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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:46 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
In my view, two members of Congress declaring that they intend to arm themselves does not evince responsible gun ownership. It looks like more of a dick measuring contest.

Agreed. There are million other things one can do to better ensure their safety. But a gun is a symbol of strength, independence and masculinity!

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:50 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
If a killer is specifically targeting you as a member of Congress and s/he pulls out a gun and shoots you in the head first(as apparently happened this weekend), how is carrying a gun personally going to help you?

I don't think, in that scenario, being armed personally is the sole solution. There should also be armed security coverage from the rear.

As far as everyday life for civilians go, I think everyone, armed or otherwise, would serve themselves to always be aware to the best of their abilities as to who is around them, all 360 degrees. It doesn't mean one has to live in fear or be paranoid that everybody is out to get them. But when it comes to being in public, it's important to take note of who is in your perimeter.

And guns aren't for everybody. I'm all for having a knife, mace, or stun gun on you, whatever works for you.

(These aren't part of any overall plan or philosophy, just things I've come to believe. Maybe someone with more expertise should start a self-defense thread elsewhere on the forum? As of my last search, there are posts that mention it, but no all-encompassing thread.)

just mumbles wrote:
What mechanisms exist to enforce that responsibility with respect to gun ownership?

In the U.S.? I don't think any. I can't recall the details, but I recently read how Canada does it. I think training classes would be good, some sort of licensing, like we have for cars. (Again, not a perfect analogy, just the best one I have.)

In an ideal world, there would be no guns, but that's not where we live. Pandora's Box has already been opened. I would rather be responsibly armed than unarmed. I wish I could be a pacifist, but I have been in too many situations where the threat of violence required me to take action.

The majority of gun owners are not out shooting people. Panic about people having guns does not make us safer (and, no, neither does everyone rushing out to buy guns that they don't actually know how to use, care for, or keep out of the wrong hands). But we do need to examine our gun culture. It's a lot more than just what laws are in place. As a people, we need to have a better understanding of responsible gun ownership.


Last edited by BFH on Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:52 pm 
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I can't even imagine how much less safe we'd all be if everyone had guns. Most gun death isn't of the good-guy-shoots-bad-guy-invading-his-home type. People with guns can do stupid and deadly things, even if they aren't schizophrenics bent on assassination or amoral felons. Regular people do horrible things with guns. Because of poor training or poor impulse control or who knows what.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:56 pm 
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BFH wrote:
In the U.S.? I don't think any.

I guess I don't understand the purpose of talking about what responsible gun owners would do if we have no reason to believe that gun owners are responsible. Or even a common definition of what 'responsible' means.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:56 pm 
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By the way, "the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people" is hardly the most soothing thing I've heard lately.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:14 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
By the way, "the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people" is hardly the most soothing thing I've heard lately.


Out of curiosity, what is the most soothing thing you've heard lately?

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:15 pm 
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BFH wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
If a killer is specifically targeting you as a member of Congress and s/he pulls out a gun and shoots you in the head first(as apparently happened this weekend), how is carrying a gun personally going to help you?

I don't think, in that scenario, being armed personally is the sole solution. There should also be armed security coverage from the rear.

As far as everyday life for civilians go, I think everyone, armed or otherwise, would serve themselves to always be aware to the best of their abilities as to who is around them, all 360 degrees. It doesn't mean one has to live in fear or be paranoid that everybody is out to get them. But when it comes to being in public, it's important to take note of who is in your perimeter.

And guns aren't for everybody. I'm all for having a knife, mace, or stun gun on you, whatever works for you.

(These aren't part of any overall plan or philosophy, just things I've come to believe. Maybe someone with more expertise should start a self-defense thread elsewhere on the forum? As of my last search, there are posts that mention it, but no all-encompassing thread.)

just mumbles wrote:
What mechanisms exist to enforce that responsibility with respect to gun ownership?

In the U.S.? I don't think any. I can't recall the details, but I recently read how Canada does it. I think training classes would be good, some sort of licensing, like we have for cars. (Again, not a perfect analogy, just the best one I have.)

In an ideal world, there would be no guns, but that's not where we live. Pandora's Box has already been opened. I would rather be responsibly armed than unarmed. I wish I could be a pacifist, but I have been in too many situations where the threat of violence required me to take action.

The majority of gun owners are not out shooting people. Panic about people having guns does not make us safer (and, no, neither does everyone rushing out to buy guns that they don't actually know how to use, care for, or keep out of the wrong hands). But we do need to examine our gun culture. It's a lot more than just what laws are in place. As a people, we need to have a better understanding of responsible gun ownership.


I don't think these comments have much connection to how people live. I don't understand how talking about the ideal of gun ownership relates to the situation we're in right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:37 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
I guess I don't understand the purpose of talking about what responsible gun owners would do if we have no reason to believe that gun owners are responsible. Or even a common definition of what 'responsible' means.

I thought you were asking what mechanisms are in place to enforce that every gun owner be responsible. That is something different than the statement you're making now, which I'm reading as an assertion that gun owners are not responsible.

I am not an expert, but to the best of my knowledge, there are not requirements for responsible gun ownership beyond prosecution when irresponsible gun owners get caught (such as when I worked at a video store, and an old man pulled out a gun and pointed at me to show it off... I believe he was fined and had the firearm confiscated). I definitely advocate responsible gun ownership and I believe most gun owners are responsible. I'm just not sure how a government regulates that sort of thing. I'm sure you'd meet plenty of libertarians who would tell you it's not the government's job to do so, or at least, those libertarians don't believe it should be the government's job.

Your comment seems to assumes that all gun owners are irresponsible. I don't accept that argument.

FootFace wrote:
I can't even imagine how much less safe we'd all be if everyone had guns. Most gun death isn't of the good-guy-shoots-bad-guy-invading-his-home type..."the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people" is hardly the most soothing thing I've heard lately.

But it's true. There are an estimated 44 million gun owners in America, with 192 million firearms, 65 million of them handguns.

The majority of crossbow owners aren't shooting arrows into people. The majority of knife owners aren't stabbing people. The majority of car owners aren't hitting or running over people. I just don't agree that the majority should be denied access to firearms because of a fractional minority's misuse of them (there are reasonable limits to that principle, though, such as nuclear weapons or tanks).

As far as your assertion about gun deaths, you're right - most gun deaths are suicides. Is that a gun problem or a suicide problem? Without access to guns, would those suicides find other means? I don't know.

You can make all sorts of assertions based on all sorts of statistics. It all depends on what criteria you're looking at. Yes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 18,000 firearm suicides a year, 14,000 firearm homicides a year, and 1,100 accidental deaths by firearm per year. But all that combined doesn't outweigh the 43,000 motor vehicle accidental deaths a year. You can cook up different numbers based on if you're looking at 1991 to 2005, or just the year 2004. You can scare people with cumulative numbers or you can ease their worries by showing that the trend in deaths and accidents and crime is downward. You can say "guns kill x people daily," and omit the fact that part of that figure is armed conflicts between military and/or paramilitary groups.

What can't be denied is that the U.S. has more guns and more gun deaths. The problem may not just be the guns, it may also be the culture. If all the guns turned into bananas overnight, would people stop killing themselves, stop killing each other, stop dying in accidents? That they wouldn't doesn't mean there should no restrictions, just that making guns go away isn't going to solve the problems we associate with guns (also, there's the fact that making all the guns go away is an impossibility).

janejellyroll wrote:
I don't think these comments have much connection to how people live. I don't understand how talking about the ideal of gun ownership relates to the situation we're in right now.

It might depend on where you live, or how you live. Guns may not be a part of the life of, say, a mother and wife who lives in a medium-sized midwest town. Guns may mean something different to a rancher in rural Arizona than it does to a homeowner in East L.A., and it may be different for a hunting enthusiast in Alabama than for the previous two mentioned.

The reason it all relates to what we're talking about is because there was a gun-related tragedy, and this thread is a tangent discussion about what two people in the same line of work as one of the tragedy's victims have said they plan to do because of the tragedy. Most people on the thread dismissed the idea, but I present a different opinion because my understanding of guns and gun culture is different than theirs (not better, not even more expert, just different).


Last edited by BFH on Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:41 pm 
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I don't doubt that the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people. I was kind of making a joke. You know me. Crazy old, wacky old FootFace. Because even if the percentage of gun owners out shooting people was WELL BELOW 50%, it could still be bad news.

Even if a paltry 1% of the 44 million gun owners was out shooting people, that would be 440,000 people running around shooting people!

That's all.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:44 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I don't doubt that the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people. I was kind of making a joke. You know me. Crazy old, wacky old FootFace. Because even if the percentage of gun owners out shooting people was WELL BELOW 50%, it could still be bad news.

Even if a paltry 1% of the 44 million gun owners was out shooting people, that would be 440,000 people running around shooting people!

That's all.


And if we interpret the CDC's statistics, it's far, far less than 1%, which leads me to believe that gun control, while still maybe a good idea, isn't the magic solution to ending gun deaths.

I'll draw an analogy to obesity/poor health... I don't think there's much the government can do, or at least nothing I would want them to do, to stop Americans from eating the wrong things and ending up morbidly obese and/or unhealthy. It takes a paradigm shift, it takes Americans being responsible with their choices when it comes to food.

Similarly, there can be all sorts of rules and regulations as to purchasing and owning guns, and I think there should be a better examination of those strategies. But it's the American mindset about guns, violence, etc. that needs to change if there is going to be a significant reduction to gun deaths.


Last edited by BFH on Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:45 pm 
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BFH wrote:
I thought you were asking what mechanisms are in place to enforce that every gun owner be responsible. That is something different than the statement you're making now, which I'm reading as an assertion that gun owners are not responsible.

You're misreading me. I'm not saying that all gun owners are irresponsible, I'm saying that I have no way of knowing whether any given gun owner is a responsible gun owner.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Also, I totally don't get the "but car accidents kill more people than gun violence" argument. If cars became magically deathproof overnight, THEN could we talk about how there are too many people dying from guns?

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:49 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
I have no way of knowing whether any given gun owner is a responsible gun owner.

Maybe we should look into how other countries do it.
How we do know who is a "responsible driver"? They have to study, get a license, and there are laws that regulate how and when we drive.

Maybe something like that would work for guns. I don't know. But I don't think banning gun ownership (which I haven't seen advocated here, but is an argument out in the greater dialogue at large), or even highly restricting it, would solve the problem of gun deaths.

FootFace wrote:
Also, I totally don't get the "but car accidents kill more people than gun violence" argument. If cars became magically deathproof overnight, THEN could we talk about how there are too many people dying from guns?

We could, but since that's not going to happen with cars, it doesn't seem like a constructive discussion. (That doesn't mean we can't have it though. I'm capable of indulging hypotheticals.)

But in an attempt to help it make sense, I'll take my best shot (no pun intended) at explaining the argument... if citing statistics of gun deaths is reasonable as to whether or not civilians should be allowed to own guns, than the same logic dictates that since more people die because of cars, car ownership should be up for discussion. Now while there's people like Kalle Lasn who would love for Americans to stop using cars, it doesn't seem very likely to sell people on the idea that the existence of car accidents and car-related deaths means we need more restrictions on cars. So, since there are far less gun deaths than car deaths, maybe restricting gun ownership isn't necessarily the solution for that problem, either.

I'm not for no gun control. I'm just not sold on it as the magic solution, and I probably want less of it than other leftist vegans I know.


Last edited by BFH on Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:53 pm 
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BFH wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
I don't think these comments have much connection to how people live. I don't understand how talking about the ideal of gun ownership relates to the situation we're in right now.

It might depend on where you live, or how you live. Guns may not be a part of the life of, say, a mother and wife who lives in a medium-sized midwest town. Guns may mean something different to a rancher in rural Arizona than it does to a homeowner in East L.A., and it may be different for a hunting enthusiast in Alabama than for the previous two mentioned.

The reason it all relates to what we're talking about is because there was a gun-related tragedy, and this thread is a tangent discussion about what two people in the same line of work as one of the tragedy's victims have said they plan to do because of the tragedy. Most people on the thread dismissed the idea, but I present a different opinion because my understanding of guns and gun culture is different than theirs (not better, not even more expert, just different).


I grew up in the south and I now live in Arizona. Believe me, I know from gun culture.

What I meant was, talking about what people ought to do (be responsible gun owners who take classes, never point their gun unless they mean it and to defend their life, and secure their gun against those who are less responsible) is not really helpful when we're clearly in a situation where many, many people are not doing what they ought to do, but something else. Our national response to guns should be based on what people are actually like and the kinds of things that people actually do, not what we wish people were like and what we wished they would do.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:58 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
I grew up in the south and I now live in Arizona. Believe me, I know from gun culture.

My family is from the South and I grew up in Arizona, so we're on the same page!
janejellyroll wrote:
What I meant was, talking about what people ought to do (be responsible gun owners who take classes, never point their gun unless they mean it and to defend their life, and secure their gun against those who are less responsible) is not really helpful when we're clearly in a situation where many, many people are not doing what they ought to do, but something else. Our national response to guns should be based on what people are actually like and the kinds of things that people actually do, not what we wish people were like and what we wished they would do.

I agree with your sentiment in principle, but the thing is, more people ARE responsible gun owners. Yes, too many people are doing what they ought not, but not most, and not even all that many. Therefore, our national response needs to keep in mind, the Loughners are the very tiny fractional minority. Our strategies should be sensible, practical, and making sure the most people are protected. They shouldn't be strategies composed in a panic.


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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:59 pm 
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BFH wrote:
FootFace wrote:
I don't doubt that the majority of gun owners aren't out shooting people. I was kind of making a joke. You know me. Crazy old, wacky old FootFace. Because even if the percentage of gun owners out shooting people was WELL BELOW 50%, it could still be bad news.

Even if a paltry 1% of the 44 million gun owners was out shooting people, that would be 440,000 people running around shooting people!

That's all.


And if we interpret the CDC's statistics, it's far, far less than 1%, which leads me to believe that gun control, while still maybe a good idea, isn't the magic solution to ending gun deaths.

I'll draw an analogy to obesity/poor health... I don't think there's much the government can do, or at least nothing I would want them to do, to stop Americans from eating the wrong things and ending up morbidly obese and/or unhealthy. It takes a paradigm shift, it takes Americans being responsible with their choices when it comes to food.

Similarly, there can be all sorts of rules and regulations as to purchasing and owning guns, and I think there should be a better examination of those strategies. But it's the American mindset about guns, violence, etc. that needs to change if there is going to be a significant reduction to gun deaths.


Honestly, I don't get the obesity analogy. If I want to live on Slim Jims and Cheez-Its, the only person to wind up in ICU is (potentially) me. What does this have in common with spraying bullets into a crowd of people?

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:02 pm 
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BFH wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
I grew up in the south and I now live in Arizona. Believe me, I know from gun culture.

My family is from the South and I grew up in Arizona, so we're on the same page!
janejellyroll wrote:
What I meant was, talking about what people ought to do (be responsible gun owners who take classes, never point their gun unless they mean it and to defend their life, and secure their gun against those who are less responsible) is not really helpful when we're clearly in a situation where many, many people are not doing what they ought to do, but something else. Our national response to guns should be based on what people are actually like and the kinds of things that people actually do, not what we wish people were like and what we wished they would do.

I agree with your sentiment in principle, but the thing is, more people ARE responsible gun owners. Yes, too many people are doing what they ought not, but not most, and not even all that many. Therefore, our national response needs to keep in mind, the Loughners are the very tiny fractional minority. Our strategies should be sensible, practical, and making sure the most people are protected. They shouldn't be strategies composed in a panic.


I think there is a fundamental disagreement on how we make sure the most people are protected. I know I'd feel a lot safer in crowds if I felt fewer people around me, rather than more, had semi-automatic weapons. There are those who feel differently -- who feel safer when they feel more people around them (and especially themselves) are armed. I don't know how to understand that mindset and it seems as if the people who personally feel better with a gun aren't particularly concerned about what happens in the wide, wide gulf between responsible and irrresponsible gun ownership.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:11 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Honestly, I don't get the obesity analogy. If I want to live on Slim Jims and Cheez-Its, the only person to wind up in ICU is (potentially) me. What does this have in common with spraying bullets into a crowd of people?

It's not meant to be a perfect analogy, just illustrating the fact that government intervention is not always the answer.

janejellyroll wrote:
I think there is a fundamental disagreement on how we make sure the most people are protected. I know I'd feel a lot safer in crowds if I felt fewer people around me, rather than more, had semi-automatic weapons. There are those who feel differently -- who feel safer when they feel more people around them (and especially themselves) are armed. I don't know how to understand that mindset and it seems as if the people who personally feel better with a gun aren't particularly concerned about what happens in the wide, wide gulf between responsible and irrresponsible gun ownership.

But I still think you're wrongly assuming about that "wide gulf." Also, I would argue that the vast majority of those who feel better having a gun than not are very concerned about what happens when people are irresponsible gun owners. That's why they want there to be a better public understanding, and that's why they advocate for gun rights and responsible gun ownership.

Plus, conceal-and-carry laws (which is what you seem to invoke when you bring up crowds) is a more nuanced discussion than just gun ownership in general. Perhaps I've been mistakenly discussing the latter when everyone else has intended to discuss the former. Having the right to a revolver (that won't jam like automatics might) and a shotgun (the cocking of which is a sound that is immediately recognizable and a big deterrent to someone who has broken into your home) in a lockbox in your bedroom is a different thing than whether or not we allow people to have a gun on their person out in public, whether on a visible holster or underneath their clothing. Maybe that all is a discussion for a different thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Pandora's box hasn't been opened. Big cities with crime problems like dc, new york and chicago have adopted stronger gun control measures over the years and to substantial effect. For instance - http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... 2053252305

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Results

In Washington, D.C., the adoption of the gun-licensing law coincided with an abrupt decline in homicides by firearms (a reduction of 3.3 per month, or 25 percent) and suicides by firearms (reduction, 0.6 per month, or 23 percent). No similar reductions were observed in the number of homicides or suicides committed by other means, nor were there similar reductions in the adjacent metropolitan areas in Maryland and Virginia. There were also no increases in homicides or suicides by other methods, as would be expected if equally lethal means were substituted for handguns.


Gun control works.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:37 pm 
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BFH wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
Honestly, I don't get the obesity analogy. If I want to live on Slim Jims and Cheez-Its, the only person to wind up in ICU is (potentially) me. What does this have in common with spraying bullets into a crowd of people?

It's not meant to be a perfect analogy, just illustrating the fact that government intervention is not always the answer.

janejellyroll wrote:
I think there is a fundamental disagreement on how we make sure the most people are protected. I know I'd feel a lot safer in crowds if I felt fewer people around me, rather than more, had semi-automatic weapons. There are those who feel differently -- who feel safer when they feel more people around them (and especially themselves) are armed. I don't know how to understand that mindset and it seems as if the people who personally feel better with a gun aren't particularly concerned about what happens in the wide, wide gulf between responsible and irrresponsible gun ownership.

But I still think you're wrongly assuming about that "wide gulf." Also, I would argue that the vast majority of those who feel better having a gun than not are very concerned about what happens when people are irresponsible gun owners. That's why they want there to be a better public understanding, and that's why they advocate for gun rights and responsible gun ownership.

Plus, conceal-and-carry laws (which is what you seem to invoke when you bring up crowds) is a more nuanced discussion than just gun ownership in general. Perhaps I've been mistakenly discussing the latter when everyone else has intended to discuss the former. Having the right to a revolver (that won't jam like automatics might) and a shotgun (the cocking of which is a sound that is immediately recognizable and a big deterrent to someone who has broken into your home) in a lockbox in your bedroom is a different thing than whether or not we allow people to have a gun on their person out in public, whether on a visible holster or underneath their clothing. Maybe that all is a discussion for a different thread.


Keeping a gun in a lockbox in your bedroom has nothing to do with wearing a gun to public events for "safety," which is the topic of this thread. We're talking about people wearing guns in public so they can be safe from people who are wearing guns in public. Some of the people who are wearing guns in public and using them to kill people have had the ability to do so because those who "advocate for gun rights and responsible gun ownership" have been much, much more concerned about battling any limit to gun ownership than making sure that people are safer when they're at a supermarket talking to their congressperson.

If your best response to our messed up gun culture is to just resolve to wear your own gun everywhere, something is wrong. Nine-year-olds can't wear guns (at least yet). Some of us don't want to wear guns and just want to go to to the supermarket without constantly checking our perimeter.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:52 pm 
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vegimator wrote:
Big cities with crime problems like dc, new york and chicago have adopted stronger gun control measures over the years and to substantial effect. Gun control works.

When did that licensing law in D.C. take effect? I know that there were laws passed in 1976 prohibiting possession and that guns in home had to be empty and trigger locked. The laws were overturned in 2008. In that 32 year period, D.C. had some of the highest homicide rates in the nation.

janejellyroll wrote:
Keeping a gun in a lockbox in your bedroom has nothing to do with wearing a gun to public events for "safety," which is the topic of this thread. We're talking about people wearing guns in public so they can be safe from people who are wearing guns in public.

That's fine, but when people advocate for gun control, they're going beyond a discussion of just conceal-and-carry laws.

janejellyroll wrote:
Some of the people who are wearing guns in public and using them to kill people have had the ability to do so because those who "advocate for gun rights and responsible gun ownership" have been much, much more concerned about battling any limit to gun ownership than making sure that people are safer when they're at a supermarket talking to their congressperson.

I'm not sure if I buy offhand the idea that gun rights and responsible gun ownership advocacy contributed to or resulted in incidents of homicide by shooting. I'm not secure in the notion that those shootings would have been prevented by stricter gun laws. Maybe delayed, but not outright avoided. I think a better mental healthcare system and better security for elected officials would have prevented what happened in Tucson.

janejellyroll wrote:
If your best response to our messed up gun culture is to just resolve to wear your own gun everywhere, something is wrong. Nine-year-olds can't wear guns (at least yet). Some of us don't want to wear guns and just want to go to to the supermarket without constantly checking our perimeter.

But you don't have to wear a gun to not be defenseless. Gun or not, I still think you should be aware of your perimeter. But I live in L.A. My experience may be different than someone one who lives in, say, Asheville NC. If you're nine years old? I don't know. I thought we were only talking about adults.


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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:26 pm 
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BFH wrote:
But you don't have to wear a gun to not be defenseless. Gun or not, I still think you should be aware of your perimeter. But I live in L.A. My experience may be different than someone one who lives in, say, Asheville NC. If you're nine years old? I don't know. I thought we were only talking about adults.


Kids are killed by guns all the time. How can you have a discussion about guns that leaves out the safety of everybody who isn't an able-bodied adult willing to carry a gun and/or engage in hand-to-hand combat? So that the people who feel safer with semi-automatics don't have to deal with the scary possibility of not being able to have their semi-automatics?

As a society, we're willing to put up with a lot so that those who want guns can have them. It's reality that people are being killed with guns. Irresponsible gun ownership is a reality. I don't understand the point of having conversations that continue to assume responsible gun ownership as a given.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:27 pm 
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BFH wrote:
I agree with your sentiment in principle, but the thing is, more people ARE responsible gun owners. Yes, too many people are doing what they ought not, but not most, and not even all that many.

How do you know that?

Quote:
Therefore, our national response needs to keep in mind, the Loughners are the very tiny fractional minority.

But we weren't (only) talking about the Loughners, were we? We were talking about someone going off half-cocked (LAWL) in response to a chaotic scene, or Rep. Big Swinging Dick (R-Utah) brandishing his guns in response to the shooting.

Quote:
Our strategies should be sensible, practical, and making sure the most people are protected. They shouldn't be strategies composed in a panic.

An event like this should serve as impetus for gun control, but the NRA invests heavily in creating the perception that anyone who says "Hey, maybe this isn't so awesome" is a hysterical freedom hater. Nobody's panicking about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:57 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Kids are killed by guns all the time.

Going by CDC stats in 1999, about 9 times a day on average. But that's if we designate "child" as ages zero through 19. If we designate it as ages zero through 17, that number goes down to about 5 times a day on average. Again, if looking at 1999. Not sure about the most recent numbers. I am sure we all wish it were zero deaths.
janejellyroll wrote:
How can you have a discussion about guns that leaves out the safety of everybody who isn't an able-bodied adult willing to carry a gun and/or engage in hand-to-hand combat?

I'm not dismissing their safety. I think our wires got crossed somewhere in this aspect of the discussion.

Responsible ownership is necessary in a discussion about gun ownership, and accounting for the safety of the young and those who aren't able-bodied should be a part of that. Especially considering most gun owners are responsible. Your argument is assuming they're not responsible for the most part.
janejellyroll wrote:
We're willing to put up with a lot so that those who want guns can have them. It's reality that people are being killed with guns. Irresponsible gun ownership is a reality. I don't understand the point of having conversations that continue to assume responsible gun ownership as a given.

And that is where we disagree, unfortunately. You see the minority of irresponsible gun owners as a reason to restrict the rights of responsible gun owners, who are in the overwhelming majority. I don't agree with that strategy. People are being killed with cars and there are irresponsible drivers, but we still let people drive. It's a matter of having the right controls. I'm not sure there's a consensus on what or how many yet. I don't think there is any amount possible that would eliminate gun deaths, just like there's not any amount that would eliminate car deaths, but that doesn't mean I think there should be none.

just mumbles wrote:
BFH wrote:
I agree with your sentiment in principle, but the thing is, more people ARE responsible gun owners. Yes, too many people are doing what they ought not, but not most, and not even all that many.

How do you know that?

Because the statistics bear it out. The number of gun deaths is a fraction of the amount of gun owners and the amount of guns in circulation. People aren't dropping dead in the same numbers because of guns as they are, say, heart attacks. There are 1.5 million heart attacks each year with 500,000 deaths (in the U.S.). That's one heart attack every 20 seconds, one death by heart attack every minute. Now, the math isn't a perfect fit, obviously, but I think the analogy still holds water. If the assertion that there were more irresponsible gun owners than responsible ones were true, there would be far more incidents of gun accidents and deaths, but the math simply does not show that.

just mumbles wrote:
But we weren't (only) talking about the Loughners, were we? We were talking about someone going off half-cocked (LAWL) in response to a chaotic scene, or Rep. Big Swinging Dick (R-Utah) brandishing his guns in response to the shooting.

Have there been a significant amount of incidents of somebody going off at a chaotic scene? Have there been any? Even one? Certainly not enough to convince me there is cause to eliminate everyone's right to have a gun, or that it would even be possible to do so. If we're only talking about conceal-and-carry, I don't know my thoughts on that... I came from a state with the most relaxed laws to the state with some of the strictest, so I'm still figuring it out.

As for the gentleman from Utah, that seems more relevant in a discussion about rhetoric than about gun ownership. I don't see why the Rep. being a jerk should affect my right to protect myself.

just mumbles wrote:
An event like this should serve as impetus for gun control, but the NRA invests heavily in creating the perception that anyone who says "Hey, maybe this isn't so awesome" is a hysterical freedom hater. Nobody's panicking about it.

But if there are people ignoring the numbers and calling for sweeping gun control, I consider that a panic. Plus, NRA no more represents all gun owners than PETA represents all vegans. My argument is that this even should be the impetus for a discussion on rhetoric, and more so a discussion on better mental healthcare, with some discussion of security for elected officials.

Loughner used a gun, it's horrible, and completely unrestricted gun sales and ownership is not my idea of responsible measures in this country. But Loughner could have used a knife or a baseball bat or molotov cocktails. The problem would still be the failure of our mental healthcare system and inadequate security for elected officials, not whether or not we need knife or bat or bottle or lighter control (and I say that conceding, of course, that guns bring about more damage in a quicker time than those other weapons - a gun will also protect me from a burglar quicker than my knife would).

BTW - something I meant to speak on earlier - something not necessarily prevalent here on PPK, but maybe a little - there's this notion that all gun owners are right-wing macho meatheads trying to make up for a small willy. That's just not the case, it's a very unfair, short-sighted, sweeping generalization. There's plenty of people who just want to protect themselves and/or their family. There's also gun enthusiasts whose politics run as leftist as yours or mine (I don't consider myself a "gun enthusiast," but I know some vegans and lefties who consider themselves to be).


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 Post subject: Re: Two congressmen resolve to carry guns
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Please read the study I posted. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16001874

It analyzed DC deaths from 1968-1987 and very clearly shows that from the time the law took effect in 1976 through 1987 (the last time data was available for this study), murder rates by handguns drastically lowered, murder rates by other methods were unchanged, suicide rates by handguns drastically lowered, and suicides by other methods stayed the same. If you have reason to doubt this study, or you have an equally valid study showing different, let's see it.

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