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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A Thread For Gun Rights Arguments (Page 10)

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Author Topic: A Thread For Gun Rights Arguments
Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

All of that aside, you *still* seem to be sidestepping almost entirely-though the conversation is moving fast now, and if I missed it please point me appropriately-the problem of what we're going to do about the higher likelihood of violence all of these extra lethal tools of violence will offer. Or the very real problem of what it means if murderous lunatics have a way to legally carry firearms where they couldn't before, to say nothing of negligence or even tragic accidents that happen in spite of proper diligence.

Can you explain why you think that more people being legally able to carry guns in more situations would result in a higher likelihood of violence?

I don't understand that jump. What are the reasons?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
That said, there are armed security present on every Junior College campus I've ever been to, and I've never seen anyone of them terrorize students or act like goons but I'm not sure what that would look like.

Junior College != public high school, elementary school, etc.

There are entire police departments on some college campuses. They are dealing with a population of adults.

Don't think that would make a substantial difference, as to whether or not they 'terrorize students'. But that might depend on your interpretation of that term, so...
Really? I think it makes a tremendous amount of difference.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Hmm? Oh, no. You got all huffy about having used an incorrectly formatted source as the basis of an interpretation, which was wrong anyway. And then you expected everyone else to look at your source when addressing what you said, to explain why it was wrong. What am I going to do? Make you see how stupid you looked? I thought you didn't want to dwell on it, but I guess you did.

No, the source was formatted perfectly fine. You still haven't cared enough about the conversation you're participating in to look at readily available facts. You're intellectually lazy.

I'm not intellectually lazy. I exercise it every day. It does for me things I wouldn't expect you to even understand.

This is not me being intellectually lazy. This is me being lazy. Not the same thing. [Wink]

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
By the way, nice ad hom -you don't want to talk about why your arguments are stupid, so you need to talk about why the person telling you they're stupid is a mean person. I am a mean person, but your arguments would be just as stupid if I weren't the one saying so. [Wink]

Was there something substantive that I didn't respond to?

In my response to Sam I already explained that I wasn't saying what you claimed I was saying. What more response did you want?

It was a meta comment, not ad hominem.

No, it was an ad hominem: specifically, attacking me and my motivations (intellectual "laziness," and etc), instead of what I actually say.

As for the rest, as per your usual pattern, when your "arguments," (to use the term loosely), are refuted, you usually make the same claim: "I wasn't saying what you claimed I was saying."

Yes, of course. You were never saying that idiot thing that you seemed to be saying. This is never your fault. Never something you communicated poorly. Of course, I'm not claiming to be surprised that it isn't ever your fault, because it isn't ever actually miscommunication or misreading. You just don't actually like what the things you say mean when people point out to you what they actually mean. And you never like to admit that this isn't because we're just being mean, but because what you've said makes no sense -when and if you actually understand why that is. And when not, no bother -you can well assume, you've been misread.

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Rakeesh
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Alright, but only if you explain your apparent conviction it won't.

First, I wouldn't go so far as to say I think more guns would equate to more violence-just that I think there is a very good chance, and that before we jump headlong into that risk we ought to have a better understanding of the likelihoods than we do. And to observe that the Second Amendment is not actually a reason why we *should*, rather it's a reason we *could*.

As to why I think there is a high likelihood: first, we already have far more guns and far more violence than other human societies we can compare ourselves to. Such comparisons will never be perfect-but then that never stops Second Amendment advocates from talking about Stalin and Hitler, so I'm afraid we simply must agree that we *can* in fact look to other societies for the beginnings of understanding as to 'what is likely to happen'.

What that examination plainly shows us, it seems to me, is that more guns don't, in fact, equate to a safer less violent society. They simply don't. The only societies we can look to for a positive example-Switzerland being a big one-universally require a substantially more serious stance from the government on insisting on responsible gun ownership from its citizens than Second Amendment advocates here (yes, this is one of the many reasons the NRA comes up repeatedly, because they're *relevant*) are willing to even talk about.

Simply put, the aphorism about armed and polite societies isn't borne out by a glance at ours, but one only has to look abroad for an easy example of societies that are both polite and disarmed.

The other main reason I think there is a high likelihood of increased violence is twofold. One, Second Amendment advocates tell us it is too difficult or unreliable to take the measures necessary to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous lunatics-which begs the question of why on Earth we should believe that openly permitting them in many more places wouldn't necessarily put quite a few guns into the hands of the mentally ill, the criminal, or the negligent. Then there's the whole throwing in of a crapload of kids, along with the observation that we have a hard time paying even excellent teachers really solid wages but now we want them to serve as armed guards as well. So on and so forth.

The other reason being that you *still* have failed to explain why the solution to gun violence needs to be more guns in the hands of more people. Second Amendment advocates haven't actually *made* that argument yet, they've simply presented it as a given and rolled their eyes when questioned on it.

You've skipped an important step-a large part of why I've gotten so friggin' exasperated with you in this discussion. Your suggestion (and the NRA's, again why they come up so often) is simply: this works, it's obvious, and if you can't prove right now that it doesn't to a hostile audience (us), then let us throw a lot more guns at the problem until time shows you that we're right.

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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
That said, there are armed security present on every Junior College campus I've ever been to, and I've never seen anyone of them terrorize students or act like goons but I'm not sure what that would look like.

Junior College != public high school, elementary school, etc.

There are entire police departments on some college campuses. They are dealing with a population of adults.

Don't think that would make a substantial difference, as to whether or not they 'terrorize students'. But that might depend on your interpretation of that term, so...
Really? I think it makes a tremendous amount of difference.
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I'm probably more conflicted about what I said that when I first said it. But a lot of the security at my schools seem like genuinely great people, and I don't think they would pull a 180 in a highschool setting; it would make a difference, though, sure. They would be more on edge, at least.

And we had security at my highschool. They weren't armed, and it's not a perfect example either, but the most important factor is the capability of the person in question to not be a tool.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
]I'm not intellectually lazy. I exercise it every day. It does for me things I wouldn't expect you to even understand.

This is not me being intellectually lazy. This is me being lazy. Not the same thing. [Wink]

You're being lazy in a critical discussion. I'd call that intellectual laziness. No?

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
By the way, nice ad hom -you don't want to talk about why your arguments are stupid, so you need to talk about why the person telling you they're stupid is a mean person. I am a mean person, but your arguments would be just as stupid if I weren't the one saying so. [Wink]

Was there something substantive that I didn't respond to?

In my response to Sam I already explained that I wasn't saying what you claimed I was saying. What more response did you want?

It was a meta comment, not ad hominem.

No, it was an ad hominem: specifically, attacking me and my motivations (intellectual "laziness," and etc), instead of what I actually say.
Again, I'd already addressed what you said, inasmuch as you said anything, when I was speaking to Sam.

An ad hominem would be to say that your argument is bad because you are lazy.

But I'm not dismissing what you've said because you're lazy. I'm pointing out that the reason why what you've said has no bearing on reality is a symptom of your laziness. If you weren't so lazy, you'd have a better chance of contributing meaningfully to the conversation.

Instead, you're crying about ad homs. You sound like Blayne.

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
As for the rest, as per your usual pattern, when your "arguments," (to use the term loosely), are refuted, you usually make the same claim: "I wasn't saying what you claimed I was saying."

Yes, of course. You were never saying that idiot thing that you seemed to be saying. This is never your fault. Never something you communicated poorly. Of course, I'm not claiming to be surprised that it isn't ever your fault, because it isn't ever actually miscommunication or misreading. You just don't actually like what the things you say mean when people point out to you what they actually mean. And you never like to admit that this isn't because we're just being mean, but because what you've said makes no sense -when and if you actually understand why that is. And when not, no bother -you can well assume, you've been misread.

What are you even saying here?

Is there any actual content in this paragraph you'd like me to address?

If you actually paid attention, you'd know that it doesn't bother me when people are "mean," dude. But if the person talking to me offers no valuable contribution, what's the point of talking to them? They have nothing to offer me.

Right now, it seems like you have nothing to offer me. If you change your mind later, though, I'll be happy to talk.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Alright, but only if you explain your apparent conviction it won't.

Hm? I don't have "conviction" about anything, Rakeesh. I mean, I'm skeptical of assertions that liberalized gun laws would have a substantial impact one way or the other.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
First, I wouldn't go so far as to say I think more guns would equate to more violence-just that I think there is a very good chance, and that before we jump headlong into that risk we ought to have a better understanding of the likelihoods than we do. And to observe that the Second Amendment is not actually a reason why we *should*, rather it's a reason we *could*.

I agree that the 2nd Amendment could only ever be a reason we could, not a reason we should.

But... That still leaves the question: Why do you think it's very likely to increase violence or murder?

So let's keep reading.


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
As to why I think there is a high likelihood: first, we already have far more guns and far more violence than other human societies we can compare ourselves to. Such comparisons will never be perfect-but then that never stops Second Amendment advocates from talking about Stalin and Hitler, so I'm afraid we simply must agree that we *can* in fact look to other societies for the beginnings of understanding as to 'what is likely to happen'.

I'd take the opposite stance. Every such comparison I've ever seen took huge leaps of logic and ignored numerous statistical contradictions to their chosen conclusion.

Just because other gun rights advocates use bad arguments based on scientism and narrow interpretations of statistics doesn't mean it's okay for you to do so.

If there's a particularly compelling statistics-based argument you'd like to share, though, I'm open to reading it.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

The other main reason I think there is a high likelihood of increased violence is twofold. One, Second Amendment advocates tell us it is too difficult or unreliable to take the measures necessary to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous lunatics-which begs the question of why on Earth we should believe that openly permitting them in many more places wouldn't necessarily put quite a few guns into the hands of the mentally ill, the criminal, or the negligent.

Criminals? Dangerous lunatics? ... Why would changing the laws regarding carrying firearms meaningfully effect the behavior of people who break those laws?


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

Then there's the whole throwing in of a crapload of kids, along with the observation that we have a hard time paying even excellent teachers really solid wages but now we want them to serve as armed guards as well. So on and so forth.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I already addressed some issues surrounding the "Teachers as armed guards" idea above...


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
The other reason being that you *still* have failed to explain why the solution to gun violence needs to be more guns in the hands of more people. Second Amendment advocates haven't actually *made* that argument yet, they've simply presented it as a given and rolled their eyes when questioned on it.

You've skipped an important step-a large part of why I've gotten so friggin' exasperated with you in this discussion. Your suggestion (and the NRA's, again why they come up so often) is simply: this works, it's obvious, and if you can't prove right now that it doesn't to a hostile audience (us), then let us throw a lot more guns at the problem until time shows you that we're right.

Can you explain why you think that's what I'm saying? I don't think any argument is obvious, at all. I'm not asking you to prove anything, I'm asking to explain why you think it.

Finally: you're saying I'm not offering any arguments. Okay... Almost every mass shooting in history occurred in a gun-free zone. So, is that significant? It seems like a plausible explanation for this fact is that people who want to go murder lots of innocent people want to reliably believe that none of their victims will pose a significant threat to them.

Refute away.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
Well then I advocate the outsourcing of all of these posts, to the law officers of my great home, the profound intellectual paradise of Orange County. We have are shit together.

Jesse?
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umberhulk
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?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Imagine that every single gunman who got shot down was just starting a killing spree and got interrupted, and again imagine that every single killing spree was stopped by armed goodies before they got to more than a couple victims, just how many lives would "gun violence" have saved?

Just to be clear, I do not adhere to the "only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun" philosophy.

I wonder, why more discussion time hasn't been devoted to non lethal solutions. Sticky nets, tazers, diarrhea gun (causes not shoots), long distance pepper spray, expanding foam, etc as nauseam. Surely non police personnel could be trusted with disabling weapons which pose little to no permanent harm?

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


Instead, you're crying about ad homs. You sound like Blayne.

Nice ad hom???

Almost every mass shooting in history took place in a gun free zone?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
?

Was that a no? It didn't really sound like one . . . [Wink]
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Jon Boy
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Jesse actually posts here occasionally as The Genuine. I don't think he has any alts.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


Instead, you're crying about ad homs. You sound like Blayne.

Nice ad hom???

Almost every mass shooting in history took place in a gun free zone?

Sorry, imprecise use of language.

Almost every mass shooting in US history, since gun free zones became commonplace, has occurred in a gun free zone.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
Jesse actually posts here occasionally as The Genuine.

I know.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Finally: you're saying I'm not offering any arguments. Okay... Almost every mass shooting in history occurred in a gun-free zone. So, is that significant? It seems like a plausible explanation for this fact is that people who want to go murder lots of innocent people want to reliably believe that none of their victims will pose a significant threat to them.
First of all, as well have a salt free patch in the middle of the Pacific. Second, if this is so, if we're going to use this 'seems to be', why aren't there just constant mass shootings throughout the Western world? Hell, why aren't there constant shootings just past the Canadian border?

That reads much more like a gotcha question. Did you mean it seriously? Was that intended to be a compelling point?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


Instead, you're crying about ad homs. You sound like Blayne.

Nice ad hom???

Almost every mass shooting in history took place in a gun free zone?

Sorry, imprecise use of language.

Almost every mass shooting in US history, since gun free zones became commonplace, has occurred in a gun free zone.

I want you to go through this list and tell us what percentage of these shootings took place in a gun-free zone.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


Instead, you're crying about ad homs. You sound like Blayne.

Nice ad hom???

Almost every mass shooting in history took place in a gun free zone?

Sorry, imprecise use of language.

Almost every mass shooting in US history, since gun free zones became commonplace, has occurred in a gun free zone.

I want you to go through this list and tell us what percentage of these shootings took place in a gun-free zone.
If you want to refute my point, shouldn't you do the legwork? [Razz] Most of the stats I've seen lag (understandably) a couple years, due to, you know, gathering the relevant data and stuff.

Anyway, I'll do a few of them as best I can just with Google. Going down the list...

Clackamas Town Center, Oregon - Yeah, gun free zone. Outside is the sign "No weapons, legal or illegal allowed."

Accent Signage Systems - Hard to find a good source, but I've found a few sources that explicitly claim it was. Is that mistaken? It was a place of business, right? That's pretty common at office buildings. Most offices I've worked at, certainly.

Sikh Temple - Not sure about this one, either. I can't find any explicit info about whether or not they had any posted signs about no guns allowed. Places of worship usually do, though.

Dark Knight Rises - Yeah, not only was it a gun free theater, of the several theaters near the shooter, it was supposedly the only gun-free one in the lot. Go figure.

Cafe Racer - Dunno. Read claims that it was, but can't get sufficient cites.

Tulsa, OK, racial shooting - Dunno.

Oikos University - School in CA, so, yeah. Gun free!

Chardon High School, OH - School. Gun free.

Hair Salon in Seal Beach - Looks like it was a gun free zone too.

IHOP in Carson City - Dunno about gun free status.

Gabby Giffords - I know this one was not in a gun free zone. It was in AZ, after all.

Hartford Beer Distributor - Again, seen claims it was a gun free zone. I don't know how to verify that claim, though.

Fort Hood - Army base, so that's a gun-free zone. (There would've been guns on the premises, in the armory, but you're not allowed to wander the premises of the installation with a sidearm.)

Immigration Center - Once again, seen several claims it was gun free. Seems especially plausible given the location and nature of the business.

Pinelake Nursing Home - Confirmed gun free zone.

Northern IL University Lecture Hall - School in IL. Gun free.

City Hall in Kirkwood, MO - Government building. Gun free.

Westroads Mall - Like many malls, this was definitely a gun free zone.

V-Tech - School. Gun free zone, and infamously so.

I think I'm gonna take a break now.

One thing I've noticed, though... a problem with many of these is that to verify claims of whether or not it's gun-free I basically need to get in touch with someone who lives out there. Unless someone's already verified it for me, which isn't always the case.

"No weapons allowed," or some permutation, is a common policy. And if it appears, then the place in question is a gun free zone.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Imagine that every single gunman who got shot down was just starting a killing spree and got interrupted, and again imagine that every single killing spree was stopped by armed goodies before they got to more than a couple victims, just how many lives would "gun violence" have saved?

[/quote
We have to imagine it because that isn't what generally happens.[quote]

I wonder, why more discussion time hasn't been devoted to non lethal solutions. Sticky nets, tazers, diarrhea gun (causes not shoots), long distance pepper spray, expanding foam, etc as nauseam. Surely non police personnel could be trusted with disabling weapons which pose little to no permanent harm?

Because the NRA's clients don't sell those things?
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Rakeesh
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Dan,

quote:
Hm? I don't have "conviction" about anything, Rakeesh. I mean, I'm skeptical of assertions that liberalized gun laws would have a substantial impact one way or the other.

Hrm. There seems to be a skip in the track, so to speak. If you're skeptical that restricting access to guns to people *wouldn't* have an impact, how is it that you can believe that increasing *would* have an impact?

quote:
I'd take the opposite stance. Every such comparison I've ever seen took huge leaps of logic and ignored numerous statistical contradictions to their chosen conclusion.

So then there is nothing to learn by examining other societies, as close to ours as we can find in the world, and measuring their numbers of guns and rates of gun violence? America is that exceptional and peerless?

quote:
If there's a particularly compelling statistics-based argument you'd like to share, though, I'm open to reading it.

Frankly I have never met a Second Amendment advocate who, when entering a statistics-based discussion, didn't quickly pivot to statistics about prevented crime and that was the only statistic they were ever interested in.

quote:
Criminals? Dangerous lunatics? ... Why would changing the laws regarding carrying firearms meaningfully effect the behavior of people who break those laws?

Wait...so now criminals pay no attention to the law? A criminal just breaks every single law all the time? This is one of the things that is so galling about these discussions-the notion that criminals will break the law, period, so there is no use in crafting new or different laws because they won't have an impact on 'the criminals'. By this reasoning, all drug dealers everywhere carry on their persons as much drugs as they like with no concern for the law, because they're criminals.

There's been a suggestion about non-lethal weaponization of employees at schools. If we're going to just toss up our hands as a society and say that there just isn't any way we can be more like our sister societies throughout the world where mass shootings and gun violence aren't as much of a concern-something Second Amendment advocates are so very, very quick to do-then this seems to me to be an excellent idea. Strangely, though, the idea hasn't ever been given much media attention.

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Samprimary
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quote:
If you want to refute my point, shouldn't you do the legwork? Most of the stats I've seen lag (understandably) a couple years, due to, you know, gathering the relevant data and stuff.
Many of those were not gun-free zones. So the issue is, if you didn't know, why were you claiming it as a fact? Where did that fact come from? Where were the stats that "almost every mass shooting" was in a gun-free zone?
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Dan_Frank
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Many of them weren't in gun free zones, Sam? What are you basing that assertion on?
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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Dan,

quote:
Hm? I don't have "conviction" about anything, Rakeesh. I mean, I'm skeptical of assertions that liberalized gun laws would have a substantial impact one way or the other.

Hrm. There seems to be a skip in the track, so to speak. If you're skeptical that restricting access to guns to people *wouldn't* have an impact, how is it that you can believe that increasing *would* have an impact?

quote:
I'd take the opposite stance. Every such comparison I've ever seen took huge leaps of logic and ignored numerous statistical contradictions to their chosen conclusion.

So then there is nothing to learn by examining other societies, as close to ours as we can find in the world, and measuring their numbers of guns and rates of gun violence? America is that exceptional and peerless?

quote:
If there's a particularly compelling statistics-based argument you'd like to share, though, I'm open to reading it.

Frankly I have never met a Second Amendment advocate who, when entering a statistics-based discussion, didn't quickly pivot to statistics about prevented crime and that was the only statistic they were ever interested in.

quote:
Criminals? Dangerous lunatics? ... Why would changing the laws regarding carrying firearms meaningfully effect the behavior of people who break those laws?

Wait...so now criminals pay no attention to the law? A criminal just breaks every single law all the time? This is one of the things that is so galling about these discussions-the notion that criminals will break the law, period, so there is no use in crafting new or different laws because they won't have an impact on 'the criminals'. By this reasoning, all drug dealers everywhere carry on their persons as much drugs as they like with no concern for the law, because they're criminals.

There's been a suggestion about non-lethal weaponization of employees at schools. If we're going to just toss up our hands as a society and say that there just isn't any way we can be more like our sister societies throughout the world where mass shootings and gun violence aren't as much of a concern-something Second Amendment advocates are so very, very quick to do-then this seems to me to be an excellent idea. Strangely, though, the idea hasn't ever been given much media attention.

If the first paragraph is just applied to mass shootings, they're more than likely to be willing a buy a gun illegally. But there's more that it could be applied to, so y'know.

And I 100% agree with the second paragraph.

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Parkour
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Wait, a gun free zone now also includes any private land or business where the owners individually decide not to allow guns? It used to be areas legally zoned not to allow guns, period.

And if gun free zones are the problem (they are not, Canada has more but surprisingly doesn't have the same problem with constant shootings) what is the solution, tell private property owners that they aren't allowed to ban guns in their property?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
Wait, a gun free zone now also includes any private land or business where the owners individually decide not to allow guns? It used to be areas legally zoned not to allow guns, period.

And if gun free zones are the problem (they are not, Canada has more but surprisingly doesn't have the same problem with constant shootings) what is the solution, tell private property owners that they aren't allowed to ban guns in their property?

Yep, because the best (only?) solution to any problem is more laws.

Non-Snarky Edit: Parkour, if "gun-free zone" is a legislative term, with a specific legal definition, and that's the proper definition, then my mistake. I was definitely using it as a shorthand term for "place in which it is illegal to carry guns." Sorry if that was confusing.

[ December 27, 2012, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Finally: you're saying I'm not offering any arguments. Okay... Almost every mass shooting in history occurred in a gun-free zone. So, is that significant? It seems like a plausible explanation for this fact is that people who want to go murder lots of innocent people want to reliably believe that none of their victims will pose a significant threat to them.
First of all, as well have a salt free patch in the middle of the Pacific.
Yeah, if I'm understanding the sentiment you're expressing here correctly, then I agree. It's ludicrous, and only serves to deter the most responsible gun owners. The crazy, the angry, the incompetent, and the just plain neglectful gun owners will all be able to go right on carrying guns in such places.


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Second, if this is so, if we're going to use this 'seems to be', why aren't there just constant mass shootings throughout the Western world? Hell, why aren't there constant shootings just past the Canadian border?

That reads much more like a gotcha question. Did you mean it seriously? Was that intended to be a compelling point?

I didn't mean it as a gotcha (where's the part where I get you?)... and I did mean it seriously... but I don't know how "compelling" it's supposed to be.

I find it interesting. I wonder what's the best explanation for it.

Contrary to what Parkour implies above, I don't think that it's the fundamental problem behind gun violence or whatever. I've said several times now, I don't think that there is a single fundamental problem behind gun violence. Not unless you're talking in really broad terms.

Consequently, I also don't think there is some single great solution to gun violence. My skepticism at other people's ideas for solutions doesn't mean I think I have all the answers.

You made another, longer post I haven't replied to yet. I'll get on that now. [Smile]

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umberhulk
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The most central problem is mental health, second being guns, third being security--it would be difficult, even in a population of many armed, good intending people, to stop someone from killing at least 3-5 people, in my opinion.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Dan,

quote:
Hm? I don't have "conviction" about anything, Rakeesh. I mean, I'm skeptical of assertions that liberalized gun laws would have a substantial impact one way or the other.

Hrm. There seems to be a skip in the track, so to speak. If you're skeptical that restricting access to guns to people *wouldn't* have an impact, how is it that you can believe that increasing *would* have an impact?
Oh, that's easy. I don't! I think it's entirely possible that gun laws would have an overall minimal effect one way or the other.

I'm mostly wary of tightened gun laws on principle, not because I'm certain that "more guns = less crime" (though I do plan to read the book with that title).

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I'd take the opposite stance. Every such comparison I've ever seen took huge leaps of logic and ignored numerous statistical contradictions to their chosen conclusion.

So then there is nothing to learn by examining other societies, as close to ours as we can find in the world, and measuring their numbers of guns and rates of gun violence? America is that exceptional and peerless?
Nothing to learn? No, I'm sure there are some things to learn.

But I do think we're pretty notably different. And I think that a huge flaw in reasoning is revealed just in what you've said here: "measuring their numbers of guns and rates of gun violence."

I know everybody is tired of hearing that correlation =/= causation, but... well... it's true! Especially when you're just looking at specific statistics without considering more context.

A simple example of this is the UK, which has a lower murder rate than the US and more stringent gun laws. Except the murder rate in the UK was lower than ours long before it implemented more stringent gun laws. And the murder rate was increasing in the UK until just a few years ago.

That doesn't mean I think banning guns made things worse, by the way. That's just as simplistic and backwards as the thought process I'm criticizing.

My point is that if you only look at the number of guns and the rate of gun violence, you're not approaching the issue seriously.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
If there's a particularly compelling statistics-based argument you'd like to share, though, I'm open to reading it.

Frankly I have never met a Second Amendment advocate who, when entering a statistics-based discussion, didn't quickly pivot to statistics about prevented crime and that was the only statistic they were ever interested in.
I didn't say statistics based discussion, I said statistics based argument.

What I mean by that is: if all you're going to do is cite lots of statistics with no compelling explanation for why they mean what you think they mean, and should be interpreted the way you want, I'm not real interested.

But again, if you know of an argument that looks at some statistics and accurately explains the full context of those statistics and offers a really good explanation... then I'll happily read it, and judge for myself.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Criminals? Dangerous lunatics? ... Why would changing the laws regarding carrying firearms meaningfully effect the behavior of people who break those laws?

Wait...so now criminals pay no attention to the law? A criminal just breaks every single law all the time? This is one of the things that is so galling about these discussions-the notion that criminals will break the law, period, so there is no use in crafting new or different laws because they won't have an impact on 'the criminals'. By this reasoning, all drug dealers everywhere carry on their persons as much drugs as they like with no concern for the law, because they're criminals.

But it's a good argument against any proposed gun law that could be easily circumvented, right?

All drug dealers everywhere carry on their person as much drugs as they feel are necessary to accomplish whatever drug-dealing they want to accomplish. Is that untrue?

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
There's been a suggestion about non-lethal weaponization of employees at schools. If we're going to just toss up our hands as a society and say that there just isn't any way we can be more like our sister societies throughout the world where mass shootings and gun violence aren't as much of a concern-something Second Amendment advocates are so very, very quick to do-then this seems to me to be an excellent idea. Strangely, though, the idea hasn't ever been given much media attention.

If we had nonlethal weapons that were actually as effective at stopping people as guns (e.g. star trek phasers), I'd be all for them, and I'd care less about gun control.

The reality is that such weapons don't yet exist, though. Every nonlethal weapon I'm familiar with is vastly inferior in at least one relevant category.

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Parkour
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I don't think you think there is a single solution. Its just that many of the seeming issues that get brought up here by you probably unintentionally as a Gotcha style are just of such limited relevance to solutions. Gun free property is here to stay. Lets talk mental illness and gun regulation first and foremost.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Dan, would mind elaborating on the short comings you think nonlethal weapons have?
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Samprimary
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They're just completely inferior to guns in terms of rendering an attacker incapable of harming you. Completely.

quote:
All drug dealers everywhere carry on their person as much drugs as they feel are necessary to accomplish whatever drug-dealing they want to accomplish. Is that untrue?
Yes. Very yes. Many dealers go to great lengths to avoid significant carry. They often limit what they are carrying at any given time to within/below certain charge guidelines, or (more likely than not) they keep it low-stashed nearby if they are street dealing.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
They're just completely inferior to guns in terms of rendering an attacker incapable of harming you. Completely.

Right.

That's all I was getting at. Pick a nonlethal weapon, Stone Wolf, and I'll be happy to be more specific about it's egregious failings.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
All drug dealers everywhere carry on their person as much drugs as they feel are necessary to accomplish whatever drug-dealing they want to accomplish. Is that untrue?
Yes. Very yes. Many dealers go to great lengths to avoid significant carry. They often limit what they are carrying at any given time to within/below certain charge guidelines, or (more likely than not) they keep it low-stashed nearby if they are street dealing.
Huh? How on earth is that a contradiction of what I said? The point is, they carry as much drugs as they think necessary to accomplish their goals. I'm sure some of them carry no drugs at all, ever, and have minions do that.

And you can hire minions to carry your guns for you, too. Regardless, someone intent on shooting lots of people will also carry as many guns as they think are necessary to accomplish their goal.

I'm not saying criminals pay no attention to laws. But they also don't follow them. Fundamentally. That's what makes them criminals.

The part of what I said you didn't quote was: But it's a good argument against any proposed gun law that could be easily circumvented, right?

Because easily circumvented gun laws only hamper people who care a lot about following the law.

Do you disagree?

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Parkour
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"carry on their person" does not jive with what you are saying now.
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GinetteB
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Why do you all discuss something that is not a matter of opinion, but of facts?

Just look at the statistics to see, the USA is the most violent western industrialized country, and shooting (incidents) play a huge part.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Huh? How on earth is that a contradiction of what I said? The point is, they carry as much drugs as they think necessary to accomplish their goals. I'm sure some of them carry no drugs at all, ever, and have minions do that.
Dan...I do trust that you are expressing your ideas honestly, so this is bafflement, not suspicion, when I say: what the hell, man! You were clearly-still are!-asserting before that criminals pay no heed to the law, for example, drug dealers carrying as much as they'd like.

Except you left off the part where they would carry more with less extra help and trouble needed if not for quite a few laws! That 'is this illegal/when my corner gets searched, can I be hauled in for it?' is obviously a part of 'drug dealing they want to accomplish'?

What is this absurd reality? Is this more pseudo-libertarianism, where criminals pay no attention at all to laws because they're criminals, and we know that's true because criminals pay no attention to laws? You go on to deny that outlook, but it was very much included in your original assertion.

Anyway, as to laws: you're speaking as though laws are only useful as proactive regulation of law abiding citizens. They're not. They can also be useful tools to force those who would otherwise break them to have a more difficult time doing so, and to be able to exact greater punishment when they do.

As for nonlethal weapons....I...yes, they're not as effective at reliably stopping people as the tool designed for lethal violence. Jesus. Apparently that is the *only* consideration to be examined. You're sort of *leaving off* the part where non-lethal can be considered an advantage in the case of negligence, accidents, or poor marksmanship comes into play.

But no. For some baffling, unexplained reason, these sorts of things aren't to be considered when talking about the pros and cons of weapons. The only thing we should think of is stopping power in the event of the incredibly unlikely mass shooting.

--------

I hate, hate the moral cowardice of advocates of the Second Amendment. The answer to any problem involving violence is always, invariably, more tools of violence for everyone. An eternal arms race, with any effort to break that cycle rejected because Second Amendment. Comparisons to societies that live without this arms race rejected out of hand because those other places are just too different. Common sense questions rejected as lacking good statistical backing, but 'common sense' assertions in support (such as 'laws don't work on criminals) accepted as gospel.

There isn't anything we can do except accept a few score thousand gun deaths every year. EVERYTHING that happens is a sign we need more, not fewer or even the same number guns in peoples' hands.

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scholarette
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The most surprising thing I have read about gun control was looking at Australia and changed in their laws. When they made gun ownership more difficult, they saw a massive drop in suicide with guns with no increase in suicide through other means. People don't just find another way. Also, you make guns more rare, sure criminals can still get them but it is more work so the need threshold increases. You really have to feel the need to have it to take the time to get it and the riskof going to jail. This may not stop the crazy school shooter Jo has planned for months, buy it will stop a lot of less planned events.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
All drug dealers everywhere carry on their person as much drugs as they feel are necessary to accomplish whatever drug-dealing they want to accomplish. Is that untrue?
Yes. Very yes. Many dealers go to great lengths to avoid significant carry. They often limit what they are carrying at any given time to within/below certain charge guidelines, or (more likely than not) they keep it low-stashed nearby if they are street dealing.
Huh? How on earth is that a contradiction of what I said?
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

you asked if "All drug dealers everywhere carry on their person as much drugs as they feel are necessary to accomplish whatever drug-dealing they want to accomplish" was true or untrue

I explained that it is untrue, dealers usually limit what they are carrying, or specifically don't carry on their person because of the law???

...

i don't get what there is not to get about this??

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Rakeesh
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I'm calling for us to arm police officers and secure police stations!
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by GinetteB:
Why do you all discuss something that is not a matter of opinion, but of facts?

Just look at the statistics to see, the USA is the most violent western industrialized country, and shooting (incidents) play a huge part.

Adam Gopnik on the simple truth about gun control

quote:
There are complex, hand-wringing-worthy problems in our social life: deficits and debts and climate change. Gun violence, and the work of eliminating gun massacres in schools and movie houses and the like, is not one of them. Gun control works on gun violence as surely as antibiotics do on bacterial infections. In Scotland, after Dunblane, in Australia, after Tasmania, in Canada, after the Montreal massacre—in each case the necessary laws were passed to make gun-owning hard, and in each case… well, you will note the absence of massacre-condolence speeches made by the Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia, in comparison with our own President.

The laws differ from place to place. In some jurisdictions, like Scotland, it is essentially impossible to own a gun; in others, like Canada, it is merely very, very difficult. The precise legislation that makes gun-owning hard in a certain sense doesn’t really matter—and that should give hope to all of those who feel that, with several hundred million guns in private hands, there’s no point in trying to make America a gun-sane country.

As I wrote last January, the central insight of the modern study of criminal violence is that all crime—even the horrific violent crimes of assault and rape—is at some level opportunistic. Building a low annoying wall against them is almost as effective as building a high impenetrable one. This is the key concept of Franklin Zimring’s amazing work on crime in New York; everyone said that, given the social pressures, the slum pathologies, the profits to be made in drug dealing, the ascending levels of despair, that there was no hope of changing the ever-growing cycle of violence. The right wing insisted that this generation of predators would give way to a new generation of super-predators.

What the New York Police Department found out, through empirical experience and better organization, was that making crime even a little bit harder made it much, much rarer. This is undeniably true of property crime, and common sense and evidence tells you that this is also true even of crimes committed by crazy people (to use the plain English the subject deserves). Those who hold themselves together enough to be capable of killing anyone are subject to the same rules of opportunity as sane people. Even madmen need opportunities to display their madness, and behave in different ways depending on the possibilities at hand. Demand an extraordinary degree of determination and organization from someone intent on committing a violent act, and the odds that the violent act will take place are radically reduced, in many cases to zero.

Look at the Harvard social scientist David Hemenway’s work on gun violence to see how simple it is; the phrase “more guns = more homicide” tolls through it like a grim bell. The more guns there are in a country, the more gun murders and massacres of children there will be. Even within this gun-crazy country, states with strong gun laws have fewer gun murders (and suicides and accidental killings) than states without them. (Hemenway is also the scientist who has shown that the inflated figure of guns used in self-defense every year, running even to a million or two million, is a pure fantasy, even though it’s still cited by pro-gun enthusiasts. Those hundreds of thousands intruders shot by gun owners left no records in emergency wards or morgues; indeed, left no evidentiary trace behind. This is because they did not exist.) Hemenway has discovered, as he explained in this interview with Harvard Magazine, that what is usually presented as a case of self-defense with guns is, in the real world, almost invariably a story about an escalating quarrel. “How often might you appropriately use a gun in self-defense?” Hemenway asks rhetorically. “Answer: zero to once in a lifetime. How about inappropriately—because you were tired, afraid, or drunk in a confrontational situation? There are lots and lots of chances.”

So don’t listen to those who, seeing twenty dead six- and seven-year-olds in ten minutes, their bodies riddled with bullets designed to rip apart bone and organ, say that this is impossibly hard, or even particularly complex, problem. It’s a very easy one. Summoning the political will to make it happen may be hard. But there’s no doubt or ambiguity about what needs to be done, nor that, if it is done, it will work. One would have to believe that Americans are somehow uniquely evil or depraved to think that the same forces that work on the rest of the planet won’t work here. It’s always hard to summon up political will for change, no matter how beneficial the change may obviously be. Summoning the political will to make automobiles safe was difficult; so was summoning the political will to limit and then effectively ban cigarettes from public places. At some point, we will become a gun-safe, and then a gun-sane, and finally a gun-free society. It’s closer than you think. (I’m grateful to my colleague Jeffrey Toobin for showing so well that the idea that the Second Amendment assures individual possession of guns, so far from being deeply rooted in American law, is in truth a new and bizarre reading, one that would have shocked even Warren Burger.)

Gun control is not a panacea, any more than penicillin was. Some violence will always go on. What gun control is good at is controlling guns. Gun control will eliminate gun massacres in America as surely as antibiotics eliminate bacterial infections. As I wrote last week, those who oppose it have made a moral choice: that they would rather have gun massacres of children continue rather than surrender whatever idea of freedom or pleasure they find wrapped up in owning guns or seeing guns owned—just as the faith healers would rather watch the children die than accept the reality of scientific medicine. This is a moral choice; many faith healers make it to this day, and not just in thought experiments. But it is absurd to shake our heads sapiently and say we can’t possibly know what would have saved the lives of Olivia and Jesse.

On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to us to join. Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.

Adam has a number of really great points here; internationally, we have the full body of evidence necessary to show what works and what will inevitably work here once we start catching up (even though you will have the exact same unconvincing and spurious arguments used in the health care debate — which we also have ample international evidence about to show us the clear and easy solution — about some sort of odd american exception: "We're too large!" "We're fundamentally different," "We're not a racially homogeneous country/we're too diverse" or .. whatever) and, as our intransigent conservatism collapses, we will slowly and surely see these changes take place.

Until then, we can sit back, relax, watch the handwringing, and watch the grotesque tally of our country's gun obsession crawl ever higher.

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Rakeesh
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Wait a second. Someone is saying that the more tools of easy lethal violence a population has, the more likely it will engage in easy, lethal violence?

Nonsense! We need better statistics, as though statistics work that way-as though you can ever study a single population, measure its behavior with numbers, and reach ironclad conclusions without looking at OTHER groups and making a comparison.

It's impossible. We don't know it would work. Somehow what we DO know, though, is that even more guns in more places will make us safer. There's not at all a glaring, cavernous contradiction here.

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Xavier
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quote:
Until then, we can sit back, relax, watch the handwringing, and watch the grotesque tally of our country's gun obsession crawl ever higher.
Silly Sam, in each and every one of those cases, the person would have been killed with a sword or knife or something.
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Samprimary
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quote:
It's impossible. We don't know it would work. Somehow what we DO know, though, is that even more guns in more places will make us safer. There's not at all a glaring, cavernous contradiction here.
And this sums up how kind of completely ridiculous a lot of people are being right now in this country.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
Until then, we can sit back, relax, watch the handwringing, and watch the grotesque tally of our country's gun obsession crawl ever higher.
Silly Sam, in each and every one of those cases, the person would have been killed with a sword or knife or something.
I've had, in all earnestness, exactly that said to me. Everyone everywhere who was ever murdered or attempted to he murdered was done so by a killer who was brutally, resolutely determined to kill and was committed to do whatever it took, apparently, to slake their lust for blood.
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Xavier
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A thought experiment:

Imagine a device that looks like this. You use it by saying a person's name, then pressing the button. When you do so, that person falls over dead. No matter where they are or what they are doing.

Now imagine that you've been in easy possession of this button your whole life. Would you have ever used it? Been really tempted to use it?

Edit: Now imagine someone that doesn't like you very much. Maybe an ex-girlfriend, or a coworker, or your old boss. How comfortable would you feel if they had easy access to such a button.

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Xavier
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(I'm not trying to pretend that I'm especially clever with the above post, I just think its almost self-evident that violent death happens more when its easy to do. Like Rakeesh mentions, it seems to often be a contested point. Probably nobody in this thread has been arguing that viewpoint, I haven't read the whole thing. Just had the thought and wanted to share it.)
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scholarette
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Of course, stabbing someone is a whole lot slower and more effort, much more intimate and gives the victim a chance to fight back.
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Dan_Frank
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Parkour, Sam, Rakeesh,

I'm trying to figure out how you guys are missing so much context. Not too sure, but I'll try again. I'm quoting Rakeesh, because he responded the most specifically, but I've got all three of you in mind.

I do ask that you try to read the whole post, though.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
what the hell, man! You were clearly-still are!-asserting before that criminals pay no heed to the law, for example, drug dealers carrying as much as they'd like.

Nope! Wasn't asserting that at all.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Except you left off the part where they would carry more with less extra help and trouble needed if not for quite a few laws! That 'is this illegal/when my corner gets searched, can I be hauled in for it?' is obviously a part of 'drug dealing they want to accomplish'?

No, it just wasn't relevant.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
What is this absurd reality? Is this more pseudo-libertarianism, where criminals pay no attention at all to laws because they're criminals, and we know that's true because criminals pay no attention to laws? You go on to deny that outlook, but it was very much included in your original assertion.

No.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Anyway, as to laws: you're speaking as though laws are only useful as proactive regulation of law abiding citizens. They're not. They can also be useful tools to force those who would otherwise break them to have a more difficult time doing so, and to be able to exact greater punishment when they do.

No to the bold. Yes to everything else.

One last time: All the stuff you think I've been saying applies to easily circumvented laws. When you read what I write, it's important to read, and understand, the whole thing.

I never made these assertions about all laws, everywhere.

Drug dealers, fundamentally, break the law. They sell drugs. That's because, at its base, laws prohibiting drugs are not practical. They are too easily circumvented.

Some particular laws about drugs are likely harder to circumvent, though. And have a significant effect on the exact way a drug dealer goes about breaking the law. That's not a contradiction of my point.

This whole line of argument stemmed from a comment I made about gun laws (or drug laws, analogously) that could be easily circumvented. When you change it to a conversation about all gun laws, or all drug laws, then of course what I've said no longer applies.

Maybe you guys think I think that all gun laws can be easily circumvented or something? I don't, though.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
As for nonlethal weapons....I...yes, they're not as effective at reliably stopping people as the tool designed for lethal violence. Jesus. Apparently that is the *only* consideration to be examined. You're sort of *leaving off* the part where non-lethal can be considered an advantage in the case of negligence, accidents, or poor marksmanship comes into play.

But no. For some baffling, unexplained reason, these sorts of things aren't to be considered when talking about the pros and cons of weapons. The only thing we should think of is stopping power in the event of the incredibly unlikely mass shooting.

Has nothing to do with a mass shooting.

Other forms of self-defense weapons are just woefully inadequate in a huge variety of situations. They're utterly, utterly worse than guns.

Yes, non-lethal, non-gun self-defense weapons are better in every category except self-defense. Okay. Stone Wolf asked why I thought they weren't as good for self-defense, though, so... yeah.

Again, context is important.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I hate, hate the moral cowardice of advocates of the Second Amendment. The answer to any problem involving violence is always, invariably, more tools of violence for everyone. An eternal arms race, with any effort to break that cycle rejected because Second Amendment. Comparisons to societies that live without this arms race rejected out of hand because those other places are just too different. Common sense questions rejected as lacking good statistical backing, but 'common sense' assertions in support (such as 'laws don't work on criminals) accepted as gospel.

There isn't anything we can do except accept a few score thousand gun deaths every year. EVERYTHING that happens is a sign we need more, not fewer or even the same number guns in peoples' hands.

For now I'm assuming this (and your even more over-the-top sarcastic post further down) aren't in any way directed at me. It's just you unleashing an irrational, ineffectual rant at the NRA or whoever.

If I'm wrong, and this was actually intended as a straw man directed at me... let me know, and we can both save time by no longer discussing guns with each other. [Smile]

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Samprimary
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also easier to escape or subdue a crazed knifestabber; you don't get the same "can tear up whole groups of people at a comfortable distance with minimal physical effort" thing with knives, not like this should be news to anyone but still has to be said
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Parkour, Sam, Rakeesh,

I'm trying to figure out how you guys are missing so much context. Not too sure, but I'll try again. I'm quoting Rakeesh, because he responded the most specifically, but I've got all three of you in mind.

I do ask that you try to read the whole post, though.

I did. If we are "missing so much context," it is because in this case you are massively unclear and you need to start over.
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Godric 2.0
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In case anyone wants to follow how many gun deaths there are per day in the US, you can follow @GunDeaths on Twitter. From Slate:

quote:
It seems shocking that when guns are in the headlines every day, there’s no one attempting to create a real-time chronicle of the deaths attributable to guns in the United States.

Well, someone is. Since this summer, the anonymous creator of the Twitter feed @GunDeaths has been doing his best to compile those statistics, tweeting every reported death he can find. He was inspired, he told us in a phone interview, by the Aurora, Colo., shootings and simply wanted to call daily attention to the toll that guns take. Now Slate is partnering with @GunDeaths to create this interactive feature, “Gun Deaths in America Since Newtown.”


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