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December 19, 2012

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I have stated some of my views about guns here lately. People agree or disagree. It's pretty much just whistling into the wind. People, myself included, are pretty set about how they feel about guns regardless of what opinions and facts are placed before them. Same was true about Romney vs Ob*ma, RSSB vs LDS, and merlot vs pinot noir.

I think the problem is cultural and that is what needs to be evaluated even though you can't just flick a switch and change it. It has to evolve for better or worse.

America has violent cultural aspects. Many Americans are entertained by violence and somewhat desensitized to it. The mentally ill lash out via methods they see in online games and movies.

It's not sick to want to own a high capacity gun to protect your family or to enjoy shooting it at targets just for kicks or sport. It is sick to enjoy violence for its own sake.

Still, I like "Kill Bill", but it's Tarantino's genius style rather than the bloody mayhem that I like. Kubric and Walter Hill are my favorites too.

When I was a kid if you had a dispute you had a fistfight. Now kids do it with a gun. In Australia kids do it with knives.

The culture has degenerated into libertine chaos. Freedom is good but it needs to be tempered with values.

I was in a gun store today. It was jam packed. I don't think people were there just to buy Christmas presents.

But they aren't "sick" as you say Brian. They want to buy what may not be available somewhere down the line, but the frenzy will die down. Right now is a bad time to buy semi-auto rifles. Never buy in a panic.

Guns are a good investment. At worst most of them hold close to their wholesale value. Many guns appreciate faster than the rate of inflation.

Right now, owning a .223 Bushmaster is a better investment than gold or emerging market funds.

tucson beat me to it: people are buying up guns to hedge against the possibility that they might become near-impossible to obtain.

As for me - I am toying with the idea of getting a pistol of some sort. That way, if I ever get really bad news from one of my doctors, I can leverage a final decision as to whether or not I will submit to radiation, chemotherapy, or the excision of a major part of my anatomy.

---------------QUOTE-----------------
I think the problem is cultural and that is what needs to be evaluated even though you can't just flick a switch and change it. It has to evolve for better or worse.
---------------ENDQUOTE-----------------

But you can circumscribe the easy availability of WMD's, such as handguns and assault rifles for God's sake, to save life. We've seen the stats...and the lower gun-kills in countries which do. What's the alternative... to cite a cultural penchant for violence and wait for some evolutionary Godot to make things better. That's just another chant of "guns don't kill people ...people kill people" from the NRA faithful.

Dungeness,

There are many millions of semi-auto weapons out there. There will be a lot of killing as a result of trying to take them away from some people. I wouldn't try it.

I think it would be wiser to wait for Godot.

Brian et al,

I once saw a woman at a shooting range fire off 18 shots in 30 seconds with a .38 revolver, a pretty tame weapon by today's standards that certainly would not be called an "assault rifle". It wasn't even a semi-auto pistol. It was a six-shooter not much different than the Colt .45, the gun that "won the west" back in the 1800's.

She was able to do this by firing the rounds quickly and reloading with a speedloading device, a very common and inexpensive accessory. A speedloader holds the next load of bullets and enables the shooter to quickly insert them after the spent casings are dumped from the cylinder.

In 1 minute a person with moderate skill could fire 36 rounds. In two minutes, 72. In a crowded theater, mall or classroom this could take out a lot of people before someone stopped the person or they shot themselves.

Better ban those guns too while you're at it.

tucson, if other Western industrialized countries with stronger gun laws have vastly fewer gun deaths -- of both children and others -- obviously the United States can do the same.

Your argument that because no single action will solve the problem of needless killings entirely means that we can't do anything is absurd.

What did we do after 9/11? Lots of stuff. But I didn't hear right-wingers saying "We can't ever be sure of stopping terrorist attacks, so let's not do anything." We put up with all kinds of intrusive government actions, like intensive screening at airports, because we didn't want another 3,000 people killed.

Where has that sense of patriotism gone? It is still present among progressives, Democrats, and others who care about children being killed by assault weapons, but not among the NRA and conservatives -- who just blather about putting armed guards in schools and controlling guns in video games.

No video game ever killed anyone. Real guns kill people.

I am disappointed in your tone here. 'Nuts' 'idiots' etc. Federal Reserve and gold standard? Amazing, I guess we are suddenly supposed to buy into everything that the government dishes out now that your man is in there otherwise we are mentally challenged. I wonder what ever happened to 'question authority'.

You don't show any respect for the millions of law abiding citizens that have done nothing either illegal or immoral by owning various firearms and using them responsibly. You're not going to convince anybody of the rightness of your views with that tone, which is typical of many that are anti gun, they believe that they are on some moral high ground and feel free to demonize and even blame criminal shootings on anyone who values their right to own guns. Sorry, that's not the case, it's a self righteous fallacy. There are numerous historical realities that advise for the means of self defense and deterrent that guns, and in particular weapons (they are two different things) provide. If you choose to eschew guns for your personal moral reasons I have no problem with that position. But others have the right and may have the need to defend their families and property. Guns are no different than alcohol and motor vehicles which kill exponentially more people (except that guns are specifically guaranteed in the constitution), they can be deadly, they need to be respected and handled with maturity and sensitivity to the dangers towards others. We can and should demand accountability as we do with driving. The fact is that some folks will be criminally negligible in every possible area of life that may result in grievous harm to others, it's a fact of life. No amount of legislation will remove stupidity and poor judgment from our society but poor laws can quickly destroy freedom and prosperity. And that seems to be the trend these last decades.

These hideous mass shootings are indeed sickening, any reasonable person wants desperately to find a way to make them stop. Passing ineffective laws that merely criminalize law abiding citizens will not accomplish that. If you could magically make every gun in the nation and world disappear that would be lovely and I for one would support it, but you might as well believe in unicorns.

I see guns compared with motor vehicles again again but it is false reasoning.
Here's why: Motor vehicles do not exist for the sole purpose of killing. Motor vehicles require a driver's test to drive and get a license. The license must be reviewed periodically. The motor vehicle requires a license plate that is clearly visible, and must be insured. The motor vehicle operator must carry proof of insurance. The motor vehicle requires a key to operate. The motor vehicle is etched with a VIN number in multiple places.

What do guns require?: 1 background check if bought from a licensed dealer. If bought from a private party or at a gun show, no background check! Nothing prevents a stolen gun from being used as we have seen in two recent tragic incidents. No biometric key that ties a gun to a particular owner! No registration or renewal of registration of guns! No licensing of gun owners to prove they are capable of handling the gun safely.

Its simple: NRA people started out as kids playing cowboys and indians and now that they are all growed up they are still like playing cowboys and indians. They enjoy that all venues like schools and malls are turning into "showdown at the OK corral" and they say "screw you" to those who don't want to play in their sick fantasy.

I agree with Bayrider. Good points.

and good grief, Blogger Brian!

What you have just said is that the NRA and conservatives do not care about children being killed by assault weapons.

I remember you saying that Romney wanted a diseased planet and ocean levels to rise.

Your emotions are getting the best of you.

You said no video game ever killed anyone. Wine never killed anyone either, but people drunk on wine kill people.

I demonstrated above how even a standard low tech .38 revolver is an assault weapon.

Somehow you and gun control advocates are going to have to find a way to disarm the USA. With the second amendment and 300 million guns out there in a population of 320 million people. Good luck.

Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world next to the U.S., Serbia and Yemen, yet they have a low gun crime rate.

There is something in American culture that spawns violence. I don't think it is the presence of guns themselves. Maybe we need more people making watches and milking cows in white bonnets (the milkers that is) on pastoral hillsides.

tucson, dId you read the title of this blog post? I said the United States needs to ban military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

I've never heard a single person talk about banning all guns, yet you perpetuated that myth in your comment. Why? Do you have any evidence of Congressional initiatives to ban all guns? If not, don't spew falsities.

One of which is that Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. Not really. At least, not in the largely unregulated fashion of the United States. These articles point out the truth:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/mythbusting-israel-and-switzerland-are-not-gun-toting-utopias/

http://www.ibtimes.com/us-gun-control-debate-what-can-we-learn-switzerland-732104

"NRA people started out as kids playing cowboys and indians and now that they are all growed up they are still like playing cowboys and indians. They enjoy that all venues like schools and malls are turning into "showdown at the OK corral" and they say "screw you" to those who don't want to play in their sick fantasy."

Well that is quite a childish statement, once again demonize and blame millions of law abiding people that have done nothing and ascribe ridiculous points of view to them. There will be no reasonable debate with those tactics. It's not worth debating with people who use those tactics.

I am not a member but I don't believe any of these shootings were committed by NRA members.

Switzerland in fact has a high degree of assault weapon possession, it is in fact a well regulated militia. Perhaps they lack the poisonous culture of Hollywood and Gangsta Rap and video games that have fetishized guns into an instrument of macho aggression and dominance for powerless young males but more likely it's because they are a more cohesive and healthier cultural group who are less vulnerable to that kind of nonsense. It disturbs me that so much output from Hollywood is a glorification of automatic weapons fire. I actually liked The Matrix, it's a clever theme and metaphor for modern life, but it was The Matrix after all that inspired the first big school shooting at Columbine. And most all of them since have been to some degree copycat acts with attempts to outdo priors with ever greater levels of horror.

Brian,

You have misunderstood me in one regard.

You wrote to me:

"I've never heard a single person talk about banning all guns, yet you perpetuated that myth in your comment. Why? Do you have any evidence of Congressional initiatives to ban all guns? If not, don't spew falsities."

--I never said or implied there was a congressional initiative to ban all guns.

Here's what I said:

"I demonstrated above how even a standard low tech .38 revolver is an assault weapon.
Somehow you and gun control advocates are going to have to find a way to disarm the USA."

So, what I meant by that was that if you (they) want to limit the potential for mass shootings with guns you will have to restrict not only guns like .223 Bushmasters but also the lowly .38 revolver as well. In other words, you will have to pass restrictions on ownership of almost all types of guns except maybe the BB gun. Such restriction will be difficult to accomplish in the USA with the 2nd amendment and 300 million guns already on the loose. So, potential for gun violence will likely remain a reality in America for the foreseeable future, I am sorry to say.

Again, I agree with Bayrider regarding Switzerland (my Swiss info came from Wikipedia backed by snopesdotcom) and I especially agree with Bayrider about the violent culture in entertainment in the USA and its influence on suseptible minds. Unfortunately this is an area (free speech) as difficult to control as guns (right to bear arms).


tucson, nobody, NOBODY, not me, not anybody, is talking about making handguns illegal. What reasonable people are talking about is making military style assault weapons illegal.

Yes, it's obvious you can kill someone with a handgun. Also, with a pencil. Or a handkerchief.

But you can bring pencils and handkerchiefs on board an airplane. Ypu can't bring a gun on. By your logic, people would have to be absolutely naked when they fly, because since anything can be used as a weapon, the only way to be safe is to ban everything.

Reasonable people recognize that some things are more dangerous than others. Assault weapons are a bigger death risk than a handgun. Knives are a bigger death risk than a pencil.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.

Like I said, still playing cowboys and indians.

Brian,

There must be something wrong with my writing. You continue to misunderstand what I say. All this stuff about pencils, handkerchiefs and airplanes is a strange tangent. I'll try to clarify one more time.

I have not said anywhere that YOU want to make handguns illegal.

I did try to demonstrate that restricting so-called assault rifles would not eliminate the risk of more mass killings because even a 6 shot .38 revolver can be fired at a rate of 36 rounds per minute including the process of reloading.

In my opinion, the Newtown madman could have created just as much carnage with a pistol.

So, what I mean to say is that those who seek to prevent mass killings by banning assault rifles may have to consider banning handguns as well. The Virgina Tech madman killed 32(35?) with a semi-auto handgun and he probably could have accomplished that with a .38 revolver too.

Am I saying a .38 revolver is as potent a weapon as an Ak-47? No. But it is plenty potent enough to do the kinds of killings we've seen lately.

tucson, it seems like your ideology is preventing you from thinking clearly. Wake up: don't be a lobbyist for mass murderers like the NRA is. How are you going to feel next time children are killed with an assault rifle?

Everybody who supports arming mass murderers with the most powerful weaponry is an accomplice of sorts.

It's a ridiculous argument that you're making, along with crazy Wayne LaPierre. Just because there are less lethal ways of killing people, we shouldn't take away from murderers the more lethal ways. Really: wake up.

I've got a 5 year old granddaughter. My heart breaks when I see the photos of the twenty children killed by a military style assault weapon with a 30 round magazine. I'm glad that I still have that sort of heart. It's up to everybody else, including you, to decide what kind of commitment to life and compassion you have.

I can't make that choice for you. But I can point out to you the need to make the choice, and not let dogmatic right-wing ideology twist your decision.

Now, probably you feel I'm being unduly critical of your commitment to saving lives. If so, and if I'm wrong, I apologize. But I haven't heard what your proposed solution is to stopping mass killings with assault weapons -- just what we shouldn't do, not what we should.

My proposed solution has demonstrable evidence behind it: the experience of other countries with much stronger gun laws, which have much lower rates of gun violence.

So what's your solution? Share it, and it can discussed. The pros and cons, what evidence there is for it having worked in other countries/areas, the cause and effect relationship between your solution and fewer killings.

What deeply irritates me about the NRA is what I called the "you break it, you buy it" adage in last night's post about fiscal negotiating. Republicans/right-wingers often don't want to own the truthful consequences of their ideology.

More guns equals more deaths, that's a fact. Don't raise the federal debt ceiling, financial crisis, that's a fact. Don't raise taxes on rich people, bigger federal deficit, that's a fact.

Facts are facts. Not 100% certain, but a heck of a lot better than subjective ideology. So let's talk facts, which I've been doing in my posts. You may disagree, but I hear you speaking ideology, not reasonable solutions to lessening gun violence in this country.

Brian,
I guess my response to your post above got lost in the shuffle or you decided not to put it up.

Anyway, I'm not going to reiterate it.

I'll go on to say that I think the mass killing problem might be better addressed via improved mental health policies than gun control because disarming the American public is unlikely.

Here is what someone writing in a local publication suggested regarding mental health..

*Take early symptoms seriously.

*Respond when someone seeks help for a family member.

*Make it much easier for someone to be held in a hospital for 72 hours and evaluated for mental illness.

*Consider psychosis both a medical and public-safety emergency.

*End the stigma against mental illness.

If we are going to live in a country where there is a gun for every man, woman and child, I'd say we need to take better care of the mentally ill.

tucson, I checked for any unpublished comments from, or a comment that might have made into the spam filter. Didn't find one.

Anyway, I appreciate your willingness to engage in back and forth discussion of gun violence/control issues. That's what this country, and the world, needs more of.

People talking TO each other -- even if passionately, intensely, emotionally -- rather than just AT each other. So thanks for that.

Gun violence isn't going to be lessened by any one means. It will take a whole family of changes to bring about fewer shootings. I'm hopeful the NRA will come to recognize this, and not focus so much on arming people in schools.

That can be one thing to do, but not the only thing.

How to make a 12 gauge shotgun in
52 seconds for $7. Demonstrated shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1wV3lmbSv4

Answer to Gaz question was lost in cyberspace. David Lane can give you
Charan's tape date.

DOJ’s Eric Holder Confirms: Obama Looking at Taking Executive Action to Pass Gun Control

Hours after President Obama’s new Gun Task force met for the first time, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that The Obama Administration may use executive order to implement gun control in the wake of the Connecticut School shooting.

ccording to Reuters, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that The Obama Administration will consider executive action as part of its new gun policy. Holder, who was once quoted saying we have to “Brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way”, told reporters that they are working on a range of options that will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

http://sgtreport.com/2012/12/dojs-eric-holder-confirms-obama-looking-at-taking-executive-action-to-pass-gun-control/


Here comes the New World Order. They sell guns to drug cartels and want to take them away from us.

This is a joke, and you're in denial if you think that banning something will prevent it being obtained and used. I live in Chicago, where guns are all but illegal for any law abiding resident (recently this was changed, but you still cannot carry anywhere but in your home.. not even your garage, and can have a single gun), yet... as of this post, there have been 2,640 reported shootings.

Wait, I thought you said gun control would stop gun violence. Clearly, the people who intend to use guns for violence, don't give a shit about the law. How exactly does more gun control stop gun violence?

Sir, I am sorry but I disagree with your comment on "Guns kill people, people don't kill people." A gun is not bad, it just depends on how you use it. For example, my fist can be a weapon, I can use it to kill someone won't you agree? But at the same time my fist can be a tool for my hand to move and use it in everyday life. Also in the second amendment it says, "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 you can see you can not ban assault weapons. Plus, more people die from car "accidents". In addition, "assault weapons" can be anything that you assault someone. You can use a rock to assault someone, your tongue or even your fist!
Therefore, everyone has a responsibility to be accountable for their actions and everyone to grow up.

Ed, the problem with your argument is... facts.

In countries with strict gun control laws, gun deaths are much less frequent (rates per 100,000 population) than in the United States. If fact, overall murder rates are much less.

So this shows that I'm correct: guns do kill people, because without easily available guns, people don't kill people in those other countries.

Same is true in this country. States with stronger gun control laws have fewer gun deaths.

Okay so you are saying that guns kill people correct? Well can't it also be on how you use it? Like I said, my fist/hand can also be a weapon. So are you saying people should ban people's hands? People kill people sir. Not guns. Here are the FACTS. People have been fighting for thousands of years before guns were created. They use fist, swords, rocks anything to win. No guns at all. So as you can see people kill people not guns. If it was the other way around then why do we have war? It's how people use it. Also people die a lot more with handguns not assault weapons. That is TRUE. I study about military/combat sir and I am pretty sure that people kill people, not GUNS. It depends on how people use it.

You fail to mention the fact that in the US all crime statistics are reported. Whereas in Great Britain, Australia and Canada on report statistics on solved crimes.

And please look at the overall homicide rates, not rates by tool.

And the CDC, Harvard studies have concluded that there is no statistical evidence that gun control results in an improved homicide rate.

"States with stronger gun-control laws have fewer gun deaths" Are you choosing to ignore Washington DC, California?

And also what is the misguided notion that people have with banning "assault rifles" Which are are rarely used in homicides. The FBI statistics show that homicides by rifles have fallen every year, without any increases in regulation.

Adam, what makes you say Great Britain, Australia, and Canada only report statistics on solved crimes? Via Google I couldn't find any reference to this.

Rather, this site says:

"The backbone of the 2011 Global Study on Homicide, UNODC Homicide Statistics is a collection of statistical data on intentional homicide (unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person). The dataset covers 207 countries and territories and provides data on homicide levels, trends and contextual characteristics drawn from a variety of national and international sources relating to homicide.

All existing data sources on intentional homicides, both at national and international level, stem from either criminal justice or public health systems. In the former case, data are generated by law enforcement or criminal justice authorities in the process of recording and investigating a crime event. In the latter, data are produced by health authorities certifying the cause of death of an individual."

See:
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html

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