Gun Control

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:38 am UTC

lynx wrote:There aren't many who would agree with you here in the UK.
I just don't understand how the American public feels safe with so many unsecured guns around that anyone having a bad day could pick up and kill you with.


Humans have killed each other basically since the dawn of time. Unsecured weapons are everywhere. This includes rocks and sharp sticks. You are never truly 100% safe. Life just doesn't work that way.

And I'd rather work on measures that make people actually more safe than measures that merely make people feel more safe. Hell, those more of those(ie, the TSA, etc) we get rid of, the happier I'll be.

I can see why the government would be reluctant to tackle the issue. Not only is it political suicide to take a hard stance on something so controversial, but there are quite a few dangerous people in some parts of the country who would be particularly unwilling to part with their guns. But IMO it's inexcusable that nobody makes more of a fuss about the fact that 20 CHILDREN were killed because of a lack of gun control.


No, they were killed because some untreated nutter decided to kill them. Guns don't kill people, people do.

Consider the case of the socially accepted killings. Say, Osama Bin Laden. How many headlines were "Osama Bin Laden killed in act of gun violence" and how many were "Navy Seals kill Osama Bin Laden"?

In other countries they have fewer guns and more restrictions on them, and most importantly, almost all of these have far less gun crime.


I do not care about the level of gun crime. I care about the level of crime. What I get murdered by is mostly irrelevant to me. Not getting murdered....now that's important.

Background checks aren't enough, as someone could snap at any moment. It's best that they don't have access to deadly weapons in the first place and thus can't do as much damage when it happens. And making it easier to buy a gun? Leaving them lying around on the street would achieve that same goal.


In actual practice, most people don't just snap at any moment. The vast majority of people in modern society never do murder anyone(or even try to), regardless of what is available. Among those very, very few people who commit mass murders, there is a strong, strong trend of people who have shown signs of being very, very unstable. For instance, the last big one, the batman murder, he tried to become a member of a private gun club, and they wouldn't admit him because of his behavior. Columbine, etc...a history of problematic behavior is common, and prior treatment for mental illness is also common.

So, it seems clear that we are not all equally at risk of waking up tomorrow and shooting up a school. No, the question is how to find and best treat those people who are troubled.

Brace wrote:Non-violent felons shouldn't be stripped of their 2a rights.

Yes, because the US penal system does an excellent job of reforming criminals into members of society fit to carry deadly weapons.


That's true. However, some might consider reformation of the system to be better at rehabilitating prisoners, rather than punishing them, to be a good alternate solution. This isn't just for firearms, but for other things, like voting. Sure, I accept that a non-reformed person is going to make poor use of those rights...but isn't the obvious solution for such a person to either keep them in prison or work to reform them?

And non violent felons, even if not reformed, are not necessarily an issue. If a person shoots others for fun...yeah, giving him a gun might not be a great idea(if he killed people with a car, same same). However, if he committed a felony like, say, opening a pack of cigarettes without tearing the tax stamp, I'm not that worried about him in general.

The wisdom of such crimes being felonies is also worth of questioning, mind you.

Brace wrote:The Hughes amendment should be overturned and machine guns should be available under the same terms as other NFA items.

Automatic weapons are good for nothing more than killing lots of people, and quickly. In what circumstances would that be necessary, and justifiable as self-defence? Do you expect to be at war any time soon?


Machine guns are available under NFA currently. When he speaks of the Hughes amendment, he's speaking to the limitations of what machine guns are legal for private ownership. There are currently about 265,000 holders of NFA licenses. Now, while this includes sawed off shotguns and grenades and the like, it most definitely is a category for fairly exotic weaponry that is not used for purposes like hunting, etc.

Total murders from this? Two. One of which was a police officer, and thus, had access to such weapons through other means. This isn't a yearly total, this is a grand total. From a "killing lots of people" perspective, legal machine guns are pretty irrelevant. They're a hobby for people who like to convert lots of money into light and noise. Much like fireworks, really.

krogoth wrote:"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
When your apart of a militia you have the right to bear arms, to keep the state in order. Maybe I'm the one taking it out of context but I'm not the one cutting out half the context.


In the first place, it's a reason, not part of the right itself. Therefore, when citing the right, omitting the reasoning why the right exists is not an inaccurate citation.

In the second place, actual militias at the time of the revolution very much were random citizenry, using private weapons. So, the distinction you're trying to draw is not one that is valid from the context whatsoever. Adding incorrect context is not superior to no context.

krogoth wrote:What a joke, Because I know when needing to secure my how from an intruder that has threatened my life, I know I'll have the time to reassemble or remove the trigger lock then load the gun.

The right to protect ones home is probably the worst reason to allow guns.


In the first place, not everyone utilizes trigger locks. The wisdom of this depends on your situation. If you have small children...securing firearms is pretty essential. If you do not, perhaps it's not necessary.

However, if you DO opt for securing your weapons(as I and many others do), options exist that are extremely fast to disable. Push button unlock combos are pretty popular, and take about three seconds to operate. Biometric unlock systems exist, though they are currently more expensive and rare, they can indeed be quite fast.

Morever, a gun is not the answer to all security. Generally, you would wish to take other actions to delay and discourage home intruders, thus giving you more time to retrieve a weapon, call the police, etc, etc. A gun can be part of how you secure your home, certainly, but it need not be the only part.

I heard in another topic a person saying they did combat training to help them self feel safe, they thought everyone should be trained in self defense. But once everyone is trained, no-one is.


Defense /= offense. Training someone to defend themselves is not the same as training people to attack others. Yes, more people probably should get training for emergency situations. Things like awareness of risk and surroundings and avoiding trouble in the first place are usually primary in defense training, and I cannot see how this would be a bad thing.

krogoth wrote:Militia Act of 1903 gives the definition of militia as every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age. Militia as a term for a group of people has become popular due to cultists.

So you can hold a gun until you are 45?
Why are we listening to cultists? Isn't a cult by definition bad?[/quote]

The term "militia" being popular in common usage has nothing to do with advocating listening to cultists. The militia act was not written by cultists...unless you have a very odd definition of cultists.

Being prepared for war is the primary purpose of the second amendment, no?

Then we'll add an addendum to all gun licenses for conscription if wished by the government.[/quote]

I suppose you could make a very, very sketchy claim for those not capable of being drafted not being eligible for the militia. Then, you get to deal with fun bits like women being ineligible for the draft, but most men already are draft eligible.

In any case, giving men the right to own guns, but not giving it to women seems...terribly backward. I'm also not very worried about people over the age of 45 owning guns. There does not seem to be a crime wave of folks with walkers waving guns.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:49 am UTC

krogoth wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
krogoth wrote:"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."


Militia Act of 1903 gives the definition of militia as every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age. Militia as a term for a group of people has become popular due to cultists.

So you can hold a gun until you are 45?
Why are we listening to cultists? Isn't a cult by definition bad?

You have one loud group talk about stuff and everyone hears it and the definition changes in the eyes of the people. It's a frequent historical occurrence.

krogoth wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Being prepared for war is the primary purpose of the second amendment, no?

Then we'll add an addendum to all gun licenses for conscription if wished by the government.

Technically it is state militia, although that act allows for the president to move them into the army reserves out of state's authority. Conscription was historically the rule of countries, America is lucky enough to have an all volunteer army. But I don't think it is necessarily a bad idea however it would be better to let them remain independent and neutral as not to become a target by invaders by being reclassified as military.

Tyndmyr wrote:I suppose you could make a very, very sketchy claim for those not capable of being drafted not being eligible for the militia. Then, you get to deal with fun bits like women being ineligible for the draft, but most men already are draft eligible.

In any case, giving men the right to own guns, but not giving it to women seems...terribly backward. I'm also not very worried about people over the age of 45 owning guns. There does not seem to be a crime wave of folks with walkers waving guns.
I assume it applies to "man" not "men", and women can't be discriminated on by the law so it would be mandatoraly extended to them but I doubt the military would make use of them with active combat.

And the 45 has more to do with life expectancy being much lower in 1903. Federal pension retirement age was one year above the average survival rate when it was established in the 30's[?] and it hasn't been adjusted since then. Laws with definitive number values tend to become outdated and clunky very quickly.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:21 am UTC

Well, regardless of if it applies legally, I think we can agree that discriminating against women and the old is...not generally a good thing, and certainly, these groups are not prone to violence, so it makes no logical sense at all.

Certainly, there's no contemporary evidence for the banning of women and the elderly from carrying arms, so it presumably was not something the founding fathers were particularly after.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Drowsy Turtle » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:16 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I do not care about the level of gun crime. I care about the level of crime. What I get murdered by is mostly irrelevant to me. Not getting murdered....now that's important.


You don't think the availability of firearms might increase the number of homicides?

Killing someone with a knife is difficult, both mentally and physically. Pulling a trigger is easy; and indeed a lot of deaths by gun crime are accidental ("I didn't mean to shoot him, but he came at me...").
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:35 am UTC

Drowsy Turtle wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I do not care about the level of gun crime. I care about the level of crime. What I get murdered by is mostly irrelevant to me. Not getting murdered....now that's important.


You don't think the availability of firearms might increase the number of homicides?



The preponderance of evidence indicates that it does not.

Killing someone with a knife is difficult, both mentally and physically. Pulling a trigger is easy; and indeed a lot of deaths by gun crime are accidental ("I didn't mean to shoot him, but he came at me...").


Pulling a trigger is just the easiest part of discharging a firearm. And accidental deaths are a miniscule fraction of all firearm-related deaths.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby lynx » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:36 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Look at "per capita" not "gross" rates, they are much closer. And if a country outright outlaws guns and there are still gun crimes being committed then the ban is failed. In England police carry submachine guns to combat gun crime.

Wrong and wrong. Even per capita, the US has more gun homicides than any other country on the planet. And UK police don't carry guns outside of airports, and when guarding important figures, etc. Your average policeman on the street would carry a truncheon and a can of pepper spray.
Tyndmyr wrote:
lynx wrote:There aren't many who would agree with you here in the UK.
I just don't understand how the American public feels safe with so many unsecured guns around that anyone having a bad day could pick up and kill you with.

Humans have killed each other basically since the dawn of time. Unsecured weapons are everywhere. This includes rocks and sharp sticks. You are never truly 100% safe. Life just doesn't work that way.

I'd rather be attacked with a rock or sharp stick rather than a gun any day. You can't kill 20 people in an hour with a sharp stick.
In fact, on the same day as the Connecticut shootings a Chinese man attempted to murder a similar number of children, but with a knife instead of a gun (China has very strict gun control laws). All 22 children survived, whereas out of 27 targets in Connecticut, none survived.
Tyndmyr wrote:Guns don't kill people, people do...
I do not care about the level of gun crime. I care about the level of crime. What I get murdered by is mostly irrelevant to me. Not getting murdered....now that's important.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hi ... index.html
Guns kill people.
Tyndmyr wrote:Consider the case of the socially accepted killings. Say, Osama Bin Laden. How many headlines were "Osama Bin Laden killed in act of gun violence" and how many were "Navy Seals kill Osama Bin Laden"?

He should have been taken into custody. However, because his guards were armed and shot back, the Marines allegedly were forced to shoot them. I'm going to ignore your assertion that it was an assassination (although I agree that it might well have been) and simply say, military operations are NOT the same as civil ownership of guns.
Tyndmyr wrote:
Background checks aren't enough, as someone could snap at any moment. It's best that they don't have access to deadly weapons in the first place and thus can't do as much damage when it happens. And making it easier to buy a gun? Leaving them lying around on the street would achieve that same goal.


In actual practice, most people don't just snap at any moment. The vast majority of people in modern society never do murder anyone(or even try to), regardless of what is available. Among those very, very few people who commit mass murders, there is a strong, strong trend of people who have shown signs of being very, very unstable. For instance, the last big one, the batman murder, he tried to become a member of a private gun club, and they wouldn't admit him because of his behavior. Columbine, etc...a history of problematic behavior is common, and prior treatment for mental illness is also common.

So, it seems clear that we are not all equally at risk of waking up tomorrow and shooting up a school. No, the question is how to find and best treat those people who are troubled.
It doesn't matter if it's a crazy person or the Pope shooting up a school. All that matters is they got their hands on guns, while over here they'd have to use a knife. There are issues with mental health in every country, and it's terrible that the US media lays the blame squarely on these already stigmatised members of society rather than their broken gun laws.
Tyndmyr wrote:
Brace wrote:Non-violent felons shouldn't be stripped of their 2a rights.

Yes, because the US penal system does an excellent job of reforming criminals into members of society fit to carry deadly weapons.


That's true. However, some might consider reformation of the system to be better at rehabilitating prisoners, rather than punishing them, to be a good alternate solution. This isn't just for firearms, but for other things, like voting. Sure, I accept that a non-reformed person is going to make poor use of those rights...but isn't the obvious solution for such a person to either keep them in prison or work to reform them?

And non violent felons, even if not reformed, are not necessarily an issue. If a person shoots others for fun...yeah, giving him a gun might not be a great idea(if he killed people with a car, same same). However, if he committed a felony like, say, opening a pack of cigarettes without tearing the tax stamp, I'm not that worried about him in general.

I was implying that the US penal system breeds criminals. That's another story for another day though.
Tyndmyr wrote:
Brace wrote:The Hughes amendment should be overturned and machine guns should be available under the same terms as other NFA items.

Automatic weapons are good for nothing more than killing lots of people, and quickly. In what circumstances would that be necessary, and justifiable as self-defence? Do you expect to be at war any time soon?


Machine guns are available under NFA currently. When he speaks of the Hughes amendment, he's speaking to the limitations of what machine guns are legal for private ownership. There are currently about 265,000 holders of NFA licenses. Now, while this includes sawed off shotguns and grenades and the like, it most definitely is a category for fairly exotic weaponry that is not used for purposes like hunting, etc.

Total murders from this? Two. One of which was a police officer, and thus, had access to such weapons through other means. This isn't a yearly total, this is a grand total. From a "killing lots of people" perspective, legal machine guns are pretty irrelevant. They're a hobby for people who like to convert lots of money into light and noise. Much like fireworks, really.

Yes, just like fireworks. Deadly fireworks I could take into work and kill lots of innocent people with. Having more 'exotic' dangerous weapons around means there is more chance that somebody, for instance someone with mental health issues and not many ties to society, could find one and use it.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby lutzj » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:27 pm UTC

krogoth wrote:
krogoth wrote:"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."


Militia Act of 1903 gives the definition of militia as every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age. Militia as a term for a group of people has become popular due to cultists.

So you can hold a gun until you are 45?


You're parsing it poorly. The second clause stands on its own; the first is presented as a sufficient, but not necessary, reason that the second clause is valid. Consider a hypothetical analogy:

"Ice cream being delicious, the right of the people to milk cows shall not be infringed."

In no way does that mean that milking of cows is only legitimate for the purpose of making ice cream.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

lynx wrote:I'd rather be attacked with a rock or sharp stick rather than a gun any day. You can't kill 20 people in an hour with a sharp stick.



Are you sure about that?

All that matters is they got their hands on guns, while over here they'd have to use a knife


Or fire, or improvised explosives, or their automobile. All of which are actually much deadlier than firearms.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hi ... index.html
Guns kill people.


http://xkcd.com/552/

An equally valid interpretation of the data is that people in areas at high risk for homicide are more likely to seek out firearms for self defense.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

lynx wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Look at "per capita" not "gross" rates, they are much closer. And if a country outright outlaws guns and there are still gun crimes being committed then the ban is failed. In England police carry submachine guns to combat gun crime.

Wrong and wrong. Even per capita, the US has more gun homicides than any other country on the planet. And UK police don't carry guns outside of airports, and when guarding important figures, etc. Your average policeman on the street would carry a truncheon and a can of pepper spray.
"they are much closer" I never said they were higher, I implied that the cost of the ban does not match the purported benefits. I tend to disagree with the people purporting facts such as "Last year France only had 1900 gun deaths while the US had over 9000." France has a fifth of the US population so it brings the numbers much closer.

I understand most police in England don't carry guns but the fact that a submachine gun is necessary when they do carry one certainly says something. That actually makes it harder for them to enforce the law. If a man has a knife and you have a gun you can handle him from a distance: tell him to drop it, fire warning shot, ect. If you have to get close to him to take the knife away your chance of getting stabbed increase exponentially.

lynx wrote:I'd rather be attacked with a rock or sharp stick rather than a gun any day. You can't kill 20 people in an hour with a sharp stick.
In fact, on the same day as the Connecticut shootings a Chinese man attempted to murder a similar number of children, but with a knife instead of a gun (China has very strict gun control laws). All 22 children survived, whereas out of 27 targets in Connecticut, none survived.
It's unlikely someone would go on a stabbing spree, you have to have particular balls to do that and most are cowards. It would be a bombing or a gas attack if they couldn't go on a shooting spree. Ammonia and bleach, very easy to make a potent gas. Cost to gas a classroom? 20 bucks. Just chain the doors shut and trip the ventilation breaker.
Average cost for the cheapest guns, 200 bucks, won't be good for killing sprees. Guns at that point range 500-1000 dollars. Better weapons go up in price from there.
The fact that a gun takes less planning and is far less accurate than an area of effect weapon leads to less casualties when some madman goes on a killing spree.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby krogoth » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:18 pm UTC

I wasn't trying to say we should discriminate against women or the old. I was just trying to point out the thing people use to defend their right to guns is outdated.

Fire Brns wrote:And if a country outright outlaws guns and there are still gun crimes being committed then the ban is failed.

If a ban on guns reduces fatalities by even 1% I think it's working, not working as well as it should but it's a start. And would make a huge difference to the people that could have died and their family.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby lutzj » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:57 am UTC

krogoth wrote:I wasn't trying to say we should discriminate against women or the old. I was just trying to point out the thing people use to defend their right to guns is outdated.

Fire Brns wrote:And if a country outright outlaws guns and there are still gun crimes being committed then the ban is failed.

If a ban on guns reduces fatalities by even 1% I think it's working, not working as well as it should but it's a start. And would make a huge difference to the people that could have died and their family.


A ban on guns does not simply materialize out of a legislator's pen, and you're not arguing in good faith if you weigh the hypothetical 1% reduction in fatalities against nothing. The amount of money and political capital needed to ban guns would be much more effective at crime-stopping and life-saving if we simply handed out checks to poor people, or enacted some other measure aimed at reducing poverty; this path also avoids the violation-of-basic-rights problem.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:09 am UTC

krogoth wrote:I wasn't trying to say we should discriminate against women or the old. I was just trying to point out the thing people use to defend their right to guns is outdated.

Fire Brns wrote:And if a country outright outlaws guns and there are still gun crimes being committed then the ban is failed.

If a ban on guns reduces fatalities by even 1% I think it's working, not working as well as it should but it's a start. And would make a huge difference to the people that could have died and their family.

No one was assuming that with women or the old. I think I pointed out the problem with stating specific age limits in laws as it relates to life expectancy.

And maybe it's just me but people shouldn't surrender freedoms to a government for any perceived protection it promises. The world is not safe, it is not predictable, a gun is a very valuable commodity in worst case scenarios. I don't believe evidence shows any benefit in banning guns in the United States. In England it might make sense while I still find it wrong, they don't have thousands of miles of borders shared with a country where people are beheaded for going against cartels.

The fact that you need to list gun deaths per capita as a "per 100,000" to get a whole number is proof that guns are relatively safe and that gun owners are relatively sane and know how to use their weapons.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby krogoth » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:47 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote:The fact that you need to list gun deaths per capita as a "per 100,000" to get a whole number is proof that guns are relatively safe and that gun owners are relatively sane and know how to use their weapons.


Isn't that the point though? If people aren't getting killed by them you don't need one to defend yourself with.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:51 am UTC

Because no one could ever have their life threatened by anything other than a gun-wielding attacker right?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Brace » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:51 am UTC

The standard in most states is fear of death or serious injury, with means, opportunity, and intent as the only necessary elements. So, if you're 120 lbs and someone who is 210 lbs lean screams "I'm going to kill you!" and charges, that's generally a valid context in which to use a firearm.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby krogoth » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:33 am UTC

And then while you are being charged you run off to get your gun.
But say we accept you just happen to know the person is going to attack and you are ready with your gun.
1 why haven't you gotten out of there in the first place and 2 what is the chance of this occurring?

I'd defer to the self defense. There are many non lethal methods of self defense, If self defense is your aim, pepper spray a stun gun/tazer should be more than enough.

Your analogy is flawed in the obvious counter that, while you could have a lethal force defense weapon, you are making it even easier for them to have one.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Brace » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:55 am UTC

In the United States we have something called Concealed Carry, which means you're wearing your gun. Pepper spray and tasers both have limitations. I'm sure self-defense statistics have been posted elsewhere. And yes, leaving the area is something everyone has an ethical obligation to do if possible, although it is not always possible, and people do not always do so in practice. Death is a high price to pay for lack of common sense.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby krogoth » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:00 am UTC

If you don't have that common sense, you probably shouldn't have a gun.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Metaphysician » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:28 am UTC

The clip isn't up on the internet yet, at least not that I can find; but I just watched Bill O'Reilly citing Canada and Australia as reasons that in light of this recent shooting, we should consider an assault weapons ban.

I've remained relatively undecided on this issue for a little while, but when somebody as far right as even Bill O'Reilly starts rethinking their position... it makes an impression.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:43 am UTC

O'Reilly is a troll, his only political positions are ratings and sponsors.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Metaphysician » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:46 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:O'Reilly is a troll, his only political positions are ratings and sponsors.


This is true but the bulk of his ratings come from people that think banning assault weapons is treason.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:51 am UTC

I'm sure they like to be outraged just as much as the rest of the general television viewing audience.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:17 am UTC

lynx wrote:Wrong and wrong. Even per capita, the US has more gun homicides than any other country on the planet. And UK police don't carry guns outside of airports, and when guarding important figures, etc. Your average policeman on the street would carry a truncheon and a can of pepper spray.


I don't normally get too involved in these discussions but this is simply factually wrong.
I mean really really wrong.
You should be ashamed of yourself when a 10 second google would let you check what you're saying but you apparently can't be bothered.

In terms of total homicides by all means, guns and non guns the US is number 108 in the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

For gun related homicides the US is high on the list at number 14 but far from "more gun homicides than any other country on the planet"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... death_rate

For gun related suicides you'll see the US is quite high, indeed about 2 thirds of gun realated deaths in the US are not homicide, very different from any countries above them on the list.

Now just because from your earlier manner and lack of effort research-wise I'm going to assume you'll do the traditional pavlovian response to this and claim that guns are bad because people use them for suicide and that without guns those people wouldn't die.

Just to head that off The US has a fairly non-remarkable suicide rate and they're down with demnark, sweeden and a number of countries with strict gun control laws. If guns are availible people will use them for suicide but there's no shortage of effective ways to commit suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate
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Re: Gun Control

Postby lynx » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:04 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
lynx wrote:Wrong and wrong. Even per capita, the US has more gun homicides than any other country on the planet. And UK police don't carry guns outside of airports, and when guarding important figures, etc. Your average policeman on the street would carry a truncheon and a can of pepper spray.


I don't normally get too involved in these discussions but this is simply factually wrong.

Sorry, you're right, it was an honest mistake and I didn't mean to mislead anyone. I meant to say OECD countries, as I don't think countries like Swaziland and El Salvador matter quite as much for size reasons. My point still stands though. Other than Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, all of which have their own problems, the US has more gun homicides than almost any country and in general has more than any developed country.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:37 pm UTC

lynx wrote:the US has more gun homicides than almost any country and in general has more than any developed country.

If I said "the US has more mechanical pencil homicides than any other country in the world" what would that tell you?

lets imagine that the total homicides rate was unexceptional, with the US down at, just for arguments sake say, number 108. most people being shot, stabbed or poisoned but the US led the world in cases of people being killed in brutal mechanical pencil attacks.

lets imagine that the US also happened to have more mechanical pencils per capita than any other country in the world.

Would that say anything about mechanical pencils? or would the combination of these factors instead imply that mechanical pencils aren't the problem but rather that people who would otherwise pick up a knife instead find a mechanical pencil first.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby lynx » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

The thing is, that won't happen. If mechanical pencils were redesigned to be much easier to kill people with, and allowed any maniac who wanted to make a statement to pick one up and kill large numbers of people while being almost assured the chance to kill themselves after rather than face the repercussions, and if the US had more of these than any other country in the world, then yes. I'd stop talking about guns and talk about mechanical pencils.

The thing is, other types of homicide don't increase proportionally to the decrease in gun homicides. Guns are designed to kill people easily, while knives and mechanical pencils require getting into close quarters and outmuscling the opponent. If someone doesn't see a gun on their way to school, they are much less likely to attempt to kill people there and I'm shocked people can't see that fact.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:02 pm UTC

krogoth wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:The fact that you need to list gun deaths per capita as a "per 100,000" to get a whole number is proof that guns are relatively safe and that gun owners are relatively sane and know how to use their weapons.


Isn't that the point though? If people aren't getting killed by them you don't need one to defend yourself with.


Phew, good thing people NEVER get killed by anything but guns.

How bout we include all murders and such, not just gun deaths?

Metaphysician wrote:The clip isn't up on the internet yet, at least not that I can find; but I just watched Bill O'Reilly citing Canada and Australia as reasons that in light of this recent shooting, we should consider an assault weapons ban.

I've remained relatively undecided on this issue for a little while, but when somebody as far right as even Bill O'Reilly starts rethinking their position... it makes an impression.


Personally, I'd rather not give O'Reilly any credence regardless of his particular position. The guy's positions in the past have been questionable at best, why should I care about his opinions now?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:09 pm UTC

lynx wrote:The thing is, other types of homicide don't increase proportionally to the decrease in gun homicides.


That's a mighty big assertion.
I'd assume you have some good examples to show us of cases where guns were banned somewhere and the number of knife murders, poisonings and others remained the same, didn't rise or fall at all but the number of murders using guns dropped sharply.

because your other statements imply that you have more problem with the symbology of a gun, what guns represent to you.

and allowed any maniac who wanted to make a statement to pick one up and kill large numbers of people while being almost assured the chance to kill themselves after rather than face the repercussions

lets imagine a world with no guns.
Lets also imagine a maniac who wants to kill as many as he can.

he gets in his car, finds a nice straight bit leading up to a crowded area, loads the car with heavy objects, accelerates up to 100+ mph and slams into a crowd of people listening to music.
He can kill lots of people. he can even keep the means to suicide quickly after this beside him.

ah but it's the symbology you have problem with. the mere fact that someone can do this is irrelevant to you. the symbol. the symbol of an object which can kill people effectively and isn't designed for other purposes is what you care about.

But take away the symbol and you amazingly don't take away the problem.

it doens't matter if cars have other uses. they're still amazingly good as a weapon and someone who wants to commit murder will use whatever. it doesn't matter if it has a million other uses. they'll use whatever gets the job done.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby jules.LT » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:35 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
lynx wrote:The thing is, other types of homicide don't increase proportionally to the decrease in gun homicides.


That's a mighty big assertion.
I'd assume you have some good examples to show us of cases where guns were banned somewhere and the number of knife murders, poisonings and others remained the same, didn't rise or fall at all but the number of murders using guns dropped sharply.

An example from a policy that actually could be implemented in the US:

http://aler.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/2/462.short
In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth (and nearly halved the number of gun-owning households). Using differences across states, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected homicide and suicide rates. We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80%, with no significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude but is less precise. The results are robust to a variety of specification checks and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate.

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/12/6/365.short
Background: After a 1996 firearm massacre in Tasmania in which 35 people died, Australian governments united to remove semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns and rifles from civilian possession, as a key component of gun law reforms.

Objective: To determine whether Australia’s 1996 major gun law reforms were associated with changes in rates of mass firearm homicides, total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides, and whether there were any apparent method substitution effects for total homicides and suicides.

Design: Observational study using official statistics. Negative binomial regression analysis of changes in firearm death rates and comparison of trends in pre–post gun law reform firearm-related mass killings.

Setting: Australia, 1979–2003.

Main outcome measures: Changes in trends of total firearm death rates, mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of firearm homicide, suicide and unintentional firearm deaths, and of total homicides and suicides per 100 000 population.

Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p = 0.04), firearm suicides (p = 0.007) and firearm homicides (p = 0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. The rates per 100 000 of total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides all at least doubled their existing rates of decline after the revised gun laws.

Conclusions: Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides. Total homicide rates followed the same pattern. Removing large numbers of rapid-firing firearms from civilians may be an effective way of reducing mass shootings, firearm homicides and firearm suicides.



That is mighty good source (and with credentials that vastly surpass wikipedia, imho)
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Re: Gun Control

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

Guns in their most simple sense are tools designed to apply superior mechanical leverage to achieve a goal. They are better than knives and most other hand held melee weapons at range. They have longer range than any human powered mechanical levers such as bows or various forms of ballista. They were developed because they were more efficient at killing not because anyone felt they needed to shoot at clay pigeons. We have more guns per capita than any other country, at least according to the Wikipedia. In and of itself that is why gun control in terms of restrictions or prohibitions won't work. Here is how that works out in practice. Shoot on.
Image

edit
link to original svg at Wikipedia as this image causes problems for some reasons.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby jules.LT » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:They were developed because they were more efficient at killing not because anyone felt they needed to shoot at clay pigeons. We have more guns per capita than any other country, at least according to the Wikipedia. In and of itself that is why gun control in terms of restrictions or prohibitions won't work.

This does not follow :?

I'll also add the link to the Harvard Bulletin where I found my sources.

morriswalters wrote:Shoot on.

I'd rather we didn't.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

jules.LT wrote: (and with credentials that vastly surpass wikipedia, imho)


Given that the only things I referenced wikipedia for was lists of countries by intentional homicide rate and lists of countries by suicide rate I have to ask.
just to be clear, are you contending that the figures given for the US in those lists are not accurate?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby jules.LT » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:06 pm UTC

I'm contending that your interpretation of them is inaccurate. That's what researchers are for.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:14 pm UTC

jules.LT wrote:I'm contending that your interpretation of them is inaccurate. That's what researchers are for.


the intelectual honesty of the researchers you cite seems to be somewhat lacking.

Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p = 0.04), firearm suicides (p = 0.007) and firearm homicides (p = 0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. .


No shit. make guns really hard to get and gun masacres are less likely.

In other news after removing pillows from the market the number of pillow smotherings dropped.

So instead people who want to kill lots of people use other means when they want to commit a masacre. like fire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childers_Palace_Fire

There have been masacres since. they just exclude them.

I don't like guns. I don't have guns. I honestly think that society is better with fewer guns around but there's a massive tide of bullshit, much of it dressed up like real research that washes away what sense there is to be had.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby jules.LT » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:No shit. make guns really hard to get and gun massacres are less likely.

Not only is that actually a GREAT thing, but there are also much more numerically significant effects on firearms homicides and suicides without evidence of substitution effect.

HungryHobo wrote:So instead people who want to kill lots of people use other means when they want to commit a masacre. like fire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childers_Palace_Fire

There have been massacres since. they just exclude them.

Anecdotal evidence. I don't know if they studied the rate of other kinds of massacres, but if gun-related homicides dropped without substitution I don't see why it would be otherwise for gun-related massacres.

HungryHobo wrote:there's a massive tide of bullshit, much of it dressed up like real research that washes away what sense there is to be had.

I agree: How to find nothing - "Some gun policy evaluations are designed to ensure that no effect will be found".
I'm pretty sure that the research is worse on the pro-gun side, but let's just agree that flawed research happens on both sides.
Last edited by jules.LT on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

jules.LT wrote: without evidence of substitution effect.

They claim no evidence of substitution effect but the responses are enlightening.
it's very easy to not find evidence you don't look for.

Nationwide, the proportion of robberies involving weapons is the same as it was in 1996, while the proportion of abductions involving weapons is higher, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal. They show a mixed result in firearms-related offences since the mid-1990s. There has been a fall in firearms murders (from 32 to 13 per cent) but a rise (19 to 23 per cent) in attempted murders involving guns.


As pointed out in the responses the authors are all long term anti gun campaigners.

ie: if before the change 4/10 robbers used weapons and and 2/10 of them were using guns then afterwards 4/10 of them were still using weapons, just not as many guns. Yet they claim no substitution effect.

it's about as convincing as a paper from Koch Industries showing conclusively that there is no evidence of the greenhouse effect.

The trends they attribute to it also just happened to mirror a trend seen in other countries at exactly the same time without a similar anti-gun drive.

This is getting harder to keep straight, I'm arguing sort of pro-gun on this site and anti on another.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby jules.LT » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:This is getting harder to keep straight, I'm arguing sort of pro-gun on this site and anti on another.

Looking at an issue from both sides looks pretty healthy to me. Kudos to you for that :wink:

Anyway, I've been digging in sources and found evidence both ways. It's only natural that people on either side of the fence will call each other names on such a divisive issue. I'm sure there are quality meta-analyses somewhere but I'm not that interested anyway. I only followed that Harvard link and wanted to bring those results forward a bit more.
The guy who wrote most of the gun-related articles there has written a book against guns but doesn't look like such a radical anti-gun activist.

Cheers and enjoy your gunslinging while I'm safe at home in Europe!
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Re: Gun Control

Postby addams » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:13 pm UTC

God Bless You, Safe At Home, In Europe.

A place where 'pop-pop's means fire works of some kind.

That pop-pop. Kind of funny.

I met a man that could mimic that sound using a rubber glove.
I did not question it was gun fire. I, just, couldn't tell where it was coming from.

A gun sometimes sounds like a door slamming.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

Wow I missed a lot.
krogoth wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:The fact that you need to list gun deaths per capita as a "per 100,000" to get a whole number is proof that guns are relatively safe and that gun owners are relatively sane and know how to use their weapons.


Isn't that the point though? If people aren't getting killed by them you don't need one to defend yourself with.

If people aren't getting killed there is no reason to ban it. We can ban thousands of things because "people don't need them", that isn't the point.
300,000,000 guns in the US to 9,000 murders in a year; that means that 1 in 33,000 guns are used to kill someone or 0.000030303... (I may be off by a factor of 1)

Look at pencils an pens. Pencils you can erase with, pens you can't, when people mess up with a pen they use more paper. You could argue that we should ban pens because you don't need to use a pen if we have pencils. What is the economic and environmental damage of all those lines of paper being wasted?
What about condoms? They encourage sex with strangers and the 0.01 failure rate in them leads to the spread of life threatening STDs and increases in accidental pregnancy. This puts greater strain on the medical industry and diverts money away from cancer research and improved surgery techniques.
Let's ban cats, they serve no practical purpose anymore such as hunting mice and they are the primary cause of people in the US contracting rabies because they can transmit it without being symptomatic.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

addams wrote:God Bless You, Safe At Home, In Europe.

A place where 'pop-pop's means fire works of some kind.

That pop-pop. Kind of funny.

I met a man that could mimic that sound using a rubber glove.
I did not question it was gun fire. I, just, couldn't tell where it was coming from.

A gun sometimes sounds like a door slamming.

When we hear a pop we assume fireworks too, we Americans love our colorful explosions.

A car backfiring sounds like a gunshot, there are quite a few old cars in America. It has a very particular echo.
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