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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Texas Church Shooting: Forget Prayers, Send More Guns: Or else, Tryanny?

Texas Church Shooting: Forget Prayers, Send More Guns: Or else, Tryanny? (Page 2)
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OAW
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Nov 6, 2017, 07:55 PM
 
Because .... Fox News.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt stretched too far trying to find a silver lining in reporting on the mass shooting at a Texas church that left 26 people dead.

Earhardt suggested that church was the best place for a tragedy like this to happen specifically because the people there were already close to God anyway.

“We’ve been reporting this shouldn’t happen in a church. But I was downstairs talking with some people that work here that we all talk about our faith and we share the same beliefs,” Earhardt said during an interview with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “We were saying there’s no other place we would want to go other than church. Because I’m there asking for forgiveness. I feel very close to Christ when I’m there.”

“So, I’m trying to look at some positives here and know that those people are with the Lord now and experiencing eternity and no more suffering, no more sadness anymore,” Earhardt continued.

This is especially tasteless when reports say half of those dead in the shooting were children, and the Texas shooting is the deadliest church shooting in American history.

While there’s nothing wrong with turning to faith in a time of crisis, Earhardt has unnecessarily created a controversy here by suggesting that anyplace is good for tragedy, let alone a church, which should be a sanctuary.
Fox News host: Church is the best place to get shot | FoxNews.com

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Laminar
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Nov 6, 2017, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I think this is about hypothetically stripping away a right from everyone. One we've had for over two centuries, to reduce the chances of the occasional mass shooting. Which are so occasional, most people will live out their lives without ever being in the same state when such a shooting happens. Yes, I'm ignoring single shootings. But this debate comes up after every mass shooting.

Using the "top-5" shooting numbers above, 192 people died in 10 years, or 19 per year via mass shooting. Maybe smaller mass shootings bump the numbers a little, so let's say 20 per year. If the USA has 322 million people, and everyone lives 70 years, the death rate is 12,600 per day of old age. About one chance in 230,000 of dying via mass shooting rather than other causes.
Check your numbers. Note a few things:
1. You only count those killed in mass shooting as victims. What about those that were injured but not killed? What about those that had loved ones killed or injured? Are they not victims as well?
2. The data shows nearly 2000 people either killed or injured in mass shootings since 1982. Again, this doesn't count families that had their father, mother, or 7 year old children murdered.
3. Do you really think an "it's not that bad" argument is the direction you want to go? The US is on par with Barbados, Nicaragua, and Uruguay with gun homicides and is the only developed country where these kind of mass shootings happen with this frequency, and your response is "it's not that bad"?

To fix this, we should apparently change our Constitution, collect up guns, fight everyone who "objects",
Again, nobody's ****ing suggesting that. Repeating means that either:
1. You've been effectively sold fear-mongering propaganda and don't realize it, or
2. You're purposely propagating fear-mongering propaganda.

I don't know which one is worse.

and change our political assumptions. Shall we give up speech next, because people die in riots after some speeches?
We should change our constitution when it makes sense to change our constitution. The founding fathers didn't get everything right.

Should we change the entire constitution just because a bunch of black people think they deserve to vote? Should we change our political assumptions that black people are mentally inferior to white men and shouldn't be allowed to participate in the political process? What's next. We ****ing let women vote? The horror!

(guns limit gov behavior).
What? Your government spies on you indiscriminately. Without a warrant or due process, they track your location, phone calls, and internet activity. You can be denied due process, tortured, tried in a secret court, or just placed in a secret prison indefinitely without a trial. Your government can rearrange voting districts to ensure the success of a single political party. You can be denied access to private air travel by getting your name on a secret list with no recourse to find out how you got on or how you can get off. Government employees (police officers) can, for no reason, murder you in cold blood. They can tamper with evidence and make you look guilty after the fact. Their word is taken as truth and there will be no consequences for them. Depending on your skin color, appearance, or name, you can be disproportionately targeted while walking, driving, or attempting to fly. You can be hassled, detained, fined, assaulted (physically and sexually), prosecuted, and jailed at the discretion of the government. If you don't happen to have thousands of dollars handy and months of free time, there will be absolutely no recourse. Even if you do have thousands of dollars and free time to burn, the odds are not in your favor. If it is your word against a government employee's, your word is ignored. Your government's employees will conspire together to ensure you are found guilty and that justice does not prevail.

What have guns done to limit the behavior of the government?
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 07:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I think this is about hypothetically stripping away a right from everyone. One we've had for over two centuries, to reduce the chances of the occasional mass shooting. Which are so occasional, most people will live out their lives without ever being in the same state when such a shooting happens. Yes, I'm ignoring single shootings. But this debate comes up after every mass shooting.
Mass shootings are just the most visible, but ultimately superficial symptom. Most gun death are suicides. If the US brings its gun-related injuries and deaths down to the level of other, comparable nations, the lives of tens of thousands of people can be saved each year. (I'm not exaggerating here, about 73,000 people in the US got injured with guns in 2013 and 34,000 were killed with firearms (including suicides, obviously).

Right now, the US is doing nothing of consequence: some of these gun-related deaths could be prevented with better mental health care. But the US doesn't have universal healthcare and doesn't offer comprehensive mental health care to its citizens. It doesn't want to effectively regulate gun owners so as to make sure that men who have abused their spouses get their guns taken away from them. And so forth.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Similar things happen after air crashes. The chances of dying per-km-travelled is much lower for flying vs driving. But after each crash, air travel drops for a time. And the chances of dying in a mass shooting are vastly lower still, a close approximation of zero for the average citizen.
The important difference is that there is an active attempt to improve air craft safety after crashes whereas with gun violence, there is none. Many crashes have resulted in recommendations that made air travel safer as a result. Modern air traffic control is the result of a crash. The designs of many aircraft have been tweaked after crashes, in a few cases, the whole design was found to be unsound.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
To fix this, we should apparently change our Constitution, collect up guns, fight everyone who "objects", and change our political assumptions (guns limit gov behavior).
You should change your mind according to what the evidence says, so if one of your political assumptions is wrong, then change it. Many of the countries with tight run regulations have quite a few guns per capita (those in the 30~35 range), but significantly lower gun-related deaths. You don't have to give up firearm ownership just because it is no longer in the Constitution (interpreted in the way it is currently interpreted).
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Shall we give up speech next, because people die in riots after some speeches?
That's hyperbole.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What we get out of the freedom isn't worth the price.
This is where you go wrong: to many others, gun rights have nothing to do with freedom. To quote a colleague (and new American): “I don't get why gun ownership is a right and equated with freedom, but health care isn't.” We both get that many American's see gun ownership as one of their freedoms, but conversely, you have to admit that there are others for which gun ownership has nothing to do with freedom.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Nov 6, 2017 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Added links to source data)
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Laminar
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not comfortable with this assumption. According to military size data, the US military amounts to 4.2 active soldiers for every 1,000 of total population. The civilian population outnumbers the soldiers by almost 250:1, with enough guns to equip every citizen (there are over 100 guns for each 100 citizens).

Granted, the military could nuke cities.
Wait...the two possibilities you see are solder vs. civilian hand-to-hand combat, or just straight up nuking cities? You don't see any steps in between?

What's the ratio of US military Blackhawk helicopters to civilian Blackhawk helicopters? What's the ratio of military strike drones to civilian strike drones. How about RPGs? Mortars? Tanks?
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not comfortable with this assumption. According to military size data, the US military amounts to 4.2 active soldiers for every 1,000 of total population. The civilian population outnumbers the soldiers by almost 250:1, with enough guns to equip every citizen (there are over 100 guns for each 100 citizens).
Why do you insist this is a binary choice? A lot of soldiers hail from areas with high rates of gun ownership, they grew up there. What would be a better course of action: convincing the local army base to fight with them (that requires a free flow of information) or attacking them with shotguns and AR15s?
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Granted, the military could nuke cities. But I'm not seeing that the outcome would be assured under realistic conditions.

A decent percentage of the population are vets with military training of their own. Even if no military sided with the population, they'd suffer massive casualties trying to duke it out with the civilians. Because our population is armed. Superior weapons only count for so much when you're surrounded, vastly outnumbered, and everyone knows where your bases are.
There is quite a bit in between nuking cities and going in with ground troops. Air raids, blockades, drone strikes, etc. The only limit here is what orders the army will go along with. And even if the army decides to not flatten the land and the people living on it, this is just a defensive posture. Would these armed citizens be in any position to mount an offense?

Free flow of information >> guns when it comes to preservation of democracy.
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Laminar
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Mass shootings are just the most visible, but ultimately superficial symptom. Most gun death are suicides. If the US brings its gun-related injuries and deaths down to the level of other, comparable nations, the lives of tens of thousands of people can be saved each year. (I'm not exaggerating here, about 73,000 people in the US got injured with guns in 2013 and 34,000 were killed with firearms (including suicides, obviously).
This is true. Guns are really effective for suicide attempts.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/m...14-8?r=US&IR=T

A 1978 study of 515 people who were prevented from attempting suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge between 1937 and 1971 found after more than 26 years 94% were still alive or had died of natural causes.
...
The prototypical psychological picture of a person on the brink of suicide is one who wants to and does not want to. He makes plans for self-destruction and at the same time entertains fantasies of rescue and intervention. It is possible — indeed probably prototypical — for a suicidal individual to cut his throat and to cry for help at the same time.
...
The period where the chance of lethal suicide is at its highest and most dangerous is relatively short, typically just hours or days rather than months, according to Shneidman.
"If they want to die they'll find a way to die" isn't true. Easy access to guns makes what should be a treatable cry for help into a really effective suicide.
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Dangerous ideas didn't exist in the 18th century? Do dangerous ideas fare poorly in China because their technology has not advanced to the point where information can be freely disseminated?
No, ideas dangerous to the current regime in China do not flow freely, the Chinese state has a ginormous censorship apparatus (including the Great Firewall) that tightly controls the flow of information and suppresses even small acts of resistance such as memes. That's exactly my point.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How many people know how to hack a filtration plant versus those who can shoot a gun?
How many people administer servers with a focus on security? It's not millions, but there are tons of individuals who have basic hacking skills and could build on top of them. Hacking a power plant or a waste water processing plant does require more skills, but it would do a lot more damage.
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
The news is reporting the shooter was a militant atheist who went on a FB rant prior to the shooting. A possible motive was his ex in laws are memebers of the church, but were not there Sunday.
I would be quite careful with speculation at this point. The shooter was also an army vet (PTSD?) and has apparently had a history of domestic abuse (PTSD or other issues?). Or perhaps he just wanted to kill his ex's family and knew they were active members of that church? I think it is a bit too early to jump to conclusions as to why.

CPT did the same for the Las Vegas shooter where there was speculation for half a day that he did the attack for ISIS — which turned out to be non-sense. We should wait and see. And perhaps we will never really know.
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
This is true. Guns are really effective for suicide attempts.
Yup, thanks for adding links, although I should have added sources to back up my claims in the first place.
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
"If they want to die they'll find a way to die" isn't true. Easy access to guns makes what should be a treatable cry for help into a really effective suicide.
Yup, that's because guns are so damn effective at killing people.
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I don't know what to do with this one. Someone's got some screws loose.

Umm ... perhaps Fox news people should attend church more?
     
Laminar
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yup, that's because guns are so damn effective at killing people.
Here's my favorite dichotomy. Why does this work:

"Even if you take away guns, people will always find a way to kill other people so it won't make a difference."

But this doesn't:

"Even if you take away guns, people will always find a way to defend themselves from the government. It won't make a difference."
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Here's my favorite dichotomy. Why does this work:

"Even if you take away guns, people will always find a way to kill other people so it won't make a difference."

But this doesn't:

"Even if you take away guns, people will always find a way to defend themselves from the government. It won't make a difference."
So far they haven't bothered to use guns to defend themselves against the government so its true.
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Nov 6, 2017, 09:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not comfortable with this assumption. According to military size data, the US military amounts to 4.2 active soldiers for every 1,000 of total population. The civilian population outnumbers the soldiers by almost 250:1, with enough guns to equip every citizen (there are over 100 guns for each 100 citizens).

Granted, the military could nuke cities. But I'm not seeing that the outcome would be assured under realistic conditions.

A decent percentage of the population are vets with military training of their own. Even if no military sided with the population, they'd suffer massive casualties trying to duke it out with the civilians. Because our population is armed. Superior weapons only count for so much when you're surrounded, vastly outnumbered, and everyone knows where your bases are.
4 soldiers to 1000 population.

Without looking anything up some of that 1000 are too old to fight, some are too young. Some are disabled, and many would be too peaceful or simply in agreement with the tyrannical government. Partisan lines say that could easily be half on its own but add these together and you can reduce that 1000 to what? 400?

One trained soldier with superior fitness and equipment, plus tactics and organisation is going to be worth at least 10 poorly trained and undisciplined civilians. Thats before you factor in aforementioned explosives, grenades, missiles, tanks, helicopters, air strikes and the big one, UAVs. The soldiers know where all the civilians are pretty much all the time. Huge advantage.

But lets not pretend this comes down to a straight fight and numerical superiority. No tyrannical government wants to wipe its population out. Theres nothing to be gained by slaughtering everyone at once like cattle.
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I would be quite careful with speculation at this point. The shooter was also an army vet (PTSD?) and has apparently had a history of domestic abuse (PTSD or other issues?). Or perhaps he just wanted to kill his ex's family and knew they were active members of that church? I think it is a bit too early to jump to conclusions as to why.

CPT did the same for the Las Vegas shooter where there was speculation for half a day that he did the attack for ISIS — which turned out to be non-sense. We should wait and see. And perhaps we will never really know.
A quick search shows that the ex mother in law reported he sent threatening texts to her. The ex grandmother in law was killed. The Air Force admits it FU’ed and did not enter his domestic violence court martial into the federal database. This would have red flagged his purchases.
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OAW
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I don't know what to do with this one. Someone's got some screws loose.

Umm ... perhaps Fox news people should attend church more?
I mean by this logic wouldn’t it be be better to get shot at home with your children? That’s a place of love, family, and being at peace right?

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Nov 6, 2017, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
A quick search shows that the ex mother in law reported he sent threatening texts to her. The ex grandmother in law was killed. The Air Force admits it FU’ed and did not enter his domestic violence court martial into the federal database. This would have red flagged his purchases.
My point is you made it sound in your previous post as if the shooter was motivated by his purported “militant” atheism. That doesn't seem borne out by the facts. The way the story looks to me, and I emphasize, these are just preliminary conclusions, is that the origin is a family feud. (It is a bit hard to find the correct words here, domestic abuse isn't the “cause”, nor is domestic abuse itself the origin, nor is it acceptable to resort to violence to “settle” arguments.)
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
This is where you go wrong: to many others, gun rights have nothing to do with freedom. To quote a colleague (and new American): “I don't get why gun ownership is a right and equated with freedom, but health care isn't.” We both get that many American's see gun ownership as one of their freedoms, but conversely, you have to admit that there are others for which gun ownership has nothing to do with freedom.
What is illuminated by making a distinction between "gun ownership is a freedom which some think has no value", and "some think gun ownership is a freedom and others don't"?

As an aside, in most circumstances, prefacing an argument with a variation of "you're wrong", implies lack of interest in discussion as well as unwillingness to give any ground. I mention it because I assume neither is the case.
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Another shooter with a history of domestic violence.
Yes, and this seems to be getting more attention lately, as many of today's shooters do have such issues.
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, ideas dangerous to the current regime in China do not flow freely, the Chinese state has a ginormous censorship apparatus (including the Great Firewall) that tightly controls the flow of information and suppresses even small acts of resistance such as memes. That's exactly my point.

How many people administer servers with a focus on security? It's not millions, but there are tons of individuals who have basic hacking skills and could build on top of them. Hacking a power plant or a waste water processing plant does require more skills, but it would do a lot more damage.
It requires more than skills, it requires knowledge unique to that specific installation.

Where is the idea a tyrannical regime in America wouldn't have interest in information control coming from?
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Its Fox & Friends. They literally say stupid shit every day.
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It requires more than skills, it requires knowledge unique to that specific installation.
Yes, and so does being a member of a military: you need to be in shape, know what is important (e. g. knowing how to supply many people), have trained in a group and so forth. It is not enough to be a gun owner and know how to hit a bull's eye from 100 m.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Where is the idea a tyrannical regime in America wouldn't have interest in information control coming from?
What do you mean? I raised that point several times in this thread.
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Nov 6, 2017, 10:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Its Fox & Friends. They literally say stupid shit every day.
To be fair, I think there's an argument it's the second best place to get shot.

Best place is in an Emergency Room.
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What is illuminated by making a distinction between "gun ownership is a freedom which some think has no value", and "some think gun ownership is a freedom and others don't"?
You (and reader) wrote that repealing the Second Amendment means freedoms are taken away, and I'm just saying that this perspective presupposes that you actually see gun ownership as a constitutional right — which is certainly true for some, but not others.

And in a climate where the percentage of households owning guns is decreasing, and there seems to be no viable political position in between no regulation and repealing the Second Amendment, it is clear where this is going. That means fewer and fewer people will be invested in this issue, and will have less and less understanding about the complete unwillingness to compromise. (Just like the lack of a clear lack of an alternative to the Democrats's health care policies means that the Republicans leave a vacuum that can't be filled.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As an aside, in most circumstances, prefacing an argument with a variation of "you're wrong", implies lack of interest in discussion as well as unwillingness to give any ground. I mention it because I assume neither is the case.
I show my interest by replying in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Pointing out where I see flaws in your argument is part of that, and clearly stating where I think somebody is wrong is ok as long as I don't connect that with a personal judgement or an insult.
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, and so does being a member of a military: you need to be in shape, know what is important (e. g. knowing how to supply many people), have trained in a group and so forth. It is not enough to be a gun owner and know how to hit a bull's eye from 100 m.

What do you mean? I raised that point several times in this thread.
As I've been saying, the rebellion would be terrorists, not militiamen. This is the key reason I'm objecting to the technological superiority argument. Technological and resource superiority does poorly against asymmetrical warfare. That's why it exists.

My point is a tyrannical American government is going to have just as much interest in information control as the Chinese government. Ideas do not hold the superiority over guns the way they do in an environment where information flows freely.
     
Laminar
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As I've been saying, the rebellion would be terrorists, not militiamen. This is the key reason I'm objecting to the technological superiority argument. Technological and resource superiority does poorly against asymmetrical warfare. That's why it exists.
Does the constitution allow for a well-regulated terrorist organization?
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:28 PM
 
What if it was changed from a right to an optional, conditional duty?
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You (and reader) wrote that repealing the Second Amendment means freedoms are taken away, and I'm just saying that this perspective presupposes that you actually see gun ownership as a constitutional right — which is certainly true for some, but not others.

And in a climate where the percentage of households owning guns is decreasing, and there seems to be no viable political position in between no regulation and repealing the Second Amendment, it is clear where this is going. That means fewer and fewer people will be invested in this issue, and will have less and less understanding about the complete unwillingness to compromise. (Just like the lack of a clear lack of an alternative to the Democrats's health care policies means that the Republicans leave a vacuum that can't be filled.)
Ultimately, there are only nine people whose opinion matters on whether it's a constitutional right. A majority of them said it is, so it is. The question has been academic for several years now. Ironically, I don't think it's a constitutional right, but as I said, that's an academic argument.
     
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Nov 6, 2017, 11:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
And in a climate where the percentage of households owning guns is decreasing, and there seems to be no viable political position in between no regulation and repealing the Second Amendment, it is clear where this is going...
This is an oversimplification - there are regulations in play. It's not anything-goes vs no-guns. Felons may not purchase guns. Some states allow it after a felon has served his/her time.

Background checks are required before purchase, and various conditions (like domestic violence convictions) can prevent purchase. In the current church shooting, the military failed to pass on discharge-related info about the shooter to the civilian databases. Which would have prevented gun purchases.

The right to bear arms (and one assumes to buy them) is a right. ie - a default condition, which may be modified by reasonable regulation. Much of the discussion here has suggested turning it into a privilege, where being able to buy a gun is not the default, but an exception allowed only if conditions are met. Such a change would indeed require an amendment, and would remove an individual right.

I'm of the opinion our rights are under enough pressure today, and we should not give up a single one. If anything, we need a few more. Like a federal-level right to privacy. The 4th obviously isn't getting it done.

I really dislike the current climate, where whenever a tragedy happens, the proposed solution always involves removing more citizen rights. Not punishing the security officials who should have done more. Like say, the military official who should have (but did not) pass background info on to civilian authorities.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 12:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This is an oversimplification - there are regulations in play. It's not anything-goes vs no-guns.
Really? Do you really think so? You realize he's only saying that because you and so many others jumped straight to "they'll take away our guns!"

That's why it seems like there's no middle ground, because you seem unable to believe there exists a middle ground.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 12:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Ultimately, there are only nine people whose opinion matters on whether it's a constitutional right. A majority of them said it is, so it is. The question has been academic for several years now. Ironically, I don't think it's a constitutional right, but as I said, that's an academic argument.
1. What is or isn't a constitutional right can be continually questioned. The Supreme court doesn't get one go at an issue and that's that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ourt_decisions

2. The constitution can be amended via Congress.

The question isn't an academic exercise just because the supreme court ruled on it.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 12:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Ultimately, there are only nine people whose opinion matters on whether it's a constitutional right. A majority of them said it is, so it is. The question has been academic for several years now. Ironically, I don't think it's a constitutional right, but as I said, that's an academic argument.
I think there is plenty of room to support constitutional gun regulations, such as universal background checks and forbidding private sales as well as other means where no background checks are performed. Or a federal gun registry. Or adjusting the tax for suppressors for inflation from 1920s onwards. Or laws that stipulate you have to report when your guns get stolen.* Also, don't forget about the possibility of passing a constitutional amendment.

* Of course, the Supreme Court may declare some of these ideas or at least some of the specific implementations unconstitutional. But my point that there is still a lot of regulatory headroom still stands.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My point is a tyrannical American government is going to have just as much interest in information control as the Chinese government. Ideas do not hold the superiority over guns the way they do in an environment where information flows freely.
You are missing the point: China's control of the flow of information is to prevent insurgencies and rebellions in the first place, or to at least weaken them. Weapons are useless if people do not make the decision to pick them up in the first place. Conversely, you can use information control for people to actually pick up weapons, the Nazis used it to great advantage by selling radios cheaply to the population so that they had a direct line from the upper echelons to the ears of the German people. Ditto with propaganda films in the cinema — that was the Twitter of their day. This is the biggest misconception: if Germans had guns in the 1930s, Hitler would not have happened. Both bits here are wrong, there was plenty of (gun and other) violence in the 1920s and early 1930s, but it wasn't about guns, it was about information. (Just to be clear, this does not abdicate their responsibility in the crimes by the Nazi regime.)
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This is an oversimplification - there are regulations in play. It's not anything-goes vs no-guns. Felons may not purchase guns. Some states allow it after a felon has served his/her time.
Gun regulations in the US are extremely, extremely weak when compared to those in other countries, and they could be extended significantly without running afoul with jurisprudence.

But I still think my main point stands: if you are a politician, even proposals such as universal background checks (which have overwhelming support among the general population) are third rails and there is no viable political position between the two extremes. If you are a Democrat, you will get vilified by your Republican opponent. If you are a Republican, you would lose your conservative credentials. And if you are neither a Democrat nor a Republican, you are not represented politically anyway.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The right to bear arms (and one assumes to buy them) is a right. ie - a default condition, which may be modified by reasonable regulation. Much of the discussion here has suggested turning it into a privilege, where being able to buy a gun is not the default, but an exception allowed only if conditions are met. Such a change would indeed require an amendment, and would remove an individual right.
As a statement of fact, that is correct, although I would add there are plenty of potential regulations that would be constitutional.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm of the opinion our rights are under enough pressure today, and we should not give up a single one. If anything, we need a few more. Like a federal-level right to privacy. The 4th obviously isn't getting it done.
If the consensus changes on what should and should not be a constitutional right, then this should be reflected in law. For example, you mention a right to privacy: in my opinion that should be a constitutional right, not just a federal law. Not all rights need to be of constitutional rank by the way, though, there are plenty of laws that clearly state if these conditions are met, then you have a right to … Gun laws should be (in my opinion) just federal laws that you adjust to suit the times.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I really dislike the current climate, where whenever a tragedy happens, the proposed solution always involves removing more citizen rights.
I don't think this is something particular to the current climate. Freedoms regularly infringed upon, e. g. when the Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps during WW2, during the communist scare or when the civil rights movement gained steam. Most people are perfectly willing to subject a minority (that is not them!) to oppression when it alleviates their fears — even if it is plainly illegal or if there is no objective justification that such a measure might actually increase safety. Ditto for gun rights, gun regulations used to be plentiful if you were black, for example.

The First Amendment is how you avoid bloody revolutions in the first place, because you can channel the energy that leads to change differently. And while there are plenty of defenders of the Second Amendment, I see very, very few investing as much energy into a defense of the First or the Fourth (and the two are connected when it comes to the NSA gobbling up all sorts of data about you and everyone else in the world). But there is an outsized interest in the Second Amendment even though more guns are sold than ever in US history.
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Nov 7, 2017, 01:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I show my interest by replying in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Pointing out where I see flaws in your argument is part of that, and clearly stating where I think somebody is wrong is ok as long as I don't connect that with a personal judgement or an insult.
Allow me to reiterate, I don't think you were insulting me or making a personal judgment.

The phrasing (again, unintentionally) comes off as personal judgement because flaws in the argument are pointed out by way of clearly stating the person is wrong.

It's not strictly an ad hominem, but in semantic terms, it's an accusatory way of communicating a point, which won't improve clarity unless the intent is to be accusatory.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Allow me to reiterate, I don't think you were insulting me or making a personal judgment.

The phrasing (again, unintentionally) comes off as personal judgement because flaws in the argument are pointed out by way of clearly stating the person is wrong.

It's not strictly an ad hominem, but in semantic terms, it's an accusatory way of communicating a point, which won't improve clarity unless the intent is to be accusatory.
Fair enough, I certainly would like to keep things civil and not come across as abrasive. If I did, then I'm sorry, it was not my intention.
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Nov 7, 2017, 01:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Fair enough, I certainly would like to keep things civil and not come across as abrasive. If I did, then I'm sorry, it was not my intention.
That it was not your intention is precisely why apologies aren't necessary.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 02:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
1. What is or isn't a constitutional right can be continually questioned. The Supreme court doesn't get one go at an issue and that's that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ourt_decisions

2. The constitution can be amended via Congress.

The question isn't an academic exercise just because the supreme court ruled on it.
Academic was a poor choice of words.

Despite that, I think the idea behind my statement is congruent with #1. The people don't get to decide whether it's a right, those 9 justices do.

The people can override them with #2, but nowhere nearly enough people think it shouldn't be a right for the opinions of individuals to threaten the current opinion of the court.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 03:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think there is plenty of room to support constitutional gun regulations, such as universal background checks and forbidding private sales as well as other means where no background checks are performed. Or a federal gun registry. Or adjusting the tax for suppressors for inflation from 1920s onwards. Or laws that stipulate you have to report when your guns get stolen.* Also, don't forget about the possibility of passing a constitutional amendment.

* Of course, the Supreme Court may declare some of these ideas or at least some of the specific implementations unconstitutional. But my point that there is still a lot of regulatory headroom still stands.
I'm not one of those people unwilling regulate guns, I ask those regulations are implemented within the framework of guns being a check on the government.

However my point was in relation to the argument I am not giving due consideration to those who think it's not a right.

It is one. The Supreme Court says so. I'm not sure what else to tell them. I mean, as I said, despite my philosophical leanings, I don't read the Constitution as saying it's a right the way the Court said it was. l have to suck it up too.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 03:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Allow me to reiterate, I don't think you were insulting me or making a personal judgment.

The phrasing (again, unintentionally) comes off as personal judgement because flaws in the argument are pointed out by way of clearly stating the person is wrong.

It's not strictly an ad hominem, but in semantic terms, it's an accusatory way of communicating a point, which won't improve clarity unless the intent is to be accusatory.
The post-CPT Pol/War Lounge is weird.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Academic was a poor choice of words.
What I heard was "there's no point in having this conversation." Noting that people having this conversation can swing public opinion one way or the other, and that the court's decision was 5-4, it doesn't seem that settled to me.

Also, if the decision went the other way, how many 2A supporters do you see accepting the argument "Look, those nine people get to decide what the constitution means, so that's what it means"?
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 04:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
What I heard was "there's no point in having this conversation." Noting that people having this conversation can swing public opinion one way or the other, and that the court's decision was 5-4, it doesn't seem that settled to me.

Also, if the decision went the other way, how many 2A supporters do you see accepting the argument "Look, those nine people get to decide what the constitution means, so that's what it means"?
Here's what I'm trying to get across.

The freedom to have guns has a price. If what we get in return is worth the price, we should have the freedom. If what we get in return isn't worth the price, we shouldn't have the freedom. I encourage this debate.

I don't think there's any point to arguing whether it is a freedom. Of course it is.


I think significant reinterpretations of the Second Amendment by the Court would be... problematic.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 04:43 AM
 
@Oreo

I'm not ignoring the China argument. There are good points there and I want to chew them over.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 05:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The freedom to have guns has a price. If what we get in return is worth the price, we should have the freedom. If what we get in return isn't worth the price, we shouldn't have the freedom. I encourage this debate.
I get the feeling that the only freedom a second amendment supporter would take up arms to defend is the second amendment.

What? Your government spies on you indiscriminately. Without a warrant or due process, they track your location, phone calls, and internet activity. You can be denied due process, tortured, tried in a secret court, or just placed in a secret prison indefinitely without a trial. Your government can rearrange voting districts to ensure the success of a single political party. You can be denied access to private air travel by getting your name on a secret list with no recourse to find out how you got on or how you can get off. Government employees (police officers) can, for no reason, murder you in cold blood. They can tamper with evidence and make you look guilty after the fact. Their word is taken as truth and there will be no consequences for them. Depending on your skin color, appearance, or name, you can be disproportionately targeted while walking, driving, or attempting to fly. You can be hassled, detained, fined, assaulted (physically and sexually), prosecuted, and jailed at the discretion of the government. If you don't happen to have thousands of dollars handy and months of free time, there will be absolutely no recourse. Even if you do have thousands of dollars and free time to burn, the odds are not in your favor. If it is your word against a government employee's, your word is ignored. Your government's employees will conspire together to ensure you are found guilty and that justice does not prevail.

What have guns done to limit the behavior of the government?
Where's the line drawn? As far as I can tell, it's "I need to have guns in case the government comes to take my guns."

Since 9/11, our actual freedoms have been eroded time and time again, and nothing has been done about it. I get the impression that if the current administration tried to institute something resembling tyranny, all they would have to do is not bug rich white guys and not try to take guns away from white people and 2A supporters would let them do it.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 05:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm not one of those people unwilling regulate guns, I ask those regulations are implemented within the framework of guns being a check on the government.
I don't know that that means. What is the connection between, say, domestic abusers* not being able to have guns and guns being a check on the government? What is the connection between placing restrictions on someone suffering from PTSD or other mental illnesses (where they could either be a danger to themselves and others) and guns being a check on the government? Then there are a whole host of other proposed legislation that, e. g. federally mandated reciprocity laws may force states to respect other states's gun regulations. (States's rights anyone?)

Even without repealing the Second Amendment, which may never come, who knows, and the tight restrictions placed upon Congress by jurisprudence, there is still a lot of leeway to introduce “sensible gun legislation“.

* Whenever I write something like this, the judicial branch has to be involved. Due process is a right.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
However my point was in relation to the argument I am not giving due consideration to those who think it's not a right.
Why not? Why are you unwilling to compromise with others who are of a different opinion than you in this case? This unwillingness to find compromise is one of the causes why this has become such a sticking point.
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Nov 7, 2017, 07:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't know that that means. What is the connection between, say, domestic abusers* not being able to have guns and guns being a check on the government? What is the connection between placing restrictions on someone suffering from PTSD or other mental illnesses (where they could either be a danger to themselves and others) and guns being a check on the government?
The connection is if there are any limits to gun ownership, and those limits are imposed by the subjective view of law enforcement, courts or doctors (or other government or quasi-government bodies), a tyrannical government could quite easily and 'legally' prevent its detractors from owning and possibly using guns against them. The concern is that any limits to the right to bear arms could be abused in such a way as to render the right meaningless.

A right the government can arbitrarily suspend is no longer a right. Which is why, in my mind, the only solution to the gun problem in America at this point is a constitutional amendment, which is unimaginable at this point.

Unless there is a significant culture change in the US, I don't think another constitutional amendment will ever be passed. The bar is too high and the country is too polarised. I doubt, at this point and in this environment, if it was proposed today, the 19th Amendment giving the right to vote would pass.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 07:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
The connection is if there are any limits to gun ownership, and those limits are imposed by the subjective view of law enforcement, courts or doctors (or other government or quasi-government bodies), a tyrannical government could quite easily and 'legally' prevent its detractors from owning and possibly using guns against them. The concern is that any limits to the right to bear arms could be abused in such a way as to render the right meaningless.
That's why slippery slope is literally a logical fallacy.

(Plus, most of the examples I brought up exist already in some form.)
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
A right the government can arbitrarily suspend is no longer a right.
It is not arbitrary if there are laws, and the laws are found to be constitutional.
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Nov 7, 2017, 08:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't know that that means. What is the connection between, say, domestic abusers* not being able to have guns and guns being a check on the government? What is the connection between placing restrictions on someone suffering from PTSD or other mental illnesses (where they could either be a danger to themselves and others) and guns being a check on the government? Then there are a whole host of other proposed legislation that, e. g. federally mandated reciprocity laws may force states to respect other states's gun regulations. (States's rights anyone?)

Even without repealing the Second Amendment, which may never come, who knows, and the tight restrictions placed upon Congress by jurisprudence, there is still a lot of leeway to introduce “sensible gun legislation“.

* Whenever I write something like this, the judicial branch has to be involved. Due process is a right.

Why not? Why are you unwilling to compromise with others who are of a different opinion than you in this case? This unwillingness to find compromise is one of the causes why this has become such a sticking point.
There's some sort of miscommunication going on here. The very first sentence in the quoted post declares I am willing to compromise.

If the restriction doesn't substantively impact an armed citizenry being a check on the government, I likely don't have an issue with it. Further, I am willing to entertain the idea the price of the freedom is not worth the benefit, which is the debate I'm trying to have.

These are not unyielding positions.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 08:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's why slippery slope is literally a logical fallacy.

(Plus, most of the examples I brought up exist already in some form.)

It is not arbitrary if there are laws, and the laws are found to be constitutional.
Apologies, I perhaps should have been explicit, I was being a bit of a devil's advocate here as I thought based on my past statements it was clear my personal position is completely different. I was elucidating on what the arguments are.

Pretty much every argument for the lax gun laws in the US fall apart if logic, facts, or scrutiny is applied. And all were left with and what can't be gotten around are two things: The 2nd Amendment, and that MOST gun control laws short of those that would seem to violate the constitution (ie closer to what the rest of the civilised world have) would be pointless, as the vast majority of gun crimes and deaths are committed by people who had the guns illegally in the first place, or those committing the crimes were law abiding, responsible gun owners until they weren't. In either case, stricter gun laws would have little to no impact on actual crime/injury/death.

It looks like the Texas case may be an anomaly. Had the system been working properly, he shouldn't have been sold the guns. But this was in Texas, had he been even lightly committed, he could have gotten his hands on a gun anyway.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 09:55 AM
 
Here is a pretty good data-driven perspective on the gun problem in the US: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/w...rnational.html
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 10:15 AM
 
Its a problem OF PEOPLE, not any particular device.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 10:22 AM
 
The Air Force didn't send the appropriate info for him to get denied during background checks. WTF. I hope they get sued.
     
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Nov 7, 2017, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
Apologies, I perhaps should have been explicit, I was being a bit of a devil's advocate here as I thought based on my past statements it was clear my personal position is completely different. I was elucidating on what the arguments are.
No, no, don't worry, I took it as such. That's why I added the emoji at the end, but perhaps I was too subtle.
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
Pretty much every argument for the lax gun laws in the US fall apart if logic, facts, or scrutiny is applied. And all were left with and what can't be gotten around are two things: The 2nd Amendment, and that MOST gun control laws short of those that would seem to violate the constitution (ie closer to what the rest of the civilised world have) would be pointless, as the vast majority of gun crimes and deaths are committed by people who had the guns illegally in the first place, or those committing the crimes were law abiding, responsible gun owners until they weren't. In either case, stricter gun laws would have little to no impact on actual crime/injury/death.
It is often either a slippery slope argument or a claim that whatever measure you propose would have been ineffective.
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
It looks like the Texas case may be an anomaly. Had the system been working properly, he shouldn't have been sold the guns. But this was in Texas, had he been even lightly committed, he could have gotten his hands on a gun anyway.
I don't think so, quite the opposite: it is very common that the perpetrator of a mass shooting have a history of domestic abuse. In fact, in more than half of the cases, a loved one or a relative is shot as well. Apparently, there are laws on the books against husbands, but those don't apply to boyfriends.
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Nov 7, 2017, 12:38 PM
 
I'd like to point out that the AR-15 was used for all these deadly shootings that came in the last 10 years. Maybe the assault weapons ban was effective?
     
 
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