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Jan 16 2013

What are we going to do about gun violence?

Obama has just made a policy proposal on gun control. It could go further, but I guarantee you…the Republicans and Libertarians are about to explode.

163 comments

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  1. 1
    schism

    Republicans and Libertarians have been in a constant state of exploding since 2008.

  2. 2
    horse

    The proposed federal laws and the laws just passed in New York are as much security theater as taking your shoes off in the airport.

    Looks good on a re-election campaign, though.

  3. 3
    jaybee

    horse, no doubt some things sound better on paper than they will in real life, but your overall attitude is rather dismissive. You don’t think it would be useful to publish research into gun deaths? You don’t think it is useful to limit the number of rounds in a gun? Sure, we are awash in guns and any new attempts to limit them will take ages to take effect, but you have to start with some measure at some time. Please give an example of some law that you think isn’t just “security theater” (in your opinion) which also has a chance in hell of becoming law.

  4. 4
    kreativekaos

    Republicans and Libertarians about to explode??? Where can I light the fuse?
    As one of John Candy’s characters would say on Canada’s SCTV,….they ‘blowed up real good!’

  5. 5
    sundoga

    Sections 1, 2 and 6 through 9 are great. Unfortunately, the Assault Weapons ban was a piece of feel-good crap then, and it is now. And there’s no such thing as “armour piercing bullets”.

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    It’s sad how concerned they are about the 2nd amendment, but not the 4th or the 14th.

    And some of them scream about how they need the guns to protect their freedoms against oppressive government, yet they support our government exporting oppression to other countries.

    In other words, they’re assholes.

  7. 7
    slowdjinn

    1. Making background checks universal.

    This is clearly a cunning ruse to usher in a complete ban:
    Step 1. With no legal way for criminals to get guns, thefts of legally-held guns by criminals will skyrocket.
    Step 2. Law-abiding citizens will give up their guns, as their guns suddenly become a liability for ‘home defence’.
    Step 3. With all civilian firearms in the hands of criminals, the NRA is designated a terrorist organisation & owning a firearm is outlawed. Citizens retain the right to keep & bear bows, swords, pikes, halberds etc. thus preserving the 2nd Amendment

    Simple!

  8. 8
    Rip Steakface

    I suppose investigating how video games can influence violence is fine, but it’ll probably be fruitless. Consider that people in other countries play the same games we do and yet have far less gun violence. Video games are the most international form of media other than books – translation is often simple (it’s easier to dub a video game than a movie if it has voice acting thanks to the animation style, and if it doesn’t have VAs, it’s a simple matter of editing text files), communication is worldwide (I regularly play with people everywhere from Russia to Australia to Brazil), and distribution is dead-easy in many cases, at least with PC games.

    If they all play *the same* video games and have lower levels of gun violence per capita nonetheless, what does that say about games?

  9. 9
    Jeremy Shaffer

    slowdjinn at 7- That’ll never work because Step 1 has a fundamental flaw. See, legally- held guns come with an aura of protection that magically prevent any person that holds it, along with any member of their household, from ever coming to harm. This would natuarally include having the gun stolen since that would be the greatest harm conceivable.

    At least, that’s what all the people that are against gun regulations I talk to seem to think is the case.

  10. 10
    Abdul Alhazred

    It seems the proposed solutions to all our crises have a lot in common. Whether it’s gun violence, climate change, health care (lack of) delivery, terrorism or whatever.

    1) Less freedom.
    2) Less prosperity.
    3) More power in fewer hands.
    4) Massive transfer of wealth to the connected rich.

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

  11. 11
    Louis

    Up until the last item I see a lot of “subtle” mental health stigmatising going on. Mainly due to the way the term “mentally ill” is very generalised and not specific enough in how it is being used.

    Item 1 flags mental illness as a “black mark” for gun ownership in the same manner it flags “criminality”.

    Item 2 associates “criminals” with “the mentally ill” as people at least potentially unsuitable for gun ownership.

    Items 1, 2 and 9 all involve reporting or gathering data on people with mental illnesses in order to restrict their access to firearms.

    “Mental illness” runs from something potentially benign with respect to guns like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or narcissistic flights of fancy, to something potentially serious like extreme paranoid delusions which are acted out in a violent way. Lumping everything together under “mental illness” worries me. Granted, I’d like to keep guns out of the hands of suicidal depressives as much as I would homicidal psychotics, and granted I get this is a draft and subject to fleshing out and adjustment, but the language to me is stigmatising. It’s hardly excessive nuance to recognise the difference between someone homicidally psychotic and someone agoraphobic. The idea of a register of any kind, aside from medical records, which keeps record of people’s mental health state is more than extremely unpleasant to me. Especially if it in any way breaks that person’s privacy, for example if gun shops can see whether or not someone qualifies to buy a gun, can they see for what reasons someone might be disqualified? The nature of the register/database and access to it is important.

    Something about this, good though much of it is, doesn’t sit right with me at all.

    Louis

  12. 12
    slowdjinn

    @Jeremy #9
    Dammit! Back to the drawing-board.

  13. 13
    horse

    @jaybee

    I’m only seeing one legitimate piece coming out of any of the passed and proposed legislation – more (or really the start of) research into gun violence, the causes, and methods. From which I think that’ll point to existing contentious issues – poverty, the war on drugs, lack of prison reform, etc.

    So what about the rest? Trying to legislate magazine sizes? Really? Before the ink was dry 3D printing had already circumvented that notion. Assault weapons ban? Really? They propose to ban the class of firearms NOT used in the massacres? That makes sense how? It’s fluff. It’s feel-good. Worse, it just further masks and buries the issues that need to be brought out.

    It’s exactly like taking off your shoes and limiting liquids to 3oz. It serves to make the general public feel good, but ultimately solves nothing aka security theater.

    Or, I could be wrong. I’m very willing to listen and consider how. :)

  14. 14
    Geral

    Overall I like the proposals. I hope they are followed through and thoroughly enforced. None of them do anything to take guns already bought and sold off the streets, but I am afraid if Obama did propose that, people would cry even louder.

    I especially like the proposals about increasing mental health accessibility for low income people. However, I do not think that is enough. I imagine most people who commit acts of violence do not have a serious enough illness for it to be documented or any illness at all. Some people may simply live in a bad environment, and suffer from non-ending stress because of family, friends, school, work, or unemployment.

    As a result I think it is essential to encourage people to talk to a mental health professional as often as they would want to talk to a medical doctor. We have to get rid of the stigma of talking to a mental health professional.

    That said, healthcare is prohibitively expensive for a lot of people so I think we need to continue to look at ways to reduce the cost of healthcare.. including implementing, of course, a single payer system..

  15. 15
    busterggi

    Still waiting to hear even one response from a “well regulated militia” as per the Constitution.

  16. 16
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Watching Americans have arguments over gun ownership (and related issues) is like watching chimps flinging shit. Only, while the shit covers everyone, not everyone deserves to be so covered.

    It’s comments like these that make the comparison apt:

    Trying to legislate magazine sizes? Really? Before the ink was dry 3D printing had already circumvented that notion.

    Because everyone has a 3D printer and the schematics to create both bullets and magazine clips. Worrying about a possible future, and one that isn’t guaranteed to come anytime in the near future is ridiculous and a stupid objection to a reasonable step to limit the amount of bullets a gun can quickly dispense.

    I’m prepared now to hear silly arguments that ignore this ridiculous assertion by asserting that some people can very quickly reload a gun.

    Assault weapons ban? Really? They propose to ban the class of firearms NOT used in the massacres?

    So, these weapons are definitely not ever used in these massacres?

  17. 17
    Ing

    I was forced to read this by an idiot so so should you. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

  18. 18
    vaiyt

    Libertarians

    I dream of the day when this word will be its own punchline. Like:
    “Libertarians”
    “Hahahahaha!”

  19. 19
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    “Libertarians”

    Haha!*

    (*You are welcomed.)

  20. 20
    horse

    @Thomathy

    It’s not a possible future issue, it’s an issue now. The files exist and are already distributed. People are already making them. 3D printers are relatively cheap now. Anyone can purchase them. They are no longer a niche item. Are they available at Wal-mart yet? No. In the next year? Pretty damn close.

    Assault weapons were not used in Sandy Hook. Assault weapons were not used in Aurora. Assault weapons were not used in Virginia Tech. Assault weapons were not used in Columbine.

    What was used: Semi-automatic handguns. Semi-automatic rifles. Shotguns.

  21. 21
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ing,

    Sorry, I couldn’t. I tried, honestly, but then I skipped parts of his patting himself on the back and stopped when he started with the “arming teachers” nonsense.

    —-
    As Louis said, criminality and mental illness are somehow always put together.. There are…. implications.

  22. 22
    brucegee1962

    IMO, there’s a common thread that links recent popular media with gun ownership advocates. That thread is “fantasy wish fulfillment.”

    - Let me imagine a world where an oppressive government forces teenagers to fight in televised death matches. I’ll bet I’d be tough enough to last as one of the survivors.

    - Let me imagine a world where an oppressive government tried to institute a fascist dictator-for-life on the United States. I’ll bet that in that world I’d be one of the brave resistance leaders.

    - Let me imagine a world where zombies staulk the living. I’ll bet I could be a bad-ass zombie slayer.

    - Let me imagine someone breaking into my home, and I’m defending my family with my gun. That would be such a rush.

    The only difference between these people and the people who run around in the woods dressed up as elves whacking each other with wooden swords is that the elves don’t have schools full of dead kids as collateral damage from their fantasies.

  23. 23
    Eurasian magpie

    And some of them scream about how they need the guns to protect their freedoms against oppressive government, yet they support our government exporting oppression to other countries.

    American exceptionalism, dontcha know!

  24. 24
    sparks

    Interesting. Why reinvent the wheel? Simply pick a democracy, any democracy where there are fewer than 10 to 20 gun related homicides per year as opposed to our 10–thousand per year and simply do what they’re doing.

    Sure as hell seems to be working for them. And when somebody whines that their rights are being trampled, gently remind the moron that they still have all their rights. Just not the right to act irresponsibly.

  25. 25
    Jackie

    Meanwhile the news just announced two more school shootings. One at a Hazzard KY community college and another at a different college. I don’t recall where. I turned off the news in disgust.

  26. 26
    michaeld

    On assault weapons (emphasis mine assumeing I can tag).

    “He wants to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which outlaws military-grade weapons, like the AR-15 used by Newtown gunman Adam Lanza and by Aurora Theater gunman James Holmes. Obama wants Congress to pass the ban, and close some of the loopholes identified in its 1994 iteration.

    Assault weapons might be being used a bit sloppily but the intent seems fairly clear.

  27. 27
    georgebean

    David Barton has (naturally) a better idea based on what “American history teaches”: Kids packin’ guns

  28. 28
    bj666

    Try this scenario:
    Depressed, unbalanced student decides to take out his class with his father’s legally-purchased assault weapon. Plans the attack in minute detail, then unlocks the gun cabinet with a spare key and, guess what, NO ASSAULT RIFLE because in fact the father wasn’t allowed to buy one because they’d been banned. End of murderous plans, classmates live.
    OF COURSE guns kill people, when they get in the wrong hands, which they easily do when the country is awash with them. The only solution is to restrict the supply.
    And don’t give me the old “if gun ownership is made criminal, only the criminals will have guns” bullshit. Gang members and drug dealers don’t do mass shootings of innocent people – their own private wars and killings will go on regardless of any gun control laws, because they will ALWAYS be able to get guns. All the mass shootings, school shootings, etc I’ve heard of have been committed by people who (up until that point) were not criminals and wouldn’t have had the faintest idea of how to acquire an illegal weapon if they weren’t easily able to lay their hands on a legal one. This is the hole that has to be plugged.

  29. 29
    horse

    @michaeld

    And there’s the gaping loop-hole itself, “military-grade”.

    There are plenty of firearms that have the same capacity for destruction as an AR-15 that are not classed as military-grade.

    It’s a bit maddening, really. A milquetoast effort at best, especially given the concessions that will be given up to get anything passed.

    The bar was started far too low to enact meaningful change from a ban or control angle, especially considering it doesn’t address 99% of the weapons used in the massacres.

  30. 30
    timgueguen

    horse is presumably arguing that the long arms used in various US shooting incidents aren’t assault weapons because they are not capable of fully automatic fire. Of course one can flip that around and note that legally possessed automatic weapons have virtually never been used in crimes since the 1934 National Firearms Act. One magazine article I read a good while back claimed it has only happened 3 times, a pretty low rate for almost 80 years, if correct. And what is different about what US law classifies as machine guns? They’re all registered, you have to pay a $200 transfer tax to buy one, and you have to let the government have quite a bit of information about you before you can own one.

  31. 31
    kyoseki

    I actually agree with most of the executive orders passed today and even most of these policy proposal points, but ultimately I believe that horse is correct.

    Limiting magazine sizes and banning the sale of “assault” weapons will not prevent another massacre, nor will it even reduce the casualty count and here’s why;
    A limit on magazine sizes is of limited use, since most mass shooters carry more than one firearm, in fact, the term “New York reload” refers to dropping an empty gun and switching to a secondary weapon.

    Note also that limiting magazine sizes through state law is similarly pointless if you can just drive to Vermont or Nevada and buy 30 round magazines without any background check or identification, such changes need to be enacted on a nationwide level or not at all.

    We can already study history’s example when it comes to the effects of an assault rifle ban on casualties – the UK banned ALL semi automatic centerfire rifles after the Hungerford massacre (a complete ban, as in everyone who owned one had to surrender it, something that will never happen here) – 8 years later, a madman walked into Dunblane primary school and killed 16 children, plus their teacher, before taking his own life, a further 15 people were wounded.

    He was armed with 2 9mm handguns and 2 .357 revolvers. The magazine capacity in the first 2 was 13 rounds each, with 6 in each of the wheel guns. In all, he fired 109 rounds, so he had to reload a minimum of 4 times, and that’s BOTH handguns, so at least 8 magazine changes in total.

    That’s supposedly 8 chances for bystanders to tackle him, but nobody did.

    It just doesn’t happen.

    The Aurora shooter switched weapons twice (he began the attack with a shotgun and despite having a ridiculous 100 round magazine, the rifle jammed after ~25 rounds) and reloaded his handguns 3 times and still nobody tackled him.

    The Virginia Tech shooter (also equipped only with handguns) fired 174 rounds, that’s at least 10 magazine changes (the largest magazine he had held 15 rounds), with no interference from anyone.

    The ONLY instance I’m aware of where magazine size was a factor in a mass shooting was in Tucson, but that was only because the shooter had only a single firearm and fumbled the second magazine, whereupon he was tackled by bystanders.

    Banning the sale of assault rifles and limiting magazine sizes, while relatively straightforward to implement, will have no significant effect on the number of people killed in the next mass shooting, and obviously such changes will do nothing to stem the bulk of firearms deaths which are invariably committed with handguns with only a handful of rounds expended.

    We need better solutions and I’m sad to see that mandatory safety & proficiency training isn’t anywhere on the list of policy proposals, there’s nothing in there to try to change people’s attitudes towards firearms or to instill a better sense of respect for the things.

    Right now, in order to qualify for a concealed carry permit (in the areas that allow them), you need to go through a 2 day training course, why don’t we make this mandatory for ALL firearms purchases? If you’re buying a handgun for self defense, you’d better know how to use it, you’d better know the risks involved and you’d better know that buying one generally increases your chances of getting shot.

    People need to know the stark realities of firearms ownership, not the glamorized Hollywood version. Make safety & proficiency training a prerequisite for buying any firearm other than a .22 caliber plinker and it’ll help dispel the idea that just because you have a handgun that you’re Jason Bourne or John McClane.

  32. 32
    horse

    @timgueguen

    I am exactly arguing along those lines. Half of the problem of trying to have a coherent conversation on the topic of firearms is getting the terminology correct. Otherwise, people ends up talking past each other, or using the terminology wrong in order twist the talking points.

    It becomes akin to arguing with a creationist who knowingly or unknowingly continually gets biology/evolution/geology/astronomy terms or processes wrong.

  33. 33
    DLC

    Pretty much as expected.

  34. 34
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    It’s not a possible future issue, it’s an issue now. The files exist and are already distributed.

    Is that so? Got a linky to such a file? This is not such a strange request, if they exist and are distributed. Presumably you can also provide information to the effect that such files exist and are distributed? An article perhaps?

    People are already making them.

    Who?

    3D printers are relatively cheap now.

    Relatively? Relative to what? I can’t bloody well afford one.

    Anyone can purchase them.

    This isn’t an exaggeration pageant.

    They are no longer a niche item.

    This is not in evidence.

    Are they available at Wal-mart yet? No. In the next year? Pretty damn close.

    So, not next year, but probably some year near to the next year after the current year? I will call your hedging and raise you irrelevance.

    (I’m not going to argue semantics over what is and is not considered an assault weapon with you. And frankly, I don’t think anyone should have guns, not of any sort, so such a debate would be hopelessly lost on me. You might convince me of a particular definition of ‘assault weapons’, but that would hardly affect my argument, I’d merely have to adjust the terms and suggest that the terms in the proposed ban be so adjusted.)

    So, all you’re going to do is complain about what could be and how these measures won’t help at all without offering any substantive suggestion or opinion of yours as to what could potentially help?

    I think that these are reasonable steps to take and will, hopefully, have the result of reducing the carry-over of gun culture to the next generation even if these initiatives ultimately fail at their proposed goals. Perhaps, after a lapse in the, frankly, bizarre, violent and pathologic gun culture of the States, some successful proposals and initiatives on gun control may be introduced.

    I would like to know what your particular stance on gun ownership is. So, what is your stance on gun ownership and on gun control? Also, what would be an effective method of gun control? What measures could be taken to reduce the potential harm of a gun (any gun)*?

    (* Please do not answer with ‘education of people’, because I’m talking about guns, not the people using them.)

  35. 35
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Make safety & proficiency training a prerequisite for buying any firearm other than a .22 caliber plinker and it’ll help dispel the idea that just because you have a handgun that you’re Jason Bourne or John McClane.

    How does training people to use and ‘respect’ guns make them less likely to be murderers?

    As for the rest of the post …are you saying that magazine clips should not be limited in capacity? I mean, if the proposal is likely to have no effect, then there is no harm in implementing it, is there? I mean, it won’t actually increase the number of deaths to have magazines that carry only 10 bullets, right?

  36. 36
    Jeremy Shaffer

    brucegee1962 at 22:

    The only difference between these people and the people who run around in the woods dressed up as elves whacking each other with wooden swords is that the elves don’t have schools full of dead kids as collateral damage from their fantasies.

    Another difference is that the people running around in the woods dressed as elves don’t have well- funded, corporate- backed national campaigns and various politicians and media personalities fluffing them up to be the “True Patriots and Defenders of All That is American”.

    Also, the people in the woods dressed as elves are probably grounded in reality enough to get that putting on fake ears and strapping a wooden sword to their belt does not make them a hero of Middle- Earth as opposed to some people who think that having a conceal- carry permit makes them John McClane in waiting.

  37. 37
    michaeld

    @horse
    I wouldn’t use the term military grade at all as its a arbitrary word dependent on date, location and how you define it. Ultimately the word chosen is meaningless compared to how it is defined under the law. We’ve all seen plenty of laws given names that don’t reflect what they do.

    Course I’d limit guns to 6 rounds (chambered or in magazine) and only say single, break, pump, bolt and lever actions. Civilians shouldn’t be getting into hunting or self defense actions needing more then 6 rounds. I’d also apply this federally and require cause for hand gun ownership. But then I’m one of those Canadians who’d fundamentally disagrees with a lot of how the states does things.

  38. 38
    speed0spank

    Hey, you know that saying? “If you can’t fix everything then don’t fix anything at all!”.

    Yeah, me neither.

  39. 39
    kyoseki

    How does training people to use and ‘respect’ guns make them less likely to be murderers?

    According to the FBI, most firearms murders are generally the result of arguments (domestic or otherwise) getting out of hand.

    People living in countries where the right to own a firearm has to be earned do not resort to firearms to settle differences nearly as frequently as they do here.

    Of course, training & testing won’t do anything to stop the outliers, the mass shooters, which is why I also feel that the weapons should be tiered and require someone to have a history of owning firearms with no problems (so you can’t go from unarmed to tooled up in the space of a month or two).

    In close quarters, a handgun is not significantly less dangerous than what’s being called an assault rifle, so as long as getting a handgun remains trivial (and in a lot of states, it’s just a case of walking into a store and walking out with one) then we’ll continue to see our murder rate remain high.

    As for the rest of the post …are you saying that magazine clips should not be limited in capacity? I mean, if the proposal is likely to have no effect, then there is no harm in implementing it, is there? I mean, it won’t actually increase the number of deaths to have magazines that carry only 10 bullets, right?

    I’m saying it will make no difference.

    I’m sure it’ll get passed, but nothing will change.

  40. 40
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    michaeld, I’m one of those Canadians who disagrees with how our country does things, let alone what the States does; I don’t think anyone should have guns (under no circumstance nor for any reason), and I don’t think it’s a reasonable defense of ownership to suggest (as many Americans do) that their ownership of guns is a deterrent to dictatorial (or some equivalent) governmental rule or that it’s good self defense.
    ____

    In addition to #35, sure training may help to stop people from accidentally hurting themselves and others (though I’m not sure even that’s effective), but seriously, how is training someone going to stop them from using the gun as a weapon against other people?

    And can we please not have straw-arguments about how anything could be used as a weapon by anyone so determined to use it as such (this is a preemptive plea)? We’re not talking exclusively about people who are determined to cause harm to other people, we’re talking about the guns they choose to use (or that anyone might use), and are capable or acquiring with all to much ease and not about the potential uses of baseball bats and curbs.

  41. 41
    kyoseki

    Course I’d limit guns to 6 rounds (chambered or in magazine) and only say single, break, pump, bolt and lever actions. Civilians shouldn’t be getting into hunting or self defense actions needing more then 6 rounds. I’d also apply this federally and require cause for hand gun ownership. But then I’m one of those Canadians who’d fundamentally disagrees with a lot of how the states does things.

    For self defense, in the home at least, the ideal firearm is generally considered to be a pump action shotgun, which are invariably limited to around 6-8 rounds in the tube.

    As I’ve said though, magazine size is generally irrelevant unless you can guarantee that the shooter carries no additional magazines or weapons.

    Showing cause for handgun ownership is already problematic since handguns are explicitly protected by a Supreme Court decision, so that won’t change until the 2nd Amendment is repealed or amended and that’s not going to happen as long as we remain in this deadlock between people who want to ban specific firearms or features and those who will violently resist any such ban.

    The one piece of common ground I think everyone can agree on is that if you own a gun, you’d better damned well know what you’re doing with it, which is why I want to see more training as part of the responsibility of being a gun owner.

    More research definitely wouldn’t hurt either, there’s a desperate lack of information out there on the exact circumstances of most firearms deaths.

  42. 42
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    People living in countries where the right to own a firearm has to be earned do not resort to firearms to settle differences nearly as frequently as they do here.

    Has this been demonstrated to be causative; that earning a gun has a causative effect on choosing to use it during a dispute?

    I’m pretty sure it hasn’t, because it couldn’t possibly be. Perhaps a rather more plausible hypothesis is that the prevalence of guns and the gun culture of the US (confounded and compounded by other socio-cultural factors) makes it more likely for Americans to use guns during disputes? Maybe, it’s not earning a gun that makes a person more ‘careful’ with its use, but rather the absence of a gun culture peculiar to the US?

  43. 43
    WharGarbl

    @Thomathy
    #34

    Is that so? Got a linky to such a file? This is not such a strange request, if they exist and are distributed. Presumably you can also provide information to the effect that such files exist and are distributed? An article perhaps?

    http://defcad.org/browse/
    It contains 3D printing data on gun components.

    People are already making them.

    Who?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oJ9Bgj6m0I
    One example, there are more if you search on youtube for “3d printing guns”.

    3D printers are relatively cheap now.

    Relatively? Relative to what? I can’t bloody well afford one.

    http://3dprinterhub.com/3d-printer-brands
    Low-end 3D printer. It is more expensive than gun, and to “print” a gun, you’ll need something with more precision (hence expensive) like MakerBot 3D printers ($2000+ range, excluding the powder needed).
    3D metal printer also exists (which probably can be used to print durable working guns).

    Anyone can purchase them.

    This isn’t an exaggeration pageant.

    Not really an exaggeration, see above, just about anyone with money can buy a 3D printer.

    They are no longer a niche item.

    This is not in evidence.

    You’re correct, it is still fairly niche. The very low-end still cost at least $500+, that’s excluding the plastic/polymer powder materials. Although as technology went on, the price should keep dropping.

    @horse did make some omission that’s pretty major. For one, currently all gun with printed parts do not last long (the component breaks after a dozen shots). However, @horse did make a valid point, as technology advances, people with the money to own a gun can conceivably print one themselves.
    Report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqzJlBcCsow

  44. 44
    kyoseki

    Not really an exaggeration, see above, just about anyone with money can buy a 3D printer.

    Or, alternatively, anyone with credit cards.

  45. 45
    kyoseki

    I’m pretty sure it hasn’t, because it couldn’t possibly be. Perhaps a rather more plausible hypothesis is that the prevalence of guns and the gun culture of the US (confounded and compounded by other socio-cultural factors) makes it more likely for Americans to use guns during disputes? Maybe, it’s not earning a gun that makes a person more ‘careful’ with its use, but rather the absence of a gun culture peculiar to the US?

    What do you think drives the idea of “gun culture” ?

    It’s not just the availability of guns, it’s how they’re portrayed in popular media.

    Guns are portrayed as cool, that having a gun makes you a superman, myths that are dispelled in countries that force people to undergo training and testing in order to get one.

  46. 46
    WharGarbl

    Another video of what a high-end printer can do.

  47. 47
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Oh, good fuck. So this is about the potential* for people to print guns, bullets and magazine clips now, and not about the current availability of actually cheap and easy-to-come-by guns and solutions to people acquiring and owning them?

    *As though the prospect of cheap 3D printing (it still isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination) and 3D printing of metals and composite materials that could actually make functioning guns is literally going to be widespread by the time Obama’s proposals take effect and as though it will represent a material problem even if it is.

    Ugh! I’m not wasting anymore time entertaining hypotheticals that miss the entire point of this discussion and offer no substantive suggestions as to alternatives, especially when they fail to be accurate portrayals of the realities they purport to represent. The fact is that 3d printing of composite materials and metals is simply not something that is either accessible nor likely to be ready for mass consumption in the very near future. Current consumer level technology could not produce a functioning gun, though it can produce some low-functioning gun parts, all that aside from the fact that such speculation side-steps the issue at hand.

  48. 48
    michaeld

    @thomathy

    That’s fine I can respect such a view, I personally have no interest or desire to have any guns myself. I’m completely on board with you on the notion of over throwing your government being ridiculous. I’m willing to leave a few exceptions that you aren’t for hunting and protection particularly in some rural situations or if your job is particularly dangerous. I don’t think the average person needs a weapon for self defense and I think the onus should be on them to prove they have a need. I’m not necessarily happy with how they are handled up here but I much prefer it to the american situation.

  49. 49
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    It’s not just the availability of guns, it’s how they’re portrayed in popular media.

    I realise that most Americans watch no media other than their own, but us furinners are inundated with American popular media, from movies to news to, yes, video games.

  50. 50
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    myths that are dispelled in countries that force people to undergo training and testing in order to get one.

    You cannot merely assert, evidence-free, that gun training undermines gun culture, or that training is the reason that people don’t use guns to hurt other people.

    I could tacitly admit that it could have some effect on people who are already prepared to be ‘responsible’ gun owners (something that probably means something very different to me than it does to you), but why should gun training necessarily have a counter effect on gun culture?

  51. 51
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Ibis3, seconded. Most television in Canada is actually American and yet …the gun culture is different. Also, you don’t need training to own a gun in Canada. Seriously, kyoseki, do you even have examples of the places you’re talking about, because my experience being not American is that, despite extensive exposure, American gun culture does not translate one-to-one to the Canadian experience. I’m sure other not-Americans can report the same.

    It’s quite clear that there’s something else going on and that gun training is a small part, if a part at all.

  52. 52
    WharGarbl

    @Thomathy
    #47

    Oh, good fuck. So this is about the potential* for people to print guns, bullets and magazine clips now, and not about the current availability of actually cheap and easy-to-come-by guns and solutions to people acquiring and owning them?

    Er… no?
    You asked about it, I responded with information and the current capability of gun printing.

  53. 53
    horse

    @thomathy
    On my mobile now, I’ll give a proper reply when I get back to a civilized desktop computer in a bit.

    Refreshingly good convoy so far!

  54. 54
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    WharGarbl, well, I did ask. It just seemed there was an implicit argument in there in regards to 3D printing as regards the proposals. I still don’t think it’s helpful or useful to point to 3D printing as a problem for those proposals without making substantive suggestions for what sort of proposals would be good in light of potential upcoming technologies.

    I’m also not convinced of the argument that consumer accessible 3D printing of things like guns is just upon us; I seriously don’t think that it is. We may have to be okay with disagreeing on this matter, considering the quality of the main thrust of your argument.

  55. 55
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    horse, in about an hour, I’ll be past my window for posting here; pharyngula and other blogs are a 9-5 occupation.

  56. 56
    horse

    If you are up for it check in tomorrow then. I’ve got too much in my head to type it out in a phone keyboard.

    I’ll post tonight. :)

  57. 57
    WharGarbl

    @Thomathy
    #54

    It just seemed there was an implicit argument in there in regards to 3D printing as regards the proposals. I still don’t think it’s helpful or useful to point to 3D printing as a problem for those proposals without making substantive suggestions for what sort of proposals would be good in light of potential upcoming technologies.

    True. Again, I wasn’t trying to argue that the proposal is useless due to 3D printing. These proposal are useful as a first step. Further steps can be made to help control weapons manufacturing with 3D printer.

    Laws can be crafted with the issue in mind that in the probable near future, 3D printing can allow anyone to manufacture weapons at home. So in addition to controlling the sell and purchase, a good idea would be to require licensing for different class of gun-ownership.

    Regarding gun-ownership, I believe that people should have the right to have access to guns. Although just like speech (for those who want to argue about the 2nd amendment) or cars (for those who want to argue about car being more lethal than guns), there must be some restrictions.

    Arguing gun ownership as a right like speech:
    Speech is restricted in the following example:
    1. If I’m a reporter, I cannot falsely claim that you’re a child rapist that raped dozens of children each year. If I do that, you have every legal authority to haul me to court and charge me with defamation/libel.
    2. I cannot yell fire and incite a stampede in a movie theater.
    3. I cannot tell people your home address, and incite them to bring some rope to lynch you.
    4. I cannot yell at my neighbor constantly due to noise ordinance.
    The following example also work on restricting types of gun, in that the options to exercise my speech is limited:
    1. I cannot use a mega-phone to annoy my neighbor.
    2. I cannot use a pre-recorded message, play it on repeat, to annoy my neighbor.
    3. I cannot radio broadcast my speech without a license (different license grants different power-level of transmission).

    As for cars, well, you need license to drive different cars. I cannot just go out and drive an 18 wheeler without getting a license.

  58. 58
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    I believe that people should have the right to have access to guns.

    I reject the notion that gun ownership, or access to guns, is a right or should be a right and I don’t believe that gun ownership can be analogous to freedom of expression (what you call ‘free speech’).

    Of course, people already have guns and guns are currently accessible.

    You still have not made substantive suggestions for what sort of proposals would be good, you’ve only stated that further steps are needed and that gun ownership restrictions can be analogous to ‘free speech’ restrictions without actually suggesting any further steps or outlining what gun ownership restrictions that are analogous to ‘free speech’ restrictions would look like.

    I also want to highlight that you seem woefully mistaken about what restrictions on ‘free speech’ actually entail. You’re use of the word ‘cannot’ is silly, for instance. Of course someone can yell, ‘Fire!’ and incite a stampede in a theatre, it’s just that there are consequences to such an action. What gun ownership restriction would be analogous to that example?

  59. 59
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Hmm …blockquote fail.

  60. 60
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I don’t have much to say, but I’ve been reading and I just want to second Thomathy’s words here:

    I reject the notion that gun ownership, or access to guns, is a right or should be a right and I don’t believe that gun ownership can be analogous to freedom of expression (what you call ‘free speech’).

  61. 61
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Schism #1
    I came here to say this, although it’s actually longer than 2008. The right has been exploding at any proposal whatsoever from a Democrat since at least 2000. Given this, “the right will explode’ no longer needs to be said; it can just be assumed.

    bruce1962

    The only difference between these people and the people who run around in the woods dressed up as elves whacking each other with wooden swords is that the elves don’t have schools full of dead kids as collateral damage from their fantasies.

    Another important difference is that the people dressed as elves know that it’s all fantasy playacting.

    sparks

    And when somebody whines that their rights are being trampled, gently remind the moron that they still have all their rights. Just not the right to act irresponsibly.

    But acting irresponsibly is their right! Making people act responsibly is no different than Stalinism, because all the rights listed in the Constitution are magical rights that just exist, not like safety or healthcare or shelter or those silly, namby-pamby ‘rights’ that the bleeding heart liberals always talk about. /liberturd

    kyoseki
    Requiring training and licensure before owning any type of firearm would be the absolute minimum step needed, yes. I don’t know how far such a proposal would get in the current political climate, but it annoys me that no one in politics is even making it. As you’ve pointed out in another thread on this topic, actually straight up banning handguns entirely (which would be a good move in my book) is totally unfeasible b/c of the Supreme Court, and their most recent interpretaion of the 2nd Amendment when making a decision.

    Thomathy

    How does training people to use and ‘respect’ guns make them less likely to be murderers?

    It doesn’t. It just makes them less likely to get a gun. Any additional hurdles in the line of getting one will reduce the number of people who have them, which is the goal here.

    I don’t think it’s a reasonable defense of ownership to suggest (as many Americans do) that their ownership of guns is a deterrent to dictatorial (or some equivalent) governmental rule or that it’s good self defense.

    Especially since the major activity of the armed militias, historically, was the slave patrol. That is to say, far from opposing such rule, the American militias actively enforced it, and that was the major purpose to which they were put.
    WharGarbl

    3D metal printer also exists (which probably can be used to print durable working guns).

    No, no they cannot, and you should probably do more research on this issue before making thes kinds of claims, as it undermines legitimate information you present. The metal forms that can be printed are suitable for jewelry, but you cant print anything in metal durable enough to survive use as a bread knife, let alone the kinds of forces a gun needs to contain. By the same token, you also cannot print cartridges or bullet casings.

  62. 62
    sundoga

    In reply to Thomathy: “I reject the notion that gun ownership, or access to guns, is a right or should be a right and I don’t believe that gun ownership can be analogous to freedom of expression (what you call ‘free speech’).”
    You are free to reject that. The SCOTUS, as per the DC gun ban decision, appears to disagree – and it’s THEIR opinion that counts.
    I can get behind reasonable restriction, proper control of firearms, appropriate legislation. When people start doing an end run at the constitution (ANY aspect of the constitution, not just the 2nd), that’s when they lose my support completely.

  63. 63
    kyoseki

    Seriously, kyoseki, do you even have examples of the places you’re talking about, because my experience being not American is that, despite extensive exposure, American gun culture does not translate one-to-one to the Canadian experience. I’m sure other not-Americans can report the same.

    Let’s get one thing straight, I’m English, I grew up in a country that generally didn’t have guns and certainly didn’t deify the things. I didn’t move to the US until 2004 and while I am a pretty liberal gun owner, I do not subscribe to the beliefs of either the NRA or the Brady campaign. I do not believe that guns (even any specific type of gun) are to be vilified, but I also do not believe that they should be freely available.

    Pretty much every European country apart from the UK out there allows gun ownership, even assault rifle ownership (and even the UK allows limited ownership), but in all cases, you are required to know what you’re doing with them.

    Let’s not forget, of course, that teaching civilians how to use firearms was the original mandate of the NRA, not simply to ensure their access to them.

    Guns are both glorified and readily available here, you cannot fix either of those issues until the vast majority of people simply do not want the things or feel that they need them. This was the attitude toward firearms in the UK when I was growing up, but it is not the attitude towards guns in the US right now.

    It is that attitude that needs to change, and banning assault rifles or high capacity magazines does NOTHING to change it – it can even be shown that it doesn’t do anything to limit casualties when some asshole decides to exercise it, so why are we wasting our time and, more importantly, political capital passing laws that do nothing other than make ourselves feel better?

    Consequently you can try to pass all the legislation you like limiting assault rifles or lowering the capacity of magazines, none of it is going to do a goddamned thing to curb the levels of gun violence we see every day.

    You cannot ban handguns, which are responsible for the vast majority of deaths in both conventional and mass shootings, because they are currently protected by both the 2nd Amendment and a Supreme Court decision in DC vs Heller – you can cry and lament the fact that anyone and everyone can own one all you like, but it isn’t going to change the law.

    You can wax lyrical about what a wonderful world it would be if nobody owns guns, but that is not the world we live in, nor is it ever likely to be as long as you pursue wishful thinking instead of pragmatism.

    We cannot limit access to firearms until nobody wants them, that is a simple point of fact, it is the only reason the UK was able to enact a wide scale ban on firearms, but the circumstances that let us do this are completely different to the circumstances we face in the United States today.

    We need to stop people wanting guns, to that end, we need to make guns desperately uncool.

    Learning to shoot well and learning to shoot safely, primarily in desperately uncool places like gun ranges, goes a long way to dispelling the myths that owning a gun makes you invincible.

    I believe that the mechanism for doing so lies in stripping away any kind of glamor or mythos surrounding the things, which stems from sensible and restrictive training, coupled with licensing requirements such as that in place in just about every European country.

    I am basing this assumption (and yes, I freely admit that it is an assumption) on the way the UK dealt with motorcycle fatalities. They didn’t ban motorcycles, they simply mandated that the training requirements were to get a LOT stricter. Learning to ride a motorcycle proficiently involves 3 full days of 1 on 1 training from an instructor, learning to ride one well becomes a point of personal pride and MORE IMPORTANTLY, develops a community that polices itself to some degree, one that looks down upon people riding irresponsibly.

    I believe that mandatory training in firearms would go a long way to both dispelling the idea that gun owners are generally know nothing rednecks AND fostering the idea that if you are to own something as dangerous as a firearm, then you had damned well better know what you’re doing with it – it is not a toy, owning one does not make you superman, you are not Jason Bourne.

    We need to dispel these myths and encourage EVERYONE to treat the damned things with the respect they are due and the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to mandate training for everyone buying the things so that instructors who know what they’re doing can burst that little bubble.

    You cannot compare the United States which has something like 300 million firearms in circulation with countries like the UK or Australia where confiscation worked only because there were less than a million firearms in total anyway, and more importantly, the right to possess those firearms wasn’t both ingrained into popular culture AND protected by the law itself.

    If you have a better idea for undermining gun culture, then believe me, I am all ears, but if any of your suggestions start with banning arbitrary features or firearms, then your ideas are doomed to fail because you’re addressing the symptoms and not the cause.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    kyoseki

    @Dalillama

    Requiring training and licensure before owning any type of firearm would be the absolute minimum step needed, yes. I don’t know how far such a proposal would get in the current political climate, but it annoys me that no one in politics is even making it.

    Yep, it drives me nuts, all we’re seeing is the same dumb arguments and legislation that we’ve seen before.

    Personally speaking, I would LOVE to see the NRA trying to weasel out of the idea that gun owners shouldn’t be forced to know what they’re doing.

    The only argument I’ve seen against it is that same old “guns are a right, not a privilege” bullshit, which I’ve never bought into.

    As you’ve pointed out in another thread on this topic, actually straight up banning handguns entirely (which would be a good move in my book) is totally unfeasible b/c of the Supreme Court, and their most recent interpretaion of the 2nd Amendment when making a decision.

    Well, it’s both unfeasible and impractical, what with something like 200+ million of the things already in circulation.

    We can’t force people to surrender their guns, what we need to do is encourage people to do so by undermining their reasons for owning them and as I say, for most people, that requires education through training.

    It doesn’t. It just makes them less likely to get a gun. Any additional hurdles in the line of getting one will reduce the number of people who have them, which is the goal here.

    Exactly – although the hurdles should be sensible, not, as DC tried, requiring people to pass a firearms course that wasn’t actually available anywhere within 100+ miles of the district.

    Make the course freely available and cheap, like the training required for a hunting permit, but set the standards reasonably high (not like the laughable Handgun Safety Certificate that’s currently required in California – if you have an IQ above room temperature, you can pass that test and yet I’ve still seen people fail it).

    It can be implemented as a prerequisite for all firearms purchases (so nobody has to surrender anything they already own, they just have to pass the test if they want to buy another one) and make every transfer go through an FFL dealer so that the rules can be enforced.

    If you’re not willing to prove that you’re responsible enough to sign up and pass the training, then you aren’t responsible enough to own something as dangerous as a firearm.

  66. 66
    indicus

    Here is a silly question… has anyone seriously considered the sheer prevalence of firearms in circulation? Forget hunting arms and even handguns. Lets just narrow it down to modern non-sporting rifles, or ‘assault rifles’ as they have been dubbed. Better yet, lets REALLY slims things and only consider the most visualized on current news casts: the AR-family rifles. Because of registration (or lack thereof), nobody is really sure how many of these weapons are currently held in private hands. That being said, the AR rifles were first put on the market (as sporting arms, mind you) in late 1959/1960 and have been selling continuously since. The BATF estimates that 200,000 + have been manufactured each year since the 1994 law sunsetted in 2004. Long story short, there are likely more AR-type rifles in private hands than there are Honda Civics. Add to that AKs, M-14 family rifles, G3/FNFALs, and the myriad other weapons defined as ‘assault weapons’ and you are talking about the low tens of millions. Now last I checked, NOBODY has advocated an outright ban (“Hand the over folks”) on them and even the recent New York law (billed by its supporters as the most severe in the country) grandfathers in those already in private hands. Can someone please explain to me how ANY of this is supposed to reduce the availability of these weapons or how often they are used in crimes?!

    Oh, and for bonus points… for those here advocating an all-out “Turn them in” style ban, could someone explain how you plan on rounding up tens of millions of these weapons? You would have far better luck outlawing pot.

  67. 67
    John Morales

    indicus:

    Here is a silly question… has anyone seriously considered the sheer prevalence of firearms in circulation?

    You do not lie: A very, very silly question it is indeed.

    Can someone please explain to me how ANY of this is supposed to reduce the availability of these weapons or how often they are used in crimes?!

    Sure. Something is more than nothing.

    Oh, and for bonus points… for those here advocating an all-out “Turn them in” style ban, could someone explain how you plan on rounding up tens of millions of these weapons? You would have far better luck outlawing pot.

    Pot was outlawed (and mostly still is); me, I’d rather someone were jailed for having a gun than for having pot.

    (The way it works is: laws get made, laws are enforced)

  68. 68
    indicus

    “Something is more than nothing.”

    So a law that doesn’t outlaw possession of a single weapon counts as ‘something’? There is a strange twist on the universe.

    “Pot was outlawed (and mostly still is); me, I’d rather someone were jailed for having a gun than for having pot.”

    Oh yeah, I forgot what a massive success federal efforts at eradicating pot have been :/ As far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to see a person jailed for possessing either as long as they are grownups and use it properly.

  69. 69
    cotton

    I got thrashed last time for putting myself into this debate, but this is just so disheartening.

    Ironically, I’m now dependent on the Republican majority in the House to quash this goofiness.

    I wonder what all of the gun control advocates will say when gun deaths do not drop by any meaningful amount. If I were a betting man (and I am) I would gamble the response will be: “Guns are still too easy to obtain and use. We must now ban handguns / semi-auto rifles (or is that an assault weapon? I’ve yet to see a good definition of “assault weapon”) / magazines with more than 3 bullets or the ultimate goal: CONFISCATION.

    I once made fun of my conservative friends, stirred into a fear-frenzy by Republicans saying that Democrats wanted to “get your guns” despite the fact the Assault Weapons ban had expired without barely a peep from Democrats. Just b/c you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, I suppose.

    It’s a helluva thing to watch so many people, who I agree with on so many things, toss something important to me and my culture out the window without even bothering to understand it. I’m just an easily dismissed gun nut with penis insecurities.

    Most gun owners are conservative, rural, white, and male….Public Oppressor Enemy #1…I get that they never cared to understand atheists, feminists, the queer community, ethnic minorities, or well, anybody different from themselves, so its hard for me to argue for ya’ll to understand them. Still, its shitty to dismiss people and try to pass nation-wide federal laws without caring to understand the millions unlike yourself they will affect.

  70. 70
    John Morales

    cotton:

    Still, its shitty to dismiss people and try to pass nation-wide federal laws without caring to understand the millions unlike yourself they will affect.

    True, so true.

    Let us all spare a thought for the poor people who will be denied the existential comfort their guns provide them!

    <moment of silence in the face of great injustice>

    I’m just an easily dismissed gun nut with penis insecurities.

    There, there.

    At least that’s better than being an easily dismissed penis with gun nut insecurities, you got that much.

  71. 71
    Gregory Greenwood

    cotton @ 69;

    Still, its shitty to dismiss people and try to pass nation-wide federal laws without caring to understand the millions unlike yourself they will affect.

    Oddly, many people like myself seem to care rather more about the dead children in Newtown – and all the other people needlessly dead due to America’s toxic gun culture – than we do about gun nuts who are all sad because they might lose their ballistic security blankets.

    I know it is just awful that I value people’s lives more than the hobby of the gun obsessed, but there it is.

    I’m a bad man.

    But don’t follow my path into the iniquity of giving a crap about murdered children and the other victims of gun violence. You keep up the good fight for the White, male, Republican gun owner – clearly the most oppressed and mistreated group in these United States!

  72. 72
    John Morales

    indicus:

    So a law that doesn’t outlaw possession of a single weapon counts as ‘something’? There is a strange twist on the universe.

    Well, it affects any new weapons sold, no? :)

    That’s something.

    Oh yeah, I forgot what a massive success federal efforts at eradicating pot have been

    Precisely.

    Jailing people for having pot is bullshit (though useful as a social control tool) whilst jailing people for illegal weapon ownership might save lives.

    (One is worthwhile)

  73. 73
    kreativekaos

    How does training people to use and ‘respect’ guns make them less likely to be murderers?—Thomathy@35

    Exactly. Non sequiturs like this makes me want to pull out my hair.

  74. 74
    John Morales

    indicus, to put it more bluntly: any additional criteria circumscribing the legality of gun ownership constitutes more than nothing — this without denying that the effect is of course dependent on their enforcement.

  75. 75
    John Morales

    kreativekaos, that depends to what degree a gun death due to wilful ignorance of gun safety constitutes murder in your philosophy.

  76. 76
    kyoseki

    Exactly. Non sequiturs like this makes me want to pull out my hair.

    Read post 63.

    … and as I said, if you have a better idea, we’re all ears.

  77. 77
    horse

    Thomathy said:

    I think that these are reasonable steps to take and will, hopefully, have the result of reducing the carry-over of gun culture to the next generation even if these initiatives ultimately fail at their proposed goals. Perhaps, after a lapse in the, frankly, bizarre, violent and pathologic gun culture of the States, some successful proposals and initiatives on gun control may be introduced.

    I would like to know what your particular stance on gun ownership is. So, what is your stance on gun ownership and on gun control? Also, what would be an effective method of gun control? What measures could be taken to reduce the potential harm of a gun (any gun)*?

    The reason I keep coming back to thinking of this is security theater is that I don’t think it’s a reasonable step forward. We already took this same step forward once and it solved nothing. The opposition know exactly how it needs to be countered. Moreover, even at it’s most base level, it doesn’t remove the objects that are most being used to perpetrate the massacres. Nor does it solve the daily body count which, while not as flashy, amounts for far more deaths.

    I don’t think the proposed steps will do anything to resolve gun culture, which I believe is just a projection and extension of a deeper culture of accepted and acceptable violence ( I mean, for fuck’s sake the ‘liberal’ party in power that is supposed to care has no qualms about kill lists and drone strikes that kill children. Daily) . Gun culture, gun violence is the headache to the brain tumor laying underneath. These laws and proposed laws treat the headache not the tumor. And that, perhaps, is the part that frustrates me the most. We, as a country, have spent decades battling over the headache while the tumor grows.

    In regards to my personal stance on gun ownership? It’s continually evolving. I can’t boil it down to a binary. Right now, going with, “Ban all the guns!” feels like a cop-out to me. It feels like it sets a dangerous precedent of, “because somebody does X with Y, you aren’t allowed to have X.” We’ve already seen the ridiculousness that the TSA has taken that formula to.

    It also feels like it’s dodging the real issue that people want to have happen: for people to stop killing people.

    Obviously banning guns would slow the rate at which people kill people. Is that a win? From a pure numbers perspective, perhaps. Otherwise, it’s still a total failure of fixing the why.

    It doesn’t address the core issue of why people are driven to kill others.
    It doesn’t address the ways we can better help people get out of whatever situation that is causing them to kill others.

    And that brings me back to why I think this is just feel-good legislature. So people can plant their flags and say, “Look we did something!” except there’s nothing bold being done here, nothing is really being solved.

    I can’t be proud of what amounts to slapping on some band-aids on a horrific wound.

    I can’t support another half-hearted attempt because career politicians are afraid of losing their seat.

    It’s shit, and it needs to be called out for what it is.

    I don’t have a solution, but that sure as hell doesn’t preclude me from calling out their proposed solution.

    They have vastly more resources compared to me. They have the time, the experts, and the know-how to research, to gather the right data, to examine it and come back with something other than the failed policies of yesteryear.

  78. 78
    kreativekaos

    What do you think drives the idea of “gun culture” ?

    It’s not just the availability of guns, it’s how they’re portrayed in popular media.

    Guns are portrayed as cool, that having a gun makes you a superman, myths that are dispelled in countries that force people to undergo training and testing in order to get one. –kyoseki

    How dismissive sounding and simplistic a manner gun fans gloss over gun culture; a deeply rooted and complex subject that goes to the heart of a large swath of the American psyche.

    ‘…not just the availability…. it’s how they’re portrayed in popular media.’
    Yes,..exactly,..it’s both, and more.

    The origins of this country and its relation to the indigenous population of this country play an important role. Over the past thirty years, gun culture has been an increasingly deepening aspect of the political psyche of much of this country, reinforced and expanded by a growing political right wing (and festering paranoia within it). In my ‘arm-chair opinion’, it’s been fueled indirectly by increasing distrust of those in authority, (particularly political, scientific and educational authorities); the seemingly increasing entropy of political and social institutions; the slowing pace of social, environmental and economical progress and inability to effectively solve many of the mounting problems; the ease of which we as a culture become desensitized to–even embracing of–violence and the trappings of it. All this and even more small issues that work below the radar.

    Yes, it may be the some of hardest things to overcome are all the varied influences that fuel the culture of violence and particularly, the gun. And a large part of any turn around will be the responsibility of the ‘gunphiles’ among us to see that this irrational blanket defense for possessing virtually any and all of their ‘firearms du jour’ for virtually any reason must change.

    We are, the last time I checked the calendar, living in the 21st century. We need thinking and actions that will keep us from being mired in the past few.

  79. 79
    John Morales

    In Australian news: Obama unveils sweeping gun control proposals

    Extract:

    With gun ownership rights enshrined in the US Constitution, gun restrictions have long been a divisive – and risky – issue in American politics.

    But polls show public sentiment shifted in favour of increased gun-control measures after the Newtown shooting, and Mr Obama hopes to take advantage while there is a mood for action in Washington.

    However, the White House is mindful that the clock is ticking.

    The usual pattern after US shooting tragedies is that memories of the events soon fade, making it hard to sustain a push for gun policy changes.

  80. 80
    Ing

    cotten since you bring up last time…have you figured out an explanation for why it’s reasonable for you to ignore statistics?

  81. 81
    anuran

    It doesn’t matter what he says or does. They will hate him and everything he supports even if it’s their own re-treaded policies, which it usually is.

  82. 82
    tomh

    @ #77

    Obviously banning guns would slow the rate at which people kill people. Is that a win? From a pure numbers perspective, perhaps. Otherwise, it’s still a total failure of fixing the why.

    If your child is alive because someone couldn’t get a gun it doesn’t feel like a failure. Talk to a few family members of gunshot victims and you will find that it’s not just about numbers.

  83. 83
    horse

    @tomh

    If your child is alive because someone couldn’t get a gun it doesn’t feel like a failure. Talk to a few family members of gunshot victims and you will find that it’s not just about numbers.

    My children are possibly alive, very possibly because someone couldn’t get a gun. That’s a bit hard to quantify…

    Being part of a family that’s been subjected to gun violence, yes, I’d rather it never have happened. An assault weapons ban now or 15 years ago would have done fuck all to save my cousin from being shot in the back by a pistol and robbed.

    Banning handguns may have saved him from being shot. It would do fuck all of removing the violence enacted by an addict looking for money to get his next hit.

    A national endeavor to address drug addiction, drug use, and having the infrastructure in place to help that addict instead would have had an infinitely better chance of solving the whole situation.

  84. 84
    John Morales

    horse:

    Being part of a family that’s been subjected to gun violence, yes, I’d rather it never have happened. An assault weapons ban now or 15 years ago would have done fuck all to save my cousin from being shot in the back by a pistol and robbed.
    [...]
    A national endeavor to address drug addiction, drug use, and having the infrastructure in place to help that addict instead would have had an infinitely better chance of solving the whole situation.

    You are bothy personalising this and applying it to something that happened 15 years ago.

    The discussion is about gun control, not drug-addict control.

    (Both are worth pursuing)

  85. 85
    horse

    @John

    Kind of hard not to be personalizing it when the example presented to me is “how this could affect your child”.

    :P

  86. 86
    Koshka

    As someone who works in an engineering workshop with 3D printers, I would like to point out that the ease of printing a useful part with these machines is very much exaggerated by the suppliers of the machines and the people who post videos. Many of the examples you see often are post worked to look better.

    If you want to make your own gun you will be better off using standard type machine tools.

    I dont think using 3D printing technology as a reason to oppose gun control is very well thought out.

  87. 87
    John Morales

    horse, precisely.

  88. 88
    Amphiox

    Obviously banning guns would slow the rate at which people kill people. Is that a win? From a pure numbers perspective, perhaps. Otherwise, it’s still a total failure of fixing the why.

    Your child has a dangerously high fever, over 103 F. You could lower that fever with a children’s tylenol. That tylenol does NOTHING for fixing the “why”, the underlying reason for the fever. All it does is address the symptom.

    So, do you give your child that tylenol tonight? Or do you do absolutely nothing until all the definitive blood tests are back next week that will (hopefully) tell you exactly WHY there was a fever?

  89. 89
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    (Before I go to sleep and outside of my work hours …)

    I can get behind reasonable restriction, proper control of firearms, appropriate legislation. When people start doing an end run at the constitution (ANY aspect of the constitution, not just the 2nd), that’s when they lose my support completely.

    ‘Reasonable’ restriction, yeah, right.

    I’m not Amercan. I hardly require your support for my opinion and I certainly don’t need to be reminded that I have the freedom to hold and to voice it*.

    Frankly, the interpretation of that, apparently, sacred second amendment** is crap and US common law is not strictly bound to only precedent so the Supreme Court of the US could, conceivably, take a different view on the amendment.

    *Why am I always reminded by certain Americans (and it is always Americans) about the rights and freedoms I’m guaranteed. Stop doing that, it’s irritating and reeks of passive-aggressive American-centrism. You don’t have a monopoly on rights and freedoms and I don’t need you to validate mine.

    **It’s a fucking amendment. The constitution of the US is a document that has been edited, and amended continuously. It’s not sacred. There is nothing special nor original (certainly nothing natural) about an amendment, any amendment. Honestly, the reverence is taken too far.

    For what I really think, because I actually can’t think of what I can contribute or take away from debates like this except my ideas, here’s a suggestion, however helpful it may be (because these debates are always so productive): Work on getting your second amendment scrapped. It’s a steaming pile of shit, it has no place in that revered document of yours and it’s a problem. Work on getting guns banned. All of them. You can work out the details of that. It may take many years. Have at it. Good luck!

  90. 90
    horse

    @amphiox

    I’m not arguing to not… give the children’s Tylenol.

    I’m arguing the national conversation never gets past that point.

    The blood tests aren’t being sent out. Blood isn’t being taken in the first place.

    We never get to next week.

    We’ve been stuck at a dangerously high fever and administering various doses of Tylenol for decades now.

  91. 91
    John Morales

    horse, but one thing is pretty certain: the problem is not that there is a dearth of guns. Right?

    Now, you apparently want to focus on the mentally ill and on drug dependent people as a solution to unlawful shooting incidents, but don’t seem to get that it’s only because of the gun culture and pervasive availability of guns that those people get to have guns to wield.

    (One is a cause, the other is a means — and though affecting either helps, affecting both would help much more)

  92. 92
    sundoga

    In response to Thomathy (89): Well, if you don’t want me to acknowledge your fair and reasonable position in holding an opinion I disagree with, you may be certain I will not be so polite in future.

    As to the rest of your reply, well, frankly, you appear to have a reading deficiency. I regard no section of the constitution as sacred, did not state nor imply that I did, and equally frankly, I could not give a flying f*** where you come from. I stated my opposition to end runs against ANY part of the constitution. If you, or anyone else, were to suggest an amendment, altering or removing the second, that is a completely different matter.

    Or perhaps you are simply too much an extremist on the issue to be able to parse my missive accurately.

  93. 93
    indicus

    “Well, it affects any new weapons sold, no?”

    Sigh… Yes, it prohibits new ones being made. But it does NOTHING to affect who gets hold of the tens of millions already floating around in private hands. And if you think that would prevent a single lunatic from getting their hands on one than you are obviously living in some dream world. Please pass the magic pills because I would LOVE to experience the warm blanket of overwhelming ignorance that you are incubating in.

    “Jailing people for having pot is bullshit (though useful as a social control tool) whilst jailing people for illegal weapon ownership might save lives.”

    Lets leave our respective opinions concerning gun ownership out of the equation for a second… no, it wouldn’t save a single life. In case you haven’t bothered to notice, NOBODY knew that the Newtown shooter, the VT shooter, etc, etc has any sort of weapon until they started killing people. Anyone insane enough to want to turn a weapon on another human would be perfectly capable of stashing said weapon under their mattress until they decide to use it. Even if I were to hypothetically agree that all firearms should be removed from private ownership, that does not alter the fact that there are hundreds of millions floating around out there and if you think for one second that you can pass any law you please and miracle them off the streets than you are delusional beyond words. I’m not saying that as a gun owner (which I am). I’m not saying that as someone who believes firearms should be readily available to anyone who can pass a background check (which I am). I’m saying that as someone who understands basic math.

    “any additional criteria circumscribing the legality of gun ownership constitutes more than nothing”

    You simply don’t get it. Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation. They would affect what owners do with firearms already in their possession. For example, catalog dealers prior to the sunset of the original AWB in 2004, when selling folding stocks (lets say for a Yugoslav AMK rifle), had to state in their adds that said stock could only be attached to a weapon already fitted with such a style stock and not one with a regular full length stock. Ignoring the fact that the type of stock one has on their rifle does NOTHING to affect how deadly it is, individuals would frequently ignore this advice because either A) they were unaware of such an idiotic fit of bureaucratic horseshit or B), because they simply didn’t give a rat’s ass. No matter, in no way was the transfer of an AKM rifle hindered or tracked or affected in any way. Any lunatic who wanted to get hold of one was perfectly capable of doing so (and by the way, virtually all gunmen in recent mass shootings have had clean criminal records so you could background check them out the demon hole and it wouldn’t matter). The only thing it did was cause gun owners who actually cared about following the law (you know, the majority of them) to second-guess themselves to near heart-attack level to make sure they didn’t run afoul of the mountain of useless federal laws they had to follow.

  94. 94
    indicus

    “don’t seem to get that it’s only because of the gun culture and pervasive availability of guns that those people get to have guns to wield”

    Lets assume for one second that I go off the deep end and decide that private ownership of firearms is bad. The number of firearms in private hands is already at nine figures. How in the name of the FSM do you expect to make a dent in a number that large? Do you think you could simply pass a law which says “They are now illegal. Hand ‘em over” and actually get people to abide by it? Ignoring my opinion on the Second Amendment and on whether gun ownership is a good thing (it is) etc, etc., the notion that you could even hope to take a fraction of these weapons off the street and out of the hands of the nutjobs is the exact sort of unadulterated arrogance that brought us Prohibition and the War on Drugs and the various wars on anything some bureaucrat doesn’t like people having.

  95. 95
    indicus

    P.S. Out of all Obama’s whining today, there was one thing conspicuously absent… any mention of safe storage laws. Many states have passed these laws which, in a nutshell, state that if you store a firearm improperly and it is taken and used in committing a crime (any crime), the law will take that individual and cut their balls off and nail them to a fence. When passed, the NRA has not opposed these and has in fact supported most such laws. Nor have they been opposed by Gun Owners of America, an organization that makes the NRA look like the ACLU. Had Obama encouraged more states to adopt such laws he would not have heard a peep from gun owners and god knows (FSM knows… whoever) these would do more than anything to keep gun out of the wrong hands. So much for finding “common-sense” “bipartisan” measures

  96. 96
    futurechemist

    Tonight’s Daily Show made the point that a big problem isn’t with the laws currently on the books, but that the ATF is powerless to enforce many of them. For instance, the ATF can only inspect a gun seller’s inventory once per year, and they can’t force sellers to check their own inventories, nor can they force sellers to not sell to drunk people (though they encourage sellers not to sell to drunk people). Also, it seems that some local authorities either don’t want to or can’t spend their resources on what they think the ATF should be doing in the first place. On top of all that, it seems the NRA wrote the laws that gut the ATF’s power that they are now claiming are more than sufficient.

    It seems that some of these executive actions get at the government being able to enforce current laws. Which would seem to be a good thing, no?

  97. 97
    John Morales

    indicus:

    [1] Sigh… Yes, it prohibits new ones being made. [2] But it does NOTHING to affect who gets hold of the tens of millions already floating around in private hands.

    1. Well then, it does something, which was the claim you were disputing.

    2. You are quite confident that the provisions of this initiative will not address privately-sold extant firearms at all?

    (How so?)

    [1] Lets leave our respective opinions concerning gun ownership out of the equation for a second… no, it wouldn’t save a single life. [2] In case you haven’t bothered to notice, NOBODY knew that the Newtown shooter, the VT shooter, etc, etc has any sort of weapon until they started killing people.

    1. It’s foolish to both ask for opinions concerning gun ownership out of the equation whilst simultaneously offering your opinion concerning gun ownership and its linkage (non-existent, apparently) to gun violence outcomes.

    2. No, his mother owned the weapons. Legally. He shot her with them and took them for his spree.

    (Quite convenient for the mass killer, that was)

    Even if I were to hypothetically agree that all firearms should be removed from private ownership, that does not alter the fact that there are hundreds of millions floating around out there and if you think for one second that you can pass any law you please and miracle them off the streets than you are delusional beyond words.

    Hell, it’s nearly a miracle that the Overton window has shifted enough that these matters are again up for public discussion and that the White House sees it as an issue.

    I’m not saying that as a gun owner (which I am). I’m not saying that as someone who believes firearms should be readily available to anyone who can pass a background check (which I am). I’m saying that as someone who understands basic math.

    Well, me too.

    The difference is that I reckon the basic background check should consist of determining whether a gun was necessary to someone’s livelihood.

    (Hey, what a coincidence! I too understand basic math!)

    You simply don’t get it. Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation.

    Can you provide a citation for this claim?

    (I have yet to see the prescribed regulations)

    For example, catalog dealers prior to the sunset of the original AWB in 2004, when selling folding stocks (lets say for a Yugoslav AMK rifle), had to state in their adds that said stock could only be attached to a weapon already fitted with such a style stock and not one with a regular full length stock.

    Well, it was a bad law then. So fucking what?

    (That a bad law was passed doesn’t mean all laws that are passed will be bad)

  98. 98
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Indicus:
    I haven’t seen an answer for this question, but since you think owning a gun is a good thing, may I ask WHY?
    I am an American. I have never touched a gun. I hope I never do. I do not understand why people feel owning one is such a vital need and right, to be revered and respected ala the right to bodily autonomy, proper education, health care and other essential human rights.

  99. 99
    indicus

    Larry, absolutely nobody (the talking heads at the NRA don’t count) cares about the BATF enforcing current laws. Speaking as some who, on gun issues, is slightly to the right of Vlad the Impaler… You want to tighten checks concerning criminal records and mental health records? Fine. You want to prevent dealers from selling to drunk individuals? I have a hard time believing that isn’t already illegal, but sure. You want to make gun trafficking a serious felony in any and all cases? You want to crucify anyone who submits false information on a background check? Go right ahead. I can’t believe it isn’t already (Wait. I forget exactly how incompetent our federal government is at times… unfortunately, I can believe it). You want to institute safe storage laws whereby individuals will be held accountable for criminal actions committed with their poorly-stored firearms? Well never mind the fact that Obama failed to mention any such thing (which bakes in bipartisanship, by the way)… go right ahead! Most gun owners already keep their firearms under safe conditions and won’t object to states legislating it.

    The problem comes when any mention is made of prohibiting a law-abiding individual who had passed background checks from owning anything. Unfortunately, this is always the first, second, and last word out of the mouths of gun-control proponents. So allow me to spell it out as plainly as I can… WE ARE ALL FOR KEEPING FIREARMS OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS. Gun owners WANT to do that because, despite the popular media portrayal, we are not monsters and don’t enjoy seeing dead children on CNN. However, the key words are “WRONG HANDS”. When nothing is proposed except the same slew of laws that would keep guns out of ALL hands, that is when we get bitchy. So to sum it up… you want to keep guns out of the hands of nutcases? Let us help. You want to keep guns out of OUR hands? Now we have a problem.

  100. 100
    John Morales

    indicus:

    WE ARE ALL FOR KEEPING FIREARMS OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS. Gun owners WANT to do that because, despite the popular media portrayal, we are not monsters and don’t enjoy seeing dead children on CNN.

    So was the Newton killer’s mom.

    So to sum it up… you want to keep guns out of the hands of nutcases? Let us help. You want to keep guns out of OUR hands? Now we have a problem.

    Because you don’t realise you’re a nutcase.

  101. 101
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation.

    Yeah, because nobody turns in guns voluntarily, especially not if there’s an incentive. Oh, no, no sireee.

    *snort*

  102. 102
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There are plenty of firearms that have the same capacity for destruction as an AR-15 that are not classed as military-grade.

    …and the military isn’t using them why?

  103. 103
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    A desire to ban the sale of _certain_ firearms does not equal wanting to ban all firearms. Likewise, supporting a ban on _certain_ firearms does not prevent “the right people” from owning a gun (it just means that-in the case of semi automatic weapons-that people support banning those specific weapons. A right to own a gun doesn’t mean the right to own _any_ kind of gun you want).

  104. 104
    indicus

    “Well then, it does something, which was the claim you were disputing.”

    No, it isn’t anything. I thought the notion of ‘something’ was to keep guns out of the wrong hands. If you think a law which would grandfather tens of millions of weapons into legality does anything to reduce the availability of said weapons than I really can’t help you.

    “It’s foolish to both ask for opinions concerning gun ownership out of the equation whilst simultaneously offering your opinion concerning gun ownership and its linkage (non-existent, apparently) to gun violence outcomes.”

    Could you repeat that in English please? Assuming I understand basically what you are getting at… I am admitting (purely hypothetically) that there is a linkage between firearm availability and crime. I am therefor asking how a law which does nothing to alter the fact that we possess more firearms per capita than Iraq could have ANY affect on who gets them. You continue to dance around a simple fact… there are over a hundred million firearms in circulation in this country and any and every proposed law wouldn’t affect that number AT ALL.

    “Can you provide a citation for this claim?”

    Um, go to the White House website. Or for that matter, check out the lunacy on Dianne Feinstein’s website concerning her proposed legislation. There is NO proposed law floating around anywhere which would amount to an outright ban on any sort of firearm currently in circulation.

    “Well, it was a bad law then. So fucking what?”

    Seriously? You seriously think that the type of stock I stick on my rifle has any bearing on how deadly it is? Or for that matter, that the presence of a pistol grip or flash suppressor makes it any deadlier? I’m saying this as nicely as I possibly can, but none of those features mean jackshit when it comes to lethality. If you really think they do than you haven’t bothered to spend 30 seconds to educate yourself about basic firearm anatomy and function. Please do that before trying to make my life a bureaucratic living hell.

    “since you think owning a gun is a good thing, may I ask WHY?”

    Simple. I have known a number of people who were mugged, two who were raped, one who was the victim of an attempted murder (with a knife), and one who was actually murdered (again, with a knife). Most of these took place in a state in which carrying a firearm was strictly verboten. Forget Second Amendment rights, being able to protect oneself is a basic human right. I have had a permit to carry a concealed weapon since I was legally old enough. I have never been in a situation where pulling said weapon ever crossed my mind. However, I have NO intention of ever being in a situation where I or someone I am with is left at the mercy of the criminal or the deranged. I do not open carry even though my state liberally allows it because I recognize that many people find the public display of a firearm as unsettling. I disagree with them but respect their opinion. Therefore, I keep it hidden on my person where it will (hopefully) remain. The only thing I ask is that I be allowed to continue doing so. I am safe with a firearm (mine are kept safely stored unless being used) and proficient (like most handgun owners around here, I practice 10-20 times more than the average law enforcement officer). I’m not worried about the federal government, the UN, or zombies. But I do appreciate my piece of mind and right to defend myself. I also think going to the range of putting holes in paper targets is fun. I’m not harming anyone. So my question to those who dispute my right to own a firearm. what exactly is your problem with ME?

  105. 105
    indicus

    “So was the Newton killer’s mom.”

    I’ll defer to your superior knowledge concerning the thoughts of habits of a now-dead individual whom you never met.

    “Because you don’t realise you’re a nutcase.”

    I’d like to take this time to explain the various ways in which you should go fuck yourself.

    “Yeah, because nobody turns in guns voluntarily, especially not if there’s an incentive”

    Sigh. You’re referring to the gun buy-back programs, right? The ones in which $100 gift cards are given for rusted pistols worth about a quarter of that, right? As opposed to someone handing over a rifle worth over a grand? Tiny difference…

    “it just means that-in the case of semi automatic weapons-that people support banning those specific weapons. A right to own a gun doesn’t mean the right to own _any_ kind of gun you want”

    The problem is that there is nothing that makes a semi-automatic weapon necessarily deadlier. Semi-automatic weapons have been around since the late 19th Century and NOBODY is suggesting banning most types. The dividing line between ‘assault weapon’ and not are cosmetic features (stock, grip, etc) that have NO effect on the range, rate of fire, ballistics, etc, etc of a weapon. They make it ‘look’ scary and that is all.

  106. 106
    kyoseki

    How dismissive sounding and simplistic a manner gun fans gloss over gun culture; a deeply rooted and complex subject that goes to the heart of a large swath of the American psyche.

    I am not pretending that we can end America’s love affair with guns, but there are a lot of misconceptions about the things that can be easily cleared up with even the most basic training syllabus.

    There are many different reasons for people to own guns, and depending on those reasons, a person may be more or less likely to resort to lethal force – for example, anyone who claims to own a handgun for self defense, despite not having had a single minute of training to learn how to use it.

    Identifying which people are more likely to resort to lethal force and attempting to dissuade them from doing so is what legislation should be focusing on – I’m hoping that Obama’s executive order to improve gun crime research clears up the huge number of “unknowns”

    ‘…not just the availability…. it’s how they’re portrayed in popular media.’
    Yes,..exactly,..it’s both, and more.

    Agreed.

    Over the past thirty years, gun culture has been an increasingly deepening aspect of the political psyche of much of this country, reinforced and expanded by a growing political right wing (and festering paranoia within it). In my ‘arm-chair opinion’, it’s been fueled indirectly by increasing distrust of those in authority, (particularly political, scientific and educational authorities);

    I don’t particularly disagree, but the people perpetrating the bulk of the murders out there, even the mass murders are not right wing whackjobs who think they need their guns to overthrow the gubment (Timothy McVeigh excepted, but then he didn’t use a gun, did he?) – being a gun owner, I’m familiar with these kinds of people and in my experience most of them live well outside the cities, usually in place likes tiny towns in the middle of rural Idaho.

    The bulk of gun related murders occur in heavy urban centers (Baltimore, Chicago, DC, New York, Los Angeles etc), not the rural areas where the nutjob militia types are concentrated. Even the bulk of people owning guns are located outside of the heavy urban centers, but the gun murder rate is located elsewhere – cities, by and large, generally have a fairly low gun ownership rate, but a fairly high gun murder rate.

    So I don’t buy the argument that this is a right wing phenomenon, because the majority of murders take place in cities, which are invariably far more liberal leaning.

    the ease of which we as a culture become desensitized to–even embracing of–violence and the trappings of it. All this and even more small issues that work below the radar.

    Agreed, we’re so used to fake violence that the real thing barely registers, we’re so desensitized to violence that TV shows can recreate murder scenes with blood and brain matter everywhere, but they have to pixelate a mannequin’s buttocks lest someone be offended (seriously, I’m not making this up).

    Once again, this is where mandatory training comes in, force people to look at pictures and video of gunshot victims so that they know what they’re getting themselves into. That alone would probably dissuade a large number of people from buying guns, which is rather the point, wouldn’t you say?

    Yes, it may be the some of hardest things to overcome are all the varied influences that fuel the culture of violence and particularly, the gun. And a large part of any turn around will be the responsibility of the ‘gunphiles’ among us to see that this irrational blanket defense for possessing virtually any and all of their ‘firearms du jour’ for virtually any reason must change.

    The “firearms du jour” are a distraction, the media loves to seize on murders using relatively exotic firearms, but they are by far, the exception rather than the rule. Handguns are ubiquitous, they are both the most common firearm in civilian possession and they are the most common firearm used in murder.

    As I attempted to show earlier, banning assault rifles will have literally NO effect on casualties even during a mass shooting, banning them has no effect on people’s attitudes towards firearms, so I remain unconvinced that this is anything other than feel good legislation of the highest order.

    It’s like saying “well, ok, you can own a car that can do 180mph, but 200mph? That’s outrageous!”

    We are, the last time I checked the calendar, living in the 21st century. We need thinking and actions that will keep us from being mired in the past few.

    I agree, but we are limited by a document that was written two centuries ago and is sadly unlikely to be changed as long as we keep trying the same approach of vilifying particular firearms instead of addressing the fundamental causes.

    Someone further up the thread made a very valid point, let’s look at countries that have firearms but a low murder rate and simply do what they’re doing. Almost every European country fits the bill, even the ones that allow you to own assault weapons still have murder rates around a fifth of ours.

    The one thing they ALL have in common is requiring a high degree of training in order to possess handguns, because they recognize that a handgun is an immensely dangerous firearm, something we don’t do here simply because they’re so commonplace.

    When you have idiots trying to board planes with loaded handguns because they forgot they were in their bags, it’s a pretty good goddamned indicator that society, as a whole, does not respect firearms, how do you propose we fix that attitude other than slapping people in the face with the fact that these things are absolutely lethal and not to be taken lightly, even if everyone has one.

  107. 107
    tomh

    @ #92

    I stated my opposition to end runs against ANY part of the constitution.

    An end run seems an odd phrase. The Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means at one particular time in our history. If a different Supreme Court interpreted the 2nd Amendment in a way that you, or the NRA, didn’t agree with, would that be an end run? For instance, if the Court upheld a law banning all handguns, or all guns, would you agree that was in line with the Constitution? After all, it’s up to the Court to interpret the Constitution.

  108. 108
    John Morales

    indicus:

    No, it isn’t anything. I thought the notion of ‘something’ was to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

    No, it was to reduce the incidence of gun incidents.

    If you think a law which would grandfather tens of millions of weapons into legality does anything to reduce the availability of said weapons than I really can’t help you.

    Heh. No, my claim was much simpler than that: something is better than nothing — contra your claim.

    I am therefor asking how a law which does nothing to alter the fact that we possess more firearms per capita than Iraq could have ANY affect on who gets them. You continue to dance around a simple fact… there are over a hundred million firearms in circulation in this country and any and every proposed law wouldn’t affect that number AT ALL.

    But no law magicks matter into existence or non-existence; rather, law proscribes certain things. More to the point, the existence of gun shops demonstrates that there is a demand for MOAR guns, so clearly even if no existing owned weapons were affected, new weapons (the ones the shops sell) will so be.

    (Again, more than nothing)

    Um, go to the White House website.

    What a verbose way to write ‘no’.

    (Why don’t you admit your claim cannot be sustained? ;) )

    Seriously? You seriously think that the type of stock I stick on my rifle has any bearing on how deadly it is? Or for that matter, that the presence of a pistol grip or flash suppressor makes it any deadlier? I’m saying this as nicely as I possibly can, but none of those features mean jackshit when it comes to lethality.

    <snicker>

    I just told you it was a bad law, and you dispute my claim?

    But I do appreciate my piece of mind and right to defend myself.

    So did the Newtown killer’s mom.

    (She got shot in the face with her own weapon while she slept)

    I also think going to the range of putting holes in paper targets is fun.

    So, guns are good for killing people and good for putting holes in paper targets.

    (So very useful, they are!)

  109. 109
    indicus

    “After all, it’s up to the Court to interpret the Constitution.”

    Woo-hoo! So when do I get to start owning slaves again? Failing that, how about separate but equal drinking fountains? I assume you understand the logical holes in that argument…

  110. 110
    tomh

    @ indicus:

    Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation.

    The legislation proposed today would require background checks for sales at gun shows and for private sales (which are 40% of all gun sales). That would affect guns already in circulation, in particular who could buy a gun that was already in circulation.

  111. 111
    indicus

    “No, it was to reduce the incidence of gun incidents.”

    Um, the guns are already in the hands of the individuals who will be perpetrating the ‘incidents’. Could you explain again how this affects anything?

    “No, my claim was much simpler than that: something is better than nothing”

    Nope. If that something has zero measurable affect on the action you wish to influence than, as a variable, it is useless. Modern science 101 my friend.

    “the existence of gun shops demonstrates that there is a demand for MOAR guns, so clearly even if no existing owned weapons were affected, new weapons (the ones the shops sell) will so be.”

    You obviously haven’t been in a gun shop anytime lately. The number of new firearms is considerably dwarfed by the number of used ones for sale. And while the 1994 ‘ban’ was in affect, there was NO reduction in the number of ‘assault weapons’ (new or otherwise) for sale in shops and at shows. Since I practically grew up in them, you can take my word for it.

    “Why don’t you admit your claim cannot be sustained?”

    Wow, talk about a shinning example of creationist logic. Allow me to clue you in… it is up to the individual making a claim (that would be you) to back it up with facts. It is not the job of everyone else to disprove said claim. Did you actually listen of Obama and Biden’s conference today? Then you should be familiar with exactly what they recommended. If not, we have this thing called the internet. Feel free to educate yourself. I’m sure as shit not going to spoon-feed you facts.

    “So did the Newtown killer’s mom.”

    Are you aware of how she stored her firearms? Me neither, but chances are it wasn’t particularly secure. No know… the concept of safe storage. That idea that has been endlessly talked about by the NRA and other gun organizations yet was strangely absent from any mention by Obama? The one idea which would prevent countless firearms from falling into the wrong hands yet has broad support from gun owners and gun rights organizations?

  112. 112
    indicus

    “The legislation proposed today would require background checks for sales at gun shows and for private sales”

    In a decade and a half of going to gun shows and auctions, I have seen exactly ONE modern non-sporting rifle and zero handguns (Civil War antiques don’t count) sold by private dealers. The overwhelming majority of private sales are sporting arms or antiques. Direct sales from gun shows supply less than 2% of firearms used in crimes, and most of these are to individuals with no previous record so background checks wouldn’t matter any way.

  113. 113
    tomh

    @ indicus:

    Well, you claimed that there was no proposed legislation that would affect guns already in circulation, which is obviously false.

    The overwhelming majority of private sales are sporting arms or antiques.

    According to you. And guns are not groceries, they don’t spoil. A rifle used in the 2009 Holocaust Museum shooting was nearly 100 years old, but was still an effective murder weapon.

    The number of new firearms is considerably dwarfed by the number of used ones for sale.

    According to you. If true, it just shows how big an inventory they must carry, because, according to ATF reports, in 2010 there were 5,459,240 new firearms manufactured in the United States, nearly all (95 percent) for the U.S. market. An additional 3,252,404 firearms were imported to the United States. In a down economy over the last 10 years, firearms manufacturers have been a shining bright spot. Somebody is buying a lot of new guns.

    Background checks, new laws, restricting firearms – nothing would matter, according to you. Let’s keep things exactly the way they are, after all, it’s working so well.

  114. 114
    John Morales

    indicus:

    Um, the guns are already in the hands of the individuals who will be perpetrating the ‘incidents’. Could you explain again how this affects anything?

    I shouldn’t have to, since you’ve claimed basic math proficiency, but sure: the situation now (T0) is X. The situation at time T1 will be X + Y; where Y is the additional number of weapons legally available. Changing circumstances so that Y is less than it would otherwise be is more than nothing, and results in a future outcome where less availability (by virtue of stricter criteria) applies, and so Y’ should be better than Y.

    Nope. If that something has zero measurable affect on the action you wish to influence than, as a variable, it is useless. Modern science 101 my friend.

    Your argument boils down to stricter gun controls having no effect whatsoever because of the existing weapons base — again: care to point to the specific law that you contend will have zero impact on gun-related mortality?

    You obviously haven’t been in a gun shop anytime lately. The number of new firearms is considerably dwarfed by the number of used ones for sale.

    Knowing basic math as you claim to do, you do realise that |X+Y| > |X| for all X,Y ∈ N, right?

    (Not only have I not been in a gun shop lately, I’ve never been in a gun shop)

    Wow, talk about a shinning example of creationist logic. Allow me to clue you in… it is up to the individual making a claim (that would be you) to back it up with facts.

    Very good! Thus, when I wrote “Can you provide a citation for this claim?” in response to your claim that “Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation”, I was asking you to show either to link to the prescribed regulations in question or else provide analysis of why no prescribed regulations whatsoever would not have such an effect.

    (Ball’s in your court, because it was your claim)

    Then you should be familiar with exactly what they recommended.

    Yes, but what they’ve said in public is not the “prescribed regulations”.

    (Still no citation, I see)

    Feel free to educate yourself. I’m sure as shit not going to spoon-feed you facts.

    You’re a veritable cornucopia of opinion and unsubstantiated claims, though.

    Are you aware of how she stored her firearms? Me neither, but chances are it wasn’t particularly secure. No know… the concept of safe storage.

    Like I wrote; her own guns she had for her own defence were used to kill her and then murder numerous children before the murderer suicided with them.

    (You don’t need to securely store what you don’t own)

  115. 115
    Ing

    Woo-hoo! So when do I get to start owning slaves again? Failing that, how about separate but equal drinking fountains? I assume you understand the logical holes in that argument…

    When the court somehow rules that you can. Duh.

    Or do you REALLY think the 2nd Amendment was originally drafted to give everyone hand gun access?

  116. 116
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    ‘Merkins, ‘Merkins, ‘Merkins … you’re not getting it. Freedom is not about living tied to your various prostheses, be they cars or guns or whatnot. They are not “necessary” in any real sense, that is only your own choosing. Such things come to wag the brain. What manner of life is that?

  117. 117
    keresthanatos...I am my Evil Twin

    http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    A quick look at this site proved most interesting. I would like some of the people here to review the methodology to make sure it is not misleading.

  118. 118
    sundoga

    In reply to Tomh (107): No, I’d consider it a bad interpretation and do my best to either get a new interpretation in another case or an amendment to clarify the situation.
    And end-run is an attempt to circumvent the constitution by means of legislation, at any level, “traditional” interpretations or willful twisting of the terminology (the “militia” argument in this particular debate, or the various attempts by “tax protestors” to scrap the 16th amendment by willfully misreading it’s clauses, would be cases in point).
    If you want to get a different interpretation by the SCOTUS, pick your case and prepare your arguments. If you want to change the constitution, there’s a process for that.
    If you want to ignore the constitution and do whatever you choose, expect to find me doing everything I can to stop you.

  119. 119
    John Morales

    Indicus:

    Are you aware of how she stored her firearms? Me neither, but chances are it wasn’t particularly secure. No know… the concept of safe storage. That idea that has been endlessly talked about by the NRA and other gun organizations yet was strangely absent from any mention by Obama? The one idea which would prevent countless firearms from falling into the wrong hands yet has broad support from gun owners and gun rights organizations?

    It applies only to gun owners, it has broad support from gun owners, yet is a paramount concern to you because of a lack of… well, can’t say compliance, can we? So, a lack of legislation mandating it.

    You think Obama should include legislation prescribing safe gun storage to his proposals?

    (Hey, I’m with you on that. Every little bit helps)

  120. 120
    tomfrog

    As a non-US citizen, I have a question regarding the 2nd amendment: pro-gun people always refer to the Constitution to remind us that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” but why do they forget about —at least— 2 words that precede that: “well regulated”? After all, this seems to indicate that regulations on gun ownership is right there in the Constitution, doesn’t it? What am I missing here? (Evidently, the “well regulated” part applies to militias but so does the right to bear arms, no?)

    Disclaimer: I did not read all the comments here.

  121. 121
    horse

    @Azkyroth

    …and the military isn’t using them why?

    They have far better weapons at their disposal?

    Just so we’re on the same page, do you understand the AR-15 is just a semi-automatic rifle platform? There are many others just like it available. It’s also as easy to scale up handguns in manner to cause as much destruction in close quarters ala the Virginia Tech shooting.

  122. 122
    bradleybetts

    Yes Obama! The proposals all seem eminently sensible, but there’s one I have an issue with:

    “10. Promoting safe gun ownership. The administration will start a “responsible gun ownership” campaign to encourage gun owners to lock up their firearms.”

    Here in the UK, any gun owner has to lock their guns away when they are not in use, in an approved gun safe. Why not simply make that the law in the US?

  123. 123
    bradleybetts

    @Louis #11

    I agree; but I think it’s mainly a matter of phrasing. I think “Those deemed by a mental health professional to pose a possible danger to themselves or others” would be better.

  124. 124
    finkfree

    PZ, Out of curiosity, I wonder which has a greater priority for you?
    Innocent victims being killed by guns or harrassement policies at conferences?

    I have not yet seen any comment from yourself regarding AronRa’s appalling, childish, selfish, “republican” attitude towards gun control, as expressed here:-

    http://www.spreaker.com/page#!/user/smalleyandhyso/50_guns_thunderf00t_dprjones_aronra

    For choice moments.goto:-
    47:50 – 60:00

    Yet you were blazingly quick to come down on Thunderf00t when he expressed his view that harrassment polices were redundent, and the degree of arguement around the subject gave a false impression about the reality of the issue.

  125. 125
    twosheds1

    Here in the UK, any gun owner has to lock their guns away when they are not in use, in an approved gun safe. Why not simply make that the law in the US?

    The argument against requiring locking up your guns is usually that it takes too long to access them if they are needed in a home-defense situation. I guess that means you should keep them under your pillow. But I saw a small gun safe that opens with a fingerprint scan within seconds, so the “too long” argument isn’t really valid.

    One thing I’ve asked in other online fora is if the gov’t has a compelling interest, or even the right, to restrict access to certain weapons to prevent armed insurrection. In other words “We’re afraid of a rebellion, therefore we’re restricting sales of semi-auto rifles and large magazines.”

  126. 126
    drxym

    The problem with testing for mental illness, is someone might be perfectly a-ok before they buy the gun and then an event or series of events tips them into mental illness, or temporarily throws them into a rage and they start blasting or they might not even be the registered owner of the weapon. It might have caught the Virginia Tech / Aurora murderers. It probably would not have caught Newtown because the guy used his mother’s gun. It wouldn’t catch the guy who is laid off and decides to teach his boss a lesson, or someone who wipes out his wife and her family after some domestic row.

    Still, prevention is better than nothing, and limiting the availability of high powered weapons limits their use even if some nut does start plugging away.

  127. 127
    horse

    @John

    horse, but one thing is pretty certain: the problem is not that there is a dearth of guns. Right?

    Now, you apparently want to focus on the mentally ill and on drug dependent people as a solution to unlawful shooting incidents, but don’t seem to get that it’s only because of the gun culture and pervasive availability of guns that those people get to have guns to wield.

    (One is a cause, the other is a means — and though affecting either helps, affecting both would help much more)

    I whole-heartedly agree with what you are saying from a logic standpoint – reduce gun availability to reduce gun violence. But that isn’t what is actually on the table in the same way that bombing the living fuck out of Pakistan, Afganistan, Yemen, et al hasn’t and won’t solve the terrorist threat even though we think we’re reducing terrorists.

    I’m making an argument that I think, overall, the proposals set forth are a masturbatory, self-congratulating, feel-good, “let’s pat ourselves on the backs” maneuver attempt to placate both political aisles and in turn, ends up doing nothing in the same manner of the security theater that was foisted upon the US in various grand-sounding bills since 9/11.

    Anemic bills like the Assault Weapons Ban do not address the issue of getting firearms off the street that are causing 99% of the deaths. Instead it addresses the fairy tale in people’s heads by trying to remove scary looking guns like the AR-15.

    As such, the pervasive availability of the guns that are causing the overwhelming bulk of gun violence isn’t even being addressed. Moreover, I do not believe the political will exists among our elected officials, much less among the public to put forth legislation that would actually touch the pervasive availability of the guns in the US that are actually causing the deaths (it’s certainly not Assault Weapons). That in turn means we need to actually address the culture of violence, poverty, and desperation that drives people to use those guns.

    Otherwise, we’re stuck in this same Groundhog Day scenario.

    That doesn’t mean we do nothing. What I am not arguing is that by calling this latest effort crap that we throw our hands in the air and continue on as is.

    I’m arguing we demand they come back with something better.

    I’m arguing to not settle for short-sited gains and half measures, because otherwise we won’t get better.

  128. 128
    horse

    I’d love to hear PZ chime in on this so I can have my, “oh fuck, I didn’t think of it like that” moment.

  129. 129
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Well, if you don’t want me to acknowledge your fair and reasonable position in holding an opinion I disagree with, you may be certain I will not be so polite in future.

    It’s polite to remind me of my rights and freedoms? Please, don’t follow through with the threat, I’m terrified of the possibility of you being impolite.

    As to the rest of your reply, well, frankly, you appear to have a reading deficiency.

    I’m sure I’ll demonstrate it at some point.

    I regard no section of the constitution as sacred, did not state nor imply that I did,

    Well, I read an implication there, since you used the term ‘end run’ first and assumed that I was suggesting such a thing as circumventing the constitution. It seems you hold that document in high regard, even if you don’t consider it sacred. I don’t hold it in such high regard at all.

    and equally frankly, I could not give a flying f*** where you come from.

    Well, that’s fine and I won’t tell you if you don’t give a flying f-three-asteriks, but it’s your loss. The story of where I’m from can sometimes be interesting. I’m glad I only let you know my nationality. I don’t suppose that matters at all to you either?

    (See what I did there?)

    I stated my opposition to end runs against ANY part of the constitution.

    So you did.

    If you, or anyone else, were to suggest an amendment, altering or removing the second, that is a completely different matter.

    Umm …

    Thomathy wrote:

    Work on getting your second amendment scrapped.

    Does ‘scrapped’ have a different meaning to you than it does to me? I consider it synonymous to ‘removing’.

    I’m wondering about reading deficiencies now …funny, that.

    Or perhaps you are simply too much an extremist on the issue to be able to parse my missive accurately.

    I’m not an extremist, unless it’s somehow extremist to advocate a ban on all guns? Should being an extremist make comprehension difficult for me anyhow? Should I be thoughtless and frothing at the mouth? I’m concerned that if I am extremist that I’m not doing it right, so let me know.
    ____

    I can’t take discussions like these seriously. Not only is there never any proposed restriction that is good enough to make a difference in gun violence (according to certain people), there is likewise no proposed restriction that satisfies the bizarre ‘necessity’ of essentially unrestricted ownership and use of guns (according to certain other people who overlap with the first category). It always seems to me that at the end, the status quo is maintained and no attempt to even try a substantive change is ever undertaken. It seems that guns are just too important, more important than just about everything else.

  130. 130
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    That doesn’t mean we do nothing. What I am not arguing is that by calling this latest effort crap that we throw our hands in the air and continue on as is.

    I’m arguing we demand they come back with something better.

    I’m arguing to not settle for short-sited gains and half measures, because otherwise we won’t get better.

    As I have been reminded in this very thread, some thing are just not possible. I’d very much like the same thing, albeit with a likely very different outcome than you.

    I’m still wondering, if it matters at all (and I don’t imagine it does), what does that ‘something better’ actually look like? And how can you, or are you, working to demand that ‘something better’? And why is it necessarily the case that taking these proposals, in this particular climate, will perpetuate the ‘Groundhog Day scenario’? Is there nothing different this time around that could potentially keep the momentum of public opinion and interest up so that people can push for further and more effective measures on the heels of this proposal?

    (I’m hoping you can change my mind about the quality of these discussions.)

  131. 131
    horse

    @thomathy

    Let’s take a step back to understand at least my frustration with things as they are.

    There are over 300 “relevant federal and state laws regarding the manufacture, design, sale, purchase, or possession of guns.”

    This has been a fight, for decades, in a lobbyist versus lobbyist battle.

    This fight may be one framed as a battle over Constitutional rights, but it’s really a battle against a multi-billion dollar industry.

    That means it’s also a fight at the political-career level. Politicians won’t push for substantive change because it puts their careers at too much risk. This is why in America there will never be a gun ban.

    Gun restrictions will ebb and flow as they have for decades, but until there are mass riots and direct action in the streets there will never be substantive change to gun ownership. Hell, look at what happened with financial/Wall Street reform after we had 10s of thousands marching and protesting in the streets of New York and occupations by hundreds in cities all over.

    Nothing. There was no substantive reforms.

    The spark that led to this latest push for reforming gun violence in America, Sandy Hook, is scarcely different than the past school massacres. Heck, it was much smaller body count than the Virginia Tech school shooting a few years ago – from which there were no substantive changes. Anemic, half-assed gun control laws get proposed. Some of them make it onto the books.

    After Columbine there were no substantive change. Anemic, half-assed gun control laws get proposed. Some of them make it onto the books.

    There’s a far higher body count taking place in our cities every night across the country, it’s just less high profile. That results in no substantive change. Anemic, half-assed gun control laws get proposed. Some of them make it onto the books.

    The pattern is clear to see.

    So do you fix or break that pattern by accepting the latest proposals (anemic, half-assed gun control laws), or demanding a solution that looks past the gun control barrier.

    What could that solution be? What drives crime in general? Poverty. Greed. Illness. Desperation. How are those things manifested in the US society? Lack of healthcare, lack of opportunity/education, lack of infrastructure to name a few. Hell, our failed war on drugs has created a prison culture that, upon release, can’t get jobs (because of the prison record), which in turn drives them back into criminal activities in order to make a living and survive – which in turn drives the culture of violence manifested in gun deaths.

    How many are rotating through the prison system in America? Millions. Millions and millions.

    So what could a proposed solution to gun violence be? Break the cycle of prison culture. Stop the war on drugs that sustains that culture, which in turn churns out the gun violence. That could possibly solve some gun violence. It’s one pillar. There are many others that need to be examined.

    But we never get there, because we, as a nation, can’t stop dicking around, arguing about gun control.

  132. 132
    indicus

    ” A rifle used in the 2009 Holocaust Museum shooting was nearly 100 years old, but was still an effective murder weapon”

    My point. Any firearm will be deadly in the wrong hands. So rather than whining over cosmetic features which don’t affect rate of fire, range, etc., why not concern ourselves with keeping all guns out of the wrong hands?

    “According to you. If true, it just shows how big an inventory they must carry”

    I’m perfectly capable of walking into a gun shop and doing a rough calculation of the new vs. used inventory.

    “Changing circumstances so that Y is less than it would otherwise be is more than nothing”

    Technically, taking a gallon of seawater and blasting it into space will also lower the ocean level. Same principle as with guns, for which there are already more than 1 per every 3 people in the country. Significantly, ending the production of one line of rifles won’t mean jackshit. The least you could do is come right out and say you support rounding them up and melting them down.

    “care to point to the specific law that you contend will have zero impact on gun-related mortality?”

    Um, renewal of the AWB (tens of millions currently in circulation) or a ban on high capacity magazines (over a hundred million already in circulation). I thought I made that very obvious?

    “Thus, when I wrote “Can you provide a citation for this claim?” in response to your claim that “Any prescribed regulations would NOT affect the transfer of firearms already in circulation”,”

    Go to the White House site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_now_is_the_time_full.pdf). Read through the list of proposed legislation. NOTHING is mentioned about removing a single firearm from circulation. All proposed legislation would affect the future production of weapons. How can I possibly make that any clearer?

    “Like I wrote; her own guns she had for her own defence were used to kill her and then murder numerous children before the murderer suicided with them.”

    If they were used to shoot her while she slept then they were obviously being stored poorly.

    “When the court somehow rules that you can. Duh.”

    Thus is my point. Sooner or later, the planets will align is just the wrong way and you will have a Republican president and a Republican Senate and a couple vacancies on the high court. So the concept of blatantly saying “The court makes the rules” should frighten anyone interested in same sex rights, access to abortion, keeping prayer out of public schools, etc.

    “Or do you REALLY think the 2nd Amendment was originally drafted to give everyone hand gun access?”

    Yes. Think back to elementary school history… the Bill of Rights only exists because several states refused to ratify the Constitution unless a protection of certain INDIVIDUAL rights was added. And while I’m worried about overthrowing the government, the Founders certainly intended the 2A as a counterbalance of the people against their own leaders. In the end, the question of original intent is really moot. None of the Founders intended women to vote and many would have never wanted blacks to be anything other than property.

    “It applies only to gun owners, it has broad support from gun owners, yet is a paramount concern to you because of a lack of… well, can’t say compliance, can we? So, a lack of legislation mandating it.

    You think Obama should include legislation prescribing safe gun storage to his proposals?”

    As much as I despise the “If it saves just one life…” argument, this is a case where if taking the most basic precautions could lead to one less shooting and at no cost to anyone’s rights, so be it. The vast majority of gun owners already practice safe storage. Compliance is extremely broad. But the handful of exceptions can do enough harm. So if states have to make the few morons do so by legislation, fine by me.

  133. 133
    indicus

    On another topic, if these ‘assault weapons’ are such deadly battlefield monstrosities with no possible application outside of war, how come nearly every police department in the country issues them? I live in a small town at the foothills of the Appalachians and where the most serious crime is some redneck getting drunk and shooting at roadsigns. Yet our various LEOs carry AR-style rifles in their patrol cars. Anyone care to chime in?

  134. 134
    horse

    On another topic, if these ‘assault weapons’ are such deadly battlefield monstrosities with no possible application outside of war, how come nearly every police department in the country issues them?

    Because War on Terror.

  135. 135
    Gwynnyd

    And why is what is on the table now seen as the be all and end all of proposals and regulation, now and forever, amen? I believe that these are a *first step* not “if we do this everything to do with guns will be all fixed forever.” You’d rather have a regulation that mandates a lot of training before anyone can purchase a gun? So do I. You think that would be *easier* to pass through Congress than banning a style of weapon or the amount of bullets in a magazine?

    As for why an “assault weapons” ban when other weapons are just as dangerous? Dudes! Seriously? Advertisers have spent a shit-load of money convincing people that military-style guns are the kewl weapons; the ones that will give you back your “man card,” the ones you NEED. They aren’t your grandfather’s guns! Those are lame! To protect your loved ones you gotta have this bad-ass military-styled gun with the huge magazine because it’s EASY and FUN! And besides killing that real person who is threatening you and your property feels exactly like doing it in a video game! Empathy is for wimps! Don’t worry! No one in your family will ever use it improperly. It will never be stolen. Just look at this baby; just *owning* this bad-ass military-ish looking weapon will make you instantly into a calm and dispassionate killing machine that no one will ever mess with.

    There are people who believe that shit and want a gun to *look* bad-assed and be able to “protect themselves” without having to actually put in time to learn how to aim. They want the psuedo-military look and the ability to fire a LOT of bullets without all that stupid and boring practicing of how to change magazines.

    Why do people who are so anti gun control assume that *everyone* who buys a gun is a totally clued-in person? Or talk like “most gun violence is caused by evil strangers you can protect yourself against only if you have a gun” not the statistics that show that accidents or deliberate violence to someone they know just because a gun was already there is a lot more common. Maybe if the person can’t buy the coolest-looking weapon at Wal-Mart, or get one anywhere without a mandatory background check, they will not track down the illegal dealer and get one on the black market. For the most part people are law-abiding and think of themselves as “responsible”. If it is made clear that what or how they want to buy is NOT law-abiding or responsible, won’t that make a difference to some people? That’s ‘something’, too, right? I’d be willing to give a try for a few years so the data on that strategy can be collected before I dismissed it with a, “That’ll never work”.

    We banned cigarette advertising. Let’s ban ALL gun advertising the same way. How about that for a second step?

  136. 136
    tomh

    @ indicus:

    [Ing]“When the court somehow rules that you can. Duh.”

    Thus is my point.

    No, it wasn’t your point. You made some incoherent comment about owning slaves, demonstrating that you don’t understand how the US government works, and now you amplify your ignorance here. When Congress passes a law allowing slavery, the President signs it, and, if challenged, the Supreme Court upholds it as Constitutional, then you can own slaves. Simple as that.

    why not concern ourselves with keeping all guns out of the wrong hands?

    Which is what requiring background checks at gun shows and for private purchases is an attempt to do. In 2010 about 80,000 would-be gun purchasers were denied because of background checks. Yet these same 80,000 people could go to a gun show and buy a gun with no problem. Yet, according to you, background checks at gun shows would make no difference in keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

    With each feeble argument you make, in opposing any restrictions on buying guns, it becomes more and more clear that your only goal is to keep the status quo.

  137. 137
    indicus

    “No, it wasn’t your point. You made some incoherent comment about owning slaves, demonstrating that you don’t understand how the US government works, and now you amplify your ignorance here. When Congress passes a law allowing slavery, the President signs it, and, if challenged, the Supreme Court upholds it as Constitutional, then you can own slaves. Simple as that.”

    No, that IS my point. Because the High Court approves something does not mean it is right or moral or even constitutional.

    “Yet, according to you, background checks at gun shows would make no difference in keeping guns out of the wrong hands”

    No, I said that the numbers of non-sporting weapons sold privately at such shows isn’t nearly high enough to justify eliminating them as a selling market for all private individuals. And if I’m so wrong and gun shows are such a massive source of criminal firearms, how come the government’s own records show virtually no firearms used in crimes come from shows?

    “it becomes more and more clear that your only goal is to keep the status quo”

    Actually, I’d prefer we go back to the days where you could buy automatic weapons at Woolworth’s, though I don’t see that happening during my lifetime.

  138. 138
    indicus

    “Because War on Terror”

    First of all, most departments had them prior to 9/11. Second, does anyone seriously think the local police in Jerkwater, Missouri is going to have to fend off an Al-Qaeda attack?

  139. 139
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Horse

    Because War on Terror.

    War on (some) Drugs, really. It’s gotten even worse since the War on Terror, though.
    indicus
    What has anyone here said that indicates that they are in favor of police departments having those weapons? I doubt very much that even most of pro-gun people in this particular discussion favor arming the cops into a paramilitary strike force.

  140. 140
    kyoseki

    First of all, most departments had them prior to 9/11. Second, does anyone seriously think the local police in Jerkwater, Missouri is going to have to fend off an Al-Qaeda attack?

    In actuality, it’s due in no small part to the North Hollywood shootout, at least that’s the case here in Los Angeles.

  141. 141
    horse

    Second, does anyone seriously think the local police in Jerkwater, Missouri is going to have to fend off an Al-Qaeda attack?

    I think you’ll find the same people that think they’ll fend off and overthrow a tyrannical US government with their semi-automatic weapons sure do.

    Terrorists – around every rock and tree.

  142. 142
    horse

    @ Dalillama

    Yep, War on Drugs got the ball rolling.

    9/11 helped militarize the police force beyond the pale.

    Shock Doctrine through and through.

  143. 143
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    indicus

    Second, does anyone seriously think the local police in Jerkwater, Missouri is going to have to fend off an Al-Qaeda attack?

    As far as I can tell, a lot of the same people who believe that their private arsenals would protect them from and oppressive government and/or a mugger (despite the utter lack of any evidence that this is the case), do also believe that a) there is a remotest chance that Al Quaeda would actually attack Jerkwater, and b)the sheriff’s department SWAT team is all that will keep them safe in their beds. However, as I pointed out above, the militarization of the police forces has largely been related to the Drug War, through a combination of scare tactics about heavily armed drug gangs/dealers and forfeiture of the assets of accused drug dealers directly to the police forces. The first gave them an excuse, the second the funding. Of course, once they have the equipment, they start looking for excuses to use it, and then claim that those cases prove they need more of it, etc. With the beginning of the War on Terror, ineffectual security theater included handing out huge wodging loads of cash to local law enforcement to buy more equipment, without consideration of whether they needed it or it would do any good, and just made the problem that much worse.

  144. 144
    kyoseki

    What has anyone here said that indicates that they are in favor of police departments having those weapons? I doubt very much that even most of pro-gun people in this particular discussion favor arming the cops into a paramilitary strike force.

    I’m definitely not in favor of the increased militarization of the police force, but I also do not have a big issue equipping them with the tools necessary to do the job.

    The LAPD started using assault rifles after the North Hollywood shootout in 97, when they found that their standard issue sidearms were unable to penetrate the perpetrator’s body armor.

  145. 145
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Kyoseki

    The LAPD started using assault rifles after the North Hollywood shootout in 97,

    This is misleading in this context; the SWAT team already had AR-15s at the time they were called in, this was not a change of issue weapons. Patrol cops in LA still do not routinely carry such weapons. The changes after the ’97 shootout were a) to allow officers to carry a .45 pistol instead of a 9mm, if they so chose, and b) the part to which I suppose you refer, officers with an additional certification are allowed to carry an AR-15 variant instead of the standard shotgun in their vehicles. Most officers don’t have this certification, though. Further, this is really a red herring, since, as I noted, the SWAT team was already packing military levels of heat at that time, as were/are those of police and sheriff’s departments across the country, even those that have no conceivable need of a SWAT team at all. That’s what we’re discussing here.

  146. 146
    kyoseki

    The argument against requiring locking up your guns is usually that it takes too long to access them if they are needed in a home-defense situation. I guess that means you should keep them under your pillow.

    I actually completely agree with the idea that all firearms should be locked up when not in use, but part of the DC vs Heller decision ruled that that was unconstitutional.

    But I saw a small gun safe that opens with a fingerprint scan within seconds, so the “too long” argument isn’t really valid.

    I have a small biometric safe that I keep my handguns in, it’s fucking hopeless, it takes at least 3 attempts to open and makes a loud beeping noise every time you try. I’m going to replace it with a conventional electronic combination lock safe at some point (I wouldn’t use handguns for self defense anyway, but fighting with that damned lock any time I need to get paperwork out bugs the ever living crap out of me).

    The biometric safes are also apparently really easy to spoof if you don’t clean any fingerprint residue off the scanner every time you use it.

    One thing I’ve asked in other online fora is if the gov’t has a compelling interest, or even the right, to restrict access to certain weapons to prevent armed insurrection. In other words “We’re afraid of a rebellion, therefore we’re restricting sales of semi-auto rifles and large magazines.”

    I honestly don’t think they care about that, the chances of an armed insurrection lasting more than 30 seconds before being reduced to a series of large smoking craters is so insignificant it probably doesn’t even register.

  147. 147
    kyoseki

    This is misleading in this context; the SWAT team already had AR-15s at the time they were called in, this was not a change of issue weapons. Patrol cops in LA still do not routinely carry such weapons.

    I live in Los Angeles and I can tell you right now that most police cruisers and even a large number of police motorcycles (the BMWs, not the Harleys) have AR-15s either locked to the center console or locked to the right rear pannier of the bike.

    Patrol officers in Los Angeles are most definitely routinely equipped with AR-15s.

  148. 148
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    kyoseki
    My information appears to be out of date, then. Nevertheless, I don’t see that tha’s germane to the point about militarization of police forces generally. Also, incidentally, I hold that giving every patrol officer an assault rifle is a bad idea; there was one incident where they might have helped, vs the vastly increased chance that a cop is going to open up on some ‘suspect’ and spray .223 ammo all the hell over the place, hitting god knows who in the process. It’s bad enough with handguns (as in the recent Empire State building incident, where it turned out that all the injuries came from police guns).

  149. 149
    kyoseki

    Dalillama (<- I like this idea, I'm stealing it :))

    My information appears to be out of date, then. Nevertheless, I don’t see that tha’s germane to the point about militarization of police forces generally.

    Agreed, police forces do seem to be moving more and more towards the military side of things, something that’s regularly pointed out over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and, like you, in most cases, I doubt it’s necessary.

    Also, incidentally, I hold that giving every patrol officer an assault rifle is a bad idea; there was one incident where they might have helped, vs the vastly increased chance that a cop is going to open up on some ‘suspect’ and spray .223 ammo all the hell over the place, hitting god knows who in the process. It’s bad enough with handguns (as in the recent Empire State building incident, where it turned out that all the injuries came from police guns).

    Well, remember that the principal benefit of an AR over a semi auto handgun is that it’s more accurate at long ranges, which isn’t a bad thing. However I don’t know whether the “Urban Police Rifles” are capable of burst fire, which I agree, is probably unnecessary for police forces (though I say that as a Brit, and seeing officers armed with MP5 submachine guns in sensitive places like embassies and airports is pretty common).

  150. 150
    kyoseki

    Gwynydd

    And why is what is on the table now seen as the be all and end all of proposals and regulation, now and forever, amen? I believe that these are a *first step* not “if we do this everything to do with guns will be all fixed forever.”

    If it was a good first step, then it would have worked when it was tried in 94, we’re doing the same thing that’s already been shown to be completely ineffective both here and abroad, so why waste the political and popular momentum repeating the mistakes of the past?

    You’d rather have a regulation that mandates a lot of training before anyone can purchase a gun? So do I. You think that would be *easier* to pass through Congress than banning a style of weapon or the amount of bullets in a magazine?

    In this congress? Yes.

    A new AWB isn’t going to happen, not with a Republican majority in the house (and no small number of Democrat lawmakers who disagree with it). A high capacity magazine ban might go through, but as I say, I’m doubting it’ll have a significant effect – and where the hell did NY get the 7 round figure from? Has there been any study to suggest that a 7 round limit is going to have a positive effect?

    As I say, I would love to see the NRA try to weasel out of the idea of mandatory training, that was, after all, their original mandate. The NRA themselves could even set the standards and ensure that the course is freely available at any properly equipped gun range.

    Certain states already mandate safety training for handguns, this is simply an extension of that.

    As for why an “assault weapons” ban when other weapons are just as dangerous? Dudes! Seriously? Advertisers have spent a shit-load of money convincing people that military-style guns are the kewl weapons; the ones that will give you back your “man card,” the ones you NEED.

    The only advertising I can really think of is seeing the same guns in video games and movies, I’m not sure that counts.

    I’ve definitely never seen a tv commercial for guns, any kind of guns in fact. What advertising are you referring to?

    There are people who believe that shit and want a gun to *look* bad-assed and be able to “protect themselves” without having to actually put in time to learn how to aim. They want the psuedo-military look and the ability to fire a LOT of bullets without all that stupid and boring practicing of how to change magazines.

    As I say, mandatory training – there’s no real defensible argument in favor of this kind of ignorance.

    The ONLY argument that may carry legal weight is “owning a gun is a right, not a privilege” but we’ve already seen that there are limits to those rights.

    Why do people who are so anti gun control assume that *everyone* who buys a gun is a totally clued-in person?

    Too much NRA disinformation is my guess. I’ve seen unbelievably stupid things at gun ranges, one idiot at an indoor range I was at managed to shoot the fluorescent light fixture directly ABOVE the firing station, that takes a pretty spectacular degree of ineptitude.

    If it is made clear that what or how they want to buy is NOT law-abiding or responsible, won’t that make a difference to some people? That’s ‘something’, too, right? I’d be willing to give a try for a few years so the data on that strategy can be collected before I dismissed it with a, “That’ll never work”.

    As I say, it’s already been tried, it was in effect for 10 years and any impact was minimal at best, a lot of these laws have been in effect in California for 2 decades and again the gun crime rate here isn’t significantly lower than anywhere else.

    We banned cigarette advertising. Let’s ban ALL gun advertising the same way. How about that for a second step?

    I don’t have a problem with this, but I’m still curious as to what advertising you’re referring to.

  151. 151
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    People, if the European Jews of the 1930-40′s had the right to bear arms, there would have been no Holocaust.

  152. 152
    kyoseki

    People, if the European Jews of the 1930-40′s had the right to bear arms, there would have been no Holocaust.

    If only Poland & France had thought to arm themselves.

    I still want to know what goddamned mailing list or forum I signed up for that has “[email protected]” mailing me “proof” that the Sandy Hook shooting didn’t happen.

  153. 153
    tomh

    indicus:
    Because the High Court approves something does not mean it is right or moral or even constitutional.

    Wrong on all counts. Being “right or moral,” (as if there is some universal definition of such things), has nothing to do with the law. And if the Supreme Court upholds a law it means that it is Constitutional at that point in time.

    the numbers of non-sporting weapons sold privately at such shows isn’t nearly high enough to justify eliminating them as a selling market

    Who said anything about eliminating gun shows? Background checks didn’t eliminate gun shops, there are over 51,000 retail gun stores in the US, why would background checks eliminate gun shows?

  154. 154
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    kyoseki

    Well, remember that the principal benefit of an AR over a semi auto handgun is that it’s more accurate at long ranges, which isn’t a bad thing.

    I’ve highlighted the problematic bit. See, they’re also dangerous at longer ranges than pistols, and any given firefight produces a lot more misses than hits, regardless of the accuracy of the weapons involved. The problem that I have is where all of those misses are going, and who they might hit. That’s besides the temptation to open fire in cases where it’s not needed, so you can use your cool toy and show off what a big badass cop you are.

  155. 155
    indicus

    “What has anyone here said that indicates that they are in favor of police departments having those weapons?”

    Well who gives a rat’s ass whether or not they are in favor of it? The reason they have such weapons is because there is a REASON for having such weapons, i.e. the body-armor clad lunatics who every now and then decide to rob a bank or shoot up a mall. By no means a common occurrence, but one that no police department (or for that matter, home owner) should be forced to be unprepared for. As for those who don’t think a civilian could ever find a need for such a weapon (never mind that it is a right and ‘need’ is besides the point), three words: Rodney King riots.

    “I think you’ll find the same people that think they’ll fend off and overthrow a tyrannical US government with their semi-automatic weapons sure do.”

    Perhaps you should trying going a gun range sometime rather than just bitching about gun owners. I guarantee that if you were to hit the range and start talking about how Obama wants to take your guns and how you are practicing ‘just in case’, they would blacklist you from there faster than you could say ‘Lee Harvey Oswald’ and would follow that up with a call to the local LEOs.

    “I don’t have a problem with this, but I’m still curious as to what advertising you’re referring to.”

    Firearm companies regularly advertise during TV outdoor shows, not to mention in print, the internet, sporting events, etc. As for why we don’t ban such advertising, read the amendment that comes right before the Second.

    “And if the Supreme Court upholds a law it means that it is Constitutional at that point in time.”

    Nevermind the fact that the ability to nullify all acts of Congress was a power the Court gave to themselves… my argument was that instilling such an absolute power in a single body can be dangerous beyond words.

    “Who said anything about eliminating gun shows? Background checks didn’t eliminate gun shops”

    Because if you are a private citizen who wants to get rid of a deer rifle you’ve gotten bored of you would no longer have that ability. No, it would not eliminate the shows themselves. It would eliminate millions of private individuals from selling sporting arms and antiques that never wind up being used in crimes any way.

    “That’s besides the temptation to open fire in cases where it’s not needed, so you can use your cool toy and show off what a big badass cop you are”

    Which is why almost all cases of LEOs ‘over-reacting’ ala NYPD-style involve pistols? The very nature of a rifle… how it handles, its ballistics, why it specifically is used, etc… make it less likely to be abused by some joker who wants to play Rambo. Rather than worry about which gun they are using to shoot themselves in the foot, why not worry about training them properly in the first place?

  156. 156
    kyoseki

    Dalillama

    I’ve highlighted the problematic bit. See, they’re also dangerous at longer ranges than pistols, and any given firefight produces a lot more misses than hits, regardless of the accuracy of the weapons involved. The problem that I have is where all of those misses are going, and who they might hit.

    Well, note that I said “accurate” at long range, not “deadly” at long range.

    The accurate range of a handgun is far below it’s deadly range, you just don’t know where the rounds are going – this matters if you’re a police officer trying to avoid collateral damage, but is less of a concern if you’re a criminal or crazed gunman.

    Handgun rounds are slower but a lot heavier than the intermediate rifle rounds of an AR pattern rifle, from what I’ve heard, they survive ricochets far better than the smaller AR round and so they’re still extremely dangerous to bystanders.

    Now *if* you have a shooter who knows what he’s doing and he’s engaged at armored targets at medium to long range, then yes, an AR will be far more dangerous to those targets than a handgun, but a smaller caliber handgun is just as dangerous in close quarters situations against unarmored targets such as in the case of a mass shooting (of course, it’s also worth noting in this situation that there are legal handguns out there that fire intermediate cartridges such as the FN Five-SeveN which fires the same 5.7mm cartridge as the P90 PDW).

    Ultimately, we’re really only arguing degrees, depending on the situation, a semi automatic rifle can actually be less effective than a semi automatic handgun and in the bulk of mass shootings that we’ve seen, I would say it’s a wash.

    I really think there’s a chance to pass some meaningful legislation here, the kind of thing that can change attitudes, but instead, we’re just seizing on it to try to reinstate the same legislation we passed 20 years ago.

  157. 157
    tomh

    indicus:

    my argument was that instilling such an absolute power in a single body can be dangerous beyond words.

    So now you’ve moved from arguments about gun control to dumb arguments about two hundred years of jurisprudence. You really should quit blathering about subjects you know nothing about.

    Because if you are a private citizen who wants to get rid of a deer rifle you’ve gotten bored of you would no longer have that ability… It would eliminate millions of private individuals from selling sporting arms and antiques

    Wrong again. You would be required to make a background check, which means making one phone call. Just like a gun dealer must.

  158. 158
    indicus

    “So now you’ve moved from arguments about gun control to dumb arguments about two hundred years of jurisprudence”

    Let me step back for a second and reiterate the reason I’m talking about judicial anything… a comment was made that essentially said if the Supreme Court says so then that is that. At least until they change their mind again. My point is that this is a frightening argument because it essentially justifies ANYTHING a simple 5-4 majority might choose to do.

    “You would be required to make a background check, which means making one phone call”

    They are going to allow a private citizen access to State Police databases? I somewhat doubt that.

  159. 159
    tomh

    indicus:

    a comment was made that essentially said if the Supreme Court says so then that is that. At least until they change their mind again. My point is that this is a frightening argument because it essentially justifies ANYTHING a simple 5-4 majority might choose to do.

    It does nothing of the sort. The Court does not make laws. I tried to explain this to you before. First, Congress must pass a law. Then the President must sign it. Then, if it is challenged, eventually the Supreme Court decides if the duly passed law is Constitutional. Nothing could be further from reality than, “it essentially justifies ANYTHING a simple 5-4 majority might choose to do.”

    They are going to allow a private citizen access to State Police databases? I somewhat doubt that.

    Then you should read the proposals for legislation that Obama made. If Congress passed a law requiring it, as Obama suggests, gun sales at gun shows and between private individuals, including over the Internet, (which together account for 40% of gun sales), would require background checks. One phone call. Hysterical statements like, “It would eliminate millions of private individuals from selling sporting arms and antiques,” are typical NRA-type fabrications.

  160. 160
    kayden

    Indicus:
    “No, that IS my point. Because the High Court approves something does not mean it is right or moral or even constitutional.”

    So, couldn’t those of us who support President Obama’s proposals and want even more gun control legislation argue that just because the current Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd Amendment in a way that you like does not mean that that interpretation is right or moral or even constitutional?

    If another Supreme Court in the future rules that the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted in such a manner that private citizens cannot own guns at all, what would make that wrong, immoral or unconstitutional?

    Seems like you want no gun control legislation to be passed. Hopefully, you don’t get what you want in this case. The 2nd Amendment refers to a well regulated militia. What does the term “well regulated” mean? It means that Americans don’t have an unfettered right to every type of gun/ammunition imaginable. President Obama is taking a step forward, which I hope other presidents will follow up on in the future.

  161. 161
    keresthanatos...I am my Evil Twin

    The reserve militia

    All able bodied men, 17 to 45 of age, are ultimately eligible to be called up into military service and belong to the class known as the reserve militia, also known as the unorganized militia (10 USC). Able bodied men who are not eligible for inclusion in the reserve militia pool are those aliens not having declared their intent to become citizens of the United States (10 USC 311) and former regular component veterans of the armed forces who have reached the age of 64 (32 USC 313). All female citizens who are members of National Guard units are also included in the reserve militia pool (10 USC 311).

  162. 162
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    kyoseki
    The comment about range was specifically in reference to police carrying assalut rifles. The point I was getting at is that a 9mm bullet will travel about 60% as far as a .223 Remington bullet before hitting the ground after being fired. Thus, a cop blasting away at a suspect with an AR-15 and missing is dangerous to a significantly larger number of potential bystanders than the same cop with a 9mm.

  163. 163
    kyoseki

    Dalillama

    Thus, a cop blasting away at a suspect with an AR-15 and missing is dangerous to a significantly larger number of potential bystanders than the same cop with a 9mm.

    Ok sure, yes, but the chances of missing should be considerably lower with the rifle, because it’s a more accurate weapon.

    So it’s a toss up; The AR is more dangerous but less chance of a wild shot, compared to the 9mm which is less dangerous with a higher chance of a wild shot

    Also bear in mind that most police departments seem to be switching to 40 S&W over 9mm, which is a higher energy round (roughly 25-30% higher energy than the 9mm by the looks of things) so it’s going to be lethal out to a greater distance.

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