It’s a good day to not have any heroes »« We can always find a reason to kill something

Responsibility is not just a word

Tom Levenson responds to yet another gun ‘accident’, in which a pregnant woman was shot in the head by a friend showing off a gun. I think this is a very good take on the issue; no responsible gun owner (and they all are, right?) could possibly disagree with this:

Responsible means that whatever happens with your gun is your fault.  Period.  You accidentally discharge it and no-one gets hurt? How’s this:  big fine, confiscate the weapon involved, lose the right to bear arms for a year for the first incident, forever if you repeat.  Someone gets hurt or dies?  Jail. Civil liability.  Loss of gun rights for life.  That’s responsibility.

But of course, I dream.  That’s not how we roll.  Instead, we’ll just  water the tree of liberty with a newlywed, and celebrate life by burying her fetus — and wait (not long) for the next red harvest.

Being responsible should actually mean something — it’s not just a word you use to escape the consequences of your actions. But that’s how the gun fondlers all seem to use it — they will flaunt their assault rifles, take great risks with their lives and the lives of others, and hide under the NRA-approved label of “responsible gun-owner”.

Real responsible gun owners know that they are deadly tools and would keep them locked up and treat them like they would a stick of dynamite — extreme hazards that warrant extreme precautions.

Comments

  1. says

    This is so tragic because it’s so fucking avoidable.

    Guns are instruments of death and they serve no other purpose. The more avoidable deaths I hear attributed to improper gun use, the more I’m willing to say just fuck the second amendment in its entirety. I don’t even care if it’s your favorite hobby. Some people really enjoy drag racing, it’s banned cause it usually, and accidentally kills people. Why aren’t guns banned for the same exact fucking reason?

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Responsible gun owners follow the old gun safety rules, not the unsafe present practices. Which is how one can easily tell responsible gun owners from gun nuts. No responsible gun owner carries any loaded weapon in public, and always treats every gun as loaded unless open and unable to fire, and would never show the gun to somebody unless the unloaded state is verified by everybody present. This “accident” would never have happened with a responsible gun owner.

  3. Crimson Clupeidae says

    It’s just a word in politics. Remember the repugs labeling themselves as the ‘party of responsibility’, then promptly pointing their fingers at everyone else for their own failures?

  4. Turtles says

    and treat them like they would a stick of dynamite

    You just know someone is going to complain to you that the right to bear sticks of dynamite is enshrined in the constitution, stop attacking my right to blow things up, carry dynamite openly in public is a human right and its perfectly safe to show off your sticks of dynamite to women, men, small children and dogs.

  5. erichoug says

    OK, I’m in.

    Also, how about mandatory gun safes and trigger locks for all purchased firearms.
    Required licensing and training for all gun owners.
    Required registration of all firearms and transfer of ownership only through licensed or government entities, like with a car title.

    Oh,, and someone please arrest those open carry morons.

    Sorry, big day at the office so I am just going to give this one kick of the hornets nest and leave. But, I think that this suggestion is a very good one. Owning a gun is a serious business and there should be some serious fucking consequences for this sort of thing.

  6. says

    Maybe this is a matter of cost-benefit analysis?

    On one side start with the number of accidental shooting deaths and intentional murder-by-gun. Then add some percentage of each accidental and intentional shooting that injures but doesn’t kill.

    On the other side you can put all the violent crimes prevented by gun use (minus the number of unarmed people shot while fleeing or committing non-violent property crime). From that side you subtract a percentage for each crime prevented that involved the criminal also having a firearm.

    Seems to me that guns cause more trouble than they’re worth.

  7. Alverant says

    I consider the phrase “responsible/law-abiding gun owner” to be a No True Scotsman. Every gun owner considers themselves to be responsible, until they stop. I was nearly killed twice by people who considered themselves “responsible gun owners”. Once at Thanksgiving dinner when a N-th removed cousin was showing off his new rifle. He swore it was unloaded, but unloaded guns don’t go BOOM when he “accidentally” pulled the trigger when he stumbled and hit the hand that was holding the gun against the table. The barrel was pointed at me and I ducked just in time to keep from getting Cheneyed. The other time I was walking home from work and was nearly shot by an old woman who “mistook” a UPS driver delivering a package for a burglar. The driver was black so the police gave the old woman the benefit of the doubt that it was an honest mistake.

    As far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as a gun accident. If the NRA is going to insist that “guns don’t kill people” then they also have to abandon the idea a gun can go off accidentally. There’s no such thing as a “responsible gun owner” just “gun owners who’ve been lucky so far”.

  8. A Masked Avenger says

    Kevin, #1:

    Guns are instruments of death and they serve no other purpose…

    I agree. I’d like to see them banned. What bothers me about efforts to ban them is that they don’t go far enough: they always have explicit exceptions for police. Dubya even passed a law that allows off-duty police not only to tote guns, but to tote them anywhere they please in the United States. Look up LEOSA.

    On or off duty, police also should not be armed. Their job is to protect people, not kill them, so they have no business carrying tools whose only purpose is to kill.

  9. saganite says

    @11
    While I would agree that cops optimally shouldn’t be armed and employ less lethal methods, at this point that seems unrealistic to me. This is not like in the UK where Bobbies often walk around with billy clubs instead and criminals rarely have any access to guns.
    What the USA are dealing with now is the result of a sort of arms race, though. Widespread weapons beget more heavily armed cops. I mean, it’s gotten to the point that the police in some places is outright militarized with APCs, heavy armour, weaponry etc.!
    As much as I wish you folks on the other side of the pond luck and success in curbing this nightmare, it, frankly, seems unrealistic to get this done anymore (or at least any time soon). Perhaps over the course of several generations? Don’t take that to mean I don’t support gun control efforts in the USA, I’m just a bit disillusioned to how successful they are going to be, how much they will affect the militarization of the police and how well it’ll actually get guns out of the hands of criminals.
    Other countries have many decades of difficult access to firearms, so criminals rarely if ever get them and the black market is comparatively dry. The sooner the USA get started, the better, but it’s going to be a long, long slog.

  10. says

    Real responsible gun owners know that they are deadly tools and would keep them locked up and treat them like they would a stick of dynamite — extreme hazards that warrant extreme precautions.
    Agreed. My guns are all stored in a approved gun safe, as the owner it is my responsibility to ensure that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

  11. anteprepro says

    Oh don’t worry. If you have a gun accident, you weren’t a responsible owner, and you are responsible for any deaths, and the Republicans will make sure you are sent to the fucking gallows, because The Law to them is all about spilling blood for spilt blood. But you dare to make it harder for these accidents to occur? You dare to try to prevent the first blood for being spilled in the first place? You fucking Commie! This is America. Where you are free to have the means to accidentally kill someone, until you do accidentally kill someone and we kill you for it. That is what Freedom means.

  12. methuseus says

    @saganite 12

    I mean, it’s gotten to the point that the police in some places is outright militarized with APCs, heavy armour, weaponry etc.!

    How often do those APCs, heavy armor, and such actually get used for the intended purpose? How many are used against unarmed, and unlikely to be armed, people? I know that they have been used (sort of) legitimately, but in most cases they are getting army surplus for dirt cheap to make it so the military can justify getting newer equipment. There’s also the fact that police forces aren’t always getting the proper training in using these things, either.

  13. A Masked Avenger says

    #12:

    What the USA are dealing with now is the result of a sort of arms race, though. Widespread weapons beget more heavily armed cops.

    Does that make killing people the cops’ job? Arming them with firearms only equips them to kill. That’s not the cops’ job.

  14. anteprepro says

    A Masked Avenger:

    Does that make killing people the cops’ job? Arming them with firearms only equips them to kill. That’s not the cops’ job.

    I suppose they are equipped to “defend themselves”. And of course, this often works just as well as your typical wingnut “standing their ground”: they kill someone who they mistakenly perceive as threatening them “in self defense”.

    Anything to wipe out the Kriminal Skum though….

  15. keresthanatos...I am my Evil Twin says

    I support the second amendment, but I strongly (as in 1111%*11enty1!!1!1!!!) agree with everything PZ wrote.

    I would like to see even stronger measures than his. As in a a classification and licensing system, strong peer and governmental monitoring, regular qualification, regular psychiatric evaluation, regular inspection of on site storage, and mandatory insurance.

    Many more people drive on a daily basis than carry weapons, yet the death toll is comparable. If we can drop the death toll on our highways, surely we can do the same on the uncontrolled byways of our gun culture.

  16. A Masked Avenger says

    anteprepro, #18:

    I suppose they are equipped to “defend themselves”…

    That would contradict the assertion that guns’ only purpose is to kill people; you’re suggesting that they have a separate purpose which is to “defend.” In order to get there, though, you’re suggesting two different descriptions of the same act: shooting someone. You’re suggesting that shooting a person might be “killing,” or then again it might be “defending.”

    I don’t accept that. The reason you kill someone doesn’t constitute justification. I also disagree with the law of self-defense, which says the opposite. I also disagree with it if you are “defending yourself” by killing someone with a knife, a baseball bat, a pointy stick, or your bare hands.

  17. Muz says

    But dammit, if they take guns away from irresponsible idiots for the slightest thing then pretty soon the only people with guns will be criminals! Worse yet. Only the smart responsible criminals!
    Then it will be up to them to defend liberty when the jackbooted thugs come to take away our freedoms.
    So pretty much Feudalism.
    Which every gun owning Libertarian would like to see.
    Soooo…Yes! Take those guns away!
    Or..I’ll have to shoot you.

    (Have I got my head around the logic? I dunno. I’m furren).

  18. rossthompson says

    How often do those APCs, heavy armor, and such actually get used for the intended purpose? How many are used against unarmed, and unlikely to be armed, people?

    I remember watching an episode of The Following a while back. And the FBI had several-week-old footage of someone who maybe might have been their suspect going into a house. And on the basis of that (no time to do more investigating! Terrorsim!) they assmebled a SWAT team and burst down the door, shooting two people before they had the faintest idea whwhat was happening.

    Of course, this being TV, it turned out that the people they killed were bad guys, but I found it appaling. This is now our national narrative: The bad guys want to kill us, and if we make the police wait a few moments to be sure they’re not killing innocent people, then we’ll all die of terrorism!

    And don’t get me started on all the scenes of torture where the victim quickly gives up useful, accurate and actionable information…

    /tangent

  19. moarscienceplz says

    Oh Noes! We can’t deprive a white responsible gun owner of his Freedom Maker! If we do, there’ll be nobody to defend us when Obama sends the black helicopters full of New World Order troops to try to lock us all up into FEMA concentration camps!

  20. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    Why is it every time the right talks about “personal responsibility” they never bother bringing up gun ownership? At least the NRA actually has a page on its site talking about basic gun safety rules. While the crazier parts of the gun industry seem to treats its products as little more than props in a real life action movie (the video in that article shows numerous unsafe practices).

    Sometimes I look back at my time in the military, including a year deployed where nearly everyone was armed 24/7, and wonder how I got out unscathed. I was around almost every modern weapon except for WMDs and it seemed to be only a matter of time before there was a negligent discharge–we never used the word “accidental”–including rifles, machine guns, and even the 25mm main gun on a Bradley. (It was so loud we at first believed it had been a bomb; nobody thought someone could be careless enough to negligently shoot off a weapon that big.)

    And then I see another news story like this and I just get angry at the recklessness of it. Why was the revolver loaded in the first place? Why was it ever pointed at her head? Why wasn’t there proper trigger discipline? And finally, why is one of the most powerful lobbying groups still able to convince so many Americans that what is essentially a hobby is actually a defense against “tyranny”?

  21. Alverant says

    #24 How often has the NRA revoked membership for people violating basic gun safety? Speaking of the NRA, do you know their racial make up and if it reflects the racial make up of the USA? I’m asking because IIRC during the civil rights era the NRA started pushing gun ownership uber alles so white people could defend themselves from blacks moving into their safe suburbs. /s

  22. Menyambal says

    This kinda reminds me of the drunk-driving debate about 25 years ago. Before then, drunk drivers were not viewed to be responsible for their actions. Now, thanks to MADD and others, drunk driving is the driver’s fault.

    If a gun can go off, just magically and through nobody’s fault, the person who brought it in is still responsible. I mean, if I have a psycho-killer rabid dog in my back yard, and I don’t actually tell it to kill people, I am still responsible for it being there.

  23. Dunc says

    Being responsible should surely mean at least carrying substantial insurance to cover any damage or injury to 3rd parties.

  24. says

    Shooting someone because you were screwing around playing with your gun is depraved indifference homicide and should be treated as such.

    All instances where a gun is used to take a life should be by default treated as murder. This charge should be dropped only if the shooter can demonstrate that their life or the life of someone else was in direct and immediate danger from the person who was shot and there were no other options reasonably available, rendering it self-defense. Yes, this includes when cops and soldiers shoot people.

  25. rq says

    HolyPinkUnicorn
    I think I like that terminology: negligent, as opposed to accidental. Sounds a lot more appropriate, and a lot more punishable.

  26. says

    You’ll want to take guns away from the police as well, so they can’t give them to their “friends”

    My mom told me stories about how the Texas Rangers would brag about indiscriminately killing Mexicans and stacking up their bodies like cord wood.

  27. fernando says

    Every single american household must have some kind of weapon.
    Preferably, an assault rifle or a machine gun, but a pistol or shotgun is fine too.

    If you don’t have a gun (the bigger, the better) how can you protect your children and women from zombie apocalypse or from the canadian invasion?

  28. gmacs says

    erichoug @ 7

    Also, how about mandatory gun safes and trigger locks for all purchased firearms.
    Required licensing and training for all gun owners.
    Required registration of all firearms and transfer of ownership only through licensed or government entities, like with a car title.

    I have a slight problem with this. You see, this means that only people who are wealthy enough to afford all this stuff will have it. Granted, many similar restrictions do put up class barriers, and these would put severe limitations on the guns that would be out there. But it still results in something I have a fundamental problem with: the wealthy would have the nearly exclusive privilege to own killing tools.

  29. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The second amendment needs to be revoked. The fact that this comment will bring out people, both friends and strangers, to say:

    1. “That can NEVER HAPPEN so let’s talk about. . ”

    2. “The right would just go nuts, so let’s talk about. . ”

    Is the reason I’m going to keep saying it. Someone has to.

  30. says

    fernando, guns won’t stop the Canadian takeover. The plan is a simple one, have all the Canadians involved in the US entertainment biz withdraw their services. A week without TV, and most Americans will be begging for Canadian troops to seize the White House.

    More seriously, the idea that privately owned guns will stop tyranny is bullshit. There are always lots of guns, and lots of people who know how to use them, in dictatorships. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if more people in some such places have knowledge of strategy and tactics for small unit combat than in the US, given the fondness for compulsory military service in such places. Yet that doesn’t result in such regimes being overthrown, because it takes organisation and willingness to take a potentially fata stand to launch a revolt.

  31. says

    It’d be nice if we could get enough people to react to open carry gun lovers as if they were carrying a stick of dynamite that they’d notice they were being shunned. But they aren’t known for being self-conscious.

  32. says

    I also disagree with the law of self-defense, which says the opposite. I also disagree with it if you are “defending yourself” by killing someone with a knife, a baseball bat, a pointy stick, or your bare hands.

    At least in “some” cases the self defense law explicitly states that your act of self defense **ends** when the person threatening you is, “No longer a threat.” Unless, of course, your using a gun, apparently, or they are running away with your property, or you imagine they might magically heal, like Wolverine, get back up from bleeding on the ground, and attack you again, or a long, stupid list of other examples where killing them anyway, according to some stupid assed judge and jury, is still “self defense”, somehow… Oh, right, forgot, also, “When its an accident.”

  33. Alverant says

    @gmacs #35
    So it’s not a perfect solution, it’s still better than what we have now. Your concerns aren’t that great. The rich already have the means to kill lots of people and get away with it. Remember the BP oil spill? How many people died? How many people went to jail over it? How many people did the frackers make ill in Ohio? Do you think any of them are going to go to jail or face a reasonable punishment?

  34. Menyambal says

    Making gun ownership so expensive that only the rich could afford guns would actually return things to the way they were when the Constitution was written. Except we would have to make it so only really crappy guns were available.

    In the 1780s, assembly lines and interchangeable parts and machine tools and machine guns were still ‘way off in the future. Guns were very different, then.

    Each gun was hand-made, by skilled craftsmen, slowly — the cost reflected that, so only rich people owned more than one gun. Among the lower class, only those who needed a gun for survival hunting had one, and it was an heirloom.

    The idea that the Revolutionary War was fought by sturdy frontiersmen who owned their own guns is bogus. Supplying the troops with guns was one of the difficulties of the war, and the Constitution says clearly that the militias are to be armed by the state. (The sturdy frontiersmen who did own rifles usually buggered off home after a few months.)

    And the guns were single-shot, and slow, and cranky, and horribly inaccurate. And expensive.

    Guns were single-shot,

  35. caesar says

    I’m in favor of scrapping the 2nd Amendment…and replacing it with an amendment that explicitly lays out a right to own a gun, so that way we’re not having to interpret what the founding fathers were supposedly trying to say.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m in favor of scrapping the 2nd Amendment…and replacing it with an amendment that explicitly lays out a right to own a gun, so that way we’re not having to interpret what the founding fathers were supposedly trying to say.

    Typical of a liberturd, only thinking about your “freedom”‘ and not your responsibility to make society better.

  37. rossthompson says

    Can your Amendment 2A also include a clause about how people have a right to not get accidentally shot? That would be awesome, thanks.

  38. says

    I think a “repeal and replace” of the 2nd Amendment would be necessary, because the level of gun control I’m comfortable with would require a fundamental rewriting of the laws at the federal level. I’m not opposed to hunting for food, I know people who would be hard-pressed to make it through a year without stocking their freezer with venison. I’m not even opposed in principle to self-defense. I’m pretty sure all that can be covered with firearms that carry no more than 2-4 rounds, and strict registration, background checks, yearly skills testing, etc. No semi-auto anything for civilians, period.

    I’m old enough to remember when cops carried revolvers, and I guess maybe a basic shotgun in the squad car (on TV!)? Once we’ve dialed back civilian gun ownership to reasonable levels, we can then demilitarize the police by taking away their semi-auto pistols and assault rifles and armored everything.

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

    I’m in favor of scrapping the 2nd Amendment…and replacing it with an amendment that explicitly lays out a right to own a gun, so that way we’re not having to interpret what the founding fathers were supposedly trying to say.

    Ah, yes. The “there is no act of interpretation inherent in the role of a judge; there is only Zul” school of thought.

  40. says

    I’m in favor of scrapping the 2nd Amendment…and replacing it with an amendment that explicitly lays out a right to own a gun, so that way we’re not having to interpret what the founding fathers were supposedly trying to say.

    I agree with Josh that the 2nd Amendment should be scrapped. There are insufficient reasons for the majority of the civilian population of any country to own a gun.
    I think owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right (moreover, that privilege should be under a set of specific instructions with strict consequences for failing to adhere to the instructions), and exercising that privilege must be done in specific areas designated for firearm usage, such as shooting ranges. I also think civilians who seek to own guns for purposes other than shooting practice must give a reason, and that reason must be backed with evidence (such as “I’m a rancher and I need a gun to scare off the animals that would attack my herd”).
    I realize this is a pipe dream right now, which is why I strongly support strict gun control legislation (which itself looks like a bit of a pipe dream too).

  41. says

    rossthompson:

    Can your Amendment 2A also include a clause about how people have a right to not get accidentally shot? That would be awesome, thanks.

    I’m sorry. You must not be familiar with caesar. He’s far more concerned with his freedom than he is with being a responsible member of society who weighs his freedoms against the rights and responsibilities of the rest of society. You’ll have to pose that question to someone who is looking to reduce gun violence and cares that far too many people lose their lives in firearm related activities. That person is *not* caesar.

  42. vaiyt says

    so, caesar, you want an amendment to explicitly lay out that your right to own a gun is contingent in being part of a well regulated militia?

  43. says

    Let me conjure up a vision for you, where people do not have guns, where only a few highly trained police have firearms, where criminals are more keen on shooting each other, if they have a gun, than using it it robberies, where the crime rate is in decline, where murders through any means is rare, a mostly peaceful society generally at peace with its self, where you feel safe to be out and about in cities.
    Where is this land, over the rainbow. Certainly not the USA ! Try over the pond with the tyrannical Brits, those dastardly beings that sought to oppress you by asking you to pay taxes to help pay to fight the French, and pay back the investment in getting the colonies started!

  44. says

    Just a thought, but do you, as a private citizen, have the right or the moral responsibility to take another person’s life? If so, in what circumstances?
    Just another thought, if you feel that you have the right to defend yourself with a gun, would you really have time to find it, aim it, take the safety off, and fire it, before you are overwhelmed, and shot with self same gun?
    The whole gun toting issues seems to me to be a mixture of boy’s toys, paranoia and over compensation for erectile dysfunction!

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where is this land, over the rainbow. Certainly not the USA

    And your evidence is where? Unevidenced assertion, dismissed without evidence. This from WSJ. Why crime keeps falling. CNN on the same subject. And your point is????

  46. anteprepro says

    Nerd

    And your evidence is where? Unevidenced assertion, dismissed without evidence. This from WSJ. Why crime keeps falling. CNN on the same subject. And your point is????

    lolwut? His point was that the U.S. has a lot of guns, poor gun control, and a lot of crime, especially murder. Yes, he was wrong about the crime rate not being on the decline, but his main point still stands, because our murder rate is still ghastly and massive.

  47. says

    Nerd:
    I believe you’ve misread christopherphillips’ overall point.

    ****
    christopherphillips:

    Just another thought, if you feel that you have the right to defend yourself with a gun, would you really have time to find it, aim it, take the safety off, and fire it, before you are overwhelmed, and shot with self same gun?

    This line of thinking seems to come up when talking about women protecting themselves from thieves or rapists in the middle of the night. I’m amazed that *anyone* who is woken up in the middle of the night could have the wherewithal to locate their gun, put in the bullets (because guns at home should be stored safely and unloaded), take the safety off, take aim, and stop the intruder/attacker. Sure you can do that in movies (or the reality according to liberturds and gundamentalists), but in real life? Survey says: doubtful.

  48. says

    I’m with Josh on this one. With few exceptions, nobody really needs a gun. I’d say you should only be allowed to own one if you can prove a genuine need* for it, and those needs will be very narrowly classified.

    *”Safety” doesn’t count, because the very presence of the gun negates the entire premise of safety.

  49. Anton Mates says

    You just know someone is going to complain to you that the right to bear sticks of dynamite is enshrined in the constitution

    The right to bear sticks of dynamite is enshrined in the Constitution, at least to the same degree as the right to bear firearms. The Second Amendment draws no distinction between muskets, pistols, high explosives and nukes.

    Of course, most of us realize that it must be interpreted in such a way as to prohibit private ownership of ridiculously dangerous weapons, because even Republican congressmen don’t want to live in a country where their wacky neighbor might be assembling his own ICBMs. (Or a country where angry minorities might be stockpiling explosives to use against said congressmen.)

    So if it turns out that privately-owned firearms are killing massive numbers of Americans, which they are, I don’t see why the Second Amendment would prohibit any amount of stricter regulation. We’ve already made the necessary interpretive leap.

  50. says

    @WDMKitty #58:
    There are always some assholes who want to tell me what I don’t need…

    And in some sense you are right. I don’t need my guns, they are not critical to my survival. I don’t need my motorcycle either, or even my car. Heck, we all fill our lives with things we don’t need.
    Now guns are quite a bit different, but as a responsible adult I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to own a few guns. In fact, if your average citizen isn’t capable of owning a gun without putting others at risk we have a much bigger problem than the guns. And from the US point of view it can indeed look like that is the case, but I maintain that it’s the complete lack of regulation and control that’s the biggest problem.
    I own my guns under very strict rules, and I rather enjoy that. My guns are a reward for being a law-abiding, responsible adult, and I can’t really do anything
    bad without risking my permit being revoked. And since I enjoy my hobby quite a lot I make damn sure they won’t have any reason to do that.
    Freedom means responsibility. That’s the problem with your 2. Amendment, it doesn’t include any responsibilities.

  51. says

    Sure, and I don’t pretend it’s a perfect analogy. But both cases involve a significant potential for death and injury to others. Difference is that in the US you need a license to drive, and if you abuse this right it can be revoked. You can even go to jail without having hurt another person, exposing others to unreasonable risk is enough.
    And guess what, most people can handle this level of responsibility just fine. I don’t see why this shouldn’t apply to guns as well, in fact it is how it’s done where I live and I’ll dare say it does work.

    If one looks a bit at the numbers (the Harvard study for instance) one will see that the correlation between gun density and crime levels is pretty weak. I’m not saying that guns aren’t part of the problem, but it’s clearly not the whole issue. I’ll gladly admit that changing the underlying causes of violence is much harder than going after guns, and that unregulated access to guns is a horrific idea. But pulling that old “No True Scotsman” argument over the whole concept of responsible gun ownership is getting a bit tiresome when Europe has proven that it’s achievable.

  52. Anri says

    Erlend Meyer @ 62:

    If one looks a bit at the numbers (the Harvard study for instance) one will see that the correlation between gun density and crime levels is pretty weak.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the correlation between death via gunshot and the presence of a gun is fairly high. It might be a case of correlation without causation, of course.

  53. says

    Erlend Meyer #62

    If one looks a bit at the numbers (the Harvard study for instance) one will see that the correlation between gun density and crime levels is pretty weak.

    Now look at the correlation between gun density and gun-related crime. Compare, say, the US to the UK.

    If you want to shoot at targets on a range, you don’t need a weapon capable of killing with ease in order to do so. If you need to hunt for food, then you have a need for such a weapon, not a want. If you want to hunt for sport, you’re a barbarian.

    I seen no more justification for people being allowed to own lethal and easily concealed, easy-to-use weapons merely because they want them, than I do for them to be allowed to stockpile anthrax merely because they want to.

  54. A Masked Avenger says

    christopherphillips, #52:

    Let me conjure up a vision for you, where people do not have guns, where only a few highly trained police have firearms…

    See, that’s the problem right there. I’d like to repeal the 2nd Amendment, but that would leave us with the gaping problem that people assume it’s OK for government agents to be armed. I’d only support the repeal if it included language disarming police and soldiers–with the only exception being to break out the arms if our borders were actually under attack.

    “Highly trained police” are a fucking myth. I work in law enforcement. I recently passed my annual qualification. I passed with a perfect score, but do you know what it takes to pass? You can pass if you can fire 60 rounds, getting 46 into a human silhouette, even if the other 14 all hit bystanders in the head.

    Please believe me: if you see a cop fondling his firearm, get behind something steel or concrete. Failing that, try to stay directly behind him. Anyone standing in front of him is in some danger.

    We don’t want the people who gave us stop-and-frisk, disproportionate incarceration of minorities, paramilitary execution of warrants, not to mention foreign invasions, torture, and drone killings, going around armed amongst decent people.

  55. says

    Daz #64: Now look at the correlation between gun density and gun-related crime

    So, your objection is not being killed but being killed by a gun? Either way:

    In fact, the numbers presented in the Harvard study support the contention that among the nations studied, those with more gun control tend toward higher death rates.
    @ Avenger #65:
    Is it impossible to imagine a system that sets a higher standard? That screens potential officers more carefully and has stricter rules for the use of violence? Do you really think you’re so fucking special? That you’re the only one with some morals and standards? Please…

  56. chigau (違う) says

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    Put the stuff you are quoting between the blockquotes

  57. says

    So, your objection is not being killed but being killed by a gun?

    Where did I say this?

    A gun provides an extremely easy way to kill, and has no use but killing or target-shooting. The latter being possible with weapons not powerful enough to kill, or—as in archery (which also takes much more skill and practice)—cumbersome enough that they’d be inconvenient. I repeat: I see no reason why people should be allowed to own such dangerous and unnecessary machines merely because they want them.

    In fact, the numbers presented in the Harvard study support the contention that among the nations studied, those with more gun control tend toward higher death rates.

    Since I mentioned comparing the UK and the US regarding gun-control, I checked their comparative mortality rates. They’re within 0.001% of each other. For all intents and purposes, equal.

    That aside, does the Harvard study show a causative relationship?

  58. says

    @Daz #69 Re; causative relationship: Not that I’m aware of. It’s a vast subject with few simple answers and even fewer simple solutions. Getting some control on the access to guns would be an obvious place to start, but it will take time before that has any effect. It’s been 70 years since WW2, and we’re still seeing guns from that time surfacing.

    As for bans, I think people should be given a fair chance of proving that they are capable of the responsibility. Given your situation I can see that many would claim it’s a proven fact that they can not, but if you look to Europe it’s not as obvious.
    I like to think that most people are good and responsible, so why shouldn’t such a person be able to own a potentially dangerous object? I have never thought of using my guns in anger, and I don’t consider myself special or superior to the rest of the population. We have the highest household gun ownership rate in western Europe, and still the lowest homicide rates. And firearms (legal AND illegal) are only used in a minority of the cases.

    Would a complete ban save lives? Sure, a few. And who am I to say that my hobby is more important than their lives? It’s a tricky question, I’ll agree. But any freedom comes with risks for both one self and others, we all accept that. And I can think of a lot of freedoms that costs more lives every year than guns around here. And it seems like most people here agree with me on this, even after the Utøya-massacre our attitude toward guns hasn’t changed much.

  59. says

    As for bans, I think people should be given a fair chance of proving that they are capable of the responsibility. Given your situation I can see that many would claim it’s a proven fact that they can not, but if you look to Europe it’s not as obvious

    This may sound odd but I don’t think a ban necessarily means one cannot be licensed to carry. After all there are many banned or controlled substances and chemicals that people can be licensed to wield. An old lab I worked at had permission to handle and use DDT for research for example.

    Don’t see any reason why the default shouldn’t be a ban save for people who have applied and been licensed to use the equipment. Treat it at least as we would a car or airplane

  60. says

    @Ing #71: I would call that reasonable regulation, not a ban. And the word “ban” will surely get every gun owner in opposition, even those that would support reasonable regulations. I have a feeling that the NRA has managed to con the reasonable middle (you still have those, right?) onto their side, question is how to make them understand that they’ve been conned…

  61. dianne says

    As for bans, I think people should be given a fair chance of proving that they are capable of the responsibility.

    Why not require them to demonstrate training and basic competence up front? We don’t give people a chance to prove that they’re responsible with cars, we require them to demonstrate knowledge of the rules of the road and competence in a car before getting a license. And we require them to carry insurance in case something goes wrong. We don’t give people a chance to prove that they can prescribe cytarabine responsibly, we require them to go to medical school, residency, and fellowship, pass licensing exams and boards, and maintain insurance in case something goes wrong before we allow them to prescribe cytarabine. Why not require training and licensing for people who wish to have guns rather than just assuming that they are until they kill someone?

  62. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    I like to think that most people are good and responsible, so why shouldn’t such a person be able to own a potentially dangerous object?

    Apply this “logic” to owning a surface to a rocket launcher, a surface to air missile, or a nuclear weapon.

  63. says

    Oops, didn’t preview that well. Let’s try again:
    Erlend Meyer:

    I like to think that most people are good and responsible, so why shouldn’t such a person be able to own a potentially dangerous object?

    Apply this “logic” to owning to a rocket launcher, a surface to air missile, or a nuclear weapon.

  64. says

    To be honest, my hobby is guns in general. I’ve been a competitive shooter with handguns (among others IPSC), and a hunter for more than 20 years, but I also enjoy gunsmithing and similar work. In fact this interest has significantly affected my career change I’m currently working on (mechanical engineering), so it’s not just an idle hobby.

    To me the interest lies with firearms. I know there is a large scene competing with air guns, but they just don’t interest me. This is also limited to static range shooting, while I like the challenges of variable ranges, short time and a bit of recoil to combat. It’s a completely different sport altogether, and it’s hard to explain why one prefers one to another. I just do, and it’s not something I can simply choose to change.

  65. says

    @ Tony # 76: Reductio ad absurdum, eh? Well, it’s a fair point, you have to draw the line somewhere. Here it’s currently drawn on full-automatic weapons and anything with explosive or significant armor piercing capabilities. You also need a legitimate use, so a number of guns and calibers are excluded as there are no legal hunting or sporting uses for them.

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

    @Erlend Meyer:

    I think Tony! was trying to get a discussion going of what reasoning you would use to draw the line, not merely a concession that a line must be drawn.

    That reasoning, whatever it is, is the answer to your own question,

    …why shouldn’t such a [good and responsible] person be able to own a potentially dangerous object?

  67. says

    Actually I think he’s trying to distort the discussion by using reductio ad absurdum. To follow his own logic; since we don’t allow missiles in private hands, shouldn’t model rockets also be banned? And what about knives? They’re basically short swords, and I’m pretty sure they were first invented as a weapon.

    Society isn’t always perfectly logically coherent, nor do I think it should be.

    As for missiles, you do realize that civilians do have access to such weapons? Who do you think manufacture them? Civilian companies. And they also fire such weapons during development and testing. So what was the argument again?

  68. says

    Yeah, as Tony seems to be, I’m interested in where the line would be. I can see the fascination with the mechanics, but then there’s lots of intricate mechanical things in this world which aren’t made for killing. I can also see the “tameness” and lack of range of air-powered guns being a factor. But if it’s a test of skill and aim you’re after, why fire-arms? They’re easy to use. Have you tried the longbow? They’re much harder to hit a target with than a modern fire-arm, and the amount of skill and practice involved would surely make up for any loss of range. They also tend to be very hard to fire by accident, and even harder to conceal and carry whilst committing robbery, etc.

    And please stop calling guns “potentially” dangerous. They are dangerous. They’re made to be dangerous.

  69. rossthompson says

    Let me conjure up a vision for you, where people do not have guns, where only a few highly trained police have firearms…


    “Highly trained police” are a fucking myth.

    I agree that the average armed police officer in America is not highly trained, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few highly trained officers be issued guns, and the rest unarmed. This is basically the system across most of Europe, where the qualifications for a police officer to join an armed response unit are far, far more stringent than you describe.

  70. toska says

    Erlend Meyer,

    To follow his own logic; since we don’t allow missiles in private hands, shouldn’t model rockets also be banned?

    Nope! In fact, no one is trying to ban paintball guns, bb guns, laser tag, or any other toy that is gun-shaped but far, far less deadly. It’s the deadly part that matters. When model rockets kill and maim tens of thousands of people per year, we’ll talk about it.

    As for missiles, you do realize that civilians do have access to such weapons? Who do you think manufacture them? Civilian companies. And they also fire such weapons during development and testing. So what was the argument again?

    Government contracted companies =/= private citizens. Try buying one of those weapons from those “civilian companies” as a private citizen and see how far you get.

  71. says

    Daz: It’s not as simple as that. Why does someone enjoy collecting butterflies while another enjoys stamps? Do you think a stamp collector can simply swap interest? I’ve tried both compound and recurve bows, and besides from a dodgy shoulder it just doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t explain why, it just doesn’t. Same with air guns, although I might build me one just for the fun of it and to have a plinker I can use outside the range.
    For me one of the most important part of shooting now has to be the reloading and gunsmithing. It’s meticulous work, and there is no limit to how anal one can be. Chronographs, pressure measurements, careful weighing, sorting brass or even reforming brass from other rounds. Then it’s off to the range to test accuracy and performance then back to the loading bench to adjust the load based on the results. Or perhaps fit a new barrel to a rifle from scratch. There is something quite rewarding about doing every piece of work including the finish on your own and end up with a great shooter.

    Now I realize this probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it does to me.

    BTW, did you know that a modern bow or crossbow can penetrate a bulletproof west better than most handguns? And they’re still weapons, so why not ban them as well?

  72. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    @ Tony # 76: Reductio ad absurdum, eh? Well, it’s a fair point, you have to draw the line somewhere. Here it’s currently drawn on full-automatic weapons and anything with explosive or significant armor piercing capabilities.

    Yes, it’s a fair point. I’m trying to understand where you draw the line at weaponry that people should be allowed to have, and what your rationale is for that. Is your rationale based on the potential for destruction, the loss of life, the impact on non-combatants, or something else?

    ****

    Crip Dyke:

    I think Tony! was trying to get a discussion going of what reasoning you would use to draw the line, not merely a concession that a line must be drawn.

    Yes. That’s exactly it.
    There are reasons civilians shouldn’t have certain weapons. Why can we have access to some weapons, but not others? Where is the line drawn between weapons civilians can possess and those they cannot? How is the line determined? Should the line be redrawn?

    ****
    Erlend Meyer:
    My understanding of reductio ad absurdum is not that great, so I must look it up:

    Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”; pl.: reductiones ad absurdum), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin: argument to absurdity), is a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial,[1] or in turn to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance. First recognized and studied in classical Greek philosophy (the Latin term derives from the Greek “εις άτοπον απαγωγή” or eis atopon apagoge, “reduction to the impossible”, for example in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics),[1] this technique has been used throughout history in both formal mathematical and philosophical reasoning, as well as informal debate.

    (source)

    From what I understand of this fallacious type of argument, it doesn’t appear I’m employing this. I’m not making an argument about anything being right or wrong. I’m seeking to understand what your justifications are for owning certain weapons but not others.

    Actually I think he’s trying to distort the discussion by using reductio ad absurdum. To follow his own logic; since we don’t allow missiles in private hands, shouldn’t model rockets also be banned? And what about knives? They’re basically short swords, and I’m pretty sure they were first invented as a weapon.

    Perhaps after read my above comments, you’ll have a better understanding of my point. I’m not at all trying to distort the conversation.
    For instance, can the arguments against civilians owning a rocket launcher be used to argue against civilians owning AR-15s? Are the arguments similar at all? Why is there a distinction made between weapons you can own, and those you cannot?

    As for missiles, you do realize that civilians do have access to such weapons? Who do you think manufacture them? Civilian companies. And they also fire such weapons during development and testing. So what was the argument again?

    I think this is absurd. Civilians do not have access to missiles in the way they do guns. That’s my point. Why can civilians make use of guns in their everyday lives if they so choose, but the cannot do the same with missiles, or rocket launchers? What is the justification for drawing a line?
    I think the line is entirely arbitrary. When looked at in terms of the capacity for death and destruction, I can see someone making the argument that certain weapons are simply too dangerous for an individual to possess due to their destructive nature. Of course that just opens the door to criticisms of acceptable levels of death and destruction (i.e. how many human deaths are acceptable and where do we draw the line?)

  73. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    BTW, did you know that a modern bow or crossbow can penetrate a bulletproof west better than most handguns? And they’re still weapons, so why not ban them as well?

    Objection!
    We are not discussing the banning of weapons (at least I’m not; I’m trying to figure out why Erlend Meyer supports owning certain weapons but not others).
    Also, this is an unjustified comparison. If the bow n arrow or crossbows were to take the lives of tens of thousands of people per year, then this would be a fair comparison.

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

    @Erlend Meyer:

    you asked the question of why something dangerous should be forbidden to someone “good and responsible”.

    I’m good and responsible. If I want to keep a hundred kilograms of metallic sodium in a glass container because I think it’s pretty, why shouldn’t I be able to?

    It’s not a missile after all.

    This may well be characterized as reductio ad absurdum. Reductio ad absurdum is a tactic of argumentation. It’s meant to prove something true or false by showing that the opposite would lead to something obviously untrue.

    “Some things aren’t blue” would be proven false by asserting that all things are blue…and then showing the consequences of that assertion.

    I believe Tony! probably does believe that your argument, “good and responsible people should be allowed to own things despite dangers those things may present,” is false, and wants his readers to believe the converse. I believe Tony! probably does believe that your argument leads to ridiculous conclusions – as do you, since you concede “line drawing is necessary,” which amounts to saying, “my criterion doesn’t actually work, so at some point I have to openly acknowledge the use of other criteria.”

    But I do in fact also believe that many questions asked on these threads are PRATTs. Regulars get tired of responding at length to these. Combine this with a level of thought on your part far beyond that of a troll, and I think Tony! is showing you the respect of believing that you can, in fact, answer your own question.

    This saves his time and provides you with the information you need.

    Really. This is a mark of respect, not reductio ad absurdum -which, btw, is an argument and not a fallacy anyway, so I don’t know why you mention it unless you’re trying to refute its thrust. And since you’ve conceded on that point, one begins to wonder if you really do understand that this is a legitimate argument and not a fallacy. One wonders if you do understand that it gets tiresome dealing with PRATTs. One wonders if you’ll think about this and answer your question and give Tony!’s comment a response worthy of it.

    One can only hope.

  75. says

    Tony:

    Also, this is an unjustified comparison. If the bow n arrow or crossbows were to take the lives of tens of thousands of people per year, then this would be a fair comparison.

    We’re bow owners, compound and recurve. Bows are highly regulated. You can’t even target shoot on your own property unless you happen to own a serious fucktonne of land, because of the potential for accidentally shooting someone.

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

    @Tony!

    From what I understand of this fallacious type of argument, it doesn’t appear I’m employing this.

    Common misconception, apparently shared by Erlend Meyer: reductio isn’t fallacious.

    Something can’t actually be true if it provably leads to falsehood, even in rare cases.

    “all swans have two feet” can’t be true even if there is only a single case of a birth defect or a hunting (hunted?) injury.

    “Good and responsible people should be able to own things regardless of the dangers inherent in the things themselves” is proven untrue even if the only example coming readily to mind is, “Good and responsible people shouldn’t own MIRV-ICBMs with total yields in excess of 50 Mt.”

    If there is, in fact, agreement that good and responsible people shouldn’t own MIRV-ICBMs with total yields in excess of 50 Mt, then obviously not only is the statement false, but there must be some other criterion or criteria being used here. The fact that you wish Erlend to understand that doesn’t actually mean your statement doesn’t form a reductio.

    But since reductio isn’t a fallacy, the use of it also isn’t a problem.

    Erlend is on about something here, but danged if I can figure out what.

  77. says

    Erlend Meyer #84

    Yeah, I get that you find it interesting an’ all. From a purely mechanical point of view, I find the arrangement of moving parts quite fascinating. It’s still a piece of machinery made with the singular purpose of killing, though, and I don’t see why your or my fascination with it as an object in its own right should mean we should be allowed to own them. The physics of shaped charges and modern high explosives are also fascinating, but I see no rush to allow the average person to stockpile C4.

    BTW, did you know that a modern bow or crossbow can penetrate a bulletproof west better than most handguns? And they’re still weapons, so why not ban them as well?

    Yeah, I was looking that up just now. Apparently “A flight arrow of a professional archer of Edward III’s time would reach 400 yds.” So, bearing in mind that longbowmen of that time had to put in hundreds of hours of practice, I phoned an ex Royal Marine friend. “How long does it take to reach reasonable accuracy with a modern rifle at that kind of range?”, I asked him. He reckons, if you’re intelligent enough to follow instructions, you should be able to attain reasonable accuracy after firing well under (his words) fifty rounds, though you’d obviously need to fire a handful (his word again) a week to stay in practice.

    Yeah, that’s a real test of skill.</sarcasm>

    As to your question, I guess that’s kinda where I draw the line Tony was hinting at. A longbow is hard to shoot, hard to learn to shoot, single-shot, relatively (compared to fire-arms) slow to reload, inconvenient and cumbersome for casual use, and extremely hard to conceal.

  78. says

    Fine, I’ll drop the ad absurdum-line. I might have read Tony! wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that.

    You want me to draw a clear and logically consistent line? I can’t. Happy? But if you think about most things that are regulated the lines are often fairly arbitrary. Consider the speed limits, do you think these are chosen with any absolute logic? It’s a compromise like almost anything else in life. We all accept some risks in life, this is pretty evident from the fact that as cars get safer the speed increases. People don’t want absolute safety, they want reasonable safety with a good measure of comfort and freedom.

    Don’t forget that we’re talking from two quite different realities. The firearm homicide rate here is something like 50 times lower than the US. Here guns aren’t anywhere near the primary cause of death, it’s not even the weapon of choice (knifes are). And we still allow both handguns and assault rifles under strict regulation.

    I’m not saying it’s perfect, nothing ever is. But with 1 in 3 homes having a firearm for either hunting or sport it’s clear that this has value for a large portion of the population. Remember that life is about more than just survival, isn’t the US motto “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”? If you think that these can be achieved inn full without any sort of compromise you haven’t thought it through.

  79. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    Don’t forget that we’re talking from two quite different realities. The firearm homicide rate here is something like 50 times lower than the US. Here guns aren’t anywhere near the primary cause of death, it’s not even the weapon of choice (knifes are). And we still allow both handguns and assault rifles under strict regulation.

    I’m not sure where “here” is, but the US needs to institute stricter regulation of firearms. That’s my point. Too many people are dying, and lax regulations are helping that trend.

    But with 1 in 3 homes having a firearm for either hunting or sport it’s clear that this has value for a large portion of the population. Remember that life is about more than just survival, isn’t the US motto “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”? If you think that these can be achieved inn full without any sort of compromise you haven’t thought it through.

    I’d be more willing to discuss the value of using firearms in non human killing ways if the numbers of firearm related injuries and deaths were far lower. But in the US, they aren’t. Public safety *should* override notions of “but I want them to pursue my happiness”. Sadly, that’s not the case.

  80. says

    Just to point out:

    I’ve been arguing that guns should be blanket-banned, except for those who can show need, not want. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to the impracticality of such a stance in the USA. I’m arguing a principle.

    Regarding speed-limits; movement, often by motor-vehicle, is a necessity in modern countries. The speed limit is an attempt to weigh that need against safety concerns. Hardly anyone needs fire-arms. The two things are not analogous.

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

    You want me to draw a clear and logically consistent line? I can’t. Happy?

    hell no. I would be much happier if you could draw such a line, if you could clearly articulate the process by which you draw the line and which dictates the ultimate position of each point on the line and which things lie on which side of the line. Then we could talk about that process and the outcomes it dictates and whether we agree that this is the best line-drawing process.
    Then we would be having a good conversation.

    “Good people should be free to own dangerous things,” is so patently insufficient it doesn’t even serve to start a productive conversation, and when said as if it is wisdom, to people who’ve read such naive statements many times, it’s also frustrating.

    So, are we happy you can’t draw a line?

    In a word:

    Of course fucking not.

    … It’s a compromise like almost anything else in life.

    Between what and what? Balanced how? “It’s like everything else” is a pretty trivial and unhelpful statement.

    I agree that bacteria are just like all other life. If you’re trying to identify bacteria, this helps you how?

    We all accept some risks in life, this is pretty evident from the fact that as cars get safer the speed increases. People don’t want absolute safety, they want reasonable safety with a good measure of comfort and freedom.

    No. People **want** absolute safety while also wanting a good measure of comfort and freedom. “Safe” is a concept that contains no regard for the other. I do not want to be safe…unless someone feels my actions are threatening, in which case they’re free to kill me in “self-defense”. Why? I would never attack someone unjustified – thus if I ever attack, the other party couldn’t be acting in self defense. It’s just obvious! Such is the thinking of “safe”. This is what makes it easy for the gun fondlers who think of themselves as “good and responsible” to advocate draconian regulation for others (I frequently hear people suggest that persons should be required to be certified sane before being permitted to own or maintain possession of a firearm). It is also why we must have to create concepts such as “rights” or “torts” to limit one person’s concept of “safe” enough so that it doesn’t threaten the rest of us. Otherwise, we would be making decisions in a context where the psychological split between “us” and “them” allows us to imagine all the discomfiting things and burdens in our “safe” will fall on the heads of “them” while all their safe will belong to “us”.

    This is why it is so useful to determine how one goes about drawing the line. It is otherwise quite easy for human beings afflicted with known, error-prone heuristics to imagine that one’s pronouncements are perfectly “balanced” when in fact the balance turns out to be the legislator gets the safety, the others get the burdens and impositions. The legislator accepts “burdens” that the legislator does not actually find burdensome – and that’s no balance at all.

    The only way, then, to move forward is to talk about how we go about doing the deciding.

    If you would like to do so, you’re welcome to make a contribution.

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

    Also, the US motto:

    e pluribus unum

    The “e” is not silent, but the pronounced “g” is invisible.

  83. says

    Daz:

    Regarding speed-limits; movement, often by motor-vehicle, is a necessity in modern countries. The speed limit is an attempt to weigh that need against safety concerns. Hardly anyone needs fire-arms. The two things are not analogous.

    A thought just occurred to me-in many of the gun conversations I’ve read at Pharyngula, we often get people comparing gun ownership to owning cars. People seem to conflate the two as if they’re similar. As you rightly point out, they aren’t analogous. I wonder if the larger discussion of guns in society (in the US at least) has become tainted so much so that people don’t respect guns as the weapons of death and destruction they are. Many people seem to view them as tools at best and toys at worst, and pay no mind to their destructive nature. Almost as if there’s been a national dumbing down of gun discourse. I also wonder-should gun legislation be written with rectifying this ignorance in mind? Should people be able to demonstrate that they understand what guns are, how dangerous they can be, the potential impact guns can have on the individual, their family, and society in general (along with meeting various other qualifications)? If you don’t understand that guns are more dangerous than a car, or if you don’t understand that cars are used by the vast majority of society for transportation purposes, while firearms are *not* needed by the vast majority of society and do not have any function beyond death and destruction (thus limiting their utility to the public at large), then maybe you’re not the responsible gun owner you think you are.

  84. says

    Tony! #93:

    I’d be more willing to discuss the value of using firearms in non human killing ways if the numbers of firearm related injuries and deaths were far lower

    I expect you aren’t alone in that. You guys have serious problems with guns, problems that must be addressed if the average citizen is to have a reasonable quality of life. What I’m trying to point out is that a total ban isn’t necessarily required to achieve that, and I fear that crying for a ban might actually be counterproductive. Either way, I do hope you can sort this mess out sooner rather than later.

  85. says

    Tony!

    Almost as if there’s been a national dumbing down of gun discourse. I also wonder-should gun legislation be written with rectifying this ignorance in mind?

    I do wonder if people applying for a gun-licence should be made to sit and view pictures and film of actual gunshot wounds. No matter how often they’re told, I still get the feeling most people are informed more by Hollywood than real life.

  86. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    Sadly that applies to both sides, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation from the anti-gun/pro-regulation side as well.

    I’ve not seen this misinformation from the pro regulation side that you speak of. Do you have any links?

  87. anteprepro says

    Erlend Meyer 80.

    Actually I think he’s trying to distort the discussion by using reductio ad absurdum. To follow his own logic; since we don’t allow missiles in private hands, shouldn’t model rockets also be banned?

    If you think that is actually a half-way decent argument, you are a terrible fucking human being.

    And what about knives? They’re basically short swords, and I’m pretty sure they were first invented as a weapon.

    Knives have a practical purpose that guns do not and knives aren’t nearly as dangerous of a weapon as guns. Really. This is bog standard gun apologetics bullshit that you are spewing.

    Society isn’t always perfectly logically coherent, nor do I think it should be.

    That’s great for you. Some of us actually want life to improve, though.

    As for missiles, you do realize that civilians do have access to such weapons? Who do you think manufacture them? Civilian companies. And they also fire such weapons during development and testing. So what was the argument again?

    Regulation of who can purchase and use them? Just like with missiles? Really, you are just proving Tony’s point.

    84:

    Do you think a stamp collector can simply swap interest? I’ve tried both compound and recurve bows, and besides from a dodgy shoulder it just doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t explain why, it just doesn’t. Same with air guns, although I might build me one just for the fun of it and to have a plinker I can use outside the range.

    Don’t give a shit. If you can’t have less dangerous hobby, then have no hobby. Fuck you and your interests then. Your purported inability to change hobbies does not justify the existence and proliferation of guns.

    BTW, did you know that a modern bow or crossbow can penetrate a bulletproof west better than most handguns? And they’re still weapons, so why not ban them as well?

    They basically are, you dumbfuck. They are more heavily controlled than guns! For fuck’s, in Massachusetts where I live, one of the states with better gun control, you can still get gun permits and conceal carry and shit, but it is blanket illegal to own blowguns and shuriken and shit like that. You are talking right out of your ass.

    92:

    You want me to draw a clear and logically consistent line? I can’t. Happy? But if you think about most things that are regulated the lines are often fairly arbitrary.

    Hiding in relativism. Typical.

    Consider the speed limits, do you think these are chosen with any absolute logic? It’s a compromise like almost anything else in life. We all accept some risks in life, this is pretty evident from the fact that as cars get safer the speed increases. People don’t want absolute safety, they want reasonable safety with a good measure of comfort and freedom.

    Do you think that we are currently have that?

    Don’t forget that we’re talking from two quite different realities. The firearm homicide rate here is something like 50 times lower than the US. Here guns aren’t anywhere near the primary cause of death, it’s not even the weapon of choice (knifes are). And we still allow both handguns and assault rifles under strict regulation.

    So you are tut-tutting the arguments against guns and thus in favor of better gun control policies in a country where that is incredibly necessary, from the position of someone in a country where you DO have good gun control and thus the gun situation is completely different? WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR POINT!? What the actual fuck are you trying to even do here!?

    Remember that life is about more than just survival, isn’t the US motto “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?

    And like most wingnuts, you prioritize Liberty over Life for some fucking reason. Freedom for the elite few trumps life and happiness of the many. Because “life is about more than just survival”. Therefore, fuck making sure people can live!

    Fuck you, Erlend Meyer.

  88. anteprepro says

    Sadly that applies to both sides, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation from the anti-gun/pro-regulation side as well.

    And fuck your “BOTH SIDES” bullshit.

  89. says

    @ Tony! #101: Not really. It’s just an endless line of small and major misconceptions that just blur into one. But that applies to both sides, i wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. Also, I’m a nerd and can be annoyed by details…

    I’ve gone back to the initial topic of this thread, and I do find the lack of specific meaning of “responsible” rather discomforting. The fact that there’s no clear definition of what responsible actually means is troubling on more than one level. And in essence it boils down to quite basic beliefs and values. What does one include in the concept of freedom? And what are you willing to sacrifice that freedom. Does one at some point just end up buying the illusion of security? Isn’t that what we’re discussing here?

  90. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    I’ve gone back to the initial topic of this thread, and I do find the lack of specific meaning of “responsible” rather discomforting.

    Going back to the OP, the quoted material contains a definition of responsibility. Not saying I agree with it, but there it is.

  91. says

    That’s somebody’s definition. Not saying I disagree with those principles, but some in here believes that owning a gun in it self is irresponsible while there are others that honestly believe that not having a gun for home protection is irresponsible. And I cannot agree with either side.
    I’ll gladly admit that I am willing to trade some level of security, not only for myself but also for others fore some freedom. Does that really make me a bad person?

  92. anteprepro says

    I’ll gladly admit that I am willing to trade some level of security, not only for myself but also for others fore some freedom. Does that really make me a bad person?

    In the context of discussion of US politics, where there is basically NO security? Yes, it makes you fucking terrible. Or just a fucking intentionally distracting, obfuscating shitheel otherwise.

  93. says

    Erlend Meyer

    I’ve gone back to the initial topic of this thread, and I do find the lack of specific meaning of “responsible” rather discomforting.

    It’s a play on words, but not meant humorously. Responsible journalism, responsible dog owner, responsible gun owner; they all take the secondary meaning of the word: “showing good judgement.”

    PZ is saying, and he’s right, that gun owners should also take the primary meaning: that they should be willing to be accountable for the consequences of their weapon’s use or misuse.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does that really make me a bad person?

    If somebody dies unnecessarily due to that decision, yes. Why do you think otherwise. The only intrinsically safe gun is the unloaded and open one. Never, ever, forget that in your meanderings.

  95. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    @ Tony! #101: Not really. It’s just an endless line of small and major misconceptions that just blur into one. But that applies to both sides, i wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. Also, I’m a nerd and can be annoyed by details…

    If you can be annoyed by the details, then you should be able to provide the details to back up your opinions. You stated that

    Sadly that applies to both sides, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation from the anti-gun/pro-regulation side as well.

    If you’ve seen a lot of misinformation from advocates of gun regulation, then point it out. How is this misinformation applicable to a discussion about gun regulation? If people are genuinely giving misinformation, it is in the best interests of all involved to correct them, no matter what side of the ideological fence they sit on. Trying to improve the world is better served by effective arguments and accurate information. I’m not going to take your word for it, when you’re employing the “both sides do it” argument. For me to believe that “both sides do it” (i.e. offer misinformation), I need evidence. What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  96. says

    To further this (and explained in this);

    Guns are a machine designed very admirably in doing their job. That job is to make things that are alive be no longer ensouled. That machine is called, topically, a “weapon”.

    Guns are also technically a tool. The name we *give* to tools with only the function to make alive things desouled is “weapon”.

    So lets quell any pedantic bullshit right there, alright? A gun is a weapon, ergo it should be classed with other machines or tools that are *also* classed as a weapon. However, a gun is *only* a weapon. Find me an actual not bullshit use of a gun as a non-weapon tool (and to avoid further pendants, not this does *not* include effects of the gun as a mechanical force that puts holes in things. You can use a nail clippings and your terrible halitosis to kill someone, it does not make nail clippings, and bacteria (though of course bacteria is *sometimes a weapon don’t be a pedant), weapons *in general* on the level of a gun, artillery piece, or spetum) and I will send you 100$ in shinny Canadian fake money. Therefore, as an *only weapon* classed machine or tool, it should *also* be considered, legally and morally and in reality, only among non-other-uses weapons.

    So, find me a reasoning (outside of the second amendment, if you please) that justifies a gun being better justified than an English longbow? Or a modern hunting bow? A short sword, like about 18-24 inches?

    Fuck, those would be safer. An amateur gladius enthusiast never killed a twelve year standing fifteen meters away because he was showing off for a crowd.

    Outside of the smegargling second amendment, give me one reasonable argument why an automobile (a machine and tool for transportation which is involved in many accidental and criminal deaths, to be sure) is more strongly regimented and tracked than a fucking firearm?

    I double dog dare you motherfuckers.

    It is such a baffling and utterly confounding stick I’ve often found in that otherwise fairly usual mud of the neighbours.

    It’s enough to drive a person to drink.

    Okay, I guess it’s time to read the thread.

  97. says

    @Tony! #110: I didn’t see you require the same from Daz and his initial claim. Other than that, I agree. Misconceptions can be quite damaging to the debate and should be pointed out.
    @Daz #108:
    I see you point, problem is that people cant even agree on what “good judgment” really means. Some seems to think it’s shooting an unarmed kid for being black in a white neighborhood. So what does “being accountable” entail? An absolute interpretation would punish an accidental death same as a murder, the result was after all the same.

  98. anteprepro says

    Erlend Meyer claims we need to show misinformation from the Pro-Gunz brigade? I don’t think its necessary. He has been steadily providing it to this thread.

    And, for those unfamiliar with the nym, you can find other treasure troves of gun apologetics provided by Erlend Meyer in the following handy links!

    Here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/10/your-daily-school-shooting/comment-page-1/?wpmp_switcher=mobile
    Here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/22/the-profit-margins-are-much-higher-too/comment-page-1/?wpmp_switcher=mobile
    And just a pinch here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/02/its-a-fair-fight-but-its-hard-fought/

  99. anteprepro says

    Erlend Meyer

    An absolute interpretation would punish an accidental death same as a murder, the result was after all the same.

    Indeed. That’s why you tend not to have toys lying around that are so good at accidentally killing people. And if you have vitally necessary tools that could kill people, you tend to get licensed and you tend to use such items with caution and care. Hence responsibility. Hence being responsible for injuries and deaths. Hence words meaning things.

  100. says

    Erlend Meyer #112

    An absolute interpretation would punish an accidental death same as a murder, the result was after all the same.

    Far as I’m aware, causing death as a direct result of committing a crime is, in most countries, considered murder, not manslaughter.

    Far as I’m concerned, carrying a fire-arm outside a shooting range, or when not engaged in hunting (again, laying aside my own opinion on sport-hunting) should be a crime. Letting a non-licensed person, including but not limited to a minor, handle a fire-arm should be considered a crime. If your weapon discharges “by accident,” then the person who is responsible for the weapon having been loaded—ie you—should be judged to have committed a crime.

    tld;dr? Yes, such “accidents” are murder.

    Does that make it clearer?

  101. anteprepro says

    Tashiliciously Shriked:

    oh look there was a guntubator leaving his droppings around.
    did I call it or what.

    In fairness, in these threads, it is like predicting that the sun will rise.
    Or predicting that a gun fetishist will wave their hands in defense of Gunzzz for a handful of post and turn around and say “oh, yeah, I totally support gun control, just not gun bans! Gun bans are the bad thing! Bad!” And we all fucking groan.

  102. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Erlend Meyer
    Just as I said of Wes at least three gun threads ago, you obviously do not know the gunfondlers I do, and who will probably be representing my district. Yes, a US congressional candidate in a rather badly gerrymandered district, where the last guy proclaimed “evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell” in front of a wall of deer heads, thinks civilians can own missiles and fighter jets. As others have noted: there is no safety or responsibility or reason here. Now, not even the police are allowed to demand a person produce their permit when carrying in public, so fuck right off with your ‘both sides’ bullshit.

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

    @Daz:

    1: The beer isn’t the sign! The Gourd is the sign! Follow the Gourd!

    2: No, no: the shoe is the sign. It is a sign that all Tashilicious followers, should, do likewise and remove one shoe. Then kick back and drink beer.

    1: No, no! The Gourd! All followers should always carry a gourd full of beer and drink from that!

    2: But only while wearing one shoe!

    1: We’ve healed the schism! All shall now wear one shoe and constantly drink beer from a gourd.

    Daz: But not my beer!

    Chorus: Splitter!

  104. says

    Erlend Meyer:

    @Tony! #110: I didn’t see you require the same from Daz and his initial claim. Other than that, I agree. Misconceptions can be quite damaging to the debate and should be pointed out.

    Why would I?
    I was addressing your points, not anything Daz has said.

  105. rossthompson says

    isn’t the US motto “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?

    No. It used to be E pluribus unum, but now it’s In God we trust.

  106. anteprepro says

    Imagine for a moment that you are hobbyist like myself. A nerd. A nerd who loves Dungeons and Dragons. Now, you might have dabbled in other RPGs, might like to play some board games, card games, some plain ol’ video games. But tabletop gaming, rolling those dice, that is what you always come back to. And almost always Dungeons and Dragons, with those d20s.

    Now imagine we lived in a world where polyhedral dice were, for whatever reason, inherently radioactive. And had a chance of exploding. A small chance of occuring randomly, a slightly higher chance if it strikes another die. Now, would you have Responsible Gamers? People who are so dedicated to the game that they will continue to support the mass production and sale of these dice? People who, like myself, will carry around a massive amount of dice for their games? People who will continue to play in public areas, with friends of various Responsibility levels, none of whom require any expertise or proven competence to play a game with these dice? Will you have people lobbying for their RIGHT to continue playing with these dice? And will you have people tut-tutting those at ground zero of an explosion of these dice for not taking the proper pre-cautions, when “the proper pre-cautions” do not themselves guarantee safety anyway?

    I do not think you would. I know I would stop playing. I would find a new hobby. I would move on. Because having a hobby does not justify free sale and easy possession of hazardous items. My own personal interests and level of fun and enjoyment do not trump public safety.

    But the Erlend Meyers of the world would have you believe the opposite. That their love of guns is sufficient basis to ensure that guns stick around. Why the bizarre reversal? Well, because that’s gun apologetics for ya.

  107. says

    Sure, and I don’t pretend it’s a perfect analogy. But both cases involve a significant potential for death and injury to others. Difference is that in the US you need a license to drive, and if you abuse this right it can be revoked. You can even go to jail without having hurt another person, exposing others to unreasonable risk is enough.

    Blah, blah, blah. Heh, here is an idea, when cars spontaneously start, hit the gas, and run over people, because you a) forget to set the break, or b) forget to remove the fuel, or c) you where “showing one off”, and somehow “accidentally” ran them over, then you can make this stupid argument.

    Hint: In cases you are truly as dense as you appear to be – this is exactly what was “claimed” to have taken place in this case, and the asshole was not charged anything for having had happen with his fraking gun. So, we know this *does* happen that way with a gun, unlike all the other stuff everyone keeps trying to claim is “dangerous”. Oh, that.. and there are more bloody cars than people, practically, in the US. What happens when guns reach similar parity, and literally everyone has one. The idea that this isn’t going to have an impact…

    Oh, and also.. when someone declares a gun shooting an “accident”, it doesn’t go down as a crime, right? So.. where the hell are the real statistics, which adjust for not “lowered rates of crime”, but actually deaths, including the ones that happened by “accident”? Just curious…

  108. says

    To be honest, my hobby is guns in general. I’ve been a competitive shooter with handguns (among others IPSC), and a hunter for more than 20 years, but I also enjoy gunsmithing and similar work. In fact this interest has significantly affected my career change I’m currently working on (mechanical engineering), so it’s not just an idle hobby.

    Right.. So, absolutely nothing at all that would be effected if you had to keep it locked up until competing, or only shoot it in competition ranges, or even locked in **someone else’s safe**, except when taken out to use at the range they own, or to ship to the competition. Kind of like the rules some other countries have for any gun that isn’t a hunting rifle, right?

    Yeah, somehow.. I am not expecting a, “yep, sounds good.”…

  109. jste says

    Holy fuck what is wrong with your law makers, America? From Kagehi’s link:

    PSS.. One reason police are reluctant to arrest murderers is because the law states there are financial penalties for police if the gunman is acquitted under Stand Your Ground.

    Police won’t even try for an arrest, because it’s ok to penalize police for doing their fucking jobs if turns out the shooter was not, in fact, guilty of a crime? (The sheer idiocy of deliberately shooting someone in the back not withstanding…. o.O)

  110. says

    @Kagehi: That’s basically how it is here, all guns must be stored in a certified safe. And you know what, I bought my safe years before that became a requirement.
    As for the shooting, I cannot see how that is anything but murder. If “stand your ground” protects murder like this, it’s beyond obscene. It’s grotesque. And penalizing the police if the accused is acquitted? WTF is that about?

  111. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EM, why are you haranguing us? You should be haranguing the open/concealed carry folks for not following gun safety protocols. You show us gun safety is being used by all gun owners, the cry to ban guns will diminish. Which is what you want. Now go after the open/concealed carry folks, and leave us alone.

  112. says

    @Erlend Meyer:

    I don’t want to go all “Courtier’s Reply” on you, but seriously, STFU.

    You do not live in the United States. You do not have to worry about United States’ laws that allow idiots to walk around open carry / concealed and endanger folks. You do not have to worry about a culture that embraces avoidable gun deaths as the price of doing business.

    Go home, no one asked you for your opinion on the matter.

  113. Esteleth is Groot says

    Jebus Tapdancing Christ.

    EM lives in a country where guns are tightly regulated and must be kept secured.

    And he’s going on about American efforts to introduce regulations like that are wrong, because “freedom.”

    My head hurts.

  114. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re “Stand Your Ground”:
    from Daily Kos:

    Colt Thriemer and Thomas J Brown got into a fist fight at a Walmart Parking Lot. There were several witnesses who say that the victim, Thomas Brown, was walking away afterwards to his car when Colt Thriemer shot Thomas Brown after retrieving a handgun. Mr. Brown was shot 10 times at fairly close range both in the back while he was walking away and then when he turned towards Mr. Thriemer after being shot, apparently pleading him to stop. Mr. Thriemer then fled the scene.

    When he was apprehended, he did what all murderers do now in Florida: claim he was in “fear for his life”. The prosecutor agreed.

    I’ll just leave that here. SYG is a perfect example of a “good” law with unforeseen consequences. A “nice idea”, gone totally wrong.
    [smirk]Must be why “open carry” is not in Florida, with SYG active. “A man walked into this McD’s with guns out in the open; I was scared for my life, I had to shoot him.” …[/smirk]

  115. says

    TS @111

    Guns are a machine designed very admirably in doing their job. That job is to make things that are alive be no longer ensouled. That machine is called, topically, a “weapon”.
    Guns are also technically a tool. The name we *give* to tools with only the function to make alive things desouled is “weapon”.

    Repeated for the importance of the point. This is exactly why I facepalm when people compare cars to guns. If you want to compare the regulation of guns to the regulation of something else, compare it to other weapons. What sort of restrictions are sensible for crossbows, longbows, broadswords, shuriken, or nunchaku and how do these restrictions compare with guns? If there’s a difference, what is the justification for that difference?

    I’d say guns should be more restricted than those weapons because they make it a lot easier to kill someone with an accidental finger motion. The one that comes closest to a gun is the crossbow, and even then, it’s generally easy to see at a glance if it’s drawn and loaded. To kill someone with a broadsword, you have to put a fair bit of muscle into it. The relative ease of killing someone with a gun also means that it’s easy for someone with a short temper to act on it.

    A point PZ made a while back resonates with me: We want there to be several lines of defense in place before someone feels the need to carry a gun to defend themselves. Saying that we need to be able to carry guns in public is essentially a selfish abdication of responsibility for improving society’s safety. We want a form of regulation that cuts off would-be shooters on the logistic and strategic levels using the general public’s resources and division of labor. We shouldn’t all be burdened with tactical training and gun safety because some of us want to do other things with our time. I want law enforcement agencies to prevent and deter crime so that I don’t have to. Just like I want farmers to produce food so that I don’t have to. Just like I want doctors and researchers to do the medical science so I don’t have to do my own double-blind control studies before feeling confident about buying a bottle of Pepto Bismol.

  116. says

    I’ll just leave that here. SYG is a perfect example of a “good” law with unforeseen consequences. A “nice idea”, gone totally wrong.

    This is a “good law” gone bad? Seriously? Because I always saw it as a bit like handing free boxes of matches to an entire state’s preschool population, then being surprised that some of them burned down their houses. Its not a good law is the abuse of it is both ***obvious*** and ***inevitable***.

  117. says

    @ Esteleth #136: That is completely untrue, I have never opposed sensible regulation. Even though I have a life-long interest in guns I wouldn’t want to live in a place with little or no regulation, the problems you guys are having proves that beyond any doubt.

    The only thing I’ve objected to is the irrational hate for guns and the need for a complete ban. And my reason for this is simple: I consider most people basically good and decent and capable of owning dangerous tings like guns without putting others in harms way. Maybe that’s naive, but I need to have some faith in humanity. I also happen to live in a place where guns are plentiful without the same problems you’re having, isn’t that a good thing to add to the discussion? Doesn’t that prove that a reasonable compromise is achievable?

    I couldn’t agree more with PZ’s thoughts in Bronze Dog’s #138. I do understand that people want to secure themselves, and if what do you do if you don’t feel that the police is keeping you safe? Not all have the luxury of moving to a low-crime area, a gun is cheap and could at least in theory get you out of a bad situation.
    But at the same time the lack of regulation also supplies the criminals people fear with guns. The pro-gunners will demand that the problems with crime be solved before they relinquish their guns, but I cannot see how one can get any control on crime without starting with the worst tools used for such. Also, the lack of regulation seems to promote a reckless gun culture that’s costing far to many lives.
    What’s missing from this debate is the presence of a reasonable middle. I assume not all gun owners are fanatical gun fondler’s that opposes all forms of regulation, so where are they? How do you get them engaged in this debate?

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The only thing I’ve objected to is the irrational hate for guns and the need for a complete ba

    Then you are showing your irrationality. There is good reason to hate guns in modern society. They aren’t needed at all, and cause trouble. That you refuse to acknowledge that truth, you are discussing but rather preaching like the gun nuts.

    I assume not all gun owners are fanatical gun fondler’s that opposes all forms of regulation, so where are they? How do you get them engaged in this debate?

    They are shouted down by the gun nuts. You go and talk to the gun nuts. Quit blathering at us. You have have your say. Now you are bullying us.

  119. says

    If anyone feels bullied by my presence I’m sorry, that was never my intention. And honestly thought I’d been polite enough throughout this debate…
    As for talking to the gun nuts I think that’s a complete waste of time, you couldn’t convince them that water is wet even if you water-boarded them.

  120. rossthompson says

    I also happen to live in a place where guns are plentiful without the same problems you’re having,

    Where are you from? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess Switzerland (based on the name, as much as anything else. While Switzerland has a very low rate of murders overall, the rate of gun deaths is higher than in any other European country, despite what I understand to be very restrictive regulations. I’m honestly not sure what lessons we can learn from Switzerland; it seems very complicated.

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If anyone feels bullied by my presence I’m sorry, that was never my intention. And honestly thought I’d been polite enough throughout this debate…

    You aren’t debating. Debating implies you might change you mind. What will change your mind, and say handguns should be banned from civilians, for example? If you can’t/won’t answer that, you are preaching, not debating.
    And you are bullying, in that every time guns are mentioned, you repeat your same old tired and well refuted arguments. You can’t just let it go. It is emotional to you.

  122. anteprepro says

    Erlend Meyer :

    The only thing I’ve objected to is the irrational hate for guns and the need for a complete ban.

    So basically you have been arguing against strawmen, Surprise surprise, because you’ve done it before.

    And my reason for this is simple: I consider most people basically good and decent and capable of owning dangerous tings like guns without putting others in harms way.

    Fucking Christ, this contradicts what you said just a few sentences prior: ” Even though I have a life-long interest in guns I wouldn’t want to live in a place with little or no regulation, the problems you guys are having proves that beyond any doubt.”

    You are talking out of BOTH SIDES of your ass.

    I also happen to live in a place where guns are plentiful without the same problems you’re having, isn’t that a good thing to add to the discussion?

    No, it’s a fucking distraction, because you have gun control, we don’t, and the discussion is about us NEEDING gun control. Pissant.

    I do understand that people want to secure themselves, and if what do you do if you don’t feel that the police is keeping you safe? Not all have the luxury of moving to a low-crime area, a gun is cheap and could at least in theory get you out of a bad situation.

    And this is why we know that you are two faced. Because you keep spewing out gun apologia as if were getting salaried by the fucking NRA. We have explained about a thousand fucking times, in as many angles as possible, that the security granted by a gun is security against other guns. That the bad situation guns get you out of are situations involving guns. Guns START these fucking problems in the first fucking place.

    The pro-gunners will demand that the problems with crime be solved before they relinquish their guns, but I cannot see how one can get any control on crime without starting with the worst tools used for such. Also, the lack of regulation seems to promote a reckless gun culture that’s costing far to many lives.

    By god, it’s like you almost get. It is a damn shame you feel compelled to bury your small amounts of sense in mounds of bullshit.

    What’s missing from this debate is the presence of a reasonable middle.

    Go fuck yourself. The Democrats in the debate on pretty much anything ARE the middle. And for that, they do not push far or hard enough.

    Overton Window.

    Stop trying to troll us who actually have to deal with this shit into silence.

    I assume not all gun owners are fanatical gun fondler’s that opposes all forms of regulation, so where are they?

    Far away from the NRA, and usually in the Democratic party.

    As for talking to the gun nuts I think that’s a complete waste of time, you couldn’t convince them that water is wet even if you water-boarded them

    Thanks for your very helpful strategic input.

    (Weren’t you the one claiming BOTH SIDES on the misinformation bit? And now suddenly you admit that gun fetishists don’t respond to reason? For fuck’s sake, you just love changing your story whenever the heat is on, huh?)

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