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-   -   Is it Right to Club Bears? (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=17562)

xilman 2012-12-14 20:46

Is it Right to Club Bears?
 
[URL]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20730717[/URL]

ewmayer 2012-12-14 21:00

Remember, "Guns don't kill people ... they just make it really *easy* to kill people."

That's how many quasi-random mass shootings in the US this week so far? Three? Four?

Uncwilly 2012-12-15 00:11

[QUOTE=ewmayer;321690]Remember, "Guns don't kill people ... they just make it really *easy* to kill people."[/QUOTE]
[url]http://www.politifake.org/image/political/1211/guns-kill-people-then-battaile-politics-1353372622.jpg[/url]

firejuggler 2012-12-15 00:32

oh... let the troll flame war begins!
[COLOR="Red"]/!\ Serious troll below[/COLOR]

In god, America trust, and the devil has visited this community, right?

Connecticut's Governor accused the "Devil" for this event.
The sad true is that this sod was crazy, and we have no explanation. And the fact that even if he acted like that, he was a human, like any of us. (remember why the joker is so terrifiying in the dark knight? because there is no explanation).

Well the guy mainly killed his father, wanted to marry his mother, and upon rejection, killed her(Oedipus Rex rules!). Well, her and and a few people standing in the way,which were mainly kids.

Three cheers for the right to bear arm, and having bear arm for limb!

[/TROLL]

My condoleance to all the fammilly affected by this event. And I bet that videogames will take a hit again.
Seriously, all familly i know have at least a computer/gaming station... 95% of the gaming population behave normally, 4.999% are fan of a franchise or two, the last 0.001% well... I don't know, never meet them, and don't want to.

chappy 2012-12-15 19:08

1 Attachment(s)
Let us not pretend this is a new problem:

Notice that when this was made there was a West Germany.

The real problem is that the talking heads are extremists all. It is impossible to 'ban' handguns. Who would enforce such a rule? Logistically impossible. So why do either side ever bring it up? Because it makes good sound bites.

I'm always of the opinion that 'tragedy does not infer expertise." In other words the father whose daughter is run over by a drunk driver is no better (in fact is probably worse) at coming up with a rational solution to the problem.

In that same vein I don't think that we should let national tragedies determine when or if we take substantive action on a given topic--like gun control.

The problem that we are running into in the US at this time is that gun tragedies are becoming so common (and I'm not talking about the constant level of criminal gun violence, but rather the guy goes nuts and shoots up his workplace/school/random elementary school/theater/etc type of violence) that we can't possibly have a rational discussion about it.

One side's mantra is ever: give people more guns!

The other side's mantra is: take all the guns away!

The first will lead to more gun deaths, the second is impossible.

Can the Pro-gun side really tell me that we need armor piercing bullets? Or to be able to buy ammunition online, without an ID and have it delivered to a PO box or one of those Mailbox stores that hold packages for you?

I want to stress that [B]I don't think we should outlaw guns[/B]. But, I do think the NRA would be better off focusing on fighting the kinds of practices that allow mentally unstable people to access large amounts of firearms and ammunition without any trouble at all, because in the long run this will go farther to safeguard the right to harm bears more than anything they've ever done.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-15 21:32

[QUOTE]I want to stress that I don't think we should outlaw guns.[/QUOTE]I do, or at least a ban on those types of guns that can fire more than one bullet quickly.

But, as you say, it won't happen. It would take a constitutional amendment, and that just ain't gonna happen.

Uncwilly 2012-12-16 04:01

[url]http://news.yahoo.com/no-rise-mass-killings-impact-huge-185700637.html[/url]

ewmayer 2012-12-16 19:52

[QUOTE=Uncwilly;321781][url]http://news.yahoo.com/no-rise-mass-killings-impact-huge-185700637.html[/url][/QUOTE]

That would be more comforting if there weren't way too many to begin with, i.e. if the historical U.S. baseline weren't so horrifying.

I'm sure "total annual handgun fatalities in the U.S." has not increased significantly above its historically "normal" level of roughly 30,000 per year, either. And hey, most of those are suicides, so no biggie there.

Typically, the 2nd amendment absolutists (while utterly ignoring the "well-regulated militia" framing of the amendment by its authors), like [url=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=214983]Karl Denninger[/url] are arguing that the "solution" is for all schools to be turned into heavily fortified bunkers with armed, kung fu expert teachers. How about a Patriot missile battery on every rooftop while we're at it, Karl?

tServo 2012-12-17 02:31

Although it sure doesn't matter to the victims ( & their families ), it appears that most of the damage inflicted was done by a BushMaster assault rifle. It was stolen from the shooter's mother who had it "for self defense". Against what or whom? Was she afraid that her handguns wouldn't be able to take out a Terminator or a Dalek or ?

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-17 12:41

The PRIVILEGE to bear arms
 
As I see it, there are three camps that are concerned about their "right" (whatever that has/does/ought to mean) to own guns.

First, you have the sportsmen/women. Generally, they are responsible with their firearms, take pride in them, maintain them properly, etc. They are presumably engaged in ye olde noble pursuit of foraging, hunting, and gathering as we humans have done for thousands of years (we won't get into the meat-consumption debate here). The average hunter has no need for anything that shoots beyond one bullet at a time. Maybe it is nice to be able to clip on 10-12 rounds, but still, if the shooter has any business in the sport, they should be able to get by with one bullet exiting the chamber per go. Obviously, firearms can be [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chai%20Vang"][COLOR=#0066cc]tragically misused[/COLOR][/URL] in sport, too, but it is much less likely. The hunting issue is the one upon which the NRA would like to hang its hat, but at the end of the day, the fact is that hunters do not generally need or want semiautomatic or automatic, assault-type, military-grade weapons. I have no trouble with a trained, licensed sportsperson wanting to own and use firearms (perhaps subject to the constraints below) in line with safety, property, ethical, and legal considerations.

The second group would be those that argue that firearms are necessary for home defense. This is the camp that seemed to contain the CT shooter's mother. I had some first-hand experience this summer that went some distance in at least making me understand the position of the "home defendant". My family was at our second home on the coast of Maine, an extremely rural area, roughly 20 miles from the county seat, in a [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock County, Maine"][COLOR=#0066cc]county[/COLOR][/URL] that is 2,351 square miles with a population of just over 50,000. The road system in this area is rather meandering and antiquated, so that even the aforementioned 20-mile journey might take 45 minutes to an hour at times. This is an area that is generally considered "safe" and relatively crime-free, but in recent years, they have seen the introduction of a meth/"bath salts" problem that has led to some petty break-ins and burglaries. Long story short, our home's burglar alarm malfunctioned and sounded off at 3am one night, when my mother and I were home alone. The alarm company contacted the police...the only problem was that the SINGLE on-duty county sheriff was about 45 minutes on the other side of the county seat...which pegged him at least 60-75 minutes from our house. We sat in a bedroom closet, afraid to move (not knowing if the alarm was a real problem or not, and thinking it wise to not take a chance on guessing), with the 911 dispatcher making small talk on the phone and the burglar siren wailing in the background. It was almost 5am when the police finally arrived and determined that it had been a false alarm. Had there been a real burglar, perhaps armed and willing to injure or kill, we wouldn't have stood a chance. As a result of this experience, as well as learning from others that typical response times in rural Maine for the police can be in the range of multiple hours, my mother purchased a 12-gauge pump action shotgun and a small quantity of buckshot. Most Mainers have similar weapons at their disposal (indeed, most are avid hunters, so the hunting gun can also serve as the defense gun). We don't really want to own weapons, and we hope to God never to have to load it, let alone shoot it, and you had better believe that it is locked away securely when we are away from the house. But I will admit that it feels a lot better knowing that the pump-action sound alone might be enough to scare away an intruder before they have a chance to become a threat or instigate a hostage situation for the 1-2+ hours that it might take to get law enforcement on the scene. So I can understand someone in a rural area (that perhaps hunts already, anyway) maintaining a firearm for home protection. Again, however, I don't see the need of anything capable of shooting more than one bullet at a time. You won't defend a home with an assault weapon, you'll blast your home apart and probably kill several close neighbors.

The third group of gun ownership proponents would be those who feel that owning guns protects them from some sort of government take-over or confiscation of what they own in some way. There are some people that own guns for eschatological reasons (the Tribulation, Armageddon, Mayan Apocalypse, what have you). This group can be a little more disconcerting, and statistically are more likely to misuse their weapons or potentially allow them to fall into the wrong hands. I also would argue that there is a greater likelihood for potential mental illness/instability (or perhaps, call it "irrationality") among this group. A beautiful, quaint Southern town - Abbeville, South Carolina - [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003 Abbeville, South Carolina right-of-way standoff"][COLOR=#0066CC]fell victim[/COLOR][/URL] to a family of this sort in 2003. In the linked article, note the excessive quantities and dangerous types of firearms owned and used by that family. Definite warning signs would be those that fancy themselves as members of a "militia", "uprising", or similar group; those that frequently have [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale Gribble"][COLOR=#0066CC]Dale Gribble[/COLOR][/URL]-esque worldviews; and those that believe deeply in proximate eschatologically-induced battles. These are the people that are not interested in firing one bullet at a time. They are interested in firing all over the map, without regard for who or what they hit, and at the end of the day, they often truly believe that their survival is a "kill or be killed" proposition. Extremely frightening scenario in which multiple high-powered assault weapons are maintained and ready to use at the drop of a hat. This is the group with regards to which the NRA would like us all to look away and whistle, and think that every gun owner in the world is a responsible member of the first two groups above.

So, with these three groups in mind, how might we proceed with respect to reducing the chances of tragedies like those in Aurora or Sandy Hook? First, we must better track the numbers of firearms that are owned by a single individual. There is a place for collectible pieces (many of which can no longer be shot), but when one individual amasses an arsenal of 20-30 modern, working firearms, it seems as though some authority figure, somewhere, should be asking questions, or at least singling the owner out for more stringent background, criminal, and psychological/psychiatric investigation. There probably ought to be certain criminal behaviors (and indeed, there are now) and medical issues (e.g. severe mental illness history, paranoia...right on down to not being fit enough to withstand the kick of the thing when shooting it!) that preclude gun ownership, just as similar criteria exist that can preclude possessing a driver's license or the right to vote.

If we look back at the three groups of gun owners discussed above, we note that only the "fringe, troubled" (in the South, they'd say "bless their heart") types generally are concerned with automatics, assault weapons, machine guns, etc. Assault weapons were banned under the Clinton administration, and we seemed to get by fine. They ought to be banned again. Hunting and home defense are both quite possible with simple shotguns that shoot one bullet at a time and hold 10-12 rounds max. There is absolutely no need in any civilized society to be able to mow down more than twenty human beings (or even animals, for that matter) in three minutes (perhaps during wartime, but then that is the military's bailiwick). Ban these weapons from civilian sale at once.

From here, we need to change the RIGHT to bear arms to the PRIVILEGE to bear arms (just as driving a car is a privilege, and never a right) that carries grave responsibilities. Set a maximum lifetime ownership limit on firearms (five, ten, twenty?) and require full criminal and medical history investigations with every purchase. Just as we register cars and renew driver's licenses at regular intervals, require gun owners to submit to yearly gun registrations and re-checks of criminal and medical history. Require a full explanation of why the firearm is being purchased, e.g. home defense, hunting bears, Satan crawling in my attic window, etc. If the reason seems like it is irrational, anarchic, or "doomsday"-related, this should be noted in the applicant's file, and there should be provisions for denying further purchases if so warranted. Confiscation provisions should exist for those gun owners whose circumstances change so that they can no longer lawfully or safely own firearms. If Gramps is 95, blind, and can't steady his rifle, he shouldn't own it. If mild-mannered Mr. Smith owns a gun, and one day loses his temper and rings up a domestic violence charge, he shouldn't own it. And so on. Since it is quite possible to live a long, happy, successful life without owning a firearm, it is quite all right to err on the side of public safety, even if the new rules are heavy-handed on a few folks.

(CONTINUED IN SECOND POST BELOW)

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-17 12:43

The PRIVILEGE to bear arms (continued)
 
Last but certainly not least, with this new framework of rules, regulations, and controls in place, the penalties need to be severely increased for failing to keep one's legally owned firearms out of the reach of those who have no business with them. For instance, in the Connecticut case, it is believed that the shooter had mental illness issues. His mother therefore should have never allowed him access to firearms (it has been noted that she took him to the shooting range on several occasions, and encouraged him to fire the guns), especially since (if we adopted the new rules above) he would never be allowed to own them himself with a confirmed diagnosis of mental illness. Similarly, if a child or teenager accesses Dad's .22 and heads off to the garage and injures themselves, or worse, massacres their school, Dad should be held as liable as a parent might be for allowing an underage child to drive a car and commit manslaughter by running over a pedestrian. The penalties here would be harsh, and deliberately so, to send the message of responsibility. In the Connecticut case, I would say that the estate of the shooter's mother should be subject to full attachment by the victims, for instance. Had she lived, she should have been subject to a charge of accessory to 28 counts of manslaughter, if not outright murder. There are many gun owners that have small children, that don't even have the common sense to invest in trigger locks. If losing their child to a gun accident isn't enough to make them take responsibility, then perhaps a decade or two in prison would fit the bill.

The United States is quite different from many smaller nations that have outright banned weapons, just as it is different from other nations in an economic and political sense. This country is incredibly vast and much more heavily populated than many in Europe, for example, so there are going to be times and places (e.g. Maine) where the police simply aren't readily available for every emergency. Therefore, there probably should be an option to maintain a firearm for home defense. Also keep in mind that our neighbors to the south will gladly import as many drugs and guns as our friendly neighborhood criminals would like to have, so completely eliminating guns from American hands will ensure that American victims will end up on the wrong end of guns, banned or not. In the UK, for example, one does not generally hear about the illegal trafficking of weapons from France or Spain, do they? And lastly, let us not forget that even in one of the most peaceful countries on Earth, we are never guaranteed total freedom from [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Breivik"][color=#0066CC]violence[/COLOR][/URL]. So while some would scream "total gun control now!" and others would scream "free guns for all!", the answer is definitely somewhere along the spectrum between the two, a lot closer to the middle, yet leaning ever so slightly towards the "control" side. With our government's seeming inability to compromise on anything, however, one wonders how many more times we will have to witness this kind of horror before someone, somewhere proclaims that enough is enough and takes responsibility before the list of public sanctuaries has gone completely blank, and grade-school children must fear for their lives to simply go to school each day. The thought of little [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/JonBenet Ramsey"][COLOR=#0066CC]JonBenet Ramsey[/COLOR][/URL] has been with me this weekend. As tragic as her death was at six years old, now we have JonBenet times 20. I pray that we do not become desensitized too quickly.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-17 13:11

[QUOTE=tServo;321852]Although it sure doesn't matter to the victims ( & their families ), it appears that most of the damage inflicted was done by a BushMaster assault rifle. It was stolen from the shooter's mother who had it "for self defense". Against what or whom? Was she afraid that her handguns wouldn't be able to take out a Terminator or a Dalek or ?[/QUOTE]

The very same Bushmaster model that was used by the Washington, D. C. Beltway Snipers back in 2002: [URL]http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/17/bushmaster-assault-rifle-in-newtown-shootings/1772825/[/URL]. Note: "[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]The weapon, [Connecticut State Chief Medical Examiner] Carver said, delivers bullets "designed in such a fashion (that) the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullets stay in." How freaking lovely. Interestingly, the gun used in Newtown had to be several years old, because it seems as though a suit in the mid-2000s by the some of the families of the Washington Sniper victims seems to have resulted in Bushmaster's being bankrupted out of business: [/SIZE][/FONT][URL="http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/archive/index.php/t-400357.html"][FONT=Verdana]http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/archive/index.php/t-400357.html[/FONT][/URL][FONT=Verdana].[/FONT][/COLOR]

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-17 13:18

[QUOTE=ewmayer;321819]
Typically, the 2nd amendment absolutists (while utterly ignoring the "well-regulated militia" framing of the amendment by its authors), like [URL="http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=214983"]Karl Denninger[/URL] are arguing that the "solution" is for all schools to be turned into heavily fortified bunkers with armed, kung fu expert teachers. How about a Patriot missile battery on every rooftop while we're at it, Karl?[/QUOTE]

Ridiculous. The simplest solution would be the one that is employed by a local bank. They have two (presumably bulletproof) glass entry doors. You open one, step inside, and then an employee has to electronically release the other door that actually admits you to the lobby. Ditto for exiting the building. This allows the staff time to inspect a potential patron for suspicious activities or behaviors, and also enables them to trap a robber in between the exit doors like a bee in a Mason jar until the police can respond. If it works for a bank, surely it could work for a school or other public place.

Dubslow 2012-12-17 18:32

[QUOTE=NBtarheel_33;321893]
The United States is quite different from many smaller nations that have outright banned weapons, just as it is different from other nations in an economic and political sense. This country is incredibly vast and much more heavily populated than many in Europe, for example, so there are going to be times and places (e.g. Maine) where the police simply aren't readily available for every emergency. Therefore, there probably should be an option to maintain a firearm for home defense. Also keep in mind that our neighbors to the south will gladly import as many drugs and guns as our friendly neighborhood criminals would like to have, so completely eliminating guns from American hands will ensure that American victims will end up on the wrong end of guns, banned or not. In the UK, for example, one does not generally hear about the illegal trafficking of weapons from France or Spain, do they? And lastly, let us not forget that even in one of the most peaceful countries on Earth, we are never guaranteed total freedom from [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Breivik"][color=#0066CC]violence[/COLOR][/URL]. So while some would scream "total gun control now!" and others would scream "free guns for all!", the answer is definitely somewhere along the spectrum between the two, a lot closer to the middle, yet leaning ever so slightly towards the "control" side. With our government's seeming inability to compromise on anything, however, one wonders how many more times we will have to witness this kind of horror before someone, somewhere proclaims that enough is enough and takes responsibility before the list of public sanctuaries has gone completely blank, and grade-school children must fear for their lives to simply go to school each day. The thought of little [URL="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/JonBenet Ramsey"][COLOR=#0066CC]JonBenet Ramsey[/COLOR][/URL] has been with me this weekend. As tragic as her death was at six years old, now we have JonBenet times 20. I pray that we do not become desensitized too quickly.[/QUOTE]
Brilliant, sir.

ewmayer 2012-12-17 20:44

Thanks for the very thoughtful post, NBtarheel_33. I am with you in that I have no problem with hunting-style weapons where it is difficult to fire more than one or two rounds in quick succession, but of course the NRA uses that sport/subsistence-hunting purpose as a wedge to get all the military-style hardware beloved by the gun-nuts-for-gun-nuttery's-sake people in the door.

The other irritating canard I've been hearing over the weekend from the apologists is "the real problem isn't guns, it's mental illness." As if other nations on earth which suffer drastically lower rates of gun violence are magically devoid of mental ills. No, the problem is again the "guns don't kill people, they just make it really easy to kill people" one - when a mentally ill or otherwise seriously deluded person has easy access to a weapon whose lethality allows them to inflict their sickness on many more people than they would be able to with a knife, baseball bat, automobile or even hunting-style firearm. In the U.S. that is coupled with the problem that when the entire nation is awash in firearms, someone stashing a half-dozen firearms at home or taking their mentally-troubled teenager to the local firing range attracts far less attention than it should.

Minor bug report - I think you meant "sparsely populated" in your talk of places like rural Maine.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-19 20:00

Okay, now that we have discussed guns laws, and whether certain types of guns should be banned, let's talk about something that people don't care to admit. Violence in the media also contributes to these crimes. Perhaps more than the access of guns themselves contribute to the violence. Are we going to get serious about restricting the access young children have to violent video games, movies, and TV shows?

[URL="http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=9809884"]Comic on the issue[/URL]

gd_barnes 2012-12-19 21:33

Absolutely brilliant thought analysis in your posting NBtarheel_33. If you are OK with it, I would like to provide your posting as a link in a debate that I am having right now with someone.


Gary

chappy 2012-12-19 21:57

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;322064]Okay, now that we have discussed guns laws, and whether certain types of guns should be banned, let's talk about something that people don't care to admit. Violence in the media also contributes to these crimes. Perhaps more than the access of guns themselves contribute to the violence. Are we going to get serious about restricting the access young children have to violent video games, movies, and TV shows?

[URL="http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=9809884"]Comic on the issue[/URL][/QUOTE]

Have you seen Japanese pop-culture? Makes American look like Pleasantville, no plague of mass shootings. Canada has just about the same pop-culture as the US, plus Tim Hortons--no plague of mass shootings.

There are a couple of studies that suggest a link between violent video games and violence later in life, but they are overwhelmed by the [URL="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/ten-country-comparison-suggests-theres-little-or-no-link-between-video-games-and-gun-murders/"]larger[/URL] and [URL="http://www.science20.com/news_articles/violent_video_games_help_kids_manage_stress-2511"]better studies[/URL] that show no such link.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

bsquared 2012-12-19 22:03

[QUOTE=NBtarheel_33;321895]Ridiculous. The simplest solution would be the one that is employed by a local bank. They have two (presumably bulletproof) glass entry doors. You open one, step inside, and then an employee has to electronically release the other door that actually admits you to the lobby. Ditto for exiting the building. This allows the staff time to inspect a potential patron for suspicious activities or behaviors, and also enables them to trap a robber in between the exit doors like a bee in a Mason jar until the police can respond. If it works for a bank, surely it could work for a school or other public place.[/QUOTE]

Sounds simple, sure, but think about it. How many schools do you know that have just one door? My daughters elementary school has 9 that I know of. One of the local high schools has 26. What kind of cost is associated with transforming each of these entryways into a bulletproof, double-locking, electronically fortified hatchway? Banks are built to be formidable and sturdy-looking. Schools are built to be welcoming and friendly. Complete transformation of millions of school entryways would cost trillions. And would-be murderers would just go in through a window or wait until recess.

A malevolent premeditated attacker has every advantage. You can't defend against them. Period. Prevention of said malevolent beings is the only way. And gun control won't solve anything either, IMO. There's no way that all guns will be banned, and malevolent people can still slaughter kids with semi-automatic or even with bolt-action guns. Maybe not as many, but that's splitting hairs.

I think the only cure to stuff like this is more help, support, treatment, etc. for mentally troubled people and their families/friends combined with, as Zeta-flux said, a significant effort to eliminate or curtail the glorification of the "violence culture", i.e. games, movies, etc, (including "news" channels!). Throw a trillion dollars toward those goals and I believe we'd see better results than a trillion thrown at school defense.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-19 22:19

[QUOTE=chappy;322071]Have you seen Japanese pop-culture? Makes American look like Pleasantville, no plague of mass shootings. Canada has just about the same pop-culture as the US, plus Tim Hortons--no plague of mass shootings.

There are a couple of studies that suggest a link between violent video games and violence later in life, but they are overwhelmed by the [URL="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/ten-country-comparison-suggests-theres-little-or-no-link-between-video-games-and-gun-murders/"]larger[/URL] and [URL="http://www.science20.com/news_articles/violent_video_games_help_kids_manage_stress-2511"]better studies[/URL] that show no such link.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.[/QUOTE]

First, I don't take my science from the Washington Post.

Second, my assertion was not that violent video games make us all more violent. No, it was that the media (which includes video games as a very small subset) contributes to the violence. This can happen in many ways. For example, by affecting those already prone to violence. It is quite clear that the Batman movies, for example, influenced one recent shooter. Here are some statements from the wiki article on "video game controversies":

[QUOTE]A US Secret Service study of 41 individuals involved in school shootings found that only 12% were attracted to violent video games, while 24% read violent books [B]and 27% were attracted to violent films[/B].

An Australian study found that only children [B]already predisposed to violence[/B] were affected by violent games. (emphasis added)[/QUOTE]

The point is that, just like with guns, it is the wackos we have to worry about and deal with. If we are banning guns merely to keep them out of the hands of wackos, should we not take the appropriate measures to ban glorified violent media for the same reasons?

And by the way, the U.S. did ban assault weapons. There was little to no effect on crime rates when the ban stopped. [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban"]Wiki article about the ban.[/URL] It might be that the ban was not effective in the first place. And I agree with you that this is a complicated picture. And I'm *all* on board for banning assault weapons of any kind. But that won't solve the problem. We need to deal with those mentally ill kids which are not being helped and often being put in Juvenile hall where they then learn behaviors which makes them become more violent.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-19 22:21

bsquared,

Thank you for saying it better than me.

bsquared 2012-12-19 23:27

I've got a few other thoughts on the roots causes here that I thought I'd share. I've done no background research other than several nights worth of Gedankenexperiment, but maybe it's still worth something.

I think a possible root cause of violent anti-social behavior, and maybe even of lots of other social handicaps, is overpopulation. Go back to when man primarily lived in nomadic groups. Mental/social handicaps and violent anti-social behavior would not have been tolerated, sadly. Those folks were quickly voted off the island (abandoned to die) or even outright killed by their own tribe. Survival-of-the-many, and all.

Now advance a bit to where people are settled, but typically in small villages with rural lifestyles and dawn-to-dusk type laboring (i.e. medieval times). Almost the same thing happens. The populace is self-policing. Everyone knows everyone and you simply can't get away with being overly deviant without someone finding out about it and you becoming the village idiot and ostracized. Or locked up. And prison was no Hilton back then... locked up probably meant dead within a year or two.

At some point between then and now, increasing population density has actually driven people farther away from each other than before. I live in a small midwest town and yet still don't know the guy that lives two doors down from me. Let alone am aware of any of his potential issues. I don't think technology has helped along these lines; if anything only increasing the isolation of people that may have issues. As a result, the populace is no longer self-policing, and people with violent tendencies that never would have survived past age 12 in the year 1150 can now thrive, living in complete isolation in the middle of a city of a million people. Even if they are "caught", or a family member is concerned for them, there is often no avenue for significant and meaningful help.

One approach to solving this would be to simply kill or "leave to die" such troubled folks that are caught (vis-a-vis nomadic tribes), but I think we can all agree that that would be barbaric in this day and age.

Another approach would be to try to "self-police" again, as in medieval times. But this requires everyone to develop meaningful relationships with everyone else around them. Anyone see that happening in the age of iPhone?

A perhaps workable solution, as I alluded to before, is to create a big enough public infrastructure of support for societal outcasts that we can provide meaningful help for them as they are identified, by friends or family or whomever. But this will probably have a huge cost, may be ineffective depending on many factors, and still allows people to slip through the cracks.

I think the best solution in this analogy is the medieval one, with a twist, where everyone develops meaningful relationships with a large network of people around them but everyone is also willing to help those in their network instead of just ostracizing them. i.e. a distributed solution instead of a centralized one.

anyway. [/Gedankenexperiment]

Prime95 2012-12-19 23:36

[QUOTE=bsquared;322073]malevolent people can still slaughter kids with semi-automatic or even with bolt-action guns. Maybe not as many, but that's splitting hairs.[/QUOTE]

You might not call it "splitting hairs" if it was your loved one that got away while a malevolent person was busy reloading or was using a handgun instead of an Uzi because of tougher gun laws.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the asinine argument, "doing X won't [i]completely[/i] solve the problem, so we should do nothing instead".

I do however agree with you that the attacker has every advantage. Defensive measures are mostly futile. Our county just voted to [strike]invest[/strike]squander $3M putting a sheriff in every elementary school for the rest of the year. In all likelihood if there had been a sheriff at the Connecticut school no lives would have been saved - and perhaps one more lost.

[quote=zeta-flux]And by the way, the U.S. did ban assault weapons. There was little to no effect on crime rates[/quote]

These high-profile mass shootings are rare enough that you won't find any meaningful evidence using crime rates.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-20 00:28

[QUOTE=Prime95;322094]These high-profile mass shootings are rare enough that you won't find any meaningful evidence using crime rates.[/QUOTE]And yet these are what we fixate upon, ignoring the many other murders which, in total, make this one high-profile mass shooting pale in comparison. [But I ABSOLUTELY agree that we should ban these guns anyway. Make it as hard for them to do it as possible.]

cheesehead 2012-12-20 00:33

[QUOTE=chappy;322071]Have you seen Japanese pop-culture? Makes American look like Pleasantville, no plague of mass shootings. Canada has just about the same pop-culture as the US, plus Tim Hortons--no plague of mass shootings.
[/QUOTE]

Considering the types of weapons used in mass shootings, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Japanese residents, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Canadian residents and what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among U.S. residents?

Xyzzy 2012-12-20 00:51

[QUOTE]Considering the types of weapons used in mass shootings, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Japanese residents, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Canadian residents and what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among U.S. residents?[/QUOTE]Note: We are not taking a position with this link.

[url]http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/switzerland.asp[/url]

bsquared 2012-12-20 01:12

[QUOTE=Prime95;322094]You might not call it "splitting hairs" if it was your loved one that got away while a malevolent person was busy reloading or was using a handgun instead of an Uzi because of tougher gun laws.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the asinine argument, "doing X won't [i]completely[/i] solve the problem, so we should do nothing instead".

I do however agree with you that the attacker has every advantage. Defensive measures are mostly futile. Our county just voted to [strike]invest[/strike]squander $3M putting a sheriff in every elementary school for the rest of the year. In all likelihood if there had been a sheriff at the Connecticut school no lives would have been saved - and perhaps one more lost.

[/QUOTE]

I'm not advocating we do nothing. What I'm tired of is all the reactionary responses... someone attacks so we must defend. But you can't build a big enough shield. So look elsewhere for solutions. Some amount of defensive reaction might be ok, but I just don't want to focus solely on that. I also don't mean to give the wrong impression - I'm all for stricter gun control, I just don't think it will do much good. My point about splitting hairs was the opposite of the way you took it, which is to say, it won't help a victim's families any to learn that their loved one was murdered with a handgun vs. an assault rifle - the result is the same.

cheesehead 2012-12-20 02:04

[QUOTE=Xyzzy;322108]Note: We are not taking a position with this link.

[URL]http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/switzerland.asp[/URL][/QUOTE]Your non-position-taking is kindly noted.

(Swiss gun-culture differs from that of Japan, Canada and USA, hence my country-specific inquiries ...)

chappy 2012-12-20 04:09

[QUOTE=cheesehead;322103]Considering the types of weapons used in mass shootings, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Japanese residents, what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among Canadian residents and what is the rate of ownership of such weapons among U.S. residents?[/QUOTE]

It would seem you are making a separate argument Kasekoph. One that is much harder to ignore, for sure, but has little bearing on whether violent video games are causally related to violence.

Yes, Zeta you cry about ad hominems where there are none, yet poison the well at your first opportunity. Perhaps you see why arguing with you is hardly worth my time, so I will ask once again. Can you provide actual data to support your assertion that violent pop-culture leads to an increase in violent activity.

Your own wiki-quote shows that the majority of school shooters (in a minuscule sample) were not attracted to each of the violent aspects of popular culture. In fact, had you actually read the [URL="http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/preventingattacksreport.pdf"]report linked [/URL]you would have seen that the total of all three categories was 59%, meaning that there was considerable overlap in 'interest in violence.' All this becomes meaningless, however because as the writers of the report state very clearly: "There is no accurate or useful "profile" of students who engaged in targeted school violence."

Further that [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_controversies"]same article [/URL]makes the claim that while various aspects of popular culture are becoming more violent, [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_controversies#cite_ref-40"]juvenile violence is actually on the decline[/URL].

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-20 19:30

[QUOTE=chappy;322124]Yes, Zeta you cry about ad hominems where there are none,[/quote]Boo hoo hoo. Ad hominems. Boo hoo hoo. ;-)

[quote]yet poison the well at your first opportunity.[/quote]I suppose you are speaking of my statement about not taking my science from the Washington Post. I can see how you would interpret my statement that way. I probably should have said "I don't take my science from news agencies. Please link to the actual science article instead please." (But you are probably right that there was a little well-poisoning on my part, good call. I apologize for that.)

[quote]Perhaps you see why arguing with you is hardly worth my time, so I will ask once again. Can you provide actual data to support your assertion that violent pop-culture leads to an increase in violent activity.[/quote]To repeat myself, that is [b]not my claim[/b]. I don't know whether violent pop-culture leads to a significant [b]increase[/b] in violence. Just as I don't know that access to semiautomatic weapons leads to a significant increase in gun violence/deaths (in a country where we have access to other types of guns).

But it is clear to me that access to assault weaponry and access to the violent media culture, both contribute to the gun culture in this nation. (E.g. Can you honestly say that the Batman movies had no influence on the recent shooting at the theatre in Colorado?)

[quote]Your own wiki-quote shows that the majority of school shooters (in a minuscule sample) were not attracted to each of the violent aspects of popular culture. In fact, had you actually read the [URL="http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/preventingattacksreport.pdf"]report linked [/URL]you would have seen that the total of all three categories was 59%, meaning that there was considerable overlap in 'interest in violence.' All this becomes meaningless, however because as the writers of the report state very clearly: "There is no accurate or useful "profile" of students who engaged in targeted school violence."

Further that [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_controversies"]same article [/URL]makes the claim that while various aspects of popular culture are becoming more violent, [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_controversies#cite_ref-40"]juvenile violence is actually on the decline[/URL].[/QUOTE]I'll take a closer look at these articles. But again note, my claim wasn't about *increased* violence. I'm not out to ban automatic and semi-automatic weapons because I think they have increased the level the violence. I just think they are a bad idea for society, and contribute to the violence. Same with the violent media.

In other words, I don't think that violent movies have made me more violent (I hope), but I don't think they have made the culture better either.

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-20 20:04

[URL="http://www.eurojournals.com/ejsr_38_1_15.pdf"]2007 article on the effects watching violent movies on the attitudes of youth[/URL]

[URL="http://bscw-app1.let.ethz.ch/pub/bscw.cgi/d5907573/HuesmannTaylor-The%20Role%20of%20Media%20Violence%20in%20Violent%20Behavio.pdf"]This 2006 article claims it does increase violence[/URL]

[URL="http://psi.sagepub.com/content/4/3/81"]A 2003 article that claims [/URL]"Research on violent television and films, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both immediate and long-term contexts" and "Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions."

Then again, this [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_violence_research"]wiki article on media violence[/URL] suggests that these studies and others are incorrect.

So, what can we say? For all I know both sides are correct. Violent movies increases violent tendencies, but there may be other factors (such as, you have less time to be violent if you are in front of your TV) that decreases the total number of acts of violence in the nation. *shrug*

Zeta-Flux 2012-12-21 17:49

Reports are now coming out that Adam Lanza spent hours locked in the basement playing violent video games, such as Call of Duty. [URL="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/playtime_in_den_of_doom_vYB2VlXSBEW8Di7pMo1leJ"]NY post article[/URL]

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-21 21:39

[QUOTE=gd_barnes;322068]Absolutely brilliant thought analysis in your posting NBtarheel_33. If you are OK with it, I would like to provide your posting as a link in a debate that I am having right now with someone.


Gary[/QUOTE]

Please do. Good thoughtful debate has too long taken a back seat in this country to the bluffing, "chicken-playing", I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine, and "my dog's bigger than your dog" tactics that prevent serious discussion of nearly every topic or idea pertinent to running the country today. It will get easier as the days go ahead, and the Christmas season ends, and the media trucks pack up and pull away, for the town to drop fifty or a hundred grand on a nice little monument for the dead and then for the whole country to let what happened sink deep into their minds without making any changes or bettering our lifestyle. Everyone needs to keep the image in their minds of an entire Little League teeball game PLUS two, being mowed down in three minutes, and that all that blood is on this country's hands until we take a step to ensure it never happens again.

chappy 2012-12-21 22:24

[QUOTE=NBtarheel_33;322280]and that all that blood is on this country's hands until we take a step to ensure it never happens again.[/QUOTE]


well said. regardless of all else, well said.

Xyzzy 2012-12-22 00:30

[url]http://news.yahoo.com/gun-lobby-ceo-calls-guns-protect-schools-162454142--finance.html[/url]

[QUOTE]"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."[/QUOTE]

:confus:

ewmayer 2012-12-22 02:25

[QUOTE=Xyzzy;322293][url]http://news.yahoo.com/gun-lobby-ceo-calls-guns-protect-schools-162454142--finance.html[/url]

[QUOTE]"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."[/QUOTE]

:confus:[/QUOTE]

Flatly, unequivocally false - It took me all of 10 seconds to find this bit related to the [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting]2011 Tucson shooting of congresswoman Gabby Giffords and multiple bystanders[/url]:
[quote][gunman Travis] Loughner allegedly proceeded to fire apparently randomly at other members of the crowd.[2][20] The weapon used was reported to be a 9mm Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol with a 33-round magazine.[21][22] A nearby store employee said he heard "15 to 20 gunshots".[23] [u]Loughner stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his pocket to the sidewalk, from where bystander Patricia Maisch grabbed it.[24] Another bystander clubbed the back of the assailant's head with a folding chair, injuring his elbow in the process, representing the 14th injury.[25] The gunman was then tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired US Army Colonel Bill Badger,[26] who himself had been shot, and was further subdued by Maisch and bystanders Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio[/u]. Zamudio was a CCW holder and had a weapon on his person, but arrived after the shooting had stopped and did not use the firearm to engage or threaten the gunman.[27][/quote]
Unfortunately, it's disinformation-spreading liars and chest-thumping morons like the above-quoted gun-lobby mouthpiece who buy off enough politicians to make sure nothing ever changes, except in the more-lethal direction.

Uncwilly 2012-12-22 02:26

[QUOTE=Xyzzy;322293][url]http://news.yahoo.com/gun-lobby-ceo-calls-guns-protect-schools-162454142--finance.html[/url][/QUOTE]
About as predictable as this:
[url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/pope-anti-gay-speech_n_2344870.html[/url]

chappy 2012-12-22 02:34

[QUOTE=ewmayer;322302]Flatly, unequivocally false - It took me all of 10 seconds to find this bit related to the [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting]2011 Tucson shooting of congresswoman Gabby Giffords and multiple bystanders[/url]:

Unfortunately, it's disinformation-spreading liars and chest-thumping morons like the above-quoted gun-lobby mouthpiece who buy off enough politicians to make sure nothing ever changes, except in the more-lethal direction.[/QUOTE]

It's interesting that the article doesn't mention the fact that Joseph Zamudio, the CCW carrying bystander had run out of the store and had witnessed none of the shootings, and by [URL="http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/myth-of-the-hero-gunslinger/"]his own testimony[/URL] almost shot one of the people wrestling Laughner to the ground.

kladner 2012-12-22 03:43

[QUOTE=Uncwilly;322303]About as predictable as this:
[URL]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/pope-anti-gay-speech_n_2344870.html[/URL][/QUOTE]

Aye yai yai!

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 15:22

[QUOTE=ewmayer;321926]The other irritating canard I've been hearing over the weekend from the apologists is "the real problem isn't guns, it's mental illness." As if other nations on earth which suffer drastically lower rates of gun violence are magically devoid of mental ills. No, the problem is again the "guns don't kill people, they just make it really easy to kill people" one - when a mentally ill or otherwise seriously deluded person has easy access to a weapon whose lethality allows them to inflict their sickness on many more people than they would be able to with a knife, baseball bat, automobile or even hunting-style firearm. In the U.S. that is coupled with the problem that when the entire nation is awash in firearms, someone stashing a half-dozen firearms at home or taking their mentally-troubled teenager to the local firing range attracts far less attention than it should.[/QUOTE]

It's that dirty R-word that no one wants to hear. Responsibility. If you have a child, mentally ill person, elderly person, disabled person, etc. living in your home, and you wish to own guns, you have a responsibility to keep the guns secure and away from those persons at all times. Moreover, you never take one of these persons to a shooting range, let alone encourage them to shoot a gun. There are reports that Nancy Lanza was trying to "connect" with her son (who was growing distant the older he got - gee, anyone see a sign of trouble there?) by letting him accompany her to the range and fire the guns. Gee, Mom, how about - oh, I don't know - connecting with your (known disturbed) boy over a game of Scrabble? There are also reports that for three days, Tuesday 12/11 through Thursday 12/13, Ms. Lanza was off in New Hampshire on vacation alone. OK, but then that raises the question - since she was shot in her bed as she slept the morning of Friday 12/14, what was the status of the guns while Adam was home alone? That's the kind of responsibility that needs codified into law with harsh penalties against the gun owner, or the gun owner's estate, for negligence.

Let's say that Adam Lanza had not been as highly functioning. Let's peg his IQ at 60. What would have happened to Mother/Mother's estate if she had been "connecting" with her son by giving him impromptu driving lessons, until one morning he decided that it might be fun to drive the car the wrong way down the interstate at 120 miles per hour? How about if she had been "connecting" with her son by teaching him how to light big bonfires in the back yard, and Adam got the bright (no pun intended) idea that the neighbor's house would make a "really pretty boom boom"? Why is the equivalent notion of turning him loose with firearms, when his *social* and perhaps even *knowledge of consequences of his actions* IQ is probably about 60, not a similarly legally codified offense?

[QUOTE]Minor bug report - I think you meant "sparsely populated" in your talk of places like rural Maine.[/QUOTE]

Actually, both arguments work in a sense. I often cite the country's large population as a whole to those who argue that what works for Europe, Canada, or Australia - whether universal health care, gun control, or large social entitlement/welfare programs - ought to be a perfect fit for the United States, as well. On the other hand, you're right that the sparse population of many places - e.g. Maine - within the United States is also a good argument for the right to harm bears (which reminds me that we were informed of another good reason to own a gun in the North Woods: black bear invasions of your back yard!), and probably more in line with what I was trying to express in that "essay" of mine.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 15:41

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;322263]Reports are now coming out that Adam Lanza spent hours locked in the basement playing violent video games, such as Call of Duty. [URL="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/playtime_in_den_of_doom_vYB2VlXSBEW8Di7pMo1leJ"]NY post article[/URL][/QUOTE]

And I have no doubt that this contributed negatively (no, not 100%, but a definite contribution) to his mental health. I saw another article (NY Post, as well, I believe) in which they interviewed a plumber that had worked at the house, and had seen Adam's "lair" in the basement. Basically, every violent video game that you could think of, no natural light source, and the walls peppered with posters of guns and militaria. Apparently, both Adam and his brother were walking encyclopedias of weapons knowledge, able to describe the minutiae of weapons that were made long before they were born, according to the plumber.

I think that it is also telling that Adam Lanza smashed his computer to bits (no pun intended) before the shooting. Perhaps something or someone he encountered on the Internet, or the loss of a particular game, drove him over the edge? I am hoping and praying that they are able to do forensic analysis on what they have, as that may provide the most detailed picture of what might have been going through his mind.

Incidentally, anyone see [URL=http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/us/connecticut-shooting-adam-lanza-barber/index.html]this interview with Adam Lanza's barber[/URL]? After spouting off himself about his fantasies of killing Lanza, I'd say that his barber's license ought to be pulled and he ought to be closely watched himself. It is interesting to note that Mommy Dearest tended to keep a close leash on the boy. Might be that the initial plan was just to take out Mommy Dearest (there have been rumblings that she was getting ready to move the two of them to Washington state, ostensibly to put Little Boy Blue in a special institution there), but then once he had her blood on his hands (and nothing more to lose), he figured he'd experience what playing his video games for real might be like. The choice of venue could have stemmed from (1) easy pickings with a higher possible body count due to the element of surprise, or (2) some perceived slight at how he had been treated when he attended the school (and also the fact that the school psychologist had been working with the mother re: treatment options).

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 15:49

[QUOTE=Xyzzy;322108]Note: We are not taking a position with this link.

[URL]http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/switzerland.asp[/URL][/QUOTE]

The trick is that, IIRC, the state-issued ammo is to remain sealed and every round present and accounted for unless it is used for official purposes. Without checking the link, I believe too that there are certain age and mental fitness requirements for the weapon(s) to be issued.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 15:51

[QUOTE=bsquared;322073]Sounds simple, sure, but think about it. How many schools do you know that have just one door? My daughters elementary school has 9 that I know of. One of the local high schools has 26. What kind of cost is associated with transforming each of these entryways into a bulletproof, double-locking, electronically fortified hatchway? Banks are built to be formidable and sturdy-looking. Schools are built to be welcoming and friendly. Complete transformation of millions of school entryways would cost trillions. And would-be murderers would just go in through a window or wait until recess.

A malevolent premeditated attacker has every advantage. You can't defend against them. Period. Prevention of said malevolent beings is the only way. And gun control won't solve anything either, IMO. There's no way that all guns will be banned, and malevolent people can still slaughter kids with semi-automatic or even with bolt-action guns. Maybe not as many, but that's splitting hairs.

I think the only cure to stuff like this is more help, support, treatment, etc. for mentally troubled people and their families/friends combined with, as Zeta-flux said, a significant effort to eliminate or curtail the glorification of the "violence culture", i.e. games, movies, etc, (including "news" channels!). Throw a trillion dollars toward those goals and I believe we'd see better results than a trillion thrown at school defense.[/QUOTE]

Yep, sadly, Sandy Hook Elementary had actually just this year installed a system just as I was describing. The gunman shot the hell out of it anyway. My sister, who used to work at the aforementioned bank, said that the glass is "bulletproof" probably to the extent of one or two bullets at a time, but stands no chance against tens of rounds from an assault weapon.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 15:59

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;322188](E.g. Can you honestly say that the Batman movies had no influence on the recent shooting at the theatre in Colorado?)[/QUOTE]

The whacko even took the time to dye his hair (the wrong color), booby trap his home, and come out and say "I am the Joker".

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-22 16:04

So what might the Founding Fathers have to say?
 
I have been thinking to myself this week about what our beloved Founding Fathers might think of this country if they came for a visit today. I believe it might go something like this:

Franklin unbuckling his shoes and dropping his bloomers at PHL security: "I knew they'd give up their liberty for security!" Jefferson being driven along Wall Street and then through a ghetto on a tour of NYC: "Didn't I say the banks would have them homeless in their own country?" George Washington observing an angry but apparently wealthy and well-fed mob of college students urinating on an American flag: "My men froze to death bearing that flag as they crossed the Delaware so those punks could be free to do...THAT?!". The three of them - Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin - in unison: "What the hell happened to this place?!" Just then, their tour guide takes them into a gun shop and shows off the latest in weapons technology: "Gentlemen, you will no doubt be quite impressed with the strides we have made in arms manufacture and importation. Moreover, you will be proud that your legacy lives on as the Second Amendment continues to provide every American with the right to own as many firearms as they would like. This baby right here can mow down over twenty people in three minutes and holds over 100 rounds! Much better than those one-bullet, smoky old muskets that you had in your day, eh?" As the group leaves, a kid pushes past the illustrious trio with "hey old dudes, get the f**k outta my way!" and spits his gum at just the right angle for it to become lodged in Washington's famous powdered wig.

Later that night, a break-in is reported at the National Archives. Early reports indicate that every known copy of the Bill of Rights has been vandalized; oddly, the Second Amendment has been carefully cut out of every one. One witness can't be completely sure, but they might have seen a man with white hair and a pigtail nearby around the time of the vandalism. A note is found at the scene: "You think this is bad? If you don't learn to behave, we're tearing up the articles of surrender and sending them back to Britain! Our only regret is that there's no "right to bear pointy scissors" amendment because if there were, the whole lot of you would be plying blunt kindergarten Fiskars faster than you could sing "Yankee Doodle"! Sincerely, TJ, GW, BF and everyone else who was horrifically maimed or killed so that you could embrace failure as a lifestyle choice, sell your souls to Hell, and play professional dunces upon the world stage".

Brian-E 2012-12-22 17:27

[QUOTE=NBtarheel_33;322341]It's that dirty R-word that no one wants to hear. Responsibility. If you have a child, mentally ill person, elderly person, disabled person, etc. living in your home, and you wish to own guns, you have a responsibility to keep the guns secure and away from those persons at all times. [...][/QUOTE]
Elderly? Disabled? You have some interesting categories of person here from whom we have a "responsibility" to keep guns securely locked away.
As for mentally ill: are you sure you can identify positively who is mentally ill amongst those close to you? Really?
I thought I could until the summer of 2003. I was wrong, drastically wrong. And the resulting incident involved the person threatening others with a firearm. Fortunately no-one was physically hurt in the incident, but people took lasting emotional damage away with them and the repercussions have not died down to this day.

No-one is immune from a sudden breakdown, psychosis, what have you. Firearms must be securely locked away at all times from [I]anyone[/I] who is not authorised to use them.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-23 09:33

[QUOTE=Brian-E;322357]Elderly? Disabled? You have some interesting categories of person here from whom we have a "responsibility" to keep guns securely locked away.[/QUOTE]

These categories not so much because I am concerned about them doing damage to others, but to themselves. An elderly person might hear something go bump in the night, stumble downstairs, and shoot into the darkness at the "intruder" who turns out to be little Billy looking for a midnight snack. Or, in panic or confusion, the elderly person injures or kills themselves with the gun. Similarly, a disabled person may hurt themselves or a bystander because they lack certain physical strength required to handle a firearm. Or their reflexes/mental acuity are not sharp enough. Keep in mind the analogy: bearing arms ought to require (at least) the same qualifications as driving a car. And if you know someone, anyone, in your home that is unable to safely (or legally) drive, but that might try anyway whether accidentally or on purpose, you would keep the keys out of their reach.

One of the scariest situations re: firearms that I have personally encountered was that of my great-uncle and great-aunt, who both passed away within two months of each other in 2011. They had lived in suburban Washington, DC - right "inside the beltway" - for 35+ years. As the crime rates had gone up over the years, my great-uncle had acquired numerous firearms, mostly shotguns, ranging from a 1928 Remington to a Ruger .22 with a 10-round magazine to what we thought (and what our uncle had told us) was a Glock, but turned out to be a damn good replica, but just a BB gun. We did find one real handgun, as well. Now, both of these people were in their 80s. My great-aunt had advanced dementia, while my great-uncle had the beginning stages. Their house was so dilapidated that a good foot to the front door would have caved it in. As our family rounded up "Little Ruby Ridge" as we dubbed it, after they had passed away, we commented on how blessed they had been that (1) no one had broken in and used the guns on them, (2) they hadn't misused the guns out of fear or a dementia hallucination, and (3) the guns hadn't been stolen and used in crimes. As if this weren't enough, on the day that we had to tell our uncle that his wife had died, his response was that he'd like to get a gun and shoot himself. I shudder to think that is exactly how things might have played out if they had been home alone and something had happened to our aunt. And [B]that's [/B]why I believe that firearms should be kept safe from the elderly if they are exhibiting signs of a weakened mental state.

[QUOTE=Brian-E;322357]As for mentally ill: are you sure you can identify positively who is mentally ill amongst those close to you? Really?[/QUOTE]

Definitely not. In fact, what generally happens is the well get branded sick, and the sick get cleared as well. But when there is a record of unusual behavior (in the sense of way outside social norms, e.g. no desire to communicate, no sense of belonging to the community, etc.), anti-social leanings, poor psychosocial development, or even a diagnosed mental illness, that person should be precluded from accessing firearms, for their own safety and that of others.

[QUOTE=Brian-E;322357]I thought I could until the summer of 2003. I was wrong, drastically wrong. And the resulting incident involved the person threatening others with a firearm. Fortunately no-one was physically hurt in the incident, but people took lasting emotional damage away with them and the repercussions have not died down to this day.[/QUOTE]

Did that person ever exhibit any signs before the incident in question, that might have lead anyone to believe that there may be trouble brewing? Sounds like a very tragic, frightening situation. I hope that they were able to get the help they needed.

[QUOTE=Brian-E;322357]No-one is immune from a sudden breakdown, psychosis, what have you. Firearms must be securely locked away at all times from [I]anyone[/I] who is not authorised to use them.[/QUOTE]

That really sums up the crux of the matter. If you want guns, and are hopefully stable enough to own and use them with respect, be my guest. Just take responsibility for them, and don't let others fool around with them, [B]especially[/B] those who exhibit clear signs that they are physically or mentally unable to handle firearms. This includes taking such people to gun clubs, the shooting range, etc. as well.

Brian-E 2012-12-23 10:56

The principles you espouse, NBtarheel_33, seem to be summed up by the following:

Guns are desirable in households in the USA for everyone's safety and peace of mind, but those households require responsible individuals within them to identify themselves, take charge of the weapons, and keep them securely away from other people in the household who the responsible member(s) identify as unsafe around guns due to their physical or mental frailty or simply their age.

How much do you trust the general population of the USA to take this responsibility in the way you aim to do?

PS Just to answer a couple of questions you asked me: no, the person in my life showed no outward signs of any problems at all, even though the problems were there for at least several months beforehand because the person secretly and illegally (we're not in the USA) acquired the gun and hid it from everyone else for that length of time. Help for the person did come eventually but only after the person stopped being treated as a criminal as a result of their actions.

xilman 2012-12-23 12:20

[QUOTE=NBtarheel_33;322403]
And [B]that's [/B]why I believe that firearms should be kept safe from the elderly if they are exhibiting signs of a weakened mental state. [/QUOTE]OK, so in this context you regard "elderly" as being a sub-category of "mentally unsuitable" and are using the term wtith a meaning akin to "showing symptoms of senile dementia".

Makes good sense to me.

NBtarheel_33 2012-12-24 15:45

[URL=http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/24/us/new-york-firefighters-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1]And here we go again.[/URL]

Webster, New York, 6am US EST (11am GMT) this morning. Someone must want the neighborhood burned down pretty badly. Two firefighters have been killed, two injured, and the ensuing delay has caused one blazing home to catch two others and a car on fire as well. Obviously, some deranged excuse for humanity wants to make a point to his neighbors on Christmas Eve.

Perhaps the answer is just to have gun control throughout the month of December. It's a good time for the broken cowards to come out of hiding and make their demented footprints.

cheesehead 2012-12-24 19:18

[QUOTE=chappy;322124]It would seem you are making a separate argument Kasekoph. One that is much harder to ignore, for sure, but has little bearing on whether violent video games are causally related to violence.[/QUOTE]Studying the causal relation between violent video games and violence can't be properly done without taking other factors into account.

chappy 2012-12-24 19:22

1 Attachment(s)
this thread needs a little humor:

chappy 2012-12-24 19:24

[QUOTE=cheesehead;322536]Studying the causal relation between violent video games and violence can't be properly done without taking other factors into account.[/QUOTE]

I don't agree, but that is neither here nor there, the point of my reply was that we were talking about apples and you started down the path of oranges. If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.

Uncwilly 2012-12-24 19:28

[QUOTE=chappy;322539]If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.[/QUOTE]Every thread of any relevance gets hijacked.

cheesehead 2012-12-24 19:31

[QUOTE=chappy;322539]I don't agree, but that is neither here nor there, the point of my reply was that we were talking about apples and you started down the path of oranges. If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.[/QUOTE]So ... I'm supposed not to point out glaring omissions in your arguments? You were talking about apples as though there were no other fruit, so I pointed out the existence of other fruit [i]which had a bearing on the relationship you were exploring[/i].

Dubslow 2012-12-24 19:31

[QUOTE=Uncwilly;322541]Every thread of any relevance get hijacked.[/QUOTE]

Case in point.

chappy 2012-12-24 19:54

[QUOTE=cheesehead;322543]So ... I'm supposed not to point out glaring omissions in your arguments? You were talking about apples as though there were no other fruit, so I pointed out the existence of other fruit [i]which had a bearing on the relationship you were exploring[/i].[/QUOTE]

No, you are supposed to have the ability to read the discussion between Zeta-flux and couch your responses to that discussion in light of what has been said, not in light of what you want it to have said.

Zeta and I seem to be at an impasse right now in our discussion. Is there anyone who has another line of reasoning re:Gun Control and Gun Violence to discuss? Beuller? Beuller? Ahh, I see our very own Cheesehead has his hand up! The floor recognizes the Gentleman from the land of the blessed Cheesemakers.

chappy 2012-12-24 19:57

[QUOTE=Uncwilly;322541]Every thread of any relevance gets hijacked.[/QUOTE]

While I appreciate the implication that my voice has relevance, we both know I am the class(less) clown. And even in it's inevitability we rage, rage against the road more traveled.

chalsall 2012-12-24 20:45

[QUOTE=chappy;322545]Zeta and I seem to be at an impasse right now in our discussion. Is there anyone who has another line of reasoning re:Gun Control and Gun Violence to discuss?[/QUOTE]

It is perhaps worth mentioning Canada. There, guns are seriously controlled. And while they do have gun violence, it is nowhere near as bad as the US of A.

I bring this forward because Canadians are subjected to almost exactly the same violent media influences -- movies, TV and video games. Further, they were exposed to almost exactly the same risks from wildlife and indigenous peoples while they [strike]stole[/strike] settled the land.

Seems like a fairly well controlled test case. In one country you have strong gun control, and not many people die because of guns. In another country with a very similar environment you don't have gun control, and many people die because of guns.

QED.

bsquared 2012-12-24 20:51

[QUOTE=chalsall;322550]It is perhaps worth mentioning Canada. There, guns are seriously controlled. And while they do have gun violence, it is nowhere near as bad as the US of A.

I bring this forward because Canadians are subjected to almost exactly the same violent media influences -- movies, TV and video games. Further, they were exposed to almost exactly the same risks from wildlife and indigenous peoples while they [strike]stole[/strike] settled the land.

Seems like a fairly well controlled test case. In one country you have strong gun control, and not many people die because of guns. In another country with a very similar environment you don't have gun control, and many people die because of guns.

QED.[/QUOTE]

The US has a lot more people than Canada. Do you happen to have per-capita comparisons? It is perhaps also more murky given that free public health care is available in Canada. I'm not pretending to be an expert on Canada, but I don't believe the test case, or any test case, is as well controlled as you think it is. Gun-culture is, well, culture, and there are a lot of facets to any culture.

chalsall 2012-12-24 21:12

[QUOTE=bsquared;322551]The US has a lot more people than Canada. Do you happen to have per-capita comparisons?[/QUOTE]

Will [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate"]this do[/URL]?

[QUOTE=bsquared;322551]It is perhaps also more murky given that free public health care is available in Canada. I'm not pretending to be an expert on Canada, but I don't believe the test case, or any test case, is as well controlled as you think it is. Gun-culture is, well, culture, and there are a lot of facets to any culture.[/QUOTE]

Not quite clear what you mean by this. Is your point that the fact that any Canadian can get treatment after being shot somehow lessens gun violence?

xilman 2012-12-24 21:26

I see that our dear old friend [URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20838729"]Piers Moron[/URL] has been ruffling American feathers.

A few tens of thousands want him deported because he exercised his First Amendment rights.

bsquared 2012-12-24 21:31

[QUOTE=chalsall;322552] Will [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate"]this do[/URL]?

[/QUOTE]

Sure, thanks. I see there is about a factor of 2 difference. Which, IMO, is not that large, and could certainly be caused or influenced by lots of different factors. Better gun control is probably one of those, but not the only one. As I've said before I'm all for better/stricter gun control, but I just don't see it as a nice neat QED for the problem at hand.

[QUOTE=chalsall;322552]
Not quite clear what you mean by this. Is your point that the fact that any Canadian can get treatment after being shot somehow lessens gun violence?[/QUOTE]

No, my point was that there might be more opportunities for people with violent personalities to get help *before* they start slaughtering people.

chalsall 2012-12-24 21:37

[QUOTE=bsquared;322555]Sure, thanks. I see there is about a factor of 2 difference. Which, IMO, is not that large, and could certainly be caused or influenced by lots of different factors. Better gun control is probably one of those, but not the only one. As I've said before I'm all for better/stricter gun control, but I just don't see it as a nice neat QED for the problem at hand.[/QUOTE]

Actually, for homicides there is a 4.9 difference (3.7 vs. 0.76).

[QUOTE=bsquared;322555]No, my point was that there might be more opportunities for people with violent personalities to get help *before* they start slaughtering people.[/QUOTE]

OK. That makes sense.

Although I did find it very strange how strongly the US of A's Republicans were against universal health care....

gd_barnes 2012-12-24 22:10

[QUOTE=xilman;322553]I see that our dear old friend [URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20838729"]Piers Moron[/URL] has been ruffling American feathers.

A few tens of thousands want him deported because he exercised his First Amendment rights.[/QUOTE]

I take it that you do not like Piers? I personally like him quite a bit but even as a gun control advocate, I believe that he has been too strong on this issue, even going so far as to call at least one gun rights person "stupid" on the air. He's making the gun control folks seem a little extreme. But IMHO, the people who signed that petition make the gun rights folks seem a little extreme. It is these same people who would argue 1st admentment rights if Piers had the opposite opinion about gun rights/control.

I think that all debates about potentially emotional topics would be better served if all people showed at least some respect for the other side's views and not call them "stupid" or "dumb" or "morons" etc. That is where I think Piers has erred. That said, I have found this thread has remained remarkably cordial considering the contentious nature of the topic.

I have learned quite a bit by reading this thread and in my own private debate with a gun rights advocate who even says "Owning guns is a God given right", which seems a little extreme. It is why I enjoy reading debates on a number of issues and occassionally enjoy having one myself (but only rarely). There's always something that can be learned.


Gary

NBtarheel_33 2013-01-26 10:01

[QUOTE=xilman;322553]I see that our dear old friend [URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20838729"]Piers Moron[/URL] has been ruffling American feathers.

A few tens of thousands want him deported because he exercised his First Amendment rights.[/QUOTE]

Bah, those are just folks that have never been "properly in love"!

kladner 2013-02-05 17:34

Recent ad on guns
 
[YOUTUBE]UmVLznif9u0[/YOUTUBE]

It calls out one of the senators I most love to hate.

cheesehead 2013-02-05 19:36

[QUOTE=chalsall;322557]
Although I did find it very strange how strongly the US of A's Republicans were against universal health care....[/QUOTE]The party of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_exceptionalism]"American Exceptionalism"[/url] is against almost anything that's universal, except compliance with their worldview.

kladner 2013-02-06 02:05

Universal Health Care, combined with controls on the costs of said care would greatly displease many Congress Critters' owners who might be in that line of business. We spend more than any other advanced country and get less. All that loot is going somewhere. If the gravy train were derailed it would cut into the [STRIKE]legal bribes[/STRIKE] campaign contributions, not to mention cushy billets when said critters leave office.

Zeta-Flux 2013-02-18 16:58

[URL="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/02/18/tv-can-improve-kids-behavior-study-finds/"]Watching TV as a kid connected to antisocial/criminal behaviors.[/URL]

Andrew 2013-02-18 17:17

[QUOTE=ewmayer;321819]That would be more comforting if there weren't way too many to begin with, i.e. if the historical U.S. baseline weren't so horrifying.

I'm sure "total annual handgun fatalities in the U.S." has not increased significantly above its historically "normal" level of roughly 30,000 per year, either. And hey, most of those are suicides, so no biggie there.

Typically, the 2nd amendment absolutists (while utterly ignoring the "well-regulated militia" framing of the amendment by its authors), like [url=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=214983]Karl Denninger[/url] are arguing that the "solution" is for all schools to be turned into heavily fortified bunkers with armed, kung fu expert teachers. How about a Patriot missile battery on every rooftop while we're at it, Karl?[/QUOTE]

There are people like me who don't particularly care for guns one way or the other, but who believe in following the constitution.

If we get to pick in choose which parts to follow and which ones not, we are going to get in (and already are) in trouble. The problem stretches from illegal use of executive force against foreign nations, to the problem of Bank cartel owned money printing presses, to illegal electronic surveillance.

Back to guns, what has been ignored about the "militia" part? The amendment can be restated as:

"Since we agree that a militia is needed to keep the state free, we therefor conclude that the government won't be allowed to prevent people from being armed." The first part states the reason, but that is immaterial to the actual rule following in the second part. You can't come back and say we disagree about the first part without amending the constitution, and you certainly can't change the rule either.

On to missiles on the roof. Missiles aren't prohibited so much as they are far too expensive for people to own, or the technology was invented by the government and they have the right to keep it classified, which is not the same as banning the weapon.

Also, your assumption that 'if we legalize a weapon, then everyone will have one' is a fallacious slippery slope argument, just as ridiculous as the gun nuts saying if you ban them, then the government will have a clear path to tyranny and take it piece by piece. If they legalize missiles, I won't be having one on my roof, and I'm certain you won't have one on your roof.


On another point, these semi auto "assault weapons" are moders day muskets. You could say that rocket launchers are modern day cannons.


If you want to get rid of guns, and you think banning them will accomplish this, then take it up with 3/4 of state legislatures.

chalsall 2013-02-18 17:20

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;329939][URL="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/02/18/tv-can-improve-kids-behavior-study-finds/"]Watching TV as a kid connected to antisocial/criminal behaviors.[/URL][/QUOTE]

My "take-away":

[QUOTE]However, [the study] cannot show evidence that the number of hours watched causes criminality. Correlation, yes. Causation, no[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]“It’s hard to imagine seeing the same results if they had just watched PBS documentaries,” said Christakis. “More emphasis needs to be placed on quality, not quantity.”[/QUOTE]

As an aside, does not everyone realize we've generally found [U]less[/U] violence happening over time per capita? It has been suggested, but not yet proven, that this is because of less lead exposure.

Sadly, "peace" and "harmony" doesn't sell; violence does....

chalsall 2013-02-18 17:32

[QUOTE=Andrew;329942]On another point, these semi auto "assault weapons" are moders day muskets. You could say that rocket launchers are modern day cannons.[/QUOTE]

Andrew...

Using your logic, the US of A's constitution second amendment gives every citizen the right to develop and use nuclear weapons.

Those who wrote the Constitution could not have imagined the future.

But I would bet that a large-magazine, rifled automatic high-accuracy weapon used to kill their fellow citizens was not in their minds when they wrote that.

Just a thought....

Andrew 2013-02-18 17:37

[QUOTE=chalsall;329944]Andrew...

Using your logic, the US of A's constitution second amendment gives every citizen the right to develop and use nuclear weapons.

Those who wrote the Constitution could not have imagined the future.

But I would bet that a large-magazine, rifled automatic high-accuracy weapon used to kill their fellow citizens was not in their minds when they wrote that.

Just a thought....[/QUOTE]

if its as dire of a situation as you make it out to be, the founders envisioned a way to amend the constitution in such a case.

"Being inappropriate for the militia to bear nuclear weapons in any case, as it would not affect the security of the free state if they did not, the right of the people to keep and bear nuclear devices shall henceforth be prohibited."

chalsall 2013-02-18 17:40

[QUOTE=Andrew;329946]"Being inappropriate for the militia to bear nuclear weapons in any case, as it would not affect the security of the free state if they did not, the right of the people to keep and bear nuclear devices shall henceforth be prohibited."[/QUOTE]

Could you please cite that?

Andrew 2013-02-18 22:21

[QUOTE=chalsall;329947]Could you please cite that?[/QUOTE]

I don't have to, I authored it.

That's the amendment proposal I'll take down to the constitutional convention for you.

chalsall 2013-02-18 22:25

[QUOTE=Andrew;329970]I don't have to, I authored it.

That's the amendment proposal I'll take down to the constitutional convention for you.[/QUOTE]

Thank you.

jasong 2013-02-20 12:08

I think the idea that tv, movies and video games cause kids to become violent is possible, but not probable. And the idea that video games teach children how to use guns is "mostly" fallacious.

Simply put, games like 1980s Duck Hunt offer better gun training than ultra-violent games like Far Cry 3. Admittedly, there may be gun versions of these games involving fake plastic guns. But it would probably be more appropriate to ban the selling of the gun toy to children than to ban ALL violent video games.

chalsall 2013-02-20 18:00

[QUOTE=jasong;330184]I think the idea that tv, movies and video games cause kids to become violent is possible, but not probable. And the idea that video games teach children how to use guns is "mostly" fallacious.[/QUOTE]

The issue is the false reality. It's refereed to as desensitization.

In video games you may die, but you don't actually die. You may kill, but you don't actually kill.

In the movies and TV you see the "hero" kill many "bad guys" (often in very cool ways), and yet they (almost) always survive.

For those less grounded, "fantasy" and "reality" may merge.

Reality is not so clean.

davar55 2013-02-20 20:23

The second amendment's purpose was and is to protect
the rights of individuals. Without the 2nd amendment,
the rest of the rights provided for in the bill of rights
can not be protected. We rely on the police and armed
forces to enforce the laws and defend the nation, but
the last protection for anyone is the right of self defense,
which implies the right for most to own a weapon.

Localities certainly can restrict within their borders, but
owning and bearing arms is the final protection from
criminals and also from the remote chance of governmental
collapse or even the government's acting against its
own citizens' rights.

The keeping of any type of mass destructive weapons
by private citizens is inappropriate and doesn't require
a constitutional amendment. But owning a knife or
ordinary firearm must remain a protected civil right.
There is a line somewhere between at which we may
come to agreement, but the extreme anti-weapon
people and the leave-our-weapons alone people can
agree on some additional safeguards on ownership /
possession. Limiting amunition is silly and unworkable
and would subvert the 2nd amendment. Bu I don't
know the arguments against checking on the criminal
record of someone legally buying a weapon.

Brian-E 2013-02-21 09:26

You use some interesting language, davar55, to describe those who advocate the complete banning of all firearms and ammunition for the general public. How can that be an "extreme", "silly" and "unworkable" position considering that vast swathes of the developed world (much of Europe for example) have operated just such a policy throughout living memory and do very well on it?

Not even the most reactionary and right-wing politicians here even think about advocating a right to bear firearms for members of the general public. What is the USA's problem which makes it so hard to conceive how outlawing weapons which are designed purely to threaten, maim and kill, for untrained unauthorised users, can be a good workable situation?

davar55 2013-02-21 15:01

[QUOTE=Brian-E;330308]You use some interesting language, davar55, to describe those who advocate the complete banning of all firearms and ammunition for the general public. How can that be an "extreme", "silly" and "unworkable" position considering that vast swathes of the developed world (much of Europe for example) have operated just such a policy throughout living memory and do very well on it?

Not even the most reactionary and right-wing politicians here even think about advocating a right to bear firearms for members of the general public. What is the USA's problem which makes it so hard to conceive how outlawing weapons which are designed purely to threaten, maim and kill, for untrained unauthorised users, can be a good workable situation?[/QUOTE]

We are NOT the world. We meaning US. We believe in peace but
by historical necessity know that it is only achievable when the
good are able to protect themselves from the bad.

Understanding human nature means understanding both sides of
our nature. IPB the USA is ultimately the only hope for the world.
And our 2nd amendment is the only way the good among US can
protect ourselves from the bad among US and the world.

American exceptionalism is a historical fact. We achieved our
freedom and crafted a constitution to guarantee it forever.

Spherical Cow 2013-02-21 19:25

Good Grief. Please don't mistake davar55's statements as representative of the rest of Americans. We are not the "only hope for the world", and our 2nd amendment is not "the only way" the good can protect ourselves from the bad. As an American, I am embarassed when other Americans state such things so categorically.

Norm

davar55 2013-02-21 19:36

[QUOTE=Spherical Cow;330353]Good Grief. Please don't mistake davar55's statements as representative of the rest of Americans. We are not the "only hope for the world", and our 2nd amendment is not "the only way" the good can protect ourselves from the bad. As an American, I am embarassed when other Americans state such things so categorically.
[/QUOTE]

Sorry about the pedantic form of my post, but categorical truth should
not be lost in debate. No one need take any of my views on any
soapbox issue as being representative of all or even many Americans.
But I stand by their truth. These are not merely political issues
but even moreso philosophical issues. And protecting the 2nd
amendment is extremely important, for the reason I gave.
But almost anything is open to discussion.

Prime95 2013-02-22 00:17

[QUOTE=Brian-E;330308]You use some interesting language, davar55, to describe those who advocate the complete banning of all firearms and ammunition for the general public. How can that be an "extreme", "silly" and "unworkable" position?[/QUOTE]

There are two ways to interpret "extreme", "silly" and "unworkable". Davar uses them in the context of "the ideas are plain wrong". I might use the exact same words, but the context would be "the ideas simply aren't even remotely politically feasible in the U.S.".

chalsall 2013-02-22 00:21

[QUOTE=Prime95;330397]I might use the exact same words, but the context would be "the ideas simply aren't even remotely politically feasible in the U.S.".[/QUOTE]

Why?

The rest of the world is sincerely confused about the US of A's addiction to guns.

Prime95 2013-02-22 04:02

[QUOTE=chalsall;330398]Why?

The rest of the world is sincerely confused about the US of A's addiction to guns.[/QUOTE]


A complete ban isn't remotely possible politically because you'd need a super majority to modify the Constitution. The best that can be achieved is restrictions that the Supreme Court lets stand.

Brian-E 2013-02-24 17:47

[QUOTE=Prime95;330415]A complete ban isn't remotely possible politically because you'd need a super majority to modify the Constitution. The best that can be achieved is restrictions that the Supreme Court lets stand.[/QUOTE]
I know that I will now come across as pretty arrogant, as well as foolish, to express an opinion over United States culture when I am a complete outsider, but I'm still going to.:smile:
The culture change which needs to sweep the USA in order to be able to modify the Constitution may, in my opinion, be just around the corner - say 5 years away or thereabouts. During recent years I have been astonished at how fast attitudes on a completely different issue - same sex marriage coupled with acceptance of same sex relationships in general - have swung around in many parts of the democratic world. I think the issue of free gun ownership could be facing a similar about-turn in the attitudes of US citizens. There may be some "tipping point" which has to be crossed, perhaps best seen as a moment when a significant proportion of the population suddenly stops being "in denial" about the reality of a situation, and when that happens public opinion can transform very quickly.

only_human 2013-02-24 19:34

Brian, I disagree.

First I wouldn't trust contemporary politicians with changes to the Constitution. The amendment process would require a 2/3rd majority from both houses of Congress. :flyingpig: Once that failed, as it would for numerous reasons (polarization, dysfunction, schisms, dogs and cats), they could try to get 3/4 of the states to agree on amendments. Or Congress could call a single Federal Convention to push changes (a Constitutional Convention). They've been muttering about that option for years for one thing or another (e.g. a balanced budget amendment). If a Constitutional Convention occurs, however, the wheels come off and any changes and all changes can happen; cue can of worms, Roe vs. Wade, whatever.

Second (back on letting people marry vs. arming bears), the situations are very different because in one case we have a developing perception that a group of people are being treated unfairly. In the gun case, it is true that the victims of senseless killing are being treated unfairly too, but it is not a deliberately prejudicial group selection.

Also in one case we are trying to extend rights to people. In the other case we are trying to restrict allowable possessions and it is perceived as possibly curtailing rights. :two cents:

davar55 2013-02-24 22:59

[QUOTE=Brian-E;330308]
Not even the most reactionary and right-wing politicians here even think about advocating a right to bear firearms for members of the general public. What is the USA's problem which makes it so hard to conceive how outlawing weapons which are designed purely to threaten, maim and kill, for untrained unauthorised users, can be a good workable situation?[/QUOTE]

You want to outlaw firearms for private citizens, but appear to accept
their possession and use by trained, authorized users. So I suppose
you don't claim the right to bar armies.

BTW while we may disagree on the US 2nd amendment, I support
your stand for right-to-same-sex-marriage and other civil rights for
certain still-partly-oppressed groups.

Zeta-Flux 2013-02-25 00:17

Brian-E,

Just to reiterate a few points that others have said:

1. It would take a much more radical change of mind to reverse the 2nd amendment than anything in recent history.

Consider the civil war. It was fought over the issue of slavery, a constitutionally guaranteed right. And that was an issue people felt very strongly was a moral evil.

I know very few people who think that mere ownership of guns is a moral evil. On the other hand, I know quite a few people who would die fighting for their rights.

There is no chance that 2/3 of our elected representatives would dare try to change the second amendment. It just isn't "remotely politically plausible".

2. Why would you care if we Americans have a right to own guns? More gun owners here are law-abiding citizens. The majority of gun-crimes happen in one-on-one violence (some gang related) which, frankly, would just turn to knife violence if guns ever became hard to get.

Zeta-Flux 2013-02-25 00:27

3. I don't think changes in common opinion necessarily follow what you might think of as "good" paths. Three examples: (A) the trend to pass "no-fault" divorce laws [then again, maybe you do support this] (b) the current trend in America is against abortion in general [again, which you may or may not be in favor with], (C) the change in thought concerning gay marriage has also led to a change in thought concerning polygamy [which, if remember rightly, you were against]. Previously, I tried to explain that, at least as it is being justified in the United States of America, those who support gay-marriage (for the most part) also support all types of poly-amorous marriage relations.

chalsall 2013-02-25 00:38

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;330864]The majority of gun-crimes happen in one-on-one violence (some gang related) which, frankly, would just turn to knife violence if guns ever became hard to get.[/QUOTE]

Knife fights are (almost by definition) close combat.

And the question remains unanswered: why do US of A citizens feel there is the need for semi-automatic assault weapons to "protect themselves"?

Large magazines?

Being able to buy ammunition at Walmart et al without a license?

Even without a change to the second amendment, I think some things could be done which would lower the chance of the types of carnage seen.

Zeta-Flux 2013-02-25 00:42

chalsall,

The question remains, why do you think they don't need semi-automatic rifles to defend themselves? Why do you think semi-automatic rifles account for much of any of the gun deaths? Why do you think any of those measures would have an appreciable affect on gun violence, rather than only making it more difficult for the law-abiders? [These are serious questions, not meant to imply I'm opposed to any or all of those measures. Just to get to the heart of the issue.]

chalsall 2013-02-25 00:48

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;330870]The question remains, why do you think they don't need semi-automatic rifles to defend themselves? Why do you think semi-automatic rifles account for much of any of the gun deaths?[/QUOTE]

Are there any statistics available which support either your or my arguments?

Zeta-Flux 2013-02-25 02:57

[QUOTE]Are there any statistics available which support either your or my arguments? [/QUOTE]I don't know which of my arguments you'd like me to support, but I'm happy to do so.

That aside, the question you pose essentially sums up my last post to you. What are you basing your arguments on? Why do you believe that limiting access to large magazines will have a measurable effect on crime? Or how would stopping bullet shopping at Walmart decrease the number of murders? etc...

Apparently, you don't know of any statistics, and were just making conjectures that such measures would be a good thing, and prevent more crimes.

Cheers,
Zeta-Flux

Andrew 2013-02-25 03:41

[QUOTE=Brian-E;330308]You use some interesting language, davar55, to describe those who advocate the complete banning of all firearms and ammunition for the general public. How can that be an "extreme", "silly" and "unworkable" position considering that vast swathes of the developed world (much of Europe for example) have operated just such a policy throughout living memory and do very well on it?[/QUOTE]

I don't know what you mean, but there weren't any guns for the first few millennia of human civilization and we did very well then too I suppose. Whatever that means...

[QUOTE]
Not even the most reactionary and right-wing politicians here even think about advocating a right to bear firearms for members of the general public. What is the USA's problem which makes it so hard to conceive how outlawing weapons which are designed purely to threaten, maim and kill, for untrained unauthorised users, can be a good workable situation?[/QUOTE]

Why would someone go for gun freedom there when its such a charged issue that is unnecessary to bring up for the purposes of re-election? Your population has become complacent with the idea of banned fire arms.

But you don't have a complete ban. My uncle's a pro sport shooter in Ireland, everyone in Switzerland has one. And anyway its not like you've had some miracle minority report world with no murders and no crimes.

You don't have Mexico right next door either. They have way more gun crime, and I think, if I remember, more guns in sum. There's no point in taking guns from a country that borders them.


Furthermore, now that your entire continent is mostly bank owned, good luck keeping the foreclosure guy out of your house, or the street monkeys off your backs.

Yep, just sit back while your place becomes a dictatorship. Maybe the dictator will be a nice guy this time.


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