General Question

superjm457's avatar

Is some of the "pro-gun" peoples view correct?

Asked by superjm457 (14 points ) January 16th, 2013

In a civilian setting is the view of more guns instead of less (more powerful) guns correct?

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156 Answers

flo's avatar

No, there are countries that don’t need guns, maybe learning from them is the idea.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

No.

The gun lobby (which, by the way, is largely funded by gun manufacturers and dealers) has convinced fearful people that the next Hitler or Mussolini is waiting in the wings. Freedom can be upheld only if citizens are well-armed and can fight back. A few problems with this line of thought:

(1) No matter how large a personal arsenal might be, its owner has only two hands. An individual is no match for an army.

(2) When gun-owning civilians tried to fight Hitler and Mussolini’s forces, they were quickly defeated and then publicly shot or hanged.

(3) In the Warsaw Uprising, the Polish rebellion was well-manned and well-stocked with guns. The resistance lasted for an amazing 63 days but, ultimately, failed. All of the rebels were executed, and Germany retaliated by destroying 85% of the city.

(4) After WWII, isn’t interesting that German and Italian civilians—the very people who had lived under totalitarian rule—didn’t go on gun-buying rampages and stock their homes with weapons? Perhaps they knew, first hand, the futility of such actions?

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t think so. All possession of guns does is beget gun violence.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Probably.

This video is worth watching.

flo's avatar

They have no explanation for why they need the automatic, assault rifles, which have nothing to do with self -defense.

JLeslie's avatar

It seems that there are examples of countries and states in the US that have high gun ownership and have low gun violence, and examples of just the opposite. From what I can tell though, the odds are in favor overall of strict gun laws and low gun ownership equalling less gun violence.

I think what affects violence most are cultural reasons. Things like stress, mental illness, poverty, community safety, family stability, and other factors.

flo's avatar

Is that link about Global Warming? @the100thmonkey?

jerv's avatar

It depends.

I was born/raised in an area with lots of farms, many of which had livestock that needed protection from predators. I have eaten many a wild turkey and a few hunks of venison that came from friends/family who hunted.

@flo “Assault rifle” is a vague term, and one that CA legally defined broadly enough to include firearms that fit nobody else’s definition of the term. As for full-auto weapons, good luck getting one legally; it’s easier (and more legal) to get crack or meth.
However, the AR-15 (the semi-auto civilian version of the M-16) was the firearm of choice for many of the farmers I have known, and is a popular choice amongst others who have legitimate use for rifles.
Does the desire to protect one’s farm from predators fall too far outside your definition of “self-defense” to see a legitimate use for an AR-15? Is the desire to put 14 pounds of lean bird on the Thanksgiving table or fill your freezer with something tastier than cow make one evil?

@marinelife I take it you’ve never had venison or a wild turkey either, nor do you know anybody who owns livestock.

@JLeslie Given that some of the highest rates of gun violence in the US occur in places with strict gun control, and that gun violence rates are notably higher in areas where poverty is also high, I agree that it is a cultural thing; society is more of a problem than the guns.

flo's avatar

I’m referring the one used in the theatre Aurora, etc. There are the kinds you don’t need for hunting whatever you call them.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv The problem is a lot of the same people who want guns in the hands of everyone, also don’t care to help the poverty problem.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@flo – not really; it’s about polarisation in American politics.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Again, that falls back to society being messed up. You can’t fix crazy with legislation.

@flo I agree that there is no need for a 100-round drum magazine, but there were no automatic weapons or assault rifles used in that shooting. The M&P-15 used is a variant of the AR-15, and it is a semi-auto that comes with a 10— or 30-round magazine. I question the need for any magazine over 15 rounds, but feel that 10 is a bit too restrictive.

Just to check, you are aware of the difference between “automatic” and “semi-automatic”, right? I know it doesn’t help that semi-auto handguns are often called “automatic”, but not knowing the difference means that you are ignorant of the differences between a regular rifle and an actual assault rifle. It may seem like semantics, but it’s hard to take an argument seriously when it comes from somebody who either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or doesn’t know the right words to accurately present their case.

If you want a ban on full-auto weapons, we already have that. We used to (and may again) have bans on high-capacity magazines. If you want to ban the sorts of weapons used to protect farms, then how do you plan to compensate the farmers for their losses? And I assume that you want to ban hunting entirely as well, do you not?

bossob's avatar

My problem with the pro-gun people right now is that they haven’t offered any solutions that address the epidemic of mass murder we’ve been experiencing, or the gun violence that occurs on a daily basis in our big cities. Their idea of arming every teacher in the country is nothing but red meat for the base for financial gain. They haven’t justified their support for AR15 style weapons; they just want them, and claim protection under the Constitution. I say fine: in that case let’s legalize RPGs, C4, flamethrowers, 50 cal machine guns and tanks because they are weapons designed for war just like the AR15. What’s the difference. Hopefully, everybody thinks that last sentence is beyond absurd. Personally, I draw a line between weapons for sport, hunting, and self-defense, and those created for soldiers.

As others have said, the gun violence problems can only be addressed by a multi-prong approach that includes a look at poverty, societal values, mental health, weapon purchasing regulations, education, and magazine/clip restrictions.

glacial's avatar

@jerv Can you explain why it is so important for everyone having this conversation to be specific at this point about what type of gun should be banned? Whenever I read a gun enthusiast talking about how people in favour of gun control don’t understand what exactly the weapons are, it sounds like misdirection to me. If you do agree that there are some weapons that civilians shouldn’t have (or at least don’t need), isn’t that enough to be going on with at present? The implication seems to be that because some of the terminology spans “good” and “bad” guns, any sort of new ban meant to decrease the number of mass shootings will be impossible. Is this what you believe?

And… aren’t we all a little bit behind the times? President Obama has actually rolled out his executive orders, so let’s just see whether it can be done, shall we?

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Well, legislation can sometimes help. Just two days ago I was watching a show about a coach who was molesting and raping boys. One of the teens shot dead his parents and sister. Another one of the teens held a gun to the coaches head to get him to admit to abusing him to the boys mother. That scenerio is more likely to happen in a gun oriented community where the parents own guns then in a community that has no guns, especially none at home. These kids had just grabbed the guns in their houses.

jerv's avatar

@bossob The AR-15 isn’t designed for war. Granted, it is based on something that is (the M-16), but to continue to make that claim means that one also opposes every other semi-auto rifle out there, whether they were designed for war (or based on something that was) or not.
Are people aware that Superglue was originally invented to make gun sights, right? Superglue was designed for war, therefore it must also be bad, right? And many advances in trauma surgery come from the battlefield too, so no more advanced techniques for saving car crash victims.
My point here is simply that it’s hard to avoid being arbitrary and/or vague which leads to a problem that I will get into in my my reply to…

@glacial If you don’t want to deal specifics then you don’t want laws. The entire legal profession is all about specificity. An entire branch of government (the Judicial) is dedicated solely to interpreting laws. To think otherwise is to desire a government based on whim, fiat, and faerie farts rather than codified law.

As for, “Is that what you believe?”…. the short answer is Mu.

I wholeheartedly believe in unintended consequences and collateral damage. For instance, if guns were banned, how many jobs would be lost? I know quite a few people back East who work for various firearm manufacturers. Go ahead; look them in the eye and tell them you don’t care if they lose their jobs.
I am not an NRA supporter, nor am I a “Ban ALL the guns!” idealist. I am just a guy who has a sincere wish for people to take off their blinders, end their ignorance, and show foresight rather than act emotionally in a knee-jerk fashion and cause all sorts of other damage.

Do you see where I am coming from a little better now?

ETpro's avatar

If you mean the NRA and the trolls that are winding up the far right donor base with talk about even things like background checks being, “They’re coming to take your guns away.” then no, that’s not even close to right. But if you are talking about most gun owners, even NRA members, there is widespread support for common sense things like 100% background checks, no supper high capacity clips, and bans on new purchases of military style assault weapons.

The NRA rabid-right management is on the wrong side of this debate. Republican polster and talking point guru, Frank Luntz, found that 74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners supported mandatory background checks for all gun purchases. This is just common sense. Right now, 40% of all gun sales are at shows or between private parties where no background check is required. That means a terrorist on the no fly list could buy a whole truckload of hardware like this capable of a simple mod to do this. He can’t get on a plane even unarmed, but he can buy a truckload of weapons and the stuff to modify them all to fire full auto. Does this make sense? What peaceful purpose does it serve?

jerv's avatar

@ETpro The fact that certain weapons can be converted to full-auto has always struck me as a bad thing. On the one hand, I can see how a manufacturer would want to have common parts between their civilian and their military hardware to cut costs. On the other hand, it was shortsightedly optimistic to not see the problems that would cause. Glock soaked the cost, and the Glock 18 (a pistol capable of burst/full-auto) uses parts that will not fit into the rest of their lineup; a move that the engineer in me approves of.

bossob's avatar

@jerv Actually, I’m undecided about AR15 style weapons being legal. As you say, farmers and ranchers have found a practical use for them. And it makes sense to me that rifle technology is always advancing and the look of the weapon changes as well. I might find them reasonable if magazines were limited, and full-auto capability was beyond the ability of alI but the best machinists. I find it amusing to think that a cowboy on the ranch no longer pulls his carbine from his saddle’s scabbard, but instead pulls an AR15 from a fiberglass gun case mounted on his 4 wheeler.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin Then you better tell the Syrian rebels to lay down their arms, and the Lybian rebels that they didn’t actually win. What about the Somali’s? They did a pretty good job against the Delta Forces.

The Warsaw uprising failed because the Russian forces stopped across the river and let the Nazis clean out the rebels so they wouldn’t have to do it once they were in control.

The Nazis also failed to destroy the French underground, despite having all the weapons.

CWOTUS's avatar

The United States is one of the few countries in the world (part of a vanishing number) that openly acknowledges the right of its citizens to own and operate firearms.

Many countries make it more or less illegal, and some “permit” ownership, but only after very Byzantine (and expensive) application, licensing and permitting processes, and then the carry and operation of the weapons are much further curtailed “by law”. But that doesn’t make guns impossible to acquire or to use in those countries, just “completely illegal”. It should be noted that “illegality” does not at all make guns unknown in those places. That’s key. It just means that a lot more people have a lot less respect for the law.

I wish that people would understand this fact. The United States makes ownership a right, and curtails the right (correctly, many times) for various prior offenses. This means that most Americans prefer to follow their laws, and it helps to make the United States more “law-abiding” than many countries whose citizens routinely flout their laws, bribe their policemen and judges, and because of class, caste, financial status or other leverage that they have over “the common citizens” get away with breaking laws and ignoring laws as it suits them.

I would prefer that the United States remain a law-abiding place where we don’t routinely resort to bribes, threats, extortion, blackmail, intimidation and other law-breaking practices to get out way. That is “our ways” should be mostly legal except for reasonable, defensible and practical reasons why “some things should be illegal” ... and I want to respect that.

If laws are passed that too much restrict or abrogate my rights, as defined in my Constitution, then, speaking strictly for myself, I will unwillingly but quite deliberately become a law-breaker. That is an absolute and certain promise. I don’t want to go to that place, because once I decide to become a lawbreaker, deliberately, I might decide “Why stop there?” Not only will I become a law-breaker, but I will support other law-breakers and promote the decision of others to decide which laws are no longer worth supporting.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS You seem to be talking about countries like Mexico and other developing countries with your examples of bribery and extortion. What about Australia and most of western Europe? Strict gun laws, respect for law, some of those countries have more trust in government than we do, probably less bribery than I have seen in the US.

CWOTUS's avatar

I was trying to find the statistics to disprove your belief, @JLeslie, but I just don’t have the time for it. This is the middle of my workday, and I have to get back to it. I’ll try another time to post a link that might open your eyes.

Though they might be “technically illegal” in the UK and Australia, it’s not at all uncommon for citizens to own weapons anyway. It’s just entirely under the radar, and it makes otherwise law-abiding people technical criminals.

rooeytoo's avatar

I just read that since John Howard had the gun buyback some years ago, wherein about 1 million guns were turned in, 1 million more have been legally acquired. And customs claimed they foiled the import of 250,000 illegal weapons of all sorts. There are gun murders in Australia virtually every day and there are many illegal guns already here, customs apparently didn’t catch them all. So there is no easy answer. I hate to say it, but I think it is just a question of time until there is a mass shooting incident here.

When this conversation comes up I always think of the old bumper sticker and the great amount of truth there is in it “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

cazzie's avatar

I grew up in a hunting family. The weapons were never expected to be used for self defence against another human being. Dad never saw any reason for automatic weapons other than for warfare of some sort and, as far as he was concerned, when WW2 ended, so did his wartime service.

Guns for hunting only. That is the end of my reasoning on it.

I think people don’t realise that, today, the word, ‘guns’ encompasses a shitload of weaponry. Most of which are NOT manufactured for hunting, which, to my mind, should be outlawed.

These crazies that think they need an arsenal to keep safe from the boogie man or their own government need serious counselling in the form of some type of 12 step program.

glacial's avatar

@jerv I understand that for laws to be written, specifics must be named. What I am reacting to is seeing gun enthusiasts shut down conversations about gun control because the people in the conversation can’t name these specifics. My point is, lawmakers will be able to draw these lines. It’s what they do. They will find a way to word things in such a way that all or most of the weapons deemed “bad” can be made illegal for civilians. I just don’t think it makes sense to hold up a hand to everyone who does not know everything about guns in fora like Fluther and say, “you don’t get to discuss this topic because you can’t tell an AR-15 from a [insert appropriate other gun here]”. The ability of members of this collective to discern an automatic from a semi-automatic or know exactly where the two meet should not determine their ability to discuss whether there can or should be tighter restrictions on guns ownership. It can determine their ability to make law, but no one here is trying to do that.

And, I will add, although it is not related to what I was trying to discuss, yes I could look people in the eye and tell them they must lose jobs because fewer weapons will be made. Of course I could. We cannot freeze the world in this moment in time, and produce nothing but the goods we produce now. That would mean an end to all progress, whether industrial or social.

jerv's avatar

@glacial Do we want to be governed by facts, or merely sentiment. Any legislation has far-reaching consequences and therefore must be carefully thought out, which in turn requires informed decision-making. How can you be against something without knowing what you are against? If we want to go with whatever wave of ill-informed public sentiment is popular at the moment, why have government at all; just go with mob rules.

Given how lawmakers have reacted in the past, I do not share your optimism that they will figure it out. I have seen some extremely poor laws that seemed good yet had serious flaws.

I never said that people could not discuss a matter due to lack of knowledge, merely that I personally have difficulty lending much weight to arguments that are vague, or based on misinformation. What set me off about @flo‘s post was the ambiguity and a factual error, which made me wonder what was being opposed; assault rifles, or guns in general. I don’t handle confusion very gracefully, and tact isn’t my strong suit, so I probably did come across a bit snippy. (Sorry, @flo)

You are correct that we cannot freeze the world in time, but how do you plan to handle the massive surge in unemployment? Or is your desire to try to reduce gun deaths so strong that you don’t care how many people lose their homes and starve? I doubt it, but my point still stands that if you act without considering the consequences and the ripple effect, you may well cause more harm than a whole army of assault rifle wielding maniacs.

phaedryx's avatar

I’m still mulling over the issue.

Here are some pro-gun ideas that are interesting to me:

If someone has entered your house with intent to harm you, and you call the police, they won’t arrive in time.

A world without guns is a world without their equalizing effect. It is a world where the young can take from the old and the strong can bully the weak.

Per capita gun ownership increases as you move from urban to rural (30% of urban households and 60% of rural households), but gun violence increases as you move from rural to urban (much higher in bigger cities).

There are over 300 million guns in USA already, laws won’t keep someone who wants a gun from getting one.

Mass shootings happen in areas where it is unlikely there will be other people with guns (e.g. schools, movie theatre).

It requires a good person with a gun to stop a bad person with a gun.

If you were trapped in a building with someone who was shooting everyone they encountered, would you really wish that nobody with you had a gun?

With some training, you can reload a gun in under a second. Limiting the magazine size will have little effect.

————-

I’m want reasonable gun laws that will keep guns out of the wrong hands. I’m worried that we’ll have laws with unintended side effects.

CWOTUS's avatar

The funny thing is, @rooeytoo, I’m not an outlaw and I don’t have a gun. If they become illegal, then I will be a gun-owner and an outlaw.

LostInParadise's avatar

One simple thing that could be done would be to limit the number of guns a person could buy in a given time period. That would help stop the use of people acting as fences to illegally distribute guns to those with criminal records.

cazzie's avatar

@phaedryx wrote: ” I’m (sic) want reasonable gun laws that will keep guns out of the wrong hands. I’m worried that we’ll have laws with unintended side effects. ”

Don’t you already have gun laws with unintended side effects? (Concealled carry and ‘Stand your Ground.’ the unlisenced dealers in guns at gun shows that are not required to do background checks on people they sell to?) The purchases of semi-automatic handguns and extended magazines remain legal without a criminal background check at gun shows.

rooeytoo's avatar

@CWOTUS – I have never owned a gun because I have a firey temper but also because I have always had dogs. I always figured the dogs and I together could handle just about anyone. And now I have a husband to help as well. But yes, I don’t like being told I can’t have one so that would indeed probably induce me to acquire one.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
KNOWITALL's avatar

My husband and I classify ourselves as liberal Republicans, but were most impressed with Obama’s speech yesterday, and agreed with much of what he said and is signing.

None of us want kids to die and theatre’s to get shot up, but the mental health aspect being put forth by Republicans is a significant issue that I hope hits home, and gets the mental health system some additional funding.

That being said, a lot of people we know in our rural area DO feel as though more guns are better for many reasons. A majority are ex-military and law enforcement.

glacial's avatar

@jerv Thanks, that at least somewhat addresses my question. I will try not to see it as a stalling tactic when I see you do this. I don’t believe for a moment that knowing the inner workings of all guns (or of any gun) is necessary to qualify people for this discussion, and you must realize that most politicians – who are driving legislation – do not have that qualification either.

I disagree that the failing of prior legislation is on the part of lawmakers and their ability to find the correct terminology. I think it is a lack of political will. There has not yet been enough consensus among politicians to get this done properly when attempted. I hope it is different this time.

Job losses, again… yes, people will adapt. They have to, just as they would have to if the product they were making went out of fashion, or was replaced by something better. It happens, @jerv. You can’t prop up an industry forever just because people have jobs there now.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL If I lived in a rural area, where dialing 911 might not bring help for a half hour or mere, I’d want a 12 gauge, automatic shotgun with a 5-round magazine. Six rounds from that, one chambered and five in the magazine, would handle any likely home invasion short of a full-on al Qaeda assault.

I share your hope that Republicans push for serious progress on the mental health front. That’s one place where both parties ought to be able to agree and move.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS Are you saying Germany, Denmark, and Belgium have as much bribery and extortion as countries like Mexico, Nigeria, and Argentina?

cazzie's avatar

I think the need to arm yourself for defence against another human is a reflection of one’s conscience. (and you are really bad at statistics so that you can’t realise that those WITH guns are several times more likely to be killed by a gun, even their own.)

warkina's avatar

I just don’t get it. The only guns I’ve ever seen in the UK were on the belts of police officers in airports. And I’m not even sure that they needed them. It’s certainly true that you can’t shoot someone if you don’t have a gun.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@warkina But our ancestors left Europe behind for freedom, because even the Amish couldn’t sing, they had to speak their prayers. They risked their lives to flee unfair persecution. In our Civil War, a lot of people used their own weapons to fight for what they believed in. It’s our history and tradition, like it or not.

I really don’t expect people from other countries to understand how much Americans value their freedom, or at least a lot of us. And yes, I’ve heard of militia’s being formed, and don’t think for one minute these people would hesitate to defend their loved ones, homes or country, because I’m firmly convinced that even the least patriotic American in my area would stand up to oppression. It’s the American way.

*And I have lived with guns all my life and never have been hurt or seen anyone else hurt, unless it was purposefully self-inflicted suicide, which happened once by a lawyer.

jerv's avatar

@glacial I don’t remember saying anything about propping up an industry; I was wondering what your transition plan was. The way the economy has been the last few years has our economy in a precarious position already. We are in no position to reabsorb the displaced workers we have now, so they would be living on the taxpayers dime for quite s while, which has it’s own issues.

@warkina I have to agree with @KNOWITALL that you seem to ignoring our cultural differences. You don’t understand our relationship with guns the same way that most Americans don’t get why Europeans love soccer.

Pachy's avatar

The following stats are my answer to your question:

* On Jan. 15, an average day gun-killing wise, there were 30 gun-related murders and 162 people wounded by firearms in the country, based on figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together with the 53 people who kill themselves with a firearm each day, according to the CDC, that comes to three people being killed by a gun per hour and almost seven people shot every 60 minutes.

* The United States has the highest rate of gun-related injuries among developed countries and the highest rate of gun ownership and the highest rate of officers.

jerv's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Note that the distribution doesn’t match the laws though; some of the places with the strictest laws have higher rates while some with lax laws have lower rates. No correlation, therefore no logical basis to deduce causation.

phaedryx's avatar

@cazzie I agree with you that there are currently laws with bad side effects, e.g. stand your ground.

flo's avatar

So many excuses, so little time.

Pachy's avatar

@jerv, people are dying. That’s really all I care about.

jerv's avatar

Relevant

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room So you don’t care about anything else? You would cause economic turmoil and untold hardship to have a sense of false security by doing things that have been proven to be at best marginally effective?

I like to solve problems. People dying is a problem. Believe me, I don’t like seeing people get shot any more than you do. Thing is, laws don’t always work. If they did, explain DC and Chicago. Explain how gun violence is more closely correlated to poverty rates than to the regional strictness of gun laws.

Correlation is not causation, and coincidence sure as hell isn’t. Notice that the US consumes the most gasoline of any nation in the world? Gasoline consumption leads to gun violence! Sounds ridiculous, but no more so than your fallacious linking of facts in a previous post.

I know your heart is in the right place, but that doesn’t mean that you are right. There have been many atrocities committed for just reasons, and even more mistakes made with the best of intentions. I want the deaths to end too, and that is why I cannot agree with you; I am after a solution that works, not a knee-jerk emotional reaction that will do little/no good yet cause many problems.

Pachy's avatar

@jerv, thanks for reminding me why why I don’t get into gun talks online. Take care.

emilianate's avatar

Actually, as the poverty rate rose

2006 – 12.3
2007 – 12.5
2008 – 13.2
2009 – 14.3
2010 – 15.1

the crime rate went down.

2006 – 5.7
2007 – 5.6
2008 – 5.4
2009 – 5.0
2010 – 4.8
2011 – 4.7

jerv's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I meant no offense, merely to explain how I view things. We really are on the same side here.

@emilianate As a national average, yes. Looking at maps of firearm related deaths per capita compared to poverty rates and you see the picture is a bit different.

But here is an interactive map that displays both ownership and death rates per 100,000; lets see what we find…

VT – 14th in ownership, 30th in gun death rate.
TX – 19th in ownership, 25th in gun death rate; fewer guns, more gun deaths.
FL – 41st in ownership, 19th in gun death rate; even fewer guns, even more deaths.
LA – 13th in ownership, 1st in gun death rate; not many more guns than VT, yet there is a huge difference between gun death rates.

As you can see, the relationship between gun ownership and gun death rates is pretty random. That tells me that there are other factors at work.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s ironic you mention militias and the founding principles of Americans. The 2nd amendment was ratified to preserve slavery. Different culture indeed.

@jerv Why do you need an AR-15 to defend livestock? What’s wrong with a shotgun? Are your cows being assaulted by bullet-proof vest wearing T-Rexes?

I think there are sensible restrictions such as the velocity of the rounds and their ability to penetrate walls as an example, or rounds designed to penetrate Kevlar, etc. Or guns designed for very long range that would never be useful in a self-defense situation (but would be great for assassinations, or terrorizing people in DC)—and yes I realize they may be useful to hunters, but maybe they’ll have to get a little closer—I can live with that.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws Shotguns lack range and accuracy compared to a rifle, and semi-auto is far superior to other actions if you are dealing with a pack. I get your point to an extent, but if a semi-auto rifle is what is needed, and a company with a lot of expertise and a reputation for quality puts one on the market, why wouldn’t it become popular? Toyota sells more cars than Yugo did, or than Nabisco ever will for that reason.

Rifles are “working guns” and not suited for self-defense or close-quarters; they are for when you need to put down an animal at 200 yards. Farms are big, and not every instance where a gun is required is within effective handgun range. Muzzle velocity is required to have any sort of accuracy at range. I see no reason for armor-piercing rounds in civilian hands, but frangible rounds may shatter when fired from a rifle, so there is no way to reduce penetration without lowering muzzle velocity below the limits of usability. Physics is a bitch. There is also the fact that frangible ammo is against the Geneva Convention as it causes undue suffering.

You also overlook the ease of handloading; it isn’t hard to make your own ammo, but it’s practically impossible to make a weapon that will reject those rounds without becoming unreliable or unsafe with regular ammo. That goes back to why the AR-15 is popular; it doesn’t blow up in your face when you pull the trigger.

BTW, how close would you get to a pack of coy-dogs or a bear? And would you rather incapacitate them, or annoy them and have them come after you? Sadly, the very qualities that allow my old neighbors to keep their livestock and thus make a living can be used by evil people to commit atrocities.

jerv's avatar

Too late to edit

That said, I see no real need for magazines bigger than 15 rounds, and as previously stated I also see no call for armor-piercing ammunition, though I do see a use for Teflon-coated bullets. (Contrary to urban myth, coating a bullet in Teflon does not allow it to penetrate Kevlar vests; it simply reduces barrel wear the same way motor oil prevents engine wear.) Full-auto and burst-fire should remain out of civilian hands as there is no legitimate need for those. I do have my limits on what I consider acceptable, and agree that there need to be sensible restrictions.

But I would rather see criminals more restricted than law-abiding citizens too. The entire reason there is so much call for gun control right now isn’t based on a hatred of guns, but on the desire to stop senseless killings. And it seems senseless to me to cause more problems than are solved with solutions that will barely inconvenience criminals.

bossob's avatar

This thread has helped pushed me off the fence regarding firearm ownership. Although I’ve never been vocally against it, I’ve often tried to imagine a country without firearms, and how we could realistically achieve that goal. Not anymore. I followed a link that a Jelly posted in this thread. Then I made a few mouse mouse clicks from that site, and found myself watching a teaching video about how to make a shotgun. I had never considered (perhaps naively) that anyone less skilled than a machinist could make a practical firearm. I could go into my garage right now, scrounge for the ubiquitous off-the-shelf materials necessary, and with a hacksaw and drill, make a shotgun in less than 15 minutes. Therein, is the futility of an all-weapons ban. If someone wanted a weapon, they wouldn’t have to cavort in the black market underworld; they could just make one. An all-weapons ban could be no more successful than Prohibition or the war against marijuana, where citizens brewed or grew their own behind closed doors. I could argue my interpretation of the Second Amendment ‘till I was blue in the face; pragmatically, guns are here to stay. I’m over it.

I have sympathy for gun enthusiasts. They respect the potentials of weapons; they’re responsible gun owners; and they aren’t the ones causing the problems. It must be frustrating for them. Since so many of them claim to be patriots, I don’t understand why they aren’t more pro-active about solving the gun violence problem in their country. Their sole solution of putting a pistol on the hip of every citizen in the country isn’t going to solve our problems; we would only end up re-enacting the Wild Wild West of the 19th century, complete with vigilante posses. As I recall, the Federal government had to step in at the local level to stem the violence. That’s one part of our history that we should avoid repeating.

From what I understand, President Obama’s weapon-related proposals addressing the mass murders, would not have prevented them; they would have only reduced the carnage. The proposals are part of a larger agenda to address the societal issues that contributed to the murders. In that context, the proposals about background checks and magazine size make sense. I can’t find the post where a Jelly said that the Second Amendment is a right and therefore can’t be restricted. As I’m not a legal scholar, I’m trying to understand that comment by comparing it to my First Amendment right to free speech that legally restricts me from yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. It appears to me that there is precedence to restrict individual rights in order to protect the many…or is my thinkin’ stinkin’?

jerv's avatar

@bossob That is another part of why I too opposes a full ban; I know how to make things. Granted, I am a machinist. And it’s sad how so many of h=the extremist pro-gun people scream about rights yet forget about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Well, except when it comes to banning abortion; they are all over right-to-life then.

gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv ” and semi-auto is far superior to other actions if you are dealing with a pack.”
...and a fully-auto is even better than that, but here’s my point, maybe a pump-action shotgun or a bolt-action 22, loud music, clanging pans, smoke from a fire, or other ways of chasing off predators that have worked remarkably well for mankind for the 10’s of thousands of years prior, and all of the farmers in countries that don’t have AR-15’s but still manage to keep their livestock alive. Is it harder than using an AR-15? of course, but it’s not THAT much harder—we have the most advanced brains of any species, we have opposable thumbs, doors that lock and buildings with walls, are capable of producing very loud noises and scaring the shit out of wildlife.

In 2011 over 8.5 thousand people were murdered with firearms that’s nearly 3 times the number killed in 9/11, and it’s happening every year. So I’m perfectly ok with making it a LITTLE harder for farmers who want to raise livestock in predator-infested territory, if that means that we can reduce that number significantly. People buy guns from red-necks at gun shows in rural states like mine (VA) fill up their trunks dive up north and then sell them to gangsters in the inner cities where they’re used to kill a lot more people than coy-dogs. Ironic that an amendment written to help white people profit from the killing of black people in the 1700’s is now being used to help white people profit from the killing of black people, isn’t it?

I don’t think we need civilians with .50 cal rifles that can shoot through brick and concrete walls, disable vehicles, etc. I don’t have a problem with lowering the velocity of rounds, people will have to get closer to their targets (I’m cool with that). Nobody is defending their homes from burglars at a range of 3 football fields, and if you can’t get in your truck and drive out to where the bear is, or build a bigger fence, then maybe you should get into a different line of work. Last I checked coy-dogs can’t open the door to your pickup. Manufacturing ice cubes in the desert isn’t the best way to run a business, and if you can’t keep your animals safe from predators without semi-auto versions of military weapons then you’re probably in the wrong line of work too.

Also the idea that if it can be made at home, it shouldn’t be illegal is a stupid argument. People can easily make pipe bombs, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be illegal. Or that if we ban pipe bombs, the only people with bombs are the bad guys… well ok I can live with that too, especially if that means they can be arrested and put in jail.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws Actually, no. The recoil of a Full-auto weapon spoils accuracy; you don’t have time to reacquire your target before the next round gives another jolt. In that regard, it’s at least as bad as any action that must be manually worked like a bolt or pump. Also, modern animals are less afraid of things like clanging pots than they used to be before spending many generations around noisy humans.
I agree with background checks for all gun purchases; I see no reason for guns to be easier to get legally than cars. And I am on the fence about super-long-range guns that, as a side effect of the physics required to shoot accurately at 800 yards, possess the ability to go through an engine block.
Are you a vegetarian, or would you not mind the price of beef skyrocketing? Have you ever been any appreciable distance from your vehicle? Have you seen the price of miles of fencing; even simple wire fences are pricey, and one capable of stopping predators would be ridiculous. Even the US government has a hard time with the cost, so it’s definitely out of the range of farmers who have smaller budgets than Uncle Sam.
You are correct that nobody defends themselves from burglars at 300 yards; that is what handguns are for. By the same token, my toolbox has both wrenches and screwdrivers so that I have the right tool for the job.

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gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv I could kill a pack of wolves with This faster than you could with an AR-15. People protect their livestock in many places around the world without AR-15’s, and it was done for thousands of years before they were invented too. My point is that we shouldn’t optimize our gun legislation to make the efficiency of livestock protection the most important priority, we should optimize our laws to reduce murder, and if that makes farmer have to work a little harder, then so-be-it. I think it’s a distraction to the central idea which is: how much lethality/firepower do we trust to any non-police/non-military citizen?

I think nearly everyone agrees that shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets aren’t something that civilians should ever have access to, even if they’ve had a thorough background check, and the fact that it’s never been used to kill a single American civilian in the US. Even with all of that, we still don’t trust those to be out there on the market, Why? It’s because it could get stolen, or the guy could snap, or a thousand other scenarios could occur where that weapon could be used against a civilian airliner and kill hundreds of people.

If we apply all of the arguments that the pro-gun people use to shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets, the logical absurdity of their arguments become apparent (Reductio ad adsurdum). The fact is, as a matter ensuring the public safety, we need limits on how much firepower we allow our citizens to have access to. So it comes down to figuring out how much is reasonable. With every restriction, yes it makes lives a little harder for legit gun owners, but it also will probably save lives and that is the balance that needs to be struck.

And yes, I’ve fired semi-autos before, been out in nature. I’m decent at hitting clay pigeons with a shotgun. Shooting is fun, and can be done safely/responsibly etc. But the benefits don’t outweigh the cost in blood. Also, I don’t eat beef (for cholesterol reasons), but have nothing against people who do. I think you’re exaggerating the effect of lower caliber riffles will have on the price of a steak.

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jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws If you don’t know the issues inherent in a full-auto shotgun, or in using a shotgun against targets outside the effective range of a handgun (both are only good to ~40–50 yards), or the concept of collateral damage (shotguns are area-effect weapons; less than ideal if your target is within 50 feet of something you don’t want to hit), and are focusing solely on the ability to put lead into the air then I see no way we can continue this discussion; we seem to be at an impasse. Or maybe I am misreading you.

Yes, we do need limits, but unlike you, I see those limits as being necessarily higher than making firearms impractical with nothing to replace them in legitimate-use cases than you do. Would you propose that we fight air pollution by making cars illegal, or would you find another way to do it, such as alternative energy which can get the same job done in a different manner? Swinging that back around to the gun context, how do you propose to fulfill the needs of legitimate gun owners in an acceptable manner? It’s difficult since legitimate users and psycho-killers have the same needs, but most of the suggestions I’ve heard from you are more of an inconvenience to those that shoot animals than they are to those who shoot people.

As someone who grew up around farms and in the company of hunters, I think I have a different take on things than people who grew up within 100 miles of a major city. Until I moved to Seattle, I had lived for nearly a decade in a place that was over a mile from pavement and had my daily commute halted more than a few times by an assortment of turkeys, deer, bears, and moose.

@cazzie @KNOWITALL We already have one conflict in this thread, so please take it outside.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@gorillapaws have you ever hunted in the rocky mountains? The last time I hunted elk there, the closest I could get to the elk I wanted was 600 yds with half an hour of legal hunting time left.

It is easy to say sneak closer, but I would have had to climb 1000’ down and 1000’ back up the canyon to have gotten closer, if he would have stayed where he was.

glacial's avatar

@WestRiverrat Is it really that difficult to weigh the importance of your ability to shoot an elk in the Rocky Mountains to the ability of some random guy to shoot up a elementary school? Incredibly, I find that I don’t care whether you can bring down that elk or not.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@glacial, how would limiting the effective range of my hunting equipment prevent a mass killing in a school?

jerv's avatar

@glacial Consider the number of hunters compared to the number of killers and I think you will see that the balance is against you, especially considering that many of the atrocities you wish to prevent were done at short (handgun) ranges, thus making limiting rifle ranges irrelevant and such arguments a Straw Man fallacy.

If you wish to harm many for a slim chance of helping a few, you would do better to ban motor vehicles.

bossob's avatar

@jerv has made some rational suggestions, and as he suggested, terminology is important.

From a non-historian’s point of view: first we had muzzle loaders; then single shot bolt action rifles, then repeating carbines, then semi-auto rifles (one shot per trigger pull), then automatic rifles (pull the trigger, keep it pulled, and the rounds keep a’comin’). Each of these rifle styles was developed and improved in war. They were then adopted by civilians for civilian use in sport, defense, and hunting. The Feds began regulating automatic rifles (sometimes called machine guns) during and after Prohibition when gangsters were making headlines about the carnage they were causing with machine guns.

What gets confusing is that a superior automatic weapon was created for war, and then it was adapted as a semi-automatic for civilian use. Non-gun enthusiasts sometimes don’t realize that for many people (like farmers and ranchers), a gun is a tool to be used on a regular basis as part of their job. If you’re a tool guy or gal, or appreciate quality kitchen knives, or grooming scissors, or sewing machines, you can understand why a person who uses a firearm routinely on the job, would want the best product on the market.

The public discussion on the national level would be well served if more people understood that the AR15 is nothing more than the latest improvement, over the course of centuries, to the basic rifle, and it is not an automatic machine gun designed for war.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please remember: This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

jerv's avatar

@bossob History is important as the wishes of our forefathers must be interpreted and adhered to while also bearing in mind that things have changed considerably over the last couple of centuries. When they expressed a desire for free speech, did they envision that there would ever be a medium that could spread messages to billions of people instantly? I would wager that they didn’t even envision that there would ever be seven billion humans on Earth.

So, how do we reconcile the wishes of our founders with the technology of the 21st century?

gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv I thought we were talking about getting close to the predators (you were mentioning fear of being attacked, and these animals won’t get you from afar).

@bossob “the AR15 is nothing more than the latest improvement, over the course of centuries, to the basic rifle, and it is not an automatic machine gun designed for war.” Except that it’s based on one that is, and with a fully legal hellfire trigger that simulates a fully auto rifle or what @ETpro linked at the top, these things can be converted into a fully automatic weapon. But here’s the thing, they were designed to handle it from the get-go because they’re a dumbed down version of a military weapon. If someone wanted to figure out how to jerry rig a bolt action rifle into a fully auto, It’s not going to work nearly as reliably as what’s currently possible with the AR-15. So your statement is wrong, there’s a lot more to be concerned about with the AR-15 and it’s friends than just another semi-auto rifle.

@WestRiverrat yes, I think maybe you’d have to get closer to the elk if that means it’s harder for people to use weapons designed to travel accurately at 600 yards, and if you don’t get to kill the elk that day because you ran out of time, then you may have to wait another day. For me it’s mostly not about school shootings, but about 2 things:

1. There are a lot of innocent people who get killed with guns in inner cities, and a big part of that is ammo with lots of powder behind it (like the kind that can hit an elk at 600 yards), has too much energy to stop when it hits walls, but keeps going and ends up killing innocents, which is a major problem when you take weapons designed to be used in open spaces, and put them in urban environments with lots of civilians in close proximity, such as an apartment building.

2. I don’t trust my fellow citizens unless they’re in a uniform (police, military, the national guard—aka the “well regulated militia”). Even still, I’m not completely at peace with people having that kind of firepower, but at least there is supervision by people with the proper training, a chain of command, and checks/balances in place to limit this kind of thing. Sure it’s related to school shootings, but it’s also related to the potential of what a terrorist could potentially do with these weapons, or what the next Branch Dividians could do. It doesn’t take much creativity to think up some pretty chilling scenarios that could easily take place with the currently available weapons, a will to kill as many civillians as possible, and no fear of death could achieve. This is something the mentally ill suicide gunman and terrorists both have in common.

I’m not 100% decided on what I think the available firepower should be, but my inclination is something like allowing shotguns, lower caliber(still not sure where that line should be drawn, but I think it should take into consider how easily a bullet can penetrate walls and still maintain lethal velocities. bolt-action rifles, and black powder guns for hunters, and shotguns/revolvers for self-defense/home protection. Perhaps, Military vets would be allowed to possess more powerful weapons privately (but I’m not sure if this is even necessary or a good idea). The biggest defining feature of these weapons is that in the average person’s hands, these have a much lower rounds per minute firing rate than what’s currently available, giving people time to run/hide, more time for police to arrive, and possibly providing a window of opportunity for someone brave to charge the shooter when he’s pausing to reload.

bossob's avatar

@gorillapaws I suggested that most civilian rifles were based on improvements and upgrades to military rifles. Trickle down. It’s just like the standard features on my vehicle originated on the race track. The AR15 is unusual because it made such a giant leap in advancement all at once. Keep in mind that the military version was commissioned by the government in order to upgrade its predecessor. It’s unfortunate that some forward thinking individual involved in the process didn’t initiate action to regulate the civilian market from the get go. Or maybe they did, and it didn’t work. No matter; it’s too late now.

The Feds have been trying to regulate automatic weapons since Prohibition. The biggest obstacle has been the English language. It’s very difficult to specify regulations in sufficient detail that will stand up in a court of law. And when they make a specific regulation, the manufacturers find a legal way around them. It’s the way our system works. And nobody knows how to work around the law better than politicians and their buddies! I get the impression that you would like to ban assault rifles. Define an ‘assault rifle’. It might take enough text to fill a book. And then the manufacturers would find a way to make the same product that is not in violation. “AR15” is a specific product, but it has almost become a generic term that represents a product; like Q-Tips is to cotton swabs. If you try to specifically ban an AR15, they’ll call it a RA51.

The AR-15 is one of the most adaptable rifle platforms in history. Do you know what caliber rounds the AR15 fires? (trick question!) You could fire inexpensive .22 caliber rounds all morning long, and at lunch time, make a few quick changes so you could spend the afternoon firing any number of larger caliber rounds, including expensive, special purpose rounds. There are numerous after-market products made by multiple manufacturers that can change the look and size of the rifle and maximize the effectiveness for the intended purpose. It can handle a long barrel and stock for accurate target shooting or hunting, or put on a short barrel and stock for defense purposes. And nearly everything else can be optioned out as well.

Different government agencies have been successful at regulating clearly definable specs: barrel length, overall length, semi-automatic and automatic, and capacities. And yet, politicians play their games such that there are exceptions to all of the regs. Federal politicians could seriously crack down on automatic weapons and conversion work-arounds, for existing and new manufacturing, but the consequences would be untenable.

Currently, the country is looking to accomplish two objectives: reduce the incidences of mass murder, and reduce the carnage when they occur. Reducing the frequency will be accomplished by focusing on mental health, culture, and poverty. When someone uses a firearm to commit a mass murder, the damage can be reduced by limiting magazine size. When bullets are used at such a close range, as in a classroom, it’s meaningless to make distinctions between velocities and effects of contact. If you get hit, you’re screwed. I don’t know if automatic weapons have been used in mass murders, but it would be possible, to a limited extent, to put better restrictions on them.

Although I have some ‘traditional’ style firearms, the AR15 scares the shit out of me. It’s too cool, too easy, too fun, too cheap, too versatile, and because of that, it’s created a culture of gun ownership that is very appealing and intoxicating, and that generates more interest and volume of product sold. I get it, even if I don’t like it, but I’ve yet to hear a pragmatic course of action that deals with it.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws We were. You have just proven a lack of understanding about the physics of ballistics, or about shooting. Or did you not understand that it’s hard to run 300 yards across a field in the time it takes for a pack to take down a sheep, thus making long-range weapons necessary? Invent teleportation and then I might see things differently.

You seem to have a thing against accuracy too, so why not make it illegal to have a weapon that can be aimed? Or limit gun ownership to those suffering from Parkinson’s disease?

You want to limit rate of fire in ways that make IEDs look more attractive. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I will say that it implies that you really hate accuracy though, or maybe you July don’t grasp how a followup shot is sometimes important for things other than massacres.

BTW, the best penetration is achieved with a smaller projectile as penetration is basically energy divided by cross-section. You might want to rethink caliber-based limits. And forget about basing it on total muzzle energy either.

Also, I think that the fact that we have things such as the Hellfire trigger shows you the difficulty with legislation that I alluded to earlier.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I could have gotten a closer shot at that elk earlier, but it would not have been a safer shot. The closer shot would have had the elk skylined on the ridge top. Would you rather I shot it closer not knowing what was behind it or safely with the side of the mountain as a backstop?

And I was hunting with a single shot rifle capable of taking elk at that range.

jerv's avatar

@WestRiverrat Many people think that bullets fired into the air disappear, honestly unaware that what goes up will come down, possibly miles away. I, for one, applaud your insistence on having a backstop.

flo's avatar

The passion for Soccer in Europe is comparable to Football in America, not to the love of guns by the way.

jerv's avatar

@flo So you are refuting my point that Europe and America have different cultures? Or that people from one culture may not understand things about the other? Please elaborate. I meant that as a simile, not a direct “guns = soccer” comparison, but it seems that that wasn’t quite clear.

flo's avatar

This is our “culture”. is an excuse that people who run out of valid reason/s go to all the time. It is completely meanigless. Lots of horrid practices in the world are/were “cultural” and we do away we them, after allowing ourselves to become….(fill in the blank) @jerv.

Is this thread is becoming more of a competition about who knows more about guns? A bystander might get misled, you know? “Oh, the pro guns must be winning in logic department because they know more about guns” Not.

If 2 people are addicted to smoking, equally, the one who says I have to stop riight now, I don’t want to be part of the problem,” is the one you want not the one who says “yes but…..” “No, but…..” who comes up with facts or “facts” till the cows come home.

jerv's avatar

@flo How do you propose to change culture? By force? Think about it.

And no, it isn’t who knows more about guns; it’s who can think more logically, who can make things work in the really real world instead of idealistic theory, and who can actually solve the correct problem.

If your house was on fire, would you check the air in your tires? Reboot your computer? No; you would do something to put out the damn fire. Well, I would at least; I won’t speak for you.

Now, if a violent culture wants guns, do you try and fail to restrict access? Remember how well Prohibition worked, and note what the anti-gun sentiment has done to gun sales and civil unrest ;lately. Or do you become totalitarian enough to become one of the reasons we even have the Second Amendment; in order to have some sort of checks and balances against tyranny? Or do you make the culture less likely to desire a gun by other means?

I vote for option 3 as it isn’t historically proven to be doomed to failure, and it keeps America a land of freedom. As I said earlier, I want a solution that works, not some ineffective, emotion-based knee-jerk reaction.

And in response to your simile about smokers; the first person you mention has actually gathered facts, weighted the pros and cons, and decided on a course of action as a result of logical analysis of said facts whereas the other just pulls stuff out of their ass to try to justify their actions.

Scroll up to where I posted that link to an interactive map that disproves the alleged correlation between gun ownership rates and firearm-related death rates. You and I both want to reduce those death rates, but the facts show that the problem isn’t the number of guns around.

So, before we continue, let me ask you this; are you against people dying as a result of guns, or are you against guns themselves?

gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv We did solve that problem, it’s called the vehicle with something known as an internal combustion engine (it protects people from animals, and travels 300 yards very quickly—probably faster than a teleportation device would take to calibrate itself and spool up, and cheaper too). And to a certain extent I do have an issue with highly accurate rounds from very long distances because it makes assassinations easier since the radius needed to defend is so much greater (and the increase in area to observe for an assassin sniper increases exponentially with the range of the weapon)

I think you guys are approaching the bans the wrong way. One way to legislate it, is to ban all firearms, and then allow exceptions for certain classes of weapons such as revolvers that require manual cocking, bolt action rifles (with certain limitations), black powder muzzle-loaders, pump action shotguns, etc. People can still hunt—although they may have to get closer to their target and may not get as many kills (Native Americans have been hunting successfully with bows and arrows for thousands of years after all, so if you can’t do it with a bolt-action rifle then you need more patients/practice), people can still defend their homes from intruders, but preventing access to the types of firearms that can discharge dozens of rounds per minute will make America a nicer place to live.

I also think that all of the mass shootings we’ve seen are really insignificant compared to what’s possible with what’s available right now. I can imagine many ways where a small group of motivated terrorists could easily kill hundreds of people using weapons you can pick up at a gun show, and some kits to modify them. Just look at the North Hollywood Shootout for an example of what’s possible with such weapons, and that’s with only 2 guys whose primary objective is robbery and escape. Imagine 10 guys whose objective is kill as many Americans as possible and they are fully expecting to die, with access to guns that can literally shoot down airplanes and you’ve got a recipe for some serious terror. What if they used those weapons to force their way into a nuclear power plant? Oh, right, @WestRiverrat wouldn’t be able to kill as many elks if we tried to prevent that, so never mind (Elk kills > making things harder for terrorists).

cazzie's avatar

All of those quotes about other things that kill people annoy me. We all know that many many more people die in cars. But cars aren’t designed and purchased with the thought of killing. Quite the opposite, I believe. So, they have a different, intrinsic value and purpose. Guns are made to kill things. Period. The auto industry and transportation legislation has been working hard at making cars safer (albeit they can’t seem to keep up with driver stupidity). On the other hand, the weapons industry has concentrated on saturating the market and developing products for the sole purpose of killing or terrorising. I so tire of the two industries and death rates being compared.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws Vehicles have very sharp limits on their ability to traverse certain terrain; if you have ever tried to drive through a forest , you would know that. I get your point, but that only really works in places entirely unlike where I have lived. Even a Humvee would have to be careful, and a regular truck would require major repairs after one failed attempt at crossing my old yard.

I do see where you are coming from on the range issue, but last I checked, most shootings happened at close range. If you restricted weapon ranges to 50 feet, that would not reduce shootings by much, yet would eliminate the legitimate uses of firearms; basically, they would only be useful for shooting people. Personally, I like the idea of bow hunting, but that is a hard sell since most people prefer to take advantage of the technological advances of the last couple of centuries. Nice thought, but I see practical issues there. Forcing people to live primitively may sound good on paper, but I can’t help but see a black market resulting from such a move.

Maybe my big issue here is a cynical belief that people are not inherently good. The main reason the law is followed to the extent that it is is because they don’t inconvenience people too much. Start banning things that are available elsewhere and they will be smuggled in or made in the shadows. Historically, this has happened (and is happening) a lot as is, and I don’t want to compound the issue.

@cazzie So, you oppose guns on general principle? Personally, I oppose senseless death regardless of cause. Trust me, stricter drivers ed would eliminate far more senseless deaths than a gun ban. Look at the traffic death rates in places where a drivers license costs 20 times what it does here and involves a much more stringent test that you are only allowedto ttake after many hours of schooling. If you want to reduce deaths the way Japan and parts of Europe do, start there.
Or do you not care how many people die so long as they don’t die by gunshot?

gorillapaws's avatar

@jerv “Start banning things that are available elsewhere and they will be smuggled in or made in the shadows.”

I don’t disagree, but I think that this can create opportunities for law enforcement to prevent crime, opportunities that currently don’t exist while everything is completely legal and open. Say Mohammed and his buddies decide to try to re-enact John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo’s DC sniper rampage, but this time, it’s a dozen of them, and they’re firing .50 caliber rifles at airplanes on final approach into several major metropolitan cities simultaneously from parked cars.

If these were illegal guns then when Mohhamed and his gang arrive in the US, and start making phone calls to the arms dealing underground, there is a good chance that they’re eventually going to make a call to someone whose phone has a federal wiretap on it. When this happens Homeland Security will get involved, surveil the group, figure out their plan, learn who they’re working with abroad, and stop the attack.

Under current laws, the only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because we’ve been lucky. There is a major difference between things being fully open, easy and legal, and forcing people underground to the black market. It creates opportunities for law enforcement to prevent crime and gives them tools that would otherwise not be available to them.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv I oppose the mere comparison of the two. That is all. There is nothing that will justify the killing rate by objects designed for killing.

cazzie's avatar

also @jerv do you want to try to argue the senseless deaths by drowning? or perhaps cancer? I will not compare death rates, regarless of how senseless or high they seem, to those based on an industry that is only designed for that of killing. There is no sense to that.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws Fair point.

@cazzie Does that mean that you oppose fast food and bacon? Take a look at the top 15 causes of death in the US and you will find some interesting things. Accidents (including car, drowning, etcetera) clocks in at #5, homicide is at #15, and many of the health-related deaths (heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney problems, blood poisoning, and Hypertension) are highest in the poorest part of the nation. Note also that poor people are more likely to eat fast food or frozen meals which lead to things like obesity, heart problems, etcetera.

So basically, you hate guns more than death, yet see no problem with poverty or bad food killing millions. I don’t understand how that can be, but you feel how you feel and nothing anybody says can change that. Just curious though; do you have the same issues with insecticides? Those are designed for killing as well, and it’s not like insects are less alive than coy-dogs or elk. And what is your stance on negligence-related stuff like product safety; does it not matter how many die so long as it was due to manufacturer cost-cutting instead of by consumer misuse?

I am trying to understand you, but cannot get past my own feelings that death is death regardless. I also have issues with misplaced blame. After Oklahoma City, did you speak out against diesel fuel? Seriously, I am confused here.

cazzie's avatar

No, @jerv what I won’t do is compare them… something you insist on doing and refuse on understanding the difference between.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie I thought your opposition was to preventable deaths; I didn’t know you were after a moral goal rather than reducing body counts.

cazzie's avatar

Straw man, much? come on, @jerv… we know eachother too well for that. We are discussing what happens when there are too many guns about and no common sense. There is no point arguing percentages and leading causes of death. I am talking about AVOIDABLE deaths.

cazzie's avatar

If you want to put a gun in the path of a young child, or an alcoholic abusive partner….. go for it. I am talking about saving the (perhaps statistically) few lives that are lost to that crap each year. It is AVOIDABLE and not insignificant to those involved. I call bullshit on you counting numbers.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv and the others who have fun with the counting of numbers and velocity and rates of shots with bullets and accuracy…. the function and form of the weapon and the history of how its accuracy has been improved and how the ammunition is supplied and available, and how it all works with its amour piercing and wheather hollow tip is allowed or not and what type saves barrel wear, what I think you guys lose sight of is that this shit is manufactured and marketed to kill. If it is not manufactured and marketed for simple hunting purporses, it is manufactured and marketed to kill people. I don’t belong to a socieity so naive that it belives that the defense of the country does not rely on a prepared group of citizen soldiers. We have that, and then some. (some of the best armaments in the world are developed and sold by Norway) , and we have a well armed citizen group and keep plenty of guns for hunting, but what we don’t have is a population that has contnually displayed behaviour that is unworthy and immature to handle personal (and some may argue, larger transcontinental) weapons. The USA looks like, by all demonstratively and reductive resoning, like the impulsive, irresponsible child on a domstic level. How is it going to gain any credibility using drones and enforcing some sort of policy using lethal weapons internationally? Is it a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” parental policy? or should they really practice what they preach, either way?

phaedryx's avatar

@cazzie You do realize that the vast majority of gun owners haven’t killed anyone, have no intention of killing anyone, and hope they never kill anyone, right?

They just want the option to protect themselves if they are in mortal danger.

cazzie's avatar

@phaedryx why do they think they are in mortal danger? if they have never had to use a weapon or have reason to think they need to use a weapon against another human being?

cazzie's avatar

A firearm is not a fire extinguisher. I think they might want to reassess their risks and act accordingly. They should also, as @jerv reminds, look at their diet and what they eat. Unfortunatly, in the USA, it is harder to find real food on the shelves at the grocery store than it is to find unbiased news on Faux News.

phaedryx's avatar

@cazzie I don’t own a gun, so I can only speculate: I suspect it is because you can’t predict when bad things will happen.

I walk past this grocery store every day, I even walked past the day this happened (it’s in a part of Salt Lake that is considered relatively safe): http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865554797/Suspect-in-stabbing-at-Smiths-has-long-criminal-history.html

cazzie's avatar

and this happened in my neighbourhood where my son goes to school and I shop almost weekly…. but anedoctal evidence is not going convince me that I have to purchase a fire arm to defend my family’s safety against a random account. It simply is NOT the case. http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/norge/1.10852957

AGAIN: I say that purchasing a firearm for reactionary fear is not a good reason and if people were more aware of the actual statistics that their own firearm is more likely to be used against them in an altercation, they would realise that it is false security.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie It looks like you finally admitted that the problem we have is with the people, not the guns.

Note that most cases where a gun prevented a crime never get reported though? It’s just like one story of a plane crash will get people to ignore the thousands of flights that arrived safely. It tells you how people love to accentuate the negative, and when a person as cynical as I am says that, you know something is wrong there.

Please, stop confusing similes with direct comparisons. It makes you appear fanatically fixated to the point where it diminishes credibility, and I like you too much to want you to appear foolish. Just take a deep breath, calm down, and be the sane, rational, clear-minded @cazzie I am used to.

Lastly, I have never had a hard time finding real food, even when on a tight budget. For about the cost of two frozen dinners, I can get the stuff to make a dozen or more grilled chicken quesadillas, and in the time it takes to microwave those two TV dinners, I can make enough quesadillas to be a filling meal for two adults. Since it isn’t an issue of time, money, or availability, I think that gives another hint about society and how screwed up it is. Maybe if we weren’t all fat, lazy, and irresponsible, gun violence wouldn’t be an issue. Still, I prefer to treat problems at the root rather than try (often in vain) to alleviate mere symptoms.

glacial's avatar

@cazzie “The USA looks like, by all demonstratively and reductive resoning, like the impulsive, irresponsible child on a domstic level.”

So. Very. True. I wish more Americans understood how truly scary they can seem to outsiders, particularly on the point of gun worship.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv I never said the guns were the problem, but simply the wrong type of guns in the wrong hands. I am completely aware that there are populations just as armed, but you also need to account for, as I said in my first point, the type of armament and how anyone, in the USA, can legally aquire such pieces with no background check. As I mentioned in another post regarding the number of gun shows and traders that need not do background checks to those they sell to due to their status as an only-occasionally-sometimes seller-and therefore-not-regulated.

Also, the way guns are secured in homes is an issue.

You say you are using similies and I am saying that, even as similies, they are innacurate and and disingenuine and completly and transparently appear to be justifications of preventable deaths. No one who has lost a family member to a firearm accident or crime would want to hear that ‘Well, driving on the highway and being killed in a car crash would have been a more likely way for your loved one to die.’ It is what we call ‘Cold Comfort’.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie I support keeping dangerous tools out of the hands of those who, whether through ineptitude or malice, would hurt themselves or others. As mentioned previously, I think our requirements to drive a car are ludicrously lax. I would support requiring licenses for computer ownership as well if I thought there were a practical way to do so; too many scams, child abductions, stolen IDs, etcetera for me to believe that a mishandled computer is any less dangerous than a gun.

I support background checks for all gun purchases, and I too am troubled that that isn’t a universal requirement. However, stolen guns are a non-trivial factor in the equation, and I wonder how many of them are actually stolen or merely “stolen”, if you catch my drift, and that doesn’t even cover actual private sales.

I never got the whole “Cold comfort” thing. Unless you forgot who you are talking to, you already know why.

rooeytoo's avatar

Where I have lived and traveled, more people admire and respect america and americans than see them as bullies or scary. However, there are always some as can be seen by the answers above.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv I mentioned the ‘cold comfort’ thing because I remember exactly who I am talking to. You are coldly rational, but often forget that comparing numbers isn’t the same as comparing human behaviours. I adore you for your rational approach, though. :)

cazzie's avatar

@glacial , the odd thing is that it is one of the great American Dichotomies. I tried to point this out earlier but the point was misinterpreted completely and things got sidetracked and moded: The bigot will defend vehemently the right of an unborn fetus, but also defend his/her right to kill by force anyone who traspasses on their land or they catch stealing their lawnmower. Be it the on-the-spot execution of a person or the support of the State sanctioned death sentence, it does appear duplicitous. I say bigot, because they are putting themselves in the place of judge, jury and executioner in both situations. Perhaps I mean hypocrite, but they are so clear in their thinking that the two lives are completely separate and thus can be judged upon, that perhaps bigot is the more fitting definition.
If every man (person) has the right to the persuit of life, liberty and happiness, must they strain so hard to exhibit the ultimate control over life and death? Guns give a person that control. Aim and pull the trigger, or simply aim and scare the shit out a person to make them do what you want. Making justifications for guns pointed at people just means that there will be more people with more guns pointed at more people. I think it is ironic that American’s call that a ‘Mexican Standoff’.
I don’t think this makes Americans more scary or bigger bullies, but it brings to mind a very old, but still relavant quote: “America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair” – Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Good intentions, poorly executed. (no pun intended)

jerv's avatar

@cazzie Note that, while a person may be unpredictable, people are not. The larger the group, and the more history you have of their past, the easier it is to predict the actions of the aggregate whole. At that point, it’s a simple math problem.

glacial's avatar

@rooeytoo In my experience, it’s a good deal easier to tell the truth in an anonymous forum than in person, especially to someone you just met, and especially on topics like politics, religion, etc.

flo's avatar

“How do you propose to change culture? By force?” No @jerv no need for anyone to force anyone else, like I pointed out in my last post. Would you fill out the blank?

“It looks like you finally admitted that the problem we have is with the people, not the guns”
@jerv yes the people who misuse their brains to be obstacles instead of proposing ideas.

flo's avatar

@jerv
“And in response to your simile about smokers; the first person you mention has actually gathered facts, weighted the pros and cons, and decided on a course of action as a result of logical analysis of said facts whereas the other just pulls stuff out of their ass to try to justify their actions.”
The first person who just stopped smoking is not trying to justify anything, he has nothing to justify ^^^.

bossob's avatar

I’ve lost track of who is arguing what. Let’s get pragmatic: if your ideological position is different than the status quo regarding guns, how would you, or someone you were advising, go about making specific changes that would move the country toward your position?

rooeytoo's avatar

@glacial – well there are a lot of people trying to get in and very few leaving, so it can’t be all bad!!!

jerv's avatar

@bossob I think that some people are arguing against me, regardless of the original question. Apparently, pointing out where idealism goes awry makes one unpopular.

There are certain measures that I support.

- Background checks for all is a start. No “gun show” loopholes.

- Registration and proof of sale requirements for private-party sales. If you sell a car in WA, you have a very short time to file a Report of Sale affidavit with the DMV to avoid legal issues. Similar requirements for firearms along with criminal penalties for selling a gun to somebody who shouldn’t have one (the potential for 5–10 years in prison might make private sellers a bit more careful) and suspension of gun rights for those who “lose” a gun… I think there ways to work it that are no more of a hassle than owning a car.

- There are ways to limit the cyclic rate of a semi-automatic to about the same rate of fire as a bolt-action without the accuracy issues; we could appease @gorillapaws objection through technology instead of by abolishing technology.

- Limit clip/magazine size. Okay, 10 rounds was a bit ridiculous, but 20 is pushing it, and there really is no need for 50–100 round drums on the civilian market.

That is all on the gun side of the equation, but does nothing about the economics that lead to high violence rates regardless of the weapon of choice, and to high death rates due to a variety of health issues that lead to deaths that a person who could afford adequate healthcare would not suffer.

Poverty kills in many ways. Who is more likely to mug or rob; a middle-class person, or someone who has no legal way to pay the rent? Who is more likely to die from medical issues; the person who goes to the doctor regularly, or the person who cannot?

Do something about poverty and you will reduce violence and otherwise curb America’s desire for guns.

CWOTUS's avatar

Good arguments, @jerv. I still think that ending the stupid War on (Some) Drugs would do a lot to curb the worst day-to-day violence, including most drive-by shootings and cop shootings, even if it wouldn’t stop the crazy school shooters.

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS Pot-smokers rarely get violent, and I’m not so sure I want to legalize meth.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think you misunderstood me, @jerv. It’s not “pot smokers” who get violent, nor most drug users at all, in fact. But smugglers and dealers do. And if pot were legal (and cocaine and heroin and other more or less “natural” drugs) there wouldn’t be quite so much experimentation with meth, PCP, CAT and other weird shit. (Aside from which, your arguments about “prohibiting guns” apply to drugs, too: Wouldn’t it be great if it worked? If we could just say “Make it not so,” and it would be not so.)

bossob's avatar

@jerv Idealism with regard to how one lives one’s own life is one thing; Idealism regarding the lives of others is nothing less than dictatorial. (ala @CWOTUS‘s last line that he just now posted in a state of wishful thinking! I agree that it would be great). Anyhow, your measures are a feasible starting place for discussion. Thanks.

However, I’m certain the Second Amendment absolutists will disagree!

jerv's avatar

@bossob I am aware that many consider gun registration to be a tool so that the government can come and confiscate one’s guns. However, they sometimes seem like they disagree for the sake of disagreeing.

@CWOTUS I didn’t consider the distributors, but as weed is not really an issue in WA (personal possession earns a verbal warning, and public smoking gets the same treatment as their semi-strict laws on smoking regular cigarettes) it’s easy to overlook.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv always talks pretty sensible about these things and I think those propositions of his are a good start. I wish it was just a poverty issue, but this makes more sense: http://www.nber.org/digest/feb01/w7967.html

jerv's avatar

@cazzie The fact that that directly contradicts my link above tells me that we are far from any workable solution since we cannot even agree on basic facts. The reason I went with a map that broke it down by region is that I know how averages work; if CA gets rid of most of their guns while VT and NH buys more, the national average still goes down.
CA still has problems with gun-related crimes while other places with higher ownership rates do not, possibly because the laws have forced many CA gun owners under the radar, meaning that we only have figures for legal owners. Do you see my reasoning thus far?

cazzie's avatar

The article addresses that, but it also points out that it is factored on a county by country basis, not factored simply on an overall national average. “The largest declines occur in areas with the largest reductions in firearm ownership.” The numbers were calculated on a local basis and not on known gun ownership, because of the inherent problems with those figures, but are based on subscriptions to the leading handgun magazine.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie I don’t know many people who read those, and considering how many gun owners I know and that some of the people I know who do read those have no guns, I fail to see a correlation between gun ownership and magazine subscriptions. Put another way, I see more people reading about sports cars than owning them, and the few people I know who own something like a Porsche or a 350Z mostly don’t read Car & Driver.
The only inference I draw is that there is less interest in handgun magazines, but magazines in general have declined a bit because of this new thing called “the Internet” that has all sorts of information for free. I remain skeptical.

CWOTUS's avatar

I stopped reading @cazzie‘s link as soon as I read the “new proxy for gun ownership—state and county-level sales rates for the nation’s largest handgun magazine”. What an asinine assumption. Just the assumption, based on those figures, that gun ownership has decreased nationally by 7%, should give any researcher pause to question whether it was a valid proxy.

Is it reasonable and rational to assume that home-by-home ownership of guns has decreased so significantly over such a short period [ten years, according to the link]. I suggest that “the proxy” is invalid.

We may as well assume that literacy rates have decreased among gun owners based on the same fact. Or we could assume that crime has decreased in proportion to national literacy. (The researcher’s proxy also assumes that there is a one-to-one relationship between magazine ownership and homes. I have friends with a horse stable – a business – who subscribe to upwards of a dozen different monthly horse magazines, which are then read by many dozens of clients.)

It could just be that “the nation’s largest handgun magazine” has simply started a decline that many publications suffer as time passes, tastes change, and they become less popular. I think I might have read that in Life magazine once, or maybe it was Look.

jerv's avatar

Also note that Puerto Rico has some issues right now. They have strict controls, especially on ammunition sales, yet it really hasn’t made them any less violent.

Research it ;)

flo's avatar

People who are addicted to x, y, z only give out the facts that help maintain their addiction.

jerv's avatar

@flo That door swings both ways. Substitute “agenda” for “addiction”, and you have a fair assessment of human nature… but I don’t feel like derailing this thread with a wall-o-text about the psychology of Confirmation Bias, except to say that it’s prevalent on both sides of any fence.

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS the dip in both assumed gun ownership and death rates coincided. It was that fact that caught their attention.

jerv's avatar

@cazzie A dip in gun magazine subscription rates and death rates.

There is a stronger correlation between gun death rates and the decline of lead exposure (no more lead in paint or gasoline).

flo's avatar

@jerv by ignoring my earlier post (fill in the blank re. culture what are you stating indirectly?

Again, the the person who just stops smoking, and doesn’t and doesn’t need to find research that if you stretch it, might seem to justify his position, permalink

That door swings both ways. Substitute “agenda” for “addiction”,... The sellers of guns, the manufacturers, for example have agendas, money.

flo's avatar

@bossob
“if your ideological position is different than the status quo regarding guns, how would you, or someone you were advising, go about making specific changes that would move the country toward your position?”

The pro gun control people are already making specific changes.
-They already quit their gun addiction
-They are finding other ways of protecting themselves.
-They never owned guns even if it would seem to others they should have one.
-They are raising awareness.
etc.

jerv's avatar

@flo On the second issue, you misinterpret my point again, and in a manner that displays willful ignorance, thus prove that you are not listening, merely shouting at me trying to turn your words into my thoughts.

You have an agenda as well. You are a zealot. A fanatic. You are on a Holy Mission.

Now to your opening salvo; I tend to ignore personal attacks, especially those that the mods agree are over the line and remove from the thread. I am stating that you are not worth addressing, and this will likely be the last time I do so. You are not adding anything to this discussion except flamebait and vitriol. For the sake of the discussion, and your reputation, stop. Just stop.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It’s really sad we can’t put as much effort into the sources of crime and violence as we put into the never ending “gun control” debate. Our experience with prohibition and the war on drugs has taught us so much. The crime and violence problem, to me, makes the anti-gun crowd look like such a bunch of pussies. They take the easy way, wanting to enact laws that only harm law abiding citizens. They appear to have this righteous attitude because they want to prevent children from being killed inferring gun owners or the NRA doesn’t care about crime and violence. They create enemies of a certain group. They have someone to persecute. The bunch of pussies then “feels good” because they’re fighting their perceived enemy and “feels good” like they’re really doing something. Feelings don’t change shit.

Isn’t it time to get real? Firearms are nowhere near the root problem of crime and violence in America. As with solving any problem, the first step is identifying the problem. Guess what? It’s not guns.

People, especially young people, need a positive sense of future. This is developed by family, education, economic stability. In America we have disintegration of families, bad education, and lack of economic opportunities. These aren’t easy problems to deal with. It’s much easier to focus on an inanimate object and blame it and the people defending the right to it.

If everyone putting forth so much effort into the never ending gun control debate put that effort into the real problems we face as a society maybe we could actually prevent some crime and violence. If each person just did a little bit to help others, a little service work, maybe society would change for the better. Stop taking the easy way. Stop waiting for the government to enact a few useless laws. Stop waiting for the government to reform education, stimulate the economy, or come up with some new program to save families. Just do something positive for someone else and encourage others to do the same. Don’t be a pussy.

flo's avatar

@jerv wow, thank you. zealot, etc. are relative words, it depends where one is in relation to another on an issue.

@WestRiverrat ”...problems we face as a society maybe we could actually prevent some crime and violence. If each person just did a little bit to help others, a little service work, maybe society would change for the better”
Calling people names upon seeing you’re losing the debate, (if all else fails?) one of the a great ways? Not. It is just a trick to deter a debater from coming back and expose the errors.

flo's avatar

@WestRiverrat ”...family, education, economic stability. In America we have disintegration of families, bad education, and lack of economic opportunities.”
Stop the demand for the illegal drugs (manily by the rich and middle class) that leads to some of the drug related deaths.

jerv's avatar

@flo There is actually some merit to that.

However, the demand for drugs is, in large part, due to the desire to escape from or dull the pain of a dreary existence. That is more prevalent in the lower economic classes. While it’s true that the middle-class and rich also do drugs, it’s far more often that any drug-related violence is more street-level.

Still, the fact that many formerly middle/upper-class people are sliding downwards doesn’t help. I know that if I watched my life savings disappear, I would probably want to shoot heroin into my eyeballs.

At the end of the day though, it boils down to economic issues.

cazzie's avatar

Also, leading causes of death in America? This was rather shocking to me: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20120920/suicide-top-cause-of-injury-death

No longer are car crashes the leading cause of death from injury. Suicide is.

flo's avatar

@jerv Could that just be classism? How do you explain all the TV shows that glamoize hatefull things? Is that the poor people doing that?

And re. my response to your “You are a zealot. A fanatic. You are on a Holy Mission.”? I guess it is not worth addressing.

If you have a habitual impaired driver, who thinks that it is no big deal to drive impared, where do you think the supporters of 0.5, 0.8, and 0.0 rate according to her? They are all zealots, fanatics on Holy Mission level of course. Because she is thinking “why am I being pulled over just because I’m swerving all over the place, I haven’t caused an accident yet.”
And the 0.8ers probably think the 0.0ers (who aren’t necessarily non-drikers) are zealots too.

-Re. moderation, in your last post, I guess they are helping you out? If someone responded to me exposing the error in my post, etc. I wouldn’t want them to remove it to keep me from being embarrassed.

jerv's avatar

@flo I don’t think it’s classism to go where the weight of evidence leads you. It is classism to deny those of lesser economic standing medical care though. I think that economic status has no bearing on one’s right to live.

TV shows are fiction. They amplify reality to unreal proportions.

There is a rational and respectful way to disagree. I am not perfect, but I try to keep my cool. Fanaticism is a matter of degree, one I define as the point where being rational and respectful is of no concern, and provable facts don’t matter.

Personally, I feel that anybody who swerves all over the road should be pulled over regardless of BAC, and if you’ve ever driven around Seattle, you would soon realize that the majority of drivers are more impaired by stupidity than substance. I believe that the majority of people would agree that drunk drivers are a danger if for no reason other than the numbers actually support that argument, whereas they do not conclusively prove any causal relationship between gun ownership and gun deaths.

I make mistakes at times, but when I am proven wrong, I admit it. When I am actually attacked, that is a different ballgame altogether. Attack my arguments, not me.

flo's avatar

@jerv
“other than the numbers actually support that argument, whereas they do not conclusively prove any causal relationship between gun ownership and gun deaths.”

Your facts aren’t necessarily facts though, that is the problem. Just like what you did with my simili above re. smoking addict who just quit instead of desperately looking around for research about all kinds of other things how he can justify continuing his habit.

Yes dear, Respectful. like in this permalink, and there aren’t threads where you’ve called people names?

“classism to deny those of lesser economic standing medical care though” Now why bring this up in this debate?

jerv's avatar

@flo Good people don’t call people names, but where did I say that I was a good person? My take on that is merely that anybody worse than me is really bad.

I find it disconcerting that you are investing more energy in attacking me than in finding credible statistics to refute the arguments that I have made that are directly relevant to the original discussion though.

Also, you brought classism into the argument, and I was merely trying to point out that what you call “classism” isn’t. Facts are neutral.

flo's avatar

Ahhh! I run out of editing time, while I was editing. So I will try and complete it.

jerv's avatar

@flo Well, since your quarrel against me has derailed this thread to where everybody else has left, I think I too will bow out, as there seems to nothing constructive going on here.

Have a nice day :)

flo's avatar

“TV shows are fiction. They amplify reality to unreal proportions.”
Fictional” or “fictional” TV shows can’t influence, can’t desentisize, can’t be harmful, is your idea of facts? That is like denying the sky is blue.

the100thmonkey's avatar

The US is a violent country with violent people who worship guns.

There’s nothing more to say, in the light of this thread, and, clearly nothing that can be done about it.

Shoot away… :/

cazzie's avatar

‘Live by the sword, Die by the sword’.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_by_the_sword,_die_by_the_sword

Encompasses much about American Dogma.

flo's avatar

@the100thmonkey Is that not a defeatist’s attitude? And why would you take this thread as the reliable indicator?

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