General Question

missingbite's avatar

How will this Gun Control law make us safer?

Asked by missingbite (7486 points ) January 11th, 2011

Today Rep. Pete King and Mayor Michael Bloombberg introduced a bill to make it illegal to have a gun within 1000 yards of a political event. Do they really think this law would have stopped the AZ shooting? I mean, isn’t murder against the law?

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93 Answers

mrrich724's avatar

This, IMO, is one of the inherent flaws in gun control laws. BAD PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS DO WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO TO COMMIT THE CRIMES THEY WANT TO COMMIT.

Instituting laws like this only disarms good, law abiding people. B/C bad people won’t stop doing bad things just because the law says it’s bad . . .

No, I don’t believe it will make us safer.

coffeenut's avatar

lol….Leave it to politicians to over react and make the wrong decision…

missingbite's avatar

I stated incorrect info. It’s within 1,000 feet of the President, Vice President, Members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary. Sorry. Discuss.

coffeenut's avatar

same answer

tinyfaery's avatar

You can’t even carry a concealed weapon in my state without a permit that is not easy to get. Do people just carry around guns?

mrrich724's avatar

@psychocandy Yes, people just carry around guns. And good people might either go through the motions to get that permit, proving they are able to carry a gun and not be a threat to society, or they might simply concede and not bother carrying a gun b/c it’s not worth the effort.

But “the bad guys,” will carry it no matter what.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
josie's avatar

They are only politicians. They don’t have to be smart.

mrrich724's avatar

@psychocandy why? Bad people carry guns there too . . . in fact it’s the gang capitol of the world, so how is that any safer?

the100thmonkey's avatar

Because, of course, having cheap and easy access to guns makes people safer, despite the annoying fact that the gun-related death rate in the US is 13x that in Germany and 44x that in the UK.

Guns don’t kill people, people do. This is so obvious in the light of the stats above that I might die of sarcasm.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@missingbite – please explain how firearm-related death rates (homicides) are 44 times higher in the US than in the UK (where it is illegal to won a handgun over .22 calibre without a background check and a demonstration that there is a secure location for gun storage.

Sarcasm cheapens the statistics, actually. I withdraw it.

Look at the company the US keeps and tell me the 2nd amendment isn’t both misinterpreted and dangerous.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It won’t. It can’t. And neither can Bloomberg and the other opportunisitic idiots.

laureth's avatar

@psychocandy – gun laws are different and very liberal in AZ. You don’t, from what I understand, particularly need a license, as long as you are legal age and it’s not concealed.

Yes, murder is illegal, but wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to stop a man with a gun before he goes on a nut and people die?

the100thmonkey's avatar

@laureth – carrying a concealed firearm is fine in AZ, from what I have been led to believe.

bkcunningham's avatar

@the100thmonkey how can you explain: “Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries. The figures comes on the day new Home Secretary Alan Johnson makes his first major speech on crime, promising to be tough on loutish behaviour in 2009. The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the Eropean Union. It has a higher homocide rate than most of their western European neighbors, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU. It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highet absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double he number of offences than recorded in Germany and France.

“In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677. The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘This is a damning indictment of this government’s comprehensive failure over more than a decade to tackle the deep rooted social problems in our society, and the knock on effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html#ixzz1AmIGeJls

Seaofclouds's avatar

To me, it’s just a way for the innocent gun carriers to get in trouble. Unless they are going to publish where those people are going to be 24/7 so someone carrying a gun can be sure to avoid them, it may be hard to know you are going to be within the 1,000 feet of one of those people. I could imagine loopholes in this law already. What if one of these people decided to go hunting. Would every other hunter have to stay 1,000 feet away. Would their hunting buddies not be allowed to participate in hunting since they would be near them? I mean, a blanket law would prohibit more than just people out on the streets or in the public.

This law seems to only be intended on protecting certain people. It won’t really do anything to make us safer.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@bkcunningham: but what does that have to do with the prive of fish?

This is a thread on gun crime and laws, not about the UK’s relative position on violent crime statistics. We should be talking about how gun control regulations affect gun crime rates in the US, should we not?

Incidentally, the Daily Mail serves pretty much the same function as Fox News does in the US. I would take a long, hard look at any stats they publish before citing them.

TexasDude's avatar

First of all, it’s not going to pass.

Neither is Carolyn McCarthy’s “high capacity 33 round clipazine shoulder thing that goes up” ban that she brings up every time a tragedy strikes.

Secondly, no, it wouldn’t stop anything and it would only hurt legally armed folks.

Think about this… a building has a sign that says “No Guns Allowed.”

The lawfully armed citizen is going to oblige. The individual hell bent on killing won’t give two fucks. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Actually any self respecting mass murderer would pick the building with that ‘No Guns Allowed’ sign. You know there will be less chance of anyone in the building shooting back until the cops finally show up.

TexasDude's avatar

@WestRiverrat, yeah, that was my point.

bkcunningham's avatar

@the100thmonkey my response was to your quote: ”...please explain how firearm-related death rates (homicides) are 44 times higher in the US than in the UK (where it is illegal to won a handgun over .22 calibre without a background check and a demonstration that there is a secure location for gun storage. Sarcasm cheapens the statistics, actually. I withdraw it. Look at the company the US keeps and tell me the 2nd amendment isn’t both misinterpreted and dangerous.”

How about the Telegraph as a source? Do you have a problem with that?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/5712573/UK-is-violent-crime-capital-of-Europe.html

Oceansfool's avatar

It won’t…. It’s just another liberal law , that is infringing on our freedom !! Don’t let them take that away

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Oceansfool : So… you’d rather let people carry around guns wherever they want without any repercussions?

And the law seems sort of stupid, yes, but I think that it would be (in the case that the person didn’t kill themselves) that when they went to jail, they would get a longer sentence since they would be guilty on more than one trial.

ETpro's avatar

It is very sad to see all the knee-jerk gun lovers decrying what is an obviously sane and needed prohibition. There is absolutely no valid reason for private citizens to be packing heat at speeches or town hall meetings with elected officials. There are plenty of law enforcement officers there to deal with a criminal who does show up armed. With the current Arizona law, if the President speaks there, 50,000 people could all show up openly carrying AK-47s or having Glock 9s strapped in the curve of their back under a jacket. There would be nothing the Secret Service or local law enforcement foulard do to challenge any of those armed people till they pull a weapon and begin firing. That’s too late.

This law permits having the crowd pass through metal detectors where law enforcement can disarm anyone before they get close enough to an elected official to carry out yet another assassination.

We all know very well there will be more nut cases out there inspired to be copycats by all the publicity that Jared Lee Loughner has gotten. How many people must needlessly die, how many little 9 year old girls need to be snuffed out, in order to protect your “right” to carry any kind of weapon known to man anywhere you feel the desire to take it?

I am a strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights, but not of sheer lunacy. I have to wonder if those who thunder against the unjustness of leaving their semi-automatic weapon home when they attend a political gathering just hate all government so much they yearn for their own chance to be the shooter and get nationwide publicity.

woodcutter's avatar

@Oceansfool but making an ineffective law when all know it will do nothing to save lives but may sweeten the pot for the prosecutor to bring a longer prison sentence is sort of like closing the barn door after the horse has run away. Usually in crimes like this the shooters kill themselves anyway so no longer prison sentence is much of a deterrent.

woodcutter's avatar

the spot I read on Huffington read that the proposed law wants to make it illegal to “knowingly” bring a gun within 1000 ft, of a govt official. It just rings of ” we know the people think we are shit and might want to kill us before any other citizen so let’s just try to protect us better, everyone else is on their own” That’s almost a ½ mile away. That means they should only fear someone with a .50 cal Barett capable of dropping someone to the ground…in two big pieces….nice.

TexasDude's avatar

@ETpro, most of us “knee-jerk gun lovers” are talking about valid CCW holders here, which Loughner was not.

Apparently an Arizona CCW holder named Joe Zamudio was at the scene of the shooting and responded to it.

ETA: Joe Zamudio (fast forward to 2:25 onward)

ETpro's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Perhaps the media reported falsely, but my understanding is that there is no special CCW permit required in Arizona. Everyone who passes a background check can buy and carry weapons with up to 33 round capacity. People who have been identified as dangerously mentally ill are supposed to be added to the list that prevents firearm purchases, but there are over 100,000 such individuals in the state and the backlog is so great only a few thousand are actually on the list. This young man, despite being sent home from school because of extreme mental disorder was not even on the list of those who are dnagerous. So one thing that brings homw, just as Joe Zamudio noted, is we need to do a better job of spotting who needs help and not letting them slide through the cracks.

incendiary_dan's avatar

This is yet another example of placing the lives of “public servants” (read: corporate servants) above that of ordinary citizens. This is the trend we see developing for a long time. If we look at it deeply and honestly, this culture is predicated on the idea that there is a hierarchy of violence that guides what is deemed acceptable, which is always violence flowing down. When violence flows up, people make a big stink about it. When it flows down, people might not even bat an eye, even if it includes numerous people. It’s in big part centered around keeping a monopoly on violence for the state, because any society of this scale needs to use persistent and widespread violence to maintain their constant importation of resources.

As I also stated in another thread, I’m deeply concerned about the psychiatric establishment’s medicalization of dissent, and the ability of the state to use that as a tool for disempowering political dissidents, and in effect using that as a powerful tool for brainwashing the population and silencing opposition. When we consider that in terms of defense rights, the potential effects are frightening. The fact that I, personally, may be a target because of my political activism and writing really drives this home for me, too.

The same goes for ethnic minorities, since many black and Latino men are slapped with felony charges that would get a white suburban man a misdemeanor at most. Some laws are even specifically target in ways to increase punishments for blacks without stating it that way: crack cocaine carries punishments 100 times harsher than powder cocaine, despite no difference in danger or associated violence, since crack is more common to the black population. Being convicted of a felony not only restricts people from voting and getting public housing assistance(as well as some jobs), but from legally purchasing or owning firearms as well. These same minorities are also labeled disproportionately as having mental or behavioral problems, so there is a double-whammy there. This is particularly troubling when you consider that all gun control laws stem from laws aimed at disarming blacks in the Jim Crow South (once again, that violence hierarchy, which manifests in many forms, including gender and race).

Also, a properly scoped long range rifle could easily hit someone beyond 1000 yards. This is why they are sometimes used for assassinations. And of course, long range rifles have often been “in the crosshairs” of anti-gun legislators.

And I really feel embarrassed for people that I need to point this out: people who are going to break the law are going to break the law. Unless you have pat downs at the door, you can’t stop people from having guns, and even then, there are ways around it. Guns can be made to look like pens, cell phones, or a million other things.

@the100thmonkey You’ll also notice that frequency of gun violence correlates negatively to restrictive gun laws (i.e. states like Vermont that allow concealed carry without a permit have much lower incidence of such violence), and correlates positively with much more strong of a relationship to things like drug trade (driven underground my prohibition and involving violent turf wars) which itself often correlates to things like poverty and ghettoization. This is particularly true where biased legal tricks are used to keep minority populations from having legal empowerment. Clearly, the issue of gun related violence is far more complicated than certain folks would have us believe.

@ETpro Maybe I’m out of the loop on gun technology, but what handguns have magazines that hold 33 rounds? That’s more than the standard combat rifle. Also, where can I get one? :P

When I started this post, I only meant it to be a paragraph or two. I really can’t keep it short most of the time. Damn my propensity to read several books a week and educate myself!

P.S. Nobody ever clicks my links except @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard and sometimes @ETpro. I’d appreciate people actually doing that, particularly if the word “knee-jerk” is being used as a descriptor. That is poor form.

Jaxk's avatar

Let’s get real. This event was in a Safeway parking lot. No metal detectors, no screening. The law would be not just useless but totally useless. We seem to have a knee jerk reaction to these things. They are already illegal but if we just make them more illegal it will stop. This guy is facing the death penalty. How much more do you expect to give him.

He killed six people, with malice aforethought. Premeditated. It doesn’t get any worse. You don’t need another charge to tack on another couple of years. Nor would a sign saying ‘no guns’ have turned this guy away. Do you really believe he would look at the sign and “shit I wanted to kill a bunch of people but now I can’t”. Or would you rather he just brought a bomb to the party. Hey, maybe we need a sign that says no bombs either.

Jaxk's avatar

@incendiary_dan

You have an interesting post. I would however be interested in knowing your reason for the Knee-jerk statement. It is an easily defined term but I’m not ready to read your books to find out why you don’t like it. A little reference material is good but a list of books and movies may be a bit much.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Jaxk Just brought it up because @ETpro referred to the pro-gun folks as “knee jerk gun lovers”, despite the fact that people like @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard regularly uses reasoned arguments and gives lots of sources (not that there aren’t a few around here I would also label as such). Seems if we’re going to use the term, we need to have a high level of discourse here, including reading/viewing the sources others present.

But I understand if people only skim the google books links I posted. Not everyone has lots of time to kill at work. :)

ETpro's avatar

@incendiary_dan The Glock 9mm that the Arizona shooter used is available with a 33 rd clip

The round clip for the AK-47 packs over 200 rounds.

There are not hunting weapons. THey are made for killing people—as many as possible in close order, as quickly as you can aim and squeeze the trigger.

Given the links you posted, if you haven’t seen this, you should find the video here interesting.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@ETpro Thanks for that info. I’ve never seen 200 round mags for an AK, though I have certainly been looking at the 75 and 100 round ones for mine. I bet they’re as ungodly expensive as the ones I’ve seen. The drum mags are really only for defensive positions, though. I’ve carried 200 rounds of 7.62×39, and I wouldn’t want that hanging off the front of my gun in a mobile encounter.

Now that I think about it, I’ve seen even bigger magazines for Glocks, but they’re all too big to be carried. They’re really just fun accessories to bring to the range. Some extended handgun mags seem too big to bother carrying to me.

And no, increased capacity magazines are not necessarily intended for killing more people faster, though they certainly have that potential. Any combat expert these days can point to the fact that most shots miss, because staying moving and finding cover is more important than aiming, and pumping adrenaline usually means you panic and just start shooting (I was just talking to an ex-cop about this). I’ve been reading the book and blog of Fernando Aguirre, who writes about observations of the Argentinian economic collapse, and particularly about defending oneself from increased crime. All of the people he’s talked to, and in his own experience, being able to fire more shots to dissuade your attackers is the biggest factor in staying alive if shooting starts (that and body armor). Hitting is a “bonus”. I believe Robert F. Williams, a black civil rights activist and armed self-defense proponent (or ‘armed self reliance’, as he referred to it) who was mostly active in the ‘50s and ‘60s, said something similar, and that guy was a veteran and defended his home and family from the KKK with a submachinegun.

And hell, let’s not have any illusions. I want guns that are really f-ing good at killing people for defense. I’d rather not shoot anyone, but if I’m going to defend myself it’s going to be damn effective. This is particularly true because armed attackers often aren’t alone, and frankly I won’t take the chance they would be (except my cheap handgun only holds ten rounds at most, so I guess I would a little. I think if I get the chance to upgrade, it might just be a Glock).

And yes, I do like the Story of Stuff. Thanks for reminding me of it. I think I’ll watch it again when I’m not on a work computer.

meiosis's avatar

@bkcunningham Your reports from the Mail and the Telegraph tell of a depressingly high rate of violence in the UK, and yet we have a much lower rate of homicide than in the USA. What factors do you think could affect the fact that our higher incidence of violence translates into considerably less deaths? Do you think it could be due in any way to the relative difficulty we have in getting hold of guns? Were you trying to infer that our higher violent crime rates are influenced by the fact that we’re not an armed society? This may be true (though our considerably higher population density probably has a significant effect), but I personally wouldn’t trade the UK’s 4x higher incidence of violent crime for the USA’s 4x higher incidence of murder.

Not that I have any interest in USA gun laws – however you guys decide to run your affairs is entirely your business – but mis-using UK crime figures to bolster a pro-gun argument is odd.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The perpetrator bought and aftermarket extended magazine for his Glock. And bigger is not always better in a gunfight. Larger capacity magazines often make the firearm unwieldy and can negatively affect accuracy.

Austinlad's avatar

No gun law will prevent morally bankrupt or mentally unbalanced people intent on killing others from doing so. That ship sailed even long before Cain offed Abel.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Austinlad

Good answer! : )

bkcunningham's avatar

There are more than 300 state and federal gun laws in the US now. Laws don’t keep people otherwise there would be no crimes.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s almost become a cliche that “we don’t need more gun laws, we just need to enforce the ones we already have,” but it still bears saying.

bkcunningham's avatar

Multitasking here and omitted a word and didn’t proof. Above I meant, laws don’t keep people safe…

woodcutter's avatar

I really think these politicians know deep down inside adding more restrictive gun laws will do absolutely nothing ( to make us safer). But they want to be on record to show they “really care” just in case their political base is watching. It’s all about the base.

woodcutter's avatar

There’s a drum mag for an AK with a 200 rd capacity? Where is it and how do I get one? 75 rd one’s can be had online all day long for a 100 bucks or even less. Really though the idea of neutering practical “ammunition feeding devises” is another knee jerk reaction.I agree what others above posted about the amount a weapon will hold is irrelevant. Even with one that only has 10 + 1 in the pipe is no guarantee of less carnage. At my club where I am known to the slowest I can have a spare 10 rounder slammed in the mag well and be back in battery before the empty hits the ground. Not much faster but still pretty quick for the slowest guy. It ain’t hard. Nut jobs would get around this law by having a butload of smaller magazines ready to go.
Has anybody even thought if the shooter had a habit of playing violent video games? Because we all know they don’t influence young developing minds
While on the topic can we PLEASE in the future stop calling them clips? When antigun folks do that it really puts their sincerity in question if they won’t even bother to at least learn proper terminology for the items they don’t like, such as the folding thingy that goes up.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@woodcutter I’ve never found people misnaming magazines as “clips” to do anything to hurt discourse. It’s always just seemed to me to be a pet peeve of some gun people. Could you explain to me how it matters?

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter I read that in one pundit’s discussion of high capacity magazines. But when @incendiary_dan questioned where to get one, I searched Google to no avail. The lousy but cheap Romanian one holds 75 rounds, but must be loaded against spring pressure. The Chinese make a 75 rd. and 100 rd. drum magazine, both of which can be back loaded then closed and wound to provide spring tension. More costly but much nicer. Please forgive my passing on information without first fact checking it—something I trusted the author had done.

I agree with @incendiary_dan that if someone were to make a drum for 200 or more rounds, the thing fully loaded would be heavy and unwieldy enough you’d probably have to shoot stationary from a tripod.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Or bipod, like I have. :P

woodcutter's avatar

@incendiary_dan It really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. When easy to learn terms aren’t used it tends to make people seem ignorant of what they are talking about, especially if they are portraying these things in the worst possible light in order to drum up hysteria. One person who comes to mind right now is Rep Carolyn McCarthy. I have heard the misnamed terms at other times in news broadcasts and in general conversations. I wonder if those who do that might be intentionally sounding ignorant of the proper terms in order to appear that they don’t don’t feel the subject warrants knowing much about in order to discuss it. If so they are doing themselves and topic a disservice.
Folks here should probably have figured out that I am pro 2A. When topics are started here or IRL ,relating to it ,it makes things a lot more helpful if people have done their basic homework, or not.

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t know if this practically will do what we need it to, but I think that it comes from the proper impetus for regulation.

Constitutional rights are properly regulated where unfettered recognition of the right tend to interfere with rights generally or proper functioning of the government. First Amendment rights are properly limited in areas generally meant for government, and at times where public areas are reserved for specific events.

This regulation, on the face, seems to serve the same functions. Indeed, on the face it may work to make us safer because political figures are often targets of violence, and political events tend to raise people’s blood temperature. I would support this conceptually (notwithstanding practical problems with it) much in the same way that I would support gun checking measures in places that served alcohol. It may make us safer, in theory, by keeping dangerous instrumentalities out of people’s hands in situations that tend to push people into making rash decisions.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro It can be hard to tell where a drum is really made sometimes. I think it’s the Russian type that has the constant spring tension as in a double stack mag. They are the sucky kind. Sometimes the Romanian ones are actually from China with the circle 10 printed on it. They are the good kind. There is an import ban from the Chinese so they get around it by shipping them to Romania then to me, um, oops, the US.
Equipment like that just haven’t been used in criminal acts because they are fat pigs and ungainly to handle and weigh too much. They are a novelty at best. I can think of a million different ways to part with a hundred + or – bucks and get more bang. Hope I haven’t gone too far off topic.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@woodcutter I don’t think it’s too off topic. Maybe a bit more in depth than necessary (I found it useful, since I would like to get one of those drum mags one day). The original post had to do with the political events law, but it’s veered to include issues of magazine capacity. And that’s important to understand.

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan, I agree. I think the whole gun control debate would be a lot less stroke-inducing if gun control advocates would be sure of basic firearm nomenclature which is relevant to their function, and in turn, relevant to their purposes in a society.

woodcutter's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard +1 Yes it sure would be nice when they will get the facts straight in the difference between an assault rifle and a semi- automatic rifle. I think it is intentional and projected ignorance to allow people to think they are the same based on appearance only. They do this knowing full well the people not knowing one from another will be swayed if only out of fear. Siting a Kalashnikov will fire 600 rds a minute. They are right, but what they don’t add is those are extremely rare in this country. No semi auto will do that. It’s always the same tactic- taking advantage of those who don’t know or care to know the difference. If they would just be honest with their facts (learn what is what), a lot of the hype would disappear. Right now they are just scaring the hell out of people.

iamthemob's avatar

Ahh, the ever-present “they.”

I wonder when we’ll stop blaming them.

TexasDude's avatar

“They” in @woodcutter‘s context refers to gun control advocates who don’t know what they are talking about, like Rachel Maddow who actually believes that there are plastic pistols that are undetectable by metal detectors and that .30 caliber bullets are “anti aircraft” and people like Carolyn McCarthy who believe that .50 BMG rifles fire heat seeking bullets that “cook deer” on impact and also shoot down planes. All of which are blatantly false, but because of these, and many other plainly ignorant individuals, these absurdities have entered the gun control debate as “facts” that are oft repeated by advocates of gun control.

That’s why I’d prefer that “they” at least learn how something works before they rally to ban it. You know… kind of like how anti-gay activists don’t know the first thing about how gay relationships actually function?

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Wait, people actually believe that stuff? I mean, I could see the plastic pistol thing, since a lot of them are being made with plastic frames now (mine is), and people are doing some pretty crazy stuff with different plastics. But seriously? I think some of that goes beyond simple ignorance of firearms. There’s a certain level of basic logic that should make people at least say “Wait a minute, that can’t be right.”

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan, you’d be surprised at some of the things I’ve heard. Rachel Maddow, Carolyn McCarthy, and just about every member of the Brady Campaign believe this sort of drivel too, to some extent, or else they wouldn’t spout it.

Another thing I have heard is that rocket and grenade launchers, hand grenades, and machine guns are being bought in American gun shops and at gun shows and used in the cartel wars in Mexico. in which case, I’ve been going to the wrong gun shows… :-p

incendiary_dan's avatar

I had started typing something quite like your last sentence before I finished reading.

TexasDude's avatar

You know what they say about great minds and all….

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t know if any of you have ever seen this site, but it has some interesting and entertaining thoughts:

http://thetruthaboutguns.com/

TexasDude's avatar

@bkcunningham I do like that site, but I also am quite fond of gunfacts.info.

woodcutter's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Excellent comparison using gay rights. I was contemplating doing that in my last post but held off as I wasn’t sure if it would raise a stink or be modded. Those who do not understand gay relationships are often “run out of town on a rail” and labeled ignorant or even intolerant and just plain piled on. But when gun rights are discussed pro gun folks are accused of splitting hairs over details. “But guns are made for killing, gays aren’t about killing”- different matter all together? Gays don’t kill? What about all the deaths from AIDS since the first outbreak? I mean, who lit that fire?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Gays don’t kill? What about all the deaths from AIDS since the first outbreak? I mean, who lit that fire?

A combination of medical testing, drug addiction, imposed ignorance, and the FBI (I wish I were joking about the last part). It’s in extreme poor taste to blame some of the primary victims.

woodcutter's avatar

@incendiary_dan who’s assigning blame for anything here? I think we all know the point here.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter AIDS moved from monkeys into the human population and spreads through IV drug use, unsanitary medical practices, and heterosexual as well as homosexual sex. To hang the whole wrap on gays is vicious scapegoating.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro THANK YOU!!! Finally, that is what I’ve been waiting for, someone to put out there. Do you understand what just happened here?

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Sounds like I took the bait. And yes, same goes for gun ownership. There are 260 million guns in America but very, very few paranoid schizophrenics that use one to kill a bunch of people at a political rally. Still, I do think the previous ban on large clips had merit. I think a lot of the most vocal gun-rights supporters, those that want no limits of any kind, have the fantasy that they will someday gather together in their malitia and overthrow the government they so hate. Realistically, unless the US Army decides to turn on it’s Commander in Cheif, all they can possibly do is get themselves killed or locked up for treason. And 10 round clips versus 32 round clips won’t make a hill of beans difference when they are up against helicopter gunships, tanks, light and heavy infantry and and jet fighters.

bkcunningham's avatar

Now that you have this one figured out, could you please go over and tell that guy why paper beats rock. ; )

incendiary_dan's avatar

My militia Militias don’t worry about that. They can get their guns illegally, for the most part, which again points to the uselessness of bans. Guns aren’t hard to make. Do you know what it takes to make a magazine? Sheet metal and a spring. Tools would be little more than pliers and tin snips. Maybe a bit of JB Weld.

And the idea that citizen revolters can’t wage a successful war against an organized superpower is preposterous: look at Iraq. Look at the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which although it didn’t stop the Nazi war machine it did greatly impede its function. Look at Finland during the Winter War, where Finnish guerrillas ousted the Russians and their tanks with hunting rifles and molotov cocktails. Look at the Filipino Resistance against first the Spanish, then the American military might, where rebels turned everyday pipes into improvised firearms. Look at MEND in Nigeria. Look at ETA in Basque country, or the IRA in Ireland. There are so many recent and present day examples of barely funded militias who are at the very least thorns in the side of empire. The fallacy of battle rifles against tanks assumes the sort of combat where people meet on an open field and shoot at each other across it.

So what does this mean? I think it means no matter what weapons are available legally, revolutions can be fought by those that are really intent. It also means the same for criminals, unfortunately. So once again, it takes powerful means of defense away from the non-sociopaths, not the people we have to worry about.

Yes, I know far too much about military and guerrilla tactics. Before you get the wrong idea I’ll mention that I’m a part time security guard when I’m not doing wilderness skill teaching, and I get bored and read a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff. A lot of this knowledge set was learned when I found tons of free downloads of military guides and related books.

incendiary_dan's avatar

P.S. I really was kidding about being in a militia. I’m not. Please don’t come after me, Mr. FBI man.

ETpro's avatar

@incendiary_dan You can probably make a gun that works. Making a semi-automatic or full automatic machine gun that actually works takes a pretty decent machinist with knowledge of (or plans of) weapon design and a well equipped machine shop. Same with high-capacity magazines. Look how often Eastern European cheapies jam. I doubt that Loughner, in his state of mind, would have been able to make a 30 round magazine. If he’d had a ten round one, instead of 23 victims the number would be no more than 10, and then the people that tackled him would have done so before he reloaded.

I don’t think Congress with a Republican controlled House is going to reinstate the high-capacity clip ban that expired in 2004. But if they did, it would save lives. And I honestly didn’t feel less free before the ban expired than after.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@ETpro Unfortunately, that has historically been one of the areas that organized crime always fills in whenever there is a gun ban. I think that’ll include high capacity magazines.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Oh yea, and it actually doesn’t take any more skill to make high capacity mags than lower capacity ones. It just takes a few extra inches of sheet metal.

woodcutter's avatar

people demand that the govt do something to save us from ourselves and those representatives they send to office make promises to do that. They will fail even with their good intentions. There is no valid argument that making some guns less convenient makes a dent in violence. Not even sure there is an accurate way to measure. You can trust the media who we all know will present the data the way they want, or look at the FBI stats which claim violent crime has decreased significantly since the expiration of AWB. I can’t believe FBI has a political ax to grind with this. It is encouraging news after all.
On another slant ,when or if a mag limit gets foisted upon us there will be so many foreign makers of gun parts and accessories sending them here it will make no difference in the net loss. Bad part of this is, it will be mainly the criminal element getting those knockoffs so again the law abiding people find themselves outgunned by exactly the one’s we are trying to guard against. Another predictable event upon the eve of such a ban will be the phenomenon of people panic buying these parts faster than they are made . This has the effect of flooding the country in a spike. These magazines have a long life so this amount will carry into the next several decades. That’s not even counting the millions of hi-caps already out there in private ownership. A ban has the opposite effect of what the lawmakers intend. President Obama has done more to expand current private arms inventory than the invention of smokeless gun powder.

TexasDude's avatar

@woodcutter, according to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing since the expiration of the AWB (and it didn’t do jack shit during the ban) as you said. Also according to the FBI, so called “assault weapons” are used in less than .20% (that’s point two zero) of all violent crimes.

It wasn’t that hard at all to get “high capacity” mags during the AWB. They were just price gouged all to hell by opportunistic capitalists people who had bought tons of them before the ban.

And once more, there is a huge difference between magazines and clips. Even if it’s a common colloquialism, it’s still incorrect, and if people are talking about banning shit here, they might as well know what they want to actually ban.

woodcutter's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I think I’m just going to give up on the clip thing. It seems part of the gun control lexicon and is not likely to go away. I would be leery of buying a banned part off a stranger, even someone I trust. You can never know if the guy is being forced into working for the Feds because of some shit he got himself into. I cringe every time some twist goes and does one of these rampages ‘cause I know what’s coming next. Let’s get busy banning shit so our constituency sees that we care.~meanwhile they think it’s time to arm themselves~ it’s cowardly. If that right there doesn’t make one wonder about the kind of people we elect then nothing probably will. Students get killed in gun free zones(that they were part and parcel to their creation) and they don’t seem too rattled. But oh Christ, if the targeted person is a congressman then the whole world has gone mad and now they feel the fear.

TexasDude's avatar

@woodcutter you could still legally buy and own “high capacity” magazines during the ban, they just had to be manufactured before 1994 and were known as “pre-ban” magazines. You could still buy “pre-ban” “assault weapons” as well, but they commanded a premium in pricing. I’ve got a ton of high cap mags for my AR… in the off chance there was another ban, I’d sell them all for $300 a piece and move to the Czech Republic.

During the ban, manufacturers continued to make guns with exactly the same function as pre-ban weapons, just minus a few cosmetic features that were banned by name, i.e, barrel shrouds, folding stocks, bayonet lugs… (never heard of a drive-by bayonetting before). This is a testament to how dumb the ban was. You could still buy guns that functioned exactly the same as the “assault weapons” that were banned, they were just neutered versions that didn’t look as cool.

I cringe every time some twist goes and does one of these rampages ‘cause I know what’s coming next.

Me too. I wish these stupid psychotic fucks would keep their rampages to themselves and stick to playing Doom and posting on livejournal and not ruining everything for the rest of us, people they hurt and law abiding gun owners alike. I always get the feeling that somewhere out there, Carolyn McCarthy gets a little moist any time some anti-social basement dweller decides to write a manifesto about god knows what and shoot up a school.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard: I’ve got a ton of high cap mags for my AR… in the off chance there was another ban, I’d sell them all for $300 a piece and move to the Czech Republic.

Hmm, I should probably consider putting aside some money for some of the 3 packs of Tapco plastic AK mags.

woodcutter's avatar

@incendiary_dan ha ha. that will be the only thing that will make those mags worth anything, great idea

ETpro's avatar

They are kicking around thoughts now on closing the gaping chasm between noticing mental health problems and getting a person diagnosed and added to the list of those who can’t buy firearms. Likewise for hard drug users. These seem like rational moves to me.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Seems reasonable on the surface. Like I said, I’m suspicious of how and what is regarded as mental illness, and what standards they intend to use for that sort of thing. If there are really good standards to limit it to genuinely violent personality types, it could be a great thing.

TexasDude's avatar

I agree with both @ETpro and @incendiary_dan on this one. I have no problem with mentally ill people being forbidden from owning firearms, but I’m wary of what the definition of “mentally ill” is. 1 in 4 people have some kind of mental illness, apparently, and I’m willing to bet that most of them wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Also, if you are already a felon, you can’t own guns anyway. Most people seem to forget that… and that typically comes with being a hard drug user (assuming you’ve been busted).

incendiary_dan's avatar

Indeed, not only are the average “mentally ill” people not likely to harm a fly, they’re actually statistically more likely to be the victims of violent crime. At least, that’s the case according to some supposed expert I heard on the radio yesterday. I think it was on NPR.

incendiary_dan's avatar

P.S. That security job I mentioned is at a mental hospital, so considering my experience with the mentally ill, I find the idea that they’re more likely to be victims of violent crime quite plausible.

ETpro's avatar

@incendiary_dan & @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I believe that it is possible to set a standard of mental impairment that rises far above the 1 in 4 range. Such a “potential dnager to others” diagnosis should only apply to people so mentally disturbed that it is clear they are unable to separate reality from delusion, and who have delusions likely to cause them to harm others. Such things are testable. Nobody should be listed simply because they had obsessive compulsive disorder and pull over to clean their car windshield every few blocks.

mattbrowne's avatar

Look at the statistics in Europe and you’ll see the answer.

incendiary_dan's avatar

“There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” – Mark Twain

I’ve been thinking about that line in terms of these sorts of debates. The main useful thing I learned studying psychology for five years was how to interpret statistics. Statistics are one of those areas in which 100% truthful facts can be used to say things that are false. A lot of it has to do with what isn’t stated. Sometimes correlation is passed off as causation. Sometimes you will have statistics which seem to say one thing, but when you look at the wording you see that it isn’t a fair comparison.

Let’s take the “fact” that, supposedly, you’re more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder (which I’ve never seen substantiated, anyway). On face value, it looks like guns are more danger than they’re worth, but what isn’t stated is how many crimes are prevented by using a gun without shooting, which is the vast majority of them. Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State, points out that 550 rapes a day are prevented by women pulling guns on attackers just in the U.S.. That’s over 200,000 a year, far more than the accidental discharges and such.

The same goes for simplistic appeals to look at European statistics. Consider for a moment that Europe does not have the same sort of drug trade and gang violence that we do here, nor do they have a prison society (did you know the U.S. imprisons the highest percentage of its population, mostly people of color and mostly on trumped up charges?). And, of course, culture.

When we use statistics in an argument, we really need to be aware of what they mean and how the information was gathered. Ideally, we should be able to peruse the literature, but that’s not always possible. Therefore, a critical eye is always necessary.

As for the classifications of dangerous people, I’m still wary. Many of the DSM classifications used to medicalize dissent include labeling people as dangerous. Some psychologists would easily put such a diagnosis on someone who rejects pacifism as a political avenue. I suppose in the end I’d rather see an imperfect safety put in place than none at all, but there has to be a way to do this better.

woodcutter's avatar

true, it is a non story when an intruder is scared away by a defender with their gun and has not worked their way into statistics. If someone doesn’t get wounded then there was no crime or intended crime.
Many on the child killings on record are of young gang- bangers just shy of their 18th birthday. Many of whom probably responsible for many attacks on others,and I’m sure homicides as well. They are represented by the media as innocents when in reality they are living “by the sword” and their time was just up. This kind of statistic bending is intentionally misleading.
I think we all should be real wary of what a psychiatrist may conclude in regards to one’s suitability. Many of them tend to be piecenicks and would lower the bar especially if their politics is: anyone who would want to own a device that was made to kill people must be a little twisted. Nope, I think the burden of proof should be on the state to prove their case. At least that way a person has the opportunity to defend themselves. The state pays all atty fees and court costs.

mattbrowne's avatar

I accept that European and American mindsets greatly differ on this issue. I mentioned statistics not as some kind of clear-cut proof, but as one source giving us valuable hints. Better gun control laws alone won’t make societies safer, but they are one important factor among others in my opinion.

bkcunningham's avatar

Someone sent me an email, you know one of the typical emails that circulates with a patriotic point or for some liberal cause. This particular email was talking about the number of licensed hunters in certain states in America.

The point of the email was how X number of hunters in certain states were in the woods together with loaded weapons during hunting season and the number of shooting deaths that occurred, (which either zero or very, very small numbers). The email compared the licensed hunters to the number of troops in certain armies around the world.

I took the email with a grain of salt, but it got me wondering about the truths in the email. When you see the actual number from the various states’ of licensed hunters and the other stats dealing with hunters, it is astounding. The email proved more true than I had first suspected.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@mattbrowne Sorry if it sounded like an accusatory response to yours. I was just thinking about how often anti-gun people basically shout “EUROPE IS BETTER! RAR!”

mattbrowne's avatar

@incendiary_dan – No problem ;-)

Europe isn’t perfect either. There’s plenty of crime. There is hate crime. There are neo-Nazis. There are ultra-left terrorists in Greece sending bombs via the postal service. Students run amok with guns killing other students. No society is perfect. But societies can try to learn from each other. In general Europeans are very interested learning about good ideas in America. This kind of willingness isn’t as strong the other way round in my view. Sadly, there are too many Americans actually believing America is best at everything. And often they underestimate Europe. Analyzing statistics doesn’t hurt. Contemplating correlations doesn’t hurt.

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