gun control

this will be most likely be a touchy subject but I think I know the Bald Move community can have a reasonable discussion and will not resort to childish response. If the Aron and Jim do not want to allow this discussion then I completely understand them blocking or removing this thread. 

 Here is my view.

I’ve lived in the US for 25 years. I witnessed Columbine on TV as a freshman in high school. It was extremely concerning and scary for the first few days after this incident but luckily nothing happened. I went to NIU and sat in the same classroom that was shot up a few years after I graduated. I went to that classroom every Mon, weds and Friday for over a semester and sat in a chair that might have been a place where a student was brutally murdered. 

I moved to Australia in 2009, a country that Implemented serious gun control a decade before I arrived. I watched the sandy hook massacre a year after my first kid was born. 

I watched a terrorist Attack in Sydney happen in a coffee shop I walked past many times and the terrorist only had a pistol and was “luckily” only able to kill 2 people. 

My kids have gone to school in Australia and Singapore for the past 4 years in countries with strict gun laws. I do not worry for their safety considering each country has never experienced what the US experiences on an almost monthly basis.

everytime I discuss gun control with gun supporters I come across the same 3 arguments.

1. Criminals do not abide by the law
2. People need to protect themselves and their homes
3. Citizens need to protect themselves from the government 

here is my response to that. 

1. There are criminals in Singapore and Australia. There are mentally unstable people. There are people who don’t follow the laws. There are knives and cars and all sorts of dangerous weapons. There are illegal guns in these countries. There are guns in Australia. You can buy guns in Australia but they have very strict laws and limits. Yet neither country has ever experienced a mass murder in a school. Why? Because assault rifles and guns are not easily accessible or do not exist. 

2. It’s fact more people kill themselves with their own guns then they do defending themselves from intruders. Suicides and immediate family murders make up the majority of gun deaths. 

3. The second amendment is an ancient law just like prohibition that needs to be amended. There is no excuse or reasonable explanation for why guns in the US are so readily accessible. The government military has tanks, drones, airplanes, etc. Good luck fighting a war against that. And if the government is that repressive and evil the military which is made of CITIZEN VOLUNTEER soldiers would fight for their families and rights. I have 2 close friends who served in the military and neither of them would ever follow orders to kill their fellow citizens. 

Lastly, countries like UK, AU, JP, SG, etc don’t have repressive regimes when their country doesn’t have guns. There is no real world experience that free countries that give up their guns loss their freedom or are repressed. Nazi Germany from 1930s is not a valid excuse. No first world country in the past 80 years has repressed their population after taking guns away. 

As an American who has seen all sides of the world I can tell you with 99% certainty the only reason US schools have mass murders is because of easy access to guns and assault rifles. 

I’ve seen it all and have experience from every side of the equation. I’m open to hearing all arguments but as someone who has lived across the world and witnessed how successful strict gun control can be I’m very keen to hear why people think it’s a good idea for the US to continue allowing the current laws to stand as is when strict gun control is proven to work across the world. 

I think Australia has it right. Gun ownership is allowed but under very strict circumstances where citizens are allowed to own specific weapons but have to follow guidelines for what types of guns are legal and the process of buying, owning and storing weapons is highly regulated. 

hisdudeness915DeeTxSandManMichellecalebthrowervoodooratDoubleA_RonUnderwoodcdriveTravisand 6 others.
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Comments

  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    edited February 21
    I too hope we can have a civil discussion on this very serious topic. The first step to solving this issue is admitting we have a problem, which many are unwilling to do. In fact, I mentioned to my wife yesterday that gun control is probably the most important issue in the US going forward. I think most level-headed people agree the current system is not working. I certainly don't envy the people trying to solve this problem but I do feel it needs to be done. My thoughts below (from someone who owns a gun):

    1. I am reluctant to get rid of the 2nd Amendment all together. I think it would be a slippery slope that would set a precedent going forward (I realize it was done with prohibition) to get rid of other crucial rights of Americans. This seems to be an easy fix instead of addressing some larger issues. But if it would guarantee no mass shootings would happen again I'd gladly throw it out the window.

    2. The ease in which a person can get access to a gun is absurd. With a fairly clean record and basic info you can own guns in a few days. Not sure how to implement this but have a few month wait period  along with a more detailed background check needs to be standard. A limitation on number of bullets bought within a period would also be a good idea. 

    3. Adults that own guns need to wake the hell up and realize that part of being a gun owner is being responsible when it comes to storage. Have a gun safe or other lock box to keep it in. 

    4. We need better gun education in school. I am a teacher and it has become taboo to mention the word gun in a school. Why do we act like they don't exist. Students see them on tv, movies, and video games. Similar to the old DARE programs, children need to understand how serious a gun is. MORE EDUCATION IS ALWAYS BETTER!!

    5. People need to vote for those who are actually interested in solving this issue instead of those living in the pocket of the NRA.

    6. Government needs to fund special agencies better who investigate tips related to gun violence. Apparently they had knowledge that the fella from Florida was going to do something like he did and it still occurred. I don't feel it was because they didn't want to but probably because they didn't have the resources and man power to do so.

    7. Until people rise up and demand change mass shootings will  unfortunately still happen. 

    8. The media needs to stop sensationalizing these acts. But I am aware it's what sells. Speak with your wallet and don't support advertisers of these companies. 

    9. A buy back program would never work in the US. Too many guns on the market and not enough people willing to give them up.

    10. Saying we need guns to protect ourselves from the government is a bullshit excuse. Stop using it

    Hope we get this thing work out! It's severely needed and way past overdue
    HatorianFlukesMichelleTravishisdudeness915stevenduran1240
  • I largely agree with both of you, I just want to point out that a full-on repeal of the 2nd amendment wouldn't be necessary even to ban all guns - all that's needed is a reinterpretation. 

    Most of the amendments in the bill of rights are well-written and clear. It would be very hard, for example, to argue that the language of the 1st amendment does not clearly establish an individual right to free speech. Or to argue that the 5th amendment doesn't protect against self-incrimination. But the 2nd is kind of a disaster.

    "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."

    There are a ton of ways to interpret that, one of which is that the militia clause controls the rest of the sentence - so what it's doing is prohibiting the federal government from stopping state militias from existing, not that it's a guaranteed individual right to bear arms. This is especially convincing when you look at the context of the amendment, which was after a war in which militias played a huge part in the US victory. It's also worth considering that, with the argument that the individual right to bear arms exists to allow citizens to fight the government, it's much more likely that a state militia (ie the national guard) was what was envisioned fulfilling this role - not an individual citizen. If we want individual citizens to be able to stand up to the gov't, we'd need to let everyone buy fighter jets and tanks and RPGs, etc etc. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that in the next couple decades we see SCOTUS reign in what the 2nd amendment allows. 
    TxSandManJaimieTTravis
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited February 21
    I agree with 90% of what you said but gun buyback programs have worked in the US. Maybe nowhere near the scale of other countries that seriously cracked down but there are charities in the US that have successfully implemented buy back programs that have taken guns off the street with some of these guns being found out to be involved in criminal activity. I agree it won’t be nearly as successful but the US does have a limited history of successful gun buy backs. If I’m not mistaken there was one done recently in Detroit that took more than 100 guns involved in criminal activity off the street. granted it involved a very charitable act of a single family spending thousands of their own dollars to do so. 
  • Hatorian said:
    I agree with 90% of what you said but gun buyback programs have worked in the US. Maybe nowhere near the scale of other countries that seriously cracked down but there are charities in the US that have successfully implemented buy back programs that have taken guns off the street with some of these guns being found out to be involved in criminal activity. I agree it won’t be nearly as successful but we the US does have a limited history of successful gun buy backs. If I’m not mistaken there was won done recently in Detroit that took more than 100 guns involved in criminal activity off the street. 
    And if ta specific type of gun made illegal, I think a buyback program, as long as the price was fair, would get the vast majority of them back. Most people don't want to break the law. 
    Hatorian
  • I'm in the market for a bazooka, because, you know, tyranny.  Why should the government stop me from owning an M1 Abrams tank?
    DoubleA_RonTravis
  • tom_g said:
    I'm in the market for a bazooka, because, you know, tyranny.  Why should the government stop me from owning an M1 Abrams tank?
    Actually I don’t think there’s anything stopping you from buying a tank. Didn’t some guy recently buy an old world war 2 tank and cause a big roucus parking it outside his house? Granted it probably doesn’t have the required mechanics to actually fire and I’m sure he can’t buy shells for it but if I guy can build his own rocket to try and prove the world is flat what is really stopping people with the right technical capabilities and funds to build weaponized rockets or finding ways to build an armoured vehicle that has the capability to become offensive?
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited February 21
    Also just wait until the first psycho flamethrows an entire group of people with Elon’s boring company flamethrower. The damn thing is like 1/3 the cost of an assault rifle. It’s only a matter of time until a group of people are going to be roasted alive. 
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited February 21
    asmallcat said:

    "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."

    The rule of thumb for a subordinate clause is that the sentence should be complete if the clause is removed. This sentence is a train wreck that barely qualifies as English.

    In any case, the original intent is:
    a) not clear; and
    b) irrelevant - the people who wrote this so-called sentence no longer have any skin in the game

    JaimieTTravis
  • Somewhere there has to be a study correlating political beliefs to gun ownership (assault weapons in particular) to acts of violence.  The root of our (USA) gun problem, is a fringe (right wing) politics problem.
    Travis
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    asmallcat said:
    Hatorian said:
    I agree with 90% of what you said but gun buyback programs have worked in the US. Maybe nowhere near the scale of other countries that seriously cracked down but there are charities in the US that have successfully implemented buy back programs that have taken guns off the street with some of these guns being found out to be involved in criminal activity. I agree it won’t be nearly as successful but we the US does have a limited history of successful gun buy backs. If I’m not mistaken there was won done recently in Detroit that took more than 100 guns involved in criminal activity off the street. 
    And if ta specific type of gun made illegal, I think a buyback program, as long as the price was fair, would get the vast majority of them back. Most people don't want to break the law. 
    Serious question because the gun I own is very small and would probably only hurt someone really bad (its a small gun for Germany called a VestPocket intended for women to carry in their....vest pockets).Do THAT many people really own guns that could possibly be made illegal. I understand banning assault rifles with large magazines but I do think they would have a hard time banning something like say a Glock...a common weapon that MANY people have and this is where I think a buy back program may fall short. Maybe I'm off on the number of people in the US that own what the media would call a "scary gun"
  • Hatorian said:
    tom_g said:
    I'm in the market for a bazooka, because, you know, tyranny.  Why should the government stop me from owning an M1 Abrams tank?
    Actually I don’t think there’s anything stopping you from buying a tank. Didn’t some guy recently buy an old world war 2 tank and cause a big roucus parking it outside his house? Granted it probably doesn’t have the required mechanics to actually fire and I’m sure he can’t buy shells for it but if I guy can build his own rocket to try and prove the world is flat what is really stopping people with the right technical capabilities and funds to build weaponized rockets or finding ways to build an armoured vehicle that has the capability to become offensive?
    Yes, you can buy historical tanks (although I don't know if you can buy an M1 even if it was retired? Maybe), but IIRC the weapons are all disabled and, in any event, you couldn't get ammunition for the main gun anyway. 
  • asmallcat said:
    Hatorian said:
    I agree with 90% of what you said but gun buyback programs have worked in the US. Maybe nowhere near the scale of other countries that seriously cracked down but there are charities in the US that have successfully implemented buy back programs that have taken guns off the street with some of these guns being found out to be involved in criminal activity. I agree it won’t be nearly as successful but we the US does have a limited history of successful gun buy backs. If I’m not mistaken there was won done recently in Detroit that took more than 100 guns involved in criminal activity off the street. 
    And if ta specific type of gun made illegal, I think a buyback program, as long as the price was fair, would get the vast majority of them back. Most people don't want to break the law. 
    Serious question because the gun I own is very small and would probably only hurt someone really bad (its a small gun for Germany called a VestPocket intended for women to carry in their....vest pockets).Do THAT many people really own guns that could possibly be made illegal. I understand banning assault rifles with large magazines but I do think they would have a hard time banning something like say a Glock...a common weapon that MANY people have and this is where I think a buy back program may fall short. Maybe I'm off on the number of people in the US that own what the media would call a "scary gun"
    It would depend on the gun, of course. Let's say you just wanted to ban the AR-15 (kind of the poster child for assault rifles), apparently the estimation is that there's 5-10 million of them in private hands in the US. 

    https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/13/owned-by-5-million-americans-ar-15-under-renewed-fire-after-orlando-massacre.html ;


  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited February 21
    i agree with  @Hatorian in every particular, none of american exceptionalism on guns makes any sense.  this has successfully become a partisan issue so regardless of the facts a certain percentage of people will root for their team, regardless of the convoluted logic required to justify that support (see support of russians in general and indifference to hostile foreign power interference in american elections).  

    hmm.  well, assault rifles are 'scary guns' in that they look like weapons soldiers carry...   but that's just because they are the weapons, more or less (mostly "more"--as i understand it (and i'm no soldier) full auto isn't even apparently used much in actual combat except for suppression), that soldiers carry.  there's a reason why so many soldiers have assault/battle rifles as their primary weapons and sidearms as secondary weapons--they are more effective.  that's what always gets to me about people who argue that knives are equally dangerous as guns:  if knives were as effective we wouldn't have this problem since guns would not exist and certainly nobody would spend tens of times as much for a weapon that was no more effective than a knife.  yes, people can be killed with other things, you can kill people with rocks (or your bare hands, or a window air conditioning unit, or a sharp stick, etc, etc), but it makes seem pretty disingenuous and/or stupid if you argue that rocks (or any of those other things) are analogous to guns in that they're all "dangerous".  people rarely intentionally bludgeon themselves to death with rocks either.

    *edit* it's not even just partisan, but it's become an identity politics issue.  you don't just believe that _____, but you *are* a _____.
    Hatorianstevenduran1240
  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited February 21
    that said a "scary weapons" ban/buyback even if effective (and i'm not sure if it would be, there are so many of these guys in the wild already) might prevent or mitigate this kind of mass shooting, but those kinds of attacks are still a small sliver of the total number of gun casualties.  it's a step in the right direction and worth doing (what is the alternative anyway?  arming teachers and converting our schools and public places into prisons?  that's the distopia that the nra actively pursues), imo, but even if it goes swimmingly it only solves a small part of the bigger problem:  an overabundance of all kinds of guns.

    there's also a recurring aspect to this debate that the perfect is the enemy of the good:  that if any particular attack might not have been prevented, then there's no point in doing anything at all.  that a gun buyback that only took *some* guns out of the pool of guns isn't worth doing because it doesn't get all of them.  etc.
    JaimieTstevenduran1240
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited February 22
    A little about me before I throw in my 2 cents... 
    I grew up spending lots of time in the country in a family that hunts.  I currently hunt in bow and rifle season.  I actually do not own a rifle. I still since I was a teenager use my Granddad's 1966 Remington 760 GameMaster pump action .270.  I love that gun. I hope one day a long time out in the future it is passed down to me.  I don't store that rifle in my house.  I don't own a handgun and really don't ever intend to for the reason that I feel with my 2 boys, it brings more risk of harm than the benefit of self-defense. 

    I know many guys who hunt, and I know some just straight-up gun enthusiasts.  Some (edit: former, never say ex-) military, current cops, teachers for women's hand gun training & CHL licenses, guys who bring wounded warrior types to retreats with a 1200 yard range for "ballistic therapy" A fair amount of guys I know own AR-15s.  I have shot and been trained on using an AR-15, but I don't have a desire to own one.  But I also don't want to take away everyone's AR-15 cause I do understand how effective it can be in a home defense scenario.

    Abolishing the 2nd amendment is fantasy.  Banning hand guns is fantasy.  I'm not for any of that.  None of that is a serious starting point.  It hurts desperately needed gun control conversations from getting started.  AR-15s don't need to be banned, but some things I feel need to change that I listed below.  Fully automatic weapons need to stay banned of course.   

    Okay what I am for......

    I like what Japan does:

    - Attend Class and pass written test.
    - Mental health test at hospital, meant to check for readily detectable mental illness.
    - Ensure not addicted to drugs.
    - Background test.

    More stuff I am for:

    - Strong, revamped Universal Background Checks. NCIS Database needs to have everything:  
               Armed forces, school incident reports, Law Enforcement Agency reports, Mental Health history.  Everything
               needs to be required to be dumped into the system so no flags are missed.
    - Pass the Manchin-Toomey Amendment
    - Fix Gun Show and Private Sale Loopholes.  They need to go through the same stringent checks.  
    - Prohibit sales if on No Fly List.  No Fly - No Buy. "But Due Process..." Yeh, don't care. You have to wait until your no
              fly situation is sorted out.  
    - Prohibit sales if on Terrorist Watch List
    - Unfreeze and implement the $10 million in grants Obama awarded to 31 counter domestic terrorism groups
    - Change back the name of the "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism" Program to it's original name, the "Countering 
              Violent Extremism" (CVE) program and go back to acknowledging Domestic Terrorism, and have your efforts
              include a focus on combating domestic terrorism.  
    -Create and fund a new, strengthened Domestic Terrorism division within the CVE program.
    -Since stronger gun control would make it harder for "bad guys" obtain guns legally, then fund new law enforcement
          initiatives to attack illegal black market gun sales.  
    - Ban all modification methods that turn semi-auto to auto. Not just bump stocks, but also the trigger mod that
          somehow has evaded public attention.
    - Have a higher level of criteria for an AR-15 license:
         * allow license processors more discretion. as subjective as that is and sounds...you have to be giving good vibes.
         * deeper, more invasive background check, including social media.
         * more thorough mental health evaluation
         * mental health re-evaluated annually
         * longer wait period




    gguenotJaimieTFlukesHatorianNoelmajjam0770stevenduran1240
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    edited February 21
    Hatorian said:

    3. Citizens need to protect themselves from the government 

    3. The second amendment is an ancient law just like prohibition that needs to be amended. There is no excuse or reasonable explanation for why guns in the US are so readily accessible. The government military has tanks, drones, airplanes, etc. Good luck fighting a war against that. 

    Okay, here is my role in this thread.  I broadly agree with your aims and goals, but as a gun owner who is also regularly conversant with "second amendment types" I will play the devil's advocate.  If you guys and gals cannot address these with out any sort of snark or personal attack then you're doing it wrong and will be moderated as such.

    I find people on the left to be entirely too dismissive of the above argument.  The combined might of the US military is having a hell of a time pacifying citizen resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Sure, if the US military starts firebombing major US population centers and dropping nukes on the plains of the mid-west, the resistance is going to have a bad time.  How realistic is this?

    And, the idea that the US military will revolt against unlawful orders to pacify a rebellion are greatly increased if they have to confront those rebels with arms.  If they are unarmed, they can be rounded up and led away in handcuffs and vans.  Compare the police response to a street riot in Ferguson, where people in general are armed with nothing worse than rocks and sticks, to their response in Charlottesville, where the neo-nazies were extremely well armed and armored.

    A few more points.  1) The vast majority of gun deaths in America are suicide, so there is something to the mental health argument conservatives make.  The hypocrisy is that they don't increase funding to mental health and crisis centers, but it's a good argument that better mental health especially for men would be solve a lot of these gun deaths.

    2) The other smaller figure is violent crime.  This is largely fueled by the drug trade.  You could eliminate a lot of the death and destruction in cities like Chicago and Baltimore by legalizing drugs and pushing education and treatment.

    3) This leaves the mass/school shootings, which as you say are a uniquely american problem.  The problem from a gun owners perspective, is the desire to ban "assault weapons", which is a meaningless term.  States and communities that have banned assault weapons don't seem to experience a subsequent drop in mass shootings.  One reason is that banning guns by cosmetic features are super easy to evade.  Bans that target semi-automatic weaponry are far too broad.  Bans that target ammunition essentially destroy any legitimate purpose to have guns.  Think about it.  Proficiency for guns requires frequent practice.  Any ban sufficient to impact mass shootings will also cripple the sport and self defense purpose of guns, which leaves collecting, I guess.

    However, there is something to a cosmetic ban on guns.  I have no idea why AR-15's are the gun of choice for these shooters.  I imagine there is something to their cache because of movies and video games, and to a large sick extent, they're now the name brand of choice for school shootings because the media essentially glorifies the men who carry out these events.  There is a idealized "operator" that wears a certain type of clothes and a certain type of armor and carries certain types of guns and that is cool and going out in a blaze of glory as a star in your own action movie appeals to these types.

    So ban the AR-15 and they start using AK's with composite furniture.  Ban them and they move on the SKS's. It can be argued that it would be more effective to ban the media from discussing the shooters at all, no pictures, no names, no discussion of their motivations or crazy blogs or facebook posts.  But that runs afoul of the 1st amendment.

    Which brings me to the 2nd.  The fact is, regardless of how you personally feel, it is entirely reasonable for a person of above average discernment and intellect to interpret the 2nd to secure an individuals right to bear arms.  If you doubt that, well, here I am, a rational person who subscribes to this view, and you think I'm pretty okay, yeah?  That is a right, guaranteed to us as citizens, and I think it's foolhardy to trade it away for nothing.  First of all, to correctly do it you're going to need a amendment to the US constitution, which is going to be hard, and it's probably going to be a generational fight. And you're going to have to spend an enormous amount of political capital to do so.  Our country and indeed world has lots of existential threats arrayed against it, is this truly the most important issue of our times?

    If we abolish or neuter the second amendment...  I want legalized drugs.  I want the right of people to bodily autonomy enshrined in the constitution.  I want to de-militarize the police and strengthen the 4th amendment rights that we've lost as a result of the wars on drugs and terrorism.  I want mental health spending tied to inflation and with no less than a 50 year sunset clause.

    As for the interim, we can certainly do a better job of doing background checks and keeping people we know have mental health issues and violent crime from buying new weapons.  We can close the private party sale problems.  We can hold people who do not lock and secure their guns personally responsible for gun violence due to negligence.  We can require insurance to be purchased to own weapons.  We can require lengthy waiting periods and psychological tests with a clear and unbiased appeals process.  We can out fund and out lobby the crazy NRA. 

    We also have to decide as liberals what are the most important issues of our day and vote accordingly.  Because what I see us doing is not voting for imperfect candidates in places in the country where a perfect liberal candidate would never win.  Or worse, we simply do not show up to off year and state and local elections, and especially primaries.  That HAS TO STOP.  That is how we have woken up to a country in a stranglehold of the far right.  I'd argue that we don't even have an effectively left wing party in America.  All substantive and serious political debate is had between the liberal and conservative wings of the Democratic party, and we lack an actual leftist party.  We also have to figure out what we're going to do about social media, fake news, and foreign meddling because these are preventing us from having the kind of honest debate and discussion we need to make headway on this.
    TravisgguenotDoubleA_RonFlukesHatorianjtmy92stevenduran1240
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Oh, one other thing, this is going to be a long process because we have a truly ridiculous amount of guns in the country and the odds that even a total ban on gun sales would stop mass shootings in a 10 - 20 year period is not realistic.  In fact, in the short term I would expect it to make things much, much worse.  We need to be prepared to have the wherewithal or that, and I'm not sure we do.  Support for gun control is wide but not especially deep at the moment.  Compare the resistance to repeal of Obamacare to support for Dreamers.  Popularity of both were similar, but Obamacare really hit where the rubber meets the road, not so much for the Dreamers.  I see gun control as similar.  There is wide support for certain things, but when bumps in the road are hit and setbacks are experienced, I think that could change quickly.
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited February 21
    @A_Ron_Hubbard I appreciate you weighing in on the discussion. I do indeed consider you to be a reasonable person and as a gun owner you (and several other bald movers) bring a perspective that I simply do not have.

    I'm curious what role you think the 2nd amendment has had in creating the current conditions. It's easy, from the outside, to draw a straight line between the 2nd amendment and the "truly ridiculous amount of guns in the country." Do you think both are the product of something fundamentally different about the United States? Would the same conditions exist without the 2nd amendment?

    The benefit of freedoms need to be weighed against their harm. You did an excellent job describing some of the benefits; In your opinion, what are some of the harms on the other side of the scale?

    The mental health issue is an important piece and, yes, conservatives raise it in response to calls for stricter gun control. The conservative belief that this is the root cause of gun violence doesn't seem to be genuine when we  consider the gulf between their stated belief and their actions: Actions like repealing rules restricting people with psychiatric disabilities from owning guns.

    A cynical observer might think conservatives hold up the mental health card to keep disagreement alive and allow them to refrain from action. I think the truth is closer to your thesis: Politicians know that there really isn't any political will to do anything about gun violence or even mass shootings. Five-thirty-eight's recent gun control podcast refers to polling data that shows in the absence of a very recent (think: days) mass shooting, only 1% of Americans think gun violence is America's biggest problem.

  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited February 21
    I should add: I'm willing to accept that conservatives genuinely think that mental health is at the root of gun violence but also think that:

    a) neither gun violence or mental health are big problems; and/or
    b) it's not the government's job to do anything about it

    Both of these are sort of depressing options, but it's something I can understand even if I strongly disagree.
  • Doing bolded copy-pasted cause I can't figure out how to break up posts. 

    "
    I find people on the left to be entirely too dismissive of the above argument.  The combined might of the US military is having a hell of a time pacifying citizen resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Sure, if the US military starts firebombing major US population centers and dropping nukes on the plains of the mid-west, the resistance is going to have a bad time.  How realistic is this?"

    I'm not sure how much we can learn from those situations to what it would look like if the federal government tried to forcibly pacify a decently-sized area of the US. In Iraq and Afghanistan, we are seen by large amounts of the population as an occupying force, there were a;ready existing militant groups that continue to fight us, and there is very little political will from what national government exists there to really help the US. I don't know if that would be the situation in the US - it seems much more likely to me that it would be a portion of the country against another portion - like the civil war, where the Union convincingly won (despite initial success in the east under Lee - the outcome of the civil war was never really in question barring a political defeat of Lincoln in the north), despite having to move into "hostile" territory. Further, I don't know of much in the way of successful guerrilla campaigns carried out after the civil war, despite the fact that doubtless large numbers of people in the south considered the Union an enemy army still and despite the much closer relative power between civilian and military weapons. 

    Further, even assuming arguendo that an armed civilian resistance could successfully put down a hostile federal takeover of the US, we would be so completely fucked anyway. That would almost certainly destroy huge swaths on infrastructure, we'd be rebuilding the government from the ground up, and millions would likely be dead. Further, the chances of it happening are so small that it seems to me it's not worth worrying about a very low-chance event that will leave us thoroughly fucked anyway, when people are dying right here and now. 

    "Which brings me to the 2nd.  The fact is, regardless of how you personally feel, it is entirely reasonable for a person of above average discernment and intellect to interpret the 2nd to secure an individuals right to bear arms.  If you doubt that, well, here I am, a rational person who subscribes to this view, and you think I'm pretty okay, yeah?  That is a right, guaranteed to us as citizens, and I think it's foolhardy to trade it away for nothing.  First of all, to correctly do it you're going to need a amendment to the US constitution, which is going to be hard, and it's probably going to be a generational fight. And you're going to have to spend an enormous amount of political capital to do so.  Our country and indeed world has lots of existential threats arrayed against it, is this truly the most important issue of our times?"

    If I came across as saying that mine was the only reasonable interpretation, I didn't mean to do so - all I was saying was that an amendment is not necessary to rule that the 2nd is not a broad right for individual firearm ownership. Check out this case from 1939 (a decision with no dissent), U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) - https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/307/174/case.html - especially this:

    "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State of Tennessee, 2 Humph., Tenn., 154, 158."

    So less than a century ago, the US supreme court was unanimous (a justice sat out of the opinion, but did not dissent) in saying that in order to make a 2nd amendment claim, you had to prove that the weapon was in some way related to a well-regulated militia! This case was only explicitly abrogated in 2014(!!), (Colorado Outfitters v. Hickenlooper, 24 F.Supp.3d 1050 (2014), a federal district court of Colorado case) although it was effectively abrogated in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), a 5-4 decision overturning a handgun ban in D.C. Indeed, in the Hickenlooper case, the court recognized that Miller had been the law of the land, at least federally, until 2008:

    "Until 2008, most courts did not construe the Second Amendment to protect an individual's right to possess and use firearms. Courts were guided by the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 179, 59 S.Ct. 816, 83 L.Ed. 1206 (1939), which held that a right protected by the Second Amendment required “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” See, e.g., United States v. Haney, 264 F.3d 1161, 1164–66 (10th Cir.2001); Gillespie v. Indianapolis, 185 F.3d 693, 710–11 (7th Cir.1999); Stevens v. United States, 440 F.2d 144, 149 (6th Cir.1971); but see United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir.2001)."

    So this idea of the 2nd amendment granting a strong individual right to bear arms outside the scope of a militia is a very recent one, legally speaking, and is not as firmly enshrined as recent coverage suggests. It's barely a decade old, and it butted up against 70 years of precedent when that change was made. It is very possible that Heller could be overturned if the make-up of the court changed, and Miller could again be the law of the land. 

    (this got long - 1/2)
    FlukesDeeHatorianstevenduran1240
  • edited February 21
    "If we abolish or neuter the second amendment.  I want legalized drugs.  I want the right of people to bodily autonomy enshrined in the constitution.  I want to de-militarize the police and strengthen the 4th amendment rights that we've lost as a result of the wars on drugs and terrorism.  I want mental health spending tied to inflation and with no less than a 50 year sunset clause."

    Yes, to all of this. This isn't an either or proposition. We can do all of this and have substantially stricter gun control (indeed, it might even be easier to convince people to support a de-militarization of the police if they don't have to worry any person could be a walking arsenal). Our drug laws are messed up beyond all reason. We have continually given up privacy in the digital age. Our mental health care is laughably inadequate (I think estimates run at 25% of homeless suffering from mental illness, while it's at about 5% of the population). The reason people don't like the "it's a mental health problem" argument is because what that usually means is "it's exclusively a mental health problem, guns don't contribute at all, therefore any gun control is pointless" which is an incredibly disingenuous argument. Especially when these same politicians ban the CDC from studying gun deaths, so we can't even study whether stricter gun control would reduce suicides. It's depressing and frustrating.

    "3) This leaves the mass/school shootings, which as you say are a uniquely american problem.  The problem from a gun owners perspective, is the desire to ban "assault weapons", which is a meaningless term.  States and communities that have banned assault weapons don't seem to experience a subsequent drop in mass shootings.  One reason is that banning guns by cosmetic features are super easy to evade.  Bans that target semi-automatic weaponry are far too broad.  Bans that target ammunition essentially destroy any legitimate purpose to have guns.  Think about it.  Proficiency for guns requires frequent practice.  Any ban sufficient to impact mass shootings will also cripple the sport and self defense purpose of guns, which leaves collecting, I guess."

    I don't understand why a ban on semi-automatic weapons is too broad. For sport shooting, surely revolvers, pump-action shotguns, and lever- or bolt-action rifles would be sufficient. For self-defense of the home, I don't think a revolver would be substantially worse than a semi-automatic pistol, and if you're using a semi-automatic rifle for home defense, you're doing it wrong anyway (they are bad in enclosed spaces). You'd be free to practice with these types of weapons as much as you wanted, of course, so you could get plenty proficient with rifles and shotguns for hunting, and proficient with revolvers for self-defense. After all, when people actually relied on hunting to survive, they were doing it with single-shot muskets and, at the very end, lever-action rifles. And they were able to be proficient enough at it for it to be a major food source. 

    (Edit -One of the problems) with mass shootings is the number of rounds a shooter is able to fire in a very short time, which is a function of two things - magazine size and the semi-automatic nature of the weapons. Impacting both of those, while they might not eliminate mass shootings, would certainly lower the death toll at any given mass shooting. The rate of fire for a shooter would go way down, which would, by necessity, reduce the casualties.  

    Edited to not make it sound like the only problem with mass shootings is how fast the mass shooters are able to shoot. 
    FlukesDeeHatorian
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    Here is an interesting article regarding the gun ownership rule repealed by Trump.

    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/2/6/14522132/gun-control-parkland-disabilities-republicans-nra-obama-liberty

    This makes a very compelling case for why it was right to repeal this rule. If so many people, including Obama appointees, agreed this was not a good way identify people with dangerous mental illnesses, why was it put in place? I think it has to do with needing to have the appearance of doing something but not being able to get anyone to the table to make real, effective changes.

  • I have a hard time believing that these mass shootings are only about the gun availability.  I've read plenty of books where a 12 year old kid goes hunting with his dog; there was a whole genre of YA boy and dog books built around these ideas.  I was looking at state hunting laws and there are some young young hunters out there.  According to Wikipedia there were 30 school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 63 in the 1990s, 63 in the 00s and 145 in the 10's.  It looks like school shootings are accelerating now despite historical easy access to guns at a young age..

    More draconian mental health regulations would probably help, but I doubt they'd be accepted by a general population.  If a psychiatrist or psychologist could flag someone independently as a no-sale on the a gun buying registry, that might help.  You could add some sort of adjudication procedure.  With the number of guns out there, physically cutting off the supply seems very unlikely.
  • I do think @A_Ron_Hubbard has a point vis a vis you have to pick your battles. If Gun control is the most important thing to win on right now then you have to act like it, not say “oh well this candidate has a strong stance on gun control but doesn’t really agree with all my viewpoints on, say, minimum wage, so I’m not going to vote for them even though there’s no other option”; either it’s an important issue or it’s not. It would be great to have a candidate who agrees with all of your personal beliefs and fight every single battle you want them to fight all at the same time, but that’s not how it works. More focus on Gun Control means less focus on something else like immigration, or healthcare, or prison reform, and we just have to decide what hills we’re willing to die on and what we’re willing to compromise on for right now. 
  • Also you can’t be defeatist and act like nothing will ever change because then you’re just giving Congres a fucking free pass to continue to ignore the issue, this is a long, hard process and it requires continued enthusiasm or else it’ll just sink underneath whatever daily bullshit scandal pops up in the White House. 
  • I have a hard time believing that these mass shootings are only about the gun availability.  I've read plenty of books where a 12 year old kid goes hunting with his dog; there was a whole genre of YA boy and dog books built around these ideas.  I was looking at state hunting laws and there are some young young hunters out there.  According to Wikipedia there were 30 school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 63 in the 1990s, 63 in the 00s and 145 in the 10's.  It looks like school shootings are accelerating now despite historical easy access to guns at a young age..

    More draconian mental health regulations would probably help, but I doubt they'd be accepted by a general population.  If a psychiatrist or psychologist could flag someone independently as a no-sale on the a gun buying registry, that might help.  You could add some sort of adjudication procedure.  With the number of guns out there, physically cutting off the supply seems very unlikely.
    I assume this page? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States ;

    Just so people can see the data.
    Doctor_Nickstevenduran1240
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    Alkaid13 said:
    I do think @A_Ron_Hubbard has a point vis a vis you have to pick your battles. If Gun control is the most important thing to win on right now then you have to act like it, not say “oh well this candidate has a strong stance on gun control but doesn’t really agree with all my viewpoints on, say, minimum wage, so I’m not going to vote for them even though there’s no other option”; either it’s an important issue or it’s not. It would be great to have a candidate who agrees with all of your personal beliefs and fight every single battle you want them to fight all at the same time, but that’s not how it works. More focus on Gun Control means less focus on something else like immigration, or healthcare, or prison reform, and we just have to decide what hills we’re willing to die on and what we’re willing to compromise on for right now. 
    As of right now, as long as there hasn't been a mass shooting with national coverage within the last week or so, 99% of Americans believe they have more important issues.
  • @Flukes
    Which is the biggest problem facing gun control that must be solved if anyone ever wants something to change. 
    Flukes
  • Alkaid13 said:
    @Flukes
    Which is the biggest problem facing gun control that must be solved if anyone ever wants something to change. 
    It's a breadth vs depth thing - most Americans want some form of stricter gun control, but most of the time, it's not front of mind because most of the time it doesn't effect them. A small minority of Americans want the laxest gun control possible, but it's very important to them and usually front of mind, so they are very vocal and noticeable (and can exert strong political pressure). 
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