General Question

syz's avatar

Will we (the U.S.) ever be able to have a constructive dialogue about commonsense gun legislation?

Asked by syz (33164 points ) December 14th, 2012

The incidents keep coming. How many times does this have to happen before we can have a constructive dialogue about common sense gun control legislation? Stop screaming that controls = infringing on the right to own guns! Everyone has to take a class, pass a test, carry insurance, have liability insurance and pay taxes on cars; shouldn’t the responsibility of owning a WEAPON be taken just as seriously?

(On a tangent, how is a “well armed militia” the same thing as a totally unregulated, undisciplined and uncontrolled public?)

Will it ever happen?

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327 Answers

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Sadly, in the USA, there is no common sense on the issue of guns. There are too many parties with vested opinions.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@syz Brave lady, I stand with you.

ragingloli's avatar

Not until you drop the sexual obsession with guns.

zenvelo's avatar

Since the Supreme Court effectively said, “no, you can’t impose gun control’ the only real thing to do is amend the Constitution. The Second Amendment is, after all, only an amendment.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not as long as we have lobbying groups like NRA, and a gun-owning population that refuses to acknowledge that guns kill people.

They use distraction and diversion to say “it isn’t the gun’s fault – it’s the shooter’ – but then the conveniently forget that the shooter USED the gun.

So in this current political world, there is nothing to do.

But you can thank the NRA and the 2nd amendment fundamentalists for this bloodbath.

janbb's avatar

This makes me so crazy I can hardly think about it any more.

DominicX's avatar

The mass shooting is as American as apple pie. It’s interesting—I am so desensitized that I felt absolutely nothing when I read about this story. But I agree @Dr_Lawrence. We have the capability of preventing things like this and we choose not to do so.

Seek's avatar

Not until the right to “pruh tekt mah home!” becomes less important than the lives of children trapped like fish in a barrel in institutional schools for seven hours a day.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yes, we will someday be able to discuss gun control constructively. I fear it will take many deaths to make that day come.

JLeslie's avatar

A lot of my republican friends are posting on facebook a news story about a school stabbing in China from last Friday. Why are they doing that? It feels to me like they are doing it to show even without guns this sort of thing can happen and it takes everything in me not to say somehing on the links they are posting. I say nothing because I do care about those Chinese children and their families. From what I read none of those children who were stabbed died. It certainly is horrific also though.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think so. The NRA and other gun lobbies are too powerful. That was my first thought. That kid could not have killed so many if he had not had guns.

Seek's avatar

^ Man. That MAN. It was a parent.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie Exactly zero people were killed in the stabbing in China.

emilianate's avatar

Motor vehicle traffic deaths
Number of deaths: 34,485
Deaths per 100,000 population: 11.2

All firearm deaths
Number of deaths: 31,347
Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.2

Source

Shall I keep going?

JLeslie's avatar

And that confirms my suspicion.

emilianate's avatar

In the same source, the states with more gun control have more gun related deaths than states that have little to none gun control laws.

rojo's avatar

Not in the US, not at this juncture. Too much divisivness. Not enough people willing to listen to each others concerns and points of view.

tom_g's avatar

As much as I’d love to focus all of my anger at gun fetishists right now, is it possible that a time like this is the worst time to make comments about what is wrong with society and gun laws? It might be that times like this – which bring up very strong emotions – are not optimal for generating discussion that will lead to legislation or problem-solving.

All I can do right now is evaluate how this makes me feel, and how temporary this whole game of life is. I’d like to shelve my anger and nausea, leave my office right now, and go home and hug my kids (as cheesy as that may sound).

syz's avatar

@tom_g Sure, it’s incredibly crass of me to skip straight to my frustration with the overall situation rather than empathy for the victims (which I certainly have). But the problem is that the refrain has been going through my head so many times this year, and each event just ratchets up the emotional response. And we, as a culture, have incredibly short memories for disasters, whether that’s because of our “all news, all the time” environment or campassion fatigue – I have no idea. So how many times do we go through this before we have the courage to address the issue?

tom_g's avatar

^^ I get it. I really do. But the emotions I’m feeling right now are resulting in me wanting changes in legislation that would be supported by 1 person – me, because they’re crazy. I can’t imagine there is anyone calm enough right now to discuss gun control or school safety without getting all weepy or breaking out the fists. Maybe we discuss these issues after the emotions have somewhat calmed down from this one – and before the next one.

syz's avatar

We can only hope.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@syz, we as a country do not have the courage to address the issue.

Our politicians have sold out to the gun lobby. NO politician will survive in office (and maybe survive in general) if they vote to in any way control guns.

If the population (you and me) were 90% in favor of some sort of gun laws, the NRA would still pressure the politicians.

So despite your plea, the country for the last 60 years has had NO courage in this area.

emilianate's avatar

There are around 400 million guns owned by american citizens. I doubt they’re in favor of gun control.

syz's avatar

I own a gun. I’m in favor of gun control.

When did the words “gun control” come to mean “you can’t have a gun”? How has the gun lobby managed to sell the entire country on that?

I don’t like people. I don’t trust people. I think a great number of people are incredibly stupid, irresponsible, reactive, and incompetent.

I want everyone who could potentially kill me (even by accident) to have learned how to handle a gun safely and been tested on that information. (I firmly believe that I’m much more likely to be killed by incompetence than by attack.)

(And for the stupid fuckers who keep shooting into the air and putting holes in my roof to cut that shit out. Two bullet holes in my roof, one of which came through the attic and ceiling to crash into my floor in the bedroom.)

emilianate's avatar

I never said anything about banning guns? I said gun control.

emilianate's avatar

You saw the empire state incident in New York? “highly trained” police officers shot up a bunch of innocent civilians before taking down their guy.

syz's avatar

@emilianate No, not you specifically, but that’s the inevitable response when anyone starts talking about gun control legistlation – like it’s all or nothing.

Yes, and how incredibly incompetent of them. That’s a clear failure in training and SOP compliance, and I’m assuming that they got their asses handed to them for it.

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, I’m not sure what on earth your point is by pointing out that more people per capita die in car accidents than in guns.

Cars are heavily regulated by the government. When you sit into the driver’s seat, suddenly the government has a huge amount of control over your actions and behavior. You must follow traffic signals. You must have, and pay for, insurance. In many places you must wear a seatbelt. You cannot text. In addition, car manufacturers are also heavily regulated by the government. Cars must meet minimum safety standards, be built with collapsible steering columns.

Car accidents still kill a lot of people but, you know what? When the government started regulating cars (such as mandating seatbelts in the late 60’s), those deaths started to drop.

It’s almost as if regulating and enforcing safety standards on highly dangerous technology that could easily kill a lot of innocent people saves lives. But I guess you don’t agree that we should do this with guns, too?

woodcutter's avatar

If “gun control” would guarantee no more killings I would be all for it.

syz's avatar

@woodcutter Do seatbelts “guarantee no more” fatalities? No, but they sure cut down on them.

emilianate's avatar

@Qingu.

@syz wrote “Everyone has to take a class, pass a test, carry insurance, have liability insurance and pay taxes on cars”

The motor deaths were in response.

Secondly, explain why states with more more gun control regulations experience more crime?

Thirdly, read about the american prohibition. What happened when we banned alcohol? Crime sky rocketed.

What happens when we ban drugs? Well you see the result.

What do you think will happen when we strongly regulate guns maybe even ban them like some states do? Same results as before.

woodcutter's avatar

@syz Apples and oranges in the context you have it there :)

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, you seem to be arguing with an imaginary person that exists only in your head. Who is saying we should ban guns?

As for why states with gun control laws have more gun crime, actually, that’s bullshit. States with the most gun deaths per capita are overwhelmingly conservative (and southern).
(here’s another source)

You will see the same trend internationally, more or less. Countries with strict gun control laws have less gun related deaths. I wonder why.

syz's avatar

@woodcutter

The motor deaths were in response.

Sorry, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make.

Secondly, explain why states with more more gun control regulations experience more crime?

No clue, and that would obviously be part on any constructive dialogue.

Thirdly, read about the american prohibition. What happened when we banned alcohol? Crime sky rocketed.

Again, why does “gun control legislation” = banned? It doesn’t.

What happens when we ban drugs? Well you see the result.

See above.

What do you think will happen when we strongly regulate guns maybe even ban them like some states do? Same results as before.

See above.

woodcutter's avatar

@syz I’m sorry, are you putting all that for my approval now?

syz's avatar

Hardly. I am merely trying to understand what you’re trying to say. You know – a dialogue?

Qingu's avatar

To answer the original question, I think this is ultimately going to be a generational thing. I don’t see how you can have a constructive dialogue with people who, for example, desperately want to own AR-15 assault weapons “just in case” they are ever in a situation “like Hurricane Katrina” where they have to mow down hoardes of savage looters. In the same way, I don’t think you can really have constructive dialogue with fundamentalist Christians who believe homosexuality should be illegal because the Jewish sky god Yahweh told us it should be in Leviticus.

In both cases we are dealing with deeply delusional people, who are probably motivated in large part by bigotry, and hopefully they’ll just gradually die of old age and leave our electorate better off in the long term.

woodcutter's avatar

@syz we are completely 1000000000% different in every way possibly even our biology. We will never understand each other :)

emilianate's avatar

I never said anything about banning guns. I said gun control is one step away from that. If you saw how bad banning something is, then controlling it will just lead to a less severe but still damaging consequences.

Lets take an example from the source. Compare two equal populations with one being a gun controlled state and one being a free state.

District of Columbia The most strictest gun laws in the country – Population 617,996
Gun Rate – 18.5

Vermont – Least amount of gun laws. Population 626,431
Gun rate – 9.7

Shouldn’t the most strictest gun controlled state have less deaths than an “anarchy” state like Vermont? Explain.

woodcutter's avatar

So many gun laws are in effect right now. What types of laws will stop these lone wolf shootings? I don’t think any will. What will help is people acting on signs that are almost always a precursor to something like this.

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, bullshit you didn’t say anything about banning guns! “What happened when we banned alcohol?” “What happens when we ban drugs?” Those are quotes by you. Why the hell were you asking these rhetorical questions if you did not imagine us to be advocating the banning of guns?

I also find it disconcerting that you just spent half of this thread advancing the argument “gun control doesn’t work because states with gun control have more gun deaths.” But it turns out this evidence is completely false, and in fact the opposite is true. Whoops! But instead of, you know, questioning your argument, now you go and cherry-pick some narrow statistics from DC and Vermont and hope it sticks?

Another reason why constructive dialogue is hard is because people like yourself are often so intellectually dishonest about it.

syz's avatar

America’s gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America’s.

But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world’s least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.

Source

Qingu's avatar

@woodcutter, we know nothing about this current incident. In past incidents, however, some regulations might have stopped or at least flagged the guy who mail-ordered an AR-15 and other weapons and used them to shoot up the Dark Knight theater.

I mean I understand that people like you have something like faith that no laws or regulations could possibly ever stop a determined lone wolf killer. Because if you admit such laws could be effective then suddenly you have a moral quandry on your hands. So it’s easiest to just pretend that no laws are ever effective at regulating this particular piece of technology (despite the fact that gun laws are inversely correlated state-by-state and country-by-country with gun fatalities…)

Seek's avatar

@emilianate

If you saw how bad banning something is, then controlling it will just lead to a less severe but still damaging consequences.

That is quite literally one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read.

Going back to the car analogy – do you want my 4 year old reenacting MarioKart with my Crown Victoria? No. Because that’s BAD. And that’s why we regulate who’s allowed to drive. It’s clearly better than having no regulation whatsoever, and better than banning driving altogether.

emilianate's avatar

@Qingu,

Just as I thought, you can’t answer.

I can do this for every state. The same results, same source. Every liberal gun controlled state is suffering from far more gun deaths than states with little to no gun laws.

Woops, I even made a mistake. Those rates are worse. 135 deaths in DC from guns (most amount of gun laws) vs Vermont’s 8 gun deaths (no gun laws).

Anyway, i’ll let you run wild with your ideologies. I have to go anyway.

Seek's avatar

@emilianate We need a death-per-person statistic. Straight numbers are meaningless when they are unrelated to relevant population density.

Coloma's avatar

I say fuck the constitution, fuck the NRA and fuck gun “control” !!!
NO citizen, PERIOD, should be able to own firearms, outside of law enforcement.
This isn’t the goddamn wild west where one needs to shoot their dinner, kill the wolves at the door, or defend themselves from the unfriendly natives.
You want to hunt?

You get a TEMPORARY, seasonal permit to hunt your species of choice ONLY during that season, with rigorous psychological testing on an annual basis before Barney the bear hunter picks up his piece and walks out into the woods. Your weapon is then returned to a state locker where it remains until next year.

Sure, you can kill someone with a knife or a baseball bat or a fucking broom, but…nobody with a knife, a bat or a broom would be able to massacre 30 people in 10 minutes.
Thank you for opportunity to rant.

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, that’s absolutely false. Liberal gun controlled states have less gun deaths per capita than conservative states. Here are the sources, once again:

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=113&cat=2
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/

And I think it’s quite telling that, after posting statistics that clearly show the opposite of what you’re claiming, your response is “nah-ah.”

Like I said: delusional.

(Note also: DC is not a state. It’s also, in statistical terms, clearly an outlier.)

Seek's avatar

We sure do love our guns in Florida. Gonna be up to a million concealed carry permits come Christmas.

syz's avatar

While I’m sure that the phrasing will be considered incindiary to those that disagree, this seems pertinent.

Qingu's avatar

Just for the record (and in case certain people are too lazy to click links), here are the top states plus DC for gun deaths per capita, 2009 (this is per 100,000 people):

1. Wyoming 18.1
1. Louisiana 18.1
3. Alabama 17.4
4. Mississippi 16.8
5. District of Columbia 16.6
6. Arkansas 16.2
7. Montana 16.0
8. Nevada 15.5
9. Tennessee 15.2
10. Alaska 14.7

Here are the bottom ten:

40. Illinois 8.1
41. Wisconsin 7.9
42. Nebraska 7.3
43. Iowa 6.3
44. New Hampshire 6.2
44. Minnesota 6.2
46. Rhode Island 5.0
47. Connecticut 4.9
48. New York 4.8
49. New Jersey 4.7
50. Hawaii 3.6
51. Massachusetts 3.1

And here is what @emilianate said: “Every liberal gun controlled state is suffering from far more gun deaths than states with little to no gun laws.” Horseshit.

Seek's avatar

Finland: One gun death per 315,149 people.
USA: One gun death per 3,320 people.

My source is admittedly Wikipedia.

@Qingu – I’m shocked that Florida isn’t in the top list

Coloma's avatar

California didn’t make the list? Well..that’s kinda surprising.

Qingu's avatar

California is # 39, with 8.3 gun deaths per 100,000.
Florida is #20, with 12.1.

woodcutter's avatar

You cannot get an AR 15 through the mail…......

ever Why does this misnomer even come up today?

Qingu's avatar

@woodcutter, you might be right. I was thinking of the 6,000 rounds of ammunition he purchased for his AR-15’s high-capacity clip that he purchased online.

Seek's avatar

^ How the hell does that not set off someone’s radar somewhere?

woodcutter's avatar

Ain’t no “might” to it. Any modern firearm has to be sent to an FFL from the supplier first. Then you go there and wait through a background check and pay a transfer fee to that FFL.

As for the ammo, The seller has your credit card information so in essence you have also gone through a background check there too.

Seek's avatar

Presuming, of course, that the gun isn’t purchased second-hand, and shipped in a Priority Mail Flat-Rate box with the rest of the heavy Christmas presents. “Oh, this? Ping pong table. Totally.

woodcutter's avatar

To those who know nothing about the shooting sports, buying ammo is much the same as buying anything in bulk. You get a better price when you do and when people shoot a lot they will use it up, in short order. You can use a bullet only once. Sure you can get your ammo 20 at a time but that is not practical when most people go shooting and expend hundreds in that one session.Just because a shooter wants several thousand rounds at one time doesn’t mean they are defective.

Qingu's avatar

@woodcutter, ah, yes, the background check required to obtain a credit card in the United States of America.

And, as a proud AR-15 owner, maybe you could tell us what in the fuck exactly you would do with 6,000 rounds of ammo.

Seek's avatar

Tear down a gun range from the foundation up?

woodcutter's avatar

The OP used the term “constructive dialogue” up there. Going off the reservation by insinuating those who stock up on ammo as defective…..not constructive and should be flagged by the author

woodcutter's avatar

@QinguAnd, as a proud AR-15 owner, maybe you could tell us what in the fuck exactly you would do with 6,000 rounds of ammo

Now sir…maam, or whatever, you wanna ask that in a more civil way or would you prefer not to know?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
woodcutter's avatar

still waiting for you to behave and I’ll enlighten ya- relax

Qingu's avatar

Oh, I’m sure your answer will be real enlightening.

woodcutter's avatar

Here ya go ”To those who know nothing about the shooting sports, buying ammo is much the same as buying anything in bulk. You get a better price when you do and when people shoot a lot they will use it up, in short order. You can use a bullet only once. Sure you can get your ammo 20 at a time but that is not practical when most people go shooting and expend hundreds in that one session.Just because a shooter wants several thousand rounds at one time doesn’t mean they are defective.”

Qingu's avatar

That tells me you like to shoot hundreds of bullets. That doesn’t answer my question. Why do you like to shoot hundreds of bullets? What is so important about this activity, to you, that you so stridently oppose any effort to regulate it?

jerv's avatar

TL:DR

Note that there are countries that have more guns and yet less gun violence.

We don’t ne ed gun control; we need people control. Find out why we Americans are so violent, and the gun “problem” becomes self-solving. Ban guns without doing that, and the death toll will keep rising despite the ban.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You can’t legislate unregistered weapons, and those of us who are responsible gun owners aren’t the people doing this crazy crap, we follow the rules.

I heard the gunman used a .223. My 13 yr old niece hunts with hers.

Just for the record, you can kill someone with your bare hands if you want to, or a knife, or a car, or a stick. People are crazy and no there’s nothing we can do about it here in the US or anywhere else.

Seek's avatar

I grew up in a hillbilly family. We had a family reunion every year. 15 – 20 good ol’ boys slaying all the deer and clay birds they can in five days’ time.

I don’t think we ever went over 500 rounds. You’re talking twelve times that much. Literally deer season for 20 people, every month of the year, in order to use up 6000 bullets.

That’s a fuck-ton of shooting. Do you have time to work in between trips to the range?

woodcutter's avatar

@Qingu For the same exact reason anyone likes to do whatever it is they like. I find it enjoyable. Just because you might not care much for it is irrelevant to the discussion isn’t it. You probably engage in things I would find appalling but as long as you don’t hurt anyone I’m ok with it…I guess.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv,

1. Nobody is advocating “banning guns.”

2. Gun control works. States with gun control have less gun deaths. Countries do too. There are outliers. That’s not a counterargument.

@KNOWITALL, you can indeed kill someone with a bare hand. It’s way harder though. Likewise, you could kill a whole bunch of people real easy if you happen to own a rocket-propelled grenade or a few cannisters of sarin… which is why, of course, we do not let private citizens own such things. Even if they really like to fire rocket-propelled grenades on the shooting range. We regulate technology based on how dangerous it is to innocent people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

And a lot of people have been stockpiling for years in regards to ammo, just in case the liberal agenda takes over the world….lol

Before you try to gripe at me, you can actually make your own bullets too, so banning the bullets won’t help either.

Seek's avatar

My comment was in response to @woodcutter . You haven’t said anything I feel hasn’t been covered already in the thread.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter I get you, it is fun to shoot, nothing wrong with that at all. Don’t get defensive, people are just revved up right now. They just can’t understand that you can’t legislate or regulate crazy. Simple.

woodcutter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Every time you buy anything it usually cost more the next time. I don’t want to have to order more every time I decide to go out. So, in order to have enough for several trips to the range I want to have the quantity to cover those. My supply goes up and down and it is always in flux. Sometimes there will be a sale that will expire( in about 2 hours) and I want to take advantage of it. Shooting is expensive and the cost of the raw materials that go into ammunition construction have risen and are continue to rise. And sometimes the suppliers dry up for a period. You don’t want to be that guy who wants to do some target shooting and decide to order and learn this. It’s all on the up and up.

woodcutter's avatar

@KNOWITALL What, me…defensive? Naw. When members here address me for a discussion It is expected they rev down if they want to continue. I don’t think I’m asking for much. Hardly any facts are in yet about this story but there sure are lots of speculating and problem solving going on here lacking that huh?

DominicX's avatar

@KNOWITALL It is infinitely easier for a disturbed kid to use his own guns to shoot 30 people than it is for a kid to spend months and years stockpiling other means of killing masses of people. It is an unignorable fact that if you want to kill a mass amount if people, a gun is the easiest and most accessible way to do it.

janbb's avatar

And Q.E.D. It seems that in America today there are two different versions of the truth.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes but that’s typical for fluther….it’s mostly liberals and non-combative Reps….lol

Every time something happens, we go through it again….it’s the most pointless argument ever. Criminals will never obey laws or rules no matter what anyone says, thinks, enacts or does.

You and I and all my family and friends have legal weapons (you know, for when China invades the US – lol) for hunting or target practice. we all went through Hunters Education and I passed my concel and carry at the Sherriff’s Dept, so how is anyone supposed to regulate criminals? The death penalty for mass murders like this may be the only way to deter them, and I’m not a huge death penalty fan…but how else can you scare those determined to kill?

@DominicX Okay then, I’ll give you that for this discussion- where is the disturbed kid going to get the gun? From his parents or friends (who get from their parents)? So ultimately isn’t it the parents fault for leaving weapons in a minor’s posession? Send the parents to jail with the kids, I bet they’ll start locking their gun cabinets.

**Also, as a side note, my husband and I have no children. Even with no children we keep our guns in a gun cabinet that is locked, in a room that we put a dead bolt on. Something is not right with people who do these kinds of things, so the rest of us need to give up our right to bear arms? No way.

Brian1946's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Criminals will never obey laws or rules no matter what anyone says, thinks, enacts or does.

By that reasoning, there might as well not be any laws against murder because criminals will never obey laws or rules no matter what anyone says, thinks, enacts or does.

DominicX's avatar

@KNOWITALL
Why would you assume that stricter gun control means taking away your right to own a gun?

And what you said is true: every time there’s a mass shooting, it’s the same old argument, no laws change, nothing changes, and we continue to have more mass shootings.

glacial's avatar

I’m going to say something that I don’t usually, and I may decide that I disagree with myself later, but you know… I’m not sure any kind of gun control is going to change the situation in America. The fact is, Americans like to be armed in a way that no other nation likes to be armed. So, enact more gun control legislation – it won’t mean that there are fewer guns in people’s homes, it will just mean that people who want guns will go through more hoops to get them.

What needs to change is the desire for normal, everyday people to be armed. It seems dead obvious to me that the number of gun-related deaths is astronomical in America because guns are ubiquitous, and people are very comfortable having them around. Until this culture changes, mass shootings are going to keep occurring. That is the price to be paid for the utter ease with which one picks up a firearm in America.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Brian1946 But it’s true, Brian. There have always been bad people and always will be. Maybe we should go back to public hangings, that would probably show these idiots it’s not just a video game or online game.

@DominicX Stricter gun control wouldn’t mean taking away my gun because I’m legal, of age and pass background checks easily. Now if someone like me or woodcutter went crazy, that would be a different story, but it seems to be younger misfits now.

I don’t know enough about this 20 yr old kid to discuss him personally, but perhaps we should consider that this is the age of the Internet, video games instead of discussions, texting instead of talking, extreme violence and sex, lack of moral values in society, lack of the nuclear family.

The problem is that it’s too hard to fix our people or educate people about mental illness, or make getting that help easier or less costly for the masses. When the economy tanks this stuff happens, so guess what, I blame the govt and current administration.

Coloma's avatar

@glacial Exactly!
Everyday people do not need to own firearms, if shooting cans is so fun for you get a slingshot.
I have lived in a rural mountain area for 20 years and I have been shot at by several nutcases over the years. I have told my stories before, but let me tell you, nothing like having a tree branch land on your head from some reckless fuck shooting aimlessly in the woods or having your horse and you mistaken for a damn deer in the woods, or fending off 4 drunk redneck bubbas that wanted to chase their buck onto my property.

A friend of mine had her horse shot in the neck on trail! He lived, and luckily that random shot didn’t hit her.
I HATE guns, would never own one and would never be with anyone that wanted to keep them.

marinelife's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr No, he wasn’t He was a young man of 20 years of age whose mother taught at the school.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I just mentioned in the question about the shooting today how I stay 20 miles from Dunblane in Scotland where we had a similar thing happen in 1996. We never had a big gun problem in the country before it, but after that happened laws were changed and there was a serious clampdown to the point where now only people such as farmers or gamekeepers have guns.

Looking in from the outside it’s more a case of me being amazed at the range of guns that can be bought more than the fact that gun laws in the US are vastly different to here. (we need to jump through numerous hoops if we want an air rifle)

Part of my brain can understand people saying they want to be able to protect themselves etc (even though I am against guns, I’ve never held one and I’ve only seen a real one with my own eyes when it was armed police at the airport) but I don’t get why some people feel the need to buy guns that can fire vast numbers of bullets in as little time as possible and buy guns that are like something that even the army would think is over the top.

If guns were not going to be scrapped in the US, then could they not ban the sale of those that are clearly way over the top at least or is that too simplified?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Really, REALLY? Chasing this ghost again? Why don’t people worry about keys being placed back into the hands of those who have no self-discipline with their sobriety as if their PRIVILEGE to operate a vehicle is a RIGHT. If we want to keep chipping away at the Constitution why not scrap it all as somehow defective? It is NOT the firearm, rifle, etc that did the killing; it was the person who controlled it. If we are going to blame it on the firearm merely because that was the instrument of choice that do we out law money because Bernie Madoff ripped off countless seniors, running their retirement, as well as celebrities, and others? Was it the inanimate money that did evil or the man doing evil using the money as HIS tool? The “gun is evil” rhetoric people need get off it, get over it, and get on with it.

glacial's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That is a very tired riff. Consider how much less damage can be done at a single stroke when the weapon at hand is not lethal.

CWOTUS's avatar

Do you suppose we should declare a War on Guns, along the lines of the War on Drugs and the War on Poverty? Lord knows, those have been so successful, they should be the model of how to operate our entire government. Oh, and while we’re at it, War on Stupidity. That’ll take care of things, just fine.

DrBill's avatar

There are a lot more people die from traffic accidents, so let’s make cars illegal for everyone.
There are a lot more people die from air crashes, so let’s make flying illegal for everyone.
There are a lot more people die from drug overdoses, so let’s make drugs illegal for everyone.

I have only seen one law that reduced crime. It was passed in 1965 in a small town in southern Illinois. Since then there have been no crimes involving guns within the city limits, the law simply states, anyone who can legally own a gun, must own a gun.

DominicX's avatar

@DrBill Fallacy. Guns are meant to kill: cars, airplanes, and to a lesser extent, drugs are not. Furthermore, gun control is not about “making guns illegal for everyone” and I’m surprised (though not really given every conservative argument for guns is exactly the same, loaded with misinformation, strawmans, and other fallacies) that people are still arguing against this non-argument.

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I disagree wholeheartedly. People need to drive cars, and drunk driving is a problem, but…people do not “NEED” to keep fire arms. Apples & Oranges.
Call me whatever, but, sorry, anyone that fights for the right to bear arms is in a state of devolution & arrested development.
There is absolutely ZERO “need” for the average person to have weapons of destruction at their fingertips. Shed light not blood, and I am not talking christianity, I am talking EVOLUTIONARY MUST!
This species is so doomed, so doomed.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

People need to drive cars, and drunk driving is a problem, but…people do not “NEED” to keep fire arms. People don’t NEED to drive vehicles, less very, few actually, the majority are either too lazy or don’t want to make the sacrifice on traveling without a vehicle. There are buses, taxis, carpool, your feet, bikes, skateboards, and maybe a few others. But most will make some excuse they need to do this or that and can’t do it without a car, just because the alternatives will cost more or take more time and planning, or because they need to take something with them (maybe there would be more delivery services putting more people to work). Not everyone need a weapon per se, but some it is a must (and not because it is their job), same as vehicles (apples to apples speaking).

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Speak for yourself, I live on a remote property in the Sierra Nevadas and I NEED a car, but..I live a Walden Pond lifestyle, replete with rescues farm animals, a pesticide and herbicide free property and…..inspite of rattlesnakes, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats and all manner of marauding wildlife I still have never “needed” a firearm. If a little blonde hippie chick can live alone in the wilderness without a gun, but drives a car to get the supplies and feed she needs to keep her little microfarm afloat…well so fucking shoot me!
I am living PROOF guns are not a necessity.

Yes, I did have a neighbor shoot 2 monster rattlesnakes last summer, one that bit my cat, but otherwise…20 years in the wilderness and check it out….no “need” for a firearm.

Bellatrix's avatar

@syz, I just said exactly this on another thread. I wanted to share the thoughts of one of our former Prime Ministers with you. John Howard talks about the US and gun control here and makes some pertinent observations. I shared this with another jelly a while ago.

I am not a Howard supporter generally but one thing I will give him is he had the balls to stand up after the Port Arthur massacre and introduce strict gun control here in Australia. Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured another 21 in 1996. Subsequently the Howard Government introduced new gun legislation and that was the last mass shooting we have experienced (and I hope things remain that way). This is a Wikipedia page that details the mass shootings prior to this legislation being introduced.

I am not saying for a second Australia has all the answers, we don’t and that Wiki page shows even without guns, people can kill lots of people. However, the legislation does seem to have stemmed the number of these attacks. We still have gun issues. People do still obtain guns but it is (I presume, I have never tried) much harder than it was to get certain types of guns.

Coloma's avatar

@Bellatrix Applauding! Americas diehard old west mentality is so outdated.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
jerv's avatar

FYI, if you want to outlaw or even restrict guns, you will need to outlaw metalworking tools, including (but not limited to): Milling machines, lathes, Dremels, 3D printers, hand files, sandpaper, ceramics, high-temperature furnaces….

Before you think I am being flippant, you should know (if you don’t already) that I am a CNC machinist at a foundry. I also know some of the things that are done to make an AK-47; I’ve seen them made out of a shovel! While it’s true that the skills to do so are uncommon, that will not remain true if there were a thriving black market for such skills.

Again, it isn’t the guns that are the problem, it’s the people. Go ahead and try to stop the guns. Your efforts will be half-assed at best, merely symbolic. Make guns to hard to get legally and they will be obtained otherwise. Going after the guns, in any way, shape, or form, is approaching the issue all wrong. To think otherwise is superstitious. We already have ample laws in place regarding their sale and ownership.

Time to attack the side of the equation that actually affects outcomes.

mazingerz88's avatar

Please, someone explain to me why banning guns is not the answer. Is it because it’s totally unrealistic since gun ownership is about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-? Is that it-? If everybody, except the police, military and security professionals are prevented from owning guns, would that really cause the collapse of American civilization-?

I understand, if someone wants to kill, he or she would kill using something else but at least we would not be talking about guns.

Qingu's avatar

@KNOWITALL, let me get your argument straight. You are saying that laws regulating guns are pointless because crazy people will still find a way to murder people.

Do you believe this logic applies to all laws? Or just gun laws? For example, should we have laws against theft? Thieves will find a way to break them. Should we have laws against drunk driving? Drunks will still find ways to drive. Funny how this logic only seems to come up when gun violence is under discussion.

@jerv, no, you really won’t need to outlaw metalworking tools to have and enforce stricter gun control. RPG-7’s are currently outlawed for civilian use…. even though, if you were really determined enough, you could manufacture one in a garage with metalworking tools, 3-D printers, etc.

This is a nonsensical argument and I’m sick of hearing it from people who should know better. The purpose of laws is not to make an illegal act literally impossible to perform.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu You are proving that constructive dialog is impossible. I have seen what I have seen, you refute it, and we are not he only ones with irreconcilable disagreements.

Until we agree on what reality is, something that will NEVER happen, this conversation is pointless to continue. The question is answered.

/thread

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, I don’t think there is “an answer.” Violent crime is a part of every society. The question isn’t how do we prevent violent crime from ever happening. The question is, what laws strike the best balance and make violent crime less common?

The answer to that question is that if you enforce laws that make it harder for criminals to get guns, and make it harder to sell automatic weapons that can easily kill a lot of people… less people tend to get killed by guns. Not no people ever, but less.

Unfortunately people like @woodcutter think that is less important than how much fun he has shooting hundreds of bullets for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv, what an absolutely bullshit copout answer that is.

I don’t know what reality you think you are living in, but the facts of this world are that states and countries with stricter gun control laws have less gun violence. For you not to acknowledge this obvious fact is not a matter of disagreement, it’s you being dishonest.

DominicX's avatar

I read this on another site, but basically the guy was saying that if someone brings a shoe bomb onto an airplane, we all have to take off our shoes and show there’s no bomb in there as a security measure, security laws become stricter, and terrorist plots are foiled. Yet when mass shootings happen, oh no, we mustn’t touch guns, and thus no laws are changed, and mass shootings keep happening.

@jerv et. al. I have a modest request for people against stricter gun control: what do you make of countries that have strict gun laws and little gun-related violence, such as Australia, which had a 35-fatality mass shooting in 1996, and as a result, stricter gun laws, and no mass shootings since. I’ve never heard a pro-gun person do anything but cover their ears and yell when these examples are brought up. I’m willing to listen to other sides, but no one will ever respond to these facts. So what is your response? Is it because Australia is so different from the US that it could never work here? Is Australia’s lack of mass shootings just a coincidence? I’d just like to hear something other than complete ignoring of the matter.

Qingu's avatar

@DrBill, what small town in Illinois?

Give me the name. I’ll look up the statistics.

Qingu's avatar

So the mass-murderer had a Bushmaster .223 carbine. An assault weapon. It is a gun that is modeled after the M4 used by the American military. I am assuming it is not fully automatic but is certainly semi-auto and has a high capacity.

These weapons should be banned. And people who bitch about them being banned, because it takes away their freedom to shoot lots of bullets at beer cans for shits and giggles or whatever the fuck, are psychopaths.

Patton's avatar

Not if people on the left keep using incidents like this, where gun legislation wouldn’t help at all, and people on the right keep acting like the Second Amendment is the only one not subject to limitations (apparently they think the Constitution really is a suicide pact).

rooeytoo's avatar

Australia has a fair bit of gun deaths, you hear of at least one in Sydney or Melbourne almost every day, gang related, but there are no mass murders. Is that progress?

I was always in favor of stricter gun CONTROL not prohibition, and I still am but for the first time in my life, despite the fact that people keep throwing statistics in my face that show indisputably that violent crime is diminishing and the world is a safer place, considering acquiring a gun. In the nearby city, in the last couple of months 8 women have been sexually assaulted and 2 abducted and killed. I like to go out for a run early in the morning, in the winter it is pitch dark and I am afraid. I should not have to be afraid. So I am beginning to think I need to protect myself, a hand gun seems to be the logical answer. Something that is small and effective at close range. I am tired of being at the mercy of thugs who go to jail for 3 months are magically rehabilitated and set loose once again on a helpless society. It seems as if the main concern is for the perpetrators rather than the victims, we want them to have better prison conditions, no solitary confinement, more amenities, etc. while the victims are left to fend for themselves.

There will always be nut cases who want to kill everyone and the leniency of society in sentencing and purnishing is doing nothing to deter them. I think then the onus is on me to deter them from attacking me.

I don’t know, but I am getting tired of being afraid of thugs who are armed when I am not.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu I forgot that the reason NH has lower crime figured than MA is that NH has more draconian gun laws.~
Please, do not confuse correlation with causation. The data I have seen, while not strong enough to disprove you outright, is strong enough to show that the relationship between strict gun control and low firearms violence is far more tenuous/non-linear than you would ever admit. In fact, there is a stronger correlation between poverty and firearms violence than there are to any gun control laws.
That plus the impracticalities of implementing and enforcing additional laws with no real assurance that they would do anything more effective than farting into the wind makes me even more skeptical than I normally am.

@DominicX Having been in quite a few places around the wold, I can tell you anecdotally that America is far, far, far more high-strung than Australia. At least Perth and Sydney; I cannot speak for the center of the continent. Conversely, one cannot think of all Americans the same way either. Confusing a Bostonian with a Texan will gravely insult both of them.
In other words, there are some serious cultural differences that must be accounted for.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Quinqo This is still a democracy. you can’t take away my right to bear arms because a crazy person. Shall we ban alcohol again because a lot more people die? It doesn’t affect the real world like you seem to think.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Law breakers don’t care is my point. Like illegal abortions moonshine and marijuana it all is out of the control of the law. People will always do what they do which I think scares people so much.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv, what data have you seen? Cite it.

And correlation in this case does strongly imply causation. You can’t just look at all of these places in America, all of these places around the world, and almost everywhere stronger gun laws are correlated with fewer gun deaths, and say “WELL MAYBE IT’s JUST A COINCIDENCE.” That is not a counterargument that is putting your fingers in your ears and saying “nah-ah.”

@KNOWITALL, I don’t know how to make this any clearer. I don’t want to take your right to bear arms. I do want to take away your right to bear semiautomatic high-capacity assault weapons. Note that you do not have the right to bear certain arms already, like RPG-7’s, artillery, sarin gas, and nuclear weapons.

As for your other point, about lawbreakers not following laws, you don’t seem to be listening. You just seem to like repeating it. If this is truly your argument, why do you support the existence of any laws? Criminals will just break them. Should there be laws against murder? Theft? Pedophelia? Drunk driving? Please answer the question.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We do need laws yes. I’m not an assault gun owner so sure outlaw them. Then restrict manufacturing to law enforcement. There will still be psychos killing and you can feel good about trying. It interests me that no one cares that video game violence is still rising and more kids are loving it so much denial. Every time you purchase back ops you are potentially creating another killer and no one cares.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Desensitizing these young kids and lack of good parenting causes this violence in my opinion.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Good parents are not immune to their kids going wrong. Happens everyday.
After a certain age a childs actions are out of their parents hands. There are plenty of humans that had awful parents and childhoods that do not grow up to go on a shooting spree.
The FACT is, it has been proven, that guns are far more likely to kill or harm their owners and/or their children and result in accidents involving such,over any true necessity of self defense.

When my daughter was 5 I was being pursued by some hillbilly neighbors after we moved to the country, to have my daughter over to play with their little kids. These people kept loaded firearms lying around the house and actually said to me, ” Our boys know better and would never touch our guns.” Really! Well…sorry, there is NO WAY I am letting my child spend time in your home with loaded weapons lying around. Un-beeee-lievable!

Qingu's avatar

@KNOWITALL, this isn’t about “feeling good about trying,” this is about policies that result in less innocent deaths. Your attitude here is frankly disgusting.

The guy who shot those kids in elementary school had an assault weapon that his mother legally acquired. Holmes, the shooter who killed 50 people in Colorado, had an assault weapon he legally required. He bought 6,000 rounds of ammo on the Internet, legally.

Could these psychos still harm people without legal access to assault weapons and ammo? Yes. But not nearly as easily. And not nearly as many.

And no, you don’t get to worm your way out of this discussion or acknowledging flaws in your position by shifting the subject to videogame violence.

Qingu's avatar

@KNOWITALL, your opinion is wrong.

If your child is a psychopath, it doesn’t matter if you are a good parent or not. There is something physically wrong with their brain. Plenty of good parents have had kids who turn out to be socially destructive.

And this is the easy way out, and you know it. Why bother examining your pro-gun worldview and thinking about legislation? You can just say “it’s the parents’ fault!” and do absolutely nothing about it. Lazy, and dishonest.

emilianate's avatar

I’d just like to point out why it’s dangerous to listen to people like @Qingu

The reason he links to third party sources is because it’s easier for him to manipulate the data from the original sources. This is why he links to sites like “the Atlantic” maybe next will be huffington post or some no-named blogger.

This is the original (unbiased-untampered) source where all sites get their data from
FBI Murders 2012

@Qingu gave a list and on top of that list he says Wyoming has the highest amount of gun deaths. Lets take a look at the fbi report.

Wyoming has very little gun control
11 firearm deaths.
Population – 568,158

Now lets look at a state that has the same population but strong gun control laws. The only state that has a similar population is Washington D.C.

Washington D.C has the strongest gun controls in the nation.
77 firearm deaths.
Population 617,996

As you can see 11 vs 77 death. @Qingu is blatantly lying.

Lets take a look at his list that shows the state with the least firearm deaths, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is a strong control state
122 firearm deaths.
Population – 6,587,536

Now lets compare it to a state with little gun control. Minnesota

Minnesota
44 firearm deaths
Population – 5,344,861

See what I mean? Liar.

janbb's avatar

@emilianate As has been pointed out to you before in this thread, Washington D.C. is not a state.

emilianate's avatar

Doesn’t matter, people live there, yes? Gun controls exist, yes?

emilianate's avatar

California – Very strong gun laws
1,220 firearm deaths.
Population – 37,691,912

Texas – Weak gun laws.
699 firearm deaths
Population – 25,674,681

I can do this all day.

Bellatrix's avatar

@emilianate, you may not be a liar but it seems to me you are manipulating the information to suit your own purposes (as do most people). You are not comparing apples with apples and you are not taking into account any of the variables. I am not a US citizen and I don’t care enough about your argument to go and do some real research but I would say looking at your information there are major disparities between Washington D.C. and the state of Wyoming in terms of areas of population density. Similarly between population density in areas such as Massachusetts and Minnesota.

You aren’t taking into account demographics, different environments (rural/remote/urban), topography, type and level of industry or anything else, income, education. You can just pick a stat out of the air and say “see this proves my point” but most people who think critically won’t believe you.

janbb's avatar

So maybe the solution is an outright ban on gun ownership?

And exactly so @Bellatrix !

emilianate's avatar

The gun control argument is that gun controls are suppose to lower the amount of gun deaths that are currently being experienced. It’s showing the opposite affect.

Gun control advocates say that if people were properly trained we wouldn’t have as many deaths, accidents, well I’ll give 2 really good examples of why this isn’t true. New York police men are the most highly trained officers in the country and if you take a look at the recent empire state building incident, they shot up a bunch of innocent civilians before taking down the attacker, and a little while before that, one an officer killed his partner by accident (friendly fire). These are the best of the best.

Point 2 is that cars are much more regulated than guns and yet there are much more car deaths than unregulated gun deaths. You have no argument.

Coloma's avatar

@emilianate Hazards of the trade as police officers, very different, even if tragic, than weapons in the hands of your average psychopath.

ragingloli's avatar

@emilianate
You are using different data sources than Qingu.
You are using data limited to homicide, while Qingu’s source contain all deaths by firearms, e.g. homicide+accidents+suicides.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have come to the conclusion that even an outright ban on firearms will not prevent these nut cases from going on shooting sprees. It doesn’t matter what is against the law, there are always ways to get what you want. I don’t think these guys just wake up one morning and think I believe I’ll go buy a gun and shoot up a bunch of school kids. It is planned well in advance. Gun control may lessen the incidence of other gun related crimes but not mass murders. And when only 1 person at a time gets killed, no one much cares unless of course they are of your family, 1 person barely makes the news. It is only when it is a large number and especially if it is kids that is when people care for a couple of days, then we are back to the ho hum until the next one happens.

emilianate's avatar

As requested, population density.

Wyoming – 5.8
Washington D.C – 9,856.50

Massachusetts – 839.4
Minnesota – 66.6

source

So what do you want to say about density?

@ragingloli,

We’re talking about gun control because of recent attacks, so why would he show me gun related deaths by accidents and suicides? Pointless.

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, do you know what the phrase cherry-picking means? You need to look it up before you accuse me of dishonesty.

emilianate's avatar

@Qingu,

I can do it to every state. I’ve already listed you a few, and you call “bullshit”. Get a real argument.

janbb's avatar

You do realize that your statistics about density prove the exact opposite of your point, don’t you? At least that.

emilianate's avatar

@janbb,

I don’t see how, explain.

Qingu's avatar

You’ve cherry-picked a few states that are statistical outliers.

How old are you?

emilianate's avatar

@Qingu,

As I said, I can do this with all 50 states, but I gave a few examples to hear your explanation. Unless you’re going to give me an intelligent answer for why gun control states have higher gun deaths, do me a favor and stop talking to me.

My age? Really?

bea2345's avatar

This is just a thought. The framers of the Second Amendment intended that the people should be able to defend themselves from treasonous attempts to overturn the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Amendment permits ownership of firearms for legal purposes, such as defending one’s home. (Check Google.) The original framers of the Constitution could not have imagined a world in which the manufacture of firearms is controlled by multinationals; where they are produced in numbers that boggle the imagination; and sold to people with insufficient training and education in their use. It may not be necessary to forbid the ownership of guns, but it should and must be controlled by stringent enforcement of sensible laws. When prominent people, like the President, have to travel in a portable bomb shelter; when the Prime Minister of a small West Indian nation has to move with an armed entourage, it is more than time to stop and think of what we are doing to ourselves.

bolwerk's avatar

A safe bet: the only lasting consequence of this is American public schools will become even more oppressive and shitty.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu I have seen a lot of data over the course of a few decades, and by necessity cross-referenced many things. So before I indulge you, I wish you to put down all that you have seen and experienced over how many decades you have been around. Give us an entire map of your brain containing all things relevant to this issue that have caused you to form the views that you have. You may call this demanding, yet that is what you are actually asking of me, so I must respond with, “You first.”, and hope that you are better at bullet-point summaries than I.
Unless/until you are willing to do so, complete with footnotes and a bibliography, you will have to trust me when I say that I go for evidence first, and do not form an opinion until I have enough data to do so. You, on the other hand, seem to start with the conclusion , then find supporting data while ignoring conflicting data, such as that put forth by @emilianate.
In fact, it is that tendency of mine that also prevents me from outright refuting you, though the data I have seen implies that any relationship between gun control laws and gun violence is more coincidental than the links between gun violence and other factors, such as poverty, geography (as we are a diverse nation, that strongly affects what sort of cultural upbringing on has, even moreso than economic status), and many other factors you seem to dismiss as they do not fit your agenda.

bolwerk's avatar

Just wanna say, for someone who is cherrypicking, @emilianate rather sucks at it.

Per his numbers, Wyoming homicides per 100k people: 1.94
Massachusetts: 1.85

Those 11 homicides in Wyoming render Wyoming more dangerous than Massachusetts’ 122, statistically speaking.

emilianate's avatar

@Bellatrix

ok, as you requested, I Included in the 6 states; demographics, per capita income, education and density.

California – Strong Gun Control
Gun Death – 1,220 source
Demographics source
White – 39.7%
Hispanic – 38.1%
Black – 6.6%
Asian – 13.6%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $29,634 source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 80.6%
College Undergraduate – 29.9%
College Graduate – 10.7%
Population Density – 239.1 source
Population – 37,691,912

Texas – Weak Gun Control
Gun Deaths – 699 source
Demographics source
White – 44.8%
Hispanic – 38.1%
Black – 12.2%
Asian – 4.0%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $25,548 source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 79.9%
College Undergraduate – 25.5%
College Graduate – 8.5%
Population Density – 96.3 source
Population – 25,674,681

Next pair of states

Washington D.C – Strong Gun Control
Gun Deaths – 77 source
Demographics source
Black – 50.7%
White – 35.3%
Hispanic – 9.5%
Asian – 3.7%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $43,993 -source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 87.1%
College Undergraduate – 48.5%
College Graduate – 28.0%
Population Density – 9,856.50 – source
Population – 617,996

Wyoming – Weak Gun control
Gun Deaths – 11 source
Demographics source
White – 85.5%
Black – 1.1%
Hispanic – 9.1%
Asian – 0.9%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $28,952 – source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 91.8%
College Undergraduate – 23.8%
College Graduate – 7.9%
Population Density – 5.8 source
Population – 568,158

Next pair of states

Massachusetts – Strong Gun Control
Gun Deaths – 122 source
Demographics source
White – 76.4%
Black – 7.8%
Hispanic – 9.9%
Asian – 5.6%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $35,051 source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 89.0%
College Undergraduate – 38.2%
College Graduate – 16.4%
Population Density – 839.4 source
Population – 5,344,861

Minnesota – Weak Gun Control
Gun Deaths – 40 source
Demographics – source
White – 82.8%
Hispanic – 4.9%
Black – 5.4%
Asian – 4.2%
Per Capita Income (income per person) – $30,310 source
High school, undergraduate & graduate – source
High school – 91.5%
College Undergraduate – 31.5%
College Graduate – 10.3%
Population Density – 66.6 source
Population – 6,587,536

bolwerk's avatar

@emilianate: setting aside those are still cherry picked numbers, they don’t support your premise one bit. Why does New York, with a greater population density than Texas or California, have a lower rate of gun deaths than either? (NY 2.30, CA 3.24, TX 2.72 – rate per 100,000 people).

Answer: a wild disparity of factors are at play, and the effect of gun control isn’t being quantified. You aren’t even supplying meaningful evidence that gun control encourages gun violence. (New York, incidentally, has some the strictest gun control laws in the USA.)

emilianate's avatar

Show me the math, step by step, for how you came to those numbers.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv, emilianate’s data doesn’t conflict mine, as bolwerk pointed out. It’s cherry-picked.

And I don’t trust you. I don’t think you have any data to back up your assertions. If you did, you would have posted it at the outset.

bolwerk's avatar

@emilianate: It’s just your gun death statistic divided by the population – this gets you a minuscule ratio out of 1 – and then multiplied by 100,000. It’s exactly what the FBI does to compare these types of crime statistics; it’s done this way because percentages or even per milles aren’t informative. But, OK, here you go.

California: 1,220/37,691,912*100,000 ≈ 3.24
Texas: 699/25674681*100000 ≈ 2.72
New York:* 445/19378102*100000 ≈ 2.3

If it makes things easier, you can just cut and paste these calculations to Excel:
=ROUND(1220/37691912*100000,2)
=ROUND(699/25674681*100000,2)
=ROUND(445/19378102*100000,2)

Also, I think you mixed up the populations of MA and MN.

* had to look this one up because you didn’t supply it

Nullo's avatar

Perhaps we could say what we mean by “have a constructive dialog?” We’re talking about hundreds of millions of people here; it’s not like pulling someone aside for a chat. Who would be having this dialog? Why them? And what on Earth are you expecting it to accomplish?

Everyone has to take a class, pass a test, carry insurance, have liability insurance and pay taxes on cars; shouldn’t the responsibility of owning a WEAPON be taken just as seriously?

The classes, tests, insurance, and possibly taxes are on cars that you operate. The car that just sits in your driveway, or that you only drive on private property, wouldn’t need any of that. It varies by state, but getting a CCW does indeed involve a class, a test, and a licensing system.

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jerv's avatar

@Qingu Your distrust damages your credibility insofar as it really impedes constructive dialog. And I’ve seen you operate before, so I won’t even bother really putting any effort into it because I know won’t take anything I say seriously anyways; you have too much ego and are too stubborn to do so. Here, you go, and I’m not sure why I even went that far since we have already established that constructive dialog is practically impossible. While it may be technically possible, there are some possibilities that just won’t ever become realities, and I am pretty sure that this is one.

@bolwerk And you have illustrated another issue with these discussions. You know the old saying; “Lies, damn lies, and statistics”. I have about as much skepticism regarding statistics as @Qingu does towards opposing viewpoints.

CWOTUS's avatar

We could start to think out of the box a bit, maybe.

Many people reflexively think “we should ban those guns!” and that is a rational response to such a horrible event as this week’s shooting. But maybe we could broaden our thinking a bit: Maybe it’s time to ban large public schools, instead.

ragingloli's avatar

Great idea. Who needs education anyway?

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: Unless they’re fabricated, it’s not the statistics you should be skeptical of. It’s the conclusions drawn from those statistics. The list of gun deaths @emilianate used was a perfectly valid statistic, as far as I can tell. But drawing a conclusion on that alone is silly because some states have wildly different populations.

@ragingloli: I actually agree with @CWOTUS. Large public schools where hundreds or even thousands of kids are warehoused (does Germany have those these days?) are pretty dehumanizing. I wouldn’t say they directly cause America’s gun violence issues, but they might influence a mediating factor (e.g., social frustration, socioeconomic instability, low social mobility, etc.). Still, pretending how we treat, think about, use, store, buy, and sell guns isn’t part of the problem is delusional.

ragingloli's avatar

@bolwerk
The middle school (that was once a gymnasium before they closed it in favour of another town, bloody bureaucrats) in the town where I grew up, which has about 13000 inhabitants, has 400 pupils at the moment.
And as far as I can remember, we never had a shooting.

bolwerk's avatar

@ragingloli: my middle school in the early 1990s had ~750–900, and that was considered small. It literally was designed like a bad postwar mall, rather than a school. Most of the classrooms didn’t even have windows. Middle school was only three grades. My high school had around a thousand (four grade levels) and was, again, considered small.

Outside of pretty rural areas, I think that’s pretty standard for “small” in the USA. One of the oft-stated rationales is size improves sports teams.

jerv's avatar

@bolwerk When dealing with certain things, one must think in proportions. In the case of crime rates, “per capita” is the only way to go.

FWIW, I grew up in a small town of ~24k, our high/middle school was ~1000 spread across grades 7–12, and there was a high absentee rate on the first day of hunting season. There were no metal detectors, and the only violence in the school was the rare 1-on-1 fisticuffs.

filmfann's avatar

Guns don’t kill people
Gun owners kill people.

leepow's avatar

Laws do not prevent, they punish.

The gun laws in Connecticut did nothing for its residents. The shooter was 20, law requires you to be 21. The shooter had no permit, law requires handgun permit. The shooter carried weapons on school property, law prohibits this. The shooter had an assault rifle, law prohibits assault weapons. He got away with all this because he stole the weapons. This is one of the methods criminals use to get what they want.

The state can make gun purchase as difficult as they want, it won’t stop a criminal from getting the gun on the black market. The only thing these laws do is make it more difficult for law-abiding-citizens to properly defend themselves from people like this shooter.

The scenario could have ended the same through legal means. The shooter could have waited till he turned 21, go through background checks, hypothetical training, hypothetical tests, get his permit, buy a bunch of handguns and go to work on the kids. Similarly with cars, one can train to drive, pass the tests, get the license , and then take his jeep, van, sedan, and plow it through the support beams of a high rise building, or drive around a shopping mall. A criminal would steal the car and can do the same.

filmfann's avatar

@leepow Welcome to Fluther.

He did steal the guns, but from his Mother. His Mother had taken him to the gun range to teach him how to use and care for the weapons. That kind of blew up in her face…

emilianate's avatar

And if his mother had no guns available to steal? He would have stolen them elsewhere, or buy them on the black market, or as he mentioned – wait a year and do it legally.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv, maybe I’m confused as to how you think this debate is preceding. I was under the impression that you were disputing my assertion—backed up by facts I cited—that states with more gun control laws generally have less gun deaths.

I asked you to support your position with facts and evidence and you linked me to:
• The home page for what looks to be a libertarian page on gun control
• An opinion piece from a local newspaper
• A post on the blog Boing Boing (which I read, by the way) which basically cites a few notably inconclusive statistic and says “it’s complicated.”

None of these pages make any specific points, none of them are rebuttals to what was being discussed. They’re certainly not objective sources documenting evidence. I am reminded of arguing with religious zealots on Fluther who, when pressed to support a point, link to answersingenesis.com or some Youtube video that is supposed to have all the answers.

Now, it is complicated. There are other factors at play than gun laws. There is no silver bullet to reduce gun crime, let alone prevent it entirely, which is impossible.

But saying “it’s complicated” this over and over again isn’t a dialogue. It’s an abdication. Just because something is complicated doesn’t mean there are no answers, or that certain policies can have no effects. And yet this seems to be your entire position. Or am I missing something? Maybe you could tell me straight-out if you think that, at least hypothetically, gun control legislation could have some effect in reducing gun crime—or, more broadly, laws in general can have any affect in reducing crime or affecting behavior. Because I’m not getting the impression that you do, and it seems to be a completely ridiculous position.

Brian1946's avatar

@bolwerk

Large public schools where hundreds or even thousands of kids are warehoused (does Germany have those these days?) are pretty dehumanizing.

I think a large private school could be at least as dehumanizing under those conditions.

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, where would he have stolen a semiautomatic assault weapon? Who else did he know who had one? How would he have bought them on the black market? Did he have any contacts in such a market?

And in any case I don’t know what point you think you’re trying to make. We have laws against drunk driving. And yet, people still drive drunk! If someone really really wants to drive drunk, they can probably figure out how to do it. So therefore we shouldn’t have laws against driving drunk? That seems to be some pretty stupid logic, but maybe I’m missing something.

emilianate's avatar

The point is the laws don’t prevent, as leepow stated, they punish.

I cannnot answer your questions because I’m not a criminal.

leepow's avatar

Just curious, I have an arsenal of weapons at home. If I even entertain the idea of banning assault rifles, who reimburses me for costs? The state? The government?

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, sure you can answer my questions. You obviously know what was going through Lanz’s mind since you asserted all the ways he would go on to conduct his murder spree if his mom didn’t have an AR-15. Or… were you just making shit up with nothing to back it up?

And yes, laws punish. Punishment is a disincentive. Disincentives affect behavior in the aggregate. Again: I don’t understand what your point is. I don’t think you have one.

Qingu's avatar

@leepow, I frankly couldn’t care less if you are not reimbursed for your poor investment decisions. Maybe you shouldn’t waste your money on an arsenal you’ll never use.

leepow's avatar

You call this constructive dialogue? “I could care less”? No problem. Have fun with your “gun control” laws.

I had to use my gun 3 times so far in self-defense. Twice on private property, once in public. Don’t assume things you know nothing about.

ragingloli's avatar

@emilianate
As I said in another thread before, a lot of would be criminals, accidents waiting to happen and suicide candidates would be deterred from getting a firearm by the sheer effort required to get one would the appropriate regulations be in place and enforced. That alone would massively reduce the gun fatality rate.
That is why Japan, in 2008, had 11 homicides by gun, while the US, in the same year, had over 11000 gun homicides. Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

And if you are interested in overall homicides, the US had 16000 in 2008, while Japan had 646. Source: UNODC

The US’ homicide count is 24 times that of Japan, while only having less than 3 times the population.

emilianate's avatar

Interesting stats, indeed, but what kind of regulations would make it difficult to go through the process of getting a gun?

emilianate's avatar

@Qingu,

Look at the drug market. How do people still get drugs even though they’re banned? How did people get alcohol when it was banned? What makes it any different with banning assault weapons?

Coloma's avatar

@leepow Well…why don’t you enlighten us as to these 3 incidents that you consider self defense? How is it that I have never known anyone that has had to draw a weapon in self defense? How many here, in this discussion have had to pull a gun in matters of self defense?
I dunno, makes me rather suspicious, do you live in the ghetto? Do you live in redneck hillbilly land? Are you a security officer? Or….have you flashed your weapons in a threatening manner over minor confrontations that you are embellishing as ‘self defense.”

leepow's avatar

@Coloma How is it that I have never known anyone that has had to draw a weapon in self defense?

News flash for your highness. Please come down from your ivory tower. Just because you and your friends never experienced crime in your Utopian existence, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist outside of your little bubble.

@Coloma Redneck hillbilly land?

Racist much? You just ended that conversation. Must be part of the constructive dialogue here, I guess.

Brian1946's avatar

@leepow

I had to use my gun 3 times so far in self-defense. Twice on private property, once in public. Don’t assume things you know nothing about.

Why do you need “an arsenal of weapons” if you were able to “defend” yourself with but a single gun?

Are you a wannabe Branch Davidian or are you stockpiling for an anti-government militia? Are your weapons of such poor quality that they are no longer reliable if used more than 3 times?

Does the ATF know about your arsenal?

emilianate's avatar

@ragingloli

What is their other crime like? I ask because if it’s more difficult to get guns in Japan, is there a surge in crimes from other weapons? Britain banned guns and they saw a surge in deaths by knives.

Coloma's avatar

@leepow Racist doesn’t enter into it, descriptive words are just that. I use that terminology to denote REALITY, in a lot of places, including certain areas in my geographical zone.
Meaning….the “pry my cold dead fingers from my gun ” mentality. Besides, I am not militantly PC, certain stereotypes are stereotypes for a REASON. I had a redneck “hillybilly” shoot my dog for running cows back through a hole in HIS fence once upon a time and yep, the guy rolled his own, had no teeth, a jug on his belt and a 30/06 that blew a hole the size of a softball in my innocent dogs flank.

Backwoods, illiterate and totin’ a rifle, my definition of a redneck hillbilly, and it fit the stereotype, what can I say?
So now that I have explained my use of that terminology maybe you will explain your definition of “self defense” and why you need an arsenal of weapons?
I’ll climb down from my ivory tower if you can climb up out of your bunker.

ragingloli's avatar

@emilianate
I already gave you japan’s overall homicide count of 646, which includes all types of weapons.

Bellatrix's avatar

From the British Home Office.

Between April 2010 and May 2011 there were 636 homicides in England and Wales. This figure included the 12 victims killed in the Cumbrian shootings.

I am just going to cut and paste from the Home Office doc because I don’t have time to rewrite the relevant info.

“The most common method of killing continues to be by sharp instrument. In 2010/11, there were 232 victims killed in this way, accounting for 36 per cent of all homicides. This was an increase from the 210 homicides (35%) that involved a sharp instrument in 2009/10.” (p. 15).

However…“Sharp instrument homicides peaked in 2006/07 at 272 and, before the increase this year, had been declining. The total number of knife or sharp instrument homicides for 2009/10 was the lowest recorded since 1998/99 when 201 were recorded (data not shown in tables). The number recorded in 2010/11 is also lower than that recorded for most years over the last decade.” (p. 19)

The official statistics do not therefore support the notion of a “surge” in knife attacks in Great Britain. Any increase can certainly not be attributed to a tightening of Britain’s gun ownership legislation. GB has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. I can honestly say I have never heard a British citizen (or Australian citizen) say they need to own a gun to defend themselves.

“In 2010/11, there were 60 shooting homicides recorded. This is an increase of 19 on the previous year and includes the 12 victims of the Cumbria shootings on 2 June 2010.” (p. 19).

An interesting historical overview of Britain’s gun laws from the BBC. Britain has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
ragingloli's avatar

And again, 636 vs 16000. Sure, relative to population size, it is over double the rate of Japan, but compared to the US, which, per capita, is still 5 times the homicide rate of England, it is paradise.

JLeslie's avatar

When I worked in a psyche hospital at discharge one of the questions we asked the patients was “are there any guns in the location you will be staying.”

bolwerk's avatar

@leepow: you can just as easily argue the liberal (for those who don’t know, that means “permissive”) gun laws in Connecticut are what did nothing. Afterall, the information available seems to say his mother collected these weapons, and encouraged her offspring to join her in shooting them. It appears she quite likely trained her own killer. Which wouldn’t be a huge problem.

@Brian1946: I’m not aware of private schools (in the USA) that operate under those conditions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Either way, public schools doing it is a deliberate, widespread public policy.

And, to counter @leepow‘s anecdote, I have repeatedly been the victim of attempted muggings. Had my mugger had a gun instead of his fists or a knife, I might not be here today. Even if I had a gun, and he had a gun, the best I could have hoped for is a zero-sum game, and he would have had the advantage of surprise. Maybe gun control saved my life, maybe it didn’t but this nonsensical notion that a gun is going to do a lot to protect you from random violence is just that – nonsensical.

Response moderated
Qingu's avatar

It’s too bad @leepow left. I was looking forward to hearing what exactly happened to instigate his using guns in self defense three times.

Did a black person walk on his lawn?

Qingu's avatar

@emilianate, you said: “What is their other crime like? I ask because if it’s more difficult to get guns in Japan, is there a surge in crimes from other weapons? Britain banned guns and they saw a surge in deaths by knives.”

What on earth is your point? It’s a lot harder to kill someone with a knife than a gun.

bolwerk's avatar

If anybody ever shot my dog, I’d see no problem with executing them.

Nullo's avatar

I notice that nobody seems to have accounted for factors other than population size and firearm restriction. Don’t you suppose that culture or economics might have a role? It’s been a while, but I don’t really remember crime – outside of burglary and pickpocketing – being very prevalent in Italy. Leastways I never had to worry about going to the wrong part of town – unlike in St. Louis, where you don’t stop your car at night in North or East parts of town.

@Qingu Did a black person walk on his lawn? is more instigatory, less constructive. You might want to fix that.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think culture plays a big part @Nullo. I grew up in the UK where police officers were not armed and I didn’t know anyone who owned a gun. The idea of owning a gun wasn’t even discussed. If you owned farming property or were a police officer or in the military then you would have access to guns but otherwise no.

Similarly in Australia, people who like to go hunting might own a rifle. Or again, if you live on a rural property you would have a rifle but other than that I don’t know of anyone who owns a gun. The police here are armed. We do have gun crime but as can be seen from the following stats, guns aren’t the main weapon used in crime in Australia. It is now very difficult to get a gun license.

To provide some comparisons to the stats provided for the US so far, and the UK stats I provided earlier, we (Australia) had 260 murders in total 2010. Between 2009–2010 the most common weapon used in homicides was a knife (AIC). Knives were used in 39 murders.

This report shows deaths due to firearms between 1979 and 2005. The Howard Government introduced strict gun laws in 1996. Deaths caused by firearm (suicide or otherwise) have been tracking downwards from a high 711 in 1987 to 299 in 2002 down to 260 in 2010. In 2010 Australian Government stats show there were 39 murders using a firearm.

As I said up there ^ I have never heard a Brit or an Australian say they need a gun to defend themselves or their family. I think you are spot on in pointing to the cultural influences in this argument.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Bellatrix – have you ever lived in the NT? Everyone there has a hunters license and an arsenal. But interestingly enough there are not that many gun related murders. People up there prefer broken beer bottles or machetes. Not too much different in far north Queensland.

Bellatrix's avatar

@rooeytoo while you just throw out statements and never provide any evidence to support the claims you make, I prefer to provide some data and let people make up their mind based on reasonable evidence.

There are around 13,181 gun owners in the Northern Territory out of a population of 200,000. Northern Territory people have to follow the same federal laws in terms of gun ownership plus there are NT laws too. These statistics, provided by an organisation in support of gun control and therefore more likely to fudge their figures upwards to make the situation look worse than it is, therefore suggest your claims that all Territorians are running around armed to the hilt are hogwash. Perhaps you were only mixing with the 13,000 or so who own guns?

You know @rooeytoo it seems to me every time you post about Australia, it is very often to say how scared you are of the terrible crime here and generally to put the country and those in it, down. It makes me wonder why you stay here. I will admit I am biased because in contrast to the impression you give, I happen to absolutely love my adopted country and while it has its faults I consider it to be a bloody good place to live. Your constant whining does make me wonder whether you dislike living here or you are just a very negative person.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Bellatrix – I must admit I misphrased that one about the hunters license. They have the guns without the license. And if you doubt that one, well, you’ll just have to go see for yourself. One of my favorite sights is the anti aircraft gun on top of the gunshop in Darwin.

Wow are you having a bad evening, you are really taking shots at me, “perhaps you were only mixing with the 13,000 or so who own guns?” Or was that a nice thing to say? Then you accuse me of “constant whining and being a negative person.” Are they personal attacks?
Is saying there is crime here putting down the country and its citizens? I thought it was simply stating what is. But at least you didn’t tell me to leave if I don’t like it, you just wonder why I stay. Well I stay because I like it here and here as in USA, there is freedom of speech, so I am allowed to criticize what I don’t like.

DrBill's avatar

No, as long as there are people with their jerk-knee reactions. Obama has announced he plans to put in place a law to ban guns, because 20 kids were killed (no disrespect to the victims).

Meanwhile drunk drivers kill everyday with apparent minimum concern. A man who lives across the street from me was drunk driving last year and killed four innocent people (3 were kids) and he got 18 months house arrest. (this was his third conviction)

Smoking causes 440,000+ deaths a year, but it is still illegal, even though legislation was introduced to reduce the rate without destroying the industry.

If you want to address the problem, then address mental illness, which is the real problem, not the 47% of Americans who are sane and responsible gun owners.

glacial's avatar

Nancy Lanza was a sane and responsible gun owner. That didn’t stop her son from killing her with two of her own weapons.

ragingloli's avatar

Obama has announced he plans to put in place a law to ban guns, because 20 kids were killed (no disrespect to the victims).
Quote and context please pronto.

DrBill's avatar

@glacial you are correct, and he was clearly mentally ill.

@ragingloli this morning on ABC news

Coloma's avatar

Assault weapons only? Well…a small slice of the pie is better than none at all, but certainly only a small wedge in the big picture.

glacial's avatar

@DrBill You are missing my point, She was the gun owner. She owned guns to keep herself safe, and instead they put her and everyone around her at risk.

Paradox25's avatar

I do support reasonable gun control legislation. Also, mentally unstable people should not be allowed to legally purchase or own any type of gun. I also think that security or a policeman should be in every school, like they are in ours. Most people own guns where I live, and the crime rate is very low.

ragingloli's avatar

@DrBill
Stop being coy, and post the full quote with context, or at the very least a bloody link to a video where you claim he said that.
I have watched this, and he makes no mention whatsoever about gun control.

Brian1946's avatar

@ragingloli

I have watched this, and he makes no mention whatsoever about gun control.

Seems to me that Oromney has done a real good job of not mentioning gun control whatsoever at any time during his administration.

Seek's avatar

@DrBill

A. The president doesn’t write laws.
B. There are so many drunk driving laws that it is nearly impossible for the average person to get a decent job again if they get saddled with a conviction. Does this stop all deaths? No. Have drunk driving deaths been considerably reduced due to those restrictive laws? Yes. Are you looking through the lens with a teeny tiny bit of bias due to your proximity to the douche who killed three babies with a car and a bottle of whisky? Yes.

Qingu's avatar

@DrBill, you are bearing false witness. Obama never said he wants to “ban guns.”

@Coloma, while I understand that assault weapons are responsible for a tiny sliver of total gun deaths, I think it’s a no-brainer to ban them. We don’t let private citizens own RPG-7’s. Why? Because you can very easily kill a shitload of people with an RPG-7. The weapon is only really useful in a military context.

I combed the Internet for examples of people using semiautomatic high-capacity rifles in legitimate self defense. I found a single documented instance (a 15 year old boy shot robbers) and a few anecdotes on (sketchy) message boards. I have no idea why you’d need an AR-15 to do so, however, as opposed to a pistol or something. On the other hand, if you are a madman who wants to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible, a semi-automatic high-capacity rifle is the obvious choice.

Banning semiautomatic rifles might not have much effect in the aggregate against gun violence. It does seem like it could help reduce mass murders, however.

bolwerk's avatar

@Nullo: “I notice that nobody seems to have accounted for factors other than population size and firearm restriction.” – well, except, at the very least, me. I think most of the problems with gun violence are in their own way socioeconomic, and cultural too, though I don’t think the Newtown-style spree killing is caused by the same factors as the kind that makes St. Louis violent.

@DrBill: not sure what you expect to do about drunk driving. Laws against it are pretty harsh, and enforced. As @Seek_Kolinahr says, the pig state pretty much ruins your life if you’ve been convicted. (3–4x as many people are killed by sober driving, of course. Sober drivers may not be as dangerous, but they’re much more numerous and therefore a bigger threat.)

JLeslie's avatar

If you had a kid who was violent and angry, assuming he showed signs of this behavior, would you keep guns around? I guess maybe if you thought you needed the gun to protect yourself against your son? I don’t know, it seems having a gun accessible to dangerous people makes it easier for things to go very wrong. My teenage neighbor when I was kid shot himself in his house, I am pretty sure it was a gun that was kept in the home. If it had been more difficult to get a gun, maybe he would have attempted suicide with something less lethal. Although, men tend to be more likely to commit suicide, while women are more likely to attempt it, but of course both sexes attempt and complete the act, still men seem to do it in a way that will for sure work. Maybe it is the testosterone or something?

Coloma's avatar

I think that it’s very common for parents, or anybody, to be in denial when it comes to the potential red flag behaviors of their children or others.
People deny abuse in their relationships all the time, they deny partners alcohol and drug issues, they deny and “hope” for the best.
Even someone like myself, with an extensive knowledge of psychology has overlooked red flag behaviors because most people give the benefit of the doubt and minimize things that they are not sure how to deal with. This is human nature for the most part.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie It’s interesting to hear you express this as a sign of weakness in women, as a lack of follow-through. I see it as having a stronger will to live.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I don’t think of it as weakness, why did you think that? Although, I don’t think it has to do with will to live.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Here is the sad truth; if there would have been some other “gun toting nuts” when he fired on the teacher and the 1st half dozen kids, he would start taking fire. At that point HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO STOP FIRING ON KIDS AND DEFEND HIMSELF, or flee (still saving kids), but because HE WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH A GUN there was no one to stop him. Had there been other “gun toting nuts” there they might have killed him and we would be calling them HEROES for saving the rest of the kid and dropping the gun man like a load of dirty baby diapers. Argue that, why don’t you?

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Again stating (as I did in another thread) – it’s bad enough worrying about your kid’s teacher molesting them without having to worry about them pulling a nine and busting a cap. KWIM?

Coloma's avatar

Well, I’ll tell you what, had my daughter gone to a school with metal detectors and armed teachers, that would be the day I started homeschooling my child.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The thing is, it seems people with guns, every so often one goes off “by accident” so you might not have 26 at once dead in one classroom, but you might have one every month extra who would not have been killed otherwise. I read approximately 600 accidental gun deaths happen each year, not sure if that number is accurate. However, I am not completely against an armed guard in a school, just being the devils advocate.

tom_g's avatar

I’ve said it before, but when people start proposing that the solution to gun violence is to arm teachers, then I think we’ve given up – or we should. We failed as a fucking civilization, and we should call for an invasion so some civilized country can come in here and show us how it’s done.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Agreed 100%
Man, somebody push the button already, time for a brand new start, and all because the dinosaurs died out. lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

Hopefully Obama meant what he said the other night about parents responsiblities and getting children and adults the care they need.

ragingloli's avatar

@tom_g
Worry not, the space aliens will invade earth on the 23rd.

bolwerk's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: it’s a stupid argument because, unless you or someone can make a cogent case that gun proliferation actually lowers or at least doesn’t raise gun crime,* it would probably just mean more deaths elsewhere. That’s not less tragic.

* In this case, in an affluent suburban setting that already has relatively low gun crime

@Seek_Kolinahr: then they can be molested at gunpoint. Well, it should make these guys hard like a re-bar.

Qingu's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central, there’s plenty of gun nuts in America. Why do you think none of them have ever managed to stop a school massacre in progress?

Likewise, if there happened to be a police officer in that school, he could have prevented a massacre too. This isn’t an argument for constant armed police presence in schools. It’s not really an argument for anything. Random acts of violence are random.

bolwerk's avatar

@Qingu: I understand the school thing, but they were notably absent from cases like the Aurora shooting too. I suspect most of them are frightened creatures, which is why they feel such a need for “defensive” power, and would shit their pants when actual crises happen.

JLeslie's avatar

@bolwerk Defensive power what do you mean by that? That the gun owners are the most afraid of all of us?

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t suppose we will or can ever have a “constructive” dialog as long as people on the one side call gun owners “gun nuts” and gun owners call those who want nothing to do with them “libtards” and “weenies” and so forth.

“Constructive” would be at least moderately respectful, which I don’t see in abundance on this thread, for example.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS I agree completely. Obama showed a rational side with his speech, it wasn’t about abolishing guns or taking away freedoms because of a nutcase, it was about getting help for needy people.

bolwerk's avatar

@JLeslie: the usual argument goes they want to defend themselves from, if not “all of us,” something that’s out there. Usually some nebulous, random act that we’ve all heard about on the news. Having the gun makes them feel in control, even if in more cases than not the gun does something that they don’t want it to do because they aren’t (usually) quite competent to control it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk It doesn’t have anything to do with being scared or control.

And crazily enough, my guns have never done anything that my finger on the trigger did not control. See if your finger is not on the trigger and your firearm is secured, it doesn’t randomly do ANYTHING.

That is the kind of false general statement that keeps getting posted here, it’s ridiculous frankly.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: nobody said anything about your guns. Though, it does sort of play into my point: that irrational people like guns and think they can control them. When irrational people pull them out to play with them, bad things very often happen – even if they don’t always happen, and even if they weren’t intended to happen

Seriously, where are the statistics on defensive use of firearms? We should have enough gun proliferation now to show that, if gun proliferation improves public safety, the defensive use of firearms should greatly outweigh offensive use.

Bellatrix's avatar

@KNOWITALL, I suspect had you asked the mother of Adam Lanza whether her guns would ever do anything she didn’t control, she would have said no.

KNOWITALL's avatar

See, here we go again with more suppositions.

My gun has never shot anyone. If I shot someone intentionally or not, that is my fault/ decision. I am in control of my gun. It is an inanimate object without negative or positive thought.

Adam’s mom would be correct. Her gun didn’t do anything. Am I wrong? Did her gun start living and breathing and wanting to kill?

With these kind of responses, maybe we do need to ban all weapons, because they seem to be like Transformers, coming to life and hurting people. sarcasm

JLeslie's avatar

@bolwerk I walk both sides of the fence. As a woman I do think a gun can be one of the great equalizers. We are at a great disadvantage against a man, even when he is unarmed, he is stronger, and for that matter more likely to be violent and criminal.

I do think that that there is some truth to people who own guns are more afraid of the boogie man, because in a way they are the boogie man. They own a gun; piss them off enough, or tread on their space, and they might draw, so if they themselves would, why not someone else? This is kind of what I mean by gun oriented, when no one owns a gun, it just isn’t much in ones mind that someone might have a gun, and so then no one needs a gun, vicious circle. Same in areas where everyone has a gun, better have a gun too. The big problem is if you live in a place with gun violence and most people own guns. In the Memphis area, where I live now, lots of gun owners, and a tremendous amount of gun violence. The step father of a friend of mine said, “I would not drive down Danny Thomas without a gun on me or in my car.” My husband works in a building on Danny Thomas, he doesn’t arm himself. But, the stepdad is a big time hunter, gun owner, etc. It would not surprise anyone if bullets did fly in that part of town, so, what to do? Once so many people have guns it feels like maybe I should have one too. I think it is hard to reel it back in once so much of the community has guns. Like I wonder in Australia and Scotland when they changed the laws if that many people had those guns to begin with?

To be clear I do not consider hinters gun oriented necessarily. Hunting and carrying a gun if you are in the wild does not phase me in the least. But, being afraid of criminals in general and feeling one needs a gun is more what I mean. Then I am back to poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, drugs, lack of mental health care, etc.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

(GROAN….misquoted again) To all of those on the ”armed teacher bandwagon” I did not say that the teachers should be armed; am I clear enough? However, I would not be opposed to the teachers having the option to pack heat if they wanted. If there would have been ANY OTHER PERSON there (even if some were teachers) packing heat they could have returned fire; HAVEN’T HEARD ANYONE DISPUTE THAT! What happens at home, in the office, how many accidents are prone to happen as a result are all bogus arguments, we are talking about this school on that day. Same as with VT and other places, if I had been there and been packing heat do you think I would have run for the exit with a loaded 9mm in my pocket? Cowered behind a desk or whipped that bad boy out and fought back? To say 20 people would have died over time instead of all at once, if that were the case, why give the keys back to people with substance abuse problems so they can play Russian Roulette on the road will all of us? Some one explain to me if others were there to return fire he still would have killed as many kids as if they were fish in a barrel? I am waiting, start explaining…….

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I would have taken that coward out immediately, as would any other red-blooded American with a gun. You probably won’t get many positive replies to your post, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. People are angry and operating out of fear, it isn’t conducive to long-term solutions.

DominicX's avatar

The funny thing is, with some of these massacres, there were armed people present and those armed people did jack shit. It’s one thing to say you’d be able to stop a mad mass murderer and quite another to be able to do something once someone unexpectedly stars open-firing on you.

ragingloli's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
Sure you would have Big Boy. And killed some of the kids in the ensuing crossfire, with the other armed nuts that had the same bad ass idea.
Life is not a video game, Mr. Internet Tough Guy.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting article about the shooting in AZ. Looks at both sides of people in the crowd having a gun on them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m going to go bash my head against a wall now because arguing hypotheticals is pointless.

It happened because the kid’s mom didn’t lock up her weapons and her kid went nuts. Period.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ragingloli And killed some of the kids in the ensuing crossfire, with the other armed nuts that had the same bad ass idea. No you didn’t. Do you actually think I would NOT KNOW BETTER? If you had proper training not only would you not shoot when there is a chance of hitting others if you missed, but if you were well regulated, your chances of missing your target would be less than 15%. Those Navy SEALS who were very well regulated was able to pop three pirates bobbing in a boat, no one told them “Better not shoot, you might hit the captain you are trying to rescue”.

ragingloli's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
Yes I do think you would not know better, hopelessly overestimating your skills, underestimating your own incompetence under stress, and ignoring the actions of the other “armed heroes” that might be present that may act even more stupidly.
You are not a seal. You are a wannabe Rambo.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL uses sarcasm against something nobody said. And complains about suppositions! O teh shock! Yes, that’s precisely it, you are responsible for your actions. Though, again, nobody mentioned you but you. The problem isn’t you the person, but, as a group, everybody who thinks the same thing you do. Most of your group, irrational as you are, will never hurt anyone. But, as a group, even if you’re so far law-abiding, you’re going to do more harm than people who don’t have weapons. Some of you will hurt people – a few might even have a good reason. Another few, probably a larger few, will hurt people deliberately. Most of the actual problems will occur, though, when either (1) you find that your sense of self-control isn’t as strong as you thought, as also happened in Connecticut recently, or (2) somebody else “borrows” your oh-so-secret weapon to have fun which is either accidentally or deliberately tragic. Lanza falls into the last category.

And, seriously, stop bringing up yourself every time somebody makes a generalization. It’s a sign of severe narcissism. You aren’t the center of the universe.

@JLeslie: I guess it could be, but what kind of equalizer? The equalization is a zero-sum game, at best. And you are at two distinct disadvantages, even with the equalization: (1) you don’t have the advantage of surprise and (2) you have to be at least as willing to draw and fire as your sociopathic opponent.

Abstractly, anyway, I’m not for gun control, to be clear. I think communities can and should be allowed to decide such matters for themselves though. But I don’t pretend the problems with guns that I mention don’t exist either.

@Hypocrisy_Central It seems quite certain you do not know better. You are greatly exaggerating the probability that you would have achieved any positive outcome. Even if you’re armed, you’re another potential victim in such a case.

DrBill's avatar

@glacial the guns did not put her in danger, her mentally ill son did.
@ragingloli I watched a NIN video and he said nothing about gun control in it either.
@Seek_Kolinahr he also does not write anything else he take credit for.
@Qingu so you think ABC news somehow forged the video of him talking?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk I mention myself because I own guns and have never hurt anyone.
You people make it sound like anyone who owns a gun should be locked up for irresponsible behavior. In fact, anyone even admitting to owning a gun here has been under personal attack and still are.

Do you even know what narcissism is? You cannot and will not ever take my guns, I have no children, my guns are under two different locks. I have no horse in this race.

It’s you and your kids I worry about because you seem awfully defenseless in the face of this madness the government has created. If you think losing your house, your 401k and all that doesn’t affect people and their attitude in life, you’re very wrong.

ragingloli's avatar

@DrBill
You know, until you actually post sources to support your claim that Obama wants to ban guns, I am going to assume, based on your previous behaviour, that you are lying.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Obama supports banning assault weapons. I’m a Republican and I admit that he doesn’t plan on trying to ban anything else from my research through various sources including the NRA. I personally have no problem with that for the general public.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: anybody with a gun has a possibility of hurting somebody. If it’s locked up, the odds of them doing it are merely lower. They don’t go away. Refuse to accept that, and you’re certainly not a “responsible gun owner.” And, while I can see legitimate reasons to own a firearm, most people who choose to do so don’t really have concrete reasons. They’re afraid of something nebulous, which is generally a bad sign.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Then what test would make you feel safe friend? Women abort without testing. People vote without testing. The fact is that no one is guaranteed safety thus we try to protect ourselves in rural America.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Husband says ban internet sales of ammo and restrict gun shows.

Bellatrix's avatar

@KNOWITALL you mentioned that @bolwerk “seem awfully defenseless in the face of this madness the government has created”. What is this madness? What is it you are so afraid of that you need an arsenal of weapons to protect yourself? Who are you protecting yourself from?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I wrote that about the fiscal cliff and the recession. I’m really not afraid of anything except our people who are still homeless and hopeless. Do we know the reason for this yet?

Bellatrix's avatar

Why does the fiscal cliff or recession mean you need to own firearms or that legislation can’t be introduced in relation to gun control? How do homeless people cause you to need to keep guns? Your response doesn’t make any sense.

bolwerk's avatar

@Bellatrix: I couldn’t really make sense of that. Her narcissism has now been sublimated into projection, since apparently it’s about me suddenly – not the wider, observable world, where Republikan Party, the defenders of the state piggery that @KNOWITALL seems to pride herself on identifying with, has taken actions that wrecked the U.S. economy, and hence 401(k)s, and cost millions of people their homes and livelihoods. And, incidentally, wants to make sure guns are as available as possible to crazy people.

@KNOWITALL: the reasons are pretty well publicized. You may not like the answer, but there is little mystery about why the economy is the way it is, and by and large it ain’t about public debt.

bolwerk's avatar

Oh, wait, I get it. Homosexuals are to blame. Just in case anyone is wondering!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Now I hate gays too? Wow. I’m talking about mental health as it seems pertinent wouldn’t you say? Namecalling is so passe.

Bellatrix's avatar

You said homeless and hopeless and talked about the recession. I haven’t seen you talk about mental health. I may have missed this comment. What is your point about mental health and gun ownership/gun control? Can you elaborate?

KNOWITALL's avatar

The big picture to me and a lot of America is that all government is failing us. Not just now but for a long time when it comes to mental health. If we address those people who need help we may stop these massacres. Instead of budgets cut across states we must stop being embarrassed and get them help quickly and cheaply.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: That wasn’t even directed at you. Stop being so oversensitive. Nor did I call anyone a name.

Though, I guess homosexuals have about as much to do with Newton as homeless/hopeless people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You guys frustrate me when Guns are the cause not the perpetrator.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am all for improving the support we give people with mental illness. I don’t think you can solely blame ongoing mental health issues in the US on the current government. These mass murders were taking place during the Bush era and beyond. Do you support universal healthcare? Perhaps if people could afford to see psychiatrists that might help those who need mental health care.

As to guns and mental health. We (in Australia) have issues with our mental health care services too. We need to spend a lot more money supporting people who need mental health treatment. However, we also have strong gun control. So if someone is unhinged, whether they have been diagnosed with a mental health issue or not, they are highly unlikely to be able to access a gun. So they can’t go into a school and shoot teachers and children.

There are many countries in the world working their way through recession. Some are worse than the US, we aren’t hearing about mass shootings in those countries.

Bellatrix's avatar

@KNOWITALL and I find it frustrating that you try to disassociate the weapon used from the outcome. There are 20 children and is it 7 or 8 teachers dead and they were killed with automatic guns. Those guns were owned by the perpetrator’s mother. If she hadn’t owned an arsenal of guns, it is very likely those people would still be alive. On one hand you say people control guns and that guns are inanimate objects. Then you say guns are not the perpetrator.

Take the guns out of the picture and the children are still here waiting for Santa to arrive with their presents.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: there isn’t any need to play semantic games with this. Blame the gun, blame the person. I really don’t care. If you can’t understand that a crazy person having access to guns is a problem – a political problem, no less – and makes that given gun a danger, there is something wrong with you.

filmfann's avatar

Great quote on Hard Ball tonight: Being well armed didn’t help Adam Lanza’s mother.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Low battery sorry

DrBill's avatar

@ragingloli considering you base your information on things that don’t appear in your links, it is obvious who is lying, and that is you. My previous behavior of speaking the truth on a purely leftist site is wasted on people who refuse to see outside their microscopic box, it still needs to be said for the few open minds here.

JLeslie's avatar

Somehow I forgot the link to the AZ article.

@bolwerk All good points.

bolwerk's avatar

@DrBill: people aren’t lying just because they expect you to have some basis for your claims.

DrBill's avatar

@bolwerk Asking for basis is not lying, but posting a video where something does not happen and claiming it is proof it has never happened, is.

Bellatrix's avatar

A really interesting and interactive news story about gun ownership and shooting crimes globally.

ragingloli's avatar

@DrBill
First you lied when you claimed that obama increased the debt by 713%.
Then you lied when you claimed that the debt was 16 trillion after Obama’s second year, when it was actually 14 trillion.
You were busted on those lies both times by multiple people, and you never admitted your lies or apologised.

And now you are making the claim that Obama said he wants to ban guns, and steadfastly refuse to give any source whatsoever, and have the gall to accuse me of lying when I give you an actual link, something you never felt necessary to do yourself, to the video I watched in which he never mentioned gun control.
Give us a God damned link to the speech you claim he said it in, because you have no credibility whatsoever to expect anyone on this planet to take your word for it, and if you said the sky was blue, I would look out of the window to verify your claim.

DrBill's avatar

I have not posted any lies. and when and if you grow up to a point where you develop the maturity to comment without cursing and name calling, you will get the answers you seek. Untill then, I will only laugh at the weak minded. you may try admitting your lies and apologizing for your own transgressions.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
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PhiNotPi's avatar

[mod says] Flame off folks. Seriously.

janbb's avatar

@PhiNotPi Thank you for showing up.!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Take the guns out of the picture and the children are still here waiting for Santa to arrive with their presents. Put someone else there with a gun to return fire to suppress the gunman or cause him to flee, and all the kids or most would still be here to greet Santa.

tom_g's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: “Put someone else there with a gun to return fire to suppress the gunman or cause him to flee, and all the kids or most would still be here to greet Santa.”

I couldn’t agree more! So, an armed guard at each window of every school. Then a backup armed guard for each armed guard in case that particular armed guard gets taken out by the gunman/gunmen. Then we merely need to arm the teachers and some of the students. That way, we can apply the sky marshal thing so that the gunman/gunmen don’t know which kids are carrying. I’m also thinking we could should probably have bulletproof glass and possibly watchtowers so we could gun down possible gunmen before they reach the building (or throw grenades at them).
Of course, we could scrap whatever is left of recess – or just turn it into target practice sessions.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu There are about six million people in the U.S. licensed to conceal a weapon about their person. Sounds like a lot until you think of how you could fit them all in a large city with room to spare. Combine that with the fact that mass murders are pretty sparse themselves. And take into account that a thwarted crime doesn’t make as big of a splash as a successful one. Best I can tell, defensive gunnery is ultimately boring to the media; it’s more likely to turn up as part of an article like this one, about a social trend.
@tom_g You’re taking your hyperbole a bit far, don’t you think? We had a police officer wandering around in my high school who was all kinds of handy – breaking up fights, that sort of thing – and would be an asset in the event of a shooting there.

tom_g's avatar

@Nullo: ”@tom_g You’re taking your hyperbole a bit far, don’t you think? We had a police officer wandering around in my high school who was all kinds of handy – breaking up fights, that sort of thing – and would be an asset in the event of a shooting there.”

I merely took your argument (more guns are needed) and followed it to really make sure that we’re protecting our kids. I could have gone further, to be honest.

In all seriousness, are you really saying that the addition of a single police officer roaming the halls is the solution to school shootings? There are 678 kids in my daughter’s elementary school. I don’t know how many different wings, hallways, windows, etc are potential entry points. I can’t fathom how the addition of a single armed police officer roaming the halls is enough to stop a suicidal, mentally ill person from entering my child’s school and killing many kids. Additionally, what if there are multiple gunmen (Columbine), or what if the existence of the armed police officer results in more incentive for suicidal maniacs to act out their shoot-em-up fantasies in the school? I’ll also add that it also adds a gun to the school – and we know that guns don’t always end up serving their intended purpose.

Arming this a school police officer seems to add to the potential violence from my perspective. I wouldn’t allow my child to attend a school with an armed person (police officer or teacher).

Nullo's avatar

@tom_g Not a perfect solution, perhaps, but certainly addressing the issue. Good doors with locks on them would also be useful.

It seems to me that there is going to be a downside to any proposal.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@tom_g So, an armed guard at each window of every school. Then a backup armed guard for each armed guard in case that particular armed guard gets taken out by the gunman/gunmen. Then we merely need to arm the teachers and some of the students. That way, we can apply the sky marshal thing so that the gunman/gunmen don’t know which kids are carrying. Apart from the silly part of having kids packing heat, (which is against the law anyhow), you, as well as most others, failed to answer the question. If a school has all that you just spouted and a school had none, and some wackado shows up with a gun to kill kids, where is his success more likely, the school with armed guards and select number of trained and armed teachers, or the school naked with just Pepsi machine in the hall and a fire extinguisher in the corner of every room?

tom_g's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: “If a school has all that you just spouted and a school had none, and some wackado shows up with a gun to kill kids, where is his success more likely, the school with armed guards and select number of trained and armed teachers, or the school naked with just Pepsi machine in the hall and a fire extinguisher in the corner of every room?”

That’s an easy question to answer. But I’ll answer it in 2 parts…

1. We don’t know. We just don’t. Like I said, we don’t know what adding guns to schools would do? I have mentioned that it might make that school a more likely target – with more than one gunman possible. We also add guns where there were none, so now we have to deal with a teacher’s gun getting into the hands of a student. We can speculate, but I don’t think your Hollywood style movie hero teacher fantasy is going to provide us with some real insight on how this would change gun violence in schools.

2. Even if I were to grant you that we could lower the risk to students by arming guards and teachers in schools, I would be completely against it. It would be a declaration that the United States had failed, and we would need to start again. I mean completely failed, and there would be no reason for me to stay here. We get awfully close as a nation of announcing to the world occasionally that we’re incapable of being a civilized nation that can rule ourselves. But this would be the “Ok, guys, let’s pack it in. We tried.” moment. (Or at least the world could quarantine the US population and its culture to keep the virus from spreading – once I’m gone, of course.)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If the US clearly and accurately explicated the current meaning of the second amendment, it might promote some more intelligent discussion of the place of firearms in a civil society.

bolwerk's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence: I don’t see anything difficult about it. Admittedly the current Supreme Court muddied it a little, but it never meant nor was interpreted to mean freewheeling ownership of weapons.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@bolwerk You are correct! Common misconceptions about the Second Amendment underlie so much of the stupidity that impedes intelligent discussion of gun and their place in a civil society.

CWOTUS's avatar

You should read some thoughtful discussion and informed scholarship on the topic. I won’t be holding my breath.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@CWOTUS When the G. W. Bush Administration enacted the “Patriot Act” and created “Homeland Security”, many rights of Americans were wiped out with a few stokes of a pen. Guns or not, tyranny permanently changed the nature of American life while the people and their representatives stood around dumbfounded.

The premises of the second amendment your referenced “scholarship” defend were clearly ineffective and meaningless.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t know where you’re coming from here, @Dr_Lawrence. Though I don’t support growth of government in general, and I specifically oppose the PATRIOT Act and Department of Homeland Security, I don’t see what that has to do with the article I linked to. They are only superficially related.

Or are you somehow perversely suggesting that we should have used our privately owned weapons to repudiate the Act and the Department? That seems to put the lie to other things you’ve said in the thread, so I really have no idea what it is that you’re arguing here.

bolwerk's avatar

Now, I know @CWOTUS wasn’t telling me I should read some propaganda that affirms what @CWOTUS already thinks.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@bolwerk Of course not! Any there is no reason he was confused by my response to his post.

CWOTUS's avatar

Neither of you is making the least bit of sense.

woodcutter's avatar

There is some debate on exactly just how many gun laws there are total in the US. Counting state, federal and local laws ,ordinances, etc, it is estimated the number to be 20,000. Taking out the somewhat redundant ones it narrows down to around 300. If we could squeeze a few more laws in there it would do the trick maybe?

If we could all agree to eliminate a single class of firearm to make everyone happy and even if it would be a total success, the criminally insane would default to another type of gun that is not yet on the national radar and will still kill as many people in one blow. This new trend will bring a new public outcry because we didn’t see this one coming. And off we go all over again with more bans.

So all this talk about common sense gun bans is bullshit if only doing away with so called assault rifles will make gun control advocates happy….IT WON“T

As if people killed with the next generation of scarey gun type will be a bit more acceptable?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@tom_g It would be a declaration that the United States had failed, and we would need to start again. Where has the US not failed? Is there any person living on the streets that did not want to be there? Anyone wanting health care but not getting it because it is too expensive? Is everyone getting their equal day in court regardless if they can afford the best lawyer or not? To say having guards in schools to go with the metal detectors we already have, is no more a failure than when people started to think a little discipline by way of a swat on the backside would break the child.

woodcutter's avatar

These armed protectors in school halls would need not be many. They could be a custodian or some other innocuous looking employee who is qualified to carry and was dedicated. Just one person in a building not in any uniform would be enough. Too many cooks… If it became a national standard and it was well known, any person looking to kill students would have to figure he was going to be in a two way gun fight at the very least. Still think these places would be attractive to shooters?

When airlines began having air marshals flying among regular passengers it was hard to tell who they were. Oh sure if you lived on airplanes you might guess which guy it was.by seeing the same guy by luck but did their presence on board deter people from air travel?

Bellatrix's avatar

Can you still get on a plane with a gun in the US? We can’t get on with a metal nail file.

woodcutter's avatar

I have to assume the air marshals are trained to detain suspects without shooting. From what I gather, bullets in aircraft = bad. The ammunition is bound to be airplane friendly more so than what is common for schoolyard use~

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix We can’t board a plane with a gun nor a nail file. Nothing that can be a weapon. Not a knife, not scissors, etc. People can bring those things in checked baggage. I am not sure of all the gun laws in terms of bringing one in checked baggage, but the other things like knives you can check and travel with.

rooeytoo's avatar

I lost my favorite pocket knife that way. I was boarding a domestic flight and forgot I had a small bone handle pocket knife that was my Dads. It was buried in the bottom of my back pack. I can appreciate not being allowed to take it onto the plane, but they confiscated it! Wouldn’t even let me run it back to the car! I know some security guard is now carrying my dad’s knife!

Lightlyseared's avatar

@woodcutter I seem to recall more Air Marshals have been arrested than terrorists the FAMS has actually arrested so its probably never been an issue~

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo That is appauling. When I flew on JAL (Japanese airline) they let people throw those things in a box, items weren’t tgged with your name, just the honor system. When we landed they put out the box and everyone took their stuff.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie What a civilized approach – I wonder why I’ve never heard of an airline doing this. They are certainly used to taking custody of awkward items, or excess carryon baggage in the same manner.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I have never seen an American airline do it. Seems like it is not a big deal to this for people. They said there was no guarantee since the items were not tagged with anyone’s name nor officially checked in in any way, but, what are the chances another passenger would take something not theirs—low. It’s better than letting some TSA agent have it at the departure airport.

CWOTUS's avatar

@glacial and @JLeslie, you’re talking about this as if it’s something the airlines control (in the USA). They don’t. This all happens before you get to the gate. The way our silly system works, TSA, a federal agency, controls all entry to the gates at one point, so even if they wanted to, the airlines would have no way of sorting out whose items went with which airline, not to mention “which flight”.

This is part of the reason that there won’t be a “commonsense dialogue” on the gun topic (to get back to the original question), because we want things federalized (at least, the voters never object strongly enough to prevent federal takeovers), and we want things “simple”, even if they don’t work particularly well, and it all ends up being controlled by civil servants who are not “servants” and are anything but “civil”.

I don’t understand why this keeps being so hard for so many to understand. I see you bitching about it, but you never connect the dots that got us to this point: silly demands for unworkable “solutions” to complex problems by ignorant and irresponsible voters. Here we go again.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS How would you want airport security managed? No security at all? Done by the state? Done by each airport? Just curious what your solution is? At my airport I am pretty pissed off at TSA.Ialways ask for a pat down, and when they hold me to wait for smeone to escort me, I cannot see my bags that have gone through the xrays. I Called the airport to complain, they told me to get in touch with TSA. i wrote TSA and they answered back promptly with information clearly stating their policy that my bags should always be in my sight. I called my airport back and they seemed to take it seriously. I have been through security multiple times and it still is not corrected. I have told TSA supervisors while I go through security, and they usually say they are going to be remodeling and hopefully that will be fixed. My impression is it is the fucked up local market here who doesn’t care and is too stupid (and I literally mean stupid) to see why it is improtant. Even though they actually had a TSA agent steal someone’s laptop computer a couple years ago. And, I actually am not overly freaked out a TSA agent might steal something, I am more worried about another passenger. I want to complain more about it bevause it bothers me so much, but they also could make my life miserable and I fly a lot. I guess I can try to do something again anonomously.

However, at the same time I understand that it is currently federal and I am still having this problem.

I wish I could remember if JAL did it Chicago to Tokyo, or only Tokyo to Chicago.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s time for us to rethink the entire “security” paradigm. The words that Franklin spoke nearly 250 years ago are perhaps even more true now than they were then: “Those who would sacrifice a little bit of liberty for a little bit of security deserve neither.” From experience we could now add to this: ”... and will lose both.”

You’re essentially right: I would prefer “no security” in its current form of TSA agents, armed soldiers patrolling the terminal (as in the Netherlands at Schiphol and at other places around the world), and no-brain “no tolerance” policies against such silly items as nail files, pocket knives, scissors and the like.

We should be more alert individually and more responsible for looking out for our own security. We should recognize the limitations of the systems (and people) that we’re dealing with.

To illustrate by example, I was on a domestic flight in Indonesia a few years ago. We were flying from one island to another, from the domestic terminal in one of the larger cities there. As I waited my turn to walk through the metal detector – for what reason I can’t imagine, as no one was actually monitoring it, and it was buzzing with nearly every passenger – the man ahead of me in line removed a handgun from his pocket, put it into the tray to go around the detector, passed through the detector himself – and set it off, anyway, which concerned him not at all, nor anyone else – then picked up his gun, put it back in his pocket and continued into the terminal. I suppose I could have said something to someone. There were “security” people around, after all. But no one was watching the metal detector. No one said anything to the man about his weapon. The detector was buzzing every time someone walked through, and no one was doing anything about that. For all I knew, I might have been the only unarmed person on the plane!

I could have refused to fly, too, I suppose. But why? That gun was going to be in someone’s pocket, and who knows how many other guns in other pockets? I made the flight the same way I make every flight: just try to be comfortable and get along with the other passengers. The way I figure things (and this I learned from Robert A. Heinlein) “everyone else might be armed”, so I try to be polite. (“An armed society is a polite society.” Well, he was obviously wrong about that, but an armed rational society would certainly be more polite than what we have.) I will say that when I was on that plane, I knew where that guy was, too. I didn’t know if he was a goodie or a baddie, but I figured if any trouble started, I wanted to see how he was going to respond, to know whether I had to defend against (or attack) him, or support whatever he was doing to improve passenger and flight safety.

More police and guards, bigger armies, more intrusive legislation, fewer choices in our lives, more lines to stand in – these do not make us more secure.

I’d be very happy to have a “security presence” in airports who could deal with actual problems that occur or could occur, but “more rules” and “more TSA agents” and fewer options for living peaceful lives (as 99% of us want to do) are not the answer.

But people seem to like being given orders by impolite people wearing uniforms, so we get more of that. I don’t get it. And if I were a terrorist, it’s those sheep standing in lines waiting to be searched who would get the next bomb.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – I was pretty upset too, I loved that little knife. But I can’t say too much, one should not whine about the country they live in.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t think we can blame overall airport security on a ‘country’s’ rules and legislation for whether you are allowed to take your pen knife or nail file through security. Read @CWOTUS‘s story. It comes down to individual management at airports and then down to the individuals who are carrying out security.

The people at airports are tasked with stopping us taking potentially dangerous objects onto planes. Whether we agree with it or not, that is their job. Every time I am at an airport (which is quite often) someone has left something in their carry on luggage or on their person that clearly goes against those rules. If every time that happened the staff stopped and organised to get that piece of contraband on to the right plane, we would all be complaining about much longer queues are. In Australia, the security check is done before you go anywhere near the gate. The staff monitoring you for contraband items have no idea which flight you are on. It really comes down to being mindful of what you have on you and in your carry on. If you don’t do that, you can’t really blame the security staff for not going out of their ways to resolve your problem.

My experience so far at Australian airports is they do watch what is going through the scanners and they are pretty damn vigilant. I can’t recall one occasion when they have been lax. I have had my handbag go through a couple of times while they check what’s it it.

In saying that, my experience with staff being prepared to go the extra mile has been quite different. My husband had a leatherman pocket tool in his pocket quite a few years ago and had forgotten about it (he never has since). The security staff took his name, his flight number and organised for the pilot to carry it in the cabin to Tasmania for him. It was there when we had picked up our luggage at the airline’s desk.

Another time we bought a wine stopper with a pointy end in a wooden presentation box while away. It was a gift and we didn’t think about the pointy end being a potential weapon. The staff let my husband go back and check it in so it went in the hold.

It depends on the staff on the day, how busy the airport is, how many people are waiting, how long the person has been on their shift dealing with crap from people who get shitty because their nail file can’t travel with them and perhaps on how we (and those before us) react to security processing on the day.

Thank you for answering the question I asked @JLeslie. I was confused by @woodcutter bringing up the role of air marshals in the thread because it seemed to me if the security screening is working, there shouldn’t be guns on planes. Obviously in some airports (see @CWOTUS‘s comment) that is not happening.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix Air Marshalls are armed on our flights as far as I know.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes I know that @JLeslie. My confusion was about @woodcutter‘s post because as far as I knew Air Marshalls were not likely to be coming up against people carrying guns and an aircraft is a very contained space – a school is not.

woodcutter's avatar

I used the air marshals analogy for their anonymity, not so much about them being in a shooting fight on board a plane. Much like a janitor in a school who could be concealed armed and called upon if there was an attack. An attacker might not know with whom he would be fearing opposition from and it would be also a good idea that none of the students know who was protecting them either. As long as it was assumed there was someone in school somewhere that could bring force on force it could change the outcome in that a gunman would fear being stopped. A school bldg would not need a posse of adults with guns because that by itself is bound to cause confusion.
It was not my intension of having the TSA in on this one.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix Got it. I just wanted to make sure I had not given you confusing information.

There was an armed security guard at our Columbine school shooting here in the states. He was a retired police officer I believe.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I think he was a serving deputy… He arrived about 4 minutes after the shooting began and opened fire Harris and Klebod before they had made it to the library but despite firing all the ammunition he was carrying didn’t stop the boy from going on to kill 10 more pupils.

Lightlyseared's avatar

There was also a second officer close to the school who responded to the deputy’s call for assistance and fired on Harris and Klebold but again without effect. Someone said recently “that all it takes to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”... And although its a nice, snappy sound bite that brings to mind any number of Hollywood films in reality things are often not that simple.

rooeytoo's avatar

@augustlan okay, I watched that so now I won’t buy a gun. Another thing that the video brought up in my mind is how tough cops have it. That is a really difficult job, no wonder they lose it make mistakes now and then.

I still would like to go out for a run in the dark and not be scared. I know self defence but what good is that against a gun or an assailant armed with some sort of weapon. What is the answer to that? I am not a gun advocate but I would like to feel safe.

JLeslie's avatar

@Lightlyseared No, I think there was an armed security guard at the school and when he radioed a cop very nearby came to the school within a few minutes and then later the big forces came to the school.

bolwerk's avatar

What’s with the paranoia? Gun massacres are atrocious (and stoppable) and crime is random crime against you is possible, but neither is as much as a threat as the mundane likelihood that you’ll get into a car accident. Surely nobody stops driving because of that.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s the same paranoia that causes parents not to allow their children to walk or ride bikes to school. The same that caused the woman who allowed her son to ride the subway alone to be severely criticised. The same that causes women to bring their sons into the ladies room instead of sending them into the mens room alone. The same that tells you to lock your car and don’t let the keys in it (as my parents did) so it isn’t stolen, the same that causes people to put locks on their windows and doors and security systems in their houses, the same that tells women not to walk alone at night. It is born of 90 year olds being bashed on their way to get a paper in the morning, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Fear of an accident doesn’t keep me from driving, but I drive defensibly because there are a lot of maniacs out there and “Paranoia” doesn’t keep me from running, it just changes the time of day I do it. I wouldn’t want to end up in court as a victim of assault and be told I was “asking for it” by wearing running shorts that are too short or running alone in the dark.

bolwerk's avatar

That’s kinda the point. Refusing to let kids wander around and exercise seems to be creating its own risks to their health, including mental health. The hysterical critics who complained about that woman allowing her 9-year-old to use the subway presumably expose their kids to much greater risks every time they drive them somewhere, so they shouldn’t be taken very seriously.

Other things are situational. Locking doors is a low-risk and low-cost precaution. If you live in a crappy neighborhood, maybe it’s better not to run at certain times.

Either way, sensationalized media accounts are really messing up people’s perspective.

woodcutter's avatar

@Lightlyseared All those attempts to stop the Columbine shooters and nothing worked? These attackers bullet proof or did the defenders choke and completely miss them? If they had hit them, they would have gone down. Having inexperienced rent a cops who are armed seems to be more of a liability than having nothing at all. There’s proof that just because a good guy has a gun doesn’t mean they know what to do with it. Hard for me, not being there at the time, to believe the first defender there was adequately trained. To this day ,I’m sure it sucks to be him.

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter they were experienced cops at Columbine from what I understand.

glacial's avatar

The officer on duty at Columbine was a “15-year veteran of the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office”. He had two opportunities to fire on the shooters, but didn’t hit anything.

woodcutter's avatar

There’s more awareness about the cruelty that is among us now then back in the Columbine shootings. I believe now the guardians will have an advanced mindset because the innocence is gone even in schools. Hopefully they would not repeatedly miss opportunities to stop threats. It has worked before. We have armed guards in shopping malls, sports arenas and lots of other places. It’s really past due to prepare the schools for this reality. Even if the weapons that are in the national spotlight are banned, it will not discourage new attacks because there will always be some kind of firearm that will be used and it will be just as horrifying.The novelty of banning things just to feel a false sense of security will quickly wear off when it happens again. This whole tragedy could have been easily prevented.

augustlan's avatar

@rooeytoo If I were you, I’d get some mace.

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter Why do people stay so naive I would ask? Padukah, Kentucky wasn’t enough? The Amish school? Jonesboro, AR? Columbine? Where I live guns are confiscated all the time from students. Gun violence or guns waving happen on and around school property almost every year since I have lived here mire or less.

It reminds me of 9/11. Everyone so surprised. Why? Our ship off Yemen didn’t count? The former attack on the towers didn’t count? The officials responsible for safety didn’t clear the second tower, told everyone they are safe. Why? Because they didn’t think it was an attack? Why not?

You might be right. Now that this happened in affluent Newtown people might take it more seriously. Not a “gun” state (although parts of CT do have some gun violence problems) still CT is perceived as one of the Northeastern liberal states I guess.

Patton's avatar

@rooeytoo “But I can’t say too much, one should not whine about the country they live in.”

What? Why would you think that? Most of the countries that exist today exist thanks to people who were brave and patriotic enough to “whine” about wrongs they saw being committed.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Patton – I was recently insulted, (as opposed to personally attacked), accused of constantly whining by a jelly for making comments about our mutually adopted country. So I am now very cautious about my replies, tread on egg shells so to speak, in order to not incur this person’s wrath once again by pointing out problems.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@augustlan I too watched that video from the link you provided. It confirmed what I thought I knew: that in a real life and death situation I’d be a better target than a defender; that the aggressor would likely end up with my gun in their possession; or my shooting might well kill or injure an innocent bystander.

Like most people, I would not train regularly in a realistic, high stress situation and thus I would be ineffective in defending myself and others in the face of an armed assailant.

I urge experienced gun users to watch that video.

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