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Gun Control thread

post #1 of 791
Thread Starter 

About time we had one, right? Or a new one to deal with recent issues, at least.

 

To kick things off (and to dispel any doubt about what side I'm on), yesterday was "Gun Appreciation Day" and apparently 5 people were shot at 3 different gun shows. (No fatalities, as far as I can tell.) Bear in mind this is exactly the kind of situation anti-gun control advocates are saying should be safe as houses--huge buildings full of people who presumably know how to handle guns.

post #2 of 791

I don't know which 90's alt rock lyrics I should quote for this: "Isn't it ironic?" or "Only stupid people are breeding."

post #3 of 791

Yeah, I wonder if those people truly appreciated the guns which shot them.

post #4 of 791
Thread Starter 

The only thing that stops a stupid person with a gun is a smart person with a gun.
 

post #5 of 791
It sounds like a convention of the kind of people Windows 8 was designed for.

While I was out of state on vacation, an article turned up about the origins of the 2nd Amendment as a compromise to bring the southern states on board with ratifying the Constitution, by guaranteeing that northerners wouldn't be able to place the institution of slavery in danger by disarming the plantation owners.

The article by Thom Hartmann is here, commentary by Gaius Publius is here. Both are probably deserving of a complete read. My idea of the original purpose of the Amendment was entirely different, but this reading of the history sounds incredibly obvious in hindsight. A reframing of the history of guns in America as the tools of an early police state, serving only to keep the Americans on whose backs the South's economy was built separated from their liberty, is an idea that I'd like to see get more exposure, whether proven or disproven by other historians down the road.

_
post #6 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post

I don't know which 90's alt rock lyrics I should quote for this: "Isn't it ironic?" or "Only stupid people are breeding."

 

I thought this was apropos.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8JkB-OR7H4

post #7 of 791
post #8 of 791

Way to go NC. Idiots

post #9 of 791

Rolling Stone had an interesting post about a gun control measure that Obama didn't choose to enact in his 23 measures, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/president-obamas-missing-executive-order-on-gun-control-20130116

 

It was basically an order to block the imports of semiautomatic weapons into the country, seems reasonable enough to me, plus we get the added benefit of a little more oversight over the shit that gets into this country.  RS does mostly blowjob celebrity stories but its pretty decent for political / environmental reporting

post #10 of 791

I'm a big fan of Rolling Stone's social/political stories. Their views on music I can take it or leave it.

post #11 of 791

I've been pondering an idea. I doubt I'm the first one to consider it but it does seem somewhat apropos when it comes to guns.

 

The gun industry/NRA has been going into overtime for awhile now trying to get people to buy guns.

There are a number of individuals here in this country that have become 'addicted' to this belief that unless they have a small (?) arsenal available to them, the 'gub ment' is going to shove grandma in front of death panels and make everyone worship King Obama.

 

A- For some, more guns = more intense 'high' for the users.

 

B- The gun industry is raking in billions of $$ from these addicts.

 

C- Lots of users are killed by their 'product'.

 

therefore...

 

D- The gun industry/NRA are nothing more than 'drug' dealers.

 

 

I suppose we could apply this other industries here in the country as well, but given that death and ruined lives seems to be a commonality between the drugs and guns, I think it's a valid comparison.

Even more ironic is that the Venn Diagram of these 2 industries have a huge overlap area.

post #12 of 791

Nicely done, VTRan.  It's Advertising 101 -- create a burning need and be the only ones who can fill it.
 

post #13 of 791

To be honest, I don't have a problem with sane and law-abiding people owning whatever guns they want to own.  The problem being that the vocal minority segment of the gun-rights extremists probably realize on a subconscious level that A:  they're not completely sane and B: showing your eagerness to use your arsenal against whatever lawful authorities might interfere with your access to it is rather heavily implying you're not exactly "law abiding" either...so they keep screaming louder to try to sound like there's more of them than there actually are.

 

I just wish the gun-nuts would recognize their "armed society is a polite society" bullcrap for what it is.  Just fess up and admit you want to own guns because you like guns.  Recognize that while the "43 times more likely" study may have had flawed methodology, it's common sense that tells us you're far more likely to end up with a wounded/dead friend or family member than a wounded/dead home invader if you have a gun in your home.  Likewise a wounded/dead would-be mugger/rapist or whatnot if you're carrying.  There is no "massive cover-up" of millions upon millions of self-defense/deterrence incidents that the media isn't reporting on.

 

By the same token, the gun-control crowd needs to recognize that the vast majority of gun owners own these weapons without incident, and are responsible in their use, regardless of their political leanings.  BOTH sides need to recognize that poverty and mental illness are what need to be addressed more so than simply the number of guns in this country, but of course solving those problems is a far more difficult (and more importantly expensive) proposition, so nobody wants to have that conversation.

 

I think we need a better background check system.  Close the loopholes and yes, make the checks more intrusive along with information-sharing between agencies.  From my understanding the legal authority to do all this is already there and was implemented in the Clinton administration, which saw a drop in gun violence, but the measures were defunded during the Bush II administration (yet another thing we can blame on him).

 

I think we need mandatory safety and marksmanship training for would-be gun owners (particularly of the concealed-carry variety), and by that I mean more than just a two hour class on a Saturday afternoon (I'm thinking at least 40 hours of classroom/range time, with at least biannual refreshers if not annual).  I think all weapons should be registered, regardless of state or what type of weapon they are.  I think the penalties for crimes involving guns could be heavily increased (to include penalties for selling a gun to someone unqualified/unauthorized to own one).

 

I think we need to recognize that we're not going to be able to stop gun violence in this country altogether, but the gun-rights advocates also need to realize that this is not a valid argument against taking measures to try to minimize it.  As with nearly all measures designed to increase security, the goal is deterrence, and no one truly expects eradication.

 

Bans are pointless.  There are too many guns in this country already for them to have any real effect at all.  Hell, during the duration of the assault-weapons ban we still ended up with more such weapons in the country than we had at the start (even more so once the ban was lifted).  We've already opened the floodgates...it won't do any good to stick our finger in the dike now.

 

It isn't the media, either.  Yes, we glorify guns and gun violence, but if it were causing people to behave violently we'd have VASTLY higher violent crime rates than we do (which overall are actually quite low right now).  Can it affect those that are already mentally ill?  Certainly, but that goes back to my point above about dealing with mental illness.

 

Unfortunately the one other fact behind all this is that anything we do is going to cost money that nobody really wants to spend right now, and many of the measures are going to be as opposed as strongly as outright bans would, which means they won't happen anytime soon.

post #14 of 791

The issue I have, even with legitimate gun ownership, is that the more guns that are out there, the more guns police departments will feel they can justify. People always going on about 'rising up' against the government - the feds aren't the greatest threat to your liberty. That no-knock paramilitary Keystone squad is. Since being heavily armed has never, as far as I can tell, resulted in a positive outcome for someone facing down heavily armed cops, maybe we need to worry more about some of the other amendments at this particular time.

post #15 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Costco Mike View Post

 RS does mostly blowjob celebrity stories but its pretty decent for political / environmental reporting

 

Rolling Stone is very deeply biased.

post #16 of 791

Bias doesn't necessarily equate to bad reporting, so long as you know where the bias is. And bad reporting can also be solidly objective. The myth of 'unbiased journalism' is a uniquely American thing, and is proving to be hugely damaging, since people see Fox News and think ah, FAIR AND BALANCED, these must be unbiased journalists. Instead of getting shit right, lots of people worry about appeasing two viewpoints, even if one of them is garbage. Lots of problems with the bias myth.

As good a place to any:

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/chart-obama-conspiracy-theories
 

post #17 of 791

 While the writers of Rolling Stone are proud to be left leaning, they don't give Democrats a pass. Matt Tabbi is disappointed that Obama hasn't done more to regulate Wall Street and prosecute bankers who wrecked the economy. If Obama does something they agree with, like close down that tar sands oil pipeline, they give him the credit for it. However they also criticized him for busting medical marijuana disturbers.

post #18 of 791
Just an idea, but what about creating a remote controlled electronic "safety" that could only be deactivated by a central militia command? People can own guns, but the militia (like the national guard) would (well) regulate when those guns could be used. After all a militia isn't about one on one confrontations, it's about forming up to protect your state.
post #19 of 791

Well-regulated, as its used in the Amendment, is generally understood to mean 'well-trained'. I honestly think if you want Second Amendment protections, you need to be signed up for an organized, state-sanctioned militia. Anything outside of that, yeah, you have rights to self-defense and arms, but they're not absolute individual liberties.

post #20 of 791
Couldn't well regulated mean 'many effective regulations'? Such as 'you can't use a gun outside of a militia situation'?

Military regulations are military rules and law, they do not refer to training necessarily. It seems like a forceful set of gun laws is in the spirit of the constitution. (remember though I think the entire idea of the amendment is inane in this day and age, but if we have to keep it I still think it is being misinterpreted )
post #21 of 791

Sure, but I maintain a fairly originalist stance, at least when talking about basic definitions. 'Well-regulated' when the thing was written meant 'well-trained', just like 'militia' meant an actual honest-to-god militia, and not some notional abstract force. From there, how its interpreted should obviously be malleable to exigent circumstances, but I don't agree with selectively defining particular terms in a manner inconsistent with intent.

ETA: this is also a problem when courts start defining money as speech. No, its not speech. It wasn't speech then, its not speech now, and you can't just re-define a basic concept like that because its ideologically convenient.

post #22 of 791
I believe I am not deliberately reinterpreting it. I think well regulated refers to organization and discipline, not just an abstract notion of training. I agree though that it is talking about a militia, it's not some sort of 18th century Oprah thing where 'everyone gets a gun!'.
post #23 of 791

Its a very good question, since it turns out I am full of shit and there is a legal basis for calling all able-bodied males in the US part of the 'reserve' (or unorganized) militia. Does that qualify under the Second Amendment? Does this mean I need to buy some guns? Shit.

post #24 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhukov View Post

Sure, but I maintain a fairly originalist stance, at least when talking about basic definitions. 'Well-regulated' when the thing was written meant 'well-trained', just like 'militia' meant an actual honest-to-god militia, and not some notional abstract force. From there, how its interpreted should obviously be malleable to exigent circumstances, but I don't agree with selectively defining particular terms in a manner inconsistent with intent.

ETA: this is also a problem when courts start defining money as speech. No, its not speech. It wasn't speech then, its not speech now, and you can't just re-define a basic concept like that because its ideologically convenient.

 

Rhetorically...

 

If we are going to take an originalist view of the 2nd Amendment and what is or is not 'regulated', 'security', etc., should this also not apply to the definition of what the definition of  "Arms" are.  It's become somewhat of a joke for late night comedy but if you want to own a shitload of guns, fine...they all must be single shot muskets seeing as that was the cutting edge of portable firearms technology at the time.

post #25 of 791

Arms are going to be defined by whatever regulatory body is in charge of the militia. I don't know. Somebody needs to determine standing and sue to find out what exactly constitutes 'reserve' militia and what, exactly, is involved with that status. Its unresolved. Maybe I have standing, since I'm legally considered to be part of a militia. Which is fundamentally contrary to the arguments I have been making for the last couple months, but there it is.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311

post #26 of 791

The Supreme Court has already ruled that the right to bear arms is not specifically linked to militia membership (see: District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008).  It'd take another ruling to change that now.

 

However they also acknowledged the possibility and legality of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms having limits placed upon it.

post #27 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Just an idea, but what about creating a remote controlled electronic "safety" that could only be deactivated by a central militia command? People can own guns, but the militia (like the national guard) would (well) regulate when those guns could be used. After all a militia isn't about one on one confrontations, it's about forming up to protect your state.


You'd have a harder time getting that passed than a gun ban.  The Gun manufacturers alone would funnel billions to keep it from passing, if necessary.  Guns that nobody can use = No gun sales.  (All this being rhetorical, given the DC v. Heller decision).  Not to mention that there's then still 270 million+ older guns floating around the country.

 

Not to mention the R&D involved in implementing a system that couldn't easily be bypassed by a half-way competent gunsmith.

post #28 of 791

Heller is garbage. I wouldn't expect it to stand anywhere near as long as Miller did. Heller has stuff in it that is simply made up.

post #29 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhukov View Post

Heller is garbage. I wouldn't expect it to stand anywhere near as long as Miller did. Heller has stuff in it that is simply made up.

 

Made up or not, I expect it's going to stand for a good long time, even if President Obama manages to get four Justices on the bench.  Who's currently challenging it?

 

The other point being that even if it is overturned, it will do nothing to curb gun violence in this country.  There's still 270 million+ guns out there, and the gun-ban in DC didn't do squat to prevent gun violence there during the years it was in effect.  I don't buy into the idea that more guns = more safety (just look at the Lone Star College shooting today), but I also don't buy into the idea that banning them is going to solve anything whatsoever at this point.  As I said, the floodgates were opened a long time ago, and there's really no shutting them now.

post #30 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post

 

The other point being that even if it is overturned, it will do nothing to curb gun violence in this country.  There's still 270 million+ guns out there, and the gun-ban in DC didn't do squat to prevent gun violence there during the years it was in effect.  I don't buy into the idea that more guns = more safety (just look at the Lone Star College shooting today), but I also don't buy into the idea that banning them is going to solve anything whatsoever at this point.  As I said, the floodgates were opened a long time ago, and there's really no shutting them now.

 

So let's ban them. The worst thing that can happen is that we're in the same exact place we are right now, so there's nothing to lose. I'm sick of the idea that legislation isn't worth it unless it solves the entire problem. The gun lobby frames things like that because they know such legislation can never exist. So what if a law only improves the situation slightly? If "slightly" means a few less assault weapons in the hands of psychopaths, a few less people dead because of them, I'm okay with thinking small.

post #31 of 791

Let's tax the shit out of them.  It can be progressive too: first gun, X amount of tax, second, it doubles, third and so on.  If people can only get boners (and lady boners) by clutching to every gun in their house I say we make them pay for it.  The money could then be put to good use.

post #32 of 791

FYI

 

Haven't downloaded/read it myself. From the Guardian:

 

Quote:

Stephen King risks wrath of NRA by releasing pro-gun control essay

 

Bestselling author and gun owner says 'autos and semi-autos are weapons of mass destruction' in 25-page work for Kindle

 

 

Stephen King has entranced millions with tales of dread but his latest volume will read like a horror only to the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates. The best-selling author made an unexpected charge into the national debate on gun violence on Friday with a passionate, angry essay pleading for reform.

 

King, who owns three handguns, aimed the expletive-peppered polemic at fellow gun-owners, calling on them to support a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school which left 20 children and six adults dead.

 

"Autos and semi-autos are weapons of mass destruction. When lunatics want to make war on the unarmed and unprepared, these are the weapons they use," King wrote.

 

He said blanket opposition to gun control was less about defending the second amendment of the US constitution than "a stubborn desire to hold onto what they have, and to hell with the collateral damage". He added: "If that's the case, let me suggest that 'fuck you, Jack, I'm okay' is not a tenable position, morally speaking."

 

King finished the 25-page essay, Guns, last Friday and wanted it published as soon as possible, given the Obama administration's looming battle with the National Rifle Association and its allies. It was published on Friday on Amazon's online Kindle store, price 99 cents.

 

<cont.>

post #33 of 791
It is a bit odd he is charging people to read it.
post #34 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

It is a bit odd he is charging people to read it.

 

I thought that as well but according to a note on the website:

 

(All profits will benefit the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)

post #35 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

I thought that as well but according to a note on the website:

(All profits will benefit the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)

Good catch, I can respect that. I do wonder if more people would read his thoughts if they were free, but at least now I understand the logic behind the .99$ charge.
post #36 of 791

I am pretty sure this isn't a joke.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you "The Bed Bunker"

 

post #37 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Peace View Post

 

So let's ban them. The worst thing that can happen is that we're in the same exact place we are right now, so there's nothing to lose. I'm sick of the idea that legislation isn't worth it unless it solves the entire problem. The gun lobby frames things like that because they know such legislation can never exist. So what if a law only improves the situation slightly? If "slightly" means a few less assault weapons in the hands of psychopaths, a few less people dead because of them, I'm okay with thinking small.

And again, we come to the usual "talking points" for the bans. What is an Assault Weapon? As with King's "semi-auto", it's a meaningless description that sounds oh so good but describes nothing. BTW, "auto" or military grade guns have been banned from public ownership for decades. 

post #38 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

I am pretty sure this isn't a joke.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you "The Bed Bunker"

 

If you are that paranoid, you would think just having a pistol under your pillow would be more cost effective.

post #39 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother View Post

If you are that paranoid, you would think just having a pistol under your pillow would be more cost effective.


It worked for James Bond.

post #40 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

And again, we come to the usual "talking points" for the bans. What is an Assault Weapon? As with King's "semi-auto", it's a meaningless description that sounds oh so good but describes nothing. BTW, "auto" or military grade guns have been banned from public ownership for decades. 

This is the most ridiculous thing that gun nuts say. 'Assault Weapon' and 'Semi-auto' do have very specific meanings. Semi-auto is a weapon that doesn't require manual operation of the breach (or manual cocking of the hammer in the case of revolvers) in order to fire successive rounds, so the speed with which the user can fire is limited only by how quickly they can pull the trigger. 'Assault Weapons' are designed to maintain accuracy when firing rapidly (via flash and recoil suppressors, muzzle breaks, etc), and have higher capacity magazines. These are weapons that are not designed for self-defense, and they're sure as shit not designed for hunting.

 

Seriously, what the fuck do you think the 'AR' in AR-15 stands for?

post #41 of 791

Yeah, but Bond is British. This is America and you go big or you go home here, dammit.

post #42 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post

This is the most ridiculous thing that gun nuts say. 'Assault Weapon' and 'Semi-auto' do have very specific meanings. Semi-auto is a weapon that doesn't require manual operation of the breach (or manual cocking of the hammer in the case of revolvers) in order to fire successive rounds, so the speed with which the user can fire is limited only by how quickly they can pull the trigger. 'Assault Weapons' are designed to maintain accuracy when firing rapidly (via flash and recoil suppressors, muzzle breaks, etc), and have higher capacity magazines. These are weapons that are not designed for self-defense, and they're sure as shit not designed for hunting.

 

Seriously, what the fuck do you think the 'AR' in AR-15 stands for?

So you feel that the banning of semi autos is justified because of their convenience? 

 

And I guess this hunting rifle

 

 

is far superior and less dangerous than this thing

 

 

which should be banned because?

post #43 of 791

Because they are BOTH pathetically stupid devices

 

and only MORONS use them

 

 

QED

post #44 of 791

There's this weird, I dare say willful, obtuseness on the part of a lot of gun advocates on how the law works.  Yup, it makes definitions and draws argued but ultimately arbitrary lines around stuff.  Pointing that out is not an argument against it all by itself, I'm sorry. 

They end up sounding like post modern art student hippies.  "You just can't describe the multivarious meta-beauty variety-ness of guns with your "definitions" man!  It's, like, a flow of music you've got to be a part of.  You just don't get it, man! Your reductive pigeon holing is just, like, trying to strangle the free expression of stopping power.  But it won't be supressed!  The calibre is too large!"  and so on

 

The endless fussing over how 'assault weapons' is a vague category only argues for expanding controls, not reducing them, to sayyyy. semi-autos altogether, or something like that.  I wonder if that's really what they want.


Edited by Muzman - 1/28/13 at 9:49am
post #45 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

So you feel that the banning of semi autos is justified because of their convenience? 

 

And I guess this hunting rifle

 

 

is far superior and less dangerous than this thing

 

 

which should be banned because?

IMO the difference between the 2 guns above is that the one on top is more than likely to be used to hunt and target shoot by a mature, responsible individual.

 

The one below it is nothing more than a 'toy' to prop up the ego of some immature (and possibly paranoid) adult who thinks of guns as 'cool' and that if he owns more and more guns, the safer his world will be.

I'd bet that one of this person's favorite movies is 'The Matrix' or, if he's a little older, 'Commando'.

post #46 of 791

If I'm not mistaken, those are both variations on a popular "ranch" gun made by Ruger, right?  The bottom one is designated as a "tactical" model.  Now, what the actual differences besides the looks and the rail for mounting lights and scopes and such are, I couldn't tell you.  What I can say is that the idea a civilian would need tactical weaponry (whether or not that particular rifle really qualifies) is kind of ridiculous.  But the problem with the debate isn't even really where the line should be drawn, as intelligent people will differ there.  The problem is that the gun people do not want to enter into the discussion at all, as they seem to feel like any further restriction is tantamount to banning all guns.

post #47 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

So you feel that the banning of semi autos is justified because of their convenience? 

 

And I guess this hunting rifle

 

 

is far superior and less dangerous than this thing

 

 

which should be banned because?


They both should be banned. There is no difference between these two killing tools.

post #48 of 791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

So you feel that the banning of semi autos is justified because of their convenience? 

 

And I guess this hunting rifle

 

 

is far superior and less dangerous than this thing

 

 

which should be banned because?

I really don't think you can say which should be banned just by looking at them. It is how they function that matters. I don't know the ins and outs of these weapons but the top one isn't much different, in appearance, than my little varmint rifle. Of course, my gun is bolt-action and only holds 5 bullets at a time, because it is a tool, not a toy. VTRan really hit that aspect on the head. People that would buy that bottom gun are essentially purchasing a toy.

post #49 of 791

As a English man in the USA, the one thing I don't understand about gun ownership is why isn't it Federally regulated. I live in Texas and was able to buy a gun in a week, even as a foreign resident. I had to show that I've lived in the same place for 6 months. Really, all I had to do was get a citizen to buy the gun then gift it to me a few weeks later. At the time, I thought all the paperwork and the proof of address was kept in some database somewhere, along with the guns serial number. Turns out I was wrong. They don't track shit, it was a background check only. Whats the point of that, when you can gift/private sale guns without notification. You have to transfer registration if you sell a or a car, why not guns.

 

With all the different rules state to state a start should be made to at least have a federal database of guns and their owners. This way we could see if anyone has a collection of 60 assault rifles and 10000 rounds of ammo.

 

I got my gun for sport and protection (ex wife was crazy, seriously) but haven't shot it in over a year. I clean it once a month though. At this point banning anything wont work. It's like banning water when your swimming, nothing is going to happen you're still swimming.

post #50 of 791

Ancedotal: The NRA rhetoric has pushed some sportsman gun owners I know over into the "gubmit comin for ya!' camp.  Limbaugh and the Fox talking heads must be pushing it too.

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