A gun in the first act always goes off in the third

“It’s everywhere and always been recognized: an armed society is a primitive society.”

“An Oklahoma woman arrested Monday on drug charges had a loaded handgun hidden in her vagina, according to police.”

“Not only did police canine Ivan discover a stolen handgun, he fired it too.”

“Police arrested a 61-year-old Florida woman for allegedly pointing a gun at Walmart employees, threatening them after the store refused to honor her coupon for $1 off of a purchase and later attacking authorities.”

“The Tyler Morning Telegraph has learned that a Van Independent School District employee accidentally was shot during a district-sponsored concealed handgun license class on Wednesday.”

“The school district was sponsoring the class as part of its program to arm teachers and other school employees, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and the NRA’s call for America to arm its schools.”

“A school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.”

“The National Rifle Association’s field representative for New York was barred from having guns after an altercation with his wife.”

“A 3-year-old boy from Manchester, Tennessee was left in critical condition over the weekend after being shot while handling a small gun that an adult left sitting on a nearby counter-top.”

“Family and friends in Michigan are mourning the death of a 4-year-old Jackson County deputy’•s son, who accidentally shot and killed himself over the weekend.”

I’m very much on the conservative side of politics, but I just saw this as one of those things that demanded the use of the authority of my office to try and change.”

I know my father is watching us on this journey … to make our community, our state, and our country a safer place.”

You folks in Chicago want me to get castrated because your families are having too many kids. It spells out exactly what is happening here. You want us to get rid of guns.”

 

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  • SergeantHeretic

    If a country has guns as a widespread fact of life with little to no effort at regulating who can and cannot own them lots and lots of people are going to die, most of the deaths will be due to sheer unabaqshed dumbfuckery. Anyone tut-tutting these tragedies needs to send their grienves to the one group leading the charge to prevent even the most basic and embryonic saftey precautions, the National Rifle Asociation.

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     Could you possibly be more ignorant? The NRA has been teaching firearm safety since its inception. I haven’t noticed any of its opponents spending time and effort to do so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    While opposing legislation that increases firearm safety nationwide, like background checks, you mean? (that are supported by >90% off all households, including gun-owning homes)

    http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/news-from-nra-ila/2013/1/statement-from-chris-w-cox.aspx

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/gun-background-checks_n_2637530.html

  • Jim Roberts

    The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. The NRA does a bang-up job with its safety courses. I’ve taken two of them – one for light handguns, the other for gun safety* – and they were thorough and complete.

    When it comes to many others parts of gun safety – closing the gun show loophole, for example – they deserve the opprobrium they get.

    * I don’t own a gun, but I’m a writer of fiction and wanted to get a hands-on feel for how a responsible gun owner would handle firearms.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > The NRA does a bang-up job with its safety courses.

    I see what you did there.

  • LL

    This (to the first two paragraphs). That gun show loophole needs to go away right now. And I’m sure there are other loopholes that should as well. 

  • LoneWolf343

    “The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. ”

    Ahem, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation

  • Jim Roberts

    Why, yes, you’re completely right. By posting a link to a fallacy without explaining how my following comment was in anyway in error, you have clearly shown that my position is in error.

    I’m quite familiar with argument by moderation – when I was in debate I used to eat people who did that for lunch and shit them on in cross examination. It’s not a fallacy to say, “Maybe the extremes aren’t right,” it’s a fallacy to say, “The extreme is never right,” or “We should never consider the extreme because it’s extreme.”

    Man, did you even read your own link?

  • LoneWolf343

     You said that “The NRA does a bang-up job with its safety courses.” The problem with this statement that it is only valid if the NRA is the only source of gun-safety information. In reality, gun-safety is all about common sense. Here, I’ll tell you all you need to know about gun safety:

    1.) Don’t own a gun.

    2.) If you absolutely need to own a gun, make sure is is secure at all times.

    3.) If you think your gun is secure, it isn’t.

    4.) Do not load the gun unless you plan to destroy something immediately.

    5.) If you think your gun isn’t loaded, check it again.

    6.) Do not point your gun at anything unless you plan to destroy it. Reference Rule 5.

    7.) Identify your target before you shoot it.

    8.) There is no such thing as an accidental gun death.

    9.) Your gun doesn’t make you invincible. It makes you a target.

    10.) Your gun is your LAST resort, not your first.

    There, now the NRA is redundant in its only positive contribution to society.

  • Jim Roberts

    First of all, that was covered in the first hour of the course. There’s quite a bit more to it than that, like proper storage of ammunition to keep it from from becoming unsafe. For that matter, our host has pointed us to several articles on how important it is to identify proper methods for long-term storage, particularly if you have children in the house.

    While I think the NRA training and safety courses are good, I wouldn’t want them to be the only ones holding them – the courses were good, but tended to come with a side order of, “Join the NRA to learn more.”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It’s really more of a “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”-up job.

    Also, I’d think any good set of gun-safety rules would include:

    A) Shooting someone is not a good way to win an argument
    B) “Mah wife was a cheatin’ whore!” is not “self defence”
    C) Wearing a hoodie while being black does not constitute “clear and immediate danger”

  • LoneWolf343

     I believe that is covered under “Guns are a LAST resort.” People tend to forget this when they have a gun, tending to go for the option that shows that they have the power instead of going for the option which defuses the conflict.

    I believe the gun-worship this country loves to do is rooted in pride…which is a nice way to describe penile surrogacy.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I believe that is covered under “Guns are a LAST resort.”

    You’d hope that. But I’ve known people who would say “I had no other choice but to use violence! My honor was at stake!”

  • SergeantHeretic

    Is this the same NRA that won’t allow background checks on gun sales, and that is constantly mounting scare campaign against democratic candidates aimed chiefly at ramping up gun sales?

    That NRA?

    Is this the same NRA who’s new york president was just barred from havcing guns to keep him from murdering his wife.?

    Is ths the same NRA that advicates turning schools into gun ranges despite the edident reality that in a gunman versus defender shootout in rea life the gunman wins every time?

    Gun Saftey courses are nice and all, but compared  against everything ELSE that band of gangsters does to prevent gun related saftey and reduce gun fatalities they’ a fucking joke.

    Oughta call them the National Reactionary asociation.

  • Carstonio

    Any good that the NRA does in teaching firearms safety is more than negated by its racial demagoguery. The NRA and the ALEC have long used the Southern Strategy euphemisms “law-abiding citizens” and “criminal element.” They’ve also demonized the UN to pander to Bircher paranoia. 

    At best, the gun manufacturers and their lobbies are selling a John Wayne macho fantasy that has almost nothing to do with the actual statistics. Fred’s inclusion of the Red Ryder ad is appropriate because Jean Shepherd’s story shows the cartoonishness of the fantasy. Wayne LaPierre’s pathetic response to Sandy Hook was merely the fallen-world mythology translated into pseudo-secular terms, the assumption that violence is inevitable, and that serves no one but the folks whose fortunes depend on increasing gun sales.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Carstonio my man you have said it. My favorite is when they reffer to the “Urban element” (Nudge, nudge, wink wink).

    The National Rifle association in it’s present form is of by and for wealthy white people and all about frightening same into buying more guns because of “The criminal/urban/inner city element”.

  • Carstonio

    Thanks. The other part of the demagoguery is the term “gun ban.” No reasonable person wants to take away everyone’s weapons. Even gun owners who support background checks and oppose gun show sales fume against arguments that no one is making. One should be able to point the correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates, and emphasize that fewer guns would result in less violence, without advocating confiscation.

    A key strategy is puncturing the myth of personal protection. A handgun is far more likely to be used in an argument than against an intruder.

  • Jim Roberts

    “A handgun is far more likely to be used in an argument than against an intruder. ”

    Although even this is difficult to determine, what with the NRA et al doing their best to block funding for gathering statistics.

  • Donalbain

     “Thanks. The other part of the demagoguery is the term “gun ban.” No reasonable person wants to take away everyone’s weapons.”

    Quite a large part of the western world would like a word with you on that one.

  • Carstonio

    Are you talking about people who oppose private gun ownership of any sort? That would almost do away with hunting.

  • Donalbain

     “Are you talking about people who oppose private gun ownership of any sort? That would almost do away with hunting.”

    To which I reply “meh”.

  • Jenny Islander

    Where it costs about four times as much to buy food that would provide the same nutrients as wild meat, the spectre of no guns at all is not exactly “meh.”

    Also, if you have done everything to avoid the local bears while out hunting and a bear decides it has a beef with you anyway, you don’t want to be facing it with a bow.

  • Lori

     

     “Are you talking about people who oppose private gun ownership of any sort? That would almost do away with hunting.”

    To which I reply “meh”.

     

    In fairness, this is privilege talking. There are people living within walking distance of my house who depend on hunting for a good bit of their family’s food. 

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Raises hand* When you’re poor, hunting (and even poaching) becomes very attractive. My family lived on venison and fish for breakfast and dinner for the better part of two years.

  • P J Evans

     They aren’t countries with as many guns as people, either.

  • fredgiblet

    “One should be able to point the correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates”

    Switzerland would beg to differ I expect.

  • Carstonio

    Switzerland is not comparable because of its militia system.

  • AnonymousSam

    Right. There doesn’t seem to be a positive correlation between owning guns and violence at all — except that it appears the United States is the entity throwing off these figures. :p

    http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/7292/ratesp.jpg

    “Rate” refers to homicides per 100,000 people.
    Data collected from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
    http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/Homicide_statistics2012.xls
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-g4z5rOt80aM/UA7y7blIsuI/AAAAAAAAABQ/WlHJrLOKBKI/s1600/Guns2.jpg

  • Carstonio

    My point was limited to the US, and was referencing figures I’ve seen that compared different areas of the nation.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Did you read about the restrictions and regulations associated with gun ownership?

    From Wikipedia:

    –Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220
    semi-automatic pistol for officers, military police, medical and postal
    personnel) at home or (as of 2010) in the local armoury (Zeughaus).

    –Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of
    government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds
    9mm) was issued as well, which was sealed and inspected regularly to
    ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place.[4] The ammunition was intended for use while traveling to the army barracks in case of invasion.

    In October 2007, the Swiss Federal Council
    decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers shall stop and
    that all previously issued ammo shall be returned. By March 2011, more
    than 99% of the ammo has been received.
    Only special rapid deployment
    units and the military police still have ammunition stored at home
    today.

    –When their period of service has ended, militiamen have the choice of
    keeping their personal weapon and other selected items of their
    equipment. Keeping the weapon after end of service requires a license.

    –The sale of ammunition – including Gw Pat.90 rounds for army-issue assault rifles –
    is subsidized by the Swiss government and made available at the many
    shooting ranges patronized by both private citizens and members of the
    militia. There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at
    ranges must be used there.

    There are a whole lot of regulations for buying and transferring firearms as well–far more than in the US. Consequently ….

    –In 2005 over 10% of households contained handguns, compared to 18% of
    U.S. households that contained handguns. In 2005 almost 29% of
    households in Switzerland contained firearms of some kind, compared to
    almost 43% in the USA.

    I’d be good with their system. But the NRA would have a hissy fit.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I suspect if you fiddled with it a little along the lines of “Every US citizen must buy a gun, and every N years, they have to turn in that gun and buy a new one” and kept all the laws that stop people from ever actually using their gun for anything other than defending their country in the event of an invasion, the NRA would somehow find a way to declare that perfectly consistent with freedom and liberty and the founder’s intentions.

  • fredgiblet

    I did, the  crucial part is “There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there”.  I took that to mean they aren’t allowed to buy ammo elsewhere and keep it, but it doesn’t actually SAY that, so I wasn’t positive.

  • Simongren

     It is true that Switzerland has a high gun ownership rate.  However, you should read this article about the rules that everyone must follow in relation to gun ownership.

    I doubt seriously that the NRA would lobby for those same rules.

  • Ross Thompson

     

    “One should be able to point the correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates”

    Switzerland would beg to differ I expect.

    People like to cite Switzerland because its very low population makes for a small number of gun deaths per year. But, per capita, they have something like four times as many gun deaths per year as any other country in Europe.

    Oh, and Switzerland has some of the strictest gun regulations anywhere: The military rifle everyone is assigned has to be kept in a locked safe, and can’t be removed without written orders; the issued 24 rounds of ammunition must be kept in a different safe; ditto. The government has the right to send inspectors around without warning to ensure compliance, and can arrest people if they can’t account for every bullet. Handgun purchases are easy enough, but forensic data is taken from every gun before sale, and kept by the government. Ammunition sales are carefully tracked, except at gun clubs, where the ammo must be used on the premises.

    Despite that, Switzerland has about 6 million people, and sees 40 gun deaths a year; Britain (for example) has 60 million people as sees about 60 gun deaths a year. Switzerland is an excellent example of how more guns means more deaths, even with strong regulations.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

     I was all set to argue at how few deaths Switzerland actually has–52 in the last year, according to my data–when I stopped and looked at the other countries.

    52 compared to 12,996 is amazing.
    52 compared to 4 is less amazing.

    Granted, Norway has had 24 intentional homicides that didn’t involve firearms, but still, wow, yeah.

  • fredgiblet

    Absolute numbers are only valuable when comparing year to year rates for the same country, comparing between countries by absolute numbers is worthless due to population differences.  India has more murders than the US, but a lower murder rate because they have more people.  When comparing between countries don’t bother with the absolute number unless the populations are similar.

    Yes I recognize the US has higher rates.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    In other words, we shouldn’t compare any two countries at all, just our own to our own. That’s unhelpful. It seems to indicate that we’re not allowed to learn by anybody else’s experience, and since our country refuses to change its firearms laws in any meaningful way, I predict not being able to garner much data from our own experiences either.

  • fredgiblet

    I’ll assume I was unclear.  I’ll restate.

    When comparing countries of dissimilar population you need to use the RATES, not the absolute numbers.  Absolute numbers will not give you an accurate comparison due to population differences.  India has more murders but a lower murder RATE due to their higher population, so despite the fact that there’s a higher NUMBER of murders you’re less likely to be murdered in India than in the US.  Similarly Honduras has 6000 fewer murders than the US, but a vastly higher murder RATE due a much lower population.

    Absolute numbers are worthless unless the countries are a similar size.  Rates are useful regardless of size.

  • P J Evans

    You can compare countries with different populations quite easily. it’s called <per capita rate. Shooting deaths per thousand or per million.

  • fredgiblet

    See previous post

  • fredgiblet

    Yeah, I didn’t realize the ammo was locked down so much.  Switzerland isn’t a very good example at all.

    I would like to point that while you cite the number of gun deaths you’re missing the most important bit, they have the 13th lowest overall homicide rate in the WORLD according to The Wiki.

    I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a country where 100% of 10 homicides  are committed with guns than 0% of 100 homicides being committed with guns.  And I’ll note since I’ve had people complain before, the numbers I just used  are made up and have nothing to do with Switzerland or any other country.

  • P J Evans

     From here in the US, those numbers look marvelously close to none.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     A key strategy is puncturing the myth of personal protection.

    Ever read V for Vendetta?  I’m reminded of when Mrs. Finch buys a hand gun ‘to defend herself’.

    “Oh, aye – this’ll defend someone’s innards inta the gutter.”

  • P J Evans

     The NRA isn’t even run ‘by and for wealthy white people’.
    It’s run by and for the firearms manufacturers, who are making lots of money on semi-automatic weapons. (Hunters aren’t a big part of their market any more.)

  • aunursa

    Congressman Rangel (D-NY): “NRA’s minority outreach plan “an insult” to the American people

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  • Lori

     

      Could you possibly be more ignorant? The NRA has been teaching firearm
    safety since its inception. I haven’t noticed any of its opponents
    spending time and effort to do so.   

    1. What percentage of the NRA’s annual budget is spent on sponsoring gun safety classes? AFAICT it’s a lot less than the percentage spent on lobbying.

    2. There are groups other than the NRA which run gun safety classes.

    As it currently exists, the NRA is a gun manufacturers lobbying group that uses gun owners and gun safety classes as camouflage.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     “Camouflage” is a bit of an overstatement. The NRA’s purpose is to ensure the continued profitability of gun manufacture. That’s served by opposing all laws restricting gun control, but also by advocating anything which makes gun ownership safer without reducing gun purchases.  They actually do have a vested interest in gun owners having a safe and enjoyable time with their guns so that they will continue to buy guns.

  • Jim Roberts

     If I wasn’t clear in my first post, Ross makes the point I would try to make – the NRA is driven by profit and by gathering power to themselves. This does not make them incapable of accomplishing good, but any good they do is incidental to the ultimate cause of the organization.

  • aunursa
  • smrnda

     There was just an article in the NY times that the % of households with guns is at an all time low.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Now, I could imagine that fewer people owning more guns can produce a seemingly high level of gun ownership, but that would still imply that fewer people are gun owners.

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

    I’m sorry to see Fred has definitely joined the anti-2nd Amendment bandwagon. I find his viewpoints on theology very educational, and his compassion for the downtrodden is contagious. I doubt he will listen or change his mind based on anything I say, but I’ll give it a try anyway.

    You do know that the history of gun control in the USA has been a steady drumbeat of efforts to disarm poor and minorities, so that they can’t effectively protest or threaten their “betters”, right?  Ask Diane Feinstein if she’s willing to give up her concealed handgun and  armed bodyguards. Or are senators supposed to have more rights than the rest of us? The people opposed to gun control aren’t the rich and powerful; the rich and powerful can buy all the permits and licenses and bodyguards that they want.  Self-defense is a natural right that should not be exclusive to the privileged.

    Freedom for all is messy and dangerous; people being people, some misuse it or are careless with it. Free speech is also dangerous; people have been abused and bullied to the point of suicide by it, or misled into ignoring back public health, endangering the lives of millions of children.  Freedom of religion is dangerous; people have formed cults and abusive religions, or joined such.  Freedom from arbitrary search and seizure is dangerous; how many criminals have gotten away because they weren’t suspect enough to call for a warrant?  How much safer would we all be if only safe, state-approved religions were allowed, if public speech was carefully regulated for content, and if the police were allowed to do “preventive” searches and detention of possible criminals? Why aren’t you out there encouraging such regulations and policies?

    I would read the proposed so-called “Assault Weapon Ban” bill carefully before cheering it on.  At last reading, it was more a “ban weapons that look scary to the plebes” rather than “ban weapons that are dangerous to public safety” bill.  Did you know that in one case, the exact same weapon, under the proposed bill, is legal if it has a traditional wooden stock and banned if it has a plastic stock?  Yes, the material the stock is made of apparently makes it an Evil Assault Weapon.  That does not strike me as good or sensible law.  “It looks like a military weapon, therefore we’ll treat it as one” is magical thinking, legal voodoo and very bad law. Expect many Unintended Consequences that no one will like.

  • Jim Roberts

    So, you’re calling on our host to take back things he hasn’t said? That’s . . . interesting.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     >  At last reading, it was more a “ban weapons that look scary to the plebes” rather than “ban weapons that are dangerous to public safety” bill.

    I agree with this, FWIW, and would be far more supportive of legal measures to control and monitor access to dangerous weapons more broadly than I am of partial measures like the AWB.

    Of course, a big part of that will involve finding ways to overcome the power of lobbying groups resisting such measures. Which, last time I checked, wasn’t the folks you describe here as the “anti-2nd Amendment bandwagon”.

  • Jim Roberts

    Another point on this – if the assault weapon ban isn’t going to be effective and isn’t going to effectively reduce the sales of firearms, how can it also be considered to be “anti-2nd Amendment”? (I’m still waiting for how our host posting up a bunch of links constitutes him supporting the assault weapons ban)

  • fredgiblet

    The purpose of the second amendment is the defense of the country, they are restricting weapons that have little value in crime but great value in defense of the country.  Hence anti 2nd Amendment.  If they were going after handguns they’d be not only on better legal footing they’d also be more likely to accomplish some actual good.  Yet IIRC even after the Virginia Tech shooting which was perpetrated solely with pistols the only thing most people were proposing was an AWB.

  • Isabel C.

    And once again, Reading Comprehension Boy: who are we “defending the country” from?

    The Chinese? Who have nukes, and planes, and would also have to get across an ocean?

    Aliens?

    ZOMG BLACK HELICOPTER GOVMINT TYRRANEH? Because: see the bit earlier about nukes and planes. Also drones. If the government goes all jackboot on us, our hope in rebellion will be getting the military on our side: if we do, we get weapons from them, and if we don’t, all we accomplish is a lot of senseless violence.

    Canada? Because I, for one, am really okay with surrendering there, what with the same sex marriage and the universal health care. Also I feel like their chocolate is generally better. And they have poutine, which is controversial, but I’m gonna support it anyhow.

    More to the point: your paranoid need to be prepared for a scenario that *hasn’t happened in over two hundred years* is causing a lot of actual murders of actual people who, you know, exist. Or did before people started “exercising their Constitutional rights” in the direction of toddlers. 

    That’s a monstrously piss-poor set of priorities you’ve got there. 

  • Isabel C.

    That’s because your buddies in the NRA and Survivalist Shitheads ‘R’ Us have made it impossible to introduce and pass effective gun control legislation. 

    Seriously: don’t flap your arms about how we “should be going after handguns” and “need to enforce existing laws” when your goddamn side is the one obstructing just that. I’d say it makes you look stupid, but the phrase “gilding the lily” comes to mind there. 

  • Baby_Raptor

    Why is it with “pro-Second Amendment” people that anyone who says *anything at all* about limiting guns in this country gets labeled as anti-guns and “trying to take away my rights”? 

    Seriously.

    Fred has said *nothing* about wanting to get rid of the Second. He didn’t even offer his own opinion here. He just linked to a bunch of situations gone bad. He does the same thing on abortion and Christianity all the time, and we all know hos stances on those.

    But he starts talking about guns, and suddenly he’s on the “wrong” side. 

    I don’t get it. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    People like you are very tiresome. No other Western nation guarantees any kind of interpretable right to own a gun* and yet, surprisingly these Western nations are not intolerable hellpit police states.

    The abstract concept of A Gun (just like the Baby for anti-abortionists) for anti-gun-control advocates has been raised to that of an idol, a worship-altar. It elevates gun ownership to something akin to divine righteousness.

    There is something wrong with that line of thiking. Very wrong.


    * The absurdity of this should be immediately evident as the notion of a Constitutional right to own a car.

  • hidden_urchin

    It is clear the the Constitutional rights of low income people are being infringed because they do not have the means to purchase guns or practice with them. Therefore, I propose that taxpayer dollars be used to provide every American with one long gun and one handgun and the appropriate training. Skills maintenance will also be subsidized by the government.

    Yeah, somehow I think putting it this way will make people reconsider how much of a right gun ownership in the US is.

  • VMink

    To sort of straddle the issue a bit, I would like to ask: “Would Trayvon Martin have been alive the following morning if he had been armed?  Would Matthew Shepherd?”  (I’d choose more names, but those are the ones that would be most likely to be recognized.)

    Interestingly, there’s a U of Texas grad student who is conducting an experiment that does something like that: Giving a shotgun and safety training to certain qualified households in and around, IIRC, Houston.  I would be keenly interested in the demographics of who he’s giving those weapons to, though.  (I’d also be interested in what kind of insurance his experiment has, and who’s underwriting it!)
    While I do believe a person should be able to if necessary own a handgun to defend themselves, I think our society fetishizes guns and violence, and uses guns as a symbol for power, and that’s a problem (to put it lightly.)  I think there are a lot of people who see weapons simply as extensions of their id, and get a high of sorts from carrying.  I believe that there are a lot of loopholes that need to be tied up, and the road to getting a weapon is altogether too short and easy.  I also think that the only reason AR-15 lookalikes and other “imitation mil-spec” weapons are on the market is because they look ‘military’ and somehow ‘cool.’

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would Trayvon Martin have been alive the following morning if he had been armed?

    No. Zimmerman might have thought better of shooting Martin, but the cops would have shot Martin if Zimmerman hadn’t, so it’s a wash.

  • stardreamer42

    More to the point, Trayvon Martin was in exactly the kind of situation the “Stand Your Ground” types postulate — he was in his own neighborhood, being threatened by a predator with a gun. But if he’d had a gun and shot Zimmerman, do you think for one instant that he’d have been allowed to even bring up the Stand Your Ground defense? Not on your life — or his.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I know, because Marissa Alexander got a jail sentence for shooting her abusive husband when she thought Stand Your Ground would protect her.

  • VMink

    No. Zimmerman might have thought better of shooting Martin, but the cops would have shot Martin if Zimmerman hadn’t, so it’s a wash.

    I agree completely.  It says a LOT about our society, and none of it good.

    (I ask this question when I can, not for a yes/no answer, but for how it’s answered in addition to the answer itself.)

  • Lori

    “Would Trayvon Martin have been alive the following morning if he had
    been armed?  Would Matthew Shepherd?”  (I’d choose more names, but those
    are the ones that would be most likely to be recognized.)  

    I don’t know about Matthew Shepherd, but I’d bet money I can’t afford to lose that Trayvon Marting would be just as dead if he’d had a gun. I’ve said it before and I stand by it, if Trayvon had had a gun if George Martin hadn’t killed him the first cop on the scene in response to the 911 call would have. Young AA man with a gun + cop is not a tale that tends to end well for the young AA man. Guns are not a panacea and cloaking gun issues in concern, either genuine or faux, for minority crime victims is at best a dubious tactic. 

    Speaking more broadly, minorities living in high crime areas have a great deal more need for better policing than they do for more guns. If for example, the response time to 911 calls was the same in South Central that it is in Beverly Hills I think a lot fewer people would feel the need for a personal firearm.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     It is clear the the Constitutional rights of low income people are being
    infringed  because they do not have the means to purchase guns or
    practice with them.  Therefore, I propose that taxpayer dollars be used
    to provide every American with one  long gun and one handgun and the
    appropriate training. Skills maintenance will also  be subsidized by the
    government.

    Not sure it’s quite what you meant, but some cynic I read wrote that the fastest way to get decent gun-control in this country would be to give every black male a firearm.  I have a nasty feeling he was right. :(

  • hidden_urchin

    Not sure it’s quite what you meant, but some cynic I read wrote that the fastest way to get decent gun-control in this country would be to give every black male a firearm.

    I suspect it would have the same effect.  The radical supporters of the Second Amendment*, I think, don’t actually want firearms access to be an inalienable right because if that were so then they would advocate making it possible for every single citizen to have a firearm despite social or financial status.  Since they are not doing this it suggests that they want it to be a protected privilege for the right people only.  So, if you’re a white male then you should be able to carry whatever you want, whenever you want to, and wherever you happen to be and be able to use it as you choose without repercussions.  Everyone else just has to live with it.

    *Note: I am not talking about the vast majority of US gun owners who are actually quite sensible and responsible. 

  • TheBrett

     You say that, but what I see is a whole host of unstable people who now have a better chance of getting away with gun-related violence because of laws pandering to gun-owners in general. People like this woman, George Zimmerman, or that asshole who shot two people next door who were playing their music too loud (and then tried to claim “stand your ground” defense).

    Frankly, if preventing that makes things slightly less convenient for casual gun-owners, I’m still all for it.

  • LL

    Yes, the NRA has safety courses. And they advocate taking gun safety/training courses. Those people who choose not to are not following NRA recommendations. And the NRA certainly doesn’t recommend leaving your gun on a countertop so  it can be grabbed by a child. 

  • P J Evans

    There are a hell of a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing with guns. Including some who should.

  • LL

    Yes, agreed. 

  • Foreigner

    But if we can’t have guns, how can we pretend we’re cowboys?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    *hands over a cheap plastic one. You know the ones, the ones with a bright orange dot at the end of the barrel and that break if you look at them too hard*
    Same way the rest of us did.

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s odd. I’d swear Australia seemed like a much better place to be if you were interested in freedom, and yet you won’t find nearly as many guns there. It’s almost like guns aren’t part of defending freedom.

  • flat

    interesting opinions, however I am not going to get involved with the discussion because I am not an American, so this gun debate doesn’t concern me personally.

  • AnonymousSam

    No, please do! The problem with the American gun debate is that proponents of greater gun freedom often rely very heavily on the debate being between people who’ve never known any other way of life. Every outside perspective is informative.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It should. Gun smuggling in Canada is a problem precisely because there’s so damn many of them in the USA. And the gun folks up here have also purposely worked to sabotage forms of gun control here in Canada by purposely complying with the legislation in a way that drives up costs. (there’s a term for that but I don’t remember it)

    The right-wing parties here in Canada also know a cheap way to get votes is to pander to gun owners here who’ve been told that the federal government is treating them like criminals.

    As you can see the fantasy that gun owners seem to have, that by virtue of saying they’re good people that they have to be, is not far removed from the kinds of thinking that govern some Christians and their heightened offendedness at the notion that anybody would deem it necessary to check up on them.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment, but most of the gun control stuff that’s being discussed now in the government is fine. The discussion that I’m not OK with has less to do with guns, and more to do with keeping a registry of the mentally ill which could be accessed by any gun seller anywhere (what. the. fuck).

    Personally, I think the best kind of gun control we could implement would be requiring firearms to be fitted with biometric/fingerprint sensors on their grips. If you’re not the person the gun is registered to, the gun won’t fire. That would prevent most accidental discharges and also hamper under-the-table trafficking, guns being turned against their owners, etc., without getting in the way of any legal uses.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment, but most of the gun control stuff that’s being discussed now in the government is fine. 

    I feel the same way. Especially since I live in California, where all of the new restrictions being suggested on the national level are already in place (no high cap magazines, no gun show loophole, we have an assault weapons ban). The world hasn’t ended yet, and roving gangs don’t travel the streets of Glendale.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    It’s really irritating to me when I see my friends hand wringing on facebook about gun control. They either don’t know or don’t care that the regulations that are being proposed on a federal level are the same ones we’ve had in CA for decades.

  • Isabel C.

    As I’ve said elsewhere: self-defense my ass.

    I can buy self-defense with handguns. That makes handgun ownership a complicated topic that deserves careful debate, and while I’m on the anti side myself, I can see reasonable arguments for allowing handgun ownership.

    Nobody needs assault rifles and high-capacity clips to defend themselves from a mugger. Nobody needs those things to defend themselves from anything short of a rogue grizzly bear.* If you shoot six bullets and are still in danger? *You’re dead anyhow.* It’s possible that there are cases otherwise, but those aren’t statistically significant enough to influence national policy.

    Make a case for a thirty-round rapid-fire weapon. One that does not involve, to quote current memes, ERMEHGERD FREEEDERHM. Ideally one that doesn’t involve tinfoil-hat fantasies about Defending! Your! Properteh! from black helicopters and CIA and the UN forces that are secretly controlled by lizard people, because nobody has any reason to take those arguments seriously. 

    *And even there: my dad went up to the Arctic when he was younger. Polar bears are not your friends, so the authorities–wh0 had supervised a few trips like this before–gave most people a choice between a five-round shotgun and a normal rifle. (They didn’t give Dad a choice: they gave him a shotgun. The man’s eyesight is not good.)

  • redsixwing

    Speaking as a gun-owning hunter who lives in bear country, you don’t need fifteen rounds to defend yourself from a rogue grizzly bear either.

    $my_state just tried to pass some legislation about background checks and large-capacity magazines, and people are throwing the biggest hissy fit about even that very small amount of regulation.

    I personally use a gun to feed myself. I do not need a large number of bullets to kill a deer, nor any form of automatic (or even semi-auto) weapon. I am all for the legislation people are trying to pass, and the NRA can bite me.

    Edit: Disqus, WTF?

  • Isabel C.

    Excellent point. I kinda suspected as much, but wasn’t sure.

    You get a lot of people saying that blah blah need to defend themselves from “tyrants”, and I’ve just decided to assume they mean this sort: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrant_(Resident_Evil).Makes more sense, and is just as plausible. 

  • Isabel C.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrant_(Resident_Evil)

    I try to be witty, Disqus fucks with me. Sigh. 

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, I live in both deer and bear country too.   Locally, people who play around with semi-auto or automatic weapons are thought of as slightly dangerous dilettantes with too much money, or at best, boys with their toys.  Real hunters own a deer rifle and a bird rifle.  Real smart hunters take every precaution to make sure that they never have to try to take out a bear with a firearm.  

    For non-residents of bear country: It doesn’t matter how many bullets you can fire in one minute.  If you can’t hit the exact right spots with one of those bullets in that minute–and there aren’t very many spots to choose from–then the bear will either be on top of you or running wounded and a danger to everyone in the area.  The smart choice is to prevent violent encounters with bears by practicing good woodcraft.

  • redsixwing

     

      Real smart hunters take every precaution to make sure that they never have to try to take out a bear with a firearm. 

    For non-residents of bear country: It doesn’t matter how many bullets
    you can fire in one minute.  If you can’t hit the exact right spots
    with one of those bullets in that minute–and there aren’t very many
    spots to choose from–then the bear will either be on top of you or
    running wounded and a danger to everyone in the area.  The smart choice
    is to prevent violent encounters with bears by practicing good
    woodcraft.

    Yes, this, exactly this. Thank you.

  • The_L1985

     In re: bears, I heard from author Gary Paulsen once that a bear’s metabolism is so slow that it takes it a few minutes to die even after you shoot it in a lethal spot.  So even if it did take 15 rounds, would it really do you any good to have those extra shots?  The bear is either going to run away scared or keep attacking until it dies, and more ammo isn’t going to change that.

  • Isabel C.

    What I’m getting from this thread, other than seriously annoyed at Giblets the Talking Turkey Parts, is that bears will fucking kill us all one day. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Maybe we can compromise with them. Will the GOP block the appointment of an ursine secretary of defense?

  • Isabel C.

    Dude, Defense Secretary Bear would get swept into office. And then we would once again be the mightiest force in any hemisphere you named. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke
  • Lori

     Bears are after all “soulless, godless, rampaging killing machines”.*

    *This is a Stephen Colbert joke, not my actual opinion about bears.

  • SergeantHeretic

    I found this one in a Slacktivist link and it is SO SO SO Apropriate to the kinds of idiots you’re talking about.

    Hey, guys.

    Pestilence here. The other riders and I are pretty busy lately, but we wanted to take a moment and make something clear. In the days ahead, many of you will be deploying some pretty stupid arguments against gun control in this country. The whole “cars are deadly, knives are deadly, Nazis started this, and anyway, what about abortion?” kind of dealie. God, it makes our heads hurt just thinking about it. When you write this stuff you make the internet even more stupid than it already is. Instead of wading into this nonsense we wanted to just address one very specific notion you’ll be sharing with your friends on Facebook.

    You really think gun ownership protects you from the government taking your rights.

    This isn’t even an argument at all. It’s a poorly-conceived Red Dawn fantasy. You say things like this, because in some ugly part of your brain you want to see yourself fighting the globalist army after the collapse of our country. And you have that particular dream because you’re old and white, and you’re afraid of the way this country is changing. The guns give you a feeling of control.

    Okay, well, first of all… when the balloon really goes up you’re certainly going to die very, very quickly. It won’t be like the movies, trust us. You will lumber down into your basement to start the generator, and you will trip, cut yourself on a rusty lawn mower part, or maybe just have a massive cardiac, because you’re overweight, and the only thing you stand a chance against with that AK-47 is a deer. There’s a whole political party devoted to telling people like you – the most soft and privileged and pampered members of this wonderful country – that you’re some hardy band of rebels fighting oppression. That little fairy tale will evaporate before Glenn Beck collects his gold chips.

    Secondly, there really are people fighting against government tyranny. But they’re unarmed. They’re reporters, and lawyers, and human rights weenies from Europe. They try to make politicians and bureaucrats accountable for the terrible things they can do. Sometimes they even succeed. Occasionally there’s a subcommittee meeting, or a scandal, or a change in the law, or a politician loses his job or even goes to jail. Once upon a time, a couple of commie reporters helped remove a sitting president of the United States. You and your camping buddies playing soldier in the woods have never even come close to that.

    Say what you want about guns… just don’t act like it’s about defending freedom. You’re not defending anything. Your stupid game prevents us from ending a threat to public safety, but it is utterly irrelevant to the struggle for liberty in 21st century America. You want to do something real, start researching campaign donations, make FOIA tougher, call up a Congressman and bitch. Right now your biggest enemy is not a fleet of UN helicopters. It’s an Olive Garden breadstick basket. Cut down on the carbs and grow the hell up.Either way, it’s not really our problem. Be seeing you.

  • VMink

    Yeah, that’s where I start to back away slowly.  The Red Dawn WOLVERINES-in-their-own-minds worry me.  Their wet nightmares are being played up and played upon and played hard.

    That segment of the population has already been conditioned to see government employees as non-human parasite Others, and government law-enforcement agents as Enemies.  They’re well primed to start something stupid.

  • Isabel C.

    Pretty much, yeah. 

    It’s odd: “freedom” is supposed to be a positive word, yet anyone who uses it these days is going to make me take a step or two back. 

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    I would love to make a calm rational response to this but my brain can’t get past the second link… what the hell? Why would you even…. 

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     I clenched my legs together when I read that.

  • http://twitter.com/emjb emjb

    For the NRA it’s not really about the 2nd amendment, but about the profits of gun-makers. Who are the NRA’s biggest supporters. So they are perfectly fine with Newtowns, Columbines and all the rest continuing to happen, because it’s not about people, but about profits. And as for safety, all you have to do is a minimal amount of Googling to find stories, every single day, of accidental deaths and injuries happening to cops, whose training is much more extensive than anything your average person gets. Human beings are clumsy, forgetful, and, when it comes to guns, not very good at avoiding danger. 

  • Worthless Beast

    After the Sandy Hook thing, I told my guy:  “You know, I have a solution to this.  I think we should keep the Second Amendment – on the grounds that people are only allowed to bear arms of models that *existed when that Amendment was drafted.*

    Most hunters only need basic guns… or bows.  (A couple of months ago, a man in the Philedelphia area was murdered by arrow, but it made the news precisely because it was so unusual an occurrance – it sticks out in the mind beyond all of the gun-murders that happen every day).  

    And I’ve heard that the best thing for saving your life in the event of home intrustion isn’t a gun – it’s a dog.

    Then again… there are some neighborhoods in the city that my guy does not like to go to because, as he says “I don’t have a gun big enough.”  We don’t have guns at all, and tend to avoid those neighborhoods… it makes me wonder for the people who are forced to live in them.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    And I’ve heard that the best thing for saving your life in the event of home intrustion isn’t a gun – it’s a dog.

    Frankly, I really don’t want to encourage a lot of these people to own dogs, either. If they can’t even lock and store firearms properly when children are present, I highly doubt they can take care of a dog responsibly.

  • SergeantHeretic

    This open letter from Vice President Joe Biden is the best rebuttal of the most dangerous and prevelent gun myth I have ever heard. and here it is for your amusement and edification:

    Look, it’s time to grow up. I know you want to get an AR-15 without a background check, plus a huge magazine so you can stop government bad guys and be a Wolverine. You’ve been asking for months. But those things are dangerous. You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

    You’re not really defending your freedoms. No serious adult thinks that. The United States has the largest, most powerful military in the entire history of the world. And it is led by a group of people who live in fear of bad poll numbers. Do you understand this? Do you see how your militia group does not even begin to pose the kind of threat to the political structure that a guy with a camera or a website or a couple of incriminating documents does? I mean, it’s fun to pretend at war, but it doesn’t do any good, and people are getting hurt. You will really shoot your eye out. I mean it.

    Have you looked at statistics from the CDC? Homicide by firearm and suicide by firearm are each in the top five causes of death for 2010. And in 2006 and 2007, they were each in the top five causes of injury death. We’d know more, but the NRA has been trying to suppress research into gun injuries and fatalities for years. Just like they have been fighting to prevent the ATF from computerizing gun records and making the FBI destroy information on background checks after 24 hours. They won’t even let the ATF make dealers keep an inventory of what they sell. Those dudes want to keep you from knowing how unsafe guns are. But it’s clear that fighting tyranny with Charlene at your side is much, much less likely than plain old shooting your eye out.Is any of this reaching you? The NRA wants you to romanticize guns. They want you to think that with your assault rifle, you’re standing guard against some sort of federal conspiracy. But the thing that stops public officials from doing what they want is the thought of losing an election. I’ve lost a couple of them myself, and it stings like a bastard. The true source of the NRA’s political power  – lobbying and fundraising – is the perfect demonstration of how irrelevant their cause really is. Everything else is fun and games. And you know what they say about fun and games… they stop the moment someone shoots his goddamn eye out.How ’bout a pony?

  • Jenny Islander

    Seriously is this from Biden?  It’s AWESOME.

  • P J Evans

     I don’t know, but he actually did recommend getting a shotgun for protection, for those who really think that having a firearm would be a good idea.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Joe Biden is awesome.  I hope he runs for president in 2016.

    And, as always, The Onion is right on top of this:  62-Year-Old With Gun Only One Standing Between Nation And Full-Scale Government Takeover

    WOOOLVERINES!

  • Fusina

    Regarding comment section, TL/DR after the first fifteen or so, but I am so fucking tired of this shit. Truth is, I don’t care if people wanna have guns, all the guns they wanna have. So long as they have them where no one can steal them, no kids can get at them to shoot themselves or other kids, so long as they teach their kids gun safety. And for the love of God, Allah, the FSM, and any other deity anyone wants to name, can we get rid of the gods be damned semi  automatic weapons? I mean, if we really want to go all second amendment, why are all those “gun enthusiasts” not enrolled in the national guard? Is that not the purpose of bearing arms? To have a well regulated militia? While we are at it, rifles were, if existent at all when the constitution was written, very rare, mostly people used muzzle loaders. Hell, y’all can have all the muzzle loading guns ya want. But get real, to protect oneself, does one really need 12 handguns as Virginia allowed up until recently–I think they lifted that restriction. Yeah, I am in favor of restrictions on guns–namely, no more machine gun type things, and also that anyone who wants guns can bloody well serve in the National Guard and be in a real militia.

    Incidentally, my Da collects rifles, and even he thinks the NRA is full of shit.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    You are aware that semi-automatic handguns have been standard since the mid to late 1800s, and semi-automatic rifles since the late 1940s, yes?

  • Fusina

     I’m pretty sure the constitution, at least the thing itself and the first–ten, wasn’t it?–amendments were written well before the middle of the the nineteenth century. So this statement of yours does not apply, yes?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    If it said “the right of the people to keep and bear muskets…” you’d have a point. 

  • Fusina

     Yeah. Right. Since what they had were muskets, they didn’t feel the need to add the precise definition of what they were talking about. Too bad, as then we would not have to listen to people whining about how if we outlaw guns then only outlaws would have guns.

    People who want to play the constitution game should at least read the damn thing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Like, say, supreme court justices? Naw, I’m sure you understand it better than they do.

    EDIT: Just so you know, I tend to fall on the “more gun control is good” side, but saying “People who want to play the constitution game should at least read the damn thing.” comes off a lot like “LOL JUST READ THE CONSTITUTION DUMBASS”, when it’s pretty clear that, as we like to say around here, It’s More Complicated Than That.

  • Isabel C.

    I don’t know, man. The Supreme Court, much as I like it as an institution, has issued some extremely questionable decisions in its time. The decision in question was 5-4, two of the justices in question were appointed by Dubya, and two of the others were…Scalia and Thomas.

    I’m not a Constitutional law scholar, but I’m willing to bet I know more than those guys. I’m willing to bet I have things growing in my fridge that know more than those guys. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    It’s true, it has. It really doesn’t change the fact that both sides yelling “Just read the constitution, dummy!” at each other isn’t really helpful, and quite condescending to boot.

  • Isabel C.

    Ah, this argument again.

    In short: I think people like Giblets deserve condescension, at best. I also don’t think anything I say is going to help them, because I’m not sure there’s a cure for willful ignorance and paranoid masturbation fantasies. 

    That said, I’m disinclined to go for the “it’s right there in the Constitution” argument myself, because…even if it wasn’t, the Constitution isn’t without  flaws either. We’ve changed it in the past (that whole “3/4 of a person” thing), we can change it in the future, the world will not end.
    And I’ve little patience with a fanatical adherence to the letter of the law. I’ve spent too much time around 3rd Edition players for that. *Ducks*. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    The problem with that is that it puts people who actually want to have a discussion immediately on the defensive. Maybe it’s an appropriate response to that one person, but when someone else (like, oh, say, maybe me) comes in actually agreeing in principle with more gun control, and wants to have a discussion with people they generally agree with on other issues about what they think are reasonable restrictions, and sees “LOL IF U RED CONSTITUTIN UD KNO THEY ONLY MENT MUSKETS” (and make no mistake, that’s how it comes off), it’s more than a little off-putting.

    In other words, even if Gibblets does deserve condescension, arguments like that cast a far wider net.

  • Isabel C.

     Fair point, that.

  • Fusina

    Been away for a while. I went with stale arguments because that seemed the order of the day. My main point is that IMO, have all the guns you want–but only if you join the National Guard. And learn how to use said guns. Semi-automatics? Only if you are in the armed forces, and you give them up when you finish your term/s.

    As I also said in my initial post, my Da has guns. I learned how to load, clean, and shoot pretty early on. I don’t love guns, but they are fun to shoot. He also taught us gun safety–you know, don’t shoot someone else unless they are trying to shoot you, don’t point a gun at anyone you don’t plan to shoot etc…

    Lastly, I don’t tend to use the text-speak type stuff, which you seem to be using here to make anyone who disagrees with you look stupid, which is insulting to say the least. And my point about the constitution is that the second part of the amendment speaks specifically to the well regulated militia–which seems to be ignored by the NRA for the most part.

  • VMink

    And I’ve little patience with a fanatical adherence to the letter of the law. I’ve spent too much time around 3rd Edition players for that. *Ducks*.

    Come to the wholesomeness that is Pathfinder!  We have cookies! (Some of them have prestige sprinkles!)  Though seriously, I’m genuinely not trying to start an RPG rulesset war!  RPGs are kind of like food: Some you’ll like sometimes, others you’ll like other times, and some just aren’t that appetizing ever.

     (I wanted to include a joke here about comparing tripe to a certain low-budget amateur RPG ruleset which shall not be named, but then I realized some people like tripe.)

    More on topic: I get what the Founders wanted to do, and were trying to do.  So I respect that.  The Bill of Rights is great since it acknowledges that people have some really awesome rights that they should exercise more.  I also think that the Founders were very much men (all men, all landowners, all slaveholders, all pretty well-off) of their time.  Sometimes, you have to look at documents from that long ago with a particular lens.  And that lens shouldn’t be rose-colored.

  • The_L1985

     Does that unnamed ruleset start with an F, by any chance?

  • VMink

     Does that unnamed ruleset start with an F, by any chance?

    Yes, it does.  I not only not wanted to name it because calling it The Game Which Must Not Be Named is amusing, but because I wanted to spare anyone who out of random curiosity might want to google for it, because it is all around an unpleasant thing. :(

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh source. THAT.

    Yeah.

    There are many reasons to hate that. I think even the most devotedly hateful, stupid soul would have to give up at the 1d100,000,000,000 die roll to determine number of offspring.

  • The_L1985

     I think the fact that orifice size can be determined in that game, much less the fact that the system for determining orifice size is broken enough that you can have a negative diameter, is reason enough.

    Also, the fact that someone found that necessary to include is just plain hilarious.

  • The_L1985

     Understandable.  I heard the name of the game once, looked it up out of morbid curiosity, and…if I weren’t insanely hard to offend, I would have had nightmares.

    As it is, I merely regret finding out that there are people crazy enough to think that The Game Which Shall Not Be Named was actually a good enough idea to publish on the Internet.

  • P J Evans

     WRT Thomas, it’s guaranteed. I’m not sure how he got out of law school. Scalia and Alito are smarter, but tend to decide the case and then do the reasoning to make it come out.)

  • P J Evans

     And even if you had one, it wouldn’t necessarily protect you.
    I would like to refer Alex B and fred the turkey innards to my great-great-grandfather, who had with him in the field where he was working a musket (probably rifled, definitely muzzle-loading), and was killed by Confederate raiders.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Exactly, P.J. exactly in the real world a civilian with a gun is dogmeat versus a trained soldier with a gun.

  • P J Evans

     It didn’t help that there were several of them, one of him, and the gun was on the other side of the field. (They were after horses, actually. It’s in OR, ‘Everett’s Raid’, in June of 1863.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    I’m not sure what your point is?

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I think the Founding Fathers knew that technology improves over time. Not to have accounted for that fact would have made them the stupidest geniuses ever. 

  • LoneWolf343

     Just because they knew technology improves doesn’t mean they knew how it would improve…if they knew that, they would have actually had the technology already.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Tell that to all the sci-fi writers whose technological predictions came true.

  • LoneWolf343

     They also made a bunch of predictions that haven’t come true, and look rather silly in retrospect. They also missed some really big technological improvements.

    So, that means jack.

  • P J Evans

     They still have a better record than the annual ‘psychic predictions’.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Actually, that reminds me – why aren’t private citizens allowed to own nuclear weaponry?  Now THAT’S home security you can rely on!

  • ohiolibrarian

     Re: Nukes for home use. I understand that Scalia interpreted “bearing arms” to mean that they had to be the kind of weapons you could carry. In your arms. So, no cannons for you.

    But come to think of it … a nuke could fit into a suitcase. 

  • P J Evans

     There was one occasion when I was in on a discussion of nuclear bullets for snipers. They’d be made from something like Am-241, for which the critical mass is about that of a rifle bullet. Of course it would require a warehouse full of smoke detectors, and the shooter wouldn’t survive the experience (we figured to get someone who was already terminal) but if you’re having to nuke a command post, you’re already in big trouble.

  • fredgiblet

    No it’s not.  I forget where it’s from but it wasn’t written by him.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    In case it hasn’t surfaced by the end of the thread (I’m only on page 2), the letter falsely attributed to Joe Biden is in fact from Paul Bibeau’s GoblinBooks blog. Bibeau satirically attributes it to Biden, now, in the way the Onion attributes all sorts of things to political figures who haven’t actually said them, so I can see the confusion.

    “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid” by Joe Biden

  • SergeantHeretic

    Regadless it’s still hystyerically funny and in  levitas. veritas

  • Nicestep

    I remember seeing a button for sale at a Science Fiction convention.  It read:

    “An armed society is a polite society.  Ask any Iranian.”

    It was John Campbell who came up with the first part of that, not Heinlein.

  • stardreamer42

    Could have been from Instant Attitudes — I think that’s where I got mine.

  • fredgiblet

    I’m interested to know why that makes a difference?  Most of the people who commit crime in America are young males, the SAME people that Switzerland issues assault rifles (not “assault weapons”) to.  So in Switzerland not only is gun ownership high the proportion of people who own the guns that are targeted the most by grabbers is high as well, yet according to The Wiki they have the 13th lowest murder rate in the world.  Below places like Australia and Britain.

  • Isabel C.

    Because issuing an assault rifle* to someone under disciplined and controlled circumstances, training him or her in its proper and responsible use, and having a pretty good idea of who’s been issued and thus owns what is a very different case from selling that same assault rifle** to anyone who has forty bucks and something to prove.

    You festering idiot. *Yes, I’m going to keep calling it that? Why? Because it irritates gunfapping little pedants, and I like that in a phrase.**And now, every time I type “assault rifle”, I smile, because I know I’m making you a little sadder. So thanks!

  • Isabel C.

    And for “assault rifle” substitute “assault weapon.”  Should not ragepost on Disqus. 

  • fredgiblet

    I’m not sure I follow.  Essentially what you’re saying is that the murder rate in Switzerland is lower despite them issuing weapons to very people most likely to commit crimes…because they’ve been trained?  I would personally expect that training someone in the proper use and care for their weapons would make them MORE effective at using it, not less.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I would personally expect that training someone in the proper use and care for their weapons would make them MORE effective at using it, not less.

    Well, yes–but part of gun safety training is learning when NOT to use it. Which is a lot more often than certain elements in the US would have one believe.

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     Indeed. Part of the mandatory training for getting a concealed carry permit in $my_state is an extensive review of when it is legal and not legal to use lethal force. It’s actually quite restrictive–and mine is one of those “red, flyover country” states that y’all like to sneer at.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s actually quite restrictive–and mine is one of those “red, flyover country” states that y’all like to sneer at.

    Are you aunursa’s mini-me? He likes to put the “mocking flyover states” thing in other people’s mouths too.

  • aunursa

    Are you aunursa’s mini-me? He  likes to put the “mocking flyover states” thing in other people’s mouths

    Note to self:

    Out: mocking dim residents of flyover states
    In: mocking trigger-happy rednecks

    Got it.

  • Isabel C.

    What Ellie said. Also, in addition to training, see “controlled circumstances,” “proper and *responsible* use,” and that whole bit about the government having a pretty good idea who owns what when. 

    By which I mean: read the *whole* post, Bozo. 

  • Carstonio

    Fair question. My understanding of Switzerland’s militia system is that the men undergo regular military training, and are expected to maintain their rifles for the defense of the state. Although that’s still technically private ownership, it has little resemblance to the situation in the US, where little training is required and where protection is defined as personal.

  • fredgiblet

    But the weapons are still openly available.  A Swiss Adam Lanza would have nothing preventing him from grabbing his rifle out of his safe and taking it to a local school, or taking it to a gang fight or robbery for someone else.  Additionally they’d be trained in it’s proper use professionally rather than by moms crazy uncle.  Professional training would seem to INCREASE effectiveness, not reduce it.

    Training COULD reduce accidental deaths, which is why I’m not opposed to requiring safety training and proper storage of weapons that aren’t in use.  But the idea that availability of guns inherently means a high murder rate seems counter-factual to me.

  • Carstonio

    I suspect that the Swiss military screens out potential Lanzas during training, but I don’t know. In any case, no one here is arguing that “availability of guns inherently means a high murder rate” – I simply mentioned a correlation. Also, “murder” is somewhat misleading because the shootings that stem from fights in homes and bars might, in the US, be prosecuted as voluntary manslaughter.

  • fredgiblet

    Would you happen to know if that shows up in Homicide statistics or not?  Because I don’t.

  • misanthropy_jones

    all i have to say is that after 50 years on this earth i have yet to find myself in a situation where having access to a handgun or other firearm would have improved.  after almost 20 years working in an emergency room, i have witnessed exactly one case where a firearm was used constructively by non law enforcement people to end a criminal act.
    the need for a handgun, much less an assault rifle, for self-defense is highly overrated.

    (saying that, let me say that i have numerous friends who are avid outdoorspeople and who treat their hunting weapons with great respect and care.  i have no difficulty recognizing their right to indulge their hobbies safely.)

  • fredgiblet

    I would point out that the vast majority of gun enthusiasts also treat their sport shooting weapons with great respect and care and indulge their hobbies safely.

  • Isabel C.

    “Indulging their hobbies safely”, at this point, means being willing to support extra precautions (like a registry of gun-owners, like waiting periods and bans for people with records of assault, like trigger locks and fingerprint checks, like ammo clip restrictions) in order to make sure their hobbies don’t hurt anyone.

    And seriously? If I had pretty convincing evidence that LARPing or reading or video games were causing thousands of deaths a year, I’d be willing to accept some restrictions on my hobbies too. Opposing safety measures because it might make my drunken weekend fun times a little less extreme and manly just makes me look like a selfish dick. 

  • Isabel C.

    Oh yeah: and like restrictions on assault weapons.

    I just felt like throwing that one in there. ;)

  • fredgiblet

    I’m not opposed to laws that can improve safety without ridiculous levels of restriction, the problem is that most proposed laws are incapable of providing significant benefit while leveling significant restrictions.  This is the main point of contention.  People such as yourself believe that the restrictions you want are useful and minor, they are usually neither.

  • Isabel C.

    Define “ridiculous.”

    Now define “ridiculous” in a way that doesn’t involve the need to “defend our country” from phantom enemies, “defend yourself” from the Terminator, or pump enough lead into a game animal to render it inedible.
    I’ll be waiting. Right here. Doing my nails, making a little coffee, translating the Odyssey from the original Greek…

  • misanthropy_jones

    a point i will agree with.
    but, how many of the people saying that we should arm teachers or pushing for laws mandating firearm ownership for their hometowns are sports shooters as opposed to people living out their wild west fantasy of shooting the ‘bad guys’?

  • AnonymousSam

    At least one in a very high position: The executive VP of the NRA.

    As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. [Emphasis original.]

  • Jim Roberts
  • misanthropy_jones

    that makes my point perfectly.

    his entire answer to the question is to turn a school into an armed camp because, ‘wooie!  we gotta shoot us the bad guys!’

    there are many things that can stop a bad guy with a gun other than a good guy with a gun.  adequate security systems, improved law enforcement, better mental health care, sane restrictions on the purchase of guns and ammunition are all examples.

    but, to the NRA, every problem looks like a target…

  • P J Evans

     is that the same VP of NRA that just got busted for threatening his wife after she got a restraining order, and they took away all of his 39 firearms?

  • The_L1985

     If you have 39 guns, then you have way too many guns.

    …And I had a problem imagining one person owning a dozen guns.  39?!

  • fredgiblet

    It’s called a collection.  Jay Leno has 190 cars and motorcycles, some people have a couple dozen guns.  I could name of a couple dozen guns I’d like to have, most of them have historical value of one kind or another.  Add in variants and I’d probably be looking at 50-60.

  • ohiolibrarian

     No that was the NY NRA official. Apparently he gets his guns back in October.

    I’m sure his wife will be THRILLED. Hope she doesn’t get shot in November.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     What an amateur.

    Most monsters in modern-day campaigns are at least bullet-resistant.  What you usually need to stop a monster is a sword or firebombs.

    And ISTR that in the Unitarian Church Shooting, what stopped the bad guy with a gun was a bunch of good guys without guns tackling him.

  • SergeantHeretic

    misanthropy _Jones, my favorite is Sherriff Joe Arpaio and his brave posse of serial child rapists going into Arizona schools alongside fatassed Steven Seagal.

  • misanthropy_jones

    yeah, i would feel so much safer if my kids were under such capable protection…

  • fredgiblet

    The answer is “it depends”.  There’s way too many variables to give an accurate guess.  I think that they would stand a much better CHANCE, but there’s no assurance they would still be alive.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblet, WOLVERIIIINES, WOLVERIIIINES, WOLVERIIIIIIIINNNNNNESSSS!

    Or whatever.

  • SergeantHeretic

    To rebut:

    A civilian black man holding a gun in public in the United States of America is a walking corpse. If some racist vigilante prick doesn’t murder him the cops will. fredgiblit’s failure to realize that is an indictment of white privelidge.

    Two, in real life no civilian militia group in the U.S> has a snowball’s chance in hell against a proffesional army playing for keeps. Red Dawn was just a movie and it was a really fucking stupid one at that, both versions.

    Three, fredgiblet no one is talking about making the You Ess of Aye a “Gun free zone” not even the most left-leaning democrat wants to do that.

    But would it be kind of neato if it was just a little harder for a schizopheric armed robbery convicted parolee to get an AR15 with a thirty round clip?

    I think that would be awesome.

  • AnonymousSam

    There are those of us who would strongly consider a total gun ban. I gave it serious thought and decided that I’m relatively okay with the police and military being armed, so long as they’re always held strictly accountable to their actions.

    (Which isn’t the case at present. They police their own and that’s the goddamned problem. I’ve yet to see any major organization in the world which did its own internal investigations that wasn’t guilty of letting the worst shit happen without punishment of any kind. Hell, I’ve seen plenty of small organizations guilty of a lot of shit that resulted in nothing worse than slaps on the wrist, no matter how much harm they’d caused.)

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     There are those of us who would strongly consider a total gun ban. I
    gave it serious thought and decided that I’m relatively okay with the
    police and military being armed, so long as they’re always held strictly
    accountable to their actions.

    “Every shootout I’ve heard of was started by a cop in a fear-frenzy.” – HST

    When he ran for Mayor of Aspen, Colorado, Hunter S. Thompson (RIP) proposed going with the British system of unarmed patrol policemen – but massive SWAT-Team retaliation for anyone who attacks a cop.  It sounded like a half-decent idea to me. 

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s actually how law enforcement works in one of my writing settings. The patrol is unarmed, but they have fast access to people who will put a quick end to any armed dispute by any means necessary. Said patrol is trained in unarmed combat, too, so it’s not like their only tactic is to ask politely to stop breaking the law. Plus, in the real world, we DO have “minimal lethality weaponry” which I object to far less than firearms.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Two, in real life no civilian militia group in the U.S> has a
    snowball’s chance in hell against a proffesional army playing for keeps.
    Red Dawn was just a movie and it was a really fucking stupid one at
    that, both versions.

    In Red Dawn (the original, anyway), the Wolverines _LOSE_.  Seems like nobody remembers that part.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In Red Dawn (the original, anyway), the Wolverines _LOSE_.  Seems like nobody remembers that part.

    Yeah, nobody likes to mention the part where like 3/4 of the teenage partisans, like, DIE.

    And I’ve heard the movie understated the death rate partisans could expect to face in an asymmetrical battle.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Swiss gun culture is nothing like US gun culture.

    For one thing there’s a lot of guns at home, but far less ammunition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland

  • fredgiblet

    The statement “There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there.” that could mean that they can’t purchase ammo to keep in their homes, but it doesn’t actually SAY that.  All it says it that they aren’t ISSUED a lot of ammo.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     You can’t have ammunition at home without a license. While lots of people in Switzerland have guns far fewer bother with that – hunters mainly as I understand it.

  • fredgiblet

    Interesting.  I wonder how hard it is to get ammunition from non-sanctioned sources.  That certainly eliminates their use in casual crime (not that they would be likely to be used that way anyway), though a spree shooting would still be perfectly plausible.

  • stardreamer42

    IME, anyone whose primary reason for wanting to own a gun is to shoot another person (yes, all you people talking about “self-defense” or “home invasion”, I mean YOU) is de facto unqualified to own one at all. And anyone who doesn’t feel “safe” in public without packing scares me much more than the threat they think they’re “defending” against.

    Guns don’t solve problems. People solve problems.

  • The_L1985

     A-fucking-men.  I am happy that my grandfather owns his hunting rifles, because his purpose for having them is to hunt deer.  They are kept locked in fine wooden cases with small windows in them–you can see the guns, but it would be damn near impossible to get them out by just breaking the glass because of how the windows are situated.  He told me and my cousins from an early age why he has those guns, that they are dangerous, and that the gun cabinet is locked because they are off-limits to us.

    My father owns a .22 revolver, and has since before I was born.  He says it is for defense, which is ludicrous in itself as the gun is kept locked away and I didn’t even know he had it until I was an adult and he got it out to show it to me.  He has not been to a shooting range in at least 20 years, and probably longer.  He also claims that the ONLY reason he doesn’t go on a shooting spree is the carrot-and-stick of Heaven and Hell.  Add to that a hair-trigger temper, and I am terrified by the fact that my father owns a gun.

  • SergeantHeretic

    The “Stand-your-ground” defense was written by and for middle aged white men, everyone else can go fuck themselves.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit I spent two decades in the U.S. army and was rigourously trained i nthe use of the Beretta nine mm pistol and the Model sixteen alpha deuce assault rifle. presently I don’t own guns because as a civilian I don’t need them. any civilian who thinks they DO need a gun to protect them from other civilians and or “Evil nasty bad furrinerz and or evil nasty bad gubbermit peeple by definition should not have one simply BECAUSE they want a gun so they can KILL PEOPLE WITH IT!

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    A few random thoughts:

    *Why an assault weapons ban instead of a handgun ban? Because the Supreme Court struck down handgun bans in two different cities as unconstitutional, but didn’t strike down the Assault Weapons ban. So as it stands, any handgun ban is unconstitutional. 

    *Annursa’s link (“Gun Ownership at All Time High,  Nation’s Murder Rate at all time Low”) is a telling example of trying to have your cake and eat it too. The NRA is insinuating that increased gun ownership leads to lower murder rates. However, it’s worth digging into the footnotes on that piece: the violent crime rate of the U.S. hit a high in 1991, and gun ownership hit a high in 1993. More crime = more gun ownership… makes sense, right? A higher risk of violent crime means a rational consumer would want to have protection.
    But, in 2011, the violent crime rate rate hit a 41-year low, while the gun ownership rate hit an 18 year high. So a much, much lower risk of violent crime means rational consumers will… want to own guns to protect themselves? Either the high gun ownership in ’93 was caused by the high crime rate of ’91, or the low crime rate in ’11 is caused by high gun ownership, but it can’t be both. 

    Ask Diane Feinstein if she’s willing to give up her concealed handgun and  armed bodyguards.

    I’m sure that little soundbite sounded a lot better before Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Don’t let the reality of U.S. Senators receiving hundreds of explicit death threats along with mentions of “watering the tree of liberty” get in the way of your attempted snark. It’s perfectly reasonable to compare the role of a highly visible public official targeted for harassment and worse by nationally recognized hate groups with the daily life of the average citizen.  Obama’s kids have armed bodyguards, so why shouldn’t yours, right? It’s totally the same situation!

    You know, like how Freedom of Speech means you can should “fire” in a crowded theater, or advertise that your new drug cures all cancers, or that Bill O’Reily blows goats in his free time! Or how Freedom of Religion means that Child Protective Services can’t take away your children if you refuse to get them medical treatment or start marrying your 10-year-old daughters to 40-year-old men. 

    It’s almost like there’s a common principle at work, an idea that rights need to be offset from harms, like restricting the rights of police to search in order to prevent innocent people from going to jail, even if it means potentially guilty persons might go free.  Too bad there’s no possible way it could be applied to an Amendment talking about well-regulated militias ensuring public safety…

  • fredgiblet

    As I stated before I think that a handgun ban actually has better legal footing than an AWB, so I don’t see how trying for an AWB seems productive.  It seems to me like the political capital being spent on that would be much better spent on programs intended to reduce crime rather than annoy sport shooters.

    The extra high gun ownership now is likely due to a combination of fear-mongering on the right and the very real likelihood of restrictions being passed. I’ve seen gun stores calling Obama the best gun salesman in the country, and it’s true.  My personal expectation is that the crime rate and the gun ownership rate are largely (though not entirely) unconnected.  If the AWB is soundly defeated I expect the crime rate to continue to drop, if the AWB passes I expect the crime rate to drop at the same rate it would have if the AWB didn’t pass (much like how the crime rate continued to  drop after the expiration of the first despite the shrieking about how we were all going to DIE if it was allowed to expire).

    As for your last bit we DO have reasonable restrictions (for the most part) right now.  The laws that are proposed will have little to no effect on crime, we know this because they’ve been in place before and they’ve expired before to no effect.  So what is being proposed is legislation that restricts a right while providing little to no benefit to public safety, exactly what you AREN’T supposed to do.

  • Daughter

    Gun ownership, if you mean the numbers of people who own guns, is at an all-time low. However, among the fewer numbers of people who own guns, they own a lot more than ever, resulting in the numbers of guns owned in the U.S. being at an all-time high.

    So you could argue that: 1) crime rates are down because would-be-criminals are cowed by the smaller numbers of people with more guns; or 2) crime rates are down because fewer people who might potentially use them have them.

  • Lori

     

    Gun ownership, if you mean the numbers of people who own guns, is
    at an all-time low. However, among the fewer numbers of people who own
    guns, they own a lot more than ever, resulting in the numbers of guns owned in the U.S. being at an all-time high.   

    This is one of the main drivers of the completely unhinged rhetoric that we’re getting from the NRA these days. The NRA is little more than a lobbying group for gun manufacturers, so they say what’s in the best interests of the gun makers. The pool of potential customers for guns has shrunk, leaving gun makers trying to sell almost exclusively to people who already own at least one gun. What motivates those folks to put their money down on gun# 1+ X (with X often being a really high number), is paranoia and racism. The NRA uses it because it works on the target audience (no pun intended) and they really don’t care what the rest of us think.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Lori, that’s it in a nutshell pardon the pun. with fewer and fewer people actually feeling the need to own a gun, the gun makers have to depend on bigots anarchists and Red Dawn fantasists to buy more guns MORE GUNS MOAR GUNZZZZZZZ

    “Cuz they haffta pertect their things frum tha ebbil muslim comunazi in tha white house durkadur durkadur.”

  • fredgiblet

    Or it could mean that gun ownership and crime are not directly linked.

    As a side note, am I the only person who wishes I could respond to more than one post in a single post?

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     Certain female bloggers have gotten hundreds of death and rape threats just for Being Female on the Internet.  Why should a government official get special protection and not them? Why should Senators be entitled to armed self-defense and not “an average person”?  Are you suggesting that Congresscritters are more deserving of protection than the rest of us?  That different laws should apply to them?  (Yeah, I know they already do, vis-a-vis immunity from being legally harassed for anything they say on the floor of Congress…)

    Also, you might want to look up that tired old example of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. That was never actually the case; it was the judge’s analogy in a  far different case to why he was justifying one of the worst decisions on free speech ever.  (Apparently, trying to persuade young men not to enlist/avoid the draft in WWI because you thought it was a bad war we shouldn’t be in was a “clear and present danger” akin to shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater that required not just censorship, but imprisonment.)

    You can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater–especially if it’s on fire.

  • Jim Roberts

    Yes. They do. If my wife were to receive a death threat and my congresswoman were to receive a death threat at the same time and there were limited resources (there are), then I would send them to the congresswoman’s house, even though I think she’s just shy of a wasted seat in Congress.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Content warning: violence and death

     Certain female bloggers have gotten hundreds of death and rape threats just for Being Female on the Internet.  Why should a government official get special protection and not them?

    I suppose because government officials do their business in publicly-owned buildings, as part of their job are accessible to the public, must make public appearances, meet with constituents, have their work hours and travel itinerary part of the public record. If the news media reported on bloggers and had them on nightly news and in the Sunday paper as often as they do government officials, if their work address and business hours were part of their contact information, along with the cars they drove and their schedule for the week, and all of this was required as part of their job in serving the public, then yes, I would say they should get special protection.* 

    If someone kidnaps my parents, I will be distraught. But I do not have nuclear launch codes, or the authority to pardon criminals, or influence on what criminal sentencing laws get passed, or how billions of dollars in a budget are allocated to departments, or what contractors get the final job.  I was not chosen by the people in my county or my state or my nation to represent their interests on their behalf. Government officials have, pretty much since the start of the city-state, had special protection above and beyond what the average plebe gets, because of their increased authority, responsibility, and visibility. 
    Government officials are public servants and have a different responsibility than private citizens.  I would think this would be obvious, but there it is, spelled out for you.

    If someone kills me, that’s obviously bad. But if someone kills me while I’m wearing my “Han Shot First” shirt, hangs a sign around my neck saying “the only good nerd is a dead nerd”, and drags my corpse from the back of a car, leaving it in front of my local ComiCon, then it’s not just about ending my life, it’s about sending a message to other people like me, about using my death not just as an end, but to terrorize, intimidate, and silence those who share my values or beliefs.  Killing a publicly elected leader because of their politics is a far different act than the more common, more intimate motives for murder, and I would think again, that this would be obvious, but there it is, spelled out for you.

    Also, you might want to look up that tired old example of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater….You can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater–especially if it’s on fire.

    Indeed… the exact wording of Justice Holmes was that “(t)he most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic”. I did not include the word “false” in my paraphrase, because unless you are an idiot or a pedant, you know that the reference refers to inciting a panic on false basis. I wrongly assumed you were neither. 

    But please, feel free to myopically criticize the omission of a single word while ignoring the concepts of libel, slander, truth-in-advertising, inciting riots, and other examples of restrictions to free speech. Indeed, that’s far more useful than looking at the entirety of my argument that rights are regularly abridged when measurable harm is being done by the unrestricted exercise of those rights.

    *By the way, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some sort of armed person, dedicated to protecting you from lethal threats? Someone trained in the use of lethal and nonlethal force, whose job is to identify persons intent on committing assault and other crimes? Wouldn’t it be great if these armed and well-trained persons were available to us, 24/7, via some sort of communications hotline that was available on every phone, even cell phones that the carrier has terminated service on? Gosh, if only we has such a trained, available force of persons for our protection.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Government officials don’t have armed self-defense. They have other people around who are armed and paid to defend them. As Carlin said, that’s not self-help, that’s help.

    In any case, false argument, because there are no bills on-deck to take away everybody’s guns. Just laws that make it harder to get the really dangerous ones.

    (Incidentally, how lousy of a shot must a person be to need an automatic assault rifle with a high-capacity clip for self defense? Most handgun owners can hit their target at least one time out of five, I imagine.)

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit baby honey sweetheart no one is talking about banning guns. NO ONE! The problem as we have repeatedly tried to explain to you mr TL:DR Prince of subliteracy and reading comprehension deficiancy is that we cannot figure out why anyone needs a goddamned Msixteen in the fucking zone interior of the United States of AMerica!

    More to the point we’re trying to point out that someone in real life who even thinks they NEED one when they’re not in the U.S. Military is probably by definition screwy and shouldn’t have one.

    But whatever man, go back to what you were saying and oh yeah, WOLVERIIIINSEEEE!!!!

  • fredgiblet

    “no one is talking about banning guns.”

    No, they’re just talking about ineffective restrictions on weapons that aren’t commonly used in crime.

  • Isabel C.

    And I have mentioned, in one of my posts that you keep ignoring, that the reason we can’t get more effective restrictions against common weapons is shit that you and the people you support have pulled.

    But you haven’t addressed that, most likely because you’re as cowardly as LaPierre and the rest of the Boys’ Overcompensation Society. 

  • fredgiblet

    I will support laws aimed at the root causes of crime.  If those fail then I will support laws aimed at the most popular tools of crime as long as they respect the rights of law-abiding citizens.

    Few proposed laws do either of these things.

  • Isabel C.

    And you see the “rights of law-abiding citizens” as including the right to fire thirty bullets at a time, from a military-style assault weapon, because…why?

    I also support laws aimed at the root causes of crime. I can support those and support gun laws. I am large and contain multitudes, to misquote Walt Whitman.If you can only attack a problem from one angle at a time, I pity you. And kind of want to play a game of Risk with you, because you might be the only person I can beat. 

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     No one is actually suggesting we should make it easier to own fully-automatic weapons. What is being discussed are “semi-automatic” guns, which fire bullets one at a time.  They don’t kill people any deader than bolt-action guns, lever-action guns, revolvers, or pump-action guns.

  • Jim Roberts

    They sure kill ’em faster though. I’ve bumpfired a clip of 30 bullets in 25 seconds, and I’m reasonably sure I’m terrible with guns.

  • fredgiblet

    And you probably didn’t hit anything doing that.  Slide-fire stocks would be more effective, but most people aren’t going to use those anyway, full-auto might be fun to play with, but it eats money like crazy.

  • LoneWolf343

     They fire a lot quicker, and tend to have larger magazines than bolt-actions, et al.

  • Lori

     You do realize that violent crimes is at a multi-decade low right now, right?

  • fredgiblet

    I do, I’m not certain how many other people here do though.  Murder is at a lower TOTAL than in 1969 when we had something like 200 million people.  It’s one of the reasons that I find frenzies like this so facepalm-worthy, the restrictions being proposed have already been demonstrated to have little to no effect, the rates are dropping ANYWAY, yet we’ve still got people frothing over the desperate need to ban a minor contributor.  *sigh*

  • Jim Roberts

    Honest question here, since I’m hearing you argue both sides of the argument – you believe that the AWB will be ineffective*.  You also believe that there’s a “very real likelihood of restrictions being passed.”

    How do you reconcile these things? If the AWB won’t keep AWs from bring sold, how do you come to think that there are restrictions that will be passed?

    * I happen to agree with you. My preference would be for mandatory, complete backgrounds checks for all firearms, paid for by the purchaser, and mandatory training.

  • fredgiblet

    The AWB would prevent new rifles from being SOLD, but they make up a tiny proportion of the crime rate AND they aren’t going to simply disappear.  Even a complete elimination of ALL longarm murders would make up less than 10% of the FIREARM homicides, and even less of the total homicide rate.  The proposed restrictions will do far less than that.

    The AWB would do a great deal to inconvenience sport shooters, but the difference on crime will negligible.
    And with that I need to get to work.

  • Isabel C.

    OH THE HORROR SPORT SHOOTERS MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY INCONVENIENCED OH THE HUMANITY I AM WEEPING EVEN AS I TYPE THIS.

    See previous post on this subject.Also, your arguments have gone from “but what if Chinese mutant zombies invaded us” to “but this doesn’t really work because of policies that organizations I support advocate” to “people’s hobbies might become slightly harder in order to keep only a couple hundred people from being killed every year!”

    Please pick one shitty argument and stick with it. I’m getting seasick. 

  • SergeantHeretic

    Well we WOULD be talking about effective restrictions but the National Rednecks asociation has their monied fingers on too many Republican polititions.

  • ohiolibrarian

    So which is it? Do you want guns to protect the country from nonexistent threats or on the off-chance that you will need to protect yourself from a  criminal attack?

    Really, do you LIKE living in fear? It doesn’t seem like much of a life.

  • fredgiblet

    I don’t live in fear.   Well not of fear of the country being invaded or my apartment being robbed anyway.  I live in plenty of fear of other things (Being sent back to the other contract at work, having my car engine shit itself, having one of my hard drives die, etc.) but not of those things.  Why do you think Ido?

  • ohiolibrarian

     I grant you that “living in fear” is an interpretation of your other statements about reasons for gun ownership. Citing criminals, invasion, and rebellion as reasonable concerns reminds me of a nervous older lady who seemed to believe that her little Ohio town was likely to be attacked by terrorists.

    People who put a lot of energy into scary scenarios that range from unlikely to absurd are spending more time on scary situations than seems healthy or wise (to me at least). They are also not using their energies on useful and solvable problems.

  • fredgiblet

    It’s a common stereotype applied to gun owners that we’re cowering in fear of a home invasion sleeping cuddled up to our shotguns for safety.  It’s not really true.  I mean there are people who are like that sure, but a lot of people who want guns for home defense are simply being prepared.

  • Isabel C.

     Prepared for…what, exactly, with assault weapons? Have you pissed off an entire drug cartel? Are you the future savior of humanity such that Skynet will send some model of Terminator after you?

    What exactly do you “like being prepared” for, and how is such preparation different from wearing tinfoil on your head so that the CIA can’t get you with their mind-control beams?

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     Maybe I just think they look cool and want to hang it on the wall, as part of my hypothetical collection of other legal, semi-auto or bolt-action historical military firearms. Or samurai swords. Or Vietnam war memorabilia. Or things that the army has designated ‘M16’.

    Why should I have to justify my reason for owning anything not directly harmful to my neighbors?  “I want to” is all the justification I need in a free country.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If the guns are incapable of being fired and the swords are not sharp, yeah, you’re absolutely right, enjoy your collection of disarmed killy things.

    If the guns and swords are capable of killing people by means other than being used as a blunt instrument? You need a justification to possess them, and ‘self-defense’ doesn’t cut it. You can defend yourself with one of the knives you keep to chop veggies with, if need be, and it’s a lot harder to injure somebody else by accident with such a thing.

  • Isabel C.

    So, your argument boils down to “I don’t care if gun laws make it harder to kill innocent kids if they also make it harder for me to look cool.”

    Really?

    Wow.

  • Madhabmatics

    If you just want to hang it on your wall, why is all the fighting going to make sure pastors can’t say “Guns aren’t allowed in this sanctuary?”

  • fredgiblet

    This question wasn’t directed at me, but I’ll answer it anyway.  I support the right of anyone to decline to allow weapons in their private property, the people pushing that sort of law don’t have my support in their endeavors, in fact I think they do quite a bit of harm to the cause by doing things like that.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Fredgiblit I am still waiting for a good justification of why people in the real world, civilians who are neither cops nor military personel need military grade weapons.

    The answer is always “Home Defense” translation, they want it so they can kill people.

    The next answer is always “To help me stay free from (Wingnut conspiracy imaginary Hitler)” again, they want it so they can kill people with it.

    That being so why in the hel would anyone sane sell such a person a gun?

  • fredgiblet

    NEED?  Very few people have a NEED for them, however at the same time the number of crimes committed with them is far lower than those committed with weapons that are NOT “military-grade” so the idea that they should be singled out indicates that it’s not crime that being considered.  I’ve said before in other threads, if you want to reduce crime and you’re going after long-guns you’re doing it wrong.

    If there was a ban on “military-grade” weapons being pushed AFTER handgun violence dropped to even let’s say quadruple the level of rifle violence then I might be able to respect it, as it stands it’s clear that the laws are being pushed by fear, not fact.  Going after popular sport shooting weapons instead of popular crime weapons is not a position I can support.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That being so why in the hel would anyone sane sell such a person a gun?

    Because their money is the same color as anyone else’s, and it probably won’t be them that gets shot.  “Enlightened Self-Interest” at its finest.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit the National Rednecks assiciation won’t allow the U.S. Congress or any other regulatory group do anything meaningful or concret about this very problem and the National reactionary association makes SURE that the laws we have are sporadically enforced and or as toothless as possible!

  • AnonymousSam

    The argument is that the assault weapons ban is pointless because very few crimes take place using anything which can be construed as an assault weapon. Gun rights advocates assume that all liberals care about is banning the scary weapons because they’re too fearful of phantom gun massacres waiting around every corner and too ignorant to know the difference.

    It says much that few gun rights advocates seem to favor banning handguns, though.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Unfortunately, as posted previously, barring a repeal of the 2nd amendment (HA), a handgun ban has exactly 0 legs.

  • Madhabmatics

    In other news from Alabama:

    http://www.myfoxal.com/story/21169497/sheriffs-association-opposes-proposed-gun-law-changes

    You see, in our GREAT STATE it has been decided that the proper response to suggestions about a gun registry is to go and get rid of just about every useful limit we already had, including the ability of property owners to disallow guns on their property (this is going to have a huge impact on churches in the state), the ability of sheriffs to deny concealed carry permits, the ability to charge people trying to intimidate others with guns with disorderly conduct, etc. Any sheriff who arrests, fines, etc someone doing these things gets hit with a bigger, $10,000 fine.

    My family used to go to a church that mainly ministered to people that the many Alabama churches wouldn’t allow inside their building. As a result, they had a rather large amount of people attending that had mental illnesses. One woman was convinced that a member of the church was an FBI plant that broke into her house every night and rearranged her things. One night she brought her legally owned pistol to the church and threatened a church member with it. The pastor banned guns after that – if someone came to the church with a gun, he could call the sheriff and have them escorted off the property.

    If these laws pass, a sheriff escorting that person off the property would get them fired and fined $10,000.

    but this is all about reasonable self defense ya’ll honest

     

  • Random_Lurker

    Since noone has actually posted the FULL TEXT of the 2nd Amendment, here it is.  It doesn’t say what most people think it does.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free
    state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
    infringed.”

  • SergeantHeretic

    Random lurker, i nthat case I have no problem with legal personal weapons being limited to the available weapons technology in 1791.

    EIther that or create a regulated citizen militia directly tasked to defend he nation from attack, oh, wait we have that, it’s called the U.S. MILITARY!

  • EllieMurasaki

    EIther that or create a regulated citizen militia directly tasked to defend he nation from attack, oh, wait we have that, it’s called the U.S. MILITARY!

    Bzzt. Wrong answer. The US military is a standing army, which is something the Founders and Framers did not want, no way no how. (I think they were fine with the Navy and Coast Guard. Dunno about Air Force. Marines…probably not.)

    The National Guard, now, that’s nearer what they meant by ‘militia’.

  • P J Evans

     Written back when we weren’t going to have a standing army, so all the able-bodied men between 16 and 45 were liable for militia training – it was like the National Guard, really. (Hence some of the questions on the early censuses.)

  • SergeantHeretic

    Exactly, contrary to the teabaggers wetdreaming on the way to the next gun show it’s not ACTUALY 1776 anymore.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That reminds me.  Remember the Tea Partiers showing up at town meetings with rifles?  That always got me.  Can you even imagine some idiot showing up at a Bush rally packing heat?  Their family would STILL be trying to get Homeland Security to tell them where the idiot was being waterboarded.

  • VMink

    To be grudgingly fair, the whole ‘militia’ thing was muddied by the Militia Act of 1903 which used terms like ‘organized militia’ and ‘unorganized militia.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)

    It’s debatable as to if this ‘unorganized militia’ would be actually useful.  Keep in mind that this is the era that brought us Plan XVII for the French and the Schleiffen Plan for the Germans, both of which anticipated victory in Europe after perhaps a few months of fighting.  Thatsure  turned out according to plan.  I don’t think the military planners of that era really groked just what modern warfare was all about, as it transitioned — violently and with great suffering — from second to third generation.

    Today, the ‘unorganized militia’ would be given a different name: Insurgents.  And they’d be using fourth and fifth generation techniques.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblit I will support any reason for owing a gun that does NOT involve some variation of “I want it so I can kill people”.

    As to the roots of crime being adressed well sorry but you’re out of luck your friends i nthe Republican party have too many friends in the National Rednecks association and too much interest in supporting the privatized prison system.

    (Can someone explain to me why we created a private industry with a vested capital interest in throwing as many people in prison as possible?)

  • Madhabmatics

    how DARE someone say they don’t want me waving a gun in people’s faces on their property WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS

  • Madhabmatics

    “if I can’t show up to an NAACP meeting carrying a big ass rifle so they know how white I am then the government is fascist” -responsible gun owners in alabama responding to a registry

  • SergeantHeretic

    My favorite link in the list is to the politician in the Illinois state legislature who directly compared a limitaion on gun ownership to himself being castrated.

    Thank you sir for telling us exactly where your head is at on this issue, thank you for telling us what your personal firearm means to you and why you feel the need to own it.

    Personally, I think a viagra perscription would have been cheaper and less trouble, but hey what the fuck, right?

  • SergeantHeretic

    Reff the National Rednecks association’s gun saftey corses, as Lori said how much of their cash do they spend on that versus how much do they spend scaring the Trailer Park boys into buying MOAR GUNZZZZZZ?

    (Note to readers I am not insulting or malighing or indicting anyone who lives in a mobile or manufactured home by definition. I am simply indicating poorly educated rural people prone to race baiting and gun fetishims.

    Also gun saftey classes for a group that spends most of it’s time pushing absurd gun fetishism?

    Talk about expecting a pat o nthe back for the bare minimum.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Heretic, no, heretic STAHP. You are doing EXACTLY what you say you aren’t. If your statement were, say, “I’m not insulting or maligning anyone who lives in a poor urban area, I’m just saying that poor urban youth tend to be prone to emulating the violence they hear in rap songs”, you’d be just as wrong.

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

    And why is “Red Dawn” so maligned by people around here? It was a pretty good story about, basically, WWII partisans, retold in a more local-to-Americans context.

  • Jim Roberts

    Because it’s a very, very silly story told with way too straight a face.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    And why is “Red Dawn” so maligned by people around here? It was a pretty good story about, basically, WWII partisans, retold in a more local-to-Americans context.

    The local-to-Americans context is completely, utterly absurd. The premise of the film is a full-scale military invasion by Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops, resulting in both total surprise and near total success, in Colorado. Here’s the film’s prologue:
     Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years… Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade… Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall… Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil… Mexico plunged into revolution… NATO dissolves. United States stands alone. 

    The premise and setting of “Red Dawn”, like the premise and setting of the “Left Behind” novels, are so absurd and self-refuting of their fans’ beliefs. They require impossible things to happen in order to justify the story they want to tell as an example of the values they believe must be true. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    They require impossible things to happen in order to justify the story they want to tell as an example of the values they believe must be
    true. 

    The irony is that it’s not really necessary.

    I’m reminded of a TV version of “The Children’s Hour” I saw years ago that started with “The place: Here. The time: They have just conquered Us.” It then cut to a classroom where the old teacher is being taken away and replaced by the new teacher, and we’re off and running, and it works just fine, because the geopolitical specifics aren’t really what the story is about, any more than predicting a specific timetable of miracles is what Revelations is about.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And why is “Red Dawn” so maligned by people around here? It was a pretty
    good story about, basically, WWII partisans, retold in a more
    local-to-Americans context.

    Surprise! I kind of like it!

    But it’s taken on such a life of its own in a way that the filmmaker probably didn’t expect. Part of the problem is that it has shout-outs to right-wing paranoia about records of gun ownership, and another part is that the teenagers, inasmuch as they face a rather hopeless task, christen themselves the Wolverines and  in doing so, invite the viewer to imagine themselves the David-hero in this battle-against-the-Soviet-Goliath.

    This kind of thinking, while harmless when watching a 2-hour movie, becomes rather less amusing when people who watch these sorts of movies believe they are allegorical tales about fighting against a “socialist” USA’s federal government.

  • The_L1985

    I don’t know.  Considering the common movie device of hero  = winner, I’d say that the fact that the Wolverines lose negates the whole “teenage heroes” aspect.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, the ending is rather hastily patched on at the end, but even so the movie’s mythology has rather obscured the very salient point that it makes about the extremely high casualty rates partisan forces can expect to incur.

    Look at the Ukrainian post-WW2 insurgency against the USSR, for example.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That last link really exemplifies the ways in with US gun culture is intricately tied with our culture of anxious masculinity.

    And of course gun culture is going to be toxic with misogyny and bigotry, it is a culture that still predominantly belongs to those with privilege, and their defense of our toxic culture is established. 

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Re: Your note, I get that, but at the same time, people who can afford the gun fetish kits these people have, tend to have a lot more money than “I gotta live in the trailer park” money.  Instead of maligning some of the most vulnerable amongst us, punch up instead of down. 

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

     I’m glad you put the quotes around “semi-automatic” because you know as well as I do, “semi” automatic weapons rarely stay that way after purchase.  The modification to full auto is easily found and easily done by someone with a little practice. 

    I used to not support AWBs and other restrictions on ownership, while still supporting background checks and waiting periods.  But it finally became clear to me that the reason for the toxic gun culture in the US vs other countries with comparable gun ownership, is the toxic culture itself. 

    And sorry, but just we can all agree that shouldn’t own guns, there are cultures that shouldn’t have a robust gun culture, and right now that includes us.  Fix the white supremacy, misogyny, perpetuated stereotypes, Christian supremacy and anxious masculinity that makes up our own culture and our subcultures will get better as well. 

  • Rhubarbarian82

     I’m glad you put the quotes around “semi-automatic” because you know as well as I do, “semi” automatic weapons rarely stay that way after purchase.  The modification to full auto is easily found and easily done by someone with a little practice.

    Remind me again how to easily modify my semi-auto Hammerli .22 target pistol into a full-auto killing machine. I always forget for some reason.

  • Anton_Mates

    Remind me again how to easily modify my semi-auto Hammerli .22 target pistol into a full-auto killing machine.

    The Hammerli .22s seem to go full auto by themselves now and then, so I can’t imagine it’s that hard…

  • Jim Roberts

    If we were going after target pistols here, you might have a point. Oh, and they sell a conversion kit for that online. I won’t link to it, though, out of deference to our host.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    No, actually they don’t sell a conversion kit for it online, and until you actually link something you’re just blowing a bunch of hot air. Converting a semi-auto to full auto with a few easy modifications was only possible on weapons where full auto was already an option that was locked out. Converting a handgun that isn’t full auto and never was full auto, into a full auto weapon takes a lot more than just ordering a conversion kit online.

    A lot of people in this thread seriously don’t understand the difference between semi-auto and full auto, and what constitutes a semi-auto weapon. The vast majority of guns in this country are semi-auto and it would take a lot more than just dropping in some conversion kit to make them into machine guns. Even if you were to manage to convert most semi-autos into full autos, you would have a truly terrible machine gun. There’s a reason even military issue M16s aren’t full auto.

    Honestly, pro-gun control advocates have plenty of facts on their side without having to make up stupid junk like this.

  • fredgiblet

    Actually there’s at least one where I think it wouldn’t be difficult.  The SKS.  All you’d have to do is disassemble the bolt, push the firing pin forward, apply epoxy, wait.  My SKS had a slight tendency to slamfire the first time I dropped the bolt after letting it sit for a few weeks since the firing pin would stick forward.

    The downside is that as soon as you drop the bolt it will fire every round in the magazine uncontrollably since you’re basically bypassing the trigger.  That makes it useless as a weapon and reduces the fun value significantly, but it should be possible without a lot of effort.

    But yeah, a late model AR or AK?  That’s going to require a lot of work, not impossible by any stretch, but it would almost be easier to build your own gun at that point.

  • fredgiblet

    “I’m glad you put the quotes around “semi-automatic” because you know as well as I do, “semi” automatic weapons rarely stay that way after purchase.  The modification to full auto is easily found and easily done by someone with a little practice. ”

    Evidence?  While some earlier guns were easy to convert most modern guns have been modified to make them much more difficult, and since doing so ends you in a Federal prison if anyone gets word that you’ve done it I think you’re vastly overstating the prevalence.  Full-auto is probably fun to play with and I’m sure there are people who have done it illegally but I don’t know anyone personally who’s willing to risk the fallout for a bit of fun.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

     I know plenty of good ole boys who could care less about the potential risk, because they are so insulated from those risks by their privilege that they do not consider them. 

  • fredgiblet

    Do you know anyone who’s actually illegally modified a gun to full auto condition?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

     Yes.  I do not know how to do this myself, but the people whose circles I traveled in did it, hating all the time about lily livered liberals who want to take their guns and made them have to do this in the first place.  They did not care that this was illegal, the local cops were completely complicit with it.  They did not care that it shot their accuracy to shit, accuracy was not their purpose, throwing as many rounds down range as possible in a short time as possible was their purpose.  They did not hunt to eat, they hunted to kill.  They were not safe with their weapons, they brandished them during domestic disputes and used them to intimidate.  I have attended parties where the hosts requested certain individuals bring their guns, so as to be a deterrent against others who would act inappropriately with their guns, only to have those “trustworthy” individuals pull their guns on others.  These people never claim to have them for protection, because they have mistreated pit bulls and rottweilers for that.  These people are the majority of gun owners I have met in my home state of Kentucky, home of windage.(sarcasm)  Out of all the gun owners I’ve met, there have been only two I’ve considered safe owners, one is my stepdad, the other is my partner who doesn’t even own a gun at this time, because he GREW up in the toxic atmosphere I describe. 

  • ohiolibrarian

    A personal note: My husband was the kind of guy who criticized Vietnam movies because a story set during the Tet offensive included a gun that wasn’t issued until two years later. He was into guns and had several pistols, shotguns and rifles and read Guns and Ammo like some guys read porn. He was also well-trained and very careful.

    BUT, one time he almost shot me. Kind of a vivid memory of the pistol tracking across my body just before IT WENT OFF shocking the both of us. Because I’d startled him.

    An equally vivid memory of placing my hand beneath the hammer of a revolver when he was threatening suicide during a fit of depression. I believed that he wouldn’t deliberately cause me pain by firing, and he didn’t.

    My husband was basically a good guy. Just be warned that responsible gun owners screw up every day and twenty years of responsible gun ownership can still end in a fatal accident due to human error. Or a suicide.

  • SergeantHeretic

    I guess my whole thing is this.

    A gun is a device specifically designed to kill something. Most popularly acknowledged guns are designed to kill PEOPLE. I can’t figure out any circumstance under which owning a gun would not kill ME fastest of all.

    I cannot imagine any circumstance under which I would want or need to kill a person.

    I don’t own anything I want to keep bad enough that it requires the death of another human being.

    Any circumstance requiring me to defend myself would require the assailent to come close enough to me for the fighting skills I know to render him harmless.

    In order to do “Something” to me he would have to at some point put the gun down, then his ass is mine.

    If all he wants is my stuff he can have it I can always get more stuff nothing I own is worth my life, or his.

    If he wants something more he has to at some point PUT DOWN THE GUN in order to get it. Then as before, his ass is mine.

    Anything he can do to hurt me or kill me or a loved one with a gun he can do to me at distance and me having a gun won’t stop him.

    If he doesn’t have a gun, I don’t need one either, my hand to hand skills will suffice. If he does have a gun my havinga gun won’t help me.

    That is why I cannot understand owning a gun.

  • fredgiblet

    Wow.  Did that seriously just not attach the comment I was responding to to almost every post?

  • Jim Roberts

    Welcome to Disqus. Sorry about that.

  • SergeantHeretic

    fredgiblet, I am at a loss as to why someone needs such a large amount of objects specifically designed to kill when I don’t even need one. I’m not saying they can’t have them, I am just totally confused as to what is the urdge that makes them WANT that many speficic killing devices.

    As I mentioned in a post above yours, I don’t own anything that is worth killing a human being over.

    If someone is going to kill me with a gun my having a gun won’t even slow them down.

    If someone wants to use the gun to coerce me or violate me at some point they’ll have to come close to me and put the gun down, then it’s the Joanne show, and my legs are much stronger than his.

    I don’t know, sport. So far the aruguments put forth in defense of gun ownership are either macho Red Dawn fantasies, race baiting, paranoic posturing or just plain silly.

    I had and used guns as a soldier, but they were a tool of the trade, and I’m not in that trade anymore.

  • fredgiblet

    I assure you that I will never advocate for nor vote for a law forcing you to own a gun.

  • Carstonio

    Looking beyond the racial aspects of the language about crime, the notion of guns for personal protection is Manichean, good people trying to stay safe in a lawless, violent world. That same presumption is all over the discussions about rape and pedophilia. Zerlina Maxwell was treated as a blasphemer for suggesting that men be educated on how not to be sexually aggressive. Far too often, rapists and pedophiles are assumed to be faceless, nameless criminals instead of people known and trusted by their victims. Seems like too many folks are eager to prove, or convince themselves, that they wouldn’t be capable of sexual assault. Or capable of shooting a friend or relative in the heat of an argument. 

  • SergeantHeretic

    Carstonio, there is a lot to that.

    There are a LOT of people on the pro gun side who are POSITIVE that they are the big hero, the lone ranger, the heroic dfender of female chastity ect ect.

    It really is a bizarre form of wish fulfillment and reality displacement.

    “Good Christian men” are NOT rapists and child molestors and therefore do not need to be tought how NOT to rape women or molest children.

    Pay no attention to the headlines and news stories that say otherwise and are becoming more and more common every day.

    Therefore a good Christian man with a gun is The Hero (Fanfare) Coming to save the day! (Fanfare) only non Christian non white, non rich non republican non American people are the threat and “We” NEED the guns so we can do what we must do about THEM!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yeah, um, the thing about this place is that there’s such a diverse array of people and cultures that between the lot of us, someone’s seen just about everything at least once. I grew up in a surprisingly seedy region of a suburban town where it was pretty much impossible to have friends and not know someone who did something horribly illegal on a regular basis.

    My favorite “no shit I swear to God this really happened” story is witnessing a balls-out blatant coverup of a crime by the local police. Did you know a man can commit suicide with an axe and even dispose of his own body? I didn’t until it happened to a video store owner who was apparently involved in some nasty business.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     “Looks like a pretty clear cut case of natural causes.”

    “Natural causes?”

    “Can’t live without a spinal cord. Nothing unnatural about that.”

  • MaryKaye

    In the last ten years three people within a few degrees of separation of me have died by gunfire; two in a spree shooting, one in an apparently random National Park shooting.  We had a gun-violence lockdown here just last week; and I live in one of the safest big cities in the US.

    Overall, deaths due to gun violence are down, along with non-gun violent crime:  there is a long-term downward trend in violent crime in the US for reasons that are quite unclear.  However, spree gun killings have gone up during the same period.  I think this is legitimate cause for concern.

  • Lori

     

    there is a long-term downward trend in violent crime in the US for reasons that are quite unclear.   

    Did you see the research suggesting that switching to unleaded paint and gasoline many be a significant contributor to the this trend? It sounds sort of out there and there’s still work to be done, but the research appears pretty solid. Lead damages the impulse control centers of the brain. Increase lead exposure through having more and more cars burning leaded gas and you get more violence. Decrease lead exposure by switching to unleaded gas and violence goes down.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

  • ohiolibrarian

     But the number of murders is higher than 1960 and the high water mark was 1991. Going from fewer than 10,000 to almost 15,000 in 1969 to nearly 25,000 in 1991 and back down to less than 15,000 again in 2011 … demonstrates what exactly? Probably that murders don’t track with population.

    Besides this doesn’t include accidents and suicides. Nor shootings that were not fatal. People who are concerned about gun violence include those things. And you are not accounting for them.

    This U.S. News and World Report story specifically discusses gun control efforts in 1969.

  • fredgiblet

    When you’re comparing two countries of wildly dissimilar populations by the total number of murders you’re going to end up with skewed data.  Check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Martinique had 17 murders compared to the 12,996 in America, by absolute numbers they would seem to be light-years ahead of us, but because of their lower population their murder RATE is the same as ours, meaning you’re just as likely to die there as here.

    Non-fatal shooting probably follow murder rates pretty closely, but I can’t say for sure.  Suicides by gun are more likely to succeed, but it’s hard to say exactly how many suicides would fail without guns available making it difficult to say how many can actually be attributed to guns.

    Accidents are certainly an issue that should be factored in.  One of the things that I would support in gun laws would be requiring thorough safety classes and proper storage, that would reduce accidents though obviously they’d never be eliminated.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’m skeptical that removing guns from a situation makes suicide less likely. Several of the countries with low suicide-by-firearm rates are high on the list of countries with high suicide rates.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It doesn’t make suicide less likely, or at least I’ve never heard any reason it would, but it does reduce access to one of the things that make a suicide attempt more likely to succeed.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    So… you compare gun deaths per capita. Surprise, surprise.

  • aunursa

    Veteran with concealed carry permit saves woman’s life without firing a shot

    Or alternately…

    A gun in the first act DID NOT go off in the third act

  • Lori

    Why are we assuming the gun was the critical element in saving the woman’s life, rather than the presence of a witness?  The gun was clearly useful in terms of keeping the Good Samaritan from getting into a physical altercation with the attacker and in keeping the attacker from getting away. Those are good things and I’m not disputing that. However, it’s not clear that the gun was necessary to stop the attack on the woman, unless the claim is that if he hadn’t had a gun the former Marine wouldn’t have stopped to help.

  • aunursa

    “I said ‘stop’ and he starts coming towards me and that’s when I drew on him.
    He started getting closer and I said ‘get down on the ground,’ ” Blackmore
    said.

    Blackmore held his gun on the suspect and called West Allis police. He says
    several times while waiting for police to arrive, the attacker moved toward
    him.

    “I mean I’ve already made it up in mind that if he came at me I was going to
    have to take him down and I told him that. I warned him multiple times not to
    come towards me because he was a big guy and I wasn’t playing around and he
    didn’t seem like he was playing around,” Blackmore said.

    Without a gun involved, the assailant would have attacked the former Marine.  He described the assailant as more than six feet tall and weighing about 220 pounds.  We don’t know who would have won that fight or whether the assailant would have resumed his assault on the victim.  What we do know is that because a gun was present, there was no fight, neither Blackmore nor the assailant sustained any injuries, the assailant immediately stopped his assault on the victim, and the assailant was arrested and will face charges.

    The handgun was the critical element in stopping the assault and preventing injury (in the case of the victim, further injury) to any party.

  • Lori

    We don’t know who would have won that fight or whether the assailant would have resumed his assault on the victim.

     

    And with this you make my point.

    As I clearly stated, in this case the gun prevented an altercation between the former Marine and the assailant. My issue is that the gun is being given credit for saving the woman’s life, which is not so clear. We don’t know , so we give credit to the gun because… we chose to give credit to the gun.

    And even if one goes along with giving credit to the gun in this case, incidents like this are rather more rare than gun advocates like to claim.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    For that matter, while a gun may or may not be an effective deterrent to violence, there are other, non-lethal weapons which can be effective as well. Who’s to say a good dose of pepper spray or a taser shock couldn’t have had similar results?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Well of course. People don’t save people: guns save people.