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The Messaging Problem of Mass Shootings

Did you know that mass shootings that wouldn’t be resolved by more gun control are simply a messaging problem rather than a failure of the mental health system to get clearly troubled and dangerous people help?

Oh, and the primary reason gun owners don’t trust gun control advocates to stop at background checks is simply because Edward Snowden disclosed that the NSA is snooping on everyone instead of the reasons like the fact that they propose banning the most popular types of firearms sold today and the President recently praised other countries for the fact that they confiscated firearms.

These are the reasons that Mark Glaze gave for not getting more gun control passed recently. I guess I should give him credit for acknowledging that many of the mass shootings wouldn’t be stopped by their proposals, but I do find it a little disturbing that those instances, because they don’t fit their political narrative, are really just considered to be messaging problems to gun control advocates instead of an opportunity to discuss how to address mental health issues.

I do also find it amusing that he argues Congress’s debate over the Farm Bill is why none of you readers trust the government to handle gun control. It has nothing to do with the actual proposals by lawmakers that they boast about and submit as legislation.

And none of that distrust on overreach could ever be attributed to Bloomberg’s own allies in the gun control movement who Glaze himself represented. I mean, sure, we found that those allies used their official positions in government to steal charitable gifts given to those in poverty and order the police to round up people they would eventually hold hostage at gunpoint, but it’s all Edward Snowden’s fault for teaching us not to trust government the way that good old Mayor Mike and his gun control buddies need us to in order to get more gun restrictions passed.

152 Responses to “The Messaging Problem of Mass Shootings”

  1. Wouldn’t be resolved? Sure, if we license everyone, yearly, and crosscheck those with psychological records, that would resolve many cases. Or better yet, let’s just ban all weapons that are capable of being made semiauto or auto. And ban CC and OC. Or just get rid of the Second Amendment altogether. Those are pretty easy ways to “resolve” these shootings.

    • Bitter says:

      With the exceptions of those who killed someone for their guns (which is already a way to circumvent the licensing and background check), the background checks weren’t an issue for most of these shooters because they were never reported into the system.

      • And theft of weapons for mass murder is actually more common than I would have guessed: the Kansas City mall shooting by Logdson in 2007; the Clackamas Mall shooting in 2012; the Newtown massacre in 2012. All involved stolen guns, and two of them involved murder of the lawful owners.

    • mike says:

      Or better yet, let’s just ban all weapons that are capable of being made semiauto or auto. And ban CC and OC.

      You’re not trying hard enough. Why don’t we just ban [gun] murder? If we just make that illegal, it’ll just.. poof.. go away, right? Just like the complete and total ban on methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

      I think the problem that many anti-gun people have is that they think they can cure society’s ills with just one more law. You look at the intentions of the law, and not the outcome. Alcohol (or drug) prohibition are great examples of this. Just ban booze and drugs, and people stop using them, right? Except that what actually happened was a huge, violent black market was created to handle the demand. If you think the that wouldn’t happen with guns, you’re dangerously naive.

      If we can’t keep drugs (and humans for that matter) from crossing our border, what do you think would happen when guns became another commodity that could only be imported by criminals? The only people who would ever give up their guns are the same law-abiding ones you don’t need to worry about.

      While that sinks in, here is an inconvenient list for you:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers

      Note all the shootings that happen in countries with the types of gun laws you’re advocating. But while you’re there, look at all the killings that didn’t use guns. I know those deaths aren’t meaningful to you since they don’t help your cause, but strict gun laws didn’t prevent them nonetheless.

      • You know what’s really inconvenient for me, the fact that this has nothing to do with rampage killers. I’m concerned most about domestic violence. Most of the people killed by guns are known by the person who killed them, and most of the killers are men and most of the killed are women or children. That’s what concerns me.

        And serious gun control could stop that.

        And even if it didn’t, if it saved one life, that would be enough for me. I’m willing to sacrifice my right for the right to life of one person. And I know any reasonable person would do the same. You would do the same. If you knew that you could save the life of one person by getting rid of your weapons and promoting gun control legislation, you too would do it.

        • RP says:

          And even if it didn’t, if it saved one life, that would be enough for me. I’m willing to sacrifice my right for the right to life of one person. And I know any reasonable person would do the same. You would do the same. If you knew that you could save the life of one person by getting rid of your weapons and promoting gun control legislation, you too would do it.

          No, we wouldn’t. Repealing the 4th Amendment would probably save lives too. If cops could search and raid anyone, any time on a whim they’d surely catch more criminals faster.

          Our rights are not worth one life. And believe it or not, guns save lives. You have an extremist position on the continuum of security —> liberty. You’re far more extreme than the average gun control proponent.

          And 77% of homicide victims are men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635092
          I don’t know where you got the “most victims are women and children” crap. I assume you’re also a social justice warrior, so facts and reason probably won’t work well on you.

        • Jack says:

          “I’m willing to sacrifice my right for the right to life of one person. And I know any reasonable person would do the same. You would do the same. ”

          So you’ll give up your car then? Can’t take the bus either. Or trains.

          What about knives or hammers? Or booze. Do you own any liquor? That kills people, and it’s only purpose is pure recreation.

          You’re literally saying “If it saves one life.”

          Why don’t you go first? Or do you get to keep the things you like because hey “my car never killed anyone,” or “no abusive spouse can get to my beer.”

          Guess those deaths don’t count.

          • You are missing the point: a gun is made for killing. That’s what it’s made for! Right? A car is not made with the intention of killing people. Seriously, do I need to explain this?

            And if you are not willing to give up your rights to save others, then you don’t care about being part of a civil society. And that’s fine, but laws protect members of civil society, not nut jobs who carry only about themselves. So just remember, the laws are made to protect us, not just you.

            You’re right about the women victims. So what? “More than twice as many women were shot and killed by their husband or intimate acquaintance than were murdered by strangers using guns, knives, or any other means”

            • GMC70 says:

              Guns save lives.

              First, niccolo, welcome.

              You will note that commenters here will be generally polite and fact-driven (though snarky). That’s one thing you will find about gun bloggers – they engage with debate based on facts. The anti-gun blog sites generally engage in what is referred to here as “Reasoned Discourse (TM).” What that means in practice is that they don’t engage those who write on their blogs who disagree with them. They simply delete those comments to keep the echo chamber going. You won’t find that here.

              The fact of the matter is, the anti-rights folks lie. Routinely. They have to, to make their “point.” We don’t have to – the facts are with us.

              I started this with guns save lives. The fact of the matter is – and I’ll let you do the research – that persons with firearms, mostly everyday citizens, save many magnitudes more lives than are taken by persons with firearms (note I did not say that the guns killed, for a firearm is an inanimate object – it cannot “do” anything). This is well researched and documented. See http://rense.com/general76/mths.htm. You’ll note even the government’s own studies conclude the same.

              Common sense, which your blog refers to, makes the point. If you feel threatened, who do you call? Police. What do they bring with them to deal with the situation? A GUN. Why is that? Because guns save lives.

              You rail against CC and OC, yet I challenge you – yes, this is a challenge – to provide any evidence whatsoever that expansive CC/OC carry laws have led to increases in homicide rates. You are aware, of course, that homicide rates are dropping, and are at near 40 year lows, even as CC/OC became more common. Even as gun ownership grew dramatically. No, these are not likely correlative events, but they prove the point: the antis have been warning of “blood in the streets for years, and they’ve been wrong every single time. Every. Single. Time.

              Stick around. Interact with the folks here. I guarantee you will learn something. It may not be what you thought you’d learn, but you have an open mind, don’t you?

              I can say that, because I was where you are.

              I now carry a 1911 everywhere I go. And I, and my family, are safer for it. I pray I never have to use it.

            • mike says:

              You are missing the point: a gun is made for killing. That’s what it’s made for! Right?

              My 10/22 sure isn’t made for killing. Neither is my Browning Buckmark. What is your litmus test for determining whether a gun is “made for killing”? Granted, they could be used for killing – kinda like this keyboard I’m typing on. But then, this keyboard wasn’t made for killing. Just like my 10/22 and my Buckmark. Rinse, repeat.

            • Jack says:

              Wait wait wait….

              So guns can be banned “if it saves one life” because “guns are made for killing”

              And yet you’re not willing to give up booze or other recreational drugs?

              What happened to willing to give up your rights for the greater good?

              As for guns being made for killing… shine on Sir Strawman.

              You are aware that all 50 states have some provision for conceal carry by non police citizens correct? Why do you think the state is fine with certian civilians carrying guns?

              A gun can save a life. A bottle of beer can’t.

        • Can you give some examples of countries that adopted strict gun control and had a statistically significant decline in domestic violence murders? Not just murders by gun, but total murders?

        • mike says:

          I’m concerned most about domestic violence. Most of the people killed by guns are known by the person who killed them, and most of the killers are men and most of the killed are women or children.

          C’mon, you can’t just make stuff up as you go along. You know why most people killed by guns are known by the person who killed them? Because most people killed by guns committed suicide.

          2010 Firearm homicides: 11,078
          http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

          2010 Firearm suicides: 19,392
          http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

          As for “most of the killed are women or children”, I’m calling BS on that. See:
          http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvv.pdf

          As of 2007, less than 2000 women were killed each year by their partners by any means, including guns. Compare that to the 11,078 figure above.

          As for the children, see:
          http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/FIREARM_DEATHS_AND_DEATH_RATES.pdf

          2010 Firearm deaths, ages 1-14: 369 (143 were suicides or accidents)
          2010 Firearm deaths, ages 15-19: 2331 (756 were suicides, accidents, or legal intervention)

          What’s not included in these figures is how many of the “children” are killed by people they know in gangs and the drug trade. But that’s not exactly the image you’re going for when you talk about “women and children”, is it?

          The fact is, murder is on the decline, gun crime is on the decline, gun ownership is up, more people are carrying, the people killing people aren’t the people you said they were, and the victims aren’t who you think they are either. See:
          http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/listening_to_the_latest_media.html

          And even if it didn’t, if it saved one life, that would be enough for me. I’m willing to sacrifice my right for the right to life of one person. And I know any reasonable person would do the same.

          This is precious. Are you really interested in “saving one life”? Or do you just think saying stuff like this will give you some kind of shield allowing you to attack gun rights without being called out on it? Because it doesn’t work like that. If you think protecting all lives is important, then the low-hanging fruit would certainly be a good place to start. Instead of spending years accomplishing nothing trying to disarm everyone, why not try to get the speed limit reduced a few MPH, like De Blasio wants to do in NYC? That’ll save a lot more lives than making guns double-plus illegal in NYC.

          There are lots of ways to save lives where you won’t have millions of grassroots activists vehemently opposing you. But you don’t want to save lives. You want to ban guns. That’s why every shooting is followed by a chorus of “How can we ban more guns?” instead of “Why did this happen and how can we prevent it from happening again?”

          But worst of all is that your effort to save that “one life” will cost more lives than it saves. Guns are used every day to protect people from being robbed, beaten, raped, and killed. Some of those stories even find their way onto the internet:
          http://www.reddit.com/r/dgu/
          http://gunssavelives.net/
          http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx
          http://bearingarms.com/category/guns-saving-lives/
          http://www.youtube.com/user/TheArmedCitizen/videos

          Banning guns completely might save some lives, but it would cost a lot more. And worse, it would shift the equation in favor of the armed criminal and against the [now] disarmed senior citizen, gas station attendant, pizza delivery driver, etc. People like you can choose to be disarmed, but it is absolutely immoral to make others vulnerable to predators because of your hatred of an inanimate object. Their lives are also worth protecting, even if doing so is inconvenient for your agenda.

        • Allen says:

          Feel free to sacrifice your life at any time, bub.

  2. RP says:

    Setting aside Niccolo’s nonsense and commenting on the article, I think its a good observation that we don’t trust the government. Although its silly to blame it on recent events like Snowden’s leak or Obamacare’s failures. I think its a very American trait to distrust government. For some of us, it’s almost innate and we’ll always feel that way. For us, the NSA revelations we not surprising and didn’t change a thing. For others, its cyclical. The liberals who are currently quite supportive of gov’t authority will suddenly become anti-establishment types the instant we get a Republican president.

    As far as labeling the obvious ineffectiveness of their proposals a “messaging problem”, well, messaging is the name of the game for them. Everything comes down to that for an anti. The anti-gun playbook is titled Messaging and Rhetoric Manipulation for Dummies.

  3. What nonsense? That guns are made for killing? They are. Tell me that’s not true.

    And yes, I don’t trust the government either, but I don’t think liberals are more trusting now than before. Conservatives only do not trust the gov’t, right now, because they hate blacks.

    Isn’t the issue that mass shootings are something that people care about, unlike domestic violence or, as RP and others point out, black youths like Trayvon Martin. So it is a strategy for getting attention. That doesn’t mean the point is false: namely, we cannot solve and stop every crime from happening, but we could stop some. Maybe only 10%. Maybe only 5%. According to 2010 statistics, that’s 500 people. Even if you’re a cynical utilitarian like RP, that seems reasonable, no?

    • Bitter says:

      And now it’s obvious you’re having way too much fun as a troll.

    • RP says:

      I can’t believe it took so long for the racist card to come out. All we need now is some Bush-blaming.

    • Peter O says:

      You’re asking us to give up guns to save x number of lives.
      Yet let us assume that only 1% of defensive gun uses save the life of the gunowner. Even at the absolute smallest estimate of DGUs (55000) (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_gun_use) that is still 550 lives saved a year.
      I’m sorry, I won’t sacrifice 550 or more lives to save 500.

    • Alpheus says:

      Yes, niccolo, some guns are made for killing. So? You seem to be implying that we never need to kill–that it’s never justified to shoot someone. There’s a difference between killing and murder, however, so unless you are going to demand that the police and the army disarm themselves, I’m not going to take any of your assertions seriously.

      And if you really cared about the lives of black young men, you would be much more concerned about finding ways to tone down the violence found in gang culture, and be less concerned about the hillbilly hick who goes plunking with his AR-15 in the hills. We know banning guns won’t help the inner city violence problem, because it’s already been tried!

  4. I am serious. Facts are serious. If you can’t argue with them, that’s fine. Just admit that you do not want people to die at the ends of guns, right?

    • GMC70 says:

      “Facts are serious.”

      Indeed they are. It’s too bad you have none to support your position.

      You’ve been engaged with facts, repeatedly, niccolo, by writers here. Yet you don’t what to deal with facts. Instead, you play the race card, bogus to a fault, and tired, at this point. You play the “but guns are icky” card.

      Is this the best you’ve got? You play every card EXCEPT facts.

      There’s a reason for that, of course. The facts are not on your side of the argument. If you have to deal in the realm of facts, you lose. And you know it. And you hate it. So you stomp your feet, tell us about your “feelings,” make baseless personal attacks. As a previous writer put it, you don’t want to save lives, you want to ban guns. The two are not related.

      Typical. I had hoped you were actually interested in dialogue. It’s clear you’re not. You’re here to attempt to drive up numbers for your blog which is contemplating its loneliness.

      In short, you’re a troll. Have a nice day.

  5. i am actually interested in dialogue. And this exchange has been informative for me. I was incorrect about domestic violence, when it’s clear that black men (between 19-24, pace Mike and RP) are really the greatest victims of gun violence. I’m sorry for being wrong, but I think the point is the same.

    That point is, gun control legislation could save lives. Maybe only 20% are the lives of women and children (like Lorrie Moore and her boyfriend in Peoria). Maybe only 20% are Trayvon Martin. I still want to save their lives and the lives of the “drug dealers” and black young men.

    Do I hate an inanimate object? No. What I hate is a culture so obsessed by its love for that object that it cannot allow even modest regulation.

    It seems that I have answered the facts. The only thing outstanding is the interesting claim that guns save lives and that gun control doesn’t. The problem with both of these areas, as far as facts go, is that they are based on counterfactuals (things that didn’t actually happen but could have). Sure, we could look at other countries (like Switzerland, which is a fascinating case), but we don’t live there, we live here. And we all grew up watching and loving Magnum PI (when he puts a bullet in the chamber of his Colt) or the A-Team or the Terminator or Miami Vice. We love guns.

    But I think reason by itself indicates that with regulation we can save some lives. If we all knew this, if we knew that we could save 500 lives, each of use would do what we could. That’s all I’m trying to get across.

    If you’re interesting in dialogue, come to my “lonely” website: contraNRA.blogspot.com.

    If you’re a troll, well, perhaps I deserve a little abuse. But be kind, if you will.

    • mike says:

      You said earlier that you’re “concerned most about domestic violence”. Your words. When it turned out that domestic violence isn’t responsible for most gun deaths, now you’re no longer “concerned most about domestic violence”. Well, that didn’t take long.

      This is the problem with people like you. You’ll wrap your argument in whatever you think will be most effective at getting guns taken away from people who never committed any crime with them. Moments ago you wanted to end the scourge of [gun] domestic violence. But now that they’re not convenient victims for you, you’ve moved on. Do you not see how disingenuous that is? And how abhorrent? Granted, it’s no less abhorrent than calling all conservatives racist (presumably the black conservatives too) because some of them disagree with your views on the right to defend oneself. Also, you shouldn’t assuming that all conservatives are pro-gun, or that people who are pro-gun are all conservatives. I’m certainly not. So on the plus side, I guess you didn’t call me a racist, yet.

      As for this:

      What I hate is a culture so obsessed by its love for that object that it cannot allow even modest regulation.

      Can you name one other item that needs a federal background check every time someone goes into a store to buy one? Have you ever shopped for or bought a gun? Much less in NJ, MA, DC, IL, CA, etc? I’m guessing not – because you’d know that we’re already well beyond “modest regulation”.

      When I saw your posts I thought you’d be another voice in the gun debate, but you quickly outed yourself as a troll with your racist comment and your “I’m 110% for saving the lives of whatever group I think will win the argument, until I change my mind on a whim.”

      I hope that if people do find your website – http://contranra.blogspot.com – that with the help of google they can find your comments here too. You’re uninformed, filled with hate and ignorance, and just want to berate people. A very quick glance at your website – contranra (helping with the google :) – confirms this. You’ve shown your true colors, and it’s clear you’re not to be taken seriously.

    • secureweb says:

      I’m still not sure that you aren’t a troll; your website is evidence against it…or a masterful misdirection.

      Anyway, your points.
      “And serious gun control could stop that” (domestic violence, i’m pretty sure?). According to the guardian, quoting government sources, 7% of women and 4% of men were victims of domestic violence in 2013. In the US, in 2013, the rate for both men and women combined was 6.4%. and those numbers were a serious pain to find, BTW. finally found it at the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In case you didn’t get the context, Britain has more than “moderate regulation”..

      “I’m willing to sacrifice my right (to own a gun, I think) for the right to life of one person. And I know any reasonable person would do the same. You would do the same.
      hmm. sure, it almost sounds logical…what if I sacrifice my right to own a gun, and the one life that is saved is the one I would have killed for trying to rape my daughter? I just can’t see this as anything but a platitude, sorry. The fact is, I’m a father, and recently, a grandfather. My job is to protect my family, and make sure they grow up to take care of THEIR families. Guns are fantastic tools for this, so I’ll keep mine and encourage my kids to do the same.

      “What nonsense? That guns are made for killing? They are. Tell me that’s not true.”
      I’m an older guy. I grew up on a farm in Illinois in the 60’s and 70’s. a farm has lots of tools laying around, hammers, saws, plows, horse harness, etc. and guns. That’s all guns were to us, tools. we used a tool to run off coyotes and foxes going after the chickens; when the corn was ripe, we took turns sitting on the porch with a rifle-tool to take occasional potshot at the grackles to run them off. and when we wanted a little extra meat for the table, we would use a tool to take care of that, also. Being as it was a rural area and the time period, self defense wasn’t a big use for those tools; my dad did keep his service revolver loaded in his nightstand “just in case”.
      As I grew up and went about my life, I do admit that guns have become less pure tools to me; I carried one in the Navy, and while it was indeed a tool, it was a weapon also. and when I carried one as a consultant, well, same thing.
      The thing is, any tool can be a weapon. If crosscut saws are more effective at resolving problems that call for a weapon, we would carry crosscut saws. But to get back to the original point: some guns are made, literally, for target shooting. Some guns are very good for hunting but not very good for self defense; some guns are designed expressly for use against other human beings. The gun, however, doesn’t do any of the killing that is being done; the creature who is holding the tool and pulls the trigger does that.

      “cannot allow even modest regulation…” we have modest regulation.I’m against continuing, incremental modest regulation, because eventually it would pass the point of being modest. Is there some specific modest regulation you would like to see? The vast majority of gun owners do indeed think we have to have some modest regulation.

      “we love guns” yeah, our society does tend to do that. I have a couple of guns that I have (what could be considered) a unhealthy relationship with. we also, as a society, love Motorcycles, cars and dogs.

      “with regulation we can save some lives” once again, what regulation are talking about here? we might all agree with you.

  6. Domestic violence continues to be perhaps my most pressing concern, but you are right that it was one argument I used to promote a point, namely, that gun violence can be decreased through modest regulation.

    No, I can’t name one other thing that requires federal background checks, but guns are unique, they are designed expressly for killing. Sure, maybe swords are too. Fine. Let’s regulate them as well. That does nothing to respond to my point.

    I simply do not understand the how guns are not for killing. So because your 10/22 has a small caliber it is not made for killing. Well, let’s say I agree (although I don’t really), so would regulating all guns with calibers exceeding, say, .25, would that be okay? Can we then agree that these need regulation and are unique?

    You claim I’m surfing the slippery slope, but I think I’m being straightforward. You claim I’m being hateful and ignorant, but I’ve don’t think I’ve insulted a single person, nor, with the exception of my claim about domestic violence being the main of gun violence, been ignorant.

    What I hate is that because domestic violence, because violence in parts of St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, etc., are so common they never allow us to consider actual gun regulation. Instead, something insane like Newtown has to happen for us to even air the issue and then it also does not provoke any actual legislation.

    If things were not changing, if things like the 94 Assault Rifle Ban were still in effect, I probably would turn onto other issues instead (and yes, I know that the gun industry found ways around it). But the NRA and 2ndA activists are going too far. OC has been legalized in 45 states?! What is the purpose behind that? There is none except to threaten others.

    The NRA and 2ndA activists have pushed too hard and now we are pushing back. We are opening a dialogue that is not based on old and out of date traditions, but on simple common sense arguments.

    • mike says:

      Again with the “modest regulation” bit. Why don’t you look into NFA34, GCA68, FOPA86, the 93 Brady act, and the various Executive Orders (to regulate guns, btw) starting with Bush I’s 89 import order, then followed by a bunch from Clinton and most recently Obama. There’s enough regulation there to make your head spin, and that’s just Federal law. I doubt you’ll bother though, because you just want “more”. You probably think it helps your cause that you’re ignorant of existing gun laws and regulations. Maybe if you want to position yourself as an expert on something, it might be good to have a little basic knowledge of the thing you’re pretending to know something about.

      but guns are unique, they are designed expressly for killing.

      You can keep hammering that, but not all guns are designed for killing. Some are designed for shooting clays, some are designed for 3-gun competitions, some are designed for target practice, etc. None of those are “designed for killing” no matter how you much you’d like that to be the case. And even the ones that you do think are “designed for killing” are designed for getting a bullet from the chamber to the intended target. Kinda like the guns that are clearly not “designed for killing”. An electric chair is clearly “designed for killing” because it serves no other purpose. Guns serve lots of purposes, among them is protecting life. I’d argue that small concealable handguns are “designed for helping people protect themselves” just as you’d say they’re “designed for killing.”

      To put things in perspective, an order of magnitude more people are killed by their doctors than by guns in the US:
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9728&page=1

      If you believed that every life was valuable, maybe you’d advocate for penmanship lessons as a condition of practicing medicine, for starters.

      What I hate is that because domestic violence, because violence in parts of St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, etc., are so common they never allow us to consider actual gun regulation. Instead, something insane like Newtown has to happen for us to even air the issue and then it also does not provoke any actual legislation.

      What does domestic violence have to do with gun regulation? Are you really just grasping for straws, or would you rather have abusive spouses throw their partners out of windows? Guns do not cause domestic violence, which is what you’re implying. And yes, Newtown – there was a lot of disappointment from people like you that after dancing on the graves of those young victims, they couldn’t get any federal laws passed that wouldn’t have done anything to prevent that tragedy. The kid shot his mom and stole her guns. Nothing proposed in Manchin-Toomey would have stopped that from happening – yet everyone kept dancing on those dead kids’ graves. Some people really do exemplify the worst in humanity.

      As for the 94 AWB – surely you know that it didn’t make a difference, right? Follow the citations here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban#Effect_on_crime

      We have real, verifiable results of everything you’re suggesting. It doesn’t work. You think it’ll work, but the reality is the opposite. Places that have more gun restrictions tend to have more crime, including gun crime. Chicago and DC are the best examples of this, but also look at the UK and Australia. When you disarm everyone but the criminals, criminals absorb and act upon that information. Your supposed goals are laudable, but in the face of repeated evidence that they do more harm than good you keep pushing to.. do more harm than good. When you’re causing harm, you should stop. Instead you keep pushing on and hoping that eventually the facts will match your beliefs. That’s not how it works.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Unfortunately, gun control HAS NOT reduced violent crime rates when enacted — they have always gone up when more restrictive laws were enacted anywhere the common population had any effective access to legal guns, and generally speaking have gone down when restrictive gun laws were removed.

      Over and over. In multiple countries. Including the darling examples that anti-civil rights bigots like to quote, such as the UK and Australia (which are island nations – if you cannot control criminal access to guns there, it’s fairly cetrain it cannot be done).

      Even when such laws have actually suceeded in reducing the rate of deaths caused by guns, they have not succeeded in reducing the rate of deaths – so they do not even save “just one life”. Worse, they ensure that, in any armed encounter, the one who is the criminal aggressor is the only one who is armed. . . thus skewing the death rate towards the innocent.

      Sorry, if I have to choose between the death of an innocent and teh death of tehir attacker, I’ll choose the life of teh innocent. Every friggin’ time. even if it’s a 10:1 ratio of “Bad Guy deaths” vs. “Good Guy deaths”. I simply don’t give a damn when a predator who chooses to inflict violence on innocent people dies. Not even when five or ten year old pictures of him in elementary school make him look so sweet.

  7. Jdude says:

    “You claim I’m being hateful and ignorant, but I’ve don’t think I’ve insulted a single person, nor, with the exception of my claim about domestic violence being the main of gun violence, been ignorant.”

    Hmm.

    “Conservatives only do not trust the gov’t, right now, because they hate blacks.”

    Of all the insulting notions you could throw at us… I’m offended.You don’t know a single one of us. You know nothing of us. You do not know the character or complexion of any of us, and you dare call us prejudiced?

    Do not judge me by the color of my skin. Judge me by the content of my character.

    I was hopefull of you when I read your first post. I thought you came here, in earnest, to speak your opinions and gain facts.

    Why are you so prejudiced and anti-science?

  8. Okay, so let me be clear, since I’m being presented with all of these interesting counterarguments.

    Here’s some suggestions for modest regulation:
    –Ban OC. There’s no reason for it. You’re not doing anything other than intimidating others who don’t what to carry.
    –Require an existing database of gun purchasers and gun owners. If you have to have a license to own a car, you should have to have one to own a gun. As you probably know, the FOPA 86 denied the ability to maintain this database. Purchases between individuals must be reported, all owners of weapons should be licensed.
    –Reenact the Assault W Ban and outlaw guns of large caliber. As AWB 94, you’ll see if you look at the same source you suggested to me that the Brady Campaign found evidence to suggest some effects. But these guns clearly have no purpose other than killing. What do we need them for? Give the 9mms and .38s to police. Felons repeatedly prefer the stopping power of larger caliber weapons, naturally.

    As for Chicago and DC as evidence of how these bans do not work, this doesn’t account for the fact that guns can be easily transferred into these cities from outside. The AWB won’t do much, if anything in 10 years. Give it time to get rid of these weapons.

    As for the UK, Australia, there seems to be a lack of evidence either way. Some studies say it did work in Austrailia, others do not. Let’s just consult common sense. We do not need them.

    Handguns are really what need to be regulated most carefully. They are used in most crimes.

    • Peter O says:

      – 99% of OC is never noticed (or assumed to be off-duty cop) Why ban options that aren’t causing harm. People were mad at the texas group, but isn’t because they were just carrying, but that they were protesting what & where it didn’t need protested.
      – You need a license to drive a car on the road (think of this as a concealed carry license) but you don’t need one to own a car. In fact, if you never take it on the roads, the government never needs to know about you owning it.
      People also oppose registering because it usually leads to confiscation, or like the Canadian registry, spends a billion dollars never being used.
      – Ok, between the third bullet point and your last line, you’re telling me that you want rifles banned (remember that most large-caliber rounds are rifle rounds), but handguns need to be regulated the most. I’m forced to conclude that you apparently you don’t want any guns.

      When your “modest regulation” is a bunch of Bans, you’re not talking English anymore.

    • mike says:

      You call banning an entire method of carry, creating a national gun registry, and banning tens of millions more guns “modest regulation”? Also, what do gun owners get out of any of this? Or do you just want to take and not give anything in return? I hope you don’t wonder why gun owners don’t want to come to the table. And that’s Gun Owners – not the NRA. The NRA is a grassroots organization that speaks on behalf of its members, dues-paying gun owners. It is not a mouthpiece of the gun industry. There is another organization that lobbies for the gun industry, but since you’re an expert on these things there’s no need for me to name it, right?

      Ban OC. OC should be determined at the state level because in some places the locals are fine with it, but others it scares people. I hope you’ll agree that OC certainly doesn’t cause or even enable crime. It’s just about people being scared, and civil rights shouldn’t be infringed because people get scared, but that’s another discussion for another time.

      A gun registry. You know, a bunch of states have them. You know what they’ve been used for? Confiscation. There’s a saying in the gun community: First comes registration, then comes confiscation. The 2nd is not only about protecting ourselves and our families, but about protecting our collective freedom. We don’t know what the government will look like in 10, 20, 100 years. So why on Earth would be give them a list of gun owners and what guns they own? That’s an incredibly, incredibly stupid plan for long-term self-preservation. I’m sure we can go down a whole list of bad people in history (and even US history) who would have loved such a list.

      Assault Weapons Ban. Yes, the only group that you say said it had any effect was an organization that used to be called Handgun Control Inc. Speaking of which, you acknowledge that “Handguns are really what need to be regulated most carefully. They are used in most crimes.” yet, still you push for the ban on the scary looking – and only looking guns. This is amateur hour. If you want to be taken seriously, at least learn to keep a consistent message.

      And stop saying “common sense” – that’s another term we the gun community assign special meaning to. It usually means anything that’s described as “common sense” is just more gun grabbing nonsense that’s based on feel-good “we’re doing something stuff or is just a way to poke gun owners in the eye but won’t address crime. Like banning guns that look scary because they look scary.

      If you really want to stop gun crime, stop the drug war. There’s an actual causal relationship there. I suppose the problem with that is it doesn’t do anything to advance your real agenda, which is to ban guns and not reduce gun violence.

    • The Jack says:

      Yeah…. here’s the thing. When you *start* out demanding a full on ban.

      And try to shame anyone who disagrees by saying they don’t care about people dying…. it’s really hard to believe your sincerity when you try to compromise.

      Especially when your compromise position is based on ignorance that borders on delusion.

      “Reenact the Assault W Ban and outlaw guns of large caliber. As AWB 94, you’ll see if you look at the same source you suggested to me that the Brady Campaign found evidence to suggest some effects. But these guns clearly have no purpose other than killing. What do we need them for? Give the 9mms and .38s to police. Felons repeatedly prefer the stopping power of larger caliber weapons, naturally. ”

      Wait… you think 9mm and .38 are too large and should be only police?

      You are aware you’re “compromise” position is still a gigantic ban… which is coupled with a mandatory registration right?

      And the “felons want the extra stopping power”. Geez, have you actually looked at statistics on which calibers criminals want?

      This is like being lectured on abortion by a po-lifer who thinks the stork delivers babies.

    • benEzra says:

      “Reenact the Assault W Ban and outlaw guns of large caliber.”

      You are contradicting yourself here. “Assault weapons” are almost exclusively small-caliber to intermediate-caliber. The AR-15, the most popular civilian rifle in the United States, is a centerfire .22; by comparison, a typical deer rifle is a .30 caliber with twice the power, and a 12-gauge shotgun is .729 caliber.

      “But these guns clearly have no purpose other than killing.”

      Ummm, you are talking about the *least* misused class of weapon in the United States. Go peruse the FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2012, Table 20, Murder by State and Type of Weapon:

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/20tabledatadecpdf

      Note that many states have *zero* rifle homicides in any given year, and most states are in the single digits. If you download the Excel version and sum the columns, you’ll find that of the 12,700+ homicides reported to the FBI, all rifles *combined* (including “assault weapons”) accounted for only 320, despite the fact that the AR-15 platform is probably the top selling gun in the United States.

      FWIW, per the FBI UCR, rifle homicide is lower now than it has been in decades, and may be lower now per capita than it has ever been. The trend in rifle homicide over the last few years for the United States:

      2005: 442
      2006: 436
      2007: 450
      2008: 375
      2009: 348
      2010: 358
      2012: 320

      Tell me again how rifle handgrips and magazines that stick out are such an exploding crime problem?

      It is simply nonsensical to claim that the #1 civilian target rifle in the United States is useless for target shooting; that the #1 centerfire competition rifle in the nation is useless for competitive shooting; that the #1 civilian defensive carbine in U.S. homes is useless for legitimate defensive purposes; or that some of the least misused weapons in the United States relative to their popularity are somehow “only useful for killing.”

      “What do we need them for?”

      You mean AR-15’s and such? I shoot competitively with mine in local USPSA style matches, and it also serves for recreational target shooting and as the go-to carbine in the safe; a civilian self-loader in .223 is ideally suited for all three.

      “Give the 9mms and .38s to police. Felons repeatedly prefer the stopping power of larger caliber weapons, naturally.”

      9mm (.36 caliber) is one of the smaller defensive handgun calibers, and in competitive shooting is grouped in the low-powered class (Minor in IPSC/USPSA and IDPA). Most people consider “large caliber” handguns to be those above .40 caliber/10mm. (The old .45 ACP is 11.43mm, FWIW.)

      Banning “assault weapons” or mandating pre-1870s capacity limits are not “modest proposals”; they are the rock pile at the bottom of the slippery slope that we are trying to avoid.

    • Geodkyt says:

      If teh problem in Chicago and DC is that the surrounding regions do not have similar bigoted laws, riddle me this:

      Why is it that you can literally cross the street, exiting DC into Maryland, and the violent crime rate drops, despite having demographics as nearly equal as possible (Hell, they’re the same neighborhood). Cross the river into Virginia (with very similar demographics), and the crime rate drops even more.

      The same is true of Chicago, although less pronounced geographically, as the political boundaries around Chicago are not as nearly pronounced in effect.

      If the looser access to guns was the problem, then crime rates should go up as you leave the more restrictive locations. . . what we see is exactly the opposite.

      Correlation is not causation, but negative correlation always disproves causation.

  9. I can’t respond to all of these points, so let me focus on the federal registry. You’re right, if you think I have huge targets. Ultimately, I cannot see any present reason for the 2nd Amendment. But I not proposing getting rid of it, because it’s a nonstarter and as realistic as Obama becoming an imam.

    I do still think my suggestions are modest. They are modest in the following sense: that they attack things that I think prima facie lack rational justification. Assault weapons are only defended for the sake of someone’s rights, not because they defend someone better than a handgun, for example. But the potential for abuse and greater threat is unquestionable.

    And yes, you’re right that I’m appealing to “common sense” in a way that is idiosyncratic. Primarily, I’m appealing to reason without reference to contemporary states of affairs or traditions. I’d need more space to unpack these.

    Back to the main point, the federal registry. I understand that gun enthusiasts worry that a registry is the basis for confiscation. But in doing a little bit of cursory research, what I’ve found is that apart from examples in Nazi Germany, Armenia and here and there, this has never been a systematic program in the United States. Yes, every here and there a LEO has abused his authority based on gun control laws, registration. So what? Police abuse of authority is nothing new. It has opportunities for redress.

    What’s interesting to me is that this is a great slippery slope argument that allows different people who may recognize certain different forms of gun control not to allow any. I.e., if we allow any regulation, this is tantamount to giving up our guns.

    My argument goes back to the comparison with cars: we require everyone to have a license for an automobile (and not only that), but cars are not designed expressly for killing. Whereas with a deadly weapon, we require no consistent regulation? That doesn’t make any sense. Why do we license everyone? Because driving is a very dangerous exercise, because there need to be rules in place to be able to safely use public roads. For the same reason, if not more so, we need to treat gun owners with the same amount of “modest” regulation. That is, requiring them to register deadly weapons.

    • Peter O says:

      Yea, English is a flexible language, but it still requires you to use the normal definition of words when talking to other people. You however seem to be using the Swiftian definitions of “modest” and “commonsense”.

      As for the Guns like Cars arguments… It’s been addressed before:
      http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2007/04/we-license-cars-yackyackyack.html
      and the inverse:
      http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/we-need-to-regulate-cars-the-way-we-regulate-guns

      I love how you say that ‘other than these examples, registration has never led to confiscation, so I don’t see why you are so opposed to registration’
      You somehow look at the same events, saw the same trend, and yet somehow deny that it has happened elsewhere and so could possibly happen here. There has never been a systemic program of confiscation, because there is no systemic registration in much of the US. Sitting US Senators would love to do it, so from a political will standpoint it is certainly within the realm of possibility: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffI-tWh37UY

    • mike says:

      1. You want a Federal gun registry. What would you offer gun owners in exchange for this?

      2. You think the 2nd Amendment has no “present reason”. My parents are in their 70s and have guns in their home to protect against the drug-related break-ins that plague their neighborhood. How does taking their guns away help them when someone breaks in? What would you suggest they use to defend themselves if they can’t use the perfect tool for self-defense?

      3. “Assault weapon” is a made-up term that, defines how scary a gun looks. A so-called “assault weapon” is no more deadly than any other gun of the same type. They just look scarier. That’s like banning racing stripes and spoilers on cars because they make cars look too fast. It’s ridiculous, and shows how little you’re actually concerned about preventing deaths [by guns and only by guns] vs. just banning guns because they’re scary [to you].

      4. If you haven’t found numerous examples of state registries being used to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens in the US, you haven’t looked very hard. I’m not talking about rogue LEOs, I’m talking about state institutions. And I’m talking about more than one state. I’m not going to do all your legwork, and besides if you’re positioning your website – http://contranra.blogspot.com – as a gun control hub, then you should already be well versed with some of the most basic sticking points against various forms of gun control, like state gun registries being used by those states to confiscate lawfully owned guns from people who haven’t committed any crime.

      5. You keep making the guns:cars analogy. Please cite the Constitutional Amendment protecting the God-given right to own or drive an automobile. It’s not the same thing, at all. We all are born with a natural right to do what we can to make sure nobody kills us. The perfect tool for that is a firearm. It equalizes force between drugged up home invaders and my 70-something year old parents, and all in the palms of their hands. Your solution disarms my parents without doing anything to stop the people who would cause them harm. That is a non-starter.

      I don’t know what your game plan is, aside from trying to get people to pay attention to your little blog, contranra. Good luck with that. If it’s as incoherent as your comments here then I think the best you’ll get is an echo chamber for other ignorant gun grabbers. Seriously, you’re just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. Look at how many times your views have changed in just one day. Then you say you only want “reasonable regulation”, like eliminating the 2nd Amendment. Between that, lamenting that you didn’t get more legislative action from dancing on dead childrens’ graves, and your racist comment above, I think it’s safe to say nobody has much to worry about from you or your blog. Folks, it’s Amateur Night at the Apollo.

      • Alpheus says:

        There’s another point that needs to be made about the car registry and the licensing of drivers. I’d like to see a single study that such licensing and registration actually make us safer. More often than not, it doesn’t. Anyone can drive on the roads without a license, even though it’s illegal–it’s not *that* hard, after all, to operate a vehicle–and I don’t know how many times I’ve heard about accidents on the radio where no one was able to see a license plate. (In the movies, it goes without saying that if you see a car run off after a crime or an accident, you automatically have the license plate burned into your retinas…but real life never seems to be like that.)

        The licensing system we have today is the result of fear, paranoia and doubt that the peasants could operate vehicles; we’re lucky that we no longer have to stop every ten feet to light off fireworks to warn others we are coming, and that we can drive faster than 10 MPH. I have the feeling that licenses, registration, and even insurance requirements, are just as effective as fireworks and slow speed limits in preventing automobile accidents.

    • The Jack says:

      “My argument goes back to the comparison with cars: we require everyone to have a license for an automobile (and not only that), but cars are not designed expressly for killing. Whereas with a deadly weapon, we require no consistent regulation? That doesn’t make any sense. Why do we license everyone? Because driving is a very dangerous exercise, because there need to be rules in place to be able to safely use public roads. For the same reason, if not more so, we need to treat gun owners with the same amount of “modest” regulation. That is, requiring them to register deadly weapons.”

      Soo…. you’re ignorant of both car AND gun law?

      Are you even aware that one does not need a driver’s license to own a car?

      How about that the only cars you need to register and get insurance are those one intends to use on public roads.

      Cars that are used on farms, in sport races, historical work, or private drives don’t need registration or insurance.

      Also driver’s licensees are given on a shall issue basis to anyone that asks for one and passes a very basic test, and are accepted in any other state.

      So when you say “We need to treat guns like cars!” unless you mean “Any old guy from Kansas should be able to keep a machine gun for personal use and should be able to carry his insured handgun in NYC” you’re either ignorant or lying.

      And as for slippery slope argument. Are you aware that New York State is on it’s second assault weapons ban? Or how about how California banned open carry in three stages over many decades, or how it steadily increased waiting periods over a longer period of time.

      It’s amazing the chutzpa to have someone so fundamentally ignorant come in and lecture like this.

    • Patrick H says:

      I do still think my suggestions are modest. They are modest in the following sense: that they attack things that I think prima facie lack rational justification. Assault weapons are only defended for the sake of someone’s rights, not because they defend someone better than a handgun, for example. But the potential for abuse and greater threat is unquestionable.

      Except they are not modest, but radical. We have people here telling you the rational justification, you just chose to ignore it. And there is nothing wrong with defending for the sake of defending rights- that’s why they are rights! We defend Neonazi’s the right to free speech for the sake of rights- because that’s how it works. And FYI, scary looking semi auto rifles (which you call assault weapons) CAN defend someone better than a handgun- more capacity and better accuracy are two reasons. Just look at the Koreans during the Rodney King riot.

      My argument goes back to the comparison with cars: we require everyone to have a license for an automobile (and not only that), but cars are not designed expressly for killing. Whereas with a deadly weapon, we require no consistent regulation? That doesn’t make any sense. Why do we license everyone? Because driving is a very dangerous exercise, because there need to be rules in place to be able to safely use public roads. For the same reason, if not more so, we need to treat gun owners with the same amount of “modest” regulation. That is, requiring them to register deadly weapons.

      And how exactly does requiring a license prevent auto injuries and deaths? You take a test when you are 16 and then never ever have to take it again. Have you ever been driving? Have you ever seen how people drive? Licensing only registers people and gets money from them- it has zero safety aspect.

      And if you really want to try guns like cars, then sure we can license and pay a fee. But nobody is banned from owning a car. We can as many full auto guns as we want. We can have tanks and cannons too. Is that what you really want?

    • Geodkyt says:

      Assault weapons are only defended for the sake of someone’s rights, not because they defend someone better than a handgun, for example.

      Wrong. In fact, I use (and advocate) an AR15 as the primary home defense weapon in my house, precisely because it is a better defensive weapon than a handgun (or a shotgun, for that matter).

      A long arm (such as a rifle or shotgun) is inherently more accurate under stress and generally FAR more powerful and likely to actually stop an attacker regardless of his mental or pharmaceutical state. Frankly, handguns are generally a second best choice for defensive work — their advantage is that they are more portable and concealable than a rifle or shotgun. If you have to defend yourself, you want a long arm whenever possible.

      An AR15 (or similar rifle) is an excellent choice for a home defense long arm because it holds more ammunition (multiple attackers, especially in home invasions, are far from uncommon and most shots fired under stress miss — even cops), is EXTREMELY ergonomic and controllable (if you cannot control an AR15 in 5.56mm and you probably can’t control a handgun either – seriously, severely arthritic and weak old ladies can do it just fine), and is generally chambered in a cartridge that is ideal for use on human targets at home interior ranges (that’s why SWAT teams use them — they not only have greater ability to stop an armed criminal such as a hostage taker, but simultaneously present less of a threat to innocents from misses or “overpenetrations” with decent ammo selection).

      Handguns are for three situations:

      1. Recreation such as target shooting. This is most civilian use, period.

      2. Defensive use when one does not expect to encounter a need that particular occaision, but chooses to be prepared, since criminals (and, especially in rural areas, aggressive dangerous animals) rarely call ahead to schedule appointments for particular times and places to attack you. This is where most civilian (including police) defensive use occurs.

      3. Defensive (or, admittedly, offensive) use when you cannot realistically carry along a long arm for use, despite knowing you’re quite likely to need a gun. This is why aircrew (and a lot of tankers) wear pistols on their survival vests, for instance. This category is primarily for military personnel or criminal predators.

      The difference is, I actually know something about the subject we are discussing here, rather than simply spouting off emotional, bigoted, and factually false information handed to me by bigots with political agendas.

  10. Burnt Toast says:

    “Conservatives only do not trust the gov’t, right now, because they hate blacks.”

    Nothing quite like being called racist for wanting to roll-back the oldest Jim Crow laws on the books. That pretty much ends that discussion.

    As for ‘slippery slopes’ – Generally, CC was restricted due to the opinion that anybody who would conceal is somehow nefarious, and, now the OC crowd is nefarious – should any need an example of ‘slippery slope’.

  11. benEzra says:

    “Assault weapons are only defended for the sake of someone’s rights, not because they defend someone better than a handgun, for example. But the potential for abuse and greater threat is unquestionable.”

    Baloney. Rifles of any type are *far* less misused than more portable weapons (twice as many people are murdered annually with shoes and bare hands than with “assault weapons” and all other rifles combined), and the worst mass shooting in U.S. history was carried out with a pair of ordinary pistols and a backpack full of non-extended magazines (I think mostly 10-rounders).

    If you can ban “assault weapons”—i.e. the most popular civilian rifles in the United States, and some of the least misused of all weapons—then you can certainly ban handguns. Which was, of course, the original justification for the “assault weapon” fraud in the first place, as a means to build momentum for a handgun ban.

  12. Right now I expect Sebastian and Bitter are thanking me for all the attention I’ve been giving them. And I’d equally have to thank them for the interesting debate that I’ve had here on their blog. I plan on sticking around and continuing discussion.

    A lot of you have complained that I am ignorant and do not know the facts, whereas I find practically no one is willing to consider that my views are more complicated or require further consideration. Or simply, to give the benefit of the doubt. Instead, you are all convinced that facts are on your side and not mine, and that, if we are talking about this issue, the history and facts you’ve wielded are the only ones that matter.

    Let me give an example: I keep using the word “modest regulation”, which as a number of your have pointed out, is ridiculous because guns are already so considerably regulated. The example par excellence seems to be federal background checks. But obviously I know about this and still think this is not really a significant form of regulation.

    So you have two options, you can either, as you have been doing, write me off as ignorant, or ask why I do not think that federal background checks are a significant form of regulation. Please, consider the latter. I think I have been doing the same for you.

    As for the conservatives hate blacks, well I said that in haste and apologize. Of course it is not true that every conservative hates blacks. When I wrote that, I was thinking about how conservatives have treated Obama and honestly I cannot understand it except to say that there is some underlying, institutional racism. And that is a view I will not back away from.

    • GMC70 says:

      Or, and here’s a thought:

      Conservatives disagree with Obama’s worldview and policy goals. Deeply. They believe that Obama’s policies, taken to their logical conclusion, are a disaster for a free society.

      Your problem is that you can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with the president, so when someone does, you have to chalk it up to racism. That’s sad. It speaks to your narrow worldview.

      As to how conservatives have “treated” Obama – please tell me you remember the Bush years? The endless “Bushitler” etc. ad nauseum. Bush was treated as shabbily as any president in recent memory.

      What goes around comes around.

      • I think Obama should be impeached, personally, but just not for the reasons most conservatives do, and this is what is perplexing to me. Obama should be impeached because he has done two things that a f*&&ing professor of constitutional law should have been more concerned about.

        1) He executed an American citizen without due process.

        2) He signed the NDAA of 2011 which allowed the detention of American citizens without trial.

        And if I was going to pick a third, although this is not impeachable, he promised to close Guantanamo as a campaign promise, when, only a certain amount of reflection would have shown the problems that this would cause, which are the reason why he later reneged on this promise.

        As for Bush, I think he should have been impeached too, although I think the grounds are less clear. He clearly lied to the American people about WMDs. His greatest crime is a crime of omission, namely, not giving a shit about things, like the failure of his SofD, Rumfeld, messing up in Iraq and doing nothing about it. But those aren’t really impeachable.

        So to the perplexing point: conservatives, by their name, should have a concern with the two matters I mentioned about Obama. But they don’t care, because it’s a matter of national security. What’s more, most conservative are partial libertarians, but again, they don’t really care about these abuses of basic civil rights.

        Again, I hope you’ll see that my views are a little more complex than you give them credit.

        But to go back to Barry, he’s a moderate. He’s more moderate than Clinton was and maybe even more so than Hilary (although she’s definitely also a moderate). That is why the enmity he’s inspired is so strange, and for me speaks to racism. Obamacare may well be a disaster, but it’s not a prelude to socialism. To say otherwise is fearmongering. Or else defining socialism as any form of government social net. We have a huge problem with healthcare and we need to find solutions.

        So Obama on guns: maybe he’s of my mind and sees little point in the 2ndA. But he’s smart enough to know there is no point in pursuing that at all. And I suspect, although he doesn’t care enough about habeus corpus, he might worry about the ramifications of even attacking the 2ndA. But that doesn’t mean we can’t even discuss gun regulation.

        The NRA and 2ndA activists have been very effective in making any discussion of gun violence and legislation into “code” for confiscation. That is fearmongering, of the likes of the Bush adminstration during the early years of the war on terror. I think Obama would think he’d done something if he set up a national registry or reinstated the AWB. But he’s not stupid enough to think that the abolition of the 2ndA is possible.

        For that matter, living in Chicago, I’m sure he probably considered owning a gun if he didn’t already. But being black and having a gun is an especially dangerous matter …

        • Alpheus says:

          First off, Obama is only a moderate if you’re already to the Left of him. To Conservatives (and conservative libertarians like myself), he’s a clear leftist. Obamacare may not be socialized medicine–yet–but it’s halfway there, and it’s unnecessary and harmful meddling in a field that has already been handicapped by bad regulations.

          “The NRA and 2ndA activists have been very effective in making any discussion of gun violence and legislation into “code” for confiscation.”

          That’s because all the NRA has to do is quote the many politicians and opinion pieces calling for outright confiscation. The latest examples include an Op-Ed from the LA Times, and Obama stating he wants to have the same gun laws that Australia has. (Hint: Australia has banned, and confiscated, guns.)

          “For that matter, living in Chicago, I’m sure he probably considered owning a gun if he didn’t already. But being black and having a gun is an especially dangerous matter …”

          If Obama could have carried legally in Chicago, it would only be because he was a State Senator, and therefore of the Privileged class. Nowadays, he won’t need a gun because he has an entourage to carry guns for him.

          In Chicago, it’s not “being black and having a gun” that’s particularly dangerous. If you’re black, or white, for that matter, and are just trying to keep your nose clean, you can almost be safe, even in the roughest of neighborhoods. Such people need guns, though, because there’s a tiny percentage of gang bangers and criminals who won’t leave the peaceable alone. One needs a gun to defend your life in these instances.

          • Conservative libertarian. That’s like the worst of both worlds. Actually it’s the only kind of conservative that makes sense. Inasmuch as being a libertarian makes sense.

            Australia has banned some guns, not all guns. But I suppose fine points are irrelevant if you will not accept any regulation.

            Let’s say that Obama does want to ban all guns–let’s say he’s as ridiculous as this caricature that’s been drawn and reinforced of him. So what? Do you honestly think that elected officials would be able to pass legislation banning guns? What country do you live in? Usually when I say these things, the response is, well we don’t know what the future will be like. Given that same logic, I hope everyone stocking up on ammunition and food …

            Oh yes, he probably wants to “sabotage” the healthcare industry. That’s a good one.

            Federal government and the CDC. So according to your dumb ass the government has to have a mandate to do research which is for the common good?

            Don’t worry, I’m not taking any of your assertions seriously. Quit smoking crack.

            Also, I should have said this before, but you show all the signs of being a victim of chemtrails. Have you noticed any overhead? Please go sit in your basement and put saran wrap on your head. Tightly.

            • benEzra says:

              “Australia has banned some guns, not all guns.” –@niccolo machiavelli

              For the average citizen (non-LEO, non-“occupational shooter”), Australia has banned *most* guns that are legal in the United States, not just “some”. They are far more restrictive than even most of Europe. Australia has also completely outlawed ownership of guns for defensive purposes, which is far and away the primary purpose for lawful ownership in the United States.

              An Australia-style ban in this country would entail the banning and confiscation of perhaps ~75% of U.S. civilian guns. The fact that it is not 100% is irrelevant; more on this below.

              “But I suppose fine points are irrelevant if you will not accept any regulation.” –@niccolo machiavelli

              American gun owners have accepted a *ton* of regulation. As it now stands, the right to own guns is limited to mentally competent adults with clean records, who are limited to non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed NFA Title 1 firearms under .51 caliber, plus over-.50 shotguns and a handful of over-.50 big-game rifles, that meet barrel length and overall length requirements, tracing requirements, and anti-conversion-to-auto requirements. Armor piercing ammo is banned for all calibers that matter. Guns undetectable by X-ray are banned. There are strict limits in most states on the circumstances under which guns can be carried concealed, most involving licensure. There are strict limits in all states on where and when guns may be used. And on and on and on. A good bit of that legislation was passed with at least the tacit support of gun owners, and there is no effort whatsoever to repeal most of it. Yet you say that we “won’t accept any regulation” just because we object to stupid and pointless restrictions aimed primarily at curtailing lawful and responsible use, rather than misuse. I don’t believe that’s a fair characterization.

              “Let’s say that Obama does want to ban all guns–let’s say he’s as ridiculous as this caricature that’s been drawn and reinforced of him. So what? Do you honestly think that elected officials would be able to pass legislation banning guns?”

              The “b-b-but nobody wants to ban *all* guns” nonsense is one of the most annoying platitudes of the gun control lobby, and it is absolutely and completely irrelevant to the gun debate.

              I’ll point out that the morality police of the Religious Right aren’t trying to ban *all* books and TV shows, just the subset they don’t approve of. The anti-abortion lobby isn’t fighting to outlaw *all* abortions, just most of them. The Volstead Act didn’t ban *all* alcoholic beverages, just those with more than 0.5% alcohol. Guliani and Bloomberg never wanted to stop and frisk *all* residents and visitors in NYC, just the ones the NYPD profiled. Dick Cheney never wanted to make *all* citizens subject to indefinite detention or drone strikes, just the ones he dubbed the bad guys. And so on.

              Do you think that we gun owners are too uneducated and ignorant to be aware of extant CA/NY/NJ gun law? Do you think we are such hicks that we can’t read the text of proposed bans posted on thomas.loc.gov?

              What may not be clear to you is that the gun-owner hell we are fighting to avoid is what has *already* been passed in CA and NY. I personally don’t *care* if HRH Bloomberg would deign to allow me to keep a Perazzi or a Weatherby while banning semiautos, because like most U.S. gun owners I don’t hunt and don’t shoot skeet.

              Americans own guns primarily for defensive purposes, 75%+ of the market is semiautos, straight wooden stocks are no longer the mainstream, and we own perhaps a billion over-10-round magazines. We *will* keep them. The gun control lobby can accept those facts, or it can pretend otherwise and keep shooting itself in the foot.

              But excusing proposed bans/confiscation by saying “But nobody is trying to ban muzzleloaders, over-and-unders, or under-.300 bolt actions” is as asinine as excusing book-banners by saying “But nobody is trying to ban all books”; it is irrelevant and insulting.

              What we’re *primarily* concerned about right now are the “assault weapon” fraud and magazine capacity limits; there are other threats on the board but those are the biggest. And you certainly can’t tell me that the Third Way/DLC center-left and the communitarian center-Right aren’t fighting for those things, because they damn well are. I can cite policy papers and bill numbers if you want.

    • GMC70 says:

      And when you speak ignorantly, you get written off as ignorant. Facts speak for themselves. You have demonstrated a telling lack of same. It’s not that you are subtle, it’s that you’ve been listening to the echo chamber. And the gun control echo chamber routinely ignores facts, and peddles lies.

      Thus the opening post. It’s about messaging for them, not facts. . . .

    • GMC70 says:

      And finally, I hope you do stick around. If you do, and you have an open mind, you’re about to get an education . . .

    • benEzra says:

      “A lot of you have complained that I am ignorant and do not know the facts, whereas I find practically no one is willing to consider that my views are more complicated or require further consideration.”

      You state that all semiautomatic firearms (one shot per trigger pull) should be banned, apparently unaware that >80% of civilian firearms are semiautomatic, or that semiautomatic shotguns are even legal in *England*, and you seem to consider this a “modest proposal” (when it is so only in the ironic Swiftian sense).

      You imply that .223 AR-15’s, 9mm pistols, and .38 revolvers are “large caliber” weapons, rather than minor caliber weapons.

      You categorically state that the most popular sporting rifles in U.S. homes have no sporting purpose.

      You state that the least misused firearms pose the greatest threat of misuse, apparently unaware of the FBI UCR data showing otherwise.

      You assume that anyone who objects to the ban du jour are conservatives, when many of us are most emphatically not.

      Yes, there are some blind spots there. I would be interested in seeing at least the *awareness* that rifle crime is rare and falling, or awareness that the debate is primarily about small-and intermediate-caliber Title 1 civilian guns.

      Now, do consider that those of us taking the time to engage your arguments on their merits *are* giving you the benefit of the doubt, in that we are implicitly assuming that you are here for honest discussion/debate rather than the alternative.

    • Patrick H says:

      We are complaining because its clear you are ignorant and do not know the facts. We are trying to teach them to you. Maybe you should read what we write, and instead of posting a new comment respond to what we are actually saying.

      We cannot give you the benefit of the doubt, because we have argued with many people like you who are just as confused and refuse to listen. And you have provided no facts or even logical arguments refuting ours- we are listening and waiting for your to do so.

      And you prove you don’t know the facts when you say that federal background checks are “not a really significant form of regulation.” Can you explain how the following process is not significant:

      1. No person who is Under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; who is a fugitive from justice; who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution; who is an illegal alien; who has been discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions; who has renounced his or her United States citizenship; who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence can ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms, and no person who otherwise is not prohibited can transfer firearms to those persons. They are all federal felonies

      2. No firearm by any firearm dealer (who must possess a federal firearms license) may be sold without a NICS check (the federal background check system). This includes in their store, or at any other location (such as a gun show). The purchases must fill out a two page form with all of their information (Name, Address, Phone Number, Job Address, SSN if they choose) and 12 questions about their legality. The dealer then takes that information, and calls the FBI (or if a state runs their own system, the state) and requests a background check. The system maintains a list of all those prohibited persons from 1. If the purchaser is on it, they are denied, and the BATFE is supposed to charge them with violating federal law. Except they do so so rarely only 44 people have been convicted in the past few years. If they are approved, they take their gun home, but the dealer must keep the copy of the background check form for 20 years. And this is all federally. Many states have much more restrictive laws. Some require all firearm sales to go through dealers, some require licenses before purchases, and some require waiting periods.

      So again, how could that process be made more significant? And how would it actually help? Here are some more facts for you:

      1. None of the background check laws, or additional regulations on firearms sales have been shown to reduce crime or overall stop criminals from obtaining guns. Their only effect is to make it more difficult and more expensive for legal gun owners.
      2. Only 5% of illegal guns are purchased from dealers, and the majority of those are straw purchases (friends that are not prohibited buying guns for friends that are).
      3. None of the mass shootings recently would have been stopped by more background check laws, as they all either stole the guns or were not prohibited persons.

      So please, again, explain what exactly you want, and how that would help.

      And no, the only institutional racism is from those that think any more than an insignificant minority of people hate Obama because he’s black. I don’t doubt there are people out there that hate him because he is black, but they are so irrelevant that they don’t matter. The vast majority of people hate Obama’s policies, and that’s what they do not like him. And that’s a stone cold fact.

      • Patrick, thanks for including the paragraphs detailing firearm prohibitions and gun regulation. So perhaps you are right, they are “signifcant” forms of regulation. But they still do not compare to the regulation of automobile driving, whereas only the former concerns a deadly weapon and not the latter (unless you’re talking about the 1991 Dodge Viper). That seems prima facie irrational.

        I will defend your right to own a firearm and to use it responsibly and for protection, but I do not think that asking for a slightly more comprehensive and uniform form of regulation of firearms is excessive.

        By which I mean, licensing like for cars that needs to be continually renewed. People change: the responsible gun owner of yesteryear may become a domestic abuser 10 years later. The gun that was purchased responsibly may have been sold to someone else. Those purchases need to be regulated.

        By which I mean, a federal database of gun owners and licensers. This is essentially available for automobile regulation, but not firearms owners? Yes, there are records kept for 20 years and certain states are more rigorous than others. But more legwork needs to be done to find these things out because the NRA and 2ndA activists fight against any attempt for the federal government to unilaterally collect this information.

        I am not a shill for the insurance industry, so I won’t suggest the latter for firearms, although it does again seem to make some sense.

        To go back to the AWB and AWs in general, although it is inconclusive, there is at least some evidence that mass shootings declined during the period fo the AWB. Whether or not the increase since its sunset is the cause thereof is inconclusive.

        I just do not see why they are necessary. There are lots of things I would like that I know that I can use responsibly that I would not want in the hands of others. For example, they make devices that block all proximate cellphone signals. I would love that. But it’s illegal. It’s the potential for abuse which is what concerns government. No, Lanza’s gun would not have been covered by the AWB and it was purchased legally, but maybe it should have been covered by the AWB. Why must we have semiautomatic rifles? Their purpose in combat is to lay down suppressing fire, right? To defend yourself you only need a handgun (and yes, I know that they are most frequently used in crime). Even for sporting shooting purposes, why must I have a semiautomatic rifle? It’s not really sportmans-like if you’re hunting and it demonstrates nothing for target shooting.

        • AntiCitizenOne says:

          ” Why must we have semiautomatic rifles? Their purpose in combat is to lay down suppressing fire, right?”

          If you are a combat veteran, I seriously question your combat experience. Suppressing fire is primarily the role of a squad automatic gunner, an individual carrying an M249 SAW or an M240 GPMG. These are fully-automatic weapons.

          If you aren’t a veteran or even a police officer, I suggest that you hold your tongue.

          Have you ever heard of something called a patrol rifle? It is essentially a semi-automatic rifle. Many of them carried by individual beat cops (in their cars) are of the AR15 model, the most ubiquitous in the country.

          https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/images/docs/classes/Firearms_Patrol_Rifle_Instructor_2014/Section%2002%20Rifle%20Theory.doc

          A rifle is inherently more accurate and stable than a handgun at any range, given the fact that you have 4 points of contact on the weapon rather than just 2 for a handgun. The round the AR15 fires, while more powerful (in terms of wounding capability), has less chance of overpenetration than a handgun round or a shotgun buckshot, let alone a slug round. A rifle gives an individual increased standoff distance from an assailant that they have prior knowledge of, and thus would be suited for home defense where the homeowner knows there has been an intrusion. The increased stability of the rifle (especially a short barreled one) makes the difference between a stray round and a round that hits its target.

          If a police officer can justify their need for a semi-automatic rifle, so can we. We have to face the same criminals we call the cops on.

          • AntiCitizenOne says:

            Even so, I believe in opening the machine gun (read: select-fire, fully-automatic) registry of the NFA. Again, as before, if cops can justify their need for full-auto weaponry, so can we.

            • This is a position that doesn’t make much sense to me. It seems that LEOs have very different responsibilities and this is the reason why they should have different equipment. Personally, I don’t think even LEOs can justify automatic weapons. What is your argument for why you should have fully auto?

              • AntiCitizenOne says:

                “What is your argument for why you should have fully auto?”

                You can put more rounds into a target in a shorter period of time. When time is of the essence in a deadly force situation, you need everything you can get.

                And others, like myself, have addressed your silly attempt to divide LEOs and civilians when they can face the same self-defense situations like the rest of us.

                • Niccolo Machiavelli says:

                  You forgot the experience part, dumbass.

                  • AntiCitizenOne says:

                    Something YOU seem to lack (among other general knowledge about firearms), given your antics on this entire thread.

          • So let me ask a question here, on this word “overpenetration.” So an AR15 would be less likely to go beyond one’s own home into another house, than a handgun?

            • benEzra says:

              “So an AR15 would be less likely to go beyond one’s own home into another house, than a handgun?”

              Yes. Most AR-15’s are .223 Remington caliber, which shoots a very small, lightweight .22 caliber bullet at deer-rifle velocities. You can see some drywall tests here; even two or three interior drywall walls will typically reduce .223 hollowpoints to fragments:

              http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall/results.html

              Because they are much lighter and more fragile than typical handgun bullets (1/2 the mass of a 9mm bullet and 1/4 the mass of a .45 bullet), are traveling much faster, and spinning much faster, .223 bullets tend to deform and destabilize when they hit a wall, and the combination of impact and centrifugal forces tear them apart.

              There are military rounds made of very hard materials that penetrate more than handgun rounds, which the military uses when they want to shoot through walls and doors, but armor-piercing ammo in this caliber is restricted by Federal law, and you wouldn’t want AP for home defense anyway.

              • Niccolo Machiavelli says:

                Drywall! That’s amazing. This is the kind of stuff I find really interesting about guns.

                I assume you wouldn’t want AP for home defense because it’s excessive?

                And again, since you said this above, why do think that citizens should have access to the same weapons as LEOs?

                • Geodkyt says:

                  You wouldn’t want to use AP ammunition because it generally causes less severe wounds.

                  Of course, the M855* ball round, which is only not considered “AP” ammunition becuase it is the standard issue rifle round, performs about the same as M193 at interior ranges, because of the physics and bullet construction involved.

                  I would unreservedly recommend M855 for home defence, although I prefer either M193 ball or a specialty round such as TAP.

                  The reasons that normal citizens should have access to teh same types of weapons as the police is twofold:

                  1. Cops ARE civilians too.

                  2. Citizens in a self defense situation are facing equal or greater danger than a police officer would be. Civilians do not routinely wear body armor, do not have a dispatcher who has already sent armed backup en route, do not generally have immediate radio contact with the dispatcher, and are always on the scene before the police arrive. (See, the cops are responding to a report of a crime being committed almost all teh time — very rarely will a criminal launch an attack on a victim when the cops are standing right there. Most of the time, the cops only show up in time to take witness statements or watch the body of the victim get loaded up. The bad guys have generally fled by that point, unless stopped by their victims or other citizens.)

                  When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away. (Longer in rural areas.)

                  * The M855 round is the US military’s implementation of the NATO SS109 5.56x45mm NATO round standards. It was designed from teh beginning to have greater armor penetration that the previous (Vietnam-era, non-NATO) M193 round, and in fact, has greater armor penetration than the significantly larger and more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO ball round.

                  • But the fact that cops are civilians is not an argument for why cops and civilians should have the same access to certain weapons. Again cops have different training and responsibilities.

                    As for the second reason, it sounds like you’re fantasizing about a situation that is incredibly rare. Citizens do not enforce the law, they do not have a responsibility to protect others, they do not have to arrest criminals, and they do not wear the badge that identifies them as a criminal’s enemy. Those are pretty significant reasons why they would actually be facing much less threat … rather than one that is equal to or greater. So again, with the exception of this situation you describe, most of the time citizens have none of the responsibilities and none of the experience or training that LEOs have.

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      You are so ignorant it is not even funny.

                      “Fantasizing about a situation that is incredibly rare”

                      and how exactly does that bolster your argument in any sort of way? On one side of your mouth you claim gun violence is too high, and yet you say the gun violence that could warrant a need for self defense is rare. Which is it?

                      Let’s play out this scenario for you. You’re attacked by an armed assailant. If you call the cops over to defend you, they will come and bring their own semi-automatic or fully automatic weapon to defend you. But it takes time for the weapon to be brought to bear. Why not have your own, and end the deadly threat right there and then?

                      Being threatened with a firearm is one of the biggest threats one can face, it doesn’t matter if you are a private citizen or police officer. In such a scenario you’d want the best weapon possible, that is accurate, controllable, and allows for the quickest number of hits in the shortest amount of time – a semi or fully-automatic firearm.

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      “Again cops have different training ”

                      The firearms skills for a handgun and rifle taught to an LEO are for defense of himself as well as others. They are equally applicable to civilians.

                      Maniac pulls an edged weapon or handgun on officer – officer draws and fires in self-defense. The same thing would happen if a CCW permit holder is confronted by same maniac.

                      What exactly are you not understanding through that thick skull of yours?

                • benEzra says:

                  @Niccolo Machiavelli
                  “Drywall! That’s amazing. This is the kind of stuff I find really interesting about guns. I assume you wouldn’t want AP for home defense because it’s excessive?”

                  The problem with tungsten-core AP (M995, black tip) is twofold; (1) it keeps going and going and going, meaning it might penetrate your interior walls, your exterior wall, your neighbor’s exterior wall, and your neighbor’s interior walls, possibly with tragic results, and (2) because it doesn’t deform, it often makes a .22 caliber icepick wound in your assailant (not very incapacitating) and then keeps on going toward your neighbor’s house with most of its original energy. Worst of both worlds.

                  The military uses tungsten-core armor piercing ammo when they need to shoot through things…and *only* when they need to shoot through things. Other than its ability to penetrate hard cover, it is inferior to non-AP ammo.

                  My AR in the safe is loaded with civilian 55-grain hollowpoints, the same load a hunter might use for hunting groundhogs or coyotes. It is fragile enough to start to fragment after a couple drywall walls, but just about meets the FBI penetration minimums.

                  @Geodkyt, I *think* M855 (green-tip ball) isn’t any more penetrative than M193 ball at close range, due to the lower velocity; it is only more penetrative at longer range where M193 has slowed down below M855, I think. Correct me if I’m wrong, though.

                  @Niccolo Machiavelli
                  “And again, since you said this above, why do think that citizens should have access to the same weapons as LEOs?”

                  My belief actually runs in the other direction: That LEO’s should be restricted to only those weapons non-LEO civilians can own in their jurisdiction.

                  In my opinion, civilian pistols, non-automatic civilian rifles like AR-15’s, and civilian shotguns are entirely adequate for law enforcement use. I also believe that law enforcement has no need for military automatic weapons; their rules of engagement are *civilian*, not military, and the police certainly have no business pouring full-auto suppressive fire into a neighborhood. FWIW, my hometown SWAT team here uses non-automatic civilian guns (Rock River LAR-15’s with lights and optics, last time I checked, pretty much the same setup as my own carbine), not machineguns, even though they could get automatic weapons if they wanted.

                  • So that felon in Florida that “misfired” his weapon in his home, the other day, and then inadvertently killed his neighbor who was arriving home with his newborn son–he was firing a handgun, as I understand, and it was the high caliber of that weapon that made that possible. Yes?

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      If cops aren’t using .380s for self defense or duty carry, why should we be forced to use an inferior handgun round for concealed carry self-defense?

                    • benEzra says:

                      I suspect that pretty much any centerfire handgun will shoot through a single exterior wall with only vinyl siding, but according to the article below it looks like it exited the felon’s home via a screen door and entered the victim’s house via a sliding glass door, 150 or 200 feet away. Wall penetration is more likely if the shot involved a solid (FMJ, i.e. full metal jacket) bullet rather than a hollowpoint, although handgun hollowpoints can act like solids sometimes if the hollow cavity gets plugged with wood or drywall, but if the all the bullet hit was a screen and a thin sheet of plate glass straight on, I don’t think any caliber of bullet would have been stopped by that, even a .22. According to this article it was a 9mm.

                      http://www.inquisitr.com/1308396/new-dad-killed-by-stray-bullet-steven-justin-ayers-dies-after-neighbors-gun-discharges/

                      That this happened at all is heart wrenching ,but to have it happen the day he brought home his newborn son, with his wife and son there when it happened…I can’t imagine what his wife and family must be going through. :(

            • Geodkyt says:

              Actually, yes, when fired from inside the house. And rounds that did escape are most likely going to cause less severe wounds than a stray pistol round.

              The reason that a small caliber, high velocity rifle can be simultaneously less dangerous to the innocent when used inside a house an more dangerous to the actual target at any range is the physics involved.

              That’s why SWAT teams use 5.56mm carbines (usually not fully automatic) for CQB roles, having pretty much abandoned pistol caliber submachineguns (like the MP5, which was practically THE gun for CQB in SWAT and hostage rescue work).

              Now, I’ve put about 30 years researching and studying this subject – legally, historically, and technically. I’ve taught this subject to military, police, and civilians.

              You are unaware of the most basic facts that are readily found with less than five minutes of Googling. You are using “facts” that simply are false, have been proven false for decades, and are well known as false by anyone with a modicum of interest and education in this subject.

              Tell me again why your woefully uninfomed opinions should have any weight whatsoever?!? Seriously, your level of knowledge is, by comparison, someone who has seen the movie Top Gun trying to tell a 20 year naval aviator why aircraft carrrier landing procedures need to be changed.

        • benEzra says:

          @niccolo machiavelli – “Why must we have semiautomatic rifles? Their purpose in combat is to lay down suppressing fire, right? To defend yourself you only need a handgun (and yes, I know that they are most frequently used in crime). Even for sporting shooting purposes, why must I have a semiautomatic rifle? It’s not really sportmans-like if you’re hunting and it demonstrates nothing for target shooting.”

          I believe you are confused as to what the term “semiautomatic” means. Perhaps it would be clearer if you replaced the term “semiautomatic” in your thinking with “non-automatic”, which is probably a clearer way to describe it to someone unfamiliar with guns. An office stapler is semiautomatic (non-automatic); a sewing machine is automatic.

          When you pull the trigger of a semiautomatic gun, it fires exactly one time. To fire another shot, you have to release the trigger and pull it again. This is how most civilian firearms work—handguns, .22 squirrel rifles, AR-15’s. One and only one shot when the trigger is pulled, and then it resets itself for the next shot.

          Remington 597 semiautomatic rifle (.22): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjt9k4EDs74

          Smith & Wesson 5906 semiautomatic pistol (9mm): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK414hzycSE

          Beretta 92 semiautomatic pistol (9mm) in a USPSA competition match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEBdXZKiLz0

          More upscale semiautomatic rifle, a Rock River Arms LAR-15 (.223/5.56mm); I own one of these:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk27_cl0SFo
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7uwqJtOwe0

          An automatic weapon, by contrast, can fire multiple shots when the trigger is pulled, and most of them fire continuously at a rate of 10 or 20 rounds per second until the trigger is released. Those are very tightly controlled by Federal law (possession without the right Federal paperwork will get you 10 years in Federal prison) and all automatic weapons manufactured after 1986 are restricted to military/government use only.

          Here are some restricted military/government automatic weapons:
          Military/law enforcement M16 (.223/5.56mm): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM8xvE5B4yk

          Military M60E3 machinegun (.308/7.62mm): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA7A1Pqk5Bk

          Note that the M16 can be switched back and forth between automatic and semiautomatic (non-automatic) via a selector switch; civilian guns have only the non-auto function.

          • Thanks for the analogy, I’d never thought of a stapler as a semiautomatic, but you’re right. But other than not extending the definition to staplers or sewing machines, I understand the difference.

            • benEzra says:

              Then you understand why you would use semiautomatic fire for aimed/precision shots, and automatic for suppressive fire or hosing an area, yes?

              • I understand why it would be for the military. But in the hands of a civilian it could have the same purpose. But clearly it isn’t designed for that. Lanza certainly didn’t use it that way.

                • AntiCitizenOne says:

                  In the end, if these weapons are so dangerous (in your uninformed mind), why even allow police to have them in the first place? The police are just as human as you and me.

                  Even aimed shots from a bolt-action rifle or a pump action shotgun can be suppressing fire. See the British “mad minute” done in WWI from a Lee-Enfield. Bullets landing near you with any sort of regularity are going to make you keep your head down, one way or the other.

                  It doesn’t even matter how you dress the weapon up with accessories, you can still fire one round with a pull of the trigger. Companies are already making NY Compliant SAFE Act rifles and already the media is starting to wake up to the fact that it doesn’t work.

                  • Niccolo Machiavelli says:

                    But police are trained and experienced. That is the big difference. Most people are not. Have they abused this capacity, yes! Which leads one to think even LEOs shouldn’t have them. Certainly might lead to less shooting deaths.

                    My argument is simply why LEOs have more justification than do citizens to have access to certain types of weapons. But not automatic weapons or grenade launchers …

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      “Most people are not. ”

                      And if you wanted to mandate training, you’re walking a thin line, nearly crossing over into poll tax territory. Many classes on handgun training as well as decisional use of force that are taught to cops are also available to civilians as well.

                    • benEzra says:

                      “But police are trained and experienced. That is the big difference. Most people are not.”

                      Most police don’t get all that much firearms training, and qualify maybe twice a year on a very rudimentary course of fire (for example, here is the one for the Virginia State Police: http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/standardsTraining/documents/performanceOutcomes/section7.pdf). They have a limited amount of training time and a whole lot of legal issues to cover, so outside of SWAT you will probably find more veteran shooters at your local USPSA/IDPA match.

                      “Which leads one to think even LEOs shouldn’t have them. Certainly might lead to less shooting deaths.”

                      Shouldn’t have what? Guns at all? Or just guns that fire each time the trigger is pulled?

                      “My argument is simply why LEOs have more justification than do citizens to have access to certain types of weapons. But not automatic weapons or grenade launchers …”

                      I agree that they should not have automatic weapons or grenade launchers, which are tightly controlled for non-LEO civilians under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. That leaves one-shot-at-a-time civilian small arms like Glocks and AR’s.

                      And whether a small-caliber rifle has brown wooden furniture (Mini-14) or aluminum/nylon furniture (AR-15) doesn’t make a difference; they function the same way and have the same potential for honorable use or for misuse. Any semiauto is far more suitable for police use than an automatic weapon is, in my opinion.

                • benEzra says:

                  “I understand why it would be for the military. But in the hands of a civilian it could have the same purpose. But clearly it isn’t designed for that. Lanza certainly didn’t use it that way.”

                  The civilian AR-15 is designed for precision shooting, as it completely lacks the ability to fire automatically. And unfortunately that asshole was indeed aiming, based on the reports I’ve read. It would have been less horrific had he not.

                • Drifter says:

                  Korean shopkeepers put AR-15s to good use during the LA riots when the police abandoned their neighborhood.

    • mike says:

      The problem is that yes, you are ignorant of gun laws, gun use, and criminal gun use in the US (and presumably, elsewhere). Look at the amount of time I and others have taken to respond to your points. We didn’t just jump on you and start calling you names, as you did by labeling conservatives racist. Oh, and about that..

      As for the conservatives hate blacks, well I said that in haste and apologize. Of course it is not true that every conservative hates blacks. When I wrote that, I was thinking about how conservatives have treated Obama and honestly I cannot understand it except to say that there is some underlying, institutional racism. And that is a view I will not back away from.

      That’s one hell of an apology. Let me paraphrase: “I’m sorry I said all conservatives are racists. Maybe they’re not all racist. But seriously, they sure do treat Obama like a bunch of racists would, so they are definitely racists.”

      Hell, I’m not even a conservative and that pisses me off. What the hell is wrong with you? The mistake I think a lot of us made is taking you too seriously. We had a dialog, you thought you called us all racists when nobody agreed, we shrugged it off, and still continued that dialog. Point by point you’ve been shown with cold, hard facts that your beliefs are dead wrong. In that time, you’ve pretended to be very, very concerned about a number of things that you thought would give you moral high ground to demand that people disarm, for the children or whatever. And yet we still took you seriously. Like idiots.

      When people responded directly to you and tried to impart actual knowledge on you, you ignored it and went back to your “modest regulation” of banning most firearms in the country. If you think that the only gun regulation in the US is federal background checks, then you clearly are ignorant of US gun law. We’ve been trying to steer you in the right direction, again like idiots. You’re not interested in anything put pushing your talking points about demonstrably ineffective policies, because you just don’t want anyone to have guns. And yet we persisted. Like idiots.

      So here’s my take – either you’re incredibly naive, oblivious, and determined to stay ignorant of the very topic you’re trying to advocate, or you’re an incredibly effective troll. That you keep calling people here racists – much less while supposedly apologizing for calling them racists – tells me that yep, you’re a troll. And we’re all idiots for feeding you. Again. Still.

      • You’re not an idiot, you’re interested. You’re curious why I keep coming back for abuse. More importantly, you think dialogue is important and can educate people, and that is laudatory.

        Let me give you your props. First, I’m really rethinking some of the things I’ve been saying on my blog, which if you take a few minutes to read and comment on, I’d be quite happy because I do want to know what I’m wrong about. I’m a slow learner, to put your point differently. Secondly, I’ve considered that I might be wrong on things that “the echochamber” has told me. But I’m not completely convinced yet and I want to talk about it some more.

        Since this racism comment is causing so many problems, let me explain once more. Institutional racism is not a conscious “I hate such-and-such” racism. It’s more like, I’m in a bad neighborhood=predominantly African American. The way I think about racism, everyone’s a little racist. It’s just that I think conservatives are a little more so.

        So I expect many of you, when you heard Obama talk about “universal background checks” were like, what, don’t we have that already. And yes, there is a federal background check. But this information is treated in many different ways, depending on where you live and who you’re buying from. Some uniformity, some federal collection of this information seems reasonable.

        But then, as you point out, there is no proof that this stops crime. But, and I think we’d find this to be the case in many areas, that’s not altogether true.

        We clearly have a problem with gun violence in this country (although many have pointed out that it is declining over the past few years). If you compare the US internationally, there you see that we are in a group of 2nd and 3rd world countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate
        Our closet comparison is Switzerland (in terms of quality of life, political stability, etc.), but they are still much lower.

        Yet the more I’ve been thinking about it, that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you look at gun violence across the US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state. DC is crazy violent. There you find no correlation between gun ownership and gun violence. Places where it is highest (Wyoming) also have the lowest murder rates. And then you have DC, which is the inverse.

        I dunno. Maybe I have been in the echo chamber. [waits for applause]

        So then, the problem with gun violence is really in places like DC, Louisiana (NO), Missouri (St. Louis), Maryland (Baltimore), South Carolina (? Charlelston?, Myrtle Beach?), Michigan (Detroit), Delaware (?Newark?), Mississippi (????). Surprisingly, Illinois is rather low on the list.

        I’m going to have to think about this some more. You guys (perhaps a female or two) deserve some applause.

        • Oh, and this I should have said before, thank you.

        • Drifter says:

          First, my issue with you is that you stomped in here and started casting aspersions at us. You don’t know us, yet you presume we are all racist, conservative, and ignorant of facts. You have throttled back a little, but I would ask that you get to know us before painting us as uneducated, two-dimensional caricatures. What’s interesting to me is that you seem surprised we care about being called racists. To be honest I really don’t care what you think about me, but your behavior and your stated desire for dialogue strike a very dissonant chord.

          Second, for those that get all concerned about melanin content, Obama is no more “black” than he is “white.” I think that the biggest tragedy of his presidency is instead of trying to bridge the gap between races (something he was in a rather unique position to do), he has widened the gap. As to him being a moderate, I will grant you that he talks like a moderate (at least when he knows a mike can pick up his voice), but his voting record says differently.

          Furthermore, my idea of a bad neighborhood is the majority of former French colonies or any place with raw sewage running through the streets. But I repeat myself.

          Third, only addressing your Wikipedia stats from ’10, they don’t jibe with the FBI’s own ’11 &’12 statistics (the two years listed on the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report – http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/4tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_4_crime_in_the_united_states_by_region_geographic_division_and_state_2011-2012.xls). The murder rate by firearm for Illinois (sticking with a stat you cited) is 6.1/100K in ’11 and 5.8/100K in ’12 versus your stat of 3.5/100,000. A quick look at the FBI data shows the following states/territories with higher rates than IL: PR, NM (’11 only), LA, AR (’12 only), TN (’12 only), MS, AL, SC, MD, GA (’12 only), DC, DE (’12 only), MO (’12 only), and MI. Both AZ and MO tied IL in ’11. That’s pretty high if you ask me. If you look at Table 6, it breaks down the rates by major metropolitan area for ’12. The Chicago MSA murder rate is 7.1/100K. If you look at Chicago proper, 500 murders divided by a population of 2,708,302, equates to 18.46/100K. Combined with DC and PR, realize that all three places have very stringent gun control laws in place. Rahm Emmanuel will tell you that’s because of gun trafficking (already illegal), but that doesn’t really explain Puerto Rico.

          Finally, circling back to racism, realize that gun control laws have always been about controlling “those” people. Of course, that can be twisted to mean anyone deemed undesirable, whether it be blacks, poor (high licensing fees), immigrants (NYC’s Sullivan Act), or even veterans (attempting to paint all vets with the PTSD brush).

          • Thanks for passing this information along. Just to be clear, the FBI information doesn’t differentiated between firearm related murders and non-firearm related. Given our discussion, that seems to be an important point. Even if it did link all of these crimes to firearms, the stats show that there could be a lot of diversity between years in this data. If that’s the case, then research needs to be done.

            This is why I’d say that when Jack Kingston and the NRA fight research into gun violence, they are doing a disservice both to responsible gun owners and to gun control advocates.

            Let’s talk about DC, Chicago and PR. Even if gun control laws are strict in all of these places, it does not mean that Rahm is right wrong about DC and Chicago. His point is just intuitively correct. That does not mean that gun control always brings down crime. But trafficking may be the real cause of the problem in DC and Chicago. As for PR, that’s wild.

            Last thing, I agree there are worse neighborhoods than the Bronx, I just am not comparing Haiti to the US (which is what I assume you’re suggesting).

            • mike says:

              You’re obviously trolling to build a following for your blog, since you keep begging people to visit it and keep trying to move the discussion from here to there. Is that your business model? Troll gun blogs to get readers, then maybe go begging to the gun control purse holders for money? And then, someday, maybe you’ll be in a little box on MSNBC? As entertaining as that would be, I don’t think anyone on our side will take you seriously because your blog is filled with the same incongruent gibberish you write here – including yet more of the racist nonsense you keep spewing. It’s unlikely that you’ll find enough gun owners interested in showing you how wrong and unteachable you are to give you any significant traffic.

              • You know, you’re being a jerk.

                No, I’m just trying to engage a conversation, but although many are interested in listening, others like you just want to put me down. If you bothered to follow what I’ve been saying, then you’d already notice that I’ve considerably refined my position.

                Do you want me to go away because I don’t agree with you? Fine, ask Sebastian and Bitter to ban me and then go back to thanking yourself for protecting my first amendment rights with your second amendment rights.

                • Bitter says:

                  And that’s why I’ve been ignoring you since you’ve made pretty clear you’re looking to troll instead of actually have even a spirited discussion. You’re screaming victimhood already saying that we’re going to ban you even though you have zero evidence whatsoever that either myself or Sebastian is headed down that path. You have absolutely nothing to back up that claim because it’s never even been discussed, and yet you’re already attacking us for it by asserting that we not only will do it, but we’ll pat ourselves on the back for it. Once again, it’s a claim you that you’re just pulling out of thin air without any knowledge on the subject of our ban policy and using to attack those who disagree with you on a completely different subject.

                  Also, important note, even if you did rise to the degree of the only person we ever banned who was outright abusive to us and (more importantly) the other readers, it’s not a First Amendment issue since we aren’t the government threatening your freedom for speaking out. I have no obligation to allow you to spew accusations that we’re all racist haters of free speech on a privately-run website. I’m allowing you, but I’m under no obligation to do so.

                  • I was just saying that maybe Mike wants me to be banned, not that others do.

                    As for the racism “nonsense,” it’s neither nonsense nor unrelated to firearms issues. Why is it that the Republican and libertarians generally do not attract blacks, but that instead this group almost always vote primarily for Democratic and liberal candidates? It’s not an accident or some weird inexplicable phenomena.

                    Now just to reiterate, because this point seems not to be understood, I’m talking about institutional racism, of which ultimately, neither conservatives nor liberals are free, but this does not mean there may not be degrees of difference between them. Sometimes I even think the conservatives are better in this respect, because their racism is a bit more transparent, while liberals bend over backwards to pretend they are completely free of racism.

                    Last thing, race is very pertinent to gun violence, since young black men are the majority of the victims of this violence. That is a unique phenomena that needs to be explained. Perhaps it’s just because blacks are statistically poorer than whites and therefore involved in crime more often. I don’t know.

                • mike says:

                  You know, you’re being a jerk.

                  Wow, that’s rich.

                  And yes, you’re absolutely trolling for blog traffic. Whether you’re trying to make a name for yourself – that’s just speculation. Perhaps you stuck a bunch of different topics to blog about in a hat and pulled out “gun control”. Judging by your lack of knowledge on the topic, your very fluid reasons for wanting it, and also very fluid list of actual wants, that certainly seems plausible. Or maybe you’re bored, or this is just a summer project for your high school or college. Again, all plausible based on your demonstrated knowledge and interactions.

                  The frustrating thing for me as a guest here is that you’re not adding anything to the conversation and you’re certainly, almost defiantly, not taking anything away from it either. You’re not here for dialog, you’re here to troll for blog traffic, make repeated racist comments, and generate blog pollution. You’re like one of those spam posts that shows up every now and then and takes a few words from the page, spits them back out, and asks people to click the link below. You’re either having a laugh or about the most inept blogger I’ve come across. If that’s not the image you’re going for then you’re doing it wrong.

                  Heck, you might even be the world’s most frustrating AI experiment. Your writing reminds me of a program a friend wrote in college that would “learn” from things you typed, and then try to have a dialog with you. It could learn the words and phrases, but couldn’t actually grasp the concepts. So it kept repeating the same things over and over, mixing and matching, and adding new words here and there. “It’s interesting that you say pizza is round, but I still think it’s too warm outside to freeze water” kind of stuff. It was like talking to a box of hair. Which brings us back to you..

                  I don’t want you banned. I’d just like less crap to sift through when reading the comments. So I’d be thrilled if you just stopped acting like a troll. If not for me, then for the children.

                  • Perhaps I’m not really sure what a troll is. I guess I always thought of a troll as someone who said things that were outrageously offensive, say, like a gun on another site talking about why children should have access to guns. I suppose to you the things I’m saying may seem so offensive.

                    As for the racism stuff, have you said uncle on this point or decided you are no longer bothered? I’d be happy to elaborate my points, since there is lots and lots to say about this. But to put my point briefly, we do not live in a “post-racial” American. Racism is no more extinct than misogyny, although it’s gotten more attention.

                    • mike says:

                      No, we don’t live in a post-racial America. But why do you introduce racism into a discussion about gun rights, as though the two have anything to do with each other? If anything, gun control has always been used in America to disarm minorities. Surely even you can admit that. Why is it that cities with the largest minority populations are the ones pushing for the most stringent gun restrictions? Using the same logic you’ve used repeatedly, that would prove 110% beyond a doubt that gun control is racist, as are those pushing for more of it.

                      See also:
                      http://www.constitution.org/cmt/cramer/racist_roots.htm

                      But you keep trumpeting your racist nonsense like it’s true, and that we should accept it. Are you ignorant of the millions of conservatives, libertarians, and whoever else you’re trying to smear, who happen to be minorities? So what’s the story there? Are these minorities also racists, or are they just too damned stupid in your eyes to figure out that they’re being duped by racists? Which way will you denigrate conservative minorities in order to make them fit into your racist worldview? I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on this.

                  • What have I said that was “racist”? I said that conservative largely hate blacks. Not every conservative, but conservatives in general. Moreover, this racism is an institutional racism, more than a conscious or even spontaneous racism. To call someone racist, just so you know, is not itself “racist.”

                    Given my vocation, the AI comment is very very funny. All I can say in response is, very seriously, that I am trying to learn. But learning is complicated.

                    And again, I have learned a lot already. God, now it seems like days since I made that atrociously false comment about domestic violence being the majority of gun violence. But I want to learn more.

                    • mike says:

                      What have I said that was “racist”?

                      I think if you read what I wrote in context, you should be able to see that I’ve phrased my comments correctly. But it’s interesting how you take issue when you think someone is calling you out for racism, which you think isn’t warranted. Reflect on that for a bit and perhaps you’ll see the irony.

                      I said that conservative largely hate blacks. Not every conservative, but conservatives in general.

                      Now that you’ve doubled down yet again on your racist stuff (again, still), I’ll ask again in the hopes that you’ll have a perfectly reasonable explanation that somehow eludes me:

                      Are you ignorant of the millions of conservatives, libertarians, and whoever else you’re trying to smear, who happen to be minorities? So what’s the story there? Are these minorities also racists, or are they just too damned stupid in your eyes to figure out that they’re being duped by racists? Which way will you denigrate conservative minorities in order to make them fit into your racist worldview?

                    • Mike

                      thanks for your perserverance, but for whatever reason I cannot reply to you. We’ve exhausted wordpress, I guess.

                      Institutional racism is built into certain types of views. For example, the stop-and-frisk policies are racist because they are dependent on sociological research/data that shows that blacks are most frequently the ones commiting crimes, etc.. Institutional racism is not a conscious form of racism, so I would say that yes, minorities can be racist. There’s a great scene in “Boyz in the Hood” where L Fishburne’s character is talking to a black police officer whos complaining about “n$%&ers” . The cop says, “there’s a problem here” and L. Fisburne’s character says, “it’s too bad you don’t know what it is.” (Great damned line, by the way). LF’s point is that the cop is just as racist as any white racist.

                      Are they “duped”? No.

                      But again, to go back to the point I made elsewhere, why is it that blacks and other minorities tend to vote democratic? It’s because they sense they are not represented by Republicans and Libertarians. If they weren’t racist, then wouldn’t 13% of the republicans be equally black?

                      As I have said now, countless time, liberals are racist as well. White man’s burdern, etc. But there are degrees …

                      Racism has many different forms, by which I mean there are spontaneous and theoretical, inclusive and exclusive, heteroreferential and autoreferential. Although it is based on power structures, which means that there cannot be racism against white where whites are a historical and institutional majority.

                    • mike says:

                      Institutional racism is not a conscious form of racism, so I would say that yes, minorities can be racist.

                      To be clear, I asked if you think minorities who identify as conservative or libertarian are racists, and you’re saying that yes, they are. So you’d label most black conservatives, for instance, racists – because they’re conservative. Wow.

                      But again, to go back to the point I made elsewhere, why is it that blacks and other minorities tend to vote democratic? It’s because they sense they are not represented by Republicans and Libertarians. If they weren’t racist, then wouldn’t 13% of the republicans be equally black?

                      Sigh. And the NBA is racist because only 1% of the players are Asian instead of 5%. On top of that, they’re reverse-racist because 78% of the players are black, instead of the expected 13%. People have given you far too much credit. If this is how you decided that these groups are racist, you are not to be taken seriously on racism, guns, whether it’s raining outside, anything. If you had any shame you’d be embarrassed by what you wrote. But you passed that point ages ago.. And so it goes.

                      What a joke.

                  • Niccolo Machiavelli says:

                    You clearly lack an education that went beyond high school, otherwise what I am saying would be no big surprise, nor scandalous. It’s pretty much common knowledge. Look up institutional racism.

                    Here’s a source that’s about your reading level: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism

                    So yes, minorities can be racist.

                    Who owns the NBA? The players? Honestly. Moreover, you must have glossed over that part about power structures. USA … largely white. Owners of the NBA largely white …

                    Bet you never thought about that, did ya!

                    • GMC70 says:

                      The part about “power structures” and racism is self-serving, self-righteous bullshit.

                      I categorically reject the premise.

                      Next.

                    • You may know a fair amount of certain aspects about guns, GMC70, but you clearly know nothing about racism. Seriously, what are you , some kind of genius who can learn nothing? Ha!

                      You know, admitting your ignorance is the first step towards learning something. According to Socrates, the wisest man was the man capable of recognizing his ignorance (probably “self-serving bullshit”, you know, the basis of culture in the West, in your book) Every time you “categorically deny something,” you get just a little dumber.

            • Drifter says:

              You’re absolutely correct in that the FBI data does not distinguish murder by firearm; however, I assumed you could compare the murder data to the EXACT same column in your data (second from right on your chart). Since that was a bridge too far, I found the ’10 FBI data (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls). The murder rates are 6.0 and 5.5 per 100,000 for Illinois in ’09 and ’10, respectively. Since your number, which is purportedly derived from the EXACT same source, is ~30% lower, it really calls into question the entire Wikipedia table.

              While, as you point out, this data can vary from year to year, a ~30% drop/rise in a year is pretty newsworthy. I would argue that if you’re saying data from sequential years can’t be trusted not to vary, then you’re being a bit hypocritical by using 2010 data for your murder rate and 2007 data (from a source that won’t even link) for firearms ownership. Just sayin’.

              I disagree with your premise that Emmanuel’s point is “intuitively correct.” “Citation needed”, as they say in academic circles. Let’s say, however, for the sake of argument that this is correct. Gun trafficking is illegal; transferring a firearm across state lines without a federal background check is illegal; transferring ANY firearm in IL without a background check is illegal; transferring a firearm to a known felon is illegal; stealing firearms is illegal; committing a crime with a firearm is illegal (on multiple counts).

              What is to be gained by punishing law-abiding individuals with more restrictions on their ability to defend hearth, home, and body? Did surrending our 4th Amendment rights and our right to due process in the War on (Some) Drugs(TM) leave us better off or worse off? I would argue that we are worse off in that all we’ve really accomplished is opening the door to government abuse. You even admitted above that gun control doesn’t always bring down crime. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol, and it’s not working with drugs. What makes firearms magically different?

              As to my “bad neighborhood” comment, when I said “the majority of former French colonies”, I meant “the majority of former French colonies.” If you pressed me for the worst one I’ve been to, I’d put Djibouti at the top, but the area around the prison in Marrakech is no picnic, either.

              • No, I’m not saying that data cannot vary considerably in successive years. I think it can and that’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to support CDC research into gun violence. And that’s why I am critical of the NRA and Jack KIngston on these points.

                I really like your point after assuming Emmanuel is right. Sure seems like throwing a lot of legislation that doesn’t produce any solutions.

                So you’re saying that gun regulations violate the 4th amendment? That’s interesting. I’d have to give that a think. But I agree, the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. It’s a difficult matter however. While I might support legalization of certain drugs, I cannot imagine how heroin or meth could ever be legalized. Of course, illegality and a war on drugs are different things, one might argue.

                But there is no analogy between guns and drugs/alcohol. Apples and oranges. Their purposes and forms of abuse are completely different, as are the types of threat they pose.

                Just to put things in perspective, I’ve changed a lot since I started arguing here. First, I came on thinking, let’s abolish the 2nd A and there is no earthly reason why CCW or OCW should be legal. Although the actual purpose of these things is still not completely clear to me, I think that these are traditions that have justification and should be permitted. But I do think they need regulated, I don’t think all guns are created equal, and I think there may be a future when they may need to be abolished.

                • Geodkyt says:

                  Um, the purpose of the CDC is the control of contagious diseases.

                  Using them for political purposes by defining any behavior you do not approve of as a “disease” is an abuse of that purpose.

                  • So according to your definition, the CDC would be out of its element in discussing heart disease, right? Wrong.

                    Gun violence is a public health matter, and if you see trends (like, for example. guns increasing the likelihood of domestic abusers killing their wives, or school shootings becoming increasingly common) you have a “contagious” disease. It’s just that this is a disease based in sociology, not individual bodies.

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      ” It’s just that this is a disease based in sociology”

                      You just undermined your own point – since when was the CDC qualified to study something with sociological roots?

                    • @AntiCitizenOne

                      So then they should not be able to do research on car accidents, either, right? What about eating patterns among different groups that lead to certain diseases? Sociology is part of medicine, when it steps beyond an individual body to start making judgments about how people transfer diseases, etc. Contagious diseases by their nature are sociological.

                    • Alpheus says:

                      I would go a step further, in saying that I don’t really see why the Federal Government should be concerned with studying most anything at all, and particularly not diseases. Where in the Constitution is the Federal Government given the power to study diseases?

                      But there’s a very good reason for the CDC to “butt out” of studying gun violence as a “disease”. Guns are a polarized issue, and the Federal Government has shown in the past to use tax dollars to peddle questionable studies as a rationale for banning guns. The Government has demonstrated it cannot be trusted, and so forbidding the funding of studying gun violence by the CDC is a very reasonable step.

                      Of course, you’re still welcome to study gun violence if you want. Just apply for a grant from Bloomberg, or from the Joyce Foundation. (The latter in particular would jump at the opportunity to fund a questionable study on the effects of gun violence on health.) Just don’t use tax dollars to do it.

                • benEzra says:

                  The reason CDC funding for gun studies got yanked, but not funding for research conducted by others, is that the CDC made a habit of putting out shoddy studies, often by medical doctors writing outside their areas of expertise, and explicitly advocating for gun control laws. Many of the studies contained egregious errors of basic fact, dyslexic reading of results, and widespread ignorance of the peer-reviewed literature in criminology and wound ballistics, of which the “researchers” seemed abysmally ignorant. It was inevitable that once politicized, it would become a political football.

                  A summary of some of the bloopers in the “guns as disease vector” literature can be found in the following review article (now out of date, but it references many of the shoddy studies that got CDC funding yanked:

                  http://www.guncite.com/journals/tennmed.html

                  The studies by Kellerman et al in JAMA comparing defensive gun use to murder within the household are a good example; as I recall, the authors excluded all defensive use that didn’t result in the death of the assailant (even if the defensive use was successful), included shootouts between rival drug dealers in the “friends or family members” category, and didn’t even bother to look at whether homeowners murdered were murdered with their own guns or guns brought in from outside the home.

                  An example I’ve criticized elsewhere (because I took the time to read and check this one myself) is Trask, Richards, Schwartzbach, and Kurtzke, “Massive orthopedic, vascular, and soft tissue wounds from military type assault weapons: a case report,” J Trauma 1995 Mar 38(3):428-31, which was absolutely riddled with basic misunderstandings and errors of fact, but it apparently sailed through peer review anyway because it supported the desired *political* conclusion. The fact that it contradicted decades of peer reviewed wound ballistics literature on 7.62x39mm (see Fackler et al), and could have been debunked by a 12-year-old with a ballistics chart, didn’t matter.

                  Were it not for that history of political activism on this particular issue in the public health, medical, and epidemiological communities, I’d be fine with them doing research alongside all the other entities doing it, but so much of the guns-as-public-health literature is already funded by the gun control lobby that I’m not optimistic the CDC wouldn’t follow the same institutional biases it did before. They weren’t studying the issue as much as they were trying to build a case for new laws.

                  • I will take your word for it that there have been mistakes, perhaps even activism. But I do wonder if this would mean that among doctors there is a general bias against guns? Or just the CDC? But the CDC is congressionally funded, not by gun control opponents. Given the pro-guns rights mood of congress, it would seem like now would be a ripe time for CDC research, right?

                    So gun violence is not really a public health problem? Are school shootings a problem? How about firearm related suicides? I know it sounds like I’m baiting, but I am genuinely interested in what you’re saying on this.

                    I can see how one could say, to begin defining gun violence as a public health problem already determines in advance some of the answers that will be “discovered.”

                    On the other hand, the only way you get research that corrects bad research is by continuing to do research. And the object (gun violence) continually changes as well in relation to a series of conditions that make it possible. What was true today was not necessarily true 50 years ago, nor 100 years ago. Humans and human society is continually changing. And the 20th century is great evidence of that.

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      “I will take your word for it that there have been mistakes, perhaps even activism. But I do wonder if this would mean that among doctors there is a general bias against guns? Or just the CDC? But the CDC is congressionally funded, not by gun control opponents. ”

                      Yes, there is a bias against firearms not only among doctors but among the healthcare industry in general (I am a medical resident). If the American Medical Association and the American Pediatrics Association are known to have anti-gun positions, what more does that tell you?

                      Given the fact that there have been quite a few doctors in the past that have doctored their own research, ie the supposed autism-vaccine link, stem-cell claims, cloning, etc, I wouldn’t say it would be a stretch for a biased epidemiologist to do the same for firearms.

                    • The CDC is part of the executive branch. It is controlled by the President much more than Congress, and it has its own agenda(s).

                      The biggest proponents of more infringements on the Second Amentment are not the the Brady Campaign or the VPC or George Soros or even Bloomberg. The biggest proponents are the old media, the New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, Public Television and Radio, and AP. There are many more, but those are all pretty reliably disarmed population types. They shape much of the debate and give free air time far exceeding a couple of orders of magnitude of what the NRA spends. The old media is a great “progressive” powerhouse in this country. It will take a long time to determine the history of how it came to be that way, but they represent a tiny cultural slice of the country, but have enormous power.

                  • Niccolo Machiavelli says:

                    Yes, it is really tragic. And the guy had the gun illegally and had been arrested on gun charges before.

                • Drifter says:

                  No, I was saying that ripping up the 4A in an effort to achieve a drug-free paradise is likely to be as unproductive in achieving the STATED goal as is ripping up the 2A in order to achieve a gun-free paradise.

                  I’m not saying legalize all drugs. I’m saying, for instance, that we don’t need to take people’s property without due process or issue no-knock warrants like they’re coming out of a Pez dispenser.

                  I’m not sure how you get that the two issues are radically different. The idea is to keep whittling away at citizens’ rights and giving the government more power in an effort to eradicate (or at least severely limit) a product. If push comes to shove, either product can be manufactured by someone with a little knowledge.

                  How are you saying the two are so markedly different?

                  • I’m saying that drugs and guns are different in purpose and threat, etc., and that this is why regulation is different.

                    As for the 4thA, you recognize that there are limits to this as well, right? I mean I’m not sure what the justification is for this, but I cannot imagine someone saying, even 20 years ago (before people when totally crazy after 9/11) that there would be no way to enter the house of someone who we had proof was building a nuclear weapon.

                    Again, I think that deterrence is a zero-sum game because no one can refuse to play and there is no end to this game.

                    And I am affected by others carrying firearms. Most of the people that I’ve talked to about these issues, especially on this site, are people that seem like they are concerned enough that they can be trusted with these responsibilities. But not everyone is. And if not everyone can be, how do we go about figuring out who can be? We make licensing requirements fairly rigorous. But of course, some are going to be unfairly excluded, even by conditions completely separate from those actual requirements …

                    It’s not like all CCers and OCers are equal. As I remarked to a person on another site, OCing as a black person sounds very, very dangerous. OCing as a person of middle eastern descent sounds like a death wish. Although I think most women probably should OC, I can see how this would end up leading many innocent women to jail, given how much people are in question about the very simple definition of rape.

                    Thanks for the questions.

                    • benEzra says:

                      “I cannot imagine someone saying, even 20 years ago (before people when totally crazy after 9/11) that there would be no way to enter the house of someone who we had proof was building a nuclear weapon.”

                      Yes, there was indeed a way. It’s called a “warrant.” There are also exigent-circumstances exceptions, though IMO the exclusionary rule should apply in many of those, and I do not believe that participants in warrantless raids should be covered by sovereign immunity. But that’s just me.

                      As an aside, I personally think that the Nuclear Bogeyman Argument, and exaggerated terrorism arguments in general, tend to make for phenomenally bad policy, as do hasty reactions to tragic events; in both cases, rational thought and careful skepticism tend to get shouted down.

                      “And if not everyone can be, how do we go about figuring out who can be? We make licensing requirements fairly rigorous.”

                      I believe *strict scrutiny* should be applied to all such requirements. And based on experience, I firmly believe that licensure should be based on strictly on statutory requirements that any mentally competent adult with a clean record can realistically pass. Discretionary licensing has led to abuses in every U.S. jurisdiction I’m aware of where it’s been tried. Consider California, where the #1 determinants of whether you can get a CCW license are (1) how close a buddy you are to the Sheriff or (2) how much can you contribute to the Sheriff’s reelection campaign. Or consider NYC, where Donald Trump or Charles Schumer can easily get a CCW license, but someone like me couldn’t even if I tried for a year (or ten).

                      The gun control lobby is not interested in making sure that CCW license holders are qualified. They are interested in reducing the number of CCW licenses, period, and ultimately in restricting them to the social elite and their staff.

    • Jack says:

      “Right now I expect Sebastian and Bitter are thanking me for all the attention I’ve been giving them. And I’d equally have to thank them for the interesting debate that I’ve had here on their blog. I plan on sticking around and continuing discussion.

      A lot of you have complained that I am ignorant and do not know the facts, whereas I find practically no one is willing to consider that my views are more complicated or require further consideration.”

      That’s some rampant egotism right there.

      Also the complexity of your views on a given subject is quite distinct from how informed you are on the same subject.

      Your sincerity is also in doubt given that you’ve gone from being so very concerned about spousal abuse and domestic murder to want to ban all guns, to now going on about how moderate a background check law is (or how moderate caliber and semi-auto bans are).

      And given your statements to your ignornance on firearms laws… and your statements that show you don’t know how car laws work…

      Also you seem to deliberatly confuse someone saying “You are wrong because you are unaware of X, Y, and Z” with “I can’t understand why you beleive N, you must be wrong!”

      Which is a delicious irony because you literally cannot comprehend disagreement with a politician (one you think should be removed form office!) for any reason other than “that there is some underlying, institutional racism”.

      That’s just sad.

      • Still concerned about domestic violence. Surely you know that women in abusive relationships in which there is a gun in the house have a higher risk of being murdered than those that do not.

        I still don’t buy the firearms are more regulated than cars, or pharmaceuticals. There is no case that they are more regulated than pharmaceuticals, but I think the cars firearms one is more arguable. Here’s my basic point. You have to renew a license to have and operate an automobile; you have to have insurance for it; different states have different regulations for driving and for cars; moreover, there is continually improvements in car safety that are required of manufacturers to implement.
        The only comparison I see with firearms is that many different states have different regulations and that there is a federal regulations. However, unlike cars, there is no license that needs to be continually renewed. There is a background check, but that is one time when you purchase the weapon. You don’t have to have insurance to have a firearm. There is no federal database on gun owners, although there are records, but they are maintained differently across different states. There is a federal database of drivers that any LEO can check when he pulls me over.

        A car is not designed for killing (except the 1991 Dodge Viper), but a firearm is (granted, there are lots of sporting weapons that would make killing difficult).

        Disagreement is one thing, calling the man a socialist and calling for his impeachment because he helped pass weak healthcare reform is another. Most of the claims about Obama are red herrings, radical exaggerations.

        • benEzra says:

          You don’t need a license to purchase a car, to own a car, to modify a car to go as fast as you want, or to drive a car on private roads or other private property, or to tow the car anywhere in the country. You can own as many as you want without any sort of background check or waiting period.

          You only need a license to *operate the car on public roads*. Sort of like you need a license in most states to carry a concealed firearm. And unlike my NC driver’s license, my CCW license required me to pass a Federal background check, state background check, state mental health records check, pass an 8-hour class and take a test on the applicable law, and demonstrate competence on a shooting range, live fire.

          If guns were treated like cars, anyone in the nation could buy a machinegun cash-and-carry to keep at home and transport anywhere in the nation, and carrying it concealed without a license would get you a civil infraction.

          FWIW, regarding licensure, you *still* don’t trust me to CC my 9mm in public in spite of my submitting to your dream list of licensure requirements, yet you want me to trust you with requiring a similar license just to *possess* the very mundane contents of my gun safe? No thanks.

          Finally, on the subject of comparing guns to cars, perhaps putting the “assault weapon” bait-and-switch into a car context would make the folly a little clearer:

          http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118×131622

          • I couldn’t open your link, unfortunately, as I would be interested.

            I’m not saying that cars and guns should be treated alike, only that the degree of regulation of the one should be basic for the other. Yes, licensing for CCW is considerable and I have no issues with that, except depending on where you are, your license may expire in 4 years or 7 years of whatever.

            But I’m not as concerned about CCW or even OCW, assuming that they are licensed equally. Before I was convinced that they were probably an irresponsible group, based on that video of the OCT going into a Chile’s and intimidating people. I was wrong about that.

            I am concerned about guns sitting around in people’s homes, their closets, under their beds, etc. I think those should be treated similarly to CCW or OCW.

            Yes, it’s a right protected by the Constitution, but it is also a very unique right and one that needs regulation. Just because it’s protected by the Constitution doesn’t mean it cannot be regulated.

            I’m not a fan of more laws, in fact, I’d like there to be sensible, perhaps even less laws. It’s not that case that gun ownership and gun violence mean the same things across the country. That is why this problem is so complex. For example, Wyoming is a pretty safe place for gun owners. But that’s not the case in DC or Illinois. The problem is that these very diverse regions are all connected.

            • It seems clear that what we have here is a case of extreme willingness to take from someone else something that you do not value. You do not value the right to bear arms, so you see no reason not to take it from others, because it is no cost to you. It is a simpler notion of the idea that “communists are those who have nothing and want to share it with you”.

              You might consider that weapons have been highly valued throughout history, that those without weapons are very often the victims of those who have them, and that weapons are primarily used for deterrence rather than for killing.

              If you work a little harder at understanding why people value weapons, then you will have come a long way in understanding the reason for the right to bear arms and why a great many people treasure it.

              The greatest threat to peoples lives over the last hundred years has not been arms in the hands of private persons, but arms in the hands of state actors. The worst offenders have been those that call themselves socialists of one kind or another, such as Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Here is a university site in Hawaii that tracks such informaiton:

              http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM

              The willingness of people such as you to ignore the rule of law embodied in the Constitution is a clear signal that the State cannot be trusted with a monopoly of force. The Second Amendment is one of the balancing forces to prevent the State from going totalitarian on us, as it appears to be doing in Venuzuela, which recently outlawed the private sale of firearms.

              • I come from a family of gun owners and lovers. I’ve fired different kinds (handguns, shotguns and rifles) and when I was younger, wanted to go hunting (even took a gun safety course as a teen). I think I know at least some of the reasons why people not only like them, but “treasure” them, as you put it.

                I think you know this, but Hitler as not a “socialist,” except in name alone, he hated socialists and communists because he thought they were all Jews. He had no real allegiance to any particular economic program, as far as I can tell.

                But just because guns are not systematic killers like Stalin or Hitler does not mean that any such regulation thereof is unjustified. And suggesting or even advancing regulation of guns is not “ignoring the rule of law”. If that’s what you think, then you do not understand laws or the Constitution. Also, I am not the State. I am one citizen.

                Do you really think that the 2ndA’s original purpose–namely, to protect against tyranny–could actually stop that today? Red Dawn is a movie. And Cliven Bundy will eventually have to pay what he owes the government.

                Just to be clear: outlawing guns is not tantamount to tyranny. And regulating them is neither.

                • Geodkyt says:

                  You haven’t actually looked at the economic policies of the NSDAP, nor their own writings on socialism and it’s relationship to their particular implementation of it, have you?

                  Because you cannot actually believe what you wrote if you had done so.

                  As Hitler himself said, a communist was an enemy to be destroyed, but a socialist was halfway to being a national socialist. (The primary difference between a standard socialist and a “national socialist” was in the “internationalist” viewpoint of a goal of One World versus a “nationalist” viewpoint of Deutchland Uber Alles. Well that, and the idea that, the NSDAP was a fascist implementation of socialism — while the People did, indeed, control the means of production and distribution, private owners were allowed to retain that ownership and even profit off it. But all that Nazi talk about “the People this. . . ” and “the People that. . . ” wasn’t a smokescreen — they really meant it. For humans they defined as “people”, anyway. . . )

                  • The Weimar republic was closer to socialism than the NSDAP. Hitler basically propped up the munitions industries and others for the sake of his dream of “Lebensraum”–in some ways he anticipated the way the US would treat the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower (all of people!) warned us about. But he did not nationalize them. That’s a pretty important point. Moreover, socialism doesn’t necessarily imply nationalizing industry (take England or France for an example). I’m not saying Hitler was a democrat. I’m just saying he wasn’t really a socialist in any meaningful sense.

                    • Actually, the NAZIs were pretty mainstream socialists in their day. It was only after WWII that the Left repudiated the NAZIs and their ideas, because the Holocaust was exposed and the NAZIs defeated. The left had a split at the time, between National Socialists and International Socialists. A great many Socialists were enthusiastic racists. Here is a link if you want to learn more:

                      http://ray-dox.blogspot.com/2006/08/this-article-is-published-on-internet.html

                      Of course, if you simply want to use the defense of “If they do bad things, then they are not “real” socialists, you can do so. However, that rules out 90% plus of people who call themselves “socialist” when they get into power.

                      I agree with benEzra that firearms owned by a population are a deterrent to governmental abuses. This deterrence is drastically reduced if the firearms are registered, because the government can easily then confiscate them bit by bit.

                      Perhaps you are not familiar with the idea of deterrence. It is a basic military/geopolitical concept that aggressors are more likely to attack weak opponents rather than strong ones.

                      While not in direct answer to your post, I think you will find this quote from your namesake interesting:

                      “When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you.” – Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

                    • Good quote from N.M. Yes, he was no advocate of gun control. But in the Prince he was also not discussing republics, he was discussing monarchies or oligarchies. Although I suspect he would still have no been a fan of arms control. Granted, in his time it meant something very different.

                      The thing is, there have been some successful political transformations that have not proceeded through violence. For example, most contemporaraneously, the civil rights movement. Malcom X and the Black Panther party were nothing but an obstacle to the movement. Ironically, it may have been the violence against the civil rights movement that actually fomented some change. So that would be a case in which violence is counterproductive to social change.

                      Look at the sitation in Ruby Ridge, Waco, Cliven Bundy. The former two led to, arguably, government abuses ending in tragedy. SndA solutions did nothing to resolve the problem. Cliven Bundy has not, through his intransigence, made his debts go away and this situation is not resolved. I hope it doesn’t end in bloodshed, but it sure seems like that’s what Bundy wants.

                      As for your other point: I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m saying that socialists were not racists or could not be racists. I wouldn’t say that. All I’m saying is that Hitler wasn’t really a socialist. And I’ve read books on this subject by well respected historians. No offense, but I’d trust them over an internet source.

                      And benEzra is right that if the 2ndA was abolished, it would be unlikely to be recovered.

                      The problem with deterrence is that it’s a zero-sum game. It cannot lead to de-escalation. The nuclear weapons race is a good example. We will never be free of them and cannot even get rid of the useless number of them (many times over), because of deterrence. START treaties have been abandoned, although the cold war is over, and an arguably more dangerous sort of war has begun.

                      And you know, deterrence is a concept built into a specific type of foreign policy, dating back to the infamous Dean Acheson. It’s a particular, self-fulfilling view. History has proven it right. But history changes, human society changes.

                    • Drifter says:

                      Please explain how you see deterrence as a zero-sum game. How does my choosing to live my life by actively taking in my surroundings while carrying a firearm and avoiding high-crime places and gun-free zones to the max extent possible take away from you or anyone else? Neither of us nor anyone else is winning or losing by my choosing to do so. In fact, I would go so far as to say you are unaffected by these decisions.

                      By carrying concealed and by being unobtrusive (as most serious concealed carries strive to be), the criminal doesn’t know if *I* am carrying a firearm. Given the location of our meeting, he may well have a good idea of the statistical likelihood of such, but he won’t know for sure. This is different from nuclear deterrence scenario in which A has a really good idea what B has, as well as how ready and willing B is to use his weapons.

                      Furthermore, the criminal will ALWAYS have the first strike. Law-abiding use of firearms is, by definition, defensive, so it’s not like I’m escalating an arms race by being prepared. Now, if the vast majority of folks carried seriously instead of the few percent that do so now, I could see where an overwhelming CCW presence might drive a change in criminals’ tactics.

                      If your premise were true, then violent crime would drop off in places where citizens are disarmed and self-defense is illegal, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s an interesting bit (not mine) by a rape victim on sexual assault and your odds if you fight back against your attacker: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/rape.

                      You are correct in saying that we will never get the gun genie back in the bottle. That’s why I want the OPTION of being able to spend my own resources to meet a threat to myself or my family. It’s the same reason I have fire extinguishers in my house and CPR training – preparedness.

                      As to your last comment, how do you see history and society changing? People have been killing each other since Human #3 (Cain) killed Human #4 (Abel), and for one of the same reasons people get killed for today (jealousy). I’m more of the school of studying history so you don’t repeat the same mistakes because I think, more or less, humans have changed so little over time.

                • benEzra says:

                  “Do you really think that the 2ndA’s original purpose–namely, to protect against tyranny–could actually stop that today?”

                  An armed and competent populace *dramatically* increases the amount of political capital required to carry out a tyrannical regime. It doesn’t make it impossible given the right circumstances, no—but it can make it a *lot* more complicated.

                  Not to go Godwin here, and I’m not suggesting that this could even remotely happen here, but as a case in point the Holocaust abductions were primarily carried out by small groups of lightly armed civilian police. In a nation where armed citizens outnumber the police 50:1 (as here), the power dynamic would arguably be quite different, would it not? I’m not saying it couldn’t still happen (particularly to a disenfranchised/disarmed minority, given enough apathy among the general population), but it would be harder.

                  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had a thought along those lines after being sent to the gulag:

                  “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…”

                  All they had were axes, hammers, and pokers. What if they had decent rifles? And let me ask you this: In *this* country, do you think some sort of hypothetical secret police could could arrest 25% of a U.S. city in one night, in an area where 50% of households own guns?

                  In my opinion, the 2nd, at least as it relates to your question, is a deterrent; but even if it is not, it makes oppressing the people quite a bit harder, by ensuring that there is a balance of power between the People and the State. The founders of this country had just been through a revolution, and felt that that balance of power was an essential part of national security (see Federalist #46). I tend to agree.

                • Drifter says:

                  As mentioned already, outlawing guns is usually a precursor to tyranny. Remember, you’re not just giving up our rights today. Because rights abdicated are usually very hard to regain, you would be giving up rights for future generations as well. History shows us that the cycle most governments take pass through tyranny and/or genocide at some point, and I don’t think we’re immune from that. It may be 50 years from now or 500. I believe people should have a basic right and ability to defend themselves – and by that, I mean ALL people.

                  To answer your question about peasants versus a well-trained army and to add to benEzra’s point, I would point to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in ’43 as an instance where a rag-tag band of poorly armed Jews who didn’t really want to get in the boxcars held off the SS for over a month. Perhaps you’re like one of my liberal friends (who retired after 20 years in the Marines and AF) whose response was, “They died anyway, so what was the point?” The point, to me, is that they fought evil and inspired others to do so, rather than giving up. I don’t begrudge his choice to get in the boxcar; I ask that he respect mine to do the opposite.

                  Other examples would include Afghanistan. They held out against the reigning world champs in the 1800’s, one of the two semi-finalists in the 1980’s, and I dare say they will outlast us in the present day. The will to fight is much more important than the tools at hand. Having said that, I still want the best tools I can get.

                  • How history changes:

                    One example: the doctrine of right is barely older than the modern age. It was originally based in natural rights theory, but even that didn’t really find any basis until you had doctrines of rights in Europe and then across the West. Moreover, those rights depended on certain types of political regimes existing. Those rights came into being when the rights of the king were put into question, when we started to wonder if there was any way to check that power.

                    But contemporary rights are not based on natural rights. When you lose your civil rights you no longer have rights to appeal to. The only basis for rights is in the protection of a government that offers them. If that government excludes you, then what do you have?

                    Thus, refugees are effectively stripped of human rights because they are stripped of their civil rights. In other words, all human rights are based in civil rights!

                    So yes, murder may happen again and again, but what it means–that is, how it is understood by the political and social conditions of human existence–is continually changing. The “meaning” is the important part. That is the texture of human life. That is “reality”.

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      ” When you lose your civil rights you no longer have rights to appeal to. The only basis for rights is in the protection of a government that offers them. If that government excludes you, then what do you have? ”

                      So when the government decides to exclude you, and not protect you, what other recourse do you have?

                • The Second Amendment is very clear. Attempting to subvert it is attempting to subvert the most basic law of the land, which does a great deal to undermine the rule of law. Yes, you are just one individual, but you are indicative of a mindset that is perfectly willing to ignore the restraints of the Constitution when it achieves power. If you think the Constitution is only what the Supreme Court says it is at the time, it is you who does not understand the law or the Constitution. Yes, I understand that this mindset is common and has been taught in the law schools for decades now. That does not mean that it is correct.

              • “Attempting to subvert it is attempting to subvert the most basic law of the land, which does a great deal to undermine the rule of law”

                So would you say that the 18th and 21st Amendments were “subversions” of the law of the land? The constitution is a living document that is continually transformed through judicial precedent. Judicial precedent is the way that it is interpreted over periods of time. This changes. Pretending like that is not the case ignores basic historical events like slavery or the right to vote for women. So legislation “subverts” or interprets, to put it realistically, the constitution just as much as judicial decision and executive orders do.

                Effectively, you’re claiming that any interpretation is a “subversion” of the law of the land. Even Scalia is “interpreting” the Constitution, although he might claim otherwise. Similarly, the Tea party is also “interpreting” the Constitution.

                If you don’t want to “subvert”, or put more clearly, interptet the Constitution, then you somehow mean for it to be effective without explanation or even application. That is impossible.

                • benEzra says:

                  “Effectively, you’re claiming that any interpretation is a “subversion” of the law of the land. Even Scalia is “interpreting” the Constitution, although he might claim otherwise. Similarly, the Tea party is also “interpreting” the Constitution.”

                  The thing is, the Constitution is a legal contract that establishes the legitimacy of the government of the United States, and has the force of law. The Bill of Rights are legal conditions of that contract, and the only reason the Constitution was even ratified in the first place was the promise that a Bill of Rights would be added, as it was.

                  The Bill of Rights can be amended via the amendment process and that does not violate the rule of law. If a right in the Bill of Rights is simply interpreted not to exist anymore, though, then the rule of law has been subverted, because it circumvents the legal process and instead just ignores it.

                  Most Americans, as do I, believe that the Bill of Rights implies a right to privacy in the 4th Amendment. That is the constitutional basis for striking down restrictions on abortion, for example. But it also explicitly says that no searches be conducted without a warrant, based on probable cause, and supported by oath or affirmation (which makes the accuser liable for perjury if the information proves to be false). If the 4thA is “interpreted” to mean that most searches—whether stopping and frisking random people for weapons in public, or government scanning citizens’ most private correspondence for to/from lists or topics it doesn’t like, then the rule of law has been subverted because one of the key legal and contractual obligations of the U.S. government has been interpreted out of existence.

                  Similarly, many people on your side of the issue *do* interpret the 2ndA out of existence. “The right of the people to keep and bear [carry] arms shall not be infringed” is taken to mean things like:

                  “The power of the State to equip its troops shall not be infringed.”

                  “The right of the people to keep and bear a few token arms for a limited set of recreational purposes only shall not be infringed, unless someone comes up with a scary buzzword for those too.”

                  “The right of law enforcement and corporate armed security to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

                  “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be infringed as much as we damn well please and to any extent we please.”

                  As it stands now, Bloomberg et al believe the 2ndA is completely null and void; that even something as nonsensical as restricting handgrip shape, on the least misused classes of guns, owned by trained and experienced people with exemplary records, don’t violate the 2ndA. Restricting magazine capacities to less than half of what a citizen could buy 150 years ago doesn’t violate the 2ndA. Taking away most of the existing right for adult citizens with clean records to lawfully own and use non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed, NFA Title 1 civilian firearms doesn’t violate the 2ndA.

                  That bullshit—just like imprisoning and/or killing American citizens without trial, extracting forced confessions from suspects, and searching Americans’ correspondence/persons/homes without warrant—violates the rule of law and undermines the entire social contract.

                  • “The Bill of Rights can be amended via the amendment process and that does not violate the rule of law. If a right in the Bill of Rights is simply interpreted not to exist anymore, though, then the rule of law has been subverted, because it circumvents the legal process and instead just ignores it.”

                    This paragraph is baffling me. I think what you think it means is that while it has gone through amendment process it is legal, but when Bloomberg et al. advocate its abolition that is somehow “subverting” it? I don’t know what Bloomberg’s plan is, but I assume it has some kind of legal or legislative agenda. Those are the ways you make changes to existing laws. He may be pushing a massive publicity campaign for it, but this is also not “subverting” the rule of law.

                    Everyone is free to make arguments about the 2ndA. Until it produces legislative and judicial changes, it is not “subverting” the law. Free debate about our laws is what keeps them alive and continues to make them meaningful. You cannot claim that people who are arguing against certain amendments are “subverting” them.

                    As for creative interpretations of the 2nd A:
                    “Similarly, many people on your side of the issue *do* interpret the 2ndA out of existence. “The right of the people to keep and bear [carry] arms shall not be infringed” is taken to mean things like:

                    “The power of the State to equip its troops shall not be infringed.”

                    This would seem difficult to argue as the State and the people are rarely confusable.

                    “The right of the people to keep and bear a few token arms for a limited set of recreational purposes only shall not be infringed, unless someone comes up with a scary buzzword for those too.”

                    Please. You do not believe this would have legislative or judicial purchase.

                    “The right of law enforcement and corporate armed security to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

                    Seems like this would fall into the first category.

                    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be infringed as much as we damn well please and to any extent we please.”

                    I don’t understand this one.

                    Going back to that actual amendment. Despite the wording of the amendment, it has been generally interpreted to refer to “individual rights”, whereas the actual amendment speaks of individuals not at all.

                    “As passed by the Congress and preserved in the National Archives:[29]

                    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

                    As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State:[30]

                    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.”

                    Both phrasings refer to a “militia” or to the “people”, but not to individuals. This phrasing, in plain English interpretation, pace Scalia, seems to be boon for collective groups, but not for individual rights. Moreover, they seem limited to the purpose of “balancing” a free state, not for hunting or for personal defense.

                    Of course, my gloss ignores the way that the text has been translated for years. But that IS an interpretation.

                    A stupid question: there were guns with magazines including more than 20-30 bullets 150 years ago? Really?

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      “there were guns with magazines including more than 20-30 bullets 150 years ago? Really?”

                      Girandoni Air Rifle.

                      The very fact that Justice Stevens wanted to amend the 2nd Amendment is hinting at the fact that he admits that the way it was worded protects an individual right. If you want to re-argue Heller again, good luck.

                      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

                      So the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to individuals?

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      or I could just show you a sentence diagram of the 2nd amendment.

                      http://veniquidveniat.blogspot.com/2013/01/an-analysis-of-militia-referred-to-in.html

                    • AntiCitizenOne says:

                      the hits keep on coming:

                      http://www.mkwhy.com/joseph-enouys-8-cylinder/

                      Joseph enouys 8 cylinder, 48 shot revolver, circa 1855.

                    • benEzra says:

                      @niccolo machiavelli,

                      I’d like to reply in some length, but I’ll answer the technical/historical question first because I find it the most interesting. I am a gun enthusiast, not a gun politics enthusiast.

                      “A stupid question: there were guns with magazines including more than 20-30 bullets 150 years ago? Really?”

                      You are aware that the gun prohibitionists are shooting for a 7 (!) round limit, yes? (See the NY SAFE Act.) That is less than half the capacity of the very first repeating rifle to go mainstream, the Henry rifle (1860, capacity 16+1). The manufacturer shortly changed their name to Winchester (maybe you’ve heard of them…) and brought out a refined model (the Winchester Model 1866, capacity 17+1) that quickly made the Winchester company’s reputation.

                      In the following decade (1870s), the design branched in two directions; lower-power, higher capacity models like the Evans rifle (1873, capacity 28+1 or 34+1) and models that traded lower capacity for far more power as hunting weapons, like the Winchester Model 1876 (as low as 10+1 in some calibers, though shorter calibers went as high as 15+1.

                      I was speaking of the 16+1 rifles of the 1860s when I said 150 years ago. But yes, you could buy a 28- or 34-shot civilian rifle 141 years ago in 1873.

                      Going back to the 1790s, the interesting Girandoni Air Rifle of 1795 (.46 caliber precharged air rifle with power similar to a modern .45 ACP firearm, capacity 20) has been mentioned. Lewis and Clark famously carried one on their expedition and showed it off every chance they got, so I suspect that a certain gun enthusiast named Thomas Jefferson was familiar with it, given his involvement in the project.

                    • benEzra says:

                      OK, back to the drier stuff… :)

                      (@niccolo machiavelli)
                      “I think what you think it means is that while it has gone through amendment process it is legal, but when Bloomberg et al. advocate its abolition that is somehow “subverting” it?”

                      No, that’s not what I meant. Bloomberg can “advocate” for whatever he wants; it’s a free country. He can stump for his stop-and-frisk policies, his warrantless NYPD stalking of Muslims, his high-capacity-drinking-cup bans, his crusade against medical cannibis, his “free speech zones”, his attempts to prevent the poor from buying soda, his support for the NSA’s mass surveillance, or his other attempts to control what the American people may see, know, ingest, or keep in their gun safes. It’s his right as a citizen to advocate for whatever comic-villain control freakery he wants to, and even if I disagree with those things I support his right to argue for them. That’s not what I’m talking about.

                      No, I mean that when Congress passes *laws* that drastically infringe the 2ndA (or the 4thA, or the 1stA) *without* amending the Constitution, it is violating its own charter. The Constitution prohibits indefinite detention without trial, mass searches without warrant, torture, summary executions of U.S. citizens, or depriving people of the right to peaceably assemble or own and carry arms. You have two choices while remaining within the rule of law; the government can either not do those things, or you change the Constitution to allow them. But doing those things without amending the Constitution subverts the rule of law; if the government can torture detainees, spy on citizens without warrant, or arbitrarily infringe speech rights/gun rights/free assembly rights, why can’t it do other things the Constitution bars it from doing? Why can’t it round up dissidents who “threaten national security”, for example?

                    • benEzra says:

                      Finally, the rest…

                      (“The right of the people to keep and bear a few token arms for a limited set of recreational purposes only shall not be infringed, unless someone comes up with a scary buzzword for those too.”) “Please. You do not believe this would have legislative or judicial purchase.” –@niccolo machiavelli

                      How long have you been following the gun control issue? I *lived* under the 1994 “assault weapon” fraud for ten years and lived under the threat of far more draconian bans for years after. And if you are skeptical about what other things can be banned by buzzword, look at California firearms law. Don’t tell me that scary buzzwords can’t find “legislative or judicial purpose” if they have the support of the corporate media.

                      And haven’t you yourself supported banning “assault weapons” under the justification that they have no legitimate sporting purpose? (Even though they are actually the dominant sporting rifles in the nation, but that’s beside the point.)

                      How do you feel about “High-Caliber Sniper Rifles”? “Saturday Night Specials”? “Cop-Killer Bullets”? “Riot Guns”? “Plastic Guns”? If you ban everything falling under those terms, you ban *everything*.

                      (“The right of law enforcement and corporate armed security to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”) “Seems like this would fall into the first category.” –@niccolo machiavelli

                      You’ve never met anyone who says that only people with badges should be able to carry handguns or use AR-15’s? Look at the gun laws currently in place in New York City and California, and the LE/retired LE/corporate security exemptions to almost every gun law the gun control lobby proposes. They say AR-15’s and whatnot “have no other purpose except mass murder”, unless a retired LEO wants to own one for punching .22 caliber holes in paper targets or for small game hunting, or if a billionaire wants a few for home defense, then they suddenly revert to being the non-automatic centerfire .22’s they are. Haven’t you noticed that under almost all proposed “assault weapons” and handgun ban legislation, some civilians are “more equal than others” depending on who their current or former employers are?

                      (“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be infringed as much as we damn well please and to any extent we please.”) I don’t understand this one. –@niccolo machiavelli

                      See California and Massachusetts firearms law, or the policy proposals of the Coalitition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, the various Bloomberg mouthpieces. Any infringement they think will be the slightest bit helpful, they will push, the Bill of Rights be damned. And it’s not just the 2ndA; look at Bloomberg et al on stop-and-frisk and warrantless surveillance. “If we say it’s beneficial, then it must be Constitutional.”

                      “Going back to that actual amendment. Despite the wording of the amendment, it has been generally interpreted to refer to “individual rights”, whereas the actual amendment speaks of individuals not at all…Both phrasings refer to a “militia” or to the “people”, but not to individuals. This phrasing, in plain English interpretation, pace Scalia, seems to be boon for collective groups, but not for individual rights.” –@niccolo machiavelli

                      The phrase “the people”, in the Bill of Rights, ascribes the right to *individuals*.

                      Unless you believe that there is no individual right to petition the government for redress of grievances? No individual right to create or join a peaceable assembly? No individual right to be secure against warrantless search and seizure (and as a corollary, no individual right to privacy or abortion)? Seriously?

                    • The idea that the second amendment only refereed to a “collective right” was invented in 1905 by progressives on the Kansas supreme court. Prior to that it was widely understood that it was an individual right. There are almost no mentions of the “collective right” theory before that, and references, in dicta, from the Supreme Court that it was an individual right. A famous one from the infamous Dred Scott case was when Chief Justice Tanney wrote that Blacks could not be considered citizens, because then they would have the right to carry arms wherever they went.

                      “It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

                      http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=60&invol=393

                      http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmbr.html

        • Alpheus says:

          “Disagreement is one thing, calling the man a socialist and calling for his impeachment because he helped pass weak healthcare reform is another. Most of the claims about Obama are red herrings, radical exaggerations.”

          First of all, most of those who wish Obama to be impeached do not do so because of his health care. It’s because of the IRS scandal, or because he’s broken the law in releasing prisoners without Congressional consent, or declared war without consent of Congress (Libya), or (as you’ve pointed out) he’s killed American citizens without due process, or because he’s presided over sending guns to Mexico. I don’t know if he should be impeached over Benghazi (while it displays incompetence, I don’t quite see what he did illegally there), but I don’t think he should have been re-elected because of that.

          Second, I don’t know about others, but I don’t consider Obama to be a socialist because of his weak, disastrous health care reform (even though that’s yet another step closer to socialized medicine; indeed, I haven’t yet ruled out the possibility that it’s purpose is to sabotage our current health care industry so that “single payer” could be ushered in). I consider him a socialist because he has Communist parents and grandparents, and because he says things like “You didn’t build that” and “We just want to spread the wealth around”.

          Third, what does Obama’s general views of governance have with the topic at hand, anyway? We oppose his ban on importing WWII Garand M1 rifles; we oppose his desire to implement Australian-style gun bans; we oppose his attempts to re-implement the ineffectual and pointless Assault Weapon Ban (which didn’t do what it was supposed to: its purpose wasn’t to make us safer, but to get us used to banning guns; instead, all it did was to rile up the gun rights movement to be what it is today); we oppose his attempts to make it look like America is a major source of guns for Mexican violence via Fast and Furious.

          In other words, except for his specific policies on guns, bringing up Obama (and particularly health care) is the red herring.

    • Geodkyt says:

      You know, I was opposed to these policies and prinicples when they were espoused by a pair of white crackers from the South who were sitting in the Oval Office, in two different Administrations. I opposed them when They were espoused by Al Gore (white guy from Tennessee) and John Kerry (really white guy – except when spray tanned orange – from Massachusetts) in their failed runs for the Whiet House. I opposed the domestic policy equivalents when they were proposed by white gubanatorial candidates in Virginia.

      But now that Obama is president, the only reason I can oppose them is that I’m a racist?

      Got it. It couldn’t possibly be that I have consistantly opposed these ideas since becoming aware of politics. . .

  13. You could just hate his policies and not be a racist. Again, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about conservatives in general and about institutional racism.

    Wasn’t Biden the one that said Barry was so well-spoken? That was racism.

    • Geodkyt says:

      “Conservatives in general” — who also opposed these policies when they were pushed by white Presidents. Who opposed them when they were pushed by white Presidents who were from the party that WAS the Ku Klux Klan. Who opposed them when they were pushed by white Presidents who had been closely associated with the KKK.

      Frankly, I’ve met damned few racist conservatives. . . and a HELL of a lot of virulently racist Democrats (especially “working class” Democrats from the Northeast and the Rust Belt.)

      • Yes, racism is alive and well among liberals as well. They just like to pretend they’re above it.

        And yet, one wonders why blacks generally vote democratically, rather than with Republicans and libertarians. This is not some mere mystery. There are a number of reasons behind it.

        • Alpheus says:

          I cannot remember the details, but a huge reason why this is the case involves the New Deal, and FDR’s policies. These details can be found in Amity Schlay’s “The Forgotten Man”.

          These details have nothing to do with race, but more to do with a decision to side with a particular party because of economic reasons.

          Personally, I find it more than a little odd that more minorities don’t support Republicans, after the role that the Republican party has played in fighting institutional racism, from fighting the Civil War and ending slavery, to the Civil Rights act.

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