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Author Topic: A Thread For Gun Rights Arguments
Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Orincoro,

Are you arguing that the ethnic diversity in European countries (England, Sweden, France, Germany, etc...) is more diverse than in the United States?

I got this, yes. Even Canada is more ethnically diverse than the United States.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Orincoro,

Are you arguing that the ethnic diversity in European countries (England, Sweden, France, Germany, etc...) is more diverse than in the United States?

No. It is not so. But rates of immigration are in many cases, currently higher than to the US (as a function of population percentage).

These numbers are tricky though: the US has a probably higher rate of illegal immigration in a few areas. On the other hand, European urban areas are experiencing higher rates of immigrant settlement (partly due to falling native birth rates), from outside the EU. The borders of the EU are also more porous than the US, and immigration and emigration have higher rates of turnover as well, as does internal migration, making a breakdown problematic.

But one thing is clear: demographics in Europe are changing very quickly thanks to immigration. And Europe is poised for increasing waves of immigration as birth rates continue to fall. Yet, gun violence, and violent crime in general, are low by international standards, and by the standards of the US.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Orincoro,

Are you arguing that the ethnic diversity in European countries (England, Sweden, France, Germany, etc...) is more diverse than in the United States?

I got this, yes. Even Canada is more ethnically diverse than the United States.
Is this, like, a joke, or what?

Do you actually believe this is a true statement? Or do you mean something else by this, something other than what the words you just said actually mean?

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Orincoro,

Are you arguing that the ethnic diversity in European countries (England, Sweden, France, Germany, etc...) is more diverse than in the United States?

I got this, yes. Even Canada is more ethnically diverse than the United States.
I believe you are partially mistaken. Canada is indeed more ethnically diverse than the US but the only European nations (At least Western European, I could be missing some on the list though so please correct me if you see others) that are more diverse are Belgium and Switzerland. Something I honestly didn't expect but hey, I'm no expert at anything.

Wiki!

This is only a rating of ethnic diversity, not the other factors Boris mentioned. I'm not even sure how it factors into anything either.

There are lists of cultural and lingual diversity. US is less culturally diverse than ethnically diverse.

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Boris
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Yes, Sam, because it doesn't actually use data to prove his point, and he is still absolutely freaking *wrong*.

You'll find that much of the actual data on the lists provided earlier include data on "Foreign born residents" not official Immigrants.

The Schengen zone is a mutual pact to allow free movement and employment between EU member states, but people who move within the Schengen zone are still counted as Foreign Born Residents on national censuses, which is what the data used to "prove" that there is just as diverse immigration in Europe as the US.

Just look at the Foreign Born information for any European nation. Here, I'll give you [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Switzerland ]Switzerland[/URL] Notice the majority there? Italy, Germany, Austria, and Baltic states.

Germany - 6% of Germany's population is from somewhere other than Europe or Russia.

France keeps no data on Ethnicity, so it's impossible to determine their data.

Italy is 8% foreign born. Less than 4% are from non-European nations.

England is probably the only Nation in Europe with a truly diverse Immigrant population, but even those immigrants are, for the most part, from former members of the British Empire. Only about 5% of Great Britain's population are from nations other than Europe or former British holdings.

Want me to keep going? Or are you getting the picture?

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Orincoro,

Are you arguing that the ethnic diversity in European countries (England, Sweden, France, Germany, etc...) is more diverse than in the United States?

No. It is not so. But rates of immigration are in many cases, currently higher than to the US (as a function of population percentage).

These numbers are tricky though: the US has a probably higher rate of illegal immigration in a few areas. On the other hand, European urban areas are experiencing higher rates of immigrant settlement (partly due to falling native birth rates), from outside the EU. The borders of the EU are also more porous than the US, and immigration and emigration have higher rates of turnover as well, as does internal migration, making a breakdown problematic.

But one thing is clear: demographics in Europe are changing very quickly thanks to immigration. And Europe is poised for increasing waves of immigration as birth rates continue to fall. Yet, gun violence, and violent crime in general, are low by international standards, and by the standards of the US.

I do know that there has been a lot of tension in France with Middle Eastern immigrants. This has fueled violence on a number of levels up to mass riots. I don't know how guns factored in and I am not familiar with France's gun laws.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
... South Africa is also considered a modernized first world nation.

Not really.
South Africa is not part of the OECD, is classified by the IMF and MCSI as an emerging economy/developing country, and only recently joined the highly visible grouping of the BRIC developing countries (now BRICS).

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Only about 5% of Great Britain's population are from nations other than Europe or former British holdings.
You do recognize that "former British holdings" include India, Pakistan, Thailand, New Guinea, Hong Kong, Singapore, most of the Caribbean, a significant fraction of Polynesia, and about 1/3 of Africa. That's as racial diverse as it gets.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
Yes, Sam, because it doesn't actually use data to prove his point, and he is still absolutely freaking *wrong*.

You'll find that much of the actual data on the lists provided earlier include data on "Foreign born residents" not official Immigrants.

The Schengen zone is a mutual pact to allow free movement and employment between EU member states, but people who move within the Schengen zone are still counted as Foreign Born Residents on national censuses, which is what the data used to "prove" that there is just as diverse immigration in Europe as the US.

Just look at the Foreign Born information for any European nation. Here, I'll give you [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Switzerland ]Switzerland[/URL] Notice the majority there? Italy, Germany, Austria, and Baltic states.

Germany - 6% of Germany's population is from somewhere other than Europe or Russia.

France keeps no data on Ethnicity, so it's impossible to determine their data.

Italy is 8% foreign born. Less than 4% are from non-European nations.

England is probably the only Nation in Europe with a truly diverse Immigrant population, but even those immigrants are, for the most part, from former members of the British Empire. Only about 5% of Great Britain's population are from nations other than Europe or former British holdings.

Want me to keep going? Or are you getting the picture?

* Rate of immigration. Not current percentages of foreign born population. Rate of immigration. These are not the same values.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Only about 5% of Great Britain's population are from nations other than Europe or former British holdings.
You do recognize that "former British holdings" include India, Pakistan, Thailand, New Guinea, Hong Kong, Singapore, most of the Caribbean, a significant fraction of Polynesia, and about 1/3 of Africa. That's as racial diverse as it gets.
And the current influx outstrips the UK's birth rate. Meaning (though it is not going to sustain indefinitely), that the Uk's population is being replaced by non-ethnic English people. This is a phenomenon happening or about to happen in much of Europe.
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Boris
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Rabbit, yes, I know, and you'll notice that I said the UK was the most diverse immigrant population of Europe. But the racial demographics of the UK, where 90% of the population is white, aren't really close to similar with the US, where just over 72% are white. In addition, people who live in former British holdings are still very familiar with British culture and society, and as such tend to assimilate more easily and willingly.

Orincoro...As was stated earlier (and you ignored) current rates of immigration don't have much of an impact on violence as historical rates and the current racial/ethnic makeup of a nation. Additionally, European citizens are not really as Xenophobic as Americans can be, so immigration doesn't have as much of an impact on violence there as it does here.

But you're still just attacking tiny points of what I've said so far. My point has been that the US is different enough from Europe, Australia, and other nations that what they do will have a different impact than what we do. The entire idea that we should adopt the same laws that other nations are using is pretty arrogant, ignorant, and fairly stubborn. It lacks creativity and stinks of short-sightedness. Other nations have regulated firearms based on their own laws. Most of those nations do not grant citizens the right to own firearms, and therefore, those governments are legally capable of doing whatever they want with firearms.

The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago (See DC vs Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago.

But, if you guys are so absolutely determined to use European gun laws as a template...The UK outlawed handguns in 1998. From 1997 to 2009, firearm homicide rates stayed pretty much the same (based on trending. Firearm deaths spiked significantly following the ban, but dropped back to the same levels shortly thereafter) and have only recently begun dropping (the most recent year I could find data for was 2009, 2006 was the first year of truly significant decrease).

There's a lot of diversion on whether Australia's gun homicide rate drops were due to the ban or other influence (some argue that the rate was dropping prior to the ban, and several studies have suggested that the ban had no actual impact on gun homicides). The Australian Institute of Criminology shows that homicides have followed a predictable rate of decline since 1989. Australia's percentage of homicides by firearm out of all homicides is currently about 11%, but that statistic has been decreasing steadily since 1969. The existing recorded rate of decline has seen no real change since the late 80s.

But hey, I figure you guys aren't going to listen to me no matter what, so here's a nice Article from the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (probably as non-conservative a source as I could find on the subject) on whether or not stricter gun laws have actually had an impact on gun violence around the world (I believe it was written in 2008): Here ya go.

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Stone_Wolf_
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In fairness to Orincoro, I don't think he has called for the same laws as Europe, (correct me if I'm wrong here) but is calling for more regulation and using the foreign numbers as evidence that that's a good idea.

I look forward to reading the article you linked to sometime today.

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Scott R
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quote:
Additionally, European citizens are not really as Xenophobic as Americans can be, so immigration doesn't have as much of an impact on violence there as it does here.
I've found the opposite to be true. This is not data, just personal experience.

(As long as we're defining xenophobia and racism as non-identical)

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago...

I can't tell if you are saying that the fact the Supreme Court has upheld the right to bear arms is one of the reasons removing the right is a bad idea or if it's not quite connected to the previous sentence the way I'm reading it. So I'll just nitpick the following which doesn't really invalidate anything else you wrote.

If we removed the right (by changing the constitution) then the Supreme Court wouldn't be able to uphold the right in Court on grounds of the Constitution.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Additionally, European citizens are not really as Xenophobic as Americans can be, so immigration doesn't have as much of an impact on violence there as it does here.
I've found the opposite to be true. This is not data, just personal experience.

(As long as we're defining xenophobia and racism as non-identical)

Yeah, Europe isn't really the shining example of progressive liberalism that people tend to prop them up to be when it comes to race and immigration. Sometimes they are more backward than the US.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago...

I can't tell if you are saying that the fact the Supreme Court has upheld the right to bear arms is one of the reasons removing the right is a bad idea or if it's not quite connected to the previous sentence the way I'm reading it. So I'll just nitpick the following which doesn't really invalidate anything else you wrote.

If we removed the right (by changing the constitution) then the Supreme Court wouldn't be able to uphold the right in Court on grounds of the Constitution.

I read it this way:

The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago...

I can't tell if you are saying that the fact the Supreme Court has upheld the right to bear arms is one of the reasons removing the right is a bad idea or if it's not quite connected to the previous sentence the way I'm reading it. So I'll just nitpick the following which doesn't really invalidate anything else you wrote.

If we removed the right (by changing the constitution) then the Supreme Court wouldn't be able to uphold the right in Court on grounds of the Constitution.

I read it this way:

The United States Constitution grants the right to own firearms. The Supreme court has upheld that right twice in the past 5 years and has already struck down bans on handguns in DC and Chicago. We must operate in light of that or remove the right, which would be a bad idea for a number of reasons.

This. I have ADD and worked on most of the paragraphs of what I wrote at the same time. I think I inserted the comment about the supreme court decisions after writing that removing the 2nd amendment would be bad. My brain's a little weird sometimes.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
In fairness to Orincoro, I don't think he has called for the same laws as Europe, (correct me if I'm wrong here) but is calling for more regulation and using the foreign numbers as evidence that that's a good idea.

Yeah, that's about right. I only argue that Europe is by and large an apros pos example of how gun violence can be handled well.

quote:
Additionally, European citizens are not really as Xenophobic as Americans can be, so immigration doesn't have as much of an impact on violence there as it does here.
This smacks of talk from a person who has no experience with the subject. I've lived in 4 European countries- that doesn't make me an expert, but it does tell me that this dog of an observation won't hunt.

I could go down the road of stupid anecdotes about the racist things I've heard and seen all over Europe, and the incredibly racist xenophobic ignorant people I've met here, but that wouldn't prove anything either. Suffice to say, I think this is popular wisdom in the US, and I think it is mostly bunk.

A great deal of the American vision of "egalitarian," non-racist Europe comes from a few popular black American novels (such as those of James Baldwin), and is mostly based on the fact that black Americans in Europe were, in ages past, treated rather well. Other historically influential figures such as actress Anna May Wong popularized the notion of the "accepting" European society (which accepted her because she was famous). This was mostly to do with them being Americans, educated, famous etc, and less to do with the French or anyone else not being racists. But we've built a rather funny cultural imagery around the experiences of a few celebrated minority authors, most of them black, who lived in Europe in the 20's to the 60's.

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Shigs
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What Orincoro said - English people, though not all of them, are the only ones I've ever met who actually pulled off being racist against other white people. The chunk of the population that hates Indian subcontinent immigrants is no smaller then Mexican hating Americans.

My Dad never had a problem with the Indians, it was the Pakistanis that he couldn't stand. The Muslim thing.

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Shigs
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I mean, Northern England was having honest to god race riots just a few years back.
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Rakeesh
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I hear they're not such fans of minarets over in Europe, either.
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Shigs
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I imagine there wouldn't be as much of a problem without the radical element ; most European countries are, nominally and culturally, Christian nations, not nations full of Christians.

Muslim integration is more of a problem then, say, Irish or Italian integration was here. Mainly because it's a harsh and cruelly interpreted religion that holds them together, not just that everyone's granddad shared the same Motherland.

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Orincoro
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Well, Europe has a long embittered history with Islam. They have some cause to see it as an invasive force, because that's exactly what it was in the past. The rise of European world domination began with the expulsion of Islam from Europe.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Shigs:
I imagine there wouldn't be as much of a problem without the radical element ; most European countries are, nominally and culturally, Christian nations, not nations full of Christians.

Muslim integration is more of a problem then, say, Irish or Italian integration was here. Mainly because it's a harsh and cruelly interpreted religion that holds them together, not just that everyone's granddad shared the same Motherland.

Well, Irish and Italian immigration are different issues. Italians have a tremendous amount of pride in their language, music, history, traditions, food, and culture, and may not really want to be completely assimilated, in many cases.

The Irish are mostly embarrassed about their history (if they're much aware of the history of the Irish in the larger context of Europe the US), and any pride is mostly along the lines of "screw you! I'm Irish and have a right to be proud."

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Orincoro
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I find your characterization uncharitable and insulting. And I have no more Irish ancestry than the average American does.
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Rakeesh
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Aside from its heavy dose of anti-Irish sentiment (is there a word for that?), it's also absurd. Irish-American is probably one of the most distinct (that is, recognized by others) European-immigration groups in the country.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I find your characterization uncharitable and insulting. And I have no more Irish ancestry than the average American does.

I actually have quite a bit of Scots/Irish ancestry, but not the most recent wave of immigration. Most of my ancestors were hillbilly folk who've been in the Appalachians for at least 200 years or more. Some of my relatives would qualify as full-on "white trash".
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Aside from its heavy dose of anti-Irish sentiment (is there a word for that?), it's also absurd. Irish-American is probably one of the most distinct (that is, recognized by others) European-immigration groups in the country.

But not recognized in a positive way. Irish were VERY looked-down-upon until fairly recently.
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Shigs
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Yeah, recently they upgraded their image to terrorist. Viva IRA!
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jebus202
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Recently? We got that upgrade a long time ago, do keep up.

As an aside, I don't know of any Irish person who is embarrased about their history, but maybe Irish-Americans are different?

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kmbboots
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Not so you would notice.
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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Aside from its heavy dose of anti-Irish sentiment (is there a word for that?)

Teetotalism.

::laughtrack::

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Shigs
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quote:
Originally posted by jebus202:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Aside from its heavy dose of anti-Irish sentiment (is there a word for that?)

Teetotalism.

::laughtrack::

+1
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Not so you would notice.

For example, I always notice the thick scent of shame in the air when Norte Dame plays. They always shy away from their Irish roots. Try not even to mention it, really.
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Shigs
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I've never been so happy to hear a sick thud as I was last night. Buncha overrated pansies, was Notre Dame.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Is there any real reason why we shouldn't have a federal gun registry? I mean, (if I recall correctly) handguns are registered by serial number with the state, but long guns (rifles and shot guns) are only registered as "a long gun" without any record being kept.

Seems like keeping a ballistic record of each weapon (special exclusion for rare antiques which haven't been fired in generations) and current status (i.e. not stolen, location address), name of owner, etc. should be a good thing.

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Boris
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quote:
Is there any real reason why we shouldn't have a federal gun registry?
The primary reason I have seen in argument against this is that gun owners feel it is an invasion of privacy or that they feel the government has no right to have this information at its fingertips.

Personally, my inclination would be to have gun merchants keep records of serial numbers for weapons they've sold. Possibly including ballistics information. This information could only be released by court order in the event a weapon is used in a crime. I think that would allow a buffer from potential "oppression" by the government against gun owners. But for the most part, my inclination on gun control is to control those who sell guns rather than those who buy them.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I like the concept behind the idea, but if you didn't have a databank of ballistics to compare to, how could you possibly know which one to subpoena?
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Boris
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I suppose you could have ballistics centrally stored, with weapons manufacturer, but no serial numbers. Manufacturers would be responsible for keeping records of serial numbers along with their ballistics information, allowing them to know the original merchant. I think it would add some bureaucracy to police investigation, but the benefit of having all that information available would be significant.

The biggest issue you have now, though, is that there are so many guns already out there. If you consider states like Arizona that have no weapons registration data (and recently passed a law making it illegal to store serial numbers attached to owner names in the state), it would be difficult at best to ensure that everyone either registers their ballistics or whatever is done. Most legislation proposals I've seen would essentially turn millions of gun owners into felons if they didn't register/turn in/whatever their weapons. I don't think that's a very good idea.

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kmbboots
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/david-dewhurst-texas-teachers_n_2458527.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

quote:
David Dewhurst, Texas Lieutenant Governor, Calls For State-Funded Weapons Training For Teachers
Yay! Heaven forbid, we spend government money on contraception or education or anything else but we are all for filling the filling the coffers of the gun makers.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/david-dewhurst-texas-teachers_n_2458527.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

quote:
David Dewhurst, Texas Lieutenant Governor, Calls For State-Funded Weapons Training For Teachers
Yay! Heaven forbid, we spend government money on contraception or education or anything else but we are all for filling the filling the coffers of the gun makers.
And if we spent money on contraception or education, it would be totally reasonable to cynically see that as just a blatant attempt to fill the coffers of the teacher's unions and Planned Parenthood, right? Those greedy bastards. [Roll Eyes]
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kmbboots
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Generally, the people in favor of filling the coffers of teachers and Planned Parenthood are not the ones squealing about government spending.
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Dan_Frank
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My point was that it's very cynical and narrow-minded to see every decision like this as primarily motivated by the desire to fill someone's coffers.

I think that's bull. Both in the context you used it, and the one I did.

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kmbboots
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Why? We don't want to pay teachers a decent salary but we are willing to spend money to arm them and expect them to guard our children?

It is hard to imagine how anyone can think that the solution to gun violence is more guns unless one is interested in selling guns. OR is being played by those people.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Why? We don't want to pay teachers a decent salary but we are willing to spend money to arm them and expect them to guard our children?

First of all, how is this a response to what I said? I'm saying that it is narrow-minded and cynical to think that the motivation behind such an initiative is "line the coffers of the gunmakers." The same way it is cynical and narrow-minded to think the motivation behind increased teacher pay is "line the coffers of the teacher's union."

I'm sure there are many people for whom those are prime motivators. But it's not the majority of people arguing for those causes.

Also... you slipped in two major unargued, question-begging assertions in a single fake question, up there. Is this intentional? What's the point of answering you when you do this?

Do you actually want to have a reasonable discussion where we both try to understand each other and find the truth? Or do you just want to snipe?

quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
It is hard to imagine how anyone can think that the solution to gun violence is more guns unless one is interested in selling guns. OR is being played by those people.

You don't need to imagine it, because there are many people who are happy to explain it for you.

What you really mean is that you have no interest in understanding why anyone would think that, and would rather attribute nefarious motives to them or the people "playing" them.

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kmbboots
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Have hashed through this and many other conversations about reasonable gun limits, there is nothing that makes sense about arming teachers as a solution to gun violence. Nothing. Police and soldiers shoot people they don't intend to shoot. Do we expect teachers to do better? What about this makes sense to you?

On the other hand, it is brilliant if your goal is to sell guns. A whole new market!

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Have hashed through this and many other conversations about reasonable gun limits, there is nothing that makes sense about arming teachers as a solution to gun violence. Nothing. Police and soldiers shoot people they don't intend to shoot. Do we expect teachers to do better? What about this makes sense to you?

As a solution to general "gun violence," you're absolutely right.

If arming teachers was the proposed solution for, say, gang shootings at inner-city schools, it would be a stupid solution. Those situations are complicated, quick, and often involve multiple people on both sides. It can be hard to tell who's doing what, and when.

It's a different story, though, if the goal is to try to mitigate (not stop) a very specific kind of gun violence... that is, the statistically insignificant occurrences of mass shootings by a crazed gunman intent on a high body count.

There's plenty of reason to think that a few armed teachers (armed bystanders of any kind, really) could help in such a situation. Whether or not this is worth the potential problems caused by arming teachers is another matter.

Personally, since mass shootings are so rare, I'm inclined to oppose any broad sweeping change intended to try to curtail them. But not because I think it's all a desperate ploy to make money for gunmakers.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I suppose you could have ballistics centrally stored, with weapons manufacturer, but no serial numbers. Manufacturers would be responsible for keeping records of serial numbers along with their ballistics information, allowing them to know the original merchant. I think it would add some bureaucracy to police investigation, but the benefit of having all that information available would be significant.
I...yes, having to go to a gun dealer and inquire who bought such and such gun would indeed add some bureaucracy to police work, that's true. As opposed to knowing almost nothing about a gun besides its caliber.

----

As for the lining coffers bit, while it is frankly perverse and absurd that anyone seriously suggests arming our schools in response to mass shootings-essentially punting forever on the notion of doing *anything* proactive on the matter-the idea that it's money driven as in done for the profits of gun makers is almost as silly.

Fact of the matter is, the idea that as little as possible should come between one's desire to own a gun and the actual ownership is really, really important to a lot of people. It wasn't always-in fact back in the 1970s, the NRA nearly moved west and focused largely on hunting and sport shooting-but it is now.

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kmbboots
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And now the NRA works mostly for gun manufacturers and dealers. You really think they don't have an eye on the bottom line? Keeping people scared and angry is a great way to sell guns.
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Rakeesh
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Of course they do. I don't propose that the NRA is a disinterested (that is, objective) political organization. Far from it. But their power doesn't only come from the money and influence lent them by manufacturers-it also comes from quite a lot of people who DO have little or no interest in the bottom line of manufacturer's-who simply align politically with 'protecting' the Second Amendment against threats (I would say, real or imagined).

Is the NRA so concerned with advancing its agenda because it's been bought out by manufacturers? Eh, I would say that's part of it, but only part. There are many lobbies that also enjoy enormous financial backing (or could) from enormous industries, but people don't get all shook up over how great fast food is to render such a lobby as a titan in American politics period, quite aside from being very powerful in its own field.

There's more to it than money. If you wish to fool yourself that the issue would be all but solved if only millions of people weren't getting played by the gun lobby, so be it. The manufacturers didn't spring up and then have to trick people into wanting to buy guns, anymore than weapons have needed much advertising at any point in history.

-----

Dan, your thoughts on guns and the middle ages would be all well and good, except for one little problem: guns don't beat the problem of 'might makes right' by really solving the problem, they beat it by switching 'swords and bows' with 'guns'. Guns haven't eliminated that problem, they've played ad-libs with it.

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