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 Predictably, the gun control debate heats up
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  10:16:41  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Following in the wake of the events in Aurora, CO, where someone went to the midnight release of the new Batman movie and then proceeded to start shooting people with an array of guns (some of which he seems to have received via mail order-- details about this are, at present, fuzzy), politicians on both sides of the aisle have revved up the debate about gun control. (Some examples are here, and here, etc.)

I'm always torn on these things. I'm not a Constitutional scholar, but one doesn't have to be to note that the Second Amendment is incredibly hard to understand. (Note: this is a wonderful example of why good grammar and solid writing skills matter.)

Since I was scarred by the movie Red Dawn, and have various (somewhat) irrational fears of world calamity plunging civilization into anarchy, I'm hesitant to give up my own gun. And, sadly (?), if I had more money and time, I'd probably own more. But at the same time, I understand that the world is bigger than just my own crazy neurosis and I can see to some great extent the value in severely limiting access to guns.

Thus, I remain torn.

There's no point to this post, except to use it as a sort of place-holder should anyone (from any side of the debate) want to chime in.

Edited by - Cuneiformist on 07/22/2012 10:17:19

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  14:09:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm for better gun control laws. But the truth of it is, the kind of crime that was visited on Aurora wouldn't be stopped by gun control laws. When premeditation with the use of fire arms is involved in the crime, I don't see how gun control laws can stop it. Perhaps they can slow down the perpetrators ability to acquire fire arms, but I doubt it can stop it.

What's a bummer is there are other reasons for stronger gun control laws, and it often takes something that can't be stopped by gun control laws to start the conversation again. Go figure.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  16:03:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Never understood the opposition to simple registration. We've been registering cars and aircraft for a century, I don't see anyone trying to take either one away. I know that it won't stop someone using a gun illegally, but it sometimes gives the police help.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  16:37:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is a huge problem with this topic and that is, I don't believe, that there can't be a truely rational discussion dealing with the "facts". On this topic rational and factual can not exist in the same room. Would anyone care to guess or better yet look up how many gun laws exist right now? But that does nothing to stop the calls for "better gun control laws". Your for that Kil, what does that mean? One would think there are quite enough but you don't?. Even though you admit,,
I don't see how gun control laws can stop it. Perhaps they can slow down the perpetrators ability to acquire fire arms, but I doubt it can stop it.
You still call for more laws. I find that irrational.

You think the violence in the film being screened and watched, while the real shooting started, should be legislated against too? Maybe that would help too.

Kil, do you really think crazy can be addressed by legislation? Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not the problem and better legislation cannot prevent this type of tragity from happening.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  17:58:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Kil can't be in favor of better laws which might, say, mandate better tracking technology for both weapons and ammunition while simultaneously saying that we cannot prevent legally sane non-felons from purchasing legal firearms?

I don't see how those things are in any way contradictory or irrational. The former deals with catching bad guys, the latter with not treating good guys like bad guys.

Neither one would actually apply to the Aurora case, since the perp illegally used his legal weapons and then failed to high-tail it out of there, so there was nothing to track. No matter how many laws we put it place, we'll never be able to protect the public from people who just "snap," but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to better protect ourselves from career criminals and/or those who successfully flee, leaving behind nothing but spent casings and fired bullets.
Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not the problem...
What's funny is that's essentially a No True Law-Abiding Citizen fallacy. After all, as soon as an otherwise law-abiding citizen (say a responsible gun owner for 50 years) cracks at his neighbor's latest insult, he may very well stop being a law-abiding citizen and then the gun in his hands becomes a problem.
...and better legislation cannot prevent this type of tragity from happening.
Do you also think that better legislation will be unable to help catch crooks?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  18:03:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SS:
You still call for more laws. I find that irrational.

I was talking about premeditation. I thought I made that clear. That's something gun laws will not prevent. Domestic violence using firearms and crimes of passion and deadly accidents are too easy to commit if guns are present. Then there are gun thefts and so on. And who the hell needs a semi automatic weapon, let alone an automatic weapon to hunt with let alone for self defense?
SS:
Kil, do you really think crazy can be addressed by legislation?

Yes. At least temporary crazy can be.

Gun ownership correlates to gun deaths

Harvard Injury Control Research Center
Homicide

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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  00:03:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gun ownership correlates to gun deaths, but how do you know gun ownership causes gun deaths? It could be that gun deaths cause gun ownership. Correlation is not causation.

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  00:14:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The cat's already out of the bag. The fox is guarding the chicken house. And the unruly livestock are already out of the barn, making this a tardy time to slam the door.

When the Second Amendment was made part of the Bill of Rights, the United States had fresh memories of having gained independence from a colonialist Britain largely through the efforts of citizen militias bringing their own flintlock rifles to join the rebellion. Winning independence was historically a close thing. Like the timely aid of the French navy, armed civilians were one of the deciding factors in the American Revolution. It simply made sense at the time to enshrine the right to bear arms in the Constitution.

But those who wrote the Bill of Rights were thinking of gunpowder-powered, muzzle-loading flintlock rifles, capable (with training) of being fired at a rate of perhaps three rounds per minute, expelling spherical lead bullets. Per Wiki,
Muzzle velocities range from approximately 400 ft/s (120 m/s) to 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s) in black powder muskets
But modern weapons such as the AR-15 can be fired at a rate of up to 800 rounds per minute, and with a muzzle velocity of 975 m/s (3,200 ft/s). The idea of a single crazed person being able to mow down a crowd with firearms was inconceivable to the Founding Fathers. They'd be stunned if they could know what happened in Colorado.

I don't see a practical solution that's not worse than the problem. Guns are out there now, and it would require a true police state to take them away from the citizenry. Slaughters like Aurora are likely to continue. That's an unintended consequence of the right to bear arms, and it appears we're stuck with it.

And as technology (especially biotechnology) advances, there are going to be more and more incidents where one or two people slaughter many of their neighbors, with or without modern firearms.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 07/23/2012 00:24:32
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  00:27:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner


When the Second Amendment was made part of the Bill of Rights, the United States had fresh memories of having gained independence from a colonialist Britain largely through the efforts of citizen militias bringing their own flintlock rifles to join the rebellion. Winning independence was historically a close thing.


It's as true today as the day it was written.

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  05:09:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sailingsoul

There is a huge problem with this topic and that is, I don't believe, that there can't be a truely rational discussion dealing with the "facts". On this topic rational and factual can not exist in the same room. Would anyone care to guess or better yet look up how many gun laws exist right now? But that does nothing to stop the calls for "better gun control laws". Your for that Kil, what does that mean? One would think there are quite enough but you don't?. Even though you admit,,
I don't see how gun control laws can stop it. Perhaps they can slow down the perpetrators ability to acquire fire arms, but I doubt it can stop it.
You still call for more laws. I find that irrational.
No, actually Kil said "I'm for better gun control laws."
"Better" is not the same as "more".

What we need are smarter laws. Better licencing and laws written so that there are no discussion about what is right and what is wrong.

About licensing, one shouldn't be allowed to own a gun unless one can prove that one can handle the gun proficiently and responsibly. That means written/verbal exam to prove that one understands the responsibility of owning one, what laws regulate ownership and use, and a shooting exam which proves the owner can safely handle the gun and is a reasonable marksman. (What point is there to own a gun if you can't hit what you're aiming at?).
Licence should be time limited, with test in order to grant extension of the licence: If not, then there's no guarantee that the owner is keeping him/herself up to date on current laws and practice handling.


You think the violence in the film being screened and watched, while the real shooting started, should be legislated against too? Maybe that would help too.
That's sounds like a social issues subject worth discussing. Obviously, we need some kind of mental-security screening/licensing, so that different people with different mental ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy can be assigned a security level. Stable minds like skeptics who have no problem separating between fantasy and reality can watch more violent movies, and people who have a harder time to tell fantasy, wishful thinking, and reality apart (like religious people who believe fantastic stories in the bible to be true) should have a lower clearance. That way, less stable elements will not be exposed to stuff that could set them off. Like Batman.

The guy who shot people at the cinema shouldn't have been allowed to watch anything else but Teletubbies. (That fact that one of the Teletubbies is homosexual/metrosexual shouldn't make him violent)

But this is just as much hyperbole as we "gun-control" people are accused of wanting. Perhaps there is a middle ground somewhere?



Kil, do you really think crazy can be addressed by legislation?
No, but crazy people's ownership of guns should. If not, then they aren't good enough and needs to be revised.



Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not the problem and better legislation cannot prevent this type of tragity from happening.
Better legislation will not prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening. But better legislation should reduce the chances and the frequency of it.

To expect a law to completely stop bad shit from happening is unreasonable. And you SS are insinuating that this is our goal. That our goal is unreasonable. But that's a straw-man, or at least falsely attributing to us motivations which we do not have.
I'm disappointed in you, SS.

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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  05:43:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

]That's sounds like a social issues subject worth discussing. Obviously, we need some kind of mental-security screening/licensing, so that different people with different mental ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy can be assigned a security level. Stable minds like skeptics who have no problem separating between fantasy and reality can watch more violent movies, and people who have a harder time to tell fantasy, wishful thinking, and reality apart (like religious people who believe fantastic stories in the bible to be true) should have a lower clearance. That way, less stable elements will not be exposed to stuff that could set them off. Like Batman.

The guy who shot people at the cinema shouldn't have been allowed to watch anything else but Teletubbies. (That fact that one of the Teletubbies is homosexual/metrosexual shouldn't make him violent)


Difficult to the point of impossible to enforce. You would either have to wait for someone to prove they are potentially dangerous and then institutionalize them or put them under constant supervision (by which time it's probably too late. Plus we do this already to some extent), or preemptively test everyone first. I for one wouldn't want my freedom to depend on some kind of psychological test, and I wouldn't trust it to screen out all the unstable people either.

"Based on your psychological profile you may not see this movie..."

Sounds an awful lot like a police state to me.

PS.
Your suggestion that religious people would get a lower clearance suggests you are the one experiencing some wishful thinking and fantasy.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 07/23/2012 05:52:21
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  06:23:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

The cat's already out of the bag. The fox is guarding the chicken house. And the unruly livestock are already out of the barn, making this a tardy time to slam the door.

When the Second Amendment was made part of the Bill of Rights, the United States had fresh memories of having gained independence from a colonialist Britain largely through the efforts of citizen militias bringing their own flintlock rifles to join the rebellion. Winning independence was historically a close thing. Like the timely aid of the French navy, armed civilians were one of the deciding factors in the American Revolution. It simply made sense at the time to enshrine the right to bear arms in the Constitution.

But those who wrote the Bill of Rights were thinking of gunpowder-powered, muzzle-loading flintlock rifles, capable (with training) of being fired at a rate of perhaps three rounds per minute, expelling spherical lead bullets. Per Wiki,
Muzzle velocities range from approximately 400 ft/s (120 m/s) to 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s) in black powder muskets
But modern weapons such as the AR-15 can be fired at a rate of up to 800 rounds per minute,


No, it can't. That is the AR-15's fully automatic sibling the M-16. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic. One trigger push, one bang. Can you pull a trigger in excess of 13 times per second while dealing with recoil?


and with a muzzle velocity of 975 m/s (3,200 ft/s).


Bullets travel fast and far. 22LR bullets break the sound barrier and will travel a full mile. Yet these are not the subjects of bans. Note how the AR-15 gets all the press and not the shotgun or two pistols.

Sometimes, evil people do premeditated things. 13 dead and 50 wounded. CCW carriers abided by a "no gun zone" for the theater. Police were minutes away. Had a law abiding CCW carrier had his weapon, there would have been a chance that his victim count would be down significantly.


The idea of a single crazed person being able to mow down a crowd with firearms was inconceivable to the Founding Fathers. They'd be stunned if they could know what happened in Colorado.


But the ability of a legal gun owner carrying for defense was. I'll just point out in Florida where two firearm wielding thugs were engaged by a 71 year old CCW holder and were stopped before they could hurt anyone.

And you can make the same argument for cars. One crazed individual with a car can maim and kill many if they drive into a crowd. It has happened. There was a drunk driver that plowed into a group of bicyclists. Killed 8. A rash of elderly plowed into crowds. Yet we did not hear of people screaming for cars to be banned.


I don't see a practical solution that's not worse than the problem. Guns are out there now, and it would require a true police state to take them away from the citizenry. Slaughters like Aurora are likely to continue. That's an unintended consequence of the right to bear arms, and it appears we're stuck with it.

And as technology (especially biotechnology) advances, there are going to be more and more incidents where one or two people slaughter many of their neighbors, with or without modern firearms.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  06:28:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by The Rat

Never understood the opposition to simple registration. We've been registering cars and aircraft for a century, I don't see anyone trying to take either one away. I know that it won't stop someone using a gun illegally, but it sometimes gives the police help.


Registration of gun purchases happen in many states. In Colorado, it would not have made any difference. He didn't buy in enough quantity to raise any red flags.

Since there have been various runs on ammo in recent years as the NRA sounds a klaxxon against gun control ("buy while you still can"), legal gun owners have started to purchase ammo in bulk when the prices are low. A gun owner usually tries to run 100 rounds through a weapon at a range to keep in practice and to run through aging stock. Buying a gun without practicing it's use is useless. You can hit the critter if your aim is lousy.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  08:30:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Gun ownership correlates to gun deaths, but how do you know gun ownership causes gun deaths? It could be that gun deaths cause gun ownership. Correlation is not causation.
Sometimes correlation suggests causation. Otherwise there's no point in gathering the data. Obviously these are complicated questions. I don't have a wish to over simplify the data. Correlation does give us a reason to form a hypothesis that should be examined.

I attempted to cite some studies that address this issue. Unfortunately, I ran into the pay wall. But I can say this. The states with the weakest gun control laws also correlates with with higher gun deaths. Unfortunately though, even those results aren't cut and dry. Some states with strong gun control laws also have higher gun deaths than the average. But mostly it's the states with the stronger gun control laws that fall into the lower gun death per-capita when compared to states with weak gun control laws.

This is a blog and not a study. I saw better sources over the last few days, but they are increasingly hard to find, as news from Colorado in mostly what I get using the search terms I used a few days ago. If needed, I'll find them later when I have more time. So take this as you will:

The Geography of Gun Violence

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Why not question something for a change?

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  08:35:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer



No, it can't. That is the AR-15's fully automatic sibling the M-16. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic. One trigger push, one bang. Can you pull a trigger in excess of 13 times per second while dealing with recoil?
No, and I stand corrected on that point of rate of fire. I've never used either weapon, and was just going with a quick Wiki search. So how many times the rate of fire does the AR-15 have, as compared of a late 18th Century musket?
Bullets travel fast and far. 22LR bullets break the sound barrier and will travel a full mile. Yet these are not the subjects of bans. Note how the AR-15 gets all the press and not the shotgun or two pistols.
Indeed, I was just trying to keep things simple with a flintlock vs AR-15 comparison. Any one of those weapons carried by the shooter would have outclassed the old "coal-burners" by a mile. Weapons now and at the time the Second Amendment was put into the Constitution must be one or two magnitudes apart in brute killing power.
Sometimes, evil people do premeditated things. 13 dead and 50 wounded. CCW carriers abided by a "no gun zone" for the theater. Police were minutes away. Had a law abiding CCW carrier had his weapon, there would have been a chance that his victim count would be down significantly.
Sometimes is too often. And CCWs or no, people should have mobbed him from behind. His peripheral vision in his gas mask couldn't have been too good. Knock him down, and kick him until he stops moving.
But the ability of a legal gun owner carrying for defense was. I'll just point out in Florida where two firearm wielding thugs were engaged by a 71 year old CCW holder and were stopped before they could hurt anyone.
I watched what I think is that video. That old guy seemed to be firing rather wildly. He kept firing at the robbers' backs after they were already running to get the Hell out of Dodge. I think he was lucky the robbers were spooked and didn't start firing back. And that he didn't hit a bystander when firing after them out the door.
And you can make the same argument for cars. One crazed individual with a car can maim and kill many if they drive into a crowd. It has happened. There was a drunk driver that plowed into a group of bicyclists. Killed 8. A rash of elderly plowed into crowds. Yet we did not hear of people screaming for cars to be banned.
And which of us is screaming for a ban on firearms?

Okay, if I made the laws and everyone was agreeable, here's what I'd do: Make owning 18th Century shoulder weapons legal to anyone without a violent criminal background, and who is of sound mind, after taking a required course in musket safety. Ban and turn in all civilian-owned high-powered weapons using modern smokeless powder. Do I think this would work? No, because 1) I do not make the laws, and 2) Everyone's disagreeable, and many would fight before turning in their weapons. So my own best idea is essentially only good for washing swine. So I don't advocate that idea. (Though I do think coal-burners are a lot more fun to fire than modern weapons.)

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 07/23/2012 08:57:41
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  08:50:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Place the blame where it belongs: Aurora Tragedy Shines Spotlight On Medical Schools.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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