Cats and Ayn Rand »« I’d hate to have to get that one past the IRB

Comments

  1. steve oberski says

    And the penalties for negligence on the part of the vendor are much less severe.

  2. says

    Said no FFL holder, ever.

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/become-an-ffl.html

    Is that supposed to be demonstrating how onerous the process is? Obtaining the FFL seems to be a fairly fast and simple process. The most difficult thing appears to be the record keeping, and the record keeping they require appears to be the bare minimum I would expect. Unless the interview involves hours of torture and interrogation it does not appear to be much more difficult that simply getting a gun here in Canada.

  3. jimnorth says

    At #6 nomennescio, that’s right, facts are awful…starting up a concession stand requires more paperwork and physical facilities than obtaining an FFL. One operation is in the business of extending life, the other…?

  4. says

    What? A cartoon using satirical exaggeration and sarcasm to make a point about society rather than reflecting cold statistical facts? Why I never! I haven’t felt this outraged since I found out Swift & Company didn’t market actual poor child meat.

  5. nomennescio says

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves from people who wanted to make them victims. Their lives are indeed extended because of their exercise of civil rights.

    The other is in the business of selling corn-oil based ‘nacho cheese’ covered items. Extending life, my foot.

  6. tomh says

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves

    Sounds like bullshit to me.

  7. A Masked Avenger says

    It’s less than obvious whether I’m supposed to be concluding that it’s too easy to become a gun dealer, or that it’s too hard to become a food vendor. Both statements are true enough, but I can’t tell which I’m supposed to be focusing on. To that extent I sympathize with @nomennescio’s difficulty getting the point.

    The thing that makes me weep behind my laughter is that this is the natural result of conflicting demands. Every time something bad happens, we want regulations that would have prevented it–but then we occasionally realize, when children are fined for selling lemonade or something, that the result is a bureaucratic nightmare. With knock-on effects to spare. One consequence of regulation is actually less liability, rather than more: vendors can now say, “I complied with all applicable federal, state and local regulations!” It’s a legal defense with teeth. Another consequence is destruction of small businesses, with lemonade stands as mere collateral damage, because big corporations can afford to jump through all these hoops while small businesses often can’t.

    It’s obviously self-destructive to deregulate everything, to the point that folks are allowed to sell strychnine cocktails and arsenic lemonade. However, the regulatory structure we have today produces all sorts of collateral damage of this sort. I don’t claim to have the solution, but I think that recognizing the problem is a necessary first step.

  8. JohnnieCanuck says

    @11. Also known as urban legend. If it seems like such a good story that you’d like to tell it to others, it’s probably debunked at snopes.com.

  9. A Masked Avenger says

    Sounds like bullshit to me.

    I have friends who are cops, who make similar claims. I tell them that it sounds like bullshit to me, as well, and that I’d like to see (most) cops disarmed. They’re strangely unreceptive, but I’m not yanking their chain. All this “thin blue line risking their lives daily” stuff is 99.4% pure bullshit.

  10. david says

    I have friends who are alive today because when they encountered a hothead, he was unarmed.

  11. says

    Sounds like bullshit to me.

    It is pretty amazing that pretty much every pro-gun commenter seems to know someone who has used their firearm in self defence when such incidents are pretty rare. Considering those firearms are more likely to injure a family member you would think many of them would know at least a few people that had some sort of accidental firearm incident as well.

    I also have to wonder who these people are, and why they are involved in so many situations that are saved through the use of firearms. The only person I know that was involved in an incident involving a firearm was someone whose father was having some serious mental health issues and had been thinking of murdering his family. Luckily he did not do it, but having a firearm in the house makes it much more easy to act on those impulses.

  12. plainenglish says

    So this one guy, he is walking down the street and a car comes along with some gang-bangers and they are shooting out the window and so my buddy, he pulls out his Clint Eastwood and lets those fuckers know he has civil rights. Bam oh bam-bam….And as ol’ Red Skelton used to say, Gawwwd bleth America. Think I’ll change the channel on this one…..

  13. JohnnieCanuck says

    @10 nomennescio,

    I wouldn’t want to be the bloodied accident victim banging on their door in the middle of the night, hoping to get them to call an ambulance. It wouldn’t turn out well.

  14. consciousness razor says

    The other is in the business of selling corn-oil based ‘nacho cheese’ covered items. Extending life, my foot.

    Now there’s your problem, right there. You do not cover lemonade with nacho cheese. Fact. Also, you do not make it out of corn oil. Fact.

  15. microraptor says

    Well, if we’re going to tell stories about friends and guns, I had a friend in the 7th grade who was shot and killed because her cousin was playing with a gun he found on her dad’s nightstand.

  16. says

    Haven’t seen someone use the nomennescio alias in a long time.

    At least one of the gun mags has a “It happened to me!” type column. I wonder how they verify the stories are true. I suspect the answer is “They don’t.”

  17. says

    I don’t currently have any friends with guns.
    Had two… Jeff Weaver, and our mutual (and his best) friend Dave.

    Got a frantic call from Dave one night, Jeff had just blown his head off with his shotgun in his mother’s kitchen. Dave wanted me to go with him over to the house, where Jeff’s mother was out of her head, trying to put Jeff’s tongue back into what was left of his head.

    They hired a company to clean the bits of skull and brain and hair and blood and scalp off of every bit of every surface in that kitchen, but the employees kept quitting after a few hours (or minutes) on the job so family, and Dave, had to do it.
    Dave lost interest in guns shortly after that.

    Almost had another friend who was a gun owner… he was new in the little central NY town I was living in, came up from TX, was homesick and lonely, asked me (and others, apparently) to hang out. As a loner, I didn’t get around to it. I don’t think anyone else did either. A couple of weeks later he killed himself – shot himself in the chest with his rifle.

    Sorry if me saying this is triggering to anyone… and sorry if it seems graphic and gruesome… but then what do you expect? The subject is guns.

  18. says

    @nomennescio #10 –

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves from people who wanted to make them victims. Their lives are indeed extended because of their exercise of civil rights.

    I have friends who are dead today because someone else felt so cowardly and paranoid that he needed to victimize others. Their lives were indeed shortened because some gun nut insisted on exercising his “civil rights.”

    When your house is on fire, setting more fires is not a solution. When your community is beset with gun violence, increasing the number of guns is not a solution.

  19. knut7777 says

    My best friend of 30 years, an artist and teacher in the US and Europe, was murdered by a deranged stalker. This woman, who was not a US citizen, was being sought by police in Germany, Los Angeles and Tuscon. She walked into a Tuscon gun shop wanting to buy the biggest gun available, as fast as possible. The dealer sold her a .357 from the trunk of his car and gave her directions to the nearest shooting range for practice. She then shot my friend in the back of the head, arranged his body on the floor, laid down next to him and blew her brains out. The gun seller got a polite talking to by Tuscon police.

  20. nomennescio says

    “Sounds like bullshit to me.”

    That’s nice. Your opinion is irrelevant to the fact that they’re still alive.

    “when such incidents are pretty rare”

    And thankfully so. Doesn’t mean they don’t happen at all, and since the police don’t record statistics of prevented crimes news reports and anecdotal accounts are about all there is to go by, especially when drawing and aiming at a threat is sufficient to deter. When you know a lot of people who carry guns, a few as part of their jobs, it’s no surprise that should the rare occur they are more likely to have the means to resist violence.

    “I wouldn’t want to be the bloodied accident victim banging on their door in the middle of the night, hoping to get them to call an ambulance. It wouldn’t turn out well.”

    With your incredible powers of clairvoyance you ought to be out solving crimes instead of projecting your insecurities onto complete strangers.

  21. TxSkeptic says

    At least one of the gun mags has a “It happened to me!” type column. I wonder how they verify the stories are true.

    Sounds alot like the old Penthouse Forum section, lots of ‘(I wish) It happened to me’ letters

  22. says

    @ nomennescio:

    Funny, the people who claim guns have killed people they knew seem to be willing to cite details and names. You, on the other hand, seem to be unable to say anything about your claims. Given the statistics, your claimed friends who only survived thanks to guns are an “extraordinary claim”. I want to see some “extraordinary proof” before I’m willing to believe you’re more than just (yet another) right-wing liar.

  23. tomh says

    nomennescio writes:

    That’s nice. Your opinion is irrelevant

    Your tale-spinning bullshit is irrelevant to the fact that the US needs strict gun control laws, which, by the way, have nothing to do with the “exercise of civil rights.”

  24. says

    She walked into a Tuscon gun shop wanting to buy the biggest gun available, as fast as possible.

    Just a talking to? If that isn’t hyperbole (I can’t tell, given the police force involved), it’s a travesty. Do you happen to know which gun store it was?

  25. Don Horton says

    Man I sure liked this blog a lot more when it was about evolution, biology and science. Now every other post is some more ignorant shit on guns.

  26. nomennescio says

    “Funny, the people who claim guns have killed people they knew seem to be willing to cite details and names. You, on the other hand, seem to be unable to say anything about your claims. Given the statistics, your claimed friends who only survived thanks to guns are an “extraordinary claim”. I want to see some “extraordinary proof” before I’m willing to believe you’re more than just (yet another) right-wing liar.”

    Given my handle here I’d think it obvious that I do not make a habit of giving out personal information, including names of people in my social network. You’re not entitled to that information, though you’re certainly free to behave as if you were. I’m not terribly interested in your level of personal satisfaction with my statements. Secondly, I have done nothing at all to indicate my political views and they could not hardly be classified as “right-wing”, though you’re also free to attempt to use that as a tactic to dismiss out of hand what I’ve written. I understand that it’s convenient to try and pigeonhole everybody who supports civil rights, but it’s just as dishonest as when people accuse me of being a “liberal” or “socialist” instead of actually engaging with the points I make. Many gun owners have lifestyles and/or viewpoints that are incompatible with the “right-wing” political stance:

    http://www.pinkpistols.org/
    http://www.stonewallshootingsportsutah.org/
    http://bitchmagazine.org/article/target-market
    http://www.sureshotsmagazine.com/
    http://brittanyannwick.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/a-silent-minority-pro-gun-rights-feminists/

    If you want specific instances of people using firearms to protect themselves, here’s a couple of long lists of news reports – not all of them positive – you’re welcome to look over, nit-pick, or otherwise attempt to ignore: http://www.reddit.com/r/dgu
    http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx

  27. knut7777 says

    Travesty indeed. I obtained the police report. It’s all there. My friend is dead. I suppose I could find the dealer, but to what purpose? This is Arizona after all. I consider it already lost to civilization.

  28. nomennescio says

    So my response that links to numerous instances of lawfully armed people defending themselves and lists several LGBT/feminist gun owners’ groups appears to have not made it past the filter/moderation process. That’s a shame, though I have faith that the mods have sufficient honesty to let it pass.

    “Man I sure liked this blog a lot more when it was about evolution, biology and science.”

    Me too, though much of the feminism and social justice related posts have been educational, eye-opening, and sorely necessary. I’d actually be interested in reading something science based instead of propaganda and privileged “just call the police” bullshit. I’ve been following Pharyngula for years and even if I don’t agree I generally respect what PZ has to say – but the name calling and baiting in past gun-related posts has been a poor substitute for an argument.

  29. says

    Man I sure liked this blog a lot more when it was about evolution, biology and science. Now every other post is some more ignorant shit on guns.

    I would have thought someone that actually read this blog would realize that this type of complaint gets laughed at and that no one cares that you do not like the content. Feel free to go elsewhere.

  30. says

    but the name calling and baiting in past gun-related posts has been a poor substitute for an argument.

    On the other hand, your deliberate refusal to pay attention to statistics and your vague “I know people who…” statements are…

  31. tomh says

    Man I sure liked this blog a lot more when it was about…

    I like it best when people complain about what the blog owner decides to post.

  32. says

    Don:

    Man I sure liked this blog a lot more when it was about evolution, biology and science. Now every other post is some more ignorant shit on guns.

    I’m sure there are plenty of blogs out there that suit your needs better than this one. Y’know, blogs that don’t also have a focus on social justice. What? Did you think PZ only blogs about social justice issues? Surely you don’t honestly think “every other post is about guns”. A glance at the archives will disabuse you of that notion.
    Oh, and I’ve yet to see PZ post “ignorant shit about guns”. Perhaps you’ve been reading some Alt-Universe version of Pharyngula.
    But hey, do continue to whine and complain–elsewhere-about someone writing about things they choose to on their own blog ya lil’ fucknuggett.

  33. says

    With Don and nomennescio together I think I have a Bingo. That was fast!

    nomennescio

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves from people who wanted to make them victims. Their lives are indeed extended because of their exercise of civil rights.

    Must be a shitty hellhole you live in. Some poor country torn up by a civil war or where people are starving on the street and therefore don’t really care about the risk.
    I mean, if you have several friends to whom it happened, it must be a really frequent event. Kill or get killed, oh my.
    Me, I’m lucky to live in a rich industrialized western country with a stable system. While I know many people who died, I don’t think I know any who got killed or had to use violence in order to prevent it.

  34. drowner says

    A few things:

    @12 You make some valid points, but do you think that all industry/institution/commerce should be regulated in equal measure and type? I don’t. So, in considering collateral damage of regulation, my mind drifts first to loss of human life, and not at all to loss of time or money.

    @30 Which of the shits was ignorant?

    @33 Hopefully “teh mods” permit your statistics to be posted. It’s so very annoying when “teh mods” don’t allow posters to validate their arguments with rigorously applied reason or scrupulously researched data . That happens so much on this severely, heavily moderated blog. But I am glad that your next complaint comment was let through.

  35. says

    nomenescio @2:

    Said no FFL holder, ever.

    You do realize that the point of the cartoon is to show the relative ease with which guns can be bought and sold in the US, no? Yes, the cartoon exaggerates the point-mildly, but it *is* easy to obtain a gun in this country. And that’s a significant problem.

    @10:

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves from people who wanted to make them victims. Their lives are indeed extended because of their exercise of civil rights

    Given that this is an anecdote, I’ll just have to take you at your word that you’re telling the truth. I’m glad your friends are still alive. That said, this is not an evidence based argument in favor of keeping the 2nd Amendment. Nor is it an evidence based argument in support of the continued opposition in the US to reasonable gun control. You have friends that are alive. Great. There are a shit ton of people that are dead (and many that were injured who are often overlooked by people who oppose gun control) because of irresponsible gun owners–people that can too easily acquire guns (and there’s no psychological testing prior to gun ownership to gauge how responsible a potential gun owner is). I’m not just talking about killers like Adam Lanza or Elliot Rodger. I’m talking about the wrong kind of people becoming police officers and killing innocent citizens with guns. I’m talking about people like George Zimmerman. I’m talking about the people that acquire guns through gun show dealers, thereby circumventing the law. I’m talking about the asshole men who kill their girlfriends and wives. There’s also the irresponsible gun owners who buy them and leave them loaded in their homes with children around. Then there’s are the guns that are used against the very people in the home they’re bought to protect.

    There are steps-reasonable steps that do not infringe on the right to own a gun in this country (steps that are well within the right of the government to enact)-that can be taken to reduce the number of gun related deaths in the United States. But far too many people with significant power in this country resort to emotional appeals such as irrational fear mongering in support of the 2nd Amendment. I tire of these appeals to emotion, as they’re poor substitutes for an argument.

    @33:

    That’s a shame, though I have faith that the mods have sufficient honesty to let it pass.

    There are no moderators here and it has nothing to do with honesty. This blog is run by PZ. If your comment contained too many links, it’s automatically sent into moderation. The same will happen if you use certain offensive terms. Your comment may or may not get approved by PZ whenever he gets around to viewing comments caught in moderation.

    I’d actually be interested in reading something science based instead of propaganda and privileged “just call the police” bullshit.

    Pray tell, where are these posts with requests to “call the police”, and what was the context?

    I’ve been following Pharyngula for years and even if I don’t agree I generally respect what PZ has to say – but the name calling and baiting in past gun-related posts has been a poor substitute for an argument.

    (it’s odd that you’ve been following Pharyngula for years, yet you don’t know that there aren’t moderators here…But I Digress)

    Yeah PZ has called gun fondlers names like, well, gun fondlers. Me, I’m a fan of a new one: gundamentalists. In any case, searching through the archives for gun related threads, one can see that PZ has put forth arguments several times in the past. There has been name calling in some of the posts…along with arguments. Baiting? Enh. Perhaps. Perhaps not. You could strengthen your case by linking to these examples of baiting.
    From your comments, it doesn’t sound like you agree with the need for stronger gun control legislation in the US. Pity.

    ****

    ibbica @5:

    In case anyone’s interested in doing a more detailed comparison…

    Uh, why would anyone? That’s not the point of the cartoon.

    ****

    A Masked Avenger:

    It’s less than obvious whether I’m supposed to be concluding that it’s too easy to become a gun dealer, or that it’s too hard to become a food vendor

    I thought it was obvious that the cartoon is commentary on how easy it is to acquire and/or sell guns in the US (gun show loopholes for example). I thought it was obvious given PZ’s position on guns.

  36. playonwords says

    @ 33 nomennescio – cool story, bro. Now, go and play with your toys and let the grown ups talk sense.

  37. says

    Drowner

    Hopefully “teh mods” permit your statistics to be posted. It’s so very annoying when “teh mods” don’t allow posters to validate their arguments with rigorously applied reason or scrupulously researched data .

    1. “Teh mods” don’t exist
    2. You’re clearly lying about a group of people taht only exists in your head
    3. Monitors exist
    4. Monitors cannot do what you claim “teh mods” do
    5. I conclude that you’re either too ignorant or too dishonest to make a useful contribution

    +++
    Useful information for people who are not completely dishonest:
    -This blog is passively moderated, i.e. our beloved overlord only bothers with it when something goes wrong.
    -The sole power of the monitors is to bring something they think might warrant PZ’s attention to the former. We CANNOT do anything on this blog you can’t do either
    -Posts with more than 5 links automatically go to the spam
    -Certain sites are blacklisted. Posts with links to those sides go to the spam, too

  38. says

    Giliell:
    You may have misunderstood drowner, or you meant to type nomenescio’s nym instead. I’m pretty sure the former was mocking the comment made by the latter @33 (hence the use of “teh mods” with quotes, as well as the strikethrough of complaint).

  39. says

    I’m not just talking about killers like Adam Lanza or Elliot Rodger. I’m talking about the wrong kind of people becoming police officers and killing innocent citizens with guns. I’m talking about people like George Zimmerman. I’m talking about the people that acquire guns through gun show dealers, thereby circumventing the law. I’m talking about the asshole men who kill their girlfriends and wives. There’s also the irresponsible gun owners who buy them and leave them loaded in their homes with children around. Then there’s are the guns that are used against the very people in the home they’re bought to protect.

    A million times this. Far too often mass killings drive the discussion of firearms policy in the US but in the end, while still extremely troublesome, they make up a minuscule portion of overall gun deaths and injuries and they warp how people view the topic. Almost 80% of firearms related homicides are committed by family and acquaintances. It is not the stranger that might attack you, or break into your house that people should worry about the most, but the person you know with easy access to a gun. And I think it is really important not to forget the gun deaths and injuries that are not homicides. Too often that simply gets ignored.

  40. says

    Travis:
    You’re right. Firearm homicides do overtake the discussion.
    I was initially going to mention the people who commit suicide with guns, but I didn’t think it fit with my overall theme of irresponsible gun buyers. Sensible gun control in the US would likely reduce the number of gun related suicides, and that’s a good thing. At least for those of us who value human lives more than the 2nd Amendment.

  41. says

    A few statistics from 2011 in the US:
    http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states
    • 32,163 gun deaths
    • 11,101 gun homicides
    • 38,285 people committed suicide
    • 19,766 committed suicide with a gun
    • 851 died from unintentional gun deaths
    • 73,833 non fatal gun injuried.

    105,996 people were injured or killed in 2011 by firearms. For comparison, here are the population figures for Berkeley, CA (pop. 100,744), South Bend, IN (105,262), and Cambridge, MA (100,135) (source)

  42. says

    Even if the statistics say that carrying a gun increases the risk of death, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be cases where they saved lives. Just as there are cases where seat belts or air bags have caused deaths rather than preventing them. Does that mean one should get rid of these safety features?
    On the other hand simple statistics can be misleading, does anyone really believe that everybody has the same risk of being killed in a car crash? A large portion of these accidents are caused by reckless behavior that you can control. I would expect the same to be true for guns.

    The biggest fallacy when it comes to guns is that “since criminals disregard the law gun control won’t apply to them”. It’s correct in the short run, banning all guns today wouldn’t reduce the number of armed criminals tomorrow. But even moderate regulation of guns will reduce availability in the long run, making the society safer for everybody.

    The problem is where and how to start. Simply banning all guns could make tings worse for a long time by throwing the power balance off. After all, if the criminals knew they wouldn’t risk meting a home owner with a shotgun I’m afraid crimes like home invasions could explode. And even if guns don’t work for self defense it does give people an illusion of control, don’t underestimate how important that can be in a dangerous world. It’s hard to imagine gun owners ever giving up their right to carry firearms for self defense as long as guns are so widespread. In addition the pro-gun lobby has convinced it’s followers that any regulation is just the first step on the road to a complete ban.

    I’m not saying I know to break free from this Catch-22, far from it. If there was a simple solution we wouldn’t have this discussion now. My only advice is to focus on who has access to guns rather than what guns they have access to. Gun owners doesn’t distinguish between gun types in the same way that the anti-gun people do. And they aren’t completely wrong, a person that won’t kill others with a hunting rifle won’t kill others with an assault rifle either. And if you can’t trust a person with an assault rifle, would you really trust them with any gun?

    Of course this doesn’t solve the problem of determining who can be entrusted with guns, the sad truth is that you can never know for sure. But I don’t think there’s any real disagreement on where one must start.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Even if the statistics say that carrying a gun increases the risk of death, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be cases where they saved lives. Just as there are cases where seat belts or air bags have caused deaths rather than preventing them. Does that mean one should get rid of these safety features?

    Ah, the old paranoia that wanting gun safety means banning them. I’m not against people owning guns. But I am adamant that gun safety should be coded into law, and any lapses that result in an accidental discharge is probable cause for confiscation. Or leaving a loaded weapon anywhere out of your direct control, like the kid finding the loaded weapon in the nightstand, or carrying a loaded weapon in public. Safety is not just a one-time attitude, it is a full time job.

  44. says

    I really feel one should try to keep suicides out of the debate as much as possible. Maybe guns lower the threshold for suicide, I don’t know, but what I do know is that none of the people I knew that either did commit or tried to commit suicide used guns. Don’t reduce these kinds of personal tragedies to a question of means, if a person really wants to die they will find a way. The only way to reduce the number of suicides is to fight the stigma of depression and other mental disorders and to improve mental health care.

    Even in countries with free quality health care it’s hard to get counseling for such problems within reasonable time. Why it’s so hard to get help for a potentially deadly problem like depression is beyond me.

  45. Anri says

    nomennescio @ 10:

    I have friends who are alive today because they had the means to effectively defend themselves from people who wanted to make them victims. Their lives are indeed extended because of their exercise of civil rights.

    I’m presuming the Barbaric Assailants™ were armed with dangerous lemonade, otherwise you might have just slightly undermined your own ‘point’.

  46. says

    “Given my handle here I’d think it obvious that I do not make a habit of giving out personal information, including names of people in my social network. You’re not entitled to that information, though you’re certainly free to behave as if you were.”

    Then there’s really no reason to take any of the drivel that comes out of your mouth seriously, is there?

  47. says

    Nerd: Don’t forget that while you may only want reasonable regulation there are many that advocate a complete ban. Just as not all pro-gunners believe that guns should be completely free to all people.

    I totally agree with you on the issue of safety. Here in Norway it’s become mandatory with a gun safe for all gun owners, something I support wholeheartedly. Personally I bought a safe long before it became required, simply because I wouldn’t want my guns to fall into the hands of criminals. My guns, my responsibility. Storing guns where others or god forbid children can get hold of them is simply inexcusable, and doing that here would mean instant confiscation.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t forget that while you may only want reasonable regulation there are many that advocate a complete ban. Just as not all pro-gunners believe that guns should be completely free to all people.

    Thanks Captain Obvious. I’ve been at this a long time. I know that.

    The confusion of hunting and self-defense is the real problem. They require different weapons, with handguns being particularly troublesome from the safety standpoint.

  49. says

    Just pointing out that the extremists always try to polarize the debate, the pro-gunners always try to label their opponents as fanatic gun-grabbers. And that justs drives debate back to the stale mate you’re seeing today. I think it’s extremely important for all those who are in favor of reasonable legislation to distance themselves as much as possible from the extremists on both sides.

    As for self-defense I don’t think that’s the right place to start. Right or wrong people feel they need guns to protect themselves, and that simply won’t change as long as guns are so easily available to everybody. The first thing that needs do be in place is a system for registration and permits that can stop the flow of guns into the criminal elements of the society. But that won’t happen unless the law abiding gun owners are confident that they won’t loose their guns in the process. The only way you’ll ever get them to relinquish their right to self defense is to reduce the need for it, and considering the number of guns in circulation that will take a loooong time.

    I’m not saying that the pro-gunners are right, I’m just trying to explain how they think.

  50. says

    I really feel one should try to keep suicides out of the debate as much as possible.

    You feel that?
    How much weight should I give to the fact that you feel that?
    You don’t know if they lower the threshold for suicide?

    Here’s an idea – FIND THE FUCK OUT before you tell us how you feel.
    Google something like, I dunno “gun availability suicide.”
    Hey, look. Studies showing that gun availability is a risk factor for suicide.
    Imagine that.

    My friend Jeff, the one I mentioned above? A few minutes before he blew his head off, he called Dave and asked him if he wanted to come over and play video games, etc. Dave says Jeff didn’t give any hints of being despondent. Nor surprising, as Jeff was suffering from a psychological problems that caused impulsive actions and delusional thoughts.

    I didn’t mention my friend Dave’s cousin Tom.
    Tom also did something impulsive, right in front of Dave and I. Depressed, Tom downed a bottle of tranquilizers. He was a body builder and threatened to beat us up and drive off if we stopped him.

    So I sat there and waited while Dave freaked out about “getting in trouble.” After a while Tom’s mother and Dave’s mother arrived, and worried about calling an ambulance because the neighbors had scanners, were volunteer firemen and EMTS, would find out, etc.

    By then Tom was drowsy enough that I could stop him from leaving, so while his family debated about the neighbors, I went in the basement and called the ambulance.
    Later that week Tom’s mother thanks me. Tom punched me.

    Wimpy me could counter the effects of impulsively-taken tranqs.
    Speeding deer slugs, not so much.

    But skip all of that.
    As people constantly point out, getting shot by scary intruders is a small percentage of gun deaths.
    WHY start ruling out the other consequences? Unless you have some agenda?

    What;s next, rule out accidental shootings? Because, y’know, people could have just accidentally died some OTHER way. Then rule out INTENTIONAL shootings… because, people could intentionally kill others using something ELSE.

    Oh wait… they’re already fucking DOING that. They’re already claiming there would be mass stabbings in malls and theaters.

    Apparently guns only kill BAD people. The rest, the MAJORITY of gun deaths… just statistical noise or something. Doesn’t count.

  51. says

    Gun shows and gun concession stands are one of the easiest ways for a felon to acquire a firearm without a proper background check. And since there are too many sales to have a proper oversight. It would be sensible to demand that even at a gun show a buyer must submit to a background check and be subject to same waiting period as someone buying a gun from a storefront. But at the very least that the operator of the concession stand must be registered with the police department (this usually includes a background check), just like someone who sells alcohol at a store, event, or concession stand. But what I find most interesting about alcohol sales is that the sales person is responsible for their sales being legal, and can have charges brought upon them for illegal distribution including hefty fines and in some cases imprisonment. Yes sadly it is harder to sell alcohol than firearms.

    Also I don’t think it would be a bad thing to treat guns like cars, as in requiring that owners must register their firearms every year (though 2 years would be sufficient). And if they purchase a weapon they must submit paperwork showing that the sale was legit at the time of registration, like a bill of sale.

    This might actually help the ATF in preventing illegal sales of firearms.

    And for the obvious question, yes I do fully support the second amendment, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of owning a firearm responsibly.

  52. says

    (Before someone accuses me of being a radical anti-gun activist, let me point out that I have never in this thread or anywhere else for that matter expressed an opinion about what should be done re: gun laws. Why? Because I have mixed feelings. I don’t HAVE a firm opinion on gun laws. Somehow, because I simply point out the fact that owning guns statistically makes you LESS safe, people assume I am anti-gun. I find that interesting. Especially when they go on to claim I distort things or engage in hyperbole “to support my position” – when I don’t HAVE a position. I find that very revealing.)

  53. nomennescio says

    I mean, if you have several friends to whom it happened, it must be a really frequent event. Kill or get killed, oh my. Me, I’m lucky to live in a rich industrialized western country with a stable system. While I know many people who died, I don’t think I know any who got killed or had to use violence in order to prevent it.

    I liked the part where you pretended there are no high crime areas in the USA and that it’s impossible to have lived all over the country, including in some of those areas, and to know large amounts of people. I can’t help but notice that you’re pretending that because you personally are ignorant of something it means that it doesn’t happen.

    That said, this is not an evidence based argument in favor of keeping the 2nd Amendment.

    I don’t have to argue in favor of ‘keeping’ the 2nd Amendment – my right to have the means to protect myself pre-dates the US Constitution. If you’d like to make the argument to infringe upon hard-won civil rights that’s your business. Good luck with that.

    There are a shit ton of people that are dead (and many that were injured who are often overlooked by people who oppose gun control) because of irresponsible gun owners–people that can too easily acquire guns (and there’s no psychological testing prior to gun ownership to gauge how responsible a potential gun owner is). I’m not just talking about killers like Adam Lanza or Elliot Rodger. I’m talking about the wrong kind of people becoming police officers and killing innocent citizens with guns. I’m talking about people like George Zimmerman. I’m talking about the people that acquire guns through gun show dealers, thereby circumventing the law. I’m talking about the asshole men who kill their girlfriends and wives. There’s also the irresponsible gun owners who buy them and leave them loaded in their homes with children around. Then there’s are the guns that are used against the very people in the home they’re bought to protect.

    There are steps-reasonable steps that do not infringe on the right to own a gun in this country (steps that are well within the right of the government to enact)-that can be taken to reduce the number of gun related deaths in the United States.

    Amen, though if Trayvon Martin had not attempted to beat Zimmerman’s head into the ground, he’d still be alive. I’m not an NRA member and will never give them a dime because of their continual attempts to block things like child access prevention laws – things that demonstrably lower the rate of negligent deaths. I’m all for punishing reckless, stupid, and negligent behavior with firearms.

    Pray tell, where are these posts with requests to “call the police”, and what was the context? it’s odd that you’ve been following Pharyngula for years, yet you don’t know that there aren’t moderators here

    PZ himself made it in one of his prior gun-baiting posts, in the context of how people don’t need guns to defend their homes and families. Which I’d actually prefer if it wasn’t for the fact that police response times suck unless you happen to have the privilege of living somewhere where they don’t – and it still doesn’t fix the fact that the police have no duty to protect individuals. See Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) As for lack of knowledge of mods, I don’t generally follow the comments here.

    Safety is not just a one-time attitude, it is a full time job.

    Yep, and I support the measures you’ve called for.

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . If you’d like to make the argument to infringe upon hard-won civil rights that’s your business. Good luck with that.

    You don’t need to unsafely carry a loaded weapon in public to defend yourself. DUH.

  55. says

    Jafafa: Obviously we have different experiences in this matter. I’ve lost several friends and acquaintances to suicide, none of them used or owned a gun. And I know a LOT of gun owners.
    Besides, I’ve heard too many trying to explain away suicide by blaming the tools. They seem unable to deal with the complex problems that cause suicides, and while that is understandable I feel that many of them are making things worse by refusing to deal with the underlying causes. What troubles me even more than the actual suicide is the agonizing hell they must be in to consider such a drastic measure. Then again the cases I’ve seen have been very deliberate, not something caused by an impulsive personality.

    If statistics identify guns as a risk factor I stand corrected, and apologize for that.

  56. David Marjanović says

    This is Arizona after all. I consider it already lost to civilization.

    McCain almost lost there in 2008. It’s his home state.

    So my response that links to numerous instances of lawfully armed people defending themselves and lists several LGBT/feminist gun owners’ groups appears to have not made it past the filter/moderation process. That’s a shame, though I have faith that the mods have sufficient honesty to let it pass.

    It got through, it’s now comment 31. It was stuck in moderation because it contained 7 links instead of the allowed 6 (recently increased from 5). The only moderator is PZ himself – this is a blog, not a forum.

    The same will happen if you use certain offensive terms.

    Slurs, that is – at least racist and sexist ones. You’re free to call a fuckwit a fuckwit here.

    And I think it is really important not to forget the gun deaths and injuries that are not homicides.

    Another relatively quiet sub-40 week, for which we’re grateful. The reporting of accidental shooting incidents and related GunFAIL tends to slow down during periods when spectacular shootings are dominating the headlines. I’m hopeful that the summer months will see more kids outside, and fewer relieving their boredom by looking for and playing with their parents’ guns.

    By the numbers, we saw 13 child victims of GunFAIL, ages 2, 3, 3, 6, 7, 9, 9, 12, 14, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Eleven people accidentally shot themselves. There were four accidental shootings between pairs of siblings, including one set of 3-year-old twins (plus one between cousins). Three home invasion shootings, plus one judge’s chambers and jury room invasion. Two costly airlifts for GunFAIL victims. Two cop-involved GunFAILS. And one each in the categories of: shooting yourself while out shopping (this time at Winn-Dixie); shooting yourself while unloading a gun; shooting yourself while repairing a gun; losing a gun at work; catching a stray target shooting round; shooting a friend while making a rap video, and; to pay off on our clickbait title, shooting yourself in the penis.

    A few other stories merit special note this week. A man in Bellingham, WA, accidentally fired a gun in his apartment and sent the round through the wall into the neighbors’ unit. That triggered a 7-hour SWAT standoff that ended when the man was thought to have shot himself. The story got just that much more worrisome when neighbors learned that the man had in fact died from injuries sustained when one of his homemade pipe bombs exploded. And something just has to be said about the Tennessee man who died from the accidental gunshot wound he sustained while trying to eject a chambered round in his 9mm semi-automatic pistol while driving the family car. With the family in it.

    This week’s ‘Jeez, that’s stupid, but it’s not exactly GunFAIL’ story:”

    And so on. Also included are a picture captioned “Four of 51 guns ‘forgotten’ by Responsible Gun Owners, but discovered by TSA agents in airports last week. And again with the derringers!”, and a list of 39 incidents.

    Something is rotten in the states of America.

    On the other hand simple statistics can be misleading, does anyone really believe that everybody has the same risk of being killed in a car crash? A large portion of these accidents are caused by reckless behavior that you can control.

    An even larger portion is caused by reckless behavior of other people that you cannot control.

    After all, if the criminals knew they wouldn’t risk meting a home owner with a shotgun I’m afraid crimes like home invasions could explode.

    Currently, you know, ordinary burglars in the US have a huge incentive to pack heat and shoot everyone on sight so they won’t be shot themselves.

    if a person really wants to die they will find a way

    That’s not how suicide works, though. It’s a great example of why science is needed and philosophy isn’t enough: just thinking about things is not enough to understand them, because there’s a lot that seems logical (even obvious) but isn’t in fact the case.

    Turns out suicide is usually an impulsive decision, influenced very strongly by available opportunities. Take the opportunities away, and people go right on living.

    (Coal gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, in case you’re wondering. Burns wonderfully.)

  57. David Marjanović says

    Oh fuck. Let me try again.

    And I think it is really important not to forget the gun deaths and injuries that are not homicides.

    Another relatively quiet sub-40 week, for which we’re grateful. The reporting of accidental shooting incidents and related GunFAIL tends to slow down during periods when spectacular shootings are dominating the headlines. I’m hopeful that the summer months will see more kids outside, and fewer relieving their boredom by looking for and playing with their parents’ guns.

    By the numbers, we saw 13 child victims of GunFAIL, ages 2, 3, 3, 6, 7, 9, 9, 12, 14, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Eleven people accidentally shot themselves. There were four accidental shootings between pairs of siblings, including one set of 3-year-old twins (plus one between cousins). Three home invasion shootings, plus one judge’s chambers and jury room invasion. Two costly airlifts for GunFAIL victims. Two cop-involved GunFAILS. And one each in the categories of: shooting yourself while out shopping (this time at Winn-Dixie); shooting yourself while unloading a gun; shooting yourself while repairing a gun; losing a gun at work; catching a stray target shooting round; shooting a friend while making a rap video, and; to pay off on our clickbait title, shooting yourself in the penis.

    A few other stories merit special note this week. A man in Bellingham, WA, accidentally fired a gun in his apartment and sent the round through the wall into the neighbors’ unit. That triggered a 7-hour SWAT standoff that ended when the man was thought to have shot himself. The story got just that much more worrisome when neighbors learned that the man had in fact died from injuries sustained when one of his homemade pipe bombs exploded. And something just has to be said about the Tennessee man who died from the accidental gunshot wound he sustained while trying to eject a chambered round in his 9mm semi-automatic pistol while driving the family car. With the family in it.

    This week’s ‘Jeez, that’s stupid, but it’s not exactly GunFAIL’ story:”

    And so on. Also included are a picture captioned “Four of 51 guns ‘forgotten’ by Responsible Gun Owners, but discovered by TSA agents in airports last week. And again with the derringers!”, and a list of 39 incidents.

    Something is rotten in the states of America.

    On the other hand simple statistics can be misleading, does anyone really believe that everybody has the same risk of being killed in a car crash? A large portion of these accidents are caused by reckless behavior that you can control.

    An even larger portion is caused by reckless behavior of other people that you cannot control.

    After all, if the criminals knew they wouldn’t risk meting a home owner with a shotgun I’m afraid crimes like home invasions could explode.

    Currently, you know, ordinary burglars in the US have a huge incentive to pack heat and shoot everyone on sight so they won’t be shot themselves.

    if a person really wants to die they will find a way

    That’s not how suicide works, though. It’s a great example of why science is needed and philosophy isn’t enough: just thinking about things is not enough to understand them, because there’s a lot that seems logical (even obvious) but isn’t in fact the case.

    Turns out suicide is usually an impulsive decision, influenced very strongly by available opportunities. Take the opportunities away, and people go right on living.

    (Coal gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, in case you’re wondering. Burns wonderfully.)

  58. David Marjanović says

    if Trayvon Martin had not attempted to beat Zimmerman’s head into the ground

    Wait. What?

    I don’t generally follow the comments here

    *sigh*

    Pharyngula isn’t exactly YouTube, as I think you might have noticed.

  59. anteprepro says

    if Trayvon Martin had not attempted to beat Zimmerman’s head into the ground, he’d still be alive

    Wow, you don’t have to work or look very hard to get a gun fetishist to show their ugly side.

    Also love the Proof by Anecdote nomennescio decides to use when they are not to busy completely missing the point. Just another in day in a gun thread.

  60. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    if Trayvon Martin had not attempted to beat Zimmerman’s head into the ground

    Allegedly. Trayvon Martin was never convicted of that crime. His only crime was being black in Zimmerman’s vicinity.

  61. says

    Problem is that you can’t really remove all opportunities. My best friend used the car (no catalytic converter), another used a shoe lace. Then there’s the paramedic that stockpiled drugs for the job…
    I’m not saying I’d want any suicidal persons to have access to guns, and I won’t argue against statistics that identify guns as a risk factor. Just pointing out that I’ve my share of these tragedies, and none involved guns. So it’s not as clear cut as some try to make it out.

    As for burglars arming themselves for protection, that is an interesting argument. I agree that escalation is part of the problem, one of the reasons I’m opposed to our police carrying guns. But blaming armed robbery on the victims trying to protect themselves? Seriously? I think you’re dangerously close to victimizing the criminals here.
    I’m not saying I think it’s right to kill a person over a few personal belongings, but having your house burglarized is a violation of ones privacy and safety. It makes people feel unsafe in their own homes, the one place where they should be able to feel safe. Don’t underestimate the psychological impact of this. In fact one could argue that it shares many of the characteristics of rape, although obviously not in the same degree.

    I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere with that line of reasoning, if you want people to relinquish their guns you have to disarm the criminals first.

  62. says

    Edit: Damn, those numbers were unsettling to say the least. I’ll shut up when it comes to suicide, clearly my experiences doesn’t match the larger picture.

  63. anteprepro says

    Erlend Meyer:

    My best friend used the car (no catalytic converter), another used a shoe lace.

    1. Your anecdotes prove nothing.
    2. Your anecdotes look like blatant lies anyway.
    3. The statistics show that you are wrong.

    Yet you still keep talking anyway. Pig ignorant, self-absorbed fucker.

    So it’s not as clear cut as some try to make it out.

    What part of “risk” do you not understand? Clear cut? Go take your straw men and fuck yourself with them.

    I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere with that line of reasoning, if you want people to relinquish their guns you have to disarm the criminals first.

    And finally, the swarthy Kriminal Race makes its appearance. Because Kriminals ain’t normal people who get guns just like normal people do. Oh no. They are an evil species that does Crime for Crime’s sake, and get all of their resources through Crime, and it is always easy for them to get whatever they want, legal or not, because Crime is just another word for Black Magic.

  64. David Marjanović says

    But blaming armed robbery on the victims trying to protect themselves? Seriously?

    I’m saying that trying to use the licence to kill as a protection against armed robbery is more likely to backfire than to work. Look at Austria, where guns are hard enough to get that most bank robberies are committed with toys and other fakes – and nobody gets hurt. I bet it’s the same in Norway.

    Invest in a door instead. The doors of most houses in the US are shocking – they look like I could kick them in!

  65. omnicrom says

    I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere with that line of reasoning, if you want people to relinquish their guns you have to disarm the criminals first.

    Some things to consider:

    1) People are not all criminal, all the time. Not, not even black people are all criminal, all the time. There this phrase called “Crime of Passion” that you may have heard of, where people get angry enough to kill someone and if lo and behold there’s a gun? Well the entire value of a gun is that it can kill people, that’s the reason it was made and exists. It takes a hell of a lot more effort to bludgeon or knife or slash or strangle someone to death, it’s as easy to kill as point and click. Reducing the number and access of guns in circulation will reduce the number of deaths.

    2) When you say criminal, Erlend Meyer, you seem to be talking about a population of already armed, already hardened, career killers. In reality People who actually do become recurring criminals, or are thinking of engaging in criminal acts, do not magically acquire guns. They have to go to a gun shop or a gun show like everyone else. Often people who are repeat offenders already have a rap sheet for smaller offenses, so by making it harder for them to acquire guns via background checks and closing the incredibly stupid gun show loophole makes it harder for the small population of serious repeat criminals to become armed serious repeat criminals. Sure, you say, they can still go to black markets and backdoor off-the-books deals, but the end result of significant gun legislation would be that repeat criminals have to put in serious effort and money into getting a gun. Perhaps so much effort that many non-unicorn criminals will decide its too difficult or expensive and choose to remain a criminal without guns, making them significantly less lethal.

    3) If you have a gun out in the open and you are burglarized then suddenly you have an armed burglar. It’s a distressing fact that a gun, intended to keep the family safe, can just as readily be taken by a burglar. Guns don’t have magic DNA scanners, a stolen gun can be used by anyone. If you really do endorse civilian ownership of guns for safety then you have to endorse things like gun safes and the continued insistence that the gun owner keep constant vigilance.

    A gun is for killing, using it for safety as a deterrent means using that feature as a counter-threat to violence. It’s a volatile and dangerous thing. If we are to have civilian gun ownership then either we accept thousands of guns deaths per year or put in place controls to try and put a damper on the killings.

  66. drowner says

    I learned a lot in this thread (thanks Jafafa Hots and David Marjanovic for sharing), including the fact that I should make a habit of actually quoting the posts I’m rebutting, because simply listing them by post number is inadequate when comments are suspended or sprung from purgatory. Since my replies no longer correspond appropriately, and I cannot edit it, perhaps The One Supreme Overlord of Moderation would like to delete it?

    Giliell: No hard feelings at all. I just can’t bring myself to use /s tags; I think they blunt the effect.

  67. says

    I’ve said it before.
    The people who ignore the “guns make you less safe” statistics because of the emotional “but PROTECTION!” fallacy are just like those who ignore the relative safety of airline travel compared to the automobile drive to the airport because “in a car I’m the one in control!”

    Both sets of people (some of them doubtless the same) are living in a fantasy world that they prefer to reality, a fantasy world where they’re an expert marksman AND driver with superhuman reflexes and eyes in the backs of their heads.

  68. says

    I liked the part where you pretended there are no high crime areas in the USA and that it’s impossible to have lived all over the country, including in some of those areas, and to know large amounts of people.

    I live two blocks from, essentially in the same neighborhood as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in California, and which a few short years ago ranked as the most dangerous in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES.

    Last year a student was shot a couple of blocks from my house because he had the wrong color shirt on. Later last year someone was found shot to death in the bodega parking lot around the corner from my house. Three months ago or so someone was shot at the donut shop around the corner. Last summer a wacked-out guy threatened me on my dead-end street, with a supposed gun poking out of the pocket of his hoodie. I ended up chasing him down the street. I was armed with two grocery bags.

    I feel no need to carry any sort of weapon. My neighbors are great.
    Stick your bullshit assumptions where your cowardice lives.

  69. says

    Jafafa: I just deleted a long and rather harshly written response. I admit I was wrong, I had no idea things were this bad. In fact it seems that my experiences are the best argument FOR reasonable gun control.

    I’ll be more than happy to include your friend in “does count” category, I never meant to say that he didn’t matter. Everybody matters. But I also think you owe me an apology, I would never lie about something like this. How could you even think that?

    As for The Criminal Race I agree that one can take that argument too far. My point was that as long as armed robbery is common you’re going to have a hard time convincing home owners of giving up their guns. Claiming that “if you don’t defend yourself you won’t get hurt” might be true, but it goes against their core instincts. I

    Codifying proper storage into law is one of the better suggestions, I think it’s fair to assume that one of the main sources of illegal guns are from robberies. Plugging the gun show loopholes also seems prudent, maybe this would be enough to get the ball rolling.

  70. says

    Erlend Meyer @49:

    Even if the statistics say that carrying a gun increases the risk of death, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be cases where they saved lives. Just as there are cases where seat belts or air bags have caused deaths rather than preventing them. Does that mean one should get rid of these safety features?

    In all the gun debates I’ve had at Pharyngula-including this one-I haven’t seen anyone argue against sometimes people use guns to save their lives. If we were discussing banning guns, it might be relevant, but we’re not. We’re talking about gun control.
    Your comparison is flawed too. Guns, by their very nature, are designed for death and destruction and they do that job exceedingly well. Seat belts and air bags are designed to save lives, and they do that job well; plus there are ongoing efforts to improve their safety performance:

    Research and development efforts are ongoing to improve the safety performance of vehicle seatbelts. Some experimental designs have included:
    Criss-cross Experimental safety belt presented in the Volvo SCC. It forms a cross-brace across the chest.
    3+2 Point Seatbelt: Experimental safety belt from Autoliv similar to the criss-cross. The 3+2 improves protection against rollovers and side impacts.
    Four point “belt and suspenders”: An experimental design from Ford where the “suspenders” are attached to the backrest, not to the frame of the car.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belts#Disadvantages

    Also, when it comes to the fatalities from seat belts and air bags (btw, I couldn’t find any numbers on the former; wikipedia says that air bags have contributed to the death of 175 people from 1990-2000), one needs to look at the whether or not efforts are made to reduce those numbers. As pointed out above, there are ongoing efforts to increase the safety of seat belts. I don’t know if there are efforts currently underway to improve airbags, but in 1998, the NHTSA proposed new rules to increase airbag safety.
    Where are the efforts to reduce gun deaths? It would be paradoxical to design a gun that’s less able to kill people, since that’s what they’re created for.

    On the other hand simple statistics can be misleading, does anyone really believe that everybody has the same risk of being killed in a car crash? A large portion of these accidents are caused by reckless behavior that you can control. I would expect the same to be true for guns.

    I don’t know if anyone believes that. I guess it’s possible.
    Oh, and you’re doing it again. You’re making claims without backing them up with evidence. Where is your proof that “a large portion of [car crashes] are caused by reckless behavior that you can control”?

    The biggest fallacy when it comes to guns is that “since criminals disregard the law gun control won’t apply to them”. It’s correct in the short run, banning all guns today wouldn’t reduce the number of armed criminals tomorrow. But even moderate regulation of guns will reduce availability in the long run, making the society safer for everybody.

    Why are you conflating gun control with banning guns? It’s like you’re trying to counter arguments that people aren’t making here.

    The problem is where and how to start. Simply banning all guns could make tings worse for a long time by throwing the power balance off.

    Got some evidence for that? Why are you assuming there is a balance of power to begin with?

    After all, if the criminals knew they wouldn’t risk meting a home owner with a shotgun I’m afraid crimes like home invasions could explode.

    Do you have evidence that the presence of a gun deters criminals?

    Some have argued that when gun prevalence is high, there are fewer burglaries and fewer “hot” burglaries (when someone is at home) because burglars will seek out unoccupied dwellings to avoid being shot. But the evidence does not show this. An international compilation of victimization surveys in 11 developed countries found that the United States (with the most guns) was average in terms of attempted and completed burglary rates, and there was no relationship between gun prevalence and burglary rates. Studies in the United States across states and counties found that in areas with higher levels of household gun ownership, there were actually more burglaries, and there were more burglaries when someone was at home, not less. One reason may be that guns, like cash and jewelry, are attractive loot for burglars, and burglars may target houses with many guns.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/753058_3

    And even if guns don’t work for self defense it does give people an illusion of control, don’t underestimate how important that can be in a dangerous world.

    Yes, but if we’re talking about evidence based reasons for either owning a gun or enacting strong gun control laws, the illusion of control is not a strong argument. It’s irrational and has no place at the discussion table.

    My only advice is to focus on who has access to guns rather than what guns they have access to.

    I hope you’re not suggesting that this be main focus. Efforts should also focus on: educating people on gun safety, instituting mandatory training of guns prior to ownership, psychological tests for people prior to obtaining guns, and more.

    Of course this doesn’t solve the problem of determining who can be entrusted with guns, the sad truth is that you can never know for sure.

    We may never know, but we can make efforts to screen out the irresponsible gun owners by instituting mandatory psychological screening prior to gun ownership. Far too many people demonstrate that they’re irresponsible gun owners after they’ve shot someone.

    But I don’t think there’s any real disagreement on where one must start.

    Ha ha ha!
    That’s funny.
    You do realize that some people don’t even agree that we should start doing anything, no?

  71. says

    It’s irrational and has no place at the discussion table
    It’s something you have to take into account if you want something done. If you could solve this without the support of (some) gun owners we wouldn’t have this discussion…

  72. says

    nomenescio:

    Amen, though if Trayvon Martin had not attempted to beat Zimmerman’s head into the ground, he’d still be alive.

    I think he was justified in beating the guy who was racially profiling and stalking him.
    He’d still be alive if Zimmerman weren’t a racist, gun toting vigilante.
    Nice attempt at victim blaming too.

    ****

    Erlend Meyer:

    I really feel one should try to keep suicides out of the debate as much as possible.

    Oh, bc you feel that way, maybe we shouldn’t. Oh, wait, that’s fucked up. We should be talking about the use of guns to commit suicide bc guns are used to commit suicide.

    Far more people kill themselves with a firearm each year than are murdered with one. In 2010 in the U.S., 19,392 people committed suicide with guns, compared with 11,078 who were killed by others. According to Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC) at Harvard School of Public Health, “If every life is important, and if you’re trying to save people from dying by gunfire, then you can’t ignore nearly two-thirds of the people who are dying.”
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine-features/guns-and-suicide-the-hidden-toll/

    So yeah, in the gun control debate, talking about firearm related suicides is quite relevant.

    People who commit suicide using guns often do so in the heat of the moment. A small number of people survive self inflicted gunshots during suicide attempts.

    In the United States, suicides outnumber homicides almost two to one. Perhaps the real tragedy behind suicide deaths—about 30,000 a year, one for every 45 attempts—is that so many could be prevented. Research shows that whether attempters live or die depends in large part on the ready availability of highly lethal means, especially firearms.

    A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides. Based on a survey of American households conducted in 2002, HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC), found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63 percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher. The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide rates were also lower.

    The lesson? Many lives would likely be saved if people disposed of their firearms, kept them locked away, or stored them outside the home. Says HSPH Professor of Health Policy David Hemenway, the ICRC’s director: “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide.”
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/guns-and-suicide/

    Maybe guns lower the threshold for suicide, I don’t know, but what I do know is that none of the people I knew that either did commit or tried to commit suicide used guns.

    It would be very easy for you to cure your ignorance on the subject. A good start would be to stop relying on anecdotes to support your opinions.

    Don’t reduce these kinds of personal tragedies to a question of means, if a person really wants to die they will find a way. The only way to reduce the number of suicides is to fight the stigma of depression and other mental disorders and to improve mental health care.

    No, that’s not the *only* way to reduce the number of suicides. Gun control measures such as a mandatory waiting period, and mandatory storage requirements for guns are other methods.

  73. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    Problem is that you can’t really remove all opportunities. My best friend used the car (no catalytic converter), another used a shoe lace. Then there’s the paramedic that stockpiled drugs for the job…

    ::sigh, again with the anecdotes to prove a point::

    Binary thinking wins again.
    No one is talking about removing all the opportunities for people to commit suicide. We’re talking about reducing the number of firearm related suicide deaths. I’d love for that number to be *zero*, but that’s not practical. That’s why reducing firearm related suicides is a more reasonable goal.

  74. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere with that line of reasoning, if you want people to relinquish their guns you have to disarm the criminals first.

    Where are you having this discussion? It’s clearly not here, bc so far as I can tell, no one is talking about anyone relinquishing their guns. We’re talking about gun control. Which is not the same thing. Are you being deliberately obtuse?

    p.s. it would be helpful if you quoted the material you’re responding to, as well as the nym and/or comment number. I’ve no idea who you’re responding to half the time.

  75. zenlike says

    Strange. In no way does the OP talk about curtailing the right to own guns. It doesn’t even talk about putting any additional restrictions on gun ownership. It only tries to point out -in a hyperbolic manner- that maybe selling guns is too unrestricted in the USA. Now, if a followed last discussion threads close enough, all those pro-gun rights folks were in favour of more restrictions on selling guns, to eliminate the risk of wrong people acquiring guns, and thus lessening gun-related tragedies. And now immediately multiple responsible gun owners jump in and starting to decry the OP.

    It couldn’t be that those pro-gun folks were actually lying about putting more safeguards on selling guns, right? Right?

  76. John Horstman says

    @nomennescio #2: FFL? WTF? Gun show, bro. In the parking lot, run by Scalia, apparently.

  77. says

    nomennescio

    I liked the part where you pretended there are no high crime areas in the USA and that it’s impossible to have lived all over the country, including in some of those areas, and to know large amounts of people. I can’t help but notice that you’re pretending that because you personally are ignorant of something it means that it doesn’t happen.

    Here’s an idea:
    You put up real actual evidence that there are parts in the USA where you need to defend your life with a gun.
    Not “my friend…”, but something like real statistics.
    In which case we should simply kick you off the list of developed nations and list you somewhere with Iraq and Syria.

  78. caesar says

    Tony@81:

    I think he was justified in beating the guy who was racially profiling and stalking him.
    He’d still be alive if Zimmerman weren’t a racist, gun toting vigilante.

    Both sides deserved blame. Trayvon wasn’t justified in beating Zimmerman because he felt threatened, regardless of the fact that Zimmerman was following him. If Tratvon hadn’t confronted him, he would be alive today.I have no issue witj Zimmerman defending himself after being attacked.

  79. says

    But I also think you owe me an apology,

    You seem to think a lot of bullshit thoughts, including this one.
    And the following one, where you seem to be implying that I called you a liar.

    I did not call you a liar.
    I correctly pointed out that you were wrong, I correctly pointed out that your assertions were based not on information, but apparently on false assumptions. I correctly pointed out that a simple google search would have shown you that you that you were wrong, and I assumed that you didn’t bother to do that simple task because you value your own assumptions over and and estimate your own knowledge above the need to verify your statements as being reflective of reality.

    That is NOT calling you a liar. That is calling you ignorant and lazy. That is pointing out that you are WRONG.
    Just as you are wrong to imply that I called you a liar. I do NOT think you spout false statement in order to deceive, I think that you spout false statements because you are ignorant and arrogant and you like yourself just fine that way.

    You have previously complained about the manner in which people here discuss these things.
    Why do you do that, when you have demonstrated that you either can’t be bothered to read, or are incapable of understanding easily accessible data on the subject? When you have demonstrated that you either can’t be bothered to read or are incapable of understanding this discussion?

    Don’t bother to delete “strongly-worded” comments on my account, Erland.
    You have amply demonstrated that your opinions are uninformed, leaden with uncorrected bias, and therefore of no import whatsoever. Useless rhetoric is mere entertainment at best.

    And yours ain’t the best.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for your apology.

  80. says

    If Tratvon hadn’t confronted him, he would be alive today.I have no issue witj Zimmerman defending himself after being attacked.

    What is the evidence that this is what happened?
    Oh yeah – the testimony of the man who stalked, shot and killed him because he was “suspicious” for existing in his own neighborhood.

  81. says

    ” as for the Criminal Race…”

    OK, Erland, here’s where I tell you just to go fuck yourself.
    Seriously.

    Just go fuck yourself. Fuck off. Eat shit. Go fuck yourself.

  82. says

    It would be paradoxical to design a gun that’s less able to kill people, since that’s what they’re created for.

    There are “smart guns” that have been developed that can only be fired by someone wearing a ring specifically coded to that gun.
    They are illegal to sell in the USA due to NRA lobbying.

    So yes, there are attempts by non-US manufacturers to, in a way, make guns safer. But making guns safer IS ILLEGAL because the gun lobby not only won’t pursue it, it actively FIGHTS it.

  83. says

    caesar @89:

    Both sides deserved blame. Trayvon wasn’t justified in beating Zimmerman because he felt threatened, regardless of the fact that Zimmerman was following him. If Tratvon hadn’t confronted him, he would be alive today.I have no issue witj Zimmerman defending himself after being attacked.

    You can’t resist any opportunity to be an asshole, can you?
    Trayvon did nothing wrong. He was walking home with tea and skittles. That’s it. He was stalked and racially profiled by a gun toting vigilante. Zimmerman wasn’t justified in his actions. He’s the fucker that started the whole thing, and you, like so many people ignore the fact that he instigated the whole thing.
    You disgust me once again.

  84. caesar says

    @91

    Oh yeah – the testimony of the man who stalked, shot and killed him because he was “suspicious” for existing in his own neighborhood

    Where’s the evidence that any of that is true? Oh yeah, there isn’t any. We do have evidence of wounds on the back of Zimmerman’s head indicating that there was some kind of scuffle. We know that he was attacked just after ending his call to the police. Regardless of tge reason for following Trayvon, he was being atttacked and he had a right to defend himsrlf in thst moment. Trayvon should have just gone home.

  85. says

    Jafafa Hots:
    Thanks for pointing out Erlend Meyer’s shit here:

    As for The Criminal Race I agree that one can take that argument too far.

    I somehow missed this.
    The “criminal race”, as if criminals are a monolithic race. Nice dog whistle there. I’d suggest you check your assumptions about criminals, bc they don’t match reality. Unfortunately for you, you have no interest in verifying whether or not your opinions match reality.
    With that comment, Erlend Meyer, you’ve shown that you’re an unmitigated asshole.
    I second everything Jafafa Hots said @90, with extra emphasis on this:

    You have amply demonstrated that your opinions are uninformed, leaden with uncorrected bias, and therefore of no import whatsoever.

    That’s been you throughout this thread. All your unevidenced opinions and anecdotes are meaningless.

    ****
    Jafafa Hots @93:
    I didn’t know about Smart Guns. Thanks for the correction.

  86. Amphiox says

    Caesar @95;

    Just when I think it is not possible for you to sink any lower, you pathetic, victim-blaming, puddle of fetid ooze, you prove me wrong.

  87. Doug Little says

    caesar,

    I believe the police told him to stop stalking Travon, no? And just because he was in a scuffle doesn’t mean he gets to shoot him. I used to be a bouncer and Zimmerman’s wounds were no big deal, I’ve seen far worse even in minor scuffles.

  88. says

    caesar:

    Trayvon should have just gone home.

    He was trying to you fool.
    Nothing Zimmerman did was justified. If he hadn’t been engaged in vigilante “justice”, he would never have been in the position to defend himself. He created the entire situation which resulted in him killing Trayvon.

  89. says

    Strange how many people assume that if Trayvon Martin did attack George Zimmerman he did so for bad reasons. What about Martin’s right to self defense? They never seem to consider the idea that Martin attacked Zimmerman because Zimmerman pulled a gun on him, and therefore, fearing for his life, Martin attacked him in an attempt to save his life. I can’t help but suspect that if things had ended up with Zimmerman dead, and Martin’s defense being that he was exercising his self defense/”stand your ground” rights, these same people wouldn’t believe Martin.

  90. Doug Little says

    tim @102,

    Yep, because we only have one side of the story we are never gonna know what really happened, whether Zimmerman drew on Martin first or not. Given Zimmerman’s track record since then there’s a good chance he did and a good chance he’s not telling the truth.

  91. says

    Doug Little:
    But to a gundamentalist like caesar, any fight is a reason to draw a gun. So even though Zimmerman instigated the events that led to the fight, caesar thinks he was justified in using lethal force.
    Zimmerman is the poster child for people who should never have guns. I’d like to think that if he were required to have a psychological evaluation before owning a gun, he’d have been deemed unfit for gun ownership.

    People like Zimmerman scare me.
    People like caesar anger me.

  92. Doug Little says

    Zimmerman is the poster child for people who should never have guns

    Abso-Fuckin-lutely.

  93. caesar says

    @100:

    I believe the police told him to stop stalking Travon, no?

    He shouldn’t have followed him. But that doesn’t have anything to do with him defending himself.

    And just because he was in a scuffle doesn’t mean he gets to shoot him. I used to be a bouncer and Zimmerman’s wounds were no big deal, I’ve seen far worse even in minor scuffles.

    Well that’s easy to say when you’re not the one being attacked. If I we’re being attacked by someone bigger and.possibly stronger than I was, I would shoot too if I had to.
    @101:

    He was trying to you fool.

    Trying to? Who was stopping him? All he had to do was enter his home and stay there. In fact, he died not to far away from his home.

    Nothing Zimmerman did was justified. If he hadn’t been engaged in vigilante “justice”, he would never have been in the position to defend himself. He created the entire situation which resulted in him killing Trayvon.

    Zimmerman shouldn’t have followed him, but Trayvon’s death was his own damn fault for attacking him unprovoked.

  94. Doug Little says

    Trayvon’s death was his own damn fault for attacking him unprovoked

    unprovoked you say, you might want to reconsider that.

  95. Doug Little says

    casar @106,

    So by your reasoning I can stalk a person, possibly pull a gun on them when they confront me and then shoot them when they get the upper hand in the ensuing scuffle. Is that where you stand?

  96. Doug Little says

    caesar,

    Why should it have been Martin that continued on his way, why shouldn’t Zimmerman have backed down when confronted?

  97. says

    This is Arizona after all. I consider it already lost to civilization.

    I live in Tucson, and I like to try in whatever small capacity to try to bring it back to civilization.

    Also, I occasionally help deal with sales of older, antique firearms, and I’d like to make sure that I don’t accidentally help the bottom line of any assholes who sell guns to murderers.

  98. caesar says

    @107

    unprovoked you say, you might want to reconsider that

    Ummm, no.
    @108:

    So by your reasoning I can stalk a person, possibly pull a gun on them when they confront me and then shoot them when they get the upper hand in the ensuing scuffle. Is that where you stand?

    Following a person is not a legit reason to attack someone. So given that situation, I have no issue with a person shooting their attacker in self defense. If the shooter instigated the situation, then charge him or her with manslaughter or some similar charge.

  99. tomh says

    @ caesar

    If Tratvon hadn’t confronted him, he would be alive today.

    And if Trayvon had had a bigger gun than Zimmerman, he might be alive today. That’s the solution our gun-toting friends have been promoting. Arm everyone. Why don’t I see them suggesting that in this case?

  100. caesar says

    @104:

    But to a gundamentalist like caesar, any fight is a reason to draw a gun.

    Not any fight. Just the ones where a person, especially someone bigger, stronger, and more athletic, is attacking you.

    So even though Zimmerman instigated the events that led to the fight, caesar thinks he was justified in using lethal force..

    Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him so i’d say that justifies using lethal force. If I had to choose between hoping that a guy in an emotional state is going to stop beating on me before possibly killing me, or blasting a hole through him, i’m gonna shoot everytime.
    @109:

    Why should it have been Martin that continued on his way, why shouldn’t Zimmerman have backed down when confronted?

    Maybe both of them should have backed down. Then nobody would have died.

  101. Doug Little says

    Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him

    Judging by the minor wounds he sustained this is bullshit.

  102. Doug Little says

    Maybe both of them should have backed down. Then nobody would have died.

    What a fucking copout. Zimmerman was clearly the aggressor in this case. he was following Martin, he created the situation, you don’t think that Martin confronted him verbally before it ended up in a scuffle? Zimmerman should have backed down well before it got to that point. Furthermore he should have taken his just deserts when Martin got the better of him. Also since then Zimmerman hasn’t had the best track record with threats of violence so I’ll assume that during the verbal exchange that would have occurred between Martin and Zimmerman he most probably escalated the situation rather than diffusing it.

  103. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    @ caesar

    If Tratvon hadn’t confronted him, he would be alive today.

    Wait, wait, wait. Why is it always “he confronted him” with the implication that he just attacked him? What if he just turned around and told Zimmerman to leave him alone? Then Zimmerman pulls the gun and the rest is history. Why is free speech of telling someone (who’s stalking you no less) to fuck off all of a sudden commended?

    Oh, because we can’t have those black boys speaking up against us God-fearing gundamentalists, can we? Might beats right and all that. When someone has a gun you back down, submit. Why, that’s why we need bigger and better guns against those criminals! That’s not problematic escalation, no siree that’s just the law of the jungle.
    /blech

    I’ve been stalked. The mere presence of someone following you like that is terrifying. You’re torn between running (what if they start shooting because I’m trying to get away?) and screaming at them because you want them to go away. It’s frustrating because you can’t do shit. The cops don’t give a fuck about it. It’s so “minor” and they can’t do anything til something violent happens anyways.

    You’re in someone’s cross-hairs, feeling like prey. Fight or flight is a real thing and he can’t be blamed for reacting like a human when someone put him in that position. Zimmerman didn’t think Trayvon was human, but I’m sure as fuck not going to talk like him, that’s supporting his hunting sport.

  104. says

    Doug Little:

    Why should it have been Martin that continued on his way, why shouldn’t Zimmerman have backed down when confronted?

    Especially since Zimmerman had a gun!
    He should have been a responsible gun owner and DE-escalated the situation. Of course that wasn’t going to happen, bc Zimmerman was/is a trigger happy asshole.

    ****

    caesar:

    Following a person is not a legit reason to attack someone. So given that situation, I have no issue with a person shooting their attacker in self defense. If the shooter instigated the situation, then charge him or her with manslaughter or some similar charge.

    ISTR that there is no confirmation either way who started the actual fight. Zimmerman says Trayvon did, but pardon me for not accepting the word of a murderous asshole. Especially since there’s no way to know the truth. It’s his quite questionable word versus a dead man. Dead men don’t talk, and lying assholes lie.
    And again, Trayvon was on his way home. He was trying to walk home when Zimmerman began following him for walking while black.
    You continue to refuse to accept that Zimmerman instigated the entire thing. If Trayvon attacked first-and that’s a questionable premise-then GZ wasn’t responsible for inciting the attack, but he’s still responsible for the lead up. He’s still the guy that got the ball in motion. All he had to do was stop following Trayvon, since he had no reason to do so in the first place. There would have been no attack and no trial, but most importantly, a young man would still be alive.

    But do go on and continue making excuses for a murderous, racist asshole. You couldn’t shine a brighter light on your libertarian-like contempt for others.

    I find Spider-Man’s saying applicable- “with great power comes great responsibility”. Zimmerman had the power of life and death in his hands. He should have been responsible enough to ensure that he didn’t use that weapon unless absolutely necessary. Part of that is being responsible enough to not initiate a series of events that can lead to the death of others. Zimmerman was not and is not a responsible gun owner. He’s a reckless, contemptuous human being looking to use his weapon against others.
    And given your justification for his actions, you don’t deserve to own a gun either. You, like he, should be stripped of that right. You can have it back when you decide to go live on an uninhabited island somewhere away from humanity. You can have your gun *and* not pay any taxes (course you won’t have any sidewalks, hospitals, potable water, sewage systems, or any of the other myriad benefits that taxes provide that you don’t even realize you utilize).

  105. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him so i’d say that justifies using lethal force.

    Zimmerman was the agressor from the time he started to follow Trayvon until HE, Zimmerman, took steps to deescalate the incident. Which never happened. This was a lynching, pure and simple, by Zimmerman. Nobody should be able to push until the other person has to stand their ground, and then say they the victim. The only victim is the lynched Trayvon.

  106. says

    anteprepro:
    I’m reminded of the people who whine about how often PZ bans people. I’m not calling for caesar to be banned (though I wouldn’t be sad if he’d never comment again), but given the odious nature of his comments, given how easy people think PZ bans, it’s funny that he’s still a’ posting.

  107. anteprepro says

    To all: The reference Erlend Meyer made to the “Criminal Race” was just a response to my post at 71.

    Tony! at 120: I agree. caesar is typing testimony to the fact that PZ’s banhammer hand is nowhere near as heavy as people claim it to be.

  108. Amphiox says

    Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him so i’d say that justifies using lethal force. If I had to choose between hoping that a guy in an emotional state is going to stop beating on me before possibly killing me, or blasting a hole through him, i’m gonna shoot everytime.

    He who stalks someone else without legal authority has no justification for force of ANY kind. MARTIN, and ONLY MARTIN, had the right to use lethal force that night.

    If you stalk someone and PUT him into a fearful emotional state, as the cell phone records for Martin clearly demonstrate, in which he feels it necessary to use force to defend himself and you get beat up as a result, you DESERVE every bruise you get.

  109. Terska says

    I’m in my 50’s and I know way too many people that have died from gun violence. Perhaps a dozen. Only one was a lone suicide. Two were murder-suicides with multiple victims. One was a child shooting his best friend by accident in a home that had loaded guns leaning up in corners of every room. All of them were law abiding citizens until they decided to kill a rival or loved one. Most of them were women murdered by husbands or boyfriends. Only two weren’t killed with guns. One was stabbed and the other driven over with a car. I live and grew up in the suburbs. Arming the victims wouldn’t have saved any of them. They were all surprised by their killers.

  110. ck says

    How couldn’t Trayvon have known (presumably through his miraculous power of telepathy) that Zimmerman was a good guy with a gun and not a bad guy with a gun? I mean, it’s not like Zimmerman was wearing a black hat, so it ought to have been clear to all that Zimmerman had no ill intentions.

  111. Anri says

    ck @ 124:

    How couldn’t Trayvon have known (presumably through his miraculous power of telepathy) that Zimmerman was a good guy with a gun and not a bad guy with a gun? I mean, it’s not like Zimmerman was wearing a black hat, so it ought to have been clear to all that Zimmerman had no ill intentions.

    We don’t have to look at hats, y’see – Trayvon had black skin, so that makes anyone who opposes him the automatic good guy.

    Just ask caesar.

  112. caesar says

    @117:

    If Trayvon attacked first-and that’s a questionable premise-then GZ wasn’t responsible for inciting the attack, but he’s still responsible for the lead up. He’s still the guy that got the ball in motion.

    Regardless of Zimmerman’s actions, Trayvon could easily have just stepped inside of his home and avoided the situation. The fact that the incident happened not too far away from his home, and given his emotionsl state, I believe it’s more likely than not that he attacked Zimmerman first. Unfortunately he attacked the wrong person, and now he’s dead as a result. As far as I’m concerned, if a guy attacks you and ends up getting shot as a result, that’s just too bad for him. If Zimmerman had confronted him directly, then I would probably have a different opinion, but there’s no evidence of that, so I’m with Zimmerman as far as defending himself in a fight.

    And given your justification for his actions, you don’t deserve to own a gun either. You, like he, should be stripped of that right. You can have it back when you decide to go live on an uninhabited island somewhere away from humanity.

    Luckily, my right to have a gun isn’t at the whim of what I like to call, moral busybodies, arbitrarily deciding who’s “deserving”. People like this need to be told to fuck off as much as possible.
    @120:

    I’m not calling for caesar to be banned (though I wouldn’t be sad if he’d never comment again), but given the odious nature of his comments, given how easy people think PZ bans, it’s funny that he’s still a’ posting.

    Why should I be banned? All I’m doing is promoting liberal values of freedom from authoritarianism which is sorely needed in this echo chamber we call Pharyngula, as well as in the US in general. With the economy in a rut, and with terrorism being at the top of the agenda, it’s more important than ever to stand against those seeking to erode the liberal values the nation was based on, using “national security” or “empathy” or “safety” to rationalize it.

  113. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Shorter caesar:

    Regardless of Zimmerman’s actions, it was the black kid’s fault.

    Really? We have to disregard Zimmerman’s actions? Why must we do that? Because it leads to the conclusion you want to be reached. Granted, I consider Zimmerman’s actions as important to reach my conclusions; however, only you are ignoring half of the equation.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Regardless of Zimmerman’s actions, Trayvon could easily have just stepped inside of his home and avoided the situation.

    Gee, the black must be the one to back down in liberturd world. Not surprised…

    . The fact that the incident happened not too far away from his home, and given his emotionsl state, I believe it’s more likely than not that he attacked Zimmerman first.

    Zimmerman started his attack by unnecessarily, and directly ignoring police orders. Zimmerman is the agreessor from then on until HE, Zimmerman, backs down. But then you are in liberturdia (bigot land), where those who are the darkest of skin must always give way.

    so I’m with Zimmerman as far as defending himself in a fight.

    Show me any evidence at all that Zimmerman, the aggressor, stopped his aggressive behavior. Or, shut the fuck up.

  115. Amphiox says

    Regardless of Zimmerman’s actions, Trayvon could easily have just stepped inside of his home and avoided the situation. The fact that the incident happened not too far away from his home, and given his emotionsl state, I believe it’s more likely than not that he attacked Zimmerman first.

    There is ZERO credible evidence that Martin “attacked” first.

    If Zimmerman had confronted him directly, then I would probably have a different opinion, but there’s no evidence of that

    Disgusting hypocrite caesar blithely applies a dishonestly inconsistent standard of evidence. For the side of the argument he already wants to support, no evidence required, just “I believe”. For the other side its “there’s no evidence of that”.

    Pathetic.

  116. Amphiox says

    Also, the “incident” (no, it was not an “incident”, it was HOMICIDE), occurred far enough away from Martin’s home that he certainly could NOT have “just stepped inside his home”.

    Not unless he had a fucking teleporter.

  117. Amphiox says

    And, given Zimmerman’s documented and undeniable intentions prior to the event, where he deliberately and without provocation stalked Martin, and his emotional state as clearly demonstrated by his conversation with police and his refusal to obey the order not to continue following Martin, it is FAR more likely that Zimmerman was the one who deliberately cornered and confronted Martin directly.

    Note again the disgusting intellectual dishonesty whereby caesar applies one standard to Martin’s actions, but avoids using it on his precious Zimmerman if it the equal application thereof would happen to make Zimmerman look bad.

    I cannot recall a single instance of an honest argument yet from the cesspit that is caesar’s postings.

  118. says

    Erlend Meyer #49

    A large portion of these accidents are caused by reckless behavior that you someone can control.

    Even if you are in perfect control of your car, or indeed aren’t driving at all, some other asshole’s reckless behavior can kill you dead in a second. Happened right in front of my husband a few years back, and I’ve personally been hit nonfatally by above half a dozen reckless drivers. What do you propose I do about that, other than never go anywhere?

    Giliell #88

    In which case we should simply kick you off the list of developed nations and list you somewhere with Iraq and Syria.

    That seems fair, really.
    Jafafa Hots

    There are “smart guns” that have been developed that can only be fired by someone wearing a ring specifically coded to that gun.

    There’s also fingerprint locked holsters that won’t relinquish the gun for anyone not keyed to it. The biggest problem for applying this directly to guns is the battery pack, and that should be a solvable issue these days, frankly. I’d love for there to be a requirement for a fingerprint scanner in the grip of any gun so it won’t fire for anyone but the owner.
    nomennescio, caesar
    And, unsurprisingly, the gun-fondlers are blisteringly racist too. There seems to be a trend here…

  119. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    In the 911 tape near the beginning of the night on which Trayvon was murdered, you can hear GZ panting, stating that “He’s getting away. He’s running now.” He was obviously chasing after him. One thing we’ll never know is did GZ have his gun out as he was chasing Trayvon? It doesn’t matter, really, because the simple act of chasing Trayvon was enough to convince reasonable people (but not the fucking shitbag juror B37 who wanted to profit from the case, though, and who felt that Zimmerman had “good intentions” that night) that Trayvon feared for HIS life and was standing HIS ground when George Zimmerman found him.

    So fuck all that ‘regardless’ noise. It’s a shitty smokescreen for excusing the bastard.

  120. tomh says

    @ caesar

    The fact that the incident happened not too far away from his home

    Since it was not too far from Martin’s home, would you would defend Martin if he had shot Zimmerman? After all, stand your ground laws are meant to allow you to defend your home from someone who has no business sneaking around in a threatening manner, such as Zimmerman was, for instance. What would be your position if Martin had shot Zimmerman, defending his home?

  121. Nick Gotts says

    Luckily, my right to have a gun isn’t at the whim of what I like to call, moral busybodies, arbitrarily deciding who’s “deserving”. – caesar

    There’s nothing arbitrary about deciding that a lying racist isn’t deserving.

  122. caesar says

    Shorter caesar:
    Regardless of Zimmerman’s actions, it was the black kid’s fault

    Gee, the black must be the one to back down in liberturd world. Not surprised…

    How original. When in doubt, just accuse the other person of being a racist. No evidence necessary.
    @123:

    Show me any evidence at all that Zimmerman, the aggressor, stopped his aggressive behavior. Or, shut the fuck up

    Sure, as soon as you show me evidence that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation which ended with Trayvon dying, and following someone doesn’t count as initiating.
    @130:

    For the side of the argument he already wants to support, no evidence required, just “I believe”. For the other side its “there’s no evidence of that”.

    Actually, I acknowledge that there isn’t a lot of evidence to say for sure who started the incident. To be consistent, you guys should stop accusing Zimmerman of murder, because nobody other than Zimmerman and Trayvon know who confronted who.
    @135:

    Since it was not too far from Martin’s home, would you would defend Martin if he had shot Zimmerman?

    If Zimmerman had physically confronted Trayvon and prevented him from getting inside his home, then I would not have any problem with Trayvon defending himself by shooting Zimmerman.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When in doubt, just accuse the other person of being a racist. No evidence necessary.

    Sorry, your own words are evidence. Evidence you can’t think of the consequence of what you say. It was racist is Trayvon, the hunted, must back down.

    Sure, as soon as you show me evidence that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation which ended with Trayvon dying, and following someone doesn’t count as initiating.

    Fixed that for you bigot. Stalking is a crime. Following with intent is stalking. Trayvon was stalked by Zimmerman. Quit acting like the bigot, where the black had to back down, compared to the non-black stalker.

    To be consistent, you guys should stop accusing Zimmerman of murder, because nobody other than Zimmerman and Trayvon know who confronted who.

    Trayvon was lynched by Zimmerman, who was the agressor start to finish, and push Trayvon into standing his ground, (which Trayvon could do, and Zimmerman HAD TO BACK DOWN), then killing him the resulting scuffle when Zimmerman didn’t back off his aggression. Keep lying to your self bigot, but quit lying to us.

    If Zimmerman had physically confronted Trayvon and prevented him from getting inside his home, then I would not have any problem with Trayvon defending himself by shooting Zimmerman.

    Since for that to happen, all Zimmerman had to do was to not follow Trayvon, period, end of story, so your claims sound like a bigot. The black must retreat. Those non-black can be aggressive.

  124. says

    caesar:

    Luckily, my right to have a gun isn’t at the whim of what I like to call, moral busybodies, arbitrarily deciding who’s “deserving”. People like this need to be told to fuck off as much as possible.

    I haven’t decided that arbitrarily.
    I’ve decided that based on your words both in this thread and many others. The conclusion I’ve reached is that you are not responsible enough to own a gun. Cheer up. You’re hardly alone in that category. A great many owners of guns in this country don’t deserve them either.

  125. tomh says

    If Zimmerman had physically confronted Trayvon and prevented him from getting inside his home

    He would have to prevent him from getting in his home? Why isn’t just threatening him and brandishing a weapon enough? Seems like enough to me, taking into account the prevailing stand your ground laws.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I haven’t decided that arbitrarily.
    I’ve decided that based on your words both in this thread and many others. The conclusion I’ve reached is that you are not responsible enough to own a gun. Cheer up. You’re hardly alone in that category. A great many owners of guns in this country don’t deserve them either.

    Amen Tony. Caesar should be nowhere near a loaded weapon. He appears to be so arrogant and ignorant with liberturdism, the question isn’t whether he will shoot himself or his family, but rather where….

  127. says

    caesar:

    Sure, as soon as you show me evidence that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation which ended with Trayvon dying, and following someone doesn’t count as initiating.

    Yes, it does count.
    There were several incidents prior to that night showing GZs racism. He was clearly biased against black people. This bias manifested again when he followed Trayvon for *no* reason (a fact you continue to ignore, possibly bc it doesn’t fit your narrative), treating him like a suspect in a crime. He had no reason to follow him, yet continued to do so. Even when told he did not need to continue following him, he did so. His actions precipitated the events that led to Trayvon’s death. Even if one is to assume that your version of events is true (that Trayvon instigated the fight), it doesn’t change the fact that there would have been no fight if GZ has backed down, or even not been stalking Trayvon to begin with.

    Your defense of the obvious racism in this case is telling. It, along with other comments you’ve made in the past, point to racist beliefs that you hold.

  128. says

    I wish that more “moral busybodies” would speak up in this country. Politicians need to take serious steps to curb the gun violence in this country (heads up to ignorant shitcastles like caesar, gun violence is more than gun homicides, as I noted upthread).
    There are too many irresponsible gun owners. We only learn how irresponsible they are after they’ve hurt or killed someone. That there is no system in place to even attempt to discern how responsible a potential gun owner is (say psychological testing)–that’s a huge problem.

  129. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There are too many irresponsible gun owners.

    Amen, and I define any gun owner as irresponsible, if they don’t follow safety practices, that include unloading and locking away any weapon not under your personal control, and unloading every weapon carried by non-police when in public, which is loosely defined as outside of the house, and not in a hunting area.

  130. says

    Nerd:
    Agreed.
    I find the Open Carry fools as some of the most irresponsible. They’re selfishly thinking only of themselves, refusing to recognize that many others view them fearfully. It’s not as if they’re wearing a white hat that allows others to know that they’re not going to shoot up the local Target.
    It’s also funny (in an ironic way, not funny ha ha) that Open Carry advocates carry their guns in public, while probably giving no thought to the increased danger to themselves and their families–at home–that comes with owning a gun.

  131. ck says

    caesar wrote:

    If Zimmerman had physically confronted Trayvon and prevented him from getting inside his home, then I would not have any problem with Trayvon defending himself by shooting Zimmerman.

    Oh, so all Martin would’ve had to do is lead an armed man, whose intent was unknown to him, back to his house, and then Martin would be allowed to defend himself.

    And let me guess, if your wife/children/brother/sister/parents/grandparents complained that an armed man of unknown intent was driving around and following them, and when your [placeholder] tried to slip away by going into a narrow alleyway (also known as the flight response) and the armed man of unknown intent got out of his car and started following them down there, too, I’m sure you’d tell them that have no right to fight the armed man, and that they would deserve to die if they did.

    It is fucking shocking how easy you want to make it for someone to hunt and kill someone with a perfectly valid “standing my ground” justification.

  132. says

    ck:
    If I can make a minor adjustment–

    It is fucking shocking how easy you want to make it for someone to hunt and kill someone a black teen with a perfectly valid “standing my ground” justification.

    It is shocking the flips and twists caesar is making to justify GZs actions. Wait. Scratch that. It would be shocking if someone else were doing it. It’s not shocking from our resident libertarian-like racist fucknuggett.

  133. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Caesar

    How original. When in doubt, just accuse the other person of being a racist. No evidence necessary.

    How original. Huff and puff about implications of your bias. Sorry not sorry for the implication, followed by what was the point you conveniently enabled yourself to disregard.

  134. jste says

    caesar:

    Sure, as soon as you show me evidence that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation which ended with Trayvon dying, and following someone doesn’t count as initiating.

    You mean if someone was stalking you, you wouldn’t see that as an act of aggression? Is that honestly the position you’re taking?

    Tony!:

    It’s also funny (in an ironic way, not funny ha ha) that Open Carry advocates carry their guns in public, while probably giving no thought to the increased danger to themselves and their families–at home–that comes with owning a gun.

    Oh, they’ve thought about it. And they’ve decided the statistics don’t apply to them, because they’ve got their gun, and that gun is a magical symbol that makes them immortal. Or something.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, they’ve thought about it. And they’ve decided the statistics don’t apply to them, because they’ve got their gun, and that gun is a magical symbol that makes them immortal. Or something.

    They haven’t thought through the implications of an inherently unsafe practice. It makes one more likely to take unnecessary risks, like leaving a loaded pistol in the nightstand in the bedrooms, where kids could pick it up and use it. If you aren’t likely use that weapon in the next few minutes, why is it loaded? That is gun safety. Anything else is negligence and carelessness, which should be properly punished by law.

  136. alwayscurious says

    I have a friend who talks about a job he used to have. On advice from others about the potential dangers of the job, he got a concealed weapons permit and carried regularly while doing his field work. I’ve heard tons of stories about the times he was out in the middle of nowhere, risking encounters with dangerous animals, drug smugglers and/or generally reclusive/violent people. For example, he tells one story about being greeted at the door with a shotgun aimed at his face. Apparently there was a miscommunication about his arrival time and the woman answering the door didn’t like strangers.

    Nevertheless, after 20 years of working in the field, he doesn’t have a single story about how his gun solved a single problem–it was never used, never revealed, and never mentioned to any of the people he interacted with. What I take away from his experience is this: being savvy is more valuable than being armed.

  137. alwayscurious says

    Lesson #2: people have an overinflated sense of the danger they are in

  138. Amphiox says

    Sure, as soon as you show me evidence that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation which ended with Trayvon dying, and following someone doesn’t count as initiating.

    Yet more disgusting intellectual dishonesty from caesar.

    Evidence is only required to show that Zimmerman initiated.

    But caesar is free to declare, absolutely evidence free, that Martin initiated, just because he “feels” it is more likely.

    Pitiful.

  139. jste says

    They haven’t thought through the implications of an inherently unsafe practice. It makes one more likely to take unnecessary risks, like leaving a loaded pistol in the nightstand in the bedrooms, where kids could pick it up and use it. If you aren’t likely use that weapon in the next few minutes, why is it loaded? That is gun safety. Anything else is negligence and carelessness, which should be properly punished by law.

    That part of my response was mostly meant as sarcasm, but living in Australia, where proper gun safety is part of the law (guns and ammo kept in locked safes, and not stored together, among other regulations), and being a fan of common sense, proper safety and not owning guns besides, these are things I continuously overlook in these discussions, despite how often they’re brought up in the conversation. I’m annoyed I need reminding so often (Also, thank you for the reminder).

  140. says

    alwayscurious:

    Lesson #2: people have an overinflated sense of the danger they are in

    Of course the FOX News propaganda machine, the GOP, and the Tea Party toil away to ensure that people are constantly scared and in danger. Especially from teh gays, black people, hispanics, immigrants of all kinds, atheists, muslims…what other groups have I forgotten?
    They’re fostering a culture of fear that leads to people thinking they need to arm themselves in grocery stores.

  141. caesar says

    @138:

    Sorry, your own words are evidence

    No, other than all the times where I didn’t refer to or imply anything concerning race, !I’m still not seeing this evidence. I think you’re just terrible at making credible arguments, so you’re resorting to playing the racist card.
    @139:

    The conclusion I’ve reached is that you are not responsible enough to own a gun.

    Well your opinion means jack shit to me.
    @140:

    Why isn’t just threatening him and brandishing a weapon enough? Seems like enough to me, taking into account the prevailing stand your ground laws

    If he had threatened him and and brandished a weapon, or showed that he was likely to inflict bodily harm, then that would justify Trayvon attacking him.
    @146:

    Oh, so all Martin would’ve had to do is lead an armed man, whose intent was unknown to him, back to his house, and then Martin would be allowed to defend himself

    He should have gone home or some other safe place and called the police. Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

  142. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    Jafafa Hots @93,

    There are “smart guns” that have been developed that can only be fired by someone wearing a ring specifically coded to that gun.
    They are illegal to sell in the USA due to NRA lobbying.

    Um, source? Because when I google “smart guns illegal in us”, I don’t see any results saying that they are in fact illegal.

    Now it’s true that the NRA has effectively blocked their sale, but that’s because of a NJ law that would mandate that all guns be smart guns once the technology is being sold.

    As for George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, I’d just point out that there are two sides to the story, but rather conveniently for GZ (and Caesar), one side has been silenced.

  143. tomh says

    @ caesar

    If he had threatened him and and brandished a weapon, or showed that he was likely to inflict bodily harm, then that would justify Trayvon attacking him.

    Well, make up your mind. First you say Martin should have run home, now you’re saying he was justified in attacking Zimmerman. Because chasing someone in the dark is certainly threatening, and a scary-looking guy with a gun is certainly likely to inflict bodily harm. So, if Martin attacked Zimmerman, he was definitely justified, according to your precepts. I agree.

  144. says

    He should have gone home or some other safe place and called the police. Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

    And there he goes again, assuming that Trayvon instigated the fight despite no evidence of such other than GZs claims. The narrative in caesar’s requires this assumption.
    And again, caesar refuses to acknowledge that GZ started the whole thing by stalking Trayvon.

  145. consciousness razor says

    Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

    Attacking a guy who you are following seems like is a bad idea. And killing that guy is even worse. What a horribly bad idea. What a stupid fucker that Zimmerman guy is, not to mention stupid fuckers like caesar who are trying and failing to defend him. Stand your ground on this argument, caesar, despite all reason and evidence. Consider it a challenge, to remain a hateful, ignorant, dishonest, thoroughly discredited crank, for the rest of your life if possible. Things are just so easy when your opponents make themselves ridiculous.

  146. militantagnostic says

    I think it is unfair to accuse caeser of racism. It is possible that what makes Trayvon Martin the villain (for caeser) is not the melanin in his skin, but his failure to carry a gun. For the true gundamentalist, not carrying a gun is a sign of poor moral character.

    Tony TFQS @159

    And again, caesar refuses to acknowledge that GZ started the whole thing by stalking Trayvon.

    You clearly do not understand libertarian principles. Since the police had advised Zimmerman to not follow Martin, he was obligated to do the opposite.

  147. says

    militantagnostic:

    You clearly do not understand libertarian principles. Since the police had advised Zimmerman to not follow Martin, he was obligated to do the opposite.

    True. I’ve read enough about libertarian principles to know that I’m opposed to most of them, but I don’t comprehend the reasons people hold them. The rationalization of behaviors and beliefs in the face of contrary evidence still baffles me.
    Oh, and don’t call caesar a libertarian. He gets testy (despite the fact that many of his beliefs are very libertarian-like).

    I think it is unfair to accuse caesar of racism.

    His comments in this thread are not the only (or even main) examples of racist beliefs he holds. He of course doesn’t view any of his beliefs as racist. But then he’s shown that he doesn’t think through the implications of his some of his opinions. That and he’s got a narrow understanding of racism.

  148. militantagnostic says

    alwayscurious @151

    Nevertheless, after 20 years of working in the field, he doesn’t have a single story about how his gun solved a single problem–it was never used, never revealed, and never mentioned to any of the people he interacted with. What I take away from his experience is this: being savvy is more valuable than being armed.

    There is a saying in aviation that “The superior pilot uses his superior to judgment to avoid situations that would require his superior skill.” It sounds like your your friend was smart enough to think and act as if he didn’t have a gun. Unfortunately for Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was the opposite. The bottom line in that tragedy/travesty is, if Zimmerman did not have a gun, he would never have followed Martin in the first place. We once rented a room to a martial arts instructor who said that he always taught his students that if running away is an option, that is the best course of action and that would be his own first choice in any confrontation. Standing your ground is the sort of “Culture of Honour”* behaviour that belongs in a society of bronze age goatherds.

    *This comment by Blanche Quizno at Buttterflies and Wheels explains what a Culture of Hour is.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/06/the-accused-is-the-oriental-other/comment-page-1/#comment-2341627

  149. omnicrom says

    Tony @161

    You don’t hold George Zimmerman accountable for the chain of events leading to the death of Trayvon Martin. Why? I really can’t understand your position here.

    It’s depressingly and nauseatingly simple: Trayvon Martin was black, George Zimmerman wasn’t and he had a gun so therefore he’s automatically most moral.

  150. Anri says

    caesar @ 156:

    No, other than all the times where I didn’t refer to or imply anything concerning race, !I’m still not seeing this evidence. I think you’re just terrible at making credible arguments, so you’re resorting to playing the racist card.

    (bolded for emphasis)

    Well, everyone else here has no trouble seeing it.
    But, hey, maybe everyone else here is having an identical problem understanding race relations while you’re the Only Sane Man. Because the alternative is that you’re blind to your own bias, and let’s face it – that’s unpossible. Because reasons.

    Also:

    He should have gone home or some other safe place and called the police. Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

    Whereas, following and then shooting an unarmed teen was Just Plain Smart.
    Gotcha.

  151. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Caesar pontificates:

    Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

    I think it’s also a really bad idea to be a vigilante roaming the streets with a gun on a power trip chasing down children. But yeah, attacking someone you’re hiding from because they caught up with you and found your hiding spot isn’t the greatest idea, but the latter half of ‘fight or flight’ clearly didn’t work, so what else was he to do? Cower and take his punishment for making GZ chase after him?

  152. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Also, who was the grown-up in the situation? Why are we expecting the child to be making the better judgments? Seems like bias to me. YMMV.

  153. Amphiox says

    Attacking a guy who is following you seems like a bad idea, doncha think?

    Still assuming with NO credible evidence that Martin actually “attacked.”

    Once more caesar demonstrates his grotesque in textual dishonesty. He demands evidence only for the other side’s claims, but does not for any of his own.

    Disgusting.

  154. militantagnostic says

    Tony @164

    I was taking the piss with regard to racism, I suspect that it is as omnicron said – Martin was guilty of both excess melanin and failing to carry a gun.

  155. microraptor says

    I find the Open Carry fools as some of the most irresponsible. They’re selfishly thinking only of themselves, refusing to recognize that many others view them fearfully.

    Based on the Open Carry fools I’ve met, they completely recognize that many others view them fearfully. It’s a large part of why they do it: they’re a lot of bullies who like that they can carry a gun openly so as to intimidate people.

  156. says

    microraptor:
    I was afraid that was the case.
    Here’s another wonderful installment of Open Carry Assholes:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/25/1309370/-Another-Texas-WTF-Open-Carry-Gun-Extremists-To-Prance-Through-Black-Neighborhood?detail=facebook

    A group of gundamentalists openly carrying through a black neighborhood. That smacks of terrorism.
    ****

    omnicrom:

    It’s depressingly and nauseatingly simple: Trayvon Martin was black, George Zimmerman wasn’t and he had a gun so therefore he’s automatically most moral.

    Oh no doubt.
    I just wanted to see what caesar would say.