Forum:Guns

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AD and EL[edit]

@AD. Because there are competing concerns. The right to not get shot, vs the right of violent revolution. Just like you have a right to drive, and someone else has the right to not get hit at an intersection. We've already reached a value judgment and efficacy judgment that licensing drivers is the best compromise. So we do. My ideological basis is that happiness and self determination is good. Thus preventing gun crime is good. However, also preventing government tyranny is good. I think there's more to the argument as well. For example I might explore a deterrence effect of gun ownership, but it's hard to figure out which numbers are legit and which aren't. So many confounding variables, and too many dishonest researchers IMHO. Again, to tie it back to my basics, because deterrence leads to less harm, which is my basic moral good. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 21:20, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

When I think back to major violations of civil rights and government tyranny, I cannot recall any incidents where guns were helpful - or where violence would have helped. The Japanese internment camps are one example. In the most extreme example, some folks consider the War of Northern Aggression to have been an instance of this resistance - but in which case it's also an example of the most extreme variety, where a huge populace armed exactly as well as the government rose up in support of their civil rights (and an appalling abomination of slavery) and ended up badly losing, with the total and enduring defeat of their cause.
Then I look at MLK, Gandhi, suffragettes...
It seems to me that careful employment of civil power, ardent advocacy, and nonviolent resistance are better and more effective tools. Indeed, talking about "red herrings" - perhaps the illusion of security and independence provided by a gun is part of what helps make so many Americans comfortable with actual erosion of civil liberties a la the USAPATRIOT Act.--ADtalkModerator 21:52, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
This is a very compelling argument. I am much more concerned about those rights at present than gun rights. Just happens to be in popular discussion. You might be right that world changed, that human nature and/or culture has improved to the point where that kind of tyranny is not possible. I don't think so. You are right that non-violence is the preferred option. You are right that it can work. Still, let me give an assessment of the war of independence using modern, biased, language. "The ingrateful people of the continent, for whom we tax less than our own citizens, for whom we give the protection of the best navy on Earth, have committed terrorist acts against the government, and have begun a campaign of terrorism against those supporting the lawful government." I think it is no exaggeration that one of the primary causes that we are free today is the common availability of firearms. Before firearms, a small standing army of a king could easily suppress any revolt. A knight in mail on horseback is quite a formidable warrior when all you have is pitchforks. Sure, you might say the same of aircraft and tanks vs rifles, but I think the analogy is flawed. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my position does lead to the needless death of about 300 people per year from accidental shootings, and about 600 people per year from homicides (excluding criminal on criminal homicides). I'm sure it will sound callous, but out of a population of 300,000,000, that isn't terribly interesting or compelling. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:05, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's human nature - I think technology has sufficiently changed matters. Specifically, mass communication makes it difficult to suppress dissenting opinions and news about resistance, while military technology (particularly in the States) has become so overweening as to dwarf civilian gun-tech. When the Jews rose up in Warsaw with guns, they only managed to kill 20 Germans before being suppressed and murdered to the tune of 15,000, because civilians just find it very very difficult to resist military machines. That's why it took UN airstrikes before Mubarak fell: his tanks were on the road to wipe out the opposition. It's why it's taken huge international pressure and awareness in the media for the ongoing collapse of Assad's regime, and why the resistance's capabilities are strongly tied to military defectors who refuse to do wrong (or just want to be on the right side of history and the approaching end).
The army of the Continental Congress lost battle after battle, and it was only the iron will and leadership of great men like Washington that let it survive and retreat for years until they could train into an actual army, because they recognized that only a military stood a chance against the British regulars. And that's when the latter are an ocean away and also fighting the French!
As to why we are free, I would like to point out that our freedoms are vastly diminished (I doubt I need to enumerate), and guns never came into play (unless you count Waco!). Japanese internees did not shoot anyone. MLK did not shoot anyone. FDR was not shot. Nixon was not shot. Nor was there any aborted coup or oppression held back by the threat of guns, inasmuch as I know. Seriously: almost every single actual historical example in modern history puts the lie to your reasoning.
You don't sound callous with your numbers argument, but I think it has blinders on. Neither I nor anyone else advocates exclusively for a ban on rifles (assuming such a ban would be Constitutional). I would like serious and arduous barriers to any kind of gun ownership, including universal background checks and waiting periods and insurance, as well as the banning of semi-automatic and automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines.--ADtalkModerator 22:28, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Instead of a ban on rifles, you more or less propose banning all firearms. What's left, bolt action and lever actions rifles and shotguns? Are going to ban revolvers as well, because with speed loaders they can get comparable rates of fire to a semiauto handgun? What about guns like the Lee Enfield and the Moson Nagant, WW1 era bolt action rifles fed by stripper clips (and some also by a detachable box magazine) which can get rates of fire of 30 accurate shots per minute in trained hands? At that point, you don't have the deterrence effect of concealed carry. You don't have the (remote) possibility of violent revolution. At that point, the only reason to not ban all guns is to skirt around constitutional issues. Truly honestly, this is how I see it, and I really wonder how you can possibly see it differently. Do you? EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm really not interested in gun nitpickery. They are a hugely diverse and technical set of equipment, and any categorical restrictions will have some inevitable inconsistencies. You are correct, though, in that the basic idea is to cede only the exactly minimum bit of group as necessary to the constitutional requirement that citizens be permitted to own firearms for personal defense.--ADtalkModerator 23:22, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not a military nor history expert. You're willing to say that Libya, the Russian and the US in Afghanistan, the US in Iraq, are not legitimate examples? Or does this fall under your wiggle room? -- I can agree to "why the resistance's capabilities are strongly tied to military defectors who refuse to do wrong (or just want to be on the right side of history and the approaching end).". -- So, if we accept even one of those as a legitimate example, then I am left with a quandary. Do I care more about less than 1,000 / 300,000,000 death rate per year of people and causes I care about (that is excluding suicide and criminal on criminal murder), or do I care more about Libya not operating under a heinous dictator? Even if it happens just once, it's plausible, and I give that great weight. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a military expert either, but surely you remember the Libyan airstrikes! The "no-fly zone" and the cruise missiles foreign powers launched? The French obliterated some 1500 tanks and hundreds of ammo dumps and aircraft. Not a good example.
I've been trying to do some research just now into this, to see if anyone had any estimates of gun ownership in Libya before the revolution. The best I'm able to find is one news site saying it was "illegal" for private gun ownership. I was wondering how many of the guns came from outside the country during the revolution, from army mutinies, and from previous ownership. I heard one "person" claim that if Gaddafi had a gun registry, there would not have been a successful revolution. Given that gun ownership was nominally illegal AFAIK, I can't really support that sentiment. Still, I think we can agree that it is true that without an armed populace, however they got armed, the revolution would have failed. We can also armchair quarterback to see if the NATO airstrikes were also necessary. Perhaps you needed both. I don't know. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 23:31, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I do not understand the relevance of Afghanistan and Iraq, frankly. In both cases, the rebels against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein had guns, and they were completely slaughtered with ease for many years until foreign powers (again) rolled in with armies. You seem to be bolstering my case that guns are no longer protection against your own government.
Or are you now arguing that guns are necessary so that if America is conquered by a foreign power, we can maintain an insurgency? Because that is a lot different!--ADtalkModerator 23:19, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Sure, that's one use case. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 23:31, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
No: are you saying that widespread gun ownership is necessary for that reason? Obviously it's a use case, but so is the idea that guns are needed in case of zombie uprising or robot war. Are you actually arguing that Americans need to own guns so that we can maintain an insurgency if we are conquered by a foreign power, and that this is a compelling enough reason to permit the ongoing collateral damage from homicides, suicides, and accidents?--ADtalkModerator 00:06, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

tl;dr the only real way I can support private gun ownership is violent revolution, repelling foreign invasion, self defense, crime deterrence, and positive benefits to culture from a sense of empowerment and reminder of empowerment. All of those arguments are quite weak IMHO. However, the number of deaths each year is comparable to the number of deaths per year of accidental drowning in backyard swimming pools, so I consider those arguments quite weak too. I also think that merely banning guns won't automagically stop all that homicide and suicide. Sure, it might lower it, but by how much is anyone's guess AFAIK. (Of course, it might also increase it if the deterrence argument is true - a proposition I make only weakly.) Hence why it's a tossup for me. I end up leaning towards one side because of my idealism. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 23:39, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Please try to think and then make a single edit. Otherwise you get cases like this, where I respond only to have a completely new sentiment in the meantime. It's very frustrating.
Okay, so I admire your basic propositions above. However, I believe there are a number of failures.
First of all, I think that the violent revolution element is not only very weak, but history has shown that successful and lasting ideological change is far more effective when conducted nonviolently, and the presence of guns might actually be detrimental to the actual goal of revolution: liberty and self-determination.
This is also perhaps the case with "empowerment," but add on as a counter to that the climate of fear that exists. At minimum, I would argue that the fear and horror of ubiquitous guns at least cancels out any positive cultural effects, especially when you consider that restricting guns to ranges or other measures could sustain a gun culture without anywhere near the terror caused by "empowered" people who strut the streets strapped.
Then there's the idea of self-defense, which also occurs in small numbers and frequently just to prevent property crime. Numbers are hard to come by, thanks to Congressional bans on the CDC from research (finally circumvented by Obama!) but apparently there are something like 65,000 incidents of gun use in self-defense, 20% of which were by police. So 52,000 incidents of defense per year, on average. Now comparing that with some variable amount of gun homicides, suicides, and accidents is not very impressive, you're right. Even all those incidents wouldn't cancel out those 52,000. But if we're going to count guns used to prevent property crime, then we should also consider guns used to commit property crime. And the FBI tells me[1] that this is about 141,000 incidents last year, which seems (from a quick check) to be typical.
By the numbers, it's hard to say exactly how many impulse homicides (19,000), suicides (11,000), and crimes (141,000) might still have occurred without a gun present, but those numbers would surely be much lower - and accidents (600 fatal, 200,000 non-fatal) would approach zero. I would say this much overpowers the idea of self-defense.
I admit that crime deterrence is not something I would know how to measure, and may represent a significant factor.
On balance, does this cause you to revise your thinking at all?--ADtalkModerator 00:06, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
You mean only make one paragraph per edit action, or don't make multiple paragraphs in different places even with multiple edits? -- Sorry that this doesn't cause me to really revise my thinking, because I knew most of that already, or disagreed with the claims. Couple random replies: -- I still seriously ponder if you are right about nonviolence in revolution being unequivocally the best approach. When it works, it's great, and to be greatly preferred. It seems to work pretty well, and I do thank the European Enlightenment for that. I don't think that history quite agrees with you in the way you put it, and I think you downplay how important the mere threat of violence is. Perhaps the mere threat of violence made the massive number of nonviolent participants in marches that much more effective. So how much more or less effective is the message with the implicit threat behind it? Or how much has our culture changed that we actually value each other so we can rely less on violence and threats of violence? That's not included in your above analysis. Overall, I don't know. -- No, I don't think that restricting guns to ranges will foster a culture of liberty and independence, precisely because you don't have that liberty or independence in that situation. The idea doesn't come from shooting a gun under government supervision. The idea comes from being able to shoot a gun without government supervision. (Again, I'm for some universal health care, welfare, etc., for some reason I think guns are different. "Last bastion" argument. Meh.) -- I don't know of any good self defense numbers. There's that one asshat which every pro-gun guy cites who based his numbers off self reporting, and concluded like 2.5 million self defense incidents with guns per year or something. Sadly, he didn't take into account the possibility of a small false positive report rate, and appeared to even go so far as to improperly decry as denying science people who correctly criticized him. So, I do love Obama for going for hard numbers. That's what matters in a debate like this. -- Your argument that (gun) crimes and violence would go down assumes the deterrence effect is rather small. I wish there was a good way to measure it. I've seen some halfass stats comparing Britain vs the US in this regard. I've seen a lot of surveys of criminals in prison where rather large portions said they were either fended off by a gun or decided to not commit a crime for fear that a person would have a gun. I wish there was a lot better numbers in this area. Again, call me callous, but suicide numbers matter even less to me. It's their choice. I also wonder how much the suicide rate might lessen. I was talking to my brother about this other day, who has a degree in psychology, and we both agreed it would probably lower suicide rates somewhat, but (if I can represent him honestly) seems to think that suicide rates won't be that affected as alternate methods are usually available with almost as good success rate. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 00:35, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree, more data will be good.
I would suggest that your brother look up the research if he was just speculating, but even common sense suggests that gun suicide is much more likely to be successful and much less likely to receive successful treatment. After all, if you take pills or cut your wrists you can be found (or feel regret and call for help) and have your stomach pumped, and jumping off a building provides a public venue where you can be talked down, etc. Some casual googling suggests that this common sense is fairly accurate. And, of course, it takes a lot more effort and will to kill yourself in many other ways, as compared to firearm.--ADtalkModerator 07:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
A small tangent about the different kinds of depression: I don't know if this is medically supported, but it seems different kinds of stress and depression lead to different kinds of suicide. Someone who's been suddenly crushed by life, such as losing their long-time career, or facing a severe emotional crisis often do "impulsive" suicides, like buying or borrowing a gun and assuming it'll work, or trying to overdose on the first available drug they think will work, hoping it'll kill them. And then there's people like my brother, who had a shitty life and felt shitty for years and years, so he researched exactly what it would take to kill a person of his body mass (he was morbidly obese), and kept what he needed in his apartment, for when he finally felt shitty enough to actually do it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I've had a couple of instances where I really thought, "fuck it, I've had enough". If a gun had been handy then I believe that I would have blown my own brains out. Other methods of suicide required too much planning, the possibility of too much pain, or the possibility that it would not be immediate successful and could leave me alive but in a debilitated state. Similarly, there have been other times when I just wished someone was dead and like swatting an irritating wasp I can understand how someone in the heat of the moment might pull a gun and get rid of their irritation. Of course these moments pass but sometimes a gun is just too quick and easy a way to change something without thinking of the consequences. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 11:29, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this. I'm still rather undecided on the issue of if I want gun rights or not. However, I am going to fight you AD, and people like you. Not here - I won't cause a fuss. This may be the last time I mention it, barring someone else bringing it up. But I will not stand aside from your flagrantly dishonest political tactics. You have openly stated that you want to curtail gun rights as far as SCOTUS will let you. In short, you reject the value judgments encased in the second amendment, and you have made it your stated mission to pervert the rule of law. I will not abide by this. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:46, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

A different thread, also moved from Saloon Bar to here[edit]

IF Obama did not support putting armed guards, or specifically police officers, in schools, this would be a perfectly fair, even if personal, argument. The NRA is trying to argue that an "good guy" adult needs to be armed to protect children from an "armed" bad guy. Whether or not you agree with this argument, faux outrage or accusing the NRA of attacking Obama's children (which they did not) is kinda pathetic. This type of argument is akin to asking why are politicians' children not serving in wars. The real problem is, President Obama absolutely supports and has proposed more federal funding for school resource officers. Of course, this proposal runs counter to Republican orthodoxy on using federal dollars to fund anything. FlamingModerate (talk) 06:28, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Is there any reason not to just move incoherent bilge like the above paragraph to a suitable forum, as happened last time it tried really hard to restart the gun flamewar? - David Gerard (talk) 09:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh look, the forum's village idiot. If you don't want to discuss something, then just shut the fuck up. FlamingModerate (talk) 14:33, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
No, you are the villiage idiot. Osaka Sun (talk) 14:59, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh lookie, another retard trying to bait a flame war on the interwebs. Small dick syndrome. FlamingModerate (talk) 15:04, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Troll Steven Kavanagh (talk) 15:46, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Flaming Moderat - the trouble with your argument is that you are comparing (or the NRA is comparing) apples to oranges. both fruit, i guess, in that both are about violence on kids, but Obama's children are DAILY TARGETS of specific credible and not-as credible threats made to them. "school kids" in general are not. If you were to get a threat, even a fully fake, un-credible threat to a school, every cop, the FBI and several other resources would be at that school INSTANTLY, and yes, with guns. but the idea that we need macho dudes (generally poorly if at all trained) carrying guns around our schools to protect our kids from A THREAT THAT IS NOT REAL, much less one that is just "not credible", is ludicriss. there are, as of 2010, 100,000 Public schools in the us. There were, if you include "gang" type incidents, less than 12 incidents with guns firing in 2011. Yes, it's big news when it happens. but it's all about perception. You don't need arms at your school, cause statistically you will never get a threat. Obama kids get DAILY, REAL threats. credible threats. people are actually trying to harm if not kill them. so do shut up, please?Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 16:20, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Scream!! (talk) 20:25, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Not to mention, of course, the experience and qualifications of Secret Service agents in contrast to the hicks who think they want to defend schools but are really just out there for some small-penis-compensating action to make them feel manly. If these people gave a shit about kids they wouldn't be protecting them with guns but by supporting the social programs and political legislation that actually does help them. The financial needs that schools have to actually teach, or funding for children's hospital care, cancer charities, or any of the things that actually cause kids to grow up to be responsible and inspired adults rather than shit-scared paranoid freaks that grew up with armed guards protecting them from statistically insignificant threats. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:38, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
For you leftist sycophants who seem to be devoid of all logic. Nobody wishes harm or is saying to remove SS protection from the Obama kids. So you can quit it with that card, because it is utter fucking horseshit. What the NRA AND the President want to do is have school resource officers at every school. For leftists who seem to see any tragedy not involving the Dear Leader as a mere statistic, you may not empathize with a parent or citizen wanting to protect their children. So if the career students on here would have actually had the reading comprehension abilities to understand the point of the ad, they may spare all of us the faux bullshit outrage and making up shit that the NRA did not say. FlamingModerate (talk) 21:24, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I don't give a rat's ass what the NRA says - they're in the pockets of the gun manufacturers and simply want to up the paranoia and fear of the gullibles so more and more guns are sold. The NRA doesn't give a shit about the safety of anyone, let alone kids in schools. They're only in it for the money. SharonW (talk) 22:13, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Psychiatry has become so advanced now that a simple fMRI scan can identify the nutters who should not own a gun. If the whole population was scanned, like TeenScreen, and those with a mental disease could be prevented from owning a gun then this whole situation can be solved. Simple. 81.101.244.221 (talk) 01:12, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Such a statement requires the backing of considerable evidence.--ADtalkModerator 03:02, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe the board could consider implementing a scanner into the RW sign up procedure so that we wouln't be plagued with wing nut monomaniacs. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 08:46, 19 January 2013 (UTC)