Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Lunatic + Semi-automatic = Mass murder, any questions?

Asked by LostInParadise (17717 points ) July 23rd, 2012

We can’t eliminate mental illness or pinpoint when someone will become completely unhinged, but we can put the brakes on semi-automatics.How many times is it going to have to happen before there are restrictions placed on semi-automatics? Columbine, Loughner, Auroroa, all fit the same pattern.

Is there any justification for owning a semi-automatic? How often are people attacked by armed militias in the U.S.?

As long as these weapons are legal, there is no way of tracking them. If they were illegal, there would at least be the possibility of monitoring their purchase so buyers and sellers could be arrested before the guns were actually used.

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100 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I imagine that there will be some disagreement in this topic today, but I think your formula is a bit wrong. It should be “Lunatics and Criminals + readily available guns = Dead People”.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Semi-automatics are fine. They make great hunting weapons. It’s just who needs a 100 round magazine? This loon got off over 70 shots in 3 minutes. And that’s after his rifle jammed. Wake up people.

incendiary_dan's avatar

How often are people attacked by armed militias in the U.S.?

More often than these unrelated killing sprees occur. Also this one. And let’s not forget these guys.

I can keep digging if you want, because I’ve been keeping careful track of militia-related violence, particularly that which is aided by the state. I have a lot of examples.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m not sure I understand your specific objection. You put it in terms of tracking, but how does making a gun illegal make it more trackable?

LuckyGuy's avatar

He could just as easily thrown a couple of his “napalm-like” firebombs into the theater and caused even more damage and carnage.
You could have written Lunatic + oil + readily available stuff at home depot = Mass Murder
The guy was a nut job. Unfortunately, we have not figured out how to outlaw that.

The result might have been very different had there been some trained people in the audience equipped to fight back.

LostInParadise's avatar

@SavoirFaire , As long as it is legal, privacy laws protect a person from having purchases monitored. If is illegal then the police can step in to keep tabs on what is going on.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I’m all for gun control, but it wont really do that much good in terms of maniacs. The simple fact is that if I lost it one day and decided to kill a lot of people, I could kill far more than 12 just by putting together my own devices.

Hell, I could kill more than 12 just by jumping in to a school with a hammer and bow and arrow.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@LostInParadise That makes absolutely no sense and is not how gun tracking works. The type of firearm would need to be legal to be tracked, otherwise the only instances of those weapons in circulation would be black market weapons. Tracking firearms is borderline illegal in many places, regardless of the type of weapon.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Asking for justification is simply barking up the wrong tree. This whole argument is not about ‘justification’ or ‘need’ or rational thought. Because any rational person would see that assault weapons and the like support NO rationale for private ownership.

This has been – and will continue to be – a populist argument – call it a well funded scare tactic – by certain elements of the US population that are paranoid. Either they think that the government is going to confiscate their weapons, or they manufacture some off the wall rationale that there will be a civil war – the mind boggles at some of the oddball reasons they give.

Anyway, the whole assault weapons, large magazines argument has nothing to do with rationality. It has to do with emotions, making people fearful, and a general paranoia. And none of that is rational.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@elbanditoroso If you want to make an argument based on rationality, don’t use charged words like “assault weapons”. It’s not just technically incorrect, it’s propaganda.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@incendiary_dan – OK, I’ll buy that, what is the accepted alternative euphemism for weapons of that sort?

incendiary_dan's avatar

@elbanditoroso If you’re willing to be a mature adult, call them what they are. They’re intermediate caliber semi-automatic weapons that accept large capacity magazine. And that last part, by the way for those of you who don’t own or use weapons, is irrelevent. Having larger capacity magazines doesn’t allow you to shoot more, it just requires less manipulation of the weapon. If I can’t get thirty round magazines, for instance, I would just buy three ten round ones for each thirty rounder I don’t have. And it’s not like anyone with basic machine tools and the design skills of a chimp couldn’t make large capacity magazines at home.

There’s a reason even the Democratic party voted to repeal the old “Assault Weapons Bill”; it had no effect and restricted mostly non-functionality related parts!

I hope you’ve read my first post by this time, @elbanditoroso, because the premise that these aren’t necessary for some law-abiding people is preposterous when faced with the reality of the violence people face every day. You have to come from a position of privilege to be able to pretend that isn’t true.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@incendiary_dan , OK, I will try to use the phrase “intermediate caliber semi-automatic weapons that accept large capacity magazine”. The primary issues I have with that phraseology are:

1) no one will have a fricking clue what I am talking about
2) it sounds like mumbo jumbo

Now I acknowledge that it may be technically correct to call them “intermediate caliber.blah blah”, but if no one knows what you are talking about, then what’s the point.

Sounds like we’re moving into a semantic question here. Do you write a phrase to inform the reader at a level that he understands, or do you work for technical accuracy that befuddles the reader? (and that question is not just about weapons, it’s the same for medicine and technology and dozens of other areas)

incendiary_dan's avatar

You can, like the original poster, simply say semi-automatics. It’s honest and not emotionally charged.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@elbanditoroso Also, when talking about technical issues, particularly ones you want to make legislation about, you need to know technicalities. Otherwise, we get a nation where people vote on complex issues like climate change based on what their pastor and/or Rush Limbaugh told them.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@LostInParadise As was said by @incendiary_dan, your proposal just doesn’t make any sense. A law demanding that illegal weapons be tracked after sale wouldn’t work—black market salesmen aren’t going to comply with that law if they’re already breaking laws about selling the guns in the first place. It would be possible, on the other hand, to pass a tracking law with regard to legal guns. If all legal sales require registration or something like that, then legally sold guns could be tracked.

Gun registration wouldn’t have stopped the Colorado shooting, however. In fact, I’m surprised that either side of the gun control debate thinks that this is a useful case for making their point. What we have in the Aurora situation is a person who snapped. It was a tragedy, not the result of anyone’s political machinations. I am in favor of background checks and waiting periods, but neither would have prevented James Holmes from acting exactly as he did.

This is the problem with both sides of the debate: everyone wants to pretend that their take on gun politics is the only way to bring an end to random acts of violence in the US. Absent a massive shift in the human conscience, however, there is no end to violence. Arming the public will not scare criminals straight; disarming the public will not cause guns to disappear. This is not to say that we should do nothing, but only that we should make our laws on the basis of reason rather than hysteria.

Colorado was a tragedy, but it didn’t prove anything.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@incendiary_dan I agree with you to a point, but several of the last few shooters, Gabby Giffords comes to mind although I’m not certain about it, were taken down while they were changing magazines.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

The debate about guns will rage on. Will there be any discussion about why unstable persons can access powerful weapons before they can access mental health care?

marinelife's avatar

Only one. Why are you one of the few saying the obvious? I am disappointed (but not surprised) at President Obama’s silence on this issue in an election yer.

tom_g's avatar

Guns and gun control is the one area that I seem to be lacking a coherent position on. Therefore, I can merely present my emotional response to guns and gun culture in general. They’re not a part of my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

@SavoirFaire: “This is not to say that we should do nothing, but only that we should make our laws on the basis of reason rather than hysteria.”

Excellent point. Many people say that these are “opportunities” to enact laws of some kind. I completely disagree. This is the worst time to argue for/against gun control. It muddies everything with high emotions, which could result in some really awful “solutions”. In my opinion, the best that an incident like Aurora can provide us is an opportunity to re-evaluate our emotional reactions and how we respond. It might also be a good time to determine why we are significantly less comfortable with this incident than the many more people who are killed throughout the year in this country. It might also provide us with a time to appreciate how temporary our existence is – and how we can make the most of it, fully aware that we do not know when it will end. We’re no more likely to be gunned down in a movie theater today than last month, but we’re still all going to expire.

Sorry for the derail.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tom_g Not a derail at all. Everyone who uses Aurora as an excuse for new gun laws should take a moment to think about how we got the USA PATRIOT Act.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Great tweet by Jason Alexander:

I’d like to preface this long tweet by saying that my passion comes from my deepest sympathy and shared sorrow with yesterday’s victims and with the utmost respect for the people and the police/fire/medical/political forces of Aurora and all who seek to comfort and aid these victims.

This morning, I made a comment about how I do not understand people who support public ownership of assault style weapons like the AR-15 used in the Colorado massacre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15

That comment, has of course, inspired a lot of feedback. There have been many tweets of agreement and sympathy but many, many more that have been challenging at the least, hostile and vitriolic at the worst.

Clearly, the angry, threatened and threatening, hostile comments are coming from gun owners and gun advocates. Despite these massacres recurring and despite the 100,000 Americans that die every year due to domestic gun violence – these people see no value to even considering some kind of control as to what kinds of weapons are put in civilian hands.

Many of them cite patriotism as their reason – true patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. Constitution says citizens have the right to bear arms in order to maintain organized militias. I’m no constitutional scholar so here it is from the document itself:

As passed by the Congress:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

So the patriots are correct, gun ownership is in the constitution – if you’re in a well-regulated militia. Let’s see what no less a statesman than Alexander Hamilton had to say about a militia:

“A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

Or from Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Definition of MILITIA
1
a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
2
: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

The advocates of guns who claim patriotism and the rights of the 2nd Amendment – are they in well-regulated militias? For the vast majority – the answer is no.

Then I get messages from seemingly decent and intelligent people who offer things like: @BrooklynAvi: Guns should only be banned if violent crimes committed with tomatoes means we should ban tomatoes. OR @nysportsguys1: Drunk drivers kill, should we ban fast cars?

I’m hoping that right after they hit send, they take a deep breath and realize that those arguments are completely specious. I believe tomatoes and cars have purposes other than killing. What purpose does an AR-15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve? Let’s see – does it fire more rounds without reload? Yes. Does it fire farther and more accurately? Yes. Does it accommodate a more lethal payload? Yes. So basically, the purpose of an assault style weapon is to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away. To achieve maximum lethality. Hardly the primary purpose of tomatoes and sports cars.

Then there are the tweets from the extreme right – these are the folk who believe our government has been corrupted and stolen and that the forces of evil are at play, planning to take over this nation and these folk are going to fight back and take a stand. And any moron like me who doesn’t see it should…
a. be labeled a moron
b. shut the fuck up
c. be removed

And amazingly, I have some minor agreement with these folks. I believe there are evil forces at play in our government. But I call them corporatists. I call them absolutists. I call them the kind of ideologues from both sides, but mostly from the far right who swear allegiance to unelected officials that regardless of national need or global conditions, are never to levy a tax. That they are never to compromise or seek solutions with the other side. That are to obstruct every possible act of governance, even the ones they support or initiate. Whose political and social goal is to marginalize the other side, vilify and isolate them with the hope that they will surrender, go away or die out.

These people believe that the US government is eventually going to go street by street and enslave our citizens. Now as long as that is only happening to liberals, homosexuals and democrats – no problem. But if they try it with anyone else – it’s going to be arms-ageddon and these committed, God-fearing, brave souls will then use their military-esque arsenal to show the forces of our corrupt government whats-what. These people think they meet the definition of a “militia”. They don’t. At least not the constitutional one. And, if it should actually come to such an unthinkable reality, these people believe they would win. That’s why they have to “take our country back”. From who? From anyone who doesn’t think like them or see the world like them. They hold the only truth, everyone else is dangerous. Ever meet a terrorist that doesn’t believe that? Just asking.

Then there are the folks who write that if everyone in Colorado had a weapon, this maniac would have been stopped. Perhaps. But I do believe that the element of surprise, tear gas and head to toe kevlar protection might have given him a distinct edge. Not only that, but a crowd of people firing away in a chaotic arena without training or planning – I tend to think that scenario could produce even more victims.

Lastly, there are these well-intended realists that say that people like this evil animal would get these weapons even if we regulated them. And they may be right. But he wouldn’t have strolled down the road to Kmart and picked them up. Regulated, he would have had to go to illegal sources – sources that could possibly be traced, watched, overseen. Or he would have to go deeper online and those transactions could be monitored. “Hm, some guy in Aurora is buying guns, tons of ammo and kevlar – plus bomb-making ingredients and tear gas. Maybe we should check that out.”

But that won’t happen as long as all that activity is legal and unrestricted.

I have been reading on and off as advocates for these weapons make their excuses all day long. Guns don’t kill – people do. Well if that’s correct, I go with @BrooklynAvi, let them kill with tomatoes. Let them bring baseball bats, knives, even machetes — a mob can deal with that.

There is no excuse for the propagation of these weapons. They are not guaranteed or protected by our constitution. If they were, then we could all run out and purchase a tank, a grenade launcher, a bazooka, a SCUD missile and a nuclear warhead. We could stockpile napalm and chemical weapons and bomb-making materials in our cellars under our guise of being a militia.

These weapons are military weapons. They belong in accountable hands, controlled hands and trained hands. They should not be in the hands of private citizens to be used against police, neighborhood intruders or people who don’t agree with you. These are the weapons that maniacs acquire to wreak murder and mayhem on innocents. They are not the same as handguns to help homeowners protect themselves from intruders. They are not the same as hunting rifles or sporting rifles. These weapons are designed for harm and death on big scales.

SO WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THEM? WHY DO YOU NOT, AT LEAST, AGREE TO SIT WITH REASONABLE PEOPLE FROM BOTH SIDES AND ASK HARD QUESTIONS AND LOOK AT HARD STATISTICS AND POSSIBLY MAKE SOME COMPROMISES FOR THE GREATER GOOD? SO THAT MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND CHILDREN ARE NOT SLAUGHTERED QUITE SO EASILY BY THESE MONSTERS? HOW CAN IT HURT TO STOP DEFENDING THESE THINGS AND AT LEAST CONSIDER HOW WE CAN ALL WORK TO TRY TO PREVENT ANOTHER DAY LIKE YESTERDAY?

We will not prevent every tragedy. We cannot stop every maniac. But we certainly have done ourselves no good by allowing these particular weapons to be acquired freely by just about anyone.

I’ll say it plainly – if someone wants these weapons, they intend to use them. And if they are willing to force others to “pry it from my cold, dead hand”, then they are probably planning on using them on people.

So, sorry those of you who tell me I’m an actor, or a has-been or an idiot or a commie or a liberal and that I should shut up. You can not watch my stuff, you can unfollow and you can call me all the names you like. I may even share some of them with my global audience so everyone can get a little taste of who you are.

But this is not the time for reasonable people, on both sides of this issue, to be silent. We owe it to the people whose lives were ended and ruined yesterday to insist on a real discussion and hopefully on some real action.

In conclusion, whoever you are and wherever you stand on this issue, I hope you have the joy of family with you today. Hold onto them and love them as best you can. Tell them what they mean to you. Yesterday, a whole bunch of them went to the movies and tonight their families are without them. Every day is precious. Every life is precious. Take care. Be well. Be safe. God bless.

—Jason Alexander

incendiary_dan's avatar

To write something like that, you really need to be coming from a place of privilege and oblivious to the real violence going on RIGHT FUCKING NOW from white supremacists and state officials (and the overlap). You need to be blind to the 550+ women in the US alone who daily fend off rape simply by producing a firearm (usually semi-automatic), and that restricting them from taking the necessary means of defense is either condemning them to rape or to be criminalized for resisting. You need to ignore that hate groups and militias are real, use far more dangerous weapons, and are organized.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@incendiary_dan – I will acknowledge and agree with everything you said in the previous paragraph, if you will acknowledge that every day in every city (and particularly in larger cities) there a dozens of crimes that take place where a gun (usually unlicensed and unregulated) is use in the commission of the crime.

Jenniehowell's avatar

The people who fend off rape or any other violent attack with a weapon do not do it with an AR-15 they do it with a pistol that fits in their purse or a basic rifle that can easily be housed behind a bedroom door etc.

I grew up hunting & fishing etc with my family & the majority of those against gun control are like those in my family in that they are rural minded republicans who for the most part are gun owners who often hunt for their own food &/or for sport. Thing is none of them would likely be able to justify an AR-15 or anything similar for the purposes of hunting. Any more than they’d justify using grenades for fishing. It isn’t logical – it doesn’t make
sense. No matter who is for or against gun control everyone knows what those type of guns are built & used for & it isn’t hunting game or to store in your purse in case a rapist comes along. To use arguments that defy logic & reality in that manner is a sign that either the person using said argument is lacking in logic or is hoping/believing that their opponent in the debate is & will therefore follow the argument down the rabbit hole.

We can all pretend but these weapons have no real point outside a real militia or military & are for the most part are used by criminals & nuts. Regulating such weapons would never harm the standard logical & good reasons for gun ownership such as hunting, personal protection or militia/military use & no matter the emotional charge or illogical pretend scenarios we all know that no matter the side of the argument we are on.

Similarly illogical is the concept Jason Alexander stated & the person posing this question quoted regarding as long as these weapons are legal etc etc & that with them illegal they can be tracked. That’s an assinine concept. Who thinks that someone passing on an illegal weapon is gonna actually register it for tracking? How many illegal items do you know of where people register them for tracking. Last time I heard drug dealers, illegal gun traders, money launderers etc weren’t scanning their inventory into a bar code system & linking it to your credit card like your average store does. Who believes that making something illegal makes it more trackable really?I’m betting the same person who runs of after the women using a pistol for protection against rape argument in support of the AR 15 & similar weapons.

I keep wondering where people’s logic has gone each time I see these arguments cause half the crap people come up with could be dismantled by a 4th grader.

Falling for the concept that gun regulation makes it easier to track what criminals do with their guns is equally as ignorant as falling for the concept that regulating AR15 style weapons would prevent women from protecting themselves from attackers or us rednecks from hunting or that if you support gun regulations you aren’t patriotic or constitutional.

It’s easy to stand on the outside & watch these things distract folks as they chase pointless arguments down rabbit trails &/or repeat & quote talking points that came from someone other than themselves usually for a political reason.

Why not remove politics & simply use logic. Regulation of AR15 style weapons won’t hinder grams or moms from weilding their 9mil to ward off a rapist & they won’t prevent Billy bob from baggin a nice buck each winter. Nor will it prevent criminals from getting guns or selling them or render a criminal to the point of idiocy that he decides to attempt to register his illegal fire arm.

Gun control in this AR15 case is kind of like putting a dead bolt lock on your front door. It’s there to make certain people feel pacified & better believing that there’s less harm in the world cause a criminal isn’t openly buying such weapons. But just like the deadbolt it’s false security cause no one considers the fact that on the oposite side of your door the screws holding your hinges on are generally little puny screws an inch or less in length. Point being the control of the deadbolt hurts no one & makes someone sleep better at nite under their delusions of safety so what’s the harm? Same with controlling the AR15 style weapons it makes the delusional feel more safe & still doesn’t hinder the militia, the hunter or the house wife – crimals are still doing their thing either way so life goes on as normal with the clueless being clueless while hunters hunt, criminals do their crimes & politicians justify their existence for yet another day.

jca's avatar

Why would there be a problem with a tracking system for legal weapons, then, where people purchasing legal weapons should at least file their purchase with some type of agency, so that when someone stockpiles like the Aurora shooter did, it raises a red flag?

LostInParadise's avatar

When I spoke about tracking semi-automatics, I did not mean to imply that they would be registered. That would of course be absurd if they were illegal. I meant that the police and FBI would track them the way that they keep tabs on drug traffic, hopefully doing a better job, since weapons production should be more difficult to hide than drug purification.

jca's avatar

@LostInParadise: I was referring to legal firearms, which, apparently the ones Holmes got were legal. If he had to register the purchases, it would “red flag” to whoever would keep track of the registration.

Jenniehowell's avatar

Cause they are so good at tracking and keeping tabs on drug traffic now? I’m sure we need not bring all the statistics and wasted money forward regarding the whole “war on drugs” to know that such tracking is not the biggest skill our law enforcement has whether it be the ability to track or the money spent on such things.

jca's avatar

@Jenniehowell: The majority of drugs we talk about when we talk about drug trafficking are illegal. It seems the majority of firearms are legal. Holmes, the Aurora shooter, seems to have received these firearms legally through the mail.

ucme's avatar

Nope.
Although any motivated looney toon could kill on a grand scale by simply tossing a fully charged toaster into a public swimming pool, no guns required.

Jenniehowell's avatar

@jca I know that – my point in making my comment was to reply to the comment @LostInParadise made regarding the tabs the authorities keep on drug trafficking. When we look at the statistics of money spent vs. issues resolved in regard to the war on drugs we see that there’s a failure to manage at the government level. It would be no different in regard to guns and their tracking. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and the legal authorities have shown us their abilities to manage just as the criminals have done the same.

Even in cases where those weapons are made illegal (so that they can’t be purchased through the mail) they are easy to build. Someone else in a previous comment made the point that in all current situations where restrictions are put upon weapons there is someone who sells the part necessary to metamorphosis your legal weapon quickly into an illegal one without breaking the law at all simply because the regulations on the sale of the equipment necessary to make the necessary manipulations to the average legal firearm are so lax.

With the kits for changing your weapon to a mass murdering one so readily and legally available it is clear that gun regulation is in many cases simply something to pacify the fear filled. Just as the deadbolt lock is for the average homeowner. It doesn’t really make you any more safe it just gives you the illusion of safety & just like the deadbolt is easily bypassed by simply kicking the door in at the hinges where the tiny screws hold it together the gun regs are easily bypassed with the legally sold kits and instructions on how to “trick/pimp” your gun out to become a mass murdering weapon if you so desire.

Like I mentioned before – such regulations don’t hurt the weapons needed for hunting and personal protection, they don’t hurt the criminals but rather they serve to give the fear filled an illusion of safety and to give the politician a talking point and justification for their job.

wundayatta's avatar

I haven’t read much of this, but I am curious. Has there been any progress made in terms of people listening to each other or learning anything new? Or are these the same arguments made by the same people that have made them many times before here?

Jenniehowell's avatar

@wundayatta I read all the comments before making my first one & my first one was basically about these are all the same pointless arguments made by the same people that have made them many times before. Of course I worded it quite differently but the point was the same in that it is quite entertaining to watch the emotion fueled lack of logic spew from both directions of the argument with no real progress because people are more interested in being right and repeating political talking points we’ve all heard somewhere else from someone else in this same argument over and again.

So to answer your question – no real progress – not much learning of new things – same old arguments as always be they here on fluther or elsewhere in society. People often focusing in on microscopic statements by one another rather than the bigger picture. An entertaining and fun waste of time.

wundayatta's avatar

ok, @Jenniehowell. Thanks for the precis!

LostInParadise's avatar

@ucme, No self-respecting psychopath would stoop to using a toaster. They all see themselves as some type of glorious Rambo figure shooting down all their enemies.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@elbanditoroso Well of course I agree to that, those unlicensed weapons are a big reason why restricting lawful ownership is so preposterous. Gun violence is a huge problem, but we’re focusing on the wrong word. Folks also want to pretend that these inanimate devises are drivers or even major enablers, but don’t want to address the systemic violence, both physical and economic, that has created the situation that breeds these sorts of killers (and pays them to wear uniforms).

@Jenniehowell You need to read more slowly then, because I didn’t, nor did anyone else, make even the suggestion that many women use military rifles to fend off rape (though actually, enough do). We have been talking primarily about semi-autos in general. Or maybe you like to use straw man arguments, I dunno. However, many people do use military style rifles to protect themselves, particularly in regards to the fending off of militias I mentioned above. And to defend from organized street gangs that do have these sorts of weapons, except they don’t bother to make them BATF compliant. You’re at least as likely to be shot at by an agent of the state as you are anyone else, and they are more heavily equipped with armor and semi-automatic (and automatic) weapons than the other street gangs.

And they are useful for hunting. They’re meant for killing, it’s what they do. A .30 caliber round coming out of an AK will kill a deer just as much as the same or a similar round out of a bolt action. Just because it’s more complex than necessary doesn’t make it not work. Anything that can kill can be used for hunting. I intend to use my AMD for bear hunting if I get around to getting my new permits.

LostInParadise's avatar

Where is the sport in using a semi-automatic to shoot a bear? How much skill could it possibly take to bring down an animal after shooting it a dozen times in succession?

SpatzieLover's avatar

This guy could have used a fertilizer bomb.

Guns are tools.

I don’t blame the hammer when I accidentally pound my thumb instead of a nail.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@LostInParadise You don’t think good, huh? Nobody said anything about shooting multiple times. Again, just because something can do more than you need, doesn’t mean it will. I happen to be too poor to afford another rifle. Also, I don’t hunt for sport. Sport hunting is for psychopaths. I hunt for meat.

@‎SpatzieLover I bet you also blame an idiot for swinging a hammer around inappropriately, not the hammer.

mazingerz88's avatar

I’d buy what an earlier post seemed to say. It could have been worse if there were no guns available for these kind of nut jobs to use. They would then resort to bombs that would kill far more people. It’s hard and painful to accept but that’s reality.

LostInParadise's avatar

No, they would not use bombs. It is all about the glorified image of the lone gunman shooting down all his enemies. Using bombs is just not cool. Keep in mind that we are talking about psychopaths.

Jussange's avatar

Say the guy didn’t have a gun, what then?

As @SpatzieLover said he could have come in with a bomb. Or he could have locked up and barred up the place (which IS actually pretty easy to do) and set fire to the building. And psychopaths don’t always go in for the glory or whatnot (as your last post seems to indicate that is what you believe), in fact most don’t go for the glorified image of the lone gunman. Most of the time, it’s simply for amusement or a feeling of control.

ucme's avatar

@LostInParadise I used an everyday household item purely as an example, may just as well be a set of hair straighteners, John Rambo used them in between takes, what with all that jungle humidity & shit.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@LostInParadise
Timothy McVeigh used a truck filled with fertilizer as a bomb. This case reminds me of him.

LostInParadise's avatar

The McVeigh case is slightly different, as I understand it. He acted out of twisted political motivation. He had sympathizers, and probably still does. There was a “pray for McVeigh” group that raised money for his family.

filmfann's avatar

How crazy is he if he has forgotten that the Joker’s hair is green, not red.

mazingerz88's avatar

@filmfann Could it be that your post was meant for another board discussing hair?

YARNLADY's avatar

Several reports have called the theater shootings as Colorado’s worst massacre, but it wasn’tThe Sand Creek Massacre was much worse. It included men, women, and children.

woodcutter's avatar

Guns cannot be bought through the mail. Not semi autos. Or really, any other kind..except if they are C&R eligible, (Collector and Relics) = old guns that are at least 50 years old and not in current production. (Old bolt guns & black powder,etc…This is how AK’s are not C&R eligible they still are being produced) .And even then you will need a C&R license to do it. They ship right to your door and you’re subject to ATF audits. Because you have to keep accurate records of all gun buys and sales. C&R guns are generally not aquired for resale because the idea is….you get these because you are an avid collector and plan on keeping them for yourself. ATF understands that occasionally a collector will sell off part of their collection to other collectors looking for a particular model. But they want to make sure you are not selling these weapons for profit out of your house. NO C&R license, then you get your C&R gun the regular way, through a dealer transfer. We can order them from an on line vendor, however the weapon must first be physically sent to a FFL (brick and mortar store) where a licensed gun dealer will re-sell it to us for a small fee (transfer) from his store. Before the on line vendor will even make the sale there has to be a pre- determined FFL dealer who has been pre notified that it is coming. If you know you will not pass a background check (NICS) then don’t bother ordering from the online vendor because the gun will make a screeching halt as soon as it is in custody of the pre arranged FFL….you don’t get the gun. This is one thing the MSM will not tell the public in order to whip up hysteria on how easy guns can be had by mail order sight unseen. So now you all know the straight skinny on internet gun sales.
Ammunition sales are a bit looser, usually the vendor wants a copy of your drivers license as well as other information ,passwords, etc so, when you get this to them they will have your information on file so you don’t have to go through those hoops again.
I know this may have strayed from the original question but I get sick and tired of people MSNBC getting away with bullshitting ignorant people on how easy it is to buy guns like they fall out of the sky if you have the money. Consider yourselves better educated now.

Response moderated
woodcutter's avatar

@LostInParadise If a hunter chooses to carry a semi auto then by law the maximum magazine capacity will be no more than five (5) rounds. Five rounds is the usual capacity of most non semi auto hunting rifles. Many disabled people hunt and there will be times where a bolt gun will be too cumbersome to use if it has to be reloaded each time. It is not advantageous for a hunter to even rapid fire 5 rounds at his intended target for fear of ruining the meat and causing unnecessary inhumane wounding when one skillfully placed shot will do fine.

We should try to gravitate away from the stereotype that hunters are dumb knuckle dragging brutes just looking for something to kill. It makes it easier for liberals to gather at Starbucks to rant and chortle but really folks, it doesn’t help in any way to be constructive by adopting that.

Jenniehowell's avatar

@incendiary_dan I live in a city of over 6 million & have yet to see any women walking down the streets with an AR15 or anything similar sticking out of their purses – I’d like to see your stats & documentation in regard to that claim.

And being someone who grew up in farming & hunting communities with a native American background I will go ahead & burn a bridge to say that the use of such weapons for the hunting of wild game is comparable to participating in a canned hunt which is what non hunting squirrelly little city fellas do as opposed to
real hunters. I’d question the manhood of anyone who hunts in a canned hunt be it due to the tameness of the game they’re shooting or the weapon they choose to use for the hunt.

Your comments make me smile because I can’t help but think you’re having a good time making hilariously backward statements just for the purpose of riling up the groundlings – the only other option would be that you are one of the groundlings & somehow I doubt that.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

For all of you here is a piece of cold hard reality. If I seriously wanted to I could build a WMD. All I would need is a SPEAR 73mm recoil-less rifle, Uranium-235 (critical mass), and a vaccume furnace and I will make a 1–2 megaton nuclear device. I could STEAL that U-235 out of a nuclear waste storage area. Hard, hell yeah. Impossible, god no.I could make a substance called cacodyal in my basement. You take isopropal alcohal, chemicaly remove the oxygen and replace it with arsenic. this stuff explodes on contact with air and gives off white arsenic which gas masks are useless against, and it is incredibly lethal. If you sabatoge a boiler you can cause it to exple with the force of a 2000 lb bomb. Sabatoging that boiler, 5 min job. totaly undetectable untill it is to late. The boiler could kill dozens with dozens more wounded. Cacodyal could kill a hundred and hospitilize dozens more. The WMD is unrealistc but possible, the last two totaly possible. Even if you outlawed guns a seriosly determined person could kill thousands. This is because you can’t legislate the ctions of a madman. In regard to the whole banning rifles and leaving pistols alone thing I keep seeing. one leads to another take the UK for exampel. I’m not going to explain it look it up. However, gun control is not the answer. If I wanted to get a gun I could get a gun. It’s called the black market. You cant stop these mass shootings. If you ban guns they might turn into mass bombings. which is worse? The bomb, it always will be. you might be able to tell if someone has a gun but you can’t tell if there is a bomb under the floor can you? The reality train has stopped at Realityville. Everyone off.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@LostInParadise Going back to the title of your question, why does “semi-automatic” get all the attention and not “lunatic”? I don’t want to put words into @Yetanotheruser‘s mouth, but I think he raised an important point when he asked why everyone sees this as an opportunity to discuss access to guns but not access to mental health services. It seems to me that the truly problematic part of the equation you give is the “lunatic” part. A semi-automatic weapon is in itself neither good or bad. A violent lunatic, on the other hand, is certainly something we need to be worried about in itself.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I agree with @SavoirFaire. I only wrote that response above to decry the entire argument over semi-automatics. They arent the problem!

LostInParadise's avatar

There is a theory that the particular nature of mental illness is a reflection of the weaknesses of a society, with the most vulnerable acting like the canary in a coal mine. Maybe these people are telling us something about the glorification of violence and overemphasis on individualism. I agree that there may be something to be gained by looking at it from the point of view of mental health services.

ucme's avatar

I love when people GA answers on here for stating the bloody obvious in response to a blatant tongue-in-cheek remark.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@SavoirFaire You are not at all putting words into my mouth. The knee-jerk reaction is to talk about access to firearms. Those for gun control decry the availability of the AK-type weapons, and those against seem to believe that if someone else in the theater had a handgun, lives would be saved.

I agree with @LostInParadise, in that I believe the variable in the equation that has the greater need for discussion is “lunatic”. This is not to infer that there is insanity. I feel safe in assuming that our friend @wundayatta (please correct me if I’m wrong) would agree with this statement: Mental illness is not necessarily insanity!

Someone in a related post said something to the effect that group therapy and psychotropic drugs will not bring back the dead. True, but they may prevent a new tragedy from happening.

Blackberry's avatar

Shit man, I don’t know.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Thank you, and well stated. I tried to argue earlier in the thread that Aurora is not a good test case for either side of the gun control debate, but I had nothing to say about what it might be about instead. The first time I read your original comment, I thought you made a good point. But as I thought about it more, I realized that it was quite probably the point. If only there was a way to make it part of the public conversation rather than just the Fluther conversation.

flutherother's avatar

People don’t walk around with the words ‘dangerous lunatic’ printed on their foreheads. They are not readily identifiable and aren’t seen as completely batshit crazy until after the event when it is too late. Guns on the other hand are much more easily identified.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@flutherother First, not everyone who has a gun is a problem. Everyone who is a dangerous lunatic, on the other hand, is a problem. Second, the whole point of talking about making mental health care easier to get is to identify potential dangerous lunatics before they reach that point. Like you say, it’s not printed on their foreheads. So we need to use other means—not just to stop them, but to help them. Then we’re not always saying “if only we had known.”

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@SavoirFaire ” If only there was a way to make it part of the public conversation rather than just the Fluther conversation.”

I’m working on that. Stay tuned.

Nullo's avatar

@Jenniehowell If I understand @incendiary_dan, he wasn’t talking about concealed carbines ha! but long guns used inside the home. We do get home invasions, you know.

Jenniehowell's avatar

@Nullo – either way – like I’ve said I live in a city of over 6million – I’m not a shut in – I’ve yet to see or hear of anyone who has an AR15 or anything similar in or out of their homes for the purpose of self protection. And as mentioned I’d like to see the stats & documentation that backs up that claim @incendiary_dan made. I’ve yet to see evidence that his statement is true here’s his comment in quotes “You need to be blind to the 550+ women in the US alone who daily fend off rape simply by producing a firearm (usually semi-automatic), and that restricting them from taking the necessary means of defense is either condemning them to rape or to be criminalized for resisting.”

I could of course be wrong which is why I’m asking for valid reference that prooves these women who fend off rape with a firearm are usually using a semi-automatic weapon as opposed to a pistol or basic rifle.

In these types of debates it’s easy to make claims in one direction or the other & because people are often either emotionally tied to a view, politically tied to a view or fall into a mental category that ties them to a conspiracy laden view they will believe whatever claim someone makes as long as it supports said view. On the other hand when a person uses logic rather than emotional attachment to a view it can prevent both false claims & the blanket belief in the false claims of others. I’m merely asking for valid reference of this claim that dan is making regarding the alleged women who fend off rape daily with semi automatic weapons as opposed to a basic pistol in their purse or basic rifle in their home. He goes so far as to mention an actual number of 550+ so surely that info must have come from somewhere other than his head or some random blogger.

It doesn’t seem the logical choice for the average woman fending off rape be it in or out of her home so I don’t believe it to be the case & would like to see valid proof of the claim. Not that the average American doesn’t lack logic but even with that consideration it doesn’t make sense that any significant majority of women fending off rape (or even average people in their homes fending off home invasions) are actually buying & using anything like an AR15 as opposed to pistols & basic rifles to do said fending.

I’m not so stupid to assume no one has home invasions or need for self defense – just saying that logic would state the average person doesn’t do it with weapons similar to an AR15 on any significant or majority level.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jenniehowell I think part of the problem is that you keep substituting “AR-15” for “semi-automatic weapon” as if they are synonyms. There are such things as semi-automatic pistols, for instance, and they may be what @incendiary_dan is talking about here. In debates like this, it is important to be precise about the kinds of weapons—if any—you think should be banned or harder to acquire.

jca's avatar

@SavoirFaire: OK, so regardless of AR-15 or “semi-automatic” or mace or whatever, let’s see some stats where it came from.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Jenniehowell The stat about the women fending off rape is from criminologist Gary Kleck from the Florida State University. And most pistols used overall are semi-auto, because they are widely produced, require less manipulation (and therefore less training), and can hold more ammunition. This is the simple reality of concealed carry pistols: the vast majority of them are semi-autos.

AR-15s and AK variants and such are used in defense, and as @Nullo points out, they are typically used in home invasion repelling. It really doesn’t matter how often, though you insist that it does. I have no hard numbers, but have followed enough news to see it pop up now and then. People use them because, surprise, they’re really fucking effective.

Nor is using a semi-auto comparable to a canned hunt. Semi-autos give no advantage to hunting, and in fact tend to require more skill to get a clean hit, as most are made with slightly looser tolerances and use cartridges that have less inherent accuracy. I’d much rather hunt with a .308 bolt action, but I don’t have one.

In response to your earlier comment, I am neither making untrue comments, nor am I trying to rile people up. I’ve made my points and position clear: it is unethical and authoritarian to institute policies disarming an endangered population or even significantly reducing their ability to defend themselves while ignoring the constant violence inflicted by the state, by corporate goons, by white supremacist and militia groups, all of which are contemporary realities and not, as some on the left want to pretend, something only the baby-boomers had to deal with. Although I took the time to counter your misconceptions, these are not the crux of any argument. If you’d like to discuss my argument substantively, then please familiarize yourself with the realities of violence I mention here and above.

And for a bonus, I’m compiling a comprehensive list of mass killings perpetrated by the state to compare with the ones people are spreading around of lone shooters. Thanks to @YARNLADY for pointing out another one to everyone. The state has killed far more innocent people of color and indigenous folks than every lone shooter we’ve had in this country. They do so every day. As a Pinoy-American, I know about the force used to “pacify” my people, about the force used against civilians every day with no reasonable justification. As a social-justice activist, I am inundated with news of yet more violence from numerous vectors. In big part, this is because our people have been disarmed from effective resistance, both physically and mentally. Gun control in this country is rooted in disarming people of color so they couldn’t resist. Robert F. Williams saved lives by training his neighbors with military rifles, which they often just had to brandish against Klansmen to get them to turn around. The attackers were the police, hiding under sheets. We still get that today, though now they can skip the wardrobe change. Until these realities change, nobody, nobody has any right to tell someone in danger what they can and can’t do to ensure their safety.

I’ll stop before I rant too much more. I should have known not to even try to bring up liberation ideals with people so thoroughly out of touch with reality and current events.

Nullo's avatar

@Jenniehowell I find it unlikely that you know all 6 million people. :D In any case, not eveybody lives in a city. You get ill-intentioned people everywhere. And not everybody is as open about firearm ownership as here, where we are all comparatively anonymous.

Incidentally, there are people who use “basic rifles” for self-defense. Thing is, they’re usually chambered for comparatively powerful rounds. Punch-through-a-car kind of powerful. This chart shows some of the more notable cartridges. No. 16 on the list is what the AR-15 uses, while No. 49 is common in “basic rifles.” Using No. 49 in your house, especially in an apartment building, carries a greater risk of hitting someone three or four walls away.

woodcutter's avatar

This is an excerpt from the GOA website (Gun Owners of America) Paragraph #6 discussing semi auto firearms. “Gun control fact sheet” Sort of a long read.

6. Assault weapons: fact or fiction?

A. Definition of real “assault weapons”

* According to one of the preeminent experts in the field of firearms, Dr. Edward Ezell,(97) a key characteristic of a true assault weapon is that it must have the capability of “full automatic fire.”(98) Similarly, the U.S. Defense Department defines real assault weapons as “selective-fire weapons”—meaning that these guns can fire either automatically or semi-automatically.(99)

* Anti-gun pundits in recent years have managed to define “assault weapons” as semi-automatic firearms which only externally resemble a military firearm.(100) Dr. Edward Ezell notes that true assault weapons “were designed to produce roughly aimed bursts of full automatic fire”(101)—something which a semi-automatic firearm does not do.
B. Semi-automatic “assault rifles” are no different than many hunting rifles

* Officer William McGrath: “These [semi-automatic assault rifles] are little different than the semi-automatic hunting rifles that have been on the market since before World War II. The main difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic hunting rifle is that the assault rifle looks more ‘military.’”(102)

* “The term ‘assault’ rifle is really a misnomer as a true assault rifle is a selective fire weapon capable of switching from fully automatic to semi automatic and back with the flip of a lever.”(103)

* “The charge that the assault rifle holds more rounds than a ‘legitimate’ hunting rifle shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate twisting of the facts, as 10, 20 and 30 round magazines for ‘legitimate’ hunting rifles have been on the market for decades without the world coming to an end.”(104)
C. So-called assault weapons have never been the “weapon of choice” for criminals

(All of the following figures pre-date the “assault weapons” ban passed by Congress in 1994)

* Police View: Over 100,000 police officers delivered a message to Congress in 1990 stating that only 2% to 3% of crimes are committed using a so-called “assault weapon.”(105)

* New Jersey: The New York Times reported that, “Although New Jersey’s pioneering ban on military-style assault rifles was sold to the state as a crime-fighting measure, its impact on violence in the state . . . has been negligible, both sides agree.”(106) Moreover, New Jersey police statistics show that only .026 of 1 percent of all crimes involve “assault rifles.”(107)

* Nationwide: The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 1993 that violent criminals only carry or use a “military-type gun” in about one percent of the crimes nationwide.(108)

* Knives more deadly: According to the FBI, people have a much greater chance of being killed by a knife or a blunt object than by any kind of rifle, including an “assault rifle.”(109) In Chicago, the chance is 67 times greater. That is, a person is 67 times more likely to be stabbed or beaten to death in Chicago than to be murdered by an “assault rifle.”(110)

* Cops’ own guns more deadly: So-called assault weapons are not menacing police officers nationwide. The FBI reports show that before the 1994 ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons,” no more than three officers were killed in any one year by such guns.(111) Contrastly, police officers were more than three times as likely to be killed by their own guns than by “assault weapons.”(112)

* It would seem one can’t have it both ways. If Congress wants to ban weapons that are dangerous to police, then it should begin by pushing for a ban on police officers’ own weapons, since these guns kill far more often than “assault weapons.” The same is true with knives and blunt objects. These instruments kill policemen more often than semi-automatic “assault weapons.”(113)

* Sarah Brady’s own figures show that so-called assault weapons are not the criminal’s “weapon of choice.” A study published by Handgun Control, Inc. in November of 1995 shows that the overwhelming majority of guns used to murder police officers are not “assault weapons.”(114) The irony is that HCI used a very inflated definition of “assault weapon” and still could not demonstrate that they are used in over 50% of the crimes.(115)

* Does tracing of crime guns show that “assault weapons” are the weapons of choice for criminals? No. Gun control advocates will often make the claim that so-called assault weapons are frequently used in crime. To justify this claim, such advocates will cite as “evidence” the fact that law-enforcement run a high percentage of traces on these types of firearms. But this is a classic example of circular reasoning: law enforcement arbitrarily run a high percentage of trace requests on “assault weapons,” and then this figure is used to justify the “fact” that these guns are frequently used in crime. Consider the following:

* Tracing requests are not representative of all guns used in crime. The Congressional Research Service states that, “Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals.”(116) (Emphasis added.) Moreover, BATF agents themselves have stated that, “ATF does not always know if a firearm being traced has been used in a crime.”(117)

* Tracing requests are not random samples. CRS notes that “ATF tracing data could be potentially biased because of screening conducted by local ATF agents prior to the submission of the tracing from.”(118) This means that police could, if they wanted, only trace so-called assault weapons. Would this mean that they are the only guns used in crime? No, it would just mean that law enforcement have a particular interest in tracing “assault weapons” over other guns.

* Tracing in L.A. That tracing is an unreliable measure of a gun’s use in crime is clear. For example, in 1989 in Los Angeles, “assault rifles” represented approximately only 3% of guns seized, but 19% of gun traces.(119)

D. Semi-automatic “assault weapons” are excellent for self-defense

* Police Capt. Massad Ayoob: “The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast, often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do.”(120) (Emphasis added.)

* “All four of these factors make it likely that more of the Good Guys’ bullets will be expended before the Bad Guys are neutralized. All of these factors, therefore, militate for a higher capacity handgun in the hands of the lawful defenders.”(121)

1. Drugs and alcohol can make criminals resistant to pain

Arkansas: A drunk opened fire on an officer, who responded by firing 29 shots—15 of them striking the criminal. It was only the last bullet which finally killed the drunk and effectively stopped him from shooting.(122)

Illinois: Police shot a drug-induced criminal 33 times before the junkie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.(123)
2. Hi-capacity semi-autos can help decent people to defend themselves

Los Angeles riots: Many of the guns targeted by so-called assault weapons bans are the very guns with which the Korean merchants used to defend themselves during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.(124) Those firearms proved to be extremely useful to the Koreans. Their stores were left standing while other stores around them were burned to the ground.

The Korean merchants would probably agree with Capt. Massad Ayoob. When one is facing mob violence and the police are nowhere to be found, one needs a gun that shoots more than just six bullets. A ban on large capacity semi-automatic firearms will only harm one’s ability to defend himself and his family.

E. The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own military rifles and handguns

* Report by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982)—“In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined ‘militia of the United States’ to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a [military-style] firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment. . . . There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress and the people spoke of the a ‘militia,’ they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard.”(125)

* The Supreme Court—In U.S. v. Miller, the Court stated that, “The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense . . . [and that] when called for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jca I have no problem with the request for stats, I was simply pointing out that we need to understand what is being discussed before we can even attempt to correctly interpret any statistics that might be given. Equivocation gets us nowhere.

woodcutter's avatar

@Jenniehowell said: ”I’m not so stupid to assume no one has home invasions or need for self defense – just saying that logic would state the average person doesn’t do it with weapons similar to an AR15 on any significant or majority level

That is a curious thing to put out there, this…. logic. How ,and what methodology, are you using to assume this? Because you don’t personally know of many people who have semi auto rifles ready, you can confidently state it is uncommon? How many people do you know intimately who would openly discuss their weapon situation openly? It must be in the millions.

Nullo's avatar

@Jenniehowell I’m not so stupid to assume no one has home invasions or need for self defense – just saying that logic would state the average person doesn’t do it with weapons similar to an AR15 on any significant or majority level.

It’s actually a pretty logical choice. As a rule, two-handers are more accurate and can better double as a melee weapon; the carbine format gives better gas-driving performance than a pistol without being as cumbersome as a full rifle. And you can get an idiot-resistant AK-pattern rifle for about $600, which is about what you’d be paying for a decent pistol.

And if you are looking to conceal carbine-grade firepower, those nutty guys at Kel-Tec have you covered.

flutherother's avatar

A word of caution. If you own a gun the person most likely to be killed by it is yourself.

woodcutter's avatar

@flutherother natural selection at work.

woodcutter's avatar

The question is, if a defender has to brandish an AK 47 to dissuade a group of no goods….will it really be necessary to open fire? If you look up the phrase“certain death” in the dictionary, a picture of an AK 47 will be there. An AK is for shooting people who are clearly not in their right minds. Its cosmic power of dissuasion automatically repels without a shot.
With this in mind I still would never dream of having one unloaded

augustlan's avatar

@woodcutter I hope there are no children in your house. We own several rifles and shotguns, but would never dream of keeping them loaded. Ammunition is locked up separately from the guns, too.

woodcutter's avatar

No kids and I have a safe for the heavy weaponry. But within that safe there are loaded magazines. If it gets bad enough where I need a rifle I don’t want to be messing around trying to hand load magazines, nobody does. Anyone who has weapons with detachable mags and tells you all of them are empty are not being sincere with you.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I happen to sleep with a 12ga pump action under my bed. I keep rounds in the attatched magazine, but under NO circumstance (unless I need to defend myself) do I EVER actually put a shell in the chamber. I have taught my kids about guns. They are shooters as well as me, they have learned the most basic thing you need to know about firearms, ALWAYS TREAT A GUN AS THOUGH IT IS LOADED. If you follow that rule you chances of shooting yourself are zero. My kids know this and if they are found breaking that simple rule or touching dad’s shotgun then they can expect to not have access to TV, video games, the computer (except for school projects), and the radio. This continues until I feel that they understand that when I say to NOT TOUCH THE SHOTGUN, they do not touch it and when I say TREAT EVERY GUN AS THOUGH IT IS LOADED they do so. There are NO exceptions (except when I SPECIFICLY tell them to) at any time.

Jenniehowell's avatar

@Nullo thanks for pointing out the confusion relating to my lack of clarity between AR15 & semi auto weapons – I am aware that pistols in many cases are semi automatic but was trying to address things on the level that many previous to that particular statement by Dan were at with regard to the refernces to one weapon or another etc because his reply & claim were mostly in reply to those making statements regarding the type of weapon used for the aurora incident (or similar weapons) his responses at that point in the conversation were to mention these stats as if they were all related so I addressed things that way as well. I personally don’t support gun control unless it is logical and at a level that can actually resolve an issue as opposed to making it worse &/or creating more red tape for random politicians to use for their job justifications. And of course you are right in that I don’t know the over 6million in my city – my pointing out of that fact was merely to make the point of saying that in a city with at least 1 shooting daily if not many more I have yet to see or hear of someone having fended off an incident of any sort using an AR15 or weapon similar to it.

@woodcutter yes that is basically it – I am a female ex military veteran & hunter of many years living in a large city where rapes & attacks happen as a part of every day life & based on my own preferences & experiences as well as my basic knowledge of the average person & statistics of the particular city I live in I had serious skepticism with regard to any claim that any significant number of women are actually fending off attacks with weapons such as an AR15 or similar weapon. I didn’t claim that my opinion based on my own experience was an end all be all correct claim – in fact within my statement I stated that I could be wrong & merely requested reference.

@Nullo I’m also not stating that those weapons aren’t a logical choice fir self defense necessarily but rather that I don’t find it as being something that would fall into the logic of the average woman defending herself from an attack. Based on the combination of the education level & lack of gun knowledge & reaction to fear te average American has it just doesn’t seem the logical choice. (meaning doesn’t seem like what half the idiots in this country would choose).

@augustlan I grew up with guns & was proficient with shooting them at a marxman level at quite a young age. At my house growing up we had guns in & out of cabinets which were almost always unlocked & the guns loaded in many cases. We never ad any incidents because our parents taught us well & didn’t allow us to have friends over who’s parents didn’t do the same. Because my parents taught us how to use weapons & had us knowing about gun safety & having passed classes in said categories at the youngest age possible to get a hunting license we weren’t ignorant enuf to allow our egos & our guns to mix in a way that had us confused about whether guns were toys to be played with or to be used for showing off with/to our friends etc. Good gun owning parents have good gun owning children & in the majority of those good gun owning households there are no dumb dick Cheney style incidents. When it comes down to it kids who mishandled guns come from parents who mishandled kids.

woodcutter's avatar

Women ,men, nor criminals carry self loading carbines as a primary. If you want I can get a link somewhere that shows that these carbines that the left call “assault weapons” are rarely used in any crimes.

Also to be fair in any gun debate, there needs to be a dismissal of the gangland kill numbers and firearm use. This is a different class of human animal who is unaffected by the laws that govern us…the majority. It is patently unfair to juice the tragedy of it all by taking that low road.

Nullo's avatar

@Jenniehowell Here is a case where a kid fends off home invaders (making one more holey in the process) with his father’s AR.

Self-defense (more sophisticated than flailing arms and chomping on necks) is a learned behavior, regardless of your choice of weapon. That’s why it’s vitally important to learn, and then practice.

woodcutter's avatar

The keeping of semi auto rifles has been solidified in the American psyche ever since the bad storms in the gulf when all the cops were wiped away and it was every person for themselves. When there is no law, the law doesn’t matter. What fills the void will be human nature. In circumstances like that, human nature ain’t pretty.
Just like in the LA riots, when looters discovered there were home owners down the way with AK-47’s they completely skipped that area. Personally ,a 400 meter ring (thats 800 meters across), of safety feels good. Feels real good.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

(semi-automatic + homeowner) + home invader = stopped violent crime

woodcutter's avatar

Actually for home defense, the tried and true pump shotgun is much, much more devastating but because they get very little press and have been around longer they don’t seem as dramatic and creepy to people. One shot of 00buck is 9 to 11 times more deadly than one shot from any assault rifle but there’s no Hollywood in that. But the mere sight of an evil black gun sometimes is enough to make a PCP charged nutjob move away without firing once. It must be the presence of the hi cap mag that registers with people.

So in many ways semi autos prevent death’s. Even if they are lives of scumbags.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Who said the semi auto wasn’t a shotgun?

woodcutter's avatar

Nobody.Given all the recent news stories of mass shootings I may have assumed that was what the focus was on. Many people are hesitant to use semi auto SG because of reliability reasons. If you get a fail to feed or eject with semi you are basically screwed. And they cost too much. If I could afford a Saiga 12 I would ,for shits and giggles but for home defence where it really matters we’re going to pump city. Could be why the US Army uses Mossberg pumps. Similar to the one I have.

Jenniehowell's avatar

@Nullo thanks for the link &
I agree with you – it is vitally important to learn & then practice

woodcutter's avatar

I can’t think of an effective weapon to be used in a defensive situation that would not also make a darn good offensive weapon. I don’t think a good one has been invented yet that would be practical to use. If you are defending yourself, you are in a fight. It can only have one acceptable outcome. And that outcome is the other guy loses.The weapon itself is dumb. That’s because the human using it makes it what it is at the time.

Shinimegami's avatar

Your equation display bias, is flawed. Laws not allow lunatics own guns anyhow. Few lunatics commit mass murders anyhow. If more people carry guns can stop mass murderers. You overlook fact mass killer have easy victims when he is only person have gun. Cannot destroy all guns, some criminals still have them, honest people at their mercy. You not think profoundly of this issue, just hysterical. Why you hate semi-automatics? They good self-defense guns. Once we Japanese confiscate all weapons of Okinawans when we conquer them, they use farm tools so weapons, e.g. nunchaku, kama, tonfa, etc.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Shinimegami then maybe our society would be better off without the “firearm” technology, instead having some kind of mandatory martial arts training, perhaps as part of physical education in school.

woodcutter's avatar

Teaching American kids physical ed? First we have to get them off their asses.

never going to happen

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@woodcutter Oh yeah! I forgot we don’t value our teachers, so we cut programs like phys ed!

woodcutter's avatar

Pansy ass kids have such little muscle tone these days the schools are certain they will get hurt and sue. When I was a kid it was nothing for a kid to catch a smokin hot dodge ball in the face and get up thinking it was fun. Do that to these spleeny little shits now and they will have life long disabilities.

And emotional trauma to boot.

By the way- the curriculum was never intended for the benefit of teachers at all, supposed to be for the students. Are you a member of some teachers union or something?

Oh the trauma

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I am not a member of a teachers union, but I think we undervalue our teachers.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@woodcutter Kids still take dodgeballs to the face and get up thinking it was fun. It’s their parents who freak out and sue.

woodcutter's avatar

@SavoirFaire one kid out of 100….maybe

SavoirFaire's avatar

@woodcutter You seem to have a highly active nostalgia filter.

woodcutter's avatar

Maybe, but you also know, I see what is there.

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