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  1. baiskeli
    baiskeli August 6, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    I think it’s time to talk about guns AND the demonization of religious and ethnic minorities along with the current white backlash being stoked by the GOP and elements of the Far Right.

    I am heartened (and surprised) that the term domestic terrorist was used.

    My condolences go out to the Sikh community of Wisconsin and everyone else affected.

  2. samanthab
    samanthab August 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

    Will they be blaming mental illness again this time, which is oh so helpful to those of us who are mentally ill and face quite enough stigma? Some of these mass murderers are in fact mentally ill, and it’s heartbreaking that they weren’t given treatment. However, the ubiquitous common thread is, ahem, g-u-n-s. And that the killers are white men whose since of entitlement has been challenged in some fashion. We can’t question either of those things, though, so let’s blame the mentally ill and ignore that we aren’t any more violent than the general population.

  3. Jesse
    Jesse August 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

    But count on it, someone will speculate that if only the priest had been carrying, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Nope, you’ll never hear it. Because all the pictures I’ve seen from the shooting show non-white people. And everybody knows that if non-white people have guns, then they might kill white people. And that can’t happen.

    Because guns are for white people to protect themselves against “those” people.

  4. Ophiucus
    Ophiucus August 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

    Gun ownership is at a 30-year low in the US. Talking about guns is a shuck, something that sucks our energy and keeps us as a nation from having the real conversation it needs to have about constructions of masculinity. But that conversation is even more contentious than talking about guns, so guns it is!

    I believe the bumper sticker should read, “You can have my fucked-up ideas about masculinity and violence when you pry them from my cold dead hands.”

  5. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

    I am heartened (and surprised) that the term domestic terrorist was used.

    While I get the point- that the terrorist label is often appended to crimes by brown people, but not equivalent crimes by white people- I don’t think the solution is to cheer it’s broader application for everyone. This was murder; I don’t see any particular evidence it was connected to the activities of a sub-national or clandestine group, which is a requirement to meet the actual legal definition of terrorism.

  6. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

    I find the expectation that we wouldn’t even be surprise if this happened at a mosque to be a horrifying comment on the current state of affairs in the US.

    Re: someone at the congregation having a gun: the man shot and wounded a police officer several times before being killed by another. If the professionals have trouble with a situation like this, what could an amateur do?

  7. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

    Gun ownership is at a 30-year low in the US.

    Except statistics like that are notoriously inaccurate because no one is quite sure about heirlooms (and guns don’t really ever go bad), there is no national tracking or registration, and a great many gun owners are very careful about who they admit what to. Meanwhile there are 6 million private concealed carry licenses in the US before you even get to trying to estimate unlicensed open carry or constitutional carry situations.

  8. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    Amblingalong, he was connected to white supremacist groups and the intent is clearly to harass, terrify, and harm a specific group. Calling it terrorism doesn’t seem like much of a reach to me.

  9. debbie
    debbie August 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Gun ownership is at a 30-year low in the US. Talking about guns is a shuck, something that sucks our energy and keeps us as a nation from having the real conversation it needs to have about constructions of masculinity. But that conversation is even more contentious than talking about guns, so guns it is!

    I believe the bumper sticker should read, “You can have my fucked-up ideas about masculinity and violence when you pry them from my cold dead hands.”

    Part of the issue is constructions of masculinity, but coming from north of the border where constructions of masculinity are remarkably similar, but gun ownership is far more restricted, these kinds of killings are a much smaller problem. It’s worth noting that part of what is quite different about our construction of masculinity is gun ownership (there’s other stuff, too, but this is most relevant).

  10. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    William, I believe the most recent evidence shows that fewer people own guns, but those who do own more of them. (If I weren’t typing this on my phone, I would find the link for you.)

  11. Jadey
    Jadey August 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    Nope, you’ll never hear it. Because all the pictures I’ve seen from the shooting show non-white people. And everybody knows that if non-white people have guns, then they might kill white people. And that can’t happen.

    Because guns are for white people to protect themselves against “those” people.

    This.

    I mean, we just had a 500+ comment discussion about gun culture as it related to the Aurora shooting (I lost track of it unfortunately, but there was a lot of interesting albeit tense commentary about the intersection of gun rights and race/ethnicity which I only partly parsed – USian gun values are hard for me to wrap my head around, so much context I don’t understand). Anyway, I think Jesse’s point that the idea of arming non-white, non-Christian people in a religious building vs. arming theatre-goers (who are probably not all white and Christian but nonetheless the “generic” theatre-goer image *will be*, because that’s the normative assumption) will pull up radically different contexts for the mainstream commentary on this.

    I agree that I would rather talk about problems of privilege, entitlement, alienation, and anger in masculine and white “cultures” than guns specifically. Access to weaponry alone does not create violence any more than access to alcohol creates addiction. (Which isn’t to say I’m against regulation of either – I just think that debate is relatively less important.)

  12. S.H.
    S.H. August 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    This was murder; I don’t see any particular evidence it was connected to the activities of a sub-national or clandestine group, which is a requirement to meet the actual legal definition of terrorism.

    .

    Way too soon to make that call. The police are currently searching for a second person of interest, described as a white male seen on Sunday videotaping the crowd and also sporting a 9/11 tattoo. Could be just some random asshole drawn to the scene but it could be a lot more than that. Have to wait and see.

  13. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    Way too soon to make that call. The police are currently searching for a second person of interest, described as a white male seen on Sunday videotaping the crowd and also sporting a 9/11 tattoo. Could be just some random asshole drawn to the scene but it could be a lot more than that. Have to wait and see.

    Exactly, which is why I’m not a huge fan of cheerleading the immediate labeling of the attack as terrorism. I think that word has become so politically charged that we’ve started slapping it on any violent crime we find particularly awful, and then use it to justify all kinds of governmental responses that would otherwise be heavily criticized.

  14. Drahill
    Drahill August 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

    Will they be blaming mental illness again this time, which is oh so helpful to those of us who are mentally ill and face quite enough stigma? Some of these mass murderers are in fact mentally ill, and it’s heartbreaking that they weren’t given treatment. However, the ubiquitous common thread is, ahem, g-u-n-s. And that the killers are white men whose since of entitlement has been challenged in some fashion. We can’t question either of those things, though, so let’s blame the mentally ill and ignore that we aren’t any more violent than the general population.

    I know you mean right by this, but let me just say that as a mentally ill person myself, this rubs me the wrong way. Yes, the overwhelming majority of PWMI are not violent at all. And not all acts by PWMI can be chalked up to the illness. But sometimes, they can. If James Holmes does in fact turn out to have a psychotic disorder (or any other kind, but a psychotic one seems to be the best bet right now) and that disorder motivated and/or played a part in his actions, it is perfectly fine to talk about mental illness. The Wisconsin shooting, so far, does not seem to be implicating mental illness – it seems far more a calculated, plan act of racist terrorism.

    “it’s heartbreaking that they weren’t given treatment.” It is interesting that you mention this so briefly. Because, well, we have a SHIT mental health system in this country. I mean, really, really shit. And is it wrong to speculate that if we had a better system, would James Holmes have been able / felt more able to get treatment? I don’t think so. I think saying “Oh, they’re gonna talk about mental illness” is the wrong thing to say. We need to talk about mental illness – over and over again, until this country sees the need for a better treatment system and society actually starts lessening the stigma. What KIND of conversation is a different topic. That’s why I think what you said is slightly off the mark.

  15. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    William, I believe the most recent evidence shows that fewer people own guns, but those who do own more of them. (If I weren’t typing this on my phone, I would find the link for you.)

    The reason I took issue with the comment is because even the best and most recent evidence isn’t all that robust. There is no national tracking or registration system. There really isn’t any reliable way to know how many guns are in the country, let alone how many people own them. Surveys have a lot of trouble illuminating the issue as well because a lot of gun owners just plain aren’t going to respond truthfully. Its a serious a methodological problem.

    As fewer and fewer people continue to hunt the gun community has gradually transformed from hunters into Right to Carry people and hobbyists, both of whom tend to own a lot of guns. Thats part of why the NRA is increasingly competing with the SAF for contributions. Its a large community with the money to be involved in an expensive hobby. Lobbying groups the the NRA and SAF (to say nothing of the smaller groups like GOA or CCRKBA) aren’t funded by huge corporate interests but by a whole lot of gun owners. The reason gun rights have a lot of political support is because there are a lot of gun owners. The movement towards more permissive gun laws that we’ve seen over the past 20 years is largely the result of grass roots activism.

    One of the big problems that I think gun control advocates have comes down to not understanding guns, the gun community, or whats being regulated. Those permits I mentioned, for instance, have nothing to do with one guy owning a lot of guns. Concealed carry permits are for individuals, not for weapons, so 6 million carry permits means a little less than 6 million people carrying concealed weapons (less because some people have permits in several states to cover the reciprocity issue). That number is only going up. A ban on high capacity magazines would be a tough sell today not only because its almost impossible to buy a pistol larger than sub compact that doesn’t take more than 10 rounds (especially if its chambered in 9mm or .40 S&W) but because its also comically easy to convert an artificially limited magazine to a different capacity. The assault weapons ban that recently sunsetted (and which would likely be a blueprint for any future band) didn’t do much for lethal weapons because it primarily targeted cosmetic features.

    The problem with gun regulations is that they are often proposed by politicians who know very little about guns, supported by voters who know very little about anything, and pressed during times of panic. That leads to gun rights people becoming reflexively opposed to any change in regulation or rules for fear that someone is going to do something stupid. While we’re arguing about ships that have sailed (like pistols in public) or pointless symbolism (like an assault weapons ban) regulations that could make a lot of difference in reducing actual violence (requiring NICS background checks for private purchases, ATF flagging multiple purchases of certain classes of weapons, more aggressive prosecution of straw purchasers, streamlined national safety and quality standards for weapons produced in the US, better information sharing between jurisdictions and better NICS databases, reforming drug laws to remove black market related violence, etc) don’t have a chance because politicians on the left can’t grandstand with them and politicians on the right fight them for fear that they’re an incremental attack.

  16. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

    That only applies to international terrorism. Here’s the definition of domestic terrorism, from 18 USC s 2331 (5):

    Thanks for the info- I guess my degree is getting increasingly out of date…

  17. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

    That only applies to international terrorism. Here’s the definition of domestic terrorism, from 18 USC s 2331 (5):

    Thanks for the info- I guess my degree is getting increasingly out of date…

  18. John F
    John F August 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

    Also, gun ownership being at a 30-year low is something of a red herring. The number of violent gun-wielders has always been orders of magnitude lower than the total number of gun owners, so unless you assume that the decrease in gun ownership has been uniform between all types of gun owners (which doesn’t really make sense, because it seems like the sort of people who are willing to use their guns are the least likely to get rid of them) – then all the decrease in gun ownership means is that the proportion of gun owners who are violent criminals is as high as it has ever been.

    Also worth noting – gun ownership and gun violence are both currently low – so maybe there is a correlation after all.

  19. Nawtaskollar
    Nawtaskollar August 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    Crime continues to fall precipitously from its peak in the late 80s and early 90s, despite liberalized gun laws. It just seems kind of silly and irrational to waste energy on this issue when there are much more pressing public health issues where each dollar spent would go much further at alleviating suffering. Like….alcohol, driving, diabetes/obesity, etc.

    Yah, it sucks that 7 people died, but how many more people died in drunken car accidents this weekend? Rather than pie-in-the-sky fantasies like banning alcohol or guns, we should screen out dangerous people by allowing local police to infiltrate radical organizations, loosen the psychiatric privacy laws that prevented early reporting of dangerous mentally ill people, and take a zero tolerance policy against drunk drivers.

  20. Nawtaskollar
    Nawtaskollar August 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    Yes, the only relevant difference between Canada and the US are gun laws.

    *blank stare*

  21. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

    we should screen out dangerous people by allowing local police to infiltrate radical organizations,

    Because that worked so well when Hoover went after the hippies.

    loosen the psychiatric privacy laws that prevented early reporting of dangerous mentally ill people

    I don’t see why we should reduce the privacy rights of mad folks in the name of preventing things they don’t generally do in the first place. Also, its not like us psychologists are desperate to report and aren’t allowed. Most of us resist in mandated reporting if we believe, in our professional opinions, that a report will do more harm than good. Also, who in the hell are we supposed to send people to when the mental health system in this country is a joke? If I’m in a position to see them they’re already in treatment…

    zero tolerance policy against drunk drivers.

    When has a zero tolerance policy ever been successful at doing anything other than creating ridiculous overreactions?

    You’re exactly the kind of person we don’t need in the gun movement, always willing to trade someone else’s rights for your own. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  22. Nawtaskollar
    Nawtaskollar August 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    Not saying we cannot talk about it, but the amount of energy and dollars should be comparatively low relative to alcohol/obesity, since you and everyone you love are much more likely to be impacted by one of those compared to random gun violence.

    This kind of violence is hyped because it’s sensational, but in a purely rational world we would focus more on “mundane” health concerns.

  23. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    Crime continues to fall precipitously from its peak in the late 80s and early 90s, despite liberalized gun laws. It just seems kind of silly and irrational to waste energy on this issue when there are much more pressing public health issues where each dollar spent would go much further at alleviating suffering. Like….alcohol, driving, diabetes/obesity, etc.

    And yet, the US no longer conducts research on firearms safety because of a Congressional ban on doing so.

    we should screen out dangerous people by allowing local police to infiltrate radical organizations, loosen the psychiatric privacy laws that prevented early reporting of dangerous mentally ill people, and take a zero tolerance policy against drunk drivers

    As to your other points, 1) the police can do so, 2) there are serious issues to consider here, including the fact that people may not seek treatment because of privacy concerns and 3) zero tolerance policies sure are a great way to deal with addiction!

  24. Nawtaskollar
    Nawtaskollar August 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    I don’t mean lock up addicts. I mean if you are caught DUI’ing you lose your license, period. It’s insane how many innocent people are killed by alcohol (much more than guns) yet we are lenient and give people more than one chance.

    I’d guess most DUIs are from casual drinkers anyway.

  25. Drahill
    Drahill August 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    zero tolerance policies sure are a great way to deal with addiction!

    Not to nitpick, but I must point out that DUI laws do not criminalize addiction. Many people who get arrested for DUI are not addicts by any stretch – they are simply intoxicated at the time of the offense. And DUI is not about addiction, it is about engaging in dangerous behavior that threatens the lives of others.

  26. Alexandra
    Alexandra August 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    The last thing I need, as a “mentally ill person”, is loosened psychiatric privacy laws.

  27. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    Baffled that in this thread, just like the last epic one, there are already people wanting to talk about anything other then gun control.

    I despair. All I will say (again), is that certain other countries found that tightening their gun laws was a very good way of stopping spree killings.

  28. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    Not to nitpick, but I must point out that DUI laws do not criminalize addiction. Many people who get arrested for DUI are not addicts by any stretch – they are simply intoxicated at the time of the offense. And DUI is not about addiction, it is about engaging in dangerous behavior that threatens the lives of others.

    I wasn’t able to find any statistics that clearly back up or refute this assertion. About a third of people arrested or convicted of DUI are repeat offenders and that half of all drivers killed in crashes who test positive for drugs also test positive for alcohol which leads me to think that addiction is plausibly a part of the picture here.

    (Also, what is the point of saying “not to nitpick”? It’s like “no offense” or “no judgment”–to deflect from the fact that you are nitpicking/likely causing offense/judging someone.)

    /threadjack

  29. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

    (Zuzu, feel free to delete my previous comment(s) based on Safiya’s comment and your policy for this thread.)

  30. Drahill
    Drahill August 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    I was nitpicking because I was pointing out that even if “half of all drivers killed in crashes who test positive for drugs also test positive for alcohol” that does not suggest addiction – it suggests a simultaeous user. And even among repeat offenders, a repetitive crime does not imemdiately suggest addition, it suggests, more than anything, poor decision-making. A hardcore alcoholic can form as strong an addiction as he/she wants, provided they remain out of a car, they will not get arrested for DUI. The crime is engaging in an action that is severely reckless to others – not the mere presence of intoxication. So yeah, your point was incorrect. That’s all.

  31. Drahill
    Drahill August 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Ah, zuzu, feel free to delete that.

  32. Ophiucus
    Ophiucus August 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    This is not a thread about alcohol, obesity, or any pet issue of yours other than gun control, racism and what happened in Wisconsin. Anyone who goes off-topic will be put on moderation.

    Your thread; your rules. But you did say we could talk about more than one thing at a time.

  33. Updates on Wisconsin Hate Crime: White Power « Sky Dancing

    [...] Is it time to talk about guns yet? The suspect in the horrific shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin has now been identified. He is Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old army vet and described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white power band.” He’d also washed out of the army after a reduction in rank for being drunk on the job and was ineligible for enlistment. He may also have just broken up with his girlfriend. Tell me again why we don’t worry about violent white men or their sense of entitlement? [...]

  34. Tom
    Tom August 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

    We’ve had the talk about guns already over the past 40 years. The gun control proponents simply lost the debate. The trend is towards liberalization. It’s been made clear that the Constitution sets an outer limit on the sort of controls that can be allowed. The fact that gun control proponents intended, and probably still would seek if they could get away with it, an outright ban on firearms is something that supporters of gun rights have never forgotten. That means that we’ll never trust and will never believe that calls for “rational” or “reasonable” gun control mean any less than efforts at a ban, because that is exactly the same cant that’s been used the entire time. Any politician who starts talking that way rightly winds up on the NRA hit list, as well they should.

    In an era of closely-divided politics in which culturally-diverse swing-states, ones that have a lot of blue-collar or rural voters that Democrats need to keep consistently winning over to their increasingly patchwork and self-contradictory coalition, are decisive, making gun control a significant issue means losing elections for Democrats, the only party that might be interested in the issue.

    In short, debate’s over. The issue has been decided and isn’t likely to be re-examined in any of our lifetimes. Time to move on.

  35. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

    We’ve had the talk about guns already over the past 40 years. The gun control proponents simply lost the debate. The trend is towards liberalization. It’s been made clear that the Constitution sets an outer limit on the sort of controls that can be allowed. The fact that gun control proponents intended, and probably still would seek if they could get away with it, an outright ban on firearms is something that supporters of gun rights have never forgotten. That means that we’ll never trust and will never believe that calls for “rational” or “reasonable” gun control mean any less than efforts at a ban, because that is exactly the same cant that’s been used the entire time. Any politician who starts talking that way rightly winds up on the NRA hit list, as well they should.

    Yes, that bit about a “well regulated militia” is totally unambiguous. Also, you’re confusing “Antonin Scalia” with “the Constitution.”

    Also, I fail to see any reason why this debate should be closed. We’re talking about weapons that lead to more than 31,000 deaths and an additional 85,000 injuries per year.

  36. OutrageandSprinkles
    OutrageandSprinkles August 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

    Actually, the debate isn’t over until people stop debating.
    It’s a pretty simple idea. Things have been decided by people in power, and many of us don’t agree with those decisions and want to see them change, so we are working towards that. Kind of like what people have done forever to attempt changing policies they don’t agree with. Nice try, though.

  37. Tom
    Tom August 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Yes, that bit about a “well regulated militia” is totally unambiguous. Also, you’re confusing “Antonin Scalia” with “the Constitution.”

    Yeah, addressed in Heller about what that means. And the scholarly work on the 2nd Amendment went far beyond Scalia, and was enough to convince even liberal Constitutional law experts like Sanford Levinson and Laurence Tribe. A context-free quotation of the prefatory clause hasn’t been persuasive to this point and is even less persuasive with binding precedent in effect.

    Actually, the debate isn’t over until people stop debating.
    It’s a pretty simple idea. Things have been decided by people in power, and many of us don’t agree with those decisions and want to see them change, so we are working towards that.

    Well, at the risk of playing “no true Scotsman,” I’ll qualify that further by limiting things to a relevant debate. Sure, people still debate whether the South was right to secede or whether Han shot first. The momentum, though, on this issue has been entirely one-sided for some time. I can all but guarantee that you won’t hear Obama even breathe a word about gun control if he isn’t forced to this election year.

    And who are the “people in power” who want to decide things? The NRA has 4 million members. The biggest gun control group, the Brady Campaign, doesn’t even have 1% of that. The big voices on gun control these days are billionaire plutocrats with armed bodyguards like Michael Bloomberg and Dianne Feinstein.

  38. OutrageandSprinkles
    OutrageandSprinkles August 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    It’s pretty relevant to the people that died in Aurora and Wisconsin. It’s relevant to me. It’s relevant to many people, some of whom are right here in this thread. To say it’s not relevant because you don’t think it’s relevant kind of proves my point. We are still debating it, we think it’s important, and people are dying because of the problems with the current system. Your opinion doesn’t change any of that.

  39. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

    Yes, that bit about a “well regulated militia” is totally unambiguous. Also, you’re confusing “Antonin Scalia” with “the Constitution.”

    Dependent clauses, history of the militia and it’s difference from the National Guard, what the founders saw as a free state, what violent revolutionaries tend to mean by “security,” contextual usage of “the people” in the bill of rights as referring to individual rights, etc. This is old ground thats been well traveled and argued to death. At this point if gun control proponents actually want to move towards a European-style disarmament its going to mean changing the constitution or somehow convincing SCOTUS (who is unlikely to be compelled by an argument that boils down to the name of a sitting justice) to do away with stare decisis. The situation today is as it is: the individual ownership of handguns has been determined to be a constitutional right and carrying those weapons is likely to be similarly enshrined before the end of Obama’s second term, many Democrats are realizing that gun control is a losing issue, more and more Americans carry weapons. These are the new realities of the gun control debate, ignore them and you’ll end up outside of the discussion entirely.

    31,000 deaths

    Except in 2009 more than half of that number are due to suicides which aren’t anyone’s damned business. About another 1000 are undetermined (a fancy way of saying “probably a suicide”), accidental (also often suicides), or the police killing people. That leaves something in the neighborhood of 11k-12k gun related homicides per year. Tragic, but difficult to manage if you don’t understand the realities on the ground.

    But what guns are being used in crimes? When you look at ATF data you see again and again that the most traced weapons aren’t assault weapons or even weapons capable of accepting large capacity magazines. When you see guns used in crime you see a trend in aTF data: Lorcin, Davis Industries, Raven Arms, Jennings, Jimenez, Phoenix Arms, Bryco. Again and again you see the same companies, the same models, and the same calibers (.22, .25, .380) popping up when you’re talking about weapons used in crimes. These aren’t guns that I own, they aren’t guns you can buy at any of the gun stores I go to, they’re inexpensive, low quality, poorly made, highly concealable weapons. How do those weapons get into the hands of criminals? Straw purchasers. What kinds of crimes are they most often used in? Crimes related to urban violence related to the black market drug trade.

    A determined spree killer is difficult to prevent, especially when you have as many illegal weapons as the US does (and, realistically, will continue to have for at least half a century even if private ownership was banned tomorrow). Crafting gun control around Aurora or Wisconsin is foolish, especially when its a statistical nonevent. Eighteen lost lives are tragic, but its a drop in the bucket compared to the 400+ we clear in Chicago on a good year. Why not focus on the serious violence for which we have clear, obvious, causes and means of confronting?

  40. Millicent
    Millicent August 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

    That’s not to say that violence against Muslims would be fine, but if you’re going to have a beef against members of one group, don’t go after members of a completely unrelated group just because you can’t be bothered to learn anything about the people you hate.

    I know you meant well and were tongue-in-cheek with this comment, but I think this issue is actually at the heart of white supremacy– collectively punishing all “non-white others” and intentionally massing all otherness into one indistinguishable, ahistorical criminality.

    The point is, the “beef” of white supremacists is not with Muslim as opposed to Sikh people, or Arab as opposed to South Asian people. It’s with the otherness itself. The logic of this violence conflates all people of color with whichever negative stereotype is convenient for its purposes; it does not distinguish individual Muslims or sects of Islam for their individual beliefs and actions nor does it distinguish between ‘othered’ religious groups of color. There was no ignorant mistake here: this horrific violence against Sikh people fits quite well into the horrible violence of white supremacy.

    Racialicious has a post that explains this much better.

  41. karak86
    karak86 August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

    A slightly interesting aspect to this is that younger Sikh males are reluctant to wear the turban and often cut their hair and beards, which is explicity a contradiction of Sikh beliefs. Sikh community leaders are desperately trying to keep their traditions alive, but when those make you a target for racist fuckwads, it’s going to be even harder.

    Another aspect of the Sikh faith is, I believe, that males often wear ceremonial knives, as a commitment to the faith. There have been issues with boys in Canada who brought these knives to school, so it’s likely that some of the victims were “armed” in a technical sense, although probably weren’t thinking a symbolic committment to the faith should be used to stab fuckwads shooting up a place of prayer.

    As a final note, I’ve decided that people who are clearly disturbed assholes but not mentally ill in a meaningful sense are now, by definition, fuckwads.

  42. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

    And the NRA has a very, very powerful lobbying organization at all levels of government, mostly on behalf of gun manufacturers.

    If the gun manufacturers were funding the NRA I wouldn’t have them begging me for donations on basis more regular than PBS. The old trope of Big Guns also doesn’t account for more grass roots groups like the SAF (who are largely responsible for the recent SCOTUS cases). Its comforting to imagine that gun control opponents are like climate control opponents, big businesses standing in the way of your idea of progress, but thats not the case. Opposition to gun control is a grass roots phenomenon driven by gun owners when you’re in a country with nine guns for every ten people. The big weapons manufacturers make most of their money from government contracts. Hell, H&K is infamous for having terrible civilian customer service because its such a small percentage of their revenue.

    That’s not the real issue with the latest killing, is it?

    No, but the latest killing isn’t exactly normal, is it? If you look at the ranking and proportion of homicides to suicides of firearms deaths per capita in the world you’re not seeing spree killers but crime related to rampant poverty and black market violence. We’re not racking up 12,000ish murders by firearm a year in the US with school shootings and spree killers, we’re seeing that many murders as the predictable and preventable outcomes of poverty and drug violence. So yes, we can talk about gun control and imagine that somehow our 270 million guns in private hands will go away and laws as restrictive as Mexico’s will save us from violence, but people are still gonna be dead and they’ll be overwhelmingly poor, brown, and disregarded by the exact people in power you’re asking to save us all from my Rhino.

  43. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

    Except in 2009 more than half of that number are due to suicides which aren’t anyone’s damned business. About another 1000 are undetermined (a fancy way of saying “probably a suicide”), accidental (also often suicides), or the police killing people. That leaves something in the neighborhood of 11k-12k gun related homicides per year. Tragic, but difficult to manage if you don’t understand the realities on the ground.

    I actually view the availability of firearms and the relationship of said availability to suicide rates to be a serious public health problem that we should be studying. But we’re not and we won’t be because of Congressional bans on such research.

    I am also confused as to whether or not you actually believe that the US will implement policies that go after straw purchasers. One the one hand you say,

    the individual ownership of handguns has been determined to be a constitutional right and carrying those weapons is likely to be similarly enshrined before the end of Obama’s second term, many Democrats are realizing that gun control is a losing issue, more and more Americans carry weapons. These are the new realities of the gun control debate, ignore them and you’ll end up outside of the discussion entirely.

    and then say

    How do those weapons get into the hands of criminals? Straw purchasers. What kinds of crimes are they most often used in? Crimes related to urban violence related to the black market drug trade….Why not focus on the serious violence for which we have clear, obvious, causes and means of confronting?

    So, the discussion of whether or not handguns should be permitted is closed, but we should attack straw purchasing? As zuzu pointed out, Obama hasn’t said word one about guns related to Aurora or this most recent mass murder. I can’t see where the political appetite to take on any tiny corner of the gun lobby is going to come from. If you can find evidence that they would support the rolling back of any gun-related rights I would be shocked. (And impressed with your research skills).

  44. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    Given the statistic quoted earlier that gun ownership is at an all-time low, I’d say we’ve got some pretty big arsenals in private hands, then.

    The numbers are misleading. I own five guns because I do a couple of different kinds of shooting and I inherited something that I rarely actually shoot. I could easily own a lot more and probably will when my student loans are less crippling, so there is that. That said, my wife technically doesn’t own any guns but she lives with them in the house, knows how to use them, and would be able to access them if she wanted to, so does that make her a gun owner? When she gets around to buying what she’s been looking at will that make her a single gun owner and me a multiple owner, even if our guns are in the same room?

  45. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    Also, I’m a little suspicious of the idea that gun ownership is at the lowest rate in 30 years.

  46. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

    That’s not the real issue with the latest killing, is it?

    Certainly not.

    But, is the claim that, if this guy didn’t have a gun, he wouldn’t have killed anyone?

    I don’t know. I’m don’t lean strongly in either direction on the issue. I think that there are waaaay too many handguns available to people who want to do harm with them, but I generally have less issue with people owning long-guns since they’re statistically infrequently used in violent crimes and they’re very hard to conceal. I’m very much in favor keeping track of where guns are going and doing more to get illegal weapons off the street, but I don’t really like the way that events like this are turned into “see how horrible guns are!”

    What this guy did was horrible, but, given who he was and what he was trying to do, I can’t imagine that not having access to a gun would have prevented this tragedy. samanthab said “However, the ubiquitous common thread is, ahem, g-u-n-s. ” but the real ubiquitous thread is “these people wanted to kill other people.”

    There are plenty of examples of murderers who wanted to kill lots of people who did it without the use of guns. Julio Gonzalez killed 87 people using a can of gasoline and a lighter. Mamoru Takuma killed 8 children and wounded fifteen other people with a knife. Andrew Kehoe killed 45 people, mostly with explosives. The Oklahoma City Bombing killed over 160 people, without a single gun.

    The guns used by people like this are a tool, and if that tool wasn’t available, I don’t see any reason to think that they wouldn’t turn to another tool. That’s not to say that gun control isn’t worth talking about or that we couldn’t be doing more to get illegal weapons off the streets, only that I think that the real common thread is the people doing the murdering, not the tool they’re using to murder.

  47. Foglet
    Foglet August 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    Okay so something that I notice that almost never gets brought up is poverty. The countries that have high ownership of firearms are really varied in terms of their crime rates and the deaths by guns. The countries that have high ownership of guns simply do not match up with the countries that have higher death rates (the ones that do have higher rates of death are usually in suicide).

    Poverty is a much better index to look at when talking the causes of gun violence. I honestly find it rather insulting that people who purport to be so concerned with social justice are often the ones who blame guns and not systemic poverty.

    So why is it that we never all about the ravenous effects of capitalism on violence? Also why is it that these debates always start off when some white kid commits an act of violence with a gun. Is it because brown people dying is just not as “interesting” of an issue to cling to?

    So if were going to be able to have a real discussion on guns we can talk about multiple things: like racism and poverty.

    (I’m posting from a phone so I’m not as able to get links and such, but Wikipedia is pretty good for the general numbers.)

  48. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    That said, my wife technically doesn’t own any guns but she lives with them in the house, knows how to use them, and would be able to access them if she wanted to, so does that make her a gun owner? When she gets around to buying what she’s been looking at will that make her a single gun owner and me a multiple owner, even if our guns are in the same room?

    That Gallup poll you’ve just linked to answers that question: the first part of the survey asks if there’s a gun in your household. The follow up question is whether it belongs to you personally or someone else in your household–47% of adults say there is a gun in their home or on their property. 34% say the gun belongs to them personally.

  49. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    I actually view the availability of firearms and the relationship of said availability to suicide rates to be a serious public health problem that we should be studying.

    I don’t believe that suicide is a public health issue because I believe that suicide is a human right. I’ve brought patients out of suicidal depressions, I’ve been in them myself and been glad to leave, but at the end of the day whether or not someone chooses to go on living should be no one’s choice but their own. Thats the downside of a radical respect for personal sovereignty, sometimes people will make choices for themselves that you don’t like.

    I am also confused as to whether or not you actually believe that the US will implement policies that go after straw purchasers.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we will. I think that we’ve pissed away every ounce of political will and capital that might have been used for good gun regulation policies on failed and faintly ridiculous grandstanding. Politicians like Carolyn McCarthy confusing barrel shrouds (which make no sense as a regulatory target in the first place) for “a shoulder thing that goes up” (meaning a collapsable stock) in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings have made gun control advocates look foolish and opportunistic. That means that organizations who oppose all regulation for fear of slippery slopes get to dominate an argument fools and people will continue to die. I’d like to see the ATF going after straw purchasers, but its a tough sell these days because of all the time wasted on nonsense.

    If you can find evidence that they would support the rolling back of any gun-related rights I would be shocked.

    The gun lobby isn’t interested in rolling back rights, years of supporting purported law-and-order regulations are a big part of why the NRA is losing ground to the SAF. If you want to understand the mentality of gun owners the best way to think about it is to look at how the pro-choice movement sees the world: after years of disingenuity, outright attacks, and incremental restrictions gun owners and their lobbying arms view any proposed regulation as an assault and an end-run. I tend to view that as completely accurate when it comes to abortion legislation, I see it as somewhat less accurate when considering certain gun regulations. That doesn’t change the fact that the Brady Campaign lies as a matter of course, nor does it change the fact that the kinds of regulation that might actually reduce gun violence in poor communities are virtually always ignored in favor of ill-conceived restrictions on things that look or sound scary to rich white people in political office.

  50. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    And when there is no disingenuity, there are no outright attacks, and there haven’t even been incremental restrictions much less major ones for a good 20 years, they’ll just make shit up.

    OMG OBAMA AND THE UN ARE COMIN FER OUR GUNS!!!

    The Brady Campaign has engaged in, and continues to engage in, a lot of disingenuity. The Clinton AWB was a major incremental restriction. The NFA and the GCA were also incremental restrictions. There have been incremental restrictions in California and Illinois (for instance I still live under an outright “assault weapons ban,” I can’t order ammo online, and it took a Supreme Court decision for me to be able to own a pistol). If you want to talk about outright attacks you can look at how the ATF actually behaves towards licensees or you can look at Ruby Ridge or Waco, instances of incredible state-sponsored violence that are difficult to forget. Those are all real things, but every single time someone tries to come to the table to have a discussion (and I think a guest poster and regular member of the commentariat might have earned a little more credit than “OMG OBAMA AND THE UN ARE COMIN FER OUR GUNS!!!”) it ends in shouting and accusations, even when alternatives are brought up and honest attempts are made at sharing how a community experiences the world.

    Or, you know, you can be dismissive, ignore what I’ve said, and trot out a poorly educated southern stereotype because its easier than engaging and you’ve the mob on your side. Both work, I suppose.

  51. Tom
    Tom August 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm |

    While we’re on the subject of straw purchasers and disingenuity, let’s not forget the Obama Administration’s one serious effort at gun control. They let guns get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, who’ve used them so far to kill a few hundred Mexicans and at least one Border Patrol agent, all in an effort to stir up the issue and claim that they needed stricter gun laws. It’s kind of hard to argue for new laws when the people arguing for them are using the violence caused by their own non-enforcement of existing law as a basis of their argument.

  52. Alexandra
    Alexandra August 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

    I feel like a lot of people on this thread just don’t have any comprehension of the mindset of people who own guns. I remember watching my father deliver a lecture to his students (officers from all branches of the US military and some foreign military students) on the American Revolution and its aftermath, and militias and the 2nd amendment came up. He asked his students for a show of hands for how many owned personal firearms, and I’d say 75% or more of that auditorium had its hand up in the air.

    Now, my father is ex-military himself, he’s worked for the DoD for much of his career, and his mother used to pack a pistol when she worked for the IRS back in the 60s and 70s, but we’ve never owned a gun. I asked my father why and he cited the statistics about how guns are typically more dangerous for their owners than for criminals, the risk of guns being used in intra-familial disputes, etc. But the fact remains, in his community he is anomalous.

    He is anomalous because gun ownership is a deep-seated part of many Americans’ identities – the identity of the independent man (and now, to some extent, the independent woman) who is king on his own homestead and who is not going to let anyone boss him or bully him. Everyone on this blog is of course familiar with the criticisms of this John Wayne-ish mindset, but there are real virtues to it, too – a citizenry that is distrustful of government abuse of power can be a useful thing, and a citizenry that feels empowered to stand up to government abuse is a really useful thing.

    The tension between American independence and American intractability is ancient – I immediately think of the Whiskey Rebellion, in which farmers not inconsistently felt that they hadn’t supported the overthrow of the British in order to pay taxes to a federal authority that had little influence on their daily lives (even though Hamilton’s program of paying off the National Debt was really important in the long run).

    What I’d like to see in terms of gun reform, since I agree with previous posters that gun control as traditionally meant (restricting access to firearms) is impossible with the current SCOTUS, is a program of national gun education. Until some hunter friends of mine took me to an NRA firing range, I had never held a gun, didn’t know how to tell if it was loaded or not, couldn’t safely load or clean a gun, all the basic safety that the friends who had grown up hunting in rural parts of the country had learned as kids. You could prevent a lot of accidental gun deaths if children were taught basic gun safety the way they’re taught about drugs through D.A.R.E.

  53. Rhoanna
    Rhoanna August 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

    You could prevent a lot of accidental gun deaths if children were taught basic gun safety the way they’re taught about drugs through D.A.R.E.

    While I definitely support the idea of gun safety education, I’m not sure DARE is the best comparison, given it’s advocacy of zero-tolerance and questionable effectiveness. It would also require a massive change of culture in many non-rural areas of the country for such a thing to become common.

  54. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

    All of your examples are from almost 20 years ago, with the exception of some state restrictions.

    Not all of them. Some of them are from the 30s, some from the 60s, and they’re still on the radar of the gun community. I don’t think most gun control proponents realize the implications of that. Honestly, I don’t think most gun control proponents understand just how many battles they have to lose. I’m deep in the gun community and even I don’t want to see some of those battles lost, but thats where we’re headed if we can’t have a conversation.

    The Clinton assault weapons ban is no more, and there’s no chance of Congress passing another one. That was a victory for your side.

    Thats a recent victory, and it was one of the first major national victories in a very long time. That said, there are a lot of regional bans still in place and you still have Chicago desperately trying to prevent a gun range from opening in city limits. Thats the kind of stuff that works the community up. Not imaginary UN bans, not a Democratic president who is better on the issue than the Republican candidate, but actual restrictions which still effect us on the ground.

    Look, we don’t have gun control in this country, with a few localized exceptions. I’m so sorry you have to show up at the ammo store to buy your bullets instead of ordering them in your underwear. I couldn’t buy wine through the mail when I lived in New York. I somehow survived.

    Interesting that you’ve decided to focus on the ammo instead of restrictions on what the guns I own look like or needing the supreme court to allow me to have a pistol to defend my home instead of buckshot thats likely to go right through walls.

    But we do have gun control in this country. Maybe its not what you’d like to see, maybe its not what other countries have, but its not an unrestricted system. We have waiting periods and background checks and NFA restrictions. We should probably have more, but the acrimony gets in the way of anything happening. The NRA and SAF are targeting NFA restrictions as the next issue after universal carry, thats going to mean fully automatic weapons. In the current climate a change like that would occur with little actual discussion and consideration. I don’t want that, you don’t want that, but the bullshit means you’re likely to live to see selective fire Russian AKs flowing into the hands of straw purchasers.

    I couldn’t buy wine through the mail when I lived in New York. I somehow survived.

    Should you have had to?

  55. Theresa
    Theresa August 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |

    Thank you for writing this. It is beyond time to get rid of guns. All of them…

  56. konkonsn
    konkonsn August 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    I don’t believe that suicide is a public health issue because I believe that suicide is a human right. I’ve brought patients out of suicidal depressions, I’ve been in them myself and been glad to leave, but at the end of the day whether or not someone chooses to go on living should be no one’s choice but their own. Thats the downside of a radical respect for personal sovereignty, sometimes people will make choices for themselves that you don’t like.

    Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but from what I’ve read up on suicide, not all of it is thought out over a period of time or the decision the person ultimately wanted to make. Some people have maybe a few hours where they’re really low, and the lethality of their method can determine if they live to go, “Ok, that was a bad idea” or if they die at that point. It’s why successful suicide rates are higher among high stress occupations where guns are available (police and military) than high stress occupations where guns aren’t (firefighters). And sometimes that first suicide attempt is what can get people who need help the attention they otherwise don’t seek.

    My own mental health experiences are in line with this, and I had several episodes over a period of years. Whenever I considered suicide, it was only for an hour or two when I was really low, and later…it wasn’t a “What was I thinking?” because I understood perfectly what I was thinking, but more a, “No, no. That wouldn’t have been worth it.” Most of my thoughts of self harm were about letting people know I was hurting than anything else.

    So maybe this is just personal for me because I’ve had experience, and I also know people in those occupations. I get that if we had a better mental health system, more people wouldn’t wait until suicide to get help, so that’s part of the issue. But I also feel like guns are harmful to people who aren’t thinking right for a few hours.

  57. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

    The fact that gun control proponents intended, and probably still would seek if they could get away with it, an outright ban on firearms is something that supporters of gun rights have never forgotten.

    Two lifetimes ago a large chunk of the U.S. South committed treason in defense of slavery. Well within living memory white Southern politicians presided over what was (very, very real racism in the North notwithstanding) a murderously racist regime that poured enormous effort into denying countless Americans their basic rights. Yet out of four Presidential candidates I voted for since turning 18, not just one but *two* have been from formerly Confederate states. Wild!

    That means that we’ll never trust and will never believe that calls for “rational” or “reasonable” gun control mean any less than efforts at a ban, because that is exactly the same cant that’s been used the entire time.

    Well, whose fault is that?

    And notice the nice little scenario you’ve built:
    “You” (Gun-control opponents?): ‘You’re coming to take our guns!! Noooo!’
    Me: ‘Wait, no, you don’t understand! Rather, I mostly want to see carefully targeted measures aimed at keeping guns and ammo out of the hands of criminals and mass murderers, like the one-gun-a-month laws meant to cripple straw buyers! And perhaps (though I admit I’m certainly no expert on the subject) sane, careful regulations on very specific categories of guns that seem to have very little to do with self-defense or hunting, etc., and more to do with killing lots of people quickly! Honestly – all I want is reasonable, rational gun control …’
    “You”: ‘You’re coming to take our guns!!! Noooooo!!’

    Honestly, **what should I say?** That I want unreasonable, irrational gun control? That I want a total ban on all firearms? (As somebody who’s spent a good chunk of my life in Vermont, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania, I actually don’t, so that’s kinda tricky …)

  58. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

    a citizenry that is distrustful of government abuse of power can be a useful thing, and a citizenry that feels empowered to stand up to government abuse is a really useful thing.

    Except, for the most part, they only give a shit about the abuse they suffer and that is the fundamental problem with this mindset and USian individualism – Its selfish. I get mine/You get yours only works in a completely equal (resource/welfare/luck) world and we can never live in one. We have to work together and help one another but you can’t do that if the only thing you care about is yourself.

  59. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm |

    If you want to understand the mentality of gun owners the best way to think about it is to look at how the pro-choice movement sees the world: after years of disingenuity, outright attacks, and incremental restrictions gun owners and their lobbying arms view any proposed regulation as an assault and an end-run.

    And y’know, being a pro-choice liberal, I’ve considered this. But of course, it has to be said that – as helpful or explanatory as this might possibly be – it also bears pointing out that this view is paranoid bs, and that anyone wanting to participate in the US debate as a reasonable, rational person should do their best to disabuse themselves and others of such silliness. A friend of mine is going to be a walking target b/c of their choice of medical profession. Are gun dealers targeted for execution by countless slavering fanatics? Do people buying a gun (or possibly even just other services) require escorts? More relevantly, it’s hard to miss that antichoice incrementalism is always aimed at getting rid of choice; most of those attempts have no other function and can’t be justified on their own merits. Finally, it’s rather important to note that the anti-choice movement *has no interest in compromise or problem-solving*; through defeat and victory they always, incessantly fight access to abortion (of course) but also birth control, comprehensive sex ed. etc. If folks are reacting to constantly-compromising proponents of boring, sensible gun control the way pro-choice people *quite understandably* react to a doctor-killing, clinic-bombing, birth-control opposing movement, well … again, whose fault is that?

  60. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

    Interesting that you’ve decided to focus on the ammo instead of restrictions on what the guns I own look like

    Why is that an (apparently) important issue for you?

  61. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    I get that if we had a better mental health system, more people wouldn’t wait until suicide to get help, so that’s part of the issue. But I also feel like guns are harmful to people who aren’t thinking right for a few hours.

    That could be, but completely aside from the issue of guns (and I’ve been consistent on this) mad folks get their rights curtailed and their decisions second guessed out the ass and it needs to stop. If erring on the side of viewing suicide as a fundamental human right means that some people close their eyes and disappear I’m more than willing to trade that (as a human being, as a clinician, and as a mad person) for having basic human rights in the first place. I’ve never had a patient attempt suicide on me, but the odds are that I’ll have one complete eventually. Thats going to be tough, it might push me back towards my own depression, having guns might put me at comparatively greater risk. I accept that because, at the end of the day, I feel that the entire exercise of treatment and respect and telling people that their lives can be better is hollow and pointless if we’re still in the business of restricting the choices human beings can make about their own lives. My job is not, and will never be, to make people make the choices I would prefer they make. My job is to help them make informed choices. Sometimes that means my patients make choices that I think are foolish. Over time I’ve learned that theres a damned good chance they know better for themselves than I do so I do my best to be there if they need me and not become yet another person treating them like a child.

  62. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

    But of course, it has to be said that – as helpful or explanatory as this might possibly be – it also bears pointing out that this view is paranoid bs, and that anyone wanting to participate in the US debate as a reasonable, rational person should do their best to disabuse themselves and others of such silliness.

    First, I agree that the perception is wrong because of the lack of violence that gun owners face. There is an intense degree of hostility, there are certainly elements of the gun control world who would like total disarmament, but thats no longer a realistic threat. That said, drop the use of “paranoid” and the invocations of rationality, you’re skirting dangerously close to “people who disagree with me are crazy” and we’ve got enough of the ableism when it comes to spree killers to begin with.

    More to your overall point, show me some sensible gun control that has been proposed at the national level, especially in the wake of a tragedy. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is restricting access to people with restraining order or non-felonious DV convictions, although a lot of those laws have been made at the local level.

  63. Partial Human
    Partial Human August 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

    What Dan said.

    Who knew that reproductive choice and bodily integrity = the right to shoot shit.

    Disgusting.

  64. Alexandra
    Alexandra August 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

    Why is it so darn hard to understand that people worry about curtailed 2nd amendment rights, much as people worry about curtailed 1st amendment rights (or rights to due process etc)? Washington, DC for many years had a ban on certain types of firearms and on certain ways of owning and keeping said firearms; it took a Supreme Court decision to strike down a 33-year-old law. It was this sort of legislation that created the so-called paranoid gun nut and the gun lobby, a lobby with a lot of grass-roots support.

    Moral outrage about comparing gun rights to abortion rights is one thing, but all of us who want to see a decrease in gun crimes (that’s what we want, right?) are going to have to do some reaching across the aisle to people who feel that a right that is as integral to them and their identities as abortion rights is to many of us is threatened by the government and by people who disrespect and in fact hate something that is deeply important to their way of life.

    We have to understand, too, that if gun ownership reaches as much as 35% to 50% of the population, gun owners are not a homogenous group. You have hobbyists, hunters, people who are interested in protecting their home, families, or person, people who are in weird semi-religious militias, people who live in dangerous neighborhoods, former Panther Party types, historical re-enactors, police and parole officers who take their service weapons home… all kinds of people.

    As a personal choice I don’t own or want to own a firearm because I have gone through periods of rapid-cycling where I might be suicidal for brief periods at irregular and unpredictable intervals, and no matter how well controlled I appear to be now, there’s no guaranteeing that I might not end up as unstable in the future. Add to that a family history of DV and it just seems like a terrible idea to have a deadly weapon in the house. But I’ve gone shooting before at an NRA firing range, and it was a lot of fun. I have friends who are hunters, and if I end up living in a rural area in the future, I would love to learn how to hunt. Believe it or not, there are still people who are subsistence hunters – two of my close friends get a lot of their meat protein from deer that they or their family members have shot personally.

    Summarizing briefly, what I’d say is you cannot confront gun control as an issue where the people need to rise up and make their voices heard against a powerful elite – this is not like confronting Scott Walker or Wall Street or whatever. Gun rights folks have a much older history of grass-roots organizing and a lot of popular support. You have to have dialogue before you can start talking about changing the law.

  65. Henry
    Henry August 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

    Gun regulations will not prevent all spree killers of the political ilk – these people plan and acquire. See Norway. Still the events can be reduced greatly – See Europe. Still Tom is right, the pendulum swings too far right or left in this country – gun “control” advocates raise the ban hammer at every opportunity, thus removing any trust in giving them even an inch of power. Guns are more dangerous than cars, stolen often (just like cars) so when I buy a car I need to title it, get insurance for it and report it to a special state agency. If the car moves to another state it needs to be checked in again. I don’t see why guns can’t be the same. You want to hunt, competitive shoot, protect yourself, collect weird historical guns – go for it, just get a license and VIN number for each. That way the cops would have at least some way of know how many guns each person owns, and they may cross reference them with criminal backgrounds, known advocates of violence etc. I’m willing to bet money Page was flagged as a white supremacist someplace in some government database (or at least the chances are he might have been).

  66. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

    Why is it so darn hard to understand that people worry about curtailed 2nd amendment rights, much as people worry about curtailed 1st amendment rights (or rights to due process etc)?

    Maybe because no one I’ve ever known has died as a direct and immediate result of words being spoken, whereas several people I’ve known or known someone who loved them have died as a result of, you know….being shot? If ones’ experiences with guns have resulted for the most part in people being killed or seriously injured, then yeah, it’s going to be a little hard to sympathize with people who think it’s OK for people to continue to die in your community if it means no one is coming for their guns or their right to shoot deer with military grade weaponry (someone on another blog actually suggested this was necessary) or that they can buy any kind of gun or ammo anytime, anywhere. I don’t believe in a blanket ban on guns, but neither will I shed tears for gun owners who can’t get what they want when they want it.

  67. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm |

    Firearms. No doubt one of the most divisive issues in our country.

  68. William
    William August 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm |

    Partial Human

    Who knew that reproductive choice and bodily integrity = the right to shoot shit.

    Disgusting.

    They aren’t even vaguely equivalent, but the siege mentalities displayed are similar and that knowledge can be helpful for understanding why gun control attempts are so often met with such concerted opposition.

    Annaleigh

    If ones’ experiences with guns have resulted for the most part in people being killed or seriously injured, then yeah, it’s going to be a little hard to sympathize with people who think it’s OK for people to continue to die in your community if it means no one is coming for their guns or their right to shoot deer with military grade weaponry (someone on another blog actually suggested this was necessary) or that they can buy any kind of gun or ammo anytime, anywhere. I don’t believe in a blanket ban on guns, but neither will I shed tears for gun owners who can’t get what they want when they want it.

    The vast majority of people who die in this country as a result of gun violence are dying because we don’t do shit about poverty and have created a system which encourages violence and punishes people in perpetuity for any attempt to palliate the pain of being at the bottom of a social system which sees you as less than worthless. Even when handguns were banned in Chicago people were dying in droves. Banning Bubba’s SKS isn’t going to do much to change that. One could even argue that it makes it worse because it allows politicians to pretend that they’ve done something.

    As for hunting, yeah, an AR isn’t a bad weapon for hunting deer. Its accurate, high velocity, allows for quick follow up shots, and has plenty of stopping power. Its also pretty good (especially when chambered in a more robust caliber) for dealing with the wild hog epidemic, a situation in which it’s rate of fire is especially impressive.

    Understanding the gun community is vital if you want to get anywhere with regulation because what the left has been doing for the past fifty years has not been working for the last twenty and is unlikely to begin working again in the future. Maybe proponents of gun control want to go back to a time when they can show a scary AR build on CNN and get a symbolic ban on a weapon rarely used in crimes while people of color continue to get killed at appalling rates as a result of shitty policy and a police force more interested in control than protection but thats not going to happen in the face of widespread carry, concerted political activism from a numerically and financially superior opponent, and record low interest in gun control.

    Right now, today, you live in a nation which has embraced concealed carry inside of a generation. A nation in which six million of your fellows over the age of 21 have a permit to carry a weapon before you even count places that don’t require a permit, police, security personnel, and the military. You’re fighting an opponent with a newly minted constitutional right and the power of both moral indignation and momentum. You’re fighting against an opponent that reasonably sees getting rid of concealed carry permits and widespread acceptance of open carry as short-term goals. You’re arguing in front of a population that is no longer greatly swayed by nonsense words like “assault weapon” and already owns guns that didn’t only come from the factory with high capacity magazines but bought these weapons because capacity was a selling point. These are the current realities of the debate.

  69. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm |

    Maybe because no one I’ve ever known has died as a direct and immediate result of words being spoken,

    Words people speak get POC killed all the time. And people in the LGBT communities.

    Words are used to torment people into suicide as well.

    The wrong words can be just as deadly as a bullet.

  70. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 7, 2012 at 5:43 am |

    Why is it so darn hard to understand that people worry about curtailed 2nd amendment rights, much as people worry about curtailed 1st amendment rights (or rights to due process etc)?

    First Amendment rights? As a Jew (by heritage and culture) and an atheist (by belief) I realize how important freedom of religion is; as a humanist and someone even vaguely aware of U.S. history, I can grasp how vital freedom of speech is. I assume no one here needs my clumsy explanation of why due process rights are so incredibly necessary. I can also acknowledge that there are people who worry about curtailed Second Amendment rights – I just don’t think the two things are in any way comparable, and don’t find this view to be particularly comprehensible. (If the power differential between Bill’s Backyard Militia and the U.S. Government was a bit less, I’d grant a similar (albeit theoretical and extremely worrying) function as a check against gov’t tyranny, but no).

    … Ok – imagine if by some bizarre quirk of historical contingency, we had ended up with a Second Amendment which held that ‘…the right of the people to keep pets shall not be infringed.’ First off, while I could certainly see people worrying about curtailment of this right as much as others worry about curtailed First or Fifth Amendment rights, I … well, couldn’t really see that as quite on the same level. (And I’m speaking as someone who works in an animal shelter and sees the pet-person bond as something incredibly important).

    But more relevantly, I’d think there were real, legitimate problems that needed sensible fixing/preventing – general animal abuse/neglect, dogfighting, puppy mills, licensing issues, controlling the spread of rabies, pythons being released into the Everglades, neighbors hoarding 100 cats or 70 chihuahuas in their house or a tiger in their apartment or over 50 lions, tigers, bears, baboons, etc. on their property, etc. – and if there were folks terrified that PETA was coming to take their puppy away because of some supposed opposed to pet-keeping, well, they should get to have their say, but then, frankly, they’d kinda need to deal with it.

    And if there were folks arguing that controversial breed standard laws (e.g., banning pit bull-looking dogs, etc.) were horribly misguided and driven by sensationalist reporting, etc. – well, I’d be quite sympathetic towards that… but not as a rationale to block pretty much any sort of pet-related legislation whatsoever. And if the puppy mill industry fought mostly successfully to get utterly sensible humane legislation overturned (or at least substantially watered down) and had managed to influence seemingly apolitical organizations like the American Kennel Club to lobby against reasonable regulations (e.g., requiring dog breeders to provide, among other things “sufficient food and clean water”, “protection from the elements”, and “sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs”), I don’t know if I’d mistake that for the voice of the people, even if pet-owners are a diverse group that keep pets for different reasons, or something.

    Moral outrage about comparing gun rights to abortion rights is one thing, but all of us who want to see a decrease in gun crimes (that’s what we want, right?) are going to have to do some reaching across the aisle

    I think my thinking on this is partly influenced by the repeated calls by folks like Saletan for pro-choice folks to compromise, to reach across the aisle, not realizing that this normally wonderful strategy doesn’t actually work when dealing with folks who have no desire to compromise b/c they’re (e.g.) ideologically driven fanatics deeply opposed to key features of the modern world. It’s a comparison that’s pretty unfair to the gun folks, of course, but I’m at least not aware of any indication that (e.g.) NRA leadership has much interest in compromise (and the SAF even less, apparently?).

    Also the claim by iirc Amy Sullivan? that what Planned Parenthood needs to do is speak up about all the good it does, and so convince people that no, they’re not actually demons in human form … which is good advice as far as it goes; it’s just that it doesn’t go all that far. Now, of course advocacy groups need to work to inform the public, and build alliances, and etc., but … I don’t know, past a certain point it’s kinda up to people.

    I’d also add the actual situation for sensible gun control advocates is in some ways perhaps most equivalent to – well, frankly, pro-choice reality, where we *have* lost battle after battle after battle … except worse.

    Washington, DC for many years had a ban on certain types of firearms and on certain ways of owning and keeping said firearms;

    I can understand that this would be inconvenient, irritating, etc. I’m not getting how this created the “so-called paranoid gun nut”.

    We have to understand, too, that if gun ownership reaches as much as 35% to 50% of the population, gun owners are not a homogenous group.

    Yes, I understand that. How is this relevant? Have people on this thread been claiming otherwise? (I didn’t get nearly enough sleep and may be missing it…)

    Believe it or not, there are still people who are subsistence hunters – two of my close friends get a lot of their meat protein from deer that they or their family members have shot personally.

    Yes, I believe it. I live in Philly and I know folks who get a not a lot, but a fair amount of their meat protein from deer they’ve shot as well (granted, they don’t live in the city…) What does this have to do with sensible fun control regulation?

    what I’d say is you cannot confront gun control as an issue where the people need to rise up and make their voices heard against a powerful elite

    Take this with two jumbo shakers of salt, but
    Gun Owners Surveyed By Frank Luntz Express Broad Support For Gun Control Policies
    A survey of National Rifle Association members and non-affiliated gun owners conducted by a prominent Republican pollster shows that there is broad support for certain provisions that would restrict the sale of guns.
    Granted, we’re talking about a Frank Luntz survey commissioned by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns which talks about extremely mild restrictions. Interesting, though.

  71. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni August 7, 2012 at 5:44 am |

    That could be, but completely aside from the issue of guns (and I’ve been consistent on this) mad folks get their rights curtailed and their decisions second guessed out the ass and it needs to stop.

    I agree, if not with the wording. Just as William, I found the “public health risk” comment incredibly offensive, and I think it’s actually structurally related to the complaint “don’t give the mentally ill people guns!” that people here and elsewhere don’t much like. Saying: don’t give mentally ill people guns they’ll shoot others or don’t give mentally ill people guns they’ll shoot themselves is similar, but the second is arguably worse because no-one else is harmed by that decision. How about we talk about gun rights (and I am all for very restrictive gun laws) without being invasively concerned about depressed people. What’s next? Just plastic knives and sporks for us?

  72. Miriam
    Miriam August 7, 2012 at 6:34 am |

    Looks like just another person who snapped. In tough economic times they abound more than usual.

  73. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated August 7, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    To reference the actual post, I hear a bunch of talk about gun control and mental illness, and not one damned word about white male entitlement control. I own a throwaway in case I need it specifically for white male entitlement control, and, yes, I have had to use one in the past.
    Re cheap guns: Raven Arms might be a really great solution to the problem. They’re poorly made and the one my late dad bought me would jam at odd moments. Pushing Raven to the entitlement crowd might stop some potential deaths.

  74. Datdamwuf
    Datdamwuf August 7, 2012 at 8:39 am |

    So, my RL experience with a gun and the police. My (now ex) husband was drunk and brought a loaded semi auto handgun in the house, chambered a bullet and proceeded to alternately put it in his mouth crying and pointing at me raging. After I got away and called the police they found him driving and gave him a DUI. They found the gun, fully loaded in the trunk of his car, it was not in the lock box.

    When I asked the deputy about the gun incident, deputy sez; it’s a “he said, she said” thing, and your husband said he did not bring the gun in the house. I asked would they hold the gun, deputy sez; your husband has a right to his gun, he can pick it up as soon as he is released from jail.

    I was able to convince a magistrate to have my husband evaluated for mental illness and the special justice believed me, so husband took a voluntary commitment. In my state that means he can’t have a gun, at least legally. Of course all he has to do is petition the court to restore his rights once the protective order expires…

  75. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 7, 2012 at 8:52 am |

    gun “control” advocates raise the ban hammer at every opportunity, thus removing any trust in giving them even an inch of power

    This caricature of people who think there should be fewer guns in our country is not really helpful to the debate either. If a person thinks there should be fewer guns or more limits on gun ownership, they can’t be trusted and therefore there will be no discussion? That’s sure to lead to a productive way to think about how we could reduce the injuries and deaths caused by firearms!

  76. Miriam
    Miriam August 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    So then he was mentally disturbed period. Why didnt the Sikht shoot back to defend themselves against the Nazi assault? I bet they werent even armed.

  77. William
    William August 7, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    Dan S

    I’m at least not aware of any indication that (e.g.) NRA leadership has much interest in compromise (and the SAF even less, apparently?).

    The NRA has certainly engaged in a lot of compromise over the years, especially when it comes to issues that they felt the general public would find scary (like the Hughes amendment), law-and-order policies (like NICS expansion or the Veterans Disarmament Act), and their downright obstructionist position in the early stages of the Heller case. Thats a big part of why organizations like the SAF are suddenly coming to prominence. I’m sure its not as much compromise as some would like to see, but they’re a political animal that spends a lot of time managing image.

    I’d also add the actual situation for sensible gun control advocates is in some ways perhaps most equivalent to – well, frankly, pro-choice reality, where we *have* lost battle after battle after battle … except worse.

    Except when pro choice people lose battles human being lose rights whereas when gun control advocates lose battles generally not much at all changes.

    And I’m still waiting for some sensible gun control ideas. Its a phrase that gets thrown around a lot but tends to be left utterly undefined.

    I can understand that this would be inconvenient, irritating, etc. I’m not getting how this created the “so-called paranoid gun nut”.

    DC’s ban didn’t cause the siege mentality, it just created acrimony and failed to protect anyone. The Clinton administration shooting a woman in the head because they confused her infant for a gun at sniper distance, shooting her son in the back because he had the audacity to return fire after an unknown person shot his dog, and burning 72 people to death in a raid that didn’t need to happen caused the siege mentality. Finding out that people were murdered in their homes on pretense because someone was uncomfortable that they were out in the middle of nowhere with guns is the kinda thing that sticks with a community, even twenty years later.

    Take this with two jumbo shakers of salt, but
    Gun Owners Surveyed By Frank Luntz Express Broad Support For Gun Control Policies
    “A survey of National Rifle Association members and non-affiliated gun owners conducted by a prominent Republican pollster shows that there is broad support for certain provisions that would restrict the sale of guns.”
    Granted, we’re talking about a Frank Luntz survey commissioned by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns which talks about extremely mild restrictions. Interesting, though.

    Not that interesting once you look at the actual questions. They basically asked if gun owners supported background checks (they did and we already have them), gun safety training for concealed carry holders (a lot of states require it and I’m definitely behind the idea), no carry permits for people with DV arrests (already the case in quite a few jurisdictions, although I’d be behind making DV convictions an automatic NICS rejection on the national level), carry permits should only be granted to persons 21 and older (we’ve got a patchwork system now, national standards would be immensely helpful), and that carry permits shouldn’t be available to people with violent misdemeanor convictions. You’re not exactly talking about gun control measures here.

    Angie Unduplicated

    Re cheap guns: Raven Arms might be a really great solution to the problem. They’re poorly made and the one my late dad bought me would jam at odd moments.

    Raven (although now they’re Phoenix, if I recall correctly) and all their ilk (like Jennings/Bryco/Jimenez/whatever they’re calling themselves today) ought to be shut down. They make dangerous crap thats not good at self defense, not useful for hunting, and not suited to a sporting purpose, and are directly responsible for the proliferation of handguns that are used in urban violence. I’d also strongly caution you against ever keeping a round in the chamber as they lack anything vaguely resembling an working internal safety.

    FashionablyEvil

    This caricature of people who think there should be fewer guns in our country is not really helpful to the debate either. If a person thinks there should be fewer guns or more limits on gun ownership, they can’t be trusted and therefore there will be no discussion? That’s sure to lead to a productive way to think about how we could reduce the injuries and deaths caused by firearms!

    Seconded.

  78. OutrageandSprinkles
    OutrageandSprinkles August 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    Yeah, seriously. I’ve been having trouble finding a second job and I can’t afford to get dental work done, so I think I’ll go out and shoot a bunch of innocent people while they pray. I just snapped! That’s totally how it works.

  79. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

    Just as William, I found the “public health risk” comment incredibly offensive, and I think it’s actually structurally related to the complaint “don’t give the mentally ill people guns!” that people here and elsewhere don’t much like. Saying: don’t give mentally ill people guns they’ll shoot others or don’t give mentally ill people guns they’ll shoot themselves is similar, but the second is arguably worse because no-one else is harmed by that decision. How about we talk about gun rights (and I am all for very restrictive gun laws) without being invasively concerned about depressed people. What’s next? Just plastic knives and sporks for us?

    Actually, this is not what I am talking about when I say “public health issue.” The fact that people die by the thousands from gun injuries every year deserves our attention, consideration, and research resources. This would include studying the factors that contribute to gun violence and what training, safety precautions, and other social programs would reduce the rate of unintended and intentional injury. As I mentioned upthread, the CDC has been banned from studying any of these issues for the last 16 years. How can you have a meaningful policy debate without any information about what’s actually going on?

    Also, I agree with konkonsn that reducing the opportunities that people have to harm themselves is not necessarily a bad thing. There was a lengthy article several years back looking at suicide, impulsivity, and how the availability of lethal options influences the overall suicide rate. In general, it seems that when you remove a method associated with impulsivity (like changing out the gas in British stoves or increasing the height of a barrier on a bridge), the overall suicide rate drops. That said, I am fine to agree to disagree with you and William on this issue.

  80. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

    To reference the actual post, I hear a bunch of talk about gun control and mental illness, and not one damned word about white male entitlement control.

    Well, because if we want white male entitled asshats to give up their guns we have to *compromise* and talk to them. Because that has always been the way that white male entitled asshats have been convinced to give up their sources of power.

  81. William
    William August 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

    This would include studying the factors that contribute to gun violence and what training, safety precautions, and other social programs would reduce the rate of unintended and intentional injury.

    We already know how to reduce unintentional injury with firearms: education and safety regulations. One of the pistols I own has two external safety devices (a grip and a trigger safety, both of which prevent firing if the pistol isn’t properly gripped and the trigger properly pulled simultaneously) and two internal safety devices (one to prevent accidental discharge from a heavy shock like a drop and one to prevent out-of-battery operation), its a relatively inexpensive weapon but the chances of an accidental discharge are astronomically low. Compare that with the Raven Arms pistols that AngieUnduplicated brought up, weapons widely known to have few or no safety features and which often experience malfunctions with the few features that do sometimes make an appearance. You couldn’t import a Raven Arms weapon into the US today, but because they’re made inside the country they are held to lower standards than foreign weapons. Closing that disparity and requiring modern weapons possess modern safety features would be a relatively simple regulatory fix that could save lives. Combine regulatory fixes like that with education and you could do a lot to reduce “accidental” injuries from firearms.

    In general, it seems that when you remove a method associated with impulsivity (like changing out the gas in British stoves or increasing the height of a barrier on a bridge), the overall suicide rate drops

    Passive measures like that are great ideas. Even active measures like increasing access to mental health care would go a long way towards reducing the overall rate of suicide. I think reducing the overall suicide rate is a good idea and a valid public health goal. That said, I don’t think that gutting the privacy rights of mad folks would be the right way to do it even if you could theoretically reduce the incidence of suicide to zero. Some things are more important than a marginal reduction even in loss of life.

  82. Liz
    Liz August 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    William, just get rid of your fucking guns and you’ll have done your bit to solve the problem. Then work in your mates to get rid of their fucking gunsand you’ll have added a but more to the solution. Then go out and lobby your representatives in government to get rid of guns and then you’ll have done your bit to solve the problem. Anything else is a load of bullshit.

  83. Libby Goodheart
    Libby Goodheart August 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm |

    I think William made a salient point that has been (intentionally?) missed and that is actually quite disturbing.

    It doesn’t seem like anyone who advocates for gun control knows very much about how guns work, what the different kinds of guns do, etc. How can you know what “sensible gun control” is – much less effective gun control – if you don’t know anything about guns to begin with? There’s almost a level of pride about ignorance of guns, as if knowing about guns makes you less of a liberal or something.

  84. William
    William August 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm |

    William, just get rid of your fucking guns and you’ll have done your bit to solve the problem. Then work in your mates to get rid of their fucking gunsand you’ll have added a but more to the solution. Then go out and lobby your representatives in government to get rid of guns and then you’ll have done your bit to solve the problem. Anything else is a load of bullshit.

    My guns aren’t dangerous. Neither are the guns owned by my friends, nor the guns owned by my father in law, nor the guns owned by my coworkers. My guns are used for target practice and home defense. I enjoy them, they’re a part of my life and my recreation, and I will not apologize that. What I do to be part of the solution, and I’m sure this will appall some, is to take people I meet who have had little exposure out to the shooting range. I teach them about basic gun safety, I teach them how to respect a weapon so that they aren’t a danger to themselves or others when they’re holding it, I teach them how to aim, how to load and clear a weapon, how to handle a weapon safely. I help to dispel the frankly irrational fears that many people, myself included before someone introduced me to the sport, have about weapons. It takes all of fifteen minutes and then they’re happily working on marksmanship for the rest of the hour. Some of them come back, some of them buy their own weapons, and little bit by little bit the massive majority of nonviolent gun owners becomes a little bit more imposing.

    The problem with guns isn’t people shooting paper, people shooting deer, people keeping a weapon in their nightstand, or even people carrying weapons in public. The problem we have in the United States around guns comes down to three closely interrelated factors: poverty, racism, and drug policy. The lion’s share of firearm injuries and deaths in this country are directly attributable to the intense poverty that has been disproportionately borne by people of color because of political policies which encourage and maintain incredible disparity in outcomes and then creating a system in which violence and perpetual incarceration are the predictable consequences of pursuing what appears to be the only viable alternative to crushing poverty. We have made this mess. A kid doesn’t shoot someone in a drive-by with Jimenez .25 because a gun made him violent, a kid kills someone over the kinds of turf disputes and regressive macho ideas of respect and vengeance that we learned come with prohibition and black markets back when it was Irish, Italian, and Jewish poor people killing each other over liquor and numbers instead of black and latino inner city youth killing each other over blow and junk in the same goddamn neighborhoods.

    You’re welcome to call that a load of bullshit, and I’m willing to wager that you will. I’m also willing to wager that you’ve not run successful gang intervention groups with active gang members in Humboldt Park, that you’ve never had an illegal gun turned into you, that you’ve never talked someone down from a drive-by or an act of premeditated revenge, that you’ve never been the person to walk someone back from PTSD as a result of an assault they suffered, that you haven’t been the person on call in an urban ER trying to figure out if someone is high or if the police beat him so badly he has brain damage. So no, I’m not going to give up my guns, pat myself on the back, and give myself a big gold star for helping to solve inner city murder rooted in poverty and the downright repulsive political system which profits from it anymore than I’m going to give up my bottle of good whiskey in order to solve the problem of mentally ill homeless people drinking themselves to death or give up my car in order to solve the problem of hit-and-run drivers. I’m kind of done with the token gestures we go through to make ourselves feel less complicit in the charnel house we’ve bought and paid for and as far as I’m concerned gun control is no less a con than mandatory minimums or three strikes laws or the idea of superpredators.

    I also haven’t forgotten how gun control laws got their start in this country, or how California lost open carry.

  85. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 12:22 am |

    Good people have magic guns that shoot rainbows and butterflies and are never, ever used for any purpose other than that intended, nor are they ever involved in accidents. It’s only the guns owned by bad people that are dangerous.

    I’ll respectfully ask you to show me an instance where a criminal used a bolt action rifle intended for long distance target shooting in a crime or where a proof-of-concept weapon was used in a crime of any sort. Unless, of course, you’re suggesting that a gun is liable to make me violent all on it’s own.

    As for accidents, I’m thinking you might not have the familiarity you think you do. Negligence is a different story (and quite easily preventable) but an accidental discharge is largely a myth when you’re talking about the kinds of weapons I own.

    This from the guy who had the fantasy about someone at the Aurora theater standing up and dropping Holmes in the dark with one shot while shooting through a panicking crowd. You seem given to magical thinking about guns, William.

    I’m gonna go ahead and ask you to cite your source. I said a defensive shooting was possible, that I sure as hell wasn’t capable of it, but that I’ve known people who wouldn’t have a whole lot of trouble shooting a moving target at that distance. Thats especially true now that it seems Holmes wasn’t actually wearing a bullet resistant vest. If you had paid attention to context there you’d also likely have recognized that I wasn’t saying it was a good idea so much as challenging the idea that it was somehow an impossible or superhuman feat.

    I also find it telling that you’re resorting to accusations of fantasy and magical thinking and rhetorical attacks rather than engaging with any of the more substantive points I had made. I find it equally telling that you seem willing to start a derail to do it.

  86. April
    April August 8, 2012 at 1:59 am |

    It’s a scary, scary thing to imagine that the only people allowed to have guns are the authority figures who routinely abuse their power anywhere from pepper-spraying the hell out of peaceful protesters to shooting unarmed black men in the back. The debate about gun control is so obnoxiously hysterical, exaggerated, and so often presented in such starkly black and white terms that it’s no wonder it’s an impossible topic to discuss rationally. We don’t have a gun problem, we have a culture problem.

  87. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 8, 2012 at 2:25 am |

    You’re welcome to call that a load of bullshit, and I’m willing to wager that you will. I’m also willing to wager that you’ve not run successful gang intervention groups with active gang members in Humboldt Park, that you’ve never had an illegal gun turned into you, that you’ve never talked someone down from a drive-by or an act of premeditated revenge, that you’ve never been the person to walk someone back from PTSD as a result of an assault they suffered, that you haven’t been the person on call in an urban ER trying to figure out if someone is high or if the police beat him so badly he has brain damage.

    Maybe not, but I have been the 12 year old that had to hide in my trailer while the father of one of my friends exchanged gunfire with his nephew (my neighbor at the time). I have been the 12 year old who heard gunshots at bedtime and woke to a perfect window view of a murder scene the next morning. I have been the 10 year old crying herself to sleep because her drunken parent has guns and she doesn’t trust him not to use them. I have been the woman having to tell her future boyfriend that his friend was shot and dumped at the ER door left to die. I also was the one between the two of us who knew the murderer personally. My mother has been the funeral goer for another young man who died the exact same way, and she was the Avon lady to a woman whose grandson was gunned down in front of my former high school along with another young man who left behind a girlfriend and a two-week old baby boy, and I was the one who put money in the collection for their funerals (almost everybody has to take up collections to bury their dead here, we’re poor). I was the one who had a class in 9th grade whose classmate had dumped a boy who brought a gun to school to shoot her. I have listened as a little boy lied about his father’s identity because the truth was too painful, his father had a gun in a bar that he pulled on a couple of cops and he wound up shot to death by them. My high school friend is the niece of the cop that was shot resulting in the death of the little boy’s father, and she is also the one who is afraid of her neighbors and had to give a police statement when one teenager at the neighbor’s house was shot and killed while she was trying to sleep. I have stayed inside my house because someone was on the loose and I have based what color clothing I wear because I don’t want to be harmed, etc. I could go on and on and on.

    I am working class/poor. I’m Chicana, and I live in the San Joaquin Valley in California, which is being torn apart by gun violence. I am so tired of gun owners demanding understanding for themselves, but dismissing any concerns of POC who wish to see some pressures taken off of our communities since the understanding seems to only go in one direction. Doing something about poverty is extremely important; the San Joaquin Valley statistics-wise is doing even worse than Appalachia, but, we. need. help. right. goddamn. now. to relieve the pressure.

    And I’ll be frank. I don’t give a damn about firearm tech jargon, I don’t care about the mechanics of guns, I care about what guns to people, to communities, who aren’t so lucky to enjoy guns in a “good” context.

  88. Liz
    Liz August 8, 2012 at 3:26 am |

    Okay, William. I understand. Apparently your guns don’t kill people. They’re super, special guns that only do beautiful and loving things.

    Of course, I do remember that you’d be quite happy to see an intruder ‘bleeding out on the floor’ ‘cos you’re so special you get to be judge, jury and executioner of someone you deem to be a threat.

    Australia has poverty and racism. We’re also not allowed to buy guns for self- defence. And we only had 35 deaths by guns in 2010, which includes suicide and accidents. But, you’re so safe with your super, special, guns, that you don’t need to look at other countries and say maybe they’ve got it right, in this instance.

  89. Rhoanna
    Rhoanna August 8, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    My guns aren’t dangerous. Neither are the guns owned by my friends, nor the guns owned by my father in law, nor the guns owned by my coworkers. My guns are used for target practice and home defense.

    No, they are dangerous. That’s even part of why you own them; they wouldn’t be much good for self defense if they weren’t dangerous. I happen to think people should have a right to own guns for self defense, so that doesn’t bother me, but don’t pretend they’re not dangerous. Maybe you mean that your guns (and your friends guns) are less likely to be used in a murder, accidentally injure someone, etc, but the gun itself is still dangerous.

  90. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 8, 2012 at 8:21 am |

    Hey, thanks for stereotyping!

    It’s not. A huge amount of anti-gun legislation has been idiotically written- focused on guns with features that look ‘scary’ but don’t particularly affect their lethality.

  91. spot
    spot August 8, 2012 at 9:27 am |

    I’ll respectfully ask you to show me an instance where a criminal used a bolt action rifle intended for long distance target shooting in a crime or where a proof-of-concept weapon was used in a crime of any sort.

    JFK assassination? (Carcano Model 91/38)

    But don’t get me wrong; I hear and appreciate your nuanced arguments.

  92. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 8, 2012 at 11:52 am |

    I’ll respectfully ask you to show me an instance where a criminal used a bolt action rifle intended for long distance target shooting in a crime.

    That’s a disingenuous argument. Semi automatic weapons are far more readily available and anyone looking to do some damage at a distance in the modern era are far more likely to purchase a semi automatic weapon. But I’m happy to concede that point. So you would be in favor of gun control that bans all weapons except for bold action rifles and single shot shotguns?

  93. PeteyWheatStraw
    PeteyWheatStraw August 8, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    It’s not. A huge amount of anti-gun legislation has been idiotically written- focused on guns with features that look ‘scary’ but don’t particularly affect their lethality.

    The “Assault Weapons” ban was exactly this. A bunch of politicians looked at pictures of scary guns (the kind they perceived black people as favoring, natch) and banned some cosmetic features that had nothing do with how the guns functioned. Indeed, “assault weapons” are not functionally different than any semi-automatic firearm designed in the last 100+ years.

    Gun control is a (sometimes explicitly) racist institution designed to disarm minorities and render them defenseless. As william suggested upthread, look into why California began restricting open carry in the 60s. Hint: It wasn’t guns, but what sort of people were carrying them.

  94. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    It’s not. A huge amount of anti-gun legislation has been idiotically written- focused on guns with features that look ‘scary’ but don’t particularly affect their lethality.

    It is, though. This was said: “It doesn’t seem like anyone who advocates for gun control knows very much about how guns work, what the different kinds of guns do, etc… …There’s almost a level of pride about ignorance of guns, as if knowing about guns makes you less of a liberal or something.”

    While it might be true that a lot of the legislation that has been written or passed has been poorly written or focused on the wrong things, that doesn’t mean that nobody who advocates for gun control understands how guns work, and it certainly doesn’t follow that “there’s almost a level of pride about ignorance of guns.”

    While I’m certainly not an expert, I do have more than a passing familiarity with firearms. What I don’t know, I know how to do research on. And while I don’t think that a ban on all guns is what we need, and I don’t think we should blame guns for the violence that people do, I do think that it’s reasonable to want controls in place to try to prevent guns from getting into the hands of violent criminals, to ensure that there are ways of tracking where guns are ending up, to get illegal weapons off the street, etc.

    tl/dr: politicians are the ones who pass gun control legislation, but they’re not the only ones who talk about it or advocate for it. Just because the politicians who passed legislation didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about doesn’t mean that nobody else does.

  95. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    Annaleigh,

    I am working class/poor. I’m Chicana, and I live in the San Joaquin Valley in California, which is being torn apart by gun violence. I am so tired of gun owners demanding understanding for themselves, but dismissing any concerns of POC who wish to see some pressures taken off of our communities since the understanding seems to only go in one direction. Doing something about poverty is extremely important; the San Joaquin Valley statistics-wise is doing even worse than Appalachia, but, we. need. help. right. goddamn. now. to relieve the pressure.

    I’ve had guns pointed at me in anger, I grew up with shootings on my block (though not as many as you) I live in a city which clears 400 murders in a relatively peaceful year. Also, like you, I’ve lived my entire life under some of the strictest gun laws in the country. They haven’t done anything. Criminals still have guns. I couldn’t get rid of my guns if I wanted to because the guy-buy-back programs are basically police charity events and selling them would just mean moving them on to another owner. We’ve got guns here and that isn’t changing. It couldn’t change because we’ve got the most privately owned weapons in the world (by some estimates a third of the guns on Earth are in the US). Widespread disarmament isn’t an option and even if it was somehow attempted you’d be getting weapons primarily from the most law abiding of citizens. The honest truth is that if you made guns illegal tomorrow you’d get them from people like my father in law but not from gang bangers and not from people like me. Increased restrictions aren’t going to relieve pressure from communities because its like trying to stop your basement from flooding when you have three feet of standing water by turning off a faucet.

    Now, I’m not saying this as a “nyah nyah what are you gonna do about it” but the truth is my guns aren’t going anywhere regardless of the debate that takes place. I have an enormous amount of social power and privilege as a gun owner and that power and privilege is wielded by a phenomenally successful grass-roots lobby that is working in a politically friendly environment with momentum on it’s side. Looking at the racial make-up of the ranges I go to and whats been happening at town hall meetings on the south and west sides of Chicago I can say with confidence that you don’t speak for all POC. To put it bluntly, the forces of gun control have lost. Now, I don’t want to see a situation in which we have no regulations, I don’t want to see unsafe guns that contribute to violence being pumped out to the tun of three quarters of a million a year, I don’t want to see felons or people with DV convictions or restraining orders with guns. I don’t want people who don’t put in range time to be carrying. I don’t want to see prohibition and police negligence continue to make poor communities into battle grounds. Making sure that doesn’t happen by enacting sensible legislation requires cooperation. I don’t need anyone to understand me or even to like my position, but it is what it is and demanding that I give up position or admit to being full of shit means losing people who are on your side. In the end that also means nothing changes in your community.

    Liz,

    Willing and happy are worlds apart, but I’ll never apologize for deciding that I’ve been a victim enough in my life. Rape survivor’s prerogative and all, I could give two shits if someone is offended by how I sleep at night when it only effects me.

    Rhoanna

    but don’t pretend they’re not dangerous. Maybe you mean that your guns (and your friends guns) are less likely to be used in a murder, accidentally injure someone, etc, but the gun itself is still dangerous.

    My guns aren’t dangerous. They’re pieces of metal, tools which are fundamentally safe and so astronomically unlikely to have an accident that one might as well call it an impossibility. Alone, unloaded or unchambered, my weapons are utterly safe. Its not magic or fantasy, most guns (and my guns especially because I choose weapons with redundant safety features) are completely safe all the way up until someone picks them up, chambers a round, and uses them. My guns aren’t dangerous, I am. Without a human hand they’re just wood and metal and plastic. Ultimately the dangers a weapon I own pose are stand ins for the danger I pose. I’m not a threat, I’m not violent, I’m not a second away from snapping (and from a clinical perspective I question the idea that anyone really is). The state trusts me to work with some of the most vulnerable populations one can work with, my wife sleeps next to me without fear, my friends come to my home knowing that I’m a few second from a weapon and don’t bat an eyelash.

    Thats always been one of the things that makes me angry about the gun control debate. At the end of the day a comment like “there should be less guns” feels a lot like “you cannot be trusted” and when I’ve generally heard that its been from someone I’ve have very good reasons to fear. Its not just the lack of trust that bothers me, its the fear of what happens when I’m defenseless in the face of people who see me as a threat.

    JFK assassination? (Carcano Model 91/38)

    Not to get all technical but a 6.5mm military surplus short rifle designed for infantry use with a 4x scope on it is hardly a long-range target rifle.

  96. Liz
    Liz August 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

    William, I find you and your attitudes very scary and dangerous. You’re quite happy kill someone you see as a threat and you think you’re not dangerous. Thankfully, someone like you wouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun in Australia, so I don’t have to worry about someone like you as a neighbour.

  97. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    At the end of the day a comment like “there should be less guns” feels a lot like “you cannot be trusted”

    If it’s not about you, it’s not about you. And sometimes it’s not about you.

  98. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

    Liz,

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m sorry that you seem to have misinterpreted willing as happy. I’m sorry you cannot understand why a survivor of rape and abuse might not be willing to rely on systems that have failed him again and again for his protection. I’m glad that your opinion has absolutely no impact on me.

    Dan S.,

    But it is about me when regulations specifically affect me. I’ll argue against any regulation which primarily affects me and does sweet fuck all to actually address the causes of violence.

  99. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    Kristen J.,

    That’s a disingenuous argument. Semi automatic weapons are far more readily available and anyone looking to do some damage at a distance in the modern era are far more likely to purchase a semi automatic weapon. But I’m happy to concede that point. So you would be in favor of gun control that bans all weapons except for bold action rifles and single shot shotguns?

    I’m not sure how its disingenuous when the comment was made in the context of guns I own. One of the things I’ve been talking about has been the ways in which different guns contribute to crime. My rifle could easily be semi automatic with a 20 round magazine and it wouldn’t be much better suited for violence than it is now because it would be heavy, too long to use, and a high powered scope makes shorter range shots really difficult. A relatively uncommon 6 o’clock revolver that costs five times what a throw away .25 semi auto costs isn’t likely to be used in a crime either. The same is true of the most common shotgun in the country or an old war trophy pistol. The only really high risk weapon I own is a 9mm semi thats marketed to police and concealed carry markets, but thats also the best weapon for self defense.

    I think the best means of reducing gun violence is to have better background checks, better industry regulations, more serious penalties for people who funnel weapons to prohibited persons, and more serious enforcement of existing laws. A good example of this would be to address private sales at the federal level by requiring the normal ATF paperwork for private sales and allowing/requiring private citizens to run a NICS background check on potential private purchasers. A change like that would require little additional regulatory framework and extra costs could easily be paid for with a $10 or $15 per sale fee for access to the NICS system. I’d also like to see a federal law prohibiting people with violent misdemeanor convictions from owning weapons for a period of time. Another very good method of reducing firearm violence would be a federal prohibition on people with DV convictions or restraining orders from owning weapons. None of those changes would cost a lot to implement, none would end in any kind of restriction for normal gun owners, and all of them would save a lot more lives than a new ban on magazine size or cosmetic features. The ATF should focus a lot more on pursuing straw purchasers of handguns and closing down gun stores that don’t have proper storage (because when we’re talking about stolen guns in the hands of criminals, especially NFA/fully automatic weapons we’re not generally talking about burglaries) than going after scared people in the woods or walking guns they’re going to lose into Mexico.

  100. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    William, I find you and your attitudes very scary and dangerous. You’re quite happy kill someone you see as a threat and you think you’re not dangerous. Thankfully, someone like you wouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun in Australia, so I don’t have to worry about someone like you as a neighbour.

    Why would you be breaking into his house?

    He specifically said intruder, so if you’re afraid that he’s a danger to you that means you’d be an intruder in his home. Which makes you the possible threat, not him. Unless you’re arguing that a home invader has the home owners health and best interests at heart?

  101. Asia
    Asia August 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

    William

    Your gun is dangerous. Every gun is dangerous. It is a weapon. It was designed to kill. I understand that you choose not to use at as such. But it was still designed for that capacity. Someone could steal your gun. Your friends kid could sneak into a room and look at it.

    I respect you views. My parents are both police officers and they always bought their weapons home. But they are trained. If a individual feels the need to protect that strongly he or she should a police force or the army reserves.
    I agree that Chicago has had gun restricted for years but still has a huge gun problem. But Australia had only 35 gun related deaths. They prove that complete bans are possible. Now whether or not it is possible in America is another question. You are probably right it would never happen.
    I understand the urge to protect yourself. But Liz is right at the end of the day you think your judgement in a potentially threatening situation is enough to end a life. Now, police and military personnel do this every day. But really do you want to live in a world where more people are put into that position as a mental health worker think of PTSD. The average person doesn’t get the training a military officer gets. And honestly, the odds are against the individual you know that was capable of shooting a moving target in the dark crowded smoky room ever being in a victim in a mass shooting spree. Any gun you or your friends own is more likely to hurt the innocent that protect you or anyone else.

    You say gun control feels a lot like you can’t be trusted. William the guns in the poor communities came from somewhere. At one point they were all bought legally from someone. The person that bought it couldn’t be trusted. Is it unfair to think that stopping the person who bought the gun legally and lives. More important that individual gun rights.

  102. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm |

    Someone could steal your gun. Your friends kid could sneak into a room and look at it.

    Someone could steal my gun, they could also steal my car, or my kitchen knives, or the cleaning chemicals I have under my sink. Basic gun safety dictates that the guns are unloaded and locked up when children a present.

    But they are trained.

    So am I. I shoot recreationally a lot and my marksmanship far exceeds police standards. Once my state has carry I plan on taking a defensive firearm use course. Once I have a little more money I plan on getting into IPSC (competitive practical) shooting.

    If a individual feels the need to protect that strongly he or she should a police force or the army reserves.

    Repulsive ableism aside (I’m pretty sure the asthma and cerebral palsy prevent my joining either) I’ve no interest in shooting foreigners so Halliburton can make a few dollars and the police in Chicago are…barely human. But I take your point, self defense should only be available to the demonstrably violent hired thugs of oppressive governments.

    But Liz is right at the end of the day you think your judgement in a potentially threatening situation is enough to end a life.

    Yes, yes I do. I was raped as a child. As I got older the trauma from that landed me in a hellish therapeutic day school where physical abuse was common place. As a second grader I had to make a decision about whether or not to use a pen as a weapon against an adult in order to prevent myself from being locked in a closet for seven hours. Even then I understood that I had a human right to protect myself. In fifth grade, after I had thought that I’d escaped the abuse because I had mainstreamed into a gifted program, I was assaulted by three older students on a bus. After being held down and getting the shit beaten out of me with adults doing nothing I had a pocket knife and my teeth. In seventh grade I was attacked by an older student who thought it was funny to beat up a fat kid, but I’d learned how to throw a punch years earlier. I’ve been mugged four times, the most recent time being last year just before Halloween. But I’m a big guy and I’ve had to learn how to fight. I’ll be fine without a gun. My wife, though, probably doesn’t have it in her to beat a Latin King into unconsciousness who tries to rob her at 3 am. My friend whose a transwoman is relieved that she’ll finally be able to get a carry permit once she leaves this backwards fucking state. My mother, however, continues to have to go to deserted places with people she doesn’t know because of her job and she has no means of defending herself, especially now that the RA has gotten worse.

    So yes, I do think my judgement in a self defense situation is good enough to take a life. I feel the same way about my mother, about my friends, about my wife, and about the six million Americans who have concealed carry permits because I believe that when someone decides to victimize another human being for their own gain that they give up any right to complain about how that human predation is prevented.

    But really do you want to live in a world where more people are put into that position as a mental health worker think of PTSD

    We’re already there, we’re already in this position. I wish people didn’t prey on one another. I wish that the world wasn’t rife with rapists and robbers. I wish that we lived in a society where I hadn’t been forced to learn that staying safe means doing things that stick with you forever. I wish that my friends didn’t have to be afraid that someone would rape or kill them because of how they look. But that ain’t the cards we’ve been dealt. I’d rather have PTSD from having killed someone who was attacking me than from having been victimized. If I’m threatened I’m going to be in that situation whether I want to be or not, a gun just makes it more likely that I live to cope.

    Any gun you or your friends own is more likely to hurt the innocent that protect you or anyone else.

    Thats a bullshit statistic that only works if you include suicides and exclude the staggering number of defensive firearm incidents which end with no one being shot at all.

    William the guns in the poor communities came from somewhere.

    That would be straw purchasers, generally. Its an easy enough problem to address, but instead we’re busy arguing about bullet buttons and pistol grips.

    More important that individual gun rights.

    Thats the same argument that got us the PATRIOT act. I didn’t buy it then, I don’t now.

  103. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm |

    My rifle could easily be semi automatic with a 20 round magazine and it wouldn’t be much better suited for violence than it is now because it would be heavy, too long to use, and a high powered scope makes shorter range shots really difficult.

    Except those weapons have been used to kill a good number of people.

  104. William
    William August 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

    Except those weapons have been used to kill a good number of people.

    The same can be said of lever guns and double barreled coach guns. The M1A is a hell of a lot more powerful than an AR-15 and the federal government still runs a Civilian Marksmanship Program that ships them to you at a discount. It doesn’t have a scary pistol grip and feeds from clips instead of detachable magazines so no one really thinks of it as an assault weapon. Thats the problem with the kinds of regulations we’re talking about.

  105. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

    Thats a bullshit statistic that only works if you include suicides and exclude the staggering number of defensive firearm incidents which end with no one being shot at all.

    That number is only staggering if you also ignore the number of crimes that are committed with guns which end in no one being shot at all.

  106. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

    The same can be said of lever guns and double barreled coach guns. The M1A is a hell of a lot more powerful than an AR-15 and the federal government still runs a Civilian Marksmanship Program that ships them to you at a discount. It doesn’t have a scary pistol grip and feeds from clips instead of detachable magazines so no one really thinks of it as an assault weapon. Thats the problem with the kinds of regulations we’re talking about.

    I don’t know very many advocates for disarmarment that really care about assault rifle bans. That’s basically a stalking horse for gun enthusiasts who like to say har har look at the stupid liberals. A reasonable disarmament program means no guns of any kind except single shot weapons for hunting. Sport shooters can use air rifles or practice at licensed ranges where the weapons and the ammunition does not leave the range.

  107. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm |

    Oh, and William, despite our vehement disagreement on this subject, in no way do I wish to be dismissive of your experience, which is why I waited so long to respond. I do appreciate that you come by your stance on gun control honestly, and appreciate that what you went through is more significant than a political debate.

  108. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 9, 2012 at 12:41 am |

    My parents are both police officers and they always bought their weapons home.

    May I ask how your parents feel about private gun ownership in the U.S.? Have you discussed gun control with them?

  109. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 9, 2012 at 12:58 am |

    The problem we have in the United States around guns comes down to three closely interrelated factors: poverty, racism, and drug policy. The lion’s share of firearm injuries and deaths in this country are directly attributable to the intense poverty that has been disproportionately borne by people of color

    because of political policies which encourage and maintain incredible disparity in outcomes …. A kid doesn’t shoot someone in a drive-by with Jimenez .25 because a gun made him violent, a kid kills someone over the kinds of turf disputes and regressive macho ideas of respect and vengeance …

    Guns don’t kill people, social problems kill people.

    With guns.
    Technology matters. It’s s lot harder to kill random moms and kids that happened to be on the same street if the turf disputes are being settled by knives. Technology matters. Why are indoor-only/mostly cats much more common these days? Changed in attitudes… But also the accidental invention of cat litter. Women have pretty much always, far as we know, tried to control their fertility, with varying degrees of success. Imagine a world where the Pill never got invented – is it different? Think about car culture, suburbia, and mid-century dating in a world where cars just never really caught on.

    Indeed – William, earlier in the thread you warned about how – paraphrasing, perhaps a bit unfairly – that thanks to “acrimony” and gun control advocates’s idiocy we’ll end up with fully automatic weapons all over the place. Perhaps – but why would that even matter, if the real problems are racism, poverty and drug policy? Or perhaps that’s all too true, but maybe within our crappy reality kinds of weapons and ease of availability are a BFD also?

    [ comments about straw buyers]

    My state tried to pass a one-gun-a-month law, as a way of trying to make life harder for straw buyers. The gun lobby killed it. Of course, that happened cause we were trying to pass hysterical regulations b/c certain features looked scary (except not) and also Ruby Ridge.

  110. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 9, 2012 at 1:25 am |

    Doing something about poverty is extremely important; the San Joaquin Valley statistics-wise is doing even worse than Appalachia, but, we. need. help. right. goddamn. now. to relieve the pressure.

    And I’ll be frank. I don’t give a damn about firearm tech jargon, I don’t care about the mechanics of guns, I care about what guns to people, to communities, who aren’t so lucky to enjoy guns in a “good” context.

    Annaleigh, I think reducing poverty, improving education, and giving young people beneficial after-school and weekend activities would make a world of difference in a community that’s suffering like yours. It’s easy to force firearms to accept some or all of the blame for what goes on there because guns have such a demonstrable effect. Even the most hardened gun rights proponent may have changed his opinion if he’d walked through that movie theater in Colorado after the shootings. But the truth is–and you practically admit this in the second blocked quote up top–it’s the problems inside of the community that drive the violence. I’m not blaming the people, the residents where you live, I’m blaming the individuals in government who are responsible for neglecting your community for whatever reason. It’s easy to pass gun control legislation, but it’s not a simple task to reverse the damage from decades of racism, rampant crime, substandard schools, and runaway poverty. Regardless, community leaders need to team with local, state and federal governments to get the help you’re asking for–the help you deserve.

  111. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 9, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    And I’ll be frank. I don’t give a damn about firearm tech jargon, I don’t care about the mechanics of guns

    I think you’re proving William’s point re: ignorance in the anti-gun lobby. I mean, if you want to solve a problem, it’s kinda important to understand it first.

  112. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    I think you’re proving William’s point re: ignorance in the anti-gun lobby. I mean, if you want to solve a problem, it’s kinda important to understand it first.

    No it isn’t. You can lobby to eradicate breast cancer without knowing the mechanics of cancer. You can lobby against nuclear weapons without knowing their precise mechanism. Complete ignorance of economics has never stopped anyone for lobbying for lower taxes.

  113. amblingalong
    amblingalong August 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    No it isn’t. You can lobby to eradicate breast cancer without knowing the mechanics of cancer. You can lobby against nuclear weapons without knowing their precise mechanism.

    But there’s a long history of ineffective gun legislation that has very little effect, largely as a result of not understanding how guns work and what features make them more or less lethal. So revel in your ignorance all you like, but it won’t help actually craft workable laws.

    Complete ignorance of economics has never stopped anyone for lobbying for lower taxes.

    …yes, indeed.

  114. Matt
    Matt August 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    I would just like to clarify whether Liz and Asia believe that people are morally able to use deadly force against an unknown, unauthorized intruder in their home when they perceive a threat to their safety.

    I feel as though you are suggesting that William is unreasonable or even bloodthirsty for saying that he would be willing to defend himself with a gun against an attacker in his own home.

  115. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I would just like to clarify whether Liz and Asia believe that people are morally able to use deadly force against an unknown, unauthorized intruder in their home when they perceive a threat to their safety.

    I feel as though you are suggesting that William is unreasonable or even bloodthirsty for saying that he would be willing to defend himself with a gun against an attacker in his own home.

    No, what is being suggested is that William is unreasonable or even bloodthirsty for preferring killing someone over attempting to legislate against the ‘attacker’ from having access to lethal weapons. Someone who prefers a scenario wherein both intruder and householder are likely to be armed to a scenario where both the intruder and the householder are unlikely to be armed could easily be termed ‘bloodthirsty.’

  116. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish August 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

    There’s a lot of talk about marginalised people using guns for self-defence. I’m not American, so I have to ask: to what extent are marginalised people realistically able to do so? Are the stories I hear of PoC serving time for defending themselves strange outliers or are they part of a pattern? And then, conversely, I hear stories of white people shooting PoC and calling it self-defence – and getting away with murder.

    I think acknowledging that has got to be part of any discussion of the use of guns for self-defence. To me, it seems like just another way of reinforcing existing power discrepancies – some people are allowed to defend themselves while the law pretends that others’ lives don’t matter. Some people can get away with killing others while others can’t even get away with defending themselves and their families. Guns exacerbate that, because they are more lethal than a lot of other weapons. After all, they’re designed solely for the purpose of killing someone. That both acts to necessitate self-defence and to excuse someone from using lethal force in unreasonable circumstances.

    I guess I’m just another Australian who doesn’t understand US culture here. Our gun bans have stopped the majority of criminals from having guns. A criminal who does have a gun can (legally speaking) be arrested before they’ve committed a crime, because they’ve broken the law by carrying a deadly weapon. I don’t need to worry about not having a gun for self-defence because I don’t realistically need to worry about a criminal attacking me with one. And there’s still room for recreational hunting.

    To me, the US system seems like a self-reinforcing cycle: people are allowed to have guns, so other people need guns to defend themselves, so people are allowed to have guns. If you cut out the guns, people wouldn’t need guns to defend themselves with in the first place. That’s a separate question to whether disarmament is reasonably possible, both in the sense of getting a law passed and of getting people to turn in their weapons.

  117. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    There’s a lot of talk about marginalised people using guns for self-defence. I’m not American, so I have to ask: to what extent are marginalised people realistically able to do so? Are the stories I hear of PoC serving time for defending themselves strange outliers or are they part of a pattern? And then, conversely, I hear stories of white people shooting PoC and calling it self-defence – and getting away with murder.

    Two words for you: Marissa Alexander.

    So, no, I don’t have any faith in POC being able to defend themselves with guns without suffering consequences that people with white privilege don’t have to worry as much about.

  118. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |

    Annaleigh, I think reducing poverty, improving education, and giving young people beneficial after-school and weekend activities would make a world of difference in a community that’s suffering like yours. It’s easy to force firearms to accept some or all of the blame for what goes on there because guns have such a demonstrable effect.

    And how long will that take, pray tell? I definitely that all of these things are desperately needed in my community, but they have been needed (and not on their way) for years and years. My community can’t wait for someone in DC to decide to tackle these issues. During the last thread on the gun control issue, while I was dragging my feet about whether to go to a doctor’s appointment, as I was sitting here at my laptop looking at that thread, I found out there was a shooting just feet away from my clinic and the main street of town was shut down (so obviously I didn’t go). That’s how regular and imminent gun violence frequently is here. I always feel like when I tell online people about this they will never believe me because it’s a town of 50,000 people in the middle of nowhere that they’ve never heard of. And they’ve never heard of the town next way over that is even smaller population wise and yet has even worse gun violence lately that occasionally spills over into our town (like the shooting near the clinic). We are invisible to most people. You’re asking me, and my community to sit around and wait on DC and people in power to do something about these deep systemic issues that take a lot of time to solve, meanwhile I and others can’t know if one day we will be at the wrong place and the wrong time, and end up hurt or worse. Given most people don’t even know we exist let alone our situation, you’ll excuse me if I have no faith in that process any longer.

    By the way, my congressional district is likely going to wind up with a Republican congressman due to gerrymandering, so I have little to no hope that anything will change.

  119. Asia
    Asia August 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

    William
    I have the utmost respect for everything you have been through. I acknowledge that you have experienced more trauma than I or most people have. I understand that this debate is more personal to you than me. But I’m also a rape survivor. I don’t want to shoot my rapist.
    Had he been caught in the act I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to shoot him then either. That said, someone close to me was also sexually assaulted. I would have wanted him shot. Neither, of our rapists were every caught. I understand not trusting the system. But we have tazers, pepper spray, different ways to deter someone without killing them.

    Marksman.
    I have spoken to my family about gun ownership. They think that if more people expected to encounter gun-wielding civilians they would be less likely to commit crime. That said when their coworkers took their children to the range my parents didn’t.

    I would just like to clarify whether Liz and Asia believe that people are morally able to use deadly force against an unknown, unauthorized intruder in their home when they perceive a threat to their safety.

    I feel as though you are suggesting that William is unreasonable or even bloodthirsty for saying that he would be willing to defend himself with a gun against an attacker in his own home.

    I’m not saying he is bloodthirsty. This is a common idea of self-defense. However, I disagree that everyday people have the right to make a decision to use deadly fire. I don’t think a person has enough knowledge about a unknown, unauthorized intruder to shoot him. I remember a story i was taught is school. A man came home from work suddenly and heard an intruder in his home. He tracked the intruder to a closed closet door. He shot through the closet door then opened it to find his 15 year old daughter who had been cutting class.

    Even despite horror stories, do we believe that a thief should be shot for stealing from someones home. The majority of people breaking and entering are thieves. Is the potential death of a rapist or murderer worth maybe shooting someone else.

  120. rain alayne
    rain alayne August 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

    Fat Steve:

    Someone who prefers a scenario wherein both intruder and householder are likely to be armed to a scenario where both the intruder and the householder are unlikely to be armed could easily be termed ‘bloodthirsty.’

    snorkellingfish:

    I don’t need to worry about not having a gun for self-defence because I don’t realistically need to worry about a criminal attacking me with one.

    even if you optimistically assume both parties being unarmed, rather than an armed intruder and an unarmed resident, I don’t see how that’s very comforting except to people who believe they are likely to be about as strong as anyone who might try to hurt them. I have a disability and I am a lot weaker than an average person. Personally, I don’t want to have a gun because I don’t want to put in the time and energy to learn to use it, practice with it and take proper care of it, among other reasons. But the flip side of that is I accept that in the unlikely event of a home invasion, I can’t defend myself in any meaningful way. If somebody else doesn’t accept that, and does want to be capable of defending themselves, there aren’t too many ways for a much smaller or much weaker person to defend themselves against a much larger or much stronger person. I think calling someone bloodthirsty for saying they would shoot someone who broke into *their home* is not very accurate – no one *wants* their house broken into or wants to be put in that position in the first place.

  121. William
    William August 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

    Dan S

    Guns don’t kill people, social problems kill people…Indeed – William, earlier in the thread you warned about how –paraphrasing, perhaps a bit unfairly – that thanks to “acrimony” and gun control advocates’s idiocy we’ll end up with fully automatic weapons all over the place. Perhaps – but why would that even matter, if the real problems are racism, poverty and drug policy? Or perhaps that’s all too true, but maybe within our crappy reality kinds of weapons and ease of availability are a BFD also?

    Honestly, if we were somehow able to hammer out all of the social problems caused by poverty and this ridiculous war on drugs and racism I wouldn’t see much of a problem with the proliferation of fully automatic weapons. That would be closer to the obvious original intent of the second amendment and full auto is a lot of fun for some people (I don’t see the point of basically flushing money down the toilet but YMMV). That said, the realist in me recognizes the need for balance and I’m not terribly hopeful that we’re not going to solve these problems in my lifetime. Fully automatic weapons are irresponsible for self defense, useless for hunting, and pretty much irrelevant in shooting sports. They’re also attractive to the spray-and-pray mentality of a lot of criminals, so I see the point of heavily regulating their possession (a lot of states let you own full auto today but the price is incredibly steep and the ATF attention is a lot more trouble than most people think its worth). Its not internally consistent, and there are definitely people in the gun community who’d have problems with it, but its a compromise that I think is reasonable.

    My state tried to pass a one-gun-a-month law, as a way of trying to make life harder for straw buyers. The gun lobby killed it.

    I’m not a fan of one gun a month laws. They’re a pain in the ass for some gun owners and easily side-stepped. More importantly, they move the problem to someone else’s plate and don’t do much to actually catch a straw purchaser. If you want to stop straw purchasers the best way to do it is to flag multiple sales in a given period of time (or, better yet, to have time-limited NICS tracking abilities) so that the ATF can pursue black market gun sales. State-level regulation isn’t much more than an inconvenience for legal gun owners. Unfortunately, if you want things to actually work, you need to have federal uniformity.

    Fat Steve

    No it isn’t. You can lobby to eradicate breast cancer without knowing the mechanics of cancer. You can lobby against nuclear weapons without knowing their precise mechanism.

    But you cannot eradicate guns in the US. Maybe you want to, but its a political impossibility. That leaves you with regulation, and effective regulation requires that you understand what you’re trying to regulate, especially if you need to defend that later on. Anyone can throw a pink ribbon on their lapel, run a 5k, or write a check to eradicate breast cancer, but you’re not going to do much to reduce the incidence of cancer if you use the money you collect to buy people homeopathic treatment or the power of prayer. It might make you feel good, but you’ll be useless, ridiculed, and increasingly marginalized.

    Complete ignorance of economics has never stopped anyone for lobbying for lower taxes.

    Which would be why the Reagan administration was such an unmitigated success, right?

    No, what is being suggested is that William is unreasonable or even bloodthirsty for preferring killing someone over attempting to legislate against the ‘attacker’ from having access to lethal weapons. Someone who prefers a scenario wherein both intruder and householder are likely to be armed to a scenario where both the intruder and the householder are unlikely to be armed could easily be termed ‘bloodthirsty.’

    Yes, because it is blood thirsty of me to want something that ensures my ability to defend myself regardless of physical ability rather than to hope and pray that the only people who might want to do me harm are in my weight division, skill level, and basic physical fitness band. I’m a monster.

    Asia

    I don’t want to shoot my rapist.

    I’m sure this will contribute to allegations of blood thirst but…if it wasn’t for the legal consequences I wouldn’t bat an eye. Hell, there was a time in my life when I even found him and I spent quite a few years after feeling like a coward for not doing something because there was a good chance not killing him meant that someone else would be raped. I won’t apologize for what I feel.

    Neither, of our rapists were every caught. I understand not trusting the system.

    Its not just that I do not trust the system, it is that I have lived my life being constantly reminded that the system doesn’t only fail me but it actively works against me and mine. It actively oppresses people like me and people I care about. It is actively invested in my failure. I’ve come to accept that I will never know justice but I’ll not be put into a position where I have to work so hard to again know peace.

    But we have tazers, pepper spray, different ways to deter someone without killing them.

    Theres a good chance that a man over 200 pounds won’t be brought down by a tazer, pepper spray isn’t a guarantee. That, charitably, is why police carry guns. A baton or a knife or my fists are fine for now but when I’m 80, or when my wife has physical disabilities and is quite small, they’re hardly an equal answer. More to the point, I just don’t see the value in putting an innocent in danger so that a predator might have a better chance of living through preying. If someone doesn’t want to get shot they can unconditionally surrender. Or, you know, they can choose not to prey on others.

    He shot through the closet door then opened it to find his 15 year old daughter who had been cutting class.

    Which is why any basic armed self defense class trains you to only fire at targets on which you have a visual. Its also why the most common self defense handguns on the market all have integrated flashlight rails and why most defensive handgun classes teach stances for holding a weapon and a flashlight at the same time.

    Even despite horror stories, do we believe that a thief should be shot for stealing from someones home. The majority of people breaking and entering are thieves. Is the potential death of a rapist or murderer worth maybe shooting someone else.

    Its simple, really. My doors are double locked, my windows are on the second floor, the only people who have keys are me and my wife. If you’re in my home and I do not know you you’re already committing a felony and you’re already displaying a complete disregard for me and my rights. At that point you have three choices: follow an order to surrender, retreat, or advance on me. In the first case you get to live to meet the police, in the second case I’m going to run your ass down and you’ll live to see the police if you’re faster, in the third case you’re violent and threatening and I have no moral qualms with doing what I have to to keep myself safe.

  122. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 10, 2012 at 12:04 am |

    You’re asking me, and my community to sit around and wait on DC and people in power to do something about these deep systemic issues that take a lot of time to solve, meanwhile I and others can’t know if one day we will be at the wrong place and the wrong time, and end up hurt or worse. Given most people don’t even know we exist let alone our situation, you’ll excuse me if I have no faith in that process any longer.

    Annaleigh, insofar as the violence is concerned, what what type of laws do you think need to be implemented in order to curb the violence? Do you want a stronger, more visible police presence in your neighborhoods? Do you want tougher sentencing for those convicted of violent felonies involving firearms? Or do you think a nationwide ban on the private ownership of guns is the best way to go? I want to know what you think will work so that residents in your neighborhood don’t have to live in fear.

    Allow me to emphasize that I’m not addressing how difficult (or easy) these measures might be to implement, I’m just curious what you believe would be immediately effective in controlling gun violence where you live. Every American has an opinion on this issue, even if the closet they’ve been to violence is reading it off the front page. But everyday you’re living right in the middle of it, so perhaps your opinion counts more than others. And your government representatives may or may not care about what you have to say–but I do.

  123. Liz
    Liz August 10, 2012 at 12:59 am |

    Rain Alayne, I have had my house broken into and I have had to confront an intruder. But, I’m speaking from a privileged position knowing that the intruder wouldn’t have a gun. Sure, he’s still potentially dangerous. But, he wasn’t going to kill me.

    The privilege I’m speaking of is that of living in a country where we actually decided to do something about gun ownership. Because, you actually can.

    Do I believe I have the right to kill someone because I feel threatened by them? Absolutely not. I have no right to play executioner.

  124. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 10, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    Its simple, really. My doors are double locked, my windows are on the second floor, the only people who have keys are me and my wife. If you’re in my home and I do not know you you’re already committing a felony and you’re already displaying a complete disregard for me and my rights.

    I hate to break it to you, but if there’s someone in your home that you don’t know…odds are your wife let that person into the house. Not a slur on your wife’s character, just simple probability. I’m not implying she invited this person over for sexual purposes, she could have someone in there to discussing installing new wood floors in there as a birthday gift for you. She goes upstairs to get the checkbook, you walk into the living room and see him on the couch, next thing you know- well, at the very least you’re not getting wood floors from that company.

  125. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    But, he wasn’t going to kill me.

    He wasn’t going to shoot you. Until an intruder tries to kill you, unless you can mind meld or have telepathy, you have NO IDEA if he plans to kill you or not. The intruder may even not know until he’s bashing your head in with a lamp.

    You can count me in among those who aren’t willing to find out the hard way.

    But we have tazers, pepper spray, different ways to deter someone without killing them.

    Tazers are no guarantee, and in the hands of the wrong person can be just as deadly. See all the people the police have tazed to death.

    Pepper spray in a small room? Unless you’re wearing a gas mask, prepare to choke and have your eyes burn too. Some idiot shot pepper spray in a bar one night, and the entire bar cleared out. People were taken to the hospital. None of the rooms in my house are is big as the main room of that bar. So great. I’ve just incapacitated myself too.

  126. William
    William August 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    Asia

    But, I’m speaking from a privileged position knowing that the intruder wouldn’t have a gun. Sure, he’s still potentially dangerous. But, he wasn’t going to kill me.

    I’m glad it turned out ok, but how did you know he wasn’t going to kill you? Maybe the likelihood of an illegal gun was next to nil where you live, but how do you know he didn’t have a knife or wasn’t going to try to strangle you? A lack of guns hardly means a lack of fatalities. Less, sure, but human beings were dangerous long before anyone figured out that gunpowder behind a led ball in a tube was a useful tool.

    Do I believe I have the right to kill someone because I feel threatened by them? Absolutely not. I have no right to play executioner.

    Well, my answer to that is twofold. From both an American Constitutional perspective and from an old English Common Law perspective (to say nothing of the strong stance my faith and personal ethics take) I absolutely do have the legal right to defend myself from bodily harm with deadly force. No one’s safety or continued survival demands my victimhood. Ethically I’d say I’m on pretty firm ground, given that its a stance taken explicitly by both Gandhi and the Dalai Lama and implicitly (as far as I know) by Martin Luther King Jr.

    The second part of my answer is that you keep saying executioner, which tells me that you’ve a poor grasp on how self defense law in one’s home actually works and the principles behind using a gun for self defense. I’m not saying that I have the right to kill someone who isn’t resisting, someone who is carting off my TV, or someone passed out on my couch. I’m not even really saying that killing is my intent in a self defense situation. What I’m saying is that in the presence of an active threat I believe I have the right to stop that threat quickly and effectively. The best and most reliable way to do that is with a gun. Death, while a predictable consequence and a likely side effect of quickly stopping a threat, isn’t the intent. I don’t want to kill someone, but if the choice I am faced with is suffering a beating from an unknown assailant or putting a couple of self-defense rounds into them before they’ve finished advancing I’ve absolutely no moral, ethical, or legal qualms with drawing down because I don’t owe anyone my injury. I’m not waiting to find out if I can kick their ass or if they have a knife. I discharge all of my ethical obligations by giving a clear order to surrender, from there what happens is on them.

    Fat Steve

    I hate to break it to you, but if there’s someone in your home that you don’t know…odds are your wife let that person into the house.

    I hate to break it to your but…you don’t really know the layout of my home, the relationship I have with my wife, or the level of communication we have. I’d also hazard to say that you know damned well I’m not talking about coming home and seeing a guy with a clipboard or a new friend of my wife’s on the couch.

    You seem awfully invested in the idea that someone who has the self control, judgement, and impulse control necessary to have gotten to where I have in life from where I have been and to do the job that I do is somehow constantly in danger of losing all higher thought and shooting up his own home. I’m not sure if its that you’ve a taste for deliberate intellectual dishonesty, a lack of interest in context, a propensity for clucking that you’ve trouble controlling, or a lack of confidence that you’re able to control yourself, but its troubling. Its also not terribly interesting. Given that we don’t have an epidemic of the six million or so concealed carry holders in this country and 150 million or so gun owners shooting people based on misunderstanding its also not even remotely compelling.

  127. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

    You seem awfully invested in the idea that someone who has the self control, judgement, and impulse control necessary to have gotten to where I have in life

    …arguing on the internet with a guy called Fat Steve.

  128. EndlessError
    EndlessError August 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    I studied abroad in Japan in 2005. And with an inevitable regularity I was asked if every American owned guns and those who asked always pointed to this case even though it occurred years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori

    You might have very reasonable standards for judging active threat/intruder. Doesn’t mean every (or even most! or even half!) of all gun owners will.

  129. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish August 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

    I absolutely do have the legal right to defend myself from bodily harm with deadly force.

    My understanding of self-defence is that you have a legal right to use reasonable force to protect yourself, others or your property and deadly force is only reasonable where you need to kill someone to protect yourself or your liberty. Where I live, killing someone to protect your property is murder and killing someone to protect yourself or your liberty where it isn’t reasonable is manslaughter. I’ll freely admit that’s statutory rather than common law, though, so I don’t doubt it’s different where you life. I’m just offering this as an explanation for where some of us are coming from.

  130. William
    William August 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    Zuzu,

    Unless you live in Florida or another state with a ALEC-written “Stand Your Ground” law, you can’t do what you said you’d do, which is “run down” anyone who entered your home and fled.

    I can’t run them down and shoot them, no (nor would I want to), but I can sure as hell run them down and tackle them. I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case if I wasn’t white, professional, and a property owner but I’ll use the cover I’ve got.

    Although, I’ll admit it…I got my back all up there and was going to start pissing and moaning about context and looking back at 133 I appear to have left out an important “not” in “I’m going to run your ass down and you’ll live to see the police if you’re [not] faster.” Proofreading has never been my strong suit but thats a pretty big fuck up for me to have made. Mea culpa.

    Fat Steve

    …arguing on the internet with a guy called Fat Steve.

    Or, you know, I might have meant holding a doctorate in clinical psychology and doing individual psychotherapy with an extremely high risk clinical population after having been told as a child that independent living with significant government subsidy was my best case scenario. Or maybe I was referring to matching your legendary wit and rhetorical might.

    Endless Error,

    You might have very reasonable standards for judging active threat/intruder. Doesn’t mean every (or even most! or even half!) of all gun owners will.

    The Hattori case was remarkable because it was so incredibly unusual.

  131. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish August 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    Actually, just checked and apparently the common law situation is similar:

    Beckford v R (1988) 1 AC 130: “A defendant is entitled to use reasonable force to protect himself, others for whom he is responsible and his property. It must be reasonable.”

    Again, that’s not to say that some states in the US haven’t diverged from that through statute – I can’t speak to the law where you live, William – but in most places you don’t have a right to default to deadly force where it’s not reasonable in the circumstances.

  132. Liz
    Liz August 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

    William and phernobarbidoll, you just don’t get it. The odds of someone being murdered in their homes by a random stranger is tiny. It’s not something Australians really need to worry about. As I said, we’re privileged. And part of that privilege is that because gun ownership is uncommon, the heat is turned down on violence. We don’t have to worry about these things, because there’s no expectation we’re going to be murdered in our homes.

    And William, the scenarios you’ve described, wouldn’t count for self defence here. Reasonable force isn’t deadly force.

    None of the gun lovers here have ever explained how the rest of the developed world has poverty, violence, access to violent images, racism and still the murder rates are much lower than in the USA. Here’s a clue. It’s because guns are heavily restricted. But, you guys keep on believing in your exceptionalism and you’ll keep on being murdered, and murdering at an extremely high rates. And you’ll keep deluding yourselves that you’re safer with a gun. It defies all logic and all research.

    BTW, I realise that doesn’t apply to most people who have commented here.

  133. Liz
    Liz August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    And William, sorry to go on with this- but one important point. In Australia, ‘self defence’ is not a legal reason to buy a gun. You can buy certain sorts of guns to go hunting, or pest eradication. But, the explicitly states you can’t buy a gun for reasons of self defence.

    I guess we’ve decided that guys with attitudes like yours are just too dangerous to be in possession of a gun. And everyone feels much safer because of it.

  134. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    The odds of someone being murdered in their homes by a random stranger is tiny.

    Then you really don’t have to concern yourself if we’re willing to shoot intruders. The odds are tiny we’ll ever have to.

  135. William
    William August 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

    Snorkellingfish

    Again, that’s not to say that some states in the US haven’t diverged from that through statute – I can’t speak to the law where you live, William – but in most places you don’t have a right to default to deadly force where it’s not reasonable in the circumstances.

    Under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/Art. 7) I am “justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm” if I “reasonably [believe] that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.” I’m also allowed to use lethal force if “entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling.” Realistically that means that if someone is in my home and does not respond to an order to surrender I’m legally allowed to use deadly force. Finally, Illinois law provides that I can use such force to prevent a “forcible felony” even without a direct physical threat to myself. The definition of “forcible felony” includes both residential burglary and robbery as well as any crime involving a “threat of physical force or violence against any individual.” I’m also protected from any civil claims resulting from that force. Those are the definitions for the reasonableness of deadly force.

    Liz

    And William, the scenarios you’ve described, wouldn’t count for self defence here. Reasonable force isn’t deadly force.

    Illinois, a state with fairly strict gun control in relation to the rest of the US, disagrees with you.

    Back in 2003, before handgun bans were ruled unconstitutional, a man named Hale DeMar shot a burglar who had broken into his home. He fired four shots in the dark at a moving target with a gun he’d never taken to the range, two hit the burglar (better than some police shootings). DeMar lived in Wilmette which, at the time, had a handgun ban. The state determined that the shooting was in self-defense and declined to press any charges, Wilmette decided to charge DeMar with violating their handgun ban (something like a $750 fine). The end result? Illinois passed a law allowing for anyone charged under such a law to assert an affirmative defense in self-defense situations. The governor (who is now in prison) vetoed the law, his veto was overruled. Theres your reasonable.

    I guess we’ve decided that guys with attitudes like yours are just too dangerous to be in possession of a gun. And everyone feels much safer because of it.

    I genuinely hope that that situation works for you. Different cultures and situations require different solutions.

  136. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    But, you guys keep on believing in your exceptionalism and you’ll keep on being murdered, and murdering at an extremely high rates.

    So I don’t really care about this conversation very much (I’d rather guns be eradicated here, but I deeply empathize with William and pheeno’s perspectives), but can we not pretend that 11,000/300,000,000 is some huge percentage? It’s less than 0.005%. Not as low as Australia, but we’re not dying off or anything. We can talk about very real issues (like those that Annaleigh’s community faces) without massive hyperbole.

  137. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |

    I no longer have a gun, but I do have 4 dogs and a machete. 2 of those dogs will tear you 5 new assholes before I can get out of bed. The machete is for zombies.

  138. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

    You seem awfully invested in the idea that someone who has the self control, judgement, and impulse control necessary to have gotten to where I have in life from where I have been and to do the job that I do is somehow constantly in danger of losing all higher thought and shooting up his own home. I’m not sure if its that you’ve a taste for deliberate intellectual dishonesty, a lack of interest in context, a propensity for clucking that you’ve trouble controlling, or a lack of confidence that you’re able to control yourself, but its troubling.

    The classic “I know you are, but what am I?” defense. :p

  139. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    2 of those dogs will tear you 5 new assholes before I can get out of bed.

    Is that 2.5 assholes per dog, or 10 assholes total? Inquiring minds.

  140. ginmar
    ginmar August 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    Pretty Amiable, do you want to say all that shit to the families of those people who were killed by those guns? Thirty thousand is a lot of people. How many people have to get killed before it matters to you?

  141. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    None of the gun lovers here have ever explained how the rest of the developed world has poverty, violence, access to violent images, racism and still the murder rates are much lower than in the USA. Here’s a clue. It’s because guns are heavily restricted. But, you guys keep on believing in your exceptionalism and you’ll keep on being murdered, and murdering at an extremely high rates. And you’ll keep deluding yourselves that you’re safer with a gun. It defies all logic and all research.

    I’m not sure why the US murder rate is higher than most of Europe’s is, but I don’t think it’s as simple as “there are lots of guns in the country. I don’t think it’s exceptionalism to think “there’s a problem in our country” but come to the conclusion that maybe the problem is more complicated than that. Especially when you start looking at studies like this one out of Harvard that shows that, at least in Europe, high gun ownership doesn’t correlate with higher crime, or low gun ownership with lower crime.

  142. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

    Is that 2.5 assholes per dog, or 10 assholes total? Inquiring minds.

    1 is a catahoula, so I’m betting safe money that it’s 10 total. The other is a mastiff mix, and while she’s slower, she’s pretty methodical.

    The 2 little ones will trip you and guarantee your demise. They’re the ring leaders.

  143. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

    I don’t even want to think what the cats would do. Too horrible to contemplate. They are evil incarnate.

    (according to the wienie dog at any rate)

  144. William
    William August 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    Bagelsan,

    The classic “I know you are, but what am I?” defense.

    Sometimes a cigar isn’t a cigar. ;)

    Ginmar

    Pretty Amiable, do you want to say all that shit to the families of those people who were killed by those guns? Thirty thousand is a lot of people. How many people have to get killed before it matters to you?

    How many tens of thousands of people have been killed by drunk drivers? How many rapes have occurred in the context of either the rapist or the victim being intoxicated? And yet, we’re not talking about bringing back the days of Capone…

  145. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

    Pretty Amiable, do you want to say all that shit to the families of those people who were killed by those guns?

    I mean, if they know a stats teacher, I’m sure that person would be able to explain it better than I could.

    What exactly are you asking? Would I ask a person personally affected by tragedy to not use hyperbole because it undermines something legitimate that should be talked about? Yes. Yes, I would. Why would I ever listen to someone who is just making shit up to make their point sound more legitimate when it should (and usually does) stand on its own?

  146. Liz
    Liz August 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    Pretty amiable, 30,000 people per year is a huge number of people. There’s your gun culture speaking. You can’t even see how bad it is.

    William, I’m assuming that there are restrictions about drink driving and those restrictions have prevented many deaths. At least that’s the
    case in Australia. I’m suggesting the same logic applies to gun ownership. I’m still waiting for you to argue how American culture is so different, instead of just asserting it.

    The example you cite in Illinois is just chilling. Someone has the right to kI’ll a burglar! And you think that’s a good thing? There’s no indication the burglar was a deadly threat. How dare someone die for stealing property. That’s simply not proportional.

    Pheenobarbidoll, you’ve written about how the culture violence needs to end, but you can’t even see how enmeshed in that culture you are, with your insistence about your right to protect yourself and how you need to be armed to do so. In your case, with aggressive dogs. So, instead of being so concerned about violent images, just stop and look at the reality you support. It’s a fairly violent one.

  147. William
    William August 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm |

    William, I’m assuming that there are restrictions about drink driving and those restrictions have prevented many deaths.

    Yes, but the majority of Americans still own cars and still drink. I’ve got two liquor stores within a block of my home and live in a city where bars handily outnumber the staggering number of churches. People still die from drunk driving and they still get hurt by the actions of aggressive drunks not behind the wheel. Yet both cars and alcohol are highly accessible and no one really seriously considers changing that.

    I’m still waiting for you to argue how American culture is so different, instead of just asserting it.

    Well, lets see. Australia became independent in 1901 as a result of planning, voting, and England’s willingness to grant it. The United States gained it’s independence through armed insurrection beginning in 1775. The US again fought the British back in 1812. We also had a brutal civil war starting in 1861. Many of the United States’s cultural heroes are, to put it mildly, violent. The founding fathers were violent revolutionaries, the famous picture of Washington crossing the Delaware has the context of a sneak attack on Christmas, Teddy Roosevelt (of teddy bear fame) was a war hero of almost legendary violence, President Andrew Jackson was widely known for his willingness to engage in duels and his ability to beat would-be assassins half to death with a walking stick, Davey Crockett and the Alamo are part of our national mythology, the same is true of the America West.

    Many of these things are problematic (to say nothing of our selective memory), but they form the basic loam of US American culture. These constant wars and the national myths spawned by them have made us an armed people. Guns are in our constitution, in our homes, in our art. More people in the United States target shoot than play baseball. Its not just in the South or in rural areas or amongst the poor or Republicans, its all over the damned place. Sporting goods stores sell guns. Walmart sells guns. I know people who have bought property for the sole purpose of having somewhere to shoot. Even by conservative estimates we have almost as many guns as people. Hell, you can go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and see a wall of old guns engraved and filigreed by Tiffany & Co. The vast majority of states in the US allow someone to get a permit to carry a concealed pistol in public without showing any specific cause and its not terribly controversial. Thats a cultural difference.

    The example you cite in Illinois is just chilling. Someone has the right to kI’ll a burglar! And you think that’s a good thing? There’s no indication the burglar was a deadly threat. How dare someone die for stealing property. That’s simply not proportional.

    As it turned out, the burglar lived.

    The guy had two kids sleeping upstairs and it was his second burglary. He woke up to the sound of someone breaking in and saw a guy in a ski mask. I don’t think shooting him was in any way out of proportion to the threat. Should he have waited until he’d been stabbed to open fire? Tried to have a conversation about respecting his property until the guy headed to where his children were sleeping?

    Heres the thing, though. You’re horrified by the story, yet in one of the states in the union most hostile to gun rights this happened. If you’re looking for a cultural difference, there it is. If you think thats bad, you should see Montana.

  148. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

    In your case, with aggressive dogs.

    Ha! My dogs aren’t aggressive unless you’re a stranger breaking in. Most dogs, regardless of breed, have enough sense to know a threat when it walks into their house. Even ones in Australia.

    If a child broke into my house, they’d be licked to death. Kittens and small animals are protected and treated like precious infants.

    So aggressive *just snorts*

    Jesus. You probably support a pitbull ban too.

  149. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm |

    insistence about your right to protect yourself

    Would you prefer I strip for some man breaking into my house and get the lube out for him so my rape will be more pleasant for him? Offer him tea? Let him bum a smoke when he’s done? May I slap him or is that too violent for you?

    Your insistence that I have no right to protect myself is creepily victim blamey. Crime is like the weather, just lay back and let it happen.

    No thanks.

  150. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

    Pheeno – actually the group most likely to get serious or fatal canine injuries are children and infants and it’s usually by a dog known to them, if not actually within the household itself.

    Dogs are pack animals and will attack who they perceive to be the weakest member of the pack if they feel threatened.

  151. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

    Pheeno – actually the group most likely to get serious or fatal canine injuries are children and infants and it’s usually by a dog known to them, if not actually within the household itself.

    Yes, and my dogs have been well socialized with children and happen to be extremely tolerant of children. They’re properly socialized like that. On purpose.

    I have never and will never own an aggressive dog.

    The ASPCA believes that dangerous dog laws should target only those dogs who truly pose unjustified risks to people or other animals. They should also acknowledge that there are situations where aggressive behavior is justified, such as when a dog is protecting herself, her guardian, her puppies or her home, or where the dog has reason to fear a person or animal.

    Justified aggressive behavior is not the same as an aggressive dog.

    People who don’t know the difference, well…nothing I can do about that.

  152. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm |

    Dogs are pack animals and will attack who they perceive to be the weakest member of the pack if they feel threatened.

    If your dog doesn’t think your child is part of the pack, you’re either raising Damien from the Omen or doing a piss-poor job training your dog, just saying. My two cents on this.

  153. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm |

    That would be closer to the obvious original intent of the second amendment

    I’m fine with fully automatic weapons in the hands of folks who are the modern-day equivalent of a well-regulated militia – that is, our volunteer military.

    I’m not a fan of one gun a month laws. They’re a pain in the ass for some gun owners

    I live in Philly, where way too many kids die of what one might call acute lead poisoning. The fact that incredibly mild and limited regulation might temporarily inconvenience and annoy whatever tiny minority of gun owners need to buy more than 12 guns a year is less than nothing to me if it helps at all with that.

    and easily side-stepped.

    I’m sure; most things are. Would it be as easy as not having such a regulation at all?

    If you want to stop straw purchasers the best way to do it is to flag multiple sales in a given period of time (or, better yet, to have time-limited NICS tracking abilities) so that the ATF can pursue black market gun sales.

    Sounds good. Is this being done? If not, why not?

    Unfortunately, if you want things to actually work, you need to have federal uniformity.

    Well, I figure that anything reasonable that makes it even a little harder to get guns into the hands of criminals (or folks that will promptly use them for streetside shootouts, seemingly to invariably miss the other guy while injuring or killing some unlucky toddler/young mother/other random passerby nearby) can’t be bad, but I agree, federal uniformity would be massively *more* effective. Unfortunately the gun lobby spends rather large sums ensuring that nothing like this will ever happen.

    (in other words, all of us who care more about, say, Philly kids, or the victims of the two mass-shootings still recent enough to be in the news, and the next one, and the next one… than the precious feelings and minor annoyances of of folks fuming about Waco and who have “problems” with fully automatic weapons being regulated need to out-organize, out-motivate, out-maneuver etc. the gun lobby.)

  154. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 12:22 am |

    Yes. The ATF. So respectful of human rights.

    Except when they get the wrong house, stomp your pets to death, injure your kids, shoot at innocent people, tear the wrong home apart, arrest and injure the wrong people and yes, burn 20 children to death after employing tactics considered torture.

    Any problems with that can just be chalked up to precious fee fee’s.

  155. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |

    Interesting how the theory of “inherently dangerous activities” applies to dogs, but not to guns.

  156. Matt
    Matt August 11, 2012 at 12:38 am |

    Someone who prefers a scenario wherein both intruder and householder are likely to be armed to a scenario where both the intruder and the householder are unlikely to be armed could easily be termed ‘bloodthirsty.’

    I, and William from what I’ve seen here, disagree with your postulation that gun legislation will have the effect you are describing. It isn’t that we would prefer the first scenario, it’s that we don’t believe the dichotomy you are describing is accurate. Criminals are just as likely to have guns in either scenario. Hasn’t this been made clear? Like, obviously you disagree with that assessment, but you do see the distinction, yes?

    I disagree that everyday people have the right to make a decision to use deadly fire. I don’t think a person has enough knowledge about a unknown, unauthorized intruder to shoot him.

    Do I believe I have the right to kill someone because I feel threatened by them? Absolutely not. I have no right to play executioner.

    Does that mean if a person attacks you violently with a deadly weapon, you may not kill them to save your own life? You must see that there is no hard line to draw as to when that becomes apparent. A burglar who appears to be fleeing and doesn’t appear to have a weapon might suddenly produce one and kill you. Must you wait until they produce a deadly weapon and attempt to kill you with it before you may use deadly force? Or even then must you just be killed first?

    William is arguing that victims of crime should always have more benefit of the doubt than criminals. It seems as though you are suggesting that criminals should be given the full benefit of the doubt that they will not become violent until they do. If that is your position, then you must be willing to accept the casualties of unprepared victims who otherwise could have saved themselves as an unfortunate consequence of your otherwise superior system. Even if they are very few, I don’t think you can reasonably argue that this scenario is impossible.

    To people like WIlliam and I, it seems odd to ever favor the rights and well-being of criminals as much or greater than the rights and well-being of autonomous citizens being threatened by them.

    I suspect that the core of these differences is a utilitarian vs. kantian kind of view of morality. I do not want to insist that innocent people be defenseless against armed attackers, even if that means there are more gun crimes in the aggregate. You are willing to accept making people defenseless, as long as there is a net decrease in gun crime. Does this sound wrong?

  157. Liz
    Liz August 11, 2012 at 12:55 am |

    So William, the USA has a history and culture of violence. And your answer to that is? – more violence. Brilliant.

    The evidence is so clear that restricting guns causes fewer homicides, yet it’s the one thing you refuse to look at.

    Pheenobarbidoll, I don’t support breed specific legislation. But, I’m deeply suspicious of people who are swaggeringly proud of how aggressive their dogs can be. And the idea that dogs can identify threats clearly? Bullshit. You really are living in denial.

  158. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 2:03 am |

    I don’t support breed specific legislation. But, I’m deeply suspicious of people who are swaggeringly proud of how aggressive their dogs can be.

    Yep, that’s pretty much my take on it.

    wrt guns: on the Aurora shooting thread, the argument was that POC needed guns to protect themselves from the angry white oppressors and that gun-control advocates just don’t understand the “ground realities” of what POC go through.

    Is this or is this not a part of those goddamn ground realities? And can we actually have a discussion about that?

  159. William
    William August 11, 2012 at 2:57 am |

    Dan S

    The fact that incredibly mild and limited regulation might temporarily inconvenience and annoy whatever tiny minority of gun owners need to buy more than 12 guns a year is less than nothing to me if it helps at all with that.

    The problem with that line of thinking is that there is a very good chance your straw purchasers weren’t in Pennsylvania but in Georgia. Even then, a one gun a month law only requires more straw purchasers, a marginal increase of perhaps a few dozen dollars. An ATF flag means a person highly motivated to avoid federal detention handing over illegal gun owners. One reduces actual access to firearms by prohibited persons, ne creates a perceived reduction and an actual mild cost increase.

    I’m sure; most things are. Would it be as easy as not having such a regulation at all?

    Now you’re not stacking my inconvenience not against lives but against the aggregated cost of a drive from a state with more permissive laws…

    Sounds good. Is this being done? If not, why not?

    Its not. I’d argue largely that brown people dying in the inner city is neither a diplomatic nor a law-and-order issue, which probably answers your question.

    Well, I figure that anything reasonable that makes it even a little harder to get guns into the hands of criminals (or folks that will promptly use them for streetside shootouts, seemingly to invariably miss the other guy while injuring or killing some unlucky toddler/young mother/other random passerby nearby) can’t be bad,

    Except you’re making things marginally more difficult for people who follow the laws, not for criminals. Criminals are already paying a premium for illegal access. What you’re really arguing is that a minor economic inconvenience is worth a major access convenience for general gun owners.

    Unfortunately the gun lobby spends rather large sums ensuring that nothing like this will ever happen.

    Someone who was paying attention would know that the bulk of gun lobbying has been at the state level (for the NRA) and through the legislative branch (for the SAF).

    in other words, all of us who care more about, say, Philly kids, or the victims of the two mass-shootings still recent enough to be in the news, and the next one, and the next one… than the precious feelings and minor annoyances of of folks fuming about Waco and who have “problems” with fully automatic weapons being regulated need to out-organize, out-motivate, out-maneuver etc. the gun lobby

    Only because the victims of Waco and Ruby Ridge were gun people who held unpleasant beliefs can you describe umbrage with the government murdering citizens as “fuming.” Lets at least be honest, if these were people who looked like you, or at least looked like people you feel you’ve wronged, you wouldn’t be so cavalier with the lives of private citizens or children. At this point we’re talking less about the lives ended by violence then about whose lives get to be ended by whom.

    You know, to cut through the bullshit and get down to the positions of authority.

    Liz,

    So William, the USA has a history and culture of violence. And your answer to that is? – more violence. Brilliant.

    My answer to that is to recognize that the cultural responses to similar problems are different. Its cool if you’re not down for that. I, on the other hand, can give a shit if a world that has shown me the back of it’s hand is safer for me not submitting anymore. This is who I am and I will not be shamed.

    And, problematic and toxic as the culture can often be, lets not forget that it has it’s moments. Clint Eastwood transformed himself from a 70s cowboy and an 80s action hero into a major artiste director with Unforgiven. The climax for the film involves William Munny riding into a small town with the intent of murdering the men who had made a joke of killing his friend. It was a story of human dignity at all costs and the rights of people with no power to take their justice from those who see them as subhuman. Its far from pretty, its not a world I’m happy to live in, but its gotten me through. Thats as much the story of Huey Newton or Stonewall as it is of our cultural load. To change that would be to kill our heroes. It would be to change who we are. Ultimately, it would be to ask us to lie about where we have grown. I cannot erase the need for defending myself, it will always inform me. I cannot, and will not, change the fundamental belief that I am worth more than the power of my oppressors to oppress me.

    The evidence is so clear that restricting guns causes fewer homicides, yet it’s the one thing you refuse to look at.

    Refuse to look at that? Not really. I’m recognizing that eliminating guns is about as likely in this society as eliminating alcohol or driving or human beings falling in love with people someone doesn’t think they have any business fucking and conducting my business accordingly. This is the world in which I’ve grown, this is what I have had to embrace in order to survive. I learned a long time ago that being ashamed of survival is playing into oppression. On a basic level, partisan politics and political debates aside, I believe that I have the fundamental right to speak my mind and defend my position whether I use my mouth or If I lived in Australia I’d keep whatever I was able to and dread the day when my body no longer allowed me to dominate those who would dominate me.

  160. William
    William August 11, 2012 at 2:58 am |

    Refuse to look at that? Not really. I’m recognizing that eliminating guns is about as likely in this society as eliminating alcohol or driving or human beings falling in love with people someone doesn’t think they have any business fucking and conducting my business accordingly. This is the world in which I’ve grown, this is what I have had to embrace in order to survive. I learned a long time ago that being ashamed of survival is playing into oppression. On a basic level, partisan politics and political debates aside, I believe that I have the fundamental right to speak my mind and defend my position whether I use my mouth or If I lived in Australia I’d keep whatever I was able to and dread the day when my body no longer allowed me to dominate those who would dominate me.

    Should be

    Refuse to look at that? Not really. I’m recognizing that eliminating guns is about as likely in this society as eliminating alcohol or driving or human beings falling in love with people someone doesn’t think they have any business fucking and conducting my business accordingly. This is the world in which I’ve grown, this is what I have had to embrace in order to survive. I learned a long time ago that being ashamed of survival is playing into oppression. On a basic level, partisan politics and political debates aside, I believe that I have the fundamental right to speak my mind and defend my position whether I use my mouth or a weapon. I believe I have a basic right to be and that anyone who willingly infringes upon that is worth less than I am. If I lived in Australia I’d keep whatever I was able to and dread the day when my body no longer allowed me to dominate those who would dominate me.

  161. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 3:10 am |

    But, I’m deeply suspicious of people who are swaggeringly proud of how aggressive their dogs can be. And the idea that dogs can identify threats clearly? Bullshit. You really are living in denial.

    I’m deeply suspicious of people who claim they may have a certain privilege, then go on to dictate the actions of those who do not have that privilege.

    And then condemn the victim of a crime for not reacting “properly”.

    And, you’re operating on the assumption that I’m a gun lover, when I’ve stated previously I am not.

    And the idea that dogs can identify threats clearly?

    I’d put my faith in a dogs ability to clearly identify a threat before I would you.

    Next time you have to confront a stranger in your home, deal with him being high as a kite on meth and see how well verbal confrontation goes. (hint- your physical presence alone does not scare him one itty bitty bit and you’re now in the way of his next score) Happened to my neighbor last year. Got the crap beat out of him and his stuff stolen.Same guy was arrested later for dealing meth for the Aryan Brotherhood. Sure hope a dog never bit the poor thing. That would be a tragedy
    .
    Oh and a real joy is having the sheriffs helicopter flying around your neighborhood when the guy they’re looking for (because he shot someone…ya think he might still be armed??) hops your fence. That’s happened twice in 6 months.

    My dogs were the reason they hopped their asses back the fuck over the fence. All I saw was legs going right back over. Suits me fine.

    Or have your teenaged neighbor misjudge when you aren’t home and show up to rifle through your things, see you holding your infant and run AT YOU to get past. Only you don’t know he’s trying for the back door, you only know he’s running at you while your infant is in your arms. Guess what made him decide to turn around?

    I don’t own a gun. But that’s not good enough either, so I’m not so clear on what your goal actually is, other than to guarantee I get hurt first before some asshole breaking into my house.

    That’s 3 for 3 with my dogs judgement. They not only prevented violence against me and my kid, they prevented situations where I might have had to use violence to protect myself.

    But I’M the one in denial.

  162. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 3:22 am |

    the argument was that POC needed guns to protect themselves from the angry white oppressors and that gun-control advocates just don’t understand the “ground realities” of what POC go through.

    Wasn’t my argument.

    My argument was that POC would be targeted by white oppressors in ATF uniforms who now have one more law to justify continuing home raids. But no one wanted to discuss that reality. Or the reality that the police in this country being armed with guns while POC do not is not something likely to give many POC the warm fuzzies. And not because POC are gun happy, but because the COPS ARE. Disarm the police force if you disarm the entire population. They aren’t special, nor do they always display good judgement that doesn’t get innocent people killed. They’re just more deadly because of training. I don’t want to be killed by a stray bullet from a drive by, or an intentional bullet by a mass shooter..OR an intentional 57 bullets because I fit the description and own a cellphone. Or while I’m cuffed and facedown and a cop pulls the trigger while supposedly reaching for his taser.

    And I don’t believe it’s because people don’t understand those realities. I believe it’s because they just don’t care. Might interfere with their goal. POC collateral damage is fine.

  163. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 11, 2012 at 3:41 am |

    Annaleigh, insofar as the violence is concerned, what what type of laws do you think need to be implemented in order to curb the violence? Do you want a stronger, more visible police presence in your neighborhoods? Do you want tougher sentencing for those convicted of violent felonies involving firearms? Or do you think a nationwide ban on the private ownership of guns is the best way to go? I want to know what you think will work so that residents in your neighborhood don’t have to live in fear.

    Well, if I’m having to think of legislation and other efforts other than the banning of guns (which is frustrating, it seems like gun owners’ attitudes seem to be “anything but my guns”), I suppose some ways to start are to provide more funding for police. To get more specific about that, due to the uniqueness of my town and the San Joaquin Valley’s situation (having so called “urban” crimes happening in agricultural communities), there needs to be provisions made so that smaller towns have some sort of law enforcement and some sort of access to emergency services, because many of the smaller localities are dependent on bigger ones, putting a strain on existing LE (for instance, my town’s police force was having to handle problems for two smaller towns in two different counties when they could). There have been towns with no LE at all, and some have been known as places you could go to commit a serious crime, or to escape the consequences of a serious crime, because no one will look for you or try to catch you there. The emergency services are a problem here too, my town is having to provide services to both the towns I mentioned earlier; the violence in one of them is so serious that I hear the ambulances headed in their direction at least once or twice a day. That puts a strain on this town. Another unique issue is our wide open spaces and abandoned buildings. We’re not the very densely packed Los Angeles area where one town bleeds into the other. We have two areas that are densely populated (Bakersfield and Fresno), but the rest are smaller towns with bad violence, and sometimes miles of open space between towns. Abandoned buildings are all over the place, sometimes close to cities and towns, sometimes abandoned in the open spaces. If something could be done legally about getting rid of these sanctuaries for gang members, that could help. On an economic level, doing something about our 35% unemployment rate would be awesome, but I don’t see it happening.

    But guns are an important part of the equation to me. With few exceptions, guns are the weapons used in the most serious violence. I don’t believe in a total ban on private ownership, but I also find gun owners who kick off at any mention of any restrictions on what they can own when they want own it very frustrating. I do support voluntary programs like trading guns for grocery gift cards, that was a big hit here last time. One woman even traded in a gun that had been abandoned in her yard by god knows who for a grocery card. It’s a very sick environment when guns just show up in people’s yards here but poverty is forcing families to be on food stamps and to try and stretch them as much as possible by buying their groceries at the dollar store because supermarkets are too damn expensive.

  164. Liz
    Liz August 11, 2012 at 5:35 am |

    All I can say is that I feel sorry for you on many levels, William. I feel sorry that you’ve had so many terrible experiences. And I feel sorry that they’ve driven you to the belief system you have.

  165. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 11, 2012 at 8:00 am |

    yes, burn 20 children to death after employing tactics considered torture.

    When did this happen?

  166. Asia
    Asia August 11, 2012 at 8:52 am |

    wow I don’t even no what to say anymore.

    I would support an having a guard dog. I do in fact have a pit mix who is big enough to deter a burglar. A dog attack does not have the “predictable consequence of death” that shooting someone does. I rank dogs with tazers, stun sticks, and pepper spray. I know tazers can also be deadly but its not like a gun. When you shoot a gun you do so with the knowledge that you are ending a life. If a person survives its luck.

    I just think people should be educated about other non-lethal forms of self-defense. A gun should not be the first thing reached for and thought about in terms of self-defense. This goes for the police also.

    Also, William I think you got be confused at some point with Liz.

  167. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 9:56 am |

    My argument was that POC would be targeted by white oppressors in ATF uniforms who now have one more law to justify continuing home raids. But no one wanted to discuss that reality.

    Except for all those who did, including me.

    Or the reality that the police in this country being armed with guns while POC do not is not something likely to give many POC the warm fuzzies. And not because POC are gun happy, but because the COPS ARE. Disarm the police force if you disarm the entire population.

    Which I explicitly said was a good idea and my ultimate goal. Of course, when people suggested that universal disarmament should mean cops would be less armed as well, you laughed and said they’d have guns anyway, but now POCs wouldn’t. (Comment 151 on the Aurora thread.)

    And I don’t believe it’s because people don’t understand those realities. I believe it’s because they just don’t care. Might interfere with their goal. POC collateral damage is fine.

    Wow, uh, can I just take a moment to point out that I pointed to a real case of real live POCs (who, statistically, tend to be armed less than the general, or the white, population) being caused actual harm by asshole racist gunmen taking advantage of lax laws and easy availability, and you responded by saying that I essentially don’t care about POC deaths. That’s mighty sweet of you, backhandedly calling me a racist for the sin of suggesting that not all POC are best served by everyone being armed to the teeth. Have some fucking nuance in your arguments.

  168. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 9:58 am |

    A note: I meant that the POC in question here (ethnically South Asian Sikhs) tend to carry guns less than the white population. I imagine it’s the same for other desi communities (whatever people might think of desi Muslims).

  169. Rhoanna
    Rhoanna August 11, 2012 at 9:59 am |

    yes, burn 20 children to death after employing tactics considered torture.

    When did this happen?

    I assume it’s referring to the events at Waco, or rather one interpretation of the events.

  170. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am |

    Except for all those who did, including me

    Go back and re-read that discussion and see how many people turned that into ” you just don’t want guns banned” instead of seeing it as a reality and not some wrench I threw in just to be mean. When race is introduced to the conversation, you’ve always been spot on. Many, many others treat it as something to be worked on later (later never comes though) or not important enough to consider. I still don’t understand what the issue is with basically saying ” while we’re working on the gun issue, can we please make it a solution that works for more people”.

    Of course, when people suggested that universal disarmament should mean cops would be less armed as well, you laughed and said they’d have guns anyway, but now POCs wouldn’t.

    There is a difference between wanting a solution and trusting it will happen the way it needs to. I don’t believe for a second the ATF and SWAT would be disarmed. And they’re the ones who storm in and violate the rights of everyone within reach. I would LIKE to see them disarmed as well. But I don’t trust it to happen that way. Or they’d be the very last to be disarmed, after the were assigned the disarmament of the general pop. The excuse would be that they need guns to disarm violent criminals who won’t give up their guns.

    and you responded by saying that I essentially don’t care about POC deaths.

    Not you. The people who brushed it off as a non issue don’t care. For a total disarmament to happen, the guns that people are not willing to give up voluntarily will have to be taken somehow. I asked for a way that didn’t get POC targeted and killed. Evidently, for some people, that was asking too much. And I’m just being silly or paranoid to think that because it already happens (and happened yesterday and the day before that and the month before that and the year before that and so on) that it will magically not happen tomorrow.

  171. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    Pretty amiable, 30,000 people per year is a huge number of people. There’s your gun culture speaking. You can’t even see how bad it is.

    So… you’ve just never taken a stats class, then? Or do you not have the access to a calculator to do the division necessary? Do you honestly not understand my point about the probability being really, really fucking small?

    Is it a larger percent than Australia? Duh. But it’s not some huge rate, like you implied in your comment @145.

    Also, your ridiculously patronizing comment @177 is telling. But here’s one from me to you – I’m so sorry that you are so unbelievably narrow-minded that you dismiss lived experiences as something to shame others for because those experiences have not led them to your conclusions.

  172. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

    Pointing out that 30,000 people dying needlessly is appalling, is shaming someone? I really have heard it all now.

    Fwiw, I think fellow USians on here were just as dismayed by your callous dismissal of those deaths.

  173. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

    Also worth pointing out that, for those who were talking about a culture of violence, the massacres in the U.K and Australia (Dunblane and Port Arthur) which caused such strong gun laws to be enacted in both countries were possibly two of the most horrific to have taken place in the Western world in recent time.

    There is a culture of violence in the U.K and I’m sure there is in Australia too, but our gun laws have resulted in far fewer people dying as a result of gun violence and spree killings.

  174. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

    . I do support voluntary programs like trading guns for grocery gift cards, that was a big hit here last time.

    Also- trading guns for bill payments and rent payments would be a big draw. Trade in your gun for a months rent? That takes pressure off and allows a window of opportunity to actually save some money. Trade in your gun for X months of electricity paid? That would be enticing too. School supplies, school clothing, food, bills..there are so many ways to implement a buy back program that actually helps people in tangible ways. Companies could get involved. Home Depot could donate materials and time to repair crappy housing for example.

  175. William
    William August 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

    Annaleigh

    But guns are an important part of the equation to me. With few exceptions, guns are the weapons used in the most serious violence. I don’t believe in a total ban on private ownership, but I also find gun owners who kick off at any mention of any restrictions on what they can own when they want own it very frustrating.

    Theres been some acrimony here and I feel passionate but I also feel its important to try to find common ground. The reason I get my back up when restrictions are mentioned is because in my community, which has a similar pattern of violence to yours, we’ve tried a lot of restrictions and they’ve amounted to little more than making legal guns more expensive so that only people with enough privilege to buy a $1000+ target pistol can own them legally but any kid on the street with a grudge can get a pot metal Jimenez for a hundred bucks. Thats a big part of why I have a beef with access restrictions.

    BUT, you’re right that we do need solutions and those solutions might include gun control. I’m wary, but I’m open to talking about restrictions in the context of what is actually likely to work. A ban on assault weapons might sound great, but there just aren’t many crimes being committed with AR builds because they start at about $1100 and criminals tend to favor more disposable weapons. ARs are basically the gun equivalent of a dress up doll, anyway. If we want to talk about sensible restrictions, it might be worth looking in your own back yard. The companies that produce the weapons most likely to be used in violent crimes are all clustered just outside of LA. Something as simple as requiring that firearms manufactured in California conform to the basic safety requirements that the federal government has set down for imported weapons (a politically easy move given California’s strongly anti-gun legislature) would shut down a cluster of companies that produce hundreds of thousands of weapons used in crimes.

    Getting rid of disposable guns would go a long way towards getting rid of guns in people’s yards.

    Asia,

    I just think people should be educated about other non-lethal forms of self-defense. A gun should not be the first thing reached for and thought about in terms of self-defense

    What happens when you can’t use pepper spray because you have severe asthma and you’re indoors? What happens when you use your tazer on someone over 250 pounds whose done a little bit of blow and they don’t go down? What happens when you have enough time for exactly one method of self defense and you choose an ineffective means?

    I’m simply not willing to put myself or my family at even a marginal increased risk in order to protect the life or well being of someone who has already shown a wanton disregard for my personal space. Hell, I’m not willing to put my cats at risk of running out the backdoor during a scuffle for someone who has already engaged in something that I know by experience is deeply violating. Sorry, no. Its an easy equation: don’t prey upon me and you’ll be fine.

    Rhoanna

    I assume it’s referring to the events at Waco, or rather one interpretation of the events.

    By any possible interpretation I think using a tank to serve an arrest warrant you know to be a pretext for a regulatory search on a man who you know will be in town in a couple of days is overkill. Thats doubly true when there are children in the building. Once you’ve gassed the building and set it on fire you’re well past over-exuberant-policing and deep in crimes-against-humanity territory.

    But I suppose, to paraphrase the great political theorist Richard Nixon, if the government does it, it can’t be a crime.

    Safiya Outlines,

    There is a culture of violence in the U.K and I’m sure there is in Australia too, but our gun laws have resulted in far fewer people dying as a result of gun violence and spree killings.

    But, and this is really the only point that matters at the end of the day, your gun laws are as likely to happen in America as Sharia law or FEMA concentration camps. Stringent control or outright bans are a foolish, counter productive, completely unrealistic part of the US debate on gun control that refuses to die. We won’t go the way of the UK or Australia because, unlike the UK or Australia, half the goddamn country is armed. We’re not talking about a couple thousand wealthy sportsmen who will have the political juice to keep their guns for foxhunting or a few enthusiasts with BNP sensibilities, we’re talking about a huge cross section of the population.

  176. William
    William August 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    Also- trading guns for bill payments and rent payments would be a big draw. Trade in your gun for a months rent? That takes pressure off and allows a window of opportunity to actually save some money. Trade in your gun for X months of electricity paid? That would be enticing too. School supplies, school clothing, food, bills..there are so many ways to implement a buy back program that actually helps people in tangible ways. Companies could get involved. Home Depot could donate materials and time to repair crappy housing for example.

    Thats a hell of an idea. The only flaw I see is that right now a lot of those programs are publicity stunts (I know Chicago’s is). If you were going to get serious about providing services you’d need to implement some means of preventing what happened with Chicago’s last buy back (a local gun-rights group ran a collection for broken, useless guns, turned them in for cash, and used that cash to run a children’s marksmanship program and buy some kids rifles).

  177. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

    Vouchers could be used. Say if you’re rent is due you take your voucher in, they match the name you give them for your landlord to the name of the person who pays the property tax and you’re cut a check made out to that name for the amount of rent. Same with a bill. Bring in your bill, get a check made to the company. Home Depot type stores can issue gift certificates, stores like WalMart can donate walmart cash.

  178. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    Go back and re-read that discussion and see how many people turned that into ” you just don’t want guns banned” instead of seeing it as a reality and not some wrench I threw in just to be mean.

    That’s fair enough. I went over the thread, re-read (whoa shit that is a long-ass thread) and you’re right, there were only a couple of people actually addressing race issues other than you and I, and they weren’t frequent voices in the thread, exactly.

    Or they’d be the very last to be disarmed, after the were assigned the disarmament of the general pop. The excuse would be that they need guns to disarm violent criminals who won’t give up their guns.

    Pheeno, I’m not sure I can really get behind what you’re saying here, though. On the one hand, absolutely, yes, you’re right that there would be rights violations by racist cops if they were armed and among an unarmed population. On the other, I’m strongly pro gun-control, and even I wouldn’t be comfortable with an unarmed police and a partially armed populace.

    There’s other issues here that worry me, though, where the much less frequently armed desi population is concerned, on how we can protect ourselves. The only response from the pro-gun faction seems to be “well, arm yourselves too”, but in the case of Sikhs (or Hindus like me) who are routinely mistaken for Muslim, it occurs to me that encouraging them to arm themselves would be tantamount to passive murder because of the racial profiling that they experience. An armed Sikh mistaken for a terrorist Muslim threat by some racist-ass cop is going to be in exponentially more danger if they fire on the cops. And many, many others have pointed out the problems with carrying arms everywhere, or engaging in a shoot-out with terrorists in a crowded public place.

    The only other option seems extensive security measures and safeguards, which I can tell you do more to elevate ambient anxiety than protect anyone. When I lived in Mumbai, for example, I walked through about ten metal detectors a day just during my commute, and had my bags searched daily at my place of study, and was often required to leave my backpack at the gate of apartment complexes until whoever I was visiting okayed letting my bags in. And I was, according to all profiles, in the age/gender/caste/religion/class group least likely to engage in terrorism. The positive of those measures, however, is that anyone carrying a weapon was automatically flagged as a threat. If the cops frisking commuters at the railway station weren’t secure in that fact, there would be a hell of a lot more accidental (and “accidental but justified”) shootings of civilians. And considering Indians were pretty well fucking armed at Independence and arms are as rare (and daily carrying almost nonexistent) as they are today in large areas of India, disarmament can definitely work among civilian populations.

    The fact remains, though, that desi communities in North America are at far more risk from racist lone gunmen than organised terrorist cells like the ones that attack Mumbai routinely. And there’s pretty much no way to reduce that risk that doesn’t involve reducing the number of available weapons among the general populace. I’m also interested to know how someone flagged as a white supremacist was able to acquire weaponry, and why he wasn’t under more scrutiny.

    Whoo, long-ass comment, sorry.

  179. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    Pheeno, I’ve a reply to you in mod. I wanted to add, though, since I forgot, that your voucher idea sounds bloody brilliant. Real and immediate benefits that can’t be redirected towards rearmament: I love it.

  180. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

    Better than a 100 dollar gift card for Target. I mean, on the surface that sounds like a lot, but Target is pricey and you can bow through that just getting a few outfits for school for 1 child. Won’t buy that many groceries, maybe enough for a week for a family of 4. Maybe.

    But things like rent and bills..those are what people need help with. Hell, even offering free gas for a month would draw in people that didn’t need help with rent or food.

    Schedule big events around major holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas would bring in droves of people who need bills paid and then they can actually purchase food and gifts for their kids. And during tax time. Instead of spending a huge chunk of your return on bills, imagine having them taken care of so you can save your money, or even splurge once in a while.

  181. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |

    Oh and free gas might even be tempting enough to sway some gun activists into getting rid of a pistol or 2. Hit that one right as the prices start getting really high.

    And, if people could write it off their taxes as a charity donation, they get even more benefit.

  182. Rhoanna
    Rhoanna August 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    By any possible interpretation I think using a tank to serve an arrest warrant you know to be a pretext for a regulatory search on a man who you know will be in town in a couple of days is overkill. Thats doubly true when there are children in the building. Once you’ve gassed the building and set it on fire you’re well past over-exuberant-policing and deep in crimes-against-humanity territory.

    Tanks are certainly overkill, but are neither burning children or torture, which is what the post mentioned. What I meant was that by all the accounts I’d read, it is far from clear who started the fires (or if they were even all started by one side, or intentional). But, ya know, assume I’m talking about tanks when I never said a word about them.

  183. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

    I’m fine with fully automatic weapons in the hands of folks who are the modern-day equivalent of a well-regulated militia – that is, our volunteer military.

    Is this the same modern-day “militia” that is murdering Americans abroad without a trial? Is this the same “militia” that imprisoned Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during WWII?

    You don’t have to think very hard on this one. It’s a simple “yes” or “no” question.

  184. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

    My comment’s out of mod at 192, btw.

    So… you’ve just never taken a stats class, then? Or do you not have the access to a calculator to do the division necessary? Do you honestly not understand my point about the probability being really, really fucking small?

    PA, I think it’s not about how many but how preventable, personally. If 30,000 people a year were dying of a highly specific kind of hate crime that isn’t exactly on the books (and many hate crimes that are on the books have a lesser death toll than that), wouldn’t you be interested in as much risk prevention – which in the case of guns means both restricting gun access and changing the culture around guns – as possible?

  185. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    but are neither burning children or torture,

    They used sleep depriving tactics, which is torture. Unless you think keeping children awake by playing excessively loud music and sounds of rabbits being killed is reasonable.

    And all the women in that compound? Sexual abuse victims. So were the kids.

    Every single innocent death could have been prevented had they used common sense in issuing a warrant. The sheriff knew the guy and could have gone onto the property (and had before) with zero problems.

    But I don’t expect any better from an organization that thought a cool code name for storming a compound full of rape victims was SHOWTIME.

  186. WHEOhio
    WHEOhio August 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm |

    Pheeno – actually the group most likely to get serious or fatal canine injuries are children and infants and it’s usually by a dog known to them, if not actually within the household itself.

    Dogs that behave in this manner are owned by assholes (humans) who encourage agressive behavior and mistreat their animals. Dogs that are raised responsibly are not a threat, especially to children. Small animals? Ok, there’s an instinctual prey drive to worry about, I’ll give you that; but even that can be controlled for with socialization – my dog wants to eat squirrels and birds he sees outside, but he wants to cuddle with my cats because he was raised with them.

    If you knew anything about dogs – besides what the idiot local newscasters hype to you – you wouldn’t be bothering with such a silly derail, attacking pheeno for knowing the difference between a dangerous dog and a dog that’s threatened by an intruder in the home.

    Or, as pheeno said, “Justified aggressive behavior is not the same as an aggressive dog.” QTF and empahasis added.

    Dogs are pack animals and will attack who they perceive to be the weakest member of the pack if they feel threatened.

    This is incredibly reductive and mythological. It’s not that simple. Learn about dogs before you go spouting off about them.

    Interesting how the theory of “inherently dangerous activities” applies to dogs, but not to guns.

    F’reals. This thread is a damn mess. I wince at what is coming off as an eagerness to grab a gun and kill people, but I get even sicker at the resistance to the idea that people have the right to defend themselves. I don’t have a gun, I hate guns, they represent everything that is wrong with humanity (to me). I can also see myself pulling the trigger (on my non-existent weapon) if someone was breaking into my house and I was alone. I’m not paranoid, I’m not uninformed – I don’t shake in my boots walking to the store at night as a woman, the chance of being attacked is smaller outside than it is inside with men I know, I know this – but my chances at being raped again sure do skyrocket when a stranger forces his/her way into my home.

    I hate guns, but I can imagine myself in ‘those’ shoes. Why can’t some of you? Lots of cruelty in this thread.

  187. igglanova
    igglanova August 12, 2012 at 1:33 am |

    Dogs that behave in this manner are owned by assholes (humans) who encourage agressive behavior and mistreat their animals. Dogs that are raised responsibly are not a threat, especially to children.

    This is not true. I know the whole ‘dangerous dogs’ thing is a giant tangent, but I’ve already said my piece about gun control a million times to absolutely no avail, so whatever. The notion that dogs who bite children are categorically owned by Bad Dog Owners presents its own dangers when ‘good’ owners let themselves get overconfident.

    A dog’s capacity to bite does not vanish if it has been raised ‘responsibly’ (whatever that means – I’m sure everyone on this thread has a different idea of what ‘responsible’ entails). Even fatal dog attacks do not exclusively happen to the victims of dogs raised by bad owners. The most docile golden retriever can lash out and bite a child if the right cocktail of circumstances presents itself. As an example: the dog is stressed out, it is in pain or feeling unwell, there are visitors over, someone has forgotten to feed it lunch – and then a toddler wanders out of the parents’ sight and tries to play. A depressing number of fatal dog attacks look like this.

    Since there basically has to be a perfect storm before most child-friendly dogs will bite, there’s usually no call for panic. The risk of harm is small. But the risk rises substantially if the dog has a history of aggression. A dog does not magically know which kinds of aggression are ‘justified’ and which are off-limits unless it has been carefully trained. I personally doubt that any dog with a history of attacking intruders is going to give a shit if the intruder is an adult, teen, or child; or if the ‘intruder’ is even a threat, and not just some random person trespassing on what the dog perceives to be its territory.

    Obviously, people have the right to keep guard dogs. I might be a damn good idea, depending on where you live. But don’t kid yourself into believing that your dog could never hurt somebody who didn’t deserve it.

  188. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    A dog’s capacity to bite does not vanish if it has been raised ‘responsibly’ (whatever that means – I’m sure everyone on this thread has a different idea of what ‘responsible’ entails). Even fatal dog attacks do not exclusively happen to the victims of dogs raised by bad owners. The most docile golden retriever can lash out and bite a child if the right cocktail of circumstances presents itself. As an example: the dog is stressed out, it is in pain or feeling unwell, there are visitors over, someone has forgotten to feed it lunch – and then a toddler wanders out of the parents’ sight and tries to play. A depressing number of fatal dog attacks look like this.

    I have seen non-fatal examples of this on numerous occasions, including having it happen to myself. Always the same comment from the ‘responsible dog owner’- blame the child for not knowing how to play with a dog. Yeah, I’m 10 years old, forgive me for not knowing I can’t put my face close to a Sharpei’s face when they look so cute and harmless.

  189. William
    William August 12, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    Rhoanna,

    Tanks are certainly overkill, but are neither burning children or torture, which is what the post mentioned.

    The tanks are central to whats being discussed, though, because they’re what started the fires and collapsed the stairwells. Not to get too far off topic here but when theres video of tanks collapsing stairwells while setting the building on fire that starts to look a lot like intentionally burning people to death. I didn’t make the torture comments so I don’t know what Pheeno was referring to with them (maybe the gas?), but its not exactly a fringe interpretation that Waco was cold blooded murder. Thats especially true when Waco happened only a year after the US Marshal Service went to Ruby Ridge with something that looks a lot like shoot to kill orders, fired on retreating suspects, failed to identify themselves or issue orders to surrender, and fired through a woman holding an infant over an incident the FBI admitted was an overreaction and an exaggerated application of federal law.

    I get it, David Koresh was a scumbag and Randy Weaver was a Christian Identity racist. They were bad people who I wouldn’t invite into my home for dinner. I wouldn’t associate with them, I don’t like them or their politics, and I think they’re all around shitty examples of humanity. The thing is, just because I think they’re scum doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with what was done to them by our government. We cannot allow domestic human rights abuses to be swept under the rug because they were committed upon even our most repugnant of fellows.

  190. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    I personally doubt that any dog with a history of attacking intruders is going to give a shit if the intruder is an adult, teen, or child; or if the ‘intruder’ is even a threat, and not just some random person trespassing on what the dog perceives to be its territory.

    Then I supposed it will just blow your mind to know my own dogs have had children climb over the fence and adult men climb over the fence and behaved accordingly.

    The children were slobbered all over. The grown men were barked at and chased.
    I only knew about the kids in my yard because my catahoula came bouncing into the house aroooo’ing happily, then racing back out the doggy door for some more belly rubs.
    Again- they’re socialized on purpose. They’re socialized with children on purpose. Proper socialization is done throughout the dogs entire life. On purpose.

  191. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    The notion that dogs who bite children are categorically owned by Bad Dog Owners presents its own dangers when ‘good’ owners let themselves get overconfident.

    I don’t categorize them all as bad dog owners, but to use your perfect storm example- responsible dog owners tend to be aware of the signals their dog sends. Like ” STRESSED” or “FEEL BAD” or even “NOT IN MOOD FOR COMPANY” and they take the steps needed to make sure the wandering toddler won’t wander to the dog. Crates and dogs locked safely away are 2 very simple steps that halt that perfect storm.

    Now, of course, accidents can happen. But that doesn’t mean they’re avoidable, when the majority are by simply being aware. But if you own dogs it’s your job to be aware. And it’s your job to expose your dogs to as many environments, people, animals and situations (safely of course. The goal is to get the dog comfortable in all environments, not scare it or teach it the wrong responses) so that one little slip of attention has a very reduced chance of calamity.

    The 2 of mine that Liz believes to be aggressive dogs are soon to be qualified therapy dogs. They’re not exactly the toothy killing machines she thinks they are.

  192. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

    . I didn’t make the torture comments so I don’t know what Pheeno was referring to with them (maybe the gas?),

    The days on end of non stop sleep deprivation. We also apply these tactics at Guantanamo. It’s considered torture.

    h ttp://thejusticecampaign.org/?page_id=273#T2

    Sleep deprivation is used by torturers because it makes a person more suggestible, reduces psychological resistance and it reduces the body’s capacity to resist pain. Sleep deprivation is a very effective torture technique. The Committee against Torture (CAT) has noted that sleep deprivation used for prolonged periods constitutes a breach of the CAT, and is primarily used to break down the will of the detainee. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired memory and cognitive functioning, decreased short term memory, speech impairment, hallucinations, psychosis, lowered immunity, headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stress, anxiety and depression. For more information, see Gretchen Borchelt, JD & Christian Pross, MD ‘Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces’, Torture, vol.15(1), 2005; and ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’.

  193. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    182
    Rhoanna 8.11.2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink
    yes, burn 20 children to death after employing tactics considered torture.

    When did this happen?

    I assume it’s referring to the events at Waco, or rather one interpretation of the events.

    She couldn’t possibly be talking about Waco. She specifically said she was referring to an occasion where the ATF burned 20 children to death after employing torture tactics. The ATF raid on Waco resulted in 4 ATF agents being murdered in cold blood. The ensuing FBI operation, which was IN NO WAY about gun possession, as it was a direct response to the murder of innocent federal agents.
    There is no way she could be referring to Waco beacause even if your interpretation was that ALL Branch Davidans were murdered, they were murdered by the FBI. She was referring to an incident where the ATF murdered 20 children, so let pheeno speak for herself instead of assuming she’s some ignoramus who is talking nonsense.

  194. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

    I am curious if the pro-gun people here are for banning convicted felons from having guns…

  195. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

    I get it, David Koresh was a scumbag and Randy Weaver was a Christian Identity racist. They were bad people who I wouldn’t invite into my home for dinner. I wouldn’t associate with them, I don’t like them or their politics, and I think they’re all around shitty examples of humanity. The thing is, just because I think they’re scum doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with what was done to them by our government. We cannot allow domestic human rights abuses to be swept under the rug because they were committed upon even our most repugnant of fellows.

    You are so full of crap it’s unbelievable. You’re the one arguing that if you view someone as a threat it’s legitimate to use deadly force against them. Maybe you should rethink that bit of nonsense in terms of Waco and Ruby Ridge.

  196. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

    To add to pheeno’s description of why sleep deprivation is torture: having been a child/teen who was working more than full-time hours from about the age of 11 (unpaid, and on top of studying; I’ve had an interesting life), I can testify that you don’t even need to deprive someone completely of sleep in order for these effects to occur. Just stripping three or so hours a night, every night, is enough to fuck a teenager over physically and leave lasting neurological effects. Coupled with my chronic nightmares and insomnia, it was pretty horrific, and I don’t even think my family noticed why I developed anxiety and depression issues. I still don’t know whether to blame my fibromyalgia on that, either.

  197. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    We cannot allow domestic human rights abuses to be swept under the rug because they were committed upon even our most repugnant of fellows.

    Unless they happen to be on Williams property uninvited.

  198. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    Here’s a logic puzzle for you
    1. The NRA explicitly says that the ownership of weapons bears no relation to the propensity of those weapons to be used for nefarious purposes.
    2. George W. Bush invaded Iraq on the sole premise that they possesed weapons which he claimed would most likely be used for nefarious purposes.
    3. George W. Bush is the president with the highest positive Rating from the NRA in US history.
    4. What the actual fuck?

  199. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    There is no way she could be referring to Waco beacause even if your interpretation was that ALL Branch Davidans were murdered, they were murdered by the FBI

    Oh jesus. I forgot to mention FBI. They took command after the ATF shot the compound dogs (oh sorry, “neutralized”), which lead the residents to believe they were being shot at and returned fire. AND they’re recorded on 911 begging for a ceasefire, and you can hear the ATF continue shooting. The ATF never left, even after the FBI took command.

    The ATF, the FBI and the DEA can do anything they damn well want, and you can file a complaint afterwards. If you’re still alive to do so.

  200. William
    William August 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

    Fat steve,

    You are so full of crap it’s unbelievable.

    Your rhetorical skills are, as always, scintillating. I mean, insults and context-free condescension in one string of posts, I must admit I’m impressed.

    The next time you’re wondering why the NRA (or the Bavarian Illuminati, or whatever bugaboo you’re trying to kill with passive aggression being passed off as ersatz snark) just steamrolled you remember, its this kind of behavior that makes your side seem foolish and petty to the people you’re trying to win over.

  201. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

    Your rhetorical skills are, as always, scintillating. I mean, insults and context-free condescension in one string of posts, I must admit I’m impressed.

    The next time you’re wondering why the NRA (or the Bavarian Illuminati, or whatever bugaboo you’re trying to kill with passive aggression being passed off as ersatz snark) just steamrolled you remember, its this kind of behavior that makes your side seem foolish and petty to the people you’re trying to win over.

    Or maybe, when presented with the utter hypocrisy of your position, all you can do is criticize my style. When you have a response to the sentences that followed my characterization of you as ‘full of crap’ then you can start in on my style. Otherwise, you are guilty of exactly the same behavior you’re accusing me of.

  202. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    http ://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_KNIFE_ATTACK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-08-02-06-05-46

    Teenager kills 8 , wounds 5 in China knife attack

  203. William
    William August 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm |

    Or maybe, when presented with the utter hypocrisy of your position, all you can do is criticize my style.

    I’ve been engaging for 200 posts. You’ve been sniping, dictating terms, and stomping your feet when you aren’t obeyed.

    When you have a response to the sentences that followed my characterization of you as ‘full of crap’ then you can start in on my style.

    First, its bad form to make demands in a discussion. Second, when you open with “you’re full of crap” I’m not going to take you seriously. Third, going back over the thread you’re in no position to whinge about people not engaging with you.

    Its a moot point, though, Fat Steve. I’ll happily be guilty of disengaging with someone more interested in having a shouting match over the internet than a meaningful discussion.

    Toodles.

  204. Liz
    Liz August 13, 2012 at 12:00 am |

    Pheenobarbidoll, you didn’t write that your dogs would bark at intruders. You wrote that they would tear an intruder five new arseholes before you’d even got out of bed. See the difference? Barking is not aggression. Ripping someone to shreds is. The latter is what I was objecting to. So, stop moving the goal posts. And if you don’t want your dogs to be described as aggressive, stop with the swaggering boastfulness.

  205. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 13, 2012 at 6:07 am |

    The next time you’re wondering why the NRA (or the Bavarian Illuminati, or whatever bugaboo you’re trying to kill

    Hey, if the Bavarian Illuminati had an over-$200 million annual budget, claimed ~4 million members, had spent over $7 million in the 2010 elections (on top of around ~$2 million each year in direct lobbying, and was widely credited by political observers as being hugely influential re: the passage or failure of legislation within its sphere of concern, well …

    Also of interest, from the New York Times:

    The dearth of money [for studying the impact of firearms] can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, researchers at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.
    Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to completely eliminate the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was for about a decade the leading source of financing for firearms research. The N.R.A. argued that its work was “redundant” and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centers’ budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.
    link

  206. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 13, 2012 at 6:13 am |

    Teenager kills 8 , wounds 5 in China knife attack

    Tragic. How many mass knifings have we had in the US in the last 3 months? How many mass shootings have we had in the US over the last 3 months? (Hint: the answer actually isn’t “2″)

  207. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 13, 2012 at 7:29 am |

    You are so full of crap it’s unbelievable. You’re the one arguing that if you view someone as a threat it’s legitimate to use deadly force against them. Maybe you should rethink that bit of nonsense in terms of Waco and Ruby Ridge.

    I think that there’s a tremendous difference between arguing “I have the right to defend myself and my family from intruders breaking into my home” and “the government has the right to attack citizens on their own property, set fire to their home, and murder the living fuck out of them.”

  208. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |

    I think that there’s a tremendous difference between arguing “I have the right to defend myself and my family from intruders breaking into my home” and “the government has the right to attack citizens on their own property, set fire to their home, and murder the living fuck out of them.”

    Well, I don’t happen to believe that when someone takes a job for the government they give up their personhood. So, in my opinion if you work for the government you have as much right to defend yourself as anyone else. Is it that you don’t feel people who work for the government have the right to defend themselves against a perceived threat or that you don’t consider them people?

  209. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    First, its bad form to make demands in a discussion. Second, when you open with “you’re full of crap” I’m not going to take you seriously. Third, going back over the thread you’re in no position to whinge about people not engaging with you.

    Its a moot point, though, Fat Steve. I’ll happily be guilty of disengaging with someone more interested in having a shouting match over the internet than a meaningful discussion.

    Toodles.

    Thanks for admitting I’m right.

  210. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |

    Well, I don’t happen to believe that when someone takes a job for the government they give up their personhood. So, in my opinion if you work for the government you have as much right to defend yourself as anyone else. Is it that you don’t feel people who work for the government have the right to defend themselves against a perceived threat or that you don’t consider them people?

    You’re being really intellectually dishonest here, Steve.

    Even if you believe that the agents responsible for the siege in Waco were right in their actions, the situation there is still not the same as if I’m minding my business in my home and someone breaks into my house.

    The government laying siege to someone’s property and lighting their house on the fire? Not the same thing as defending yourself during a home invasion.

    It’s not that I think that government employees aren’t people or that they’re not justified in defending themselves. It’s that I think you’re making a false comparison. The agents involved in Waco weren’t just defending themselves, they went looking for trouble. On someone else’s property, it should be noted.

    Even if you don’t believe people should have guns, are you really suggesting that people have some kind of obligation not to defend themselves during home invasions? That the victims of violent crime ought to just sit back and see what happens and hope for the best?

  211. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |

    Governments don’t kill people. People kill people.

  212. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 13, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    That has very little to do with the actual substance of my comment.

    And it makes it look like you’re a lot less interested in the actual problem of gun violence in this country than you are in scoring internet points and being clever and snarky.

  213. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 11:29 am |

    What happens when you use your tazer on someone over 250 pounds whose done a little bit of blow and they don’t go down?

    What happens when you use your gun on that person and the exact same thing happens? Guns aren’t infallible protection machines; nothing is an infallible protection machine (not guns, not dogs, not a black belt in every martial art on earth.)

    That’s what gun advocates don’t seem to understand. Your guns don’t make you safe. Statistically, they don’t even make you safer.

    I understand that it’s a scary world, but guns don’t make it better. They are merely a psychological bandage of violence laid over the open wound of the reality that death finds everyone someday.

  214. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |

    What happens when you use your gun on that person and the exact same thing happens?

    You get your machete and remove the head. Zombies are nothing to fool around with.

  215. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 11:32 am |

    And for the people who like to pull out the rare knifing as if it nullifies gun violence; yes, I would rather have someone try to murder me with a knife than a gun. Fer reals. Even a really big knife. Even a scary, scary asian knife. :p

  216. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    You get your machete and remove the head. Zombies are nothing to fool around with.

    Depending on the zombie, watch out for blood spatter. Is this an infectious zombie? Don’t fool around with zombies that may zombify you with their zombie viruses!

  217. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 11:37 am |

    Pheenobarbidoll, you didn’t write that your dogs would bark at intruders. You wrote that they would tear an intruder five new arseholes before you’d even got out of bed. See the difference? Barking is not aggression.

    Yes, they’re going to run towards you barking. If that doesn’t cause you to get the hell out, they will bite you. If you are still in the house when they reach you, you’re going to be bitten.

    This behavior (even the biting) according to the ASPCA and dog behaviorists is considered JUSTIFIED AGGRESSION and not AGGRESSIVE DOGS.

    Very distinct difference. Not my problem you don’t know it.

  218. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    And for the people who like to pull out the rare knifing as if it nullifies gun violence;

    Ah, that’s what I was doing. Trying to NULLIFY gun violence instead of simply showing that knives can actually be involved in mass killings (which has been said can’t really happen.)

    yes, I would rather have someone try to murder me with a knife than a gun.

    I wouldn’t. Most people (as has been pointed out here often) aren’t trained to shoot well. Hitting a moving target with a gun and making a kill shot is hard. Stabbing the hell out of someone and doing lethal damage is not as hard. Close contact violence is harder to defend and harder to get away from.

  219. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    Depending on the zombie, watch out for blood spatter. Is this an infectious zombie? Don’t fool around with zombies that may zombify you with their zombie viruses!

    If it’s the rage zombies ala 28 days, we’re all screwed anyway.

    Romero zombies, those are easier to kill and you must be bitten.

  220. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 11:49 am |

    Okay, Romero zombies are all about the machetes. True facts. I bow to your answer.

    (Slightly off-topic, but does anyone else think that the people in The Walking Dead are waaay too good at aiming guns? Headshots every time! Bullshit!)

  221. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    Close contact violence is harder to defend and harder to get away from.

    Then why do the gun massacres rack up about 4 times the kill count that knifings do? In a crowd it’s easy to shoot someone if you don’t care who; knifing a ton of people takes more time and effort.

  222. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |

    That has very little to do with the actual substance of my comment.

    You accused me of intellectual dishonesty. I was being intentionally intellectually dishonest to point ou the intellectual dishonesty of the ‘guns dont kill people’ argument.

    And it makes it look like you’re a lot less interested in the actual problem of gun violence in this country than you are in scoring internet points and being clever and snarky.

    Well, which one do you think I have more of a chance of affecting?

  223. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    (Slightly off-topic, but does anyone else think that the people in The Walking Dead are waaay too good at aiming guns? Headshots every time! Bullshit!)

    Yep. Except for the cop characters and the hunters, the chances of the others getting head shots is extremely slim. Andrea was getting zombie kill shots, but then couldn’t hit a huge slow moving LOG.

  224. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    Then why do the gun massacres rack up about 4 times the kill count that knifings do?

    Numbers. It doesn’t matter where you’re aiming a gun if there’s a large crowd. You’ll hit people by chance. Controlling an automatic weapon with rapid fire and hitting the precise person you’re aiming at isn’t easy without training. You need a large, condensed crowd. The Aurora shooting is an example. He killed 12 people, but only wounded 58. (not that being wounded is insignificant, but it’s survivable)

    And in one on one fights (where a knife is used) you’re in close contact ,which ups the chances of death. That Chinese knifing is an example- He killed 8 people out of 13 as opposed to 12 out of 70 some odd people total in Aurora.

  225. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    Oh- though I would rather take my chances with a knife over a shotgun. You’ll hit whatever is in the general direction of a shotgun. And it won’t be survivable. You don’t even have to be good.

  226. Esti
    Esti August 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm |

    And in one on one fights (where a knife is used) you’re in close contact ,which ups the chances of death. That Chinese knifing is an example- He killed 8 people out of 13 as opposed to 12 out of 70 some odd people total in Aurora.

    This is the least logical thing I’ve ever read. Holmes didn’t have a lower killed-to-injured ratio because it’s harder to kill someone with a gun than a knife; he had that ratio because it’s easier to shoot a large number of people, including those far away or who you didn’t take specific aim at, than to stab the same number of people. You’re virtually always going to have more people hit when a gunman starts shooting into a crowd because bullets are faster and easier to spray widely than a knife that’s a few inches long and has to stay in your hand.

    Ditto your “one-on-one fight” comment — the fact that knives have to be used in close range doesn’t make it easier to kill people with them. In fact, totally the opposite: they have to be used in close range because it’s HARDER to kill people with them (when’s the last time you heard about someone who tried to commit mass murder by throwing knives into a crowd?). Guns are every bit as deadly, if not moreso, as knives when used at close range. And guns ALSO give you the ability to kill or injure people from farther away, which — again — tends to increase the number of victims in shooting rampages.

    The arguments about knives are such a distraction from the real issue. If you think the right to bear arms, or the harms of getting rid of them, outweigh the harm caused by people who use guns for violence, fine. But stop pretending that knives make it just as easy for someone to kill a lot of people. They don’t.

  227. William
    William August 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |

    Bagelsan,

    What happens when you use your gun on that person and the exact same thing happens? Guns aren’t infallible protection machines; nothing is an infallible protection machine (not guns, not dogs, not a black belt in every martial art on earth.)

    Not to be graphic but the chances that two modern hollow points designed for controlled expansion aren’t going to bring down the majority of attackers is pretty slight. Even if they don’t, theres another 8 rounds in the magazine, serious tissue damage likely impacting the ability to be a threat, and large wound channels constantly weakening an assailant through blood loss. A modern home defense round is going to nearly double in size very quickly, meaning that even a 9mm bullet is going to make a hole about seven tenths of an inch across. Is that a guarantee of incapacitation? No, but its a damn sight more effective than pepper spray that might give me an asthma attack or a tazer thats good for one shot before its a shitty club.

    In any case, a gun is perceived as a lot more fatal than less-lethal means and is very likely to end a confrontation without a shot being fired. Theres a reason that so many people pick a pump shotgun for home defense: the sound of a pump reduces the likelihood of anyone actually getting hurt because most people just plain aren’t willing to chance getting shot. Most people who use guns in self defense never fire a round because most criminals don’t like the idea of being shot.

    That’s what gun advocates don’t seem to understand. Your guns don’t make you safe. Statistically, they don’t even make you safer.

    My guns do not make me 100% safe, nothing ever could. But they add some safety to the margins and my rational assessment of my life situation is that the benefits of owning a gun outweigh the dangers.

    Look, I’m 280 pounds, I’ve got broad shoulders, I look like trouble. I’m also good at reading people and can deescalate a lot of conflicts. Even when things get hot I know from experience that I can avoid physical confrontations most of the time by playing up being scary. In the grand scheme of things, I’m extremely unlikely to be a victim. That makes me pretty safe. Still, when I’m walking home at 2 in the morning I pay attention to my surroundings. Whether I’m home or not I lock my doors. Why? Because “pretty safe” doesn’t mean I’m willing to put myself in danger based on the odds that a strong white dude in his early 30s is going to be OK. I was almost mugged last Halloween and the only reason I wasn’t mugged was that I was willing to do something ugly to protect myself.

    Thats what a gun is, for me, its something ugly I can reach for if everything goes pear-shaped. I’ve had enough terrible luck (and oppression) in my life to not trust anyone to keep me safe except for me and my immediate loved ones. If I never have to use it, great. If I do, well, it won’t be the first time I had to do something unpleasant to protect myself.

    They are merely a psychological bandage of violence laid over the open wound of the reality that death finds everyone someday.

    You’re right. Absolutely and 100% right. A gun is certainly a security blanket. Its something that makes me feel more secure and it is, partly, an illusory security. And death will absolutely find me someday.

    But I have never been one to sit back and accept fate. I learned a long time ago that the odds are something that are generally invoked to bully people in passivity. I’m not supposed to be strong, I’m not supposed to be independent, I’m not supposed to be mobile, I’m not supposed to be dissatisfied with accommodations because I should be happy anyone puts up with someone who refuses to be a “huggy retard” in the first place, I’m not supposed to have a doctorate or a job or a spouse that isn’t a caretaker or a fellow genetic reject. I grew up being told over and over again by people who knew better than I did that all fighting would mean is failing and getting hurt. Sometimes that was a warning, sometimes it was a threat, sometimes it was the advice of someone who had been there and wanted better for me, but the message was always the same: you can’t win, the odds are stacked against you. The first time I was told to my face that my life was over I was in second grade. In second grade I was told that I would never be anything when I grew up because the odds were what they were and you can’t fight nature. In second grade I learned that even if four adults could physically hold you down until your limbs went numb they’d be less likely to do it if they learned that when they eventually let you go they’d get hurt. I learned that someone who hurts you, even if they’re too strong for you to ever win, will hurt you less if you hurt them back (even if that means going through hell the first few times). In high school I was told I would never get further than prison if I didn’t learn to stop questioning authority. In graduate school I was told that fighting the system meant getting crushed. Yet here I am. I get dressed without assistance, I work out, I’m married to an equal, I have a doctorate, I’ve run departments, I’ve challenged by betters, I still question what I hear, I’m oppositional and a touch antisocial and I have made the lives of real human beings under my care better by being stubborn and willful and refusing to accept the way things are even in the face of astronomical odds. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed, thats life. But the odds can go fuck themselves, as can the statistics and the people who have screamed them at me for as many reasons as there have been people with an interest in my submission.

    Slightly off-topic, but does anyone else think that the people in The Walking Dead are waaay too good at aiming guns? Headshots every time! Bullshit!

    I know, right! Five minutes shooting at cans and suddenly they’re outshooting IPSC champions even though their adrenaline is up and their lives are on the line. Also: WHERE ARE THEY GETTING ALL THAT AMMO?!

    Pheenobarbiedoll

    Yep. Except for the cop characters and the hunters, the chances of the others getting head shots is extremely slim.

    Even the cops should be having trouble. Head shots aren’t something anyone (except precision shooters and a handful of drill nerds) really much trains for, especially against a moving target. If you’re trying to stop something you aim for the chest, where all those vital organs and major veins and arteries are. Rick’s $2500 revolver, pretty as it is, shouldn’t change that. The only person on that show who has any business making those shots is Daryl, and even then its only because he was probably hunting small moving game for years.

    Oh- though I would rather take my chances with a knife over a shotgun. You’ll hit whatever is in the general direction of a shotgun. And it won’t be survivable. You don’t even have to be good.

    Thats something of a myth when it comes to shotguns. Survivability comes down to what kind of shot is being used (even at very close range birdshot probably won’t kill you, just look at Cheney’s hunting buddy), but out to about 15 yards you’re still only looking at a spread of about 5 inches.

  228. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

    You accused me of intellectual dishonesty. I was being intentionally intellectually dishonest to point ou the intellectual dishonesty of the ‘guns dont kill people’ argument.

    That’s still absurd, though. The government is an organization, which is, you know… made up of people. So, yes, actually, the government does do things like kill people. A gun is certainly a tool for killing people, but, unlike the government, a gun can’t decide to wage war on it’s own.

    I’m actually pro-gun-control, but I not because I think that there’s no intellectual difference between a gun–an inanimate object–and the government–an organization of people. Guns are most definitely used to kill people, but I dislike the tendancy to act like guns are THE problem. Guns are part of the problem, but I don’t believe for a minute that they’re the whole or main problem. There are other countries that have very lax gun-control laws that have murder rates significantly lower than ours.

    Well, which one do you think I have more of a chance of affecting?

    So, basically, you’re trolling?

  229. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

    his is the least logical thing I’ve ever read. Holmes didn’t have a lower killed-to-injured ratio because it’s harder to kill someone with a gun than a knife

    You don’t have to have any training to shove a knife in someones gut. To shoot and kill someone (as has been pointed out every single time someone says ” a random person with a gun could have shot the shooter and saved everyone like a hero!!) is more difficult. You up the chances because the number of people is larger. A stray bullet you were aiming at a specific person may not hit that person, but if there are 10 people surrounding him, the chances are high that you’ll at least hit SOMEONE.

    People are running, yelling, there’s chaos and you think a random person with a gun is even aiming at specific people? No. He’s pointing the gun in the general direction of people and pulling the trigger, hoping to hit people.

    And contrary to what the movies show, shooting an automatic weapon is not easy. The kick on those guns, the rapid fire all make it more difficult to hit what you’re aiming at. The only reason it doesn’t matter in a large crowd is because bullets are going everywhere.

    The Aurora shooter started off with a shotgun. With a shotgun, accuracy is far less of an issue, which is why I said I’d prefer to not have one pointed in my direction. Doesn’t need aiming. Just pointing will do the trick.

    His semi automatic rifle malfunctioned after 30 rounds. 30 rounds is a lot. Yet, the inaccuracy of that gun saved lives before the malfunction did. Your chances of being hit by that in untrained hands is lower. Same with a pistol in the hands of someone inexperienced.

    The guy had 3 weapons and killed 12 people out of 70. The guy with the knife killed 8 out of 13.

    All in all, I’d prefer to take my chances with someone walking into a building or driving by with a gun than someone with a knife who can shove it in me before I even know he’s there. And hold me there to shove it in 57 more times to make sure the job is done. Already had an abusive ex hold me down with a knife to my neck, and it’s not something I care to have repeated. Had he wanted to, I’d have been dead and there would have been absolutely no chance to run away or hide or blend in with 70 other people.

  230. jessi
    jessi August 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    People are running, yelling, there’s chaos and you think a random person with a gun is even aiming at specific people? No. He’s pointing the gun in the general direction of people and pulling the trigger, hoping to hit people.

    But that’s exactly the point. You don’t need good aiming skills to kill a lot of people with a gun if you’re in a place with a lot of people.

    All in all, I’d prefer to take my chances with someone walking into a building or driving by with a gun than someone with a knife who can shove it in me before I even know he’s there.

    I’m pretty sure the first people that were hit in the aurora shooting didn’t know there was a man with guns either.

    Already had an abusive ex hold me down with a knife to my neck, and it’s not something I care to have repeated. Had he wanted to, I’d have been dead and there would have been absolutely no chance to run away or hide or blend in with 70 other people.

    How would it have been better if he had a gun? Then you would’ve had a gun to your head, I really don’t see how that’s better?

  231. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

    Look, mentioning your ex’s assault on you in the same thread as the Sikh/Aurora shootings is comparing apples and oranges. If you compare *mass killings* then no, knives != guns in efficacy.

  232. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    And frankly, would it have been better to be held down with a gun to your temple? I suspect not.

  233. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    Just stating my own personal preference Bagelsan. Not suggesting anyone else has to feel the same. But I prefer a situation where I can run or hide to one where I can’t. So if I had to choose between some guy walking into a crowded theater with a gun, or a guy suddenly showing up beside me with a knife for close contact trying to kill me, I’m going with the crowded theater and gun. Mainly, because they can hold me down or hold me in place.The more distance I can place between me and whoever wants me dead, the better.

    And it’s also the same problem with people thinking a gun owner could Save The Day by shooting the criminal. It’s not that easy.

  234. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    3 killed in a shooting near Texas A&M University:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19250806

    Related to the O.P, there has also been a mosque burned to the ground, one mosque shot at and today a bottle of acid was thrown at an Islamic school, all in the wake of the Gurdwara massacre.

  235. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

    So if I had to choose between some guy walking into a crowded theater with a gun, or a guy suddenly showing up beside me with a knife for close contact trying to kill me, I’m going with the crowded theater and gun.

    I guess my problem with that is that, while you may have a better chance of surviving if you aren’t directly targeted, when a gun sprays bullets into a crowd lots of other people are going to get hurt. Looking at the numbers, it’s a little selfish-sounding to prefer that lots of people get shot so you can hopefully escape.

  236. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Here’s the thing though: I have had to use violent force to defend myself against a physical threat, and far from it being some simple experience or some Batman style vigilante thing, it’s still something that I have a measure of PTSD about. So I do have a pretty good reason for disliking what I see as the glamorizing of ‘self-defense’. I may share the full story later when i’m not on my Ipad.

  237. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Look, mentioning your ex’s assault on you in the same thread as the Sikh/Aurora shootings is comparing apples and oranges. If you compare *mass killings* then no, knives != guns in efficacy.

    I didn’t bring it up, you did.

    You said

    I would rather have someone try to murder me with a knife than a gun.

    I said I wouldn’t. I’m not comparing mass killings to knifing, other than stating my preference would be having a larger crowd of people around me and more distance between me and the killer. I’m not saying “oh guns are better than knives!!”

    I’m simply stating that if I had to pick between scenarios, I would rather be in a large crowd with opportunities to run the fuck away or hide than be in a close combat situation with a knife. That’s it. That’s all. The WHY has to do with the odds. More people=more chaos which gives me an opportunity to hide, run or get wounded as opposed to dead. I like my odds better in a mass shooting.

    It’s simply a hypothetical personal preference if I were to have to pick my attempted murder. Just like if I had to pick a weapon to kill zombies. I wouldn’t go for a gun because head shots take training. A machete may leave me with blood splatter to contend with, but so would a pistol because the zombie would have to be ON me for me to have a chance at a head shot.

    So you and others can stop worrying that I’m trying to claim guns are better than knives.

  238. Liz
    Liz August 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    Your dog attacking someone on your property is justified aggression? And yet they know not to attack children? You’re so full of bullshit, phernobarbidoll.

    Tell me how do they identify a human is an adult, not a child? Height? Tone of voice? Presumably people enter your property for justifiable reasons. What happens if they don’t leave quickly enough? Either you’re talking absolute rubbish, or you have aggressive dogs.

    That quote from ASPCA doesn’t justify your dogs attacking sOmeone just because they’re on your property, either.

  239. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    I guess my problem with that is that, while you may have a better chance of surviving if you aren’t directly targeted, when a gun sprays bullets into a crowd lots of other people are going to get hurt. Looking at the numbers, it’s a little selfish-sounding to prefer that lots of people get shot so you can hopefully escape.

    If someone intent on killing you were chasing you, would you run into a crowded public place or a deserted alley?

  240. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

    If someone intent on killing you were chasing you, would you run into a crowded public place or a deserted alley?

    I would do the selfish thing. I would run into the crowd, hoping that some other innocent person gets killed apart from me. I would probably feel guilty about it for the rest of my life.

  241. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

    Your dog attacking someone on your property is justified aggression?

    Someone trespassing is entering my property for justifiable reasons? I have an 8 foot privacy fence and padlocked gates. So what justifiable reasons would they have?

    The only person who would climb that fence or get around those locks would be a kid coming in for a toy or someone there that was aware they were trespassing. Being aware you’re trespassing tends to nullify that whole justifiable thing.

    And yet they know not to attack children?

    And yet they never have. And it happens from time to time. This whole neighborhood has kids all over. They play in the alleys, they throw footballs and softballs into yards, frequently. My yard included. (even though I have repeatedly told them to come get me and I will retrieve the toy)

    Tell me how do they identify a human is an adult, not a child? Height? Tone of voice?

    Dogs can identify identical twins with 100% accuracy, can detect cancer, approach of seizures and when a persons blood sugar is low/high. But you can’t figure out how dogs might be able to distinguish between a child and an adult.
    Guess it’ll just have to remain a mystery.

  242. igglanova
    igglanova August 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    I guess the militaries of the world never got the memo that a machine gun could be effortlessly outclassed by a piece of cutlery.

  243. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm |

    I guess the militaries of the world never got the memo that a machine gun could be effortlessly outclassed by a piece of cutlery.

    I know one memo someone didn’t get. Or bother to read. Or pay attention to in any way.

    I said I wouldn’t. I’m not comparing mass killings to knifing, other than stating my preference would be having a larger crowd of people around me and more distance between me and the killer. I’m not saying “oh guns are better than knives!!”

  244. DonnaL
    DonnaL August 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    Tell me how do they identify a human is an adult, not a child?

    I guess you don’t know much about dogs?

  245. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Being aware you’re trespassing tends to nullify that whole justifiable thing.

    I’m sure you know that there are many justifiable reasons to trespass…and also that having a dog that has previous bitten a person makes you strictly liable for any damage that dog causes even to people who are trespassing. You aren’t permitted to set traps for people on your property and having a fence does not exculpate you for harm caused even if someone is trespassing. After all trespassing is a very minor offense…and definitely not an excuse to cause someone bodily harm.

  246. igglanova
    igglanova August 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

    If you weren’t relating mass killings to knifing, why did you even bring knifing into the discussion? Am I supposed to believe that your link to that Chinese mass knifing incident was some innocuous nonsequitur?

    Pray tell, how are we supposed to read this sentence if it isn’t an explicit attempt to compare the deadliness of knives vs guns?

    The guy had 3 weapons and killed 12 people out of 70. The guy with the knife killed 8 out of 13.

  247. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish August 14, 2012 at 12:23 am |

    I’m simply stating that if I had to pick between scenarios, I would rather be in a large crowd with opportunities to run the fuck away or hide than be in a close combat situation with a knife. That’s it. That’s all. The WHY has to do with the odds. More people=more chaos which gives me an opportunity to hide, run or get wounded as opposed to dead. I like my odds better in a mass shooting.

    C’mon, this is apples to oranges. The real comparison is either:

    a) A person being attacked in a large crowd with a knife vs being attacked in a large crowd with a gun; or

    b) A person being attacked in close quarters with a knife vs being attacked in close quarters with a gun.

    The protective value of being in a crowd exists with both a knife and a gun – so I’m not sure how that’s supposed to show that knives are somehow deadlier than guns. I’m not sure what your preference for a crowd-based scenario has to do with the relative danger of guns compared with knives.

  248. Liz
    Liz August 14, 2012 at 12:55 am |

    I know a lot about dogs Donna L. One of the things I know, is that like people, their judgement isn’t infallible. I noticed no has answered the question. ‘I dunno, they just don’t’ is hardly a convincing argument.

  249. William
    William August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |

    I noticed no has answered the question. ‘I dunno, they just don’t’ is hardly a convincing argument.

    Tell me, why don’t grapes grow on trees? Tell me, why doesn’t Herbie Hancock play death metal? Tell me, how does my cat differentiate the sound of my footsteps coming up the stairs from the footsteps of someone with a similar weight, build, and gait? Tell me, why won’t my mother eat sushi?

    You don’t necessarily need to know the mechanism of a thing to know that it is so.

  250. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    Without knowing the dogs in question, I have no idea. I do know that the dog we had as a child was super friendly to all the neighborhood kids–it would run over and try to lick their faces and play with them any time anyone came over. If an adult came in the yard, the dog would start barking until one of my parents came over to see who it was. Our dog never bit anyone, but I would suspect that, if Sandy (the dog) thought that one of us were being threatened or attacked, she probably would have tried to bite the person who she saw as a threat.

    And, really, is this a thing that people honestly don’t know about dogs? Yes, some dogs are vicious (usually because they’ve been trained to be or because they’ve been abused), but most dogs will exhibit protective behavior towards the household they’re a part of, even if it’s just warning barks when someone approaches the house or whatever. Most dogs seem to recognize the difference between adults and children. Why? I have no idea, but every dog I’ve owned has exhibited differential treatment to children vs/ adults. Just because your dog is protective of the household doesn’t make it vicious. That’s a thing that dogs do; it’s one of the reasons a lot of people get dogs–to discourage intruders or to provide a warning that someone is there who shouldn’t be. My current dog is the friendliest animal I’ve ever known, and he’ll still bark like crazy if you come in my house and he doesn’t know you. Once it’s clear that I’m cool with you being there, he’ll start licking you and trying to climb in your lap and play with you, but until then, he’s going to do the dog thing and bark to let us know “Yo! Someone is here! A person! In the house!”

  251. Matt
    Matt August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    Liz, do you believe that there is ever a situation when a person may morally kill another to defend themselves?

    If so, what conditions describe that situation?

  252. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

    Liz, do you believe that there is ever a situation when a person may morally kill another to defend themselves?

    If so, what conditions describe that situation?

    When they drone on and on about the same topic on a website. Okay, maybe not killed, but certainly slapped with a wet noodle in self-defense.

  253. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Oh come on people. I’ve had dogs who freaked out if someone they knew was wearing a hat. Dogs are furry little pieces of awesome, but they are not perfect.

  254. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    I’m sure you know that there are many justifiable reasons to trespass

    Give me a good reason to bypass an 8ft privacy fence and locked gates that’s justifiable. I’m home during the day, car clearly visible. What’s a justifiable reason to avoid knocking on my door and climb my fence or cut my padlocks?

  255. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    If you weren’t relating mass killings to knifing, why did you even bring knifing into the discussion?

    Because it popped up on my yahoo news, and people have previously stated no one ever committed mass killings with a knife. Sorry it’s not some pro gun agenda you clearly want it to be. I’m not pro gun. ooops.

  256. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    Pray tell, how are we supposed to read this sentence if it isn’t an explicit attempt to compare the deadliness of knives vs guns?

    The guy had 3 weapons and killed 12 people out of 70. The guy with the knife killed 8 out of 13.

    You could start by reading what came before and after it *GASP*

    And notice that it was a conversation about MY personal preference and which odds I’d prefer if I had to pick my murder.

  257. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    Because it popped up on my yahoo news, and people have previously stated no one ever committed mass killings with a knife.

    Where have people stated that? I don’t think anyone’s claimed that you can’t kill multiple people with a knife. Of course, no one’s killed 32 people with a knife (that I know of) but some people, sure.

  258. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    Dogs are furry little pieces of awesome, but they are not perfect.

    Do you mean that some dogs who perform specialized functions need to be *gasp* taught them, and even then are not infallible? It’s almost like dogs are not omniscient magical beings!

  259. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    I noticed no has answered the question. ‘I dunno, they just don’t’ is hardly a convincing argument.

    The exact same way they can detect cancer, diabetes and identify identical twins.

    That’s all the hint I’m giving you. There are books and loads of resources to answer this question for you. And if you did in fact know a lot about dogs, you wouldn’t be asking the question and you’d see the problem immediately with the 2 examples you gave (height, tone of voice)

  260. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

    Where have people stated that? I don’t think anyone’s claimed that you can’t kill multiple people with a knife. Of course, no one’s killed 32 people with a knife (that I know of) but some people, sure.

    On the last gun issue thread. There were comments when someone brought up people just using knives if guns were available along the lines of ” but you can’t kill a bunch of people with a knife”.

  261. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    if guns weren’t* available.

  262. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

    It’s almost like dogs are not omniscient magical beings!

    I suppose people completely ignorant on the subject of dog behavior and physiology might confuse it with magic.

    But it’s really not. And it’s not rocket science either.

    Dogs with specialized skills have to have something before it can be harnesses and trained.

    For example- to train drug seeking dogs, the dog first must have a superior sense of what?

    To train cancer finding dogs, the dog must first exhibit what ability?

    Dogs trained to warn people of approaching seizures can’t be taught unless they first have X trait.

  263. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    Oh come on people. I’ve had dogs who freaked out if someone they knew was wearing a hat. Dogs are furry little pieces of awesome, but they are not perfect.

    Of course they aren’t–who said they were? People aren’t perfect either. But dogs can, you know… be trained. People jumped all over this idea that someone has dogs who might be hostile towards intruders as if it automatically meant that her dogs were vicious dangerous animals. I just don’t understand the ire being thrown around at the idea that someone has dogs that they think would protect them from trespassers. I’m pretty sure my 18 lbs pug would be hostile towards a home invader, but that doesn’t make it a vicious dog.

  264. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    By the way- dogs are pack animals is a myth.

  265. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    People jumped all over this idea that someone has dogs who might be hostile towards intruders as if it automatically meant that her dogs were vicious dangerous animals.

    Because Liz believes I am pro gun. I agreed with William that he has a right to self defense, so that automatically makes me a trigger happy vicious dog owner.

  266. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

    Give me a good reason to bypass an 8ft privacy fence and locked gates that’s justifiable. I’m home during the day, car clearly visible. What’s a justifiable reason to avoid knocking on my door and climb my fence or cut my padlocks?

    I hear screaming and it sounds like someone is badly hurt inside and no one is answering the door.

  267. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

    I’m not sure what your preference for a crowd-based scenario has to do with the relative danger of guns compared with knives.

    It has to do with someone saying ” I’d rather be murdered by knife than shot” and my differing preference.

    Really, is it THAT hard to understand it was a slightly off topic side discussion about hypothetical- if I were going to be killed- situation?
    I’d prefer a knife to a gun if I were on a deserted island too.

  268. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

    Oay, let me break it down for you. It has been repeatedly asserted that pets just *know* the difference between strangers and not strangers and are thus PERFECTLY safe even when taught to be agressive. Except that isn’t true. I’ve trained dogs for nearly 20 years. Some of them are very, very smart and can be used as personal protection animals. But even those animals are not infallable. Most of the time they are keying off subtle signals they receive from humans which tell them that either you are concerned or thattt other person is being hostile. But sometimes they get those signals wrong.

    In the law, if you train a dog to be aggressive, and then that dog subsequently bites an innocent person you are strictly liable for the harm caused because you engaged in an inherently dangerous activity (usually). And that happens sufficiently often that there is a substantial body of law that deals with aggressive dogs.

    Contrast that for a moment with having a gun in your house which isn’t considered an inherently dangerous activity (unlike *gunpowder* the use of which outside of a firearm is considered inherently dangerous).

    As for tresspass, there is also a body of law around when it is justifiable to trespass which is whyyou can’t lay traps on your land or leave dangerous holes uncovered. People may justifiably enter your property if there is an emergency and they need help, if they are fleeing from danger, or to rescue someone else that may be in danger (to name a few off the top of my head).

    Finally, to answer someone’s question from a long ass time ago, you shouldn’t be able to use deadly force to protect property rights. Ever. To protect your own or others lives, sure. But even then you should only use as much force as is necessary to protect yourself. Th law in many jurisdictions exceeds that…but as far as I’m concerned the idea that you can kill someone because they enter your property is the product of a fucked up capitalist system that values stuff over people.

  269. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm |

    Finally, to answer someone’s question from a long ass time ago, you shouldn’t be able to use deadly force to protect property rights. Ever. To protect your own or others lives, sure. But even then you should only use as much force as is necessary to protect yourself. Th law in many jurisdictions exceeds that…but as far as I’m concerned the idea that you can kill someone because they enter your property is the product of a fucked up capitalist system that values stuff over people.

    Agreed 100%
    You have a right to protect yourself, you don’t have the right to murder people for taking your tv.

  270. igglanova
    igglanova August 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

    People jumped all over this idea that someone has dogs who might be hostile towards intruders as if it automatically meant that her dogs were vicious dangerous animals.

    This is intellectually dishonest. We ‘jumped all over’ pheeno’s comments about her dogs because she specifically stated: ’2 of those dogs will tear you 5 new assholes before I can get out of bed.’ This is a lot more extreme than claiming those dogs ‘might be hostile towards intruders.’ It has since become clear that she was puffing hot air and that the worst thing those dogs have done was run toward someone while barking. False alarm. Fair enough.

    We’ve continued to talk about dangerous dogs, though, because the conversation evolved beyond those 2 specific dogs. My own concern was people’s tendency to anthropomorphize their animals and assume that dogs use nuanced human-esque reasoning (that some people even claim is superior to human reasoning, natch) when making the decision to attack. They don’t. Dogs assess threats using very simple criteria, and they will often make errors in that assessment. Case in point: the sheer number of mail carriers who are attacked by dogs every day. The only crime these people commit is innocuously walking into an area a dog perceives to be its territory.

    If I ran up and punched someone in the face for walking onto my lawn, I’d rightly be considered an idiot. A dog biting an innocent stranger deserves no higher credit. They’re animals. Their abilities don’t merit any special reverence.

    The basic point is that you cannot trust any dog that has been taught to aggress unless 1. it possesses a very calm, stable, unreactive temperament, and 2. it has been scrupulously trained by a professional to attack on command, and only on command. Any mistake your aggressive dog makes is your liability.

  271. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |

    You have a right to protect yourself, you don’t have the right to murder people for taking your tv.

    I don’t think anyone has said they’d murder someone over a tv. In fact, William pretty specifically went through exact steps he’d take. Which has been flatly ignored so people can say ” you’re justifying killing someone over theft”.

    Also ignored- the fact you do not and can not know someone is simply there to steal your tv and NOT kill/rape/assault you in the process. My neighbor assumed the guy stealing HIS TV was a mere thief. He got a stay in the hospital for that assumption. Assuming someone in your HOME without your CONSENT is a threat is not unrealistic nor unreasonable. They have just displayed that your consent does not matter. They are Schrodingers Rapist and Schrodingers Murderer for the exact same reasons. So if you tell them to get the hell out and they do not, you are very justified in assuming you’re in danger. They put you in that position. Their active choice placed you in that situation.

    My dogs aren’t going to kill anyone. Bite the shit out of them if they need to? Sure. Bark their heads off? Absolutely. Have they been TRAINED to do this? No. Have they ever encountered kids in the yard without me? Yes. Did they do anything? Yes, they rolled over and wriggled on the ground in BLISS. WHY? Because I fucking socialize those dogs with children in many environments on a weekly goddamn basis. Why do I do this? Because I want my dogs to be tolerant of children in case they go into my yard.

    I do NOT want my dogs tolerant of a strange adults in my backyard. Period. If they’re running for help or to get away from danger there are neighbors with much lower, easier to access fences than mine. I do NOT want strange adults in my backyard because I do not want strange adults to get into my house and possibly injure me or my daughter. I do not want to have to own a weapon in order to protect myself, my family or anything else I choose to protect WITHIN MY OWN HOME. I don’t want to be the person who interrupts a thief. My DOGS will interrupt them and hopefully chase them the hell out before they’re anywhere near me or my body. If someone does not like this, they are free to stay the fuck out of my house unless invited. Having boundaries does not mean kill the fuck out of someone over a TV. Stop trying to act as if it does. No fucking wonder pro gun self defense people don’t listen. I don’t fucking blame them when you can’t even own a DOG because it might BITE someone trespassing instead of offering them tea and a binky.

  272. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

    2 of those dogs will tear you 5 new assholes before I can get out of bed.’

    A Figure of Speech is where a word or words are used to create an effect, often where they do not have their original or literal meaning.

    If someone says that they are ‘starving’, they do not mean that they are in fact dying of hunger, but that they are very hungry. This is a simple example of a figure of speech, where the word is used to heighten or increase the state that they are describing. A metaphor or a simile are two of the most common forms used.

  273. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

    I don’t fucking blame them when you can’t even own a DOG because it might BITE someone trespassing instead of offering them tea and a binky.

    Yes…because this idea about trespass and ultra hazardous activities is some idea dreamed up by anti-gun people…its not like its been the law for a few hundred years or anything.

  274. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    Also- I will believe people did not know this was a figure of speech the hot second they start questioning posts where people say things like shit ton, oppression Olympics, glass ceiling etc.

    And since NO ONE here dove in assuming that this-

    That’s not to say that violence against Muslims would be fine, but if you’re going to have a beef against members of one group, don’t go after members of a completely unrelated group just because you can’t be bothered to learn anything about the people you hate.

    meant someone would actually hold beef against another human being or group of human beings, I’m fairly certain that figures of speech aren’t being taken literally unless that person already has a problem with the poster of said figure of speech.

    In other words, had I agreed with certain people, they would not have blinked one little eye at me saying “tear them 5 new assholes” if I had used it as a figure of speech in a manner they were agreeing with.

    Like, had I said ” William, someone stealing your TV is no reason to tear them 5 new assholes” no one would have cared. It would not have been taken as a literal accusation that William tore people new assholes.

    Coincidence? Yeah, right.

  275. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm |

    We ‘jumped all over’ pheeno’s comments about her dogs because she specifically stated:

    Another figure of speech no one took literally.

    Huh. How odd.

  276. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    A Figure of Speech is where a word or words are used to create an effect, often where they do not have their original or literal meaning.

    Yes, and igglanova most certainly did not take that comment literally. Taking it at it’s ‘original’ or ‘literal’ meaning would involve a dog being able to create artificial rectums. She clearly took it to mean your dog would attack that person.

  277. roymacIII
    roymacIII August 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

    We’ve continued to talk about dangerous dogs, though, because the conversation evolved beyond those 2 specific dogs. My own concern was people’s tendency to anthropomorphize their animals and assume that dogs use nuanced human-esque reasoning (that some people even claim is superior to human reasoning, natch) when making the decision to attack. They don’t. Dogs assess threats using very simple criteria, and they will often make errors in that assessment. Case in point: the sheer number of mail carriers who are attacked by dogs every day. The only crime these people commit is innocuously walking into an area a dog perceives to be its territory.

    If I ran up and punched someone in the face for walking onto my lawn, I’d rightly be considered an idiot. A dog biting an innocent stranger deserves no higher credit. They’re animals. Their abilities don’t merit any special reverence.

    If that’s what someone was doing, my apologies. That’s not how I saw it. I don’t think dogs are magic. I don’t think they have human-esque levels of reasoning. They’re dogs. I can’t get my dog to tell the difference between dust bunnies and food; I certainly wouldn’t rely on my dog to tell me the difference between my neighbor knocking on the door and a robber breaking in. The important thing is that the dog barks when someone comes in the house.

    My dog barks at strangers, but he does that because they’re strangers, not because they’re necessarily bad people. My dog barks at the telephone, too. I don’t think that it means my phone is bad or has any ill intentions. It’s because, you know… he’s a dog. I don’t think it takes nuanced human-esque reasoning to think that a dog recognizes some people and not others.

    Some people on here are acting like the idea that a dog might differentiate between different people is absurd–the phrase “omniscient magical beings” was used to dismiss the idea that dogs can tell adults from children, for example.

    My dog recognizes me and my partner and our roommate. He does not recognize the pizza guy. My dog loves children and other dogs, but takes a minute to sniff at adults and won’t let them touch him until he’s had a few sniffs. I don’t know why he’s cool with children hugging him but wants to sniff at adults first, and I sure as hell don’t think it’s some kind of human-esque reasoning at work, but it’s still a thing that he does. It’s not because he’s an “omniscient magical being,” either. It’s entirely possible that it’s subconscious cues from us that he’s picked up over time. It’s possible that the dog is smelling hormones or something. Hell, for all I know, it’s the size of the person. Whatever the dog is picking up on, I can’t say, but I’ve seen it happen repeatedly. I think that it’s just as much anthropomorphizing the dog to think that the only cues it’s getting are the ones that we can sense.

    I don’t know. I thought it was obvious that pheno was engaging in some level of hyperbole when she talked about her dogs “tearing them 5 new assholes”. I mean, my dog doesn’t actually say “yo! Strangers!” either.

  278. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |

    Yes…because this idea about trespass and ultra hazardous activities is some idea dreamed up by anti-gun people…its not like its been the law for a few hundred years or anything.

    I’M AN ANTI GUN PERSON. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS OR DO I HAVE TO CONTINUALLY FUCKING POST THIS IN ALL CAPS UNTIL IT FUCKING SINKS IN.

    And having dogs that don’t like intruders isn’t an “ultra hazardous acitvity”.

  279. William
    William August 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

    Kristen J,

    Finally, to answer someone’s question from a long ass time ago, you shouldn’t be able to use deadly force to protect property rights. Ever. To protect your own or others lives, sure. But even then you should only use as much force as is necessary to protect yourself. Th law in many jurisdictions exceeds that…but as far as I’m concerned the idea that you can kill someone because they enter your property is the product of a fucked up capitalist system that values stuff over people.

    In general, I agree with you. I’m not sure I’d be able to sleep at night if I shot some kid running off my with laptop and, frankly, I’m not so attached to my stuff that I’d have any interest in finding out. That said, at what point does a threat to property become a threat to one’s safety? Say someone walks up to you and demands your wallet? Is a shoot warranted? What if they just threaten to kick your ass? What if they have a hammer? A Knife? At what point do you think deadly force is warranted? What if its in your home instead of out on the street? Do I have less of a right to armed self defense then my wife because I’ve been in a few real fights and am probably physically stronger than a potential assailant? More to the point, should I be expected to put myself at greater risk of serious injury to myself in a self defense situation because of my size? What if I’m having a bad week because of my physical disabilities and vigorous movement is painful, should I be expected to put myself at risk when someone is threatening me because a jury is going to look at my size and think “he didn’t need a gun.”?

    I agree that valuing stuff over lives is bad. On the other hand, I believe that people have an absolute and unquestioned right to live their lives without being prey. Petty theft is one thing, but I believe that when someone faces a crime involving a serious violation of their rights (murder, rape, assault, theft by force or threat of force, aggressive trespass into one’s home) they have the right to respond in a way that puts them at as little threat as is humanly possible. That doesn’t necessarily have to be shooting someone, but brandishing with the intent to do so if the aggressor doesn’t immediately back down is absolutely something that ought to be on the table.

    Aggressive trespass is dangerous because it strongly suggests the intent to commit a greater transgression. Someone crossing my yard uninvited gets a colorfully worded order off, someone in a workman’s uniform gets a cautious “and you are?”, but someone coming through my door at three AM gets the best order to surrender I have time to muster followed by, if not obeyed, the best self defense ammunition money can buy to center mass until they stop advancing.

  280. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

    I don’t know. I thought it was obvious that pheno was engaging in some level of hyperbole when she talked about her dogs “tearing them 5 new assholes”. I mean, my dog doesn’t actually say “yo! Strangers!” either.

    It is obvious, unless you’re Liz and Karen and igglanova etc and WANT it to not be obvious.

  281. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

    meant someone would actually hold beef against another human being or group of human beings, I’m fairly certain that figures of speech aren’t being taken literally

    As a Hindu, pheeno, I’m required to tell you that holding beef against me would be a major issue. *taking that statement very seriously indeedy*

    ;)

  282. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

    I hear screaming and it sounds like someone is badly hurt inside and no one is answering the door.

    Soooo..you break into the back instead of break into the front?

  283. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    As a Hindu, pheeno, I’m required to tell you that holding beef against me would be a major issue. *taking that statement very seriously indeedy*

    ;)

    heh

  284. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

    I’M AN ANTI GUN PERSON. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS OR DO I HAVE TO CONTINUALLY FUCKING POST THIS IN ALL CAPS UNTIL IT FUCKING SINKS IN.

    YOU SAID:

    No fucking wonder pro gun self defense people don’t listen.

    Which implies that this analysis of trespass has something to do with some disagreement with the pro-gun people. If that’s not what you meant oh well, but those are the words that you said.

    And having dogs that don’t like intruders isn’t an “ultra hazardous acitvity”.

    In most jurisdictions it is. You may not agree with the law, but that happens to be what it is.

    but someone coming through my door at three AM gets the best order to surrender I have time to muster followed by, if not obeyed, the best self defense ammunition money can buy to center mass until they stop advancing.

    And you take the risk that the person you kill had zero intention of harming you. It’s a risk you’re choosing to take. And the statistics show that a person taking that risk is more likely to hurt a member of their family than they are to hurt someone in self-defense.

  285. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

    Soooo..you break into the back instead of break into the front?

    YES! I’m concerned about your safety pheeno! Is it to so wrong to care??????!?!?!?!

  286. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

    Which implies that this analysis of trespass has something to do with some disagreement with the pro-gun people.

    Oh it includes a whole lot more than just trespass which you and several others insist on focusing on to the exclusion of all else that has been repeatedly brought up.

    Like home invasion not just ” someone walked across your lawn”.

    And ” murder over a TV” while ignoring that some people had the crap beat out of them over a TV. And have said they would NOT in fact, kill someone over a possession. Enough times that it’s not accidental ignoring or just overlooking. It’s intentional.

    And treating dogs that will bite an intruder as viciously trained bloodthirsty killers because figures of speech magically transform into literal examples of dismemberment when it suits you.

    So no, it’s not “just trespassing”, it’s the entire context in which one situation gets dismissed as “just trespassing” so that you and others can continue with the bullshit of ” you just wanna shoot someone over a TV!!!!”

    It’s the whole not listening to a damn word being said.

    ht tp://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stustx822_041.htm
    822.041. Definitions

    In this subchapter:

    (1) “Animal control authority” means a municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where the dog is kept or a county sheriff in an area with no animal control office.

    (2) “Dangerous dog” means a dog that:

    (A) makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or

    (B) commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.

    (3) “Dog” means a domesticated animal that is a member of the canine family.

    (4) “Secure enclosure” means a fenced area or structure that is:

    (A) locked; (like my gate? huh. Lookit that)

    (B) capable of preventing the entry of the general public, including children; (an 8ft privacy fence meets this definition)

    (C) capable of preventing the escape or release of a dog; (check)

    (D) clearly marked as containing a dangerous dog; and

    (E) in conformance with the requirements for enclosures established by the local animal control authority. (check and check. I have beware of dog signs *because* I want people to know I have dogs.)

    (5) “Owner” means a person who owns or has custody or control of the dog.

  287. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm |

    Okay…couple of things.

    1) You made an incorrect statement about trespass and I explained it to you. Then you made a statement about the laws of trespass and the pro-gun lobby in response to my comment about trespass. My comment had nothing to do with those other things and I’m frustrated with having these conversations with you where you say something that is technically incorrect and then get defensive when someone points out your error. Disagreement with you is not a personal attack for FSM sake.

    2) Dangerous dog =/= “inherently dangerous activity.” The statute you cited was about criminal liability and the animal authority’s right vis a vis your dog not your civil liability for damage caused by your dog.

  288. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 12:14 am |

    In most jurisdictions it is. You may not agree with the law, but that happens to be what it is.

    Something tells me that that same argument as applied to the wide availability of modern weapons with modern loads for self defense wouldn’t have the same traction for you, though. I mean, we’ve got two SCOTUS decisions about self defense in the home, we’re on the heels of one extending that right to carry outside of the home, all but one state in the nation allows for concealed carry, open carry laws are increasingly common, stand your ground is gaining steam, you may not agree with the law but that happens to be what it is.

    Lets not take shortcuts.

    And you take the risk that the person you kill had zero intention of harming you.

    Well, I guess when we get down to brass tacks I’m OK with that because the chances are that if someone wakes me out of a sound sleep at three AM and it isn’t my wife coming to bed (who, you know, generally isn’t kicking in a security door) they aren’t there to tell me I’ve been crowned the King of Luxembourg. I keep my gun cased, a couple steps away, and in condition 3 specifically to make sure I have enough time to fully rouse anyway.

    See, I’m not terribly concerned that an intruder is going to be a family member because there are two sets of keys to my home and the people who hold them communicate pretty well after fifteen years of being together. I’m wondering who, exactly, is likely to be forcing their way into my home at odd hours that is related to me. People keep talking about general statistics like they have perfect resolution down to the individual level. I don’t have kids, I don’t have friends who drop in at all hours, my parents and sister don’t have keys to my home.

    Two people with more or less functional hearing, good communication skills, good judgement, good firearm safety training, and previously negotiated rules around the guns with which we’re both comfortable live in my home so the chances of a misidentification are basically nil. Modern firearms, regularly inspected, in good working condition make a true accidental discharge somewhere on the level of getting struck by lighting after learning that you won the lottery. Good firearm safety skills, trigger control, and proper respect for weapons makes negligent discharge highly unlikely. Suicide isn’t really in play because I think I’ve already established how I feel about that particular interpretation. Where is this statistical danger coming from? The only real option I see left is that you believe that either my wife or I are somehow going to snap at any moment.

    Either that or maybe a general statistic is being used to make unreasonable assumptions about individual risk in order to advance an otherwise untenable argument for reducing individual liberty in the name of reducing general risk. Unless, of course, we’re taking the kinds of rhetorical shortcuts that the gun control lobby has been taking for years with the aim of making laws that a huge number of Americans may not agree with but happen to be the way it is.

  289. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 1:15 am |

    I have a comment in moderation at 300, but on second thought I’m done arguing about it. Facts are facts. Believe them or not. I see no point in trying to convince someone of facts they could google for themselves if they actually cared to know.

  290. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 2:50 am |

    I don’t know. I thought it was obvious that pheno was engaging in some level of hyperbole when she talked about her dogs “tearing them 5 new assholes”. I mean, my dog doesn’t actually say “yo! Strangers!” either.

    ‘Some measure of hyperbole.’ And what measure of hyperbole would that be, specifically? Even you are tacitly admitting that it was not at all clear how much hyperbole we were supposed to read into that phrasing. It could have meant anything from barking to chasing to face-ripping, for all anyone could tell.

    Pheeno, you really need to stop blaming everyone else for misunderstanding whatever opaque and circuitous point it is that you’re trying to make. (If that is indeed what is happening, and you’re not just lying and backpedalling everywhere in an attempt to save face.) Insulting people might make you feel better, but it won’t persuade anyone of your argument but yourself.

  291. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 2:56 am |

    (Apologies – Pheeno, I would have quoted you directly instead of using the snippet from roymacIII’s comment, but I didn’t initially scroll up far enough to see it. The point still stands, however.)

  292. Liz
    Liz August 15, 2012 at 4:19 am |

    Matt@265. I believe in the idea of proportional force. This means that there maybe some circumstances in which deadly force is justified.

    But, if someone wants to break into my house to steal my laptop, or hold me up in the street to steal my money; they’re welcome. I’m not going to resist.

    The first reason is practical. As noted above, it’s more likely I’ll be killed by my weapon, than it would do any killing or injuring. The second reason is ethical. I don’t think I’m justified in killing or even pointing a gun at someone who wants to steal my laptop. Any person, no matter what a scumbag they might be, is worth more than my laptop.

    If you want to argue that I don’t know if that intruder might kill or rape me – I can’t know that won’t happen for sure. But, its a risk I’ll take. That might be because I live in a country where random violence is fairly rare. But, building an arsenal in the belief that I’ll be safe is a dangerous fantasy and totally buys in the culture of gun violence. You just become part of a vicious circle.

    Pheeno; if you you don’t want to be misunderstood than stop writing bullshit and then whinging because people have criticised you on the basis of what you’ve written. Or, to quote the Australian PM Julia Gillard; “Don’t write crap”.

  293. Liz
    Liz August 15, 2012 at 4:41 am |

    “I do NOT want my dogs tolerant of a strange adults in my backyard. Period. If they’re running for help or to get away from danger there are neighbors with much lower, easier to access fences than mine.”

    Lovely pheeno. If someone needs help or is in danger then it’s not your responsibility to help them. Someone else can do it. Lucky everyone doesn’t think that way. It would be a pretty, fucked up world. You keep saying it’s not just about trespass, but you also insist that it’s fine for your dogs to attack an intruder, for doing nothing else except being on your property. Just in case, they might be dangerous.

    I also notice that that you ignore Kristen J’s response at 282. Somehow, your dogs always know who’s a threat even though you haven’t even trained them.

  294. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 8:59 am |

    @William,

    Jesus Fuck Christ…I wasn’t using ultra hazardous activity as a rhetorical strategy I was trying to explain the actual law to pheeno. We could have an argument about whether that law is ethical but we weren’t…instead she was arguing about the state of the law which is what it fucking is.

    I get it, you are infallible and so is every owhen ther fun owner. And those of us who have had a fun pulled on us

  295. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |

    @William,

    Jesus Fuck Christ…I wasn’t using ultra hazardous activity as a rhetorical strategy I was trying to explain the actual law to pheeno. We could have an argument about whether that law is ethical but we weren’t…instead she was arguing about the state of the law which is what it fucking is.

    I get it, you are infallible and so is every owhen ther gun owner. And those of us who have had a gun pulled on us y someone who was half asleep or drunk are just aberrations as are the 1,000 women killed each year by their domestic partners with a gun.

  296. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 9:04 am |

    I hate Swype

  297. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 9:58 am |

    …the 1,000 women killed each year by their domestic partners with a gun.

    I’m all for you pointing this out to people too lazy to google it.

  298. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |

    Then you made a statement about the laws of trespass and the pro-gun lobby in response to my comment about trespass. My comment had nothing to do with those other things and I’m frustrated with having these conversations with you where you say something that is technically incorrect and then get defensive when someone points out your error. Disagreement with you is not a personal attack for FSM sake.

    Yes Kristin, it was in response to your post and several others (by you and others) that were about more than just trespassing.

    Home invasion was the example used. Home invasions is more than simply trespassing. It’s more than just strolling through someone’s yard. That’s where my frustration lies with the entire trespass topic, because it’s not even what William and I were talking about.

    So I’ll clarify-

    If some stranger is just meandering around in my front yard, I’d open the front door and ask why they were in my yard and likely tell them to move on.

    If some stranger were in my backyard, they wouldn’t be in my backyard long because a total of 4 dogs would be chasing them back over the fence. ( 2 of the dogs are small, so really wouldn’t be considered much of a threat by anyone. A corgi and a 12 year old wienie dog don’t exactly inspire fear)

    If some stranger broke into my house, they’d likely be bitten before I could even get out of bed to see what was going on. This isn’t because my dogs are aggressive. This is because they hear better than I do and are faster than I am. And biting a stranger who has broken into your home is not a sign of an aggressive dog. But as we were discussing home invasion and I brought my dogs into it, the discussion became ” you have aggressive murder machines that will destroy any and all human beings that so much as step a toe onto your property”.

    Can you at least see where I might be frustrated here? And why I think people aren’t listening? And if this type of not listening is what pro gun people get when they are arguing in good faith (like William is) then yes, I can totally get why they in turn refuse to consider gun restriction laws. Because no one wants laws made by people who knee jerk react to things they weren’t even paying attention to.

  299. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |

    Even you are tacitly admitting that it was not at all clear how much hyperbole we were supposed to read into that phrasing. It could have meant anything from barking to chasing to face-ripping, for all anyone could tell.

    Holding beef against someone could mean a little package of ground round or a giant side of beef. How are we supposed to know?

  300. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |

    Jesus Fuck Christ…I wasn’t using ultra hazardous activity as a rhetorical strategy I was trying to explain the actual law to pheeno. We could have an argument about whether that law is ethical but we weren’t…instead she was arguing about the state of the law which is what it fucking is.

    What irks me is that when the law agrees with your stance there exists an assumption that people don’t understand the law so its explained with “thats just the way it it” but when the law disagrees with your stance there is a demand that people critique it and analyze it’s ethical and moral implications. Now, you know me, I’m a big fan of analyzing moral and ethical implications of anything (and I think I’ve tried pretty hard to be intellectually honest on that front here), but why is it that Pheeno gets a lecture that sounds a lot like assuming ignorance because she has made choices that some people in the discussion disagree with? Why is it that she isn’t given the benefit of the doubt? Why is it that here, of all places, personal experience suddenly becomes irrelevant?

    I get it, you are infallible and so is every owhen ther gun owner.

    I’m not infallible, but I’ve taken reasonable precautions which do limit the risk of an accidental injury to almost zero, as a result my guns are safer than my car. The vast majority of gun owners I know behave in the same way. One of my range buddies is still living down a mistake he made three years ago, which resulted in no injuries, because there are big parts of the gun culture which are downright obsessive about safety. So when I hear a statistic about how my guns are more likely to kill a family member than myself I get my back up because I understand how guns work and what precautions to take which means that being told “your guns are more likely to kill you or your wife than an intruder” is actually being received as “you and your wife are likely to murder one another.” You can see how thats offensive on a basic level in the context of a relationship that has gone fifteen years (through some pretty incredible stresses and at least a few major depressive episodes on both sides) without violence or the threat of violence, can’t you?

    And those of us who have had a gun pulled on us y someone who was half asleep or drunk are just aberrations

    Statistically speaking, yes. I’ve been there, its fucking terrifying, but its not really relevant to this conversation.

    as are the 1,000 women killed each year by their domestic partners with a gun.

    No, people killed as a result of intimate partner violence are not an aberration but there are two factors here that aren’t being considered. The first is that I’m not a domestic abuser and so those numbers are irrelevant when discussing the risks my weapons pose. The second is that the best way to reduce those deaths is to pursue laws which actively disarm people who have been convicted of DV related offenses. The fact domestic violence is being invoked in the context of a discussion about self defense in the home with no history of domestic violence, though, suggests that the goal of your argument isn’t just going after the guns held by people shown to be violent. I’m confident calling this out because, again, I know you’re not prone to the kind of lapses in judgement that would allow for imagining that guns create some kind of death waves leading otherwise peaceful people to become frenzied murderers.

    So no, I hear your argument. You’re arguing that despite living in a neighborhood with a history of home invasions and despite having been a victims of violent crime in the past that my wife and I should give up our best tools for self defense so that other people might have a chance of living in more peace. You’re arguing for me to sacrifice. You’re arguing that more strict gun control, controls which are likely to drastically reduce gun ownership in general and the ownership of weapons most likely to be useful for self defense in specific, is a public good and that I should just accept the slight increase in personal risk for the good of many other people having slight decreases in personal risk. Its a rational argument, I just wish it was more honestly made without the implication that my wife is going to shoot me in my sleep over some perceived slight because guns are bad and she cannot be trusted near them.

    Also, your statistics are off. The DOJ Homicide Trends Study shows a downward trend in both the overall incidence of homicide at the hands of an intimate partner and in the overall percentage of such homicides which involved a gun (although the majority are still gun deaths).

  301. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 10:39 am |

    Two people with more or less functional hearing, good communication skills, good judgement, good firearm safety training, and previously negotiated rules around the guns with which we’re both comfortable live in my home so the chances of a misidentification are basically nil. Modern firearms, regularly inspected, in good working condition make a true accidental discharge somewhere on the level of getting struck by lighting after learning that you won the lottery. Good firearm safety skills, trigger control, and proper respect for weapons makes negligent discharge highly unlikely. Suicide isn’t really in play because I think I’ve already established how I feel about that particular interpretation. Where is this statistical danger coming from? The only real option I see left is that you believe that either my wife or I are somehow going to snap at any moment.

    Any of us could snap at any moment, but taking that off the table and assuming you live in a remote enough location that there is no chance of you missing an intruder and shooting an innocent neighbor:

    I would say that you are a person who is deserving of a gun license. You do everything properly, you have no underage children who could get hold of the weapon, and you operate under the strictest of safety requirements. Anyone who is any less vigilant, in my opinion, should be refused a gun license.

    And that, is gun control.

  302. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |

    I also notice that that you ignore Kristen J’s response at 282. Somehow, your dogs always know who’s a threat even though you haven’t even trained them.

    Kirstin’s post at 282 talks about dogs not knowing the difference between strangers and non strangers.

    I don’t know what to even say to that because my dogs do know the difference between a stranger (someone don’t know) and a non stranger (a person they do know) Short of being a very stupid or brain damaged dog that has to have the same people reintroduced over and over again, I don’t know what would cause a dog to not know that he knows you. Illness maybe.

    And then trained to be aggressive dogs are brought up, which has nothing at all to do with me or my dogs because they have never been trained to be aggressive. They have been trained (ie socialized) exactly the opposite. Which is why we can go to dog parks, community dog walks, playgrounds, the dog pool and out in public and they behave properly. My dogs adore children. Think they’re the most fabulous things ever invented. I’ve spoken about socialization. I’ve even mentioned the reasons. But people insist on the ” you said dogs just know”, regardless of the fact that I mention several times I work at it. I put time and effort into keeping them properly socialized around children. I HAVE said dogs are able to distinguish between a fully grown adult and a child. Not “all dogs automatically know not to bite children”. If a dog bites a kid, the dog is aware it’s biting a kid. It just doesn’t care.

  303. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 11:18 am |

    And those of us who have had a gun pulled on us y someone who was half asleep or drunk are just aberrations as are the 1,000 women killed each year by their domestic partners with a gun.

    Just as much of an aberration as someone who’s had a criminal get chased from their yard by the same dogs who prefer to lick children.

  304. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 11:21 am |

    Pheeno; if you you don’t want to be misunderstood than stop writing bullshit

    Uhuh. The “misunderstanding” is just “accidental”.

    My ass it is.

    I don’t believe for one second you’re misunderstanding me. I think you’re looking for reasons because I don’t own a gun and you can’t gripe about it.

  305. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    YES! I’m concerned about your safety pheeno! Is it to so wrong to care??????!?!?!?!

    No, what it is is ridiculous. You’d climb a huge fence and run around to the back door to break into my house to save me instead of breaking into the door RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE. The one you had easiest and most immediate access to. The one you just knocked on and got no answer other than blood curdling screams.

  306. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    No, what it is is ridiculous. You’d climb a huge fence and run around to the back door to break into my house to save me instead of breaking into the door RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE. The one you had easiest and most immediate access to. The one you just knocked on and got no answer other than blood curdling screams.

    OK, I admit I wasn’t taking into consideration the fact that I don’t know the specific layout of your house. Surely breaking the front door down would just as easily cause me to be mistaken for an intruder.

    I’ve not taken issue with your comments about your dog, only the comment that there is no legitimate reason to trespass.

  307. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    Fat Steve,

    Any of us could snap at any moment,

    Except thats not really how mental health works. The vast majority of people don’t “just snap” and those few who do will almost invariably present with a history of explosive behavior. Much as I thought Falling Down was an entertaining film its not exactly diagnostically accurate.

    and assuming you live in a remote enough location that there is no chance of you missing an intruder and shooting an innocent neighbor

    I live in a multi-unit condominium in a densely populated area. Thing is, this has been a known issue for a long time and there are very good options for reducing danger. For instance, virtually any police officer you’ll meet will have hollow point bullets loaded into their guns like I do. On the surface it looks like you’d do that to do more damage, and thats part of the reasoning, but part of it is to prevent over-penetration and to reduce penetration of solid barriers. No one should be using full metal jacket rounds for anything other than target shooting. Without getting too deep into ballistics, modern self-defense rounds are designed to penetrate to at least 12″ but not more than 18″ in ballistic gelatin. This ensures enough penetration to reliably stop a threat but means that intermediate barriers are going to eat up enough kinetic force (and cause enough expansion) that a missed shot is unlikely to go through a wall and kill someone. A bullet fired from my weapon might go through my floor or ceiling (my walls are double masonry so I don’t think much about them) but its pretty unlikely a stray bullet is going to kill someone other than who I’m aiming at. Thats also why any basic self defense class (which I think are important so long as they’re affordable, we don’t want to price vulnerable populations out of self defense like Chicago is desperately trying to do) will teach you to fire controlled shots while thinking not just about your target but about what lies beyond and around them.

    And where else do we really demand “no chance” as the acceptable level of risk. How many people die in car accidents without us legislating vehicles down to bumper cars encased in nerf foam? How many hate crimes get ginned up by vile Christians without us banning the bible or hate spewing preachers? How many people die of HIV without us banning unprotected sex? How many people have heart attacks without us banning cheeseburgers? How many people are killed by intimate partners without us banning cohabitation?

    I get that your idea of gun control is to reduce access enough that far fewer people have guns, I have a beef with that more generally but I think thats been covered. I also think that a fair amount of your fears about guns, though, are based in a lack of knowledge about how firearms work and who uses them. You’re acting like I’m a special case, but I’m pretty average when it comes to the gun community. People I know who own guns think about what kinds of weapons they use for self defense, debate a lot about what constitutes a good choice or a bad choice, and give a lot of thought to the kinds of defense loads they’re putting into a magazine. Its a community largely made up of dedicated hobbyists and that means a lot of thought and consideration goes into every part of someone’s rig. I’d argue thats effective gun control, because I promise you a person who has thought about everything from grips to sights to holster retention to terminal ballistics is going to make better decisions regarding what is and is not safe than a politician trying to get elected by banning “the shoulder thing that goes up” or a mobbed up mayor with a six cop lifetime security detail who has decided that his ego is invested in keeping people from having handguns even though his city has 400+ murders a year in the neighborhoods his dad segregated from Bridgeport to keep out the undesirables.

  308. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    politician trying to get elected by banning “the shoulder thing that goes up”

    Sure, you can paint Carolyn McCarthy as ignorant of guns, but to say that her stance against gun control is in order to get her elected is probably the single most offensive thing said on this thread. She got elected in order to implement her stance on gun control and to portray it as the other way around is to be totally insensitive to her family history.

  309. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

    The second is that the best way to reduce those deaths is to pursue laws which actively disarm people who have been convicted of DV related offenses.

    Convictions for DV offences are unambiguously both race and class biased. What about the people who aren’t convicted? The rich ones who can pay for the good lawyers and hide things.

  310. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    @William,

    If you were irked its because you misunderstood the situation. We can (and sort of did) have an argument about trespass and its ethical implications. The specific conversation I was having with pheeno was *about what the law is*. We can disagree about what it should be (and I was saying that without sarcasm) but she was misstating the law as a matter of fact.

    Second, my stats are from the DOJ. Links are currently down,but around a 1,000 a year is been fairly consistent for the last 20 years. Why do you think its possible to identify *in advance* those who are going to commit an act of violence against a domestic partner. I mean you seem to have this idea that there are “good people” and “bad people” and that its perfectly possible to suss out the difference such that good people can have guns and bad people can be prevent from having guns. The reason DV keeps being brought up is because *those are the consequences* of having accessible weapons. The seven clients I’ve had that are now dead froma legal handgun would still be dead under all of the restrictions you mentioned. Those restrictions do not prevent “bad people” from killing others. Those restrictions would still not prevent the drunk guy or the half asleep guy, both of whom were absolutely convinced that they were “good” gunowners from pulling a gun on me. Show me a restriction that is fair and prevents those homocides and violent threats and I’ll be more ameniable to the idea that “regulations” can work.

    As for your self-defense argument…I think you and others having guns makes all of us less safe. So right now, you’re asking me to continue to sacrifice my safety and the safety of those I love so that you can feel safe. You don’t have the higher moral ground here.

  311. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    People I know who own guns think about what kinds of weapons they use for self defense, debate a lot about what constitutes a good choice or a bad choice, and give a lot of thought to the kinds of defense loads they’re putting into a magazine.

    People I know almost unanimously voted for John Kerry in 2004. Yet somehow, he didn’t become president.

  312. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    Zuzu,

    You *do* know that a lot of domestic violence doesn’t actually result in a conviction, right?

    Thats a big problem that I don’t necessarily have an answer for. I doubt that restricting ownership based on a charge or a call to the police would pass constitutional muster. I’d like to see laws which restricted access for a period of time after a restraining/protective order. I’m open to suggestions.

    Kristen J.

    Second, my stats are from the DOJ. Links are currently down,but around a 1,000 a year is been fairly consistent for the last 20 years.

    My stats were from DOJ, as well and the link I have up at 314 is active. 1000 a year was fairly consistent until the mid 90s and has been trending downwards ever since.

    Why do you think its possible to identify *in advance* those who are going to commit an act of violence against a domestic partner.

    Because, in general, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and the vast majority of DV situations which end in a death are the product of an escalating pattern of abuse. Its relatively rare for someone to just shoot an intimate partner, generally a murder happens after years of developing emotional and physical abuse. Can you necessarily predict what 15 year old is going to hit his first girlfriend? No, but by the time you’re dealing with an adult there is a very good chance that you’d have a pretty significant track record if the police did their damned jobs and took DV seriously. People don’t wake up one day and find themselves beating up an intimate partner, its part of a longer process of failing systems and lazy cops and community members looking the other way and telling women they’re not worth better. Domestic abusers are opportunists who develop to more severe violence over time. If we did our job as a society we’d be able to interveine more quickly. God knows we have no trouble stripping mad folks of their rights the moment they first get an involuntary, we ought to be able to do better than we do with abusers.

    As for your self-defense argument…I think you and others having guns makes all of us less safe. So right now, you’re asking me to continue to sacrifice my safety and the safety of those I love so that you can feel safe. You don’t have the higher moral ground here.

    You don’t either. After all, none of us are objective and its all down to sentiment and balancing and competing life experiences and values. We’re both basically irrational actors clinging to the things which make us feel safe and fighting against the things that make us feel less so. At the end of the day my continued sense of safety means having guns and your continued sense of safety means not having guns. Its an impasse. I’d like to find common ground but, at the end of the day, if we don’t nothing changes for me. I’m waiting for gun rights to expand in Illinois despite the will of the politically powerful and it won’t be long until the Shepard v. Madigan decision comes down. I’m in the discussion because the effects of cases like that (and those yet to come) are likely to aim towards dismantling any restriction. I don’t want to see that, but I’m not going to sacrifice my safety.

  313. Matt
    Matt August 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

    Let me try to refocus this discussion.

    William and crew are claiming that even if the proliferation of guns has a net negative social impact, an individual should not be denied their individual right to defend themselves against attacks that threaten their lives. Even if there are many negligent and reckless people who will cause unnecessary harm with their firearms, I cannot be held responsible for their actions, and I should not be denied the right to use firearms responsibly just because others cannot or will not.

    Liz and crew are claiming that individual rights do not take precedence over broad, social, statistical harm. Even if some people might indeed use their firearms responsibly, the reality is that allowing that situation will allow more criminals access to guns, and cause more gun-related accidents and other harms, simply by the law of large numbers. An individual concerned with their safety should be able to see the statistical trend and understand that it is better for everyone in the aggregate with better gun control.

    It does not help to tell William to look at the statistics. William knows the statistics. The point is that William is not “Gun owner N.” William is William; and does not want the decisions of others to affect his rights. Pointing out gun statistics all day is irrelevant to that discussion. The discussion needs to happen at the level of explaining why William needs to give up his individual rights in order to safeguard less responsible people.

  314. Matt
    Matt August 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    Oh, and protip: that is a meta-ethical discussion, in which we will need to decide who has what kids of rights and why in the first place. For instance, a Rawlsian will tell you to ban all guns, a Kantian will tell you to let everyone have a gun.

  315. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    You don’t either. After all, none of us are objective and its all down to sentiment and balancing and competing life experiences and values

    The stats are pretty objective. Guns in the home are a bigger threat to the homeowners than they are to “criminals” anyways.

    And yeah, maybe that sounds unfair to a gun-owning snowflake but we’re not just trying to reduce the number of guns you have, the goal is to reduce the total number of guns floating around. Not everyone is the perfect gun owner. Statistically.

  316. Matt
    Matt August 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    Bagelsan’s reply is a perfect example of what I mean.

  317. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    I’ve not taken issue with your comments about your dog, only the comment that there is no legitimate reason to trespass.

    Ok, I think I see the issue. You’re defining trespassing as simply being on someone’s property. I define trespass as unlawful, wrongful entry. Which would render your scenario not trespassing. That’s not breaking and entering, it’s search and rescue.

  318. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    Bagelsan’s reply is a perfect example of what I mean.

    I think that the part I quoted was a perfect example of how William does not understand the statistics. There is objectivity; he just doesn’t like what it has to say.

  319. Matt
    Matt August 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    You are not simply positing the statistics though, you are saying that on the basis of those statistics, some other action is warranted. The statistics are not in question. The relationship between the statistics and the suggestion action is.

    You are also implying that William is not a special snowflake; but he is, in precisely the way your sarcasm tries to imply that he is not. William is not a random sample subject to the statistical chance of being incompetent. He is a specific sample, subject to his own choices and actions. When you try to regulate his actions based on statistics, you are declaring that his autonomy is less important than the statistical outcomes of the actions of other individuals.

  320. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

    Well, even if it is the case that William is a completely responsible gun owner who will never have an accident or be a danger to anyone, his existence doesn’t particularly affect an argument about gun control either way. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t actually care what he does with his life or his guns. The effectiveness of policy is determined by its effect on a population, not its effect on one person named William.

  321. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

    Zuzu,

    So on the one hand, you think that taking away guns based on DV convictions will stop DV-related gun homicides, and on the other hand, you think that we can predict who will kill their partners based on DV arrests

    I’m not sure how this is inconsistent. We need some means of identifying domestic abusers, but I don’t think that mere arrests will survive a constitutional challenge. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think arrests are enough or ought to be enough, but the realist in me doesn’t see it flying even though an arrest for domestic violence is a very good predictor of future serious violence. I’m not sure what to do about that. I’m not sure what to do about someone like Drew Peterson being able to use his training, connections, and position as a police officer to likely batter and murder women. I don’t disagree that our system is broken.

    Do you somehow think that men who are convicted of DV charges will not find a way to get a gun if their guns are taken away from them?

    Thats kind of the flaw that a lot of gun control ideas ultimately have at their bottom: if someone really wants a gun they’ll get one. Waiting periods are a good idea because they force some cooling off. Background checks are a good idea because they catch people who have been convicted or who have active restraining orders. Aggressive prosecution of straw purchasers reduces the number of illicit guns on the street. Requiring standard security measures for private purchasers not only stops people who might skirt the system, but puts a lot of pressure on people who might enable them. I think a particularly good method could be to flag people with recent DV complaints or arrests who undergo a background check, warn the complainants involved, and have a DV intervention group within the police force go out to investigate (you could take the money away from vice or narcotics squads). I’m sure that if we worked we could think of other methods.

    Matt

    For instance, a Rawlsian will tell you to ban all guns, a Kantian will tell you to let everyone have a gun.

    And Foucault how regulating guns advance certain perceptions and values while Nietzsche shouts “molon labe!” and touches himself. Lets not lose sight of what we’re actually discussing here.

    Bagelsan

    The stats are pretty objective. Guns in the home are a bigger threat to the homeowners than they are to “criminals” anyways.

    If, and only if, you choose not to collect data about defensive gun use which does not result in a shooting (and sometimes doesn’t even result in a police report, given the way some people overreact to gun owners) while at the same time including irrelevant numbers like suicides.

    I haven’t put much stock in people who hold “objective” up as a banner since I tried reading Ayn Rand in high school.

    And yeah, maybe that sounds unfair to a gun-owning snowflake but we’re not just trying to reduce the number of guns you have, the goal is to reduce the total number of guns floating around. Not everyone is the perfect gun owner. Statistically.

    Not everyone is a perfect gun owner. Not everyone is a perfect driver. Not everyone is a perfect drinker. Shitty parents are legion. And yet people drive cars, get drunk, and reproduce because we recognize that even serious public ills aren’t necessarily worth the violation of individual rights. All the guns in America aren’t going to do half the damage that brutal and neglectful parenting does, and yet somehow I still recognize requiring parenting licenses would be utterly monstrous. Theres a reason we don’t live in Mill’s world.

    I think that the part I quoted was a perfect example of how William does not understand the statistics. There is objectivity; he just doesn’t like what it has to say.

    Don’t confuse a fundamental questioning of interpretive methodology and radically differing values for a lack of understanding. I comprehend your argument, I just reject it.

  322. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

    The effectiveness of policy is determined by its effect on a population, not its effect on one person named William.

    I know that bans are attractive given how well they’ve worked for gambling, prostitution, drug abuse, and all the other social ills we’ve aimed prohibition at, but I think guns might just be a special case here…

    Seriously though. Chicago had a blanket ban on handguns for 30 years, all it meant was that the police didn’t know who had guns, how many there were in the city, and that they didn’t know if one was lost or stolen. It was a recipe for making citizens disrespect the law, it bred fear and suspicion, and it actively got in the way of actually reducing violence.

  323. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    William:

    If you want to stop straw purchasers the best way to do it is to flag multiple sales in a given period of time (or, better yet, to have time-limited NICS tracking abilities) so that the ATF can pursue black market gun sales

    Interestingly, about a year ago the ATF instituted a “Multiple Sales Reporting” requirement in four border states – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – which required gun dealers there to report “individuals’ purchases of two or more rifles, and purchases of multiple high-caliber rifles, made within a five-day period”. And oh my goodness, guess what … the NRA immediately began funding/filing lawsuits to overturn the initiative, with NRA-ILA’s executive director Chris Cox bellowing about how “this is a bait-and-switch scheme by an administration and a bureau frantically trying to distract lawmakers and the general public from the deadly ‘Fast and Furious’ debacle… This scheme will unjustly burden law-abiding retailers in these four border states. It will not affect drug cartels and it won’t prevent violence along our borders.” [Really, this is the boilerplate reply, isn't it: unjust burden on law-abiding retailers/owners/etc., won't do anything, etc.]
    link

    Now, in this case those lawsuits actually got smacked down and, according to the ATF, “During the same eight-month period, ATF opened more than 120 criminal investigations based on multiple sales reports. More than 25 cases have been recommended for prosecution representing more than 100 defendants with various firearms-related charges.link

  324. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

    William:

    And yet people drive cars, get drunk, and reproduce because we recognize that even serious public ills aren’t necessarily worth the violation of individual rights. All the guns in America aren’t going to do half the damage that brutal and neglectful parenting does, and yet somehow I still recognize requiring parenting licenses would be utterly monstrous.

    Its a community largely made up of dedicated hobbyists

    I feel the “dedicated hobbyists” bit is rather important here. Parenting isn’t a hobby. Driving, in a largely car-dependent country, isn’t really a hobby. Eating and drinking, even recreationally, isn’t really a hobby. Collecting guns? Hmm. (This is why I don’t support anything near a total ban, since there are uses for guns that seem more than reasonable enough to balance a (decently-controlled) risk.

  325. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

    I know that bans are attractive given how well they’ve worked for gambling, prostitution, drug abuse, and all the other social ills we’ve aimed prohibition at, but I think guns might just be a special case here…

    Why are you still talking about bans? Nobody else is talking about bans.

  326. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

    I know that bans are attractive given how well they’ve worked for gambling, prostitution, drug abuse, and all the other social ills we’ve aimed prohibition at, but I think guns might just be a special case here…

    A weapon is not a social ill.

    Nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, are all banned. Very few have been used to kill Americans on American soil. Weapons bans generally work, but you probably weren’t being as ironic as you think when you said ” I think guns might just be a special case here…”

  327. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm |

    Igglanova – To be fair, there have been some Aussies and Brits commenting (myself included) who are in favour of gun bans, because we feel that they have worked well in our countries.

    Macavity – also made some interesting points upthread about India and how gun ownership there had changed from being a majority to a minority thing.

  328. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

    @William,

    The difference is, I’m not using self-defense as an impeneable shield against any critiqueof gun ownership.

    And since you still don’t get it…let me put it another way. I’ve had hundreds of DV clients and of those exactly 2 have had partners who were convicted of a DV related offense. Your restriction is useless.

    Also arguing that bans don’t work is silly when there is substantial evidence that bans do work from a good number of countries around the world. Guns are not sex or booze.

  329. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

    Igglanova – To be fair, there have been some Aussies and Brits commenting (myself included) who are in favour of gun bans, because we feel that they have worked well in our countries.

    Fair enough. I initially said that nobody was talking about bans because anyone vocally in favour of bans appeared to have moved on to different threads, but I guess I should amend that. I was certainly not proposing a ban.

    I also happen to live in a country where gun control has worked quite well, but the US has so many guns floating around in it and the problem is so entrenched that I do not think that a simple ban will be enough to fix anything. Incremental change, with the goal of reducing the number of guns in the population, sounds like the best option. Any details of that plan would, of course, have to be ironed out by experts.

  330. formersexworker
    formersexworker August 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

    The idea of someone being allowed to shoot another person for burglary hurts my heart. I understand feeling threatened, and I understand having a gun for self defense. I know that if someone breaks in you don’t know in that moment what they are capable of.

    But.

    I have a dear, dear friend. We relate to each other, having both been through a lot. She was sexually abused by a family member. She was a homeless youth and a junkie (and, given that, it should not surprise you that many different men have taken advantage of those situations and raped her). She now works for a homeless youth organization and is all around awesome. She also has a felony burglary on her record – some dude owed her money so she broke in and stole his stuff. She would not describe it as her finest moment, but she is in no way violent. The thought that if this had been in Illinois and he had been home, he could have shot her with no repercussions, really hurts my heart.

    As for DV, I wouldn’t want to hang gun ownership on arrests because so often the victim and the perp are both being arrested!

  331. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm |

    And yet people drive cars …. because we recognize that even serious public ills aren’t necessarily worth the violation of individual rights. All the guns in America aren’t going to do half the damage that brutal and neglectful [driving] does, and yet somehow I still recognize requiring [driving] licenses would be utterly monstrous.

    Huh.

    I’m sure that if we worked we could think of other methods.

    Almost all of which the gun lobby/activists will immediately – and often with great success these days – try to block or overturn.

  332. William
    William August 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    Dan S.

    Interestingly, about a year ago the ATF instituted a “Multiple Sales Reporting” requirement in four border states – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – which required gun dealers there to report “individuals’ purchases of two or more rifles, and purchases of multiple high-caliber rifles, made within a five-day period”. And oh my goodness, guess what … the NRA immediately began funding/filing lawsuits to overturn the initiative,

    This might come as some surprise, but I’m not a big fan of the NRA and they don’t get any money from me. I didn’t agree with their objection to the reporting requirements, I actually think they’re a good idea and the right way to go about gun regulation more generally, but they were right that the ATF was trying to distract from their own disastrously incompetent “gun walking” programs. One of the things you have to do when you’re trying to sting straw purchasers is actually keep track of the guns they’ve bought and intervene before a sale takes place. The ATF didn’t do that, they ordered gun stores to make purchases they knew to be illegal in the name of cooperating with an ongoing investigation and then let the rifles go over the border. Its a criminal level of negligence that the ATF has shown in that case.

    Zuzu,

    Since you’re Constitutional expert, perhaps you’ve heard of prior restraint?

    Show me where I claimed to be a constitutional expert. I voiced an opinion. Christ…

    To your point though, prior restraint is a pretty good thing to look at when considering how the court is likely to address gun control in the near future. Right now the courts seem to be using intermediate scrutiny as the standard, leading to analysis revolving around time/place/manner, but there has been a fair amount of discussion about whether strict scrutiny is more appropriate and that seemingly procedural difference is one of the big judicial goals of the pro-gun side. The courts haven’t been kind to prior restraints on speech…

    Igglanova,

    Why are you still talking about bans? Nobody else is talking about bans.

    Then what are we talking about? I’ve brought several kinds of regulations up, but I’m not seeing anyone else discussing anything other than a general antipathy towards guns.

    Also, I’m living right now in the context of bans. I was banned from owning handguns for most of my life. I’m banned from owning certain kinds of cosmetic adjustments to my weapons. I had to sell a weapon for a lot less than it was worth in order to comply with a recent local assault weapon ban. The governor is currently trying to push through a band which would make the most common brand of pistol in the country illegal.

    Kristen J.

    The difference is, I’m not using self-defense as an impeneable shield against any critiqueof gun ownership.

    You can make whatever critiques you want but, at the end of the day, I’m not the one arguing against human rights. For me, guns are right up there with freedom of speech, association, religion, the press, and bodily autonomy. We happen to live in a country that agrees with me. Either you can come to terms with that and we can try to work together to find ways to prevent damage at the margins or not, but you need to understand that the possession of modern semi-automatic pistols for self defense both in and, likely inside of a year, out of the home is going to be a basic reality of the American landscape for a long time.

    Also arguing that bans don’t work is silly when there is substantial evidence that bans do work from a good number of countries around the world.

    Show me a country with anywhere near the prevalence of firearm ownership that has successfully executed a ban. We can start by showing a country with a prevalence of firearm ownership anywhere even close to the US. Arguing that bans won’t work is, to my mind, pretty damned convincing when you have a nation with an unprecedented amount of guns. When did England or Australia ever have 88 guns per 100 residents? When did they have almost universal access to concealed carry permits? Its not American Exceptionalism to say that this is a unique situation.

  333. Henry
    Henry August 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    I don’t get the complaint festival over gun title documents. No one whines that their car is VIN’d to death and they need umpteen documents for it. There’s no privacy right debate or “they” are coming to take my car collection freak out… “They” don’t care about your guns, a bunch of yahoos with AR-15s will not overthrow the gov’t ever it’s not 1776 anymore. “They” do care about drug cartels and street gangs where the real heavy violence occurs. If the gun had a name attached to it we would curtail straw purchases (people who buy literally 100s or 1000s of weapons and turn them around to criminals). Guns are dangerous tools like cars, we need to know where they are.

  334. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm |

    Chiming in from the UK, as ever reading the entirety of this thread, it feels like the USA is not just another continent but on a totally different planet. The cult of rugged individualism, concreted by hypercapitalism, is creating a country where people are (increasingly) divided, fearful, hateful and violent (as chronicled here). And then you throw into this mix of stress and fear millions and millions of easily available instruments of death.

    Guns are for killing, that is what they do. So the more guns there are, the more people kill, the stakes of the game are raised for everyone. But the rot inside the US body politic of sticking rigidly to a centuries old Constitution means that you have no way of tackling it. William’s individual right to bear arms (even though this right was created for a totally different temporal/historic situation) just trumps the greater good. You don’t get to have a safe, fair, equal society under the cult of individualism. It’s why you don’t get universal healthcare or proper public education: the rugged individual is *always and necessarily* more important than any community wellbeing.

    In the UK, under a decaying capitalist system (and currently right-wing Government by our standards), c.650 people are murdered per year, with gun murders killing c.40 people. We jumped to 59 people killed by guns in about two years ago and that’s ALL the newspapers were talking about. But since our body politic just outright rejects the idea that an individual’s feeling of safety (qua William) trumps the overall level of safety, it made the automatic penalty for just carrying a gun a minimum of five years in prison and etc – guess what? It worked – gun crime dropped and EVERYONE felt safer. Young gang members reported that because other people were less likely to tool up they didn’t have to. See how that works?

    But in the US, it’s not just that the horse has bolted and the stable door is swinging, I think the entire darn stable is actually burning down around your ears. But since everyone is so concerned about their *individual* rights to not to have to put out the bleeding fire, you’re all going to end up homeless. I get why rugged individualism worked for conquering a continent hundreds of years ago, but all it seems to do now is to hinder a better life for everyone.

  335. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |

    I get why rugged individualism worked for conquering a continent hundreds of years ago, but all it seems to do now is to hinder a better life for everyone.

    In all fairness to the USAians in this discussion, only William here seems to be okay with that situation. The rest of us are being pretty vocally anti-right-to-shoot-anything-that-twitches-near-you…

  336. igglanova
    igglanova August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |

    Then what are we talking about [if not bans]? I’ve brought several kinds of regulations up, but I’m not seeing anyone else discussing anything other than a general antipathy towards guns.

    There are many methods of gun control that fall short of outright bans. Licensing, registries, restrictions on which guns and how many are legal, etc.

  337. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. August 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

    You can make whatever critiques you want but, at the end of the day, I’m not the one arguing against human rights.

    Actually you are arguing against human rights. The right to actually live. See that’s what I mean about the impenatrable shield. Your right to feel safe is not more valid than my right to feel safe. You keep pulling this shit out like its a trump card. It. Isn’t.

    We happen to live in a country that agrees with me.

    We also live in a country with a shit load of injustice. Status quo doesn’t mean that that status is morally correct. You continue to argue from the position of “Well, I got mine, fuck off. My terms or nothing.” To which I respond, that fine, but don’t expect me to ever consider you someone who would make a valuable ally against gun violence because at the end of the day you don’t care what the body count is, you only care about your rights.

  338. Liz
    Liz August 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm |

    Great quote by WestEndGirl. And don’t get me started on the death penalty.

  339. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    This might come as some surprise, but I’m not a big fan of the NRA and they don’t get any money from me.

    That’s good. Unfortunately they and similar organizations have way too much influence.

    but they were right that the ATF was trying to distract from their own disastrously incompetent “gun walking” programs.

    I’m sure that’s possible, but it doesn’t seem particularly relevant? (Except to the extent that we need a better ATF).

    I’ve brought several kinds of regulations up, but I’m not seeing anyone else discussing anything other than a general antipathy towards guns.

    Moderation is making this thread a bit confusing, but I’m pretty sure that’s not quite right – for example, I’ve mentioned one-gun-a-month legislation (which, granted, is a ban of sorts, but very limited one); there’s also been a bit of discussion about buyback programs – which I think you actually brought up?, Henry’s mentioned VIN numbers… Besides that, though, I think part of it’s just that we’re mostly arguing about big basic disagreements, at a huge conceptual distance from specific wonkfesty policy proposals. Also dogs.

    For me, guns are right up there with freedom of speech, association, religion, the press, and bodily autonomy.

    I don’t really understand this. I can kinda get partway there via basic self-defense, but in that case we’re talking about a very different and rather more limited (at least re: guns) debate. And even then it seems very … strange. (Although given the circumstances, maybe not so much, as you’ve mentioned).

    We happen to live in a country that agrees with me. Either you can come to terms with that and we can try to work together to find ways to prevent damage at the margins or not, but you need to understand that the possession of modern semi-automatic pistols for self defense both in and, likely inside of a year, out of the home is going to be a basic reality of the American landscape for a long time.

    See, I’m not convinced that we need to accept this. It seems remarkably close to total capitulation, and even granting the US’ currently exceptionally pro-gun attitude compared to other Anglosphere settler states, it’s not clear that the rather extreme policy preferences of a (admittedly loud and active) ‘hobbyist’ minority are broadly shared. Considering how other groups have been able to move the window on a range of issues from abortion, unions, gay marriage, some feminist goals, etc, even (undoing) gun control itself, as you note (and yes, recognizing the enormous complexity I’ve just shoved under the rug in this sentence), it’s simply not obvious why this sort of ‘resistance is futile, you will be assimilated’ attitude should be blindly accepted.

    We can start by showing a country with a prevalence of firearm ownership anywhere even close to the US. Arguing that bans won’t work is, to my mind, pretty damned convincing when you have a nation with an unprecedented amount of guns.

    But given that we’re, as you say, in a rather unique situation, how convincing is this, really? If we had lots of similar tons-o-guns nations that had consistently failed to do so, that’s something, but lacking that … hmm. And especially considering to whatever degree gun ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated …

  340. Dan S.
    Dan S. August 16, 2012 at 1:58 am |

    So when I hear a statistic about how my guns are more likely to kill a family member than myself I get my back up because I understand how guns work and what precautions to take which means that being told “your guns are more likely to kill you or your wife than an intruder” is actually being received as “you and your wife are likely to murder one another.” You can see how thats offensive on a basic level in the context of a relationship that has gone fifteen years (through some pretty incredible stresses and at least a few major depressive episodes on both sides) without violence or the threat of violence, can’t you?

    Quick sidebar, since I’m going to do another of those invocations of rationality that you’ve quite reasonably objected to as ableist, fwiw, let me mention where I’m coming from – certainly, having to check and recheck and recheck and recheck that the gas is off and the door is locked and oh crap, I probably jostled it just enough that I need to check it again is annoying, but pretty mild; what I’m truly grateful for is blessed clonazepam for the next time that I decide that (i.e.) I’ve gotten rabies b/c I think I saw a bat/noticed a scratch after weeding in the back yard/etc, which is admittedly kind of amusing except for the whole descent into all-consuming terror bit oddly coupled with intense shame (‘this is absurd and humiliating, there’s no way it makes sense and omg I’m going to die horribly’).

    So while intent isn’t magic, personally I’m less ‘people who disagree with me are crazy’ and more ‘rationality is not a given, but a vital if unreliable ally, an aspiration that needs to be struggled for’ or whatever. That said…

    Look, this just isn’t, well, rational. Understandable, sure, and I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel offended, etc. in such situations … but then one has to try to think past that. For someone not to do so is … well, it seems kinda immature and self-centered to me. (And trust me, if there’s anything I know, it’s self-centered immaturity).

    Really, it’s kinda about privilege, in a deep-down etymological sense – that is, at least allegedly, referring to “private law”, a law dealing with one specific individual or institution.

    Or – It is, perhaps, a bit like the new parents who get furious that the hospital gives them info/a video about shaken baby syndrome, how dare they, we’d never do something like that! etc. Except of course, a) the hospital doesn’t magically know that, and b) well, they might not necessarily know that either; I certainly had a better understanding of how somebody – not even necessarily an obvious monster, for all that humanity is clearly divided into completely, infallibly good and utterly, unquestionably bad people – might do something like that after experiencing the whole ‘staggering over to pick up and soothe the screaming baby and feeding rocking singing walking them forever while being so tired it hurts and sitting down would mean falling asleep and maybe dropping them and finally they doze off only to start screaming again the second you lower them even slightly towards the crib and so you repeat the whole process again, and again, and again’ thing – and you know, maybe it didn’t matter at all, but I’m not sorry that I had ‘don’t shake the baby! pretty much branded into my sleep-deprived brain.

    (And yes, a) Amanda probably feels even more justified now, and b) sure, you can say, well, yeah, but we don’t have childbirth licenses, so there! But really, I just see basic, incredibly intimate and fundamental reproductive choice issues with a history of horrible abuses as being a bit more important and sensitive than the right to play with the exact make and number of potentially deadly weapons one chooses whenever one wants without any minor inconveniences, especially given that the ‘history of horrible abuses’ factor arguably leans (mostly, with exceptions of questionable relevance) the other way here.
    (Remember, I’m not advocating a total ban, or really anything near it.)

    I think Matt’s framing of this issue as individual vs. … ~collective values as very interesting – but I am really struck by the seeming refusal to accept virtually any inconvenience. After all, William, considering the one major restriction – on fully automatic weapons — that you accept as a reasonable compromise, you give some entirely sensible reasons, but also mention that it happens to be something you don’t particularly, personally enjoy or see the need for.

    Except it goes beyond the personal , too – in our discussion of attempted one-gun-a-month legislation (not to bang on about that, but it seems a very illustrative case) you point out problems (and I agree that it’s certainly not a magic bullet, and would be much better at the federal level, pity the gun lobby is making that extremely unlikely at the moment), but can’t help but bring up how they’re also “a pain in the ass for some gun owners”.

    Omg, who fucking cares? My wife used to teach in a school where most of the kindergartners knew exactly what to do when (not if, when) somebody started shooting nearby. (Granted, it also meant that when the cops started shooting at our neighbor who had gone off his meds, she was across the room and sheltering the baby during the few seconds I was still thinking ‘oh shit, gunshots’).

    Who the fuck cares about a handful of obsessives facing a temporary inconvenience in pursuing their hobby if it only means that one kid gets shot a week or two later – much less not at all. (I realize this is approaching WOT/1% doctrine territory, but a lot of people do somehow manage to oppose, say, invading random countries and massively extending an already hugely bloated security state without rejecting virtually any inconvenient precautions whatsoever, no matter how minor.)

    (Now if one-gun/month laws literally have no effect, well, ok, that’s pointless, but a) is that a reasonable assumption? and b) if so, that’s a complete argument in and of itself; no need to bring in people who have to face the horror of only being able to purchase 12 guns across a whole year.

    Again, seriously, who the fuck cares? And why? Without my ADD meds I’m even more of a mess, but due to federal drug legislation I can’t just get refills (to say nothing of OTC access), but need to go to the doctor and get 1 (or, depending on the dr, several carefully dated and eminently losable) prescription(s) each time. That’s an actual if still pretty minor inconvenience considering work schedule, transportation, cost, the whole ADD thing, and importance/consequences … even though there’s pretty much no chance of me abusing it (neglecting it, yes, since I frequently forget, run out, etc.) or selling it. Yet you don’t hear me complaining about it – ok, ok, complaining about it, maybe, but not literally making a federal case of it.

    Honestly, what the fuck?

    Yes, yes, I know, Ruby Ridge. And Waco. And some people in specific parts of the country had to deal with restrictions on exactly what kind of gun they could have that maybe didn’t always make a lot of sense.

    And?

  341. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 16, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    My hobby’s also inconvenient and expensive. But no one’s ever murdered 32 people using Tae Kwon Do… In other words the “inconvenience!!” crowd can cry moar. Life is inconvenient; still preferable to the alternative. :p

  342. William
    William August 16, 2012 at 10:11 am |

    Bagelsan,

    Show me where I even once claimed a right to shoot at anything that twitches near me.

    Zuzu,

    Keeping up with the current state of the law and having an opinion about the direction its going isn’t even remotely the same thing as claiming to be an expert.

    Dan S.,

    See, I’m not convinced that we need to accept this. It seems remarkably close to total capitulation, and even granting the US’ currently exceptionally pro-gun attitude compared to other Anglosphere settler states, it’s not clear that the rather extreme policy preferences of a (admittedly loud and active) ‘hobbyist’ minority are broadly shared.

    I’ll be blunt, we’re past capitulation. The gun control lobby lost the debate. That loss started when states started passing CCW laws in the 90s. The sunsetting of the AWB showed the complete impotence of modern gun control advocates at the federal level. The expansion of Stand Your Ground laws and Open Carry display a fundamental inability of gun control advocates to operate effectively on the local level. Heller and McDonald fundamentally changed the nature and terms of the actual political debate in the US. Public support for gun control has been waning for at least a decade. The Gun control lobby is not getting weaker but becoming emboldened, growing, and even the NRA is starting to lose ground to the more absolutist voices in the movement. The continued wide-spread possession of firearms is no longer a question, the only questions still open are ones of time, place, and manner. Shepard v. Madigan, along with Woolard v. Sheridan, is looking likely to set some pretty permissive standards even along those lines.

    it’s simply not obvious why this sort of ‘resistance is futile, you will be assimilated’ attitude should be blindly accepted.

    Neither the public, nor the legislatures, nor the courts are on your side. With good organization you might be able to overcome that, but organizations like Brady are a joke (in numbers, funding, and skill) compared to even the second string gun-rights organizations. The gun rights movement hasn’t had a major set-back since 1994. Even Obama has all but given up on the issue. Could that change? Sure, but you’re going to have to organize better, make arguments that convince the public, and contend with what appears to be a relatively hostile judiciary.

    Look, this just isn’t, well, rational. Understandable, sure, and I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel offended, etc. in such situations … but then one has to try to think past that. For someone not to do so is … well, it seems kinda immature and self-centered to me. (And trust me, if there’s anything I know, it’s self-centered immaturity).

    Really, it’s kinda about privilege, in a deep-down etymological sense – that is, at least allegedly, referring to “private law”, a law dealing with one specific individual or institution.

    I don’t think this is ableist.

    Still, let me explain where I’m coming from. In my life I have encountered a lot of restrictions because of who I am. There have been many cases where my rights, like the right to a basic education, were witheld because it was deemed that my disabilities (and sometimes my abilities) made me somehow beyond the protection of rights. Time and again I have been told “this isn’t about you, and maybe its not fair, but most people like you can’t…” and I have always bristled at that because, fundamentally, there has always been the assumption that I ought to do worse in the name of others. I got that when everyone thought I was uneducable (not just a word but a legal class) and so why should I expect better than warehousing, I got that when I was moved to a program for exceptional students and was constantly reminded that an education which didn’t leave me so bored and ignored that I began to fall part was a privilege that could be taken away if I wasn’t obedient, I got that as I entered high school and was told that “most kids who ask too many questions become violent” so I needed to shut the fuck up if I didn’t want to be sent to an “alternative high school” even though I’d never been more than obnoxious. As I grew older and began to work and see patients I worked in the kinds of places where people go when there is no where else to fall and they’re constantly subjected to incredible amounts of oppression in the name of the public good because someone whose Schizophrenia or mood disorder is so severe that they can’t care for themselves is assumed to be dangerous to others. You know, to the people who really matter.

    At the same time I live in a world where people who are actually dangerous, who are actually rapacious and violent and criminal, are allowed to flourish because they are powerful. I live in a city where the Mayor made his career by sending innocent black men to prison after coerced confessions, covered up his son’s hate crimes, and covered up a murder his nephew committed. I live in a world where my rapist went free because he once dated the judge presiding over the case. I live in a world where a kid selling pot will do more time in prison than even the most amoral of Wall Street financiers. And yet, somehow, its always people at the margins who are asked to sacrifice for the good of everyone. I’ve done my time bleeding for the good of a society that sees me as a burden. I’ve lost enough rights so that others can feel more secure or don’t have to live with the incredible weight of being disgusted by a crazy child or humiliated by an intelligent one. I’ve seen enough patients hospitalized for mouthing off to someone who treated them like shit but owned the building.

    What does that have to do with guns? It makes me suspicious, as a baseline, of any argument that someone should have to give up something for the good of the group when they’ve done nothing wrong. It smells like a lie to me. Its not privilege, its cheek.

    But really, I just see basic, incredibly intimate and fundamental reproductive choice issues with a history of horrible abuses as being a bit more important and sensitive than the right to play with the exact make and number of potentially deadly weapons one chooses whenever one wants without any minor inconveniences, especially given that the ‘history of horrible abuses’ factor arguably leans (mostly, with exceptions of questionable relevance) the other way here.

    I see them as intertwined. I’ve had to physically fight for survival. I’ve been raped. If it came down to it I know what I’m willing to do to protect myself. You don’t see guns as being the same as a reproductive choice, I see guns as beings the means by which I can prevent having to feel someone inside of me without my consent and avoid having to taste human blood or feel the space between the back of an eyeball and a skull in the process. Is it rational? From some perspectives, no. I’m probably never going to be at risk of rape again. Then again, I’ve a long history of being abused and rape is just one item on that delightful little menu. Even beyond that, I’ve been mugged. There have been home invasions in my neighborhood. My wife, between her size and disabilities, likely couldn’t physically fight off an attacker.

    no need to bring in people who have to face the horror of only being able to purchase 12 guns across a whole year.

    The need, unfortunately, comes from the history of the gun control lobby and it’s public rhetoric. Proponents of gun control have, generally, made it very clear that laws are incremental restrictions with an eye towards an eventual goal of overall disarmament. One gun a month laws? On their own they aren’t terribly offensive. I don’t see them doing a lot of good (you have to get six people to straw purchase instead of one, meth cooks seem to be doing that pretty well), but they wouldn’t be the end of the world. The problem I see, though, is that I just don’t have any trust that a law like that wouldn’t be extended. If one a month, why not one a year? Why not six total? Why not restrict the sale of .45, after all, .40 is still available? Why not ban pistol grips on rifes, its merely inconvenient to hold your rifle another way and if a law like that saves just one life…

    I know a lot of people don’t like comparing gun control to abortion, but you had better believe that the gun lobby has learned lessons from the way that the pro-choice movement lost ground and is in the process of actively avoiding the legislative and judicial mistakes made by people who support reproductive rights. The strategy is to give no quarter, make no concessions, and to fight every battle as far as it will go in as many different venues as is possible in an attempt to advance decisions to the highest level that can be attained. Thats the mindset of the pro-gun community right now and I can tell you they have all of the passion, drive, and (perhaps most importantly) organization they need. I don’t always agree with them, but thats the state on the ground.

    Yet you don’t hear me complaining about it – ok, ok, complaining about it, maybe, but not literally making a federal case of it.

    You should be. Its a fucking crime that you have to go through those hoops to get medications which have already been determined to be safe and effective. Its a crime that, in the name of a war on drugs, you find your access severely curtailed. Its a crime that you’re told you have to suffer for the good of society. Its unconscionable.

    Yes, yes, I know, Ruby Ridge. And Waco. And some people in specific parts of the country had to deal with restrictions on exactly what kind of gun they could have that maybe didn’t always make a lot of sense.

    And?

    People died anyway. 30 years of a handgun ban and Chicago competed with Detroit and New Orleans for murder capital of the country. Because killing is about a lot more than the tools people use to take another’s life.

  343. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    Show me where I even once claimed a right to shoot at anything that twitches near me.

    You’ve said you should have the right to shoot anyone who moves towards you and/or is in your house. My hyperbole is slight at best. You think your “right” to kill someone trumps their right not to be killed. And no, it’s not about your right to protection; for that you need max one gun, and/or a bunch of pepper spray or self-defense classes, not multiple guns a month.

  344. Matt
    Matt August 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

    I will try to re-focus the discussion again.

    If you restrict the ability of people to arm themselves for self-defense, at some point a person who otherwise could have saved themselves with a gun will be killed.

    Pro-gun-control: That is acceptable because many more lives will have been saved thanks to those restrictions. Society should prefer the situation that creates the least suffering for the least number of people.

    Anti-gun-control: That is unacceptable because the individual’s right to personal self-defense is greater than their duty to protect society. Society should safeguard the autonomy of the individual, even when that autonomy creates the likelihood of greater overall suffering.

  345. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

    Society should safeguard the autonomy of the individual, even when that autonomy creates the likelihood of greater overall suffering.

    And that my friend Matt is the USA’s addiction to rugged individualism. In the case of guns, it’s not just a likelihood of greater overall suffering, it’s a *guarantee* of greater overall suffering, but well, individuals! Individualism has lots of upsides, but the downside is the 32,000 gun deaths and an environment of fear and violence.

    You know in the UK, apart from some very hectic urban environments, your average person just feels safe overall. So for all the stories of needing to protect oneself notwithstanding, violent home invasion is just not something we worry about or even happens. It’s a culture thing and something is very sick in USians culture. So I agree with you trying to refocus the debate, but not sure where it could go. It would need a radical overhaul of how USians conceive their relationship to the state, society and others and surely that’s not going to happen? I mean this is the country where poor people vote for the Republicans…?!?!?!

  346. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

    Without individual rights, you have no way to stop anti gay marriage laws. The argument is that they harm society as a whole. SOCIETY as a whole is homophobic. See the problem?

  347. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |

    So how come same-sex marriage is legal in places like the UK, Canada, Spain, South Africa and Argentina at a country-wide level, and it’s not in the land of individual rights?

    Clearly it’s every individual’s right to define who other people should marry.

  348. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    Because what’s GOOD and MORAL for society as a whole!! (hysteria ridden shriek) is more important when it comes to such “sacred” things like straight sex.

    How come the UK ,Canada, Spain, South Africa and Argentina didn’t love Bush enough to elect him?

    WE did, and since we’re all carbon copies of each other with nothing ever that differs in any way at all forever and fucking ever amen, why pray tell didn’t those countries just LOVE it to death when we elected him a 2nd time around, hhmmmmmm?

  349. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

    Clearly it’s every individual’s right to define who other people should marry.

    But it’s the right of the individual argument being made that forces courts to deal with the constitutionality of it all.

    Also- not every culture that has prioritized the individual rights has screwed it up. Most of that constitution some of you people think is shit came from the Indigenous in this country.

  350. Esti
    Esti August 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    Wha?? I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about in that last post.

    People were responding to your specific suggestion that without a U.S.-like emphasis on individual rights, gay marriage wouldn’t be permitted. Except that most of the U.S. doesn’t allow gay marriage, and many countries that put less emphasis on individual rights do allow gay marriage. Which suggests that it’s completely possible for LGBT rights to be advanced without an emphasis on individualism, and that an emphasis on individualism is no guarantee that LGBT rights will be respected.

  351. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

    pheenobarbidoll – individual human rights are an intrinsic part of UK law. However, we set these rights in the context of agreed social norms such as education (obligatory), universal healthcare (obligatory taxation) and gun control etc in order to create an environment which benefits everyone and that this is better *overall* than a situation which deliberately privileges the individual. It’s Proudhon and Locke v. Rousseau and Mills.

    As I say when I consider living in a country with c.50 gun deaths (and c.500 injured) per year out 65m people or 32,000 gun deaths out of 350m, I know which is safer. And it is the culture engendered by the right to bear arms and by the cult of rugged individualism which privileges the individual rather than looking after the collective which causes it. You don’t have to care about that, fine, but why you’re hanging around on a social justice blog then I’m not quite sure!

  352. igglanova
    igglanova August 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

    I never really understood this rigid distinction between ideas that favour the individual vs the society as a whole? Society is comprised of individuals. You can still reach conclusions that favour the ‘greater good’ when you start from an individualistic standpoint if you consider all individuals to have equal priority…

    For example, this -

    If you restrict the ability of people to arm themselves for self-defense, at some point a person who otherwise could have saved themselves with a gun will be killed.

    Anti-gun-control: That is unacceptable because the individual’s right to personal self-defense is greater than their duty to protect society. Society should safeguard the autonomy of the individual, even when that autonomy creates the likelihood of greater overall suffering.

    - would only make an iota of sense if you didn’t consider the people who died as result of laissez-faire gun policy to be individuals whose rights have been violated. The argument is flawed, because ‘individual’ in this case is only defined, in practice, to mean ‘individuals who own guns and feel entitled to them.’ In other words, it prioritizes the individuals who are most like the author of the argument.

    My suspicion is that when people mention ‘individualism’, they are actually talking about ‘me-ism’ and attempting to justify abject selfishness under an appealing euphemism.

  353. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

    However, we set these rights in the context of agreed social norms such as education (obligatory), universal healthcare (obligatory taxation) and gun control etc in order to create an environment which benefits everyone and

    So mentioning healthcare in the UK doesn’t get the horrified OMG SOCIALISM!!! response? But here I thought what works there must absolutely work the exact same HERE. How can this be?!

    Except that most of the U.S. doesn’t allow gay marriage, and many countries that put less emphasis on individual rights do allow gay marriage.

    Exactly. So when people ask why something works in this country so why can’t it work in the US, this is an example of something that works in other countries but has not yet worked here.

    Another example is that any HINT that X is done in another country gets treated as if it’s automatically socialist/marxist/communist/HORRIBLE when that doesn’t generally happen elsewhere.

    Do people in the UK for example freak out if some law that’s up for debate might be similar to a French law? Did the people of Spain rename the french fry to the freedom fry because they wanted THAT much distance between them and anything remotely French? Did South Africa and Argentina hold up Canadian healthcare laws as as an evil socialist plot to destroy the country?

    If you can’t figure out why something that worked in Australia or the UK or Spain might not go quite as smoothly in the US, then you haven’t been paying attention.

    Dave Mustaine recently told a cheering audience that Aurora and the Sikhs shooting was a plot by Obama to ban guns.

    Do you see this crap on FB?

    htt p://floppingaces.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1gun-control-2nd-ammendment-barak-obama-socialist-political-poster-1260457882.jpg

    I can’t count how many bumper stickers I see on a daily basis that read-

    I’ll keep my money, my freedom and my guns- you can keep “the change”.

    Is that something frequently seen in the UK too? Australia? Bueller?

    You are asking why it won’t work, I’m giving you an answer. And instead of recognizing that someone is simply answering the question, then it becomes “why are you advocating for individualism on a social blog”.

    I’m not advocating a thing. I’m answering your question. Do you honestly think I LIKE the answer? If I have an answer that means I agree that it’s good?

    No. It doesn’t. I’m just answering the question. And if you don’t like the answer, stop asking. But don’t assume just because I’m answering that I think the fact this country is full of morons is a good thing.

  354. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

    People were responding to your specific suggestion that without a U.S.-like emphasis on individual rights, gay marriage wouldn’t be permitted.

    My “suggestion” isn’t a suggestion. It’s a statement. Currently, the individual rights thing is what people are successfully using to overturn same sex marriage bans. Without the individual right to marry, same sex marriages wouldn’t have gotten this far because when it suits people it becomes all about society and it’s imminent downfall. Individual right to marry becomes less important than the overall benefit to society. (that bigots and homophobes don’t know, care or recognize the benefits from allowing same sex marriage and the contributions of LGBT to society as a whole also adds to the problem. As long as they can pretend that it will end society as we know it, they’ll push for society over individual rights)

    It’s a checks and balance thing. And without individual rights, the OMG SOCIETY people wouldn’t even have to worry that same sex marriage could be legalized.

    Because that’s the climate we’re in right now.

    You say individual rights, and they respond with society.

    You say society and they respond with individual rights.

    This country is so polarized right now that if you said UP they’d automatically say DOWN. Why? Because only dirty commie liberals say UP.

    This is what you’re facing when you say ” but gun control worked HERE”. That you said it is enough proof for certain people. You’re not American. They wouldn’t listen it if you paid them to. You’re liberal. They wouldn’t listen if you paid them to.

    THAT is why it won’t work just like it did elsewhere on the globe.

    The country is chock full of morons.

  355. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

    Oh and you can take this to the bank-

    As long as people believe that a Black Kenyan Muslim is trying to take their guns and freedom, gun control won’t work exactly the same as it did in some other country.

    There are ways to improve it significantly (see my buy back ideas) but I don’t believe the mass morons of this country will ever tolerate gun control that mirrors any other country, because it’s not America therefore it’s bad by default.

    I wish it weren’t true. And that doesn’t mean I give up. But it’s what I see happening. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but this country doesn’t exactly have a history of pleasantly surprising me.

  356. William
    William August 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm |

    Bagelsan

    You’ve said you should have the right to shoot anyone who moves towards you and/or is in your house.

    Again with the misrepresentation. If I’ve given someone an order to stop in my own home and they continue to advance thats threatening, it also fits the legal requirements for use of deadly force. Someone at a party who walks over to give me a high-five? Not so much. Someone demanding my wallet and threatening to assault me if I don’t hand it over? You bet. Someone who walks towards me and asks for spare change? Not so much. You’re acting like I’m using some kind of some low resolution flow chart.

    You think your “right” to kill someone trumps their right not to be killed.

    Once they’ve decided to violate my rights, you bet your ass I do. Thats not exactly “twitching,” though.

    And no, it’s not about your right to protection; for that you need max one gun, and/or a bunch of pepper spray or self-defense classes, not multiple guns a month.

    Pepper spray will set off an asthma attack for me. Self defense classes mean that access to basic self defense is available only to the TAB. More than one gun good is a very good way of making sure that one is operational at any given time and that people living in the home with different levels of proficiency, tolerances for recoil, physical strength, and general comfort have access. I’m trying hard to figure out how a bolt gun for long range target shooting is at all relevant to the larger debate about gun violence. As for multiple guns a month, I’ve already spoken to that.

    Pheenobarbiedoll,

    Most of that constitution some of you people think is shit came from the Indigenous in this country.

    Yeah, but the indigenous peoples in the US were generally armed and would often respond to violence with violence. Hell, look at what they did to that poor Custer fellow at Little Bighorn…

    /snark

    Zuzu,

    Not really. Equal protection arguments are based on class membership and whether the state has a sufficient reason to block a particular group from equal protection of the law.

    I’ve never been protected by the police, I have been abused by them (an experience shared by basically every member of my family going back generations), I’ve actually had to hire a lawyer to demand my equal protection when it comes to civil rights. My equal protection is a gun because I have learned, through hard experience, that neither state nor society gives two shits about me. Change that and I’ll think about softening. Or, to quote Ice T, I’ll give up my guns when everyone else has given up theirs. We can start with state sponsors of violence like soldiers, police, and politicians. Until then I’m not going to give up my ability to defend myself for an IOU.

    WestEndGirl

    However, we set these rights in the context of agreed social norms

    Which makes them privileges. Thats why in the UK truth isn’t an absolute defense to liable and speech can be restricted based on social concerns. Thats not liberty.

    such as education (obligatory),

    I’m a big fan of a public education. I’m such a big fan, in fact, that I had to hire a goddamn attorney in order to get mine because it had been decided that I wasn’t worth the resources. Good of the group and all. I suppose it was selfish of me, right? Stupid individualism.

    universal healthcare (obligatory taxation)

    Money out of my pocket isn’t the same thing as demanding that I allow myself to be at the mercy of others with only the hope that a society which has constantly failed me will deign to save me.

    in order to create an environment which benefits everyone and that this is better *overall* than a situation which deliberately privileges the individual

    Which is awesome when you have the privilege to decide what is better for everyone else. When you’re on the bottom having your life dictated to you? Not so much. If anyone is still looking for a fundamental cultural difference, here it is.

    You don’t have to care about that, fine, but why you’re hanging around on a social justice blog then I’m not quite sure!

    Ahh, I guess I’m just No True Scotsman.

    Igglanova,

    My suspicion is that when people mention ‘individualism’, they are actually talking about ‘me-ism’ and attempting to justify abject selfishness under an appealing euphemism.

    No justification here. I’m absolutely comfortable saying that anyone who decides to violate the social contract and actively oppress me forfeits any expectation of my respecting the protections they’ve decided to deny me. I’ll fight tooth and nail for social justice, I’ll argue with friends, I’ll take privilege checks, I’ll strive to be better, I’ll help people who have been damaged by the system and allow them to regain their sense of dignity and autonomy, but I’ll not ever again be prey if it is within my power to prevent it.

  357. William
    William August 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

    Christ, you really are a tiresome asshole.

    Right back at ya, Zuzu.

  358. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    If you can’t figure out why something that worked in Australia or the UK or Spain might not go quite as smoothly in the US, then you haven’t been paying attention.

    Dave Mustaine recently told a cheering audience that Aurora and the Sikhs shooting was a plot by Obama to ban guns.

    In the context of what I think you’re trying to say, pheeno (that our USAian culture is much different than the rest of the world and not as open to following in these other countries’ footsteps), I just have to say that the Mustaine example is a bit of a bad one. Yes he did say that, but the cheering audience was in Singapore, not here in the US, and that makes a difference. I doubt that they were quite cheering about the specifics of what he was suggesting. If the UK, or Australia, etc. fail to really understand how our political climate affects decisions like these, then it might be safe to say that the people there at the concert didn’t quite fully understand what he was saying, how we understand it here, etc. If anything, they might have been cheering because of his gross pandering that maybe he should move there to Singapore once the US goes full on “Nazi” and comes for everyone’s guns.

    I do think that the ideas he was espousing are the kind that sadly sets apart from the rest of the world. And to me they are very telling about the mindset of many pro-gun rights people, that it’s all about them and their guns, all the time. Aurora? The Sikh Temple murders? Not about the victims. Nope, it’s gotta be all about the “real” victims, gun owners who have to come up with some theory to explain horrible gun violence in such a way that it “shows” that anti-gun violence people must be staging these horrible acts of gun violence so as to take precious guns away from pro-gun people.

  359. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm |

    Also, I have to say, I am very very embarrassed right now that I have been a Megadeth fan for so many years….

  360. William
    William August 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

    I could, Zuzu, but they’re all pretty clean since the last trip to the range. Thanks for asking though!

    Anyway, I’m out. Nothing productive is happening here. Have fun cursing the darkness. See ya all when Shepard is decided.

  361. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm |

    Yes he did say that, but the cheering audience was in Singapore, not here in the US, and that makes a difference.

    It’s made the rounds of my FB, with a sad number of those I know propping it up as a possible truth. This election year has seen my friends list dwindle daily. I’ve blocked family, because I just can’t take reading the crap anymore. People I knew in school who were raging potheads and criminals, grown up and now posting things that would have had them twitching in outrage 20 years ago. All because a Black man is President, basically. An ex of mine is a full on GOP Rush Fox News supporter now. This from the guy that practically drug me to PP for an abortion. (I wanted it to, but it couldn’t happen fast enough for him) His last post before I deleted him was supporting Rush calling that college woman a slut over birth control pills.

    Until this divisive us vs them attitude is gone, things that SHOULD work aren’t going to. I’m neck deep in the middle of the exact reason why it won’t. The whole world is viewed as The Other. And until THAT stops, saying ” it worked in Australia (or wherever)” will work against you more than it ever will for you.

  362. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    Also, I have to say, I am very very embarrassed right now that I have been a Megadeth fan for so many years….

    Right?

    I guess he wasn’t kidding when he said just not your kind.

  363. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 17, 2012 at 9:55 am |

    William, upon interminably reminding us what a special snowflake he is, bids us adieu!

  364. Matt
    Matt August 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    I am willing to accept the marginal increased risk to my safety in order to maintain the marginal increase in my autonomy.

    Maybe this demonstrates the basic idea of the concept behind “state’s rights” in the U.S. Or why it might be good to have multiple countries.

    If you would all rather live in a society in which you feel marginally protected by accepting that self-imposed restriction, then I think you should be free to set up and live in such a community. I would rather live in one where I accept additional risk for the sake of additional freedom. The same reason I would rather just let everyone board planes without the TSA, and I would be happy to board them myself, even knowing that everyone on the plane had not had their internal organs manually searched. There would be risk, but I accept it.

    I suppose it actually is important to this discussion that the natural outcome of the kind of gun ban the gun-control people here want, is that only the government has the guns. Do you think it would be easy to convince the last remaining armed government to give up their unique power in this area? Do you think that all the armed world governments will eventually become democratic by choice when faced with unarmed helpless civilians?

    Even we somehow eliminated all firearms from the earth, what do you all think would happen once some group began to manufacture them in a gun-free world?

    I just don’t see any natural outcome of disarming civilians that doesn’t eventually, at some point in the future, become some kind of totalitarian oligarchy. And it has nothing to do with the current political climate of the world, or even any particular political situation. The ability to use greater force eventually determines who has the power. It isn’t clear to me that power can actually derive from the population unless that population is actually capable of retaking it from the government if necessary.

    But this is obviously beyond the scope that we’ll be able to address in this thread.

  365. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I suppose it actually is important to this discussion that the natural outcome of the kind of gun ban the gun-control people here want, is that only the government has the guns. Do you think it would be easy to convince the last remaining armed government to give up their unique power in this area?

    The government also owns nukes and tanks and fleets and aircraft, none of which are available to the public. Your handgun wouldn’t do squat if the government wanted to level you, yanno. 9_9

  366. EG
    EG August 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

    Didn’t do jackshit to help M.O.V.E. back in 1985, did it?

  367. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune August 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    I suppose it actually is important to this discussion that the natural outcome of the kind of gun ban the gun-control people here want, is that only the government has the guns.

    Christfuck. Has anyone here actually been advocating a gun ban for the US, whatever they may feel the ideal society would be? Or are you guys actually unable to distinguish between gun access control and banning all guns ever? Talk about black and white thinking.

    Also, because it bears repeating:


    The government also owns nukes and tanks and fleets and aircraft, none of which are available to the public. Your handgun wouldn’t do squat if the government wanted to level you, yanno. 9_9

  368. igglanova
    igglanova August 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    Military technology has advanced to the point where armed revolution is actually impossible in the U.S. Even if you could fight off a SWAT team to defend your compound, the government would not simply back off and allow you to do your own illegal thing. It will escalate the violence until you are crushed. All the AR-15s in the world won’t do jack shit against an army with planes, tanks, and smart bombs. In the end, you will have been no more successful in defending your freedom than you would have been without weapons. But you will end up with a sizeable body count.

  369. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 19, 2012 at 12:43 am |

    Doing what they want lands you a sizeable body count too.

    Fearing that the government might round you up and send you to camps or kill you all isn’t an unreasonable fear that only paranoid anti-goverment pro gun living in a compound people have either.

  370. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 19, 2012 at 8:55 am |

    Unless people realistically believe that A) the US is aimed at another Holocaust-like event AND B) owning some handguns would stop that? The guns-save-us-from-the-government notion is entirely ridiculous. FFS.

  371. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |

    a) they never stopped the first one
    b) hand guns have fuck all to do with what I said.

    I said it’s not an unreasonable fear that ONLY pro gun types have.

    Dismissing such fears as something only paranoids, or anti government types or gun nuts in compounds have is pretty insulting to those who have experienced it, are still experiencing all it’s affects and it’s insulting to those who are dealing with it on a smaller scale (Arizona for example. I guess the illegal immigrants in Arizona are just gun loving paranoids for fearing they might be rounded up and imprisoned)

  372. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 19, 2012 at 10:48 am |

    Arizona for example. I guess the illegal immigrants in Arizona are just gun loving paranoids for fearing they might be rounded up and imprisoned

    They’re gun loving paranoids (and idiots) if they think a shootout with the US government will stop them getting rounded up.

  373. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    Bagelsan- Pay attention to what I am saying.

    I am saying that THE FEAR of the government rounding up people is NOT JUST from people who are gun loving paranoid nuts.

    So to continuously classify ALL people with that fear as gun loving paranoid compound living nuts is insulting, privileged and offensive.

    There are people in this country who HAVE been rounded up. There are people in this country being killed by the government. There are people who are still in the midst of genocide in this country.

    So for those who classify people with that fear of the government as gun loving, compound living nuts- you are forgetting several large groups of people in this country. And their fear that the government will round them up is LEGITIMATE and NOT the result of being paranoid, compound living gun nuts.

    So kindly stop diminishing their LEGITIMATE fear and their reality by proclaiming that fear of government only exists because they must be some pro gun nutjob.

    And it’s really easy for some white asshole to call people idiots when they’ve no fucking clue about any of that.

  374. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    Yeah, pheeno, I hate to pull the breaks on the rage train, but I never said it was never a legitimate fear; I just said gun owning is a stupid solution.

  375. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    And I am not talking about guns.

    I am talking about the specific fear of the government, and how it’s not just found among pro gun people.

    Sorry to derail your WP head up ass train.

  376. Matt
    Matt August 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

    You are thinking about short-term and small scale events Bagelsan.

    I don’t mean to imply that any kind of oppression by force is implicated in the modern U.S.
    I am not suggesting that guns would allow a small group of people to resist government oppression.

    I am saying that eventually, some time in the next thousand years, the government might become oppressive. Once civilians lose the right to own guns, they will never regain it.

    Your imagining of the ability of small-scale operations to put down individual communities or organizations of resistance is certainly true. But you also need to consider that oppression doesn’t happen in a battle. Oppression is more like an occupation. Occupying a fully armed population is quite a bit different than occupying a completely unarmed population.

  377. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan August 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |

    And I am not talking about guns.

    So why are you talking to me at all then? I’m only talking about guns.

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