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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » My idea for a Assault Gun solution that may make everyone work (Page 1)

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Author Topic: My idea for a Assault Gun solution that may make everyone work
Darth_Mauve
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Here are my basic beliefs:

A good person with a good gun can do wonderful things.

A crazy person with a crazy gun can do some very terrible, horrible things.

A solution requires that we balance the ability to do the wonderful things with the cost of the terrible, horrible things.

The NRA wants to insure the wonderful things at any cost of terrible, horrible things.

The Anti-Gun movement wants to limit the chances of any terrible, horrible things to the extent that it does away with all possibility of any of the wonderful things.

Military Style Weaponry--assault weapons, high capacity clips, automatic weapons, grenades, etc. have a significant place in this debate. They are involved in the majority of the terrible, horrible things while doing only one positive thing--a bulwark against tyranny. Unless used for that purpose, the weapons are crazy. You would have to be crazy to use one to hunt deer, to defend yourself (very unwieldy) or to shoot attackers in your home (hit more innocent neighbors than criminals, and cause more property damage than the property that would have been stolen).

The Crazy people are similar in that they. They do more of the terrible and almost none of the good. Outlawing the crazies from having guns runs into one problem--who do we define as crazy?

Personally I think its crazy to have any of the following own a gun--Incompetent, Criminal, or Insane. Your list may differ. We may not be able to list their stats, but we know them when we see them.

If we let the government control who can and can not have guns, and tyranny takes over the government then those who differ with the government will be listed as crazy and be forced to surrender our guns.

If we let the government control what guns we can have then if tyranny takes over the government we will be underpowered in our defense of freedom.

Ok, no matter what weapons we stockpile at home, we will always be underpowered in facing the US Government.

But the Constitution is written with the promise that armed revolution is allowed in extreme circumstances, and we should be prepared.

On the other hand letting any sociopath with a martyr complex the ability to kill kids until they are finally shot themselves is not working for us.

How about a free market solution involving a firewall between most of the gun owners and assault/military grade weaponry, and one given in the constitution.

I am referring to militias. Well, a new definition of militia.

The law would allow Assault Weapons, Semi-Automatic Weapons, and Large Magazine Clips to be purchased by any militia who can afford it.

How those weapons in the militia are dispersed to their members is the business of the Militia, not the government. However, the serial numbers, and perhaps ballistic patterns of their weapons must be on file.

Who are members of that militia is the business of that militia and not the government--except for three mandatory officers who must register with the state. Those three officers are the President, Treasurer, and Secretary of Arms. Yes, the government could round up those three members, but the rest of the members would be free and their guns would be well hidden for any necessary revolution.

These militias are subject to no rules or laws except as follows: If any of their weapons are used in any crime, the victims have the right to sue the militia for compensation.

If the militia does not have the money to pay the compensation, the government will close the militia and confiscate all weapons it owns--no matter who is housing them. They must be turned in or whoever carries one faces a $10,000 fine and 6 Months in prison.

So you join "Joe's Militia" to get your hands on an AK-47. They charge you a $500 fee that gets you a membership, a cute hat, and an AK-47 to store in your home. That militia is lax on their background checks and Tommy Two-gun also gets an AK-47. Tommy proceeds to shoot up a Starbucks because he thinks their terminology is a Venusian invasion plan. Starbucks, and his victim sues. Joe's Militia goes bankrupt and folds. You are told to turn in the AK you were holding or be in breach of the law. Next time you want to join a Militia to get your hands on a cool gun or two, you make sure they do good background checks.

If the weapons were reported stolen well before the crime, than that militia has no responsibility for the crime. On the other hand if a large percentage of their weapons are stolen, the state can close the militia or the victims can still sue the militia for incompetence in keeping their weapons safe.

Hence, what ever background checks, sanity evaluations, or technical training needed to safely have a weapon are the responsibility of the market buying the weapons. A firewall exists to stop government seizure of the weapons. Sales of the weapons will continue and probably increase as cross militia sales and trades are allowed. Gun shows with their loopholes will be replaced by Militia Meetings. Manufacturing and jobs would increase.

What could possibly be the problem with this?

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Stephan
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The type of people to create and join a militia will fire upon a government coming to confiscate their weapons if they don't pay.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Personally I would rather have the 2nd Amendment amended again to exclude any mention of militias then to encourage groups of people getting tiny little private armies together where guns can be distributed to any member fully legally unless they are successfully sued, out of existence, so if the mini army has enough money to pay the victims, their gun stay legal, where as if they don't, the guns must be turned in or if the -next- time they are used they are illegal, because since the government doesn't know who has them, they can't even attempt to get them back.
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Lyrhawn
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You definition of militia has almost no real standing in US history outside of the crazy backwoods militias that the ATF and FBI are always cracking down on. Militias have always been organized and regulated by some form of government, although it's usually state, not federal, until the Militia Acts of the early 1900s that brought Militias under federal control before WWI and created the National Guard.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Personally I would rather have the 2nd Amendment amended again to exclude any mention of militias then to encourage groups of people getting tiny little private armies together where guns can be distributed to any member fully legally unless they are successfully sued, out of existence, so if the mini army has enough money to pay the victims, their gun stay legal, where as if they don't, the guns must be turned in or if the -next- time they are used they are illegal, because since the government doesn't know who has them, they can't even attempt to get them back.

I'd further amend the second amendment to remove the part after the mention of militias as well.
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Stone_Wolf_
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You don't think it's important for citizens to retain the right to defend themselves?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Oh, and D_M the phrase in the title "assault gun" hurts my soul.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You don't think it's important for citizens to retain the right to defend themselves?
Why is this right predicated on gun ownership?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
You don't think it's important for citizens to retain the right to defend themselves?

Sure I do. I just don't think a constitutional guarantee to own weapons of war is a necessary component of self-defense.
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kmbboots
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Stone_Wolf_, don't you think it is important for people to retain the right to defend themselves from tanks? Bombs? Jet fighters? Should individuals have the right to have those things, too?
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Aros
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Bureaucracy for its own sake?

A single "stolen" gun makes the whole point moot. And why is this any better than government mandated background checks? Kids can still steal dad's gun. Same problem. And don't most of these shooters have clean backgrounds / psych profiles? It's video games that does it too them, right?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
You don't think it's important for citizens to retain the right to defend themselves?

Sure I do. I just don't think a constitutional guarantee to own weapons of war is a necessary component of self-defense.
So guns are weapons of war, yeah?

So... every weapon ever invented is a weapon of war, then, up to and including rocks and fists. I mean, they were used in wars sometime, right?

So self-defense is fine, as long as you don't use any weapons. Or fists. Maybe stern language... no, wait, wars have definitely used that, too. Shucks.

Seriously, the sentiment you, Tom, and Kate just expressed really baffles me. Tanks and jet fighters? What? This is so over-the-top it barely even qualifies as a straw man anymore.

Also, yeah, Darth, as Stone Wolf alluded to your initial statement in the beginning of this makes no real sense. Specifically:
quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Military Style Weaponry--assault weapons, high capacity clips, automatic weapons, grenades, etc. have a significant place in this debate. They are involved in the majority of the terrible, horrible things while doing only one positive thing--a bulwark against tyranny. Unless used for that purpose, the weapons are crazy. You would have to be crazy to use one to hunt deer, to defend yourself (very unwieldy) or to shoot attackers in your home (hit more innocent neighbors than criminals, and cause more property damage than the property that would have been stolen).

"Assault weapons" (i.e. semi-automatic rifles) are by far the most common hunting weapons and the best weapons for home defense, bar none. You're calling a basic common-sense fact "crazy" with no argument.

And if you just mean "semi-automatic weapons," as you mention lower down when you start talking about militias, then you're even wrong about personal self-defense, too. By many orders of magnitude the most common self-defense weapons are semi-automatic.

People who don't even take the time to understand the basic mechanics of guns really shouldn't make broad proclamations about guns.

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Lyrhawn
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If you want to get caught up on language I suppose we can go round and round on this forever.

I haven't used the tanks and fighter jets argument because it depends entirely on what you and Stone Wolf mean by "defense." If you're trying to push that sad argument about being able to overthrow the government, then it becomes a useful point of discussion. If you're just talking a right, contingent on nothing in particular, just a basic right, to own a gun, then it's a pretty useless argument.

Though I will say that Justice Scalia has hinted he might be open to personal ownership of Stinger missiles since they could be construed as "arms" under the definition of a shoulder mounted weapon as he sees it in the Constitution. It's a pretty serious blurring of the lines.

I'm okay with some guns being bought and sold. I just can't fathom why we need a constitutional amendment to protect it. The original purpose of the amendment was to keep out a standing army. The framers were afraid of the power of a standing army, and felt that the best defense against it was an armed citizenry who could be called up for militia duty to supplement a very, very small professional force. That idea simply does not apply to the present day, and it hasn't really been applicable for at least 70 years. The amendment had nothing to do with hunting or personal defense from home invasion. And laws passed for the first 180 or so years after the amendment was ratified clearly had no problem with aggressive gun control.

How we got to where we are today on the discussion of guns is an incredibly bizarre story from a historical standpoint.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
You don't think it's important for citizens to retain the right to defend themselves?
Why is this right predicated on gun ownership?
It's predicated on using whatever is necessary to defend themselves. That means guns.

quote:
Military Style Weaponry--assault weapons, high capacity clips, automatic weapons, grenades, etc. have a significant place in this debate. They are involved in the majority of the terrible, horrible things while doing only one positive thing--a bulwark against tyranny.
The initial statement is actually pretty false. According to the National Crime Victimization Surveys (going back a good ways) 2% of all convicted criminals used a military style semi-automatic rifle in their crimes. 15% used a handgun. The same survey in 2008 determined that firearms were used in self defense slightly more than 300,000 times. This is also the lowest estimate of any survey investigating that statistic (Note that use of a gun in self defense does not mean "Shot the attacker" but could mean little more than just showing a firearm to an unarmed attacker). The survey also showed that of the criminals in prison who used firearms in crimes, 80% were obtained either from a friend or family member or through illegal means. It doesn't distinguish between arms obtained from family and friends or illegally obtained weapons. However, either method would effectively bypass any firearms registration laws.

The NCVS is conducted by federal agents and is potentially impacted by the fact that many individuals involved in the survey might have chosen not to incriminate themselves in front of a federal agent by admitting they held a firearm when they were not legally entitled to do so. I can't find any recent statistics beyond the NCVS, though. This is also a general survey of crime victims, and I can't determine if the survey only included victims of reported crimes or if it included a broad sample of the general populace.
Detailed info here. Most of the data is fairly old and may not be applicable.

The Sandy Hook Shooting did not involve expanded Magazines. They would have made little difference in this event because a period of more than 25 minutes occurred before police arrived on scene. Reloading a weapon is pretty easy. Adam Lanza carried a lot of ammo with him.

Expanded magazines were used in Tucson, and they can be blamed for the high casualty rate, but if you've never reloaded a gun using pre-loaded magazines, it takes less than 10 seconds to do so. In fact, Jared Laughner was only stopped because he dropped the magazine he was reloading and was tackled as a result.

As to why anyone would "need" an expanded magazine, have you ever tried to stop a raging drug addict hopped up on something that keeps them from feeling pain? It's possible that it could take more than 10 bullets to keep someone like that from causing significant physical harm. How about an angry bear?

[ January 10, 2013, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Boris ]

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I haven't used the tanks and fighter jets argument because it depends entirely on what you and Stone Wolf mean by "defense." If you're trying to push that sad argument about being able to overthrow the government, then it becomes a useful point of discussion.

It isn't the Second Amendment that puts forth that overthrowing your government is a right...it's the Declaration of Independence (bolding mine).
quote:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
I'm fairly certain that the Founding Fathers intended us to be -able- to throw off our government, an act which is imposable without firearms. Of course they had no way of knowing that weaponry would go the way it did, although they were not calling for each citizen to own a man of war or a brass cannon. But let's face it, for us to even potentially hold federal power in check we would require box fed, semi automatic weapons.
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Lyrhawn
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The only way you're going to overthrow the government is if two things happen A. The government decides to enact a great deal of restraint in suppressing resistance. B. Large numbers of the military defect to your side.

Without that, you're screwed. People like to point to the casualty counts in Afghanistan as an example of what a sturdy band of fighters with AKs can do against the US, but they tend to ignore that the casualty count on the OTHER side has a lot more zeroes after it, and that's with accuracy as pinpoint as we can often get it to try to reduce civilian casualties. If they take off the gloves, you really don't stand a chance, even with your semi-automatics.

The guys who wrote the Declaration put down at least three major armed rebellions in the first decade or two of the nation from guys who claimed they were just overthrowing government tyranny, so I'm not sure they'd really agree with you.

I'm sorry, but I think that's a pretty stupid argument. What criteria do you have for when a rebellion is and isn't acceptable? Is it YOUR criteria, or the Framers' criteria? What criteria did they use? Did they all agree? What level of oppression has to happen before you're allowed to fire the first shots?

There's no answer to any of those questions in part because the premise is ridiculous. The Founding Fathers intended for states to regulate militias of citizens to stop a standing army from ever coming about, because they were afraid a standing army would lead to tyranny. They did not intend what you're implying.

If you want to take the militia argument to its natural conclusion, then you could argue, with constitutional and historical fact behind you, that we should have the power to form state militias that should be armed with tanks and fighters, under local not federal control. In other words, we should denationalize the National Guard. I think that's a sensible argument. But it's about state control, not individual control.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Well, there are certain things we agree about: The likelihood of an armed rebellion having any traction what so ever is mostly dependent on the military factions willing to join them...and the sheer unlikelihood of the US military every been over thrown by anything short of the US military.

But to the rest, I'm not sure how you can question the founding father's intent considering the text I quoted above. Seems rather cut and dry.

As to the criteria it's a side issue of little importance. The question isn't why we should revolt, its did the founding fathers want us the people have the -ability- to do so, if need be. And again, I would say the answer is pretty obvious.

We are talking about why bearing arms is a right, why its in the bill of rights, why the founding fathers put it in there. I for one don't think it (the armed overthrow of the US government) is a real possibility or really desirable, but I don't question that that was their intent, and am a little surprised that someone of your scholarly pedigree would find it so ridiculous.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
From the US Constitution:

The Congress shall have Power To...

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when
in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it...

Also from the founding fathers:

Militia Act of 1792

Insurrection Act of 1807

I derive my information from the fact that every actual governing document created by the framers clearly stated that armed insurrection and rebellion was not only illegal, but the government was to be afforded special powers and privileges to engage and suppress them.

They also went out of there way on almost every occasion to suppress domestic insurrection, a la the Whiskey Rebellion, the Bonus Army, Shay's Rebellion and more in just the first couple decades alone.

When they actually got around to governing, they weren't at all condoning the idea that people should overthrow their government whenever they wanted to. And you'll note that a great many state governments put more specific protections in their constitutions that lock personal gun ownership much more concretely into militia service with far less ambiguity than the US Constitution does. State organized militias were the bulwark against tyranny, not roving bands of unorganized rabble. That leads to chaos. Keep in mind that there was only one thing the founding fathers were more scared of than tyrannical government - the masses. They were terrified of the people. It's why they invented the electoral college, so people couldn't directly vote for a president. It's why they made it so state legislatures voted for senators, because people couldn't be trusted. It's why so few people were enfranchised after the Constitution was passed.

Getting all your information from the Declaration of Independence, written by one guy, ratified by a couple dozen others in 1776, is just too thin. Most of those guys weren't even around when the Constitution was written. History is a lot longer than that.

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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

How we got to where we are today on the discussion of guns is an incredibly bizarre story from a historical standpoint.

Indeed. But then again, maybe not... To repeat a cliche: follow the money.

The thing is, at this point I think it would be a very bad idea to try and enforce a complete gun ban or even super strict regulation - the backlash could get ugly. But I think small steps can be reasonably agreed to by all sides if people are willing to come to the table.

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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
What criteria do you have for when a rebellion is and isn't acceptable? Is it YOUR criteria, or the Framers' criteria? What criteria did they use? Did they all agree? What level of oppression has to happen before you're allowed to fire the first shots?

There's no answer to any of those questions in part because the premise is ridiculous. The Founding Fathers intended for states to regulate militias of citizens to stop a standing army from ever coming about, because they were afraid a standing army would lead to tyranny.

I'd like to also throw in here a point that I think gets lost in almost every political/law argument I see at least in the US: are the founding fathers so sacrosanct that we must base all our decisions on what they intended?

Sure, they developed and put into practice one of the best forms of government in human history, but they weren't gods, they weren't omniscient or infallible. They were smart enough, I think to realize that and built a base document that can be amended.

To question the amendments is not an unforgivable sin - it's an essential part of the process they developed.

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Lyrhawn
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I personally don't subscribe to the Cult of the Founders.

I think understanding them and their ideas is important, but I don't think everything they came up with is holy writ. I think they came up with an amazing innovation of government, but not everything that was relevant in 1787 is relevant in 2013.

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jebus202
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I love how the OP is an attempt to find a middle ground solution with possibly the craziest idea that neither side would ever want. That's the spirit of compromise.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Seriously, the sentiment you, Tom, and Kate just expressed really baffles me. Tanks and jet fighters? What? This is so over-the-top it barely even qualifies as a straw man anymore.


I was unclear. My point is that there are obviously some reasonable limits to our "right to defend ourselves" that most sane, responsible people find acceptable. It is not an absolute right and, like freedom of speech, is already subject to some limitation.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I personally don't subscribe to the Cult of the Founders.

I think understanding them and their ideas is important, but I don't think everything they came up with is holy writ. I think they came up with an amazing innovation of government, but not everything that was relevant in 1787 is relevant in 2013.

Amen.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Seriously, the sentiment you, Tom, and Kate just expressed really baffles me.
What sentiment did I express?
I asked -- quite clearly, I thought -- why the "right to defend yourself" was predicated upon the specific right to own certain types of projectile weapons.

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Boris
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quote:
The only way you're going to overthrow the government is if two things happen A. The government decides to enact a great deal of restraint in suppressing resistance. B. Large numbers of the military defect to your side.
A is less likely than B. B is actually more likely than you're probably willing to accept.

Much of the military is very dissatisfied with our government as it stands, and a significant portion would either choose to leave or outright refuse an order that would cause them to turn their guns on other Americans, even if they didn't choose to fight against the standing government. There's also the matter of the use of Federal military forces on American soil, which requires an act of congress to authorize. It would take a whole lot for something like that to make it through, given the political cost something like declaring war on American citizens would entail.

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King of Men
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quote:
The only way you're going to overthrow the government is if two things happen A. The government decides to enact a great deal of restraint in suppressing resistance. B. Large numbers of the military defect to your side.
Just like in Syria? It's true that Assad hasn't used his chemical weapons, which I suppose is 'restraint' in some sense. But he certainly does use tanks, aircraft, and heavy artillery. Hasn't seemed to help him a lot.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
The only way you're going to overthrow the government is if two things happen A. The government decides to enact a great deal of restraint in suppressing resistance. B. Large numbers of the military defect to your side.
A is less likely than B. B is actually more likely than you're probably willing to accept.

Much of the military is very dissatisfied with our government as it stands, and a significant portion would either choose to leave or outright refuse an order that would cause them to turn their guns on other Americans, even if they didn't choose to fight against the standing government. There's also the matter of the use of Federal military forces on American soil, which requires an act of congress to authorize. It would take a whole lot for something like that to make it through, given the political cost something like declaring war on American citizens would entail.

I'm actually both perfectly willing to accept and perfectly able to see a strong likelihood of some form of B. But I think you're underplaying how powerful an escalation of violence can be.

Occupy Wall Street and its affiliated protest movements were basically squatters, and in some cases were put down with extreme prejudice by local law enforcement. Maybe that's just because cops don't like anything liberal or that looks like hippies, but it's a precedent for the use of force. If protest movements start, the military will be the LAST force used to stop them. It will start with local law enforcement, then probably with governors calling out the National Guard. Maybe there will be spot forces of ATF or FBI assault teams for small holdouts here and there. There are many, many levels of government forces that can be brought to bear on a variety of situations. Using regular US military forces like the army would be a measure of last resort, and if things are really that wildly out of control, I don't think you can assume even a dissatisfied military is going to automatically side with the rebels. It depends entirely on what the impetus is, and what the current situation is.

If it's bullshit like "Obama is taking our freedoms!" then my guess is most of them aren't going to join the revolution. If a president actually does something dramatic that oversteps the Constitution in a particularly heinous way, or Congress passes a law that curtails freedoms in an egregious way, then sure, I honestly wouldn't be surprised, and it would necessarily even bother me depending on how it was done. But there's a big difference between upholding the Constitution and taking your ball and going home because you don't like the results of the game.

quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
The only way you're going to overthrow the government is if two things happen A. The government decides to enact a great deal of restraint in suppressing resistance. B. Large numbers of the military defect to your side.
Just like in Syria? It's true that Assad hasn't used his chemical weapons, which I suppose is 'restraint' in some sense. But he certainly does use tanks, aircraft, and heavy artillery. Hasn't seemed to help him a lot.
Help him with what? Your comparison is somewhat unclear.

You mean it hasn't helped him crush the rebels? It's not surprising given even heavily militarized Syria is far less powerful with fewer more outdated resources than the United States has. He's also facing rebels even more heavily armed than what regular US citizens would be at the outset, so it's really not surprising. It's a genuine civil war, where the non-governmental forces are pretty well armed, vs. an insurrection of ill-armed rabble.

[ January 11, 2013, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Seriously, the sentiment you, Tom, and Kate just expressed really baffles me.
What sentiment did I express?
I asked -- quite clearly, I thought -- why the "right to defend yourself" was predicated upon the specific right to own certain types of projectile weapons.

Why wouldn't it be? It's a form of self defense. A very important one, in fact.

That's like saying "Why is the right to free speech predicated on the specific right to write your thoughts down?"

And there may be some limitations on written free speech (as there are many limitations on ownership of projectile weapons)... but I think anyone seriously suggesting that a right to free speech ought to categorically not include the written word would be laughed out of the room.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Lyr,

Interesting point, that nothing beyond the Declaration of Independence suggests that revolt is a right. I also don't subscribe to the "Cult of the Founders" as even had they planned out the entire course of our nation, no one is clairvoyant enough to see 240 or so years into the future. My point is still valid I feel that while the government of the founders is against revolt against themselves, they had just revolted against their rightful government, and were only able to do so because they were armed. I also feel that the DoI (Declaration of Independence) is clear that armed revolt wasn't their first option, that it is an option of last resort, and that it should be the last stop along a long road. It makes perfect sense to me that the founders gave us the right to bear arms, that this country which was born of strife and struggle should remain at its heart one able to defend itself, one able to keep and hold the ultimate reigns of power by its citizenry.

And while I understand that firearms seem very anachronistic in a modern, civilized society, it is I believe an important right to maintain. We do not need guns on a day to day basis, we are not the frontier nation we recently were, expanding into hostile territory, needful of a way to defend ourselves against native populations, aggressive wild life or to support ourselves through hunting. But the civilization which holds up our ways of life is very fragile, and if we abandon our "gun culture" we place the safety and future of people into the hand of those who are willing to keep the reigns of power intact, be they foreign or domestic, be they hostile or helpful.

In another thread Samp called into question the fragility of civilization. Personally I don't understand that bafflement, as history has shown that all civilizations suffer from temporary lapses, be it from natural disasters, riots, wars, etc, and eventually crumble (usually quite violently) permanently. Even if my guns are never used to defend my family (I sure hope) and get passed to my son, and his children after him, and so on, my line will have the ability to protect itself when one of these lapses in civility come a knocking.

At the risk of a cliche, if you want to live in peace, prepare for war.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Seriously, the sentiment you, Tom, and Kate just expressed really baffles me.
What sentiment did I express?
I asked -- quite clearly, I thought -- why the "right to defend yourself" was predicated upon the specific right to own certain types of projectile weapons.

Why wouldn't it be? It's a form of self defense.
Fire arms are the primary form of self defense.

If we had access to phasers, which we could set to permanent stun then we could ban guns forever! We do not. So until that point, guns = self defense as far as rights go.

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Lyrhawn
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Do you find it at all problematic that your primary means of self-defense actually raises the level of danger?

As for your post, yes, I see your point, but you're putting forth an argument not espoused by the founders. You're trying to mix bits of Framer speak with modern personal rationalizations to form your own personal justification for gun rights. But I also think you're sort of misapplying history as well. We currently live in the most stable period history has ever known.

But this also takes us away from a fundamental point: Very, very few people openly advocate taking ALL the guns away. I'm certainly not one of those people. I just don't think A. That it should be a constitutional right, and B. That the Second Amendment was never intended for that kind of right, and B-Corollary. That if it was intended for something along those lines, it was meant not as a personal/individual right, but as an organized group right, which is a very different thing.

I think this conversation tends to get hung up on extremes. If no one is actually advocating we take all the guns away, why continue to profess that we need to keep the guns? The discussion is about which guns and safeguards against particularly dangerous kinds of gun ownership.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Do you find it at all problematic that your primary means of self-defense actually raises the level of danger?

The level of danger has already risen.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

I think this conversation tends to get hung up on extremes. If no one is actually advocating we take all the guns away, why continue to profess that we need to keep the guns? The discussion is about which guns and safeguards against particularly dangerous kinds of gun ownership.

Is it?

Darth made some assertions in that discussion. I criticized his ideas about which guns, and what kinds of gun ownership are actually dangerous, and you said I was just getting caught up on language.

The most ardent anti-gun posters don't seem to be coming forth with any reasonable positions on the matters you're suggesting here, Lyr. Banning semi-automatic weapons is ridiculous and impossible, as much so as banning guns altogether. Because it basically is banning guns altogether.

The "language" is not trivial when it's the criteria for what's banned and what isn't.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
The level of danger has already risen.
Yes it has. An increase in gun violence has closely tracked with the increased prevalence of guns and with newer deadlier guns.

As far as my "language" comment, I should have been more specific. I wasn't commenting on your discussion with Darth, I was referring to your semantic twisting of "weapons of war."

But again, the semi-automatics debate isn't one you're having with me, because I don't necessarily believe they should all be banned. The discussion Stone Wolf and I were having veered off into historical/philosophical territory and somehow seemed to change into a discussion on an all or nothing prospect regarding all guns. I was trying to steer it back to a more helpful, pragmatic place.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.
Yes it has. An increase in gun violence has closely tracked with the increased prevalence of guns and with newer deadlier guns.

As far as my "language" comment, I should have been more specific. I wasn't commenting on your discussion with Darth, I was referring to your semantic twisting of "weapons of war."

Gotcha.

I thought you were calling basically all guns "weapons of war," so I thought the semantic twisting had already been done (by you) and I was just taking it to the next logical step. Which seemed very relevant.

If you didn't mean it that way, though, then I can see why you'd think I was the one making a leap.


quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But again, the semi-automatics debate isn't one you're having with me, because I don't necessarily believe they should all be banned. The discussion Stone Wolf and I were having veered off into historical/philosophical territory and somehow seemed to change into a discussion on an all or nothing prospect regarding all guns. I was trying to steer it back to a more helpful, pragmatic place.

Ah, I see. My mistake.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence? If so, what's the plan? Continue with the same general path that got us to this risen level of danger, since going a different way wouldn't account for this risen danger, which...well. You get the idea. Sounds a bit like the trillion dollar coin idea. A nice end run around the problem without taking meaningful steps to address how we got there.

And as Lyrhawn has said, guns are *not* just a simple benefit, open and shut. Absolutely, owning a gun might be useful in the event of tyranny or civil unrest or general breakdowns of civilization. The question is, what level of risk are we willing to tolerate to insure us against that sort of event?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence?
Wait, what?

Violence is down, man. What are you talking about?

I was referring to the fact that Lyr said owning a gun "raises the level of danger." But guns exist. So that level of danger is already risen, since other people can own them.

Violence and homicide are on the decline, though. So... not sure where you're going with this line of thinking.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
I thought you were calling basically all guns "weapons of war," so I thought the semantic twisting had already been done (by you) and I was just taking it to the next logical step. Which seemed very relevant.

If you didn't mean it that way, though, then I can see why you'd think I was the one making a leap.

I'm open to new information changing my mind on this topic. Clearly, all guns COULD be used in a war, in much the same way that you take it further by saying that potentially any object could be made into a weapon, employed in a war, and thus be called a weapon of war. That was a fair thing for you to say given what you thought I was saying.

But I make a distinction between weapons designed for the quick and efficient killing of large numbers of living things, and others.

I wouldn't consider a six-round revolver a weapon or war, or a musket in today's world, or probably a shotgun. I don't have an extensive, specific list for you at the moment, I'd have to apply my criteria to each individual gun or accessory, but I do think there is a distinction to be made. And I think currently there are many, many weapons available for sale that fit into the category of "weapon of war." I think there would be many, many weapons left available for purchase even after all weapons of war were taken off the market that would enable you to protect your house while dramatically lowering gun deaths.

My opposition to a total ban on guns comes from my belief that, while probably a good idea, it would be effectively impossible to recover every weapon in the country. It worked in Australia, where they never had nearly as many guns as we do, but in America? It's probably impossible. So as long as we have to deal with guns, let's try to ratchet down the body count and increase safety protocols.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence?
Wait, what?

Violence is down, man. What are you talking about?

I was referring to the fact that Lyr said owning a gun "raises the level of danger." But guns exist. So that level of danger is already risen, since other people can own them.

Violence and homicide are on the decline, though. So... not sure where you're going with this line of thinking.

I was referring specifically to the danger of gun violence.

Anyway, just to be clear-you're not attributing the general downward trend in violence to America's rather large number of guns, are you? I doubt you are, and in any event there are many better possibilities (particularly generations of, on the whole, a steadily improving economy).

As for guns, though, is it really a genie bottle situation? Once the danger has risen, we're doomed to the cycle forever? If one finds one's self in a bad situation, shouldn't the first approach be to consider a change?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence?
Wait, what?

Violence is down, man. What are you talking about?

I was referring to the fact that Lyr said owning a gun "raises the level of danger." But guns exist. So that level of danger is already risen, since other people can own them.

Violence and homicide are on the decline, though. So... not sure where you're going with this line of thinking.

You're right. Overall violent crime in the nation has been in decline since the 90s.

But studies still show that guns make for deadlier crimes, not in the way you'd probably assume. There are more murders in states with Stand Your Ground laws, in part because people resort to guns to resolve disputes when they likely would not do so without the protection SYG laws provide. In other words, if people knew they might go to jail for shooting someone in a given situation, they might not shoot them. The belief that only criminals do bad things is wrong. Regular people will do bad things if the law doesn't restrict them from doing so.

A study came out recently that found people who carried guns for self-defense were far more likely than unarmed people to be hurt or killed in a gun crime.

In other words, having a gun often doesn't give you security. It gives you a false sense of security.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence?
Wait, what?

Violence is down, man. What are you talking about?

I was referring to the fact that Lyr said owning a gun "raises the level of danger." But guns exist. So that level of danger is already risen, since other people can own them.

Violence and homicide are on the decline, though. So... not sure where you're going with this line of thinking.

I was referring specifically to the danger of gun violence.

Anyway, just to be clear-you're not attributing the general downward trend in violence to America's rather large number of guns, are you? I doubt you are, and in any event there are many better possibilities (particularly generations of, on the whole, a steadily improving economy).

As for guns, though, is it really a genie bottle situation? Once the danger has risen, we're doomed to the cycle forever? If one finds one's self in a bad situation, shouldn't the first approach be to consider a change?

Nope, not attributing the downturn in violence to anything at all, actually. I've already explained in the other thread why I think people who try to attribute causes to statistical trends like that are usually bullshitting. Whether they're using it for or against guns makes no difference.

On the genie-bottle comments... I don't think that the existence of guns makes for a bad situation, inherently. The existence of guns is a net positive, I think. The existence of guns, and weapons like them, make society better in a tangible way.

I say that because I think a society where the strong win and the weak perish is much worse than a society where the mind rules and physical strength is not the most important attribute. With guns, a weak and largely untrained person can reliably defend him or herself from a larger, better trained attacker. If we go back to swords and bows, that's a worse situation.

Like everything else that separates us from the Dark Ages, guns are an improvement to society, not a detriment.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The level of danger has already risen.

Might the historic ease with which guns can be obtained have anything to do with this already-risen level of violence?
Wait, what?

Violence is down, man. What are you talking about?

I was referring to the fact that Lyr said owning a gun "raises the level of danger." But guns exist. So that level of danger is already risen, since other people can own them.

Violence and homicide are on the decline, though. So... not sure where you're going with this line of thinking.

You're right. Overall violent crime in the nation has been in decline since the 90s.

But studies still show that guns make for deadlier crimes, not in the way you'd probably assume. There are more murders in states with Stand Your Ground laws, in part because people resort to guns to resolve disputes when they likely would not do so without the protection SYG laws provide. In other words, if people knew they might go to jail for shooting someone in a given situation, they might not shoot them. The belief that only criminals do bad things is wrong. Regular people will do bad things if the law doesn't restrict them from doing so.

Are these actually more murders in SYG states? Because the scenario you described above makes it sound like they were gun killings, but not considered murder under SYG. Which was it?

If it was just more gun deaths, I'm not remotely surprised. Because if you might face a murder rap for shooting a guy trying to mug you at knife-point, you'll give up your wallet instead. But if you have the right to defend yourself, maybe you'll be more willing to. Is that bad?

You've provided no argument that these increased increased deaths are actually good people doing bad things at all. Why do you think that's what this is?

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
A study came out recently that found people who carried guns for self-defense were far more likely than unarmed people to be hurt or killed in a gun crime.

In other words, having a gun often doesn't give you security. It gives you a false sense of security.

Just for fun, can you think of any other explanation for that study? One that doesn't support the conclusion you prefer? If not, I can give you the one that occurred to me.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Like everything else that separates us from the Dark Ages, guns are an improvement to society, not a detriment.
Dan, I'm going to start linking to you when I need an example of a technoutopian in other conversations.
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Dan_Frank
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Technology is pretty amazing, but I still rankle at the "utopian" part of that label. [Razz]
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Lyrhawn
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Dan -

In your hypothetical, not necessarily. But there are many incidents where bar room brawls and sheer menacing behavior, a la Treyvon Martin, is resulting in gun deaths, which any objective outsider would probably classify as a murder rather than a justifiable homicide, because "I was scared" isn't a good enough reason to kill someone. There are some cases where the SYG defense has failed when applied in these situations, and almost every case is where someone says "I felt like my life was threatened," and the jury said "no it wasn't."

The premise of SYG isn't when you shoot someone in the middle of a crime at knife point. Justifiable homicide already covers that in I would imagine ever state. SYG is where you could have simply ran away or otherwise de-escalated an incident if you chose to, but instead of that, or allowing the police to handle it, decided to escalate and engage instead.

If you want examples, Google it, they're readily available. But that's why I'm led to believe that these laws don't protect people so much as they make murder legally available so long as you can prove a vague threatening incident to a jury.

quote:
Just for fun, can you think of any other explanation for that study? One that doesn't support the conclusion you prefer? If not, I can give you the one that occurred to me
I haven't drawn a conclusion. I've merely pointed out a correlation. If you'd like to provide one though, feel free.
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Dan_Frank
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The first one that occurred to me was: many people who concealed carry may already be in demographics more likely to be involved in a shooting. That's often why they carry.

I wonder how the study controlled for this. Honestly, I doubt it bothered to address this factor at all.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
The first one that occurred to me was: many people who concealed carry may already be in demographics more likely to be involved in a shooting. That's often why they carry.

I wonder how the study controlled for this. Honestly, I doubt it bothered to address this factor at all.

That's an interesting point. It would take a greater level of detail beyond mere statistics gathering to find out exactly what happened in each individual case, though I wonder if your argument would change at all if you found out many or most of them were injured or killed either because the bad guy stole their weapon from them, or because they escalated an otherwise non-deadly situation into a deadly situation by trying to play shoot-em up with a criminal.

A lot of that is probably unknowable, but I'll keep the idea in mind in the future.

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Boris
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I'd like to see the actual study, personally, cause I doubt it's results based on the numbers I see from 2011. California, for instance, has no SYG law, but does have law that follows the Castle Doctrine (almost all states have some form of Castle Doctrine, but about a dozen have additional protections that allow self-defense beyond the home).

California also has the highest number of firearm homicides in the nation, with the 17th highest firearm homicide rate. In fact, of the top 10 states with the highest firearm homicide rate, only half have SYG laws. Granted, the lowest 10 states for firearm homicide rate have no SYG laws, though New Hampshire just passed one in 2011. Statistics for 2012 aren't available yet. Admittedly, though, this doesn't account for injuries. As I mentioned earlier, it isn't specifically necessary for a weapon to be fired for it to be used in self defense. Actual statistics on self-defense usage of firearms would be nearly impossible to discover primarily because the bulk of those incidents are likely unreported.

I never take the word of people who perform studies. I like to look at the actual data they used to reach their conclusions, because there are usually more answers there than in what is said about the study.

ETA: The District of Columbia has the highest firearm fatality rate in the US and has no SYG statute. DC also has no specific Castle Doctrine statute.

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Lyrhawn
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There are a number of studies linked to in this story. The specific one I was referring to earlier was from the University of Pennsylvania if you want to try to find the raw data.

Edit to add: I think this is the UPENN study that's been talked about a lot recently. It actually does take into account things like socioeconomic status, location, prevalence of violence in the area, etc. It's an interesting read that is also very aware of the limitations and problems inherent with any study like this.

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Boris
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Here's an interesting rebuttal to the Philadelphia study here from the same journal. Makes some good points as well.
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