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Thoughts on gun control

 
 
Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 10:30 pm
Just bored musings (I probably won't take up too debate on any of them).......


- I don't understand the disproportionate (relative to other nations) passion that resonates in the US against gun control.

- I believe that gun control only works on a macroeconomic scale. Only through starving the market does it result in effective reduction of crime.

- I think culture is a greater control than is mere law. A gun-lovin' nation won't be easily rid of guns through law.

- I think "protection against tyranny" as a pro-gun argument is bankrupt in the modern realm of weaponry. The destructive power of the most awesome weapons no sane person (except me, I think any legitimate government should have nukes and that I deserve one of my own to play with) wants in the average citizen's hands. The existence of said weapons in the government's hands negates any protection against government tyranny that sidearms may have provided citizens in an age of the gunman.

- I think the "if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" argument is a worthless rhetorical flourish. The statement is true by definition of the terms (e.g. "if chewing gum is made illegal only criminals will chew gum", "if doing x is made illegal only criminals will do x") involved and is merely wordplay.

- I believe guns can be enjoyed responsibly by responsible individuals.

- I don't really care what the constitution says about guns, and how people try to interpret it. I don't formulate my opinion after what the constitution says. The only influence the constitution has on me is the furtherance of the realization that gun control is not gonna happen anytime soon due to the majority needed to amend it.

- I really like guns (and all other use of aim and projectiles).

- I think that owning guns can be restricted while still allowing for the sporting use of guns (done in many places).

- I think the notion that guns in the hands of the citizen having much influence on violent crime either way is generally distorted by proponents of either side. No guns won't make violence go away, and armed citizens certainly don't have much effect either.

- I don't get why it's so hotly debated in the US. There's not much of a chance for legitimate gun control happening any time soon. I think gun control can be employed reasonably and think most American arguments against gun control are unconvincing (with the rest of them being devoted to debunking the liberties of evangelism on the other side of the fence) but there's just no way in hell that gun control can effectively be pulled off stateside right now.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 11:43 pm
While I'm pro-gun, pretty much, and have owned and been around guns since I was a little kid, I think its absurd motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages effectively are under stricter control in the US than are guns and ammunition. Frankly, I have no problem with firearms registration and licensing, and I strongly favor standardized training with a demonstration of practical competency being a requirement for gun ownership - even to the point of different categories of licensing for blak powder/primitive firearms, pistols, and long guns, much as individual licenses are required to operate motorcycles, automobiles, and commercial vehicles. Guns/gun ownership isn't the problem; the problem is untrained, irresponsible gun users.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 12:55 am
You think training in how to use guns stops people from murdering people?




I have always wondered if a truly committed administration, in its second term, or prepared to be a one termer, might have a chance? If it makes it a really major priority?



I guess it depends on how scared the gun lobby can make each individual congressperson/senator.


Does the lobby have as much power as politicians appear to think it does, or does it puff itself up and hiss and spit and frighten people?
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 02:13 am
dlowan wrote:
You think training in how to use guns stops people from murdering people?


I think it would make a positive difference.

Training people on how to drive doesn't preclude someone from using a car to run over a bunch of people, but it may prevent accidents just like gun training would.

All gun training starts with safety and learning the responsibility of a gun.

Additionally, restricting the ownership to those with a demonstrated competence would inevitably serve as a limiting factor to its availability and this would also have a small effect.

Ultimately, I don't think any real effect on crime is seen unless a market is starved and a counter-culture to guns exists, but regulation doesn't really have any downside and can only help.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 03:02 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
dlowan wrote:
You think training in how to use guns stops people from murdering people?


I think it would make a positive difference.

Training people on how to drive doesn't preclude someone from using a car to run over a bunch of people, but it may prevent accidents just like gun training would.

All gun training starts with safety and learning the responsibility of a gun.

Additionally, restricting the ownership to those with a demonstrated competence would inevitably serve as a limiting factor to its availability and this would also have a small effect.

Ultimately, I don't think any real effect on crime is seen unless a market is starved and a counter-culture to guns exists, but regulation doesn't really have any downside and can only help.


Sure. It (training) presumably cuts down on accidents......not being sure how much of the USA's extraordinary gun death rate is due to these, I have no idea how big a difference it would make. But you're right...it can only be positv...except to those, I guess, who get killed by a more competent gun handler, who might otherwise not have got a shot in, or might have missed!


"Additionally, restricting the ownership to those with a demonstrated competence would inevitably serve as a limiting factor to its availability and this would also have a small effect."

Yep. And help limit the carnage from the spur of the moment killer, who buys a gun in the herat of the moment.


Anyhoo.


I haven't an argument with anything you have said.


And Idon't understand the passion in your country against gun regulation, either.


I am reading a book about it as we speak, to try to gain some comprehension, as your gun lobby tries to export its ideas elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 03:14 am
Guns are inert objects. They are extensions of the hand, the hand an extension of the mind.

When we talk about gun control we are really talking about suppressing a increasingly violent and troubled society/culture.

I think it is a mistake to fucus on gun control as some kind of solution. Gun control is only a way of treating one of many symptoms in a larger problem that should not be suppressed but more widely acknowledged and confronted.

I'm totally against gun control. I always think about that guy on T.V. fighting the military with rocks in dressshoes
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slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 05:27 am
My take on gun control is similar to Timber's, but my background's different. Neither myself nor anyone in my immediate family has ever owned a gun, to the best of my knowledge. Luckily, we've also never victims of a violent crime. But I've occasionally considered buying a handgun, for protection purposes, and suspect I would, if ever I, or my family, were victims of a violent crime.

But I have absolutely no problem with most of the proposed control methods I've seen (registration, mandatory wait periods, even trigger-locks). Only control I would object to would be outright prohibition of guns from law-abiding citizens.
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 05:35 am
Amigo wrote:
Guns are inert objects. They are extensions of the hand, the hand an extension of the mind.

When we talk about gun control we are really talking about suppressing a increasingly violent and troubled society/culture.

I think it is a mistake to fucus on gun control as some kind of solution. Gun control is only a way of treating one of many symptoms in a larger problem that should not be suppressed but more widely acknowledged and confronted.

I'm totally against gun control. I always think about that guy on T.V. fighting the military with rocks in dressshoes


Yes but the difference between your society and mine (where the ratio of gun slayings per capita America:Britain is about 200:1) is that, although we also are human and sometimes fly into rages with each other....when there is no gun around, no-one gets shot. And kids don't have shooting accidents in the home.
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xingu
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 05:51 am
bm
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:06 am
Rationale for the Second Ammendment

There are four basic reasons for something like the second ammendment.

Every one of the founding fathers is on record to the effect that private ownership of firearms, the 2'nd ammendment, is there as a final bulwark against the possibility of government going out of control. That is the most major reason for it.

At the time of the revolution and for years afterwards, there were private armies, private ownership of cannons and warships. . . The term "letters of marque, and reprisal" which you read in the constitution indicates the notion of the government issuing a sort of a hunting license to the owner of a private warship to take English or other foreign national ships on the high seas, i.e. to either capture or sink them. The idea of you or me owning a Vepr or FAL rifle with a 30-round magazine is not likely to have bothered any of those people.

The most major motivation for the present generation of gun-control laws, i.e. the problem with drug-dealers owning AKs, is a drug problem and not a gun problem. Fix the drug-problem, i.e. get rid of the insane war on drugs and pass a rational set of drug laws, and both problems will simply go away. A rational set of drug laws would:

  • Legalize marijuana and all its derivatives and anything else demonstrably no more harmful than booze on the same basis as booze.
  • Declare that heroine, crack cocaine, and other highly addictive substances would never be legally sold on the streets, but that those addicted could shoot up at government centers for the fifty-cent cost of producing the stuff, i.e. take every dime out of that business for criminals.
  • Provide a lifetime in prison for selling LSD, PCP, or any other sort of Jeckyl/Hyde formula.
  • Do the same for anybody selling any kind of drugs to kids.


Do all of that, and the drug problem, the gun problem, and 70% of all urban crime will vanish within two years.

But I digress. The 2'nd ammendment is there as a final bulwark against our own government going out of control. It is also there as a bulwark against any foreign invasion which our own military might not be able to stop.

Just prior to WW-II breaking out in the Pacific, a meeting took place in Tokyo in which a number of Japanese general officers asked Isoroku Yamamoto, the only one of their number to hve spent any time in the United States, what the problem was; why not simply invade the place and get it over with. Admiral Yamamoto replied that the problem was not the US military, that there were fifty million lunatics in this country who owned military style weaponry and practiced with it, and that there would be "a rifle behind every blade of grass". This apparently bothered him a great deal more than the 300,000 or so guys in uniform prior to the war.

A third obvious reason for private ownership of firearms is to protect yourself and your family from criminals and wild animals. Criminals in fact are not the sum total of problems in the world which firearms can help in dealing with. In particular, we read about tens of thousands of people being killed every year by poisonous snakes in India; it's hard to picture that happening if the people were armed.

Finally there's a fourth reason for the 2'nd ammendment, which is to provide the people with food during bad economic times. When you listen to people from New York and from Texas talk about the depression of the 30's, you hear two totally different stories. The people in New York will tell you about people starving and eating garbage, and running around naked. The Texans will tell you that while money was scarce, they always had 22 and 30 caliber ammunition, and that they always had something to eat, even if it was just some jackrabbit.

Eating is habit-forming; in any general societal breakdown which might be caused by a war, a major terrorist success, or whatever other cause, this last rationale for the 2'nd ammendment could very quickly become the most important.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:09 am
slkshock7 wrote:

But I have absolutely no problem with most of the proposed control methods I've seen (registration, mandatory wait periods, even trigger-locks). Only control I would object to would be outright prohibition of guns from law-abiding citizens.



I've got huge problems with all those things. The most major purpose of civilian firearm ownership, at least according to all the fouding fathers and all historical documents related to the topic, is to prevent government from ever going out of control. That obviously is totally incompatible with the idea of government regulating firearm ownership in any manner.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:14 am
ahhh, (BM)
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:18 am
Every major case of genocide in history has involved people being disarmed by their own governments first. You can read the horror stories coming out of Africa today.

Consider the people of South Africa for instance, and how their lives have improved since the implementation of "gun control":

http://commentary.co.za/page/2/

Quote:
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:21 am
Then again, if you want to read about Nazi Germany and how well gun control worked in that case, there's always:

http://www.jpfo.org

That is, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:27 am
farmerman wrote:
ahhh, (BM)


That's right, 'farmerman'. Gun control is sort of like DDT control. Both have resulted in tens of millions of people being killed.

http://www.innocentsbetrayed.com/index2.htm

But you leftists like that, dontcha? I mean, particularly when the people dying are innocent Chrsitians or Jews or large numbers of helpless black people living over there in Africa, right? ("...didyou see a sign on this building which says dead n***** storage???")
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:28 am
This one

gungasnake wrote:
In particular, we read about tens of thousands of people being killed every year by poisonous snakes in India; it's hard to picture that happening if the people were armed.


and this one

gungasnake wrote:
Finally there's a fourth reason for the 2'nd ammendment, which is to provide the people with food during bad economic times.


really made me laugh.....

Yeah, shoot those poisonous snakes! And whenever there's going to be another depression, we want to have people armed, so they won't have to suffer any hardship!
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:48 am
Well see how hard you're laughing five years from now when Europe is under sharia law.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:51 am
Gunga, Im a gun owner, but not a rabbi'd one like you. I dont think that youre gonna be any challenge to an "Army gone amok" with your 44 magnum .
My cooment was a "book mark" and the ahhh was because Id posted a "ditto" to the previous Bookmark. Then, when I saw you had already posted your "gunga ****" , I didnt want a ditto to serve as an implied concurence with your POVs.

As far as DDT, give it up, your facts are half a century old and were not even valid then. THE US F&W study where they "fed" DDT to the eagles was discounted years ago. The fact is that insects got resistance to DDT quite quickly, so its use was mostly economic. A super resistant strain of mosquito emerged in Greece and tropical areas of the world (India SE Asia) as well as Africa . If thye use DDT in Africa again, the super strain (a recessive in normal conditions) will again emerge and malaria will be even more a problem than it is now. The use of IPM or integrated management has resulted in better results, and biological controls are showing favorable results. If DDT actually worked it would have been used despite the environmental consequences in Africa. You represent a small but vocal group of people who buy the "entire" right wing packge without selecting those items that make good sense.


Now Gunga will probably hit up with some 30 year old non peer reviewed crap that shouts out the benefits of DDT as a major food group.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:53 am
Oh my goodness . . . a can of worms pointedly opened . . .

Craven de Kere wrote:
- I don't understand the disproportionate (relative to other nations) passion that resonates in the US against gun control.


If one looks at the history of "visits" to the Second Amendment and the provisions in the Constitution, Article One, Section Eight, by Federal Courts up to an including the Supremes, it appears that these issues have only arisen (in legal venues, at least) since the late 19th century. It is my sense of the history of the controversy that the anti-gun control attitude has only been formulated within the last century, and that the first stirrings of a "pro-gun lobby" originally revolved around the concept of "a . . . militia." The lapsus in that expression in quotes is intentional--members of the anti-gun control lobby don't like to consider the concept of "a well-regulated militia," they only want to raise a controversy over the concept of all citizens being the members of a militia, and CdK later takes up an aspect of their attitudes which relate to it. I have in other threads linked extensively the Federal court decisions (from Find Law-dot-com pages) relative to gun control, and won't reprise them here. The earliest of which i know regarded an Illinois militia statute which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in the late 1880s. The Supremes had two points to make--the first and most important from a juridical point of view is that the Second Amendment only binds the Federal Government, and does not necessarily bind the Several States; the second was that insofaras the Illinois militia statute only regulated participation in a militia, while not prohibiting such participation nor otherwise restricting it to any class of people, it did not infringe anyone's right to a member of a well-regulated militia.

That perhaps explains the mania of gun supporters to fail to mention, or to ignore altogether the first clause of the Second Amendment: A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State . . . .

Quote:
I believe that gun control only works on a macroeconomic scale. Only through starving the market does it result in effective reduction of crime.


I don't quite understand including this remark--it seems to me that gun control legislation has only that intent.

Quote:
I think culture is a greater control than is mere law. A gun-lovin' nation won't be easily rid of guns through law.


Agreed--and i see no valid constitutional argument to impair the right of the Several States or of the Congress to regulate guns. Article One, Section Eight (the powers of the Congress) reads, in part:

(Congress shall have the right . . . ) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Althoug a gun-proponent here once denied it when i posted it, i have since found at Find Law-dot-com that the Supremes have indeed stated that they denied an argument from the Second Amendment on the basis of knowing of no provision of the Congress that a certain type of firearm (in that example, a shotgun with a barrel of less than 18" inches--a "sawed-off shotgun") was prescribed for the militia.

Quote:
I think "protection against tyranny" as a pro-gun argument is bankrupt in the modern realm of weaponry. The destructive power of the most awesome weapons no sane person (except me, I think any legitimate government should have nukes and that I deserve one of my own to play with) wants in the average citizen's hands. The existence of said weapons in the government's hands negates any protection against government tyranny that sidearms may have provided citizens in an age of the gunman.


Very much to the point. The overt agenda of many gun proponents is that they need their weapons as a part of the general citizen militia--but the likelihood that the Congress will call on citizens generally under provisions of Article One, Section Eight ([Congress shall have the power . . .] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;) is remote, if not actually absurd. I cannot conceive of the Congress calling on citizens in general to enforce the law, suppress insurrections or repel invasions--citizens in general are not equipped or train for the functions, and police and military organizations are.

The covert agenda is what CdK has referred to here, that people need their weapons as a protection against tyrrany. If the Feds come for them, they'll have machine pistols, gas canister launchers, flak jackets, kevlar helmets, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and a host of other sophisticated and lethal equipment--you ain't gonna stop 'em with your Smith and Wesson.

Quote:
I think the "if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" argument is a worthless rhetorical flourish. The statement is true by definition of the terms (e.g. "if chewing gum is made illegal only criminals will chew gum", "if doing x is made illegal only criminals will do x") involved and is merely wordplay.


That should go without saying, but sadly, it was necessary for your to say it.

Quote:
I believe guns can be enjoyed responsibly by responsible individuals.


Agreed, and i'd say obvious.

Quote:
I don't really care what the constitution says about guns, and how people try to interpret it. I don't formulate my opinion after what the constitution says. The only influence the constitution has on me is the furtherance of the realization that gun control is not gonna happen anytime soon due to the majority needed to amend it.


I personally consider it important to the polity to proceed from legal arguments; as i have pointed out, i see no reason to believe that gun control does any violence to the letter or the spirit of the Constitution.

[qutoe]I really like guns (and all other use of aim and projectiles).[/quote]

Me too . . . and i'm damned good at. I qualified expert with the M14 rifle (84 of 88 targets, using only 88 rounds of the 92 provided me--i used the additional six rounds to knock down targets in the adjoining lane at the rifle range, because that poor sap would never have qualified if i hadn't shot down six of his targets; in retrospect, i don't know that i was really doing him any favor), but i only managed to qualify with the M16, a weapon i don't hold in high regard. I took light infantry weapons to avoid KP, and qualified with the M1911A1A automatic pistol, the .38 calibre revolver, the M60 machine gun and grenade launchers--i even got to fire a LAW once, that was totally cool!

Quote:
I think that owning guns can be restricted while still allowing for the sporting use of guns (done in many places).


Handguns only have two plausible uses--shooting people with intent to kill, or target shooting. I see no reason to deny hand guns to the populace (necessarily, not by definition), but from a pragmatic point of view, i consider that banning hand guns would be a good thing, and see not reason why the Several States or the Congress cannot do that legally.

The other only plausible reason is target competition. I think it entirely plausible to restrict handgun ownership for that purpose to those who can show participation in target shooting groups, and who are willing to put their firearms in safe deposit, to be withdrawn only on application and only for the purposes of practice or competition.

[quote[I think the notion that guns in the hands of the citizen having much influence on violent crime either way is generally distorted by proponents of either side. No guns won't make violence go away, and armed citizens certainly don't have much effect either.[/quote]

The Big Bird addresses this--hand guns are only effective when properly used by people with training and experience. The notion of hand guns being a weapon of the militia is ludicrous. For military purposes, if you are using a hand gun, you have already let your enemy get too damned close.

Quote:
I don't get why it's so hotly debated in the US. There's not much of a chance for legitimate gun control happening any time soon. I think gun control can be employed reasonably and think most American arguments against gun control are unconvincing (with the rest of them being devoted to debunking the liberties of evangelism on the other side of the fence) but there's just no way in hell that gun control can effectively be pulled off stateside right now.


I think most of the gun proponent hysteria arises form the "thin end of the wedge" argument--and is silly.

timberlandko wrote:
While I'm pro-gun, pretty much, and have owned and been around guns since I was a little kid, I think its absurd motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages effectively are under stricter control in the US than are guns and ammunition. Frankly, I have no problem with firearms registration and licensing, and I strongly favor standardized training with a demonstration of practical competency being a requirement for gun ownership - even to the point of different categories of licensing for blak powder/primitive firearms, pistols, and long guns, much as individual licenses are required to operate motorcycles, automobiles, and commercial vehicles. Guns/gun ownership isn't the problem; the problem is untrained, irresponsible gun users.


Precisely--guns are dangerous when used stupidly and/or without proper training and a due regard for safety. Recently, gun proponents have waxed lyrical over Steven Harper's conservative government in Canada because they eliminated the long gun registry. These folks ignore that the hand gun registry is still in place, and that even long guns are carefully regulated and ownership restricted. (You can't go to a gun show in Canada and fill the back of your pick-up with guns you bought privately from private individuals--but you can in the US.) As i remarked above, hand guns only have two purposes, and most folks ain't lookin' to target shoot. I agree with CdK that meaningful gun control legislation doesn't look like happening anytime soon in the US. I also think that strict hand gun control is reasonable, and a measure of social sanity.

On that basis, 'Mericans are gun crazy.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 06:55 am
gungasnake wrote:
The most major purpose of civilian firearm ownership, at least according to all the fouding fathers and all historical documents related to the topic, is to prevent government from ever going out of control. That obviously is totally incompatible with the idea of government regulating firearm ownership in any manner.


There is absolutely no plausible basis for this loony statement.
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