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The squirreliest thing I’ve seen all day

The NRA is just plain nuts.

This guy starts out by telling us how the government sets education policy, access to public parks, labor policies to protect minorities, and then springs his case on us: we should treat guns the same way. We need guns. We ought to treat them like food, shelter, education, and voting — wonderful things that the government ought to subsidize. So later he even suggests that the government ought to provide free shooting ranges, and a yearly allotment of free ammunition.

Further, progress through the school system ought to require gun training. Why? Because we need guns.

No, we don’t. We need jobs, we need shelter, we need education, we need food, we need clean water, but hell no, we don’t need guns. He says that our gun policy is designed around the assumption that we need to protect people from guns, that guns are bad or dangerous…exactly right. I want to be protected from guns. I’d rather not have to worry about some freak with an automatic rifle when I walk to the grocery store; guns are bad, since they’re tools for killing people; and oh man, guns are dangerous.

But this fool says, What if instead of gun-free zones, we had gun-required zones. No thank you.

He also says,

Sound crazy? Think about it.

OK. I thought about it. It’s utterly insane. The NRA is a festering cesspool of batshit lunacy.

Comments

  1. microraptor says

    I swear, every time someone from the NRA starts talking I half expect them to start praising Charles Whitman or something.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    First rule of gun safety. Never, ever, have a loaded gun in public area where a misfire may cause injury.
    Now, tell me about concealed carry and how it is following gun safety rules?

  3. says

    I wouldn’t mind seeing some gun safety classes made part of school curriculum, but I doubt what I have in mind would be NRA approved. See, I want a class where people are taught actual facts about guns, like – they absolutely suck for self-defense, they shouldn’t be use for macho posturing, threatening people with your guns is not acceptable behavior, guns are not toys, etc…

  4. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    I’m almost ok with the gun required zone as long as it’s walled off from the rest of the world, and no guns are allowed outside the zone. Kind of like laser tag, but with live ammunition. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

  5. says

    So the NRA is now fine with the government being heavily involved with guns and how they’re used? Great, let’s write some laws.

  6. says

    As for gun instruction in schools, there’s two basic problems. One is that some kids are stupid and like to horse around, and they’d be dangerous. The other is that if we were talking about NRA instructors like mine in the sixties, maybe. Sarge would tear your head off if you did it wrong. But now you’ve got an organization full of dim witted wackos who shoot themselves, and others, in gun classes. A couple incidents (more can be found with a Google search).

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-02-21/news/os-nra-gun-instructor-shoots-student-022020100220_1_gun-safety-nra-church-s-communications-director

    http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2012/04/man-accidentally-shoots-self-wife-in-gun-class.html

    http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2013/04/nra-certified_firearm_safety_instructor_accidentally_shoots_himself.php

    Keep these people out of bullet range at all times.

  7. Larry says

    How ’bout the government treat firearms like it does automobiles and airplanes? You know, by requiring they be licensed.

  8. brett says

    Virgin, Utah basically did a version of this – it has mandatory gun ownership, albeit with broad loopholes (such as for “conscientious objecting”).

    Presumably the NRA is saturating the shrinking market of gun fanatics, and now trying to reverse the trend of declining overall gun ownership.

  9. speed0spank says

    I don’t know many NRA gunfondlers but the ones I have listened to talk for long periods of time have slung around racist jokes and complained about moochers and takers.

  10. Carlos Cabanita says

    Two things: one, some communist countries had mandatory gun instruction for everybody in highschool (with the Khalashnikov) but absolutely no private gun ownership; two, have you thought about the effect private gun proliferation has upon police behavior? There are other factors worsening police behavior, but one factor is that officers are always afraid some citizem may be armed. Where in other countries the citizen may not even be handcuffed, in the USA they are thrown to the ground, humiliated and overwhelmed.

  11. cartomancer says

    How about a nice compromise? You have to carry a gun of some kind, but it can’t be the lethal, people-killing sort. You could carry a sound gun or a hot glue gun or a spray gun or even Ben Gunn from Treasure Island if you like. Preferably not a rivet gun or a nail gun, because they can be rather dangerous, but even those are better than the sort traditionally fondled by the people bloviating in this video.

    Also, public masturbation should be made legal everywhere. This seems to be the not-very-well-sublimated urge behind the gun nuts’ activities after all…

  12. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    @Carlos

    And then police use the perceived danger to justify accepting all the bullshit the military has been giving them over the last few years. If owning racks of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition somehow make people more “free,” while simultaneously making law enforcement feel the need to possess more and more SWAT gear and automatic weapons and oversize vehicles, then it’s not really a bright future for civil liberties or a peaceful society.

    I’m not one for having middle or high school kids be taught to shoot and handle weapons anymore than I am for them being licensed to drive (which isn’t even mandatory, unlike this proposal). Does anyone even remember high school? Chemistry, biology (sorry, PZ), shop class–they should all be prime examples of why there are plenty of kids who don’t need to be given firearms.

    At best this could be a restricted, off-campus (like with a local police dept.) elective, maybe, if you could pass say a background check and have a very high grade in one or two, hands-off prerequisite courses. Realistically though, I would think this would just end up being like it was with kids who got parking spaces–students who (or their parents, usually) had enough money to own a car and also pay for a $100+ space per semester. Just another thing to segregate students along economic lines; “Oh, I’m sorry, Billy, ammo fees went up this semester, and you know they aren’t paid for by the school.”

  13. microraptor says

    You could carry a sound gun or a hot glue gun or a spray gun or even Ben Gunn from Treasure Island if you like.

    Does it count if I use the theme from Peter Gunn as my ringtone?

  14. lorn says

    He seems to be playing off the mythology that guns stop shootings. That bit of mythology would be an accurate depiction of shooting incidents if the bad guys were so kind as to announce the attacks they commit a few days beforehand and would wear distinctive clothing that would identify themselves as bad guys. Given a weeks notice ahead of time and some distinctive clothing, I’m pushing for the traditional white hats for good guys and black hats for bad scheme, guns might be able to disrupt shootings early.

    Unfortunately the bad guys have, so far, failed to cooperate and lacking their compliance having a gun on your person doesn’t seem to have much benefit. Some time ago a gunman walked into a coffee shop and shot three police officers. All three were trained, practiced, and armed but it didn’t help.

    The fact is that if the bad guy gets within a dozen feet and he has a gun, or even a knife out, and you don’t it is going to take most of a second, at the very least, for you to get your gun out. In that time the bad guy is trying very hard to ventilate you. Assuming his gun is not of the slower single-shot or single action variety he will get three or more free shots at you while you struggle to arm yourself. If he is using a knife figure twice that number of attacks.

    People who have studied attack have suggested that if someone points a gun at you your best bet is to forget about getting your gun out and take off running. It the very least he will have to hit a rapidly moving target at ever increasing range. Once out of the line of fire your free to do as you will but the good money is on clearing the area so the incoming SWAT team doesn’t confuse you for the attacker. On your way out take as many people with you as you can so they won’t be taken hostage or shot in the crossfire.

    Hint: Most malls are set up so that almost all of the stores have a door in the back, typically marked as a fire door, that opens onto a service hall that leads directly outside, or onto the parking. Many of the doors are set up to sound an alarm if opened. This is all to the good in an emergency as a fire alarm going off might mean more people get out. Service halls and back doors are the way deliveries are made. Service halls are seldom crowded because the doors to the stores are locked from the inside so once in the service hallway you usually have to either move outward toward the parking lot or inward toward a food court. The way out to daylight is typically clearly marked as a fire exit. Dead simple, but easy to miss when stressed.

    In the event of an emergency in a mall, whatever it may be (shooter, bomb threat, or conflagration) those back doors are going to be your fastest routes out.

  15. screechymonkey says

    What a Maroon @5:

    I’m almost ok with the gun required zone as long as it’s walled off from the rest of the world, and no guns are allowed outside the zone. Kind of like laser tag, but with live ammunition. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

    I think this is basically how the rest of the world views the United States.

  16. Alexander the Good Enough says

    Aw, come on! “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!” All guns do is just make it so very much easier for people to kill people.

  17. lakitha tolbert says

    @12: cartomancer,
    Dear Bejeebus, please don’t go that route. As soon as masturbation was made legal the very first thing these people would do is head straight to public transport, so that they can go straight to the library. Trust me, us women do not want to see any more wrinkled, useless knobs than we have to, especially at work on on the way there. We’re seeing far too many as it is now.

    And what about the children?!!

  18. brucegee1962 says

    One thing seems to be that these folks seem to have no sense of history — even fictional versions of it. Haven’t they ever seen a single Western, where everybody walks around armed all the time? Did Tombstone and Deadwood have reputations as safe, peaceful places? What was the average life expectancy of a guy in the Italian Renaissance, or any other time when dueling was common?

    A well-armed society might well be polite, but peaceful it certainly wasn’t.

  19. cactuswren says

    anthrosciguy @ 7: whenever I think about gun instruction in schools, I always think about that ABC hidden-camera experiment a few years ago, involving small kids who had within the past few days completed the NRA’s “Eddie Eagle” gun-safety program with its literal song-and-dance litany of “Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult!” When two little boys left alone in a schoolroom find a handgun (unloaded) hidden among the toys, they get exactly one of those instructions right. Yes, at first one tells the other, “Don’t mess with it.” But within a few minutes they pick the gun up, toy with it, look down the barrel, pretend to fire it … and only then do they put it down and, with both still standing within a foot of it, one shouts “Help! Help! Help! Help! Anyone! We found a gun! Two guns! I mean three!”

  20. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fucking hell. His entire argument rests on the demonstrably false premise that people in general need guns. What a terrifying world he must live in.

  21. lochaber says

    Fuck this bullshit.

    So long as anyone can get arrested (usually with a felony charge) anywhere for carrying a quite useful tool, like a pocketknife, I could give a fuck less about your precious gun ‘rights’ being restricted.

    On a more reasonable/broader note: those things are fucking dangerous. That’s why any responsibly agency (decent ranges, actual responsible owners, the fucking military for fuck’s sake…), will not allow people to handle firearms while intoxicated or without proper training. And they tend to have pretty severe limitations on when/how that weapon can be loaded, how to aim/fire it, and they usually keep track of ammo and such.

    And finally, as mentioned above, as far as self-defense goes, there are very few scenarios where having a firearm will actually help you at all. Although I would argue against such a law, for all kinds of reasons, I think one banning walking with headphones in or while using a cell/smartphone would probably do more for safety then expanding concealed carry laws.

  22. Dunc says

    I’m not especially worried about being protected from guns themselves… It’s people with guns I want to be protected from.

  23. marko says

    Sorry, that video made my heard hurt, I have nothing useful to add apart from …

    peow peow peow

  24. says

    But the government does supply free guns and ammo, not to mention heavier hardware, and designated zones where not only carrying weapons but using them is mandated: the former are called armies, and the latter, war zones. If he wanted to , he could have joined up any time in the last decade and enjoyed lots of gunplay in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  25. rogerfirth says

    Re: Guns For Protecting Others

    I seem to recall just recently there was an incident where a couple gunmen entered a store after shooting a cop. One of the customers in the store saw one of them coming in with a gun, and luckily this customer was armed. So this customer drew his weapon and drew down on the gunman, and was promptly shot and killed by the accomplice whom he never saw.

    Not only do guns give people the ability to kill with the squeeze of a trigger, they also give some people confidence they just shouldn’t have.

  26. Alex says

    Usually, I am a fan of pharyngula. This time however, I am deeply disappointed. I was expecting pictures of cute rodents strolling around in the Minnesota sun, thus putting me in a good mood before a long day at work – and what do I get instead? Gasting of my flabber.

  27. chrisdevries says

    @23 FossilFishy

    You have to remember that these people (the “gun nut” social class, containing social conservatives, libertarians and right-wing authoritarians) are basically defined by fear. Fear of the “other”, fear of change, fear of government, fear of the unknown, fear fear fear. The authoritarians are the worst because they can be made to fear basically anything if an authority they trust tells them to; while there is significant overlap between authoritarians and social conservatives, at least some social conservatives, and most libertarians, think (poorly) for themselves. Regardless of the source, most of the fear they feel is not rational (although sometimes they hit upon a legitimate one, completely by chance), and their responses to their fear are equally irrational. Guns may make them feel safer when in fact they are almost certainly making their lives more dangerous. Other “solutions” like the security theater we see performed at airports these days are useless at best. Rational solutions, like instituting measures to increase social mobility, thus creating a more equal society with less sharp class divisions, just don’t occur to them.

  28. Anri says

    brucegee1962 @ 21:

    A well-armed society might well be polite, but peaceful it certainly wasn’t.

    Clearly, a well-armed society is polite by default.
    Ask any well-armed street gang. Polite as can be.

  29. Snoof says

    One thing seems to be that these folks seem to have no sense of history — even fictional versions of it. Haven’t they ever seen a single Western, where everybody walks around armed all the time? Did Tombstone and Deadwood have reputations as safe, peaceful places? What was the average life expectancy of a guy in the Italian Renaissance, or any other time when dueling was common?

    A well-armed society might well be polite, but peaceful it certainly wasn’t.

    Ah, but this time things will be different! Nobody will actually use the guns, they’ll merely be present, and the beneficient gun-rays will radiate through the land, encouraging politeness and curing cancer.

    (Guns do that, right?)

  30. says

    Pro and cons of teaching a child about how to safely handle a firearm.
    Pros
    In everyone’s lifetime there will be a moment where a gun is present (a few specifics here this doesn’t mean just children or adults or that is is always presented in a threatening manor, it just means in general a person will either encounter a gun feel free to think of the most mundane situation, example officer getting coffee at a convenient store is quite normal and most people don’t bat an eye.) A child with understanding of the dangers of the gun (happens upon a gun with no adults present), may still be tempted to handle it (but this child wasn’t taught how to proper hold a gun). This usually doesn’t end well if the gun is loaded. Basically for the rare situations in which a gun is present and there is a potential danger it wouldn’t be bad, but given its rarity would it be worth it? Well according to the latest statistics on accidental shootings it is roughly.

    In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people.
    From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings.
    http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-deaths-and-injuries-statistics/

    Cons
    Gun violence is the third largest killer.

    Guns were used in 11,078 homicides in the U.S. in 2010, comprising almost 35% of all gun deaths, and over 68% of all homicides.
    On average, 33 gun homicides were committed each day for the years 2005-2010.

    So if we got rid of guns it would reduce the greater deaths. But that is only if we can truly remove all guns. Given our current world the answer is no we can’t do it with any level of certainty. But even if we took away all those guns would people just use knives like they did before guns? In the end would it really prevent someone determined to do violence from doing that? Unfortunately no. So the pros and cons are seem obvious however we instead look abroad what do we find.

    The dubious distinction of having the most gun violence goes to Honduras, at 68.43 homicides by firearm per 100,000 people, even though it only has 6.2 firearms per 100 people. Other parts of South America and South Africa also rank highly, while the United States is somewhere near the mid-range. Still, America sees far more gun violence than countries in Europe, and Canada, India and Australia, which is perhaps how it gets its bloody reputation among comparatively peaceful nations.

    When a person kills another in the United States, though, he or she generally uses a gun: 60 percent of U.S. homicides occur using a firearm, which is the 26th-highest rate in the world. (In other gun-permeated countries, such as Finland (45.3 guns per 100 people), only about 19 percent of homicides involve a firearm.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/14/schoo-shooting-how-do-u-s-gun-homicides-compare-with-the-rest-of-the-world/

    I have always had a genuine interest in what are the facts. I can only conclude that there is no evidence against or for this being the norm for a society, and it doesn’t mean just because the weapon is different, it is a different result. I have to quote Einstein here but there are a few others that seem relative to the situation (no pun intended).

    “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

    So if fighting to restrict gun rights or fighting to keep your gun rights is your focus. Then I won’t fault you, but please don’t fault me either if we disagree.

  31. pyrion says

    I am 49 years old and with the exception of air guns at a shooting range and inside military service and on the police i never was exposed to a gun. Of course i am not living in america, I live in germany. The default is “no gun”. If you ever see a civilian in public with a gun you would call the police, it’s that simple. Even burglars are usually not armed with a gun. I think those NRA guys just don’t have any idea how a country basically without guns can look like. Those gun fanatics are one mayor reason why i didn’t visit the USA yet, it’s very hard to comprehend for a european how all those crazy americans actually feel more safe with guns. Newsflash: Guns put holes in people. Holes in people are not healthy most of the time.

  32. marko says

    Snoof @34

    Guns do that, right?

    Yes. The likelihood of someone developing cancer is cut dramatically if they are shot dead in their early twenties.

  33. says

    @Pyrion:

    The NRA is basically the gun lobby. They have financial ties to gun and ammo makers (as helensotiriadis demonstrated in #27, this spokesman has ties to a gun accessory maker.) The public’s desire to own guns is dropping and so they’re in full-on panick mode.

  34. marko says

    Wes @35

    It’s hard to follow you exactly because your blockquotes are a bit screwed up, but you seem to make making a few fallacious points.

    In everyone’s lifetime there will be a moment where a gun is present

    I have never had that moment, and I don’t expect or want to have it. I feel much safer knowing that this is an unlikely scenario, and to be perfectly honest, I feel safer knowing that I don’t have a gun. I can see no reason why I would need a gun, and while I trust myself to be responsible, the benefits of having a gun(none) do not come close to outweighing the risks of me being momentarily careless with the gun, someone else getting hold of my gun, or even dealing with the consequences of taking someone’s life with a gun in “self defense”.

    But that is only if we can truly remove all guns.

    I have some sympathy for this position, clearly, getting rid of all guns in America is an enormous task and will not happen overnight, but you will never get there if you don’t start walking the road. There is a better future without guns, and you always need to heading towards that future, not the one full of guns, regardless of how rocky and painful the path.

    But even if we took away all those guns would people just use knives like they did before guns?

    I don’t believe for a second that all the gun homicides would be replaced by knife homicides. It is very difficult to pull a knife in temper and take out a number of people, including uninvolved bystanders in the same way you can with a machine that fires projectiles around the place at hundreds of miles per hour. Also, knife control. Where I live we have quite serious problems with knife crime, we don’t start complaining that it is our right to carry knives and making stupid statements about how knives don’t kill people, we take robust legal decisions and criminalise people carrying knives. This isn’t perfect, people still carry knives (bad people, with an intent to harm – the good guys generally aren’t carrying knives), people are still seriously injured and killed with knives, but you need to recognise that the problem is that people are carrying knives and it is only solved by ensuring that fewer and fewer people are doing so.

    However, the logical conclusion of your line of thought is that, when the knives are taken away, people will take to bashing each others brains out with rocks, I have much greater faith in my fellow man than that, I despair at the thought that i could be wrong.

  35. Sonja says

    Hey, policy is a word. We can put policy after another word. Now we have two words. Shark Policy. What is the government’s Shark Policy? What if we had zones where sharks were required? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  36. pyrion says

    @Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao
    Yea i know who the NRA is. What i did not know is that the desire to own guns is dropping. If that is true it gives me some hope for the USA.

    @marko
    I share your thoughts. It’s actually easy to verify. Look at statistics of violent deaths around the civilized world. While being one of the richest countries in the world, the USA is quite in the middle of all countries when it comes to violent deaths. Most countries that are above the USA in violence are third world countries. So how comes? Is the average american just way more violent (by a factor of 10 to most of europe)? Is it TV? We have that in europe as well.

    I am absolutely sure that gun laws have nothing to do with that. Since guns make people much less violent. They radiate peace. They are very good at distracting criminals. Now that i think about it i have the solution: More guns!

  37. Alexander says

    @2 Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    First rule of gun safety. Never, ever, have a loaded gun in public area where a misfire may cause injury.

    Whoa, woah, woah. You mean to tell me that the cops, unless they’re like Barney Fife, with the bullets carried in their breast pocket, they’re carrying unsafe? And here I was thinking that the police were the standards bearer for good gun training and safety….

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And here I was thinking that the police were the standards bearer for good gun training and safety….

    Back in the ’50s when I learned gun safety, police were exempt due to their training and professional requirements. But I really question whether police need to routinely carry guns, since many/most in the course of their careers never fire their weapon outside of the firing range.
    And I see nothing wrong with the Barney Fife approach. Note Sheriff Taylor did not routinely carry a weapon, but did know how to use one very effectively.

  39. ledasmom says

    How about a nice compromise? You have to carry a gun of some kind, but it can’t be the lethal, people-killing sort. You could carry a sound gun or a hot glue gun or a spray gun or even Ben Gunn from Treasure Island if you like. Preferably not a rivet gun or a nail gun, because they can be rather dangerous, but even those are better than the sort traditionally fondled by the people bloviating in this video.

    Way ahead of you! I never go anywhere without my trusty pair of finger guns.

  40. marko says

    I never go anywhere without my trusty pair of finger guns.

    As I said;

    peow peow peow

  41. says

    Anri

    Clearly, a well-armed society is polite by default.
    Ask any well-armed street gang. Polite as can be.

    Indeed they are, in the sense typical of heavily armed honor cultures: there are elaborate codes of courtesy and proper shows of respect towards equals (i.e. other heavily armed people) and their chattel (unarmed people who they’ve marked in some fashion as theirs). Failure to follow these codes is enforced with instant violence (although not always towards the code violator; harming their chattel can also be an acceptable way to expiate dishonor). The precise forms of these codes vary widely, but they’re a universal feature of heavily armed societies, and a contributor to the high rates of violent death found therein.

  42. busterggi says

    Why if a proto-hominid hadn’t invented a proto-AK-47 around five million years ago there wouldn’t even be any humans!

  43. says

    I never go anywhere without at least a Mako Shark, though of course I prefer a Great White for the stopping power. It’s a great shame that the government outlawed Megalodons, but those libruls know so little about megafauna that they totally forgot about Orca and other toothed whales.

  44. says

    It’s an intriguing illustration. Dimensions here illustrating the peculiar effect you get, when you live in a weird bubble of your own devising. As a powerful lobby, part of a larger established political axis, they’ve pretty much defined their own odd little world for themselves, tried to redefine reality to the point that the axe they grind could somehow be sensible, justified. Never mind the realities of who and just how many guns endanger, who they wind up killing and wounding; talking at length among themselves over decades, they become steadily more insular and disconnected from reality, until, yes, an artifact this (darkly) comically bizarre will surface…

    … and so it winds up a bit like watching Cruise in that bizarre scientology video that turned up, going on about ‘suppressive persons’

  45. Nick Gotts says

    Still, America sees far more gun violence than countries in Europe, and Canada, India and Australia, which is perhaps how it gets its bloody reputation among comparatively peaceful nations. – Wes Aaron@35

    IOW, if you compare the USA with countries that are roughly comparable in terms of levels of effective law enforcement and criminal activity, you find that it has considerably more gun violence. The overall correlation between gun deaths and gun ownership in rich countries is very strong.

  46. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Never mind the realities of who and just how many guns endanger, who they wind up killing and wounding

    I don’t think they’re ignoring those things. I think they’re masturbating furiously over them.

  47. numerobis says

    Fantastic Onion News Network clip! I love how it ruthlessly mocks the gun lobby. Thanks PZ!

    Wait — all the commenters here think the guy is serious? Oh, and the logo was NRA, not ONN… dafuq.

  48. robb says

    @gog #15, the police training video.

    One of the comments said “so, I should bring a knife to a gunfight?”

    lol’d.

  49. says

    @marko #39

    Also, knife control. Where I live we have quite serious problems with knife crime, we don’t start complaining that it is our right to carry knives and making stupid statements about how knives don’t kill people, we take robust legal decisions and criminalise people carrying knives. This isn’t perfect, people still carry knives (bad people, with an intent to harm – the good guys generally aren’t carrying knives),

    Where are you from?

    As someone who owns and carries a little pocket knife at all times since the age of 10 I feel somewhat compelled to point out one distinction between a knife and a weapon and to object, mildly, to your characterisation of everyone who carries a knife as a “bad guy”.

    Knife is a tool, one of the most versatile and usefull tools there is and in its leatherman/swiss knife incarnations it is at its most perfect – almost unusable as a weapon (the blade is too short for example), but most versatile and usefull as a tool.

    It is a tool that can still be used as a weapon, but so can be a hammer, a screwdriver, a walking stick or half a brick in a sock.

    Weapons on the other hand are specifically designed for hurting, maiming and killing and this applies only to some knifes.

    That being said, I agree with the need to regulate knives. I doubt there is much need to walk in the city with combat dagger in your boot and a bowie knife on your belt. But some common sense should apply in those regulations and in how they are enforced. It is not as clear cut as it is with firearms.

  50. says

    chrisdevries:

    Rational solutions, like instituting measures to increase social mobility, thus creating a more equal society with less sharp class divisions, just don’t occur to them.

    Of course not. To them, every individual has the same chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Everyone has access to equal resources and opportunities.

    They live in some strange, skewed version of reality.

    ****

    Anri:

    Clearly, a well-armed society is polite by default.
    Ask any well-armed street gang. Polite as can be.

    Just make sure to ask them politely.

    ****

    Wes @35:
    (from your link)

    But even if we took away all those guns would people just use knives like they did before guns? In the end would it really prevent someone determined to do violence from doing that?

    People trot out these “what about knives” arguments as if that’s proof that banning guns (which isn’t even on the table) won’t work. The discussion is “how can we reduce gun violence”. The discussion is not “how can we reduce every single form of violent behavior”. “We can’t stop all types of violence, therefore we shouldn’t try to reduce gun violence” is poor reasoning.
    Also, guns are used by people to commit violence (and suicide) bc of the ease of their use and acquisition. The potential to kill multiple targets or cause destruction using guns is greater than a knife. If Adam Lanza only had knives, the number of people killed in Newtown would have been greatly reduced. There might not have even been any fatalities.

  51. samgardner says

    He complains we make policy on the “assumption” that guns are dangerous.

    Um, fucking seriously??? You don’t have enough evidence that guns are dangerous? I would seriously think this video would have to have been put out by an Ed Current-type.

  52. scienceavenger says

    As someone who was raised in the middle of Gun Merka (Texas) with near constant exposure to literal arsenals, I’m probably the most gun-friendly poster here and even to me this guy sounds like a loon. We civilians do NOT “need” guns. Crime is down, do you hear me? Down down down, to about 14 incidents per 10,000 people annually. However badly you think you needed a gun 20 years ago, you need it even less now.

    Previous posters are absolutely right. The NRA is no longer a firearms rights and safety group. They are 1) an advertising agency for gun manufacturers, and 2) A diversionary PR group to keep Wayne La Pierre defending gun ownership instead of the gun manufacturers having to do so. Their own membership is far more rational than their leaders (supporting background checks for example).

  53. scienceavenger says

    @56 “The discussion is ‘how can we reduce gun violence’. The discussion is not ‘how can we reduce every single form of violent behavior'”.

    No, no, a thousand times no. The discussion IS about reducing violence in general, or at least it should be, and in doing so we rightly focus on guns because they are the most efficient and popular tool so used. But its important, if you want to be heard by those you are trying to persuade, to not come across as some pants-wetting gun-phobe who treats gun deaths as worse than deaths by other means.

    Whenever someone says “countries with more guns have more gun deaths”, your opponents (the sane ones anyway) retort with “no shit, but they’ll just turn to other methods”. Make the broader case, the facts are on your side – fewer guns in society generally means fewer deaths, and that’s what we are really after. This is especially true with suicides, where guns make the attempts far more “successful” than other methods, on the order of 20x more successful than the most popular method, drug overdose. Suicides by gun outnumber murders by all methods combined.

  54. zmidponk says

    lorn #17:

    Unfortunately the bad guys have, so far, failed to cooperate and lacking their compliance having a gun on your person doesn’t seem to have much benefit. Some time ago a gunman walked into a coffee shop and shot three police officers. All three were trained, practiced, and armed but it didn’t help.

    According to more than one gun-nut I had a discussion with, this is evidence that the police are actually really poorly trained. They, of course, would instantly whip their gun out and take the guy down immediately, working far better than those obviously incompetent cops, and safely nullifying the threat, with zero possibility of hesitation, badly aimed shots, ricochets or anything else that may harm innocent bystanders.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world…

    Wes Aaron #35:

    But even if we took away all those guns would people just use knives like they did before guns? In the end would it really prevent someone determined to do violence from doing that? Unfortunately no.

    I don’t have the stats to hand, but I seem to remember looking into this before by comparing violent crime in the US and in the UK, where guns are far more strictly controlled. I came to the conclusion that you are no less likely to be the victim of a crime with stricter gun controls, but you are less likely to get killed during that crime.

  55. says

    Given that I never stated my position on gun control, I was actually more interested in the details. The site I used for statistics is anti-gun. I would also point out that I was taking the extremes of the arguments to give a pro and a con. Accidental shooting vs homicides, one is contributed to poor training the other is people wanting to commit violence. I actually agree that yes more gun control is needed. For example until the law was allowed to expire during the Clinton administration, civilians couldn’t own high capacity clips (10 rounds was the maximum allowed size) also assault rifles and full auto weapons were illegal, since it has expired there have been five mass shooting involving full auto high capacity weapons. Which brings me to the main conclusion to prevent mass killing which seems to be the biggest argument against owning guns. The clip size and types allowed are the biggest factors in reducing this violence. You won’t hear about a mass shooting involving a low capacity weapons.

    Knives, well first of all I would be surprised if one of you didn’t own a knife. There very useful in the kitchen and are necessary for eating certain types of food. So could we ever actually litigate against ownership of these, no. They are a tool and I didn’t bring them up to say that taking guns away doesn’t change anything. You can use a hammer, wrench, screw driver, baseball bat, and many other convenient and legal items as improvised weapons to kill as well. So if a person is determined to kill they have options that don’t involve a gun.

    As for the people saying that guns don’t prevent violence, maybe they should take a look at the UK. For a long time their police never carried a firearm, but eventually they armed their officers because of the danger to the officer in upholding the law. And I can’t think of any military base where their guards aren’t armed with guns. It is easy to see how that logic has it’s limits.

    lorn 17: If you were getting out of your car (even with a conceal carry) and a person ambushes you shooting a pistol could you react in any way? Probably not. Just like the officers in the coffee shop you aren’t always in a position to protect yourself. Well trained or not, if you are caught off guard you don’t have time to react in some situations. So I reject the premise as proving guns can’t protect.

    Marco 39: On many occasions a police officer has been present whether at the convenient store, traffic stop, officer directing traffic, and many other situations have guns been present and yet have no ill effect. Your welcome to research it, but every time I have the fact that a person will be in a situation were a gun is present in the USA during their lifetime is an almost certainty. If you have seen a cop car with a dressed officer on duty then a gun is present. It really isn’t that unique.

    The guy in the video is a twit.

  56. Drolfe says

    Whenever someone says “countries with more guns have more gun deaths”, your opponents (the sane ones anyway) retort with “no shit, but they’ll just turn to other methods”.

    They may, but that retort is stupid. I would happily exchange all gun violence for knife violence with zero change in the violent crime rate. And you know why.

    I always ask this, and rarely get answers: if your hobby was a public health risk, would you find a new hobby? (Why?)

  57. zmidponk says

    Wes Aaron #61:

    As for the people saying that guns don’t prevent violence, maybe they should take a look at the UK. For a long time their police never carried a firearm, but eventually they armed their officers because of the danger to the officer in upholding the law.

    I’m not quite sure where you’re getting your information, but, speaking as someone who lives in the UK, I can quite definitively say that the UK police are not routinely armed. Instead, there are certain specially trained firearms units which can be called out if needed and officers in certain specific places (such as airports) are given the authority to be armed, but that is all. The average ‘bobby on the beat’ will have a taser as their most offensive weapon, and sometimes not even that – just an asp baton and CS spray.

  58. caesar says

    For all the talk about Texas being crazy about guns, it’s worth noting that when people talk about cities with high amounts of gun homicides, Dallas and Houston are usually not mentioned. If the number of guns were correlated with gun homicides, it’s amazing that the highest rates are in places with much stronger gun control laws. Seems that this gun control debate is a lot more complex than both sides care to admit.

  59. anteprepro says

    caesar is full of shit as usual. Texas has the second highest number of annual gun homicides, and is 15th in murder rate by gun. Also, regarding gun homicide happening more often in gun controlled areas.

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

    Top 10 by number of gun homicides:

    California
    Texas
    Florida
    New York
    Pennsylvania
    Michigan
    Georgia
    Illinois
    Louisana
    Missouri

    Top 10 states by gun homicide rate in order:

    Louisiana
    Missouri
    Maryland
    South Carolina
    Michigan
    Delaware
    Mississippi
    Florida
    Georgia
    Pennsylvania

    And according to this survey , what are the 10 states with the highest gun control?

    Well, in this order:

    Massachusetts
    Hawaii
    California
    Connecticut
    Maryland
    Illinois
    New Jersey
    New York
    Iowa
    North Carolina

    So four of those ten states wind up on either of those two lists, consisting of 14 states.

    In other words, gun control isn’t magic, but it isn’t Black Magic either, as fuckwit gun fetishists like caesar would have people believe.

  60. says

    The largest study of gun violence in the United States, released Thursday afternoon, confirms a point that should be obvious: widespread American gun ownership is fueling America’s gun violence epidemic.
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/13/2617131/largest-gun-study-guns-murder/

    A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday has found a “robust” relationship between rates of gun ownership and firearm homicide, challenging the National Rifle Association’s assertion that more registered guns equal fewer firearm-related deaths.

    However, the study noted that while gun ownership is a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates, the correlation did not necessarily mean that higher ownership directly caused more gun-related killings.

    The researchers looked at firearm homicide data in all 50 states between 1981 and 2010 and found that for each 1 percent increase in gun ownership, a state’s firearm homicide rate jumped by 0.9 percent.

    Led by Boston University School of Public Health researcher Michael Siegel, the study says it is “the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of the relationship between firearm ownership and gun-related homicide rates among the 50 states.”

    “We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates,” the study said.
    The lowest firearm homicide rate was found to be in New Hampshire, at 0.9 per 100,000 people; Louisiana registered the highest, with a rate of 10.8 per 100,000.

    The Boston University model predicts that “if the gun ownership estimate for Mississippi were 58 percent (the average for all states), instead of 77 percent (the highest of all states), its firearm homicide rate would be 17 percent lower.”

    Because no data was available on gun ownership rates for some states, Siegel’s team relied on a proxy measure: firearm suicides divided by all suicides, or FS/S. Researchers say the FS/S proxy is well established and reliable.

    Notably, the Boston University study was not able to determine a causal relationship between gun ownership and firearm homicide rate, leaving open the possibility of an alternate explanation: that residents of states where firearm homicides are on the rise might be flocking to gun depots for protection.

    “Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher levels of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” the researchers wrote.
    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/12/study-gun-ownershiplinkedtoincreaseinfirearmhomicides.html

  61. says

    Wes:

    Knives, well first of all I would be surprised if one of you didn’t own a knife. There very useful in the kitchen and are necessary for eating certain types of food. So could we ever actually litigate against ownership of these, no. They are a tool and I didn’t bring them up to say that taking guns away doesn’t change anything. You can use a hammer, wrench, screw driver, baseball bat, and many other convenient and legal items as improvised weapons to kill as well. So if a person is determined to kill they have options that don’t involve a gun.

    Yes, but people turn to guns for reasons. They’re quick and easy to acquire (thanks NRA and gun nuts like caesar). They cause greater death and destruction. Their lethality is more assured. They’re long distance weapons that you don’t need to be terribly accurate with.
    Compare that with knives. Oh wait, a comparison would be poor. Again, if Adam Lanza had knives, he’d have been taken down a lot faster, and likely wouldn’t have killed as many (or even *any*) people.

  62. says

    Since someone mentioned the effect of the UK’s much tighter restrictions, compared to the US:

    Gun homicides in the UK in 2010: 33, which works out to 0.05 per 100,000 people.
    [Source]

    US gun homicides for the year 2010:
    (Still per 100,000)

    Alabama: 2.8
    Alaska: 2.7
    Arizona: 3.6
    Arkansas: 3.2
    California: 3.4
    Colorado: 1.3
    Connecticut: 2.7
    Delaware: 4.2
    District of Columbia: 16.5
    Georgia: 3.8
    Florida: 3.9
    Hawaii: 0.5
    Idaho: 0.8
    Illinois: 2.8
    Indiana: 2.2
    Iowa: 0.7
    Kansas: 2.2
    Kentucky: 2.7
    Louisiana: 7.7
    Maine: 0.8
    Maryland: 5.1
    Massachusetts: 1.8
    Michigan: 4.2
    Minnesota: 1.0
    Mississippi: 4.0
    Missouri: 5.4
    Montana: 1.2
    Nebraska: 1.8
    Nevada: 3.1
    New Hampshire: 0.4
    New Jersey: 2.8
    New Mexico: 3.3
    New York: 2.7
    North Carolina: 3.0
    North Dakota: 0.6
    Ohio: 2.7
    Oklahoma: 3.0
    Oregon: 0.9
    Pennsylvania: 3.6
    Rhode Island: 1.5
    South Carolina: 4.5
    South Dakota: 1.0
    Tennessee: 2.5
    Texas: 3.2
    Utah: 0.8
    Vermont: 0.3
    Virginia: 3.1
    Washington: 1.4
    West Virginia: 1.5
    Wisconsin: 1.7
    Wyoming: 0.9
    [Source]

    Note that the The lowest rates for the US are on the order of ten times larger than the UK.

  63. says

    Tony! #69

    They’re long distance weapons that you don’t need to be terribly accurate with.

    I’ve also seen claims that the more distance a weapon allows between attacker and target, the easier people find it to kill. Seems reasonable, but I’ll admit I can’t find a source that doesn’t appear anecdotal.

  64. says

    Daz:

    I’ve also seen claims that the more distance a weapon allows between attacker and target, the easier people find it to kill.

    Are you referring to a greater ease (or willingness) in taking someone’s life? If so, I can see that. With a knife, unless you’re *really* skilled (or extremely lucky), you’d have to get up close and personal with someone to kill them.
    I can imagine people being put off by being that close to killing someone, and desiring to put some distance between themselves and their victim(s).

  65. anteprepro says

    Using the wikipedia and chart data I linked to a previous comment, I whipped up a small sample of simple statistical results:

    I categorized the states into five categories of gun control as illustrated on the map in the survey link. I looked at the difference between each group with respect to gun homicide rate. There were no significant differences between groups using a t-test.

    Then I dabbled with a little correlations.

    The correlation between gun control and gun homicide rate was negligible.
    There was a large negative correlation between gun control score and a large positive correlation between gun control score and population density. Gun homicide amount and rate are both related to population density.
    There is actually a correlation between gun control and raw gun homicide numbers. It is fairly obvious why though, especially when you note the small effect for rates and another massively high correlation between population size and gun homicide amount, if you even need to find something that obvious.

    So yeah, in a country where like seven freaking states have something resembling good gun control, there is no real effect of gun control. I wonder fucking why. (Magic word of the day: Neighborhood!)

  66. anteprepro says

    (For the gun control in the correlations, I used the scores given for each state on the second page chart of this document: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/GunReport_Chart1_0.pdf).

    The t-test scores were all 0.8 or below, two tailed.

    Correlations:

    Gun Control Score v. Gun Homicide Amount: 0.26
    Gun Control Score v. Gun Homicide Rate: 0.02
    Gun Control Group Number v. Gun Homicide Rate: -0.01
    Gun Control Score v. Gun Ownership in State: -0.76
    Gun Homicide Amount v. State Popluation: 0.97
    Gun Homicide Amount v. Population Density: 0.16
    Gun Homicide Rate v. Population Density: 0.15
    Gun Homicide Rate v. Population: 0.14
    Gun Control Score v. Population: 0.62
    Gun Control Score v. Population: 0.30

  67. lochaber says

    Anyways, I think it’s probably next to meaningless to try and compare/contrast the effect of gun control policies from one state/city to another in the U.S., since there is no effective border control (possibly with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska. Gunnutz like to make a fuss over something like a handgun ban in Detroit (I think? I’m not familiar with the specifics), which is next to meaningless, as someone intending harm could simply go outside the city and get easy access to a weapon.

    Tony @ 72, Daz @ 74>

    I think the psychological thing makes sense, but also, you tend to get more energy involved with weapons, and that only increases with range.

    So, on top of the distance helping to dehumanize the person, the greater power makes a 1-hit kill more likely. So, even if someone wouldn’t have the will/stomach/intention to land multiple strikes, it might not matter…

    Kinda a complex issue.

  68. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    I see Wes dropped by, but I’m a little surprised sabrekgb and EnlightenmentLiberal have not shown up yet, since they managed 130+ lengthy and repetitive comments about open carry being key to a safe world and how people openly carrying guns everywhere will make everyone lose their ‘ignorance’/’fear’ of guns… by completely ignoring the massive difference between fuckwits carrying loaded weapons everywhere and responsible sport shooters and hunters carrying unloaded and secured guns between home and the range …and persistently ignoring the fact that guns are fucking useless as a means of self defense inside ~20 feet …and claiming that arming women would save them from violence, despite the rather well documented fact that the presence of guns anywhere nearby during acts of violence against women leads to a greater likelihood of the woman’s death …and claiming the hollywood everyone-carries-a-gun ‘wild west’ was so much better and safer because everyone had a gun, even though most real towns required weapons to be checked at the sheriff/marshal’s office or you’d get arrested / booted from town …and declaring someone regularly going to a shooting range will be far better than most police officers in a real-world firefight …and asserting people can magically tell at a glance whether someone carrying a gun is ‘aggressive’ or not …and repeatedly and shamelessly conflating tools designed solely to kill, aka guns, and tools that can be used to kill, aka baseball bats, kitchen knives, cars, etc.

    And no, they did not even attempt to address possible solutions to crime that did not involve arming as many people as possible, or even that crime rates continue to fall. Nor did they do anything to refute the paranoid ‘the criminals are everywhere’ and ‘I’m gonna be John McClane’ delusions of grandeur stereotypes that seem to drive so many of the gun-fondlers.

  69. says

    MattP:

    …and repeatedly and shamelessly conflating tools designed solely to kill, aka guns, and tools that can be used to kill, aka baseball bats, kitchen knives, cars, etc.

    Don’t forget swimming pools…

  70. microraptor says

    So, on top of the distance helping to dehumanize the person, the greater power makes a 1-hit kill more likely. So, even if someone wouldn’t have the will/stomach/intention to land multiple strikes, it might not matter…

    There’s also the fact that with a gun it’s much harder for the victim to defend themselves or escape from the attacker.

  71. says

    I cannot help cringe when I see people call guns evil or “made for killing”. I don’t disagree with the potential for abuse and the subsequent need for tight regulation, it just seems a bit irrational. I struggle to see anything inherently “bad” in inanimate objects, but there’s no denying that some tools enable people to inflict great harm with little skill or afterthought.
    I know I’m misanthropic by nature, but I refuse to surrender completely to that line of thought. I choose to believe that most people are inherently good, like the nice couple helping me out of a ditch last friday after crashing my bike.
    And if most people are inherently good, they should be able to possess potentially dangerous objects without hurting others, right? Good theory, too bad it doesn’t fit observations all that well sometimes.

    I think the observations about gun culture are correct, there is something fundamentally wrong with the attitude towards guns and the value of life in the US. While Norway isn’t anywhere close to the US when it comes to gun density we’re still in the major league worldwide. But topics like self defense, concealed carry or “stand your ground” are almost a taboo within the community, we own guns for hunting and sporting, nothing else. We’re not allowed concealed carry or even storing loaded guns in the home, gun safes are mandatory. And few would like to have it any other way, just as we prefer our police to be unarmed.

    At the same time I do understand why people are so opposed to gun control, even when it’s so obviously sensible and in everybody’s best interest. Because once you start regulating something it never stops. You can start by banning pure military assault rifles, makes perfect sense, right? Nobody needs a full automatic battle rifle. Problem is, sooner or later the bureaucrats run out of sensible things to regulate, but that doesn’t stop them from regulating. So now they’re regulating guns that might resemble such guns, regardless of the actual properties.

  72. Anri says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy @ 46:

    I’m not exactly sure that’s what Heinlein meant when he said ‘polite’, and pretty sure it’s not what I meant either, but point tanken.
    And interesting.
    And obvious, had I stopped to think about it. Thanks!

  73. Anri says

    was @ 61:

    Knives, well first of all I would be surprised if one of you didn’t own a knife. There very useful in the kitchen and are necessary for eating certain types of food. So could we ever actually litigate against ownership of these, no. They are a tool and I didn’t bring them up to say that taking guns away doesn’t change anything. You can use a hammer, wrench, screw driver, baseball bat, and many other convenient and legal items as improvised weapons to kill as well. So if a person is determined to kill they have options that don’t involve a gun.

    If you honestly can’t see the difference in homicide effectiveness between a firearm and other tools, you must be baffled as to why modern armies carry firearms as opposed to far cheaper, simpler, sturdier and more portable knives.

    If you do understand why military forces carry firearms, then you do understand the difference, and are being dishonest when you pretend you don’t.

    Which is it?

    (Note: Of course you don’t have to answer publicly. But you might want to at least answer that question in your own head – given that it’s basic to the discussion – before entering the discussion again.)

  74. Nick Gotts says

    Erlend Meyer,

    I cannot help cringe when I see people call guns evil or “made for killing”.

    No-one in this thread has called guns “evil”, and it’s simple fact that they are made for killing, so WTF are you cringing about, numpty?

    Because once you start regulating something it never stops.

    There used to be a law in England that you must not play games outside your parish on a Sunday. Now you can play games in any parish. on any day. You’re full of shit.

  75. says

    Wow I am actually quite surprised but not shocked that so many accuse me of equating knives equal to guns. As far as a weapon you can kill with, yes, but that doesn’t mean if guns were removed deaths would stay the same. I actually agree that guns in general make killing easy, you don’t need a lot of skill to kill someone efficiently.

    My real point about knives had to do with trying to control them equating to less violence (less deaths yes, but less violence no I haven’t seen any solid evidence of that). They are tools and it would be almost impossible to remove such item from our culture. Now for most of us the gun isn’t necessary by any means, but as long as a person wants to exercise their right to bare arms, I’m OK with it. And if in certain states open carry is legal, I’m not going to assume that since someone has a pistol in a holster they’re crazy, want to kill, or all the other stupid stereotypes I hear. If the person isn’t aggressive and not flaunting that they have a gun, I don’t assume it.

    Where I draw the line is assault rifles, auto-fire arms, and high capacity clips, without these readily available people are less like to kill masses. These weapons are based upon the philosophy of spray and pray. They have no conventional use outside of the military and war. You can’t hunt with them. They’re lousy for self defense (you’re more likely to kill or injure innocents than kill your target).

    As for the UK thing it had been a long time since I had seen the news on it. So my memory of it may not have been very good. What I do recall is that it had to do with the fact that police in the UK were authorized to carry a gun. Which I have found articles about that, but I was unaware that the officers were refusing to carry, even though it was or is legal.

    There is one issue that, I firmly believe would result in less gun (hell all violence) and most definitely mass gun violence. I value this country that has been my home for all my life, but it is appalling how little help there is for the people suffering with mental problems. For some they just need someone to talk to, this whole there’s a pill for that isn’t a sound blanket method. I agree the medication can help but we are social creatures and this polarity in our society is far more damaging than any individual weapon or tool used to kill. And if we want to reduce violence our efforts are best spent making mental health as important and readily available as physical health. People suffering mental distress are many times dismissed or afraid that if they go to the doctor they will be hopped up on medicine for the rest of their lives, and no one wants to be in a constant state of confusion and fear. And yet that is the norm, you can’t turn on the TV without being blasted about people doing horrible things. This isn’t a release, this is a constant reinforcement of hopelessness and despair.

  76. says

    @Wes Aron #86

    Please go through te topics that were written about Rorer’s murdering rampage in last few months on Pharyngula. In the comment sections you will find detailed information (with links to references) about why mental health, while being important, is not the key problem to violence and deaths caused by it. Search for commenty written by Louis.

    Short version – mentally ill people are more often victims of violence, than perpetrators of it. And most of violence is both received and perpetrated by completely normal people.

  77. Nick Gotts says

    but as long as a person wants to exercise their right to bare arms, I’m OK with it – Wes Aaron@86

    I’m with you there: if someone wants to go about in a short-sleeved shirt, a string vest, or even naked from the waist up, I have no objection. What I don’t like is people carrying lethal weapons around if it can be avoided. In the UK, it is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason (e.g. you have just bought it, or need it for work you are currently employed on), unless it is a folding knife with a blade under 3 inches long.

    What I do recall is that it had to do with the fact that police in the UK were authorized to carry a gun. Which I have found articles about that, but I was unaware that the officers were refusing to carry, even though it was or is legal.

    I’ve no idea what you’re on about here. UK police do not routinely carry firearms, and are not permitted to do so. Trained “Authorised Firearms Officers” are employed in cases where firearms are considered necessary. In spite of this, the police have managed to shoot dead a number of unarmed, and in some cases completely innocent people over the past decade.

  78. anteprepro says

    Please, Wes Aaron, don’t play the “mental health”. The violence in America is not the fault of the mentally ill. It just isn’t.

  79. says

    @ Nick #85: Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, but it sure is here. Especially when it comes to guns. Not that I object to sensible regulation, but there doesn’t seem to be any end to the process, there are always new rules, new limitations. What worked for decades with few problems suddenly becomes intolerable. And a lot of it isn’t based on actual risks (like the rules we’re facing on “gun cosmetics”) but rather the notion that it “looks bad”.
    I guess that’s just the way it is, and perhaps it’s the way it has to be. But I also understand why it creates opposition.

    It seems to me that the US gun culture is tightly integrated into the notion of autonomy. A man should fend for himself and not rely on anybody for his safety or security. He should be free to live by his own rules, regardless of how society feels. That might have worked in the old west (as long as you don’t look too closely to the facts or care about the consequences), but it’s simply not compatible with a modern society.

  80. busterggi says

    “Not that I object to sensible regulation, but there doesn’t seem to be any end to the process, there are always new rules, new limitations.”

    Yep, look how automobiles started getting regulated back in the early 1900’s – now its practically impossible to get or use one.

  81. says

    Then again, it’s not like the regulation has hit a natural end point either. Now a lot of times the regulation is necessary as society or technology progress, other times it is entirely self inflicted by people continuously trying to circumvent it. Yet I do feel that a lot new regulations are introduced simply because the bureaucracy needs to control everything. And on their own these regulations aren’t necessarily that bad or inconvenient, but add them all together and it gets real tiring real fast.

  82. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    @ Wes Aaron, 61

    And I can’t think of any military base where their guards aren’t armed with guns. It is easy to see how that logic has it’s limits.

    I direct you to lorn’s comment about that in the other thread a bit before you showed up there.

    I actually agree that yes more gun control is needed. For example until the law was allowed to expire during the Clinton administration, civilians couldn’t own high capacity clips (10 rounds was the maximum allowed size) also assault rifles and full auto weapons were illegal, since it has expired there have been five mass shooting involving full auto high capacity weapons. Which brings me to the main conclusion to prevent mass killing which seems to be the biggest argument against owning guns. The clip size and types allowed are the biggest factors in reducing this violence. You won’t hear about a mass shooting involving a low capacity weapons.

    What was the capacity of Rodger’s magazines? 10 rounds. Still managed a mass shooting. Limit all guns to a single shot per barrel (practice/target rifles, single/double barrel shotguns, and derringer type pistols), or maybe single-action revolvers incapable of using speedloaders, then you might be onto something useful. Otherwise, limiting to only semi-automatics with low capacity magazines is largely useless because of the ease of reloading a gun that uses magazines.

    Also, joining the others in saying: fuck off with the mental illness leads to violence crap. The gun fondlers I am exposed to on a daily basis are not mentally ill, they are high-RWA and viciously ideological. Case in point, that former deputy from the other thread stated in a perfectly calm manner, while armed with a revolver at the dinner table, that if he had the chance, he would kill George Soros for all sorts of typical tea party reasons that liberals/communists are ruining the world. That is not mental illness, that is Fox News and WND and the NRA and a lack of enforcing truth in reporting/advertising.

  83. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    I cannot help cringe when I see people call guns evil or “made for killing”.

    You continue to believe that the repurposed use of guns for non killing activities means they are not designed to kill. Doing so ignores the very fact that these tools have a limited function: to kill things and destroy things, and they do it very well.

  84. says

    Wes:

    And if in certain states open carry is legal, I’m not going to assume that since someone has a pistol in a holster they’re crazy, want to kill, or all the other stupid stereotypes I hear. If the person isn’t aggressive and not flaunting that they have a gun, I don’t assume it.

    It’s great that you think so highly of people. In my case, when I see someone toting a gun-and that person is not an law enforcement official or part of the military-I get worried because I don’t know what their intentions are, and there are a lot of people in the US that use guns to injure or kill others. Since I don’t know what their intentions are, I’m not going to trust them “just because”. It’s a risk assessment I make.
    I also factor in the notion that since the average person doesn’t need a gun in a McDonald’s or a supermarket, those that have one are letting the world know “Hey I’ve got a weapon, and I’m willing to use it”. This is the kind of person I wouldn’t want to cut off in traffic, accidentally take the last box of toilet paper, or grab the same jug of milk. I don’t know how they would react, and too many people fly off at the handle and get angry over minor situations. That implicit threat is there anytime someone has a gun in public. It’s hard for me to believe that there are people who don’t see this.

  85. unclefrogy says

    If the only problem with gun violence was people killing other people the answers or solutions would be one thing but they are as has been noted above it is not just mass shooting alone.
    Let us be real for a moment (my perception) we do not place a very high priority on treatment for mental issues. The reaction here is there is a stigma to mental issues that we must fight. There is a continuum from perfectly adjusted self actualized well functioning people and those who need to be institutionalized for their survival.
    Some where in between are gun suicides and family disputes and abuse of all kinds little of it is acknowledged. It just goes along until bang!
    Is mental health an issue without negative connotations? No! Would gun violence along with much other needless suffering be reduced if we had a health attitude toward mental health issues?

    uncle frogy

  86. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    Yet I do feel that a lot new regulations are introduced simply because the bureaucracy needs to control everything.

    We’re discussing guns, remember. What does the above have to do with regulating guns and creating stronger gun control policies? The desire is to reduce the number of firearm related injuries and deaths (which includes firearm related suicides and gun violence ((which encompasses more than just people getting killed in massacres)) ). That’s a goal well worth supporting.

  87. says

    Anri 83

    I’m not exactly sure that’s what Heinlein meant when he said ‘polite’,

    I’m pretty sure it actually is, although he have framed it very differently. The only context in which the idea makes sense is the implication that impoliteness will be met with violence from the armed parties. I don’t think he had fully though through the implications or seriously looked at the violent death rates you get in those types of situations.

    and pretty sure it’s not what I meant either, but point taken.

    It’s not really what most civilized* people think of as politeness either, but it is a standard of courtesy. City dwellers tend to perceive politeness as being a means of lubricating social interactions (indeed, the word polite shares a root with polish).
    * In the strictly technical sense of living in cities or being part of a culture focused on cities
    Erlend Meyer
    Posts 91 and 93 show clearly the degree to which you’re letting preconceptions blind you to things you are clearly capable of understanding. You elucidate clearly in 91 the reasons why gun control is a perfectly reasonable thing, why regulations are necessary in many areas, not just guns, and that more regulation is often needed because people try to circumvent the existing rules. Then you turn right back around in 93 with meaningless libertarian canting about the evils of bureaucracy and how those evil bureaucrats just make up rules so they can control people.

    While I’m certainly not going to claim that bureaucratic empire-building doesn’t happen and can’t be problematic, that fact doesn’t in any way imply that all growth in bureaucracy is of that nature, any more than the fact that rampant inflation is a bad thing means that all inflation is a bad thing; likewise with government debt and all the other libertarian hobby-horses. Please, stop and actually examine what you’re saying here; you’re smarter than this.

  88. says

    Tony: I agree, I was merely pointing out one of the reasons many that should be in favor of gun control might object. Maybe it’s besides the point, or perhaps someone manages to come up with a solution that manages to reduce this inconvenience.
    How do you convince people that are fundamentally opposed to regulation that sensible regulation could keep guns away from the “bad guys” they want to protect themselves from.

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

    @the Flask:

    It seems to me that the US gun culture is tightly integrated into the notion of autonomy.

    No. Nonono.

    Rather:

    the notion of autonomy is tightly integrated into the US gun culture.

    Perceive the difference?

  90. says

    Erlend Meyer 100
    Since the ‘bad guys’ in question exist almost entirely in the heads of gun-fondlers, I’m not sure how to convince them that regulation will keep guns out of their hands. When your enemies are imaginary, they can be as heavily armed as you can imagine, and people can imagine all sorts of foolish scenarios. Back in reality, though, as has been brought up endlessly through this and other threads on this topic, guns in the home reduce your security, rather than increasing it.

  91. microraptor says

    This webcomic seems relevant: http://satwcomic.com/safety-first

    Also:

    Not that I object to sensible regulation, but there doesn’t seem to be any end to the process, there are always new rules, new limitations.

    No end to the process? Seriously? Dude, there’s no beginning to the process. Any new gun regulations get shut down and even voluntary safety measures are met with threats of violence (like that gun store owner in New Jersey several months ago who was told that his store would be burned down and his dog killed because he tried selling guns with thumbprint scanners).

  92. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do you convince people that are fundamentally opposed to regulation that sensible regulation could keep guns away from the “bad guys” they want to protect themselves from.

    They aren’t listening to reason, just their paranoia of people with darker skin than they have. I live in a town that some consider dangerous due to PoC. It isn’t really dangerous.

  93. says

    Well since everyone is absolutely certain Rodgers actions were not a form of mental illness, I would like to ask you all to look at extreme delusions (oh it is a mental illness), interestingly brought upon by his misogynistic beliefs, so yes I agree that it wasn’t a mental illness that was the core cause of his actions, but it was the result of his beliefs. My point of mental health is that people aren’t encouraged and it isn’t financially available for many to seek help with something they just can’t let go of. Since our beliefs inform our actions, delusions are dangerous because we can start to act in an irrational way.

    What I mean by the USA is poor at helping people with their delusions (which calling it mental illness might be my mistake earlier), unless they’ve already gone to the breaking point. Look at all the conspiracy theories that people assert are true. The congresswoman who was shot outside the grocery store was wounded by someone who thought she was part of an evil plot. How many times do we hear people say the same thing about Obama? Yet you don’t see their family, friends, or anyone taking an interest in the persons level of psychosis. Delusions are common and mostly mild, but for the people who this is an long term delusion well they are bordering on the more dangerous. Many will only hurt themselves but since delusion are beliefs and beliefs inform your actions, they can make you act in irrational ways. Even if your concerned and just wanted to know if your mental health was stable, where would you go and is if financially available to those who live in debt?

    Also people suffering from depression or delusions tend to be looked down upon. “Tough it up. Grow a pair. Put on your big-boy pants.” Are common ways people react to those suffering from these problems. It is dismissive and dangerous.

    So I do agree that just because you have a mental illness it doesn’t mean your more prone to violence, but in the cases of extreme violence like Rodger’s, Sandy Cook, Denver Theater Shooting, and even James Panzran these forms of illness can in part lead to the worst forms of violence. And I wouldn’t be surprised if those who commit mass murder could be found to have an extreme delusion in one way or another.

    Put the links in last.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-Delusional-Disorders
    http://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/delusional-disorder
    http://www.humanillnesses.com/Behavioral-Health-Br-Fe/Delusions.html
    http://healthtalkonline.org/peoples-experiences/mental-health/mental-health-ethnic-minority-experiences/hallucinations-delusions

  94. says

    Wes:

    Well since everyone is absolutely certain Rodgers actions were not a form of mental illness, I would like to ask you all to look at extreme delusions (oh it is a mental illness), interestingly brought upon by his misogynistic beliefs, so yes I agree that it wasn’t a mental illness that was the core cause of his actions, but it was the result of his beliefs.

    Dear FSM are we talking about this again? Did you miss the first go rounds?
    Once more unto the breach…
    There is insufficient evidence to support the assertion that ER had a mental illness.
    Therefore, it should not be assumed he had one.
    The therapy he was in could have been for any number of reasons (hitting puberty, burgeoning sexuality issues, parents getting divorced, eating habits, problems at school, being bullied–there are many reasons one can be in therapy).
    The actions he took-the horrible actions he took-do not require a mental illness to undertake. Unless you’re willing to make the claim that those who kill others must have a mental illness (if you’re at war, if you kill in self defense, if you kill in the line of duty), then killing others is not a sign of mental illness. Not even killing multiple people.

    The culture of toxic masculinity, rigid gender roles, and culture of entitlement that ER grew up in (that we’re all exposed to to varying degrees), combined with his misogyny, reinforced by his participation in an MRA forum are the influences we know of. We know these things affected him. We do not know if he had a mental illness-and even if we did, having a mental illness doesn’t make someone more likely to engage in a killing spree.

  95. says

    Once again Tony I am not saying it is the cause of the action, it is the result of the delusion. The delusion is the cause, so no it isn’t the mental condition that necessitates the violence, but that said, it is part of the delusion that causes the person to act the way they do. So if you have a delusion that is persistent it wouldn’t be bad to have psych check every three months covered by insurance. So that if you are having these persistent delusions they can be addressed before the person snaps. And since delusions are a part of our imperfect mind it would be beneficial for all to have regular reality checks that aren’t dismissive or socially damaging.

    As I said before it was his misogynistic belief that lead to his compromised mental state (an extreme delusion or a persist delusion can in fact be just as damaging as mental illness which is why the two are equated as the same). If people have someone to talk to who can empathize with them not just dismiss it with medication, it would make sense to help the individual live a better and more healthy life. But this reactive therapy is more like, too little, too late. There are people who come from abusive homes that since the law was never involved have grown up with that instilled in their young mind and these are people who struggle with some problems and have no options to help them. To talk to a psychiatrist $100-200 an hour, how is it feasible for those who are the average American knee deep in debt? Unless it be diagnosed, insurance wants nothing to do with it. Where I work there have been individuals completely normal at work who later were found to act in violent or irrational ways. One killed his wife with a shotgun went on a high speed chase in a major city and then hung himself in prison. Another worked with animal control and couldn’t see an animal killed so all the animals that were going to be destroyed she would take them home. She had 100 dogs and 200-300 cats living in her home which was to be condemned and her children were almost taken away because this. And rightly so, it was an unsanitary living environment harmful to them all. I don’t dismiss the problems, it bothers me that if I had concerns about my own mental status there is little I could afford or do that wouldn’t make my life less productive and livable.

    I don’t equate violence with mental illness, however, a person is capable of suffering from delusion no matter what mental state their normally in. And since I don’t believe mine or anyone’s views are 100% correct all the time or that they should never change it would be beneficial to have these services available to all.

  96. says

    @ Crip #101: Thank you, that was what I was trying to say. English isn’t my first language, so sometimes it gets a bit jumbled. And I can see the appeal in that, the idea of being in total control of ones life and destiny can be alluring. Too bad it’s an illusion.

    @ Dalillama #101: I’m sure this is true on average, but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone. That’s the problem with using simple statistics, it really doesn’t apply to anyone in particular. And everybody thinks they’re the exception, everybody consider themselves better than the average. And that takes us right back to the autonomy-aspect, that guns on average produces more risk doesn’t matter as long as I am safer.

  97. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Wes, 107
    There is a difference between holding false/bizarre beliefs and having delusions. It is the persistence in the belief, when that persistence is not supported or reinforced by dogma, authority figures, social groups, and/or evidence, that makes an unusual belief into delusion. Yes, I want all forms of health care (plus food, clothing, housing, well rounded education to any level desired, employment assistance, etc.) to be freely available and readily accessible to everyone, but even guaranteeing everyone does have access to voluntary mental health care will not ensure they actually begin, and adhere to, any treatment; especially when their religion, authority figures, and social groups tell them there is nothing wrong with their beliefs and claim/distort (WND, FauxNews) the evidence regarding their beliefs to be on their side. Mental illness is one part of the equation of violence (usually making one a victim of it), but the far bigger component is that people have had their heads completely saturated with horrible ideas promoted by authority figures and society, have no desire to question them, and, oh so often, refuse to accept any contrary evidence simply because it is presented by ‘the other’ instead of assessing it on its merits. Teaching everyone good skepticism and rigorous self-examination is something I would love to see, but involuntary counseling for unusual beliefs is not likely to be very effective or feasible without evidence of violence. Involuntary treatment has been used to abuse the powerless far too many times in the past, so the current protective measures in some jurisdictions now make it a bit too difficult for family members to acquire.

    Where I work there have been individuals completely normal at work who later were found to act in violent or irrational ways.

    Was the first individual who was ‘completely normal at work’ actually diagnosed with any mental illness or delusions prior to his suicide? One does not need delusions to kill others or oneself; unexamined bad ideas, stress, and emotional distress easily suffice.

  98. says

    I can definitely see your point Matt P, that even if there are concerns as long as the individual doesn’t give clear signs that they are dangerous no one can really make them seek help. And with delusions the individual is almost always not going to see fault within themselves. So forcing someone to better themselves would be difficult until they pop.

    So gun control is a measure that can be used in absence of this, to in effect reduce the danger someone slipping through the system might pose. I actually have no problem with more gun control. It does depend upon the community what they feel is safe for them. So in communities like the one I live in gun violence is practically a non-issue. I have seen a person in a store open carrying a pistol and I never felt as though he was a ticking time bomb. But in areas where people resort to gun violence more often it is understandable that the community would take measures to protect themselves.

    As for mass killings, well the evidence seems pretty straight forward except for maybe one of the recent five that have happened since the law (banning high capacity clips and auto fire arms) expired these have been used to commit more violence when someone slips through the system. And the Rodger’s event had a much lower injury and fatality rate than the others. So even if all communities don’t want to enforce absolute gun control one could argue that these weapons are far too dangerous to ever be legal.

  99. consciousness razor says

    So gun control is a measure that can be used in absence of this, to in effect reduce the danger someone slipping through the system might pose. I actually have no problem with more gun control. It does depend upon the community what they feel is safe for them.

    Why would it depend on that? It depends on what actually works, not on what each community or each person in it believes (perhaps falsely and delusionally) will work “for them.”

    So in communities like the one I live in gun violence is practically a non-issue. I have seen a person in a store open carrying a pistol and I never felt as though he was a ticking time bomb.

    How you feel about him doesn’t affect in any way whether or not he is in fact “a ticking time bomb.”

    But in areas where people resort to gun violence more often it is understandable that the community would take measures to protect themselves.

    It’s understandable to have gun control everywhere, regardless of how safe you personally feel. The last thing I want is for conservatives to once again abuse the 10th amendment, to say the federal government shouldn’t enforce gun control in the states where they live. Besides distorting the Constitution even more, if there were holes all over the map where all sorts of guns could be obtained without the proper limitations/regulations, it would negate the purpose of “gun control” in more violent areas. If you haven’t noticed, people have legs and cars and so forth, so it’s not hard to attend some gun show out in the fucking sticks and bring them (perhaps not even across state lines) to somewhere else.

  100. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Again. The time and effort required to reload a gun using magazines are trivial, so magazine capacity limits make little to no difference when the person is carrying dozens of magazines. ER had 400+ rounds in 10 round magazines, and Cho had multiple 15 round and 10 round magazines for the glock and walther, respectively. Lanza fired two shots with a pistol (one into a hallway, the other into himself) having many unused magazines while the murders were with an assault rifle and multiple magazines.
    The only guns that are less easily utilized to commit mass shootings are those with limited internal capacity and an inability to use quickloaders, magazines, or other external feed systems (i.e. guns that have centuries of evidence as being very well suited, and wholly adequate, for hunting* and for defense against wild animals). If the person must individually load each round into the gun, then you have a chance of reducing mass shootings because they will have no choice but to carry more guns (greater expense and easier to track than magazines) or be subject to easier retaliation during the much longer and more frequent reload periods. The smaller the caliber of the cartridge, the more difficulty there can be in reloading, especially if the shooter is agitated or panicked, which gives others even more time to escape or respond.

    *If you are such a horrible shot that you cannot bring down a deer with one or two shots from a bolt action rifle, you should not be allowed to hunt with a gun. Also want to make a point here about limits on shotguns using some sort of bird hunting Dick Cheney joke, but I’m not funny enough.

  101. says

    Wes Aaron:

    It does depend upon the community what they feel is safe for them. So in communities like the one I live in gun violence is practically a non-issue. I have seen a person in a store open carrying a pistol and I never felt as though he was a ticking time bomb. But in areas where people resort to gun violence more often it is understandable that the community would take measures to protect themselves.

    You do realize that in the debate on gun control, the discussion is most often on a national level, no? You can’t use one community to determine the best route to reduce gun violence. Also, lost in the discussion about gun control is that measures to reduce gun violence are often meant to also reduce firearm related suicides and injuries. A lot of people assume discussions of gun violence are all about school massacres or gang violence, when it’s broader than that.
    Lastly, the areas with minimal gun violence likely wouldn’t be affected by gun control measures, as gun control legislation isn’t aimed at taking away peoples’ guns. The idea is to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them.

    I’d also like to point out that there’s no way to know by looking at someone if they’re a ticking time bomb. I’m glad that the person you saw in the store didn’t shoot the place up, but how would anyone actually *know* that he’s not going to go on a shooting spree upon first seeing him? Did he have a white hat on? When we see people with white hats, we can rest easy, knowing they won’t shoot up the local McDonald’s? Do the spree shooters wear black hats so that the public can easily identify them?
    No, that’s not how it works. There’s an implicit threat behind carrying in public, no matter how you may personally feel about guns. They are a safety issue and I don’t like the idea of simply trying to go about my day and live with the possible fear that an angry gundamentalist is going to start shooting.

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

    @Erlend Meyer, #108:

    @ Crip #101: Thank you, that was what I was trying to say. English isn’t my first language, so sometimes it gets a bit jumbled.

    So awesomely glad I could help. Yes, formulated that way, it is an important observation.

    Oh, and now that I know English isn’t your first language, I wonder if you got the joke when I called you the flask?

  103. says

    MattP if your going to say magazine capacity is irrelevant be reloading time is negligible. Well first of all that is completely absurd. How long would it take to fire 100 rounds with 10 round clips and semi-auto (must pull trigger for each shot) vs one 100 round clip and a fully auto weapon. First thing to note is that if your just firing to spray ammo with either your chances of hitting are 1 hit in 5 rounds fired. So each clip is only going to give you two hits vs 20 in the larger capacity clip. Second an auto-fire weapon can sustain 100-150 rounds per minute in comparison a semi-auto is 45-65 rounds per minute (given that the person could sustain the trigger pull rate). The auto-fire weapon would complete the shots in a minute or less and the semi-auto would take almost two minutes without including the time to change clips.

    http://www.guncite.com/assausup.txt
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/changing-clips-sometimes-takes-more

    Notice that they said it took the person at the Sandy Cook shooting long enough to reload that an entire class of children were able to escape. Obviously his reload time was a lot slower than 1 second.

    Also brought up was how many could have escaped if his clip was only 10 rounds? Most people who go on these rampages aren’t military trained or experts in killing efficiently with guns.

    Not only is your argument completely flawed that it is negligible because of the clip size but the rate of fire between auto and semi-auto isn’t even close to the truth. It is blatantly obvious that these high capacity clips mixed with auto-fire weapons are far more dangerous than a semi-auto weapon restricted to a 10 round clip. You can’t use full-auto to hunt or for any matter other than the military or SWAT would you ever have a needed application for these. What makes you think outlawing these wouldn’t reduce body count and injury?

    Even though you may think they are gun toting idiots, the fact is they are voting citizens of this country demonizing them does nothing to help rationalize your cause. People look at hard facts. One final question is there any other mass shooting rampage in history with a higher rate of injury and death than the theater shooting? Totaled 70 injured and dead. Do you think he would have even had a shot at doing this level of violence without the auto-fire weapons?

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map?page=2

    Tony I understand that many aren’t going to share my optimism on this subject, however I don’t think that people in general want nothing more than to live happy and healthy lives. I could be killed in countless ways tomorrow but that doesn’t mean I live in fear of those possible outcomes. If I’m generally cautious and don’t react with aggression people tend to react in kind even those who may be a little unstable (in no way am I saying that if someone reacts to you violently it’s your fault, I am merely commenting on my interactions with the people in my community and I fully understand that it will be different results for others). Given that states have different laws on gun control it will probably still be kept at the state level until there is strong evidence that gun control prevents violence. So far all the information on that has been negligible for and against.

    If you look at the states individually you see that even if guns per household is greater it doesn’t correlate with less gun violence. So how do you get to less guns equals less gun violence when the statistics are all over the place? I actually found it more surprising that the state I live in only one of the top ten strictest gun controlled states had less gun violence. That is alarming in many ways but it does nothing to prove that gun control prevents gun violence.

  104. says

    Wes:

    Tony I understand that many aren’t going to share my optimism on this subject, however I don’t think that people in general want nothing more than to live happy and healthy lives.

    I’m optimistic for the most part too.
    Despite that, when I see people carrying around weapons designed to kill others, I get wary.

  105. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Imagine how many more would have escaped if the rounds had to be loaded into the gun individually. Hunting and ‘personal defense’ against a small group of attackers (human or animal) do not require more than a handful of shots, so permitting any gun to have the capability of holding more rounds, or quickly reloading, during any single ‘engagement’ is completely unnecessary for any legitimate purpose and horribly dangerous.

    That was my extremely muddled point: guns that use magazines and external quickloading/feed systems have no purpose outside a warzone, regardless of firing mechanisms. So, in my mind, the discussion on magazine capacity limits is irrelevant as no guns should be permitted to use them at all.

  106. consciousness razor says

    Given that states have different laws on gun control it will probably still be kept at the state level until there is strong evidence that gun control prevents violence.

    More like until clueless fuckers like you stop burying their heads in the sand.

    So far all the information on that has been negligible for and against.

    Obviously, ridiculously false. Your knowledge of “all the information” must be pretty fucking pitiful.

    If you look at the states individually you see that even if guns per household is greater it doesn’t correlate with less gun violence. So how do you get to less guns equals less gun violence when the statistics are all over the place?

    Don’t bother showing your sources or anything, so you could get some kind of an answer. Just make sure you tell us what you think we’re supposed to know, which is apparently nothing.

  107. consciousness razor says

    It wasn’t muddled, MattP. Wes Aaron apparently doesn’t to understand it.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gah. Doesn’t want to.

    Yep, gun nuts, like creationists, can’t get past their own fears and fallacious presuppositions, much less present real evidence to back their claims.
    The only way to carry a gun with intrinsic safety in public, is to have it unloaded. Police are the only ones who logically need a weapon on them. Unless those who wish to carry a loaded weapon can show a significant odds, say one in four, of using that weapon during the day. Otherwise, there is no need to carry a loaded weapon, which is intrinsically unsafe.

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

    @Wes Aaron, #115:

    MattP if your (sic) going to say magazine capacity is irrelevant be (sic) reloading time is negligible. Well first of all that is completely absurd.

    The auto-fire weapon would complete the shots in a minute or less and the semi-auto would take almost two minutes without including the time to change clips.

    So what you’re saying is that

    magazine capacity is irrelevant b/c reloading time gains you a negligible number of shots compared with switching your weapon from semi-auto to auto

    Okay. I’m totes following you now…

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

    @Nerd

    Okay, Nerd, I’m with you on a lot of things, but this:

    Unless those who wish to carry a loaded weapon can show a significant odds, say one in four, of using that weapon during the day…

    is crap. First, there’s nothing in it to distinguish murderous thugs from victims of possessive stalkers. Second, how do you really establish your criteria are met? History of shooting events by that person? Would people truly in fear for their lives feel pressure to shoot at people who barely resemble their stalkers just to make sure they get a shooting in every 4th day? If you don’t use the history of shooting events by that person, what the fuck are you going to use? Think about the incentives this builds in to use your gun.

    That’s all before getting to the point that predicting one’s own murder or attempted murder, much less the date on which that murder (attempt) will occur, is really difficult to do with 25% accuracy.

    Hell, people with cancer – knowing they’re going to die and with all sorts of data measured – can’t get their doctors to predict their dates of death with 25% accuracy. Why should people facing life-threatening violence be expected to do so? How are you going to reach this target? Loading up on spending for actuaries and research seems a little premature, without even a clear line of sight to 25% accuracy.

    But really, it’s the incentives to shoot first and often, not the erroneous target, that make me want to deep-six this dangerous idea.

  111. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Nerd, 121
    Not sure I would refer to Wes as a gun nut given the support of some fairly reasonable first steps towards decent gun control, but definitely has not been exposed to the gun fondlers that I’ve spent my nearly 28 years surrounded by. A great many of them are people who should not be anywhere near the guns they have been allowed to legally own, keep in their homes, and carry in public. The gun fondler relative has an M1911, a .50 revolver, an M1 Garand, an M14, a new AR-15 (bought during 2012 election season because “onoz, obummer is gonna take ‘ur gunz”), a shitty surplus Mauser given by his sister (still stamped with nazi swastika) only useful to remove a stump with a couple hundred rounds at point blank range, a couple small .22 rifles, a couple shotguns, a .22 pistol, a black powder rifle, and probably a few more I’m forgetting.

    To be clear, I understand the appeal of owning historic weapons with quick reload methods (quickloader revolvers, detachable magazines, chain/belt feed) and the shooting competitions set up for them, but I also think the guns and ammo should be securely stored on site and only allowed to be transferred between licensed and inspected ranges under lock and key by dedicated transport (already plenty of armored car companies for bank to retailer transport).

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . First, there’s nothing in it to distinguish murderous thugs from victims of possessive stalkers. Second, how do you really establish your criteria are met?

    If you didn’t even draw your gun by day four, begin to question your need to carry a loaded weapon which can shot you as easily as what you think you should shoot.
    Concealed carry is a bullshit idea, intrinsically unsafe. Nobody other than the police should be carrying a loaded weapon in public. If it is unloaded, the next logical question then comes to be why should it be carried at all???

  113. says

    Okay, I have to admit I had not been following this thread and just read the last few for the first time, but I saw Tony comment on this quote and wanted to add to it.

    It does depend upon the community what they feel is safe for them. So in communities like the one I live in gun violence is practically a non-issue. I have seen a person in a store open carrying a pistol and I never felt as though he was a ticking time bomb. But in areas where people resort to gun violence more often it is understandable that the community would take measures to protect themselves.

    As Tony pointed out, there is no way to know if someone is a ticking time bomb, no matter what area you are in. Communities also sadly have a very skewed view of who commits gun violence. Most people think that murders by strangers, gang violence, etc. in the US are far higher than they actually are. But only 6% of gun homicides are gang related, and about 20% are due to strangers. The rest are friends and acquaintances and family. When people have extremely easy access to a gun, especially a handgun, people seem to use them, whereas without that gun access they would not.

    When you compare homicide rates in the US and Canada one finds that in many ways they are actually similar, we also have this roughly 80% people you know, 20% strangers breakdown, but only a third of our murders involve firearms, vs. 2/3 in the US. Most of those involve handguns, well out of proportion with their actual numbers. In many ways we are very similar countries, but we have fewer guns, and far fewer handguns, and strangely enough, a far lower rate of gun violence.

  114. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Tony, 127
    His dad barely survived a nazi pow camp and never had an incompletely filled pot or pantry, thereafter; once blew up a pressure cooker, and when given a larger pot would just fill that to the brim. …so, packrat kinda runs in his side of the family and the arsenal has been growing over the course of ~50 years, thus not terribly surprising it is so large (almost as large as the collection of broken/’reusable’ crap he had in the basement). He does occasionally go deer, duck, and turkey hunting with the M14, black powder rifle, and shotguns, so cannot entirely fault him for those, although the M14 and pump-action shotguns are still pretty damn excessive for the purpose. The M1 Garand is historical competition and range shooting, which is why I understand the desire but still think they should be fired, cleaned, and securely stored on site. The rest are largely packrat and paranoia, except the .50 revolver, which was part of his mid-life fulfill a childhood dream (‘to be a badass cowboy hero like Paladin’). Who knows how many more he will add before he croaks.

  115. says

    Let me guess, Canada doesn’t have its version of the 2nd Amendment?

    No, we don’t, so we do not have a right to own firearms, or the carry them around willy-nilly. But despite that it is not that hard to get a firearm, even a restricted firearm such as a handgun or AR-15. There are limitations on how they can be transported, you have to take a course and pass a test, and submit and application they will do a criminal record check, background check and reference check. After that you wait for the application to be processed and the vast majority of people will be able to purchase a firearm. The average wait is something like 45 days, very, very few applications are rejected. It is not exactly onerous. So, I mean, if more Canadians wanted firearms we could get them, I think that is one of the big differences between us and people in the US, fewer people want firearms, and there is less of that drive to get a handgun, or AR-15 and tote it around everywhere you go.

  116. says

    Travis:

    As Tony pointed out, there is no way to know if someone is a ticking time bomb, no matter what area you are in. Communities also sadly have a very skewed view of who commits gun violence. Most people think that murders by strangers, gang violence, etc. in the US are far higher than they actually are. But only 6% of gun homicides are gang related, and about 20% are due to strangers. The rest are friends and acquaintances and family. When people have extremely easy access to a gun, especially a handgun, people seem to use them, whereas without that gun access they would not.

    Speaking of not knowing who is going to go off and start shooting, here’s *another* fucking tragedy: http://gawker.com/police-family-of-five-including-three-children-shot-1611841752?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

  117. says

    Tony, that is depressing, but all too common. I am from right across the border in New Brunswick and Maine and NB are pretty similar places. Small populations, quite rural, NB has 755464 people, Maine has 1.33 million. But apparently the gun ownership percentage in Maine is 40.5%, whereas in NB just under 10% have licenses. The homicide rate in NB is 1.06/100000 whereas it is 1.8/100000 in Maine. I cannot find the specific methods of those homicides in NB, but in Maine the rate was 0.8/100000, whereas I know in some recent previous years there were no gun related homicides in NB. The shooting of the RCMP officers in Moncton this year was extremely unusual.

  118. says

    Erlend Meyer 108

    I’m sure this is true on average, but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone.

    The people who don’t need regulation are already behaving responsibly, and therefore wouldn’t be affected by said regulation, or only to a small degree.

    That’s the problem with using simple statistics, it really doesn’t apply to anyone in particular. And everybody thinks they’re the exception, everybody consider themselves better than the average.

    Just because someone feels like they’re the exception, the ones who should be allowed to carry guns, doesn’t mean that they are. George Zimmerman, Michael Dunn, Paul Wafer, Chad Pickering (who just got a column on this very blog two days ago) all thought (And AFAICT still think) that they were the exceptions, the responsible ones who could be trusted. That worked out very poorly for Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renish McBride, and a young woman whose name wasn’t released, because she survived.

    And that takes us right back to the autonomy-aspect, that guns on average produces more risk doesn’t matter as long as I am safer.

    But you’re not. That’s the point. Even if you beleive that you’re safer, the reality is that you’re wrong. You are, at absolute best, in no more danger than before, and that’s if you store gun and ammo securely and separately, only putting the two together when specifically using the gun to hunt for food (as if that’s not why you have it, it ought to be stored at the gun range where you do your target shooting. Don’t start with the routine about that making the range a target for those who want to steal it, unless you want to explain how dozens of people can and will all secure their homes to the level that a dedicated (and expensive
    ) vault can muster.
    Wes Aaron

    It does depend upon the community what they feel is safe for them

    No, it really doesn’t. It depends (or should) on what the evidence shows is safer for the community. The evidence clearly shows that people having personal arsenals is not, in fact, safer for the community. Nobody’s feelings enter into the matter at all.
    MattP

    ic. The gun fondler relative has an M1911, a .50 revolver, an M1 Garand, an M14, a new AR-15 (bought during 2012 election season because “onoz, obummer is gonna take ‘ur gunz”), a shitty surplus Mauser given by his sister (still stamped with nazi swastika) only useful to remove a stump with a couple hundred rounds at point blank range, a couple small .22 rifles, a couple shotguns, a .22 pistol, a black powder rifle, and probably a few more I’m forgetting.

    I have no objection to a collector having all of those in his home, so long as they are all in appropriate display condition; i.e. the firing pin removed, mechanism welded in place, and a metal bar welded into the barrel. They’ll look cool on your wall, and not be any threat that a badly hung painting isn’t.

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

    @Wes Aaron & Dalillama

    I certainly agree with you, Dalillama, that as written and as excerpted by you, Wes Aaron’s statement is wrong-headed.

    However, it didn’t appear in isolation. You took it from its context where it was clearly a statement about communities making their own decisions on gun control policies. While empirically we can determine how many deaths and/or injuries are prevented by policy X, there can be other consequences of policy X – perhaps it requires new spending beyond the government’s capacity at current tax levels or perhaps it requires a surveillance scheme that will have the inevitable effect of drastic reductions in privacy.

    Defining the appropriate level of risk, the level of risk a society will accept given the marginal cost of preventing one more injury or death, is a question that depends on a community’s feelings about prioritizing physical safety over other things.

    I think Wes Aaron had that one right, even if it didn’t come across to you.

  120. says

    CD

    You took it from its context where it was clearly a statement about communities making their own decisions on gun control policies.

    It was the relevant portion, but including the remainder doesn’t change his point or mine. As has been brought up repeatedly in this thread, individual communities making their own decisions re:gun control is a no go in terms of actually affecting the availability of guns and hence obtaining the benefits of gun control in the form of lessened lethal violence. Further, whether the community in question ‘feels safe’ with guns all over the place still has no actual bearing on how safe they are or aren’t, and thus has no place in policy discussions.

    . While empirically we can determine how many deaths and/or injuries are prevented by policy X, there can be other consequences of policy X – perhaps it requires new spending beyond the government’s capacity at current tax levels or perhaps it requires a surveillance scheme that will have the inevitable effect of drastic reductions in privacy.

    ‘Feels safe’ is not semantically equivalent to ‘willing to accept increased risk in the name of some purported benefit or principle.’ Also, gun control policies don’t require drastic reductions in privacy, as can be seen in the loads and loads of places which have them, nor indeed significant tax increases. On that note, ‘waah taxes’ isn’t a viable argument either, nor one I’m going to listen to without a damn good explanation of why a particular set of taxes is problematic. Many essential things can’t be done at current taxation levels in the U.S., because said levels are ridiculously low, largely because people keep making political decisions with their feelings and gut and suchlike bullshit.

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