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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Connecticut: Every day is the day to talk about Gun Control

Connecticut: Every day is the day to talk about Gun Control (Page 2)
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Dec 16, 2012, 10:05 PM
 
If there's a price for freedom then perhaps this particular price is too high? You might want to drive at 200mph in town. You can't. You might want to sell crack cocaine in corner shops, you can't. For some reason you have also decided that its useful for your society to limit alcohol to under 21s (the rest of the unfree world thinks 18 is adult enough). What on earth makes you think this particular freedom is more important than allowing 20 year old to have a beer?

Also. Your second amendment. It's an amendment isn't it. Sort of implying that the original document is open to, well, amendment, when needed.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I know a lot of folks who are very intimidated by police, should we make all officers where pink bunny outfits to make them less so?

The second amendment is the second amendment, it isn't changing, and shouldn't be changed. We need more/better law enforcement domestically and be less involved internationally. Bring the troops home and have them work as police, expanding the scope of the National Guard, at least temporarily. New legislation won't do shit, since we don't even enforce the gun laws we have now.

"Give up your guns, they're illegal to own now!"
"**** you, come get them!"
"Umm... please give up your guns?"
"Seriously? No."
"Well... uh... what now?"

Gun control and weapon bans may work for Europe and other countries, where gun ownership isn't a centuries old, and unbroken, tradition. Here? Not so much.
1. Greater restrictions on gun ownership don't necessarily mean "taking them away". They can mean requiring safer storage, greatly restricted carrying rights.....generally restricting access.

2. "Give us your guns."
"NO"
"Okay, here's a fine for carrying it improperly, here's a fine for not storing it properly, here's a fine for not obeying these certain rules. We'll get a judgment against you if you don't pay. Good luck getting credit with this lien registered against your assets. Oh yeah, and we won't give you a new gun license until your old fines are paid - so when your current license expires you'll be an illegal owner, too. You'll get tied up in red tape for years, and all because you insisted on carrying a handgun in your [wherever]."

3. Your argument is basically, "we've always done it and it's impossible to change". It's basically the same argument that's made against converting to the metric system. Very odd, considering that many other developed nations have made exactly the same changes (both metric and greatly restricted gun laws) without much more than the normal protests and first-generation adaptation difficulty. I'm convinced that Americans are no different than any of these other societies.....except they think they're different, and therefore they are. It's remarkably self-reinforcing.
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:05 AM
 
It's also the same argument that was used against prohibition, and the war on drugs. But those times it proved to be true.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Lack of gun control does not cause events like this, but it makes them worse when they do happen. We'll see how legal all those weapons were, but it seems the shooter had a short assault carbine - semiauto only, however - and two handguns, and from what I hear, all those were completely legal to buy. How is that not politics?
But don't worry, I'm sure someone will discover how the shooter once played GTA III at a friends house about a decade ago and blame computer games for everything.
I heard the guns were owned by the killers mom!? (AP News, this morning)
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:21 AM
 
The last 3 mass shootings had 'nut cases under doctors care' as a central theme. The problem seems to be bad filtering of the populace. Perhaps closer attention to those from 13 to 25 years old. Sometimes people don't adapt too well, dealing with reality and getting old/becoming an adult when they live in a fantasy world of sorts. Some don't deal too well with it.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
The last 3 mass shootings had 'nut cases under doctors care' as a central theme. The problem seems to be bad filtering of the populace. Perhaps closer attention to those from 13 to 25 years old. Sometimes people don't adapt too well, dealing with reality and getting old/becoming an adult when they live in a fantasy world of sorts. Some don't deal too well with it.
Actually, it was "nut cases under doctors' care with easy access to guns".

The guns in Newtown did not belong to the perpetrator. He just had easy access to them, because his mom, being a gun nut, legally owned them, AND they weren't secured.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
It's also the same argument that was used against prohibition, and the war on drugs. But those times it proved to be true.
I see your point, but I emphatically disagree, for two reasons:

1. Those were/are "pleasures". I think there's a good argument to be made that trying to completely prohibit things that people put into their own bodies to make them feel really, really good is nigh-on impossible. I would submit to you that as good as it feels to be carrying a gun, it's not quite the same level of compulsion/enjoyment; in the words of Frank the Tank, it just does not feel quite so good when it touches your lips.

2. Most importantly, those were/are two instances of total bans being implemented. They did not work. So what happened (or will happen) instead? Regulation. Rules about how you can sell, who can sell, what you can sell, and what you can do with the product. That's what happened in the case of alcohol; it's what will eventually happen to some drugs such as weed. (Although I still disagree with that avenue, personally...as with the case of drugs such as coke or heroin etc., there may be some societal benefit to enforcing a ban.)

Tellingly, you didn't mention the case of cigarettes. I might argue that individuals who smoked were about as adamant about their right to do so as many gun owners....and yet for the past few decades, smoking regulations have slowly been choking the life out of that practice, so that in North America in 2012 the number of under-30s that smoke are probably a fraction of those that did so even 20 years ago. (In fact the parallels to gun ownership might be close - ultimately it seemed to have been the fact that smokers were hurting other non-smokers that tipped the regulatory scale - now we have no smoking in airplanes, restaurants, any public buildings or workplaces, near entrances, to buildings, even in public parks in some places. Isn't this in some respects the same sort of informational groundswell against guns - highlights of the numbers of "innocent" people killed intentionally or non-intentionally by gun owners?)

My comment on the above is that it's only the unreasonable that are calling for a total ban on gun ownership. The reasonable response is implementation of a regulatory framework. Cue the call to arms against regulation......
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Dec 17, 2012, 04:08 AM
 
Gun control must target the outliers. The mainstream gun owners are innocuous. I'm not convinced that the level of success of cigarette control that we have achieved would have any effect on the outliers we need to target. If some crazy person wanted to go second-hand-smoke a bunch of innocent bystanders, they would have little difficulty accomplishing it, even with the oppressive regulations and even with the successful mind-share campaign against smoking that has been achieved. If only 0.001% of users are the problem, and they are the most extreme sub-group, then you have to reduce participation by 99.999% in order to stop them. No regulation is that effective in practice.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
1. Those were/are "pleasures". I think there's a good argument to be made that trying to completely prohibit things that people put into their own bodies to make them feel really, really good is nigh-on impossible. I would submit to you that as good as it feels to be carrying a gun, it's not quite the same level of compulsion/enjoyment; in the words of Frank the Tank, it just does not feel quite so good when it touches your lips.
Independently from the above, I think the compulsion to never bring a knife to a gunfight rivals that of addiction. I can see the argument that illegal guns are ones that were once legal, and choking legal guns may eventually reduce the incidence of illegal ones, but that leaves a generation of law-abiders at the mercy of criminals. The transition is a significant obstacle, especially when the goal of reducing illegal arms is far from assured. It's classic game theory, the solution only works if everyone agrees, and there is significant advantage to the person who breaks ranks.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Independently from the above, I think the compulsion to never bring a knife to a gunfight rivals that of addiction. I can see the argument that illegal guns are ones that were once legal, and choking legal guns may eventually reduce the incidence of illegal ones, but that leaves a generation of law-abiders at the mercy of criminals.
That's an oft-repeated statement, and not one that has come to pass - to my knowledge - in any other first-world country that has placed significant restrictions on gun ownership over the last century (i.e. pretty much all of them). The image of gun-toting criminals taking over the law-abiding citizens is simply, AFAIK, a complete red herring - it's never happened unless in the complete absence of a police presence.

On that point, Shaddim has been vocal for his idea of a) letting every keep their guns under the current regime; and 2) greatly expanding police presence using military currently in the field.

Putting aside the obvious and devastating rebuttal that this plan would have absolutely no affect on anyone who wanted to load up with a couple guns and go rouge in a school or other public place where no police are around (unless he imagines a cop on every street corner), why wouldn't the better alternative be to a) restrict gun ownership, and b) greatly expand the existing police presence?

I mean, it's the exact same thing, except gun access is more restricted - i.e. it's a better plan.
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Dec 17, 2012, 04:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Putting aside the obvious and devastating rebuttal that this plan would have absolutely no affect on anyone who wanted to load up with a couple guns and go rouge in a school or other public place where no police are around
"Does that guy have guns and makeup in his pocket? GET HIM!"
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
If there's a price for freedom then perhaps this particular price is too high? You might want to drive at 200mph in town. You can't. You might want to sell crack cocaine in corner shops, you can't. For some reason you have also decided that its useful for your society to limit alcohol to under 21s (the rest of the unfree world thinks 18 is adult enough). What on earth makes you think this particular freedom is more important than allowing 20 year old to have a beer?
Protection from the government.

I fully expect people from the continent which brought us Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, and Milosevic to tell me the above is crazy talk.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Independently from the above, I think the compulsion to never bring a knife to a gunfight rivals that of addiction. I can see the argument that illegal guns are ones that were once legal, and choking legal guns may eventually reduce the incidence of illegal ones, but that leaves a generation of law-abiders at the mercy of criminals.
That's an oft-repeated statement, and not one that has come to pass - to my knowledge - in any other first-world country that has placed significant restrictions on gun ownership over the last century (i.e. pretty much all of them). The image of gun-toting criminals taking over the law-abiding citizens is simply, AFAIK, a complete red herring - it's never happened unless in the complete absence of a police presence.
Probably because you're confusing cause and effect. Other nations could pass gun restrictions because guns/murder were not as common, not vice versa. I haven't seen any demonstration that gun bans have had their intended effect (a precipitous drop in homicide), therefore if the ban had no intended effect then it is not at all surprising that the unintended effects were equivalently mild.


On that point, Shaddim has been vocal for his idea of a) letting every keep their guns under the current regime; and 2) greatly expanding police presence using military currently in the field.

Putting aside the obvious and devastating rebuttal that this plan would have absolutely no affect on anyone who wanted to load up with a couple guns and go rouge in a school or other public place where no police are around (unless he imagines a cop on every street corner), why wouldn't the better alternative be to a) restrict gun ownership, and b) greatly expand the existing police presence?

I mean, it's the exact same thing, except gun access is more restricted - i.e. it's a better plan.
You mean like some sort of "police state?" Where you simply concentrate all the power in the police, and hope that they don't abuse it? Hasn't that been tried before?
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:43 AM
 
Yep, carried an all-purpose pocket knife every day from 6th grade on. Often in a belt case. Nobody said a word. They didn't care.

Something's changed, but it's not the availability of guns. And now that this has happened, prices will be going up again!

Nothing drives up the supply of guns (and prices in the short-term) more than a speech by a sitting Democrat.

As for "other nations" I'd point out that 1) other nations are more compact in many cases, and higher population densities makes it cheaper to police, and 2) are far less diverse than parts of the US. That seems to be a contributing factor to the war on sanity in this country - people are too spread out and there are a lot of different, specialized communities that law enforcement has to pay attention to.

If you've ever had to call the police while facing a threat you'll understand the saying "When seconds count, your local police are only minutes away." They can only move so fast, and they can't be everywhere. I won't go so far as to say their chief contribution is drawing chalk outlines (which is what I used to think), but they can only do what they can do. That's not a knock on cops; that's an indicator of how our society has grown. If you're outside a major metro area here in the South, you can bet you're at least 15-20 minutes away from assistance. If you're not prepared to defend yourself, it might not turn out pretty.
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:45 AM
 
Really? Really? You want guns to protect yourself from your own government.

I'm not sure there's a reasonable way through that argument as it's so far from any logical position you'd need a telescope just to see if there was an argument or not.

If you feel that it's a realistic enough chance that the might of the US Government is going to turn against the population that regular massacres of people is a good trade, then OK but I'm not sure your gun is going to help you much in that event anyway.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:47 AM
 
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Protection from the government.
This is why I advocate for a complete ban on handguns. But I want people to have access to assault rifles, high power rifles, and man portable anti-tank weapons.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 06:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
2. "Give us your guns."
"NO"
"Okay, here's a fine for carrying it improperly, here's a fine for not storing it properly, here's a fine for not obeying these certain rules. We'll get a judgment against you if you don't pay. Good luck getting credit with this lien registered against your assets. Oh yeah, and we won't give you a new gun license until your old fines are paid - so when your current license expires you'll be an illegal owner, too. You'll get tied up in red tape for years, and all because you insisted on carrying a handgun in your [wherever]."
Okay, so you really think these nutjobs are going to care about a lien on their house? "Well I was going to murder some 6 year olds today then shoot myself if the face but I'd better get my credit sorted out instead"


     
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Dec 17, 2012, 07:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
If you feel that it's a realistic enough chance that the might of the US Government is going to turn against the population that regular massacres of people is a good trade, then OK but I'm not sure your gun is going to help you much in that event anyway.
Why is it so preposterous to think the US Government would turn on its own people? Is it because the US people are so bristly about it?

You know our military record against decentralized civilian insurgents hasn't been terribly good; it's not that far fetched that an armed populace could put up a fight against it. American physical fitness seems like a bigger obstacle to me than munitions.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 07:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Really? Really? You want guns to protect yourself from your own government.
I'm not sure there's a reasonable way through that argument as it's so far from any logical position you'd need a telescope just to see if there was an argument or not.
If you feel that it's a realistic enough chance that the might of the US Government is going to turn against the population that regular massacres of people is a good trade, then OK but I'm not sure your gun is going to help you much in that event anyway.
I at least score one for the prediction, right?

It seems like you have four separate questions.

1) Can an armed populace resist the military might of their government?
2) Can an armed populace topple its government?
3) Is a government unchecked by an armed populace something to fear?
4) Is free access to arms worth the trade off in abuse?

1 is an obvious yes. If an armed populace couldn't resist the military might of their government, you wouldn't have violent insurgencies.

2 seems to be the the one most open to discussion.

3 is another obvious yes, to me at least. Just look at the list of European dictators. To be clear, I'm not worried about our current government, but neither of us know what things will be like 100 years from now.

I'd say 3 answers of yes sells the fourth. IME, we have a lock on least two.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 07:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
American physical fitness seems like a bigger obstacle to me than munitions.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
This is why I advocate for a complete ban on handguns. But I want people to have access to assault rifles, high power rifles, and man portable anti-tank weapons.
This isn't an unreasonable point. Where do you draw the line?

OTOH, I often see this argument being presented as if the fact a line needs to be drawn makes the whole thing null and void. I don't get that.

I've heard very smart people imply this. What am I missing?
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Yep, carried an all-purpose pocket knife every day from 6th grade on. Often in a belt case. Nobody said a word. They didn't care.
Something's changed, but it's not the availability of guns. And now that this has happened, prices will be going up again!
Nothing drives up the supply of guns (and prices in the short-term) more than a speech by a sitting Democrat.
As for "other nations" I'd point out that 1) other nations are more compact in many cases, and higher population densities makes it cheaper to police, and 2) are far less diverse than parts of the US. That seems to be a contributing factor to the war on sanity in this country - people are too spread out and there are a lot of different, specialized communities that law enforcement has to pay attention to.
If you've ever had to call the police while facing a threat you'll understand the saying "When seconds count, your local police are only minutes away." They can only move so fast, and they can't be everywhere. I won't go so far as to say their chief contribution is drawing chalk outlines (which is what I used to think), but they can only do what they can do. That's not a knock on cops; that's an indicator of how our society has grown. If you're outside a major metro area here in the South, you can bet you're at least 15-20 minutes away from assistance. If you're not prepared to defend yourself, it might not turn out pretty.
The problem is, as long as you have people feeling fearful and needing to defend themselves from some unknown entity and some unknown circumstance, there will be more guns in circulation, more questionable people owning them and using them in ways that bring about tragedy of various sorts.

There are many paranoid and fearful Americans out there, I don't really know what keeps this fueled and how it can be stopped.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
That's an oft-repeated statement, and not one that has come to pass - to my knowledge - in any other first-world country that has placed significant restrictions on gun ownership over the last century (i.e. pretty much all of them). The image of gun-toting criminals taking over the law-abiding citizens is simply, AFAIK, a complete red herring - it's never happened unless in the complete absence of a police presence.
Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C. All have gun bans and high murder rates.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
as long as you have people feeling fearful and needing to defend themselves from some unknown entity and some unknown circumstance...

There are many paranoid and fearful Americans out there, I don't really know what keeps this fueled and how it can be stopped.
The emotional backlash after a tragedy, against guns or liberuls or consurvatives any other scapegoat at hand, is just as fearful. It's terrifying, the notion that there's nothing we can do to stop this from happening (or at least no known solution). Nothing calms the shakes like feeling in control, and that's why people want to own guns, and it's also why (other) people want gun control. Because bad stuff happens, and we can't always prevent it. Doing nothing is the most terrifying option of all, even if it's objectively the least damaging, because it's an admission that we're at the end of our ability to control our world. Humans just aren't capable of that much objectivity.

Edit: I also want to say, I agree with you besson. The cause of all this is ultimately fear. I don't know why the US has more of it than other nations, maybe it's because we are (or try to be) the most free of any other nation, and freedom brings with it uncertainty which is honestly somewhat scary. Like Doc HM said, there is a price to freedom, and many would say it's too high a price. I wouldn't be surprised if Americans put a higher value on freedom than any other nation, because it's kind of our thing, our raison d'etre. I don't know if that's true, but if it is then it would explain why we're more violent.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
The emotional backlash after a tragedy, against guns or liberuls or consurvatives any other scapegoat at hand, is just as fearful. It's terrifying, the notion that there's nothing we can do to stop this from happening (or at least no known solution). Nothing calms the shakes like feeling in control, and that's why people want to own guns, and it's also why (other) people want gun control. Because bad stuff happens, and we can't always prevent it. Doing nothing is the most terrifying option of all, even if it's objectively the least damaging, because it's an admission that we're at the end of our ability to control our world. Humans just aren't capable of that much objectivity.
Well put.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I at least score one for the prediction, right?
It seems like you have four separate questions.
1) Can an armed populace resist the military might of their government?
2) Can an armed populace topple its government?
3) Is a government unchecked by an armed populace something to fear?
4) Is free access to arms worth the trade off in abuse?
1 is an obvious yes. If an armed populace couldn't resist the military might of their government, you wouldn't have violent insurgencies.
2 seems to be the the one most open to discussion.
3 is another obvious yes, to me at least. Just look at the list of European dictators. To be clear, I'm not worried about our current government, but neither of us know what things will be like 100 years from now.
I'd say 3 answers of yes sells the fourth. IME, we have a lock on least two.

You seem to be happier to relate to America in the same terms as an African republic rather than a developed democratic nation. I would put more faith in your famous "checks and balances" than the 2nd amendment to protect you from your own state. In any way I'm glad that you have at least tacitly agreed that for you (and others) the equation is: 1 in several million chance of US govt attempting armed suppression of it's own population vs several mass killings of innocents every year as a price well worth paying.

Which is I submit plainly nuts. But it's your country. Knock yourself out.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Okay, so you really think these nutjobs are going to care about a lien on their house? "Well I was going to murder some 6 year olds today then shoot myself if the face but I'd better get my credit sorted out instead"
No, but if people are fined enough to the point where they take gun responsibility seriously, it'll greatly reduce access to those guns by said nutjubs. It won't stop them all, no, but it'll greatly reduce the risk. Especially if assault rifles are banned from civilian use (with the exception of sport shooting, in which case you'd have to be registered and follow strict rules regarding transportation and storage of the rifle.)
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:52 AM
 
We also pay a price in innocent human lives for the convenience of motor vehicles and highways. Is that plainly nuts too, or is "freedom" less important than getting to the movie theater faster?
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:53 AM
 
The UK banned handguns after the Dunblane shooting and we haven't had a school shooting since. At the time, I thought it was overkill. Much more recently we did have a guy who went on a rampage through the streets with a bunch of rifles, as far as I know they were legal ones but nothing has been changed since then. The only guns you can legally own here are also valid tools for hunting so banning anything else is not really sensible. You can only go so far.

Its the mentality of 'needing' many guns that worries me. If you are looking for legislation to protect you against people with psychological problems who might go mad and grab a gun, I would suggest you lock up anyone who buys more than one rifle per license holder. Stockpiling weapons is a clear sign of paranoia.


Ultimately its a complicated problem because of the gun culture that exists. Something really does need to be done though, you can't let these shootings keep happening without changing something.

Arming teachers is a stupid idea. If the kids don't manage to steal their guns, the teachers will be the ones who flip out and start shooting the kids. I also think using your armed forces as police officers is a spectacularly bad idea. Ignoring the fact it would create exactly the sort of climate that most gun nuts are stocking up to avoid, the skill sets are not the same. They might be good for SWAT, but they should not be considered for walking a beat or general law enforcement without undergoing full police training. They would be perfectly suitable to put on patrol in school grounds with the briefing that if they hear gunshots, or see a gun they come running, everything else they pretty much ignore.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 08:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Why is it so preposterous to think the US Government would turn on its own people?
Because it's not happened in all the time since you gained independence, its not likely to happy any time soon and it's difficult to envision a scenario in which it would take place. Ever.

It's not impossible, it's just more likely that the number of people killed in gun crime will be multiple times the entire US population before it does happen. Making gun ownership to guard against it with all it's inevitable downsides a bit like taking a moon sized sledge hammer to crack a virus sized nut.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
We also pay a price in innocent human lives for the convenience of motor vehicles and highways. Is that plainly nuts too, or is "freedom" less important than getting to the movie theater faster?
There are vast economic and social benefits to cars and freeway travel. In any rate benefits that are deemed worth the risk by almost everyone. Behaviour in cars that would lead to this equation becoming skewed are made illegal. hence you can't drive at 100mph to your work or school since this would almost certainly result in innocent casualties.

Owning and driving a car is therefore plainly not "nuts" but insane speeding IS. Hence why one is illegal.

If any one of the pro gun lobby would just stand up and say what they really mean, "I'm happy for this many people to die because that's a price I'm prepared to live with in order to be able to own a gun" then the argument would be clear and you could all debate where this line should be drawn. All the bleating on about guns not killing people is simply weaselling out of the responsibility for gun ownership. You want the guns but you don't want to take any responsibility when owning them goes (badly) wrong.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Okay, so you really think these nutjobs are going to care about a lien on their house? "Well I was going to murder some 6 year olds today then shoot myself if the face but I'd better get my credit sorted out instead"
No, but if people are fined enough to the point where they take gun responsibility seriously, it'll greatly reduce access to those guns by said nutjubs. It won't stop them all, no, but it'll greatly reduce the risk. Especially if assault rifles are banned from civilian use (with the exception of sport shooting, in which case you'd have to be registered and follow strict rules regarding transportation and storage of the rifle.)
I've heard this before, and I have questions about it. Who is going to impose the fines? Will there be regular inspections of our homes to make sure we didn't lapse, like (I hear) the English have to accept TV police to come by and count their screens (or was that a joke, because it does sound ridiculous)? What if I say my gun was stolen just to avoid future inspections, how will you stop me from doing that? If I do that, can I also stop paying the fines or fees? If the fines are reasonable, then how would it stop the dedicated, and if they are unreasonable (MPAA style) then how would it not simply drive regular people to the black market (like the MPAA does)?
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Why is it so preposterous to think the US Government would turn on its own people?
Because it's not happened in all the time since you gained independence, its not likely to happy any time soon and it's difficult to envision a scenario in which it would take place. Ever.
The last time it happened here was right before the second amendment was drafted to prevent it from happening again. Meanwhile, it has continued to happen in other parts of the world, first world even.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:08 AM
 
On a side note:

As a UK citizen with an unarmed police the scenes around the school in the aftermath of the shooting seem to be closely related to Americas relationship with guns. The huge number of armed police, many carrying assault weapons and multiple handguns seemed incongruous in the light of what had just happened.

I realise obviously that some level of armed response is entirely appropriate, but in the aftermath the whole town seemed besieged by an army of police, armed to the teeth, covered in armour and hiding behind wrap around shades.

I'm not entirely sure what the point is here, just that the images were incredibly threatening. I guess you Americans find it actually re assuring to pour so much weaponry into a scene in this manner. In the UK we of course do have some armed response but even in hostage situations etc the polce to seem to try to keep themselves as low profile as possible. I guess they realise that the average UK person doesn't like to see policemen with guns, while you probably do. A lot.

This is an aside from the pro anti argument. I'm interested in your take on the imagery of the police in these situations.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
The last time it happened here was right before the second amendment was drafted to prevent it from happening again. Meanwhile, it has continued to happen in other parts of the world, first world even.
OK so go on then, say it.

"It's not exactly likely but I as a pro gun ownership person deem the current level of civilian gun related death to be a price worth paying to prevent my own government turning against me"

Take the responsibility for being pro gun.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
We also pay a price in innocent human lives for the convenience of motor vehicles and highways. Is that plainly nuts too, or is "freedom" less important than getting to the movie theater faster?
There are vast economic and social benefits to cars and freeway travel. In any rate benefits that are deemed worth the risk by almost everyone.
There are vast benefits to freedom from tyranny and Big Brother police states too. Benefits that are deemed worth it despite the risks.

Behaviour in cars that would lead to this equation becoming skewed are made illegal. hence you can't drive at 100mph to your work or school since this would almost certainly result in innocent casualties.
Shooting bullets in the direction of people is also already illegal. Even threatening to shoot someone is assault.

If any one of the pro gun lobby would just stand up and say what they really mean, "I'm happy for this many people to die because that's a price I'm prepared to live with in order to be able to own a gun" then the argument would be clear and you could all debate where this line should be drawn.
Ditto if someone said they're "happy" for people to die by drunk drivers or reckless/texting drivers. But it's not true on either side; no one is "happy" about traffic accidents and no one is "happy" about gun crime. It's something they all wish could be avoided, but since a correct solution hasn't been invented yet, there is predictable disagreement about which incorrect solution is "best."
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:23 AM
 
I concede that happy is the wrong word here. Sorry. I wasn't using it in the sense of glad but in prepared to accept.

I can't think that anyone would be actually happy in this situation.

More accurately you and other pro gun people feel that the current level of violence is acceptable in order to retain gun ownership in order to prevent some hypothetical future threat.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
There are vast economic and social benefits to cars and freeway travel. In any rate benefits that are deemed worth the risk by almost everyone. Behaviour in cars that would lead to this equation becoming skewed are made illegal. hence you can't drive at 100mph to your work or school since this would almost certainly result in innocent casualties.
Owning and driving a car is therefore plainly not "nuts" but insane speeding IS. Hence why one is illegal.
If any one of the pro gun lobby would just stand up and say what they really mean, "I'm happy for this many people to die because that's a price I'm prepared to live with in order to be able to own a gun" then the argument would be clear and you could all debate where this line should be drawn. All the bleating on about guns not killing people is simply weaselling out of the responsibility for gun ownership. You want the guns but you don't want to take any responsibility when owning them goes (badly) wrong.
I'm not trying to weasel out of it.

There's no question (at least in my mind) the Second Amendment is directly responsible for the wide availability of effective tools to go on a rampage with.

Being "happy" about this consequence is a horribly unfair way to put it, but I do agree that one who supports the Second Ammendment also explicitly supports this tradeoff.

I'll also admit I like guns, but that's not the reason I support the amendment. The only evidence I can offer of that is I don't own one.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
More accurately you and other pro gun people feel that the current level of violence is acceptable in order to retain gun ownership in order to prevent some hypothetical future threat.
You don't appear to be factoring in deterrence.

A large portion of the idea here is creating conditions which are unsuitable for the threat to develop in the first place.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
There are vast benefits to freedom from tyranny and Big Brother police states too. Benefits that are deemed worth it despite the risks.
Shooting bullets in the direction of people is also already illegal. Even threatening to shoot someone is assault.
Ditto if someone said they're "happy" for people to die by drunk drivers or reckless/texting drivers. But it's not true on either side; no one is "happy" about traffic accidents and no one is "happy" about gun crime. It's something they all wish could be avoided, but since a correct solution hasn't been invented yet, there is predictable disagreement about which incorrect solution is "best."
Surely 99/9% of the benefits from tyranny are provided by a stable and democratic government, a happy and affluent society and an economy based on people being free to live earn and spend. Can't see removing guns changing much of that. Seems to work well enough over here for the same reasons.

in the case of speeding and drunk drivers enough people have decided where the line is drawn. It's not a static line. 20 years ago drink driving was fine and many people thought it was a gross intrusion to breathalyse people. Now we thing differently. 20 years ago perhaps we thought that shooting people was bad but owning guns was fine Perhaps now we thing that even owning guns is bad. These things are't written in stone. Currently your line is that the price i worth paying, once enough people decide it isn't, things will change.

You say the correct solution hasn't been found yet, that's because you draw your line in a certain place. I think the correct solution has been found and I live every day in a country that applies that solution to no discernible ill effect.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You don't appear to be factoring in deterrence.
A large portion of the idea here is creating conditions which are unsuitable for the threat to develop in the first place.
Why would I have to factor anything in. The situation is what it is. Deterrence is simply part of your argument. You have already said you want to deter your government form attacking you. I assume you also feel you are deterring other people from attacking you, although people are rarely rational in the decision to apply violence, and are proven to be spectacularly bad a risk analysis in extreme situations.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
There are vast benefits to freedom from tyranny and Big Brother police states too. Benefits that are deemed worth it despite the risks.
Shooting bullets in the direction of people is also already illegal. Even threatening to shoot someone is assault.
Ditto if someone said they're "happy" for people to die by drunk drivers or reckless/texting drivers. But it's not true on either side; no one is "happy" about traffic accidents and no one is "happy" about gun crime. It's something they all wish could be avoided, but since a correct solution hasn't been invented yet, there is predictable disagreement about which incorrect solution is "best."
Surely 99/9% of the benefits from tyranny are provided by a stable and democratic government, a happy and affluent society and an economy based on people being free to live earn and spend. Can't see removing guns changing much of that. Seems to work well enough over here for the same reasons.
It seems like over there the level of violence was never as high as here, bans or no bans. It seems that we have not discovered the true cause of the difference.

in the case of speeding and drunk drivers enough people have decided where the line is drawn. It's not a static line. 20 years ago drink driving was fine and many people thought it was a gross intrusion to breathalyse people. Now we thing differently. 20 years ago perhaps we thought that shooting people was bad but owning guns was fine Perhaps now we thing that even owning guns is bad. These things are't written in stone. Currently your line is that the price i worth paying, once enough people decide it isn't, things will change.
100 years ago people thought it was a gross intrusion to outlaw alcohol. Then they thought differently and agreed to outlaw it, thinking that would end the violence that seemed to surround drinking. It wasn't long before they realized that was not stopping the violence, and arguably making it worse, meanwhile innocent people had lost their freedom to drink non-violently. So they changed it back to being legal again. I wouldn't be surprised if gun control goes overboard in the US at some point, and then we learn it wasn't the solution after all, and things swing back. Hopefully we do ultimately find the true cause of America's violent streak, I just don't believe we have yet.

You say the correct solution hasn't been found yet, that's because you draw your line in a certain place. I think the correct solution has been found and I live every day in a country that applies that solution to no discernible ill effect.
It's simplistic to think that is the only difference between our cultures.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
the current level of violence is acceptable in order to retain gun ownership in order to prevent some hypothetical future threat.
My need of a seatbelt is only for "some hypothetical future threat." I've never needed one before in my life. But I can see other people around me need them. Not frequently, and not people I actually know personally, but some people have definitely needed them. Should I stop wearing mine just because I might never be in a serious car accident?
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:59 AM
 
This ABC News/Washington Post poll also finds that 54 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control laws in general, numerically a five-year high, albeit not significantly different than in recent years. Fifty-nine percent support a ban specifically on high-capacity ammunition clips, a step on which partisan and ideological gaps narrow substantially and “strong” support peaks.
Most Back Ban on High-Capacity Clips | ABCNews.com

Sounds like a reasonable step to take.

OAW
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 11:19 AM
 
I'm willing to bet the chances of an auto accident are orders of magnitude bigger than the chances of a US govt marching on it's citizens.

The cost/benefit ratio is a lot different too. Although admittedly not for you if you choose to go belt less and are unlucky, but certainly for those around you.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 12:30 PM
 
I can't help but think there is a massive amount of dishonesty going on when it comes to guns. Not necessarily here, but in general.

The popular arguments in favour of gun ownership are basically one of two:

Defence of one's self, family, property or innocent bystanders during a violent crime;
In case the need arises to overthrow the government;

The first one is self perpetuating. People need guns for defence because people who commit crimes have guns. Likewise if the victims weren't armed, the perpetrators wouldn't need to be. (Over here, burglars don't usually carry guns. The sentence for armed robbery is much worse than burglary and the odds of being shot by the victim are slim.)

So reason number one sort of implies that if it were possible to snap your fingers and take all the legally owned guns out of circulation and 90% or so of illegally owned guns as well, then people citing reason number one as justification for gun ownership would be happy for that to happen and for gun ownership to be illegal from that point onwards (maybe not completely illegal, but perhaps closer to the UK gun laws, no hand guns, no semi-auto rifles). Does anyone think this would be the case? I realise its entirely hypothetical and unachievable in reality, but even if it were, would this large portion of the pro-gun people take that solution if it was available? I don't think so. Anyone here who is in the self defence camp want to weigh in on that? If you are just going to reiterate that it couldn't happen, please don't bother.
Even if you could wave this magic wand and take most guns out of circulation, I think it would still leave a problem. You don't hear many stories over here of burglars being interrupted or stumbling upon lone women and deciding to assault or rape them. I'm sure it happens, but its not terribly common. For some reason, I think it would probably be more common in the US. Anyone agree or disagree with that?

Reason number two is far more logical, but only if the odds of an invasion or government oppression were far more likely than it seems to be at the moment. Its really very difficult to see it happening in the next hundred years or so and I don't think gun ownership is what stopped it happening in the last hundred years or so. Would a bunch of disorganised civilians really stand much chance against the US military machine? I'm inclined to think not. Or rather that any resistance would be reduced to guerrilla fighting quickly enough that prior gun ownership wouldn't really make much difference in the long haul.

So where does the dishonesty come in? I don't think that all the people who use these arguments necessarily believe them. I think a lot of pro-gun people just like owning and shooting guns. A bunch more are probably just repeating what their peers say. Nothing wrong with enjoying shooting. I'd have a go if I got the chance, but if thats your real reason, that you don't want to give up something you find entertaining, even if it means more people getting murdered, it makes you look pretty bad so no-one admits to it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 01:10 PM
 
Hunting, sport, and defense. In the US, there were as many homicides from DUI last year as firearms. However, consumption of alcohol is purely recreational. Banning it didn't work out very well, since it's ingrained into our culture, it's the same with guns. No other society in the world has firearms so tightly integrated into its history and lore. The American Revolution awakened that and it hasn't changed since. It's very difficult for non-US natives to understand, and to be frank, it's a little difficult to explain. To us, they represent freedom and equality, because they were the tools for those fights on so many occasions; on our land, in our homes, and sometimes even in shameful ways. The thing to do, as Americans, is to sort out our social issues that cause people to fall through the cracks, and find a solution. Removal of a tool doesn't cure the problem, it just covers it up. Deaths /yr due to a relatively small number of mentally disturbed folks is not a reason to abandon a core liberty that is one of the foundations of our country. It's not the time to be reactionary, it's time to help those who have these issues.

It took me 2 minutes to find the directions to a small homemade shrapnel bomb, that a 12 y/o could build, with all the materials available at Home Depot and Wal-Mart. A high schooler could easily carry 4 of these in a book bag, and each has the capacity to kill everyone in a classroom (body count of 100-140), even more during a student assembly.

Again, this isn't a European country, it isn't Canada, this is the USA. While it's nice that people from other countries are offering help with this problem, this is a unique situation that we have to deal with and it's much more volatile than you realize. It's likely one of just a few potential issues that could launch this nation into another civil war. I don't want that, and truthfully, I don't believe anyone does.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Dec 17, 2012, 01:21 PM
 
When M.A.D.D. went after the drunk driving problem years ago they didn't target the cars, they targeted drunk drivers. This isn't a gun problem, it's a behavioral problem. The weapons used would have been legal under assault weapons bans.
     
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Dec 17, 2012, 03:10 PM
 
I'm not suggesting banning hunting weapons, but leaving guns where disturbed kids can get at them shouldn't be happening.

I'm sorry, I get that you all love your guns, but I could argue that a massive part of the british empire was built on slavery so we should keep it because its ingrained in our culture but every sane person would call me an idiot. The "we've always done it" argument is a reason it happens, not a reason to keep doing it. Slavery is gone because the negative effect it had on slave's lives made it impossible to justify the benefits to the lives of the slave owners.

Calling guns a liberty is just a transparent branding exercise. In the 21st century they aren't giving you any liberty any more. If its symbolic, then hang a disabled vintage replica above your fireplace or something.

I see gun lovers claim they have the utmost respect for their weapons, that they look after them, maintain and clean them and never forget that they are serious weapons. Then I see people posing trying to look macho or shooting cans off their fences with a beer in their other hand. Because no-one is compelled to lock them away, there is no ceremony, no reverence. The attitudes are too gung-ho and too casual. These are weapons designed to kill. I don't sense respect for a weapon when the guy firing it is yelling "Yee-haw!" at the top of his voice. Gun owners over here would never do that and would chastise anyone who did. How can that attitude be curbed? It would go a long way to stopping these spree killings.


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