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Mar 01 2012

Holy crap! I’ve got to get me a gun!

The Minnesota legislature is working up a new law that makes it justifiable to pull a gun and shoot someone on mere suspicion of a threat. Don’t run away, don’t avoid trouble, just open fire!

The just-passed Minnesota bill to expand “Castle Doctrine” gun rights should be called the Shoot First law. The Minnesota law—and bills like it pending in Texas, Pennsylvania and other states—allows gun owners to use deadly force outside of their homes on the basis of merely feeling threatened. No longer would there be any onus to retreat from perceived danger. That’s why the term Shoot First is appropriate.

Under HF1467, you can shoot somebody:

[6.25] to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is an offense or attempted offense that imminently exposes the individual or another person to substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death; or

[6.27] (3) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is the commission or imminent commission of a forcible felony.

I was horrified to see who’s defending this bill, but totally unsurprised.

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said, “This bill is about good folks and giving them an opportunity to defend themselves.”

I voted against Ingebrigtsen in the last election — I could tell he was just another pig-ignorant Republican thug. Now it’s confirmed.

Somehow, I have this notion that “good folks” aren’t all about hair-trigger firearms use.

Somebody ought to mention to the sponsors of this bill that it allows atheists to carry a gun, and use it. Don’t forget, we’re untrustworthy and not good folks.

397 comments

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  1. 1
    keithroragen

    I’ve always wondered what these laws are a response to. Is there a spate of innocent Minnesotans being prosecuted and convicted for defending themselves against heinous criminals? Mt guess is, these types of laws are designed to make owning a gun more fun.

  2. 2
    Antares42

    PZ, please don’t hurt me – I’d like to abuse and divert the thread for a moment and remind people of your earlier post about those nasty UK acupuncturists and their pointless poll.

    As reasonably expected, upon being pharyngulated, they reset (or “fudged”) their numbers at least twice, and then introduced a user registration. After these disingenuous shenanigans the poll now stands at 68% in favor of and 32% opposed to more acupuncture on the NHS, the British public health care system.

    Do we want to let them get away with it? I say no – let The Wrath be upon them once more, send The Minions, and may The Tentaclets again do their dirty (dirrrrty) work.

    Copy the link address into a new window so you won’t be spotted as an Assassin of the Order of the Pharyngula, create an account and show them who’s boss.

    Thank you.

    Now I’ll show myself out.

    (Unless PZ reasonably assumes I mean harm and shoots me on sight.)

  3. 3
    Chrisco

    You say.. on a basis of merely feeling threatened. Like thats a far strectch to use a frearm.

    So if ive got a CCL and get jumped in the park you think i shouldn’t be able to defend myself, I would have to say that is BS.

  4. 4
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I suppose I should start popping popcorn right now for this thread…

    I LOL’ed at this comment on the Salon post:

    I would guess that Hoverounds are included in the definition of “vehicle”, no? That would be a sight to see, a bunch of Tea Partiers in their electric wheelchairs, shooting it out on the streets of Minnesota.

    OTOH, there’s an idiot who brings up a NYC cop who was shot and paralyzed by some kid with a .22 — because, y’know, all of us get into such situations daily — and actually writes, “Let’s face it, we live in an atmosphere like Serbia, or Syria, and everyone is pretty much on their own.” Uhhhhhh….

    (Note to Antares: You can use The Endless Thread for such comments, rather than derail a topical blogpost. TET is linked under PZ’s photo and the Google Plus icon in the right-hand sidebar on every page.)

  5. 5
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Good god this is a bad law and I hope it doesn’t pass. Reasonable belief on a hair-trigger nerve can mean anything. And people are going to be shot and killed for no reason. This is crazy!

    Antares:

    You’re derailing the thread, go put that back in the original topic or in TET.

  6. 6
    Louis

    I feel threatened by everyone….well I don’t, but for the sake of convenience I now do….I’m gonna shoot me some motherfuckers!

    Let me just think about this for a second:

    Imagine, just for a moment, that I am an inadvertently threatening chap. What is my best course of action? Should I risk being blown away when I exit my domicile? Oh no no no, preemptive strikes for everyone! I demand personal howitzers.

    Remind me, how precisely does the ability to obliterate the “threatening” engender a “civil society”?

    Actually don’t. Tedious fucking gun nuts, who will doubtlessly vomit forth into this thread, bore me rigid. Actually, tedious gun nuts threaten me…so go ahead, punk, make my day… ;-)

    Louis

  7. 7
    mirrorfield

    The “Castle Doctrine” laws in other states haven’t resulted in any more bloodshed. If you remember, HCI and VPC were predicting “blood on the streets” when the first concealed carry permits were first introduced in eighties and there has been same screech every time gun laws have been loosened anywhere in USA.

    Having a gun for self-defense is like having a fire extinguisher: You hope you will never have to use it. And no, police cannot protect you. “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

  8. 8
    llewelly

    … and cast Speak With Dead later.

  9. 9
    Chrisco

    I recommend some anger control if you perceive me as a threat. You joke about it, provide the same “no violence” type attitude, but that doesn’t address the guy who is going to rob you at knife-point (or gun-point) while you are in your car. Please someone put me in my place, im from Texas, and really dont understand the mentality of not wanting to be able to defend onesself while outside the home. Please enlighten me.

  10. 10
    michaelrivero

    Inside ones home, I agree. But to make this legal outside seems like asking for an incident that can be used to argue against the fact that legal carry laws lower crime.

  11. 11
    Synfandel

    Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria…

    Is there suddenly a fifty-first star on Old Glory?

  12. 12
    nichrome

    @mirrorfield: Yoshihiro Hattori

  13. 13
    Christopher

    I don’t see what the problem is.

    The author of the opinion piece linked in the OP quotes current law as the proposed law.

    Current law (from the ’60s):
    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.065

    609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

    The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.

    The proposed law:
    http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/588486

    Subd. 2. Circumstances when authorized. (a) The use of deadly force by an individual is justified under this section when the act is undertaken:
    (1) to resist or prevent the commission of a felony in the individual’s dwelling;
    (2) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is an offense or attempted offense that imminently exposes the individual or another person to substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death; or
    (3) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is the commission or imminent commission of a forcible felony.

    You can already use deadly force if you reasonably believe someone is trying to cause you or another great bodily harm. I don’t see how the revised legislation creates an expanded definition of when it is ok to use deadly force when compared to current law.

    Why shouldn’t it be OK to use deadly force against a home invader, or someone who is beating the shit out of their girlfriend in public, or an armed bank robber?

    Hell, in hippy California, justifiable homicide also includes putting down a riot:

    197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
    any of the following cases:
    1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a
    felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
    2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person,
    against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or
    surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends
    and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
    the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any
    person therein; or,
    3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
    wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such
    person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to
    commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent
    danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the
    person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant
    or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have
    endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was
    committed; or,
    4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
    means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
    lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
    the peace.

  14. 14
    Synfandel

    Having a gun for self-defense is like having a fire extinguisher…

    Yeah, a Ruger LCP fire extinguisher that kills people when you use it.

  15. 15
    gregorymarshall

    So, does this mean if one of them is campaigning door to door and I feel “threatened” by them because I know they hate liberals and want us to leave the country, I can shoot them and get off scott free?

  16. 16
    nemothederv

    Y’know that one scene in American History X where Ed Norton shoots a guy in the street? This means Eddie doesn’t go to prison for that.

    I you think what’s covered about the new law here looks like a rootin shootin time try reading this:

    Article 4: provides for the recognition by Minnesota of permits-to-carry a pistol issued by other states and jurisdictions, provided that the permit holder conforms to Minnesota’s pistol carry laws while carrying a pistol within Minnesota.

    I have a carry permit here in California. Does this mean I can travel to Minnesota, go on a murder spree and just claim that all my victims “looked at me funny”? I’m sure there’s some nuance that I’m missing but it sure reads like it.

    I think, if you live in Minnesota, kevlar would make a good investment. Maybe a helmet too.

  17. 17
    holytape

    mirrorfield,

    I don’t think that this bill is going to increase the number of shootings, its just going to make the shootings much harder to prosecute. What constitutes a reasonable belief?

  18. 18
    kevinbrown22

    I want to believe they are finally taking over population seriously. About time.

  19. 19
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Louis:

    Your prediction seems to have come true.

  20. 20
    gaia

    nichrome
    1 March 2012 at 8:29 am
    @mirrorfield: Yoshihiro Hattori

    I wish I hadn’t seen that. I’m now all depressed and angry. (Well, more than I already was by the OP itself.) Argh!

  21. 21
    Chrisco

    @ Katherine, like a nostradamus prediction. So predictible.

  22. 22
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @ButchKitties:

    Much as I disagreed with him, that’s a shock to hear! He was young, too. My thoughts and condolences to his friends and family.

  23. 23
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @my 22:

    Whups, wrong thread!

  24. 24
    holytape

    christopherdemars,

    This bill lowers the bar for what is is reasonably considered self-defense.

    Let’s say that you are walking down a street. A large man is in front of you. He reaches into his pocket. You think that he is going to pull a gun out and shoot you. At this point you don’t actually see the gun, but you shoot him first. It doesn’t matter if this man had a gun or not. Under the old laws, this is not self-defense, but under the new law it is.

  25. 25
    Synfandel

    In 1791, The United States of America was a brand new country born out of armed rebellion against the most powerful empire in the world. Its security was fragile. Reconquest by Britain was a real and immediate possibility. Legislators knew that the fledgling republic’s best defence was an armed populace organized into a militia. Thus, the second amendment to the constitution declared that,

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Shhhh. Come here. Listen. I will probably get in trouble for letting the cat out of the bag, but I’m going to let you Americans in on a secret.

    The invasion has been called off.

  26. 26
    Ing

    So if ive got a CCL and get jumped in the park you think i shouldn’t be able to defend myself, I would have to say that is BS.

    A gun is not very effective against a straw assailant.

    You can already use deadly force if you reasonably believe someone is trying to cause you or another great bodily harm. I don’t see how the revised legislation creates an expanded definition of when it is ok to use deadly force when compared to current law.

    I was afraid that black person I saw was pulling out a gun even thought it was really his cell phone.

  27. 27
    pyrobryan

    I think the key here is “reasonably believes”. If you walk in to court and say “The guy looked at me funny. I perceived that as a reasonable threat.” you’re going to jail.

    It’s in the same vein as reasonable doubt. It’s not a subjective term. It’s not saying “doubt that you can find some arbitrary, abstract way to call reasonable”.

    I still don’t think this is a good law, though, as it does promote the “shoot first” attitude. Especially the 6.27(3) part “to prevent…imminent commission…”

    Let’s say a young woman is walking down an alley to get to her car in the parking garage the next block over. A man follows her in to the alley. It’s late at night in a dark alley and there’s no one else around. Would the woman be right to “reasonably believe” that shooting this man would “prevent the commission of an imminent forcible felony”? What if the man was just doing exactly what she was doing? Heading to the parking garage to get to his car? Sure, the woman was right to be aware of her surroundings, to take note of the man who appeared to be following her, to be prepared to take measures to defend herself if need be and it’s reasonable for her to assume that being attacked is a possibility, but at what point did her right to feel safe trump that man’s right to not be shot for no reason?

  28. 28
    coragyps

    “I’ve always wondered what these laws are a response to.”

    I know!!! Ask me!!!!!!

    Mexicans. And Negros. Probably Ay-Rabs. Well, males with more melanin in their skins than Coragyps has in his.

    That’s what they are in response to.

  29. 29
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine, #19,

    I love it when I’m right…oh wait…no, it’s the other thing…I hate it when I’m right!

    I wonder how the rest of the civilised world copes without concealed carry laws and guns bristling from every orifice? There’s a few hundred million of us, we’re not all that insignificant, despite the charming American exceptionalism that habitually infests this discourse. Oh sure we have guns, crime and sundry unpleasantness too, but in most nations apart from the US we seem to manage pretty well without the ability to blow one another away at the drop of a hat.

    Louis

  30. 30
    Chrisco

    Says you. Guns are a Pandora’s box, like so many things in the world. There no getting rid of them. They’ll always be here illegally and used illegally by felons murders etc. If you are blind to this that’s your issue, by all means dont own a gun.

  31. 31
    Ing

    I think the key here is “reasonably believes”. If you walk in to court and say “The guy looked at me funny. I perceived that as a reasonable threat.” you’re going to jail.

    Is “reasonably believes” defined by the law? if not than that’s a matter for a jury.

    FFS we just had a judge say that it was ok for a man to attack an atheist for offending his religion? You really want this law in place?

  32. 32
    Louis

    Synfandel, #25,

    The invasion has been called off.

    LIES!

    We’re coming back, and this time we’re bringing extra “u”s for words like colour, the correct spelling and pronunciation of aluminium, an appreciation for tea, and real beer.

    However, in your favour, we will still be wearing red, refusing to fight at tea time and weekends like Gentlemen, and not using the Scottish in an offensive manner.

    Louis

  33. 33
    Ing

    They’ll always be here illegally and used illegally by felons murders etc. If you are blind to this that’s your issue, by all means dont own a gun.

    Why do you people always make the distinction between felon/criminal and regular person? Like all criminals are in a base scheming away under the orders of Kobra Kommander?

    You know what the difference between a honest armed citizen and a murderer/criminal is? One has fucking killed someone.

  34. 34
    AJS

    We have a brilliant system over in the United Kingdom: Guns are illegal, full stop. Not even the police have them (except specialist-trained armed officers).

    You see, despite the best efforts of the Daily Mail, we have not yet forgotten that life is unconditionally worth more than property. The life of an intruder on my property is still worth more than all my property put together. And if this is what it takes for there not to be a piece of property that is worth more than my life, I’m entirely cool with that.

    I’ll see your right to carry weapons and raise you one right not to get shot.

  35. 35
    Christopher

    This bill lowers the bar for what is is reasonably considered self-defense.

    Let’s say that you are walking down a street. A large man is in front of you. He reaches into his pocket. You think that he is going to pull a gun out and shoot you. At this point you don’t actually see the gun, but you shoot him first. It doesn’t matter if this man had a gun or not. Under the old laws, this is not self-defense, but under the new law it is.

    I was afraid that black person I saw was pulling out a gun even thought it was really his cell phone.

    Please explain to me how these two following quotes are different:

    The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.

    The use of deadly force by an individual is justified under this section when the act is undertaken:
    (1) to resist or prevent the commission of a felony in the individual’s dwelling;
    (2) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is an offense or attempted offense that imminently exposes the individual or another person to substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death; or
    (3) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is the commission or imminent commission of a forcible felony.

    If you will be able to shoot someone for grabbing their cell phone under the new law, then you are able to do it under the current law. But if I was on the jury with either law in front of me, I would vote that it was an unreasonable belief.

  36. 36
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Louis:

    (I was gonna make a joke… but it wasn’t funny, just sad.)

  37. 37
    Chrisco

    What about air rifles, No one gets shot (or killed) from those over there? An the United kingdom is an island the size of Texas. Quite a bit easier to regulate i would imagine.

  38. 38
    Synfandel

    @ Louis #32:

    We’re coming back, and this time we’re bringing extra “u”s…

    Well, all right, then. Make sure you also bring toast cooling racks, bad teeth, and the quaint custom of drunken Friday night power vomiting on public statuary.

  39. 39
    mijan

    Well, I firmly believe that I am being threatened by all right-wing religionists. In fact, many of them have made open threats against me. I’m a gay veteran and an atheist. I’m actually an atheist who happily attends a Pagan-themed Unitarian Universalist church because (seriously guys) it’s fun, they don’t care that I think all the stories are just myths (several members of the congregation do), the myths are far more interesting than the Judeo-Christian stories, and we do a lot of liberal social justice work. So, I’m also a “Pagan” in their eyes, so I get even more generalized threats from the religious right. I fear for my safety. I see people wearing their Christian Cult symbols like gang signs, and I wonder if they’re going to see me walking down the street with my spouse, declare me an abomination, and try to kill me. Or maybe they’ll raid our Unitarian Universalist church during a service. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time. Remember that UU church in Tennessee? Yep… scary stuff.

    I guess I’ll need to defend myself preemptively. As a veteran, I’m also very comfortable with firearms.

    Just what these gun-slingin’ wingnuts want, right? An atheist liberal who isn’t afraid of firearms. Betcha that’s not what they were thinking when they wrote the law.

  40. 40
    Chrisco

    ^^^ ughhh

  41. 41
    Chrisco

    that wasnt for you mijan. im an atheist gun-lover. I cant seem to qoute.

  42. 42
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    AJS:

    I’ll see your right to carry weapons and raise you one right not to get shot.

    Pfffft. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness means nothing to these weenies who see a threat ’round every corner.

    If you didn’t want to get shot, you should have gotten the hell out of their way, is what I’m saying. I mean, how was the *ahem* “responsible gun owner” to know that you were only reaching in your pocket for a stick of gum?

  43. 43
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Christopher:

    “I thought he was going to grab a gun and shoot me, I was so scared. It was dark and I was alone and he’d been following me. I didn’t know he was going to pull out a cell phone, it looked like he was reaching for a gun and I shot him because I didn’t want to be killed” *sob sob sob* Jury eats it up, murderer walks.

  44. 44
    Ing

    If you will be able to shoot someone for grabbing their cell phone under the new law, then you are able to do it under the current law. But if I was on the jury with either law in front of me, I would vote that it was an unreasonable belief.

    So your defense is that the law is fine because it doesn’t DO anything?

    Like I said the problem is ‘reasonably believed’ is problematic. If someone is afraid or panics and shoots someone regardless of whether it was a legitamit fear or not they are not being rational.

    You know since there’s so much training that say SWAT or soldiers require to be able to get some level of snap second decision making and responsible firearm use in stressful situations, one might think that it’s incredibly STUPID to hand out weapons to people who can just pay the 60 some bucks for a permit. I mean…it’s not like those people are trained extensively to try to train out the panicked, biased, and irrational responses people naturally have and still fuck up a lot! Nah anyone with thumbs should be trusted with this responsibility.

  45. 45
    nemothederv

    @13 Christopherdemars

    There are two problems with this law.
    A) Words and phrases such as “necessary” “reasonably believe” or “Imminent Commission” can be a bit loose in their interpretation.

    What you do is only “reasonable” if you can get a judge(or jury) to agree. We won’t know what this law really means until it’s tested in trial.

    B) This law doesn’t really change anything in the legal sense. Justifiable self defense was and still is justifiable. You’re still not allowed to have a gun where it’s prohibited. What it does do is embolden a bunch of dimwitted gun nuts into thinking they can reach for their guns as a first option.
    In other words it implies that it is better to ask forgiveness later than waste time thinking now. Now it might be the case that there isn’t time to think but it’s not an attitude to be encouraged when wielding deadly force.

  46. 46
    Ing

    See a law that might be more reasonable to reduce accidental deaths from guns would be to require that self defense killings require a verbal warning before a shot is required. You know “STOP I HAVE A GUN!” that way someone can either surrender or reveal that they weren’t a threat.

  47. 47
    Predator Handshake

    It might be a bit dated in internet time, but the first thing I thought of was this.

  48. 48
    Louis

    Synfandel, #38,

    We shall bring all of those and more, with one exception. Since the regular use of orthodontic during the 1970s, British teeth are remarkably improved. Some of us are even willing to smile in public.

    Your comment about power vomiting reminded me how threatened I am. I think it is perfectly reasonable to shoot someone for vomiting on the wrong statue. Boy bands: threatening. The police evicting protestors: threatening. Anne Widdicome, Melanie Phillips and Richard Littlejohn, VERY threatening.

    Actually, I’ve changed my mind, guns for everyone!

    Louis

  49. 49
    Ing

    Cause you know…I think the death penalty is a bit strict for a purse snatcher or even burglar.

    Random question: legally what is the difference between someone who kills someone breaking into their house by shooting them in the back…and someone who waits till the robbery is done then tracks the robber down and kills them?

    Why is one vigilantism and wrong but the other isn’t?

  50. 50
    Christopher

    “I thought he was going to grab a gun and shoot me, I was so scared. It was dark and I was alone and he’d been following me. I didn’t know he was going to pull out a cell phone, it looked like he was reaching for a gun and I shot him because I didn’t want to be killed” *sob sob sob* Jury eats it up, murderer walks.

    So? That would happen just as easily under current law which has been around for a generation. Why is everyone getting all riled up saying if this law passes then people will suddenly be killing each other over nothing when current legislation uses the exact same “reasonable belief” criteria? How are the laws legally different with regards to when deadly force is justifiable?

  51. 51
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    I grew up, dreaming of the US and of living there. People were modern there, and they loved science.

    They went to the moon, one of the few things my parents allowed me to see. I stayed up with my father to see the first moon landing. My mother went to bed. It didn’t interest her one bit. That’s what I wanted to escape. Conservative idiocy, hatred of the new, hatred of science, hatred of everything that makes life worth living, in my view.

    Except for a single visit, with my mother of all people, I never made it to the US.

    And now, I feel happy I never did. The US sounds to me like the worst country of the developed world to live in. Yes, I know, Somalia is worse. How much worse, I wonder.

    I weep for thee.

  52. 52
    Chrisco

    @ Katherine

    Im not talking about situations like that. Those types are goipng to happen aas long as guns are round, illegal, regulated or not. Kids are going to grab their idiot dad’s loaded revolver, go outside and proceed to accidentally shoot themselves.

    I would never abuse the right to carry and shoot someone in a situation like that (black guy pulling a cell phone). And dont condone someone walking for not using judgment and acting too rash based on sterotypes, etc.

  53. 53
    Ing

    So? That would happen just as easily under current law which has been around for a generation. Why is everyone getting all riled up saying if this law passes then people will suddenly be killing each other over nothing when current legislation uses the exact same “reasonable belief” criteria? How are the laws legally different with regards to when deadly force is justifiable?

    Listen to people when they talk, honey.

    What it does do is embolden a bunch of dimwitted gun nuts into thinking they can reach for their guns as a first option.
    In other words it implies that it is better to ask forgiveness later than waste time thinking now. Now it might be the case that there isn’t time to think but it’s not an attitude to be encouraged when wielding deadly force.

  54. 54
    Predator Handshake

    Damn, the timestamp didn’t make it into my link @47. Please pretend it starts at the relevant part.

  55. 55
    Ing

    Im not talking about situations like that. Those types are goipng to happen aas long as guns are round, illegal, regulated or not. Kids are going to grab their idiot dad’s loaded revolver, go outside and proceed to accidentally shoot themselves.

    Um yeah but less dads with guns== less dead kids. Duh.

    No one is saying fuckign gunshot wounds magically go away when it’s illegal, but the less people carrying around guns the less accidents there are. Fucking DUH. The less people without training using very dangerous machines the less dangerous it is.

    Fuck why do we require special licensing to drive a forklift and construction equipment? Because irresponsible use of those devices can really hurt people. You have to actually take training and tests to prove that you are familiar with the device and have been informed of your responsibilities and the risk involved. Accidents and carelessness still occurs but the rate is better now that OSHA is preventing anyone from just getting on-board and fiddling with controls to figure out what they do (actually especially dangerous for vehicles like forklifts that often use rear steering as people are used to front steering from cars)

  56. 56
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Chrisco:

    The fact you so callously disregard the fact that children are killing themselves and friends because of unsafe weapons is appalling. If guns weren’t legal to own, then that would not happen.

    I don’t care about your individual thoughts regarding gun ownership. I see guns as a killing machine, with no legitimate purpose, that American people fellate and enjoy having because it makes them feel big and superior. Every gun in the hand of an American citizen is a tool of murder.

  57. 57
    jimmauch

    Good grief has our culture has gone infantile. Our governor Scott Walker might consider doing the same thing but he was wondering what the bag limit should be. Should he consider instituting a minorities only season?

  58. 58
    Ing

    I would never abuse the right to carry and shoot someone in a situation like that (black guy pulling a cell phone). And dont condone someone walking for not using judgment and acting too rash based on sterotypes, etc.

    Uh yeah that’s great but…your word isn’t enough for me to trust you.

  59. 59
    Christopher

    B) This law doesn’t really change anything in the legal sense. Justifiable self defense was and still is justifiable. You’re still not allowed to have a gun where it’s prohibited. What it does do is embolden a bunch of dimwitted gun nuts into thinking they can reach for their guns as a first option.
    In other words it implies that it is better to ask forgiveness later than waste time thinking now. Now it might be the case that there isn’t time to think but it’s not an attitude to be encouraged when wielding deadly force.

    How does not changing the law suddenly encourage everyone to break the law?

    Minnesota jury instructions aren’t online, but California’s are. Since both have the “reasonable belief” criteria, I imagine their jury instructions are similar.

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/calcrim_juryins.pdf

    Belief in future harm is not sufficient, no matter how great or how likely the harm is believed to be. The defendant must have believed there was imminent danger of great bodily injury to (himself/herself/ [or] someone else). Defendant’s belief must have been reasonable and (he/she) must have acted only because of that belief. The defendant is only entitled to use that amount of force that a reasonable person would believe is necessary in the same situation. If the defendant used more force than was reasonable, the [attempted] killing was not justified.
    When deciding whether the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, consider all the circumstances as they were known to and appeared to the defendant and consider what a reasonable person in a similar situation with similar knowledge would have believed. If the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed.

  60. 60
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    @Katherine Lorraine #43:

    All I can think about is John T. Williams, except apparently civilians, too, can shoot wandering brown people to death in Minnesota.

    What kind of mentality does it take to make it okay to kill someone for beating someone up or breaking into someone’s house, anyway? If those are justifiably killable offenses, why doesn’t the government kill people who are found guilty in court of doing it? Cost too much tax money or something?

  61. 61
    erichoug

    I know this will surprise a lot of people but I really don’t see the need for this law.

    I learned a long time ago that, on the street, you are better to keep your head down and keep moving. To avoid trouble if at all possible and just keep walking. This is also something that the CHL classes teach.

    I think all this law is going to do is to encourage people to shoot first and ask questions later.

  62. 62
    Ing

    How does not changing the law suddenly encourage everyone to break the law?

    Government is saying “if you reasonably believe someone is a threat shoot them and we got your back” without explaining tot he people what ‘reasonable’ means in this instance.

  63. 63
    pedron

    Is failing to properly observe the separation of church and state a felony? Would it be ok to claim to ‘reasonably believe’ it was the case?

    Just askin’

  64. 64
    WordsOfAWizard

    If someone threatens me with hell, do I then have the right to shoot them?

    They are threatening me with what they define as the greatest possible level of bodily harm possible, after all. Plus legislators in my state seem hellbent on pretending that Christianity is true and legislating accordingly.

  65. 65
    dalemacdougall

    @AJS #34

    Excellent post! As a Canadian who has lived in the US for 12 years I am continually amazed and dismayed at the outright worship given to guns and anything to do with them.

    School shootings, work place shootings, kids shooting themselves or other kids. It doesn’t matter. Just collateral damage. Don’t you dare suggest anything that might possibly limit the right to possess those beautiful, sexy, wonderful devices whose raison d’etre is to hurt people. As you said, how other civilized countries have managed to remain peaceful and democratic without guns all over the place is a mystery……

    “I’ll see your right to carry weapons and raise you one right not to get shot.”
    +1,000,000,000

  66. 66
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Synfandel:

    Shhhh. Come here. Listen. I will probably get in trouble for letting the cat out of the bag, but I’m going to let you Americans in on a secret.

    The invasion has been called off.

    Shit. I wanted free health care. Canada, are you still interested? 1812 is forgiven….

    Mijan:

    Just what these gun-slingin’ wingnuts want, right? An atheist liberal who isn’t afraid of firearms.

    I have a number of friends who fit that description, except that some are pagan instead of atheist. One of the atheist friends used to be a Pink Pistols instructor.

  67. 67
    Ing

    If someone threatens me with hell, do I then have the right to shoot them?

    Amusing but for theological reasons you’d probably loose (person is messenger not the actual actor and you can’t shoot god). They would actually have to claim to be God and the one sending you to hell.

  68. 68
    Synfandel

    @ jimmauch #57:

    Good grief has our culture has gone infantile. Our governor Scott Walker might consider doing the same thing but he was wondering what the bag limit should be. Should he consider instituting a minorities only season?

    Don’t forget about conservation. We’re all stewards of the planet. Perhaps a tag lottery system is needed. In the early days we might want to require that all kills be taken to the local conservation office to record the sex, weight, and maturity of the corpse to get some baseline statistics for setting future quotas.

  69. 69
    Ing

    And to restate my personal position. I like guns. They can be wonderful machines and feats of engineering and chemistry…they go boom. There are good reasons to have one. There are proper ways to house one. The statistics show that safety isn’t one of those. I am not in favor of people having one without training, I don’t trust people.

  70. 70
    Cuttlefish

    Hmm… my first thought, on reading about this law, was this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/01/16/shuffling-feet-a-black-mans-view-on-schroedingers-rapist/

    So long as stereotypes and prejudices exist in a society, a law like this will have a disproportionate effect on members of outgroups.

  71. 71
    Randomfactor

    The Han Solo Act of 2012.

  72. 72
    jimmauch

    If gun where the answer to peace in tranquility why can’t we fly in planes packing our assault rifles. My fully automatic uzi would really be bring a sense of well-being to the passengers.

  73. 73
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    I am not in favor of people having one without training, I don’t trust people.

    I’m not in favour of people having one with training. The first ones will probably miss. The latter ones, not so much.

  74. 74
    erichoug

    We Are Ing says:

    without explaining tot he people what ‘reasonable’ means in this instance.

    I kind of thought that too but isn’t there a legal definition for this?

    I’m surprised that no-one has brought up Joe Horn yet.

    Although that one doesn’t elicit the sort of tears for the victim the way the young man in Red Stick does.

  75. 75
    erichoug

    The statistics show that safety isn’t one of those.

    Could you show us some of these statistics. I got interested after our last encounter and would like to see your side of this. I checked out JUSTFACTS.com but I am largely suspicious of anything that supports my argument.

  76. 76
    Chrisco

    If guns weren’t legal to own, then that would not happen.

    Im sorry, but you are coming off an very ignorant. This is the same mentality that was/is applied to drugs back in the 80′s? How’s that workin out?

  77. 77
    Chrisco

    And my callousness only relects the world we live in. You ARE ingorant if you dont realize that.

  78. 78
    Synfandel

    chrisco, you can make your point without attacking other participants in the conversation.

  79. 79
    Christopher

    What kind of mentality does it take to make it okay to kill someone for beating someone up or breaking into someone’s house, anyway?

    In your opinion, is it OK to use deadly force to prevent someone from killing you?

    Most reasonable people would say yes.

    Now you can’t come back from the dead and stop your murderer, so at some point before you are actually killed, you must make the decision to use deadly force.

    Since people die all the time from one hit to the head (usually they get knocked out, fall over and hit a hard object like the sidewalk), it seems perfectly reasonable to resist “getting beat up” with deadly force.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gwwtWx0nwKlrxMs8qU4jmNPEAreg?docId=c407b813ffdb40998cd057daf4345f60
    http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/02/28/ex-football-coach-faces-reduced-charge-one-punch-death-roy-man-vegas
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Joliet-Woman-To-Stand-Trial-For-One-Punch-Death-131000528.html
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/feb/25/grand-jury-upgrades-charge-in-one-punch-death/

    If someone breaks into your home with you in it, you can’t trust that they will just grab your TV and leave. Beatings, rapes, and murders seem to go hand in hand with home invasion robberies. Once you are tied up, you can no longer act to protect yourself, so yes resisting a home invasion with deadly force seems perfectly reasonable.
    http://www.kare11.com/news/article/963257/14/Arrest-made-in-Blue-Earth-home-invasion-murder
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/13/man-found-guilty-murder-in-connecticut-home-invasion-case/

  80. 80
    Louis

    Guns are addictive now, Chrisco? Apples=/=oranges.

    Oh and the relatively heavy control on guns is working out spectacularly well here in the Western world outside the USA. We have less gun crime per capita, less murder per capita, less gun related incidents period. And yet the rule of law still applies…despite everything being ridiculously easy to govern (sorry but I snorted coffee out my nose at the stupidity of that comment from you).

    Louis

  81. 81
    graag

    I am a gun toting atheist, and the ‘Castle Doctrine’ has been the law in several states without sparking any kind of shooting spree. If, however, you are concerned because you believe the residents of your state are going to be more inclined towards indiscriminate murder than those of Florida or Texas, well, I’m sorry to hear that. Ouch.

  82. 82
    Chrisco

    she said im appaling for my view, i said she was ignorant for hers. fair trade i think.

  83. 83
    Chrisco

    @ louis,

    im glad i made someone laugh, im not too good at formulating my thoughts, lol. Therefore dont think them through. I was refering to the control of the two. i see the apples and oranges comparison.

  84. 84
    birgerjohansson

    Once upon a time, it was permitted to carry swords.
    Then people realised that if you have a lot of people on the streets carrying swords, they will resort to using swords as the first option of conflict resolution.
    Swords were banned and the world did not end.
    — — — — — — — — —
    BTW if people must have guns, why not some version that only can fire “baton” (rubber) rounds? They are potentially lethal, but not as much as lead bullets.

  85. 85
    mijan

    @ Ms. Daisy – I’ve learned that Pagans and Atheists, while strange bedfellows, make surprisingly good allies. Most are staunch secularists. Sadly, some of them are a bit too much into the woo-woo (I’ve gone on and on with a couple of them about homeopathy), but they’re very big on keeping religion a private matter, and out of government. They don’t care if you don’t believe in their gods, as long as you let them do their religious thing in peace. And seriously – drumming, dancing, bonfires, home-brew mead, good whiskey, and “church” that has no problem with sexual innuendo? (You should have seen the fun last Beltane.) It’s a hoot!

    But what a lot of right-wing religionists don’t realize is that not all Pagans are pacifists. There are tons of war deities in the old myths, and warriors have their own place in Pagan society. I know a lot of Pagans who serve in the armed forces. One of the guys in my church follows the Norse pantheon, and he was a Marine.

    But… here’s the thing – while I’m well-trained and comfortable with firearms, I don’t want them in my civilian life. I don’t own one. I’ve considered it, but by all statistics, it would make me MORE likely to become a victim of gun violence, just by owning one. I’m safer without it.

    The Second Amendment had a purpose, but that purpose has been completely overshadowed in the 200+ years since it was written. Since then, we’ve become a gun-happy society, where people feel the need to arm themselves against their neighbor.

    I’m proud of the Pink Pistols. I support what they do, because for too long, militant right-wingers have tried to paint gays as easy targets because they’re weak, wimpy, sissies. This helps stand up to that image with a stronger one.

    The sad thing is that we need this citizens’ arms race in the first place.

  86. 86
    Emrysmyrddin

    What about air rifles, No one gets shot (or killed) from those over there? An the United kingdom is an island the size of Texas. Quite a bit easier to regulate i would imagine.

    Bah-haha. Ha. Hahaha. A-hahahahahaha! Aaaaaaa-hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahaaaaaa!

    Seriously, that’s funny.

  87. 87
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @chrisco:

    I concede that yes, a child could still shoot themselves with their parents’ guns. It would continue to be a tragedy reflected entirely by the gun-fellating society that the United States of America is. However the difference would be that the chances would be significantly reduced because weapons would be illegal and it’d be a heck of a lot harder for children to get their hands on a weapon.

    My ignorance was merely a misstep of the removal of a few key words from my statement. Your appalling view is still appalling, because your statement seems to treat the life of a child as less important than being able to own a tool of murder.

  88. 88
    Chrisco

    ok, not the best choice of words

  89. 89
    baal

    @Synfandel – Most US States have two houses in the State level government. The members are usually called ‘Representative’ for the State House body and ‘Senator’ for the State Senate body. the State Senators are often named by their districts.

    FWIW – the MN police forces are uniformly (or nearly so) against this bill. The law change is to make it less likely someone shooting their gun will be prosecuted or convicted when they shoot a person. As with any time you move the ok / not – ok boundry, it creates uncertainty and that opens the window to abuse of the new, less restrictive standard.

    My issue with the new law is that there is no increase in crime or shred of evidence that the change will decrease any crime or stop any harm. Absent a good reason to change, the status quo should be maintained (gov. basics 101).

  90. 90
    Zugswang

    I’ve hated these castle laws for more than just the fact that it values property over human life, but these laws also assume the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and knowledgeable about firearms and the laws regarding them. At the same time, however, the states that enact these laws also go to great lengths to ensure the obstacles to legally owning and carrying a gun are all but non-existent, effectively violating a very important, unwritten rationale these laws are largely based on.

    When my brother and I took the class we needed to get our concealed carry permits (KY allows for unlicensed open carry, but for concealed carry, you do need a permit. And people still bitch about it.), all that was required was a 4 hour course, an after course exam with obscenely obvious questions, field-stripping and cleaning your handgun, and we had to hit a target 7 feet away 10 times out of 20 shots with the handgun we’d brought with us. Any non-handicapped individual who is incapable of achieving these tasks also probably has difficulty with the great mystery of how to secure a belt to their waist.

    I say a 4-hour class, but the last hour was what my brother and I darkly referred to as the “redneck murder-fantasy hour” where everyone else in the class had nothing to ask about proper storage, safety, or handling of their guns, but had oddly specific questions about our state’s castle law, basically asking what situations would it be appropriate for them to pretend like they’re Jack Bauer killing the bad guys. (example: apparently, if you’re in an outhouse and someone sets it on fire while you’re in there dropping the kids off at the pool, you can legally shoot them. This was an actual situation that was asked, I shit you not.)

    We felt so incredibly safe knowing the vast majority of the people in that class would, in a matter of months, be legally able to carry and conceal firearms on their persons.

    So very, very safe.

  91. 91
    Anthony K

    So long as stereotypes and prejudices exist in a society, a law like this will have a disproportionate effect on members of outgroups.

    That’s pretty much it. And these self-defensers don’t give a shit, because almost every one of them, from Eric Hoag to chrisco, employ dichotomous thinking in which the Good Guys™ and the Bad Guys™ are two distinct, easily distinguishable populations, and they’re never part of the wrong population. (“I recommend some anger control if you perceive me as a threat.” Why isn’t that standard advice for everyone, rather than buying guns? Because chrisco knows and we should all too that he’s one of the Good Guys™, probably thanks to his white Stetson.)

    Unfortunately, because of that, there’s no way to make it clear to them that people who are armed and shitty at reasoning are a threat, no matter how much they dogwhistle about marauding gangs and carjackers.

  92. 92
    Marcus Ranum

    I bet the police love this one. Because it’s open season on cops. “He had a gun and was walking toward me!”

  93. 93
    Quodlibet

    Last week, at my husband’s place of employment, an employee who allegedly felt that his supervisors were not being fair to him went home, got a gun, returned to the workplace, and shot both of them. Multiple times. They are both hospitalized with grave injuries and *if* they live, will be disabled for life.

    I can’t even describe to you what it was like to know that there had been a shooting and to wonder if my husband was going to come home that night.

    BTW, the perpetrator was an older man, no criminal record, good work history, stable family life. He “snapped” and decided that his best course of action would be to kill two people. No background check or licensing procedure would have predicted his unpredictable, deadly choice.

    I don’t have easy answers. I don’t have statistics. I only know the terror of that night and the fact that because a gun was readily, legally available, now, for the victims and their families, AND the gunman and his family, life is irretrievably shattered.

  94. 94
    Chrisco

    @ kat

    Im just against taking away every gun just because a few idiots cant be responsible.

  95. 95
    Synfandel

    baal, thank you. I was thinking he was a federal senator. My bad.

  96. 96
    Anthony K

    I say a 4-hour class, but the last hour was what my brother and I darkly referred to as the “redneck murder-fantasy hour” where everyone else in the class had nothing to ask about proper storage, safety, or handling of their guns, but had oddly specific questions about our state’s castle law, basically asking what situations would it be appropriate for them to pretend like they’re Jack Bauer killing the bad guys.

    That can’t have happened. Mirrorfield assures us that nobody ever wants to use their gun in that sort of situation, and s/he’s even had a clever little bumper sticker slogan about the ineffectiveness of cops, so s/he’s clearly a mindreader.

    See guns are like cars: every driver assures everyone else that they’re a great driver, so much so that you wonder why accidents occur at all.

    Of course, before the gun nuts blow their load for acknowledging that yes, things besides guns can kill people and no, we don’t ban cars, it’s safe to say that guns are a magnitude of order more lethal and less likely to enable minor accidents like fender-benders, otherwise we’d all defend our castles from the Other with a gassed-up Tercel.

  97. 97
    erichoug

    @ Louis

    Oh and the relatively heavy control on guns is working out spectacularly well here in the Western world outside the USA. We have less gun crime per capita, less murder per capita, less gun related incidents period.

    I don’t think it’s really as simple as that. If you look here you see that ban on guns usually has little or no effect on either crime or the murder rate in a given area. although many areas show an initial drop in gun related crime, the numbers seem to go right back in line.

    Also, if you look at the states that have instituted CHL laws, their gun numbers nearly always drop down from a higher than the national average to within parity of the National average.

    But then, as I said above, I tend to doubt statistics that support my argument.

  98. 98
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @chrisco:

    If it were a few idiots, then it would be a simple tragedy. It tends to not be a few idiots though.

    Do you own a gun? If so, how do you store it? Is it in a safe? Is it loaded? Do you have some kind of trigger-lock mechanism on it? If yes to those three questions, it’s safely stored. If not, then you’re not storing your weapon safely.

    Children get killed because their parents think the gun is safe in a box in the closet, or because the ammo is in a box in the end table, or something of that sort. Seeing how fucking quickly my ex-boyfriend got his pistol and loaded it with the ammo in the end table scared the bejeezus out of me the one time I was at his house. I’m thankful we live 3 hours apart because when I broke up with him he got all crazy stalker on me and I have NO idea how he’d react if he owned a weapon like that.

    It’s not hard for a child to get a weapon that’s not stored safely, and for the majority of gun owners, they do not store their weapons safely enough!

  99. 99
    Anthony K

    Last week, at my husband’s place of employment, an employee who allegedly felt that his supervisors were not being fair to him went home, got a gun, returned to the workplace, and shot both of them. Multiple times. They are both hospitalized with grave injuries and *if* they live, will be disabled for life.

    I can’t even describe to you what it was like to know that there had been a shooting and to wonder if my husband was going to come home that night.

    BTW, the perpetrator was an older man, no criminal record, good work history, stable family life. He “snapped” and decided that his best course of action would be to kill two people. No background check or licensing procedure would have predicted his unpredictable, deadly choice.

    That can’t have happened. Mirrorfield assures us that nobody ever wants to use their gun in that sort of situation, and s/he’s even had a clever little bumper sticker slogan about the ineffectiveness of cops, so s/he’s clearly a mindreader.

    Are you sure the employee wasn’t a young, marauding—wink-wink—looter/carjacker?

  100. 100
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @my 97:

    *safely enough, in my opinion!

    (looking for an actual citation, but so far I’ve seen ranges of 5-10% in some of the articles of people who don’t store guns safely. Which of course is determined by the meaning of “safe storage.”)

  101. 101
    Christopher

    Deadly force is deadly force.

    Under the law, it doesn’t matter if you are using a gun, sword, sharp stick, rock, or your fists. All require the same level of “reasonable belief” to employ. Even if all guns were banned in Minnesota, it would still be legal to kill someone if you reasonably believed they were going to kill or hurt you, you’d just have to do it with another object.

    If it is OK to defend yourself with a sharp stick, why shouldn’t you be able to defend yourself with a gun? An octogenarian widow has a much better change of stopping someone from trying to kill her by using a gun than she does with a sharp stick. Why should viable self defense be limited to the young and strong?

  102. 102
    Ing

    @eric

    Go fuck yourself…we poured over the statistics for you and you didn’t give a shit. Not going to try to explain to you stats and risk assesment to you again.

  103. 103
    Anthony K

    But then, as I said above, I tend to doubt statistics that support my argument.

    Oh shut the fuck up. The problem with you is that you don’t understand what statistics mean.

    Anyone who says “You all can be the statistic” because, y’know, numbers don’t count if I really, really, really don’t want them to, should lose the right to use that word.

  104. 104
    Ing

    @christopher

    Then why do people want guns if short stick works just as well. Fucking moron

  105. 105
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Christopher:

    When I can defend myself with a sharp stick at 30 paces, then we can talk.

    (Offnote: Jesus fuck why do people try to use this defense?!)

  106. 106
    Quodlibet

    It’s not hard for a child to get a weapon that’s not stored safely

    When my daughter was in first grade (6 years old), a classmate who was mad at her for some playground issue brought his father’s pistol to school and threatened to shoot her.

    The boy was suspended for a week. I don’t know if his parents had to face any legal consequences.

    I begged the school principal to check that boy’s backpack every day when he arrived at school – she said no. I was grateful to their classroom teacher who did check the bag.

    It was terrifying.

    Isn’t it interesting that my family has twice come so close to gun violence (see my comment at #92, above) – and we live in a “nice” suburban area with a very low crime rate.

  107. 107
    Synfandel

    @ erichoug #69:

    I don’t think it’s really as simple as that. If you look here you see that ban on guns usually has little or no effect on either crime or the murder rate in a given area. although many areas show an initial drop in gun related crime, the numbers seem to go right back in line.

    Granted, banning guns in a single jurisdiction in the middle of a whole country carrying guns may have little permanent effect. The U.S. as a whole has an astonishingly high rate of crime involving firearms and death by firearm as compared with other western nations that restrict access to firearms much more than the U.S. does. Clearly the ubiquity of firearms—especially handguns— is directly linked to these higher crime and death rates.

  108. 108
    Anthony K

    If it is OK to defend yourself with a sharp stick, why shouldn’t you be able to defend yourself with a gun? An octogenarian widow has a much better change of stopping someone from trying to kill her by using a gun than she does with a sharp stick. Why should viable self defense be limited to the young and strong?

    Now, that’s an interesting argument for gun ownership, and a tougher one to address, I think.

  109. 109
    Anthony K

    (Offnote: Jesus fuck why do people try to use this defense?!)

    These discussions are useful for learning just how unnecessary guns are because everything is already so deadly.

    Why did we ever invent them then?

  110. 110
    erichoug

    @ We are ing

    Go fuck yourself…we poured over the statistics for you and you didn’t give a shit. Not going to try to explain to you stats and risk assesment to you again

    Actually, you didn’t. You and brownian just started screaming ‘STATISTICS WE WIN!!!! YEAH MOTHERFUC KER!@!!!!”

    I actually started diggin in to the statistics after our first run in and I stopped shortly after because a good many of them actually supported my argument a lot more than they supported yours. I tend to distrust data on the web that supports my position.

    So, let’s see what you have and then try to discuss it in a rational manner, if you’re capable of that.

  111. 111
    Marcus Ranum

    Once upon a time, it was permitted to carry swords.
    Then people realised that if you have a lot of people on the streets carrying swords, they will resort to using swords as the first option of conflict resolution.
    Swords were banned and the world did not end.

    It was never that simple. In the sword-wearing societies I’m familiar with (ancient Japan, Rome, France and Italy) there were complex rules that governed when and how you could use your sword in an altercation, and those rules had an overlay of class and heirarchy. For example, it was a serious offense in Napoleon’s army for officers to duel across ranks or during wartime (which basically meant “any time”) A middle class gentleman could not duel a noble even if terribly provoked (ask Voltaire about that!) etc. In Japan, samurai could duel and carry swords but there were class restrictions as well as restrictions of utility similar to Napoleon’s “not in wartime” rule. Etc, etc. The real issue with sword-carrying is that the idea of having civilian policing (except in Edo-period Japan) really hadn’t caught on, and for higher-class individuals who showed signs of wealth, the threat display of a sword helped them make it through dark alleyways and forest trails.

    Consider social weapons-carrying as a symbol of class status and American attitudes towards guns ought to be a little clearer to you. Throughout human history, being the person who carries a weapon when others are disarmed has been a privilege of power; in the US the “everyone gets to carry a weapon” attitude is a manifestation of the extreme populist attitudes that were used to sell the population on revolution, coupled with the fact that the frontiers basically had no law and order. American ideology has consistently elevated the weapons-carrying individual to the status of more independent, more self-reliant, and of higher class. And it was probably true in general and is probably true, still.

    So when you see someone wanting to carry a piece of military ordnance, try interpreting it as a sign of class struggle, or social insecurity, and it may make more sense to you.

    (PS – I have spent more hours wearing swords than carrying guns, and I’ve spent my share of hours lugging an M-60)

  112. 112
    erichoug

    @Brownian

    Now, that’s an interesting argument for gun ownership, and a tougher one to address, I think

    You feeling OK, brother?

  113. 113
    erichoug

    @Quodlibet

    Holy fuck!!where the hell do you live?!?! I have been in Houston(not exactly a bastion of gun control) since 79 and I have had a grand total of 2 gun related incidents in my life and both of them involved me being shown a gun by someone I had pissed off when I worked as a bike messenger. In neither occasion did I actually have the gun pointed at me.

  114. 114
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Im just against taking away every gun just because a few idiots cant be responsible.

    I’m not. A gun has only a single purpose: to severely injure or kill another creature. For that reason, guns should not be allowed.

  115. 115
    Christopher

    Then why do people want guns if short stick works just as well. Fucking moron

    Your reading comprehension sucks you fucking moron.

    Guns work much better than sharp sticks, especially for the old, infirm, or otherwise physically weak. That is why people want them you fucking moron.

  116. 116
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Only actual citation I could find was a 1997 survey which showed 26% of gun owners keep the weapons loaded, over 50% keep them unlocked, and 16% keep them unlocked and loaded. Fortunately those numbers are halved when in a house with children (which could explain the 5-10% numbers I was seeing elsewhere.) Here’s the survey, the pertinent information is on page 7, column 1, paragraph 4. Admittedly it’s a bit old, and the information is likely updated, but that’s the quickest citation I located. I’ll look for more, but right now I’m at work, so it’s not my job to find this citation.

  117. 117
    erichoug

    Bart B. Van Bockstaele says:

    A gun has only a single purpose: to severely injure or kill another creature. For that reason, guns should not be allowed.

    The numbers are not on your side on this one. Look at areas in the states where guns have been banned and it has little or no effect on the rate of murder of violent crime. DC and Chicago are good examples.

    Here’s a good article from the Christian science monitor about how in 2009, the violent crime rate was down in the US despite gun ownership being at an all time high.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

    It’s a simplistic argument, just like the ones for prohibition(how well’s that working) and against abortion( statistically speaking, the abortion rate in a country is the same whether or not it’s legal).

  118. 118
    Marcus Ranum

    Why did we ever invent them then?

    It takes years to learn the sword or knife or bow, but you can become deadly with a gun in a matter of weeks. To achieve the level of proficiency of one of the English longbowmen at Agincourt required the investment of lifetimes – but you could fight WWI trench warfare but handing pretty much anyone a tin hat and a gun and sending them over the top…

    When guns were brought to a sufficient level of perfection by the Mauser brothers, we saw an important shift (illustrated by the Boers on the British) that a militia could defeat a standing military. Prior to that change-over, standing armies embodied enough investment in specialized skills (a peasant doesn’t know how to ride a horse, a burgher might, but it takes years to learn how to use a sabre from a horse without killing yourself let alone anyone else) that a professional military caste could fairly offhandedly slaughter even well-led militias.

    One could make an argument, BTW, that the rifle was a tremendous force for democratization and that sword-wearing elites (such as the Satsuma/Choshu in Japan) who strongly resisted the introduction of guns knew exactly why they were anti-gun.

  119. 119
    Christopher

    When I can defend myself with a sharp stick at 30 paces, then we can talk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javelin_throw

    60-90m is much further than 30 paces.

  120. 120
    erichoug

    @ Christopher

    You see a lot of articels about people beating back 3-4 attackers with a sharpened stick? How about your grandma can she kill someone with a javelin at 30 paces?

  121. 121
    baal

    coupled with the fact that the frontiers basically had no law and order.

    The wild west was not wild and gun control was normal there.
    The cowboys having shoot outs at the ok coral was a fiction created by advertisements by COLT (they make guns) in the early to mid 20th century. Mass gun ownership (aside from hunting rifles) didn’t catch on until the NRA got fired up in the mid to late 20th century. My google-fu is weak this AM or I’d have a cite. The is a ton of chafe from the pro-gun lobby that is blatantly biased or lateral to the point. I agree with the rest of what you said.

  122. 122
    Anthony K

    Actually, you didn’t. You and brownian just started screaming ‘STATISTICS WE WIN!!!! YEAH MOTHERFUC KER!@!!!!”

    FIND THAT QUOTE YOU STUPID, LYING FUCKER.

    No, here’s what eric wrote, so we can all see how this dipshit thinks:

    4) I know that I am more likely to be shot by my own gun that any other gun in the world
    5) I know that owning a gun puts my family at a higher risk of being victims of gun violence.

    It is amazing to me that all of you say some variation of “Oh sure, people have used guns sucessfully to defend their families, but that’s just a fluke.” Well, if it’s my family I want to be the fluke.

    You all can be the statistic.

    Get that? This is what you’re saying with regard to statistics:

    “I know that smoking greatly increases my risk of cancer, but it won’t happen to me because I want to be the fluke.”

    “I know that my chance of winning this lottery is so small as to be approaching zero, but it’ll happen because I want to be the fluke.”

    “I know that there’s practically no chance of surviving a free fall from 40,000′, but it’ll happen to me because I want to be the fluke.”

    That’s what you said, you stupid motherfucker. You said, in effect, “I don’t give a shit about the evidence, I got scared once and I don’t want it to happen again.” That’s all you got.

    So, when I tell you to shut up, it’s because you’ve nothing to bring to the table.

    Hey, everybody, eric hoag got scared because people banged on his door. He has no idea whether or not they were looters, but he feels it’s a safe assumption (and really, in his world, what the fuck does probability matter)?

    And though he insists he’s a responsible gun owner, he admits he doesn’t keep his guns secured or locked up on a regular basis. He does like to go to the range, though, so I guess that makes him Serpico or something.

    Now, don’t you ever try to misrepresent my argument again, you miserable piece of shit.

  123. 123
    Marcus Ranum

    A gun has only a single purpose: to severely injure or kill another creature.

    Fail. I enjoy the muzzle blast, recoil, and fine machine-work when I am trying to make little holes in pieces of paper from a benchrest. A benchrest rifle is hardly useful for killing anything.

    Guns can also be entertainment. And it’s acceptable to engage in forms of entertainment that are dangerous to oneself and possibly others (riding motorcycles is also entertaining, more dangerous to oneself, and also possibly dangerous to others) Swords can be entertaining, too, says this former USFA fencer.

  124. 124
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Christopher:

    … My god you’re an idiot…

  125. 125
    Quodlibet

    Holy fuck!!where the hell do you live?!?!

    I live in a typical suburban town in Connecticut, USA.

  126. 126
    Marcus Ranum

    The wild west was not wild and gun control was normal there.

    I was referring more to the cutting edge of the great invasion, where settlers frequently used their guns to “carve out of the wilderness” by shooting the locals. I wrote “frontier” because I didn’t mean “wild west.”

  127. 127
    Anthony K

    Fucking Christ.

    I need to apologise to Eric for the names I called him in 121. Unacceptable.

    I’d better leave this thread now before I buy a gun and shoot somebody in the fucking face.

  128. 128
    erichoug

    @ Brownian

    Why all the hate, brother?

    It is interesting to me that you get violently angry with my slight paraphrase of what you and Ing said but have no trouble at all putting words into my mouth.

    As I said before, many of my arguments in the previous thread were indeed weak.

    If you want to have an actual conversation about it I am perfectly willing to make adjustments in my viewpoint in the face of new data. But, you never bothered to answer any of my other points. Namely that many, many people do indeed use guns successfuly to defend themselves and their family. Have a look here.

    Also, the statistics don’t really support your position. But, just as with all statistics, they say whatever people want them to say.

    P.S. Try to keep it Civil, would you.

  129. 129
    Christopher

    The wild west was not wild and gun control was normal there.
    The cowboys having shoot outs at the ok coral was a fiction created by advertisements by COLT (they make guns) in the early to mid 20th century. Mass gun ownership (aside from hunting rifles) didn’t catch on until the NRA got fired up in the mid to late 20th century. My google-fu is weak this AM or I’d have a cite. The is a ton of chafe from the pro-gun lobby that is blatantly biased or lateral to the point. I agree with the rest of what you said.

    Except when it wasn’t:
    http://auburnjournal.com/detail/198171.html

    Even a great swordsman would have a hard time single handily taking on 14 armed assailants.

    Guns are a great equalizer. Without them things quickly revert to rule of the physically strong (in both absolute terms per person and in numbers) over the physically weak or isolated.

    That is why people appreciate guns for use in self defense and why they should remain in the hands of civilians.

  130. 130
    abb3w

    What is the definition of “substantial bodily harm” under MN law?

  131. 131
    Marcus Ranum

    Brownian writes:
    it’s safe to say that guns are a magnitude of order more lethal and less likely to enable minor accidents like fender-benders, otherwise we’d all defend our castles from the Other with a gassed-up Tercel.

    Good point. I had a friend ask me to teach her to shoot, because she was buying a gun to carry in her car.
    me: “What kind of car?”
    her: “My Jeep Cherokee”
    me: “Why would you want a gun when you’ve already got a nice big v-8 powered war-club with all-wheel drive and heated leather seats?”

    It can cover 30 feet pretty fast and most car operators are so familiar with them that they wouldn’t even have to think how to execute an overrun attack.

  132. 132
    erichoug

    Brownian Says:

    Fucking Christ.

    I need to apologise to Eric for the names I called him in 121. Unacceptable.

    I’d better leave this thread now before I buy a gun and shoot somebody in the fucking face

    Heh, Apology accepted. But I will agree wiaht you that in the previous thread I certainly said some stoopid things. I really would love to have an actualy discussion about it, though. I would certainly be interested in your opinions and ideas. And, my offer to take you to the range still stands.

    This was fun, but I must get some work done today so I will check back tonight when the count is up around 1000. Intersting that this issue brings up such strong feelings on both sides.

  133. 133
    Christopher

    My god you’re an idiot…

    How so?

    Do you believe that is is OK to defend yourself or others from being murdered?

    There are some hardcore pacifists who claim they will submit to being beaten to death without resistance, but personally I believe my life is worth more than that of someone who wants to kill me, and will defend myself and my loved ones to the best of my ability.

  134. 134
    Marcus Ranum

    Mass gun ownership (aside from hunting rifles)

    That’s disingenous in the extreme, btw. Most of the genocidal conquest of North America was accomplished with hunting rifles. Flintlocks at first then Winchester lever-actions. (Millions served!)

  135. 135
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    The numbers are not on your side on this one. Look at areas in the states where guns have been banned and it has little or no effect on the rate of murder of violent crime. DC and Chicago are good examples.

    Here’s a good article from the Christian science monitor about how in 2009, the violent crime rate was down in the US despite gun ownership being at an all time high.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

    It’s a simplistic argument, just like the ones for prohibition(how well’s that working) and against abortion( statistically speaking, the abortion rate in a country is the same whether or not it’s legal).

    Not quite. If they have no effect, there is no reason to have them either. The fact that you are whining about it, seems a good indication that many people think they are effective.

    Yes, you can kill someone with a tap: just hold her/his head under water until the resistance stops. My father tried that one. Several times. But it takes a while to succeed, so it didn’t. I’m happy he didn’t have a gun.

    Yes, you can kill someone with your shoes: just kick them until they become blue. My mother tried that one, as did my father. Again, it takes a while before it succeeds. It didn’t. I’m happy they didn’t have a gun.

    In Europe, the number of people severely injured or killed by guns is surprisingly low in comparison to the US. So is the number of guns. If that weren’t true, a single gun in the US would be enough to maintain the numbers you have at their current gloriously abundant numbers. I think you realise that doesn’t make sense… which is why you want to keep your right to have guns.

    Gun control works, because guns have no other purpose but to kill.

    Drug prohibition does not work, because death-by-drugs is an unfortunate side effect of a much sought-after main effect.

    Abortion prohibition doesn’t work, because desperate mothers-to-be will do everything possible to protect their families, including going to the angel-makers.

    Furthermore, there is a difference between violent crimes and murder.

  136. 136
    Gregory Greenwood

    Whenever this type of law is put forward, its proponents almost always try to justify it with the idea that, somehow, a greater proportion of citizens wandering around with guns and the legal mandate to use them will magically reduce crime, and that if only a goood, honest, square-jawed, six-shooter packing All American Hero(TM) had been around at *insert horrendous incident of (ironically usually gun related) violence*, then the malefactor(s) would have been stopped, and light would have triumphed over darkness…

    Conveniently omitting the fact that, even if they are good shots on a range when firing at paper targets, the average citizen as no training with handling firearms in a scenario where they may be enaging obscured, moving targets and there are plenty of innocent people who may be in the line of fire.

    The truth would be that, if some gun-toting would be hero decided to indulge their John McClane fantasy, the outcome wouldn’t involve the improbable defeat of the evil terrorists/gangsters/funny lookin’ furreners, but rather an out-and-out bloodbath as a trigger-happy idiot attempted to emulate their favourite ’80s era action movie with real bullets.

    If you combine the fact that gun nuts are rarely as competent with their weapons as they like to imagine with this new law that essentially mandates the use of lethal force based upon a vague and highly subjective suspicion of threat, then a sharp uptick in preventable gun deaths seems inevitable.

  137. 137
    Marcus Ranum

    Gun control works, because guns have no other purpose but to kill.

    You keep asserting that so boldly, in spite of the obvious fact that guns can be entertainment or a display of social status.

  138. 138
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Fail. I enjoy the muzzle blast, recoil, and fine machine-work when I am trying to make little holes in pieces of paper from a benchrest. A benchrest rifle is hardly useful for killing anything.

    Guns can also be entertainment. And it’s acceptable to engage in forms of entertainment that are dangerous to oneself and possibly others (riding motorcycles is also entertaining, more dangerous to oneself, and also possibly dangerous to others) Swords can be entertaining, too, says this former USFA fencer.

    Atomic bomb blasts can be great fun as well. Not to mention beautiful. We don’t allow them anyway. For good reason. Same for guns, swords, knives, and any other stuff that is made for no other reason than to harm or kill others.

  139. 139
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    That’s disingenous in the extreme, btw. Most of the genocidal conquest of North America was accomplished with hunting rifles. Flintlocks at first then Winchester lever-actions. (Millions served!)

    Someone said disingenuous? Millions were already dead by the time the guns were used to round up the survivors. Look up smallpox and native americans.

  140. 140
    Louis

    Eric,

    1) I do remember the stats-o-phobia you demonstrated last time you were here, so forgive me if I (like others) maintain a modicum of suspicion regarding your open-mindedness.

    2) The source you quote seems odd, giving values for homicides in the UK that don’t match those provided by the UN or the UK government. More than that, we have the data for firearms related homicides in the UK, and these are ignored/absent. Why I wonder?

    Just comparing the UK and the USA in these data we see that the UK (England and Wales in this case, NI has a higher rate of gun violence and is counted separately due to the terrorist/sectarian violence that still mars life in the province) has ~0.1 firearm homicides per 100k people, ~8% of homicides are due to firearms, about 60 a year for 2003 to 2010. The similar period for the USA has ~3.2 firearm homicides per 100k people, ~60% of homicides are due to firearms, and about 9500 people are murdered using firearms per year. Even including the NI data, the UK gets nowhere near the USA by orders of magnitude (I’m being deliberately rough with the numbers from the firearms data, I only want to indicate the order of magnitude here, so I’m not quoting things to the nth decimal place). Similar situations apply across Europe and Australia etc, murders by firearm increasing where freer firearms laws apply. Although not to the extent that the USA has…you guys really are outliers!

    My point being that we in Western nations without free access to guns are not somehow resident in lawless pools of filth where people scurry from lamppost to lamppost in fear of marauding hordes of hooligans. Hence why I said we get by just fine thanks. And we do!

    I’ll freely confess that in the case of the USA, i.e. a violent society where guns are already freely available, simply teleporting all guns into the hands of the authorities is unlikely to be the solution, but then neither is rewording/tweaking existing laws in such a way as to weaken extant control on guns (i.e. the original post’s content). Also, I don’t think I’ve seen any sane person here argue that all guns should miraculously be vanished from good, well behaved Americans’ hands.

    Other nations have freer gun control than we UKians have, and also have lower murder rates than the USA, so of course, controlling guns is not the ONLY element of a relatively lawful society, but then no one ever said it is, so you’re responding to a straw man of your own confection there.

    Louis

  141. 141
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The numbers are not on your side on this one. Look at areas in the states where guns have been banned and it has little or no effect on the rate of murder of violent crime. DC and Chicago are good examples.

    You are missing one very fucking big detail here, just because the guns are banned does not mean that the guns are unavailable.

    Huge fucking disconnect in Eric. I cannot blame Brownian for beinng very frustrated.

  142. 142
    Jadehawk

    And now, I feel happy I never did. The US sounds to me like the worst country of the developed world to live in.

    compared to Europe, Canada, OZ, and NZ it definitely is. Can’t say about whether it’s better or worse than Asian developed nations.

  143. 143
    erichoug

    @janine

    Actually I am not missing that detail but you seem to be missing the implication. There is no putting this genie back in the bottle. So long as guns are available, and they always will be legally or otherwise, ciminals and general dirtbags will have guns.

    Your solution is to disarm the law abiding populace. The stats I posted don’t show that this has much of an effect and in many areas actually means crime goes up. Look at the stats for the handgun ban in DC.

    P.S. I don’t believe I was un-civil to you or anyone else why do you feel the need to be rude to me?

  144. 144
    erichoug

    @Louis

    I will apologize for some of my arguments in the previous thread and I will commit myself to consideration of all data sets and that my conclusions shold all be subject to revision.

    As I said, I don’t tend to trust data on the web that supports my position. The Justfacts site I mention earlier is suspicious to me as I have never heard of it before but if anyone has any info on it I would love to see.

    Frankly, I think you are right about the US being an outlier. There is someting in the water here and I am not quite sure what it is. When Texas passed the CHL law I was determined to move out of the state, but I couldn’t afford it at the time and now violent crime is at an all time low. Part of a larger trend in the states, along with gun ownership. But, I am not sure the one is causal to the other.

    Anyway, really need to go back to work. Thanks for a civil, interesting and thought provoking reply to me.

  145. 145
    Marcus Ranum

    Someone said disingenuous? Millions were already dead by the time the guns were used to round up the survivors.

    So you admit you were “spinning” the truth? That’s a start.

    I’m quite familiar with the way biowarfare was also used in the genocide. But that doesn’t change the truth of what I said. The standing army was also used to break up major pockets of resistance. But “hunting rifles” in the hands of the settlers killed many, many, many and every settler family had one. Your original lie was that gun ownership was minimal.

    Put down the shovel and step away from the hole.

  146. 146
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Marcus Ranum, that was my first comment in this thread and I usually avoid arguments about gun control. I have done no spinning. Please pay attention to what different people said.

  147. 147
    Marcus Ranum

    Trying to draw an equivalence between weapons of mass destruction and weapons of individual destruction is absurd.

    Same for guns, swords, knives, and any other stuff that is made for no other reason than to harm or kill others.

    Oh, wait, are you now saying that my cooking knives were made for no other reason than to harm or kill others? What’s the weather like on the planet that you come from? The only time my cooking knives have killed or harmed others was when I tried to peel some ginger after opening the wine to let it air and sampling a bit too heavily…

    Claiming that the only purpose of guns is to harm and kill ignores the recreational pursuits of target shooting and hunting (I didn’t mention hunting earlier because I personally don’t find killing to be entertaining though we need to acknowledge that many do) as well as collecting (there are art-guns that are quite beautiful and fetch impressive sums of money) – I’m not aware of a collector’s market for nuclear weapons or any significant history of recreational nuc’ing…

    If you can’t make your point without hyperbole and outright lying, maybe you should reconsider whether it’s valid.

  148. 148
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    There is no putting this genie back in the bottle. So long as guns are available, and they always will be legally or otherwise, ciminals and general dirtbags will have guns.

    Where do the arms come from?

    Whoa, a mystery.

  149. 149
    GrudgeDK

    Castle Doctrine <- When I read that, I thought "Holy shit, they actually named a law after The Punisher". A quick google later and I was of course severely disappointed.

    So does this mean that if someone comes to your house, with say religious material, that as an Atheist, you can shoot them, and it'll be a justifiable homicide?

  150. 150
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Christopher:

    You’re an idiot for thinking I meant a frickin’ javelin when I was talking about sharp sticks (and find me an octegenarian who carries around a javelin for defense purposes. I want that granny on the Olympic track and field team!)

  151. 151
    Marcus Ranum

    Please pay attention to what different people said.

    Uh, no, I’m not interested in wading back and re-threading an entire discussion in order to figure out which sayer of stupid things said a particular stupid thing. So, the other poster who was exaggerating was exaggerating and you decided to chip in with your own irrelevant observation…? Good for you, but I thought my pointing out why your comment was absurd ought to have been enough.

  152. 152
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    So, you think you are justified in claiming that I am retroactively spinning the truth.

    Got it.

    Fuck you.

  153. 153
    Christopher

    Where do the arms come from?

    Whoa, a mystery.

    Guns are simple devices that can be made in very primitive machine shops:
    http://www.bdrchan.com/ws/src/127433635466.jpg

    People with better machines in the US make their own receivers for fun out of billet:
    http://www.cncguns.com/

    Even a .50 cal sniper rifle can be made with hand tools:
    http://yarchive.net/gun/gun_hand_make.html

    I have a friend in Amon Jordan who is a real gun bug and when he saw the
    rifles that I took to Jordan to demo to the Jordanian Military he
    decided that he must have one, Since there is no barrels available in
    that country he would have to make one . The novel approach startled me
    even though I was familiar with the gun makers of Pakistan who could
    make a revolver with only a drill press I could not believe it would be
    posable to make a 50 cal. Rifle completely by hand. The steel blank was
    drilled by hand and reamed the same way. The button was also hand made
    and pulled through the barrel using a mechanical lead screw which was
    cranked with a wrench that pulled the button threw the barrel using
    transmission oil as lubricant, I have seen worst barrels made in this
    country by men with a whole shop full of equiptment. The action was a
    bolt action made on the shell holder type what again you couldn’t tell
    that it was hand made.The moral of this story is that it is posable to
    do anything you set your mind to if you have the determination to try
    and the patience to stick with it.
    Gale McMillan

  154. 154
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Marcus Ranum:

    Do guns for art’s sake need to be loaded? I don’t mind these and I want a replica 1873 Winchester rifle, but I’m not going to have ammo for it.

    Do guns for target practice (which begs the question, why are you practicing shooting man-shaped targets?) or hunting need to be unlocked and loaded?

    No. They don’t. Yet they are, frequently.

  155. 155
    Christopher

    You’re an idiot for thinking I meant a frickin’ javelin when I was talking about sharp sticks (and find me an octegenarian who carries around a javelin for defense purposes. I want that granny on the Olympic track and field team!)

    A javelin is nothing more than a sharp stick.

    If all we had were sharp sticks to defend ourselves with (or commit offensive violence against others with), then an Olympic class athlete would have an insurmountable advantage over an octogenarian widow. They could threaten her with violence or commit violence upon her and she would have little recourse. If the octogenarian has a gun, the playing field is leveled and she has a viable chance of defending herself. Moreover, since those who threaten violence to get what they want tend to have a typical bully cowardice, they are likely to avoid starting a confrontation with someone who can viably defend themselves.

  156. 156
    Marcus Ranum

    Do guns for art’s sake need to be loaded?

    That’s somewhat a side-issue. The claim I was addressing is that guns have no purpose other than to kill. The fact that a collectible art-gun can a) be a gun and b) have a purpose of being artwork (rather than killing) is sufficient to make the point. In fact an unloaded collectible gun is even more a “gun for entertainment purposes” than a gun for the sole purpose of killing, is it not?

  157. 157
    Marcus Ranum

    So, you think you are justified in claiming that I am retroactively spinning the truth.

    No, I said you were injecting irrelevancies into a discussion I apparently was having with someone else, and then were grumpy at me for not caring enough to disambiguate one opinionated blog moron from another. I still don’t care enough, though apparently you pre-flounced in an earlier posting on this thread, as if that’s also somehow relevant.

  158. 158
    interrobang

    So, can anyone tell me whether Sen. Ingebrigtsen is also anti-abortion?

    I’m always so curious why these people can be so in favour of summary execution for breaking and entering someone’s property, but they don’t recognise someone’s right to use lethal force to evict a squatter from their own body. Personally, I oppose “castle laws” and support abortion, but I’m more or less with AJS — bodily integrity is way more important than property.

  159. 159
    Marcus Ranum

    Do guns for target practice (which begs the question, why are you practicing shooting man-shaped targets?

    Benchrest shooters shoot round targets and are trying to achieve small groupings at long ranges. We’re not shooting at man-shaped targets. Please think harder and stereotype less.

    The only time I shot at man-shaped targets was in basic training (Ft Dix, class of June 1983!) and, in that situation, yeah, man-shaped targets sort of makes sense. The US Army does not formally hunt deer.

  160. 160
    feralboy12

    Either this bill gives people untrained in dealing with dangerous situations in public more discretion to use violence, or it’s mere grandstanding by legislators to show how “tough on crime” they are.
    Or both.
    Hasn’t violent crime been dropping for like, decades? I suspect the Republicans would like everyone to forget that. They always need boogeymen, a threat to accuse liberals of being “soft” about. They’ve been doing it since McCarthy, for the last 60 years. Communism, crime, terrorism…
    Who’s got the Willie Horton gig this time?

    If all we had were sharp sticks to defend ourselves with (or commit offensive violence against others with), then an Olympic class athlete would have an insurmountable advantage over an octogenarian widow.

    Oh, I see. Now we’ve identified the real threat. Those damn Olympic class athletes terrorizing our senior citizens. This is about leveling the playing field!
    I just hope we get such a law here in Eugene soon–the Olympic trials are sometimes held here, as well as other top track & field competitions. Those athletes can outrun me, but they can’t outrun bullets.

  161. 161
    Christopher

    Oh, I see. Now we’ve identified the real threat. Those damn Olympic class athletes terrorizing our senior citizens. This is about leveling the playing field!
    I just hope we get such a law here in Eugene soon–the Olympic trials are sometimes held here, as well as other top track & field competitions. Those athletes can outrun me, but they can’t outrun bullets.

    The ancient Olympics were performed to show how badass your town’s badasses were so that other towns would be intimidated enough to not attack your town. They were displays of strength and capability of committing violence.

    Back then, physical strength was the final arbitrator of who submitted to whom.

    I don’t want to go back to a time where those who lack physical strength have no option but to submit to those who are stronger and have no problem committing violence for fun or profit.

  162. 162
    Zugswang

    You keep asserting that so boldly, in spite of the obvious fact that guns can be entertainment or a display of social status.

    Eehh…that’s very much like me arguing for contraceptive drugs by claiming they’re used for things other than contraception. While the statement is true, it isn’t the main reason the person I’m arguing with is against it. If you’re going to defend gun ownership, you have to be realistic and acknowledge that the primary purpose of a gun is so that a relatively unskilled individual can successfully kill, injure, or otherwise incapacitate something quickly and from a distance (a point that you acknowledged earlier).

    A firearm is purposefully designed to propel a projectile at high velocity towards a target designated by its operator. And these projectiles are largely made with materials that make them very good at causing significant damage to living tissue. Were they not intended for this purpose, the majority of the ammunition available to civilians would be rubber-coated and have less gunpowder to propel the round.

  163. 163
    'Tis Himself

    I’m disappointed by erichoug, not once has he said “thank you, PZ, for giving me a thread where I can orgasm over my penis substitute!”

    Ungrateful ass.

  164. 164
    Christopher

    I’m disappointed by erichoug, not once has he said “thank you, PZ, for giving me a thread where I can orgasm over my penis substitute!”

    Guns make horrible, and horribly dangerous, dildos.

    But they do work much better than a rubber dong or even the real thing when you need to defend yourself from violence.

  165. 165
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Marcus Ranum:

    You’re entirely twisting the issue. Yes, guns can be artistic (like I said, I want a replica 1873 Winchester) and can be used for target practice. Almost (if not more than) 50% of Americans use guns for the ultimate purpose of killing people! A collectible gun is not going to be used to kill people, just like my replica katana is not going to be used to kill people.

    My uncle owns guns. My uncle owns plenty of guns. He’s a former hunter and if he didn’t have diabetes, he would still go hunting. He locks his guns in a gun safe. His ammunition is in another room entirely – also locked in a safe. That’s fine! Those guns aren’t going to be used to kill people. Guns like that are fine, but that’s not the issue.

    The issue is those guns that 50% of Americans keep in their houses solely to kill people. That 25% of those owners leave loaded and unlocked in a manner that ends up killing children. The issue is handguns that are stolen from peoples’ homes that get into the hands of violent criminals. The issue is handguns that are taken to school and used to kill other students. The issue is that there are far too many deaths by handgun.

  166. 166
    Zeppelin

    Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, The US have a higher homicide rate than Georgia, Lebanon, or Bangladesh.
    The first-world country with the closest murder rate to the US is apparently Finland, 2.0 per 100.000 inhabitants, to the US’s 4.8 :)

    But I’m sure it’d be ten times as bad in the US if Good Folks weren’t allowed to carry around guns to defend themselves against all those dangerous people out there who carry a gun everywhere they go!
    I mean, look at a place like Germany, where Only Criminals Have Guns! Defenseless citizens getting slaughtered in the streets at a rate of…uh, a bit less than a fifth of the American one. Huh. Funny,that.
    I guess if we were all bristling with guns there would be no violent crime at all.

  167. 167
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Zeppelin:

    Tch, fuck that.

    I want a gun grafted onto my arm! *hums Man With the Machine Gun*

  168. 168
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Wait, that’s the wrong theme. Here’s the right one.

  169. 169
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    compared to Europe, Canada, OZ, and NZ it definitely is.

    As a child, I was called the antichrist by my father (a failed Trappist monk) and my mother, and the people at the boarding school (a Jesuit school) I had been sent to, agreed. For that reason alone, and there were several others, my life as a child was hell. The US was, for me, a symbol of freedom and intellectual pursuit.

    And then, several decades later, during the previous presidential campaign, there was a debate with Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama competing at showing which of them both was the most religious. I could not believe my eyes and ears. It was such a sad display.

    How can a nation that has accomplished so much, that has meant so much for its people and the world as a whole, fall so deep as holding contests in showing who is the most religious, surely the most vicious of all superstitions?

    Never also will I forget the surreal images of rightwing “people” claiming that them getting ultra-minimal healthcare would be the destruction of the nation, when the Bush geniuses had already prayed it to destruction. Never will I forget the comments online that accused Obama of the deficit when he had not even been sworn in yet.

    It scared me. If a people that has accomplished so much, can fall so low in a single generation, what does that tell us about the fragility of our accomplishments as a species?

    Can’t say about whether it’s better or worse than Asian developed nations.

    The trouble with the developed nations in Asia is that they are still very very young. Their focus is on hard work, making money, buying stuff we take for granted. That does not make for very enjoyable countries to live in, but it also makes for nations that have no time for silly stuff like religion.

    Japan is different, but except for some esoteric Buddhist sects, I think very few people have time for religion there.

  170. 170
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Oh, wait, are you now saying that my cooking knives were made for no other reason than to harm or kill others?

    Who are you? William Lane Craig? Please, don’t lower yourself to religious wingnuttery.

    Claiming that the only purpose of guns is to harm and kill ignores the recreational pursuits of target shooting and hunting (I didn’t mention hunting earlier because I personally don’t find killing to be entertaining though we need to acknowledge that many do) as well as collecting (there are art-guns that are quite beautiful and fetch impressive sums of money)

    So, hunting is not killing when I talk about killing, but it is killing when you talk about hunting?

    And no, guns are not *for* collecting. Some people may collect them. When I was a child, I collected the boxes medicines come in (not the little pots and blisters and jars and whatever, only the boxes interested me). Yet, even then, I would never have claimed that medicines are made *for* collecting. That claim holds no water. Guns are *for* firing bullets, i.e. for seriously harming and killing living, moving biological creatures.

    I’m not aware of a collector’s market for nuclear weapons or any significant history of recreational nuc’ing…

    Maybe not, and why would that be, except for the fact that they are not made available to the public? Other military toys used for killing *are* collected by people.

  171. 171
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    So does this mean that if someone comes to your house, with say religious material, that as an Atheist, you can shoot them, and it’ll be a justifiable homicide?

    Of course not, it only means that they can shoot you. After all, they are the Loving Ones, not you.

  172. 172
    Christopher

    Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, The US have a higher homicide rate than Georgia, Lebanon, or Bangladesh.
    The first-world country with the closest murder rate to the US is apparently Finland, 2.0 per 100.000 inhabitants, to the US’s 4.8 :)

    Depends on who you are in the US.

    For 2010 (data gleamed from FBI crime stats and US Census)
    for white victims the murder rate is 3.07 / 100k
    for black victims the murder rate is 17.2 / 100K
    for neither black or white victims, the murder rate is 0.65 / 100k

    Culture has more to do with the level of violence in a society than the tools available to commit that violence.

  173. 173
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    If the octogenarian has a gun, the playing field is leveled and she has a viable chance of defending herself.

    Implying, obviously, that owning a gun is eminently beneficial for the octogenarian’s reflexes and impressively detrimental that those of her opponent. I see. Thank you. They didn’t teach us that in med school.

  174. 174
    leahr

    I couldn’t get any farther than #60. So, #60:

    What kind of mentality does it take to make it okay to kill someone for beating someone up or breaking into someone’s house, anyway?

    Yes, because when I’m being bodily assaulted or having my house broken into, I always rely on the conscientiousness of the perpetrator to inform me whether they intend to kill me during the commission of their crime, so as to react with the proper degree of self-defense.

    If only we all had your precocious hindsight! Do you exist outside of time? Do you pour comical amounts of hot sauce on your food? You’re an Observer, aren’t you?

  175. 175
    Christopher

    Guns are *for* firing bullets, i.e. for seriously harming and killing living, moving biological creatures.

    So?

    Sometimes homicide is justifiable. In those situations, does it matter, morally or practically, whether you used a device designed for the task or whatever object was handy?

  176. 176
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    The US Army does not formally hunt deer.

    Indeed. Based on current information, they prefer to hunt Muslims.

  177. 177
    jayarrrr

    “Just what these gun-slingin’ wingnuts want, right? An atheist liberal who isn’t afraid of firearms. Betcha that’s not what they were thinking when they wrote the law.”

    Another one here.

    But I’ve had the “True Blue Litmus Paper” rubbed in my face enough times and been pronounced “Not Blue Enough” by ReaLiberals(tm) who evidently break out in a rash at the sight of blued steel. So big deal what most of you think.

  178. 178
    Christopher

    Implying, obviously, that owning a gun is eminently beneficial for the octogenarian’s reflexes and impressively detrimental that those of her opponent. I see. Thank you. They didn’t teach us that in med school.

    I am a 30something male in pretty good physical shape and am also a fairly good shot.

    I personally know two octogenarian women in my home town that are better shots than me. So yes, even accounting for the degeneration of reflexes as one ages, guns are able to level the playing field between the strong and the weak enough to give the weak a fighting chance.

  179. 179
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    I don’t see why so many people would have guns for protection. Guns don’t protect people, people protect people.

  180. 180
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    for neither black or white victims, the murder rate is 0.65 / 100k

    As far as I know, that group has the most illegal immigrants. Now I understand why so many in the US consider them dangerous. Their god protects them from the other’s bullets.

  181. 181
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Sometimes homicide is justifiable.

    Forgive me. I am but a godless heathen, a filthy atheist. I’m probably too dense to get this. For me, homicide is never ever justifiable. Never.

  182. 182
    erichoug

    @Tis Himself, OM

    Always comes back to penis with you, doesn’t it?

    Dear PZ,

    I want to thank you for providing me with a forum filled with intelligent and rational people with whom I can discuss and debate. Thank you for drawing a group that challenges me and is willing to confront me on my BS. Thank you for people who propose arguments I hadn’t thought of and who make me stronger, smarter and better prepared in the future.

    P.S. Keep an eye on that OM person, I think they are a little too fixated on penises. Kinda creepy.

  183. 183
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    I am a 30something male in pretty good physical shape and am also a fairly good shot.

    I personally know two octogenarian women in my home town that are better shots than me. So yes, even accounting for the degeneration of reflexes as one ages, guns are able to level the playing field between the strong and the weak enough to give the weak a fighting chance.

    Just a few blocks away from where I live is a large building filled with octo+genarians for whom that wouldn’t work. Unfortunately, the fact that there is the odd old person who is fit enough does not outweigh the fact that most aren’t.

  184. 184
    Christopher

    Forgive me. I am but a godless heathen, a filthy atheist. I’m probably too dense to get this. For me, homicide is never ever justifiable. Never.

    You wouldn’t use deadly force to prevent someone from killing you, your spouse or your child?

    I have too many generations of evolutionary survival instincts to think that my life, or the lives of my loved ones, are worth less than the life of someone who intends to kill us.

  185. 185
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Eric, you attempt at humor has failed. Do not try it again.

  186. 186
    erichoug

    @Khantron, the alien that only loves

    are just a good way of protecting people. If you are large and strong and have good reflexes and handy weapons you may not need a gun. But if you are not, a gun gives you an advantage.

    Think realistically, forget about octogenarians and olympic athletes, I am 6’2 and 235 pounds, If I break into the house of a 5’5, 140 pound woman, do you really thing anything aside from a gun would deter me? A tazer maybe, but what if I bring my brother who is even bigger than me?

  187. 187
    Christopher

    Unfortunately, the fact that there is the odd old person who is fit enough does not outweigh the fact that most aren’t.

    Neither of the women I mentioned are fit. Both have artificial hips and barely shuffle around. Both have shoot a rattlesnake dead at ~25yds with a single shot.

    Guns are especially good for those so unfit that they are physically unable to flee.

  188. 188
    Hayden

    I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how this is different from existing laws on self defense.

    For example, let’s say someone pulls a gun on you. That is a threat and gives you reason to defend yourself. Even if the gun isn’t loaded, you can’t know that, and you still perceive it as a threat. Even if some guy shoves a Snickers bar into your back and says, “If you don’t do exactly what I say I pull the trigger,” until you know he has a candy bar, you can work under the assumption that he does in fact have a gun pointed at your spine.

    Like I said, I’m not a lawyer, so it’s entirely possible (likely ?) that my understanding of current law and interpretation of the snippet of the proposed bill are way off base.

  189. 189
    Christopher

    for the grammar nazis
    :s/oo/o/g

  190. 190
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    I don’t believe any of it was directed at you.

    I may not have been funny. But I was, at least trying to be civil. Which is more than I can say for most of the people on the other side of the argument.

    I certainly lost the argument in previous threads and I doubt I did much in this one. But, in the country at large, it is the gun control advocates that are losing, and losing badly. Perhaps it isn’t me that needs to reconsider my arguments.

    Oh, and I honestly meant (most of ) the part directed at PZ.

  191. 191
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Christopher:

    Right, and when you pull a gun on them and they shoot you and your kids, now what?

  192. 192
    erichoug

    @Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    So what’s stopping them from shooting you and your kids if you don’t pull a gun?

  193. 193
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I don’t believe any of it was directed at you.

    Santorum-For-Brains, I see that you are one of those type of trolls, the type who thinks that he can dictate how a conversation goes on an open site.

    It does not matter that it was not directed at me, I am free to comment on what you said.

    And you are not at all funny.

    Creep.

  194. 194
    FlickingYourSwitch

    Don’t you have to be pretty crazy to even think up such a law? And wouldn’t that level of craziness make you unelectable?

  195. 195
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @erichoug:

    They may be more willing to listen to reason if they’re not in direct threat of being shot to death.

  196. 196
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    Yes, that’s right, I’m the troll.

    Oh, and if it is your desire that I not dictate the flow of the conversation, you might try not doing so yourself.

    Eric, you attempt at humor has failed. Do not try it again

  197. 197
    Christopher

    Right, and when you pull a gun on them and they shoot you and your kids, now what?

    If I pull a gun on someone and I have a reasonable fear that they are trying to cause great bodily harm to me or others, I will shoot until they are no longer a threat. Even armed, I and those I’m trying to protect might still die, but having a fighting chance is highly preferable to relying on the good graces of a violent criminal to keep us alive.

    Most of the time when guns are used for self defense, they are never fired. The mere threat of resistance is usually enough to diffuse the situation.

  198. 198
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Eric, you gun phalliced troll, it is not because I want to control who is talk to who, it is because you are not funny.

    Sadly, you are too stupid to understand the difference.

    Brownian, you are right.

  199. 199
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    You wouldn’t use deadly force to prevent someone from killing you, your spouse or your child?

    I have neither a spouse, nor a child, only a hamster, and she isn’t all that sociable. That simplifies stuff greatly, I would think.

    Would I use deadly force? No. If the person who attacks me ends up dead, that would be a coincidence, almost certainly the result of an uncontrollable and uncontrolled reflex, and a very unlikely one at that.

    I have too many generations of evolutionary survival instincts to think that my life, or the lives of my loved ones, are worth less than the life of someone who intends to kill us.

    Indeed, but when you have grown up with parents beating you up, trying to drown you and otherwise depriving you from all that is enjoyable, your perspective changes a bit. I survived my childhood. Almost certainly more by accident than anybody’s clever plan.

    I also realise that most killings that are not “contracts” are accidents. The probability that I would be killed would rise dramatically if I was waving a weapon about. I know my talents. Fighting isn’t one of them. If anything would keep me alive, it would be my not attempting to do any harm to the other party. And frankly, chances are that that person does have a family. I do not want to deprive them from their father/husband/son/wife/daughter/mother/…

  200. 200
    erichoug

    @Janine

    I suppose humor is probably a bad idea with you.

    Any chance you want to reply to some of the arguments I have made with actual counter arguments or do you prefer to stick with personal insults and profanity?

  201. 201
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Neither of the women I mentioned are fit. Both have artificial hips and barely shuffle around. Both have shoot a rattlesnake dead at ~25yds with a single shot.

    I am not entirely unfamiliar with snakes. That includes rattlesnakes. How were they able to spot a rattlesnake as 25 yds? For my research, I am looking for snakes all the time, and I have to shuffle around if I don’t want to be right on top of them before I notice them. You have some remarkably unevenly aged females there.

    Guns are especially good for those so unfit that they are physically unable to flee.

    That is, if the victim is kind enough to stay where he/she is until they have aimed and fired. That would seem somewhat unlikely, would it not?

  202. 202
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Santorum-For-Brains is so fucking delicate that he cannot abide with swearing. No wonder he needs a gun, words are too threatening for the hothouse flower.

    Fuck you.

  203. 203
    erichoug

    @janine

    So I will take that as a ‘no’ on the actual arguments?

    *sigh* If it makes you feel more comofortable: Go fuck yourself you dumbass hippy bitch.

  204. 204
    Aquaria

    Funny, my uncle had guns. Lots of them. Guns everywhere. He went shooting at least once a week, he was at his NRA chapter meetings whenever the doors opened. But the guys who broke into his house also had at least one gun, and we know the shooter was better with his gun because my uncle was dead, with his gun still in his cold, dead hand–and his stuff still gone.

    And just imagine, there’s even evidence that people who own guns are more likely to be victims of gun violence than those who don’t own guns!

    Branas et al (2009, Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 99 Issue 11, pp 2034-2040):

    “After we adjusted for confounding factors, individuals who were in possession of a gun were 4.46 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Individuals who were in possession of a gun were also 4.23 times more likely to be fatally shot in an assault. In assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, individuals who were in possession of a gun were 5.45 times more likely to be shot”.

    This is the problem with guns. They don’t make you safer. “Expert” gun users still end up dead–and evidence indicates people are more likely not to get shot or die from being shot if they don’t have a gun.

    What a bunch of wimps. I’m a middle-aged white female living in one of the largest cities in America who doesn’t have guns, and people don’t fuck with me. I even leave my doors unlocked, all the damned time. I’m out at 2 and 3 a.m., by myself, and I’m not cringing in terror, or clinging to a bang-bang to make me feel safe.

    Why are all of you gun losers so fucking scared of everything and I’m not?

    Losers.

  205. 205
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    *sigh* If it makes you feel more comofortable: Go fuck yourself you dumbass hippy bitch.

    I’m always amazed at the refined language of the American male. Good thing I never went for a literary career.

  206. 206
    Christopher

    I am not entirely unfamiliar with snakes. That includes rattlesnakes. How were they able to spot a rattlesnake as 25 yds?

    In both instances the snake was clearly visible: one was in the gravel driveway, the other was in the garden. Both times the shot was taken at such a stupidly long distance because they didn’t feel like shuffling all the way back to the snake after getting a firearm. I wouldn’t suggest anyone try such a shot.

  207. 207
    Aquaria

    *sigh* If it makes you feel more comofortable: Go fuck yourself you dumbass hippy bitch.

    Make your points as stupidly as you want, but sexist bullshit is not tolerated here, you sexist piece of shit.

  208. 208
    Louis

    Eric, #202,

    Using gendered insults like “bitch” is more than merely frowned upon here. This will not go well for you I think.

    Louis

  209. 209
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    If it makes you feel more comofortable: Go fuck yourself you dumbass hippy bitch.

    Not a hippy, you sentient sack of shit.

  210. 210
    Monsanto

    There’s a silver lining to everything: Minnesota has finally beaten Texas to the draw on a gun law.

  211. 211
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Bart, to be fair, the only reason why Santorum-For-Brains said what he did is because I kept swearing at him. He would rather that these terms not be used.

    But I fucking hate stupid prudes.

    Eric, I hope you keep the safety engaged when you cuddle with your gun at night.

  212. 212
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Why are all of you gun losers so fucking scared of everything and I’m not?

    I agree completely. The gun is the weapon of choice for the coward.

    One thing these people never seem to get is that for a “self-defence” gun to be even remotely useful, you have to carry it loaded and unlocked at all times, looking around you like a peregrine falcon for any potential danger, and use the gun at the first inkling of a doubt that something might possibly be wrong.

    What a way to take your bath, what a way to listen to your favourite Bach cantata, what a way to enjoy that delectable mango.

    No thank you. No guns for me. And I also go out in the middle of the night. Shopping. Looking for snakes… Without a gun.

  213. 213
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Aquaria:

    Arg, that was the report I was looking for to support my argument I was about to make.

    @Christopher:

    The first thing I learned in self-defense class was to diffuse before you go into action. If you can talk to the person and calm them down, figure out what they want, figure out how to stop the situation without bloodshed and without fighting then you’re in a better position. To fight a person is the last thing you want to do. It’s simple fight or flight response to a threat. And then basically at this point, everything Aquaria said in 203.

  214. 214
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    In both instances the snake was clearly visible: one was in the gravel driveway, the other was in the garden. Both times the shot was taken at such a stupidly long distance because they didn’t feel like shuffling all the way back to the snake after getting a firearm. I wouldn’t suggest anyone try such a shot.

    I have a slightly different hypothesis, but even it were the case, I’d say that I would be prepared to dislike these people. A rattlesnake at 25 yards is no threat to anyone. Killing them is the act of someone with complete disregard for life.

  215. 215
    erichoug

    @ Janine

  216. 216
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Bart:

    Yea, exactly. To use a gun in a situation like a home invasion, you’d need it unlocked and loaded or at least in a place that the ammo is close enough to be put in the weapon easily. If I heard someone breaking into my house, I’d rather get my (hypothetical) family into a room, close and lock the door, and bar it with something heavy while calling the cops.

    Stuff is stuff. My stuff is insured. I’d rather my family be safe than to put the possibility of some crazed psycho killing them because I feel like I’m John Wayne and can shoot him before he shoots me.

    And with an unlocked, loaded gun, there’s more chance it will be either used by the criminal (if you don’t wake up in time) or that your child will grab it and accidentally hurt or kill themself.

  217. 217
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Bart, to be fair, the only reason why Santorum-For-Brains said what he did is because I kept swearing at him. He would rather that these terms not be used.

    But I fucking hate stupid prudes.

    I’m not all that fond of prudes either, especially not stupid ones. But I am also less than impressed with people who have to fuck every other word. Just imagine the energy one could save by unfucking all texts without losing any of its meaning. It’s like in the movies. Cut out all the fucks, the movie’s duration will be shortened by half, making for a much less boring film with more action.

  218. 218
    Christopher

    The first thing I learned in self-defense class was to diffuse before you go into action. If you can talk to the person and calm them down, figure out what they want, figure out how to stop the situation without bloodshed and without fighting then you’re in a better position. To fight a person is the last thing you want to do.

    I totally agree. But when that doesn’t work and violence has commenced, I’d rather have tools designed for the task of self defense than hope my kung fu is better than theirs.

    I’ve only pointed a gun at somebody once in my life: I escorted a thief off my property in the middle of the night. Thankfully they were unarmed and passive in demeanor so I never had a reasonable fear of great bodily harm and therefore didn’t shoot. Had they tried to attack me I would have defended myself to the best of my abilities. In my opinion, the gun diffused the situation: a thief is much more likely to think they can physically take on a naked homeowner yelling at them than they would a naked man with a gun yelling at them.

  219. 219
    erichoug

    @Janine

    See I can’t win. If I stay polite you make fun of me. If I swear atyou everyone jumps on me. I will say I was concerned about the Bitch as I don’t like using this terminology. But it didn’t seem as any holds were barred.

    I will apologize to you directly for the word ‘Bitch’ it certainly wasn’t called for when other, gender neutral words were available. So I will simply revert to :Fuck you, you stupid hippy. Hmm, reads better that way too.

    BTW, I would like an answer to the following question: If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    Gun ownership is at an all time high and nearly every state has enacted a CHL law and many now have castle laws.

    I think that, like so many issues this one is far more complicated than your side likes to make it. And, there is certainly a lot of talking past people on this issue.

  220. 220
    Zugswang

    @erichoug:

    What do you think about the fact that many of the states that have these so-called “castle laws” also have either low or non-existent requirements for gun ownership and carrying?

    To rephrase a statement I’d made earlier, these sorts of laws operate under the assumption that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and knowledgeable. But these same states often also do very little to guarantee this. While most states do require permits to carry a concealed firearm such as a handgun, some of these states allow for non-permit open carry, and most require little more than a background check to purchase most handguns, rifles, and shotguns. It would seem that there is very little to justify the unwritten assumption such laws are strongly based upon.

    Considering the severity of the potential consequences of such a misplaced assumption, there should be significantly greater checks in place in any state that has these kinds of laws.

    As someone who owns quite a few firearms, I can say that as much as it is a constitutionally guaranteed right, as with all the others we are afforded, there also needs to be the acknowledgement of the responsibilities that such a right entails, and the limits of those rights.

  221. 221
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I’m not all that fond of prudes either, especially not stupid ones. But I am also less than impressed with people who have to fuck every other word. Just imagine the energy one could save by unfucking all texts without losing any of its meaning. It’s like in the movies. Cut out all the fucks, the movie’s duration will be shortened by half, making for a much less boring film with more action.

    Kiss off, Bart.

  222. 222
    Christopher

    I have a slightly different hypothesis, but even it were the case, I’d say that I would be prepared to dislike these people. A rattlesnake at 25 yards is no threat to anyone. Killing them is the act of someone with complete disregard for life.

    In one instance, she was babysitting her great-granddaughter and didn’t want a rattler so close to the house and play area. In the other she was afraid for her dogs. Can’t say I really blame either even if I would be more likely to relocate them than kill them. But I’m not an octogenarian with bad hips. The only thing I’ve ever killed with a gun is two raccoons who had become a damaging nuisance and attacked my pets and a mole that was laying waste to my garden.

  223. 223
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    @Katherine, I agree completely.

    I love life. That love does not include living like a hunted animal. If that makes me the slightest bit more vulnerable, so be it. I am in no hurry to go into the abyss, but I am going there. No matter what. But at least, I have a life. An enjoyable one.

    On top of that, as far as we know. Owning a gun increases our chances to be killed by one. So, the gun-disowner has a greater probability of having a more enjoyable life, and a longer life.

    I like those odds. A lot.

  224. 224
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I will say I was concerned about the Bitch as I don’t like using this terminology. But it didn’t seem as any holds were barred.

    My cold and empty black heart fucking aches and breaks for you.

  225. 225
    gravityisjustatheory

    AJS
    1 March 2012 at 8:54 am

    We have a brilliant system over in the United Kingdom: Guns are illegal, full stop.

    Not true, and I own one (a Ruger 10/22, which I use for target shooting at a rifle club). Only certain types are prohibited, the rest are just very heavily regulated.

  226. 226
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You have a thief break into your house, whose sole intention is to steal stuff and would really rather do a clean job without having trouble with the owners. But if you jump into the living room and start waving your gun around, it’s not that easy any more. His life is threatened now and he’s going to defend himself. Wouldn’t you be in less of a danger if you just locked yourself somewhere and called the police or escaped through the back door?

  227. 227
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Seriously, I’m with Aquaria.

    I live in a high-crime neighborhood in a high-crime city (with the bonus of not having off-street parking) and I don’t carry a gun. I don’t want to carry a gun.

    What are you chickenshits so scared of?

  228. 228
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Beatrice:

    No of course not, you have to go all John Rambo on his ass cause your stereo is clearly worth more than a potential life.

    (As an aside, who even owns a stereo anymore?)

  229. 229
    Louis

    Eric, #218,

    BTW, I would like an answer to the following question: If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    I’m not claiming to have an answer to the question per se, but why is it even meaningful?

    Effectively the question is simply disguising an argumentum ad populum, i.e. pro-gun arguments are more popular than anti-gun arguments. The same question could be framed about, for example, religious views or creationism, e.g. “BTW, I would like an answer to the following question: If the atheist arguments are so obvious and the evidence for atheism so compelling, why is the atheist side losing, and losing badly?”.

    You’re not asking (honestly) about the truth value or logical coherence of an argument, you’re insinuating that a popular vote (the essential core of a democracy) is what determines that truth value or coherence when it comes to your pet issue.

    There are ~300 million people in the USA, there are vastly more than ~300 million people in vastly more diverse nations in the Western world, gun control arguments of varying degrees HAVE worked in those nations, and the greater degree of gun control is reasonably well correlated with lesser degrees of gun related violence. If I was to frame my arguments as disingenuously as you just have, I get to ask if the pro-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for less gun control so compelling, why is the pro-gun side losing, and losing badly outside of that admitted outlier, the USA?

    I think we can both agree that that would be a shitty way to frame the argument.

    Louis

  230. 230
    Ing

    We were over this before. Best home defense? A dog. Doubles as deterrent AND alarm.

  231. 231
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    In one instance, she was babysitting her great-granddaughter and didn’t want a rattler so close to the house and play area. In the other she was afraid for her dogs. Can’t say I really blame either even if I would be more likely to relocate them than kill them. But I’m not an octogenarian with bad hips. The only thing I’ve ever killed with a gun is two raccoons who had become a damaging nuisance and attacked my pets and a mole that was laying waste to my garden.

    I think it is time humans learn to live with nature instead of against it. I see this type of behaviour here in Toronto as well. People hate squirrels. They hate raccoons, they hate skunks, they hate foxes, they hate coyotes… Well, they were here long before us. We’ve invaded their territory, and because we continue to expand, they are learning how to live close to us. Their only other choice is extinction.

    The ones I loathe most are the “animal lovers” who are going out to feed cats, and want to kill raccoons and coyotes and the like to protect them. These aren’t animal lovers. They’re just selfish humans protecting something that doesn’t even exist.

  232. 232
    Ing

    BTW, I would like an answer to the following question: If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    What’s your thoughts on health care or woman’s reproductive rights?

  233. 233
    erichoug

    We were over this before. Best home defense? A dog. Doubles as deterrent AND alarm.

    I can certainly agree on that. When they shoot it it’ll wake me up.

  234. 234
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    You have a thief break into your house, whose sole intention is to steal stuff and would really rather do a clean job without having trouble with the owners. But if you jump into the living room and start waving your gun around, it’s not that easy any more. His life is threatened now and he’s going to defend himself. Wouldn’t you be in less of a danger if you just locked yourself somewhere and called the police or escaped through the back door?

    Agreed. Wholeheartedly.

  235. 235
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    BTW, I would like an answer to the following question: If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    Easy. You also have the most religious zealots in the US. Something is wrong with your society. Something is wrong with your education system. They promote superstition and lack of evidence over realism and love for truth.

  236. 236
    Ing

    I can certainly agree on that. When they shoot it it’ll wake me up.

    You’re a fucking idiot. I really shouldn’t have to explain why

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100803084205AAqgjq4

    http://www.da18.org/page138142113.aspx

  237. 237
    erichoug

    @We are Ing

    What’s your thoughts on health care or woman’s reproductive rights?

    Pro Universal, single payer Pro Comprehensive sex ed, pro BC, pro Sex, Pro choice. Not that you’re going to believe me. But no, I am not a right wing, fundamentalist christian or a tea partier. I am a slightly to the left of center, non-theistic gun owner.

    I would work harder to fit your stereotype so that you can continue to dismiss, insult, and ignore me.

  238. 238
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    No of course not, you have to go all John Rambo on his ass cause your stereo is clearly worth more than a potential life.

    You are right, of course. It’s not only about the life of the owner and his/her family.
    I really liked the comparison Ing made :

    Random question: legally what is the difference between someone who kills someone breaking into their house by shooting them in the back…and someone who waits till the robbery is done then tracks the robber down and kills them?

    Why is one vigilantism and wrong but the other isn’t?

  239. 239
    Christopher

    I think it is time humans learn to live with nature instead of against it. I see this type of behaviour here in Toronto as well. People hate squirrels. They hate raccoons, they hate skunks, they hate foxes, they hate coyotes… Well, they were here long before us. We’ve invaded their territory, and because we continue to expand, they are learning how to live close to us. Their only other choice is extinction.

    I’m all for live and let live with nature, but only up to a point. I have no problem with raccoons in my space so long as they don’t become damaging or attack one of my pets. I’m always finding ‘coon prints around, they very rarely become a problem (maybe once a decade). I don’t sprinkle poison around to kill all the rodents in my yard, but I have no problem killing something that has breached the fencing and underground wire lining of my garden beds and has commenced laying waste to my season of hard work. If I was a rancher, I would have no problem killing coyotes that were attacking my sheep, but at the same time I wouldn’t go ‘yote hunting just for the shits and giggles.

  240. 240
    erichoug

    @louis

    I agree with a lot of what you say. But, there is no denying that violent crime and proterty crime are all down significantly in the last few years. And, during the same time gun ownership has skyrocketed.

    Outside of the US I am not really sure. I travel a lot and I think it has more to do with the overall mentality than anything. I think in a lot of other countries they work because people feel more of a commitment to their society than we do. There is also a lot of pointless paranoia in this country. And fear is a powerful motivator.

    I really don’t know.

  241. 241
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    No answers for me or Aquaria, chickenshits?

    What are you so fucking scared of?

    If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    How much you want to bet that the pro-gun lobby pumps WAAAAAAY more money into political campaigns than the pro-gun control people?

  242. 242
    Ing

    Pro Universal, single payer Pro Comprehensive sex ed, pro BC, pro Sex, Pro choice. Not that you’re going to believe me. But no, I am not a right wing, fundamentalist christian or a tea partier. I am a slightly to the left of center, non-theistic gun owner.

    I would work harder to fit your stereotype so that you can continue to dismiss, insult, and ignore me.

    I’m not stereotyping you dumb ass. I’m asking you “why are your positions are loosing if they are correct?”.

  243. 243
    erichoug

    @We are ing

    What? I’m agreeing with you and you aren’t happy? There’s just no pleasing you.

  244. 244
    Ing

    @Beatrice

    I’m not trying to be a smart ass on that one, I do wish Walton was here to give an actual answer on why one is considered different from the other.

  245. 245
    Ing

    What? I’m agreeing with you and you aren’t happy? There’s just no pleasing you.

    You’re not serious.

  246. 246
    erichoug

    I’m not stereotyping you dumb ass. I’m asking you “why are your positions are loosing if they are correct?”.

    They aren’t.

  247. 247
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But no, I am not a right wing, fundamentalist christian or a tea partier.

    Yet you fucking called me a hippy.

  248. 248
    Ing

    @Eric

    As I said before, I don’t think your dumb for owning a gun, I think you’re dumb because your reasons are bad and your attempts at explaining yourself show a confused and fragmented thought process.

  249. 249
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    That’s a pretty trite answer. Isn’t it possible that a majority people would prefer the option of owning a gun?

  250. 250
    Ing

    They aren’t.

    Really? Yeah Obama care is so fucking popular. We got our universal health care right? They’re working right on that. And we’re strengthening woman’s protections right? And we’re doing more to make sex ed better around the country?

    Please.

  251. 251
    Ing

    That’s a pretty trite answer. Isn’t it possible that a majority people would prefer the option of owning a gun?

    Isn’t it possible that a majority of people do not want health care?

  252. 252
    erichoug

    @We Are Ing

    How about this, I own a gun because I can and because it gives me an option that I prefer to have.

  253. 253
    erichoug

    @we are ing

    Why do you think I’m not being serious?

  254. 254
    erichoug

    Yet you fucking called me a hippy.

    What are you crying now? And didn’t I call you a stupid hippy?

  255. 255
    erichoug

    @ We are Ing

    Isn’t it possible that a majority of people do not want health care?

    Red herring, finish this argument before we get onto another.

  256. 256
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Isn’t it possible that a majority people would prefer the option of owning a gun?

    Someone doesn’t know the definition of trite!

    And, considering that the majority of American’s don’t own guns, I’d say you’re pretty fucking wrong.

    In fact, according to Gallup, 3 in 10 Americans are gun owners. 3 in 10. Hm, isn’t that less than 30%? And isn’t 30% less than 51%?

    But you know, maybe all of those non-gun owners really really REALLY wish that they did, but they’re being stopped by… something.

  257. 257
    Louis

    Eric, #239,

    Those things are, on average, down across the rest of the Western world too, and gun control is up. Gun ownership is down. It’s possible these two things are not necessarily causally related.

    Even in that favourable website you linked, the studies showing that the murder rate had dropped after local concealed carry laws etc only showed that the murder rates followed pre-existing national (i.e. not merely local) trends. The data didn’t separate out firearm homicides from other homicides IIRC.

    I don’t think anyone would claim a simple and causal link between free access to guns and violent crime. What people would claim is that freer access to guns increases the proportion of violent crimes that are committed with guns (pretty obvious really, and borne out across the international data sets I linked above). It might be the case that a causal link exists, one amongst many perhaps, but this isn’t my field of expertise.

    Louis

    Louis

  258. 258
    feralboy12

    If the anti-gun arguments are so obvious and the evidence for gun control so compelling, why is the anti-gun side losing, and losing badly?

    Because (mostly) Republican politicians have been hammering on the crime issue, throwing the Willie Hortons of the world in our faces and making our society sound like some lawless anarchy caused by liberal policies ever since Americans stopped being afraid of communists in the 1980′s. And they’ve done this despite a clear reduction in violent crime in most areas that goes back decades.
    It’s the politics of fear–fear of all those bands of criminals roving our streets and breaking into our houses every night, and fear that some liberal president is coming “to take away our guns.” Unfortunately, it works.
    Also, we watch too much fucking TV.

  259. 259
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Fucker, I am not crying. You were just expressing how you were not a teabagger. Yet you felt the need to claim that I am a “hippy”. Which is funny because just about the only people who use that as an insult are reactionaries.

    Funny how the simple concepts eludes you, Santorum-For-Brains.

    The day that you make me cry is the day I get a lobotomy.

  260. 260
    Louis

    So good I named myself 3 times…..impressive!

    Louis (Oh baby…)

  261. 261
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oh, wait. What am I doing? Numbers mean nothing to Eric!

    Also, what are you so scared of? (Bonus points if you can describe your fears without using racist dogwhistles.)

  262. 262
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    OOOH, I really hit a nerve with that hippy bit. HIPPY!HIPPY!HIPPY!You’re a stupid fucking hippy.

    BTW, I used to work a slaughterhouse, If Santorum is the most disgusting thing you can think to call me, you aren’t really trying.

  263. 263
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    I don’t mind numbers at all, but I did notice that your study said that 3 in 10 household own a gun. It didn’t say what the others would like in regards to all of them. Can you say with 100% certainty that the other 7 wouldn’t like the option to be left open?

  264. 264
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    …I really hit a nerve with that hippy bit…

    Ha! You are also that kind of troll.

    Or do you have a troll bingo card and trying to use every fucking trope.

    At least you are very chewy.

  265. 265
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    eric,
    You’re stretching sweetheart.

    If you read the survey, you would have read that 4 in 10 Americans live in a household with a gun (not 3 in 10, nice try). So, yeah. That’s also not a majority. How do you know that those 6 in 10 households that don’t have guns really really REALLY wish that they do?

    Why do you assume everyone agrees with you when, from the response here, this is clearly not the case?

    Also, what are you so scared of, chickenshit?

  266. 266
    Christopher

    I don’t mind numbers at all, but I did notice that your study said that 3 in 10 household own a gun. It didn’t say what the others would like in regards to all of them. Can you say with 100% certainty that the other 7 wouldn’t like the option to be left open?

    Actually the link says it is 3 in 10 people who own a gun, 42% of households have a gun in the home.

  267. 267
    anonymous3

    So when I shoot a bunch of racist rednecks because I feel threatened, that’ll be just fine, right? ‘Cause I’m just assuming that the sponsors of this bill imagine the races involved reversed.

  268. 268
    'Tis Himself

    @Tis Himself, OM

    Always comes back to penis with you, doesn’t it?

    Hey, eric, you’re the one with the penis substitute. Don’t blame me if your wee-wee is so small you have to compensate by having a bang-bang.

    But that’s unkind. Maybe you don’t have a penis substitute. Maybe you grew up on a diet of John Wayne movies and think bang-bangs are normal equipment for the American male. Maybe everyone else you know has a bang-bang and you’re just trying to fit into the crowd. Or maybe you’re just so afraid of the real world you need to protect yourself with a bang-bang. There are other possibilities than you just having a tiny prick.

  269. 269
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ack! Numbers! Eric can’t handle them!

  270. 270
    Louis

    Eric, #262,

    Can you not see how shitty an argument that is?

    When the numbers are with you, the gun control arguments are losing.

    When the numbers are against you the gun control arguments are losing because there might exist the possibility that the numbers could somehow be magically different and unless gun control advocates can state with 100%* certainty that they’re not…well…then gun control arguments are losing.

    Dude! At least PRETEND to be arguing honestly!

    Louis

    * Are you 100% sure there is no god of any kind? If not can I please play the theist “AHA GOTCHA!” card of driveling inanity? Come ON! You wouldn’t accept this wankery from a theist I presume, why accept it from yourself?

  271. 271
    Chrisco

    i hate rick santorum as much as the next guy but the sanatorum for brains joke was never funny. Santorum aka shit, fucking genious. :!

  272. 272
    Christopher

    Here is some numbers for you:

    Washington DC:
    population = 617,996
    murders = 131

    Vermont:
    population = 626,431
    murders = 7

    Can you tell which one has a ban on handguns and which allows anyone who can own a gun to carry it concealed without a license?

    Maybe guns have less to do with the murder rate than culture or other environmental factors.

  273. 273
    Chrisco

    agreed there ^^^

  274. 274
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    HA! By troll I am assuming that you are using the definition

    Troll= someone I disagree.

    Although you are right, I am chewey :]

  275. 275
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Maybe guns have less to do with the murder rate than culture or other environmental factors.

    Speaking of racist dogwhistles.

  276. 276
    erichoug

    @Louis

    Hmm, a little confused by the last one. What I said was that the study doesn’t show a majority of americans are for or against gun ownership, I simply said that it shows that a majority of households don’t own a gun.

    Not surprising, a gun and ammo are not cheap. And a lot of folks nowadays can’t aford to spend that much money on something that essentially sits in a closet all the time.

  277. 277
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    You assume wrong, chew-toy.

    Troll=assclam who is only here to be show off.

    Here is a clue, I have disagreed with just about every regular here. That does not make them a troll.

    Keep throwing the shit on the wall. You have nothing else going for you.

  278. 278
    erichoug

    @’Tis Himself, OM

    See, you just can’t help coming back to penises. Hmmmm.

  279. 279
    erichoug

    @janine

    Again, I am the one making actual arguments and putting forth evidence. You are not. So which one of us is a troll?

  280. 280
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    The murder rate is higher in areas of the US with fewere guns and lower in areas with more guns. It is not a simple linear relationship.

    Why not actually discuss why that is?

  281. 281
    Christopher

    Speaking of racist dogwhistles.

    Well, the FBI crime stats show that blacks and whites are far more likely to be murders and murder victims than non-whites or non-blacks. From personal experience, the most heavily armed racial/cultural group I’ve ever encountered are Filipinos, yet they seem to avoid either killing or getting killed at a much greater rate than whites or blacks.

    How does one explain such stark differences in murder rates without talking about culture? Or do you just ignore any differences and claim that an asian in america is just as likely to be murdered as an african american?

  282. 282
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Eric,
    What evidence? That we can’t know if 100% of all Americans probably are anti-gun control?

    *snerk!*

    What are you so scared of?

  283. 283
    erichoug

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies Says:

    What are you so scared of?

    I’m not scared, I have a gun.

    *snerk*

  284. 284
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Again, I am the one making actual arguments and putting forth evidence. You are not. So which one of us is a troll.

    Troll, I have not made an attempt to be part of the argument. I just do not like you, your dishonest tactics and your demand that discourse goes in a certain way. The way you claim the you do not fit stereotypes yet are so willing to use it on others.

    Yes, I do think you are a despicable asshole.

    But you make a damn good chew-toy.

    Now squeak for me.

  285. 285
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    *Squeak*, *Squeak*

  286. 286
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Eric,
    ‘Cos it was a disingenuous comparison at best. For example, it’s not clear if all of the people who are murdered in DC are actually DC residents. Or, hell, if all of the murderers are DC residents. The outlying cities didn’t* have as strict control over guns as DC and it’s not like they searched you on your way in.

    And using high murder rates to argue against gun control is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard.

    *DC no longer has a hand gun ban, but that’s neither here nor there.

  287. 287
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I’m not scared, I have a gun.

    Just don’t make him jumpy, his lead covered courage might have to prove that he is not scared.

    Still not funny, Santorum-For-Brains.

  288. 288
    erichoug

    @Janine

    S’funny, I kinda like you.

  289. 289
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    S’funny, I kinda like you.

    And you express it like a second grader.

  290. 290
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oh I can’t believe I missed this gem:

    I’m not scared, I have a gun.

    Oh, cutesy. You don’t even have an answer that’s acceptable to yourself.

    Obviously, you’re scared of something. Your gun is your security blanket, awwwww. Fortunately, most of us grew out of that immature phase when we went to kindergarten. (7 out of 10 of us, according to the survey that you didn’t bother to read.)

    Poor, frightened little Eric. Pretending to be a really big person.

    And you still haven’t answered my question.

  291. 291
    erichoug

    @ Janine

    And you express your hatred like a petulant high schooler. At least I’m cuter.

  292. 292
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    And you still haven’t answered my question.

    Just because you don’t like my answer doesn’t mean I didn’t answer you.

    P.S. I would like to order some candy. What do you have in stock?

  293. 293
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Bored now…

  294. 294
    Louis

    Eric,

    I’m not sure I could be clearer. You’re dishonestly moving goalposts, I’m beginning to lose sympathy…

    A gun for less than $200 in less than 2 seconds googling. That is a legal, brand new gun of course, gosh it’s almost like there might be a cheaper way to get one…

    The USA has ~ 1/8 of its population below the poverty line, so if your plea of “times be hard” is to stand it is not going to come close to eliminating the 6/10 households that do not own guns. Obviously living below the poverty line =/= the only people unable to afford a gun, but I use the numbers merely to indicate the scale of the problem. This is less than the cost of a Playstation. It’s a couple of video games, a few nights at the bar, a cross country trip. All things hard to afford in dire straights, but not prohibitively expensive, beyond the reach of most determined savers. So I don’t buy the pleading poverty angle.

    When most people demonstrate their lack of desire to purchase a relatively affordable item by simply not purchasing it you don’t get to move the goalposts and claim “ahhhh but they really secretly want to”. That is very dishonest.

    And a second ago weren’t you the guy commenting that gun ownership had soared? Which is it? Soaring gun ownership (which correlated with declining violent crime proves gun ownership = good, right?) or people are too poor to own guns? It can’t be both.

    Face it Eric, you’ve been flannelling about trying to shore up up some justification for your fear based gun ownership, just like you did in the last thread. It hasn’t worked, and since you’ve decided to be really quite brazenly dishonest about it…I’m less inclined to be charitable.

    Sorry.

    Louis

  295. 295
    erichoug

    @Louis

    Sorry, I am not meaning to move the goalposts.

    The CS monitor article I mentioned stated that gun ownerships is up 12% in 2009 which is a substantial increase. I don’t have data more recent than that.

    Also, I don’t believe I was making the argument that the other 7 households don’t own guns because of the cost. And if it seemed that way, it wasn’t my intention.

    The only thing I was trying to assert is that the survey didn’t show the respondents feelings regarding gun ownership but rather whether or not they owned a gun.

  296. 296
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Eric,
    It wasn’t a real answer. It was a dodge. You may think it’s a clever ploy, but really, it’s not.

    So, what makes you so frightened that you need a gun to feel secure?

    Louis:

    And a second ago weren’t you the guy commenting that gun ownership had soared?

    Well, if Eric had bothered to read the survey that I linked to, he’d know that gun ownership hasn’t changed. But he hasn’t read it (we know this ‘cos he fudged the numbers), so he’ll cling to whatever bullshit he thinks will win the argument.

  297. 297
    erichoug

    @Janine

    Bored Now…

    Hmmmm. Who does that sound like?

  298. 298
    Louis

    Eric,

    Sorry, I am not meaning to move the goalposts.

    Then don’t. Simple.

    Louis

  299. 299
    Louis

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart,

    …so he’ll cling to whatever bullshit he thinks will win the argument.

    I hadn’t noticed.

    {Flutters eyelashes innocently}

    Louis

  300. 300
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    So, what makes you so frightened that you need a gun to feel secure?

    Truthfully? nothing. I moved into a nice gated neighborhood a while back and there really isn’t much of a problem. You all act like I am riding around with it strapped to my him when the truth is it lives in my hurricane kit except for the occasional trip to the range. Mostly when people from out of state or country want to go shoot. I don’t even have a CHL and most of the time I don’t even have ammo for it.

    AS I replied to Ing, I have it because I can, and because it gives me an option that I am glad to have. I am far more in favor of defuse, distract, and run like hell. But, I have a fall back if I need it.

    And as far as Louis comment, Gun ownership is up. Can you show me something saying it isn’t?

  301. 301
    erichoug

    @Louis

    SIR, YES SIR!

  302. 302
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Eric:

    Also, I don’t believe I was making the argument that the other 7 households don’t own guns because of the cost.

    Jesus Christ, you fucking little imbecile. You’ve been corrected on this twice now and it was included in the link to the survey. 4 out of 10 households have guns vs 3 out of 10 Americans being gun owners.

    If you can’t get basic numbers straight (or bother to read a link that was fucking provided), maybe you should just realize that you’re just not smart enough to have an intelligent conversation with real adults. Bow out and stroke your manhood extender somewhere else.

  303. 303
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I moved into a nice gated neighborhood a while back and there really isn’t much of a problem.

    Oh for fucks sake. Really? You’re so paranoid you have to live in a fucking gated community AND you have to own a gun??

    You are the most pathetic excuse for an adult person I’ve encountered in a while. It must be tough to be so scared all of the time.

    Booga booga!

  304. 304
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    Oh for fucks sake. Really? You’re so paranoid you have to live in a fucking gated community AND you have to own a gun??

    It’s an apartment complex. They’re nearly all gated around here.

  305. 305
    erichoug

    In fact, according to Gallup, 3 in 10 Americans are gun owners. 3 in 10. Hm, isn’t that less than 30%? And isn’t 30% less than 51%?

  306. 306
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oh, so you used “gated community” to, what? Provoke awe? Show off how awesome you are?

    It really doesn’t make you any less pathetic, since that’s where your security comes from.

  307. 307
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    *claps!* You quoted me! That would be awesome if you had a point.

  308. 308
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    Tell me, have you managed to convince many gun owners to give up their weapons with insults and abuse?

    Why am I so scared? I’m not. Why are you so angry? And, unlike you, I’ll leave out the tedious, dime store psychoanalysis.

  309. 309
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    P.S. how bout that candy, I really want to spoil my dinner.

  310. 310
    erichoug

    Oh, so you used “gated community” to, what? Provoke awe? Show off how awesome you are?

    The term is generally used to imply safety and security. A better choice of words may have been: I moved to a nice apartment complex with fairly good security.

  311. 311
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Why am I so scared? I’m not.

    You certainly act like it.

    Why are you so angry? And, unlike you, I’ll leave out the tedious, dime store psychoanalysis.

    Somebody doesn’t know what the word “contradiction” means, either! We can add that to the list with “trite”.

    Also, you haven’t seen me angry, sweetheart. But keep trying.

    My opinion on gun control isn’t going to kill someone. Your gun ownership very well might. Of course, you don’t understand stats (or reading links, apparently), so I know that you’ll argue that there’s no such thing as accidental deaths, or school shootings (it was a legal purchased gun that was used in the latest one in Ohio, you know), or whatever.

  312. 312
    Louis

    Gated community? Ahhhh Rob Newman’s Gentrification Song springs immediately to mind.

    “‘Cos I’m urban I’m gritty I’m real inner city, in my gated community with moat and drawbridge”.

    Ahhhhh yes.

    Louis

  313. 313
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Bah. I’m done with this. Eric is boring and not very bright. I have better things to do tonight than indulge my SIWOTI.

  314. 314
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Before I go:
    Louis, have I mentioned that I loves you?

    (I know, I know. It can never be. What with me being married and in a monogamous relationship and with you being all the way over there. But I can dream.)

  315. 315
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    You certainly act like it.

    Yes, I certainly find you terrifying. Terrifying and angry.

    Your opinion on gun control isn’t going to get anyone killed? The statistics don’t really agree with you. Can you show me an instance in the US where tighter gun regulation has significantly reduced violent crime? When you look at the statistics, it would appear that concealed carry is the best way to reduce violent crime. But, I promise if you post a link I will actually read it and reply.

    It’s funny, but I said in the previous thread that this sort of thing reminds me exactly of the response I get when I tell people I am an atheist. The smug, superior attitude, The trite dismissal, the abuse and insults, not to mention the low grade psychology that comes into play, not to mention the ridiculous assumptions and the stereotyping. But hey, you BELIEVE you are right so who am I to tell you otherise

  316. 316
    shala

    P.S. I would like to order some candy. What do you have in stock?

    I don’t know about Audley, but you look like an everlasting gobstopper to me.

  317. 317
    Louis

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart,

    Oh but I too am married. Monogamy…wellllll erm, we don’t precisely practice that 100% of the time…but I digress. It has never stopped me from loving you too.

    We can pine across the leagues, aching romantically, and occasionally glance wistfully at the computer. As long as Josh doesn’t mind me branching out on my Virtual Heterosexual Husband (and brother husband to Caine et al) status, and I don’t lose my place in the queue to Has Teh Ghey Secks With Brownian…frankly I’m game for anything.

    Especially that thing you do with your tongue.

    Louis

    P.S. We have been indulging our respective SIWOTI syndromes a little too much. Naughty, naughty us. I propose a spanking, and a series of Monty Python jokes based upon it. Hurrah!

  318. 318
    erichoug

    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    Oh yes, 313 posts later I’m boring. Now we get the exasperated dismissal when I, stupidly, fail to see your side.

    I’ll leave with this: There are more gun owners today than there ever have been and that number is growing. There are moe stats with CHL and castle laws than ever before and growing. Violent crime is at a significant low.

    You may not like it but it certainly isn’t going away, especially if the argument’s y’all have put forward today are any indication.

  319. 319
    erichoug

    @shala

    OOOH, I love’s me some gobstoppers!

    Kinda a low rent insult, don’t you think?

  320. 320
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    As a citizen of canuckistan, this obsession with guns for defense purposes is a bit puzzling.

    I mean, I get the fun someone can get out of shooting stuff up with guns or showing it off. Heck, I might even enjoy it myself, as I like to see things explode.

    But for defense… Against what exactly? Burglars ? They normally come when you’re not there. You lose some stuff, you get pissed off for having to fill up insurance papers. Annoying, but I wouldn’t want to swap that for dealing with having shot a poor fool in my house for a simple robbery. Home invaders ? Rare, and most of the time they prefer to attack people who are stupid enough to keep loads of cash (or guns !) stashed in their homes. At night. When they are asleep.

    I’ve had things stolen from me. My neighbors where burglarized multiple times. Still none of us has thought about “protecting” our homes with a gun. Or moving in these weird “gated communities”.

    Why are americans so very scared of their neighbors ?

  321. 321
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Okay, okay. Just one last thing. As a follow up to my “trite” comment that the gun lobby might spend more political dollars than the gun control lobby, I found this about the gun ownership lobby: in 2010, the lobbyists spent a total of $2,875,190.

    The gun-control lobbyists? They spent $290,000 in 2010.

    So, there’s your trite answer, jackass.

  322. 322
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    kemist:

    Why are americans so very scared of their neighbors ?

    It’s the blacks. Or Mexicans. Or A-rabs. Or whatever the hated minority du jour is.

    What was I saying about racism? It’s all so very “white flight”.

    Louis:

    We have been indulging our respective SIWOTI syndromes a little too much.

    Meh, it was a snow day for me.

    But, I wouldn’t say no to a naughty naught spanking (coupled with Python jokes, of course!)

    Eric,
    I didn’t realize that I was posting for the entire 313 comments! You can’t even fucking count, can you?

    Really, guys, I have to go to the supermarket! I’m really really really going now.

  323. 323
    Rutee Katreya

    Ah, Minnesota is added to the list of states where existing while brown and poor is a shooting offense, I see. As someone who has never committed a crime aside from traffic violations or copyright infringement, and who is not white, looser gun laws and ‘expanded’ self defense laws do not make me feel one tiny bit safer from harm; quite the opposite. The horde has already provided evidence demonstrating that my feelings are justified.

  324. 324
    Ing

    Who does that sound like?

    Dark Willow?

    Taking a wild guess, since you failed to grasp my simple “X is like Y” explanation to you, that you failed to grasp a reference?

  325. 325
    feralboy12

    There are more gun owners today than there ever have been and that number is growing. There are moe stats with CHL and castle laws than ever before and growing. Violent crime is at a significant low.

    Correlation does equal causation. We saw how good some of you are at controlling for factors other than differences in the laws with the post comparing the murder rate in Vermont vs. the murder rate in the District of Columbia.
    Yes, similar populations, with D.C. having almost 20 times the murder rate.
    It also has roughly 140 times the population density.
    If violent crime is at a significant low, and has been heading that way for decades, why the push for new laws that put more guns in the streets with (possibly) greater latitude for using them?
    I seem to recall a big uptick in gun ownership in 2009, when Obama took office–because, of course, he was going to take away those guns. Which didn’t happen; just another conservative fire alarm.
    Judging by the way you all talk about when somebody breaks into your house with a gun, when somebody carjacks you, when somebody threatens your family, it sounds like you’ve been listening to those alarms.
    Hint: it’s called the politics of fear.
    If you don’t hear how frightened you sound, it’s because you’ve lived too long in your Iron Fortress listening only to others like yourself.

  326. 326
    Zugswang

    You know, I must naïve, because I expected this erichoug fellow to actually respond to some of the more substantive points that many here have made, but instead, he chose only to argue against vague assertions or insults or imaginary arguments and act like he was the adult in the room.

    Clearly, it was silly of me to expect otherwise.

  327. 327
    Louis

    Eric, #318,

    Sorry but I can’t let that pass. I’ve argued relatively pleasantly and in good faith only to be treated with a non-negligible amount of disingenuous wriggling by you. Not good.

    More than that the claim you make regarding concealed carry laws isn’t true, at least for the three states (Michigan, Texas and Florida) mentioned in the material you linked earlier. Each state’s homicide/non-negligent manslaughter rate was already in decline (as was the national rate) at the time the concealed carry laws were enacted and continued to follow that trend afterwards. Even granting that these data do not separate out homicides/manslaughters that involved firearms from those that did not. So it’s really impossible to come to any decent conclusions using that data. Whether or not the proportion of those homicides/manslaughters that involved firearms changed is one of the important details, and it’s simply not present in the figures.

    That’s one reason I am deeply suspicious of those figures. For the UN data I linked above the homicides by firearm as a proportion of the total number of homicides is shown and it shows a very different trend internationally. I’ve already mentioned this, and you ignored it again to DECLARE VICTORY in your post (really very dishonest, Eric, bad form). Look at the numbers in the firearm excel spreadsheet linked in the UN data sets. Freer access to firearms correlates well with a higher percentage of homicides involving firearms, as one might intuitively expect.

    Also, in all the cases of varying gun control in the USA all the borders are porous. Nothing is to stop people from outside areas moving into areas of restricted access to guns and committing crimes. This is a complicating factor when looking at those data. Like the UK, where access to guns used to be much freer, **IF** this issue is going to be tackled by greater gun control, then it has to be a coordinated national effort. Wouldn’t that please the militia nuts?

    Sorry Eric, but you haven’t presented arguments/data you’ve shilly-shallyed about trying to rationalise your fear-based gun ownership (as admitted to in this and the previous thread by you). Fine, own a gun, really I am happy for you to do so. Obviously I hope you are one of those responsible gun owners and obviously I hope the situation where you feel no need to own a gun arises. But please don’t try to rationalise your gun ownership as poorly as you have here. It’s not becoming.

    Louis

  328. 328
    Ichthyic

    Why are americans so very scared of their neighbors ?

    they aren’t.

    only RWA Americans are.

    and if you want to know why THEY are….

    READ THIS BOOK:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

  329. 329
    Ichthyic

    ah, is little Eric playing at baiting folks with his stinky gun rhetoric yet again?

    thought he would have gotten bored of that by now.

  330. 330
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    READ THIS BOOK

    I second that. It is a very good book. I am a bit past halfway, and it is very interesting, even more so that it is evidence-based, not mere speculation.

  331. 331
    Louis

    Icthyic,

    I’m not baited…wait…do you mean that in the fishy way or the UK-y way?

    I’ve bothered to reply a good bit so I’ve taken the bait (fishy).

    I’m not spectacularly angry and ranty with Eric so I’m not baity (UK).

    And I’ve read the Altermeyer book. It is what can only be described as fucking good! It does rather explain a lot….

    Louis

  332. 332
    Sili

    Hmmm.

    I wonder if they saw the Gabby Gifford shooting and decided it was something to encourage?

    Effective way of shifting the balance of power, I guess.

  333. 333
    echidna

    Australia, during the gold-rush era, was as gun-happy as the US was. Over time, the political decision was made to reduce gun-ownership, fairly successfully. Fear hurts society. We’re in it together becomes us and them until you get to me and mine against the world, which is where I guess Eric is.

    Really, gun ownership does not help. I don’t recall seeing any articles about people saving their families with guns; I do recall articles where some kid in the US has used a gun from home to shoot up their school, or about a dad shooting their own child who was moving about the house at night. Sure it can happen anywhere, but in the US, guns are so pervasive that people like Eric think they are normal. Also, Eric talks about the world we live in, meaning the US. There is more to the world, as others have pointed out.

    From: http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/4548/look-out-shes-got-a-gun/

    Murders per 100,000 population by gun.

    England & Wales 0.12
    Australia 0.31
    USA 2.97
    So you are almost 3 times more likely to be shot in Australia than you are in England & Wales. But you are nearly 10 times more likely to be shot in the USA than you are in Australia.

    Murders per 100,000 population NOT by gun.

    England & Wales 1.33
    Australia 1.26
    USA 1.58
    Take guns out from the equation and there’s really not that much in it between all three countries.

    Overall murders (by any means) per 100,000 population.

    England & Wales 1.45
    Australia 1.57
    USA 4.55

  334. 334
    kelleyglenn

    @Christopher, #59
    I served on a jury in Alameda County, California in October 2010 for the August 2006 double homicide of Nicole Tucker and Corey Keyes by Timothy Hicks. The defendant did not deny that he shot the two victims and we convicted him on 2 counts of voluntary manslaughter. We had a range of choices, from justifiable homicide due to self-defense (not a crime) to first-degree murder. The text that Christopher shared sounds exactly like part of the instructions we were read before we deliberated and later had available to us in the jury room. We accepted that the defendant had an actual belief that his life was in imminent peril, because there had been threats of violence from the victims in the past. However, we found that that his belief was not reasonable, because he approached the victims, was obviously armed himself, had a calm conversation and says he then thought they were reaching for something, but he says he never saw a weapon. In fact, no weapons were ever found at the scene, just slugs and casings from his gun.

    The point is that the system worked the way it should in this case. A group of citizens from the community were able to seriously consider the law, evidence, and arguments presented to them and find a verdict that fit those facts best. The prosecution did not meet the bar to raise it to murder (1st or 2nd degree) and the defendant didn’t convince us that his fear was reasonable.

    I would not want our laws to require that a threat be actual before a forceful response is justified. If someone threatens me with a realistic toy gun/knife/bomb/stick, I want the law to stand behind me if I think they toy is real and defend myself appropriately. That may mean running away or trying to diffuse the situation. It may also mean eliminating the threat.

    I also would not want our laws to allow a defendant to simply claim self-defense and walk away. If the prosecution can convince the jury that that claim is fabricated or unreasonable, then the defendant is guilty of a crime. I’m not at all familiar with how “reasonable” is defined in Minnesota law, but our jury was instructed that it’s not defined by the defendant, but by how we see

    Of course, it all comes down to convincing a jury either way. Isn’t that how our criminal court system is supposed to work?

  335. 335
    erichoug

    Curse my oily hide! but I just can’t resist one more post!

    I hope everyone can take this as it is meant which is sincerely and with nothing more intended than what are in the simple words.

    I truly enjoyed this today and I want to thank everyone for replying. I know we all may not see eye to eye on this issue but it was certainly fun discussing it. Heck I even enjoyed the insults and the abuse.

    I believe I shouldn’t be upset about losing and argument as that is how you learn and improve. I think I at least learned a few things today. And I hope you may have learned something too.

    My apologies to anyone I offended especially to Louis, I simply didn’t give your replies the time and care they merited.

  336. 336
    Louis

    Eric,

    Never, ever, EVER worry about offending me. I am to all intents and purposes unoffendable, and as such am not offended.

    I am, however, annoyable. Very, very annoyable. Shitty arguments annoy me, my own especially included.

    Trading insults with the regs is good fun, it doesn’t accomplish much, but it’s a way to pass the time. Using gendered insults, as you did when you called Janine a bitch, is beyond the pale. It is not cricket. Don’t fucking do it.

    Louis

  337. 337
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’m an atheist, I own a gun, I carry a gun… and I think laws like this are dangerous.

    It is one thing to say that you don’t need to retreat within your own home. My reading of the current Virginia law is that I need to go up a flight of stairs and hide in the guest bedroom, which sounds reasonable if I hear a strange noise but not if someone kicks in the back door. If someone kicks in a door or climbs through a window, I don’t know that I wait to see if I can get myself and my wife and my dog and my cats upstairs and wait for the cops to show up. And if anyone comes up my stairs at night with the alarm going off and the dog barking, I assume that they are going to try to hurt me and I’ll be justified in shooting them.

    On the other hand, outside of my house I can usually leave a potentially dangerous situation. More importantly is that I’m not a cop, and if I see a “forcible felony” like an armed robbery I’m not taking the law into my own hands. I’m not going to break up a fight by shooting someone. This law seems to turn the “take a knife to a gunfight” thing on its head, and allows you to turn anything from a shouting match to a fender-bender into a gunfight.

    “Your Honor, I hit her car in the parking lot and she got out screaming and cursing and reached into her purse like she had a gun in there, so I put three hollowpoints in her chest. How was I supposed to know she was getting out her insurance information?”

  338. 338
    shala

    OOOH, I love’s me some gobstoppers!

    Well I suppose you are what you eat…

  339. 339
    Christopher

    “Your Honor, I hit her car in the parking lot and she got out screaming and cursing and reached into her purse like she had a gun in there, so I put three hollowpoints in her chest. How was I supposed to know she was getting out her insurance information?”

    Judges don’t convict, juries do. If you were on a jury and heard that, would you think that explanation demonstrated that they had a reasonable fear of great bodily injury or death? I wouldn’t.

  340. 340
    kelleyglenn

    @Christopher, #339

    Agreed. And if the defendant and an independent eye witness testify that they heard the decedent yell “I’m going to f***ing kill you!” as she reached into her purse, a jury may find the defense reasonable.

  341. 341
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I voted against Ingebrigtsen in the last election — I could tell he was just another pig-ignorant Republican thug. Now it’s confirmed.

    that sounds like a threat

  342. 342
    Ing

    Judges don’t convict, juries do.

    Someone can waive their right to trial by jury and request a judge AFAIK.

  343. 343
    Ichthyic

    …and judges can overturn jury verdicts, fwiw.

  344. 344
    Ing

    BTW how did that work out with the Muslim Judge who ruled that a Muslim totally was cool beating on an atheist because the fucker had it coming? Did the defendant waive jury or did the Judge make a ruling?

  345. 345
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Katherine, #167: How about a machine gun as a prosthetic leg?

    Bart, #217:

    But I am also less than impressed with people who have to fuck every other word. Just imagine the energy one could save by unfucking all texts without losing any of its meaning.

    It took you a lot more energy to wag your finger at us than it would have to shut the fuck up on the subject.

    Christopher, #281:

    How does one explain such stark differences in murder rates without talking about culture?

    Poverty causes a lot of social dysfunction.

    Of course, some of us think that poverty is a symptom of oppression, while others believe that wealth is a sign of gawd’s favor.

  346. 346
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @#339:

    That was my point, judge or jury trial is irrelevant. If your defense is “someone yelled at me, so I felt threatened and shot them” then you probably belong in prison for a pretty long time. This “no retreat” business is stupid, because what it really acts as is an excuse for people to escalate.

    When I’m carrying a weapon, I don’t want to use it and I know I have the power to do much worse than punch someone, so I actively avoid confrontation. This sort of law says don’t worry about avoiding confrontation, hell you can go actively looking for trouble and then once you find it you have a law that weights the trial in your favor.

  347. 347
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    @Ichthyic
    On my reading list.

    Christopher:

    Judges don’t convict, juries do. If you were on a jury and heard that, would you think that explanation demonstrated that they had a reasonable fear of great bodily injury or death? I wouldn’t.

    What does it really mean that “reasonable” will be left to the jury’s so-called common sense ? It means that they will evaluate a situation which they did not even witness based on hearsay, impressions given by witnesses or lawyers and the baggage of preconceptions they knowingly or unknowingly carry.

    The jury might get a guilty verdict in the lady’s case, but swap the lady and her purse for a huge black guy and his backpocket, and it might be different in the exact same situation.

  348. 348
    Kagato

    Here’s what I don’t follow about the home invader scenarios above:

    * Responsible gun owners keep their guns unloaded and locked in a gun safe. Most gun owners are responsible.

    * Gun owners can use their guns to deter a home invader.

    * Guns help equalise the conflict between an attacker and, say, an elderly lady.

    * Elderly ladies can be excellent shots, despite being otherwise frail, infirm or slow moving.

    Therefore, elderly ladies have a better chance defending themselves with their gun during a home invasion, because at the first sign of trouble they can go get the gun out of the safe, go find the ammo, load the gun and aim it, all before the attacker can make their move; thus equalising the conflict.
    Despite having an artificial hip and can barely move around.

    Er…

    Let’s face it; this little old lady will only be able to use a gun to defend herself at home if she sleeps with it, loaded, under her pillow. (Even keeping it on the floor by the bed is too much for her; with her bum hip she probably can’t bend down that easily.)

    And everyone agrees this is unsafe, irresponsible gun behaviour, right?

    In fact, I don’t see how anyone could reliably defend themselves during a home invasion if they responsibly keep their guns and ammo locked up separately. Even for a young, fit person, if they’re truly in imminent danger they won’t have the time or opportunity to retrieve the gun from storage.

  349. 349
    Ichthyic

    Therefore, elderly ladies have a better chance defending themselves with their gun during a home invasion, because at the first sign of trouble they can go get the gun out of the safe, go find the ammo, load the gun and aim it, all before the attacker can make their move; thus equalising the conflict.
    Despite having an artificial hip and can barely move around.

    I’m going to repeat to you what the answer I last got to essentially the same question you raise here:

    No, see, what happens is that granny keeps the gun OUT of the safe whenever she is there by herself, so has ready access to it.

    When friends or family are visiting, she keeps the gun IN the safe, but figures that the friends and family will act as decoys while she goes and gets the gun out of the safe in case of home invasion.

    no shit. That is exactly the logic that was given to me.

    it boggles the mind.

  350. 350
    ginckgo

    If only the Mos Eisley cantina had been in Minnesota, then George Lucas wouldn’t have felt compelled to re-edit the scene to make Greedo shoot first.

  351. 351
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Kagato@#348

    What’s “responsible” about keeping your home defense completely out of your reach when you need to defend yourself? That sort of defeats the purpose. There’s nothing particularly irresponsible with keeping a loaded handgun on your nightstand if you’re a little old lady of sound mind. When the grandkids are around, that’s a different story but there’s still no reason to unload.

    It is different when you actually live with a loaded weapon 24/7… you realize that some of this “responsible gun ownership” stuff was created in the minds of people who don’t actually much believe in gun ownership. Which is fine, and more power to those people, but their advice is often dumb.

  352. 352
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    In fact, I don’t see how anyone could reliably defend themselves during a home invasion if they responsibly keep their guns and ammo locked up separately. Even for a young, fit person, if they’re truly in imminent danger they won’t have the time or opportunity to retrieve the gun from storage.

    Compartmentalised thinking. Ad hoc reasoning. It doesn’t matter whether both scenarios are compatible or not. RWAs are famous for self-contradictory “reasoning”.

  353. 353
    johnmarley

    Somebody ought to mention to the sponsors of this bill that it allows atheists to carry a gun, and use it. Don’t forget, we’re untrustworthy and not good folks.

    But, PZ, you said it yourself, we’re untrustworthy and not good folks. Since the proposed law says “to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes…”, it can’t apply to us. We don’t believe anything. :p

  354. 354
    mishcakes

    So you’re a paranoid little old lady with shitty hips. You sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow, responsible or not. Since you’re this fearful, you also have probably triple-checked the doors were locked and windows closed and are a regular subscriber to ADT. Arnold Schwarzenegger circa-1970 look-alike decides that he REALLY wants your new flatscreen. At 3am, while you’re in bed.

    So he breaks in and you’re scared, of course. Wait a minute! The family jewels, on the dressing table. Arnold actually really didn’t want your flatscreen. You hear him coming up the steps. No matter that he’s already tripped the security system and you’ve already called 911. He’s large and in charge, and Aunt Betty’s pearl necklace is at stake! He must die.

    The door creaks open… oh those rippling muscles. Cue the porno music, and you know how this one ends.

    It’s all so ridiculous. Guns are an illusion of safety. If someone really wants to hurt you, they will, regardless of if you have an arsenal at your disposal. If someone wants your property, call the cops and/or let them leave with whatever they want. We live in a culture full of paranoid nutbags who correlate the grisly story they saw on national news with “THIS WILL HAPPEN TO ME SOON – MUST PREPARE” and think they’re the next reincarnation of Rambo. They have easy access to very lethal weapons and can’t wait to “protect their family” and prove all those stupid liberals wrong.

  355. 355
    Kagehi

    “But, officer, I saw all these right wing loonies wandering around with guns and felt sure they where going to shoot me at any moment!” Oh, wait….

  356. 356
    Christopher

    In fact, I don’t see how anyone could reliably defend themselves during a home invasion if they responsibly keep their guns and ammo locked up separately. Even for a young, fit person, if they’re truly in imminent danger they won’t have the time or opportunity to retrieve the gun from storage.

    Technology to the rescue:

    http://www.gunvault.com/

    Three seconds and you can have a loaded pistol in your hand. Otherwise it is locked in a steel box.

  357. 357
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    mishcakes@#354

    It’s all so ridiculous. Guns are an illusion of safety. If someone really wants to hurt you, they will, regardless of if you have an arsenal at your disposal. If someone wants your property, call the cops and/or let them leave with whatever they want. We live in a culture full of paranoid nutbags who correlate the grisly story they saw on national news with “THIS WILL HAPPEN TO ME SOON – MUST PREPARE” and think they’re the next reincarnation of Rambo. They have easy access to very lethal weapons and can’t wait to “protect their family” and prove all those stupid liberals wrong.

    I’m a “stupid liberal” and a gun owner. It isn’t either/or, you know? It isn’t either “perfect victim” like you see to advocate for, or “perfect killing machine” at the other extreme. If someone really wants to hurt me, they might manage to do it or they might not. It isn’t a sure thing, since I’ve taken some precautions.

  358. 358
    Kagato

    What’s “responsible” about keeping your home defense completely out of your reach when you need to defend yourself? That sort of defeats the purpose.

    That’s my point. The generally-agreed-upon safe practices of gun safes and unloaded weapons are contradictory to rapid-response home defense, but I see both espoused by the very same people. Just not at the same time, of course.

    There’s nothing particularly irresponsible with keeping a loaded handgun on your nightstand if you’re a little old lady of sound mind.

    I guess that depends; while the thief is quietly rummaging through the drawers and cupboards while she’s asleep, is she sure she will wake up before he gets to her nightstand drawer? What is the likely outcome if she wakes up while he’s looking in the nightstand drawer?

    When the grandkids are around, that’s a different story but there’s still no reason to unload.

    Wait. I need to read that again.

    When the grandkids are around, that’s a different story but there’s still no reason to unload.

    You think it’s cool for grandma (who we’ve already described as having limited mobility) to keep a loaded gun around her house while the grandkids are there? Do you at least concede to locking it up at this time? Because otherwise I think you’ve got a far greater chance of at least one dead kid than you do of an outside attacker. Kids are nosy, and guns are cool.

    Scariest thing I’ve read in this thread, dude.

  359. 359
    mishcakes

    Ok, so I stereotyped a bit. But the point still stands – it’s an illusion of safety. If someone really wants to hurt you, they will, how is having a gun strapped to your leg or locked in a vault going to make a difference? Aside from the fact that I’m guessing you haven’t made many enemies who are itching to take your life.

    So where does that leave you? A break-in, someone trying to steal your shit? As mentioned before on this thread, you’re much more likely to survive if you just hide in the closet and call the cops, not confront the dude(s)(ettes) with your weapon.

    Someone points a gun to your head and demands your Lexus? Let them have it. Or are you going to reach into your glovebox faster than the criminal can react, turn around and shoot quickly enough and accurately enough to save your precious car?

    A fight at the supermarket, and the lady who’s Doritos were stepped on whips out her pistol? I doubt you really want to get involved with that. Oh, she points the gun at your son? Now you may have a use for it. Shit, how likely is THAT to happen?

    I’ve read most of the thread and sorry if I missed it, but has anyone made any good argument for having a gun, either locked away or ready to rumble? It’s been shown statistically to get you into MORE trouble, not less.

  360. 360
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    … bedside gun safe, biometric locks? Granny can lock up her loaded gun when the kids are around.

    There’s a middle ground here, between anti-gun panic and “Obama wants to take my guns” paranoia.

  361. 361
    Christopher

    Would I use deadly force? No. If the person who attacks me ends up dead, that would be a coincidence, almost certainly the result of an uncontrollable and uncontrolled reflex, and a very unlikely one at that.

    Indeed, but when you have grown up with parents beating you up, trying to drown you and otherwise depriving you from all that is enjoyable, your perspective changes a bit. I survived my childhood. Almost certainly more by accident than anybody’s clever plan.

    If you had lashed out with evolutionary self preservation in either your hypothetical or in your very real history, knocked out your attacker with one lucky shot causing them to smack their head on a hard surface and die, I wouldn’t want you to spend time in prison for their death.

  362. 362
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    If you had lashed out with evolutionary self preservation in either your hypothetical or in your very real history, knocked out your attacker with one lucky shot causing them to smack their head on a hard surface and die, I wouldn’t want you to spend time in prison for their death.

    The story is very real I’m afraid. Of course, times change, I don’t think that such scenarios are all that likely anymore in Belgium. They weren’t very likely in my time, but certainly quite a bit more likely. Blame the Bible: Spare the rod, spoil the child was one of my parents favourite Bible quotes. Not that certain parts of the US are all that much more child-friendly.

    You raise a good point. Even when you did nothing wrong, you may still end up in prison for life, or be “humanely executed” for a murder you didn’t commit with droves of RWAs screaming for your death because they *know* what a guilty bastard you are.

    Not having any weapons may well make the difference between freedom and death.

  363. 363
    dornierpfeil

    Christopher @ 35 said:
    “If you will be able to shoot someone for grabbing their cell phone under the new law, then you are able to do it under the current law. But if I was on the jury with either law in front of me, I would vote that it was an unreasonable belief.”

    By the time it gets to a jury, it is too late for the person who was unjustifiably shot. What does your way of looking at things do for that person?

  364. 364
    Christopher

    By the time it gets to a jury, it is too late for the person who was unjustifiably shot. What does your way of looking at things do for that person?

    Unless there has been a development in time travel that I am unaware of the court is unable to go back in time and change what has been done. Whether someone kills another unjustifiably with a gun or their boot, they should be punished. If someone kills another in defense of themselves or another, I don’t think they should be punished by anything more than their conscience.

    The dividing line between justifiable and unjustifiable homicide can often be very blurry. The jury system might not be perfect, but it is the best I am aware of to make those hard decisions.

  365. 365
    Ichthyic

    If someone kills another in defense of themselves or another, I don’t think they should be punished by anything more than their conscience.

    you’re just circling the drain here.

    inevitably, your statement here comes back to exactly what “defense” of another justifies homicide.

    how does one quantify that for a court case?

    it’s WAY to subjective.

    it’s bad law, AND bad thinking.

  366. 366
    Ichthyic

    … bedside gun safe, biometric locks? Granny can lock up her loaded gun when the kids are around.

    you didn’t read my post.

    and you WAY oversimplify the reality of the situation to mere hypotheticals.

    as all those pushing for everyone to own guns inevitably do.

    gee, I wonder how it is that so much of the rest of the world ever got along without personal firearms at their sides….

  367. 367
    dornierpfeil

    In other words, you can’t do anything for that person. I can. I can oppose making your, I readily admit, blurry line more blurry by opposing passing laws that encourage ignorant people to think they would be justified to shoot someone for any fear they have. Not getting shot in the first place is by far the better outcome.

  368. 368
    Ichthyic

    Not getting shot in the first place is by far the better outcome.

    *ding*

    winner!

  369. 369
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I still remember that case with the Japanese exchange student and the impact it had on Japanese public opinion. Cases like that contribute a lot to the bad US image overseas, though I doubt any of the gun nuts would care.

  370. 370
    Ichthyic

    I still remember that case with the Japanese exchange student

    ?

    I must have missed that one.

    link?

  371. 371
    Ichthyic

    Is this it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori

    “Rodney, get your gun.”

    uh huh.

    such responsible people.

  372. 372
    Ichthyic

    “There was no thinking involved. I wish I could have thought. If I could have just thought,” Mrs. Peairs said.

    don’t we all.

    this, of course, is the problem.

    a tiny lapse of thought with gun in hand leads to dead people.

    and if you own a gun, can you really say you’ve NEVER EVER had a lapse of thought in your life?

  373. 373
    Ichthyic

    After the trial, Peairs told the press that he would never again own a gun.

    a bit late, though it still shows that some people can learn.

    Will it always take someone’s death to act as an obvious lesson though?

  374. 374
    Therrin

    Will it always take someone’s death to act as an obvious lesson though?

    Pretty much, and then it’ll be forgotten by the next news cycle.

  375. 375
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Pretty much, and then it’ll be forgotten by the next news cycle.

    It’s not been forgotten in Japan. People still bring it up years later…

  376. 376
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Ichthyic,

    yes that’s the one. It had been linked to in 12, I should have included the post number.

  377. 377
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ing, I know you are kidding about the judge, but there are some people naive enough to take you seriously! Please be careful. :)

    BTW how did that work out with the Muslim Judge

    Lutheran judge! Martin is a lifelong Lutheran.

    who ruled that a Muslim totally was cool beating on an atheist

    That wasn’t even alleged. The claim was that he tried to pull off Perce’s beard, and his sign.

    because the fucker had it coming?

    No, because the prosecution did not demonstrate mens rea for the harassment charge. An easier charge to convict on would have been “recklessly endangering another person”, but they didn’t think to charge him with that.

    It’s not gross incompetence on the prosecutor’s part, but I could have done it better.

    Did the defendant waive jury or did the Judge make a ruling?

    The defendant had no right to a jury trial in this case. This level of charge was a summary offence, much like a traffic ticket.

    +++++
    Perce has since given an interview to Pamela Geller, of all people, as though he cannot research her background or does not care.

  378. 378
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And I missed this:

    FFS we just had a judge say that it was ok for a man to attack an atheist for offending his religion?

    Not true. Please, don’t spread weird rumors like this without checking your facts.

    Pennsylvania’s harassment statute requires mens rea, which the judge ruled the prosecution did not demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt. I listened to the court proceedings, and the judge ruled adequately according to the law.

    It could have gone differently with a different charge, but getting that part right was the responsibility of the prosecutor, not the judge.

  379. 379
    unclefrogy

    I have heard this in variations

    “Same for guns, swords, knives, and any other stuff that is made for no other reason than to harm or kill others.”

    Except for the the use of the terms harm or kill others which is a little slanted it is absolutely true. Guns are made for killing first and foremost, that we can appreciate how they work and the skill in their use they were made to kill though they have evolved into many types some are better for target shooting others are made for long range killing enemies (targets/game)they are were originally made to kill. Swords what else were they made for even the ceremonial swords while not often used to kill are still capable of doing so. Knives were are made to cut things into smaller pieces or put holes in things. If you think that carrot or tomato is not killed and or harmed by your kitchen knives you have a very different understanding of harm. Even the little whittler takes a part of a living thing and cuts it so much until it no longer resemble the plant it came from it has been destroyed as a tree and been transformed into something else. So lets just stop pretending otherwise OK you don’t fool anyone nor yourself.
    I own guns and swords and bows, axes and hatchets knives, saws, chisels, hammers, hooks and traps. They are tools and some are dangerous very dangerous some less so that is reality. So lets just stop with the pretense because it sounds so unsavory to admit guns are for killing even if you do not personally want to kill anything.

    I would not encourage a 90 plus person to depend on a gun for self defense. Who ever is victimizing the aged is not some big scary thug armed with a gun. The old person is going to be way to slow with their gun for it to be useful and is more likely just going to hurt themselves and just get the dam thing stolen and thereby arming some really fucked up creep with a gun.

    We here in the united states we really like guns it is to some extent the remnants of the status of caring weapons and it’s about it being deadly force. it is about the danger and its control.
    If I was asked what I would recommend as self defense for some aged person I would say first a young strong and capable human companion armed with a cell phone first then I might suggest a dog or two if they were able to care for it and control it.

    The last fucking thing we need is more people caring around concealed hand guns who are allowed to shot people just because they are afraid.

    uncle frogy

  380. 380
    Therrin
    Pretty much, and then it’ll be forgotten by the next news cycle.

    It’s not been forgotten in Japan. People still bring it up years later…

    As demonstrated in this thread, USans resist learning when it contradicts their beliefs. Didn’t you hear the Civil War wasn’t about slavery?

    A friend of mine in Wisconsin bought a gun recently. I told him I hope he doesn’t become a statistic.

  381. 381
    danielbjorkman

    “Why are americans so very scared of their neighbors?”

    Because they know that their neighbours are Americans too? If I knew that I was living next door to someone like Eric or Christopher, I’d have trouble sleeping at night too.

    I’m not being flippant here. (well, not entirely) I’m serious. Like all cultural things, it feeds on itself. America is an angry, violent, every-man-for-himself society. That makes it scary to live in. Being scared all the time makes you angry, inclined to be violent, and prone to declaring that it is every man for himself.

    So yes, *of course* the reason why Europe has less crime is because of cultural differences, not just because we have less guns. The fact that we have less guns is *part* of those cultural differences.

    Taking away the American gun-huggers’ guns won’t magically make American society peaceful, friendly and orderly. But the more you push lethal force (or the “option” of lethal force, if you insist on that distinction) as the answer to society being dangerous, the more dangerous society will get. And the more dangerous society gets, the more frightened people will leap to “I have to get the other guy before he gets me!!!” solutions, and so on, and so on. Who has anything to gain from that? Aside from the people who manufacture guns, I mean.

  382. 382
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    danielbjorkman,

    I don’t know. This sounds a little bit like the typical US bashing some Europeans like to do. Also, Europe is not a monolithic bloc. A high degree of fear of crime has led to the UK becoming one of the countries with the highest number of camera surveillance there is.

    Or, shorter me: do you have any citations for your claims?

    Figures are hard to find, but for instance here are some OECD figures
    first figure: fear of crime
    second figure: conventional victimisation *
    percentages over a twelve month period, 2004-2005

    27.0 16.3 Australia
    19.0 11.6 Austria
    26.0 17.7 Belgium
    17.0 17.2 Canada
    17.0 18.8 Denmark
    14.0 12.7 Finland
    21.0 12.0 France
    30.0 13.1 Germany
    42.0 12.3 Greece
    26.0 10.0 Hungary
    6.0 21.2 Iceland
    27.0 21.9 Ireland
    35.0 12.6 Italy
    35.0 9.9 Japan
    36.0 12.7 Luxembourg
    34.0 18.7 Mexico
    18.0 19.7 Netherlands
    30.0 21.5 New Zealand
    14.0 15.8 Norway
    33.0 15.0 Poland
    34.0 10.4 Portugal
    33.0 9.1 Spain
    19.0 16.1 Sweden
    .. 18.1 Switzerland
    31.0 21.0 United Kingdom
    19.0 17.5 United States

    25.7 15.5 OECD-26

    You can see the United States is not faring worse than Sweden regarding the fear of crime.

    Conventional victimisation: (Theft of cars Theft from or out of cars Motor-cycle theft Bicycle theft Burglary with entry Attempted burglary Theft of personal property and pick-pocketing Robbery Sexual offences against women Assaults or threats)

    (Source)

  383. 383
    Louis

    Speaking as one of those horribly over-surveilled Brits*, when the argument moves from actual crime to fear of crime, it’s a sure sign that something very shifty is going on. Crime here is down, ahhhhh but fear of crime is up, therefore your freedom, you do not need it…

    …is it okay for me to say I am not a fan of this line of authoritarian reasoning? Wonderfully our previous (supposedly left wing “Labour” government, snirk, titter, giggle…”left wing”…as if!) was one of the worst exponents of chucking precious freedoms away. A trend gleefully being continued by the current incumbents in Westminster. Happy happy joy joy!

    Louis

    *And we are, it’s a fucking disgrace, we also seem to emulate our American chums in our fervour to lock folks up. There’s so much that is good to emulate in the USA, why do we have to emulate the conservatism, celebrity obsession, and litigiousness? I blame….The French. Always a safe bet ;-)

  384. 384
    johnmarley

    Here’s a little test. I found this story on Funny.com,

    An elderly lady did her shopping and upon return found 4 males in her car. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at them at the top of her voice that she knows how to use it and that she will if required so get out of the car.
    The 4 men didn’t wait around for a second invitation but got out and ran like mad, where upon the lady proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the drivers seat. Small problem, her key wouldn’t fit the ignition. Her car was identical and parked four/five spaces further down.
    She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station. The sergeant that she told the story to nearly tore himself in two with laughter and pointed to the other end of the counter where 4 pale white males were reporting a car-jacking by a mad elderly white woman. No charges were filed.

    Do you think this is funny, or do you think it is a cautionary tale of narrowly avoided tragedy?

  385. 385
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ichthyic, you’re not being particularly honest.

    Earlier, I rejected the “stand your ground” laws as being unwise. Earlier, I stated that I’m as liberal as anyone here, and reject the sort of gun-nuttery nonsense that would lead to the “pushing for everyone to own guns” position that you ascribe to me.

    I don’t thing everyone should own a gun… starting with you.

    I don’t think violent felons should own guns. I don’t think anyone who can’t wait a reasonable amount of time should own a gun. I don’t think anyone unwilling to pass a competency test should own a gun. I don’t think anyone who has unrealistic expectations of safety based on owning a gun should own a gun. I’m for more strict gun laws, closing the gun show loophole, and creating a national database for gun owners.

    If you own a gun, you need to be as safe as reasonable inside your own situation. I’m married with no kids, and infrequent house guests since we just moved to a new state. I don’t have to make my gun child-safe since their are no children around. I only own a gun because I live in an unsafe neighborhood… and yes, if I could move I would, but I can barely afford the rent on this place, let alone moving costs and the cost of a new security deposit AND breaking the lease here. I lived for almost 37 years without a gun for self-defense(I had a hunting rifle once, plus various service weapons) and if I had my way I’d move into a neighborhood where I could lock up my handgun and forget I even own it. Instead, I live in a neighborhood where the police come by semi-regularly to inform me of local criminals preying on my neighbors. It is HORRIBLE to live like this, where I feel like I have to provide armed escort for my wife outside when she wants to smoke a cigarette on the front porch… but a couple of months ago someone was robbed at gunpoint on his porch in broad daylight on my street, and more recently someone was shot two streets down from me. Throwing stats at me doesn’t mean anything, any more than telling someone who is dying from terminal cancer that the other 95% of patients survive that type.

    I own a gun. I’m a former Marine, and former marksmanship instructor. I have the experience and training that I feel makes it safe for me to own a gun. I’m pretty risk-adverse in general, which makes me feel like I’m psychologically suited to carry a gun; I’m eager to avoid physical conflict, and I would be 110% happy if my gun is NEVER out of the holster except for at the range and when I clean it. I have a good idea when using my gun is a reasonable response.

    “Reasonable response” is sort of the original point, isn’t it? The law that PZ was complaining about is really focused on an unreasonable response. It is a law that gives absolution to people who draw their weapon irresponsibly. It gives cover to paranoids and violent thugs who are ever eager to find an excuse to react violently under any circumstances. I’m not sure how you create a law that prevents those people from owning guns at all, but I’m absolutely positive that the answer isn’t to encourage them to draw their guns.

  386. 386
    harbo

    @283 erichoug

    “I’m not scared, I have a gun”

    Now That is Scary.

    I shall walk through the valley of death(sic) and I shall fear no evil , Because I have a bigger gun.

    You are an idiot.

    If you “have a gun” and it is “safe” (stored appropriately) it is useless.
    If it is not, it is lethal, ergo, you be fuckwit.

  387. 387
    feralboy12

    “I don’t have to be careful, I have a gun.”

    –Homer Simpson

  388. 388
    Ichthyic

    I don’t thing everyone should own a gun… starting with you.

    and you’re damn prepared to show me your gun to enforce what you believe, I’m sure.

    I think you really should re-examine what you think, and why.

  389. 389
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ichthyic, you’re sort of just living in your own fantasy world, right?

  390. 390
    John Morales

    Improbable Joe:

    I own a gun. I’m a former Marine, and former marksmanship instructor. I have the experience and training that I feel makes it safe for me to own a gun.

    <snicker>

    This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

    My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…

    My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

    My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

    Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my company’. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

    So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!

  391. 391
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @John Morales:

    I don’t know what moral sickness makes you mock military service, but I do pity you and hope you learn the error of your ways.

  392. 392
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Improbable Joe, you imagine it’s military service itself that you (rightly) perceive my unadorned quotation as mocking?

    (You’re not quite so oblivious when it comes to other matters)

  393. 393
    StarStorm

    “I am not at all a racist or homophoic, I am just poor white boy threatened by all these dark people and swishy girly men.”

    Yeah, this won’t be abused. At all.

  394. 394
    supernova

    The most incredible, and scary, part is this:

    (3) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is the commission or imminent commission of a forcible felony.

    So individuals don’t even have to “reasonably believe” you to be threatening them. If you merely appear (to that person) to be committing a felony, you’re fair game! This would bring the perils of being in the wrong place at the wrong time to a whole new level.

    The funny thing is, I recently tried this game “All Points Bulletin”, where the premise is that crime has got so bad in a certain American city, that citizens have been authorized to shoot at any violent criminal. At the time I thought this was very unrealistic!

  395. 395
    Weedless Monkey

    Improbable Joe:
    I don’t know what moral sickness makes you defend military service, but I do pity you and hope you learn the error of your ways.

  396. 396
    Kagehi

    I would not encourage a 90 plus person to depend on a gun for self defense. Who ever is victimizing the aged is not some big scary thug armed with a gun.

    Hmm. Given some of the people I personally know, I wouldn’t trust someone *under* 90 with one, unless I was way more sure than the ERA or any of the, “We will put you through a 20 minute gun safety course, then let you pick which color you want it painted.”, morons think constitutes “training”, never mind, “mental capacity”.

    But, at least, “Old people might not be up to using one.”, is a semi-OK start.

    As to the earlier part of the post… I can see it now, “But officer, I am allowed to carry around bloody gardening shears, the Constitution says so!” There is just so much wrong with the idea that everything with an edge can cut, so is a weapon, not the least being that I could probably do more damage to the moron threatening me with garden shears using a nearby chair than they could me. Its a bit different, however, when a chair is the “best” weapon available, and any idiot can pick up one out of a “chair show”, because of some absurd loophole that lets anyone buy one from certain people, and some other moron is suggesting that everyone should have the right to pick them up, and slam people in the head with them, if they “imagine” a crime is about to be committed, or someone looks at them funny.

    Anything can be a weapon, and cause people injury. This isn’t a sound argument in favor of people, no matter age, carrying around something specifically made for that purpose, especially given the, you know.. lack of them doing so because they imagine it might make a useful nut cracker, or that the trigger was just the perfect size to tighten loose bolts, or **anything other than to actually injure someone, at some point**.

    I am with supernova on the “All Points Bulletin” aspect of it. All we need next is some clown suggesting that its OK to wear masks in public, on a regular basis, and we can go straight to the world of “Gotham City Imposters”…

  397. 397
    Anders Kehlet

    You can carry around a tool designed to kill people, but selling marijuana gets you locked up…
    Americans are funneh.

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