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Air Bud
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(Originally posted on: 07-24-12 10:05:54 PM)
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Remember when we used to have serious conversations on this forum? It's okay, neither do I. But that doesn't mean we can't start having one now.

As I'm sure you're all aware, there was a rather tragic shooting the other day in Colorado. This event should rightly spark a nationwide conversation as to the role that guns play in the lives of Americans. Instead it has prompted many pro-gun advocates to deflect such a conversation by essentially saying that this is no time for such a conversation and claiming that people like Mayor Bloomberg are too quick to politicize this tragedy. Of course, this isn't limited to Republicans or Democrats, liberal and conservatives, this is across the board. It's no surprise that neither Romney nor Obama have even attempted to comment on gun control as it relates to this event, opting instead for the "this is no time" prompt. It's clearly politically expedient to remain silent on the topic of gun control, since the gun lobby and gun enthusiasts in the United States have such overwhelming power and influence, and are extremely outspoken. But if now is not the right time for this debate, this begs the questions: when should we have this conversation? A month from now? A year? Does the timer reset when, inevitably, the next major shooting happens?

Frankly, I think this is the perfect time for such a conversation. To me, saying that we should wait for a discourse amounts to nothing more than a political ploy, stalling for the next huge media event to distract people from actually engaging in the debate.


Over the course of the last few days, I've been trying to wrap my mind around this event and understand what exactly could have prevented, or at least made it more difficult for something like this to occur. In the process, I've subjected myself to various points of view (contrary to my own), some passionately stated and even more passionately held on to. What amazes me in all of this is how overwhelmingly reduced people seem to make the world. Personally, I find such a reductionist approach wildly dangerous, leading people to beliefs that are almost always completely divorced from reality, opting for a "perfect world" perspective, or shaping it around a desired hero complex that centers around a "this is what I would've done to save the day kind" kind of mentality.

"If people in that theater had guns, they could have protected themselves and prevented unnecessary deaths and casualties."
From what I've seen, this seems to be a fairly popular perspective. I mean, it promotes the second amendment, it promotes the use of guns for protection, it promotes individual liberty, and the idea that individuals are responsible for themselves.

The problem I have with this perspective is that it sounds as this point of view mistakes reality for a mission in a video game. Your mission is to stop an attack on a theater, after trying to stop the bad guy, you fail, reload from a previous quicksave, try a few more times until you figure it out, then move on to the next mission. Maybe I'm being unfair, but in many conversations, I've heard people say things like,
Quote:
If there had been someone in the theater firing at him, he would have been taken off guard. The shooter wasn't prepared for combat or retaliation, and so even so much as that distraction could have saved lives, even if it didn't kill him.

That sounds reasonable, it's certainly true that retaliation could have eroded the shooters sense of control of the situation, but what this argument fails to address is the additional collateral damage that could have been introduced in a dark theater where witnesses have openly described the scenario as "chaotic". Introducing more weapons into the scenario could have, and more than likely, would have resulted in additional deaths and casualties. Of course, as one person astutely noted
Quote:
It would only take a headshot to drop that piece of shit.

While true, unfortunately unlocking all the achievements in Call of Duty doesn't quite give you the skill to actually follow through with this plan.

"Gun control would empower criminals and weaken law abiding citizens."
This is also a popular stance. It evokes a sense of dread, prompting someone to respond emotionally to the idea that if they, a law abiding citizen, support gun control, they will be at the mercy of criminals, hellbent on destroying the very fabric of their lives.

Unfortunately, this point of view fails to make a distinction as to the types of gun control that would further enable criminals. Instead of making this distinction, the line is drawn that since criminals will be able to access controlled weapons regardless of the laws we set forth (since they clearly don't follow laws by their very definition), it is completely pointless to regulate weapons. As such, we should allow ordinary citizenry (including would-be criminals, mind you) to access an arsenal that would give you quite an edge even in urban warfare against trained police.

What I don't understand about this point of view is the failure to make the distinction that not all "arms" are created equally. Where do you draw the line? Do tanks count as arms? I'm not saying that I want to repeal the second amendment (I don't support that at all), I just don't know how or where you can draw the line, nor do I understand why weapons such as assault rifles are fair game for legal ownership by whomever decides to purchase them.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people. A gun is only a tool. You don't give credit to a wrench for fixing a car. If someone really wants to go on a rampage and kill people, they will find a way, whether they do it with baseball bats, a machete, a car, a tomato, or a gun. If we're going to regulate guns, why not regulate baseball bats, machetes, cars, and tomatoes while we're at it."
I remember reading "guns don't kill people, people kill people" on a bumper sticker when I was ten years old and thinking, "I never thought of it that way." Then I turned fifteen years old and realized how that line is such a crock of shit.

The problem is the follow up: a gun is a tool. The irony is that fails to register as irony to most people. Let me explain. A tool is something that, by definition, aids in the pursuit of a task. While it is certainly true that guns don't manifestly kill people, they are, indeed, tools in doing so. In fact, one could even make the argument that this is their primary purpose. After all, it's not like you can use your assault rifle to open that pesky pickle jar, or use it to help you unclog the toilet. While I agree that the ultimate responsibility rests upon the individual (which I understand is the point of the statement), this statement implicitly condones the use of such a tool, ignoring the fact that without such a tool, the task of "killing people" becomes severely hindered, just as how, oddly enough, not having a wrench makes fixing a car routinely more challenging.

Of course, this doesn't address the second part of the statement about how we should also regulate machetes, cars, tomatoes, etc. To this, I leave it up to Jason Alexander to explain:
Quote:
let them kill with tomatoes. Let them bring baseball bats, knives, even machetes --- a mob can deal with that.

...

I believe tomatoes and cars have purposes other than killing. What purpose does an AR-15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve? Let's see - does it fire more rounds without reload? Yes. Does it fire farther and more accurately? Yes. Does it accommodate a more lethal payload? Yes. So basically, the purpose of an assault style weapon is to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away. To achieve maximum lethality. Hardly the primary purpose of tomatoes and sports cars.


"Countries without guns have higher robbery, murder, and sexual assault rates. An armed citizenry is the best protection against these kinds of crimes. If everyone has a gun, criminals will think twice before they rob, mug, or try to rape someone for fear that they'll be the one getting killed in the process."
Let's just assume for a second that you don't immediately piss yourself, shit yourself, and start wailing for your life the moment someone takes you by surprise, points a gun at your head, and tells you to give them your wallet, or hike up your skirt. What do you do? Reach into your pocket, your purse, your holster, and pull out your gun, point it at them, and shoot? Yep. That sounds like a winner right there. And in the meantime, what is the mugger/robber/rapist doing? Standing around patiently, allowing this to happen, just waiting to see how things will unfold? Of course not, unless of course you're John Wayne, or you live in Mogadishu, and just always have your hand on the grip, bullet in the chamber, finger on the trigger, just waiting for it, in which case I'd say you have the clear advantage.

And in the off chance that you do piss yourself, shit yourself, and/or start crying immediately, let's face it: you're going to get robbed and/or assault, possibly killed, and more than likely, they're gonna steal your handgun, file the serial number off of it, and sell it, while laughing at your naive notions of your ability to overcome a surprise assault. Or maybe I'm just cynical.

I won't even profess to know whether or not the first statement is true as to whether non-armed countries have higher rates of robbery, murder, and sexual assault, but I somehow doubt it.


Anyway, I'm sure I've provided enough material for people to quote, criticize, and comment on. I really am curious to see the kinds of responses people have. Frankly, reading comments on news articles, random peoples' Facebook status updates and conversations, etc. has been frustrating, because no one really seems to articulate any kind of realistic perspective on gun control aside from clever, meaningless anecdotes like



or



I'd really like to hear what people actually think about this, meaningful reasons why they support or don't support gun control laws, etc.
This reply was last edited on 07-24-12 10:23:12 PM by Air Bud.
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Reply 1 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-24-12 11:39:54 PM)
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It's demonstrable that gun control laws are highly correlated with a reduction in gun violence. This kinda shit just doesn't happen in countries with gun control laws. So for me, banning the ownership and sale of any non-hunting related guns (and I'm talking rifles here) is the logical position to take on this issue.

However the American public is extensively armed. A uniform disarmament (because that is what it would be) would be necessary and that would present all sorts of other issues. It would take decades, at least, for the rate of gun possession to decrease to levels seen in European countries. I don't think there's any precedent for a uniform disarmament of an entire civilian population that didn't also include military conquest or a civil war (and then likely looting, rape, and a lot of collateral deaths)

So obviously disarmament is not an option for America. So the idea would be to obviously close these loopholes like gun shows and internet purchases and really force people to justify why they need bigger guns like the assault weapons he was using. Restrict the sale of ammunition. Make them very difficult to repair and service by restricting the availability of replacement parts. That kind of thing is feasible and would be a reasonable response to this given all the context.

Unfortunately even if people could agree it was time to have a discussion, it wouldn't be a productive one. Obama can't trust Romney to say anything that he actually believes, and the Republicans in the House and Senate are fully and completely in the corporate pocket to the extent that they don't even want to start talking about this, because they've deemed any discussion on the subject at all to be damaging to their position. 12 people are dead, and the Republican response is to put their fingers in their ears and shout about how they can't hear us.
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Reply 2 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 04:58:00 AM)
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Quote:
So obviously disarmament is not an option for America. So the idea would be to obviously close these loopholes like gun shows and internet purchases and really force people to justify why they need bigger guns like the assault weapons he was using. Restrict the sale of ammunition. Make them very difficult to repair and service by restricting the availability of replacement parts. That kind of thing is feasible and would be a reasonable response to this given all the context.


This is probably one of the most dishonest, passive-aggressive things to open and free society I have read in a while on this board. Do you honestly believe you are doing the common good by advocating for the courts and senate to manipulate one of the founding liberties of America?

If it hadn't been for the fact that a large percentage of the original Americans were armed, do you think they would have been able to throw off the English crown in the first place? Oh, but of course that doesn't matter today, because we all know that governments in our modern age can never be oppressive or corrupt or inept at delivering justice or at least a just society. In my opinion, people like you are far more dangerous to Americans than the loonies who shoot up crowds of people; whereas they can be dismissed as lunatics and summarily dealt with by the justice system, people like you can hide under the shroud of 1st Amendment and claim that you are merely trying to create a "better" America.
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Reply 3 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 06:35:46 AM)
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Tunisia has the lowest rate of gun ownership in the world, but that didn't stop them from overthrowing their government last year.
This reply was last edited on 07-25-12 06:41:25 AM by Guy Tuttle and Ass.
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Reply 4 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 07:08:10 AM)
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While I completely agree that the people saying "this is not the time for this conversation" are saying it for political reasons, I actually do think that this is not the time for this conversation. The reason I say that is because, at the moment, it is a reactionary conversation.

Just today I was reading a review for a movie and the author talked about how there was increased policed presence and an uneasy feeling in the crowd. This contrasted with my experience (i've been to the theaters twice since and noticed neither). Still it bothered me, I hate the idea that now we're clamping down on movie theater safety to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. Anyway if something like that did continue, it would really prove that we're a bunch of scardie cats. The shit we gave up after 9/11 in terms of civil liberties out of fear is appalling. Every body is asking "what could have been done to prevent x incident," and people aren't always reasonable about the answer. Spying on private citizens would prevent crimes like these, for example, but while these are horrible tragedies, you don't (willingly) give up your personal privacy in exchange for a reduced incidence of nutjob killing sprees.

My thought is that there will always be deranged people like this (and ideological terrorists, for that matter). There are only so many things you can do to prevent them before you start altering the world they (and we all) live in. It reminds me of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (which I only understand on an anecdotal level, so don't kill me on this), yes you can zoom in and look closer and catch more bad guys, but not without creating a completely different (and i'd say unfavorable) culture. The only way to truly stop them is to create a different culture positive way, where they get more attention as children and as adults in a supportive way, and maybe as a culture help prevent them from developing what ever issue drove them mad in the first place. My method offers no guarantees, like say dropping from the ceiling with a swat team and busting heads would, but the end result is still a better one in my opinion.

So i'm kind of rambling at this point, and haven't really yet mentioned gun control at all. The concept i'm talking about is i'm sure a familiar one - the loss of civil liberties and rights in exchange for security. I imagine most people would agree that it is not a good trade. The question is, does the right to owning military weaponry fall into that category. My opinion is neither strong nor relevant - but the reason I say that this is not the time to discuss this is because the answer has the potential to be skewed in response to a current tragedy which is filling people with fear. And fear and rational decisions don't mix.

I'm not claiming that people here are fickle enough to be swayed by fear, but a lot of people are.

In the end it doesn't really matter though - because while public conversation may be motivated by fear, any real conversation in congress will probably be motivated purely by politics. This could be one of the few times where public fear will be enough to compete with powerful pro-gun lobby groups, but what a sad state of affairs we're in when fear is battling corruption in congress. To me, this fact is more dangerous to Americans than the loonies who shoot up crowds of people.

That was a lot of rambling and could probably be condensed into two or three sentences, where no opinions were given and I didn't really talk about anything on the menu. You're welcome for nothing.


EDIT: So I just watched an episode of The Daily Show from the other night where he makes fun of a long list of people who all say "it's not the time for this discussion." They all seemed to be saying that and implying that the reason was because it was disrespectful to the dead/injured/families or something along those lines. Just want to say that's pretty dumb, and not at all what I was getting at here.
This reply was last edited on 07-26-12 06:04:39 PM by D.
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Reply 5 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 09:19:40 AM)
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Quoted from loudpack masterchef:
Tunisia has the lowest rate of gun ownership in the world, but that didn't stop them from overthrowing their government last year.


Hah, indeed! By that same conjecture, sub-Saharan Africa must be relatively gun-free and safe place because that graph has it at .1 to 10 firearms per 100 people.

I can draw one of two conclusions from that, Ice: A) that graph and the statistics it is based on is bullshit, or B) that the military and police force in those countries have monopolized gun ownership. If people like you ever get their way in America, you can bet that the second option will become a reality in America.

There is a distinct problem in any country that claims it is governed by the "people" if those same people don't even have a physical means of coercing their government into action. If 150 million gun owners in this country suddenly decided that the government wasn't on their side, there wouldn't be nearly enough soldiers or laser-guided bombs to put them down. More realistically, if the government no longer had the means of ensuring a police force or military to protect this country, those same 150 million gun owners would probably be the only barrier between their family, homes, and possessions against the almost assured descent into anarchy, looting, and brigandry that would envelope every corner of this country. Gun ownership isn't just some luxury for rednecks and nut jobs who live in the woods, it's a pretty basic responsibility that goes hand in hand with civic duty.
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Reply 6 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 09:20:31 AM)
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Quoted from loudpack masterchef:
Tunisia has the lowest rate of gun ownership in the world, but that didn't stop them from overthrowing their government last year.


Damn the US is well armed.

Guns are a nuanced issue and both sides of the argument do a lot to try and simplify it. The bottom lines about guns is that they're machines designed to kill. So we basically need to decide if we want to be a society swimming in murder machines.

Additionally, I think the conflation of guns and freedom to be spurious. What about gun ownership means freedom? Is it the thought that you can shoot anyone you want at any time for any reason?
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Reply 7 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 09:59:38 AM)
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That's a bit of a misleading question. The question is - should a government trust its people with such a dangerous machine.

Let's go hypothetical. Imagine a gun has absolutely no capabilities other than illegal murder. It cannot be used to stop crime, it cannot be used to stop foreign or domestic invading armies, it cannot be used for hunting wild animals. Let's even say that it can't be used to aid in other crimes like robbery or kidnapping. If a person owns one they can let it sit in their gun closet, never aiming it at any one, and for whatever reason enjoying the fact that they own it. Or they can use it to murder people.

Whether or not you're allowed to own that gun is the heart of the freedom question. Does the power in charge trust its citizens to have a destructive force and refrain from using it. Why would anyone ever want one if they didn't intend to use it for murder? That would be none of anyone's business, so long as they did indeed never attempt to use it.

I'm not sure how many pro-gun people would say that you should have the right to own such a hypothetical weapon. If they're using the freedom argument, I think they would have to, though. The problem is you can increasingly make that hypothetical worse - like what if it was a nuclear bomb we were talking about rather than some kind of murder pistol.

That is why I think the conversation usually goes the other direction - with justifications of the existence of guns as tools for things other than murder. Which is a fair discussion, but at that point it's no longer a discussion about pure freedom because an implied concession has been made - that we shouldn't have the right to own anything we want, but we should have the rights to certain guns because of _____ reasons.

The freedom question is - (essentially) do you have the right to do whatever you want so long as you don't harm anyone else. It is certainly possible to own something which exists only for the purpose of harming and yet not do any harm. Are we willing to take the risk of upholding that freedom, because there are obvious risks involved.
This reply was last edited on 07-25-12 10:06:18 AM by D.
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Reply 8 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 02:41:37 PM)
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Hm, but in a representative republic, aren't WE the government? Aren't these rights we choose to give ourselves? That's the way I see it so the whole "does the government trust us" isn't really an issue in that case because the government is us.

For instance, does the government trust me with a nuclear device? No. That's because I don't trust my neighbors with one. The same could be said about a gun.

And you are right that there are other uses for guns. They are all "hurt a living thing"
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Reply 9 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 04:18:15 PM)
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Quoted from DrNick:

And you are right that there are other uses for guns. They are all "hurt a living thing"


Clay pigeons never hurt anyone. Why do gun enthusiasts kill millions of them a year? MAGUSMAGUSMAGUSMAGUS

People target shoot without killing anything. Just because you enjoy firearms, doesn't mean you hunt, are obsessed with self-protection, or want to go on a killing spree. More likely, yes, but not entirely.

Not that I'm trying to defend crazy people and their gun collections. Gun laws should certainly be tighter, but they won't make much of a difference if the black market can't be reigned in, including the back-door gun show sales that happen all the time. You could make legal firearm buyers jump through every hoop you can dream up to get a gun, but there will always be someone selling them out of their garage that doesn't care about background checks and government requirements.
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Reply 10 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 04:52:01 PM)
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I actually have nothing against hunting or even sport shooting, per se, but it's not the primary purpose of a weapon.
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Reply 11 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 05:12:17 PM)
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I kinda like trap shooting and range shooting occasionally. That's about the extent of my opinion on this.

I agree with Sandamnit that most of those arguments are crap. It's pretty clear that gun legality increases violent crimes. It basically comes down to whether the increase in safety is worth the decrease in rights, and I don't think there's necessarily a right answer to that. The number of people killed by guns is still miniscule in the US, so, for the moment, I prefer the additional rights.
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Reply 12 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 06:40:08 PM)
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Quoted from Sandamnit:



I'd really like to hear what people actually think about this, meaningful reasons why they support or don't support gun control laws, etc.


I'm pretty pro gun ownership but there's something about this stupid argument that annoys the shit out of me

Criminals' guns start out in this world as legally purchased guns, there aren't black fucking market gun factories.

*edit*

If that made no sense to anybody, what I'm trying to say is that if you restrict the flow of legal guns, you restrict the flow of illegal guns.
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This reply was last edited on 07-25-12 06:59:28 PM by Muzta.
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Reply 13 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 09:30:50 PM)
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Quoted from DrNick:
Hm, but in a representative republic, aren't WE the government? Aren't these rights we choose to give ourselves? That's the way I see it so the whole "does the government trust us" isn't really an issue in that case because the government is us.

For instance, does the government trust me with a nuclear device? No. That's because I don't trust my neighbors with one. The same could be said about a gun.


I realize that, and don't think it really conflicts with anything I was saying. I also realize that my post was pretty abstract, wandering, and somewhat void of point.
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Reply 14 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-25-12 09:43:04 PM)
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I almost feel that America can't really do anything at all about its gun problem. Now, I don't live in the US (I live in Canada) but it seems that there are way too many guns in the US for any sort of gun control to become effective. I suppose that the government could make it harder for criminals and law-abiders to get licenses, parts, etc, but it seems that the amount of guns and parts out there is so great that any sort of laws wouldn't really have any effect.

If you ask me the whole 'need guns to protect from the governent' is completely absurd; I don't feel that any amount of guns could ever overthrow the immensely powerful American Gov't in its current form.

Vissario, your argument about the whole guns preventing anarchy is some sort of collapse fantasy you have in your mind. How about, instead of concerning itself with upholding some antiquated law, the government spends its time on society building, assuring that such things don't occur with any sort of moment of breakdown of order. Maybe you should move to Canada.

tl;dr too many guns in america; no hope
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Reply 15 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-26-12 03:42:23 AM)
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The number of people killed by guns is still miniscule in the US,


That's completely untrue. In 2008 there were twelve thousand homicides committed by handguns in the US!
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Reply 16 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-26-12 07:35:16 AM)
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Quoted from loudpack masterchef:
Quote:
The number of people killed by guns is still miniscule in the US,


That's completely untrue. In 2008 there were twelve thousand homicides committed by handguns in the US!


Maybe he means as a percentage of the number of guns owned by US citizens which is kind of true, I guess. I mean, that's just because we own a whole lot of fucking guns. Also, I still wouldn't call it "miniscule" but.

I think focusing on limiting or eliminating gun ownership is kind of a red herring too. Canada has a lot of guns and they don't have the prolific murder rate that we do. There's clearly a cultural difference at play beyond "we are allowed to own guns".

Finally, lets get to some 2nd amendment talk. Does anyone else find this really ambiguous:

Quote:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Why is the part about the people having the right to bear arms a subordinate clause of the part about state militias? Could "the people" actually mean the state government here and not necessarily private citizens? It would make a lot of sense in context.

I'm aware that there are numerous supreme court rulings on this but I figured since we're discussing it we might as well open up this can of worms.
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Reply 17 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-26-12 08:41:51 AM)
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I have guns, I plan on purchasing more guns, and I enjoy shooting them. I don't hunt, I don't have homicidal urges, I just think they are fun. And there's not a lot more fun than putting a lot of rounds out in a short time. I still get a half chub every time I go to the weapons range and fire the M2 and 249.

I think gun ownership is a right, and I think the Brady Bill did a pretty good job of accomplishing what needed to be accomplished. Not many people can justify the purchase of an automatic weapon, and I think controls on them are good, but outright bans are something that are going to get a lot of people up in arms (haha.)

We will never disarm as a country, and if we try, you can be damn sure we'll see more situations like Waco/Ruby Ridge/Even OKC Bombing. America has a gun culture, and just because some people are wackjobs, doesn't mean that we should punish everyone. If he hadn't had guns, I'm sure he would've come up with another way to kill people, like a bomb. The most deadly domestic attack I can recall was by Tim McVeigh, and he didn't even think about firing a gun.
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Reply 18 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-26-12 02:48:29 PM)
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Quoted from DrNick:
Quote:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed


Why is the part about the people having the right to bear arms a subordinate clause of the part about state militias? Could "the people" actually mean the state government here and not necessarily private citizens? It would make a lot of sense in context.

I'm aware that there are numerous supreme court rulings on this but I figured since we're discussing it we might as well open up this can of worms.


I think a reasonable interpretation would be that the 2nd amendment protects right to organize Militia independent of Federal authority as a check on Federal power.

How relevant that is in the modern era is up for debate (I happen to think it is still relevant)
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Reply 19 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-26-12 03:56:20 PM)
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Quoted from loudpack masterchef:
Quote:
The number of people killed by guns is still miniscule in the US,


That's completely untrue. In 2008 there were twelve thousand homicides committed by handguns in the US!


I guess it's a matter of perspective. Using 2009 numbers from the UN, 0.00003 homicides per person. For comparison, we can look at the UK which has restrictive gun laws; for the same year, they did about 4 times better that the US. (I could have chosen somewhere even more restrictive that has a lower rate, like Japan, but cultural differences might dominate.) That's not a huge improvement, in my book, when you're sacrificing some rights. Or maybe we should compare to Canada, which has fairly permissive gun laws but only .000005 homicides per person, almost an order of magnitude less than the US, indicating that there is more at play than just gun laws, here. It also worth noting that the average for the US is strongly skewed by certain states and cities, so in most locations it is significantly below that number. The homicide death rate is also more than an order of magnitude less than many other causes of death inflicted by others on someone, like vehicular accident or exposure to toxins.

So while it isn't good, I don't see it as the most pressing social issue ever. It's pretty clear that you reduce gun violence by not allowing gun ownership, but that might only be a small increase in personal safety for that sacrifice. In the current situation, I don't think it's worth it, really.

(I haven't dealt with nuances like assault rifles vs handguns vs rifles vs shotguns or whatever. Except for hunting rifles, though, I expect that you could commit murder just as efficiently with any of those categories.)
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This reply was last edited on 07-26-12 04:08:46 PM by emtilt.
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Reply 20 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-27-12 07:18:07 AM)
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Does anybody know if there are any studies or numbers on the number of people who were injured trying to protect themselves with a gun?

I'm having a really hard time believing that it's safer to have a gun than to just be compliant if you're robbed or whatever.
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Reply 21 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-27-12 02:49:54 PM)
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Quoted from DrNick:
Does anybody know if there are any studies or numbers on the number of people who were injured trying to protect themselves with a gun?

I'm having a really hard time believing that it's safer to have a gun than to just be compliant if you're robbed or whatever.


I absolutely believe it's not safer, I think it's a fuck load more dangerous to have one in our house too
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Reply 22 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-27-12 08:43:17 PM)
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My wifes' grandfather accidentally shot his wife while they were being robbed. He told her to stay in the bedroom, she didn't listen and took some buck shot to the shoulder. It's the reason I don't have a gun in the house. I caught a huge ass-chewing over having a Walther P22 with a barrel rope lock kept in the spare bedroom with the magazines in our bedroom and boxed ammo in the closet in a small safe. She has a legitimate point though, and a perfect example. Her grandfather died years ago, but her grandmother is still around and they were talking about the shooting a few months ago. She was laughing about it.

E: Oh hey, you've all probably seen it elsewhere, but evidently in Florida, some shut in shot a door-to-door salesman in the head and trying to use Stand Your Ground to defend his actions.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/article/265739/250/Man-who-killed-door-to-door-salesman-described-as-time-bomb
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This reply was last edited on 07-27-12 08:53:22 PM by Wandering Idiot.
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Reply 23 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-28-12 12:46:31 AM)
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One thing I see very often in ordinary, law abiding, "good people" is a very disgusting lust for some kind of righteous violence. They want someone to come try and harm them so that they may justifiably retaliate with extreme violence.

Honestly, I understand it too. I can't say I've never had such a hero fantasy. But I also understand that it's just that, a fantasy, and that i'm sure if I was ever in the situation where I had to kill someone out of self defense, even if that person was a mean dirty criminal, I would not be glad about it and it would weigh on me for the rest of my life as I'm sure it does to most people who have really experienced it.

But many people don't think that far. "No, it wouldn't bother me, they deserve whatever comes to them for attacking an innocent person." Hearing people yearn for this provocation makes me sick. It seems to me the same as any other violent people, only in this case they are willing to play within the rules and wait to be provoked.

Anyway I only bring any of this up because that's what your shut-in guy story reminded me of.
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Reply 24 of 40 (Originally posted on: 07-28-12 01:49:02 AM)
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Quoted from emtilt:
Or maybe we should compare to Canada, which has fairly permissive gun laws but only .000005 homicides per person, almost an order of magnitude less than the US, indicating that there is more at play than just gun laws, here. It also worth noting that the average for the US is strongly skewed by certain states and cities, so in most locations it is significantly below that number.
Another good point! Handgun deaths are heavily skewed toward minorities. This isn't something that affects all people equally, it's easy for white people to not see gun violence as a problem, since in a lot of places it has been largely excised from their neighborhoods.
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