is one issue where my basic philosophy comes into direct conflict with what my gut (and the city of Tokyo) tells me. But I think Paul is right. Righties always argue that concealed carry works. Lefties argue that strict gun control works. They are both right to some degree. But, all else being equal, I think I'd rather not live in fear. dhodge is right. Guns make impulse killing easy. A hunter's safety course can't change that.

    I'm still pretty undecided on the issue. But I think this is one of the better pro-gun arguments I've read:

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 10:41 AM  

  • I don't hate guns. But I don't own one, either. I guess to me, the gun law debate doesn't mean that much, because I know that whether they're legal or not, it won't ever prevent those who we'd LEAST like to have guns -- criminals who carry them with the intent of using them in premeditated crimes -- from having them anyway.

    If you could say that preventing people from owning guns via a law or series of laws meant that I'd never run across a criminal that would try to use one on me, then I'd be all for it. But that's just not the case. When you can't prevent hardcore criminals from owning/using guns, why prevent law-abiding citizens from owning them? Kind of pointless, IMHO.

    By Anonymous mitch, at 11:03 AM  

  • And until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value.

    By Anonymous Cher, at 11:41 AM  

  • One problem is that the gun issue varies depending on the urban v. rural perspective. Basically guns aren't a big problem in rural areas and are important to many people. In urban areas, gun ownership is not that important to most law-abiding citizens. In urban areas guns are mainly noticed when they are used in crime and we've all seen people get into heated confrontations over stupid crap like traffic because things like that are frustrating. In more rural areas, it is a different story. People use guns as part of life. They have a much more legitimate claim to security through guns because their neighbors and law enforcement are farther away and unable to help, guns can be used to scare away animals on their property, and hunting is much more popular. At the same time there are few if any gangs or crime and less of the annoyances of urban crowding and therefore less road rage. Also people are much more independent and the federal government is often responsible for a lot of regulations on things that don't often seem to make sense.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 1:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Amazon Logo