Gun culture in America


Write one post about gun control, and guess what happens? Your inbox fills up with crap from people who love their guns. Just love ‘em. It’s everything from calm descriptions of existing gun laws, and aren’t they onerous enough already (no, obviously, they aren’t) to veiled threats to show me how useful concealed handguns are in putting down enemies of Liberty. After reading enough of them, I’ve decided that it is inappropriate and inaccurate for me to always be mentally referring to these people as gun nuts. Sorry, you’re not gun nuts at all, which is unfair to people who are mentally ill; you’re gun assholes, instead.

For example, on Twitter I’ve got this person who is quite insistent about ‘refuting’ me, giving me these lovely anecdotes taken from gun asshole sites to prove how wonderful guns are at helping people.

Tweet Child O’ Mine @EwwMoist
.@pzmyers – Concealed carry permit holder stops mass shooter. bearingarms.com/concealed-carr…

Really? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if now and then in the flurry of flying bullets, someone managed to shoot a bad guy — although I do kind of object to the idea of living in an atmosphere of hurtling chunks of lead — but then I read the story, and it isn’t even an accurate summary.

Police on Sunday afternoon said they believe the gunman went in and started shooting, hitting the three victims. As he was on his way out, somebody at the bar shot him.

The actual story is that a gun asshole, angry at being denied entrance to a “Gentleman’s Club”, shot three innocent people, and then as he was leaving, another gun asshole shot the first gun asshole.

I count that as 4 people getting shot by two gun assholes. No one won. And this is an argument against gun control…how?

The other argument this @Ewwmoist person keeps flinging at me is that there are 300 million guns floating about in this country, the toothpaste is out of the tube, and therefore there’s nothing that can be done. That’s about the dumbest argument for maintaining a state of destructive lawlessness I’ve ever heard.

Hey, the US consumes 300 metric tons of cocaine every year. I guess we should just give up and install vending machines in the public schools. Hey, 7500 gallons of an industrial chemical just tainted the drinking water in West Virginia. Looks like a great argument for less regulation of chemical storage! Hey, we’re pumping almost 10 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year. Time to give up! (That last one is actually a serious argument used by many Republicans.)

I don’t know about you, but when I spill toothpaste on my countertop, I don’t enshrine it as a new fixture of my bathroom decor, and I don’t decide to squirt even more on top of the blob. I clean it up. And it looks like we’ve got a very big cleanup job in the US. Thanks, gun assholes!

Meanwhile, what are we liberals doing? We’re basically performing surreal Portlandia skits. That link is to a story about a couple going out to dinner and seeing that someone in a neighboring table has a handgun stuffed into the waistband of his pants. What to do, what to do? They eventually tell their concerns to their server as they’re leaving (who dithers about not knowing what to do either), and then they write a blog post asking whether their reaction was appropriate.

What the fuck? The restaurant has a sign prohibiting firearms inside. There is no argument, no second guessing, no hesitation. The instant you see a gun asshole carrying in such a place, you go up to the manager, and you say, “I suspect there’s a gun asshole over there with a deadly weapon; I don’t feel safe here, and I expect you to do something about it or I’m leaving.” That’s it. And you don’t freakin’ feel guilty about having a reasonable expectation of safety in a public place.

And that’s gun control in America. The gun assholes orgasm over shootouts in strip clubs, while the liberals tiptoe about, afraid to ask if we can get a little relief from the gun culture at a restaurant.

Comments

  1. Rey Fox says

    Hey, 7500 gallons of an industrial chemical just tainted the drinking water in West Virginia. Looks like a great argument for less regulation of chemical storage!

    *soto voce* Shuuuut uuuuup.

  2. drivenb4u says

    Yeah, that about sums it up here. It’s sad that the opposition to gun culture is so ineffectual. I have had bitter arguments with family members about it. Last year when this topic blew up (after Bob Costas’ remarks, let alone Newtown) I had it out with a cousin on facebook who was basically just spamming my wall with pro-gun statistics, fervently defending gun nuttery with regurgitated arguments. This while her brother awaited trial for shooting someone in an argument. Personally I don’t even use the word gun, I simply refer to them as killing devices.

  3. says

    Can I reiterate my point from the other thread?
    You gun fondlers?
    Cowards.

    I’m a young woman living in an extremely crime-ridden area and I don’t live my life in such fear that I spend every waking moment assuming that I’ll have to whip out a gun to “protect myself”.

  4. doublereed says

    And that’s gun control in America. The gun assholes orgasm over shootouts in strip clubs, while the liberals tiptoe about, afraid to ask if we can get a little relief from the gun culture at a restaurant.

    Oh my god, yes. This is such an accurate description of the problem. Well said.

  5. Pteryxx says

    And that’s gun control in America. The gun assholes orgasm over shootouts in strip clubs, while the liberals tiptoe about, afraid to ask if we can get a little relief from the gun culture at a restaurant.

    It’s not like they whipped out a cigarette or something.

  6. David Marjanović says

    I count that as 4 people getting shot by two gun assholes. No one won. And this is an argument against gun control…how?

    There are people out there who simply cannot imagine a conflict of evil vs. evil. Whenever two people or groups fight, one of them simply must be the good one. The idea of a conflict with more than two sides, like the wars in Iraq or Syria, is likewise beyond them.

    Ah, the smell of stupid oxide in the morning.

  7. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    These gun lovers, though, have been spoon fed such amazing amounts of propaganda from the ones who manufacture guns and ammunition and they fucking believe it! Just like smokers believed that the studies paid for by the tobacco industry were unbiased. Or those who think the Tea Party is really a grass roots organization rather than shills for the Koch brothers. And will any of them admit they have been duped? Of course not. Admitting you are wrong when faced with facts is un-American, unmanly and unGodly. And the press has bought into it, too. Not that the press is anything like it used to be, but, damn!

  8. says

    ” you’re gun assholes, instead”
    Isn’t that unfair to assholes (arseholed, as I would say)?
    Assholes are very useful things, without them there would be a lot of very messy explosions!

  9. says

    “What to do, what to do? They eventually tell their concerns to their server as they’re leaving (who dithers about not knowing what to do either), and then they write a blog post asking whether their reaction was appropriate.”

    You’re right! This is clearly a situation that demands a strongly worded blog post! That will teach them.

  10. says

    @ PZ

    After reading enough of them, I’ve decided that it is inappropriate and inaccurate for me to always be mentally referring to these people as gun nuts. Sorry, you’re not gun nuts at all, which is unfair to people who are mentally ill; you’re gun assholes, instead.

    This is a good thing. Very good.

  11. erichoug says

    What’s really interesting is that you have no idea how bafflingly crazy some gun owners are until you are actually one yourself. I suppose you could just go hang out in a gun store but you don’t get a true wiff of the crazy until you are a little further in.

    We went to one store a few weeks ago where and older customer kept aiming his(loaded) gun at my sister in law and her friend right until the manager asked him to leave.

    I met one guy who told me he trained with his firearms every weekend in an effort to be prepared for the upcoming race war. I also know several people who have thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition squirreled away in anticipation of some up-coming apocalypse. One of them has 10,000 rounds buried on his 3.5 acres.

    A guy at one gun store, when I told him that I thought the AR that he was buying was a cool gun, immediately began acting like he had caught me trying to steal his wallet, never said a word to me actually asked one of the employees if I was government agent.

    Yup, I know a lot of gun nuts and a few gun assholes.

  12. says

    I was recently out to dinner with a group of women who like to play with guns; and at least one of the women had a holstered gun. None of them said or did anything stupid or dangerous, they were all nice grownup people really, none of the guns I saw left their holsters, and I didn’t feel at all unsafe — but it was still a totally batshit stupid thing to do, and there was absolutely no good reason for any of them to bring their guns to a restaurant: it wasn’t in a “bad” neighborhood, there were plenty of other people around, there was no imminent or implied threat, and no reasonable expectation of one. I have no problem with any of those people owning guns or practicing with them, but wearing them to dinner was plain stupid bullshit — if you think you’ll need one in a particular restaurant, then you should find another place to eat.

  13. erichoug says

    there was absolutely no good reason for any of them to bring their guns to a restaurant

    I have to agree. I am not a huge fan of CC and I think open carry proponents are just idiots. I’ve even heard one or two rumors of open carry advocates being robbed of their high end firearms at gunpoint by criminals who simply wait for an opportune moment.

  14. says

    I’ve even heard one or two rumors of open carry advocates being robbed of their high end firearms at gunpoint by criminals who simply wait for an opportune moment.

    Yeah, that’s a dirty little open secret: your gun is nothing but dead weight (at best) if the criminal draws his gun first. And criminals, being criminals and all, will almost always get the drop on law-abiding citizens who are only thinking to get home from work.

  15. kevinalexander says

    David@7

    Ah, the smell of stupid oxide in the morning.

    I’m not a chemist but I always thought it was stupid dioxide which, dissolved in water makes moronic acid which, tests have shown, is the most potent solvent of brain tissue.

  16. indicus says

    Gun owners were mean to your inbox, huh? Considering that your original idea of a “discussion” was to begin by insulting us, demanding that our entire right be eliminated, and finishing by insulting us, what in the world did you expect?

  17. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    A few summers ago, a local open carry rights group asked my park if they could hold an open-carry picnic at the historic site. Since Bush made it legal to carry loaded weapons in National Parks, and since PA allows open-carry, we said yes, here is the form you have to fill out and there is a fee of $50.00 (which is standard whether you want to put an advert on the bridge we own, use our locomotives as a backdrop for a commercial photo shoot, whatever). The phone call ended with the gunasshole saying, “Oh. We can do it, no problems? Nevermind.”

  18. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gun owners were mean to your inbox, huh? Considering that your original idea of a “discussion” was to begin by insulting us, demanding that our entire right be eliminated, and finishing by insulting us, what in the world did you expect?

    For you to behave rationally, and actually discuss the issue with the idea that your access to guns may be controlled for the safety of society. DUH.

    You exemplify why there is no need to listen to you. You aren’t listening, you are preaching, so we can dismiss your idiotology, which is using the golden rule back against you. You don’t like, you don’t do it.

  19. zenlike says

    Shorter Indicus: “It’s your own fault you got veiled (dead) threats.”

    Indicus, proving the point of the OP as always.

  20. dianne says

    They eventually tell their concerns to their server as they’re leaving (who dithers about not knowing what to do either), and then they write a blog post asking whether their reaction was appropriate.

    I feel some sympathy for the couple and the server in this situation. A person brings a deadly weapon into your establishment. A weapon which literally has no purpose but killing people. How can this possibly be interpreted except as an implicit threat? I’d be worried about calling the police on them and I’d certainly be scared to confront them about it and ask them to leave. They’ve already demonstrated that they don’t think that the “no guns” policy applies to them and are likely to draw their gun and start shooting if confronted. It’s time to call people who carry guns what they are: terrorists. There is simply no other reason to carry a gun in a city or suburban area except to threaten your fellow citizens. I propose that guns be outlawed immediately and anyone who does not destroy or turn theirs in by a given date be arrested for terrorism and face appropriate penalties.

  21. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Really, Indicus? Please quote, in context, from this thread, or the OP, where someone wrote that all guns are to be taken away, your right to own a gun, with legal restrictions is to be eliminated. You, obviously, have bought, hook, line and sinker, the propaganda promulgated by the fire arms manufacturers and their puppets — NRA, GOA, etc. Funny thing, though. The more the gun strokers (I like that, Rey Fox) and the astroturf groups to which the belong scream about unlimited rights to any gun anytime anywhere, you make it more likely that, in the near future, there will be far stricter gun control laws than existed back in the 1970s before the NRA went right-wing asshole.

  22. says

    Considering that your original idea of a “discussion” was to begin by insulting us…

    Fuck off, asshole, you gun nuts have been insulting the rest of us at least since the 1970s. Are you even mature enough to understand how hypocritical you are?

  23. gussnarp says

    The instant you see a gun asshole carrying in such a place, you go up to the manager, and you say, “I suspect there’s a gun asshole over there with a deadly weapon; I don’t feel safe here, and I expect you to do something about it or I’m leaving.”

    And the manager calls the police to handle it, because you don’t approach a gun asshole.

  24. erichoug says

    Indicus @#18

    Silly silly Indicus, Reasonable discussion and compromise is a complete waste of time when it comes to the whole gun debate. The best way to change peoples minds and reach a good outcome is by insulting and belittling, treating them like they aren’t actually full voting citizens and dismissing them and all of their arguments and taking the most extreme position possible.

    The anti- gun lobby has used this tactic to successfully pass all the gun restrictions that have come out in the last 10-15 years.

  25. Terska says

    I feel bad for the manager having to confront someone that could be a lunatic with a gun. Certainly the guy with the gun knows guns aren’t permitted in places with no gun signs.

    The cops should have been called.

  26. kevinalexander says

    I just got a great idea for someone who knows how to work Kickstarter.
    It’s a project for robotics students. A gun detector in the doorway of an establishment would trigger a robot that would follow an armed person around the store all the while shining a bright spotlight on him and announcing over the PA:
    “Attention shoppers. An armed asshole is in aisle three, heading for aisle four. Please standby for updates and try not to make eye contact.”
    Then make the updates every twenty seconds or so until said enhanced anus leaves the store.

  27. indicus says

    @ Ogvorbis… From the original topic: “Repeal the second amendment”… considering that said amendment represents our legal right to own a firearm, that seems pretty straightforward to me.

    @ Bee… the difference is that I have no interest in holding a discussion with you. My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate and I really don’t give a shit whether that upsets you or not. Piss off.

  28. badearl says

    Ogborvis, I think it was Obama who signed the law allowing guns in National Parks. It’s ironic that the only law signed by President Obama further relaxed gun laws instead of restricting them. When I was in a gun shop recently the walls were plastered with posters of Obama, some with bullseyes on them. There is a significant portion of our population which believes that the government is plotting to buy up all the ammunition (DHS) and raise a secret black army to confiscate everyone’s guns.

  29. says

    @29, Terska:

    I feel bad for the manager having to confront someone that could be a lunatic with a gun

    Why? The gun assholes will assure you that they’re all polite and law abiding, so a manager asking “Sir? Could we please check your gun? We have a policy prohibiting firearms in the restaurant” would be met with “Certainly, my good man! Here, allow me to unload it first, so that you won’t have to worry about an accidental discharge.”

    It’s not as if a person who likes to carry around heavy tools that can turn a person’s heart into a shattered bit of spurting meat, or can splatter brains all over the wall, would be anything other than civil and deferential.

  30. Rey Fox says

    The anti- gun lobby has used this tactic to successfully pass all the gun restrictions that have come out in the last 10-15 years.

    So it’s working then? Good, let’s keep it up.

  31. dianne says

    I notice that in the original story that was presented as the justification for concealed carry, the second shooter only shot the original shooter as he was leaving. He didn’t stop the person from shooting anyone else: the shooter had already finished shooting and was leaving. Also, the second shooter was a vet, not a random person who just happened to be carrying a firearm. As far as I know, there has never been an instance of a random person who was not an off duty police officer, veteran, or active military personnel shooting a shooter and stopping a massacre. This isn’t an example on both counts: the second shooter did not stop any shooting (the first had finished) and he had military training. Sorry, try again.

  32. anuran says

    No, PZ, one of a series of posts – you’re telling a falsehood when you said ‘just one’ – about guns where you validate their worst fears and prejudices and your inbox fills up. Like I said before, your attitude is exactly like that of a Right Wing Republican on women’s rights. “I’m not one of you. I don’t give a damn about you. I don’t know anything about you or what matters to you, and I couldn’t give a fuck about it. But I will take it all away from you. Once I’ve done that we can talk which means I’ll talk. You’ll shut up. And I’ll take more. Rights? I’m gonna take ‘em away even if I have to amend the Constitution to do it.”

    The only difference between you and a Teapublican Senator is fifty points in IQ (in your favor, I must add), a couple million dollars and some power (his in both cases).

    I don’t happen to like most gun people, but I do consider them people which and sane, decent people for the most part. To you, they aren’t. You’ve completely Othered them. They’re all deluded, insane, violent subhuman ciphers as far as you’re concerned. Not one word you’ve written contradicts that.

  33. dianne says

    When I was in a gun shop recently the walls were plastered with posters of Obama, some with bullseyes on them.

    How does this not rate them a visit by the secret service?

  34. says

    #33, Indicus:

    Your right to carry lethal weapons around is precisely what should be debated. I don’t think you should. I think you’re a menace and an asshole, and I want to see far fewer guns around, because that would make me and everyone I know safer.

    Also, you don’t get to tell other commenters to piss off. Only I get to do that. And I’m telling you right now, piss off, you arrogant gun-waving fucking dangerous asshole.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    … From the original topic: “Repeal the second amendment”… considering that said amendment represents our legal right to own a firearm, that seems pretty straightforward to me.

    So says a paranoid gun nut without any cogency or decency. Why shouldn’t the concept of repealing an amendment that is clearly dated (when was the last time you went to a meeting of the “well-regulated militia”?) be discussed rationally? All I hear from you is paranoia.

  36. erichoug says

    Rey Fox @# 36

    So it’s working then? Good, let’s keep it up.

    Absolutely, please keep it up. The accomplishments of the last decade to restrict and regulate gun ownership prove exactly how effective the tactic has been. Keep up the good work.

  37. Snoof says

    My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate

    But my right not to get shot is up for debate?

  38. says

    My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate…

    Yes, it is, just like all other laws and public policies. If you don’t want to participate in the debate, you don’t have to. But you’re not going to stop us from having it — all you can do is reinforce our notion that gun-enthusiasts are nothing but childish wannabee bullies who can’t be trusted with a gun.

  39. says

    As I’ve said before, we don’t need to repeal the Second Amendment — we just need to shut the gun-assholes down when they try to lie about it.

  40. doublereed says

    My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate and I really don’t give a shit whether that upsets you or not. Piss off.

    Uhm. What do you mean it’s not up for debate? Why not?

  41. says

    My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate

    Actually, it is. Because the Second Amendment could be repealed, which makes it a political issue. Your right to keep an bear arms is government bestowed via a government document, namely the U.S. Constitution. It could be limited, modified, or revoked by that government as well.

    Even if the Second Amendment is not repealed, there are plenty of perfectly legal regulations that could be put in place and not run afoul of the provision. Pretending that the rights granted by the Second Amendment are unlimited and sacrosanct is a position that only a petulant child would take.

  42. Anthony K says

    They’re all deluded, insane, violent subhuman ciphers as far as you’re concerned.

    You’re not ciphers at all. You’re exactly as simple as indicus states: “My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate and I really don’t give a shit whether that upsets you or not. Piss off.” Gun owners show up in droves every time a kid gets shot to talk about how it’s all about them and their fetish. What’s the big fucking mystery?

  43. says

    Like I said before, your attitude is exactly like that of a Right Wing Republican on women’s rights. “I’m not one of you. I don’t give a damn about you. I don’t know anything about you or what matters to you, and I couldn’t give a fuck about it. But I will take it all away from you. Once I’ve done that we can talk which means I’ll talk. You’ll shut up. And I’ll take more. Rights? I’m gonna take ‘em away even if I have to amend the Constitution to do it.”

    That’s not even close to what PZ has said. He knows a good deal about the gun-assholes’ values and opinions, and so do we — we’ve been hearing their shit since the 1970s, so how can we not know anything about them?

  44. Snoof says

    doublereed @ 47

    Uhm. What do you mean it’s not up for debate? Why not?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest, “Because God carved the Constitution onto stone tablets to give Moses on Mount Sinai, and thus it can’t ever be changed”.

    (Reflection on the meaning of “amendment” is discouraged.)

  45. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The only difference between you and a Teapublican Senator is fifty points in IQ (in your favor, I must add), a couple million dollars and some power (his in both cases).

    And the fact that the things they’re arguing in favor of are radically different, you dishonest little shit. You can string sentences together, you can’t possibly be stupid enough not to recognize the difference between “the right to control one’s own body” and “the ‘right’ to be ready to destroy someone else’s body any time you feel like it.”

    I’m sick to fucking death of this pseudo-profound “but if we accept argument X which has true premises, how can we then reject structurally-similar-argument-with-false-premises Y?” bullshit from fence-fuckers.

  46. katiemarshall says

    I was raised around guns–I fired my first handgun at the age of 10. And even now, I enjoy heading down to the range every so often for some target practice.

    But you know what? First, I’m Canadian. I live in a country with restrictions on firearms that are substantially more sane so that makes me feel a bit better about it. Second, firing guns is fun. It’s a hobby. But if my society someday decided that keeping people safe meant that I couldn’t own a handgun, I really can’t weigh my fun very heavily against the safety of the people around me. My ability to have fun does not in any way trump the right of people to be safe from being shot.

  47. =8)-DX says

    #11 @Nicholas

    You’re right! This is clearly a situation that demands a strongly worded blog post! That will teach them.

    Well, after all: the blogpost pen is mightier than the sword gun!

  48. says

    #45, Chris Waller:

    The bouncer, who is under investigation because he didn’t have the permits or licenses to carry a gun on the job, shot the guy as he was walking out the door.

    Interesting. The club owner was also unaware that the bouncer was carrying a gun.

    Think about it. Would you go to a bar where the bouncer was carrying a gun? That would cause more problems than it would solve, and the bouncer’s job is to solve problems.

  49. la tricoteuse says

    katiemarshal @ #53

    But if my society someday decided that keeping people safe meant that I couldn’t own a handgun, I really can’t weigh my fun very heavily against the safety of the people around me. My ability to have fun does not in any way trump the right of people to be safe from being shot.

    DINGDINGDINGDINGDING. Could every gun wanker (that’s MY preferred terminology from now on, btw) in the world please read this? And read it again. And one more time for good measure? Maybe get it tattooed on the insides of your eyelids? …too far?

    Thank you, Katie. If more gun owners were as sensible as you, they probably wouldn’t be so fucking terrifying to the rest of us.

  50. says

    #53, katiemarshall does not sound like a gun asshole. She sounds like a responsible owner of a potentially dangerous tool. Maybe we should only allow Canadians to own guns — they seem to have a rational perspective on them.

  51. Nick Gotts says

    but I do consider them people which and sane, decent people for the most part. – anuran@38

    Funny how the ones who fit that description so seldom turn up on the relevant posts.

  52. logicpriest says

    Can we just ban handguns and open carry? That way you can do all of the gun range hobby-ing, hunting, and general gun fondling (at home) that you want with the added benefit of removing the most dangerou type of gun from the equation. And even the paranoid idiots who think a stockpile of rifles will stop tanks can be assuaged.

    Pistols/handguns are explicitly designed for close quarters murder of human beings, they have no other purpose or excuse. Rifles do very little damage, as mass shootings are rare and the longer barrel makes accidents less common or lethal. And if there is no open carry, then anyone with a rifle that isn’t packed and disassembled in public can have it confiscated for good.

  53. says

    Think about it. Would you go to a bar where the bouncer was carrying a gun? That would cause more problems than it would solve, and the bouncer’s job is to solve problems.

    Yeah, I’ve met a few bouncers, and seen them do their thing, and they all say their #1 tool is persuasion, not actual force. A bouncer pulling a gun would absolutely kill a pub’s business, even if it did succeed in getting an unruly customer to shut up and leave peacefully.

  54. logicpriest says

    To be honest, despite having grown up around guns and having used them professionally, I am really, really uncomfortable when a cop pulls me over and rests their hand on a murder weapon a foot from my face. I prefer the English model, where only special units have guns.

  55. says

    Oh, and a bouncer’s #2 tool is ganging up on people who don’t yield to their #1 tool — that’s much safer for all concerned than pulling a gun.

  56. erichoug says

    Think about it. Would you go to a bar where the bouncer was carrying a gun? That would cause more problems than it would solve, and the bouncer’s job is to solve problems.

    I may be wrong, but I think that, even in state with CHL laws, carrying a gun where alcohol is served is still illegal. And in any rate, I am sure that any insurance the bar owner may have had would have frowned on this.

    I worked as a bouncer many years ago and I agree with both PZ and Raging Bee. A gun at a bar is a bad idea, especially for one of the employees.

  57. says

    Over the last decade it has increasingly seemed as though the conservative response to a problem is limited to two options – beat it into submission or give up.

    They do the latter more often.

    Crumbling infrastructure? We can’t afford it, and trying to find the money would be too hard, so give up. Let it crumble.

    Income inequality? It’s just how it is. Don’t try to change it.

    Chemical spills? It’s nobody’s fault, and nothing can be done to change it.

    Guns? They already exist. Nothing to be done.

    Rape? “Boys will be boys” – just accept it.

    The party that described itself as being all gritty and realistic and practical and down-to-earth has become one of the most pathetic, reality-denying, fingers-in-ears, fatalistic collections of cravens I’ve ever encountered.

    There are real problems in the world, and the way you deal with them is analyze the problem, figure out what it will take to fix it, and then figure out how to make that happen.

    Don’t fucking START with “oh, it can never get done”.

    It’s like these people have decided to abdicate any actual effort at greatness with a lot of shouting about how great we are as a nation.

    It’s pathetic.

  58. says

    The restaurant has a sign prohibiting firearms inside. There is no argument, no second guessing, no hesitation.

    If you didn’t see or forgot the item, gun nuts went ballistic (not a pun, and deliberately chosen) about Toby Keith’s restaurant and its no guns policy.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/toby-keith-restaurants-guns-policy-fire-fans/story?id=21368582

    Many twits have blathered about “personal freedom”, completely ignoring the restaurant owner’s personal freedom NOT to have guns on the premises, on private property.

  59. says

    anuran:

    Like I said before, your attitude is exactly like that of a Right Wing Republican on women’s rights. “I’m not one of you. I don’t give a damn about you. I don’t know anything about you or what matters to you, and I couldn’t give a fuck about it. But I will take it all away from you. Once I’ve done that we can talk which means I’ll talk. You’ll shut up. And I’ll take more. Rights? I’m gonna take ‘em away even if I have to amend the Constitution to do it.”

    Jesus. You’re not very bright, are you?

    If I choose to have an abortion, it harms no one. If I take a birth control pill, it harms no one. In fact, by granting me these freedoms, many people benefit– not just me, but my family, and the economy on the whole.

    On the other hand, guns are designed to easily kill a target. That is their only function. There is no benefit to your family or your community when you allow barely trained yahoos to carry a dangerous weapon around like it was some sort of fucking fashion accessory.

    I’ll ask again: Why is my right to live less important than the right to bear arms?

  60. nrdo says

    Just as this thread is playing out, the tickers on Google News is reporting another incident where a 4-year-old accidentally shot and killed their 4-year-old cousin. This has been a particularly bad week for gun violence

  61. ChasCPeterson says

    dianne @#23:

    I’d be worried about calling the police on them and I’d certainly be scared to confront them about it and ask them to leave. They’ve already demonstrated that they don’t think that the “no guns” policy applies to them and are likely to draw their gun and start shooting if confronted. It’s time to call people who carry guns what they are: terrorists. There is simply no other reason to carry a gun in a city or suburban area except to threaten your fellow citizens.

    wow. I guess that’s the maximally paranoid point of view. I think you’d find, were you to, like, ask them, that people who carry guns actually do so out of a perceived need for self-defense, not terrorism. And it would take a really unhinged nut to start shooting because he was asked not to carry in a restaurant.
    I am 100% behind efforts to control handgun proliferation, but this kind of hyperbolic othering seems unlikely to help.

  62. stillacrazycanuck says

    @38. I have read, I think, all of PAZ’s posts about gun rights, at least over the last several years, and don’t have the same impression as you, at all. He explicitly recognizes that there can be and are valid uses for guns….just not valid uses that entail the discharge of firearms by one civilian against another, or the making of them readily available to the mentally ill, the drunk, the high-on-drugs, or the young child.

    All rational societies impose controls or broad prohibitions on activities that cause what that society perceives as an undue risk to the overall safety of the society. Imagine removing any training or licensing requirements for the practice of surgery, or flying aircraft, or driving a car.

    Imagine removing all safety regulations from the airline industry, or vehicle inspection from the trucking industry, or food inspection from the food industry, or FDA approvals from the drug industry.

    There is compelling evidence that many humans will cut corners, for a variety of reasons, absent or even, unfortunately, despite rules and regulations designed to prevent or minimize societal harm.

    Gun ownership, outside the realm of farmers with no other effective, economical means of pest control, represents a threat to the welfare of members of society. No rational person, aware of even the most basic statistical information, could dispute that fact, anymore than a rational person could, today, argue that the cigarette industry is a net contributor to the health of those who smoke, or those exposed to smoking.

    It is not, then, a question of whether private gun ownership is worthy of debate, rather than being regarded as a sacrosanct ‘right’. It is a question of marshalling rational arguments as to whether allowing gun ownership is on balance a good thing or a bad thing, in terms of societal well-being. That may well include consideration of compromises, as to trigger locks, storage at gun clubs, registration or the like….or indeed anything from unfettered rights to complete prohibition.

    Reference to an at least arguably erroneous view of what a small number of 18th century politicians, set in the context of late 18th century colonial America, meant is not exactly a rational or persuasive argument, since nobody engaged in the passage of your precious 2nd amendment could possibly have envisaged the size and density of the modern American society, nor the power and ready availability of modern firearms.

    One should look at reality as it now exists in order to evaluate whether and to what degree private gun ownership is a net asset or detriment to society. That means making fact-based or evidence-based arguments, that go beyond the carefully-selected, non-representative anecdotes so beloved of the NRA and its puppets.

    Let me pose a question for you.

    Imagine you and some friends are going out for a night on the town. You may or may not be intending to drink alcohol but you anticipate that at least many of the people in the various establishments you intend to visit will be or become intoxicated or stoned.

    You can choose to go to a town where nobody carries or has access to a gun, or to a town where everyone, drunks and depressed and paranoid and criminal and law-abiding not only has but actually carries loaded guns.

    Where are you going to go?

    And why?

    Once you answer that you’d opt for the gun-free night out, you have accepted that unrestricted gun rights are a bad idea. Now, you can start to understand the point of view of the anti-gun crowd, and now maybe you can start formulating rational, as opposed to knee-jerk, arguments in favour of whatever position you advocate.

  63. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    If you follow the links and read the stories on the shooting at the club, the second shooter shot the first shooter after he had stopped shooting and was leaving. He did NOT stop a massacre in the bar.

    The justification for shooting the guy on the way out was that there were people outside and he might have shot them. The man had a beef with the people inside, came back and shot at the people he had been having trouble with, and was done and walking off—dumb, but done–incident closed. But the people inside decided to shoot him because he was carrying a gun and might shoot some random people he had no reason to shoot.

    The justification for killing the guy is exactly the same as PZ’s (and every other sane person’s) justification for controlling guns: He has a gun, he might shoot someone.

    There are other parallels, but the big difference is PZ being willing to deprive some people of their toys and hobbies, while the gun crowd is willing to deprive people of their lives.

  64. erichoug says

    @Onamision5 @#72

    I did say I might be wrong. I will add to that by saying that even as a gun owner, I think that is in extremely bad idea.

    Guns and alcohol do not mix.

  65. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    indicus @34:

    From the original topic: “Repeal the second amendment”… considering that said amendment represents our legal right to own a firearm, that seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Where? I’ve read the original post (that’s what OP means). I’ve even ctrl-f’d it. “Repeal the second ammendment” wasn’t on this page until you just wrote it.

    I asked for a quote, in context, from this page. And you lied. How is this different from every other gun stroker out there? You don’t have reality on your side so you lie.

    No wonder your ilk are so at home in the GOP.

    badearl @35:

    It was an executive order under Bush, signed just hours before the inauguration. Obama signed a law giving credit card holders rights and there was an ammendment in that law codifying Bush’s executive order. The GOP wanted to stop the credit card holder’s rights law so badly that they put the guns in parks ammendment in there to try to force a Presidential veto. Didn’t work.

    anuran @39:

    Like I said before, your attitude is exactly like that of a Right Wing Republican on women’s rights.

    Not quite. PZed is able to argue without lying. Unlike you, and your cohorts like indicus.

  66. johnwoodford says

    Your right to keep an bear arms is government bestowed via a government document, namely the U.S. Constitution.

    ObNitpick: The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are not bestowed by that document,but guaranteed by it. IIRC that was a matter of some debate when the US Constitution was being developed, and the Jeffersonian notion that rights are inherent to people and governments exist to protect those rights won out. In practice it’s not a big difference.

    There is an ideological argument to be made in favor of gun ownership, which I’ll preface with a disclaimer that clinging to ideology when reality conflicts with it is less than defensible. The argument goes like this: in the US, we hold that the nation’s citizens are trustworthy until proven otherwise. They can be trusted with dangerous ideas (viz. the First Amendment). They can even be trusted to talk about these dangerous ideas (ditto). (Yes, I know that this doesn’t work that way in practice–Alien & Sedition Acts, “advocating the overthrow of the government by force and violence,” etc. This is in principle.) By extension, since the nation’s citizens are assumed to be able to be trusted with dangerous ideas and knowledge (at least I don’t remember anyone censoring chemistry classes at university), they can likewise be trusted with dangerous items until proven otherwise.

    But let’s look at it from a public health perspective, just to start with. Just as I would allow the government to forcibly (if necessary) quarantine someone with multiple-drug-resistant TB, even though they have committed no crime, I also have no issue with the government preventing or otherwise controlling the ability of citizens to carry lethal hardware around in public. That doesn’t even get into the effect of shutting down discourse in the public square by the implicit threat of violence. Heinlein famously stated that “an armed society is a polite society;” Pratchett less famously added “until it isn’t.”

  67. stevem says

    My right to own and carry firearms is NOT up for debate” [emphasis added -stevem]
    I guess we’re missing indicus’s point; we’re discussing THE right to bear arms, as if it were ephemeral and magically applied to (or could be removed from) everyone automatically. He knows that he has that as a right, regardless of what anyone says about it. The government can only protect it or violate it; it doesn’t grant it. The right is inherent, so it is not debatable at all. And regardless of how we may want to violate it, we can’t repeal it, as it was never granted. So it is pointless to debate it. He has the right, regardless of your conclusion to that debate. Therefore it is not up for debate, the right exists regardless. It’s not debatable, so stop talking about it, la-la-la-la.

  68. Alverant says

    #29
    Don’t you mean the PRO-gun lobby? I’ve suffered a lot of insults and dismissals because I didn’t want to get shot by “responsible law-abiding” gun owners (a “No true Scotsman” fallacy if I ever heard one).

    The CDC has data proving that fewer guns means less gun violence while more guns means more gun violence. So the gun responsibility laws do work when enforced and you close the gaps like no background checks at gun shows.

  69. Anthony K says

    Just as this thread is playing out, the tickers on Google News is reporting another incident where a 4-year-old accidentally shot and killed their 4-year-old cousin.

    Well, the only thing stopping a bad four-year-old with a gun is a good four-year-old with a gun.

    For the record, I think we need to close the loophole in which four-year-olds are able to purchase guns at gun shows without background checks, but I’d hate to infringe upon their rights. It’s a real stumper.

  70. says

    Nick Gotts #60
    I suspect you will find that anuran’s values for ‘decent’ vary widely from your own, and their values for ‘sane’ likewise.

    ChasCPetersen #70
    As above, the problem is largely that their values for what constitutes ‘self-defence’ and what circumstances require it. The values that they use are extremely paranoid (see the movie theatre incident referenced a few threads ago), and heavily racially (and otherwise) biased (see Trayvon Martin, the incident in Chicago where a young black man was fatally shot because a white guy didn’t like his music, and an endless string that I could go on with if I had the energy), and thus, carrying their guns around in public constitutes an implicit threat to POCs and anyone identified as ‘liberal’, both of which groups gun assholes talk droolingly of having an opportunity to kill in ‘self-defence’.

  71. dianne says

    @Chas: I think you’d find, were you to, like, ask them, that people who carry guns actually do so out of a perceived need for self-defense, not terrorism.

    There MAY be some gun owners out there who have not heard of the massive body of peer reviewed literature that indicates that people who own guns are more likely to die by gun violence (murder, accident, suicide) than those who do not. Most, however, are perfectly aware of it. They have been told and given ample evidence that their perception is inconsistent with reality. After a certain point, it becomes no longer a justification, but rather an excuse.

    And it would take a really unhinged nut to start shooting because he was asked not to carry in a restaurant.

    Have you read the newspaper? Or even the example at the beginning of this post? People start shooting for crazily minor reasons all the time. In the very example held up by the gun fondlers, a person started shooting randomly simply because he was not allowed in a certain “Gentleman’s Club”. As far as I know, he was carrying a legally obtained weapon and, presumably, passed all the background checks required to ensure he was not an “unhinged nut”. Yet this rational gun owner started shooting in self-defense against being kept out of a strip club. I wouldn’t count on a person who knowingly violated a rule against carrying guns into a restaurant to have any more self control than the guy in the example did.

  72. says

    Ogvorbis #75

    You don’t have reality on your side so you lie.

    It’s worse than that; someone posted about the same time as you did who was an example. Not that I don’t think that poster has a valid point.

    johnwoodford #77

    ObNitpick: The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are not bestowed by that document,but guaranteed by it. IIRC that was a matter of some debate when the US Constitution was being developed, and the Jeffersonian notion that rights are inherent to people and governments exist to protect those rights won out

    Oh FFS; the entire point of that post was that the desires, meaning, and decisions of the 18th cantury are changeable. In other words, if we, the modern US, decide that rights have a different meaning than the founders did, we’re right, and they’re wrong, because they’re dead and no longer get a vote.

  73. Anthony K says

    A gun in every cradle!

    Just as long as they’re not getting any food, the lazy, mooching, Obamacare-loving layabouts.

  74. johnwoodford says

    There MAY be some gun owners out there who have not heard of the massive body of peer reviewed literature that indicates that people who own guns are more likely to die by gun violence (murder, accident, suicide) than those who do not. Most, however, are perfectly aware of it. They have been told and given ample evidence that their perception is inconsistent with reality. After a certain point, it becomes no longer a justification, but rather an excuse.

    But that’s a problem with *them*, not with *me*. It won’t happen to me, because I am different. Or so they say to themselves, I’m sure. And to be honest there’s a place for something like that mindset–look at the way Steven Jay Gould dealt with the survival statistics when he was diagnosed with cancer. But you can’t just assert that you’re different–you have to do what Gould did, look at the data, and ask how you can make yourself different. (In this case, the easiest way of making yourself different–getting rid of the guns–is apparently not an option for them.)

  75. jamessweet says

    The other argument this @Ewwmoist person keeps flinging at me is that there are 300 million guns floating about in this country, the toothpaste is out of the tube, and therefore there’s nothing that can be done. That’s about the dumbest argument for maintaining a state of destructive lawlessness I’ve ever heard.

    In fairness, this is actually a pretty good argument against attempting to ban guns entirely and immediately — which virtually nobody is suggesting, so that’s irrelevant. It’s pretty obvious to any sane person that the way forward, at least in the near term, is increased gun regulation. An outright ban would create a massive backlash and a huge black market; doing nothing perpetuates the obviously broken status quo… so, yeah, increased regulation. The only meaningful debate to be had is exactly what regulations are going to be most effective, but unfortunately the “gun assholes” are pretty much totally preventing that conversation from taking place.

  76. says

    I think you’d find, were you to, like, ask them, that people who carry guns actually do so out of a perceived need for self-defense, not terrorism.

    Given the number of armed gangsters we know about, and given the instances of people acting unstable or irresponsible with guns, that’s not a safe assumption.

    Also, carrying a gun into a restaurant is not a particularly rational thing to do, so you can’t really expect someone who does this to behave rationally when confronted. The gun-toting women I dined with were pleasant enough, but I really can’t be sure how they would have responded if the manager had told them to get their guns out of his establishment. I’m sure they wouldn’t have threatened anyone, but they might well have made a noisy scene. A bunch of men with guns would probably have been more scary to the manager — but that may just be a bit of stereotypical thinking on my part…a bit of stereotypical thinking reinforced by seeing far more men than women actually shooting people without good reason…

  77. Anthony K says

    Oh FFS; the entire point of that post was that the desires, meaning, and decisions of the 18th cantury are changeable.

    You know what I love about being Canadian (other than the healthcare, relative lack of gun violence, better economy, and foreign policy)?

    Nobody ever demands that we reaffirm our faith in a risen and living John A. McDonald and the resolutions of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences* every time a discussion of current policy comes up.

    *I had to look that shit up, since nobody really talks about the Fathers of Confederation outside poli sci departments and Grade 5 social studies classes.

  78. says

    Nobody ever demands that we reaffirm our faith in a risen and living John A. McDonald and the resolutions of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences* every time a discussion of current policy comes up.

    Of course not — that’s because America’s origins are divine, and yours aren’t. Neener.

  79. Alverant says

    erichoug, do you think the gun-fondlers want a rational dialog about our right not to get shot by them? Remember they are the side with the most lethal weapons and they are the side threatening to use them. How can you have a rational dialog when the other side says they will shoot you if you oppose them?

  80. says

    #80, Anthony K:

    Well, the only thing stopping a bad four-year-old with a gun is a good four-year-old with a gun.

    “Good? Bad? I’m the toddler with the gun.”

  81. Anthony K says

    Remember they are the side with the most lethal weapons and they are the side threatening to use them.

    Most lethal? Remember, cars can be used to kill people too, as can butter knifes, old feathers, broken 8-track cassettes, index catalogues, empty toilet paper tubes, half-remembered nursery rhymes, stale spices, label-maker machines, shoelaces missing an aiglet, headshots of Benedict Cumberbatch, and the morphological differences between two- and three-toed sloths, but nobody’s trying to make those things illegal!

    It’s your right to use these instruments of death as instruments of death, just as much as it is indicus’. Use this fact to your advantage.

  82. David Marjanović says

    I’m not a chemist but I always thought it was stupid dioxide which, dissolved in water[,] makes moronic acid which, tests have shown, is the most potent solvent of brain tissue.

    Moronic acid FTW.

    They’ve already demonstrated that they don’t think that the “no guns” policy applies to them

    Or they overlooked the sign.

    The bouncer, who is under investigation because he didn’t have the permits or licenses to carry a gun on the job, shot the guy as he was walking out the door.

    Wow.

    How utterly useless.

    When something bad has happened and is over, my sister gets angry, takes something and throws it on the floor – without killing anybody in the process.

    I asked for a quote, in context, from this page. And you lied. How is this different from every other gun stroker out there? You don’t have reality on your side so you lie.

    PZ did call for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment in his previous post about this topic, just yesterday.

    It was an executive order under Bush, signed just hours before the inauguration. Obama signed a law giving credit card holders rights and there was an ammendment in that law codifying Bush’s executive order. The GOP wanted to stop the credit card holder’s rights law so badly that they put the guns in parks ammendment in there to try to force a Presidential veto.

    I still struggle to imagine such amounts of evil.

    *I had to look that shit up, since nobody really talks about the Fathers of Confederation outside poli sci departments and Grade 5 social studies classes.

    In 1920, Hans Kelsen popped out of the mist of history, sat down and singlehandedly wrote Austria’s constitution, and popped back into the mist of history, never to be seen again. *nodnod* The first major series of amendments came in 1929, and “minor” amendments (that’s an undefined term!) are so easy to make they aren’t even counted.

  83. says

    And it would take a really unhinged nut to start shooting because he was asked not to carry in a restaurant.

    That gives us an easy solution: Just don’t give guns to the “unhinged nuts”.

    Now, how do we tell who they are again?

  84. Anthony K says

    “Good? Bad? I’m the toddler with the gun.”

    Nothing says liberty like a four-year-old saying “Come get thome” and punctuating with a hammer click.

  85. Anthony K says

    In 1920, Hans Kelsen popped out of the mist of history, sat down and singlehandedly wrote Austria’s constitution, and popped back into the mist of history, never to be seen again.

    *Gasp!* Just like Jesus!

    WHOSE FOUNDING FATHER IS THE MAGICKEST NOW, AMERICANS?

  86. erichoug says

    @Alverant

    erichoug, do you think the gun-fondlers want a rational dialog about our right not to get shot by them?

    Absolutely not. All gun owners are slobbering, sub human, cowards with small penises and fear complexes.

    There’s no talking to such people. Just keep up the highly effective tactics that have helped to pass so many effective gun restrictions in the last few years.

  87. Anthony K says

    All gun owners are slobbering, sub human, cowards with small penises and fear complexes.

    And some of them shoot kids, too.

    There’s no talking to such people.

    When kids are shot, and the first thing such people think is, “I don’t give a fuck so long as my hobby remains untouched”, you’re absolutely right.

    Just keep up the highly effective tactics that have helped to pass so many effective gun restrictions in the last few years.

    So tell us, Mr. “I Don’t Comprehend Statistics”, what do we need to say to you to get to give up your guns? What fucking tactic will help someone like you understand math?

  88. Anthony K says

    It won’t happen to me, because I am different. Or so they say to themselves, I’m sure.

    Johnwoodford at #87, that’s pretty much what erichoug said in one such conversation when he’d himself brought up the statistic that gun owners were more likely to get injured by guns, not less. See, numbers don’t matter when you really believe in yourself.

  89. Don Quijote says

    There is an advert on the side bar (here in Spain) for a company called Road Kill T-shirts.com that has a pouting blond with her arms extended in front, her hands clasped together with forefingers pointing and thumbs raised. She is wearing a t-shirt that says DADD. Dads Against Daughters Dating. Shoot the first one and the word will spread.

    I just cannot understand the gun culture in the USA.

  90. scourge99 says

    I take my gun with me when i go on hikes in secluded areas. I also take it with me when im walking the dogs near my cabin because bears have mauled and killed people.

    But i suppose I’m just another “arrogant gun-waving fucking dangerous asshole” to PZ because there is no middle ground between the strip club shooter and me. And furthermore in PZs world, there is no such thing as responsible gun ownership unless its dismantled, in a case, locked in a safe, in your attic, without any ammo.

  91. dianne says

    Remember, cars can be used to kill people too, as can butter knifes, old feathers, broken 8-track cassettes, index catalogues, empty toilet paper tubes, half-remembered nursery rhymes, stale spices, label-maker machines, shoelaces missing an aiglet, headshots of Benedict Cumberbatch, and the morphological differences between two- and three-toed sloths, but nobody’s trying to make those things illegal!

    Actually, I’m fine with making cars illegal, at least when the population gets over a certain population density. And I challenge you to come up with a scenario in which half-remembered nursery rhymes are lethal!

  92. dianne says

    All gun owners are slobbering, sub human, cowards with small penises and fear complexes.

    Some of them have vaginas. Though, to be fair, most of the mass shooters do have penises.

  93. la tricoteuse says

    Anthony K @ #94

    headshots of Benedict Cumberbatch

    Is he doing that look? Because I can kinda feel some potentially life-threatening palpitations coming on… /off-topic

  94. dianne says

    I take my gun with me when i go on hikes in secluded areas. I also take it with me when im walking the dogs near my cabin because bears have mauled and killed people.

    I don’t take my (non-existent) gun with me when I hike or camp in secluded areas. Or when I walk in aras where bears have mauled people. Met a bear once. We both walked away.

  95. erichoug says

    You know Anthony, I really do find you the scariest person I have ever discussed with. Not sure why, but something about you always makes me re-consider everything I think I know.

    So, I’ll abandon the pretense for a minute and not try to be clever.

    First, I partially agree with you, I believe that there needs to be stronger gun regulation in this country and I would be willing to vote for such.

    If you really want something to change, then you need to find a way to make it happen. These sort of arguments(this comment section) don’t rally help. Reasonable gun owners are turned off by the vitriol, vehemence and insults they get. And so, the argument ends up being won by the NRA. And believe me it is being won by the NRA. Can you even name one significant gun regulation that has been passed in the last 10 years?

    I understand that you want to do something about the gun violence in this country and I share that goal. But realistically, you’re not going to repeal the 2nd amendment and you only make yourself seem childish and crazy when any argument on the subject devolves into you calling the other side names and refusing to budge.

    And yes, statistics are wonderful, they tell you everything you could ever need to know about any subject. Like the statistic that gun violence is actually down since 1993. But, why bother considering things that compete with your argument.

    You’ll notice that I am not insulting you, or anyone else on this blog, I am not screaming, I am not dismissing your arguments out of hand. I am standing (well sitting) here saying that I am actually willing to work with you to help curtail gun violence. If you are unwilling to meet me or anyone else somewhere in the middle, then you will continue to get what you have gotten.

    Thanks for being the dark shadow in my mind, Anthony. I truly and honestly do appreciate it.

  96. Rey Fox says

    I just cannot understand the gun culture in the USA.

    Gun culture, purity culture, ownership culture, yeah we got all kinds of problematic cultures.

  97. Anthony K says

    And I challenge you to come up with a scenario in which half-remembered nursery rhymes are lethal!

    “Red on black, friend of Jack; Red on yellow, kill a fellow” and its variants comes to mind. The scenario is “I’m not sure if that’s a coral snake or a king snake.”

    Did you really think I wouldn’t have an answer?

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I take my gun with me when i go on hikes in secluded areas. I also take it with me when im walking the dogs near my cabin because bears have mauled and killed people.

    Are you talking about a shotgun or rifle? Then you totally misunderstand what PZ and the rest of us are talking about. We’re discussing handguns (pistols) being carried loaded in public areas, which is a breach of the safety rules I learned back in the 1950’s. One loaded the handgun, and transported guns and ammo apart to insure safety of the public. That is my problem with concealed carry.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, #113, next to last sentence, should read: One unloaded the handgun,….

  100. scourge99 says

    @Dianne

    Tell that to Lana Hollingworth who was attacked. Oh wait you cant. She’s dead.

  101. Scr... Archivist says

    Ogvorbis @75,

    Where? I’ve read the original post (that’s what OP means). I’ve even ctrl-f’d it. “Repeal the second ammendment” wasn’t on this page until you just wrote it.

    In his post of January 14, PZ said we should repeal the second amendment, as part of the way to get to a point where we can have a rational public policy discussion about guns. I agree with him.

    This would not mean a ban on all guns or a confiscation. It would just make it easier to regulate that industry and the products of that industry. Taking this notion out of the Bill of Rights would remove the “trump card” rhetorical position that any restrictions violate an inalienable and absolute to sport deadly weapons.

    New laws about guns would continue to be ongoing political fights, of course, but repeal would take them out of the realm of Holy Writ. We might even get to see enacted some of the sensible proposals suggested in that other thread.

    Has anyone ever seen a good repeal proposal?

    It should be more than one line repealing the second amendment. I expect it would also clarify that Congress shall have the power to establish national standards to regulate gun manufacture, distribution, possession, storage, training, licensure, insurance, etcetera. Maybe it should also note that the states have the power to enact further restrictions, regulations, and requirements above and beyond national standards.

  102. dianne says

    @112:

    No, I didn’t think you had an answer and am impressed that you did. But since you did, how about the deadly nature of the broken 8-track tape? Tetanus? Sharp edge severing an artery?

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a coral or a king snake. Leave it alone.

  103. scourge99 says

    @Nerdofredhead

    Yes I’m talking about a handgun. I’m not going to take a cumbersome weapon like a rifle or shotgun with me to walk my dogs. A handgun is far safer and more practical in that situation.

  104. says

    @scourge99
    So, as a “responsible gun owner”, why don’t you help us out: Provide a method that allows us to tell the difference between the responsible people and the irresponsible people. Preferably one that doesn’t involve handing them a gun and waiting to see if they shoot somebody.

  105. dianne says

    @115: Number of people killed by bears in North America in the 2010s: 4. One attacked by a captive bear, so killings by wild bears: 3. Number of deaths in 2010 alone from firearms: 31,672. That’s the US alone and 2010 alone, not all of North America and the whole decade of the 2010s (so far).

  106. says

    #100, erichoug:

    Absolutely not. All gun owners are slobbering, sub human, cowards with small penises and fear complexes.

    Everyone, please note the common tactic here. Criticize the NRA, fanatics who want to own assault rifles and have an arsenal in their basement and carry handguns into restaurants, and demand more responsible gun regulation, and suddenly…you are insulting ALL GUN OWNERS.

    Despite the fact that I think deer hunting is a fine occupation (for other people, not me, thanks), that going to the gun range and shooting at targets is kind of fun (I’ve done it!), and that I may think you’re an idiot for having a gun for “self defense” at home but think it’s ok, as long as it’s registered and you’re responsible and trained (and have a gun safe, please), somehow that gets translated into hatred of ALL GUN OWNERS.

    And that allows people like erichoug in #110 to say

    Reasonable gun owners are turned off by the vitriol, vehemence and insults they get. And so, the argument ends up being won by the NRA.

    Boo hoo, it’s all our fault. Because assholes support the lies spread by the NRA, because they have such frail egos that criticizing NRA-style policies of murder and mayhem get reflexively translated into attacks on the penises of ALL GUN OWNERS, the choice is between being castrated by gun-owner-hating leftists or embracing the strategies of the NRA. And then accusing us of being extremists while happily using the fallacy of the excluded middle to justify perpetuating a culture of irresponsibility.

    Well fuck you, erichoug. Reasonable gun owners DO NOT endorse the NRA, under any circumstances.

    And no, as I pointed out in the OP, the problem with my side is years of tiptoeing around the problem. It’s long past time for us to come out with furious anger and put the mad dogs of the gun movement in their place — caged and muzzled.

  107. Anthony K says

    Not sure why

    That’s the start of a productive conversation with your therapist, not me.

  108. scourge99 says

    @LykeX

    First you have to tell me if you believe that responsible gun ownership is possible . Then, tell me how you define it.

    Then we’ll apply these definitions to your request to “find a test for responsible gun ownership” to see if it’s anything more than disingenuous rhetoric.

  109. erichoug says

    @PZ,

    Well fuck you, erichoug. Reasonable gun owners DO NOT endorse the NRA, under any circumstances.

    I’m glad to hear it. For two reasons, first of all to have someone on the other side of the fence say that there actually are “reasonable gun owners” and second because I have never been a member of the NRA and never will be and I couldn’t agree with you more about the NRA. So, there is some common ground.

    Just one more poke at the bear, If you feel your side is losing because of a lack of furious anger, I would direct you to the vast majority of anti-gun posts on this or any other site.

    @Anthony

    That’s the start of a productive conversation with your therapist, not me.

    Too bad, I always find people who disagree with me far more interesting than those that do

  110. dianne says

    What happens if you walk into the NRA HQ? You have to give up your gun. Guests are not allowed to take guns into the NRA headquarters. They know that they’re spouting BS and that guns are dangerous.

  111. says

    On the subject of people carrying guns in the woods, this has always bothered me.

    I’ve done a lot of camping and backpacking, and I’ve always felt I had far more to fear from other people than from the wildlife. To be fair, none of it was in grizzly country, but in my time camping out on the east coast, I’ve had a number of people find me intimidating.

    I can’t help but feel that somebody who’s so scared that they feel the need to carry a firearm in the woods (where they are the LEAST likely to be accosted), is not likely to be thinking rationally about threats. I’m a big, hairy guy and I move quietly. The idea of somebody that nervous carrying a loaded gun makes ME incredibly nervous, especially when hearing about the “human animals” they worry about.

  112. Alverant says

    erichoug Well we’re turned off by the threats from people who care more about their weapons than human lives and don’t seem to care about the risks they are forcing on the rest of us. Where are these “reasonable” gun owners you claim exist? Are they going against the NRA’s bogus claims on how guns make you safer? Are they boycotting gun stores that put targets on the faces of politicians? Are they protesting the Trevor Martin target that were made? What are they doing to control the extremists on their side? AFAICT they’re ignore them or using the No True Scotsman logical fallacy.

  113. dianne says

    Do you know anyone that owns a gun?

    I know a fair number of people who own guns. I tend to meet them in the emergency department, but sometimes also in the ICU. Occasionally, in the outpatient clinic with a guard beside them. Yep, “responsible gun owners” all, I’m sure.

  114. fernando says

    Maybe the problem with guns in the USA could be solved, if:

    1- You can use a gun in target practice.
    2- You can hunt with a gun.
    3- You can use a gun if you are a policeman in duty.
    4- If you are not a policeman, you cannot use an gun in public, except if you are in a hunting place or in a place with a target practice instalation.
    5- When you are not using a gun (citizens in general and policemen), the gun must be locked in a storeroom under the vigilance of the police force.

  115. erichoug says

    On the vast majority of the issue I line up with everyone else here.

    I am a non-theist, I am pro choice, pro peace and pro science, pro equality, pro LGBT rights, anti Wall street, anti-bush, anti-religion and I strongly support the vast majority of social welfare projects and education and I vote Democratic.

    And I own a gun! You all want to know where the “reasonable gun owners” are? THAT WOULD BE ME!

    It is 100% impossible for me to even try to have a remotely productive discussion about this on this website. You aren’t interested in having a discussion. I am willing to compromise, I am willing to change I am willing to help pass fucking legislation on gun regulations

    So, if I actually do want to get stronger gun laws passed, I have two choices. The NRA crowd that is crazier than a shithouse rat, or you lot that are only interested in 100% ban and confiscation. Hmmmm where do I turn.

    So, you an make your snide comments and emotional appeals. I am the person that you SHOULD be working but you aren’t interested.

  116. says

    …or you lot that are only interested in 100% ban and confiscation.

    erichoug, you know damn well we’ve proposed a wider range of policies than that, in both of PZ’s posts on the subject and elsewhere. You also know that we’re not really unanimous on an outright ban — reasonable objections have been raised and not shot down out of hand. You can’t ignore that and still pretend you’re a “reasonable” gun owner.

  117. Nick Gotts says

    Number of people killed by bears in North America in the 2010s: 4. One attacked by a captive bear, so killings by wild bears: 3. Number of deaths in 2010 alone from firearms: 31,672. – dianne@120

    The answer’s obvious: disarm the humans, and fight for the right to arm bears!

  118. Arawhon, a Strawberry Margarita says

    Shorter erichoug at 131:

    Im a reasonable decent human being, except when it comes to others wanting to possibly take away my devices that are specifically designed to kill other humans. Then Ill take the side of the horrible people who don’t care about little children being killed by mass murderers, only their killing devices.

    Here is an idea, work with us to get those things better regulated and removed from the population but until then enjoy you killing device.

  119. erichoug says

    @ Raging bee

    OK, fine. But you have to admit there is a lot of juvenile shit and emotional appeals on here.

  120. Nick Gotts says

    the Jeffersonian notion that rights are inherent to people and governments exist to protect those rights won out – johnwoodford@77

    Yup, when our ancestors first walked upright, they had the right to own assault rifles to protect themselves aginst the ebil gubmint.

  121. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    Scourge99, if you have a handgun that will stop an angry bear, you have an amazing gun. If you are doing anything confrontational with bears, you will need a bigger gun. The idea here, taken to extreme, is that if you can’t walk your dogs without a gun, move. The reasonable version is that if you aren’t walking dogs in the woods, you don’t need a gun. Either way, your “need” to walk dogs and your “need” for a gun while doing so, is not more important than the deaths that could have been avoided were guns not carried. I am not taking a bullet so you can feel more manly.

    For what it is worth, there is a handgun in this house, in a closet somewhere, that would only need a bit of cleaning to be functional. I can’t even be arsed to dig it out and buy some ammo—that is how much I value a “home-defense” weapon.

    This house also gets NRA magazines, which I read sometimes. There’s a dishonest bunch if there ever was one.

    The second amendment has nothing at all to do with the private ownership of guns. It is about national defense through well-trained militias, and the right of the citizenry to serve as the militia. The body of the constitution forbids a standing army, and provides for government-issue arms for the militia. They connect on the idea that the militias can keep the arms to practice with, so as to be well-regulated in loading and maneuvering.

  122. says

    @scourge99
    Fine, I’ll give some thoughts on the matter:
    A responsible gun owner is one that only uses the gun for specific, detailed purposes, e.g. hunting, range practice or as part of a job that requires it, such as police officer. He doesn’t carry his gun around in public and keeps it locked safely away, unloaded, whenever not in specific use. His gun is either locked in a safe or being actively used for the intended purpose. He doesn’t, e.g., bring it to a restaurant, “just in case”. If he really needs to be armed for his safety, he will prefer any non-lethal means before even considering bringing a gun. The gun is never, ever his first solution.

    A responsible gun owner understands that a gun is a deadly weapon and as a result accepts that certain restrictions apply, such as mandatory training, yearly testing for renewal of licenses, waiting periods, background checks, complete ban on certain weapon types, etc. He doesn’t whine about such things because he understands why they’re important and necessary. He accepts that if he breaks any rules, however seemingly minor, this may have consequences for his gun owning privilege.

    Now, I honestly don’t know how you can tell the difference between a responsible gun owner and one who has just learned to seem like one. That’s part of the problem. That’s why I favor strong controls: Because you don’t know until it’s too late to do anything but wipe up the blood.

    You seem to think that you’re responsible, but I have no idea whether you really are. Are you a responsible person or are you the next headline waiting to happen? I don’t know and I’m not even convinced that you do. Everybody thinks they’re one of the responsible ones… right until somebody dies.

    It’s possible to be a responsible gun owner. I just don’t think it’s very common and I think the people who most want the guns are the ones who are least likely to be responsible.

  123. says

    #131, erichoug:

    So, if I actually do want to get stronger gun laws passed, I have two choices. The NRA crowd that is crazier than a shithouse rat, or you lot that are only interested in 100% ban and confiscation.

    There you go again! Who here is advocating a 100% ban and confiscation? Haven’t I said rather clearly that I have no problem with reasonable, responsible gun ownership? I even have a gun in my house — it’s not mine, I’m simply storing it for my son, and it’s locked up safely and hidden away — are you seriously going to argue that I’m asking to be punished?

    Fallacy of the excluded middle, again. You seem to be quite a fan of it. It’s apparently your mechanism for rationalizing your support of policies that only a shithouse rat would favor.

  124. Rey Fox says

    Dianne in comment #23 called for a total ban and confiscation. Don’t think anyone else has on this thread, maybe one of two others have on past threads. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

  125. steffp says

    From the outside, it looks like you all are living on another planet.
    I’m presently in notoriously genocidal Germany, and they just put up the 2013 crime statistics.
    They have a murder rate of 0.8 (compared to the US’ 4.7), and in 2013 exactly 54 people died as the result of gun use , equally divided between legal and illegal guns (plus an estimated 750 suicides, mostly caused by legal guns). But of course, there’s only 80 million of them, so you do the math.

    As an aside: In 2012 all 250,000 German policemen fired a total of 36 rounds at people, killing 8 and wounding 20.

    As I said, another planet…

  126. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    Erichoug, you say that there is a lot of juvenile shit and emotional appeals on here. Well, if someone were pointing a gun at you, you’d probably be shitting yourself and making emotional appeals.

    Erichoug, speaking of juvenile shit and emotional appeals, have you read the NRA material? I read it fairly often. Have you read the linked story? Have you tried acting grown-up?

  127. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    erichoug,
    You could show that you are a reasonable gun owner by helping us fight the gun assholes.

    ***

    I also fucking love how gun assholes think that they can point to the couple of people actually advocating a complete ban, and then refuse to engage with any pro-regulation arguments. And of course not wanting any non police or military people to have guns is just so obviously extremist and unreasonable, the gun assholes don’t feel they have to even explain why a comprehensive ban wouldn’t be a good thing.

    I argue for tighter regulations, because that is all that is possible in the US’s current cultural climate, but I would be perfectly happy with a complete ban (even including the collecting and destruction of existing guns). I think a total ban would result in even more saved lives than tighter regulations. If you are going to use my opinion, that a ban would be reasonable, to argue against pro-regulation people who are not advocating a ban, at least include an argument as to why the harms of a ban outweigh the good while you are dishonestly using my views as a red-hearing in the debate on gun regulation.

  128. Arawhon, a Strawberry Margarita says

    Hey, you claimed to be a responsible gun owner who wants stronger gun regulations and then said you turn to the NRA side. The side that has pushed for removal of all restrictions on guns, the side that opposes background checks, the side that whipped up fear of gun confiscation and has done various pro-gun advertisements on the anniversaries of the mass murders of children by guns. Please do enjoy your killing tool. Until then how about joining into the conversation on our side instead of castigating us as unreasonable people because we don’t appreciate your killing tool and how you are “responsible” owner.

  129. stevem says

    Don’t take away my gun!! I’m not a nut-case, I’m responsible. You are complaining about irresponsible people and nut-cases. Not talking about me! I will even compromise. Take away the guns from everybody else and leave mine alone.

  130. dianne says

    @erich: You want a non-emotional appeal? Ok, that’s very doable. Here it is: You say you’re “pro-science”. Well, the science behind gun safety is that studies of gun ownership have demonstrated that people who own guns are more likely to die by gun violence than those who do not. If you respected the science, you’d be looking at this data and realizing that the hypothesis that gun ownership makes you safer is about as viable as the hypothesis that tobacco smoking makes you healthier.

  131. dianne says

    @147: Quite correct. I’m the nut calling for a ban. PZ is the reasonable one who is willing to compromise. The fact that the fun fondlers can’t tell the difference between our positions is… interesting. Especially when considering rational, responsible gun owners like erich.

  132. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, if I actually do want to get stronger gun laws passed, I have two choices. The NRA crowd that is crazier than a shithouse rat, or you lot that are only interested in 100% ban and confiscation. Hmmmm where do I turn.

    So, you an make your snide comments and emotional appeals.

    What could we possibly say that’s more damning than your implication here of being on the fence between us and the NRA because we make snide comments?

  133. says

    I have a concealed carry permit. It’s not because I think I need my gun for ‘protection’ or any of that shit. It’s because if I am somewhere I happen to have my gun with me, I don’t want to deal with the nuts. And before you gun strokers start in on ‘liberals’, let me be clear – I’m talking about YOU. I’ve just about stopped target shooting entirely because instead of being at the gun range to work on my aim, you think I’m there to compare gun (aka – dick) sizes and admire your ‘tough guy’ act and listen to you tell me why my choice of firearm is inappropriate or have you actually manhandle me when I try to walk away rather than pull out my gun so you can check it out. I’m tired of the sight of my holster triggering your rants about how ‘they be taking our guns’ and ‘stockpile before the race war’ and ‘omg apocalypse and the muslims are coming’.

    I wish every day for tighter regulations because you people are fucking stupid. You are scary. I had to set up an archery range in my backyard to start teaching my son how to use a bow because you people are so fucking batshit I don’t dare bring him around you. Every single time I’m at a shooting range I’m forced to admit once again that between 50-75% of gun owners should not be allowed anywhere near firearms because you people are so irrationally unsafe and flat out dangerous. One of the last times I open carried on my way into a gun range, one of you fuckers drew on me and then laughed about how my holster shouldn’t be tied down like it was because I’d have been so dead if he were serious due to not having a fast enough draw.

    I don’t want to ban guns, but I’m starting to think that a full psychological examination signed off on by at least two professionals should be required to own a firearm, along with routine examinations performed every couple years to keep the license. Using your firearm as a tool of intimidation or threat should be cause to lose it for a minimum of two years, with a repeated act resulting in permanent loss. Carrying a loaded firearm anywhere but an approved area (hunting trip, gun range, or similar) should also be cause to lose the gun.

    And if you state at anytime you have your gun for protection against some abstract threat like ‘race wars’ and ‘the immoral majority’ or any of that shit, you should lose it and never get it back because you are NOT a responsible gun owner.

    So if I’m on my way to the range or hunting, I prefer my gun concealed.

    Or, these days, I just don’t go.

    It’s like clubbing. The fucking toxic-masculinity oozing braindead lot are ruining it for everyone.

  134. says

    Raging Bee:

    Alteredstory, can I steal your comment #66 and quote it in my own blog?

    Help yourself. If you’re willing, it’d be kind of you to link to the comment in question/credit me :P

  135. says

    — katiemarshall does not sound like a gun asshole. She sounds like a responsible owner of a potentially dangerous tool. —

    It sucks that 99% of gun owners are giving the rest of us a bad name.

  136. erichoug says

    @ PZ, It’s hard for me to take this response from you seriously, considering your post yesterday and the one today. It really isn’t that hard to take “Ban and Confiscation” away from this thread even if you aren’t doing a particularly nuanced reading of the comments.

    And it is more than a tad hypocritical for you to point out my logical fallacy when NEARLY EVERY OTHER SINGLE FUCKING POST ON THIS THREAD does the exact same thing. The VAST majority of the people on the anti gun side here are arguing that there are no reasonable ,responsible gun owners.

    You want to be a bomb thrower, fine. But you’re not winning on this issue and it’s past time to consider why. You marginalize me, and people like me, that means you loose.

  137. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    david @96:

    PZ did call for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment in his previous post about this topic, just yesterday.

    Scr…Archivist @116

    In his post of January 14, PZ said we should repeal the second amendment, as part of the way to get to a point where we can have a rational public policy discussion about guns. I agree with him.

    Sorry. I was under the impression that one of the rules is that we reset for each new thread (other than Thunderdome and the Lounge). Which is why I, very carefully, wrote this:

    Please quote, in context, from this thread, or the OP, where someone wrote that all guns are to be taken away, your right to own a gun, with legal restrictions is to be eliminated.

    in response to indicus’ accusations of hostility and demanding that his entire right be eliminated, which was not in this thread. indicus brought in what was written in a previous thread (and yes, I am/was aware of what had been written before but I phrased it for this particular thread/post because reset rule). Excuse the fuck out of me for following rules, but I phrased it the way I did specifically to find out just what, in this post and thread, indicus found threatening. And failed. As usual. Sorry.

    If it goes past this, I will take it to Thunderdome.

  138. says

    @erichoug
    If you’re going to lie, maybe try avoiding situations where the proof is immediately visible to everyone on the very same page.

    Makes you look stupid as well as dishonest.

  139. dianne says

    Coincidentally, I just walked past a TV. It was showing a live news feed at the site of a school shooting. Two kids have been shot. That’s about all I know. But I suppose mentioning this would just be appealing to emotion. Just a couple of injured or dead kids. No biggie.

    And maybe it wasn’t a coincidence. I expect you could have a 24/7 shooting news station in the US and rarely have problems finding something to show. 30,000+ fatalities alone in 2010. Not counting injuries. No, there’d be no lack of material on the Shooting Spree Network.

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am enjoying watching my point sail majestically over your head.

    You had no point. Just inane and fuckwitted hyperbole.

  141. says

    —You want to be a bomb thrower, fine. But you’re not winning on this issue and it’s past time to consider why. You marginalize me, and people like me, that means you loose.—

    I’m a gun owner. I don’t feel at all marginalized here.

    Maybe that’s because I recognize that the ‘anti-gun’ folks here aren’t a bunch of big meanie-heads wanting to take way my favorite toy.

    It’s because a gun isn’t a toy anymore than a car is – it’s an item that, if misused in any fashion, can cause lethal damage to completely innocent bystanders (among others). And we aren’t talking just freak accidents here.

    Frankly, I’d rather see all guns banned completely than relax existing gun laws any further than their already way too damn lax status.

  142. says

    Frankly, I’d rather see all guns banned…

    Oh, now you’ve done it. Excuse me, but I have no choice but to go to an NRA rally now.

  143. dianne says

    PZ says ” katiemarshall does not sound like a gun asshole. She sounds like a responsible owner of a potentially dangerous tool”

    erichoug says “The VAST majority of the people on the anti gun side here are arguing that there are no reasonable ,responsible gun owners.”

    Hmm…

  144. says

    Actually, what I’d like to see is a 180 of current gun laws.

    Instead of the default being ‘it’s okay for you to have a gun’ and then somebody has to prove you are unfit for firearm ownership, the default should be ‘you can’t have a gun’ and you have to prove you are a mature, responsible individual with an acceptable reason to want a gun to a reasonable and objective mediator.

    Unfortunately, since reasonable and objective mediators are about as easy to find as bigfoot, I doubt such a system would ever be workable.

    So yes, I guess I support the removal of the second amendment as it currently is interpreted.

  145. Holms says

    #42
    Also, you don’t get to tell other commenters to piss off. Only I get to do that.

    No doubt you’ll be getting on Raging Bee’s case for telling someone to fuck off? Or all those other occasions where similar sentiment is expressed in similar words in just about any thread…

  146. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    OK, fine. But you have to admit there is a lot of juvenile shit and emotional appeals on here.

    Of course there are emotional appeals. That’s what the gun-fondlers use, not because they suck but because it works. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place.

  147. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    Azkyroth @ 34:

    You can’t possibly be stupid enough not to recognize the difference between “the right to control one’s own body” and “the ‘right’ to be ready to destroy someone else’s body any time you feel like it.”

    Speaking of which, why aren’t the gun fondlers out in droves protesting all the restrictions on a woman’s right to make private medical decisions on the grounds that any infringement on her sacrosanct right to happiness and equality of treatment before the law and privacy and liberty is Total War on her Constitutional Rights?

  148. says

    WithinThisMind:

    I had to set up an archery range in my backyard to start teaching my son how to use a bow because you people are so fucking batshit I don’t dare bring him around you.

    I don’t know where you are, but have a care. We had a similar set up back when we lived in SLC, Utah, and found out that it’s illegal. Yeah, it’s on ATF books. /derail

  149. erichoug says

    @WithinThisMind

    Yes, I totally believe that you are a gun owner. You sound like a gun owner.

    :|

  150. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    It is funny how folks who like guns are assuming that those who oppose them simply don’t know any gun owners. Well, sorry, I know plenty. And, largely, I don’t trust or respect them. Mostly because the gun assholes are assholes, and loud about it. There is only one person I know that happens to own a gun, who isn’t an asshole, and the gun was given to them by an asshole who thought they needed it.

    Second, if a person doesn’t know any gun owners at all, that’s a fair number of people who are getting along without guns, showing it can be done. Or, at least owning guns without being assholes, loudly, about it.

    Why not push for a ban on all guns, and confiscation of all privately-owned guns? Nobody needs a gun bad enough to justify all the death and danger that they bring. If it seems unfair to some folks, tough. They are the same folks who forbid things that they don’t like. If I can’t smoke dope, they can’t go target shooting. If I can’t marry, they can’t hunt. If I can’t feel safe, they can’t either.

  151. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    One former gun owner told me that he sold his collection the day that he was cleaning his guns and realized that he was indeed fondling them. Stroking it like a penis, he said.

  152. Anthony K says

    But, why bother considering things that compete with your argument.

    This is erichoag, not trying to be clever.

    And it is more than a tad hypocritical for you to point out my logical fallacy when NEARLY EVERY OTHER SINGLE FUCKING POST ON THIS THREAD does the exact same thing.

    This is erichoag, “not screaming…not dismissing your arguments out of hand.”

    And erichoag has the audacity to not believe WithinThisMind is a gun owner because erichoag knows how gun owners act and WithinThisMind apparently ain’t acting like one of them.

  153. Holms says

    Please quote, in context, from this thread, or the OP, where someone wrote that all guns are to be taken away, your right to own a gun, with legal restrictions is to be eliminated.

    Posts 23, 175, and 166 (sort of). Possibly more, but those are what I say on a quick skim read.

    Not that it really matters though, neither side is monolithic.

  154. nrdo says

    Obviously, the gun-regulation advocates here are going to be a bit strident given the amount of ‘anecdotal’ high-profile violence this week, (Two school shootings, the accidental killing and the movie theater murder) but it’s difficult for me to understand how a skeptical, rational gun owner could overlook the fact that the US is such an outlier in terms of gun violence compared with the rest of the developed world. It seems that there’s a substantial body of evidence that, taken in its totality, suggests that there is something seriously wrong with US policy.

  155. says

    OK, fine. But you have to admit there is a lot of juvenile shit and emotional appeals on here.

    Yeah, we do get kinda emotional when we see innocent people getting killed for no good reason. If you want to take that as an excuse to pretend you’re more manly than us, go ahead — it’s not like you’ll be fooling anyone. We’ve heard it all before: chest-pounding idiots waving their guns in the air, fantasizing about crime scenarios they see in movies and shouting about how emotional us peace-loving liberals are.

  156. Anthony K says

    It seems that there’s a substantial body of evidence that, taken in its totality, suggests that there is something seriously wrong with US policy.

    It’s not US policy that’s pulling those triggers. It’s actual Americans.

  157. says

    OK, fine. But you have to admit there is a lot of juvenile shit and emotional appeals on here.

    “Juvenile” is carrying a handgun into a movie theatre like some ten year-old playing sheriff; “emotional” is using it to murder a guy who played with his phone during the previews.

    Oddly enough, the single most compelling argument for gun control I’ve seen in ages isn’t a deranged loner in a mall with an assault rifle – it’s a retired cop with years of firearm experience losing his shit in a public place and executing a man using his legally obtained and legally carried weapon.

    Some say that most of us are one bad day away from turning into Dexter – this guy had a bad five minutes and turned into Dillinger.

  158. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Holms:

    23 was posted one minute before my question was asked — I didn’t refresh, obviously, so I must be playing gotcha games, right? The other two, long after I commented and asked that question so, obviously, I should be prescient and know what people are going to ask later. Fuck off.

    No, I take that back. I’ll fuck off.

  159. says

    @173—I don’t know where you are, but have a care. We had a similar set up back when we lived in SLC, Utah, and found out that it’s illegal. Yeah, it’s on ATF books. /derail—

    It’s legal within certain restrictions (distance to neighbors, not in city limits, something to keep people from just walking through, blah blah), as long as it’s for personal use, according to all the officials I spoke with when setting it up.

    @174

    Of course I don’t sound like a ‘typical’ gun owner. I actually respect both my firearms and the safety/well being of everyone around me. No wonder you are having difficulty accepting that I own guns.

  160. Anthony K says

    Reasonable gun owners are turned off by the vitriol, vehemence and insults they get.

    Since we’re playing the “You pushed us into being unreasonable by being so mean” game, it’s important to note that pretty much nobody was into restricting gun ownership until gun owners started killing people.

    Whoopsie!

  161. says

    @dianne @120:

    Number of people killed by bears in North America in the 2010s: 4. One attacked by a captive bear, so killings by wild bears: 3.

    In addition to the factor of 30,000 difference in how many people get shot by other people as compared to how many people get killed by bears:

    Many cases where people get attacked by bears (a few people per year in the US, higher in Canada – most don’t die) are avoidable. The very case scourge99 cited as a claimed defense illustrates that: Lana Hollingsworth was attacked while walking a dog by a bear that had been raiding a dumpster. And that’s why not having dumpsters bears can get into is important. Bears get more aggressive when they’re eating, and if they have good sources of food near where people are, there are more opportunities for a confrontation.

    And, echoing Menyambal @144:

    Handguns aren’t what you want when in a situation where you may have to deal with a bear. Some friends of mine were doing field work last year in Svalbard, where there are lots of polar bears and the risk of bear attacks is higher than any place scourge99 is likely to be. A copy of the field safety rules: http://www.unis.no/48_HSE/documents/Sysselmannen_SafetyinSvalbard_Eng.pdf

    Highlights:
    -Stay away from bears.
    -Qualified guide(s) carrying 0.308″-or-larger-calibre rifles; with emphasis that the guns are to be kept accessible but clearly unloaded except in high-risk situations (otherwise, safety risk from guns > risk from bears).
    -Flare guns, stored likewise, since driving off the bears is preferable to shooting them.
    -Surrounding the field camp with tripwires linked to flares, both to scare off bears and to notify the watcher.

    So yeah. Saying “I need it to protect me from bears” is not a compelling reason to own a handgun.

  162. says

    WithinThisMind:

    It’s legal within certain restrictions (distance to neighbors, not in city limits, something to keep people from just walking through, blah blah), as long as it’s for personal use, according to all the officials I spoke with when setting it up.

    Good for you. The ATF guys we talked to said it was flat out illegal inside city limits, because “oh, an arrow could go through a target and hit someone.” Nice they’re so worried about a stray arrow, but stray bullets seem to be just dandy.

  163. says

    —Good for you. The ATF guys we talked to said it was flat out illegal inside city limits, because “oh, an arrow could go through a target and hit someone.” Nice they’re so worried about a stray arrow, but stray bullets seem to be just dandy.—

    I know. It’s all kinds of stupid.

    I can’t smoke pot in my own garage, but the irresponsible guy down the street can carry a deadly and easily misused weapon into a crowded area, while drunk?

    I can set up a deer stand in my backyard with fewer restrictions than the archery targets.

  164. Muz says

    It probably behooves gun control advocates to not back away from confiscation too much. I know that’s an inflamatory dog whistle word libel to turn a sane person into Alex Jones, but there’s no getting away from some amount of it.
    If the laws are tightened or actually enforced better, depending on which argument you like, yes people are going to lose their guns. That’s the whole idea. The critical mass off them makes the availability too easy and the risk of shootings too high, so it must be reduced. And they will be rounded up and destroyed.
    This means some people will lose their guns. Maybe even you.

  165. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    The gun nut’s misuse of the Second Amendment to justify their disgusting hobby never seems to get called out. We just say it needs to be repealed, but acquiesce in their brain-dead reading of it.

    First, as everyone knows, it refers to the citizens’ right to participate in a militia (a military force that is not in being at all times, but called up as needed) to protect “the security of a free state”. There is nothing in there about self-defense; it totally refers to collective use of guns to protect the state.

    Secondly, “Well-regulated” is a very specific term of art in 18th century military usage. A military force is “well-regulated” if it has:

    A) A rigidly defined and unbreakable rank hierarchy,

    B) Ranks bestowed by civilian authority (i.e., no election of officers) and,

    C) A system of discipline so savage that the private soldier would never even dream of running away, because he’s so much more afraid of his own officers than he is of the enemy.

    Thirdly, the writers of the second amendment were opposed to a Standing Army or a Fleet in Being not only because they had the recent example of them being used to oppress “The People”, but also because they thought we could never afford them. Well, like it or not, that’s what we have, plus a Coast Guard, the Navy’s own private army, an Air Force, and a National Guard in each state, armed with weapons stockpiled at the taxpayers’ expense, and originally intended to murder strikers when the Robber Barons got tired of hiring Pinkertons and other insensate thugs out of their own pockets. The whole security-of-the-state thing is covered. A bunch of random Yahoos with guns will contribute nothing to it.

    Lastly, all of this has no relevance to the matter of handguns at all. Dueling pistols and naval boarding pistols were the absolute last thing on their minds when talking about the “security of the state”. In those days, the security of the state was guaranteed by masses of men with muzzle-loading muskets. (Yes, they had rifles, but they took so long to load that they were only suited to snipers.) The amendment guarantees the right of the people to “keep and bear” such weapons, or whatever weapons might be necessary to guarantee “the security of a free state”. Nowadays, such weapons might include ICBMs with MIRVed warheads, which puts the suggestion that it guarantees the right to private ownership of such weapons in perspective. Does any one suggest such a thing?

    The security of the state, which is all the second amendment is concerned with, is guaranteed by a well-regulated military force which “keeps and bears” arms suitable for its day and age. The population of random nuts with firearms is irrelevant to the subject, and handguns were never relevant to it, in any way, shape, or form.

  166. Terska says

    I have seen concealed carry permit holders drinking alcohol while armed twice in the last couple years. Once was in a private home and the other was at a vineyard. I didn’t know the guy at the vineyard but his wife started talking about how she planned to start carrying a gun to her job at a hair salon. It’s in a nice neighborhood. She didn’t want to wait for security to walk her to her car at night. The salon owner had neglected to put up a no guns sign so she was going to take a gun to work. Her husband started bragging about his right to carry and how he never leaves home without a gun. This happened while he was drinking wine. I don’t have a poker face. They got nervous and left hastily when I complained about wackos with guns around alcohol and small children. The GOP is trying to make guns legal in establishments that serve alcohol in my state. What could go wrong?

  167. says

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    In those days, the security of the state was guaranteed by masses of men with muzzle-loading muskets.

    In the previous thread, I pointed out that the 2nd amendment was referring to single shot muskets. So, all the gun assholes could trade in their modern guns for a single shot musket. For some reason, the gun assholes just don’t like that idea.

  168. says

    @Muz @189:

    Buyback programs in conjunction with cutting gun sales worked pretty well in Australia.

    And it happens that a very approximate cost-benefit analysis says it would be a good investment for even an entirely budget-focused US federal government to pay $500 or so for every gun surrendered and not replaced (take the number of people killed by guns who would otherwise not die; compute the lost tax revenue they represent; correct to net present value; and divide by the number of guns in circulation). Priority in such a program would go to handguns, followed by shotguns and rifles.

  169. jodyp says

    #189 – Muz: Funny you should say. I used to be friends with a complete gun-toting asshole who insisted that any attempt at gun legislation meant “they” were comin’ to get “our” guns.

    I asked him if he’d pass a background check, and he dropped the subject and unfriended me.

    Funny, that.

  170. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    The Reverend in #190 gets my hearty second! I add that “well-regulated” also meant “thoroughly-practiced in gun drill”. Usually enforced by everything he said.

    See, loading a musket took time, and many steps. Muskets were inaccurate, and were fired from groups all at once. Firing from a group had to be well-timed, in all those steps. Many clocks of that time were called “regulator”. A well-regulated militia had good timing, and could shoot sooner.

    Firing drill, marching drill, all required the militia to practice regularly. And as the militia was the citizens, and the citizens had the right to be sure the militia was up to snuff, they had the right to keep the government-issue arms at their drill-fields, and to bear them against the enemy.

    The second amendment has nothing to do with personal gun ownership. It is all there, and it opposes the tale the NRA uses to stay in business.

  171. says

    @WithinThisMind

    Yes, I totally believe that you are a gun owner. You sound like a gun owner.

    :|

    So not all gun users are like that but if they’re not like you they’re clearly not a gun user right?

    Eric, you fucking dumb shit

  172. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I forgot to add that the writers of the second amendment used the term “The People” advisedly. If they had meant the right of “every man*” to keep and bear arms, that’s what they would have said. The constitution isn’t shy about saying it elsewhere. The collectivity of the people is what they meant and what they said.

    *Yeah, I know, sorry. But it would have said “man”.

  173. says

    Well this is what you happen when you get dick fuck weasels on the SCOTUS

    “Brilliant” men pretending to be idiots who don’t know the shit they specialize in for the sake of conflating terminology to squeeze out a steaming turd of a ruling.

    See all the Corperate Personhood thing

  174. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Handguns aren’t what you want when in a situation where you may have to deal with a bear.

    I had an acquaintance years ago who used to go prospecting in the bush. He carried a handgun for protection against bears. He even had occasion to use it. He happened across a mother and cubs and the mother charged him. He shot her which by his account she didn’t seem to notice. What she did do was stop and go back to check the cubs then turn and charge him again. While she was going back he was running away. Repeat several times at greater distances, with the same apparent lack of effect on the mother, until he was so far away that she stopped seeing him as a threat. So, it worked, sort of. Though it seems he could have achieve the same thing with blanks with no chance of causing an innocent animal to die later of infected wounds.

    But here’s the thing: he also had two really nasty scars on his forearm, one for the entry wound and one for exit. He claimed that he was panning in a stream and his gun fell out and discharged. He had to walk himself out so the only thing that let him survive is the luck of missing the big arteries.

    This is pure anecdote and hearsay, take it for what it’s worth. The only thing I can speak to is the fact that he went prospecting and what looked to my untrained eye like bullet wound scars. But at face value it’s a beautiful illustration of the utility and risks of handguns.

  175. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    #197, The Very Reverend ….

    I like that! Very clever. Thank you.

  176. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    FossilFishy, yeah, there was a thing a few years back where some kid killed a wild boar with a handgun. It took him 32 shots, I think.

    It got attention because of one picture with the kid posed a ways back of the dead pig, making it look enormous. The anti-hunting crowd was just anti-hunting in general, and didn’t seem to pick up on the 32 shots and the long chasing of the wounded pig, shooting it again and again, when the adult hunters could have finished it off, and the fact the pig was actually farm-raised, not wild at all, and had been sold to the fenced-in “hunting” ranch a few days earlier.

    The dad and the gun fondlers took the criticism they got as proof that liberals were horrible. The picture wasn’t meant to fool people as to the size of the hog, it was just the best one, and the people who had sold the hog thought the kid had done well, so why do you hate children?

  177. Muz says

    michaelbusch @193

    Oh for sure, there’s ways to smooth the road and compensate people. The distinction is largely academic to a lot of people though and I see control advocates (not here so much, but around) really not wanting to touch that ‘comin for the guns’ nerve if they can help it. Even conversations rounding out to people sounding like nothing much would change.
    I’m not so sure that’s true. It would depend on many things, for sure. But I think tightening gun laws/enforcing gun laws effectively means confiscating and destroying weapons. It’s not blanket confiscation and it might not be aggressive confiscation, unless you really fail to abide by the laws, but it amounts to the same thing.

    It goes both ways too, of course. Really if there’s moderate pro-gun people who say they want slightly better laws or enforcement of existing laws but don’t want to hear about any implications of “confiscation” they’re kidding themselves.

  178. says

    We’ve done gun buybacks here in the U.S. as well, but we’ve also had some states pass laws making it illegal for the PDs that bought the guns to destroy them – North Carolina mandated that all guns that came in through a gun buyback must be either kept by the PD or sold, which basically defeats the purpose of the program.

  179. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    I completely fail to understand this weird knee-jerk reaction to repealing the sacred second amendment. It says the citizenry have the right to form armed militias (in this day and age, not exactly a good idea) and apparently enshrines the “right to bear arms”. Fine, dandy, whatever. Why, exactly, would a repeal magically mean that nobody was allowed to own a gun?

    Where’s the “right to own cars” clause? Where’s the “right to drink alcohol in public” clause?

    It’s like not having gun ownership as a right magically poofs away all the precious murder tools. Oh, you – you do realise that even if it were repealed today, you’d still be able to legally purchase firearms? The words aren’t magic. They’d have to concurrently pass a major mass of gun regulation laws along with a repeal for it to actually have an effect.
    Gun ownership shouldn’t be a right any more than car ownership or public intoxication should. Those are privileges that are A) well regulated and B) given on the proviso that if the person is caught abusing that privilege, it will incur strict pentalties. Why exactly are killing tools considered a right and not a privilege in the first place? That’s irrational in itself.

    Please, brains. They’re there for a reason.

  180. says

    Memyambal

    Usually enforced by everything he said.

    Actually not really; the colonial militias were catastrophically bad. Many men didn’t bother to show up for drill, a significant number hadn’t even got muskets, and of those who had not all were in usable order. That’s why the Continental Army was started, with massive aid from France (in the form of cash to pay the troops, muskets, ball and powder to issue to them, cadre to train them and artillery to support them). After the war, the U.S. Army was refounded on a permanent basis anyway, because the militias couldn’t keep out British reprisals, seize land from Natives, etc. The militias stayed around because they were great for maintaining slave patrols and preventing slave revolts. Any kind of firepower usually sufficed for that, though, because it’s not like the slaves had any training, arms, or any such like for the most part. Basically, the militias were never actually considered sufficient except for a period of about a dozen years after the Revolution.

  181. stripeycat says

    WithinThisMind @169

    That’s the way it works over here (Britain). And it works pretty damn well: our murder rate is about a third of the US’s, and only a tiny percentage of murders involve firearms. Looking quickly on wikipedia, it’s between 40-80 murders with firearms per annum, and about 10x that attempted murders and GBHs. Out of ~60 million people.

    A result of this is that relatively few police officers carry firearms. I think the total of fatal shootings by police is under 50 in my life time, doubling if you count the RUC during the Troubles. And while there haven’t been murder convictions over any of them (on the grounds that a marksman who’s been told a target is armed and dangerous has reason to shoot them), there have been convictions of senior officers for endangering public safety.

    To the best of my understanding, the certificate system works as follows:
    Anyone can apply for a shotgun, at the discretion of the police and your GP (for example, I’d currently be turned down as a suicide risk, but could potentially apply if my mental health showed a period of prolonged recovery; someone with a conviction for non-violent crime can petition to be allowed a license despite a criminal record). For a rifle, you also need to demonstrate competence and need, and I think the background check is more detailed. Deer culls are tightly regulated, and you must an appropriate calibre for each species as well as demonstrating marksmanship. For either class of certificate, you have to demonstrate you have a secure cabinet for storage (I think you must also store all weapons unloaded, with ammunition in a seperate safe location). All the licenses are for individual weapons: if you buy a new one, you have to have it added to your list (and the police can refuse the license on any of the above grounds). Air weapons are allowed without a certificate, but their sale is restricted and the owner is responsible for misuse, including access by minors. (This is fairly recent legislation, in response to lots of incidents of kids playing silly buggers, injuring each other, or killing animals.)

    Semi-automatics were banned in the 80s after a shooting (I was 4 or 5 at the time, so really don’t remember the details), and handguns in 1997, after the Dunblaine school shooting (which, despite only being a teen at the time, has left an indelible mark on my memory); both incidents occurred with legally-owned weapons. There have been plenty of shootings since then, but the only mass shooting I can remember is the guy in Cumbria three or four years back; he used a legally-held shotgun and .22 rifle. I’m not aware of any proposals to change the rules for long-arms in the aftermath. A lot of the other incidents involved handguns that had legally been made non-functional, and then botched back into working order.

    Mostly, people don’t grumble about restrictions. Anyone with a legitimate need for a long-arm can get one, unless there’s a good reason to refuse it. Self-defense has explicitly *not* been a legitimate reason to own a fire-arm for a very long time now (1960s?). There was a fuss after Dunblane about pistol target shooting (the Olympic team has to train overseas), but I think everyone has accepted it now. There are exemptions for historical weapons and replica muzzle-loaders that would otherwise be banned, but you still need the same sort of license you do for a rifle, demonstrating need and fitness – historical re-enactors and the like can and do perform live-firing demonstrations with pistols, for instance. Heck, I’m aware of several groups with muzzle-loading artillery pieces! (And the owner of one of these had a home armoury whose alarm system alerted a SWAT unit – this, and paying for it, was a condition of his license.)

  182. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy @ 206

    That is very correct, and explains the insistence on a “well regulated” militia in the amendment as written. The people who wrote it had very painful memories of the faith of the Continental Congress in their worthless “3-dollar militia”, who would volunteer, take the money, elect the most incompetent of themselves as officers, and then fade away until there was another $3 on offer.

  183. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    My only other gun related story (Being Canadian has its advantages.)

    I have a friend who in his youth would spend the summer tree planting. One year a black bear began to hang around their camp. Despite storing the food and rubbish away from the camp in the approved of bear resistant manner the bear was persistent and growing bolder.

    My friend had grown up hunting with this father. He was well familiar with firearms and had ready access to them and yet it never occurred to him to bring one tree planting. After a couple of weeks he began to grow nervous and contacted his father, asking him to be sent a rifle.

    It was a single shot, bolt action model and my friend spent a couple of evening practicing reloading it quickly. You see, he’d been taught that the way to shoot a bear was to target the shoulder. It’s a big target and when hit the bear won’t be able to come after you. You then move closer and kill it with a head shot. He didn’t want to do that, he felt that if this creature had to die because humans had moved into its territory it shouldn’t suffer at all.

    He shot it in the head and managed to kill it instantly. He then sent the gun home. To this day hates talking about it, he clearly feels that he made the wrong decision. I can’t speak to that, but I’ll say that I this, this right here, is what a responsible gun owner looks like.

    The killing tool was only brought out when there was a clear and present need and it was used as efficiently as possible. And the clear indication of responsibility for me was his willingness to send the gun home. He knew that injury and death from bears was very rare, and would continue to be rare despite his recent close encounter. Having it around a bunch of bored folks in the middle of nowhere was far more dangerous.

  184. says

    @stripeycat @207 :

    There was a fuss after Dunblane about pistol target shooting (the Olympic team has to train overseas), but I think everyone has accepted it now.

    On a tangential: Some Olympic pistol shooting events are starting to transition to laser pistols, to improve accuracy in scoring and save on targets and the cost of setting up the venues. The modern pentathlon switched in 2012.

  185. says

    Reasonable gun owners are turned off by the vitriol, vehemence and insults they get.

    *Reasonable* gun owners usually agree with the sort of restrictions that get proposed, including even the basic “minimum” requirements, like what recently got a Democrat voted out of office, such as bloody requiring that **all** sales involve background checks, not just the ones conducted by “reasonable” gun owners, via a gun store. The vitriol, vehemence, and insults are directed at the asshole gun owners, who, sometimes, kind of like the Tea Party, babble a lot about how they want “reasonable” solutions, but then, when any solution at all, reasonable or otherwise, gets proposed, use it for metaphorical target practice.

    If you took the level of rhetoric, absurdity, misinformation, and active opposition, to passing ***anything at all***, instead of further relaxing restrictions, as an indication, it would be bloody impossible to **FIND** a reasonable gun owner.

    Also.. I live in a family of such “reasonable” people. Not one of them is likely to ever act on any of the things they say, but they say things, all the damn time, which I find insane, and think they are being funny doing it. One of the single bloody stupidest arguments I got into, frankly, was, “If someone decided they wanted to kill your father, shot up, and he was on the ground bleeding to death, would you shoot the guy that shot him?” My answer was that it depends. If I had the slightest suspicion, at all, that they also planned to shoot me, then probably, but otherwise I wouldn’t be defending anyone. Shooting them wouldn’t get my father help, it wouldn’t stop it from happening, they already did what they planned to do, and killing them would be right up their with the bloody bouncers, “In my imagination, they might shoot someone else, at random, after getting in the way.” Killing them, because they shot, or even killed, someone I know, would be an act of murder, not self defense, and, its shows a bloody stupid F-ing horrible set of priorities, assuming there is even the slightest damn chance their target isn’t dead yet, and getting them fraking help would save their lives (something likely to be possible, with fast enough help, with today’s medical science, even if they don’t have an obvious pulse). I would be a bloody idiot to prioritize revenge.

    That said, not one bloody one of the people in my own family could seem to grasp who stupid just shooting the guy would be, or why, never mind what other priorities might be a bit more important (and, in the case of the family friend, which brought the subject up, during a discussion on guns, to challenge me, *they* didn’t understand why revenge was not, automatically, a good thing). What’s even more stupid is that they all called me an idiot for holding the position. And, again, these are people that are “reasonable” and “responsible” gun owners, who, last time any of them “ever” shot anything, other than some fairly laughable attempts with pellet guns on pigeons, was at a black powder shoot, close to 10 years ago.

    So.. By all means, show me these “reasonable” people, who would actually go against the NRA, and other pro-gun lobbies, with enough numbers, money, or will, to actually pass anything. Mine agree that restricting magazine sizes is a good idea, and that a wide selection of military style weapons are unnecessary, unreasonable, and have no practical purpose, even for hunting. They might even, if given the chance to do so, vote on state legislature, to an such things, if given the chance. But, they are just as conned by the idea that the NRA “protects rights”, instead of gun makers, and, one some subjects, they sometimes make me question their sanity, and/or common sense. When even the reasonable ones hold unreason up as a banner, where do you find “reasonable discussions” of the subject.

    And, BTW, PZ gave a, “list of possible solutions”, not a single demand. Any such list must, to even pretend to be inclusive of possible options, include the most extreme of them, if only as a means to show that the other options are more balanced, reasonable, and plausible solutions, which sane people might agree on. When those, self claimed, sane and reasonable people take the list, pick the most extreme things from it, declare that this is “proof” of the intent to take away all their guns, then declare that, “And, because of this we can find no compromise with this person, nor shall we try.”, then I, and any sane, and reasonable, person can only reserve the right to call the same people, “Unwilling to find a solution”, “delusional”, and/or much worse things, especially, when they use such rhetoric as an excuse to not *try* to find a mutually acceptable solution.

  186. says

    So something just occurred to me.

    A lot of this stuff about “reasonable gun owners”, often by people who turn out to be unreasonable, sounds a lot like the complaints that by condemning rape culture, you’re saying that “all men are rapists”, or by calling out white privilege you’re calling all white people bad.

  187. says

    @207 Goddamn brits and your single-payer health system and your public transportation and your reasonable gun control laws! Don’t you know those things are disastrous and spell tyranny and economic ruin? No wonder you are a short lasting third world nation with zero international influence!

  188. rorschach says

    PZ,

    the “toothpaste is out of the tube”, and therefore there’s nothing that can be done. That’s about the dumbest argument for maintaining a state of destructive lawlessness I’ve ever heard.

    However the toothpaste really is out of the tube, USAians own something like 300 million guns IIRC, a lot of these folks are too uneducated to realise(or they choose to misrepresent that fact for personal gain) that that amendment they keep referring to refers to muskets for a militia 250 years ago.

    Add to that a political environment where lobby groups have large influence on lawmakers, too many people consider owning one or twelve guns as some kind of right or part of their freedom, and where religious beliefs of some kind of endtime abound, one struggles to see how any progress towards the only sensible solution could ever be achieved.

    That solution, in my view, is the unconditional disarming of the general populace. If you want to carry a gun, join the police or military.

  189. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    I consider myself to be a “reasonable gun owner”. I’m Canadian, I have an RPAL (restricted possession and acquisition license), and I love love love target shooting. But frankly, I think it was entirely too easy to get. Although I suspect most American gun assholes would be apoplectic if they had to go through even that much to get their guns.

    You know what I don’t own? Bullets. My handgun is in a locked case, despite the fact that there isn’t a single round in my home. I buy a box or two of rounds when I go to the range, and I use them all there. There has never and will never be bullets in my house. I have no illusions that my gun will magically save the day if someone breaks into my home. I treat it with the same respect I treat my motorbike. Its a hell of a lot of fun, but it will kill me or someone else the second I stop respecting it.

  190. chigau (違う) says

    I have before me my “Application for Renewal of a Firearms License for an Individual”.
    Really.
    I just need to get a photo taken and to get the SO to sign.
    (Canada)

  191. JasonTD says

    PZ in response to an earlier post:

    #53, katiemarshall does not sound like a gun asshole. She sounds like a responsible owner of a potentially dangerous tool. Maybe we should only allow Canadians to own guns — they seem to have a rational perspective on them.

    Something katiemarshall had said in that post:

    …firing guns is fun. It’s a hobby.

    What PZ finished with in his previous post about this topic:

    I’ll prime your anger by telling you right off the bat that if you love guns, you are a sick, pathetic, twisted dingbat, and I won’t care about your arguments.

    What I take away from all that he’s said in these two posts and their comments is that any gun owners that agree with him about how to increase gun regulation are not “gun assholes” that “love” their guns. They are thus acceptable people to discuss gun issues with, in his eyes. It must be nice to only consider the views of people that already agree with you.

  192. stripeycat says

    WithinThisMind @217
    It wasn’t meant as a gloat. More as an example of how the system can be made to work reasonably well, both protecting public safety and allowing fun with firearms. And without being massively expensive or unwieldy to its users. The main thing is getting public opinion onside: after Dunblane, there was a big push to get people to voluntarily surrender pistols (rather than exporting them or trying to hide them). I think there was some financial compensation, but the main factor was social pressure. Anyone trying to hold onto their toys was branded as negligent at best, and at worst collaborating in future atrocities, obviously against children and for school massacres The views of the actual gun-owners was relatively unimportant; what mattered was the shame from *everyone else*. I believe that it actually worked, and that most handguns retrieved by the police are not legal-before-1997 ones that ended up in the black market. I’m not sure how to work this in the US, though, given how polarised your identity politics are already. You’d need to leverage opinion within communities, without external manipulation.

  193. stripeycat says

    JasonTD actually @217
    I think there’s a distinction to be made between people who enjoy guns, and people who fetishise guns. PZ is disturbed by people who value their guns over other people’s safety, and doesn’t think there’s much point in talking to them because they’re clearly monsterously selfish and/or in total denial of reality.

  194. says

    Like I said before, your attitude is exactly like that of a Right Wing Republican on women’s rights.

    People like anuran really feed into the trope that some guys really see their guns as dick extensions. No other attitude explains this.

    Dianne
    I understand your point. People who blatantly disregard societal norms and regulations also have a tendency to react quite strongly when being called out. Some years ago I asked somebody to please stop smoking in the fucking elevator I was using with my back then baby and toddler
    As a result he offered me to shut my mouth for me with some violence.
    How should anybody kow beforehand whether these people will react reasonable or start shooting?

    Jason TD
    Do you understand the difference between “fun” and “loooooving”?
    I used to practise archery. It was fun. So was clubbing (dancing, not hitting somebody with a club). But most certainly I didn’t lose something taht would be remotely considered “love” when I couldn’t do either of them anymore.

    +++
    BTW, I think I know (from more than passing acquaintance) two people with guns: One of them is a cop who needs it on duty. Gun never gets home. The other one is somebody who is actually a gun asshole and I wished he didn’t have guns. He likes to joke how he’d love to use some of the brown immigrants for target practise. But given the German laws even he doesn’t carry his weapons in public.

  195. Al Dente says

    Jason TD @217

    There’s a difference between shooting as a hobby and having a gun fetish. I’m a model railroader. I enjoy running trains and making realistic scenery. But if I had to give up my layout then I wouldn’t whine about it. I don’t have an obsession with my layout the way many gunnutz have an obsession with guns.

    I can see someone enjoying shooting as a hobby. I wonder about someone who HAS to have their guns. I worry about someone who needs to have guns to keep the barbarians away from the door.

  196. says

    @218

    Wasn’t interpreting it as a gloat. It was a bit more bitter sarcasm against all the idiots who say things like gun control and national healthcare can’t work because ‘reasons’, yet it turns out everywhere both have been implemented sensibly they’ve worked extremely well.

  197. Lee1 says

    @197 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Is it your interpretation of the first and fourth amendments that “the people” have a right peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, but individual men and women do not? Or that “the people” have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, but individual men and women do not? I’m having trouble understanding what it would mean for “the people” collectively to be constitutionally protected from (for example) unreasonable searches if individuals aren’t, and I’m trying to understand how to square that with your interpretation of the phrase “the people” in the second amendment.

  198. Lee1 says

    Sorry, I should have just said “individuals” rather than “individual men and women” so as not to exclude any other individuals.

  199. says

    @scourge99
    Since I’ve answered your question, maybe you’d answer mine. Do you agree that some gun owners are not responsible and if so, what do you propose that we do about that?

  200. Anthony K says

    Sorry; I didn’t mean to write ‘awesome’ in comment 228, I meant to write ‘responsible. It should have read

    Oh, dianne @224, there are literally tonnes of responsible gun owners being their responsible selves: http://www.dailykos.com/news/GunFail

    I didn’t intend for that to read so callous or gleeful with respect to others’ injuries or deaths, but I sincerely apologise for having done so.

  201. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Lee 1 @ 225:

    How does one person “assemble”?

    In the fifth amendment it says “No person shall be held to answer…”, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…”. In the sixth, “the accused” “shall enjoy” “be confronted” with the witnesses against “him”, etc.

    In the ninth and tenth, when it talks about “rights” and “powers” they use “people”.

    I agree, “petition for redress of grievances” sounds like an individual action, but perhaps they were visualizing that in the modern sense of a “petition” that must be signed by many people, and would have said “sue” for an individual suit. I guess that’s why we need a Supreme Court, to interpret this stuff…too bad we’ve got one packed with incompetent ideologues.

  202. Lee1 says

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge @230:

    Sure, a single person can’t assemble, but it seems to me that two or a small number of people assembling is very different than the citizenry broadly speaking (or at least a large part of it) – as I interpret your comment @197 – assembling, and much closer to the spirit of an individual right. And a single person can exercise their right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Given that those rights in the first and fourth amendments are essentially universally interpreted as individual rights (at least as far as I’m aware), I think if one focuses specifically on the phrase “the people” in the second amendment (as you do @197), it’s completely consistent with an interpretation of the right to keep and bear arms as an individual one.

    Of course that’s not to say the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right couldn’t or shouldn’t be regulated in a reasonable way, as all of the other individual rights are. Nor is it to say that we should just ignore the first part of the second amendment relating to militias, which adds some ambiguity to say the least….

  203. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I agree, if the whole of the second amendment was the second half, it would be interpretable as an individual right.

    Remember, though, the context was the prerevolutionary situation, where the British government was reluctant to allow the colonists to band together for their own protection (against a real French threat) and stockpile arms to that end, thinking it would make sedition too easy.

    I just can’t see the expanded reading: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State (Capitalized!), the right of the people to keep and bear Arms for their individual self-protection, shall not be infringed.

    As I said, with an Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guards, “the people” have the “keeping and bearing Arms” for the security of the State covered six ways from Sunday.

  204. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Well, I screwed up the tags, but just imagine me saying that in a really singsong voice…

  205. Lee1 says

    I guess to my mind it’s still ambiguous. While we can’t ignore the militia part, I also don’t think we can ignore the fact that the second part uses a phrase – “the people” – that seems to clearly refer to an individual right in amendments one and four (certainly in current interpretation, and I think in original interpretation, although I don’t pretend to be an expert on that).

    My personal preference for the interpretation would be the one standing based on current precedent, that it’s an individual right. But I’d be very happy to see that individual right considerably more tightly regulated than it is now (at least in much of the country, especially states with CC laws). And I won’t lose too much sleep if a future court overturns Heller.

  206. opus says

    It’s really all very simple:

    1. The Original Intent of our Founders is sacrosanct.

    2. The Original Founders intended for all Americans to have the right to own a smooth-bore, muzzle-loading flintlock rifle.

    3. Any alleged ‘right’ to own anything more modern than a smooth-bore, muzzle-loading flintlock rifle is a creation of activist judges and is contrary to the intent of the Wise Ones who delivered our Constitution straight from the hands of God to the awaiting world.

    Any questions??

  207. says

    opus
    Technically, smooth-bores are muskets. A rifle (or rifle-musket) has always meant something with a rifled barrel. Such a thing was useful for hunting in that era, but limited military applications (snipers and skirmishers), due to the fact that until the invention of the Minie ball a rifle took 4-5 times longer to load than a smoothbore. /nitpick

  208. says

    A relevant and current Cracked list! 4 People Who Were Way Too Casual About Firearms

    Most of these are “accidental discharges” which apparently are some sort of problem for “responsible” gun owners. Like, hey, accidentally fired a shot in Walmart? Whoops! Better pay for my shit and go!

    This is why I don’t want any stupid fuck who wants a gun to be able to get one and I definitely don’t want those same stupid fucks carrying their piece in public. And by “stupid fucks” I mean anyone who is deluded enough to think that carrying a gun in public is a good decision. Or leaving a gun anywhere but a locked safe is a good plan.

    People in general aren’t smart enough to be trusted owning guns. Since there’s no way to know who will or will not be a “responsible” gun owner, hugely restrict access. Make getting that pistol permit next to impossible. Then, there should be zero tolerance for this kind of fuck up. And I’m dead serious about this: the second you do something stupid with a gun- even if no one is hurt- you lose your permit permanently and all your guns are confiscated and destroyed.

    Don’t like it? Boo hoo hoo, you should’ve been a responsible gun owner in the first place.

  209. says

    I think this may be at the core of the disagreement: Is gun ownership a right or a privilege? Do you have to prove that you’re responsible before you can own a gun or do you have to prove that you’re not responsible before you’re banned from owning one?

    For example, indicus, all the way back at #34. I really feel like there’s some very basic disconnect on that point.

  210. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Is gun ownership a right or a privilege?

    I’m baffled that the circumstances in US are such that this can be posed as a serious question.

  211. vaiyt says

    Not everyone is fit to drive a car or handle volatile chemicals, so why should guns be any different?

  212. Sili says

    What about a compromise? People can keep all the guns they want, but they don’t get access to gunpowder or any other explosives? Pretty sure the 2nd amendment focuses solely on “arms”, not bullets.

  213. rabbitscribe says

    #241 Sili:

    In DC v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a right to own guns in a form “suitable for self-defense.” They specifically overturned a regulation mandating trigger locks. So no, permitting only unloaded guns would not currently be lawful.

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They specifically overturned a regulation mandating trigger locks. So no, permitting only unloaded guns would not currently be lawful.

    That isn’t discussing range safety rules and how to carry guns safely in public so there is no change of unwanted discharge. Besides, when the SC changes, so will the ruling.

  215. rabbitscribe says

    #238 LykeX:

    “I think this may be at the core of the disagreement: Is gun ownership a right or a privilege?”

    If by “right” we mean something the government allows you to do, subject to limitations,” then it’s a right.

    Do you have to prove that you’re responsible before you can own a gun or do you have to prove that you’re not responsible before you’re banned from owning one?

    Neither. Completely irresponsible adults may own guns everywhere in the US, unless they are also felons or mentally ill. In some states, concealed carry/ open carry permits are issued at the discretion of law enforcement. They could deny the request based on a pattern of personal irresponsibility. In others, the law mandates the permits SHALL be issued to anyone, subject to certain criteria. And in a few, any adult, including felons, may simply buy a gun anywhere and strap it on.

  216. says

    I’ve been reading the thread off and on, and finally refreshed without seeing new comments. Major kudos to the actual reasonable gun owners who showed up to voice their desire for a better gun culture and for showing that there is indeed a significant distinction between responsible gun owners and the all-too-common gun strokers.

    I’m reminded of a line from the original Star Trek, where some members of the crew got swapped with their evil counterparts from the mirror universe. The main universe’s crew was able to work in the savage environment and carry out an escape plan as well as plant a seed of reform. Meanwhile, Bizarro Kirk and his associates spent most of their time in the main universe’s brig, screaming like madmen. “Perhaps, as civilized men, you were better able to act as barbarians, than they, as barbarians, could act as civilized men.”

    In my experience, gun strokers just don’t seem to understand the myriad ways they refute their own assertions of being reasonable. They sometimes pay lip service to gun safety and self-restraint, but they don’t seem to grasp the purpose of the various safeguards, regulations, and so forth. They just see strange rituals that are holding them back from executing a split second decision in the heat of battle. If anything, I’d say the big problem with guns is that in the heat of nonviolent conflict, they make it all too easy to escalate a shouting match into murder in such a split second.

    They’re also oblivious to higher level safeguards. If, as a civilian, I ever feel the need to carry a gun out of fear for my life, I will recognize it means society is failing. Division of labor and specialization is a big thing in advanced cultures. The police and military are looking after my safety so that I don’t have to. They do that so that I can spend more of my time enjoying life and being productive in my own specialized way. I shouldn’t need a gun because society is supposed to make such efforts needlessly redundant.

    The corrupt NRA-style gun culture seems pretty self-reinforcing. Crazed gunmen are an excuse for irresponsible people to own guns and have a hair trigger, both on their gun and in their brain. Inevitably, many of those irresponsible people, through some combination of anger management issues, indoctrination into conspiracy paranoia, racism, sexism, or a general love of “second amendment solutions” for their problems become those very crazed gunmen.

    People like me are just proposing that we try to keep guns out of the hands of people who haven’t proven they’re mature enough to handle such a big responsibility. Whenever we propose such measures, out come the gun strokers to whine like spoiled children that we’re going to the extreme of taking away all the guns from everyone, not just the people who won’t take good care that said guns won’t leave bullets in the neighbors’ bodies.

    I start to wonder how many of them are just self-aware enough to whine because they know they’re easily identifiable as high risk individuals just waiting for their inevitable excuse to go on a shooting spree.

  217. rabbitscribe says

    ” Besides, when the SC changes, so will the ruling.”

    That’s very unlikely. The foundation of American jurisprudence is stare decis. Judges interpret the law as they find it, they don’t create it as they wish it to be. The Supreme Court has overturned itself a tiny, tiny handful of times, and never on anything as important as the interpretation of a Constitutional Amendment. There’s a body of law called the Slaughter-House Cases. It’s atrocious law that originated from one of the worst Courts that ever sat. Everybody hates them, but has always been very skittish about outright-overturning them. I really don’t see Heller being overturned for the forseeable future.

  218. rabbitscribe says

    #235 Opus: “Any questions??”

    Yes. If you are right, how is reality any different than if you are wrong? If it’s unconstitutional to own a revolver but every single judge (not 95% of them, not all but four or five, but every single one) erroneously believes it is constitutional, then what’s the point?

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s very unlikely

    Very likely, since the reason for the “right”, is a well-regulated militia which ceased to exist early in the history of this country.
    Besides, we are talking about how to make the country safer for all concerned, and all you can try to do is to stifle the conversation. Which you are too stupid to do. Not everybody agrees with the present situation, and they want to work to change it into something safer for all concerned. You don’t give a shit about the safety of people by your attitude and OPINION. Therefore, you and your OPINION can be dismissed on any discussion of safety.

  220. rabbitscribe says

    “Then, there should be zero tolerance for this kind of fuck up. And I’m dead serious about this: the second you do something stupid with a gun- even if no one is hurt- you lose your permit permanently and all your guns are confiscated and destroyed.”

    Now see, that’s doable. Some people would go even further: make it a criminal offense to have your gun stolen, period. I wish more people were pushing for solutions that might actually bear fruit, rather than tilting at “$500.00 per bullet tax!” windmills.

  221. rabbitscribe says

    #248 Nerd: “Very likely, since the reason for the “right”, is a well-regulated militia which ceased to exist early in the history of this country.”

    In America, the judiciary interprets the law. The Supreme Court has said the prefatory clause doesn’t matter and gun ownership is an individual right. If one more liberal Justice means Heller is overturned, does one more conservative Justice mean Roe is overturned? Of course not.

    “Not everybody agrees with the present situation, and they want to work to change it into something safer for all concerned. You don’t give a shit about the safety of people by your attitude and OPINION. Therefore, you and your OPINION can be dismissed on any discussion of safety.”

    I disagree with the present situation as well. I have many ideas about how to make things safer. The difference is, mine are informed by an accurate understanding of the law and therefore might actually be implemented.

  222. says

    Do you have to prove that you’re responsible before you can own a gun or do you have to prove that you’re not responsible before you’re banned from owning one?

    Neither. Completely irresponsible adults may own guns everywhere in the US, unless they are also felons or mentally ill.

    Maybe I was unclear about what I meant by “responsible”. What I was getting at was the burden of proof. Absent any evidence, can you buy a gun? The current standard is pretty much “yes”. If you’re an adult citizen with enough money to buy a gun, you’re good. There has to be a reason beyond the norm (mental illness or criminal record) before you can’t.

    What I was asking was what it should be. If it’s not clear, my answer is a definite “no”. We can discuss what hoops people have to jump through, but I’d say that mandatory training and regular re-licensing is an absolute minimum. As was mentioned above, guns should be treated at least as seriously as cars.

    I live in Denmark. Here, you have to have been a member of a gun club for two years before you can own your own weapon. In the meantime, you rent them from the club and learn how to properly handle them. That seems reasonable to me. Two years is enough time for you to let down your guard and show what your real attitudes are. It gives the people at the club some time to see how you behave with a gun in your hand and lets them weed out the assholes.

  223. says

    Beatrice

    I’m baffled that the circumstances in US are such that this can be posed as a serious question.

    It’s the endless supply of “Natural Rights” assholes this country produces. The rights in the Constitution are Holy Writ, you see, and not subject to discussion or change.

    rabbitscribe
    You still appear to be completely missing the point: Everyone here knows what the Heller decision was, and knows what the law currently says. In case you hadn’t caught one yet, this thread is a discussion of ways those laws ought to be changed.

  224. says

    What about a rule that you need to bring your gun(s) in for re-licensing yearly? I.e. to get your license renewed, you have to physically bring your gun in to be inspected. If you fail in that, you get a visit from the police. This ensures that no irregular private sales occur and makes it a big bother to accumulate a large arsenal.

    Another option might be that all guns be registered with their forensic ballistic profile in the process. That way any bullet fired in the course of a crime can be instantly traced back to a specific gun and a specific owner.*

    * I’m not sure of the technical issues involved (educated by tv-shows, sadly), so I invite correction. Are ballistic traces precise enough to reliably distinguish that many guns? Does the profile of a single gun change over time? Can the profile be changed somehow, to evade detection?

  225. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @LyleX:

    IANAGunSmith:

    Nonetheless, I do know that a few scratches inside a barrel – or a replacement barrel – will change the lans and grooves left on bullets by their passage. Would it help? Almost certainly, b/c crimes are often committed impulsively. It’s not a quick fix though.

    Also, a number of forensic sciences have proven to be more suspect in their results than is generally perceived, even (perhaps especially) in courts.

    Increasing the database would likely increase the likelihood of finding the science less reliable than previously believed b/c of multiple matches. That is something law enforcement would like to avoid

  226. rabbitscribe says

    #252 Dalillama:

    “You still appear to be completely missing the point: Everyone here knows what the Heller decision was, and knows what the law currently says. In case you hadn’t caught one yet, this thread is a discussion of ways those laws ought to be changed.”

    First of all, that’s not clear to me. When people propose solutions like entirely banning ammo or restricting guns to flintlocks, I can only assume they don’t know the law- neither of those would pass judicial scrutiny (“a condition suitable for self defense” / “in common use”). Furthermore, the way laws “ought to be changed” is very different from the way laws can be changed here in 21st century America. We can not repeal the Second Amendment because we can not get 38 states to ratify. And again, we can not enforce statutory laws that courts overturn based on case law.

    The two most important things we can do are sadly the two hardest. Get busy and hope for tangible results in ten or fifteen years. First, we need to cut the knees out from under an entire class of armed violent criminals by legalizing most drugs and drastically cutting the penalties for using the rest. We also need a massive, many-tens-of-billions-of-dollars initiative to discover what makes a Loughner or a Lanza. I assume there’s a neurological basis for it (the Texas Tower shooter had a massive brain tumor). Find out why it happens, find out how to determine when it’s happening, find out how to treat it and until we do, keep its victims on a very short leash. Incidentally, the violent mentally ill should be forcibly medicated if they resist treatment, starting now. It’s a tall order, but as the eminent Western philosopher Eddie Van Halen observed, “Why put it off another day?”

    The two least important things we can do are the easiest and also kind of fun. Heap endless ridicule and scorn on anybody who seems to believe the right to bear arms is without limitation. The same goes those who believe they have a legitimate right to engage in armed resistance against the government. Often a picture is worth a thousand words- say a picture of a Blackhawk helicopter, Gatling guns blazing and missiles headed home. Or reply to “When you pry it from my cold, dead hands!” with “Please- this is the 21st century and we have standards and procedures. It takes hours for a body to cool and rigor mortis to set in. Your worthless bullet-riddled carcass will be bagged and tagged and your shitty AR-15 knock-off in an evidence locker long before anybody would need to do any prying.”

    And somewhere in the middle, in no particular order: it should be a very serious crime to carry or handle a gun while intoxicated, whether or not something happens. Get absolutely heartless with accidental shooters. “I can see you’re beside yourself with grief after mistaking your daughter for a burglar and killing her. You’re under arrest for aggravated manslaughter. Care to just cop a plea, ten years, out in nine and a half with good behavior?” If a gun you own is involved in a crime, including being in the possession of someone who may not have a gun, we charge you as an accessory. And needless to say, if you have sold it or given it away illegally, you still own it for the purposes of this law. Science offers endless possibilities. Get foolproof biometrics, and subsidize installing them on guns. Develop technology that sniffs gunpowder or otherwise locates guns where they have no business being. The Commerce Clause gives the federal government tremendous latitude- let’s apply it to actual commerce for a change. “Herp derp, Chicago has tough gun control but a high crime rate so gun control doesn’t work, derp herp.” Well, that’s largely because Indiana is ten minutes away and they’ve all but set up Glock vending machines on the border. Could Indiana’s gun laws be unconstitutionally lenient? Absolutely. Let’s sue and find out. A federal registry, no grandfather clause. You don’t have to turn ‘em in but you sure the hell have to sign ‘em up. And of course, magazine capacity limits, assault weapon bans, and all that mundane stuff.

    But we can’t ban guns, or even handguns. We can’t limit gun rights in any way that renders the guns unsuitable for self-defense in the home. We can’t repeal the Second Amendment or enact legislation based on the legal theory of a collective right to be defended by a militia. Maybe we ought to be able to, but we can’t- Magic Eight-Ball says “Check back in twenty years.” The sooner we stop needlessly inconveniencing electrons by posting those thoughts on the Internet, the better.

  227. rabbitscribe says

    LykeX: Gun owners are (sometimes) licensed in America, not individual guns. But something similar could be accomplished with a comprehensive registry.

    Crip: I’m the last thing from a ballistics technology expert. But it seems to me that if we’re investigating a murder in New York City and a registry found three matches: an Atlanta cop, a Portland octogenarian, and the victim’s estranged husband’s older brother in Newark, NJ, that would be immensely helpful.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rabbitscribe, you aren’t discussing gun safety, but gun use. You are dismissed as irrelevant fuckwittery.

  229. jefrir says

    rabbitscribe

    When people propose solutions like entirely banning ammo or restricting guns to flintlocks, I can only assume they don’t know the law

    Whereas I assume that they’re taking the piss, because I’m pretty sure no-one is actually suggesting those as realistic solutions to the problem.
    Your attempts to educate us all as if we are totally unaware of the legal situation are becoming increasingly tedious, and are not nearly as useful as you seem to think.

    We also need a massive, many-tens-of-billions-of-dollars initiative to discover what makes a Loughner or a Lanza. I assume there’s a neurological basis for it (the Texas Tower shooter had a massive brain tumor). Find out why it happens, find out how to determine when it’s happening, find out how to treat it and until we do, keep its victims on a very short leash. Incidentally, the violent mentally ill should be forcibly medicated if they resist treatment, starting now.

    “Being a murderous arsehole” is not a medical condition. It cannot be treated. Seriously. People kill for a huge variety of reasons, and do not necessarily have any mental health problems at all. People with mental health problems are certainly not necessarily violent – in fact, in the absence of substance abuse problems, they are no more violent than average. We cannot predict mass-murderers, because they do not have consistent common factors, and the factors they do share are also shared with a fuck of a lot of non-murderers.
    Furthermore, predicting and “treating” mass-murderers like Lanza and Loughner, even if such a thing were possible, would not have more than a tiny effect on the level of gun violence in America. Did you not read upthread? 30,000 deaths a year. Most of those are not mass shootings. Most of them are individuals, shot for reasons which are usually all too clear: jealousy, paranoia, bigotry, incompetence, carelessness, drunken stupidity.
    We should not let the comparatively rare problem of mass-shootings distract us from the far more deadly, far more straightforward problem of too many idiots with too many guns.

  230. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @WithinThisMind #169

    Instead of the default being ‘it’s okay for you to have a gun’ and then somebody has to prove you are unfit for firearm ownership, the default should be ‘you can’t have a gun’ and you have to prove you are a mature, responsible individual with an acceptable reason to want a gun to a reasonable and objective mediator.

    Unfortunately, since reasonable and objective mediators are about as easy to find as bigfoot, I doubt such a system would ever be workable.

    Nope, that’s pretty much the situation here in the UK. You are assumed to have the right to own a shotgun, defined under UK law as being a smoothbore gun firing pellets and capable of holding no more than three cartridges, but even your right to own that is subject to a background check, a conversation with your GP to check you’re not dangerous, and a demonstration from you that you can securely store any firearm and ammunition. So if you’re of sound mind, have no criminal convictions, and can afford a gun safe, then you will certainly be able to obtain a Shot Gun Certificate and buy yourself a shotgun. Any other kind of firearm requires you to demonstrate a need for said firearm, in addition to all the above conditions; in which case you can have a Fire Arms Certificate and buy yourself said gun. In reality, these are only ever really granted to civilians for hunting rifles, target shooting guns incl. target pistols, and historical firearms.

    Licenses cost £50 and have to be renewed every 5 years (might be more frequently for an FAL, I’m not sure). You can only buy guns and ammunition from licensed dealers, and they won’t sell you anything if you don’t have the proper license. They also have to record every sale and notify the police, who have a big ol’ database detailing who owns what firearm. It is illegal to carry a firearm anywhere outside your own property without a specific purpose. The system works great; gun violence here is rare.

  231. vaiyt says

    The corrupt NRA-style gun culture seems pretty self-reinforcing. Crazed gunmen are an excuse for irresponsible people to own guns and have a hair trigger, both on their gun and in their brain. Inevitably, many of those irresponsible people, through some combination of anger management issues, indoctrination into conspiracy paranoia, racism, sexism, or a general love of “second amendment solutions” for their problems become those very crazed gunmen.

    The people who want to arm everyone with guns to protect them from other people with guns ignore that “other people with guns” is a subset of “everyone”.

  232. says

    While we can’t ignore the militia part, I also don’t think we can ignore the fact that the second part uses a phrase – “the people” – that seems to clearly refer to an individual right…

    We also can’t ignore the fact that the Second Amendment mentions the “well-regulated militia” and “the security of a free State” FIRST, and the “right to keep and bear arms” comes SECOND. No other right is set forth with that kind of prefatory language; therefore the right to keep and bear arms must be considered to be LIMITED in a way that no other right is.

    The Supreme Court has said the prefatory clause doesn’t matter…

    Citation and exact quote required, because that’s just plain false: NO ONE has the authority to say that any part of a country’s basic written law simply “doesn’t matter.” The Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution, and argue over its interpretation, but they can’t just ignore any part of what’s in it.

  233. says

    This post is from two weeks ago, but I only just noticed it now and it seems very relevant for this topic.

    There’s one quote, especially, highlighted by one of the commenters on that thread, that really brings the point home:

    “We are locked in a struggle with powerful forces in this country who will do anything to destroy the Second Amendment,” said Richard Venola, a former editor of Guns & Ammo. “The time for ceding some rational points is gone.”

    It simply isn’t possible to have a discussion with a person like that. It can’t be done. If they refuse to accept points that even they agree are rational, what’s left?

    Note, incidentally, how this attitude perfectly mirrors the comments of e.g. erichoug, with the constant insistence that we just want to ban all guns and think that all gun owners are crazy, even in the face of multiple comments saying the exact opposite.

    Finally, the original article makes some interesting points about how the gun industry is involved in pushing the gun owners to more extreme positions. Why is it that so much of American politics boils down to wealthy lobbying groups?

  234. vaiyt says

    Here, the main problem of gun violence is, by far, crime and gang warfare. Exactly the kind of situation gun nuts would believe to be solved with more, easily available guns. Yet, pro-gun lobbies have nowhere the same push they have in the US. We got a Disarming Law in years past, and several campaigns that had thousands of guns returned to the government with no incident.

    We still have way too many guns, many of which end in the hands of criminals – hence our government is trying to close that avenue for gangs. Every unused gun in a home is a capital generator in potential to a gang, so they WILL try to steal guns when they’re available. Hell, sometimes they try to raid the police and army for guns!

  235. Keith Welch says

    The problem, as I see it, is simple: No one thinks they’re too stupid to own a gun.

  236. says

    Actually, Keith, a lot of us do, including me, even though I’ve fired a few (and, yes, enjoyed it), and adhere to every safety precaution I know of in a spirit of sheer terror of unintentionally killing someone. I certainly don’t think I’m smart enough to know where to point one if I ever found myself in a REAL active-shooter situation.

  237. says

    Keith: The poll you cite looks like, at best, just another fishy-looking internet poll; and, at worst, a push-poll rigged by gun-lobby interests to fake a consensus that I, for one, find highly implausible. Example: Q6 — a majority of LEOs may say no to magazine-size restrictions, but 95%?!

    And look at Q5 — do 75% of LEOs really think a law against semi-automatic weapons would have no effect on their safety?

    But the real tells are Q15 and Q16 — do you really expect me to believe that such a huge plurality of LEOs are totally okay with refusing to enforce laws?

  238. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Raging Bee:

    The Supreme Court has said the prefatory clause doesn’t matter…

    Citation and exact quote required, because that’s just plain false: NO ONE has the authority to say that any part of a country’s basic written law simply “doesn’t matter.” The Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution, and argue over its interpretation, but they can’t just ignore any part of what’s in it.

    SCOTUS didn’t ignore the prefatory clause, but they sure as heck said it didn’t matter to the operation of the 2nd amendment.

    The cite you want is DC v Heller which has its fuller expression here, in the original opinion.

    Note especially the language of the opinion summary:

    Held:

    1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.

    I am truly sorry (not least b/c I favor a more limited right to arms), but you are wrong here.

  239. Keith Welch says

    Raging Bee: There’s not much that would surprise me about what the street cop believes. For one thing, the second amendment seems to be the only amendment they care much about.

  240. says

    Crip Dyke: there are several problems with that ruling that make it nowhere near what the gun lobby say it is. First, the opinion was written by Scalia, who’s not known for consistent legal reasoning; and in this particular case, he’s clearly trying to support the current right-wing party line, grabbing what few straws are available (and nowhere near sufficient) for that purpose. First he relies way too much on a very specific and long-outdated definition of a very vague and general word, “militia,” whose meaning has clearly changed a lot over time (as I’m sure the Founders expected it would, as the people’s security needs evolve); then he says the prefatory clause only announces a purpose, and was not meant to have any actual effect, which is clearly bullshit — EVERY WORD IN A LAW has effect, which is why you need trained lawyers to write laws, otherwise they don’t work as intended. You get to argue over what certain words in a law mean, but you don’t get to say “Oh, the drafters didn’t mean those words to have any effect.” There’s a REASON why the founders announced a purpose for one right, but not for any others.

    And second, even Scalia had to clearly admit that he had absolutely ZERO ground to overturn anything but the most limited gun restrictions at issue in this case. Money quote:

    2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

    The gun assholes are clearly bluffing when they cite Heller. Let’s stop falling for it, shall we?

  241. says

    Another thing to note about Heller is that the ruling gives a LOT of examples of things the state can still regulate or prohibit, and only ONE example of a “lawful purpose” for which individuals have a right to bear arms: in-home self-defense. So contrary to Scalia’s pretentions, the right to keep and bear arms is limited UNLIKE any other right.

    Also, the phrase “dangerous weapons” in this ruling can easily be interpreted to include weapons that are poorly made, or don’t have any kind of safety features, or fire too easily when mishandled by, say, a child.

    And finally, there’s this:

    Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.

    The Heller ruling doesn’t even overturn DC’s licencing and registration laws.

  242. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Raging Bee:

    I’m not contesting that the default assumption is that every word in legislative language be given effect. I’m also not contesting the limitations of the ultimate impact of the DC v Heller case.

    What I’m contesting is your opposition to Rabbitscribe’s statement that

    The Supreme Court has said the prefatory clause doesn’t matter and gun ownership is an individual right.

    Yes, it’s an individual right, according to SCOTUS opinion.
    Yes, the holding clearly include that the prefatory clause has no effect on the scope or operation of the right – and thus “doesn’t matter” for many purposes.

    No right is unlimited. Finding limits on the 2nd amendment individual right does not mean that the court didn’t hold the prefatory clause to be non-operational in terms of defining the nature and extent of the right.

    I find your analysis of Heller to be accurate and in line with my own understanding…except that you seem oddly fixated on the idea that the court has not held what it clearly, explicitly held with regard to the prefatory clause and the individual nature of the right – which were the only things related to Rabbitscribe’s claim addressed.

    You & Rabbitscribe should be in agreement here.

    And you should definitely not dismiss the holding of SCOTUS merely because the opinion was written by Scalia. Jerk he may be. Inconsistent he may be. Justice of SCOTUS he certainly is, and when in the majority and selected to write, his opinion is as official as any other justice selected to write an official opinion.

  243. says

    …you seem oddly fixated on the idea that the court has not held what it clearly, explicitly held with regard to the prefatory clause and the individual nature of the right…

    I am explaining what the court actually held, which is clearly not in line with the vague general assertions that you and rabbitscribe make.

    And you should definitely not dismiss the holding of SCOTUS merely because the opinion was written by Scalia.

    I’m dismissing the parts of it that were based on dodgy legal reasoning, which makes it more likely to be modified or overturned in a later case. I’m also dismissing certain interpretations of the ruling because it makes a broad general statement about an individual right, then admits that right is far more limited than his general statement seems to imply. “The Supreme Court says there’s an individual right to keep and bear arms” is true, in a really vague and general sense; but certain particulars of that decision dilute the meaning of that general statement, and the result is a picture very different from the one it paints on its own.

  244. cotton says

    I’m going to try and be one of those responsible, reasonable gun owners. Here’s why I don’t trust gun control.

    1.) How on earth can there be any controls on who buys a gun, without registering every gun? If they aren’t registered, then there will be exactly what there is now in the face of what little regulation there currently is: a thriving private gun market. Secondly, there are millions of guns now. They will also be forced to be registered. That is unpalatable to me, especially when a registry is the first step towards confiscation. While I don’t accuse everyone here of demanding confiscation, is that something that many of you simply don’t want, or know isn’t possible now? B/c to be honest, and maybe I’m being unfair, I think many of ya’ll WANT to confiscate all or most privately owned firearms. Call it reading the room.

    2.) Banning specific guns from production will have little effect, or be very burdensome. Semi-automatic rifles are used is statistically very few killings. However, they look so scary that legislation meant to ban them focuses almost exclusively on cosmetic issues. Collapsible stocks? Flash suppressors? Magazine in front of the trigger? Pistol Grips?

    The real killers are handguns b/c they are concealable and most people who wish to kill others also want to get away with the crime. They are also the most popular type of firearm in the US. Also, most gun murders are small amounts of people. Person A wants to kill person B. A revolver will work just fine for this. Admittedly there would probably be SOME less killed from crossfire in shootouts.

    Overall though, I don’t think the murder or suicide rates via gun would go down much.

  245. says

    cotton

    How on earth can there be any controls on who buys a gun, without registering every gun?

    You mean like they do in Britain, as Thumper has described? This hasn’t lead to everyone’s guns being taken away. It is considered polite to have actually read the thread before you mouth off.

    B/c to be honest, and maybe I’m being unfair, I think many of ya’ll WANT to confiscate all or most privately owned firearms.

    Mostly because you asshole gun-fondlers refuse to deal with reality, and periodically decide that you haven’t had enough excitement in your fucking lives lately and blow someone away.

    The real killers are handguns b/c they are concealable and most people who wish to kill others also want to get away with the crime..

    Which is why there have been numerous calls in this thread to ban them from civilian possession, yes.
    As has been largely done in the civilized world, where the numbers of people getting shot are a whole lot lower than they are here.

    Overall though, I don’t think the murder or suicide rates via gun would go down much.

    Read the fucking thread you idiot. People have posted vast amounts of data indicating that you’re wrong about this. Have you any data at all to support any of your imbecilities? None of your fellow gun-fondlers have given any. BTW, there’s a brand-new thread about gun-fondlers here where your blithering will get more bites.

  246. says

    That is unpalatable to me, especially when a registry is the first step towards confiscation

    Cars are registered, yes? And there’s mandatory training to get a driver’s license, right? Why would you ask any less for a firearm?

    B/c to be honest, and maybe I’m being unfair, I think many of ya’ll WANT to confiscate all or most privately owned firearms

    I certainly do. It’s painfully clear that the majority of people who own firearms, shouldn’t. I’m okay with people owning firearms, provided that they do so responsibly; that means training, routine re-testing, registration of all firearms, not carrying weapons in public, safe storage and handling in general, and accepting that the privilege of owning a firearm can be revoked at any time if you fail to act responsibly. E.g. if you’re ever found in the possession of a gun and alcohol at the same time: Instant confiscation of all weapons.

    Of course, I also realize that this is not very realistic, considering how pathologically fetishistic American culture is about firearms. Your paranoia about having your guns taken away is part of that. It tells me that you care more about the “gun owner” part than the “responsible” part.

    Perhaps you could go into some detail about what you think would be a reasonable level of control. Try not to get derailed by fantasies about the government taking away your guns or what other people might do. Imagine that you could simply dictate what the rules should be and they’d be that and nothing else.

    What would be the ideal rules, according to you?

  247. Emlyn A says

    Liberals–OK, basically ANYONE who doesn’t carry–“tip-toe around” because…they don’t want to get SHOT.

    By a gun NUT.

    Whether or not they’re an ASSHOLE.

    Gun culture is like any other lifestyle/hobby/habit/rationale: threaten it, even with the most sound evidence, and it becomes a macho standoff. It becomes a matter of principle, not of common sense.

    And so that’s why gun assholes will argue that the price of freedom must be paid with the lives of innocents; and NOT paid by giving up guns.

    (A few Newtowns ain’t no big thang, right? C’mon, let’s go shewt some shit.)

  248. says

    I tried to be a responsible gun-owner; but in the process of being responsible, I ended up deciding that owning a gun wasn’t really a sensible idea, and I couldn’t think of any problem I’d had, past, present or foreseeable future, that a gun would have solved. And the responsible part of me keeps on making that decision, practically every day. So to me at least, it looks like the responsible gun-owner is the one who thinks things through over time and decides they’re laughably overrated and he really doesn’t need to own one. “Johnny next door has one, I gotta have one too!” is an attitude I gave up somewhere in grade-school.

  249. cotton says

    I’m not going to win a shouting match as I’m so outnumbered. So, I’ll just respond to people who can manage to talk w/o losing their shit. No, I don’t care if your points are valid beyond that. I realize there’s a lot of (impotent) rage b/c, no matter what happens here, I’m going to get my way for the foreseeable future on this issue.

    So to LykeX: The majority of people who own firearms seem to be owning them responsibly. 37% of Americans are gun owners, or live with one. That’s over 100,000,000 people. There are 300,000 gun crimes a year. If every crime was by a different person, that means 1 in 333 of gun owners use their gun to commit a crime. The other 332 seem to be doing ok.

    You call me paranoid, but as your side is so fond of saying, we are the only country where gun ownership is still allowed beyond hunting in very rural areas with super tight control. If you want what Australia, and Britian, and every other country want, that means you want my AR15, my semi-auto .22, and my 9mm pistol. I.E. all of my guns. I don’t hunt, and I’m not a big skeet shooter so I don’t do big hunting rifles or shotguns.

    You also compare cars to guns. I’ve done that and got lit up here like a Christmas tree. In any case, I know that the people who want to register cars, don’t want to take them away. Your side views any gun ownership rights I have left as part of a compromise. If you call that paranoid, then you tell me what gun rights you would defend? At what point do you say “that would go too far”?

    Inasmuch as I’ve asked you some questions, you asked me some. Specifically, what regime would I like to see. I would like to see the following compromise:

    1.) Registration of all guns, new and used.
    2.) A license to own individual classes of firearms (non-semi auto rifles / semi auto rifles / pistols / concealed carry / etc) based on general safety, use of that particular class of weapon, ability to show proper storage, and a background check (including mental health)
    3.) Anyone who warrants a restraining order temporarily loses their licenses for a period of time.
    4.) Anyone who betrays the public trust in a fundamental way (criminal convictions past a certain level) loses their licenses for a period of time.
    5.) A “new” 2nd amendment that is ironclad in the protection of gun rights. I would view any law the same way I would view a law regulation regarding abortion rights. Regulations? fine…as long as the point of the regulation is safety and health, not an end-run curtailment of rights.

    This is my off the cuff idea anyway.

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The majority of people who own firearms seem to be owning them responsibly.

    They are only responsible if they don’t carry loaded weapons in public, or store loaded weapons anywhere in their house/car. Safety rules….

  251. says

    @cotton

    If every crime was by a different person, that means 1 in 333 of gun owners use their gun to commit a crime. The other 332 seem to be doing ok.

    Maybe we could agree that being responsible means more than just “hasn’t actually shot anyone yet”? E.g. Anyone who carries a loaded gun in public is automatically not responsible in my eyes. No, I don’t care what the laws are in your country. Responsible people don’t do that. Case closed, discussion over. Unless you’re a cop or find yourself in a war zone, that’s simply not necessary.

    If you call that paranoid, then you tell me what gun rights you would defend? At what point do you say “that would go too far”?

    Personally, I think that hunting and target shooting at a dedicated range are legitimate reasons to own a firearm. I would be hesitant to accept regulations that completely eliminated any kind of gun ownership. In my own country, Denmark, gun ownership is heavily regulated, but quite possible, both for hunting, collecting and sports shooting. I see no reason to go beyond that.

    The problems don’t stem from people who have guns as a hobby. I think by the time you get it dialed back to that point, guns will simply no longer be an issue. Nobody will care because it’s simply not a problem anymore.

    Of course, that’s a marathon and a half away from where America is now. It’s not just a matter of legislation, it’s also (as should be obvious by now) a matter of culture and attitude. The simple fact that you have a fucking constitutional amendment protecting gun rights makes my head spin. I’m not sure I at all understand why guns are so important to you people.

  252. cotton says

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”. That’s pretty much the fundamental issue. Americans do not like being told what to do by anyone. Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    I think if you’re fair, you’ll also realize that as a Dane, your country is far smaller in size, population, and diversity. I.E. most of you probably have a range of outlooks not anything nearly as wide as the range of outlooks in the United States.

    BTW what did you think of my gun compromise?

  253. anteprepro says

    So, I’ll just respond to people who can manage to talk w/o losing their shit. No, I don’t care if your points are valid beyond that.

    Why should anyone care about engaging you when you admit that you don’t particularly care about facts or logic? This is just a game to you, and if someone else isn’t using the right tone, they’re disqualified. It’s just entertainment for you and nothing more.

    Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    And like virtually every gun fetishist before you, you vastly overestimate the odds of standing up to the U.S. military with just conventional firearms. It’s not really so much an ultimate ability to say no as much as it the most extreme version of suicide by cop.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    BTW what did you think of my gun compromise?

    Bullshit. Unless concealed carry is forbidden, and leaving a loaded gun in your beside table are forbidden. Gun safety rules require separation of the gun and ammunition until you are ready to fire the weapon.

  255. says

    cotton

    I think if you’re fair, you’ll also realize that as a Dane, your country is far smaller in size, population, and diversity.

    Aw Jeez, not this shit again. We can all hear the dogwhistles, asshole.

    BTW what did you think of my gun compromise?

    It sucks. Also, you’re an even bigger asshole for comparing carrying lethal weapons with the right to bodily integrity and autonomy.

  256. ledasmom says

    cotton @274:

    That is unpalatable to me, especially when a registry is the first step towards confiscation.

    My marriage is registered. My car is registered. My children’s births are registered.

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”. That’s pretty much the fundamental issue. Americans do not like being told what to do by anyone. Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    Huh? Logically speaking, what you are saying is that guns are the ultimate ability to say “no” to the government very briefly, followed by your death or imprisonment. Unless you are advocating for a personal right to own tanks and missiles, a gun is not going to go very far versus the government.

  257. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”. That’s pretty much the fundamental issue. Americans do not like being told what to do by anyone. Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    That is called paranoia, prima facie evidence you have no business owning a gun….

  258. says

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”.

    And even the smallest national army has more such ability than you will ever have. Your point…?

  259. Anri says

    cotton @ 283:

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”. That’s pretty much the fundamental issue. Americans do not like being told what to do by anyone. Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    Ok, here’s something I’d like you to try, maybe you’ll be able to do it:

    Describe something you would use your gun to say ‘no’ to, governmentally speaking.
    Simultaneously, avoid sounding like a survivalist loon.

    To put it another way, what do you think the government’s planning on doing that you need your gun to stop? And if you don’t think there is such a plan… isn’t needing a gun to stop a non-existent plan the definition of paranoia?

  260. cotton says

    First to Anteprepro: I don’t deal with people like you because I don’t like spending hours untwisting my own words. I did not say I don’t care about logic; I do. I’m sure there is some loose change at the bottom of the sewer but I’m passing it by. If you feel that the ability to form logical arguments excuses being an unmitigated bore, we are just going to have to disagree.

    BTW when I said the ultimate ability to say “no” I wasn’t only thinking of, say, revolt. Why is there this animosity to personal defense in someones home? How can a person be qualified to fire a gun at a range, but it be out of the question for that person to shoot a home invader? I don’t think I even mentioned the government. I know you can’t wait to paint me with the paranoid brush so I can be easily dismissed (or the racist brush, or w/e you can do to launder your view of me into one that a majority of people would find disgusting).

    Even so, I just can’t stand these argument of “well you’ll get your ass kicked by the military”. No shit. Look, I do not think there is anything tyrannical or w/e about the current US government. NSA spying is creepy, I wish we had a far more reserved foreign policy, but I’m not some camo clad nut job training to drink my own piss.

    There was the accusation of me using racist dog whistles. I am not preparing nor do I anticipate a “race war”. I was saying that the US tends to have much harsher internal disagreements than a country like Denmark. The US has more regions with their own interests, more types of people with different backgrounds, and more people to be ruled by a government elite. The average Danish representative (I think…) represents 31,229 people (5.59 million / 179 reps). The average american representative represents over 700,000 people. I mean do Danes have as poisonous an atmosphere in politics as the US does? Maybe that has to do with the radically different visions for the country that Americans have vs Danes.

    I was disappointed to see that as someone who advocated for gun registration, strict gun licensing, and restrictions on who could own guns, was viewed as an asshole with no redeeming qualities. I’m curious if its even possible for many of you to respect someone who doesn’t share your opinion lockstep.

  261. jefrir says

    How can a person be qualified to fire a gun at a range, but it be out of the question for that person to shoot a home invader?

    Well, there is the fairly obvious difference that only one of those involves killing someone. Surprised you couldn’t spot it, really.
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    You know what always confuses me about the “guns protect us from tyranny!” folks? Besides the obvious practical considerations, why do they assume that all the other gun assholes would be against the tyranny? As far as I can see, the most likely form of obviously tyrannical government of the sort they rant about is some form of christian theocracy – and I’m pretty sure a lot of the gun assholes would be all in favour of that. All the government has to do is claim that the opposition is coming for your guns, and they’ve got themselves a whole extra army of paranoid fuckwits.

  262. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Cotton

    No, registration is not the first step towards confiscation. See my post #259.

    To your self-defence argument; owning a gun makes you far more likely to hurt yourself or your loved ones, and has almost no use whatsoever in the unlikely scenario of a home invasion.

    …”fewer than 30% of burglaries in the United States (2003-2007) occur when someone is at home. In the 7% of burglaries when violence does occur, the burglar is more likely to be an intimate (current or former) and also more likely to be a relative or known acquaintance than a stranger. Although people typically spend most of their time at home, only 5% of all the crimes of violence perpetrated by strangers occur at home.”… “However, for most contemporary Americans, the scientific studies suggest that the health risk of a gun in the home is greater than the benefit,” he adds. “There are no credible studies that indicate otherwise.”

    To your proposed rules; they are generally very good, though I see absolutely no need for a “new”, “ironclad” second amendment. You’ve already got one; it’s so fucking ironclad that even sensible regulation gets shot down. However, I don’t think they go far enough. Public carry should not be allowed; it’s dangerous and irresponsible, and has never resulted in the prevention of a mass shooting. Only ever in the shooting of the murderer after the act, which is just one more death on top of the many, and utterly useless. You also mention nothing about secure storage. Guns should be locked away, unloaded, at all times when not in use. The USA is the only civilised country in the world that allows it’s citizens to breach these very basic gun safety rules, and there is nothing in the constitution which justifies that allowance.

    Personally, I’d outlaw handguns entirely. That’s the case here in the UK and it’s done no one any harm. But if that’s impossible, which I suspect it is in the US for the foreseeable future, than at least lock the damn thing away, unloaded. I see no reason you can’t have a gun safe next to your bed, and have a handgun and a magazine in there, rather than keeping it loaded on the bedside table where a kid can get at it. In other words, allow pistols if you must, but enforce the “safe storage” law; it’s up to the gun owner to find a way to keep it locked away and unloaded, and yet still accessible enough to satisfy their paranoia.

  263. Anri says

    cotton @ 291:

    BTW when I said the ultimate ability to say “no” I wasn’t only thinking of, say, revolt. Why is there this animosity to personal defense in someones home? How can a person be qualified to fire a gun at a range, but it be out of the question for that person to shoot a home invader? I don’t think I even mentioned the government. I know you can’t wait to paint me with the paranoid brush so I can be easily dismissed (or the racist brush, or w/e you can do to launder your view of me into one that a majority of people would find disgusting).

    (bolded for emphasis)

    Ok, well, one nice thing about a blog is that you don’t have to think – you can actually go back and check.
    Or you could, yanno, read what someone quoted you as saying while responding to it.
    But, ok, here you go, the bit I quoted:

    Guns are the ultimate ability to say “no”. That’s pretty much the fundamental issue. Americans do not like being told what to do by anyone. Many of us don’t to give up our ultimate ability to say no to a government we don’t feel like giving our trust to…forever.

    (emphasis once again added)

    You did, in fact, mention the government. In your last, and longest, sentence while re-stating your “I get to say no” point.
    I’m not sure how to say this politely, but if you’re having that much trouble remembering your own 4-sentence arguments, they might not be very good ones.

    Also, to re-quote this bit to answer your question:

    Why is there this animosity to personal defense in someones home?

    Because guns are not very good at that at all. They are far, far better at being used to accidentally shoot your neighbor, or get stolen and end up being used to shoot your neighbor. And I’m your neighbor. (They are, of course, far more likely to accidentally kill yourself or one of your family members, but if you’re that unconcerned with them, I can’t tell you to care).

  264. says

    BTW when I said the ultimate ability to say “no” I wasn’t only thinking of, say, revolt.

    Funny thing here, you don’t specify what you WERE thinking of. Shooting cops one by one whenever they bother you? What else COULD your ignorant-assed choice of words have meant, if not “saying no” to your government and laws? That’s pretty much what “revolt” means.

    Why is there this animosity to personal defense in someones home?

    The animosity isn’t toward sensible home defense; it’s toward morons like you who ignore reality, romanticize guns as tantamount to magickal power-objects, and blather about “Second Amendment remedies” and “the ultimate ability to say ‘no’” and then find yourselves unable to own or defend your own words.

    …I’m not some camo clad nut job training to drink my own piss.

    You sure are talking like one. If we’ve misjudged you, it’s your own fault — our judgment of you is based on nothing but your own words.

    You know what always confuses me about the “guns protect us from tyranny!” folks?

    You mean, aside from the total lack of any historical examples of guns protecting anyone from tyranny?

    Besides the obvious practical considerations, why do they assume that all the other gun assholes would be against the tyranny?

    History shows they would not. It should be noted here that Martin Luther King and his supporters NEVER had as much firepower as the KKK. So what were all those guns protecting?

  265. anteprepro says

    If you feel that the ability to form logical arguments excuses being an unmitigated bore, we are just going to have to disagree.

    “Unmitigated bore” now, when your original statement was that you were ignoring comments that were overemotional. That’s a very telling movement of goal posts.

    Yeah, we get it cotton. We can read between the lines:

    “I don’t care if you are right, I am going to disagree with you anyway because I am a clueless, stubborn lackwit”.