Gun Control

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:43 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:I actually wasn't thinking in those terms.

my point was that it wasn't quite as simple as omgr's stereotype of the people in power stockpiling guns because just as there's a massive correlation between power/status and wealth there's also a strong link to level of education.(the 2 of course are also interlinked with the wealthy being more likely to get educated and the educated being more likely to get rich but that only makes the lower rate of gun ownership for the college educated more notable)
I beg pardon then; I think I misunderstood.

I do think omgryebread's point is relevant (that the people stockpiling guns probably do not strongly correlate with the people under highest risk of being brutalized by their government); I'm not sure what sort of action it implies, though. But I think it is fair to say that, as counter-intuitive as it might sound, the people who want guns the most tend not to be the ones who need them the most.

In other words, among gun-owners, the 'you can pry my gun from my cold dead hands' crowd tend to be the least at risk for having their guns pried from their cold dead hands by the government. And I don't think the reason is because the government is afraid of them.
ctdonath wrote:"The alternative", as you put it, had hundreds of millions of victims in the last century alone, and likewise throughout history. Just because you don't participate in the "arms race" doesn't mean you won't be victimized ... to the contrary, it increases the odds you will.
I strongly suspect that these situations would not have been largely alleviated by an arms race between a government and its citizens; I strongly suspect that such an arms race would, in many cases, escalate mortality rates. It is my experience (perhaps limited) that policies based on fear, intimidation, and threats--creating them or acting on them--inevitably increase the possibility of violence.

That being said: I recognize that arming yourself against your government may sometimes be warranted, but if your only option consists of engaging in an arms race or being victimized, I think there's been a critical failure at some prior junction. I don't oppose people making decisions in their own best interest (particularly when their life is on the line!), but I'm wary when it's framed this way--that it's a choice between arming yourself or becoming a victim. That is sometimes the choice, but I suspect it is not the choice as often as people say.

(Then again, I am often surprised to discover just how little I actually know about the choices people face.)

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Choboman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:01 pm UTC

I apologize if this was already covered, but I'd like to hear people's perspective on the some of the various proposed bans. FWIW, I support sensable gun control measures, but have concerns about some of these bans because they seem to be based on emotional (instead of rational) arguments.

When I was in the military, my understanding of 'assault rifles' included the capability for both semi-automatic (one shot each time the trigger is pulled) and either automatic- or burst-fire. Common assault rifles used by most militaries (M-16s, AK-47, K-1, FN-FAL, G36, etc) all share this characteristic. The US government refers to these as Type II weapons, and these are already heavily restricted in the US, tracked very closely, and very difficult to obtain licenses for. As a result, the weapons are extremely expensive and rare, and there are almost no gun crimes committed with them.

The 1994 automatic weapons ban seems to me like it was based more on the superficial appearance of the weapon than it's actual function. Semi-automatic weapons with features like collapsable/foldable stocks, pistol grips, flash suppressors, and sound suppression get categorized as assault weapons now. None of these features make the weapon more deadly, and most of the weapons that were banned are functionally identical to hunting rifles (which weren't banned) - they just look scarier.

To me this seems like legislators who didn't actually know anything about guns other than what they saw in the movies drafting legislation so that they could claim that they did something. Thoughts?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:59 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Yea, there's absolutely no possibility of any modern republic/democratic government becoming oppressive or tyrannical. This has never happened in history... /s
Haha, way to pull the hitler/dictator/blah blah I'm being unreasonable card. This is a democracy, what are you gonna do if you lose an election about guns? Shoot us? Are you gonna become oppressive or tyrannical just so you can keep your guns?

Side note; it's amusing how you guys decry how easily criminals and people with modest skills acquire guns, yet you fear the government seizing your guns. Are you implying gun control is possible?


Not to pull this down Godwin's hole. But do you mean to say that you don't believe armed resistance against the Nazis, or any other genocidal government would be acceptable?

There's a natural counter-argument to Ikillu's post that I specifically didn't want to make because it is just as extreme in the other direction. But whatever.

Basically, the 'problem' with a government that disarms it's citizens, is that it may make exactly the same decision Ikillu feared that an armed citizenry would make; the decision to neglect the democratic process. With an armed populace, there are alternative ways to influence the government and the populace. Checks and balances.


The thing is, the 'armed alternative' is really terrible. And most gun-owners have some recognition of that. Sure you get a few nut-jobs who rail against imagined tyrannies in the U.S. government and have Tree of Liberty bumper stickers and what-not. But even these people recognize that armed insurrection is a shitty way to get things done. We have a pretty good track record so far of people not resorting to armed insurrection against the government for any reason, except for maybe a few people who were genuinely not well adjusted for participating in the democratic process and decided to blow up government buildings and such.

We didn't have a uprising in 1934, '68 or '94 when the previous major gun-control legislation went into effect. There was no revolution in California when they enacted and extended their Assault Weapon's ban, and there's no guerrilla warfare in New York following their recent legislation.
I imagine that even if some strict gun-ban did come into effect and the government started rounding up private Firearms, that there would be very little (to none) direct resistance. There'd be lots of rallies and and letters to senators for sure, and there'd probably be a fair number of people who "lost" their firearms or "sold them at the gunshow", but probably not so much manning the barricades.

Even though the government in this hypothetical would be taking our firearms, the democratic process would still exist, there'd still be no call for the 'armed alternative'.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:07 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:The thing is, the 'armed alternative' is really terrible. And most gun-owners have some recognition of that. Sure you get a few nut-jobs who rail against imagined tyrannies in the U.S. government and have Tree of Liberty bumper stickers and what-not. But even these people recognize that armed insurrection is a shitty way to get things done. We have a pretty good track record so far of people not resorting to armed insurrection against the government for any reason, except for maybe a few people who were genuinely not well adjusted for participating in the democratic process and decided to blow up government buildings and such.

We didn't have a uprising in 1934, '68 or '94 when the previous major gun-control legislation went into effect. There was no revolution in California when they enacted and extended their Assault Weapon's ban, and there's no guerrilla warfare in New York following their recent legislation.
This is a relevant point, and something I'm overlooking: The US track record as far as uprisings against the government goes is actually really good, 1850s not withstanding. So as much as the 'Tree of Liberty' people concern me, there really aren't enough of them--and they've never made enough noise anyway--to make me feel as if my concern is legitimate.

So as much as I find them scary, the fact may be that they aren't really a significant threat to our well-being, and there's no practical reason to prevent them from owning guns. Sure, maybe they're idiots--but just being an idiot isn't reason enough to prevent you from owning dangerous things.

EDIT: I'd be curious how much correlation there is between wearing a 'Tree of Liberty' bumper-sticker and committing violent acts, though. Not that I'd start suggesting we go after 'Tree of Liberty' bumperstickers, but I'm curious--because I suspect the sort of person who believes things like that is more prone to violence.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby ctdonath » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I recognize that arming yourself against your government may sometimes be warranted


Note that the "100,000,000" I keep referring to (on the whole, if not completely) entailed populations which had been systematically disarmed prior. Citizens wanting to cooperate with their own governance disarmed; while this may not always lead to genocide or the like, populations won't go there if they're not disarmed.

What's sometimes hard in this discussion is to point out those situations where the presence/availability of arms had a positive effect, precisely because nothing of note happened.
Consider the instances of "Waco" and "Ruby Ridge", two high-profile armed assaults on citizens living on the fringe of society. They happened about the same time, both regarding fairly minor transgressions of law which the government escalated to the point of armed raids. The people shot back; while they lost the fight, the government never tried that level of violence against citizens again for some 15 years.
Well, they did start heading down that path again in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, starting door-to-door confiscations. Those stopped rather abruptly when many police made it clear they would oppose continuation thereof.
Of late, word is Obama did intend to issue outright bans and confiscations of arms when issuing Executive Orders on the subject. Seems he changed his speech on short notice, perhaps in no small part thanks to the observation that in one month flat citizens bought enough military-style arms to equip both the Chinese and Indian militaries with small arms, precisely with the intention of using them to not give them up.

if your only option consists of engaging in an arms race or being victimized, I think there's been a critical failure at some prior junction.


There's also the choice of being harmlessly prepared.
Sometimes critical failures at prior junctions do happen. Most mistakes could be averted, yet some do happen. Being armed is, when done by normal upstanding citizens, harmless ... it just makes one ready to address the consequences of any decision by another to cause undue harm, whatever the reasoning.
Respectable governments sometimes install evil leaders. Criminals have cars and drive to nice sections of town. Armed citizens can remind them such actions are not a good idea, and persuade them to refrain from causing harm; outside of such situations, armed citizens are harmless.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby ctdonath » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'd be curious how much correlation there is between wearing a 'Tree of Liberty' bumper-sticker and committing violent acts, though. Not that I'd start suggesting we go after 'Tree of Liberty' bumperstickers, but I'm curious--because I suspect the sort of person who believes things like that is more prone to violence.


Methinks you'll be surprised at the truth: armed citizens are polite citizens. Gun owners are, on the whole, VERY law abiding. They are keenly aware that should a situation "go there", it may very well come to a very abrupt and undesirable end. It's the people who are not so prepared (mentally or toolwise) to "stop it" who are more likely to get into a knock-down drag-out fight precisely because they are not aware of how badly the situation might end. Those trained/equipped in martial arts (weapons included) are aware of how to stop violence very fast, using the minimum necessary to restore peace.

Hence a popular phrase "peace thru superior firepower". Civilization flourishes where not working out differences leaves unpleasant options.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:Methinks you'll be surprised at the truth: armed citizens are polite citizens.
I wouldn't find it surprising that those with suitable training and understanding of firearms understand the importance of when to use them and when not to use them; rather, my contention is that those who genuinely believe the 'The Tree of Liberty' stuff tend not to be among those who understand the importance of when not to use them.

I think that believing in that sort of thing represents a certain desire for violence--and in my experience (again, highly limited!), a desire for violence correlates with unnecessary violence. Most of the (ex) soldiers I know do not desire bloodshed, and would never wear a 'Tree of Liberty' bumpersticker.

I suspect that when responsible people engage in the business of violence, they discover that it is largely unpleasant, and often seek means to arrive at their ends without it. I also suspect that when irresponsible people engage in it, they find ways to glorify it--and eventually pursue it even when there are other more viable means to reach their ends.

It is that latter group that deeply troubles me.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:03 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
Not to pull this down Godwin's hole. But do you mean to say that you don't believe armed resistance against the Nazis, or any other genocidal government would be acceptable?

There's a natural counter-argument to Ikillu's post that I specifically didn't want to make because it is just as extreme in the other direction. But whatever.

Basically, the 'problem' with a government that disarms it's citizens, is that it may make exactly the same decision Ikillu feared that an armed citizenry would make; the decision to neglect the democratic process. With an armed populace, there are alternative ways to influence the government and the populace. Checks and balances.


The thing is, the 'armed alternative' is really terrible. And most gun-owners have some recognition of that. Sure you get a few nut-jobs who rail against imagined tyrannies in the U.S. government and have Tree of Liberty bumper stickers and what-not. But even these people recognize that armed insurrection is a shitty way to get things done. We have a pretty good track record so far of people not resorting to armed insurrection against the government for any reason, except for maybe a few people who were genuinely not well adjusted for participating in the democratic process and decided to blow up government buildings and such.

We didn't have a uprising in 1934, '68 or '94 when the previous major gun-control legislation went into effect. There was no revolution in California when they enacted and extended their Assault Weapon's ban, and there's no guerrilla warfare in New York following their recent legislation.
I imagine that even if some strict gun-ban did come into effect and the government started rounding up private Firearms, that there would be very little (to none) direct resistance. There'd be lots of rallies and and letters to senators for sure, and there'd probably be a fair number of people who "lost" their firearms or "sold them at the gunshow", but probably not so much manning the barricades.

Even though the government in this hypothetical would be taking our firearms, the democratic process would still exist, there'd still be no call for the 'armed alternative'.

I mean to say you are being unreasonable when you claim that gun control = Hitler clone will enslave us all.
On a side note: Our track record against tyranny is pretty bad, and it's not because of the lack of guns. Couple key points, why didn't the Japanese Americans take up arms against the very unjust act of internment camps? Why did the slave rebellions fail during the entire reign of the Slave holding South, including up to the end of the Confederacy? Of course, power was very different back then, since today power is more democratized. A few armed men with rifles can cause extraordinary damage if given proper training and tactics. (Imagine Mumbai attacks, but at schools, stadiums, and hotels in the US. The death toll would be horrific.)

Spoilered due to controversial topic
Spoiler:
What's the difference between gun control and abortion restrictions that conservative states are passing? Both are enshrined by the Supreme Court, but we have similar attitudes to them. Why is it ok for conservatives to restrict abortions by throwing in measures to reduce abortion rates, but if we apply that same logic to guns, it's tyranny? For example, Texas passed a law that mandates aborters to get scanned, lectured about how this is murder of a living being that feels pain, and forced to endure a gauntlet of peer pressure just so she can abort a fetus. Abortion is definitely the law of the land, yet conservatives are still trying to undermine it. Is the comparison valid for gun control?
I can't but feel this cognitive dissonance if I support gun control, but am against abortion restrictions and vice versa.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:09 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What's the difference between gun control and abortion restrictions that conservative states are passing? Both are enshrined by the Supreme Court, but we have similar attitudes to them. Why is it ok for conservatives to restrict abortions by throwing in measures to reduce abortion rates, but if we apply that same logic to guns, it's tyranny? For example, Texas passed a law that mandates aborters to get scanned, lectured about how this is murder of a living being that feels pain, and forced to endure a gauntlet of peer pressure just so she can abort a fetus. Abortion is definitely the law of the land, yet conservatives are still trying to undermine it. Is the comparison valid for gun control?
I can't but feel this cognitive dissonance if I support gun control, but am against abortion restrictions and vice versa.
I don't think that conservatives who argue against gun control on the same merits that they argue for anti-abortion restrictions should be taken terribly seriously (beyond pointing out the inherent contradiction between the two perspectives). I think reasonable advocates for gun-use aren't arguing the constitutionality of gun-use re: the second amendment; I think most reasonable advocates for gun-use would argue that guns are property, and the government should only regulate property when it is in the people's best interests to do so.

Essentially, I think reasonable advocates for gun-use are people who don't see owning guns as a right anymore than they see owning cars as a right. Both are important; heck, both can save your life! But it's not like guns are legally more important than cars.

But also, keep in mind: Roe vs Wade is a different precedent than the second amendment of the Constitution. One is a trial that set a particular precedent; the other is an actual amendment in our constitution.

I'm unaware of what precedents have been set by the Supreme Court re: gun rights, and I'd be curious to know.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:33 pm UTC

The big precedents set by the SCOTUS is that the 2nd amendment applies to all gun rights, not just the national guard (aka the militia). It was settled in the District of Columbia vs Heller 2008. Prior to it, handguns were not considered arms, or the right to bear them wasn't 100% protected/guaranteed. After a lot of arguments, the SCOTUS settled it for us, which set the stage for the current debate. Because of it, we can only have very limited gun control, since outright bans are pretty close to being unconstitutional. Roe v. Wade is similar in that it's a right that is protected by SCOTUS yet is being undermined by Congress in ways that don't cross the line to overriding Roe v. Wade. If you think of the Democrats as undermining the 2nd Amendment, which they are in a "it's good for the country" way, you can see how similar they are.

Of course, fetuses don't shoot people in a visceral way, it's very subtle since their damage comes to society overall. Women have poorer outcomes since they divert resources to a baby that they can't afford, and society picks up the tab of the women and the ill-cared for baby.

Yea, I know the differences in stature, but the root cause is the same, SCOTUS rules how strong abortion rights and gun rights are in this country. If 5 members of SCOTUS say that the 2nd amendment applies only to militias, gun rights go out the window. Same with abortion, why do you think the SCOTUS appointments are so hard? Anyway, I hope we don't get too off topic, which is why I spoilered my original comparison.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I mean to say you are being unreasonable when you claim that gun control = Hitler clone will enslave us all.


I never said that, you are putting words in my mouth. Disarming the populace would make it easier for Hitler clones to enslave us all, but would be the same as if they had, and would not guarantee that they will.

sardia wrote:What's the difference between gun control and abortion restrictions that conservative states are passing? Both are enshrined by the Supreme Court, but we have similar attitudes to them. Why is it ok for conservatives to restrict abortions by throwing in measures to reduce abortion rates, but if we apply that same logic to guns, it's tyranny? For example, Texas passed a law that mandates aborters to get scanned, lectured about how this is murder of a living being that feels pain, and forced to endure a gauntlet of peer pressure just so she can abort a fetus. Abortion is definitely the law of the land, yet conservatives are still trying to undermine it. Is the comparison valid for gun control?
I can't but feel this cognitive dissonance if I support gun control, but am against abortion restrictions and vice versa.


I would say that the comparison is accurate enough with some obvious limits, although I don't see it being very relevant to the current discussion. I may not agree with abortion (albeit, for very different reasons than religiously motivated conservatives) but I believe that the government has no special place to restrict, regulate or ban the practice other than ensuring the health, safety and rights of the parents are being respected. The so-called 'right wing' of American politics has a lot of cognitive dissonance tied up in their perception of human rights. But this thread isn't about that.


The Great Hippo wrote:But it's not like guns are legally more important than cars.


Well, except that one has been enshrined in law by the constitution, while the other has not. Although personally, I try to avoid legalistic arguments, or ones based on the Constitution. After-all, the Constitution is merely an enumeration of rights, not a source of them.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Derek » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

sardia wrote:On a side note: Our track record against tyranny is pretty bad, and it's not because of the lack of guns. Couple key points, why didn't the Japanese Americans take up arms against the very unjust act of internment camps? Why did the slave rebellions fail during the entire reign of the Slave holding South, including up to the end of the Confederacy? Of course, power was very different back then, since today power is more democratized. A few armed men with rifles can cause extraordinary damage if given proper training and tactics. (Imagine Mumbai attacks, but at schools, stadiums, and hotels in the US. The death toll would be horrific.)

Well slaves weren't allowed to own guns, obviously (and Black gun ownership continued to be heavily restricted in the South after the Civil War).

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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:55 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:But it's not like guns are legally more important than cars.
Well, except that one has been enshrined in law by the constitution, while the other has not. Although personally, I try to avoid legalistic arguments, or ones based on the Constitution. After-all, the Constitution is merely an enumeration of rights, not a source of them.
Right; and it is correct to say guns are legally more important than cars because cars are not mentioned in the constitution--but what I mean is that guns should not be legally more important than cars.

Because I suspect part of the problem with the dialogue around gun control is that you have people on one side treating gun ownership like a particular kind of human right--and people on the other side treating it like it violates some right. Both approaches strike me as erroneous.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:30 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote: what I mean is that guns should not be legally more important than cars.


Why do you believe this?

There are alternative methods to fulfill the function of automobiles - public transport, walking, cycling, telecommuting. These all give a very high level of utility substitution - taken on a societal level, they're actually advantageous. There is no method other than weapon ownership that levels the playing field between the strong and the weak like weapon ownership, and no weapon nearly as efficacious in this regard as a firearm.

In addition to this, cars are much, much more dangerous than guns by any comparison of the statistics.

I don't think guns or cars should be legally more or less important. I think an armed citizenry has benefits for both the individual and society in the same way that a mobile citizenry does, and i'd put the barrier for owning a firearm slightly lower than obtaining a driving license, based on their relative lethalites, and thus corresponding minimum level of competence that should be demonstrated.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:37 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote: what I mean is that guns should not be legally more important than cars.


Why do you believe this?

There are alternative methods to fulfill the function of automobiles - public transport, walking, cycling, telecommuting. These all give a very high level of utility substitution - taken on a societal level, they're actually advantageous. There is no method other than weapon ownership that levels the playing field between the strong and the weak like weapon ownership, and no weapon nearly as efficacious in this regard as a firearm.

In addition to this, cars are much, much more dangerous than guns by any comparison of the statistics.

I don't think guns or cars should be legally more or less important. I think an armed citizenry has benefits for both the individual and society in the same way that a mobile citizenry does, and i'd put the barrier for owning a firearm slightly lower than obtaining a driving license, based on their relative lethalites, and thus corresponding minimum level of competence that should be demonstrated.
Isn't the relative dangerousness of guns to cars flawed due to usage rates? If I fire a gun once, but I have to drive to work every day, it's obvious that I'm more likely to get into an accident as opposed to shooting someone. Or are there studies that control for that?

Side note: Yea, I think abortion comparisons is a iffy idea. Still, if we aren't going to evaluate gun rights on legal basis, that means we evaluate them on utility? Is that a good idea? I'm pretty sure you'd keep your guns even if they were bad for you, like how smokers and drinkers still drink.
Last edited by sardia on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:40 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:39 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Why do you believe this?
Because I don't see a reason why guns should be a 'special' sort of property. I don't mean to imply that guns and cars are equivalent objects, and require equivalent address--I mean that guns are not a right anymore than cars are a right, or a house is a right, or my clothes are a right.

What is required for survival is often difficult to say. I've never needed to fire a gun to be happy--and it is likely I never will. I recognize that I may be extraordinarily lucky in that regard--so I'm happy to defend people's right to own guns. But I don't consider that right to be any more important than my right to own a car (which is required for my survival--my financial survival, at least!).

To put this another way: Your right to a gun should not be treated as being more important than my right to a car. I need to own my car--others may need to own their gun. Both needs deserve protection.
Ormurinn wrote:I don't think guns or cars should be legally more or less important. I think an armed citizenry has benefits for both the individual and society in the same way that a mobile citizenry does, and i'd put the barrier for owning a firearm slightly lower than obtaining a driving license, based on their relative lethalites, and thus corresponding minimum level of competence that should be demonstrated.
In some sense, I agree: I think an armed citizenry does have benefits. And if we lived in a different sort of culture, I would actually be for things like teaching all children how to use, operate, and handle firearms! I think that could be a valuable skill, and do a great deal of good toward dispelling a lot of the silly romantic notions we invest in guns.

But here's what bothers me: Having lived in the US, I do not perceive a culture that has a healthy approach to guns. I've met people who have a healthy approach to guns--I've also met people who approach guns in a way that legitimately scares me. Part of the reason is because they want their guns to scare me.

And I am very, very nervous around people who desire property chiefly to inspire fear.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby lutzj » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:28 am UTC

sardia wrote:the national guard (aka the militia).


"Militia" in the context of US federal law refers to all able-bodied male citizens aged 17 to 45 (up to 65 for former members of the armed forces) as well as female citizens in the National Guard. The National Guard (along with the Naval Militia, although that's much less relevant today) forms a subset, the "organized militia", of that group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)
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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:40 am UTC

lutzj wrote:
"Militia" in the context of US federal law refers to all able-bodied male citizens aged 17 to 45 (up to 65 for former members of the armed forces) as well as female citizens in the National Guard. The National Guard (along with the Naval Militia, although that's much less relevant today) forms a subset, the "organized militia", of that group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)

If you want to parse District of Columbia 2008 SCOTUS decision, be my guest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_o ... _v._Heller
Otherwise, why are you bringing this up?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:41 am UTC

sardia wrote:Couple key points, why didn't the Japanese Americans take up arms against the very unjust act of internment camps?


Possibly because one of the first things done was to confiscate weapons.
Rounding people up happened a few months later. This would tend to support an earlier posters assertion that confiscating guns is pretty much a standard first step when moving against a group of people.

http://www.nps.gov/nhl/themes/JPNAmericanTS.pdf

In late December the Department of Justice issued regulations
requiring that enemy aliens in the Western Defense Command surrender weapons, ammunition, radios, and cameras.DeWitt described these items, seized by the FBI between February and May 1942, as "hidden caches of contraband," even though most of the weapons were from two legitimate sporting goods stores


On February 9, 1942, DeWitt recommended the removal of all Japanese, native-born as well as alien, and “other subversive persons” from the entire area lying west of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains


sardia wrote:Why did the slave rebellions fail during the entire reign of the Slave holding South, including up to the end of the Confederacy?

Did slaves have the right to bear arms?

Why is it ok for conservatives to restrict abortions by throwing in measures to reduce abortion rates, but if we apply that same logic to guns, it's tyranny?

I'm guessing a lot of people on this forums would say that neither are ok but then this forum seems to have more libertarians than conservatives.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby hawkinsssable » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:10 pm UTC

In other-yet-oddly-appropriate news, I just received one of the most remarkable spam e-mails I've ever come across:

From: VoiceOfFreedom@Inter.net [mailto:VoiceOfFreedom@Inter.net]

Sent: Monday, 21 January 2013 11:24 PM

Subject: Sandy Hook Shooting Didn't Happen [PROOF]Subject: Sandy Hook Shooting Didn't Happen [PROOF]





Excerpt from Muad'Dib's January 7th, 2013 Critical Mass Radio interview:



...They used a poster child for this to get everybody's sympathy and to get everybody's emotions up so that they could hopefully bring in a gun ban. They used a little poster child, a little blonde-haired blue-eyed six year old girl. She was the face, the poster child. She was supposedly killed along with the other 19 six year olds and seven year olds at Sandy Hook. Three days later Obama was there doing a photo op and she's sitting on his knee. She's supposed to be dead, used as a poster child, this little girl died - she's sitting on Obama's knee three days later. The same little girl.



And then they have her parents interviewed. It shows that they're all actors. It never really happened, because the guy that was supposedly her dad, is shown in the video where he's to the side and he's laughing and joking with other people and then he's called up in front of the camera. He's off to the left. Then he's called to the center, to the focus of the camera to be interviewed and to give his speech about Sandy Hook and about his daughter. And he goes from on the side from laughing and joking with everybody, he comes up to the center and ... he takes the joking, smiling face off and you can see him physically trying to force his face to look sad and then he starts talking about how his daughter's been killed. They're actors. There were no bodies.



It was a made for TV drama to try to ram through the gun control laws, because they want to kill the American people and they can't kill armed people. That's why Hitler disarmed the Germans, it's why Stalin disarmed the Russians, it's why chairman Mao disarmed the Chinese and they killed between them something like 120 million of their own people. And that's what they want to do in America and they can't do it because the people have the Second Amendment and they have guns. So they have to do all of this, and they'll keep doing it. There will be more incidents like this, which are made for television, until they manage to persuade the American people to give up their guns. And then they'll start killing the Americans. Because the Americans are the only people stopping them from doing what they want to do already. They know they can't put their next phase, which is reducing the world's population, they can't put that phase into operation whilst the Americans have got millions of guns.



***



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Discuss?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:34 pm UTC

hawkinsssable wrote:Discuss?


possibility:

a lazy member of staff at a news news station went looking for pictures of kids who died, found an ideal picture of a blonde young girl who happened to be one of the survivors rather than one of the dead.

alternative:

2 similar looking kids.

the nutter above then sees the alive kid and assumed that it meant the whole thing was fake seeing all later information in terms of confirmation of his hypothesis.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:35 pm UTC

The whole 'That Recent Mass Shooting Was Fake And An Attempt To Force Gun Control Laws On Us So The Genocide Of The American People Can Begin' is a narrative that crops up after every mass shooting.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby ctdonath » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:40 pm UTC

hawkinsssable wrote:Discuss?


Not here, please. Please.

The subject of conspiring to create and impute a conspiracy theory warrants its own thread, if not a whole forum.

The particulars of that email are getting shredded in pro-gun discussion boards. Suffice to say the Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory is built entirely on taking random tidbits (much of it "fog of war" early rumor-based reports) way out of context and making authoritative statements contrary to reasonable explanation, relying on the reasonable inability or unwillingness of most of the audience to actually investigate fine-grain details. Subsequent discussion of specifics gets sucked into a quagmire of further imputation and misinterpretation, requiring heroic effort from the naysayer to counteract an endless stream of flippant "but what about THIS obscurity which I shall now make baseless authoritative pronouncements on?" statements.

It's driven by rumor, propagated by people more interested in propagating rumor than establishing fact.

Occam's Razor, as applied to this case: mass shootings happen often enough that the alleged conspirators just had to get their story & legislation ready and wait for one to happen. Way easier, with completely plausible deniability because there is no involvement to deny. Just happens.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby ctdonath » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:43 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:alternative: 2 similar looking kids.


Alternative: dead girl has a sister close in age and appearance, and who regularly wears her hand-me-down clothing.

And so it goes with everything else in the litany of allegations: simple mundane explanations for everything, driven by the fact that the narrator and audience have far from perfect information about every niggling little detail.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby lutzj » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:24 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
lutzj wrote:
"Militia" in the context of US federal law refers to all able-bodied male citizens aged 17 to 45 (up to 65 for former members of the armed forces) as well as female citizens in the National Guard. The National Guard (along with the Naval Militia, although that's much less relevant today) forms a subset, the "organized militia", of that group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)

If you want to parse District of Columbia 2008 SCOTUS decision, be my guest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_o ... _v._Heller
Otherwise, why are you bringing this up?


Your hypothetical that

5 members of SCOTUS say that the 2nd amendment applies only to militias, gun rights go out the window.


is legally absurd without the false premise that militia=National Guard. Such a decision has very different implications if we use the proper denotation of "militia".
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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:is legally absurd without the false premise that militia=National Guard. Such a decision has very different implications if we use the proper denotation of "militia".


not really. legally the SCOTUS could rule that mormonism doesn't count as a religion and as such that the first amendment doesn't apply to it so that it could be taught in schools.
They have that power under the constitution.

They legally have the power to declare speaking on a soapbox not to be legally speech or covered under the first.

legally they get to interpret light as dark if they want.

They've interpreted "make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" to mean "it's perfectly fine to make whatever laws you like abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press as long as it makes us go 'eeeewwww'"

They've "interpreted" "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury " to mean "except if they're accused of DUI"
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Re: Gun Control

Postby hawkinsssable » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The whole 'That Recent Mass Shooting Was Fake And An Attempt To Force Gun Control Laws On Us So The Genocide Of The American People Can Begin' is a narrative that crops up after every mass shooting.


I assumed it was some amazing, hilarious one-of-a-kind piece of spam from some especially crazy organisation until I a) read these replies, and b) googled long quotes from it and found all the places on the internet it's being taken seriously.

The crazy, terrifying thing is that these kinds of myths / rumours / legends only really gain traction when they reflect underlying social problems and insecurities. So the urban poor in the developing world worry about wealthy Westerners stealing their children off the street, stripping them of organs, and dumping their bodies; meanwhile, wealthy Westerners have that lovely narrative where young male travellers in foreign lands are seduced, drugged, and wake up in a bloody bathtub full of ice sans kidney(s). I can kinda understand where these narratives come from - insecurities generated by the uncomfortable weirdness of transplantation technology combined with insecurities based on oppression and subordination on the one hand, and fears of... savage, foreign, unrelatable poor people? on the other.

'The Recent Mass Shooting Was A Foreign Government Conspiracy To Take Away Our Guns So That They Can Kill Us All', on the other hand, seemed weird and foreign and strange and unrelated to any insecurities I was aware of until. At least until I watched some fun stuff like this NRA advert:

Code: Select all

Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he sceptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards in their schools?

Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. But, he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to our fair share of security.

Protection for their kids, and gun free zones for ours. STAND AND FIGHT.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

The weird thing to me is how the National Rifle Association has somehow managed to do more PR damage to gun ownership than some yahoo shooting children with guns. They threw away a ton of potential support with that commercial; they seem to have this pattern of making incredibly stupid statements, losing critical allies, and never putting 2 plus 2 together. It is really hard to support someone when they dedicate themselves to unreasonable positions.

There are times I suspect that the biggest obstacle between the NRA and its goals is the NRA.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:31 pm UTC

I think my ban is done. Sorry about the rudeness, I will do my best to remain civil.

The Great Hippo wrote:The weird thing to me is how the National Rifle Association has somehow managed to do more PR damage to gun ownership than some yahoo shooting children with guns.

There are times I suspect that the biggest obstacle between the NRA and its goals is the NRA.
I agree, the NRA has many valid points they could make, so the fact that the resort to inciting propaganda is most confusing.

HungryHobo wrote:
sardia wrote:Why is it ok for conservatives to restrict abortions by throwing in measures to reduce abortion rates, but if we apply that same logic to guns, it's tyranny?
I'm guessing a lot of people on this forums would say that neither are ok but then this forum seems to have more libertarians than conservatives.
You could always apply the the childhood argument "two wrongs do not make a right." I hardly believe abortion is ok in many instances but I do not believe it should be restricted merely because I protest. The same can be said of the use narcotic substances or any other item generally under ban by the government.

"Group B restricting right A of group A because group A wants to restrict right B of group B" is an incredibly hypocritical argument to suggest and unfortunately a common one.
Last edited by Fire Brns on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:38 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:36 pm UTC

That was my quote, not HungryHobo's!
Fire Brns wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:The weird thing to me is how the National Rifle Association has somehow managed to do more PR damage to gun ownership than some yahoo shooting children with guns.

There are times I suspect that the biggest obstacle between the NRA and its goals is the NRA.
I agree, the NRA has many valid points they could make, so the fact that the resort to inciting propaganda is most confusing.
I don't find it confusing as much as disappointing. There's an interesting and intelligent dialogue to be had concerning gun ownership in the US; it's a shame the NRA doesn't want it to happen.

At this juncture, I'm tempted to say they probably never did.

Although I'm a bit curious--was there some point when the NRA didn't sound like Alex Jones?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:44 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:That was my quote, not HungryHobo's!
Fire Brns wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:The weird thing to me is how the National Rifle Association has somehow managed to do more PR damage to gun ownership than some yahoo shooting children with guns.

There are times I suspect that the biggest obstacle between the NRA and its goals is the NRA.
I agree, the NRA has many valid points they could make, so the fact that the resort to inciting propaganda is most confusing.
I don't find it confusing as much as disappointing. There's an interesting and intelligent dialogue to be had concerning gun ownership in the US; it's a shame the NRA doesn't want it to happen.

At this juncture, I'm tempted to say they probably never did.

Although I'm a bit curious--was there some point when the NRA didn't sound like Alex Jones?

Fixed. I apologize, I accidentally deleted the quotes editing some stuff and my memory substituted names.

I would have to agree with you, I agree for the most part with the NRA's motives but their method of going about them is not the way society should function. An idea that is right should only needs facts to support it, not propaganda.

I believe it is safe to say the NRA didn't sound like Alex Jones until at least: February 11, 1974
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:19 pm UTC

In terms of policy and publicity, the NRA is first and foremost an industry group. They campaign and lobby for the rights of firearm manufacturers before the rights of firearm owners.

Unfortunately, the NRA takes up so much of the public consciousness about gun politics that there's little room for a 2nd amendment version of the ACLU or EFF.

At least they do good work with safety instruction and awareness.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:17 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:
Your hypothetical that

5 members of SCOTUS say that the 2nd amendment applies only to militias, gun rights go out the window.


is legally absurd without the false premise that militia=National Guard. Such a decision has very different implications if we use the proper denotation of "militia".

You lack historical perspective. It was legally absurd that the federal government couldn't be taxed by state governments. It was absurd that blacks, and women couldn't vote. It was legally absurd that separate but equal was a valid strategy. This decision was 2008. Read up on it, just the wikipedia article alone would help. The SCOTUS, so long as it is backed by the will of the people, has supreme power and everyone defers to them. You may believe that some things have been god given since the start of time, but you'd be wrong. Many of the things we take for granted were decided by the Supreme Court. Let's take your argument to the court, hypothetically.
"No, we side with gun control groups, militia means national guard. Therefore, government is free to prohibit guns to everyone else." See, that easy. If you'd like, we can discuss other issues that seem obvious, but stem from SCOTUS in spoilers.

EdgarJPublius wrote:In terms of policy and publicity, the NRA is first and foremost an industry group. They campaign and lobby for the rights of firearm manufacturers before the rights of firearm owners.

Unfortunately, the NRA takes up so much of the public consciousness about gun politics that there's little room for a 2nd amendment version of the ACLU or EFF.

At least they do good work with safety instruction and awareness.

I agree that the NRA isn't representing gun owners anymore. If you want guns, make sure you want them, not just because the NRA is feeding you bullshit about the coming apocalypse.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:29 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:In terms of policy and publicity, the NRA is first and foremost an industry group. They campaign and lobby for the rights of firearm manufacturers before the rights of firearm owners.

Unfortunately, the NRA takes up so much of the public consciousness about gun politics that there's little room for a 2nd amendment version of the ACLU or EFF.

At least they do good work with safety instruction and awareness.
The safety and awareness thing is really good; the industry group thing strikes me as being really bad--not that they're providing the firearm industry with a voice, but this voice is being conflated with the voice of gun owners versus gun manufacturers.

Contention breeds division, and division breeds a certain type of marketplace--maybe I'm just being baselessly cynical, but part of me can't help but wonder if the NRA isn't sometimes just being shocking for the sake of encouraging panic purchases--people buying large quantities of guns in preparation for bans.

That's probably untrue (never attribute to malice what can be reasonably attributed to ignorance!), but I can't help but wonder--a lot of their press releases and commercials (the ones I encounter, at least) look more like marketing strategies than genuine attempts to inform and discuss.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby lutzj » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:03 am UTC

sardia wrote:"No, we side with gun control groups, militia means national guard. Therefore, government is free to prohibit guns to everyone else." See, that easy. If you'd like, we can discuss other issues that seem obvious, but stem from SCOTUS in spoilers.


They certainly could do that, although they'd have to bit slightly more creative than just saying it because they can't rewrite explicit parts of US law. Maybe a historical argument saying that "militia" meant something when the Constitution was written. As you said, the SCOTUS could do anything with the will of 5 members. I only meant to point out that they would have to clear the additional legal hurdle, which is substantial because it involves contradicting an explicit definition written into the law. The 2008 ruling was about whether the "militia" in the amendment was even a condition on gun rights rather than what the extent of the milita is.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby stevey_frac » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:37 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:That's probably untrue (never attribute to malice what can be reasonably attributed to ignorance!), but I can't help but wonder--a lot of their press releases and commercials (the ones I encounter, at least) look more like marketing strategies than genuine attempts to inform and discuss.


The best way to make someone care about gun rights is to give them a 12 ga, have them blow some skeet out of the air, and then convince them to buy their own gun.

I've done this a few times, and it's how I got my start with shooting. Shooting is a legit awesome sport, that takes a lot of practice, co-ordination, and skill to be really good at. Plus there's that boom. I think the NRA knows this and is leveraging this. Get people to shoot, and then they don't want their guns taken away. You'll notice it's very rarely those that have guns that want them banned.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:41 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Although I'm a bit curious--was there some point when the NRA didn't sound like Alex Jones?


Prior to the mid '70s, the NRA supported gun control. Their interest in the 2nd Amendment began around the same time--before that, pretty much nobody cared about the 2nd Amendment because there were no "well-regulated militias" anymore.

[quote="EdgarJPublius]Yea, there's absolutely no possibility of any modern republic/democratic government becoming oppressive or tyrannical. This has never happened in history... /s

Basically, the 'problem' with a government that disarms it's citizens, is that it may make exactly the same decision Ikillu feared that an armed citizenry would make; the decision to neglect the democratic process. With an armed populace, there are alternative ways to influence the government and the populace. Checks and balances.[/quote]

Uh, just want to point out that the Weimar Republic had very little resemblance to a modern democratic government. Yeah, there were votes, and there was a Parliament, but a significant portion of the Republic's time was devoted to self-immolation. A significant number of Germans believed that the Republic was an illegitimate government that had screwed over the country by signing the treaty of Versailles. The government couldn't maintain a legitimate monopoly of force--the army as much as admitted that they would ignore the government at their discretion--so there were lots of groups of armed thugs/paramilitary groups/private armies running around terrorizing people and crushing dissent (eg. the Nazis--this is before they got in power, just to be clear). A significant problem was that the government was too impotent to be able to enforce law and order. You have cause and effect backwards: Neglect of the democratic process was one of the motivating causes of the problem; gun confiscation was but one of the symptoms that came out of it (many years later, I might add).

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Re: Gun Control

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:20 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:A significant problem was that the government was too impotent to be able to enforce law and order. You have cause and effect backwards: Neglect of the democratic process was one of the motivating causes of the problem; gun confiscation was but one of the symptoms that came out of it (many years later, I might add).


You can look at a lot of other countries which have gone down the dictatorship path and you'll see both these things. weapon confiscation and a period of everything being messed up because that's when people are most willing to turn to extremist groups and most willing to let the blame be laid on unpopular minorities.

A government disarming it's citizens (or much more dangerously, disarming an unpopular subset) is a warning sign but so is a massive increase in unemployment and breakdown in society.

problem is that the unpopular subset are likely to be people you don't actually like or trust so the majority won't oppose it.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:I've done this a few times, and it's how I got my start with shooting. Shooting is a legit awesome sport, that takes a lot of practice, co-ordination, and skill to be really good at. Plus there's that boom. I think the NRA knows this and is leveraging this. Get people to shoot, and then they don't want their guns taken away. You'll notice it's very rarely those that have guns that want them banned.
I should have been more specific: Their commercials/press releases strike me as marketing strategies aimed at people who already own guns. IE, they're not trying to convince me to own a gun; they're trying to convince gun owners to own more guns.

And if that's the case, that's a terrible long-term strategy (for obvious reasons!). But I suspect I'm looking too deeply into what's really just a terrible series of PR gaffs.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:50 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:A significant problem was that the government was too impotent to be able to enforce law and order. You have cause and effect backwards: Neglect of the democratic process was one of the motivating causes of the problem; gun confiscation was but one of the symptoms that came out of it (many years later, I might add).


You can look at a lot of other countries which have gone down the dictatorship path and you'll see both these things. weapon confiscation and a period of everything being messed up because that's when people are most willing to turn to extremist groups and most willing to let the blame be laid on unpopular minorities.


A government disarming it's citizens (or much more dangerously, disarming an unpopular subset) is a warning sign but so is a massive increase in unemployment and breakdown in society. [/quote]

I think that a massive increase in unemployment and a breakdown in society are far more important predictors of a crisis than weapon confiscation. Suggesting that they're in any way equivalent is quite laughable. As I said, the rise of the Nazi party happened long before Hitler ever bothered with weapon confiscation. The battle was already lost by that point.


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