Fascinatingly though, I believe that a prohibition-era scenario with regards to guns could only happen in the US. Even then I doubt it would be very likely.
Elsewhere in the world we have strict gun control. As a result, we have a significantly smaller number (1/2000 in Norway, compared to the US) of gun related crimes.
Gun control is demonstrably effective at reducing gun crime. You are either dishonest or ignorant to claim otherwise. You donít run with scissors, do you?
To touch on your other points, alcohol and drugs are impossible to eliminate for many of the same reasons as copyright infringement is impossible to police; primarily that there is little sense of societal wrongdoing involved in their use. If I smoke a joint or drink a beer in my own home, in a responsible fashion, the only person who could conceivably be harmed by my actions is me.
That changes if I go out driving afterwards or start making a nuisance of myself, but we have other laws for that, and there is a societal stigma attached to being an asshole.
In Europe, we attach a pretty strong stigma to anyone not in law enforcement carrying a concealed weapon. Thatís missing in the US, and you have hundreds of times more gun related deaths as a result.
I donít buy that argument at all. Nothing about the current state of gun crime in the US suggests that wide availability of firearms reduces gun crime.
If anything it just makes it much more likely that a confrontation will end in serious injury or death.
People who carry guns (usually mistakenly) feel safer than people who donít and this misplaced confidence often leads to bad decisions. This is why gun-owners are more likely to get shot than non-gun-owners.
Both, in reality. There's no doubt cars and roads could be a lot safer too. The important difference is that the primary and correct use of a vehicle is not maiming and killing.
On top of that, if you include accidental and other deaths due to firearms the difference is not really that pronounced. The most complete figures I could find, while somewhat out of date (2002), suggest that total gun deaths comprise around 1.2% of the US' annual total deaths, while vehicle deaths make up about 1.8%.
We could easily decrease that 1.2% by making it much more difficult to get hold of a gun. The side effects would be fairly negligible outside the gun industry/lobby.
Taking over 250 million passenger vehicles off the road might have slightly more of an impact.
Oh yeah, I mean look how well thatís worked out for the US so far. No-one ever shoots anyone in the States, because you just never know who might start shooting back. Itís practically a crime-free country, and all because everyone is potentially armed to the teeth.
Take the gun homicide figures from 2005, for example. They speak for themselves:
USA - 10,158
Norway - 5
The evidence is clear. The more guns we have, the safer we are.
Worth remembering too that Charlie Brookerís articles are typically very tongue in cheek.
I agree with Mike that the sense of entitlement definitely seems to come from the other side -- the ones who seem to feel they are entitled to freeze the world in a state thatís most comfortable for them.
I find most of Tim Cushing's articles inappropriate in tone for Techdirt, where I used to come to read insightful articles on issues surrounding the media, government policy, international legal systems, and technology.
Recently though, it seems that I'd have been better off reading The Onion. At least their satire is funny.