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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Had to happen, didn't it. (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Had to happen, didn't it.
The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Qaz:
2007 Trolley Square Shooting 5 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States Shopping mall -- ****NO-GUN***** area

This line in the list is incorrect. Persons with concealed weapons
permits are allowed to carry guns in Trolley Square.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Guns shouldn't be any different than that.
Except that guns are different, because there is no place in the constitution which says that we have a right to drive cars.

Whether it's good or bad, the fact that there is an explicit constitutional protection on owning firearms puts it in a whole different category than other potentially dangerous activities.

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The Rabbit
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MPH, I assume that you know that it is disputed as to whether the 2nd amendment applies to personal private ownership of arms or only to ownership by well organized militias. The supreme courts have repeatedly found that the 2nd amendment does not prohibit state and local governments from regulating arms.


I also assume that you don't hold the constitution as an infallable source of truth so citing what is in the constitution has no relevance in the discussion of what should and shouldn't be allowed. The simple fact that the right to bare arms has a constitutional status which is not afforded to the driving cars is irrelevant in a discussion of what rights should be protected. If we as a society agree that people shouldn't have the right to own firearms without proper training we could in theory remove that right from the constitution. If we as a society agreed that the right to drive a car should be protected, we could add that to the constitution.

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BaoQingTian
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Guns shouldn't be any different than that.
Except that guns are different, because there is no place in the constitution which says that we have a right to drive cars.

Whether it's good or bad, the fact that there is an explicit constitutional protection on owning firearms puts it in a whole different category than other potentially dangerous activities.

Just out of curiosity mph, what do you think about laws banning convicted felons from owning firearms?
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FlyingCow
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It says you have a right - it doesn't mean that can't be regulated.

You have the right to free speech, too, but that's clearly regulated under libel, slander, hate speech, shouting "fire" in a theater, etc, etc.

Just because you have a right to it, doesn't mean that right can't be regulated.

You have the right to assemble, too, but not to loiter, or to have a parade without a permit. You also can't peacably assemble on private property, nor in the middle of a highway during rush hour.

There's nothing wrong with requiring licenses for firearms (as it's already done) - I don't think that the Bill of Rights prohibits that license from requiring proficiency training, safety training, maintenance training, etc.

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Rakeesh
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I'm pretty sure Porter isn't making some sort of moral judgement on whether or not guns should be permitted, beyond (perhaps) the idea that Americans should respect the Constitution.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Bao -- I think it's a good idea.

quote:
The simple fact that the right to bare arms has a constitutional status which is not afforded to the driving cars is irrelevant in a discussion of what rights should be protected.
As long as what we're talking about what should be protected by law, then I don't see how that can possibly be true. When talking about what regulations we ought to put on legally owning a firearm, the constitutional protections are extremely relevant.

If we're just talking about what things should be like in our ideal society, then yeah, the U.S. constitution would be irrelevant.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
It says you have a right - it doesn't mean that can't be regulated.
I agree. I am not against any and all regulations on the right to own firearms. I was speaking out against the idea that the right to drive a car is equivalent to the right to own a gun. They aren't equivalent, because one is explicitly protected by the constitution, while the other isn't.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I'm pretty sure Porter isn't making some sort of moral judgement on whether or not guns should be permitted, beyond (perhaps) the idea that Americans should respect the Constitution.
Pretty much correct. I was not making any judgment about how much or how we should regulate firearms. I was saying that the drivers license analogy is flawed because of what the constitution says.
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Olivet
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Dudes, when you learn to read everything Porter writes as litteral statements with no particular agenda attached to them through unspoken implication, you will have achieved Porter-related enlightenment.
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mr_porteiro_head
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[Big Grin]

That is so becoming a sig of mine.

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Olivet
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[Big Grin]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
We don't let people drive without a license, and the license requires training.
Of course, one big flaw in this analogy is that the constitution doesn't guarantee us the right to drive a car.
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Guns shouldn't be any different than that.
Except that guns are different, because there is no place in the constitution which says that we have a right to drive cars.

Whether it's good or bad, the fact that there is an explicit constitutional protection on owning firearms puts it in a whole different category than other potentially dangerous activities.

I think you covered it. Frankly I don't agree with you on the right to own a gun. Rabbit touched on this, I've had this argument here before, and thus far no one seems to agree with me, but I stand by it. The Second Amendment was created as a means to solidify the institution of the civilian militia, and that is what the protection of guns in the hands of the people was meant to secure.

Even so, I'm not against private ownership for protection, but I see absolutely no reason why it can't be regulated like anything else that is dangerous can be.

And I still contend that guns are inherently more dangerous than cars. Cars, if used properly, transport people safely from point A to point B. Guns, if used properly, KILL PEOPLE. It is their only purpose. If you want to trod out the ďif you donít use it rightÖĒ argument then ANYTHING can be deadly, with some things obviously being more dangerous than others. But a gun has one purpose, to harm.

The analogy isnít flawed. The constitution protects your right to own a gun (letís take that as a given, though I donít agree), but it doesnít say what kind of gun, and it doesnít say you canít be made to jump through a hoop to get it. The Constitution also protects your right to assemble, but often you still have to get clearance from city officials before you do so, etc, etc, etc examples of the same sort of thing etc. If the constitution gives you the right to own any sort of firearms, then you should be able to buy an M-16 (actually, I donít know this, but CAN you buy an M-16?), or anything else you want, at ANY age.

I just donít agree with you.

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Rakeesh
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Guns, if used properly, do not always kill people. You're getting a bit overwrought that you're making statements like that, Lyrhawn.

quote:
The analogy isnít flawed. The constitution protects your right to own a gun (letís take that as a given, though I donít agree), but it doesnít say what kind of gun, and it doesnít say you canít be made to jump through a hoop to get it. The Constitution also protects your right to assemble, but often you still have to get clearance from city officials before you do so, etc, etc, etc examples of the same sort of thing etc. If the constitution gives you the right to own any sort of firearms, then you should be able to buy an M-16 (actually, I donít know this, but CAN you buy an M-16?), or anything else you want, at ANY age.
It also doesn't explicitly say, "These kinds of guns aren't allowed either," now does it? As for right to assemble, that falls apart when compared here, because you only need a permit to assemble for things such as assembling on public land, where you're going to, I dunno, impede traffic, that sort of thing. You don't at all need a permit to assemble peaceably in your own home.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
]As long as what we're talking about what should be protected by law, then I don't see how that can possibly be true. When talking about what regulations we ought to put on legally owning a firearm, the constitutional protections are extremely relevant.

The constitutional protections are only relevant in a discussion about what mechanisms would be necessary to impliment a particular law. The US constitution is part of the law and a part which can be changed, although that is admittedly more difficult than changing other laws.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has ruled that many restriction on the personal ownership of firearms are within the constitution. It is seriously doubtful that a constitutional amendment would before laws to require training and licensing exams for firearms could be implimented.

I really don't see how the constitutional issue changes the validity of the comparison between cars and hand guns unless you are arguing that because the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution people are more likely to view it as an inalienable natural right. If that's the case, I'd have to say you probably don't know anyone who has had their driver's license revoked.

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AvidReader
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I like the argument that says the 2nd Amendment is really telling us to be able to defend ourselves from our own government. If we needed to throw a second revolution, I'm not sure we could. But in that context, it's not only important to have access to destructive weaponry in large numbers but also a check on the powers of our country.

I hope whoever convinced me of this the first time is still posting and can clarify, cause I'm not sure I can. [Smile]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Guns, if used properly, KILL PEOPLE.
Are you saying that I've only used guns improperly up until now because nobody has died?

'Cuz that would be silly. [Wink]

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Lyrhawn
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I disagree with that take on the second amendment as well. It is specifically mentioned in documents of the day, and in other similar amendments in state constitutions that the militias would be used to defend the state AGAINST insurrection, not to help it.

I can sort of see that argument though. The minds of the day were afraid of a standing army, because they felt that a president with the control of a standing army was just ASKING for trouble, and they felt it would be impossible to dislodge a sitting president once he got into power. Militias were there to protect against a president using a standing army to act against the constituion, so I guess you're technically right, but they were meant to be a bulwark against abuses, not a stamp of approval for insurrection.

Given the technology of the day, and the irrepressible rise of the US standing army, I think it would be literally impossible to stop them from doing whatever they wanted to do. We could Iraq style harry them and attack via guerilla tactics, but we'd never be able to overthrow the government. I think the general idea of an all volunteer army, is that volunteers will be much more disposed to protecting the constitution and won't act against their homes and fellow citizens whereas conscripts wouldn't be so well disposed. Not as sure about that though.

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Rakeesh
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Speaking for myself, I'm rarely very concerned with making our current laws based on what the founders intended. They gave us the framework to govern ourselves, not to be governed by them for indefinite centuries.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Guns, if used properly, KILL PEOPLE.
Are you saying that I've only used guns improperly up until now because nobody has died?

'Cuz that would be silly. [Wink]

Cute.
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Rakeesh
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He was poking fun at an overwrought, incorrect point you made, Lyrhawn. There's not really a whole lot wrong with that.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
I completely agree.
I don't think you're allowed to say that to me in a gun control thread.

One of us is losing their edge. [Wink]

*hands mph a whetstone*
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
He was poking fun at an overwrought, incorrect point you made, Lyrhawn. There's not really a whole lot wrong with that.

Funny, I thought it was a subjective point, rather than something I could be proven incorrect on, but I was wrong about that too.

quote:
Speaking for myself, I'm rarely very concerned with making our current laws based on what the founders intended. They gave us the framework to govern ourselves, not to be governed by them for indefinite centuries.
If we're going to look at it like that, which I should say I conditionally have no problem with, then bringing the constitution into this debate is entirely useless. The second amendment means whatever the majority decides it means.
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FlyingCow
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quote:
Guns, if used properly, KILL PEOPLE. It is their only purpose.
Statements like this make it impossible for me to take anything else you say seriously.
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Lyrhawn
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Sounds more like your problem than mine.

I admit to that particular statement being hyperbole, but I stand by the analogy I made.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Funny, I thought it was a subjective point, rather than something I could be proven incorrect on, but I was wrong about that too.
You made a blanket statement about what guns do and what their intended purpose is. That statement was obviously, blatantly, incorrect.
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Lyrhawn
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"It is their only purpose."

That was incorrect. I'll admit that.

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Rakeesh
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That's what we're talking about. Now, I know that you, Lyrhawn, do not actually believe that the only purpose of firearms is to kill. I understood the point you were getting at.

But the statement is one often heard in support of stricter gun controls. Otherwise, I would've just ignored it and assumed you meant what I thought you meant.

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Lyrhawn
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Understood. Sorry, I got caught up in the heat of the moment. You all know how that goes [Wink]

I appreciate that you saw what I was trying to say, despite the fact that I worded it poorly.

I do support stricter gun controls, but I don't support no guns at all. My main aim would be to make gun ownership as safe for everyone as possible.

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Rakeesh
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YOU TAKE THAT BACK!
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orlox
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So you think guns should be safe, legal and rare? [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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I almost, ALMOST said that.

Ultimately I wasn't sure how the joke would play out and decided against it. [Smile]

You're braver than I.

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orlox
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says the straightman...
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Dan_raven
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I skipped most of this because I've heard and had all the arguments before.

I do want to say that I whole heartedly agree with the administrations decision not to allow guns on campus. There is no way I would be comfortable as a professor giving grades, assignments, or advise to a heavily armed classroom. I know too many teachers and professors to feel safe administrating to them if they were armed as well.

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Dan_Frank
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A few people compared gun control to car, er, control. That is, licensing etc. MPH pointed out the consitutional reason this analogy is flawed, and I agree.

Putting aside the constitutional aspect, however, I just wanted to add: Despite us requiring all drivers to have licenses, insurance, et cetera, a huge number of drivers have none of these things. Crimes are frequently committed by unlicensed drivers without (gasp!) insurance, who are driving cars even though it's clearly illegal for them to do so!

Do you honestly think there has ever been a person intent on using a car to commit a crime, who was deterred by his lack of a license? I'm kind of doubtful.

This would tie once again to the "When you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns" line of thought. People intent on committing crimes are usually not stopped simply because one of the tools they need for their crime happens to be illegal.

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Lyrhawn
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Again, I don't think constitutionality has anything at all to do with the analogy, but you are entitled to your opinion.

So you think we shouldn't require people to have driver's licenses or go through driver's training?

Using your argument, if someone wants to drive, they'll drive regardless of the possible consequences, so we shouldn't even bother trying.

Do I have it right?

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Mrs.M
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I have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) in the State of Virginia and I have also purchased a handgun here. Please allow me to clear up some misconceptions. While guns are easy to obtain, you do have to go through a screening process. You must pass a Firearms Purchase Eligibility Test, which includes questions such as, "Have you ever been adjudicated legally incompetent, mentally incapacitated, or been involuntarily committed to a mental institution?" and "Are you a nonimmigrant alien? A nonimmigrant alien is prohibited from receiving a firearm unless he or she falls within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition (e.g., hunting license/permit; waiver)." I am sure it will be investigated, but it appears that the dealer who sold the shooter the gun did not follow the law correctly or was deceived. You have to give the dealer you SSN (or what the Green Card equivalent is - I have no idea) and he or she is obligated to do a background check.

You do not need a permit to openly carry a handgun in Virginia. In order to obtain a CHP, you must demonstrate competence with a handgun and present proof of this to the circuit court. There are places where you may not carry your weapon, including establishments that sell alcohol, schools (though you may keep one in your glove compartment, which constitutes a locked container, while you are entering and/or exiting the school), and courthouses. You may not carry a gun at VCU, where Andrew will be teaching in the fall. This is state law and I assume it's because VCU is so close to the Capital and our branch of the Fed and other government buildings.

One last thing - I feel comfortable saying that a significant number of VT students were proficient in firearms before enrolling, either from hunting or target stooting. Shooting sports are very popular here and I've done a lot of trainings with Hokies and they were excellent marksmen. They're also smart, responsible, nice kids who know how to keep their heads. One group in one of my classes was getting their CHPs so that they could carry guns on volunteer search and rescue missions into the mountains, on the advice of the officials (I don't remember if it was the fire department or the forestry folks or whoall it was) they worked for.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
They're also smart, responsible, nice kids who know how to keep their heads.
And who apparently should carry engines of death with them to class, because otherwise psychos might kill them?
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mr_porteiro_head
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I think that day would have turned out better for many of those students if they had.
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Lyrhawn
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I have to disagree.

Given the chaos of the day, the confusion, and the general feeling of terror that appears to have permeated through the campus, I think more firearms entering the mix could have been a recipe for disaster.

But we'll never know.

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TomDavidson
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And again, Porter, that specific day would have gone better if they'd just shot every exchange student at the door, or even kept them from entering and took them for ice cream. But the idea that arming a classroom is generically a preferable defensive solution is, from my perspective, paranoid to the point of psychosis.
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Morbo
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quote:
Originally posted by Mrs.M:
You must pass a Firearms Purchase Eligibility Test, which includes questions such as...
[snip]
...and "Are you a nonimmigrant alien? A nonimmigrant alien is prohibited from receiving a firearm unless he or she falls within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition (e.g., hunting license/permit; waiver)." I am sure it will be investigated, but it appears that the dealer who sold the shooter the gun did not follow the law correctly or was deceived. You have to give the dealer you SSN (or what the Green Card equivalent is - I have no idea) and he or she is obligated to do a background check.

But Mrs. M, he wasn't a nonimmigrant alien, he was a permanent resident alien, and as such supposedly able to buy guns legally. At least, that's what several MSM sources have published.
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
How much do you know about how much firearm training policemen receive?

It varies from area to area, but there is a minimum amount of safety training, storage training, and actual usage training that require tests of "certification" in both written and activity forms. Not everywhere has actual certificates issued for the separate parts, as some of the training is part of curricula for being an officer. There is further training if you wish to be issued other weapons other than a shotgun, and there is also training for ballistics vests. Additionally, it is typically standard to train on riot gear and crowd control devices, but I don't think this is required across the board. For firearms training alone, though, the typical officer receives roughly 12-24 more hours (spread over normal curriculum and qualifying for the weapon) than someone who is purchasing a gun as a civilian. Further separate qualification is often necessary if they wish to carry while off duty or carry concealed while off duty. So, the answer to how much more training is received would be "significantly more."

quote:
I certainly agree that it makes sense for there to be some minimum amount of firearms training for those we hope will use firearms to protect others, but what I wonder is how you came to the conclusion that the precise amount of training that police officers current receive is the exact right amount -- no less, no more.
My guess would be that it is because normal handgun training teaches you how to handle, clean, store, and fire the weapon, while police officers are trained further in knowing when to use and not use the weapon, as well as how to use it more effectively. Civilians in the security and protection professions who are certified to carry also have to have this extra training, because it is expected to count against them as a higher liability in the case of misuse. Police have a form to fill out for every discharge of their weapon (not exactly every bullet fired) in larger precincts, and every use of a weapon must be documented by an officer across the board. As such, police are trained to treat the weapons they carry with a higher sense of liability in balance to the tactical advantage the weapon provides. Whether the training actually sticks is a debate others can have, as I would be biased, but the intent behind police training for weapons is to stress the use of a gun only as a last resort, if at all possible.
quote:
In this specific situation, I imagine that lives would have been saved had a significant portion of the population on that campus (I'm thinking 5%-10%) were armed.
I cannot agree with this assumption, because it ignores two major factors in these cases. The first is the fear and adrenaline that would have been running high. Police are trained to remain calm and assess a situation, but their ability to isolate and prevent more escalation would have been hampered by a number of high adrenaline adults with guns moving about the campus. Even the most physically capable of individuals can be hampered severely when placed in a high adrenaline and high stress situation, and adding a gun to that equation makes matters more complicated, not less. The second factor would be the false assumption that someone would have the opportunity to shoot the individual. Someone could miss, the firearm could misfire (unlikely, but possible), or worse the murderer could fire first and then have access to yet another weapon in his arsenal. These factors make the situation more difficult for law enforcement and would not deter someone in a psychopathic state.
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Samprimary
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quote:
And who apparently should carry engines of death with them to class, because otherwise psychos might kill them?
Haha. "ENGINESSS OF DDDEATHHHH"
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
The first is the fear and adrenaline that would have been running high. Police are trained to remain calm and assess a situation, but their ability to isolate and prevent more escalation would have been hampered by a number of high adrenaline adults with guns moving about the campus.

It might be useful to see if we can find a law enforcement perspective on which situation they would have preferred to walk into, given the choice, especially if that perspective came from someone with past real experience in this sort of extreme crowd control. I expect I know the answer, but I would be guessing.

Shame we don't have a police officer here, so far as I know. (Hatrack, you are lacking! *shakes fist)

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Tresopax
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quote:
They're also smart, responsible, nice kids who know how to keep their heads.
If this were entirely true then one of them wouldn't have shot 32 others. The truth is that in any school the majority of students are fairly smart, responsible, and nice - but there is also some minority who are not. It is that small minority that can create a huge problem.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
But the idea that arming a classroom is generically a preferable defensive solution is, from my perspective, paranoid to the point of psychosis.
It's also not much of an arguement as no one is suggesting that the classroom be armed, nor suggesting that students are handed guns upon entering a classroom so your example is very misleading.
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Tresopax
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Isn't that exactly what people are suggesting in this thread - that the situation would have been better if people in the classroom has been armed?
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Rakeesh
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Tresopax, Mrs. M. was speaking about a specific few people, not the entire student body. The truth you posted about doesn't bear on what she posted.
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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:


But a 100% armed populace would also make many common situations much more potentially deadly. That's a bad thing.

I agree with this without reservation. I think you'd have a lot more impulse killings. Fewer classrooms or restaurants becoming impromptu shooting galleries, maybe, but lots more "How many times do I have to tell you to put the seat down!" type of shootings. *shifty eyes* Not that I've ever contemplated such a thing.
I'd go on to say that you would NOT find an increase in sparsely populated areas (wealthy burbs and the like), which relates to something Howard Dean said when he was running in the primaries about the disconnect on guns in the US between rural, sparsely populated places like Vermont versus highly populated places like eastern Massachusetts/Boston. Not accepting this fact is a fair part of what keeps activists on both side of the debate in business.

-Bok

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