ChrisWeigant.com

Losing On Gun Control

[ Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2012 – 17:27 PDT ]

The most telling commentary on the Aurora massacre was actually created in 2011. Tom Tomorrow, in response to the recent tragedy in Colorado, reposted a "This Modern World" comic he had originally drawn in response to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. The comic is brutally and nakedly truthful about the current politics of gun control. Sparky the Penguin, speaking to a nameless conservative, admits defeat:

Barring some seismic realignment in this country, the gun control debate is all but settled -- and your side won. The occasional horrific civilian massacre is just the price the rest of us have to pay. Over and over again, apparently.

No matter where you stand on gun control, this is where the country stands politically -- like it or not. Democrats learned, back in the 1990s, that they could get thrown out of office when they voted for new gun control laws. You can quibble over whether the assault weapons ban was the sole motivating factor for any individual lawmaker's defeat, but in this case perception has become reality, at least in Democrats' thinking. "Once burned, twice shy" is the party's mantra now on gun control.

Gun control's support varies in proportion to how urbanized an area is, roughly. People in large cities tend to support gun control, and rural populations tend to be strong Second Amendment supporters. Suburbs and small towns are usually somewhere in the middle of this range. This is admittedly an oversimplification, but it's good enough for our purposes here.

Without getting in to the mechanics (or even the effectiveness) of any particular gun control measure, the hard cold political fact is that no new federal gun control law is going to be passed in the near future -- or, for that matter, in the next few years. Even if Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, this basic truth would not change one bit. Not only is it currently an election year, but Democrats simply cannot put together enough House members from urban (or otherwise gun-control-supportive) districts that would add up to a majority vote.

Fears of Barack Obama "taking our guns away" reportedly led to a massive run on ammunition, during his first years in office. After all, Obama was supposedly the most leftist president of all time, so of course he was going to begin confiscating weapons -- probably starting with the red states. This, quite obviously, has not come to pass. In fact, gun laws have actually been relaxed under Obama, as well as by Supreme Court decisions from the past decade or so. So no jack-booted federal agents will be coming for anybody's guns in the foreseeable future.

There is a larger argument I'm all but ignoring, here -- the gun control debate itself. Americans like to believe, in all tragedies of this type, that "something should have been done" beforehand. With perfect-vision hindsight, we all search for the "signs" that someone, somewhere "should have caught." Pro-gun control folks like to believe that some law or another could easily have prevented such a tragedy from ever taking place. Anti-gun control folks like to believe that if someone had just been armed in the audience itself, that the guy could have been stopped.

Both views ignore the fact that, just perhaps, they might be wrong. Banning high-volume clips (or whatever other idea for a law) may not have stopped this guy from killing just as many people. It might have slightly inconvenienced the shooter, but then again nobody knows all the facts yet, so drawing such conclusions is premature, at best. From the other side, the guy was wearing body armor and could conceivably have outgunned anyone with a pistol at the ready, so it is impossible to accurately state that this would have changed the situation all that much.

Sometimes there are no easy answers. Sometimes Monday-morning quarterbacking is no real solution. The shooter had a clean background on both his past run-ins with the law and on his mental health -- so any supposed miracle method of "reading the signs" beforehand would likely not have caught this particular guy before he did what he did. Sometimes the consoling thought that "somebody somewhere should have done something beforehand" is just not realistic, hard as that may be for many to accept.

This all may sound pretty defeatist, and I will admit that it largely is. Not only on proposed panaceas from all sides of the gun control (and mental health) debate, but also on the politics of the situation. Whether you agree with the concept or not, federal gun control is just not going to happen any time soon. That is the political reality in Washington, and across this country.

That's not to say that people shouldn't work for changes which they believe would improve American society. But what it does say is: "expect a long fight." Because, for now, it's a losing proposition. Here's how the political equation stands: Democrats who want gun control must take the House, increase their proportion in the Senate, and regain the White House. But running on gun control is a losing issue in much of the country, because you have to win districts outside of urban areas to control Congress, and rural Democrats often lose when they support gun control (or, at least, so says the conventional wisdom of the times). So if Democrats made gun control a central part of their campaign, they might actually lose seats in the House. There doesn't seem to be a way out of this conundrum for the Democratic Party. To get enough power to enact gun control, Democrats must not run on their support for gun control. Catch-22.

Changing the public's mind is the only real option, but the news for the gun control advocates on this front is not good. In the 1990s, support among the general public was actually quite high for gun control. It no longer is -- like many political issues these days, the public is about evenly split on the question. So the gun control advocates have a long and hard road to travel to build public pressure to the point where Democrats (even in rural areas) think they can win on the issue at the polls.

For now, though, it is seen as a big losing issue for Democratic politicians. Viewed through the lens of political reality, Tom Tomorrow's acidly cynical comic is the most intelligent thing I've heard said on the Colorado shooting. Gun control advocates, at least for now, have lost. The other side has won. Horrific civilian massacres will indeed continue. It's as true today as it was when Gabrielle Giffords was shot.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

130 Comments on “Losing On Gun Control”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If stronger and sensible gun control laws are not the answer, for a number of reasons, then what about honing other preventative measures.

    For instance, how many firing range owners do you suppose run into their fair share of suspicious people and don't take their suspicions further. If the firing range owner who thought the Batman shooter was sounding "weird" had alerted police to his concerns instead of waiting for him to show up the range, would the police have taken his concerns seriously and followed up?

    These are the kinds of things that can make a big difference ... not just in cases like this but in a wide variety of situations that might be mitigated before they get out of control.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Winning on gun control is going to take presidential leadership of the kind we have not yet seen.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    That's actually a good point about the ranger owner, that I haven't heard anybody else make.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    That is, indeed, a good idea...

    But let's take your suggestion thru it's logical progression.

    Gun Range Bob reports suspicious activity to the police about Freaky Fred. Police make contact with Freaky Fred to ascertain his status. Freaky Fred freaks out and contacts the local ACLU office about profiling. Dipshit Dan of the ACLU sues Gun Range Bob and the police because they profiled his client, Freaky Fred...

    The local branch of the Left Wing Luuusers mount massive protests at police headquarters and city hall because someone was being profilingly persecuted...

    Next time Gun Range Bob sees another Freaky Fred like guy (Psychotic Psam), Bob is going to say, "Frak no!! I ain't sayin' squat!!!"

    Psychotic Psam goes on to brutally gun down 2 people at the local Quickie Mart.

    Moe Sizlack and Apu Mahasa... Apu Mahasfalasa...

    Moe. Just Moe...

    And they all lived miserably ever after.

    The problem, as I outlined in the latest FTP, is the measures needed to accurately and competently predict massacres BEFORE they happen are the same measures that the Left has been hysterically fighting AGAINST since 9/11...

    The occasional gun massacre is the price we all pay for the Left's illogical and irrational belief that personal rights and liberty trumps public safety...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    You make some good points. But, as I explained to Liz above, all the blame does not solely fall on just the Pro-Gun advocates..

    If the Left would come to terms with the idea that today's world can be a dangerous place and they must accept some common-sense restrictions on personal rights and liberties, then we CAN reduce the gun violence..

    Let me put it this way.. If it would GUARANTEE, I mean absolutely positively 1000% GUARANTEE that there would never be another instance of random wanton gun massacres, would those on the Left consent to have all their communications monitored??

    I can predict the answer of everyone on the Left..

    FRAK NO!!! I don't want to live in a world that is so restricted and so ignoring of our basic human rights.. blaaa blaaa blaaa blaaa yada yada yada so on and so on and so on ad naseum...

    Until the Left comes to terms with the reality of the here and now and get off this ridiculous notion that their own personal rights and freedoms are more important than public safety, gun massacres will be the price we all pay..

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me put it this way.. If it would GUARANTEE, I mean absolutely positively 1000% GUARANTEE that there would never be another instance of random wanton gun massacres, would those on the Left consent to have all their communications monitored??

    I can predict the answer of everyone on the Left..

    FRAK NO!!! I don't want to live in a world that is so restricted and so ignoring of our basic human rights.. blaaa blaaa blaaa blaaa yada yada yada so on and so on and so on ad naseum...

    To be fair, there are many on the Right who would have the same reaction, so I can't pick on JUST the Left..

    Which simply proves another point I have always made.

    Political ideology is like religion. It takes precedence over common-sense and logical thinking..

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The occasional gun massacre is the price we all pay for the Left's illogical and irrational belief that personal rights and liberty trumps public safety.

    Heheheh.

    So now we're the party of "personal rights and liberty"?

    What happened to us being Communist, socialist, liberals?

    Well ... I guess it is an improvement :).

    Ok, I'll be serious for a second. Michale, what do you think the solution to the problem should be?

    I'm actually ok with gun ownership. It's just the assault weapon part that gets me. Because, unless you're a collector, you buy an automatic weapon for one reason, to kill lots of people.

    But if this isn't the solution, what do you think might work?

    -David

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I knew you were going to go there and there has become an extremely boring place for me.

    You have become, at long last or long ago, what should frighten you ... or, at the very least, concern you ... infinitley predictable.

    Unfortunately, you don't surprise anyone anymore ...okay, okay, okay ... you don't surprise me, anymore. And, that's just sad. :(

  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW- How long do you think it will be until someone tries to link the shooter to a liberal group?

  10. [10] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Or conservative group ... ?

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Ask me if I care.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't really like this place anymore. Everything boils down to left vs right nonsense.

    Don't get me wrong. I'd love to discuss the merits of the left and the lies of the right on any given issue in an intelligent discussion. But, what we have here on a regular basis is just a lot of nonsense. I can go back to watching CNN for that, for God's sake.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    So now we're the party of "personal rights and liberty"?

    ... to the exclusion of all else..

    Yep, that's the Left. :D

    Ok, I'll be serious for a second. Michale, what do you think the solution to the problem should be?

    First and foremost, enforcement of existing laws would be a GREAT start...

    I'm actually ok with gun ownership. It's just the assault weapon part that gets me. Because, unless you're a collector, you buy an automatic weapon for one reason, to kill lots of people.

    You CAN'T buy an automatic weapon.. That's illegal..

    BTW- How long do you think it will be until someone tries to link the shooter to a liberal group?

    It was mere hours before the Left Wing MSM linked the shooting to the Tea Party...

    There are no easy solutions.. My point was to point out one possible solution that the Left has already passed judgement on..

    It's like the Global Warming fanatics. They want to shut down all coal plants, but are also hysterical about the logical and rational alternative, nuclear power..

    The Left doesn't want their personal rights or liberty trampled on, but they sure don't have a problem with trying to gut OTHER people's rights and liberty...

    But in answer to my own question, I honestly and truly don't have a problem with government surveillance if it will save innocent lives...

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    There are very few issues that are more "Left v Right" than Gun Control... Abortion is about the only one I can think of...

    ".... the nature of the beast.."
    -Colonel Hadley, THE FINAL OPTION

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I know you're trying to make me laugh, but it's no use.

    There is no issue that you refuse to make a left and right issue, even to the point of making yourself look like an idiot. And, I hate when that happens.

    But, alas, it appears to be the nature of the beast ...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I wasn't trying to make you laugh.. I was simply pointing out that, if you don't want a Right v Left issue, then Gun Control would be the LAST thing that should be discussed...

    We could talk about Men In Black III. That's not a Left v Right issue.. :D

    OK, now HAT was an attempt to make you laugh... :D

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If we were to start a discussion here about Men In Black III, you would find a nonsensical way to make it about Left v Right. I know you would.

    I'm just going to put my HAT in hand, and bow out gracefully ... (okay, that was funny)

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I don't really like this place anymore. Everything boils down to left vs right nonsense.

    I believe I asked Michale what he thought a solution might be.

    That has nothing to do with left or right. Sorry it doesn't interest you.

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    And, one more thing, Michale ... you are not reading my comments.

    Where did I say I didn't want to be part of an intelligent Right v Left type of discussion on any issue? Where did I say that!!!

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Sorry you lost your sense of humour. This place stopping being fun a while ago. But, there is still hope.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Lighten up David. You're one of the reasons I'm still here.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Are you having trouble following along, here?

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    <I believe I asked Michale what he thought a solution might be.

    That has nothing to do with left or right. Sorry it doesn't interest you.

    That kind of sums up for me what this place is becoming, sadly.

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You CAN'T buy an automatic weapon.. That's illegal.

    Sorry. Meant semi-automatic. Weapon knowledge is an area where I'd definitely defer to you.

    I still don't see any good reason for these assault weapons being legal though.

    -David

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Are you having trouble following along, here?

    Heheh. Work started at 6:30 this morning. I'm having trouble doing just about everything ... :)

    I'm going to go get some donuts and coffee. I think that will solve everything. Heheh

    -David

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Now, THAT's more like it! :)

    Have a nice day.

    -Liz

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry. Meant semi-automatic. Weapon knowledge is an area where I'd definitely defer to you.

    Awwww p'shaw... :D

    I still don't see any good reason for these assault weapons being legal though.

    A semi-automatic weapon is a semi-automatic weapon. One trigger pull, one bullet.

    The reason why they are legal is that the same reasoning to make them ILLEGAL would also apply to any other semi-automatic weapon..

    And, vio'la.. A virtual gun ban is in place...

    It's like when the NRA went apeshit about making teflon rounds illegal. That, ironically enough, put the NRA and the Cops on opposite sides of the issue. Because teflon rounds are armour-piercing rounds...

    I can see both sides of that issue. As a cop, I don't want ANYONE to have rounds that can penetrate my armour..

    But I see the NRA's point. Because once you start down that road, it's not a far journey to make ALL ammo illegal...

    And, with the advent of personal body armour, it's possible that a citizen might come up against a bad guy with body-armour...

    The Aurora Theater shooting is a perfect example..

    Heheh. Work started at 6:30 this morning. I'm having trouble doing just about everything ... :)

    I'm going to go get some donuts and coffee. I think that will solve everything. Heheh

    Welcome to my world...

    For me, "sleeping in" is 0600..

    Gods forbid I sleep til 0800 or 0900, I feel like I have wasted half the day!! :D

    Michale...

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Gods forbid I sleep til 0800 or 0900, I feel like I have wasted half the day!! :D

    I can just imagine ... what it might be like for the rest of us. :)

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But I see the NRA's point. Because once you start down that road, it's not a far journey to make ALL ammo illegal.

    Ok, fair enough. Me personally, I'm honestly not interested in any type of complete ban whatsoever. There may be people who are, but I think the majority of "liberals" these days are just against the military type weapons. The ones used in these types of killings.

    -David

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok, fair enough. Me personally, I'm honestly not interested in any type of complete ban whatsoever.

    Yea, well you are the exception that emphasizes the rule.. :D

    There may be people who are, but I think the majority of "liberals" these days are just against the military type weapons. The ones used in these types of killings.

    That's where it will start.. But do you honestly believe that it will end just there??

    Gay activists are a perfect example. They said they wanted hate crime protection. If they got that, they would be happy.

    Well, they got it, then they said they wanted civil unions to be acceptable. "Just give us Civil Unions and we'll be happy."

    Well, they got civil unions but now they want traditional marriages... "Give us Traditional Marriage and we will finally be happy."

    "Give me what I want and I'll go away."
    -Linoge, STORM OF THE CENTURY

    They got all that they asked for but they still won't go away....

    With Gun Control, it will be the same thing..

    Ban assault rifles and we'll be happy.

    OK, assault rifles are banned. Now ban semi-automatic handguns and we'll be happy..

    And so on and so on and so on...

    Once the Left (or the Right for that matter) get what they want, they will always think of good reasons to want more..

    "If you give a mouse a cookie....."
    ".....He's going to want a glass of milk.."

    -AIR FORCE ONE

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Elizabeth in [2] "Winning on gun control is going to take presidential leadership of the kind we have not yet seen."

    Couldn't agree more (I've comment on this further below).

    Michale "Political ideology is like religion. It takes precedence over common-sense and logical thinking.."

    The funny thing is that there is absolutely no person on this comments board that this applies to more than you! Instead of thinking logically or using common-sense you turn everything into an 'us vs them' argument. Even when there is no 'us' or 'them'.

    I hate party politics in general, I get why it exists but too often politicians just toe the party line - it is lazy and easy for them to do so. This problem is amplified in America with a 2-party-collegial-vote-winner-take-all Presidential system...

    CW from the OP "Whether you agree with the concept or not, federal gun control is just not going to happen any time soon. That is the political reality in Washington, and across this country."

    I just posted this in the other thread after another pointless debate with Michale. But anyway my view is that he USA is a young country and (imo) always a little behind in social matters - for example, some of your citizens only just got health care for the first time (in 2012!!).

    Gun law changes or a handgun ban certainly won't happen during my generation but I believe that they will down the line - as Elizabeth pointed out this is going to take an exceptional leader.

    It took the UK a long time to ban guns - for 299 years UK citizens could carry guns legally until 1997. The USA just passed the 220 year mark and it wouldn't surprise me if it takes a similar amount of time for the USA to see the light...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    The funny thing is that there is absolutely no person on this comments board that this applies to more than you! Instead of thinking logically or using common-sense you turn everything into an 'us vs them' argument. Even when there is no 'us' or 'them'.

    You're the third person to try and claim that Gun Control is NOT an Right v Left (Us v Them) issue..

    Ignoring for the moment, that I am neither part of "US" nor "THEM", the fact that you can't SEE it as a Right v Left/Us v Them issue simply proves you have absolutely NO CLUE as to the reality of the issue...

    Saying Gun Control is NOT a Left v Right issue is like saying abortion is not a Right v Left issue.

    It shows an amazing lack of understanding of the issue...

    Michale.....

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale

    You keep on insisting on missing the point, here.

    The problem here is not whether or not gun control, or any other issue on the planet, is perceived as a Right v Left or even an us v them issue.

    The problem for a lot of us who enjoy participating on this forum is that nonsense very often hijacks what could be enlightening debate.

  34. [34] 
    michty6 wrote:

    [32] "Saying Gun Control is NOT a Left v Right issue is like saying abortion is not a Right v Left issue.

    It shows an amazing lack of understanding of the issue..."

    The lack of understanding is coming from you:

    You can be left wing minded and support gun rights.
    And you can be right wing minded and support abortion.

    Many, many, many people (and politicians) fit these 2 statements - many left-wing orientated Democrats support gun rights and many right-wing orientated Republicans support abortion.

    To quote yourself "Political ideology is like religion. It takes precedence over common-sense and logical thinking.."
    This quote by yourself, as I pointed out is exactly the problem you have. You WANT it to be right vs left but it doesn't have to be.

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That's where it will start.. But do you honestly believe that it will end just there?

    I think for some it wouldn't. But for the majority it would. My two cents anyways ...

    I think the majority of liberals right now would just think we've gone too far with assault weapon ownership. I would be totally on your side if the issue were trying to ban gun ownership.

    But maybe you're right ... maybe it just is better enforcement of existing rules. It just seems like anyone can walk into a gun & knife show right now and walk out with an arsenal. I think it's what always amazes me is, how do these nutjobs get such heavy firepower so easily?

    Gay activists are a perfect example. They said they wanted hate crime protection. If they got that, they would be happy.

    The gay activists I know I think would say it like this. They simply want equality under the law.

    And yes ... anything short of equality is likely to fall short. Because that's what they're fighting for. I don't think there's a comparison on the gun issue.

    In the case of guns, I'm not against guns or gun ownership. I'm against these crazy shootings. So I'm open to any type of discussion that involves ending them.

    Now you're going to say: "Why are you against the type of surveillance tactics I suggested?"

    Because here I believe it goes too far and does intrude on our freedom from government. And the likelihood for these powers to be abused in other ways is simply too great. We know from history that we should not entrust those in power with too much power. My take anyhoo ...

    -David

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes and if we all think good thoughts, the Niceness Fairy will descend down upon us and sprinkle us with pixie dust..

    I stand by what I said. If you don't think that Gun Control or Abortion is a Left v Right issue, you're deluding yourself.

    Most of us want to live in REALITY instead of la-la land where everything can be solved by joining hands and singing koom-bye-ya..

    But hay.. I am a fair man..

    Ya'all debate Gun Control without making it a Right v Left issue..

    Go on. Show me how it's done.. I'll remain silent and you can show me how to debate Gun Control w/o ANY partisanship whatsoever..

    Here's your chance...

    I'll only jump in when the discussion gets back to Left v Right...

    Have at it.. :D

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Ya'all debate Gun Control without making it a Right v Left issue..

    Go on. Show me how it's done.. I'll remain silent and you can show me how to debate Gun Control w/o ANY partisanship whatsoever..

    Still not getting it, I see ...

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    If you are on this thread, I would ask that you help me out with this little experiment...

    Let's let the Liberals show us how complete and utter non-partisanship is accomplished... :D

    Don't worry, I am certain we'll be back in the thread within 10 posts... :D

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    michty6 wrote:

    @[36] "Go on. Show me how it's done.. I'll remain silent and you can show me how to debate Gun Control w/o ANY partisanship whatsoever."

    Well where the debate seems to be leading is whether or not the right to own assault weapons is implied within the right to own guns - basically where do you draw the line with what weapons people are allowed to own. There is nothing Partisan about this issue.

    There really is nothing Partisan about guns in American politics just now period. Both leaders of the 2 main parties have the exact same platform: do nothing, enforce existing laws.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I'll only jump in when the discussion gets back to Left v Right...

    I dare you stay out of this discussion until you can participate in the Left v Right debate without resorting to nonsense arguments.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Does the constitutional right to bear arms come with any responsibilities?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You just can't stay out of it, can you? :)

    What will it take to get through to you that this debate can be a Left v Right as you want it to be. You just have to be prepared to leave the nonsense behind.

    Do I have to throw something at you again!? Don't answer that.

  43. [43] 
    michty6 wrote:

    @[41}
    "Does the constitutional right to bear arms come with any responsibilities?"

    Absolutely. Justice Scalia even agrees on this, quotes from him:

    "The Second Amendment right is not unlimited"

    "the sorts of weapons protected are the sorts of small arms that were lawfully possessed at home at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification, not those most useful in military service today, so “M-16 rifles and the like” may be banned."

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What does Justice Scalia have to say about the responsibilities of citizens who choose to bear arms? In other words, what is responsible gun ownership and how are those parameters set?

  45. [45] 
    michty6 wrote:

    @[44] Scalia's opinion focussed on the responsibilities of citizens falling within the boundaries of their homes and self-defence. He focused on the right "to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense at home" and "the natural right of defense ‘of one’s person or house"

    In terms of parameters he looks at self-defense and hunting as the two major parameters of responsible gun ownership.

    He also made it clear that he did not include concealing a weapon in public as part of self-defense under his opinion "we do not cast doubt on concealed-weapons prohibitions".

    However, part of your responsibilities was not extended to the need to lock up guns or keep them unloaded as Scalia found this "violates the Second Amendment as it makes it impossible for citizens to use those firearms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense"

  46. [46] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth, it seems we've come to similar conclusions about this site. It used to be my first stop every time I logged onto the Web; now it has slipped a few places. The overwhelming nonsense lately has caused me to dread scanning large comment posts; it is reassuring to see you try to fight back.
    I don't know if you ever check it out, but try Balloon Juice. John Cole, the site owner, used to be a Republican as recently as 6 or 7 years ago. Their insanity got too much for him, and now he and his stable of co-posters write a lot of good, thoughtful, and witty stuff. Plus pets, cooking, music and film articles. If you haven't before, you really should check it out for a couple of days. And their family of commenters are 99% nonsense free. (So are most of the people here, but the exceptions pile on the obtuseness to the point of cringing). Please let me know what you think of Balloon Juice or if you're already a fan. Last thought...it was refreshing this morning to see 43 comments thus far, make a mental guess who the bulk of them would be from, and be wrong. Don't ever leave, Elizabeth, we Canucks have to stick together :)

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's interesting.

    I would argue that gun safety is a very important part of responsible gun ownership.

    What kind of argument does Scalia make to demonstrate that safely securing weapons in the home renders them unusable for the purpose of self-defense?

    This is all about weighing opposing rights and finding the right and healthy balance, no pun intended. :)

    In any event, I'm not convinced that Justice Scalia's views and arguments on this issue, or any other, should prevail, to say the very least! He hasn't demonstrated much of a capacity to balance rights, in other words.

  48. [48] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Well where the debate seems to be leading is whether or not the right to own assault weapons is implied within the right to own guns - basically where do you draw the line with what weapons people are allowed to own. There is nothing Partisan about this issue.

    Well said, michty6. That's exactly how I'd phrase it.

    I see Michale bringing up a very valid argument when he says he's worried about it going further.

    So my question to you, Michale, would be, how could we deal with the assault weapon issue and still make sure it goes no further than that?

    Maybe it is better enforcement of rules. If this is the case, my question would be, what's not working now and how would we fix it?

    Michale, as someone with clearly more knowledge of guns than me, what can you tell us about the rules and how would you improve enforcement?

    There may very well be things we don't know about so I'm interested in finding out.
    -David

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hi Kevin!

    I guess you haven't heard the latest CW.com news flash ...

    Michale has agreed to refrain from commenting and joining in on our fun Right v Left and Us v Them debates here until he can muster up some common-sense type arguments to bring to the table.

    So, I predict that you will soon find yourself missing Michale. I know I will!

    However, we're going to have to let him out of the bargain come Thanksgiving when he'll be officially allowed to spew as much nonsense as makes his heart content. He just has to promise to put his responses to each of us in a separate comment so as to increase the total count. :)

  50. [50] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "I would argue that gun safety is a very important part of responsible gun ownership. What kind of argument does Scalia make to demonstrate that safely securing weapons in the home renders them unusable for the purpose of self-defense?"

    Totally agree. I posted (in other thread) that the homicide rate due to gun accidents in America is 0.23 per 100k which is close to the total homicide rate in Japan of 0.35 per 100k!

    But I guess when he was saying guns are really important for self-defense he is against safely storing them because then they can't be accessed quickly (in his opinion) for self-defense.

    I believe his logic is that "a constitutional right cannot be overcome because it may have negative consequences." This is also why he refused to look at studies about guns, violence and deaths - using the same logic he ruled this evidence inadmissible (sadly - imo :))

    "He hasn't demonstrated much of a capacity to balance rights, in other words."

    I agree, he actually contradicts the above logic I quoted in other rulings he makes where he DOES look at the intended consequences in ruling whether something is constitutional or not.

    His opinion on gun law isn't as bad as it could have been though, he leaves some scope for Government regulation of guns. In fact, the room for regulation he left hasn't been adopted and neither Obama/Romney has any plans to...

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Funny, I didn't realize that Justice Scalia was in possession of much logic, based solely on his performance during the oral arguments over Obamacare. Heh.

    Romney or Obama or anyone else won't be adopting any new gun regulations so long as the people allow the NRA to exert such power over their political leaders and representatives.

    The people are the problem, in my view, not the NRA.

  52. [52] 
    michty6 wrote:

    @[51]
    One thing's for sure: Scalia likes broccoli!

    I agree, I'd say the people AND the media. It's a national obsession (common in other countries too) to try and find a singular individual or organisation or vegetable to blame when something bad goes wrong. The media promote and love the blame game. It results in a really bad mentality where after a disaster everyone is wondering 'who is to blame' rather than trying to fix the underlying problem...

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll only jump in when the discussion gets back to Left v Right...

    Ha! That may be true. But, he won't be forced to buy it!

    Oh, I kid Justice Scalia ...

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    OOPS ... here's what I meant to say ...

    One thing's for sure: Scalia likes broccoli!

    Ha! That may be true. But, he won't be forced to buy it!

    Oh, I kid Justice Scalia ...

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    GRRRRrrr..

    Well, it would be rude not to respond to a direct question... :D

    Let's clear up some fallacies right from the start..

    A gun ban won't work... In America a total gun band is illogical, irrational and doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding.. So, let's take that off the table right now...

    Let us further agree that banning certain types of weapons will not prevent bad guys from getting those banned weapons.. Criminals, by definition, won't obey the law. Stinger missiles are illegal to acquire, yet terrorists have no problem getting them.. So, can we agree that the bad guys will ALWAYS find a way to acquire banned weapons..

    Assuming there is common ground in these two points, let's run with it..

    Scalia makes a very good point in his self-defense argument. Ignoring his stance on CCW (we can discuss that later) the point Scalia is making (at least as I read it) is that the citizenry has a right to be armed with the kinds of weapons they may encounter and required to have a defense against..

    Now, what does that mean in practical terms..

    In the course of your day to day activities, is it possible that you might run into a terrorist with a stinger missile.. In the here and now, not really. So, a person doesn't need to carry a stinger missile.. It's a bad example, I know because a stinger missile is not an anti-personnel weapon, but the point is made just the same...

    Is it possible that a person will run into a situation where a psychotic madman with an AK?? Yes, it's very possible.. Therefore, it's reasonable to allow citizenry to own an AK-47...

    Granted, it's a very simplistic example. Most logical and rational actions are simple...

    Remember Star Trek?? A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR?? Kirk armed the villagers with the exact same type of weaponry the Hill People had..

    So, as I see it, two logical and rational parameters should govern the issue of which weapons should be available to everyday citizens..

    1. The bad guys have access to said weapons.

    2. The possibility of being forced into a confrontation with said bad guys armed with said weapons.

    Michale.....

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    A gun ban won't work... In America a total gun band is illogical, irrational and doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding.. So, let's take that off the table right now...

    Well, my friend, I don't believe that was ever on the table. In fact, I'm sure of it.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Comment #55 was an absolute joy to read, relaively speaking.

    I'm going to savour the moment before making any further comments.

    I knew you could do it!

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    His opinion on gun law isn't as bad as it could have been though, he leaves some scope for Government regulation of guns. In fact, the room for regulation he left hasn't been adopted and neither Obama/Romney has any plans to.

    This is very true as well and gets back to Chris' point that pretty much no politician will touch this these days.

    In order for this to actually happen, public opinion is going to have to sway much more in favor of regulation for assault weapons. This is, to your point, Elizabeth, that more people have to want to ban weapons and believe in banning weapons in order to limit the influence of the NRA.

    Here, the situation is very similar to gay rights, where public perception changed first making it ok for politicians to act.

    A little sad ... but true.

    -David

    p.s. Just out of curiousity, is anyone here (other than Michale) a gun owner?

    BTW- I'm also betting Michale can't stand it and jumps in before long ;)

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think you just won that bet, David. :)

  60. [60] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Dangit ... I really can't keep up today ... too much work. You beat me to it, Michale.

    1. The bad guys have access to said weapons.

    2. The possibility of being forced into a confrontation with said bad guys armed with said weapons.

    Using this logic though ... it should be ok for me to own a stinger missile.

    No?

    -David

  61. [61] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I think you just won that bet, David. :)

    It doesn't count though. He beat me to it :)

  62. [62] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale, we have already debated the gun ban so we can agree to disagree on that one.

    What I absolutely cannot agree with is this logic:
    "So, can we agree that the bad guys will ALWAYS find a way to acquire banned weapons."

    What this logic is missing is the harder you make it for a criminal to obtain something, the less likely they will obtain it. There is no ALWAYS. Always is nothing more than hyperbole in this statement.

    If you sell machine-guns in every single shop in America, criminals well very likely be able to get machine-guns (still not 'always'); if machine-guns are made illegal, banned from being produced, banned from being imported (etc) then SOME criminals will manage to obtain them (like everything illegal) but to say they will ALWAYS have them is laughable. As I mentioned in the other thread, it is simple supply and demand economics.

    However, let's say your logic is correct - the conclusion it leads you to is:

    "Is it possible that a person will run into a situation where a psychotic madman with an AK?? Yes, it's very possible.. Therefore, it's reasonable to allow citizenry to own an AK-47..."

    I can see you are trying to look at the issue at least sort of logically which is good but I think this is awful logic and would lead the country down a very dark road.

    Basically if you take this to it's logical conclusion, then you are arguing that citizens should be able to own bombs, grenades, explosives, tanks, armored vehicles, police riot gear, kevlar vests, etc etc. All of these apply your same test of 'what's the worst thing that someone can likely use against me'.

  63. [63] 
    michty6 wrote:

    David "p.s. Just out of curiousity, is anyone here (other than Michale) a gun owner?"

    I actually have a pretty funny story about this. I have never owned a gun and never will (except toy guns :)).

    Until a couple of years ago I had never even seen a handgun in real life. This all changed when I was visiting a friend in Little Rock, Arkansas and one of her friends was telling me,over a plate of gumbo :), about how she kept a gun under her pillow. I called her out on it as I didn't believe it - so we go to her house, we go into her bedroom, she lifts up the pillow and hay-presto there is a handgun there! Sitting right on the bed, under the pillow - locked, loaded and ready to go!

    I was literally gob-smacked and it's kind of a shame because this is the one story I tell the most about my visit to Arkansas but I really enjoyed that area of the country and had a great time!

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Using this logic though ... it should be ok for me to own a stinger missile.

    No?

    No. While it meets parameter 1, it doesn't meet parameter 2...

    Like I said, the Stinger Missile is a bad example (INVASION: USA notwithstanding :D)
    because it's not an anti-personnel weapon...

    Mitchy,

    then SOME criminals will manage to obtain them (like everything illegal) but to say they will ALWAYS have them is laughable. As I mentioned in the other thread, it is simple supply and demand economics.

    Aren't you just saying what I said in a different way??

    I never meant to imply that criminals will ALWAYS have them..

    I am simply saying that criminals WILL find a way to obtain illegal weapons. Now, if you want to add the qualifier "some" I don't have a problem with that as it doesn't change the specifics of my point. If there is a chance that criminals can get the weapons and there is a chance of being forced into a confrontation with said criminals armed with said weapons, then the citizenry should be allowed to have those weapons..

    Of course, I am referring to a Home Invasion scenario, as we are not discussing the CCW aspects of weapons availability..

    Basically if you take this to it's logical conclusion, then you are arguing that citizens should be able to own bombs, grenades, explosives, tanks, armored vehicles, police riot gear, kevlar vests, etc etc. All of these apply your same test of 'what's the worst thing that someone can likely use against me'.

    Key word there is "likely"... You use these instances as an example because they are EXTREMELY far-fetched..

    Actually most of those items ARE reasonable.. Except for the tanks and armoured vehicles. :D

    Bombs, grenades and explosives can be negated by firearms, so it's not necessary to give citizens access to those weapons.. Having body armour is certainly not illegal and is definitely advisable in today's world... I have several myself.. "Riot gear" is considered non-lethal weaponry and there is nothing wrong with that...

    So, take away the tanks and the armoured vehicle and you have a pretty reasonable and wholly legal arsenal...

    Even armoured vehicles are not as unusual as you might think...

    My point is that reasonableness is, within limits, in the eye of the beholder..

    YOU might not think it's reasonable to have an AR-15 as a self-defense weapon. Actually it isn't my first choice either..

    http://www.autoburst.net/graphics/Rifles/Moss500.jpg

    That's what I keep at my bedside..

    "I keep this around for close encounters"
    -Hicks, ALIENS

    :D

    But if a homeowner is going to go up against a home invader with an AR-15, said homeowner has the right to be comparatively armed...

    If our government could absolutely GUARANTEE us that the bad guys will NEVER have access to assault rifles, then I say "Ban ALL Assault Rifles"

    But our government CAN'T give us that guarantee, so we as citizens have the right to arm ourselves..

    Michale.....

  65. [65] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    p.s. Just out of curiousity, is anyone here (other than Michale) a gun owner?

    I come from one of the most liberal towns in America. Most of my male friends growing up know how to shoot/clean/care for guns. A good half of them owned guns at some point. Quite a few still do, including me.

  66. [66] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I was literally gob-smacked and it's kind of a shame because this is the one story I tell the most about my visit to Arkansas but I really enjoyed that area of the country and had a great time!

    Hahahahah ... Welcome to Amur-ica!
    (said in best redneck voice-over possible)

    The interesting thing about our little 'burg is that we seem to be corn-fed a lot of fear on a daily basis.

    This isn't to say crime doesn't happen, rather that I think there's a gap between actual crime and how much crime the public perceives. Perhaps this is because crime is on TV 24x7 here. Hence, some of the perceived need to arm.

    Glad you enjoyed Arkansas though and you didn't have the Keith Richards experience. What brought you there?

    -David

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Comment #55 was an absolute joy to read, relaively speaking.

    I'm going to savour the moment before making any further comments.

    I knew you could do it!

    Thank you, Liz... I do have my moments, few and far between though they may be.. :D

    Michale.....

  68. [68] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Bombs, grenades and explosives can be negated by firearms, so it's not necessary to give citizens access to those weapons.. Having body armour is certainly not illegal and is definitely advisable in today's world... I have several myself.. "Riot gear" is considered non-lethal weaponry and there is nothing wrong with that...

    So, take away the tanks and the armoured vehicle and you have a pretty reasonable and wholly legal arsenal..."

    I can't imagine that the rest of the country would agree with your view! Bombs and grenades for everyone!

    Michale your logic eats itself in two places:

    (1) "Key word there is "likely"... You use these instances as an example because they are EXTREMELY far-fetched.."

    If something is made legal it is far more 'likely' to be used as a weapon against you, as it will be more easily accessible; similarly if something is made illegal then it is much less 'likely' it will be used against you.

    So if the test is 'you can arm yourself with a weapon that is likely to be used against you' I would argue that the solution is to ban ALL guns then they become much less likely to be used against you and thus, by your own logic, you wouldn't require said weapon!

    (2) The 2nd point where your logic is flawed is where you say:
    "If our government could absolutely GUARANTEE us that the bad guys will NEVER have access to assault rifles, then I say "Ban ALL Assault Rifles"

    Again if this is your test then literally every single weapon known to man should be made available for people to own since there is absolutely no way a Government could ever GUARANTEE any weapon not being used against you.

    There is no way Government can ever guarantee certain weapons not being used against you, all they can do is make it less likely. And by your own admission from logic (1) the less likely someone is to use a weapon against you, the less the need for you to own this weapon...

  69. [69] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Actually a lot of the debate in creating the second amendment had to do with military matters. From protecting against foreign invasion to ensuring the state militias could defend themselves should the federal government get too powerful and raise a permanent standing army. Hunting and home defense were part but not all the reason for the amendment. It's really the gun lobbies who have narrowed the debate of the second amendment to only applying to guns and ignoring the first half of the text...

  70. [70] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "This isn't to say crime doesn't happen, rather that I think there's a gap between actual crime and how much crime the public perceives. Perhaps this is because crime is on TV 24x7 here. Hence, some of the perceived need to arm.

    Glad you enjoyed Arkansas though and you didn't have the Keith Richards experience. What brought you there?"

    Again this goes back to my point in [52] - this is what a 24/7, corporate, sensationalist media looking for the big 'scoop' leads to. The media needs to take a good look at what it is turning into. If faced with the choice of a sensationalist headline that pushes the truth or a safe, sensible headline with a solid analysis they tend to go with the former.

    As for Arkansas, I was visiting a friend who moved there (she lives there now with her husband!) - I am a bit of a traveller and I like to take in different environments, cultures and experiences. I thought 'when am I ever going to get the chance to go to Arkansas again??' so went for it!

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mitchy,

    As you said, we'll just have to agree to disagree..

    Two and a half decades in the relevant fields gives me a certain insight that you lack...

    I am comfortable with my outlook as it pertains to the reality of the here and now in this country.

    Your mileage, of course, will vary.. :D

    Michale.....

  72. [72] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If faced with the choice of a sensationalist headline that pushes the truth or a safe, sensible headline with a solid analysis they tend to go with the former.

    If it bleeds it leads ...

    I have to say it's why these days I rarely watch, read or listen to corporate media. It bugs me that they're trying to play on my emotions.

    Arkansas still cracks me up ... probably not at the top of most overseas traveler lists :). But outstanding. I always love trying to find places like these types of places in other countries. To me, meeting people and having different experiences is always much more interesting than some touristy type trap like the Eiffel Tower.

    -David

  73. [73] 
    michty6 wrote:
  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    CLASSIC Episode!! :D

    "MAAARRRGGGGEEEE Open your eyes...."

    :D

    Michale.....

  75. [75] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    michty: What this logic is missing is the harder you make it for a criminal to obtain something, the less likely they will obtain it.

    The mafia is always happy to supply product to meet the demand. Remember the days of prohibition? There was always plenty of booze for whomever wanted it. And how about drugs? Has the government won the war on drugs? Far from it.

    There's always been an underground network for guns, and there always will be.

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    There's always been an underground network for guns, and there always will be.

    And that's exactly the point..

    You ban AK-47s and criminals will still get AK-47s... By definition, they DON'T obey the law...

    So, the only thing an AK-47 ban will do is prevent honest innocent citizens from protecting themselves with the comparable firepower that the criminals have..

    Michale.....

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually a lot of the debate in creating the second amendment had to do with military matters. From protecting against foreign invasion to ensuring the state militias could defend themselves should the federal government get too powerful and raise a permanent standing army.

    That would seem to support the belief that the citizenry should have access to the same weapons that a Federal "standing army" has....

    Michale.....

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Are you suggesting, through various comments here, that citizens should be allowed to carry an assault weapon with them wherever they may cross paths with a criminal or just have it safely tucked underneath their pillows?

    You know, this may be a very good and timely topic for you to write a full-fledged article about and submit it to Chris for possible publication here. You could get into the details of the issue and moderate the great debate that would surely follow.

    It would be entirely appropriate for you to be the first to take up this challenge and so I heartily encourage you to do so!

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Are you suggesting, through various comments here, that citizens should be allowed to carry an assault weapon with them wherever they may cross paths with a criminal or just have it safely tucked underneath their pillows?

    I am not suggesting anything.. I am merely commenting on what Bashi said about the thinking of our founding fathers..

    You know, this may be a very good and timely topic for you to write a full-fledged article about and submit it to Chris for possible publication here. You could get into the details of the issue and moderate the great debate that would surely follow.

    It would be entirely appropriate for you to be the first to take up this challenge and so I heartily encourage you to do so!

    Oh believe me, the gears are spinning. :D

    My lovely wife leaves for Vegas today to attend a family reunion. So I'm getting her off.... er... I mean helping her pack...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX1uLpPd8xc&feature=player_embedded#t=70s

    :D

    ..... and then you can bet I'll be thinking hard about a submission...

    Michale.....

  80. [80] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris1962 "The mafia is always happy to supply product to meet the demand. Remember the days of prohibition? There was always plenty of booze for whomever wanted it. And how about drugs? Has the government won the war on drugs? Far from it.

    There's always been an underground network for guns, and there always will be."

    Michale"So, the only thing an AK-47 ban will do is prevent honest innocent citizens from protecting themselves with the comparable firepower that the criminals have.."

    You are completely missing the point I am making. During prohibition there was LESS ALCOHOL AVAILABLE. Because drugs are illegal there are LESS DRUGS AVAILABLE. And if guns were made illegal, guess what? There would be LESS GUNS AVAILABLE. As I mentioned it is simple supply and demand economics.

    I am not arguing there will ever be ZERO available, I am arguing that making them illegal makes less available and therefore makes them CONSIDERABLY less likely to be used against you. This was the flaw I was arguing in Michale's logic where his logic was 'the more likely someone can use a weapon against you, the more you should be able to own that weapon'.

    There are many other things that are illegal like bombs and chemicals that end up in the hands of criminals/terrorists this doesn't mean we should (like guns) make them legal and then let everyone arm up with bombs and chemicals to counter this threat!

  81. [81] 
    akadjian wrote:

    So, the only thing an AK-47 ban will do is prevent honest innocent citizens from protecting themselves with the comparable firepower that the criminals have.

    If you need to protect yourself with an AK-47, you need to get out of the drug business ... :)

    The mafia is always happy to supply product to meet the demand.

    Sure. But michty's point still stands. No one is arguing to make it impossible to buy guns. The argument is to make it harder to get certain types of guns. The assault type ones that can be used to kill lots of people in crowded movie theaters.

    BTW- That Simpson's clip is brilliant. "5 days ... But I'm angry now!" has to rank as one of the funniest lines I've ever seen.

    -David

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I can hardly wait to read your article!

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure. But michty's point still stands. No one is arguing to make it impossible to buy guns. The argument is to make it harder to get certain types of guns. The assault type ones that can be used to kill lots of people in crowded movie theaters.

    You assume that just because something is illegal, it makes it harder to get.. While that may or may not be true, it's irrelevant..

    Even if you keep 50 million guns from getting to the streets, the 10 million that DO get thru are going to do MORE damage because they are going up against a virtually unarmed populace...

    So, while you MIGHT be correct that less AK-47s will make it to the streets, the fact that ALL the AK-47s that DO make it to the streets will be in the hands of criminals ONLY.

    You are GUARANTEEING that ONLY the criminals will have the superior firepower..

    THAT is the flaw in your logic...

    With AKs in the hands of ONLY criminals, the citizenry will be like lambs to the slaughter, unable to defend themselves against a superior force...

    Michale.....

  84. [84] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "With AKs in the hands of ONLY criminals, the citizenry will be like lambs to the slaughter, unable to defend themselves against a superior force..."

    You need to visit some countries outside of America, broaden your horizons, experiences and world-view. You would see that there is absolutely zero (nil, nada, nothing, no) evidence of this in any Western democratic country where guns are banned or heavily regulated.

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    michty,

    Do you suppose Michale's reality is akin to some sort of John Carpenter movie?

    :-)

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    If you need to protect yourself with an AK-47, you need to get out of the drug business ... :)

    Now, THAT was funny! I may have to use it sometime ...

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    You need to visit some countries outside of America, broaden your horizons, experiences and world-view.

    Yer kidding, right???

    Let's see. I have seen postings in London, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berlin, Munich, Okinawa, Kunsan, Seoul, Sydney, Quebec, Madrid and a couple dozen other backwater places you've never heard of...

    You would see that there is absolutely zero (nil, nada, nothing, no) evidence of this in any Western democratic country where guns are banned or heavily regulated.

    None of those places AIN'T the USA..

    Regardless, it doesn't matter what has happened in other countries..

    If you make Assault Weapons illegal, then the Assault Weapons that DO make it to the streets will be in the hands of criminals..

    That's a FACT that you simply cannot deny. And it totally blows your logic out of the water...

    Why would you want to give the advantage to criminals???

    David,

    If you need to protect yourself with an AK-47, you need to get out of the drug business ... :)

    Reminds me of a funny story. 12-15 years ago, when my kids were in high school, they had a friend. In hind-sight, the kid was VERY sophisticated, much more so beyond his years.. He carried TWO pagers with him.. At the time, I told my kids that the ONLY people who have two pagers are drug dealers...

    Sounds kinda judgmental, doesn't it??

    Think about it.. :D

    Michale.....

  88. [88] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Regardless, it doesn't matter what has happened in other countries

    It does matter. You are arguing banning guns will lead to tyranny and chaos as criminals pick off people like 'lambs to the slaughter'.

    I am arguing there are dozens of countries which have gone through gun bans that basically form empirical evidence this is not the case.

    Your evidence = Your view and opinion as to what would happen
    My evidence = Empirical evidence looking at the impact of gun bans in other Western democracies

    In the context of this argument (or any argument) the quality of your evidence is very important.

    "If you make Assault Weapons illegal, then the Assault Weapons that DO make it to the streets will be in the hands of criminals..

    That's a FACT that you simply cannot deny. And it totally blows your logic out of the water...

    Why would you want to give the advantage to criminals???
    "

    There are so many flaws in this. Let's see:

    (1) Considerably less criminals would have weapons under a ban than do now. So if there are 1000 criminals with assault weapons just now and this was reduced to 10 you don't think this is good? 1000 changes for you to die or 10 - what would you prefer?
    (2) In addition to (1), you assume that having a gun somehow shields you from attack. Like some sort of logic that 1 AK47 will neutralise 1 other AK47! If I were a criminal and had an AK47 and wanted to kill you, you'd be dead. If I ANNOUNCED my plan to kill you at an exact date and time then you could prepare to protect yourself with a gun. Unfortunately for you I (like other criminals) am not that stupid. So if I wanted to kill you with an AK47 you'd be dead - with or without a gun. Guns are not some crazy forcefield that prevent you from dying!
    (3) In addition to (2), they already have an advantage - they are criminals! They don't care about laws or ethics; they don't announce their attacks and they don't care about the consequences. People in the Batman cinema were armed. Did this stop the killer? No! He didn't even get grazed, never mind shot. There is no way more people having guns would've stopped that guy. Like I said he didn't announce 'I'm attacking the Batman screening at 12.05am'. So how do you prevent such attacks? Make it harder for the criminals to get weapons. It's the only way.
    (4) Finally if I were a criminal and I wanted to kill you and I did not have a gun it would make it a lot harder for me to attack and kill you. This is why homicide rates are many, many, many times lower in Western countries that have gun bans/restrictions compared to America. Again I'll use numbers and analogy: would you rather be attacked by a criminal who is 90% likely to have a gun or attacked by a criminal who is 20% likely to have a gun (because of gun restrictions)?

  89. [89] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Do you suppose Michale's reality is akin to some sort of John Carpenter movie?

    Hahaha whatever do you mean ;)
    "With AKs in the hands of ONLY criminals, the citizenry will be like lambs to the slaughter, unable to defend themselves against a superior force."

    Btw Michale I am impressed you have gone so many posts without mentioned the 'left'. It really has made the debate much more relevant and enjoyable :)

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    People in the Batman cinema were armed.

    I said it before and I'll say it again.

    Bullshit..

    Now you are just making shit up...

    This is why homicide rates are many, many, many times lower in Western countries that have gun bans/restrictions compared to America.

    Once again, Bullshit..

    New York and California have THE most restrictive gun laws in the country. Yet, they are number 1 and number 3 for violent deaths...

    Chicago also has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country.. You want to check out their murder stats???

    Apparently, there is no sense in having discussions like this with you because you have absolutely NO FACTS to back up what you are saying...

    So, let's just go back to agreeing to disagree...

    You live in fantasy land where everyone sings koom-bye-yaa and makes happy happy joy joy faces til the cows come home...

    Here in the US, we have to live in the REAL world...

    Michale.....

  91. [91] 
    michty6 wrote:

    @[89] Michale "I said it before and I'll say it again.
    Bullshit.."

    Not only were people armed, but there were SOLDIERS injured in the cinema:
    "Aurora is home to a large satellite intelligence operation at Buckley Air Force Base and the Pentagon confirmed members of the US armed forces were among those injured."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9416606/Batman-cinema-shooting-killer-said-he-was-The-Joker.html

    "New York and California have THE most restrictive gun laws in the country. Yet, they are number 1 and number 3 for violent deaths...
    Chicago also has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country.. You want to check out their murder stats???"

    I mean I haven't looked into the accuracy or reasons for your stats because I don't see the point. Until States have border checks and gun patrol checks to those entering them these statistics are useless. I remember hearing a lot about gun crime in DC before the Heller case but that 98% (!) of the guns came from out of State.

    There have been several killings that got nationwide attention where the killer had to go out of State to get the gun because of gun restrictions.

    Banning guns in one State is stupid unless it is either (i) unilateral or (ii) you set up check points on those entering your State!

  92. [92] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale I'd love for you to address the other points I made in [87] (those in numbers). I'll even give you an analogy:

    THE SET-UP
    You have slept with my wife and I have discovered it, tracked down where you live and have decided I am going to commit a criminal act and kill you.

    SCENARIO 1 - GUNS ARE WIDELY AVAILABLE
    I have a totally clean background so I can just follow the legal routes to get a gun.

    I do some research, read about your background (you appear to have some military/police background?) so based on this I suspect that it is highly likely you are carrying a gun. This makes no difference to me as I plan on a surprise attack.

    I decide to buy an AK47. I practice using it. I fire at targets the similar size to you.

    On the day I commit the crime you are also carrying an AK47 because you believe that carrying AK47s will protect you from AK47s.

    But I actually just walk up behind you when you are not suspecting it and shoot you many times in the back. Job done.

    SCENARIO 2 - GUNS ARE BANNED
    Well I have a clean record and don't really hang out criminals. I don't have the first clue about how to get a gun. Plus I heard that they are expensive, because making things illegal reduces their supply and thus increases their price. So I neither have the know how nor the resources to buy a gun, nevermind an AK47.

    I do some research on you (you appear to have some military/police background?). Uh oh. This puts me off a little. I was thinking about attacking you using a knife but now I'm not so sure as using a knife to kill someone is a lot harder than using a gun. I practice and I'm no good. Knives take a lot more skill to kill someone, never mind someone physical with fighting experience.

    Screw it, I've decided I'll just egg your house instead ;)

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not only were people armed, but there were SOLDIERS injured in the cinema:

    Newsflash for ya, sunshine...
    Service members do not carry their weapons off base...

    You plan a "surprise" attack with an AK-47....???

    Yer more deluded than I thought. :D

    Mitchy, mitchy, mitchy.... :D

    We can debate this til we're both blue in the face, but it's pointless and I'll tell you why...

    Because in the US of A, there will never, EVER be a gun ban.. In our lifetime, in our children's lifetime and in our grandchildren's lifetime..

    There will NEVER be a gun ban in the USA...

    NEVER...

    EVER...

    And I think EVERYONE here (sans you) will agree with that statement..

    Look at the aftermath of EVERY mass shooting..

    Any legislation put forth??? Nope. Even the screams and cries of GUN CONTROL have been muted until they're all but non-existent..

    But you DO see discussions about eliminating gun-free zones..

    You DO see an increase in guns and ammo SALES..

    Sales are up 40% in Aurora in the aftermath of the theater shooting...

    Americans want MORE availability of guns in the aftermath of mass shootings, not LESS..

    You might be very happy with your gun ban.. I bet the tens of thousands of shop owners who lost their entire livelihood to scumbag anarchists and thieves because they couldn't defend what's theirs during your MANY riots.. THEY might not be as thrilled as YOU are about a gun ban...

    But hay.. That's YOUR problem, not ours..

    We're Americans. Guns MADE this country...

    We're going to keep our guns....

    That is the ultimate fact of this entire discussion that NO amount of stats, debates or bleeding hearts is going to change...

    But, hay.. It's fun to cross wits with ya.. :D

    Sometimes you are REALLY annoying..

    And THAT is about the best compliment I can give ya...

    Michale.....

  94. [94] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Haha I thought you might jump on the 'surprise' AK47 part! It was a fun analogy if anything.

    Well I can certainly agree it is unlikely anything will be done about guns any-time soon.

    And the stats and facts will never change, but obviously when it comes some issues, guns being a great example, emotions take over from facts and stats for people. The panic buying you referenced is the perfect example of this.

  95. [95] 
    akadjian wrote:

    My favorite quote about the whole issue so far came from a friend of mine who posted:

    "Shooting sprees only occur in locations where there is a guarantee everyone else is unarmed."

    Interesting, but a logical fallacy.

    1. First, "only" implies "always" which means that all one has to do is find a single other situation/location where shootings don't occur in order to prove this false. The easiest of these is in places where there are no guns. Shooting sprees don't occur in places where there are no guns.

    2. Second, correlation does not equal causation. His argument is basically that everyone having a gun would lead to less shooting sprees. If you look at the evidence, however, it appears this is exactly the opposite. Most of the shooting sprees like this occur in countries where guns are readily available and there is lots of gun ownership. Ready availability of weapons seems much more likely to be a contributing factor to these types of shooting sprees.

    If more guns = less shooting sprees, America should have the lowest rate of shooting sprees in the world. Yet this isn't the case.

    3. Third, if you didn't have "assault" style weapons, at the very minimum, it's unlikely you'd be able to use the word "spree". It would be a shooting. Bad, but not a massacre.

    -David

  96. [96] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I'd like to hear what the definition of 'shooting sprees' was too!

  97. [97] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Channeling John Mclaughlin: You're all wrong!

    No really. Read the actual statistics regarding violence and guns. They don't really support either of your arguments.

    Michale: not sure where your violence per state comes from and what it entails (does it include suicide?) but per capita gun deaths per state per 100,000 people is:

    Rank States Amount
    # 1 DC: 31.2
    # 2 Alaska: 20
    # 3 Louisiana: 19.5
    # 4 Wyoming: 18.8
    # 5 Arizona: 18
    # 6 Nevada: 17.3
    # 6 Mississippi: 17.3
    # 8 New Mexico: 16.6
    # 9 Arkansas: 16.3
    # 10 Alabama: 16.2
    # 11 Tennessee: 15.4
    # 12 West Virginia: 14.7
    # 13 Montana: 14.5
    # 14 South Carolina: 13.8
    # 15 North Carolina: 13.6
    # 16 Georgia: 13.4
    # 17 Kentucky: 13.1
    # 17 Oklahoma: 13.1
    # 19 Missouri: 12.3
    # 19 Idaho: 12.3
    # 21 Indiana: 11.7
    # 22 Colorado: 11.5
    # 22 Maryland: 11.5
    # 24 Florida: 11.1
    # 24 Virginia: 11.1
    # 26 Texas: 11
    # 27 Michigan: 10.9
    # 28 Oregon: 10.5
    # 29 Pennsylvania: 9.9
    # 30 California: 9.8
    # 31 Illinois: 9.7
    # 31 Kansas: 9.7
    # 31 Utah: 9.7
    # 34 Vermont: 9.6
    # 35 Ohio: 9.3
    # 35 Washington: 9.3
    # 37 Delaware: 9.1
    # 37 North Dakota: 9.1
    # 39 Wisconsin: 8.1
    # 39 Nebraska: 8.1
    # 41 South Dakota: 7.9
    # 42 Iowa: 6.7
    # 43 Maine: 6.5
    # 44 Minnesota: 6
    # 45 New Hampshire 5.8
    # 46 Rhode Island: 5.1
    # 46 New York: 5.1
    # 48 New Jersey: 4.9
    # 49 Connecticut: 4.3
    # 50 Massachusetts: 3.1
    # 51 Hawaii: 2.8

    Notice California at #30 and New York near the bottom of the list?

    Now it's true that murder rates for European countries are about quarter of the US, the chance for a random citizen to encounter violent crime is actually much higher than the US. And don't even go to South America. It's not nice down there...

    If the whole argument that criminals would just get assault weapons if banned has a huge glaring hole in it. Why are crimes committed with and deaths attributed to fully automatic weapons so low? They are illegal, and if criminals can get anything they want on the black market or through the "Mafia", the criminals of this country should prefer them and have them in large quantities, right? Right?

    I have a friend who bought a SKS (a Chinese knock off of the AK-47 usually with a smaller clip)for pig hunting. Seems wild boar have a bad tendency to keep charging after the first shot and a standard bolt action hunting rifle is just not fast enough for getting off the second shot if needed. So there is actually a use for assault weapons in hunting, strange as it may seem.

    The sad reality of guns are that the single most likely victim of a gun is the owner and by their own hand. Suicide is the leading cause of gun death in the home followed closely by a family member shooting another family member either in anger or stupidity. Stopping unknown intruders is way, way down the list.

    Now for the concealed carry laws stopping killing sprees like this. Maybe. In the Colorado case smoke canisters were used so it might have lessened the deaths but probably not stopped them. The flip side is how many deaths per year are caused directly by those with concealed weapon permits? The statistics are hard to find as many states don't make the distinction but they seem to be higher than the rate of psychos on mass killing sprees...

    I could go on but I won't. I have a hard time arguing gun laws as my stance does not match either of the two standard sides...

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    "Shooting sprees only occur in locations where there is a guarantee everyone else is unarmed."

    Interesting, but a logical fallacy.

    Actually, it's dead on ballz accurate..

    Do you ever hear of a mass shooting at a gun range?? Or a cop bar??

    Like all people that are basically cowards at heart, psychotics prefer soft targets... Targets where people are GUARANTEED not to shoot back.. Schools, federal buildings, Great Britain :D

    If you look at the evidence, however, it appears this is exactly the opposite. Most of the shooting sprees like this occur in countries where guns are readily available and there is lots of gun ownership.

    I'll tell you the same thing I told Mitchy..

    Bullshit...

    Chicago... New York... California... Some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country... Some of the HIGHEST fatality rates due to gun violence...

    Maine... North Dakota... The LOWEST rates of gun fatalities in the country.. The LAXest gun laws in the country...

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to draw the logical conclusion...

    More guns LEGALLY in the hands of responsible citizens = LESS gun related crime...

    3. Third, if you didn't have "assault" style weapons, at the very minimum, it's unlikely you'd be able to use the word "spree". It would be a shooting. Bad, but not a massacre.

    Once again, bullshit...

    One handgun with a couple mags can do the SAME damage as one assault rifle...

    One trigger pull.. One bullet...

    So, if you ban assault rifles, you HAVE to ban ALL Semi-Automatic weapons. Banning one without banning the other is moronic...

    Viola'... You are well on your way to a full gun ban...

    Mitchy makes great waves about Holmes' 100-round magazine...

    Do you know WHY 100-round magazines are not banned?? Because ANYONE who knows weaponry KNOWS that such magazines that ARE available to the public have a 93% jam/failure rate... Which is EXACTLY what happened at the Aurora Theater... Holmes' "vaunted" 100-round magazine jammed.. Loss of life was a LOT less...

    Now, picture a VERY realistic alternate scenario where 100-round magazines are banned.. Holmes can't get the massive fire-power he wants, so he buys up a dozen 30 round clips... He practices and practices until he has swapping clips down to a half-second..

    VIOLA'

    Instead of 12 dead and 70 injured, we have 50-60 dead and a couple hundred injured..

    The lack of a ban on 100-round magazines ACTUALLY SAVED LIVES....

    The problem with people (present company excepted, of course) who advocate gun control is that they are completely CLUELESS about guns and weaponry and therefore don't have an inkling at what makes an effective ban...

    I don't mean to come down so hard on ya, David.. We all have our expertise.

    The problem is that the Gun Control folks are making an EMOTIONAL argument...

    If one takes a step back and looks at things logically and objectively one can more effectively address the issue...

    But, as I said above, it's a moot point. The US will never have a complete gun ban in our lifetime or our children's lifetime...

    There are ways to reduce the possibility of gun violence of this sort.. All it takes is the will to push for those effective solutions...

    Michale.....

  99. [99] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Countries worldwide in 2009 (homicides involving a gun):

    Japan 7
    Germany 381
    United Kingdom 63
    United States 10,224

    Statistically, we have 26 times more gun violence incidents than Germany. More than 200 times more than the UK. And almost 2000 times more than Japan.

    So why is there so much more violence involving guns in our country?

    -David

  100. [100] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Probably because we have a crapload more people and a whole lot of gang violence.

  101. [101] 
    Chris1962 wrote:
  102. [102] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    You are completely missing the point I am making. During prohibition there was LESS ALCOHOL AVAILABLE. Because drugs are illegal there are LESS DRUGS AVAILABLE. And if guns were made illegal, guess what? There would be LESS GUNS AVAILABLE.

    Only to law-abiding citizens. The bad guys never have any problem getting them. That's the point that you keep missing.

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    So why is there so much more violence involving guns in our country?

    Most likely because our LEO agencies are hampered by a crappy judicial system that all but rewards crime.

    Why is it that areas that have lax gun laws that make it easier for law abiding citizens to own and carry weapons have lower violent crime rates than those areas that make it harder to own and carry weapons??

    That's the one overriding fact that Gun Control proponents have no answer for.

    It's like the Global Warming debate... Proponents of the GW theory say that increase CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to higher temps. Yet the CO2 is increasing, but the temps are not..

    It's the same with Gun Control. The proponents of Gun Control put forth the theory that increased availability of guns will mean higher violent crime rate and deaths, but it works just the opposite. Increased availability of guns means LOWER violent crime rate and deaths..

    It's policy-based evidence making, but reality and those pesky facts always get in the way..

    What you don't seem to understand is that if you take away guns, gun deaths WILL go down. But the deaths that DO occur will still be well up there, but it will ALL be innocent people instead of innocent people AND scumbags who DESERVE to die, as it is in the here and now.

    But violent crime against people and property will skyrocket. During the riots in Great Britain, how many shop owners would STILL have their business if GB didn't have such draconian gun laws?? Hundreds, probably THOUSANDS more shop owners would still have their business and hundreds more scumbags would be off the streets and in the ground where they belong...

    Like I told mitchy, it's all a moot point. As time goes on, we're going to see more and more lax gun laws.. Fighting for Gun Control makes absolutely no sense because it just ain't going to happen.

    Better to explore other methods of detecting and stopping mass shootings BEFORE they happen. Getting rid of the guns will just mean the psychotics will use other means to kill numerous people...

    CB,

    Only to law-abiding citizens. The bad guys never have any problem getting them. That's the point that you keep missing.

    Another bit of irony...

    The majority of Gun Control proponents are also part of the legalize drugs group as well...

    So, on one issue, the group is saying that LEGALIZATION is the answer.. On the OTHER issue, the group says that ILLEGALIZATION is the answer...

    It's hard to keep track of positions, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  104. [104] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Increased availability of guns means LOWER violent crime rate and deaths.

    Unfortunately, all the evidence seems to indicate otherwise.

    You are right about politicians being unlikely to do anything because of the strong lobbying power of the NRA. But over time, as more of these incidents happen, public opinion might change.

    In the here and now, we will likely have to live with the shooting sprees.

    -David

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    Shots fired outside Rave theater in altercation after Batman showing in Port St. Lucie
    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/jul/24/shots-fired-outside-rave-theater-in-altercation/

    Another tragedy averted because a citizen had a CCW...

    At the very least, this man probably saved his and his wife's life...

    Michale.....

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The only reason to have an armor-piercing bullet is to go through a bullet-resistant vest. The only people that wear bullet-resistant vests are our police officers."
    -NYC Mayor Bloomberg

    It's this kind of utter and complete ignorance that makes dealing with the Gun Control crowd so frustrating...

    If I recall correctly, Holmes was wearing body armour.. So, even if there WAS an armed citizen in the theater, Holmes would have been a LOT harder to stop unless the citizen was packing teflon rounds...

    Michale.....

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unfortunately, all the evidence seems to indicate otherwise.

    No. It's just you are drawing incorrect conclusions from the available data and ignoring the data that doesn't support the desired conclusion...

    But over time, as more of these incidents happen, public opinion might change.

    I would be willing to bet that the public opinion you claim will change will not be the public opinion you WANT to change..

    More likely the public will cry out for better interdiction and detection, rather than disarming legal and law-abiding citizens...

    In the here and now, we will likely have to live with the shooting sprees.

    Yes we will.. Until such time as Americans are ready to accept better and more effective surveillance techniques..

    Michale.....

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes we will.. Until such time as Americans are ready to accept better and more effective surveillance techniques..

    Something along these lines is a good start...

    NSA whistleblowers: Government spying on every single American
    http://rt.com/usa/news/nsa-whistleblower-binney-drake-978/

    Michale......

  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    How's the article coming along?

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    How's the article coming along?

    I have ALMOST decided on exactly what I want to write about. :D

    Michale...

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:
  112. [112] 
    michty6 wrote:

    One last post from me. After I talked to my friend he pointed out an even more interesting stat that I was missing:

    Non-firearm homicides:
    USA - 1.58 per 100k
    UK - 1.33 per 100k

    Pretty comparable, as you'd expect, since the countries have similar laws and similar levels of violence.

    Firearm homicides:
    USA - 2.97 per 100k
    UK - 0.12 per 100k

    Like I said, I am never saying that banning guns gets rid of them. People still get shot in the UK, just 25 TIMES LESS do! Hardly your 'lambs to the slaughter' argument.

    Your argument is (as you pointed out, you feel the same with Global Warming) that everyone else is crazy and their facts are incorrect. Scientists and people who have performed factual analysis are incorrect. Your view is correct.

    The reality is that your view is far too emotional about guns. You have an emotional attachment that distorts your view of the facts. Like this post "Another tragedy averted because a citizen had a CCW...at the very least, this man probably saved his and his wife's life..." is just taking a completely emotional approach to the facts. The facts are more people die in America because of guns, one guy saving his life doesn't disprove this fact - it is pretty good evidence though that you're looking at the issue too emotionally.

    This is the fact that you cannot deny:
    Any developed country where guns are harder to get than they are in America has homicide rates that are 2-10 times lower.

    There are no statistics on violent crime to compare because the definition of 'violent crime' differs too much. But the MOST violent crime is killing someone. And for that every single statistic shows that gun availability increases this.

    Btw by 'anywhere where guns are harder to get' I do not include ANYWHERE in America. Regardless of the State laws, guns are easy to get because you can just drive to another State! So showing inter-State comparisons is pointless. It's like saying 'well we regulated guns and crime hasn't gone down - I wonder if it's to do with the people who keep bringing them from 100 yards away where guns aren't regulated!'

    One final stat: It is estimated that gun violence costs the USA $100 billion annually

    "Better to explore other methods of detecting and stopping mass shootings BEFORE they happen. Getting rid of the guns will just mean the psychotics will use other means to kill numerous people..."

    I'd love to hear about these other means. Like how the cinema guy would've killed 12 people and injured dozens more with just a knife...?

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your argument is (as you pointed out, you feel the same with Global Warming) that everyone else is crazy and their facts are incorrect. Scientists and people who have performed factual analysis are incorrect. Your view is correct.

    No... My argument is that OTHER scientists have pointed out the OTHER side of the argument. It's YOUR contention that THOSE scientists are crazy and YOUR scientists are right..

    See why the comparison to religion is so apt??

    YOUR priests (scientists) are right and THEIR priests (scientists) are heretics..

    MY own personal experiences and training are in keeping with one scientists conclusions, so that's the group I believe...

    Any developed country where guns are harder to get than they are in America has homicide rates that are 2-10 times lower.

    While it may be a fact, it's simply impossible to come to the conclusion you do, based on that ONE fact...

    What exactly caused the homicide??? You simply CANNOT come to the conclusion you are coming to about guns, based on HOMICIDE rates...

    Let me give you an example of why not..

    5 times as many deaths occur from automobiles than occur from guns..

    Obviously, the ONLY conclusion we can reach is that we should make guns legal and cars illegal..

    You see the fallacy of your argument??

    It's called GIGO....

    Garbage In, Garbage Out...

    If you start with a false assumption, then it's simply impossible for your conclusion to be anything but wrong...

    One final stat: It is estimated that gun violence costs the USA $100 billion annually

    Another faulty assumption that would lead to a faulty conclusion..

    WHO estimated that?? What were their parameters for "gun violence".. What were there "cost" estimates based on?? What part of the country??

    These drive-by stats are MEANINGLESS unless they have some sort of context attached to them...

    I'd love to hear about these other means. Like how the cinema guy would've killed 12 people and injured dozens more with just a knife...?

    Car deaths FAR EXCEED gun deaths..

    Would you like to discuss the logic of making driving illegal???

    Michale....

  114. [114] 
    akadjian wrote:

    What exactly caused the homicide??? You simply CANNOT come to the conclusion you are coming to about guns, based on HOMICIDE rates.

    You can when the homicide rates are homicide rates involving guns or "Firearm Homicides". Not to be flip here, but that is kind of the definition of firearm homicides.

    It's YOUR contention that THOSE scientists are crazy and YOUR scientists are right.

    These seem to be your words, Michale. I didn't hear anything of the sort.

    I would phrase it more like the following. 99% of scientists agree on global warming. The other 1% are typically paid by the oil industry.

    But the oil industry has a lot of money and is able to mount significant marketing campaigns so they have a disproportionately loud voice.

    Scientists on the other hand, do not have the same amount of influence.

    Just a few thoughts ...
    -David

  115. [115] 
    Michale wrote:

    You can when the homicide rates are homicide rates involving guns or "Firearm Homicides". Not to be flip here, but that is kind of the definition of firearm homicides.

    That's just my point. The discussion flips from gun homicides to homicides depending on the stat being quoted..

    It must be specified or it's meaningless...

    These seem to be your words, Michale. I didn't hear anything of the sort.

    I didn't "hear" then either. I read them.. yuk yuk yuk...

    Mitchy: (#111)
    Your argument is (as you pointed out, you feel the same with Global Warming) that everyone else is crazy and their facts are incorrect. Scientists and people who have performed factual analysis are incorrect. Your view is correct.

    I would phrase it more like the following. 99% of scientists agree on global warming.

    And I would phrase THAT as complete felgercarb.. But let's not start THAT discussion... Please.. :D

    I am going to ignore the rest because I really, REALLY don't want to open this particular can 'o worms..

    "Don't. Please. Every joke, every pun. Done to death. Seriously."
    -Dr Daniel Jackson, STARGATE SG1

    :D

    Michale....

  116. [116] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "While it may be a fact, it's simply impossible to come to the conclusion you do, based on that ONE fact...
    What exactly caused the homicide??? You simply CANNOT come to the conclusion you are coming to about guns, based on HOMICIDE rates...
    That's just my point. The discussion flips from gun homicides to homicides depending on the stat being quoted..
    It must be specified or it's meaningless..."

    Huh? Did you read my post [111]. Like right at the very start. I'll quote again:

    Non-firearm homicides:
    USA - 1.58 per 100k
    UK - 1.33 per 100k

    Pretty comparable, as you'd expect, since the countries have similar laws and similar levels of violence.

    Firearm homicides:
    USA - 2.97 per 100k
    UK - 0.12 per 100k

    Like I said, I am never saying that banning guns gets rid of them. People still get shot in the UK, just 25 TIMES LESS do! Hardly your 'lambs to the slaughter' argument.

    These stats are the same for any developed country where guns are harder to get than they are in America

    Or let me put it another way, America is the only developed country which has a HIGHER firearms homicide rate than NON-firearms homicide rate (one exception: Switzerland, which also has high gun ownership and their firerams homicide rate marginally beats the non-firearms... ;))

    "5 times as many deaths occur from automobiles than occur from guns..
    Obviously, the ONLY conclusion we can reach is that we should make guns legal and cars illegal..
    You see the fallacy of your argument??"

    Several flaws in your logic:
    1. Cars serve many other purposes. Their primary purpose is not to kill when used. Cars have a daily purpose and the utility of having them outweighs the risk of accidents. Guns have no such daily use nor utility.
    2. Cars are VERY HIGHLY REGULATED. You can't compare the level of regulation between a car and gun. To drive a car you have to spend many hours learning, sit tests, drive safely or get fined etc etc etc. I don't believe this is what you're advocating for guns?
    3. The death rate for cars is the same/similar in developed countries. America isn't a large outlier with 2-10 times more people dying. So there is no indication that America is doing something totally different with cars than any other country; every single statistic indicates this is not the case with guns.

    Finally, please send an article to CW about Global Warming. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/open that can ;)

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    1. Cars serve many other purposes. Their primary purpose is not to kill when used. Cars have a daily purpose and the utility of having them outweighs the risk of accidents. Guns have no such daily use nor utility.

    Tell that to a cop or a soldier.. :D

    The fact is YOU don't view guns as useful and that colors your judgment.

    I, on the other hand, know for a fact that guns save lives...

    Regardless, neither one of us has the right to sit in judgment as to what tool is useful and what tool isn't..

    If you want guns to be banned because they cause death and injuries, then you MUST feel the same about cars.. Or pesticides... Or alligators.. :D

    Anything less and your bias is showing.. :D

    Finally, please send an article to CW about Global Warming. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/open that can ;)

    Never happen...

    Getting into religious arguments is not the way to make friends and influence people.. :D

    Michale.....

  118. [118] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Regardless, neither one of us has the right to sit in judgment as to what tool is useful and what tool isn't..
    If you want guns to be banned because they cause death and injuries, then you MUST feel the same about cars.. Or pesticides... Or alligators.. :D
    Anything less and your bias is showing.. :D"

    Very funny. Nice try. I personally like to use my gun to scratch my back, turn off lights, turn off my TV ala Homer :) It has many uses...

    You CAN respond to the statistics I posted though :)?

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    You CAN respond to the statistics I posted though :)?

    I already have. Way WAY up there..

    You have stats that "prove" your case and I have stats that "prove" my case..

    Neither are relevant to the question "will guns get banned in the USA".. The answer is a resounding HELL NO... :D

    Michale.....

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.largo.org/Lott.html

    You see..

    You have your stats and I have mine... :D

    And neither will convince the other...

    You think you're right because you are living thru a gun ban. Have you asked any shop owners how THEY feel about a gun ban after they lost everything in riots??

    I know that I am right because I have seen the ultimate bad that gun violence can do and the really really good that armed conscientious citizens can do...

    If guns are banned, there will be no good. Just bad...

    But like I said.. We'll never convince each other...

    Michale.....

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    Very funny. Nice try. I personally like to use my gun to scratch my back, turn off lights, turn off my TV ala Homer :) It has many uses...

    "You want me to get the cat down??"
    -Homer Simpson

    :D

    Michale.....

  122. [122] 
    michty6 wrote:

    http://www.largo.org/Lott.html
    "You have your stats and I have mine... :D
    And neither will convince the other..."

    I've already commented on what I think of your stats:

    "Regardless of the State laws, guns are easy to get because you can just drive to another State! So showing inter-State comparisons is pointless. It's like saying 'well we regulated guns and crime hasn't gone down - I wonder if it's to do with the people who keep bringing them [guns] from 100 yards away where guns aren't regulated!'"

    And

    "Until States have border checks and gun patrol checks to those entering them these statistics are useless. I remember hearing a lot about gun crime in DC before the Heller case but that 98% (!) of the guns came from out of State.

    There have been several killings that got nationwide attention where the killer had to go out of State to get the gun because of gun restrictions.

    Banning guns in one State is stupid unless it is either (i) unilateral or (ii) you set up check points on those entering your State!"

    So I refute your statistics because when you are arguing that, for example, gun regulation 'didn't work' in Washington DC this is a silly argument when someone can just drive out of town and get a gun - the statistics show this is exactly what happened as 98% of the guns used after the ban came out of State...

    But anyway you're right there is no way of convincing each other - I am 100% confident I will never see any solid statistics that convince me that America having a 5-50 times higher Firearm Homicide rate than other developed nations (25 times higher than the UK) is nothing to do with the ease and availability of guns! 'Firearms homicide rate' is a pretty specific statistic and thus easily the most relevant. It takes away all the grey areas like defining 'violent crime' or 'crime'.

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:
  124. [124] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "http://www.abc4.com/content/about_4/bios/story/conceal-and-carry-stabbing-salt-lake-city-smiths/NDNrL1gxeE2rsRhrWCM9dQ.cspx

    I'm just sayin' :D"

    Lol my first thoughts were nobody died and thank God he didn't have a gun instead of a knife or the number of deaths in this incident would've certainly been > 0.

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lol my first thoughts were nobody died and thank God he didn't have a gun instead of a knife or the number of deaths in this incident would've certainly been > 0.

    Thank the gods that SOMEONE had a gun there or the number of deaths would have been >0

    Michale.....

  126. [126] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Why are crimes committed with and deaths attributed to fully automatic weapons so low? They are illegal, and if criminals can get anything they want on the black market or through the "Mafia", the criminals of this country should prefer them and have them in large quantities, right? Right?

    Would they? Why?

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mitchy,

    You say that GB enacted it's gun ban in 1997???

    Interesting...

    Since then, the crime rate has doubled...

    Gun crimes have risen 89%!!! Eighty Frakin' Nine percent!!

    The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year - a rise of 89 per cent.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html#ixzz21upUIIfU

    Seems your Gun Ban is not the paradise you would have us believe it is...

    I'm just sayin'...

    Michale....

  128. [128] 
    flush wrote:

    There are several reasons a gun ban would never work in the USA. 1) The 2nd amendment protects the right to own a weapon. (This is a FACT, its been upheld numerous times by the supreme court.) 2) The guns are already here. 270,000,000 privately owned weapons. Imagine the difficulty taking that many weapons out of circulation, considering most people wont give them up willingly. 3) There will be a black market just like for drugs.
    Is it worth giving up the right to bear arms worth it if it saves lives, NO. We have the natural right to self defense and Firearms are the best defense from a physically superior attacker.

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's another factoid that utterly destroys the Gun Control argument..

    In EVERY mass shooting (more than three people killed in a public place) since 1950, EVERY ONE of the shootings took place in a so-called "Gun Free" Zones...

    EACH AND EVERY ONE...

    So, if the Gun Control fanatics were REALLY interested in saving lives, then obviously the Gun Free Zones would have to go..

    Michale.....

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:
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